Superheroes

Tue
25
Sep

Truth, (Social) Justice, and a New American Way: Supergirl Season 3 on Blu-ray

Supergirl Season 3 on Blu ray

Of all the so-called Arrowverse shows, CW's televised adaptation of DC Comics superheroes, SUPERGIRL has been the most problematic. Besides taking place on an entirely different Earth than the other three shows, necessitating a cosmic crisis for the annual uber-crossover to occur, the show has a distinctly different feel to it. Perhaps it's because it's adopted into the Arrowverse, having been taken up after cancellation on it's original network. Perhaps its because the scripts have an undertone of agenda-driven plotting that shoehorns its way into the plots rather than rising organically out of the stories.

Whatever it is, it makes SUPERGIRL more difficult to watch, especially in binge-doses.

Tue
25
Sep

Batman: Damned Sells on Controversy, Not Story

Batman Damned #1

BATMAN: DAMNED #1. It's the first book from DC's "Black Label" imprint. It's the book with the singular event everyone's talking about. It's the book that's trending on eBay because of a singular, unimportant image.

It's not the book that's selling because people are talking about the story. That's possibly because the story is dense, hard to follow, and nonsequential in its telling. So let's go there.

Mon
24
Sep

Wolverine is Dead No More, and Nobody is Surprised

Return of Wolverine 1

It's a toss-up as to which Marvel "hero" has the largest body count -- The Punisher or Wolverine. But I do remember way back when Wolverine finally got his own series, some few years after the Frank Miller miniseries, that the body count was what helped sell the title. The promo poster even showed Logan -- man without a past -- standing atop a pile of bodies, claws extended and ready for more.

So it's not much of a surprise that this is what people in the Marvel Universe would know him for -- being a killing machine. But Charles Soule puts a different spin on those perspectives, with not one but two ordinary people trying to remind this new Logan that he's seen as a hero.

Yeah, I said "new Logan." I'll get to that in a minute.

Sat
22
Sep

Grandpa Darkseid? Mister Miracle's on the Verge of a Whole New World!

Mister Miracle 11

It's been a surreal journey, and it's about to come to an end -- or to a whole new beginning in Tom King and Mitch Gerads' unconventional take on Mister Miracle, Big Barda, and the rest of Jack Kirby's Fourth World pantheon of New Gods.

Scott Free -- the titular Mister Miracle -- is the new Highfather. And, in keeping with the family tradition, he must make a sacrifice to make peace with Darkseid. When Scott was a boy, his father gave him to Darkseid in exchange for Darkseid's son, an exchange that was meant to keep the peace between New Genesis and Apokolips. Now that Scott and Barda have a son of their own, Jacob, they find themselves in the same boat, forced to give up their child to Darkseid.

So they prepare him -- and a vegetable tray -- to go meet the boy's grandfather and negotiate the peace. 

But Mister Miracle is an escape artist, after all, and he's got a plan.

Too bad for him it's a total failure. Perhaps Plan B might have better luck.

Thu
20
Sep

Suicide Squad Loses Another in the Sink Atlantis Finale

Aquaman 40

Task Force X has been sent to Atlantis, recently risen from the ocean floor, to nuke it back to the sea bottom. Or have they?

It certainly seems that way, as Lord Satanus and Master Jailer break into the chamber of magical treasures of Atlantis, being the best place to detonate the bomb. But the rest of the Suicide Squad has decided this isn't the best move, orders from Amanda Waller be damned, and they're trying to break through the barriers that separate them so they can stop the explosion. And, hey, because this is Aquaman's book (AQUAMAN #40), he even gets a few lines in, as well as some fighting.

What ensues is some Harley Quinn fourth-wall randomness, a game of "Bomb, Bomb, Who's Got The Bomb?" and some quick grief therapy for Killer Croc who's gone completely nihilistic with the loss of The Enchantress. Oh yeah, and Harley has a secret sub-mission that she just remembered.

Thu
20
Sep

Dark Nights: Metal Still Reverberates Through Justice League #8

Justice League 8

The DC Universe is still exploring -- in JUSTICE LEAGUE -- the great cosmic odyssey that began with the destruction of the Source Wall, releasing unfathomable energy into the multiverse. It could be the end of everything, the beginning of something new...or it may just be a frustrating plot device to keep readers wondering.

Lex Luthor has been hard at work to unlock this secret, embodied in an energy source called The Totality. He's been traveling through time, using magic, and imprisoning a demonic Dark Multiverse maniac version of Batman himself -- the Batman Who Laughs, introduced in the DARK NIGHTS: METAL series. This Batman holds the answers Luthor seeks, but those answers come at a cost, one that Luthor is happy to pay.

Sat
15
Sep

Batman Goes Back to Solving Crimes in Detective 988

Detective 988

Nobody is dealing all that well with the way the Batman / Catwoman wedding went -- or, rather, didn't -- particularly Batman himself. In typical Batman fashion, whenever something traumatic happens to him, he buries himself in his work.

Now, normally, this would mean a trail of busted jaws and broken ribs stretching across the length and breadth of Gotham City, lasting until someone finally beats some sense into him. This time is different, however. As he relates to Commissioner Gordon at the scene of what seems a mundane murder, "Lately I may have gotten over my head. I need to reset. Bottom line, this is a mystery and I'm a detective."

Mon
27
Aug

The Thinker Debuts Nefarious Plans in The Flash Season 4 Now on Blu-ray

The Flash Season 4 Blu-ray

For all it's many (many, many) plot faults, the fourth season of THE FLASH is one of my personal favorites. It's not just because the big bad of the season finally wasn't another speedster who was faster than the titular "fastest man alive," or because the villain was (at least at first) one scary AF adversary. No, the real joy of this season of THE FLASH comes from the introduction of HARTLEY SAWYER as Ralph Dibny, aka The Elongated Man. In the Silver Age of comics, Barry Allen and Ralph Dibny were best friends, and teamed up often on cases, so it was nice to see that relationship begin to develop in the television series, even if it did begin on strained terms. The special effects for Ralph's powers were also better than anticipated, and will hopefully be even better and more creative going into the fifth season.

Mon
13
Aug

Fourth Season of Gotham Darkest Yet

Gotham Season 4

When we ended the third season of GOTHAM, it looked as though we were going to see Bruce Wayne (DAVID MAZOUZ) take up his night-stalking ways that will lead to his eventual identity as The Batman. Alas, as the season progresses, we find Bruce Wayne choosing to be more of a jerk, burying himself from his future by going full-bore into the playboy mode, spending nights on the town with drinking buddies and getting sloshed. He even ends up fighting with Alfred (SEAN PERTWEE) and ultimately firing him.

Fri
10
Aug

The World's Greatest Comic Magazine Relaunches. In a Word: Fantastic!

Fantastic Four 1 2018

I'll be honest with you, dear readers. I don't read that much Marvel. I love the characters, I've seen all the movies (even the Nicholas Hammond Spider-man films and the Roger Corman Fantastic Four!), I know the origins -- and I used to read a lot more of them, back in the 70s and 80s. But these days, reading the Marvel line seems less like an escape and more like a chore, what with all the Spider-men, X-People, and Avenger teams, all coming from different universes and timelines.

But a number one issue relaunch of a book we haven't seen for a little while, that's enough of an event to convince me to take a peek under the covers and see what's what. Which is how I ended up with one of the many variant covers of FANTASTIC FOUR #1 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli.

In a word? It's fantastic!

Thu
09
Aug

Greenberger Lays Out Justice League's 100 (or so) Greatest Moments

Justice League 100 Greatest Moments

Every comic book fan has a secondary hobby, whether they realize it or not. It goes beyond the enjoyment of four-color adventures and into the realm of subjective statistics. I'm speaking of course of the ranking system everyone keeps of Top Ten this or Worst Ever that. It's almost always a trap, and everyone's list may overlap with someone else's but will almost never be the same.

So when comics and science fiction veteran editor Robert Greenberger says he's compiled the Justice League's 100 Greates Moments, you can be almost assured he's missed something on your list, and included something you've either missed or dismissed.

Thu
09
Aug

Suicide Squad Sent to Sink Sea King's Sovereign State

Suicide Squad 45

SUICIDE SQUAD #45 kicks off the adventure that will cross over with AQUAMAN. Following the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, there's been a little bit of fallout, the most globally noticeable being the arrival of a new continent in the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Europe: from the murky depths of the sea, Atlantis has risen once more, triggered by a thought from Aquaman and creating unrest all across the world. 

And when there's unrest, there's bound to be a small-minded musclehead with a modicum of power who knows better than the rest of us and decides to "fix" things. In this case, it's Admiral Meddinghouse, who sees the arrival of the new continent -- an arrival that triggered tidal waves off the eastern seaboard -- as nothing less than an act of war. So he calls in his chips with Amanda Waller to have Task Force X sent in via submarine to meet up with an Atlantean contingent who also feel that the fabled city should remain under the sea.

Tue
07
Aug

Suspenseful, Frustrating Sixth Season of Arrow Debuts on Blu-ray

Arrow Season 6

The biggest problem with CW's series, ARROW, is that it has to keep ratcheting up the action to top its previous season. The natural end result was that the writers have painted themselves into quite a corner with the way the sixth season has wrapped up. The good part of that, however, is that we get the fun of watching them try to write their way out of it.

This season sees Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen (STEPHEN AMELL), take on several different challenges, not the least of which comes from a federal agent, who is convinced that Oliver is the Green Arrow and is looking to put him behind bars for his vigilante actions. The irony of all that is that the case is largely built on a digitally manipulated image of Green Arrow unmasking to reveal Oliver Queen's face -- a fake that tells the truth.

Thu
02
Aug

Death of Superman Surprisingly Fresh, Emotionally Deep

Death of Superman

When I first heard that the next DC Universe animated movie was going to be THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, I was not thrilled. I was already feeling a downward trend in the storytelling as the animated films tried to form a more cohesive universe, and the stand-alones like BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT weren't all that super of late, either. Seeing this story retold, so soon after having it already retold on the big screen in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, was underscored by the fact that the story was also the very first DCU animated film, under the name SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY.

To say the least, my expectations were low.

Wed
01
Aug

LEGO DC Super Heroes add Jessica Cruz to Minifigure Line with Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

With an AQUAMAN movie soon to hit theaters, it makes perfect sense that Warner Brothers and LEGO would want to capitalize on the interest with an Aquaman LEGO adventure. AQUAMAN: RAGE OF ATLANTIS finds the sea king (voiced by DEE BRADLEY BAKER) giving up his crown after his half-brother Orm (TREVOR DEVALL) reveals the fine print of the Atlantean constitution declaring only a full-blooded Atlantean can hold the throne. This comes on the heels of Aquaman's humiliating defeat at the hands of Lobo (FRED TATASCIORE) at a dry lake bed known as Area 52, a military installation designed for the simplification of processing alien weaponry, now gone defunct because the simplification process proved overly complicated causing the entire operation to relocate to Rebirth, New Jersey.

Thu
26
Jul

Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #6

Doomsday Clock 6

There are a lot of dominoes toppling in DOOMSDAY CLOCK #6 -- small ones, but ones that are sure to cascade forward and have a greater impact further into the series.

With TRULY LAUGH, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank delve into the backstory of our dollfaced duo, Marionette and Mime, taking us back once more into that horrid world of The Watchmen where nearly every one is cruel and innocence is lost early in life. Through these flashbacks, we meet Erika as a young girl, and the mute Marcos whose family opens the glassware store across the street from her father's puppet shop. Erika's father is beholden to the police, who use his store as a front for dropping off and picking up payoffs, while Marcos' mother defends him against his step-father. As events cosnpire together, Johns paints a truly sympathetic origin story for this pair.

Thu
19
Jul

Holy Teen Hijinks! Archie Meets Batman '66

Archie Meets Batman '66 #1

It's a lovely summer day in Gotham City, as citizens throng the World's Science Fair, eager to see the technology of tomorrow!

But wait!

What's this?!?

Poison Ivy -- airborne aboard a flying snapdragon?

It's a good thing the Caped Crusaders are on hand to put an end to this botany gone bad! But the perfidious plant plunderer was merely a cover for another of Gotham's most dastardly villains to commit a crime, as that larcenous librarian, the Bookworm, uses the distraction to steal the world's first electronic book, capable of storing over twenty different books in their entirety! As Batman, Robin, and Batgirl wrap up the sultry siren of shrubbery, he makes his getaway, but he won't be free for long. Because crime doesn't pay in Gotham City.

Wed
27
Jun

Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp Big on Superhero Goodness

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Where AVENGERS INFINITY WAR was a great action movie filled with moments of comedy, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is a great comedy movie filled to the gills with lots of action and adventure.

Ever since the events of INFINITY WAR, people have been asking: Where was Ant-Man?

Well it turns out that Scott Lang (PAUL RUDD), after choosing to side with Captain America in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, was apprehended for his participation in the events and placed under house arrest for two years. And he's learned a lot while attached to his ankle bracelet -- like drumming, and up-close card tricks.

Tue
26
Jun

Project: Superpowers Launches Thrilling New Storyline with #0

Project Super Powers 0

Perhaps the brightest star in Dynamite's publishing sky has been PROJECT: SUPERPOWERS, a world populated by superhero characters who have fallen into the public domain and repurposed to work in the modern era -- no mean feat, since so may of them were created to oppose the Nazi forces during World War II.

To explain the disappearance of the heroes, and how they return to active duty still in the prime of their lives, we were given a tale of Hitler discovering Pandora's Box, and the heroes voluntarily sealing themselves up within it to save the world, only to be released decades later.

That epic is retold in part in these pages, written by Rob Williams and drawn by Sergio Davila, as Dynamite prepares to relaunch the series with a new #1 issue next month on the heels of this #0 introductory chapter, designed and priced to hook in new readers.

Tue
26
Jun

Black Lightning Premiere Season Now on Blu-ray

Black Lightning Season 1

BLACK LIGHTNING is a CW show that differs from the rest of the DC Comics' based Arrowverse, and not just because it's completely separate from it. CRESS WILLIAMS plays the titular superhero, Black Lightning, aka high school principal Jefferson Pierce. As Pierce, he's a legend in the city of Freeland for his record with getting students into college. But he's legendary for another reason as well -- several years ago he cleaned up the community as the electrically-charged vigilante, Black Lightning. But he went into retirement, and the city of Freeland has gone steadily downhill ever since.

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