Friday, June 29, 2018

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #20

With the battle with Mysterio and his daughter behind them, both Scarlet Spiders attempt to move on. For Ben Reilly that means continuing to try and save Abigail Mercury from the incurable Crooks' disease. Tracking down the expert who has illuded him, the Scarlet Spider discovers why the willing scientist hasn't been more responsive to his pleas: he's unknowingly been a captive of Sauron.

Voltron - Razor's Edge

While Allura (Kimberly Brooks) and Lotor (A.J. LoCascio) begin creating new ships infused with Altaen alchemy, Keith (Steven Yeun) and his mother (Ana Gasteyer) head off into unstable space known as the Quantum Abyss in search of a batch of super-duper magical quintessence that went missing years before. Although it's a pretty convenient plot device, the timeflashes caused by the unstable space provide a way for the show to cram in flashbacks to Keith and his mother's pasts, while the relative time of the anomaly gives them years together to get to know each other, and the flashes of the future also continuing to foreshadow trouble with Shiro (Josh Keaton). I'm guessing the relative time difference will shoot the pair back out not far from when they entered. The pair's adoption of a cosmic wolf is an interesting touch, as is their surprising discovery in the middle of the abyss. Just what does this mean for Allura's alliance with Lotor?

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #4

Happy Usagi is one of my favorite things. There's a moment in Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #4, during a lull in the case, where Inspector Ishida invites the rabbit ronin home with him and Miyamoto Usagi enjoys the hospitality of his friend, wife, and son. While there's still plenty of work to be done in the remaining three issues of the series, it is nice to see Usagi get a respite (however short it turns out to be).

Harry Potter Awesome Pack 3

Another set celebrating some awesome Harry Potter cosplay. Also check out Pack 1 and Pack 2.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Twelve #1

The end begins. Joss Whedon returns to write the final season arc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Christos Gage that kicks off with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Twelve #1. There's fun, there's fightin', and there are feels.

Elementary - Nobody Lives Forever

With Holmes' (Jonny Lee Miller) mental issues seemingly behind him and his new adversary still laying low. "Nobody Lives Forever" offers the opportunity for the return of Sherlock's former sponsor Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) who hopes to enlist him in a criminal endeavor. In an episode where the B-story proves more interesting than the crime of the week, Alfredo teaches the detective an important lesson about forgiveness (oddly enough while attempting to coerce Holmes into helping rob a business owner of money he stiffed the security expert on) as Holmes not only helps Alfredo's older brother, whom he loathes, but also makes an attempt to mend fences with his own. This leads to both a humorous wisecrack about his brother and his partner as well as a touching final scene where the Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) bonding over the loss of a mutual loved one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan reunites Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin for the sequel to 2015's Sicario. When the United States realize that terrorists are being smuggled across the Mexican border along with illegal immigrants, Matt Graver's (Brolin) team is brought in to deal with the problem. Wanting to start a war between the cartels, Graver decides to bring back Alejandro Gillick (del Toro) who a personal grudge against one of the cartel leaders.

Stefano Sollima steps in for Denis Villeneuve (who directed the first Sicario) this time around. Since Sicario is easily my favorite of Villeneuve's films, I was sorry to not see him return. The biggest difference between Sicario: Day of the Soldado and the original is the lack of female lead. Filling that spot is the side story featuring Elijah Rodriguez a young wannabe on the Mexican border (which is never as compelling as it should be). The sequel definitely misses Blunt as the only female characters of import are Catherine Keener as Graver's boss and Isabela Moner as a cartel princess whose abduction becomes part of Graver's larger plan. While both are important to the plot, it's really del Toro's movie this time around.

The Wild Storm #14

Fourteen issues into the series, writer Warren Ellis continues to build on the universe of The Wild Storm. The latest issue introduces us to another human transformed in Project Thunderbird when John Lynch visits his old friend Alexandra Fairchild. Although we don't get an appearance by Abigail's daughter, Catilin is mentioned as it appears at least Gen13 character will make an appearance in the series (but, as yet, still no mention of Planetary).

Preacher - Angelville

Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) returns home in a season premiere that doesn't feature, or even mention Genesis (and what Jesse can do with it). Instead "Angelville" is mainly concerned with Jesse's return home, the introduction of his witchy grandmother (Betty Buckley) and creepy extended family, and the resurrection of his girlfriend. Even from the limited flashbacks we get here, and Jesse's current interactions with his family, it's obvious he had good reason to leave Angelville. There will be a cost for Tulip's (Ruth Negga) life, but just what might that be (and can Jesse find a way to weasel out of it)? It's a creepy and stylish season opener that spends the entire episode on a single plot point (raising my concerns once again about the show dragging out storylines more than necessary). Suggesting that Jesse and company may be forced to stay in Angelville for more episodes leaves me a bit cold as well since the last season began to stall once the road trip halted for too long in New Orleans.

Domino #3

While much of Domino #3 continues the comic's opening arc of our heroine being fucked with by a mutant who can alter the effects of her powers, for me the most interesting parts of the comic deal with the flashbacks to the character's childhood. Experimented on as a young mutant in a secret facility, we're given glimpses to just what kinds of methods were used to bring out Domino's unique power set. We also learn how she got that permanent black eye.

Rolyat - Day in the Life of Deku

Monday, June 25, 2018

Stellar #1

As with old sci-fi paperbacks, sometimes a cool cover and an intriguing title is all you need. Stellar #1 from writer Joe Keatinge and artist Bret Blevins fits into sci-fi fantasy with space-bound bounty hunters and soldiers dropping from the sky like kamikaze comets. Transformed as a weapon in intergalactic war but now working as a bounty hunter, the first issue introduces us the formidable Stellar who mirrors the broken landscape which she drags her reluctant bounty across.

Take Two - Pilot

The first episode of Andrew W. Marlowe's Take Two feels more like Castle's troubled final seasons that the glory days of his previous series. Basically swapping the two main roles, Take Two casts Rachel Bilson as an actress recently out of rehab who enlists the help of private investigator Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian) to help her land a role. Tagging along with Eddie, Sam (Bilson) proves useful to the case of a missing person on multiple occasions (and even eventually earns Eddie's grudging respect).

A-KON 2018 Cosplay Music Video

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tomb Raider: Inferno #1

The first issue of Tomb Raider: Inferno takes Lara Croft's search for answers about the mysterious organization known as Trinity into the frozen unknown where Trinity has uncovered the legendary Tomb of Eden. This time, however, not only is Trinity prepared for Lara's interference but they've been patiently awaiting it.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jurassic World Has Fallen (and it can't get up)

This franchise is officially out of ideas. Again. The latest entry in the Jurassic Park franchise is a mishmash of plot from the previous entries without much of anything original or surprising to offer. This is the film where you know what's going to happen every step of the way including when a dinosaur is about to jump out of the water or break through a window. And the film, of course, finds a way to shoehorn the trademark T-Rex shot in an attempt to remind you of better times. If it held any of the wonder of the first Jurassic Park the script's lack of brains might be tolerable. However, it just feels tired. And dumb. Damn, this movie is dumb.

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

For decades Mister Rogers' Neighborhood filled the public airwaves with television aimed at young children and a focus on allowing children to be themselves and a core belief that each of us is unique and special. It was created and designed by a seminary student named Fred Rogers who was looking to for a way to use television to teach an audience with a slow-paced show concerned with connecting individually with his core audience in a way which was very much the antithesis of your average children's program focused on slapstick, action, and (often blatant) consumerism. The documentary from Morgan Neville takes a look at the man's life and legacy which had a profound impact on generations who grew up in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Supergirl - Battles Lost and Won

Suck it David Goyer and Zack Snyder. In the show's Third Season finale Supergirl makes a Man of Steel level mistake, immediately owns up to it, and reestablishes the core themes of the show heading into next season. A true hero, especially one gifted with near omnipotent powers, always finds a better way. Kara's (Melissa Benoist) better way also offers a sly reference to a far better Superman film than Snyder's clusterfuck when she flies backward in time to fix a mistake. Despite the hard truth others attempt to force Supergirl to accept, for someone like her, there is always another way. Not only is Supergirl able to save Sam (Odette Annable) and defeat Reign, her actions also allow the Maid of Might to continue to hold to her ideals and fight the good fight.

Darth Vader #17

What does it mean to be a Jedi? Darth Vader #17 finally brings the Jedi Barr and Darth Vader face-to-face. While Vader is serving his own murderous impulses and the interests of the Emperor and Barr is pushing a Rebellion on Mon Cala that definitely isn't in the population's best short-term interests, the comic shows that neither is actually serving the Force.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Nancy Drew #1

After solving yet another mystery in the sleepy town of River Heights, and retrieving the stolen high school mascot from someone with some serious goat envy, 17 year-old Nancy Drew is lured back to her childhood home of Bayport by a mysterious message. Reconnecting with old friends including the Hardy Boys, Nancy has an old mystery to solve.

FANIME 2018 - New Beginnings

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Man of Steel #3

While Man of Steel continues the thread of Superman investigating the number of arson attempts that have sprung up over Metropolis in recent weeks, and even features a fun cameo from Batman who startles Fire Inspector Melody Moore, the crux of the issue continues to be the lead-up to Superman encounterin Rogol Zaar.

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #38

It's interesting that Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #38 has a similar set-up to Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 which featured Dynomutt asking for help when the Blue Falcon started behaving erratically. While Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 went for a gritty feel that didn't really fit the characters, Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #38 features a more all-ages story that involves the criminal Manyfaces masquerading as Blue Falcon to ruin the hero's reputation (and not being possessed by an evil spirit, and Dynomutt believes).

Legion - Chapter 19

Fans of the comic character knew this was coming. The Second Season finale of Legion sets up David (Dan Stevens) as villain (or at best anti-hero) heading into the show's next season. While I don't have any issues with how the episode concludes, I do have some quibbles over how it gets there. First, no matter how much Division 3 is afraid of David or how much Syd (Rachel Keller) feels violated by his deplorable behavior, the group of David's friends choosing the Shadow King (Navid Negahban) as an ally makes no sense. The Shadow King being less of a threat than David doesn't all the sudden make him a hero. (Ted Bundy murdered more women than Jack the Ripper, but that doesn't make Jack "good.") This is, after all, the man responsible for David's current mental state, not to mention his sister's death, and various mind-fucking and murdering he's done along the way. Is David a good person? That's a central question to the episode. However, even if you conclude David is a bad person (or has the potential to be one) that, in and of itself, doesn't all the sudden make Farouk a good or trustworthy person.

Hendo Art Cosplay Feature: Lucky Chloe

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Hawkman #1

Hawkman has a long and convoluted comic history. The new series from writer Robert Venditti and artist Bryan Hitch hopes to add to the character's history while making some sense out of the reincarnated warrior who has been everything from an Egyptian prince to a space cop from Thanagar. The best attempt to merge and make sense of the character's colorful backstory was in JSA more than 10 years ago, but attempts to make the character a mainstay in the DCU since then have had mixed success before fizzling out.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Incredibles 2

Look on almost any list of the best super-hero movies and you are more likely than not to find Pixar's 2004 film The Incredibles. Taking the basic structure of hero family first introduced in The Fantastic Four and updating it with a variety of smart characters and great visuals, the film remains the only good Fantastic Four film we've seen to date. Despite other Pixar franchises like Cars and Toy Story earning multiple sequels, in the middle of the super-hero movie boom The Incredibles has remained dormant. That is, until now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Elementary - Sober Companions

Opening with the discovery of a murder victim which both hits close to home with the NYPD and also reveals that several other women all murdered by the same killer, "Sober Companions" brings two ongoing storylines to a head. The first involves Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) discovering Michael's (Desmond Harrington) secret. And the second involves the detective pushing himself beyond the limitations of his medical condition in a futile attempt to catch a serial killer who has been two-steps ahead of him the entire season (and credits Sherlock's words of wisdom about sobriety for much of his success).

Cosplay Germany: DoKomi 2018

Supergirl - Make It Reign

Setting up next week's season finale, "Make It Reign" features Selena (Anjali Jay) and her disciples on Earth working to restore their world killer. Despite the illusion of being destroyed, Reign (Odette Annable) still exists and is tied to Sam. As the Kryptonian witches (which, despite being immensely powerful, are as ridiculous as they sound) resurrect their creation, Sam's health worsens. And with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Mon-El (Chris Wood) stuck Argo, things are looking pretty bleak for Earth, especially after the Kryptonians raid the DEO to get their hands on the final ingredient needed to bring back Reign.

FanimeCon 2018 Cosplay Music Video (Part 2)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lucifer - Once Upon a Time

You know what they say, any episode of Lucifer than includes a fight between Furries in the middle of a convention is a good episode of Lucifer. It's hard to tell where exactly in continuity the first of these two Lucifer "bonus episodes" takes place. "Boo Normal" puts Ella (Aimee Garcia) front and center as the medical examiner struggles with pressure from her family to move back home to Detroit, dealing with the unexpected return of the ghost (Charlyne Yi) who used to haunt her after a childhood accident, and helping Chloe (Lauren German) with a murder case. With a little prompting from her metaphysical friend, Ella not only solves the crime but also chooses to share her secret with Chloe.

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #19

While Kaine attempts to keep everyone in the hotel and casino, who have been transported to an alternate dimension by Mysteria, safe from the murderous creatures, our other Scarlet Spider confronts Mysterio and his daughter to discover what the hell is going on.

This is COLOSSALCON 2018 Cosplay Music Video

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Immortal Hulk #1

The Hulk is dead. Long live the Hulk? Killed off as part of Marvel's lackluster Civil War II event, the Hulk returns to Marvel in a new series from writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennett. Focusing on neither Bruce Banner or the Hulk (or any character that will survive long enough to appear in issue #2), the first issue centers around a gas station robbery and triple homicide. When one of the victims' bodies goes missing from the morgue through a rather huge hole in the wall to take out vengeance on the man responsible the world gets their wake-up call that the Hulk is back.

Hendo's How-To: Glowing Wonder Woman Lasso

Cloak & Dagger - First Light

Apparently every comic character is getting turned into a television or movie property at this point. Initially created back in 1982, the characters of Cloak and Dagger are reimagined for the new Freeform television series. The show's pilot episode keeps the overall idea of the characters while choosing to make a few tweaks to their backstory. Dagger, or Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt), goes from being the priviledged daughter of a supermodel to the daughter of a druggie waitress (Andrea Roth), living on the streets and supporting herself by stealing from wealthy teenagers. Cloak, or Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph), gets a suburban home (and trades in his stutter for abs) that is tinged with the tragedy of an older brother shot by police because of a decision he made as a kid. Rather than their powers being the result of some mad street chemist, the episode shows the pair being exposed to some kind of energy one fateful night when they both lost a loved one that not only links them together but gives them complimentary powers.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Justice League #1

Writer Scott Snyder and artist Jim Cheung relaunch the Justice League with a first issue that throws the reader into a battle between the Neanderthal army of Vandal Savage and the Justice League. Several DC heroes as shown, and others are mentioned as the group fights across the world on multiple fronts. However, the true danger lies not on the ground but from the skies.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Justice League Action - Keeping up with the Kryptonians

The second straight episode featuring Mr. Mxyzptlk (Gilbert Gottfried) toying with DC heroes, "Keeping up with the Kryptonians" is of interest for finding a way to incorporate the Red Son Superman into the series. Toying with the idea of alternate realities, Mr. Mxyzptlk alters the history of both Superman (Jason J. Lewis) and Supergirl (Joanne Spracklen) sending the Man of Steel to be raised in Eastern Europe and the Maid of Might to be raised in Hollywood. As Kara turns into a popular, if vapid, celebrity, the Kryptonian becomes the lead warrior for an invading army.

Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1

One of the problems when crossing over characters from different universes is the tone may not match. Now with throwing together DC Comics and those from Hanna-Barbera the most obvious choice would be to go for more the kid-friendly Saturday morning carton versions of the DC heroes to match the HB counterparts. And when you are dealing with the sons of Batman and Superman as well, that seems like a no-brainer. Sadly, that's not the case with Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 which instead decides to bring Blue Falcon and Dynomutt into a more gritty reality where they don't belong.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Reagan Kathryn's Colossalcon 2018 Vlog

Anime Impulse 2018 Cosplay Music Video (Part 5)

Voltron - White Lion

The Fifth Season comes to a close with Allura (Kimberly Brooks) and Lotor (A.J. LoCascio) entering Oriande, the fabled home of Altean alchemy while the rest of the Voltron team is forced to stay behind. Journeying through the mouth of a White Lion through a white hole, each faces a separate test. While Lotor fails, Allura succeeds in acquiring the prize (although we don't exactly know what that means). Apparently happy for the princess' success, will Lotor fall into the same pattern of jealousy and quest for power that doomed the previous generation? While that may be one possible outcome, another has learned the location of Oriande, and its likely she has her own plans for that knowledge.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Ocean's 8

I love heist films, and I love the Ocean's 11 franchise. Admitting this, I may be willing to cut the latest film more slack than the average viewer. Without a doubt, Ocean's 8 is the weakest of any of the four films. It lacks the style and pace of director Steven Soderbergh's 2001 film as Gary Ross drags out scenes far more than necessary. It also doesn't help that the script lacks the wit of the original, often struggling to put its charismatic stars in the best situations.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Supergirl - Not Kansas

"Not Kansas" opens with the defeat of Reign (Odette Annable) and Lena purging the Kryptonian alter-ego and saving Sam. The episode ends with a new Kryptonian threat as those behind Reign's existence show up on Earth and restore her citadel. In between, he latest episode of Supergirl offers two main stories. The first of these centers around Kara (Melissa Benoist) deciding to return to Argo with Mon-El (Chris Wood) and spend some time with her mother (Erica Durance). The other centers around weapons designed for the DEO hitting the streets and into the hands of an unstable lawyer with plans to use them against his former company.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #252

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #252 highlights the Baroness who leads a Cobra faction into the war-torn country of Darklonia to act as peace-keepers. Meeting a frightened young child and matching wits against a local sniper sends the Baroness' thoughts back to her own childhood and meeting the man who would bestow her now famous moniker.

Super-Heroes Card Trader - Green Lantern Awesome Pack

For more super-heroes check out Super-Hero Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Pack 6, Pack 7, Team-Up Pack 1, Wonder Woman Pack 1, Black Cat Pack 1, Lara Croft Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Spidey Pack 1, Pack 2, Deadpool Pack 1, Harley Quinn Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Birds of Prey Pack 1, Memorial Day Pack 1, X-Men Pack 1, and the X-Mas Mega Pack 1 and Mega Pack 2.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Deception - Transposition

The First Season finale of Deception offers a swerve and reset to the show, offering several different ways the plot could go next year. With the Mystery Woman (Stephanie Corneliussen) in FBI custody and Jonathan's (Jack Cutmore-Scott) freedom closer than it has ever been, things begin to go wrong. First, their evil genius lets them in on an attempted kidnapping of a foreign official who is being pressured to step away from his country's first democratic elections. As events spiral out of control, the FBI release Jonathan to help with an elaborate ruse to save the official and his wife, and the Mystery Woman continues to plant poison Jonathan's ears. Having proved her worth, the Mystery Woman is whisked away by the FBI leaving the brothers with nothing to show for a year of work.

Legion - Chapter 17

Without showing us what she did with Clark (Hamish Linklater), "Chapter 17" fills in on how the Shadow King (Navid Negahban) won over Melanie (Jean Smart). Frankly, it wasn't that difficult (and pretty much unfolded exactly how you would expect). Despite preventing Clark from fulfilling his part in David's (Dan Stevens) plan, the rest of his time-delayed chess peices are all able to perform their actions which end in Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) the desert with the monks and a weapon David believes should be powerful enough to destroy the Shadow King. How crucial was Clark's role, and will it be large enough to derail David's plans?

This is COMICPALOOZA 2018 Cosplay Music Video

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Chun-Li Mastery by Hendo Art

One of my absolute favorite cosplayers, California cosplayer Hendo Art creates an prolific and amazing variety of cosplay stretching across genres such as comics, video games, movies, anime, Disney princesses, and more. Here she is as kick-ass (and adorably fierce) street fighter Chun-Li. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can support her on Patreon and her official store as well.

Justice League Action - Captain Bamboozle

The first of two episodes to feature the fifth-dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk (Gilbert Gottfried, in some inspired casting), "Captain Bamboozle" finds the mischievous creature causing new havoc by imparting super-powers to Billy Batson's (Sean Astin) foster uncle Dudley H. Dudley (John Astin) whose feeling a bit useless in not being able to help Billy when her turns into Captain Marvel, er... Shazam. Pretending to be the wizard, Mxyzptlk grants Dudley a wide range of super-powers (and costume that perfectly captures the homemade costume the Golden Age version of the character wore to feel part of the Marvel Family). Longtime fans of the Marvel Family should enjoy themselves here, although the only thing we don't get, which I'll admit leaves me slightly disappointed, is a way to fit Hoppy into the story.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Man of Steel #1

The Man of Steel #1 not only gives us a little bit of backstory to the new character of Rogol Zaar but it also gives readers a day in the life of Superman as the Man of Steel literally puts out a Metropolis fire, uses minimal effort to take down a pair of villains stupid enough to set up shop in Metropolis, meets a new friend, and finds a quiet moment of contemplation and joy in an unexpected moment between saving the day.

Executive Assistant Iris #1

Marking the 10th anniversary of the character, Aspen launches a new volume of Executive Assistant Iris which centers around a woman named Iris trained in China to become an Executive Assistant (i.e. an assassin and bodyguard for hire). The comic opens with Iris saving her latest charge, although she's forced to admit that age is beginning to catch up with her. The rest of the comic deals with setting up the primary storyline of the freelancing Iris being offered a job by Magni Global, one of two biggest security companies around.

Lucifer - Boo Normal

You know what they say, any episode of Lucifer than includes a fight between Furries in the middle of a convention is a good episode of Lucifer. It's hard to tell where exactly in continuity the first of these two Lucifer "bonus episodes" takes place. "Boo Normal" puts Ella (Aimee Garcia) front and center as the medical examiner struggles with pressure from her family to move back home to Detroit, dealing with the unexpected return of the ghost (Charlyne Yi) who used to haunt her after a childhood accident, and helping Chloe (Lauren German) with a murder case. With a little prompting from her metaphysical friend, Ella not only solves the crime but also chooses to share her secret with Chloe.