Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Vigil #1

Told primarily through the perspective of NIA officer Nia Saha who gets promoted in the first issue, we are introduced to a secret superhuman group funded by the Indian Government which even they don't know actually exists (believing it to be a complete failure and waste of time and resources). Not unlike the opening season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the response team's mission is to find and remove dangerous technology from the world.


The latest from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe is an attempt at a humorous take on the hunchback Quasi Modo (Steve Lemme) who finds his life as a torturer put in danger after being tasked to become an assassin by both his King (Jay Chandrasekhar) and his Pope (Paul Soter) who each hope to use the good-natured Quasi to kill the other.

All members of Broken Lizard play multiple roles here including Kevin Heffernan as both Quasi's jealous best friend and the king's henchman. Added to the mix for the film are Adrianne Palicki as easily the smartest character on screen in the new Queen, and (a never quite believable) love interest for Quasi, and Brian Cox as our narrator.

When sketch comedy doesn't land it can be something of a torturous experience for the audience. A far cry from Super Troopers or Beerfest, Quasi is a mixed bag that lacks big laughs or even the small charms and genre-poking fun of Club Dread

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Avengers #1

The new volume of Avengers launches with the team fighting Terminus intercut with events of the past few days in which Carol Danvers has assembled her new team. Avengers #1 is a fun issue, providing some action with the current battle (with admittedly a mostly throwaway baddie) while providing more character beats and humor in the flashbacks. With the assembly of the team being my favorite aspect of the issue, my only real concern is what the comic looks like without that interwoven story as the team moves onto various threats.

The Flash - A New World

The four-part series finale of The Flash reminds us of the highs and lows of the series with returns of several familiar faces, touching on familiar themes, and unnecessarily bloating the story with excess B-storylines for the numerous characters. The original spinoff to Arrow, The Flash helped cement the foundations of the Arrowverse. At its best the Scarlet Speedster entertained while keeping its focus on the humanity of criminal scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) who used his speed to help save Central City from all kinds of threats, included some inadvertently caused by himself. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Repeated Failures of Silverhawks

Anyone else remember Silverhawks? I may have had some toys back in the day. Secret Galaxy looks back at the failed histor of Silverhawks.

Jessakidding - Ino Yamanaka (Naruto) Cosplay

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

NCIS: Hawai'i - Past Due / Dies Irae

For the two-part season finale the show taps into a case from Tennant's (Vanessa Lachey) days in the CIA. Opening with Tennant being found at a murder scene, the leader of the team spends little time with them over the two-part episode as she heads halfway around the world for answers in search of a ghost she believed was killed years ago. The episode gets Whistler (Tori Anderson) into the field helping Tennant, although getting left behind at times, while leaving Lucy (Yasmine Al-Bustami) to worry at after both her boss and her girlfriend (who doesn't exactly blend in to her surroundings).

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 launches a new anthology series showcasing Batman and other DC Heroes. However, rather than getting new short stories every week, the concept instead looks to provide separate stories spanning multiple issues, that shouldn't get confusing. The notable story here is the first part of "Batman: The Winning Card" which attempts to provide the first Batman/Joker story in a Year One adventure of the Batman. Although it eventually provides a memorable creepy moment when the Joker shows up, the story has a few too many parts for its limited page count and is completely disjointed with threads that don't initially feel connected.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Dave - Met Gala

We don't get nearly enough of Chloe Bennett in "Met Gala," who is limited only to the opening scenes spending time with Dave (Dave Burd). Notable for a number of celebrities playing themselves, the episode instead focuses on Dave's desire to make a splash at his first Met Gala where nothing really goes to plan. The only silver lining for Dave in an evening of suprises and a failed spectacle stunt, is unexpectedly hitting it off with Rachel McAdams which sadly feels like early death bells for Dave and Robyn's (Bennett) relationship despite how well its going between the pair. There are some other subplots involved, but I'll admit my interest peaked with Bennett on-screen and lagged through much of the rest of the episode including the marginally-zany gala shenanigans.

Silk #1

Relaunched for the third time in three years, new volume of Silk begins with our heroine the protagonist of a film noir detective story in mid-20th Century Los Angeles looking for a missing kid. It's a stylish way to kick off the new series, which delays what is really happening until the last few pages where we see her psychiatrist and Saya Ishii working together and being responsible for the fake world Cindy is only just beginning to question as the comic comes to a close. Sadly, this means the noir world is likely coming to an end.

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Monday, May 22, 2023

The Muppets Mayhem - True Colors

The best thing about the second episode of The Muppets Mayhem is that by the end the show closes the book on the most awkward aspect of its concept as Nora's (Lilly Singh) constant lying eventually forces her to come clean with the group about her true position in the company. The contrived conceit takes up most of the episode, but thankfully Nora is eventually honest with her new friends and can now honestly help the group working on their album. Other items of note are Animal's (Eric Jacobson) running gag of presents for Nora, Janice's (David Rudman) unlikely allergic reaction to lying, and foreshadowing of Moog (Tahj Mowry) possibly being a talented musician in his own right.

Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Three #5

Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Three #5 wraps up the three issue arc involving the Joker creating slaves by misusing cutting-edge technology for his own ends. As Harley and the Suicide Squad go looking for the Joker, who uses the helmet to turn all but Harley into members of his army, Batman and Robin focus on stopping the out-of-control super-soldier Carl Finley who Joker has turned into his henchman Straightman.

Young Jedi Adventures - Nash's Race Day

In an episode about good sportsmanship and not cheating, Kai Brightstar (Jamaal Avery Jr.), Lys Solay (Juliet Donenfeld), and Nubs (Dee Bradley Baker) join Nash Durango (Emma Berman) onboard her skiff the Crimson Bolt in an attempt to win the Kublop Classic race. Nash's rival, the rich and super-competitive Raena Zess (Danielle Guilbot), is the group's only real competition. Presented as a mean girl, who cheats to win, the episode softens on her when she learns the Jedi weren't using the Force to help Nash leading to a final stretch of honest racing and good sportsmanship all around. While the shift in Raena might give you whiplash, there's a nice message here for kids.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Fast X

Having nowhere new to go with the series, the Fast & Furious franchise looks backwards by photoshopping Jason Momoa into the events of Fast Five (the best movie of the hit, and mostly miss, franchise) and quickly elevating him to one of its most dangerous villains. At least more enjoyable than the last entry, Fast X is mostly harmless with some extravagant special effects sequences including our heroes chasing a giant bomb crashing through the streets of Rome. Its also mindbogglingly twenty minutes too long while making no effort to wrap up events before the credits roll. How can a movie this long never end?

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Blacklist - Dr. Michael Abani

While foreshadowing the next big trouble for the task force, the final season of The Blacklist offers up a Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) episode as the love of his life reaches out for help after her fiancé gets into trouble overseas. In yet another episode of the season without a new Blacklister, something even the task force themselves begin to discuss internally, "Dr. Michael Abani" does provide several flashbacks to Dembe's time with Aissa (played by both Zainab Jah and Sibongile Mlambo) and reminds us what Dembe gave up to serve Reddington (James Spader) all those years ago.

Green Lantern #1

Relaunching the title with Hal Jordan as the only Green Lantern of Earth, the new volume of Green Lantern starts off in the aftermath of recent events with the Guardians of the Universe still missing and Earth declared unsafe and no longer under the Green Lantern Corps protection by the United Planets. Thumbing his nose at authority, not for the first time, Hal Jordan has come home to a world where fighter pilots have been phased out where Carol Ferris has moved on and his fellow Earth Lanterns have been assigned lightyears away. Except for John Stewart who appears to also be on Earth?

Monday, May 15, 2023

NCIS: Hawai'i - Nightwatch Two

In an episode that also clues us in on how Ernie (Jason Antoon) spends his free time, and less successfully introduces a , the story focuses on Lucy (Yasmine Al-Bustami) investigating a trouble soldier who calls in one night confessing to a murder. While I'm not against the show using Kai (Alex Tarrant) to explore issues soldiers return home with, the sudden injection of unresolved issues for the character seems shoehorned in simply to give his character something to do without the show laying groundwork for the reveal.

Darth Vader #34

With Darth Vader's powers out of control, Sabé attempts to reach Anakin from within as a share vision shows them both and . Doubling down on the Dark Side, however, Vader embraces hate which has consequences for both the former handmaiden and for the small band who attempt to kill the Dark Lord of the Sith mistakenly believing he's vulnerable. Even with his power malfunctioning, and with Sabé seeing a glimpse of hope within him, he is still Darth Vader.

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Dave - Rebirthday

Chloe Bennett reprises her role as Robyn in "Rebirthday" when she comes out to visit Dave (Dave Burd) and gets roped in by his friends in getting him to a surprise party for his birthday. The episode continues the cute awkwardness of the pair together, and even if it almost gets lost in a rather basic romcom setup of Robin needing to lie to Dave for a good reason, which leads to new problems, coming clean with the truth early saves the episode and brings the pair even closer together as Dave can bare his own truth about recent events.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen #2

The second issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen picks up immediately from where the first issue ended in the classic hero misunderstanding with the friends mistakenly taking the newly arrived Turtles for the Kappa who have been terrorizing the area. This provides the only real action of the issue which ends with the arrival of Miyamoto Usagi, introducing LeonardoDonatelloMichelangelo, and Raphael to his friends.

The Muppets Mayhem - Can You Picture That?

The opening episode of The Muppets Mayhem introduces us to Nora (Lilly Singh), an aspiring low-level music executive for a dying record company, who discovers the label owns the rights to a never-recorded album by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Still rocking after all these years, the band has the popularity Nora needs to make a mark in the music industry. Although the wandering band agrees to make the album, wrangling the travelling insanity of the Electric Mayhem turns out to be a bigger challenge than Nora expected.

Moon Knight #23

Moon Knight #23 offers the unexpected pairing of Moon Knight and Venom as the pair help each other out when Dylan Brock arrives at the Midnight Mission looking for help with the mercenary enforcers sent after him. The first-half of the comic is the mercenaries being just stupid enough to follow the new Venom into the Midnight Mission despite Moon Knight's warnings and the pair working well together taking them all down one by one.

The second-half of the comic shifts back to the larger story as Venom's keen sense to sound help Moon Knight locate Sidney Sarnak, although the villain finds a way to keep himself out of the clutches of our hero while letting it slip he's not the mastermind of whatever the ultimate plans are involving his work. I wouldn't mind seeing Venom stick around for a little while longer, but a strong single-issue story is something I'll always be happy to receive.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Star Wars: Visions - Volume Two (Part Two)

Continuing to review the second volume of Star Wars anthology series Visions here's a look at three more animated shorts, each produced by different animation studios. Themes of family and vengeance run through this second set of shorts.

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The Company You Keep - The Truth Hurts

With the future of the show still in doubt, The Company You Keep completes its First Season with one more con against the Maguires which Charlie (Milo Ventimiglia) and his family also use to tank the deal with Frankie (Tony Shalhoub) after learning his plans for the neightbor should they sell the bar. The series also makes a dramatic shift in the life of Emma (Catherine Haena Kim) which would pull her more into the gray of Charlie's world and suggest a path where the pair could stay together.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Blacklist - The Man in the Hat

"The Man in the Hat" is an unusual episode in that it offers very little of Reddington (James Spader) with the task force searching for their missing consultant they believe might be a hostage in a gas station in Pennsylvania. With Reddington MIA, the focus is on Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) helping local authorities to handle the situation and life back at the post office for the rest of the team where Harold (Harry Lennix) is given an arbitrary deadline by Senator Panabaker (Deirdre Lovejoy) not helped by the missing Red and Siya (Anya Banerjee) discovers a secret about her mother she wasn't prepared to learn.

Edge of the Spider-Verse #1

Offering tales of various Spider-Man-ish characters from across the multiverse, a new volume of Edge of the Spider-Verse begins here with... dinosaurs? "Enter Kraventooth the Hunter" offers us a tale of Spider-Rex battling Kraventooth the Hunter who is using the hero's family for bait and sees the creation of Venomsaurus Rex who is knocked into a tar pit. It's as crazy and silly as it sounds. Definitely a niche comic for those wanting all the Spidey-related content they can get their hands on, but far from a must-read.

Will Trent - A Bad Temper and a Hard Heart

Will Trent concludes its first season with Will (Ramón Rodríguez) shrugging of the shock of Angie's (Erika Christensen) abduction and the secrets Wagner (Sonja Sohn) has been keeping from him for years to lead the search to find the serial killer responsible for his mother's death and Angie's kidnapping. Leaving plenty left over for the show to dive into in the show's Second Season, including the fallout from the last two episodes of this one, the season ends with answers and justice for our title character as the writers save their best work for last. I'm happy to have found this show and so glad to learn it has been renewed for another season. I look forward to see where things go from here.

Monday, May 8, 2023


There's quite a lot to enjoy in the first issue of DC's latest relaunch of SHAZAM! First, writer Mark Waid has made the conscious effort to not call the hero by the name of the wizard who gave him his powers (and is the one word he can never speak aloud without revealing his secret identity). While most just refer to him as Captain, we know what is being referenced and the choice is a calm salve for older fans of the Big Red Cheese.

Citadel - Spies Appear in Night Time

Where the show's first episode introduced us to the world of Citadel and Manticore, the second episode fills in some important gaps. First, we learn the reason for Mason Kane (Richard Madden) as both he and his partner Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) had their memories wiped automatically when Citadel fell. Luckily for them, there are backup memories which can fill them back. After retrieving the case, which has both the memories and other intelligence Manticore is after, Mason goes in search of Nadia. Turns out even without his memories, Mason still makes a pretty good spy. Unfortunately for him, his memories are lost but Nadia is able to activate hers before the pair of them are wiped out by one of the Manticore twins.

Dungeons & Dragons: Saturday Morning Adventures #2

Having journeyed through the magical portal, our intrepid adventures find themselves in the city of Waterdeep brought there by Phaelona, a wild mage looking for help in breaking the spell that traps her in a city overrun by Driders and Darkmantles. Her attempts to find magic to break her bonds have led to the portals created around the realm where the creatures have escaped to attack other lands as well.

NCIS: Mars - Cabin Fever

Reminding me of Castle's 2015 episode "The Wrong Stuff," NCIS comes in on an investigation involving the death inside a top-secret Mars simulation. The nature of the simulation, and red tape involved, keep NCIS outside the habitat where the other astronauts are training allowing only Ernie (Jason Antoon) access which becomes an issue when they realize everyone inside, including Ernie, is being exposed to dangerous gases that led to the death of one astronaut and odd behavior of others as well. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Star Wars: Visions - Volume Two (Part One)

The Star Wars anthology series Visions returns with a new series of animated shorts, each produced by different animation studios. Reviewing the first third of Volume Two, the first two of these episodes each have ties to the Sith, and a character choosing a path between the light and dark, while the third in the series focuses on a pair of survivors becoming something more.

Young Jedi Adventures - The Young Jedi / Yoda's Mission

As much Disney as Star Wars, with a focus on programming for a younger audience, the opening episode of Young Jedi Adventures introduces us to the three most rambunctious students of the Jedi Temple 200 years before The Phantom Menace through a pair of loosely connected adventures. Almost too cute, the show certainly fits into the preschool demographic with lessons for the kids to learn at every turn and no real danger to the various action sequences involving the trio's training or battling the young pirate Taborr Val Dorn (Trey Murphy).

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Darth Vader: Black, White & Red #1

Darth Vader is added to the list of comic characters getting his own anthology series in black and white (often with a bit of red thrown in). Darth Vader: Black, White & Red #1 offers three separate tales, one of which apparently will continue through four issues (diverging from the usual format of this kind of comic series). It's not the strongest group of stories, but there is something here for big Vader fans.

The Blacklist - The Postman

Things get back to normal on The Blacklist with a case of the week as Reddington (James Spader) sends the team off a man who is known to be able to smuggle anything into prisons. In a twist, the man the FBI is working for spent 25 years in prison for a crime that Harold (Harry Lennix) helped send to prison as one of the man's jurors. "The Postman" has the feel of a script that had been kicking around the writer's room for awhile and, despite still not being quite ready, got greenlit in the show's final season.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Green Arrow #1

It's all about family..., wait, are we sure Vin Diesel didn't write the comic? With Oliver Queen missing, Roy Harper, Connor Hawke, and Black Canary go looking for another member of their family which leads to reuniting Roy with his no longer dead daughter Lian now doing her own vigilante thing in Alleytown under the name Cheshire Cat.

The Company You Keep - The Truth Shall Set You Free

The penultimate episode of the season makes some big shifts heading into next week's finale. Charlie (Milo Ventimiglia) and his family pull off a double con to give Emma (Catherine Haena Kim) the evidence she needs on the Maguires and keep the Daphne's (Felisha Terrell) arms dealer (Michael Gladis) from Patrick (Timothy V. Murphy) and Connor (Barry Sloane) and provide evidence back to Daphne of his father's decision to cut her out of the operation. The risky gambit prove sucessful, with even Ollie (Shaylee Mansfield) getting involved in the family business, and allows Charlie the opportunity to walk away from the entire situation... or so he thinks.

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Monday, May 1, 2023

Will Trent - Nothing Changed Except for Everything

The penultimate episode of the season follows up from events from the previous week involving the death of Lenny Broussard (French Stewart) while also paving the way to next week's finale. Despite being on forced leave pending an investigation, and having reason to try and distance herself from Will (Ramón Rodríguez) who knows she isn't telling the complete truth about what happened, Angie (Erika Christensen) helps out on the latest case which includes victims from the same group home she and Will stayed in. The case also has a connection to a case from Wagner's (Sonja Sohn) past which ties into a secret she's been keeping from Will her entire life.

Batman • Superman - World’s Finest #14

There's an awful lot going on in Batman • Superman - World’s Finest #14. Superman and Batman have a bit of a tiff with Bruce being upset that The Daily Planet covered his arrest for the murder of Simon Stagg. With Batman benched, Superman teams with Robin (seeing more of this pairing would have been fun) to search for Metamorpho, who Batman believes might be the real killer, several wealthy men including old friend Oliver Queen begin acting out of the ordinary, and Superman discovers a troubling truth about Simon Stagg's "death." 

True Lies - Bitter Sweethearts

"Bitter Sweethearts" is another episode of True Lies where every facet of the show hammers away the exact same point with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. This episode is notable for returning one of the actors from the movie which inspired the series, albeit in a different role, when a retired agents of Omega are targeted. All the stories play off the struggles of working with someone you have a relationship asking the question about whether or not love can survive Omega.