Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Wild Storm #19

If you have been waiting The Wild Storm to take a breath and offer an issue that helps explain the various factions and motives at play, you don't want to miss The Wild Storm #19. Already having explored the tensions between Skywatch and I.O., the latest issue turns its attention to the more powerful players still lurking in the shadows. Not only does issue #19 explain the history of Jacob Marlowe and his alien race, and how its plans to cultivate Earth as a client species became something different, it also helps explain the competing agenda of the Daemonites and their purpose on Earth.

Arrow - Past Sins

Arrow delves back into First Season plotlines in "Past Sins" when the son of the bodyguard murdered in the life raft by Robert Queen (Jamey Sheridan) shows up looking for revenge by targeting Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and the Star City Police Department. As whacked-out loonies go, the baddie of the week is pretty far out there (what did he really hope to gain by targeting police? and how does killing Oliver avenge a death he had no part in?), but the episode fulfills its intended purpose of helping Oliver win some trust with his half-sister Emiko (Sea Shimooka) by throwing his father under the bus. Just how Ollie plans to balance his new public transparency and his knowledge that his sister is the new Green Arrow with attempting to keep Emiko's trust, however, is yet to be seen.

Naomi #1

Writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker team-up with artist Jamal Campbell to tell a different kind of story with Naomi #1. Our protagonist isn't a super-hero or vigilante of any kind, just a (seemingly) ordinary teenager in a small town who becomes obsessed after Superman's fight with Mongul. Easily the most exciting thing to hit the town in her lifetime, Naomi becomes a bit Superman-obsessed (even discussing the Man of Steel with her shrink).

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Carmen Sandiego - The Sticky Rice Caper

Following the two-part opener explaining Carmen's (Gina Rodriguez) origins, the show sets in on a more straightforward episode with "The Sticky Rice Caper" which sends our thief to Indonesia. The episode introduces two new characters as part of Carmen's team in a brother and sister (Michael Hawley and Abby Trott) who first help Carmen allude some mysterious agents in Paris and later help her prevent V.I.L.E. Academy's sinister plot to wipe out the rice crops on the island of Java for the sole purpose of profit. Both Crackle (Michael Goldsmith), who gets a harsh lesson about failure from V.I.L.E., and the pair of Chase Devineaux (Rafael Petardi) and Julia Argent (Charlet Chung), and their continued pursuit of Carmen, return in limited roles in subplots not connected to the main storyline.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1

Buffy Rebooted starts here. The popular franchise move from Dark Horse Comics to BOOM! Studios means a new start for the plucky heroine. And where better to start than the beginning? Writer Jordie Bellaire and artist Dan Mora take Buffy Summers back to Sunnydale High School in a re-imagining of the show's first season.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


After uncovering the subway station in the Rock of Eternity, Billy and his friends decide to do a little exploring. The first stop is the Funlands (a large amusement park with something sinister just below the surface and a new acquaintance waiting to meet the wizard's new champions). While the kids enjoy their time, it's obvious that something more is going on... and just who is this new champion? Friend or foe?

Supergirl - Blood Memory

The relationship between sisters is the theme of "Blood Memory" when Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) takes a trip with Nia (Nicole Maines) to her inclusive home town. After meeting Nia's sister (Hannah James), Kara discovers why her protege has been so hesitant to embrace the powers passed down from her mother (Kate Burton). At the same time the show begins exploring the aftereffects of Alex (Chyler Leigh) forgetting Supergirl's true identity from small memory gaps, to a lack of confidence, to being far less kind to the Maid of Might in the field. Bonding over their trouble with sisters, the episode works as both an origin story for Nia's eventual hero push while also staying true to the show's core principles of friendship and sisterhood as Kara reveals her secret to a friend whose turmoil she understands all too well.

This is Oni-Con 2018 Cosplay Music Video

Monday, January 28, 2019

Voltron - Battle Scars

The search for the destructive new Robeast takes Volton back to Olkarion where they discover a burnt-out shell of the once vibrant world they knew. Pidge's (Bex Taylor-Klaus) connection to the planet allows her to see the events of the planet's final hours, as a silent observer unable to change events, including the attack of the Robeast and a discovery that, although it might not have saved this planet, could be crucial in tracking down the planet killer.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

Welcome back Scott Summers. I've made no secret of the fact that my interest in all things X-Men has waned considerably since the death of Cyclops. With the help of the "new and improved" younger version of Cable, Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 puts things right by returning Scott Summers to the land of the living. As with Green Lantern: Rebrith (the Geoff Johns standard for resurrected and redeeming a fallen hero), things get a little tricky and a bit convoluted in explaining how the hero is resurrected. However, at least for now, I'm happy that Marvel long ago abandoned their original mandate of when someone dies in the Marvel Universe they stay dead.

Legacies - Maybe I Should Start from the End

The first, and possibly only, appearance by Landon's mother (Ayelet Zurer) fills in some of the remaining blanks about Malivore and Landon's (Aria Shahghasemi) connection to it. Heading in as back-up when Landon gets into trouble, Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) and Alaric (Matthew Davis) are able to help convince Seylah than Landon is indeed the son she gave up years ago (while also learning the dark secret behind Landon's birth and why he is tied to artifacts of the Hell dimension). "Maybe I Should Start from the End" also reveals the existence of a shadowy government agency protecting the pit while also secretly taking out magical creatures on the down low.

PAX South 2019 Cosplayers Unite

Friday, January 25, 2019

Cold War

Cold War, at least for me, brings up an important distinction about the difference between appreciating a film versus liking it. Too often people look at movies and leave the theater believing on a gut level if they liked a movie it's great and if they didn't like it the film must be hot garbage (and quite possibly an attack on everything they hold dear including the entirety of filmmaking and good taste). Centering a story around the on-again off-again romance of a dysfunctional couple in post-WWII Poland and France, writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski produces a film that is easy to appreciate. As for liking it... well, let's just say the film let me cold.

In terms of look, style, the recreation of the time period, and the beautiful black-and-white cinematography by Lukasz Zal, Cold War certainly delivers. It also offers a pair of strong performances by Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig as musicians and lovers who are nearly as dysfunctional when apart as when they are together, making one wonder whether we are supposed to be rooting for the pair to end up together or finally break free of each other.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Flash - Seeing Red

After laying low, Cicada (Chris Klein) returns with a vengeance by killing multiple meta-humans in one night. Hoping to remove those who the serial killer plans to target next, Barry (Grant Gustin) and the group round up the group of metas provided to Cicada by a member of the Central City Police Force (while Cecille goes after the leak in the police department). I've never been a huge fan of vengeful Barry Allen. I think the character works best as hopeful and striving to use his powers to make the world a better place (while fighting talking gorillas and guys throwing boomerangs at him). However, after Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) is seriously injured by Cicada and is slow to heal, Barry's father instincts go into overdrive and nearly push the flash into eliminating the threat of Cicada permanently. Thankfully, Nora is fully recovered by the end of the episode ending the Flash's murderous streak before it claims its first victim.

Arrow - My Name is Emiko Queen

Arrow returns from mid-season hiatus unmasking the new Green Arrow and revealing it to be... Oliver Queen's never-before-mentioned half-sister Emiko (Sea Shimooka). A comic character originally inspired by Thea (a character created specifically for the show), there's a weird circular logic to her introduction here as Emiko seems like an unusual choice to throw into the mix this far into the show's run (especially presenting her as a near carbon-copy of Oliver from the show's first couple of seasons complete with her own book of names to cross off). While we have to wait until next week for the first conversation between the siblings, this episode does see Emiko put her own posse together as Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) join her fight.

Black Widow #1

Despite her recent death (something which lacks the finality it once meant in the Marvel Universe), Black Widow returns in a new series. Black Widow #1 is a bit of a schizophrenic issue that attempts to honor the character's past while pushing Natasha in a new direction.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Detective Comics #996

After learning nothing of interest from the Arkham Asylum menagerie, Batman's investigation into the recent attacks on the close allies of both Batman and Bruce Wayne leads to Paris and a reunion with Ducard who has already figured out the truth of attacks which the Dark Knight Detective won't piece together until the issue's conclusion: someone is systematically targeting everyone who had a hand in creating Batman.

Deadly Class - Reagan Youth

Based on the comic by Rick Remender, the pilot episode of Deadly Class introduces us to teenager Marcus Lopez Arguello (Benjamin Wadsworth) living on the streets and hunted by the police after burning down his orphanage (and the children inside). Lost and suicidal, Marcus is offered a new life by enrolling in a secretive school of assassins known as King's Dominion. Run by the headmaster Master Lin (Benedict Wong), the school is compromised of the sons and daughters of mob bosses and murderers, and those (like Marcus) who have shown an aptitude for killing. With ruthless cliques of teenage killers and equally demented teachers (Wong, Erica Cerra, Henry Rollins), King's Dominion may get Marcus off the street but offers a new host of problems including his classmates who don't like child killers and his first homework assignment: kill someone who deserves it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Supergirl - Suspicious Minds

More than any of the other CW super-hero shows, Supergirl has shown a willingness to push the envelope and take an unexpected hard right-turn to shake things up in unexpected ways. This season has seen the show continue to mirror real-life political divisiveness and immigrant issues with an anti-alien hate group movement and the new President's (Bruce Boxleitner) anti-alien agenda which gets Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) kicked out of the DEO and creates an investigation to uncover the hero's true identity. In an episode about invisible alien assassins bred by the U.S. Government for black ops, it's the core relationships between characters and how far they are willing to go to keep secrets to protect each other that highlights "Suspicious Minds."

Red Sonja #25

A song in the woods and the sound of battle break Red Sonja's solitary travels in the latest issue of Red Sonja from writers Amy Chu and Erik Burnham, and artist Pasquale Qualano. The She-Devil makes short work of a pack of thieves attacking a small traveling party, but when the dust clears only one survivor remains.

This is IKKiCON 2018

Monday, January 21, 2019

Carmen Sandiego - Becoming Carmen Sandiego

After opening with a stylish heist sequence, the two-part opener to Netflix's Carmen Sandiego takes place mostly in flashbacks which fill in the history of the world's most famous thief, including where she learned her skills and acquired both her unusual name and trademark hat. While the robbery truly is the best part of the two episodes (making me hopeful that the remainder of the season will be even better), the flashbacks are an interesting way to rewrite the Carmen Sandiego's (Gina Rodriguez) history for the purposes of the new show.

The Punisher - Roadhouse Blues

The Second Season of The Punisher starts with Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) driving around middle American in the A-Team's van, not exactly looking for trouble but unable to avoid it when it finds him. As to how he is paying for the hotels, beers, gas, and other items... well, that's just one of several questions the premiere doesn't stop to answer. Two days in the same town is all it will take bring Frank's more brutal nature to the surface when he attempts to help a scared young woman (Giorgia Whigham) from an insanely large number of well-trained attackers sent after a presumably unprotected target unable to fight back, leading to complications for Frank's new friend with benefits (Alexa Davalos), the bartender of the bar where Frank leaves one hell of a bloody mess. He also "forgets" his wedding ring in one of those really convenient plot points to clue in the nameless host of bad guys as to the identity of their target's new protector as soon as possible.

Cosplayer of the Week - Vavalika

Vavalika is a Russian cosplayer. You can follow her on Instagram, deviantART, and Facebook.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Glass is an unusual sequel to a pair of movies made 16 years apart which are, at best, only loosely connected by a single scene. The film unites the main character from 2016's Split with the primary characters from 2000's Unbreakable, throwing the unlikely trio together to be examined by a psychiatrist (Sarah Paulson) specializing in a growing mental disorder of people believing themselves to be super-heroes.

The Flash - The Flash & The Furious

With a couple of notable exceptions, the supporting cast takes center stage in "The Flash & The Furious" when the Flash (Grant Gustin) is sidelined by a new meta-human and forced to remain in the pipeline until his instability issues work themselves out. This allows Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) to step into the role of Central City's hero while dealing with her own issues after learning that her future mentor, and known Flash-adversary, the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) is responsible for the death of her grandmother. Her new distrust of evil-doers pushes the repentant Weather Witch (Reina Hardesty) into the arms of the dangerous Silver Ghost (Gabrielle Walsh) whose black matter infuse key fob basically gives her control of any vehicle she wishes (including a stealth car developed by Wayne Industries).

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Criminal #1

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been telling Criminal stories off-and-on for more than a dozen years now. While I may selfishly prefer the pair spend more time on new Velvet or Fatale comics, it's impossible to not admire their return to the crime comic series.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Atomic Robo & the Dawn of a New Era #1

Atomic Robo & the Dawn of a New Era begins with no great catastrophe but simply with Atomic Robo getting the new Tesladyne up and running. This includes welcoming the new recruits who are anxious for some science-adventuring, Bernard taking the opportunity to examine the local dormant volcano (yep, nothing dangerous there), Vikram and Lang leaving on a trip (surely no trouble they could get into), and Robo secretly hiding his new creation Alan in the basement away from prying eyes (nope, nothing could go wrong here either).

Young Justice #1

DC Comics relaunches Young Justice as part of their new teen-focused Wonder Comics line. The first issue follows the basic formula of a threat large enough it causes a group of heroes to converge and become a team. Issue #1's threat are invaders from Gemworld, a threat met head-on by new character Jinny Hex only recently arrived to Metropolis who is joined by Young Justice staples Robin, Impulse, and a reluctant Wonder Girl who all arrive separately to the scene. They are also joined by a new Teen Lantern.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Kid Who Would Be King

Far more successful than 2017's dreary King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, there may be a lesson for Hollywood to adapt a lighter touch when embracing the legend of King Arthur. The Kid Who Would Be King is a family movie that kids are likely to enjoy more than adults, but what surprised me was how smart the film turned out to be and how earnest its themes which will help adults get onboard as well.

Ya Ya Han - Cosplay Cinematic

Cosplayer of the Week - kitKath

kitKath Cosplay is a Canadian cosplayer from Montreal. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, January 11, 2019

On the Basis of Sex

On the Basis of Sex examines Ruth Bader Ginsburg's (Felicity Jones) road from one of only a handful of women granted entry into Harvard to arguing a landmark decision in front of the US Court of Appeals, while fighting sexual discrimination in some form or another every step of the way.

Broken into two parts, the film examines the discrimination and struggles Ruth went through both in college and as a graduate unable to find any firm interested in hiring a female litigator. While there's plenty about the woman's life left untold, such as the span and scope of her career following these events, the film spends quite a bit of time on Ginsburg's family life and personal struggles which dovetails into the larger themes of the script allowing for the plot to climax in Ginsbrug's argument before the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in the first case of her career. Jones proves to be the movie's greatest strength, handling a complex range of emotions over the course of the film leading to Ginsburg's big moment and, as the film frames it, finding her purpose.

Buffalo Boys

Although only the first scene of Buffalo Boys takes place in the Old West, there's never a doubt that Singapore's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 91st Academy Awards is a western through and through. The film tells the story of two brothers (Yoshi Sudarso and Ario Bayu) raised in exile in America who return home to Java with their uncle (Tio Pakusadewo) to avenge their father's death and bestow some justice to the Dutch oppressors led by the villainous Van Trach (Reinout Bussemaker).

While far from the most polished or original tale, Buffalo Boys proves to be an entertaining mix of marital arts and western themes. On the return home, the family comes across a village whose rebellious daughter (Pevita Pearce) will get wrapped up in their plans leading to the brothers standing against an army of Van Trach's men in the middle of town.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Action Comics #1006

There's a moment in Action Comics #1006, a single page of panels from artist Ryan Sook, that gets to the heart of Superman by elegantly showcasing his compassion, nobility, and gravitas. On a single page writer Brian Michael Bendis delivers what was lacking in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel (and the subsequent DC movies) - Superman's humanity. This is a hero.


It's IKKiCON 2019 New Years Celebration

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 - Hala I Ke Ala O'i'ole Mai

Hawaii Five-0 returns from winter hiatus with McGarrett's (Alex O'Loughlin) and Catherine (Michelle Borth) in Montana torturing a prisoner for information about the location of the man (Ben Youcef) responsible for the death of Joe White (Terry O'Quinn) and four other SEALs. With Danny (Scott Caan), Junior (Beulah Koale), and Wade (David Keith) in tow, the pair head off to Laos to rendezvous with super-spy Harry Langford (Chris Vance) to infiltrate a highly-secure skyscraper, find their target, and get some justice for their fallen friend.

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #45

While entertaining, Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #45 doesn't offer much for Mystery, Inc. to do. Opening with the gang attending a show featuring Mister Miracle showcasing the escape artist's talents, the showman's wife (along with Daphne and Velma) are captured by monsters from Apokolips forcing the rest of the gang to head after them (van and all).

Dragon Con 2018 Cosplay Video

Monday, January 7, 2019

Mary Poppins for Adults

The Blacklist - Dr. Hans Koehler

The Blacklist returns for a Sixth Season with Elizabeth (Megan Boone) and her half-sister (Fiona Dourif) looking for answers about the true identity of the man who has been calling himself Raymond Reddington (James Spader) for decades. Of course there is also a case of the week, this one involves a plastic surgeon (Kenneth Tigar) who specializes in dangerous clientele (including Reddington). While after important information of his own, Reddington helps the FBI track down the surgeon but not before the doctor meets a gruesome end thanks to his latest client (Christopher Lambert) who alludes FBI custody and disappears with plans of his own.

Cosplayer of the Week - Hendo Art

Hendo Art is a cosplayer, prop maker, and model from Los Angeles, California. A talented cosplayer with an insane variety of creations, Hendo offers something for everyone and, as one of my all-time favorite cosplayers, seemed the perfect choice to be the website's first Cosplayer of the Week. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Check out her official store as well. You can also support her on Patreon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Top Ten Movies of 2018

2018 has come to a close. This means it's time to look back at the best films the year had to offer. This year's list includes animation, documentaries, super-heroes, biopics, betrayal, a hidden gem unearthed, and a return to form by one of America's greatest living directors. Honorable mentions include Widows, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, The Old Man and the Gun, the return of The Incredibles, and the surprisingly entertaining Teen Titans! Go to the Movies. Now, here are the best movies of 2018.

James Bond 007 #2

After his encounter with the new Oddjob (an enemy agent named John Lee), Bond gets a brief history lesson from MI6 (which infers that this version of 007 never lived through the events of Goldfinger) before being sent back into the field to complete his mission to track down the Russian and retrieve the briefcase before it falls into the clutches of the terrorist of ORU (with strict orders not to get preoccupied with Lee again).


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

COSPLAY REWIND 2018 Cosplay Music Video

This is Louisville Supercon 2018 Anime Cosplay Vlog

X-Force #1

As has become Marvel Comics' custom, X-Force is the latest team title where a new group of familiar faces (and a few new ones) is thrown together under the rebrand of a popular preexisting title. X-Force #1 opens with Domino, Cannonball, Shatterstar, Boom Boom, and Warpath on the trail of the mysterious Teen Cable. With the help of an anti-mutant terrorist group, the team is able to finally catch up to Cable when he rescues Deathlok and escapes a secret Transian facility filled with weapons that shouldn't exist for at least another 2,000 years.