Thursday, April 29, 2021

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #116

Spurred on by the arrival of the Lita from the future, Jennika puts together a heavy metal band to compete against Bebop and Rocksteady with control of Mutant Town (and the future) on the line. It's also worth noting that Jenny finds a way to find peace with the injured Karai as putting toghether the band seems to heal something in the troubled turtle.

Supergirl - Prom Night!

"Prom Night!" leaves Supergirl (Melissa Benoist, who doesn't appear in this episode) trapped in the Phantom Zone in favor of a whacky time-travel episode as Nia (Nicole Maines) and Brainy (Jesse Rath) travel back to the 90s looking to secure a biological sample from Kara's past in hopes of using it to find her in the the Phantom Zone. So quickly following The Flash's recent 90s time-travel episode doesn't help the premise, nor does the sitcom-ish humor stretched to an hour's lenghth, but it does allow the show to bring back the younger actresses for Kara (Izabela Vidovic) and Alex (Olivia Nikkanen) one more time. As expected, the pair's mission goes wrong leading to them interacting with Kara and Alex and accidentally changing past events causing unknown repercussions as the episode comes to an end with the two time travelers captured by aliens who were originally caught by the DEO.

Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #2

Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #2 explores the resurrection of Dane Whitman (who is struggling to take recent events in stride) and the history of the Ebony Blade which is revealed to one of several artifacts made from the Starstone including a shield, chalice, and staff (the staff was later used to create the Ebony Dagger introduced last issue).

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Prodigal Son - Exit Strategy

The Second Season of Prodigal Son has led up to this. While the case of the week involves the NYPD investigating a murder where the only witness is an agoraphobic former chess champion and peeping tom, the larger piece of the story involves the Surgeon's (Michael Sheen) escape plan going into action. Blissfully unaware of what his father has planned, and ignoring his calls, Malcom (Tom Payne) works to solve the latest crime and even gives thought to expressing his feelings for Dani (Aurora Perrineau) although the escape of his father may through a monkey wrench into those plans.

Cleopatra in Space - Humility

An overconfident Cleopatra (Lilimar) goes on her first mission with Akila (Katie Crown), Brian (Jorge Diaz) and Khensu (Sendhil Ramamurthy). When the others are captured by the Xerx thanks to her recklessness, Cleo finds herself with the tribe of non-violent Teresians who she hopes to convince to help save her friends and free their planet of the Xerx.

Usagi Yojimbo #19

As his wanderings lead him further away from home, Miyamoto Usagi comes across a father and son catching tokage for a hermit. Curious to learn more, and helping when one of the two is injured, Usagi helps deliver their latest catch only to run into another ghost from his past.

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - One World, One People

The six-episode run of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier concludes with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) becoming Captain America and working with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and at times even the disgraced former Captain America (Wyatt Russell), to take down the Flag Smashers. Along with putting Sam in costume for the first time, the episode also features the character calling out politicians for their cavalier attitudes which led to creation of the Flag Smashers and their movement. Although never mentioned in the series, the entire world shakeup was caused by selfish decision of Tony Stark which the world is still paying for long after his death. While the episode earns points for Sam calling for change, it shouldn't be lost on audiences the episode ends soon after and prior to the show introducing just how such change could fix the complicated problems of the world which look to be the true legacy of Tony Stark.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #279

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #279 offers another of the "Untold Tales" from writer Larry Hama and the rotating artists (this time Alex Sanchez). The comic opens with the story already begun. Cobra has launched a successful strike on the U.S.S. Flagg from their well-fortified position in the fjords of Southern Frusenland using Terror Dromes, Firebats, Hurricanes, and Rattlers (albeit with heavy loses).

Legacies - All's Well That Ends Well

The arrival of a Banshee (Elinor Gunn) confirms Hope's (Danielle Rose Russell) suspicion that the monsters from Malivore aren't after Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) this time around. They want Cleo (Omono Okojie) whose abilities as a Muse Malivore covets as a means to breaking out of the prison world. The episode also marks Hope's first encounter with the mysterious shaman/hunter who kidnaps Cleo once she leaves the school while attempting to protect the others. Cleo's selfishness helps cement her role as part of the Super Squad while the nature of her abilities helps explain the nagging mystery about her character which is finally revealed. Hope's familiarity with the hunter also suggests his identity is known to the group (even if it has yet to be reavealed).

Friday, April 23, 2021

Mortal Kombat

The 2021 adaptation of the Mortal Kombat video games has a higher budget, better special effects, and a cast at least as talented as the 1995 film. So why is it less entertaining? It probably has something to with the flaws of the earlier film feeding into joys of a B-movie, while the more serious approach this time around is just flawed. Oh, and if you are going to do a Mortal Kombat movie, you may want to include a Mortal Kombat tournament in it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Black Cat #5

Two series worth of heists (and Marvel's ridiculous need to reboot and restart numbering comics arbitrarily) has led us here. Over 17 issues, when not distracted by the world being attacked by some weird symbiotic entity, Black Cat has carefully chosen specific targets within the super-hero community to aquire the tools necessary to rob Odessa Drake and the New York branch of the Thieves Guild. However, it seems her mentor the Black Fox hasn't told her everything about his plans.

Suicide Squad #2

Suicide Squad #2 wraps up the opening two-part story "Assault on Arkham" as the Squad struggles to get out of Arkham Asylum with Talon. Although the mission is a success, not all the members make it back as the Squad drops two members to pick up one.

Scarlet Witch Cosplay by Darth Lexii

Darth Lexii is a cosplayer. You can follow her on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

MacGyver - H20 + Orthophosphates + Mission City + Corrosion + Origins

The penultimate episode of the MacGyver reboot introduces Ernie Hudson and Wendy Raquel Robinson as Bowser's parents when Bowser (Justin Hires), MacGyver (Lucas Till) and Desi (Levy Tran) return home to deal with a death in the family. The episode fills in a bit of Mac's past, revealing where he learned to to first apply problem solving to criminal cases, as well as clue-in Bowser's parents on what he really does for a living as the group uncovers the death of a family friend was actually murder to hide local water pollution. The episode's B-story continues the threads of the nanobots as Riley (Tristin Mays) snoops around the company that built them with the help of her hacker collective. With only a single episode remaining, it seems obvious where the focus of the series finale will be.

Far Sector #11

The City Enduring has exploded into chaos and with only 20% of her ring's power remaining Sojourner Mullein is called into action to save the day. Denied their ability to vote, the @ are rebelling. Councilman Marth has staged a coup. And @BlazeofGlory has usurped power from the usurpers and is attempting to gain control of the city. Oh, there are also the bombs placed around the city by the Council to prevent something like this from happening, which have no started to go off, and the fleet of warships that just showed up. It's been kind of a day.

Cleopatra in Space - Surprise!

The second episode of the series, "Surprise!" serves two purposes. The first is to introduce audiences to P.Y.R.A.M.I.D. and the second is to get Cleopatra (Lilimar) more comfortable with her futuristic surroundings ending with a surprise birthday party for Cleo by Akila (Katie Crown) and Brian (Jorge Diaz). The episode introduces several new characters including the rebellious Zaid Antonius (Xolo Maridueña), the rival Callie (Kari Wahlgren), and fellow students Dennis (Dee Bradley Baker) and E'Geke-Ek'Gek (Alex Cazares). Although Cleo feels lost for most of the episode (in part by Akila's surprise party plans), things end well for the time-displaced princess who takes down another assassin at her party, makes some new friends, and gets a new toy in the Sphinx Anti-Gravity Bike.

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #1

Collecting the first two digital issues of the new The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries, The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #1 brings Mystery, Inc. to Gotham City to help Batman with a mystery of who stole the gloves off his first costume from a museum exhibit. While Fred and Daphne look for clues in the present, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and Velma travel into the past (something which draws the attention of the younger version of Batman).

Monday, April 19, 2021

Punky Brewster - Pilot

Soleil Moon Frye returns to reprise her childhood role of Punky Brewster. Punky is all grown up, fresh off a divorce to a musician (Freddie Prinze Jr.), with a high school daughter (Lauren Lindsey Donzis) and two adopted sons (Noah Cottrell and Oliver De Los Santos). Her old friend Cherie (Cherie Johnson) works to place foster children in permanent homes which leads to the introduction of the precocious young Izzy (Quinn Copeland) who by the end of the episode becomes the newest member of the Brewster household. The reboot is typical sitcom family humor, relying more than a little on nostalgia, with an emphasis on promoting adoption, foster care, diverse families, and letting kids be themselves. Its heart is certainly in the right place, but this version of Punky Brewster could use a little help to get through its growing pains.

Somewhere Under the Rainbow with Jean Watts

Jean Watts is an American singer, actress, and dancer. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Also check out her official site.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - Truth

"Truth" picks up immediately after the previous episode with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) chasing down the new Captain America (Wyatt Russell). For show that has been about moments rather than consistently good storytelling, the episode delivers with a strong action sequence that (along with a scene or two later in the episode) effectively ends John Walker's tenure as Captain America. While some may be wowed by the action scene which opens "Truth," it's the half-hour which follows where the series actually deals various issues it raised in previous episodes (and then promptly ran away to the next action scene). The big turn to end "The Whole World is Watching" no doubt had more people talking about the series, but it's here The Falcon and the Winter Soldier puts in the work on character development and storytelling.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Kung Fu - Silence

"Silence" feels like the show setting up the template for the remainder of its First Season. Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) struggles with trying to fit back in with her family while helping someone in need, with an assist from an old boyfriend (Gavin Stenhouse), and relying heavily on Henry (Eddie Liu) to search for Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman). Nicky also struggles with finding the peace to properly deal with the loss of her life in China and the death of her mentor. The client of the week is a mother and daughter with an abusive boyfriend (Link Baker) who has been stealing from them to fuel his gambling habit. A visit from Nicky, first in their home and then later in an underground casino where she takes back the last of the family's savings, help put the matter to rest (and also make others aware of Nicky's talents). As for Zhilan, she makes an appearance in the epilogue as the race for the other mystical weapons has begun.

Batman Adventures: Riddle Me This

The Batman Adventures: Riddle Me This trade paperback collects five Riddler-themed stories from comics inspired by Batman: The Animated Series (which is a bit funny given the character appeared so few times on the show compared to other top-tier Bat-villains). This of course means plenty of riddles and misdirects (some of which work better than others). The best story turns out to be the last of the collection when a reformed Riddler grows bored and attempts to publicly engage the Batman in "Poker Face" from Batman Adventures #11. The reformed villains shenanigans not only tick off the Dark Knight Detective but also Mayor Penguin who frustratingly can't find anything to charge Nygma with as Riddler isn't breaking any laws.

The Flash - Growing Pains

When a murder points to the work of Frost (Danielle Panabaker), and gets Caitlin arrested (hey, someone finally noticed they look exactly alike!), Team Flash works to try and clear their friend's name. While evidence allows for Kristen Kramer (Carmen Moore) to make some questionable calls, the episode certainly suggests she has a personal stake in bringing Frost to justice (or somethng more permanent?). The reveal of Chillblaine (Jon Cor) being behind the frame is a bit of a letdown, although the earlier sequence between the bartender and Frost provides one of the funnier scenes of the episode. Frost, although cleared of the murder, will still have to answer for her crimes and in doing so perhaps we'll learn about Kramer's interest in the frosty metahuman.

Friday with Kimberley Garner

Kimberley Garner is an English swimwear designer and celebrity. You can follow her on Instagram.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Supergirl - Phantom Menaces

Emotion drives most of the stories of "Phantom Menaces" with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) trapped in the Phantom Zone leaving her friends to soldier on and deal with her loss. Not suprisingly, Alex (Chyler Leigh) is hit hardest by the team's inability to rescue Kara while J'onn (David Harewood) attempts to bury his emotions and throw himself into his work finding the phantom that escaped as it looks to breed through humanity creating a new army of phantoms. Meanwhile, Lena's (Katie McGrath) and Brainy (Jesse Rath) help each other work through the frustration of Lex Luthor's (Jon Cryer) win and attempts to get back to business in a plot thread that works to build on the redemption arc of both characters and push Lena into a new role on the series other than her brother's keeper. McGrath continues to be the season's stand-out.

Green Lantern #1

A new volume of Green Lantern opens with Oa hosting a gathering of the United Planets Conclave with representatives from all over the universe. With the fate of the Green Lantern Corps and their role in the universe at stake, most Lanterns have been recalled to Oa under the leadership of John Stewart to keep the peace. Of course, something goes wrong.

Home #1

With all the other awful and incompetent aspects of Donald Trump's presidency some may have forgotten the zero tolerance policy towards immigration that separated parents from children under brutal circumstances with lasting effects (hundreds have still yet to be reunited with their families). This provides the backdrop for the first issue of Home in which writer and Julio Anta and artist Anna Wieszczyk take an unflinching look through the eyes of Mercedes Gomez and her son Juan who attempt to enter the United States legally under refuge status only find the harsh reality of the "Icebox" facility far different than the promise of safety.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Cleopatra in Space - Wednesday

Based off Mike Maihack's comic series, the first episode of Cleopatra in Space introduces us the Egyptian princess Cleopatra (Lilimar) who gets sucked through a time portal and finds herself 30,000 years in the future. "Wednesday" offers a solid opener with the introduction of Cleopatra as the rambunctious and fearless teen heroine. With half the episode taking place in ancient Egypt, we don't get as big a glimpse at her new surroundings other than meeting two friends in the alien Akila (Katie Crown) and the cyborg Brian (Jorge Diaz) as well as the talking cat Khensu (Sendhil Ramamurthy) who always believed Cleo was destined to arrive from the past and help save the Nile Galaxy from the villain Octavian (Jonathan Kite) whose evil robots Cleo encounters for the first time. The exploration of our hero's surroundings, P.Y.R.A.M.I.D. (where Cleopatra will learn how to save the galaxy), and more about Octavian will have to wait for future episodes.

Scarlet Witch Cosplay by Karrigan Taylor

Batman's Most Ridiculous Villains

Monday, April 12, 2021

MacGyver - Barn Find + Engine Oil + La Punzonatura + Lab Rats + Tachometer

"Barn Find + Engine Oil + La Punzonatura + Lab Rats + Tachometer" works on MacGyver (Lucas Till) and Desi's (Levy Tran) relationship when the nanobots within his bloodstream take away the use of his hands while the pair are working to get their hands on a vintage automobile that might lead to the capture of a criminal in hiding for decades. Having Desi work as Mac's hands over the course of the episode helps relieve the building tension between the pair and find some common ground. The sudden issues Mac experiences help explain why the show didn't move on from the nanobots. Although does this mean Phoenix thought there would be issues that could affect both Mac and Riley (Tristin Mays)?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - The Whole World is Watching

Well, that escalated quickly. One of the oddities about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, given it's shortened six-episode run, is the series is somehow both slow to advance plot while also skipping over and rushing to big moments at the same time. "The Whole World is Watching" certainly gives us the big moment, it also takes the new new Captain America (Wyatt Russell) from frustrated hero with an inferiority complex to psychopath in the space of a single episode (and that's before he chooses to juice himself with the super-solider serum which only enhances his flaws). The result is a memorable final scene that sets stage with brutal murder, a bloody shield, and several questions about where the show goes from here. While a step-up from the previous episode, the structure of the peaks and lulls continues to provide some great moments but also some hit-and-miss plot to move characters from one of these events to the next.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Caturday with WanderlustLuca

WanderlustLuca is a cosplayer from the Netherlands. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, Twitter, and TikTok. You can also support her on Fansly and OnlyFans.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer's Road #5

Reprinting the story from Usagi Yojimbo #11, "The Tea Cup" offers a team-up of Miyamoto Usagi and Murakami Gennosuke who the rabbit ronin runs into on the road. Gen has accepted a job to deliver a valuable tea cup, but there are those who don't wish him make that delivery. With nothing else to do, Usagi decides to accompany his friend as the two fight and bicker along the way.

Kung Fu - Pilot

After three years in an all-female Shaolin monastery Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) returns home following the ransacking of the temple, death of her mentor (Vanessa Kai), and the theft of a (magic?) sword by one of the monastery's former students (Yvonne Chapman). Following the narration-heavy opening in China, the story shifts to San Francisco and Nicky's attempts to reconnect with her demanding family and the boyfriend (Gavin Stenhouse) she left behind. While still looking for answers concerning the sword and mystery woman, an attack on her father (Tzi Ma) leads Nicky to put her training to use against the Triad who are terrorizing the community and threatening both the family's restaurant and her father's life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Black Cat #4

With the "King in Black" crossover complete, before moving Black Cat on to her next heist, Black Cat stops to examine the perspective of Queen Cat who has been watching and tracking Felicia for several months. I'm not wild about the art here with Nina Vakueva taking over duties with this issue. While Queen Cat works well enough, a character we don't know as well, Felicia never comes out quite right.

The Flash - The One with the Nineties

The Flash offers up a time travel / time loop storyline when Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Chester (Brandon McKnight) get trapped in 1998 after laying sensors to track movements of other Force manifestations like the Speed Force who has shown up in the form of Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison). "The One with the Nineties" features the most obvious 90s jokes such as a Blockbuster, fax machines, and the outlandish clothing of the decade. The reset also brings Chester into contact with his father (Milton Barnes) giving him insight into the man he never had while growing up prior to the pair running into the Force behind events (Christian Magby) whose anger eventually effects the rest of the team as well.

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #2

The second issue of Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land provides more information about Scarlett Santiago who had become a cult figure and something of a vigilante prior to disappearing over the ocean. Crashing on the hidden island, the Sky Devil was taken in by the island's ape men known as the Ohnar who not only saved the young woman's life but also transferred into her the power of their god-spirit Un-Gaah (allowing her to transform into a giant ape herself which turns out to be a useful skill when saving Hellboy from a T-Rex).

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tuesday with Kaia Gerber

Kaia Gerber is an American model and actress. She is the daughter of model Cindy Crawford and businessman Rande Gerber. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

MacGyver - Royalty + Marriage + Vivaah Sanskar + Zinc + Henna

MacGyver (Lucas Till), Desi (Levy Tran), and Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) go in undercover to protect those who want to prevent a a royal Indian wedding from taking place. The setting offers a chance to explain Desi's reluctance to consider marriage (i.e. a never-before-mentioned dead fiancé whose body was never recovered) while also laying the rather obvious foundation of what will likely happen to derail their relationship (i.e. the inevitable return of the not-so-dead fiancé). The episode is more memorable for the setting than the mystery as the most obvious character is eventually unmasked as the one attempting to prevent the princess (Aneesha Joshi) from going through with the wedding.

WWE Elimination Chamber 2021

Released on DVD, WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 includes all seven of the matches from this year's Elimination Chamber PPV (although it's stretching things to refer to two of them as matches) plus the Fatal 4-Way Match which was part of the kick-off show is included as an extra. Most of the matches are short (under 10 minutes each) and the PPV featured no woman's Elimination Chamber Match for the first time since 2017.

The two Elimination Chamber Matches featured Daniel Bryan defeating Cesaro, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Sami Zayn to earn a Universal Championship opportunity (and promptly get squashed by Roman Reigns) and Drew McIntyre successfully defended his title by defeating AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, and Sheamus to retain his World Heavyweight Championship before being attacked by Bobby Lashley (who had lost the WWE United States Championship earlier in the evening) and then losing his title when the Miz cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract.

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - Power Broker

The third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier takes a bizarre turn as Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) work with an escaped Zemo (Daniel Brühl) whose knowledge of Hydra's former super-solider program they hope may give them their first break in finding the Flag Smashers. Visiting Zemo in person and helping him on the outside are two very different things, Bucky even apparently helps trigger his escape, and working with Zemo certainly stretches the credibility of our heroes (even with Sam's weak initial objections). The episode also weaves in grittier version of Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) who Marvel is apparently going to keep sticking into projects until the character works.

Legacies - Yup, It's a Leprechaun, All Right / Long Time, No See

The two latest episodes of Legacies play on the season's two big themes to this point: attempting to save the Salvatore Boarding School from closing down and the loss of Landon (Aria Shahghasemi). The introduction of the Leprechaun in "Yup, It's a Leprechaun, All Right" offers some zany fun as Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) decides to use the creature's ability to attract wealth (along with greed and madness) to try and make the money necessary to save the school in a day of fundraising that, of course, gets out of hand. The arrival of a Malivore monster also has an affect on Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) who realizes she may have a way to reach Landon after all. Hope's recklessness, and the reveal of MG's (Quincy Fouse) betrayal (which I'm still struggling to understand?) make up most of "Long Time, No See" as Hope risks everything, even her friends, in another dangerous search for Landon.

Supergirl - Rebirth

Supergirl's final season begins with a mess of a first episode that attempts to wrap up several threads from the COVID-shortened Fifth Season all in one episode prior to moving on to new stories. Before the opening credits even roll, Brainy (Jesse Rath) is saved and Leviathan is defeated leaving the rest of the episode to deal with Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) who apparently has become a god, has half the world's population under his sway, and is working to kill off everyone else. Cryer is fun here yet again in what will apparently not be his final appearance which offers him more than one victory over Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). As has been the show's problem recently, too much of the episode is centered around making sure every single member of the ever-growing supporting cast gets their moment. Given Supergirl's current predicament, I'm bit concerned with the short-term direction of the show and if the rest of the cast can keep things afloat prior to the Maid of Might's inevitable return from the Phantom Zone.