Thursday, October 17, 2019

Arrow - Starling City


Arrow opens its final season with a somewhat perplexing episode finding Oliver (Stephen Amell) repeating history on a parallel Earth as he's rescued from Lian Yu and taken back to Starling City (eight years later than in his timeline). The episode allows for the show to replay scenes from the show's First Season and return a few familiar faces. What we later learn is that Oliver is on Earth-2, the home of Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who has returned to her Earth as a hero, and his mission involves procuring an important power source necessary in the coming crisis. What isn't ever really explained is why the the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) needed Oliver to procure the Dwarf Star in the first place. The episode ends with Oliver successful but also with the destruction of the Earth as the Arrow offers the first look at what is at stake in the coming crisis.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #267


G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #267 offers the pay-off to the last issue's tease of sleeper cell Cobra units waiting to strike just outside of Staten Island, New York. Although the initial ruse of sneaking in a team using tanker trucks doesn't go off without a hitch, leading to far more casualties than Cobra expected, in the end Cobra makes it down to the bunker and makes it out with their prize - Snake Eyes.

The Flash - A Flash of the Lightning


With Barry (Grant Gustin) travelling first to Earth-3 and then to the future to confirm the truth of the the Monitor's (LaMonica Garrett) statements about what is coming, it falls on the rest of Team Flash to deal with the latest meta-human (Kayla Compton) who, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) believes is innocent of the charges against her. The meta-human story isn't all that memorable, even with the bait-and-switch at the end, although it does seem to tease us with the first appearance of another of the DCU's secret spy agencies (I'm guessing Spyral?).

Prodigal Son - Designer Complicity


"Designer Complicity" sends Malcolm (Tom Payne) and the police after a stalker when a celebrity (Daniela Braga) tuns up dead, her body elaborately staged to recreate a famous media campaign. While initial suspects point to the woman's boyfriend (Julian Elijah Martinez) and a creepy paparazzi, the truth turns out to be a bit more complicated. Sadly, both the search and the reveal of the killer are upstaged by the murder scene itself. And the murder of the week takes a backseat to Malcolm's obsession about his mother (Bellamy Young) and whether or not she was complicit in his father's (Michael Sheen) murders. The show chooses to show the audience the truth, while allowing the protagonist to accept the lie, leading to an unsatisfying ending for all concerned. At least Prodigal Son can stop teasing Ainsley's (Halston Sage) interest in visiting her father as the reporter shows up for an unexpected visit to close out the episode (no doubt leading to more family drama).

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Supergirl - Stranger Beside Me


The latest season of Supergirl continues its slow start with a second episode featuring stories involving Kara (Melissa Benoist) struggling with the new changes at The Daily Planet, the relationships of Brainiac-5 (Jesse Rath) and Nia (Nicole Maines), and Alex's (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly (Azie Tesfai) both struggling through small cutesy issues, and J'onn (David Harewood) enlisting Kelly's help in searching for answers about the Martian who confronted him at the end of the season premiere. The most interesting plot thread, however, offers the return of Eve (Andrea Brooks) as Lena's (Katie McGrath) lab rat as Supergirl continues Ms. Luthor down a darker path starting with "resetting" Eve's mind and allowing her artificial intelligence to take over the former assistant's body.

Event Leviathan #5


The penultimate issue of the six-issue mini-series begins delivering some answers about Leviathan, although the identity of the person behind the mask is still yet to be revealed. Picking up from issue #4's cliffhanger, Lois Lane gets some unhappy news from the secondary group of detectives who have a theory about what is happening. Event Leviathan #5 will likely be remembered for the death of a major Superman supporting character over the years in Sam Lane (who is revealed to be working with, or at least sympathetic to the cause of, Leviathan).

Monday, October 14, 2019

Batwoman - The Rabbit Hole


The follow-up to the show's pilot episode features Kathy Kane (Ruby Rose) continuing to use Batman's tech while also attempting to convince her family that Alice (Rachel Skarsten) is her sister Elizabeth. By the end of the episode both sisters will know more about each other, and Kathy will save her half-sister Mary (Nicole Kang) from Alice's jealous wrath. In may ways "The Rabbit Hole" feels like the second-half of the show's pilot. Despite using the tech, Kathy doesen't comprehend what the possible return of Batman to Gotham may mean for the dying city as her main focus is preventing her father from shooting Alice on sight before she has a chance to confirm her sister's identity. The tease for next week suggests our first look at Kathy embracing the cowl and adding the necessary flourishes to allow Batwoman to finally step into the light.

Titans - Conner


After being teased about the character since the end of last season, fans finally get their first look at Superboy (Joshua Orpin) in "Conner." Except for the final few minutes, "Conner" is a standalone episode focused on the history of the character which introduces Cadmus Laboratories and Dr. Eve Watson (Genevieve Angelson) who are responsible for the half-human/half-Kryptonian clone that gives the episode its name. With agents of Lex Luthor hunting him, Conner flees to Kansas but ends up at the Luthor farm instead of that belonging to the Kents. Mostly a blank slate, Conner has flashes of memory from both his genetic father's - Superman and Lex Luthor. The former gives him super-powers while the later offers glimpses of scientific knowledge and a dangerous temper.

Scooby-Doo Card Trader Awesome Pack


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Doctor Doom #1


Doctor Doom, reinstated as the absolute ruler of Latveria (although not for long), gets a new comic as Doctor Doom #1 opens with Doom's vocal opposition to using a black hole on the moon as a means of cooling the Earth and dealing with climate change. Ridiculed for his dissenting opinion, Doom is once again cast as the villain when all evidence to an attack on the station points back to Latveria and Victor von Doom.

Stumptown - Rip City Dicks


Dex (Cobie Smulders) attempts to get her new career started by enlisting the help of veteran PI Artie Banks (Donal Logue) to show her the ropes. He ends up showing her far more than she bargained for. The case involves a divorce settlement between their client, a battered wife (Shoshana Bush), and the squeaky-clean husband (Robb Derringer) the pair are hired to find dirt on. The main story works well, although Dex's 70s Starsky & Hutch hallucination misses the mark. Logue turns out to be a nice addition to the cast, and after screwing over both Dex and their client to make some extra money for himself, I'm curious to see where this plot thread goes from here. Of less interest is Hoffman (Michael Ealy) looking into Grey's (Jake Johnson) involvement with the ex-con who just turned up dead, but it doesn't look like this story is getting wrapped-up anytime soon.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Gemini Man


Not finding any living actors worthy enough to share the silver screen with, Will Smith faces off against himself in Gemini Man. The action film with sci-fi underpinnings cast Smith as retiring government assassin Henry Brogan who is targeted by his own government (for mostly unintelligible reasons only important to draw him into the larger story). The man leading the hunt for Brogan is the assassin's former boss Clay Verris (Clive Owen), now the head of a multi-national private security force with an oh-so-cute name chosen to reinforce the movie's ridiculous plot. And with a name like Clay Verris is it any wonder he turned into a villain?

Batman & the Outsiders #6


Batman & the Outsiders #6 ends the comic's opening arc with more failure from the Outsiders, and more absence from Batman. The comic picks up the thread of Ishmael and Cassandra Cain and Signal who appear to have been Ra's al Ghul's targets all along. Lured into a trap by Ishmael, the pair discover Lady Shiva waiting for them with a surprise. Although Cassandra survives her mother-daughter reunion, Signal's fate is left up in the air (although Ra's does allude to his plans for the boy, and the rest of Batman's soldiers, as he has chosen a new tactic in his war against the detective).

Nancy Drew - Pilot


Our introduction to Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann), the title character in The CW's new series which takes its name from the well-known kid detective who has remained popular and in print since her first appearance in 1930, isn't solving a case but hooking up with a boy she barely knows in a garage. It's here that the show's creators break from the tradition of the cute and precocious Nancy Drew template and offer an older, although not necessarily wiser, version of the character. McMann turns out to be a fairly good choice for this version of Nancy who, in the first episode, deals with a murder, a ghost mystery, the lasting effects of her mother's death on her life plans, and the supernatural. It's the last of these that becomes the hardest two swallow, especially as it becomes increasingly clear just how much of ghosts and things that go bump in the night the show's writers are prepared to accept.

Bull - Rectify


When Palmer (Chris Jackson) brings a case to the attention of his friends, Benny (Freddy Rodríguez) discovers that his work for the District Attorney years ago may have led to the incarceration of an innocent man (Malcolm Goodwin). What makes "Rectify" work well is that the show doesn't overreach in terms of a character attempting to fix a past mistake. A minor member of the legal team, Benny isn't solely responsible for the state's case, nor does Eddie (Goodwin) blame him for his incarceration. Instead, the latest episode of Bull focuses on the unusual legal precedent of a former member of the prosecution becoming the lead attorney for the defense on an appeal and searching for the real killer nearly two decades after the original crime.

Usagi Yojimbo #5


Tragedy comes in the conclusion of "The Hero." True to his word, Miyamoto Usagi helps see Lady Mura back to her father, but there is little comfort the honorable elder can offer. Instead honor insists she return home with her husband, whose sudden appearance does nothing to lessen Usagi's opinion of the man.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

This is Delta H Con 2019 Best Cosplay Music Video

The Flash - Into the Void


Despite the episode dealing with some weighty issue such as Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) dealing with the loss of their daughter (he by throwing himself in his heroics and her in bottling her feelings) and the threat of a black hole destroying the entire city, there is quite a bit of fun to be had in the show's Sixth Season premiere. (By the way, I'll take busy-bee Barry over brooding Barry any day.) Taking place a few months following Nora disappearing from history, "Into the Void" offers an immediate challenge in the form of a garage scientist (Brandon McKnight) who accidentally creates a recurring black hole around Central City and foreshadow trouble down the line in Caitlin's (Danielle Panabaker) old friend (Sendhil Ramamurthy) who has become obsessed with using dark matter to save himself and others from the disease which took his mother's life (no matter the cost). McKnight turns out to be one of several fun surprises, and hearing that he'll be sticking around Star Labs for the next several weeks makes me hopeful we'll get more of Chester P. Runk.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Once and Future #1


I'm a little behind in taking a look at writer Kieron Gillen's new Arthurian comic, Once and Future. Opening with the discovery of an artifact, an ancient scabbard that once belonged to you-know-who, the issue shifts to man's awkward first date which is mercifully interrupted by his grandmother leaving her nursing home which in turn leads Duncan McGuire down a fantastical rabbit hole.

Prodigal Son - Fear Response


A bizarre murder where the victim was frightened to death before the brain was removed from the corpse leads Malcolm (Tom Payne) to a renown psychologist (Sakina Jaffrey) whose off-the-books experiments have come back to haunt her. Spending a bit of time with the doctor, and discussing fear (such as that which has ruled his life since his childhood) allows for Malcolm to make a breakthrough in the memory fragments of his nightmares (though this will likely only force new questions to be answered). Although Malcolm doesn't visit his father, and refuses to discuss the case over the phone, his relationship with Martin (Michael Sheen) becomes the crux of the episode's B-story as concern for Martin's well-being (and perhaps her own) drives Jessica (Bellamy Young) to see her husband for the first time in decades. A question that has been looming since the series' pilot is now at the forefront of Malcolm's consciousness: just how much did his mother know about his father's hobbies?

Batman: The Movie (1966) Honest Trailer

Monday, October 7, 2019

Supergirl - Event Horizon


Much of Supergirl's Fifth Season premiere deals with the friendship between Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Lena (Katie McGrath), who discovered Kara's secret at the end of last season. While continuing to still be oblivious that her best-friend is Supergirl, Lena begins finding ways to get her revenge. First, she sells of The Daily Planet to an old friend (Julie Gonzalo) who wants to take the newspaper in the 21st Century (by gutting any real news reporting in favor of monetization and clicks). Next, she prepares to reveal Kara's secret to the world on the night Kara is set to receive the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting of Lex Luthor's machinations last season. Only Kara's admission prevents Lena from continuing with her plan, in the episode's best scene of Supergirl tearing up while admitting her mistakes to Lena, although Lena's final scene suggests Kara is far from forgiven (whatever Ms. Luthor may say to Supergirl's face).

Batwoman - Pilot


First seen in the Elseworlds crossover, Kathy Kane (Ruby Rose) returns in her own show with Batwoman. Ruby Rose is the show's biggest asset, especially for an episode that doesn't see Batwoman take flight until the final act. Taking place prior to the events in "Elseworlds Part 2," the show's pilot episode introduces us to Kathy before she takes on the mantle of the Bat. We're given flashbacks to Kate's family tragedy (the loss of her sister and mother) and the end of her first romance that didn't fit into her girlfriend's (Meagan Tandy) military career. Sophie's (Tandy) kidnapping by a new super-villain brings Kate back to a Gotham struggling after the disappearance of Batman years before.

Titans - Deathstroke


"Deathstroke" picks up from the cliffhanger of "Ghosts" with the Titans learning of Jason Todd's (Curran Walters) kidnapping, although it isn't until after they discover Dr. Light's (Michael Mosley) body that they will learn who has Jason, and what he wants in return. Tensions continue to rise within Titans Tower with the abduction of Jason, Deathstroke's (Esai Morales) offer to trade the new Robin for Rose (Chelsea Zhang), and Dick (Brenton Thwaites) continuing to keep people in the dark. The arrival of Koriand'r (Anna Diop) helps with the later, but there still plenty of problems for the team to work out. Although Raven's power issues have been put on the back burner this year due to the Deathstroke arc, it looks like they are poised to have a larger impact in the remainder of the season.

Japan Weekend Madrid 2019 Cosplay Music Video (Part 1)

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Stumptown - Forget It Dex, It's Stumptown. / Missed Connections


Cobie Smulders stars as a good, if slightly fucked-up, former soldier who falls into the life of an unlicensed private investigator over the first two episodes of Stumptown. "Forget It Dex, It's Stumptown." introduces us to Dex Parios (Smulders), her best-friend Grey (Jake Johnson), and her brother Ansel (Cole Sibus). When the daughter (Blu Hunt) of the love of her life, whose death Dex still blames herself for, goes missing, the grandmother (Tantoo Cardinal) hires Dex to find her. What Dex discovers first looks like a pair of teens running off together but turns out to be something far more sinister as the boy's boyfriend turns out to be one of three criminals wanting to ransom the girl back to her grandmother for a big payday.

Aladdin

The 2019 live-action remake of Disney's animated film of the same name is a mostly harmless, and mostly pointless, endeavor that adds little (if anything) new to the tale (other than giving the Genie a girlfriend). As in the previous remakes, the plot and songs are brought in from the original (although this version sadly lacks Robin Williams' madcap antics that helped elevate an otherwise pedestrian story).

Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott star as street thief Aladdin and Princess Jasmine with Will Smith stepping in as the Genie and Marwan Kenzari providing the most bland version of the villain Jafar possible. Although there's certainly money spent on CGI for the project, the film lacks any of the magic of the animated feature.

Hendo Art's Batwoman cosplay


Hendo Art shows off her new Batwoman cosplay, and offers this how-to on creating your own cowl as well as behind-the-scenes video on creating the full costume. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also support her on Patreon. Photo by Nerdy Pictures.

Angel #5


Before moving Angel into Buffy's orbit, Angel #5 introduces us to another important supporting character as Angel hunts down Charles Gunn and attempts to enlist him to the cause. Things go a bit easier than the TV show's first meeting between the pair.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

NCIS - Into the Light


"Into the Light" concludes the two-part season premiere featuring the resurrected Ziva David (Cote de Pablo). The episode includes quite a bit of misdirection as the soldiers of the captured Sahar (Mouzam Makkar) attempt two suicide bombings on members of Congress, although it is discovered that neither one was ever meant to be successful. It also raises some suspicions against Ziva who makes some questionable choices in order to put her own plan in action and take down Sahar's complete cell in one move.

Star Wars Adventures #26


While, in theory, I'm all for more tales involving Luke Skywalker and Rey, the events of The Last Jedi don't allow much leeway or time for any such stories to take place. What writer Cavan Scott attempts to do is shoehorn a story during the small period of time after Luke has agreed to train Rey but before she has discovered the Jedi Master has cut himself off from the Force and she leaves to return to the fleet.

Bull - Fantastica Voyage


Elizabeth Alderfer guest-stars as an entrepreneur facing fraud charges when her partner, and the head scientist in the company's proposed water filtration process, accuses her of lying to investors about the feasibility of it ever being completed. Despite everyone else raising doubts about defending a client who admittedly lied, repeatedly, in order to sell the dream of tomorrow, Bull (Michael Weatherly) takes the case insisting he can find a jury that can look pass the smaller lies in order for the greater good, and truth, being the potentially revolutionary technology. Benny (Freddy Rodríguez) is far less optimistic in their chances.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Prodigal Son - Pilot/Annihilator


Tom Payne stars as Malcolm Bright, a FBI profiler fired in the show's pilot episode not for his inability to solve cases (which he excels at) but his inability to get along with others and concerns about his mental stability. Picking up a new job with the NYPD, Malcolm's first case involves a serial killer who is a copycat of Malcom's father (Michael Sheen) who killed more than 23 victims before Malcolm turned him in as a child. Still haunted from his own childhood, Malcolm's nights involve restraints and night terrors stemming from discovering his father's hobby years before and his days, while not investigating crimes, involve spending time with his ambitious sister (Halston Sage) and doing his best to avoid spending time with his overbearing mother (Bellamy Young).

SHAZAM! #7


The family is still split-up among the different realms in SHAZAM! #7 with Pedro and Eugene coming in contact with someone who appears to be the wizard Shazam (although he may not be all that he appears) who takes the pair into the Wozenderlands rather than returning them home. Back on Earth, Billy and Mary are forced to deal with Mary's decision to come out to their foster parents about the kids' magical powers (putting Billy's reunion with his father on hold long enough to return and find his missing siblings).