Friday, February 14, 2020

It’s All Downhill From Here

It's surprising to me that a film co-written and co-directed by Jim Rash could turn out to be such a joyless exercise in futility. Along with Nat Faxon, Rash attempts to remake the Swedish dramedy Force Majeure for American audiences. Something obviously got lost in the translation.

Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus star as Pete and Billie, a married spending a ski vacation in the Alps with their two sons. The family witnesses a controlled avalanche that terrifies them, but actually never put the members of the family in any real danger. Pete running away to save himself creates tension among the group, especially when he fails to acknowledge or apologize for his actions.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Flash - Love is a Battlefield

Valentine's Day in Central City brings new problems for Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) both in the Flash's overprotective nature to his wife and in the return of Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff) and Goldface (Damion Poitier) whose failed romance has started a competition between the former couple. Amunet's knowledge of the Flash's true identity, and here threats to broadcast his secret to the city, keeps the hero in check for most of the episode while both criminals race to get their hands on a rare flower with telepathic properties. While goofy, the end of the episode (using the flower to bring the pair back together) works to solve the immediate problem of the escalation, but still leaves the issue of Amunet's blackmail over Team Flash to be resolved.

Young Justice #13

Young Justice #13 spends most of its time in Skartaris where a traumatized Superboy is comforted by the Warlord. Those unfamiliar with the history of Mike Grell's character, or the strange subterranean land filled with magic and monsters hidden at the center of the Earth, are given a primer here (including panels drawn by Grell himself). Featuring the work of three different artists, the comic has a less cohesive look than the previous issues of the volume but fans of the Warlord aren't likely to mind as he steals the best moments here.

Darth Vader #1

Just as the current volume of Star Wars takes place immediately after the events of The Empire Strikes back so does Marvel's new Darth Vader series. Darth Vader #1 centers around the Dark Lord of the Sith seeking both answers and revenge against those who kept his son hidden. Even going so far as to ignore the Emperor's call, Darth Vader gathers a small collection of troops and scours the galaxy from Tatooine to Coruscant in search of answers.

Primal - River of Snakes

The second episode of Primal examines the difficulty of man and dinosaur attempting to coexist together, no easy feat for Spear as Fang continually beats out the caveman in hunting. The two mismatched travelers make an odd pair which allows both for the episode's humor and the rising tension of the two coming to blows before stumbling on new threat. It's only when the pair are forced to work together to survive a flood filled with killer snakes that each manages to better understand and respect the other. It's the selfish Fang who offers the first olive branch by returning the caveman's broken spear thereby mending fences before the next obstacle comes over the horizon.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Black Cat #9

I have no idea what is going on any any of the X-Men books right now so I'm not sure if the events of this issue conflict with what's happening elsewhere, but Black Cat #9 takes Felicia to Madripoor for an unlikely team-up. Looking for another item on the list necessary for Black Fox's big score leads Felicia in search of a man named Patch (who the Marvel Universe isn't helpful in identifying and turns out to be anything but what she expected to find).

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #270

Although the captured Throwdown (who Cobra still mistakenly believe is the original Snake Eyes) does make a cameo, the focus of G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #270 is elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Hawaii Five-0 - He waha kou o ka he'e

Adam's (Ian Anthony Dale) recent decisions play a large role in "He waha kou o ka he'e" when Grover's (Chi McBride) niece Siobhan (Nia Holloway) discovers her boyfriend (John Harlan Kim) at the Police Academy is working with the Yakuza. Not only does Adam need to work quickly to save the woman's life, after her confused boyfriend kidnaps her and hands her over to the Yakuza to be killed, but he must also keep his connection to the Yakuza from coming out to his already suspicious colleagues.

Usagi Yojimbo #8

Tatami plays a large role in Usagi Yojimbo #8 as writer/artist Stan Sakai offers some history to the ceremonial mats grown and crafted together over the course of two years. It's the transport of these handwoven mats that garners attention of both Miyamoto Usagi, bandits, and ninja with the rabbit ronin's travels lead him back to the Northern Provinces of his homeland.

Briarpatch - First Time in Saint Disgrace

We've seen this story before about a successful protagonist forced to return home to investigate something tragic in the hometown they abandoned years before. Andy Greenwald's Briarpatch casts Rosario Dawson in the role of Senate Investigator Allegra Dill who returns to the Texas town of San Bonifacio after a car bombing takes the life of her sister Police Detective Felicity Dill in the series' opening scene. Complicating Allegra's return is a Senate investigation and a need to interview an old friend (Jay R. Ferguson) about questionable dealings involving his time working for the U.S. Government.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Legacies - What Cupid Problem? / Kai Parker Screwed Us

"What Cupid Problem" and "Kai Parker Screwed Us" take place simultaneously. "Kai Parker" focuses on events inside the prison world where Alyssa Chang (Olivia Liang) banished Josie (Kaylee Bryant), Alaric (Matthew Davis) and Lizzie (Jenny Boyd). Sebastian (Thomas Doherty) isn't the only familiar face the family comes across as the episode explores how Alaric dealt with problem students in the past as well as offering the first appearance on the show of the girls' uncle Kai Parker (Chris Wood) who apparently will be sticking around to cause more trouble throughout the season. Several mind games later, one character manages to escape the prison, although it will be up to a suped-up evil Josie to get the rest of the characters home.

Doctor Who - Spyfall

The two-part opening to Series 12 of Doctor Who is notable for introducing Sacha Dhawa as The Master. In a move that's becoming something of a thing for show runner Chris Chibnall and the show this season, Doctor Who makes no attempt to fit the latest version of the character into the show's long-running continuity (troubling given The Master's closed timeloop) or explain the paradox of Gallifrey's destruction long before the events of "Hell Bent." One thing I will give Chibnall credit for is attempting to capture a bit more of The Master from classic Doctor Who both in demeanor and in the return of the villain's shrinking ray. As has been the custom of Doctor Who, the premiere opens a mystery to be solved by the season end, this time being the hidden knowledge which led to the premature destruction of Gallifrey.

Monday with Jessakidding

Jessakidding is a California cosplayer. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook. You can support her on Patreon. Photo by Kiyo.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Harley Quinn #70

Harley Quinn #70 kicks off a new arc with a fun issue that will turn serious in its final pages. The issue catches up with Harley Quinn working as a wrestler, tag-teaming with her roommate Alicia. The concept provides several amusing panels to open the issue, joining the pair in mid-match against Rosie from Demolition Team and Crux. There's also some nice moments of Harley at home interacting with Alicia and her daughter.

Friday with Andrasta

Katy Keene - Pilot

The sunnier and less-murdery Rivendale spin-off is also features modern interpretations of several classic Archie Comics characters starting with personal shopper and aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene (Lucy Hale). The show's pilot episode features the arrival of Katy's friend Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) in New York which helps our titular character reexamine the state of her life working for a bitchy boss (Katherine LaNasa) instead of perusing her own dreams (and pursuing one's dreams seems to be the show's not-so-subtle primary theme). The other Archie character's filling out the foursome are aspiring Broadway performer Jorge "Ginger" Lopez (Jonny Beauchamp) and the less developed "it girl" Pepper Smith (Julia Chan).

Thursday, February 6, 2020

This is PAX South 2020 Cosplay Music Video

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #102

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #102 continues the themes of the last issue with the Turtles further fracturing after the death of Splinter. The latest issue sees Donatello leave the family, searching for his own path. While we look in at the Turtles and other characters such as April, the primary focus of the issue deals with life in the quarantined Mutant Town which is now run by Old Hob and his Mutanimals, not all of whom are playing nice with the newly-mutated populace.

The issue introduces us to to the human-porcupine mutant with a mean-streak Diamond who gets on the bad side of both Old Hob and Sally Pride only to cause even further trouble in spoiling Hob's deal with Koya that accidentally lets loose three weasel warriors on the unsuspecting populace of Mutant Town.

Thursday with Effy Harvard

Star Wars #2

Set shortly after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars #2 continues the story of Luke Skywalker reeling from the revelation that Darth Vader was once his father Anakin Skywalker, and a fractured Rebellion struggling to continue the fight against the Galactic Empire.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Custom Cosplay Covers

Here are a few custom cosplay variant covers for Guardians of the Galaxy #1.