Superheroes

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.

Wed
20
Jun

Justice League #2: Adventure Beyond Human Comprehension

Justice League #1 2018

When we concluded JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, an entity called "The Totality" was on a collision course with the Earth, with less than a minute to go.

With the advent of JUSTICE LEAGUE #2, that minute has passed, The Totality has landed, and it's a big, giant head of a corpse, sending out some sort of universal code. Waylon Jones -- aka Killer Croc -- has already gone into it, and came out changed into a cross between Doomsday and Godzilla, his genetics totally rewritten. What Croc was doing there, we don't know. Let's assume it was part of a Suicide Squad mission, because otherwise he really had no business being there other than to provide us a really cool "New Killer Croc" image.

Fri
15
Jun

Incredibles 2 Well-Acted, Expertly Crafted Tale Anyone Can Enjoy

Incredibles 2

Pixar’s latest animated instant classic, the long awaited The Incredibles 2, is incredible, despite what some of my hoity toity film critic brethren might think. It’s also a good place to start a discussion of the term “sequel.”

Fri
15
Jun

Plastic Man #1 Lays Path to Doomsday Clock

Plastic Man #1

I love me some good Plastic Man. And while I have some questions stemming from this first issue from Gail Simone and Adriana Melo, this is still some good Plastic Man.

As any first issue should go, PLASTIC MAN #1 introduces us to the character and gets into his origin story. Simone does this with a flashback sequence while Plastic Man -- Eel O'Brian -- comes to terms with being told that he shot and killed a guard during a robbery during the criminal past he's trying to make up for. Of course, he has limited memory of the robbery, and he's told he was the shooter by one of the other crooks involved -- information which conflicts with the flashback panels Melo provides -- so there's a chance that Eel isn't the killer after all.

Thu
07
Jun

The Best Man Gives Joker Spotlight in Batman #48

A funny thing happened on the way to writing this review.

Sure, I read it. I was enthralled by it, captivated by it, and completely drawn into what was largely a soliliquy from the Joker, in one of his "less manic but just as mad" moments. I mean, he's almost lucid in his insanity through most of this book.

But then it came time to actually write the review. And like most journalists, I rely less on my own means and more on Google's. I mean, I needed to have an image to go with the review, right? And that's when things got funny.

Because I asked for images from BATMAN #48. Because that's this issue, right? And naturally I'm expecting to see Joker. And I do see Joker. And it is BATMAN 48. But it's the previous incarnation of the BATMAN series, where Bruce is trying to have a normal life and finds himself talking civilly with a stranger who could only be a remade Joker talking about the futility of his life.

Wed
06
Jun

Justice League #1 a Return to Grand Morrisonian Opera

Justice League 1 2018

If you haven't been paying attention to what Scott Snyder has been doing, you've been missing out. There's a reason why Snyder snagged our Best Comics Writer of 2015, and helmed what our readers selected as the Best Comics Storyline of 2017.

Fri
01
Jun

Speed Buggy Gets an Origin in this DC / Hanna-Barbera Crossover Featuring The Flash

Flash Speed Buggy

From MY MOTHER THE CAR to TURBO TEEN, the idea of the human/automobile hybrid has been an inconsistent and, honestly, weird trope that nevertheless pops up now and again.

And while the Hanna-Barbera series SPEED BUGGY had a sentient, anthropomorphic car, Speed Buggy himself wasn't a person trapped in the vehicle so much as he simply was the vehicle.

That story gets a revamp with THE FLASH / SPEED BUGGY #1, one of the many pairings of DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera heroes hitting shelves this week. When The Flash -- Wally West -- stops Kilg%re at S.T.A.R. Labs, he gets an assist from a man in a racing car -- Dr. M. Blanc. (Editors Note: Mel Blanc, the inimitable voice actor, provided the vocals for Speed Buggy in the cartoon series.) Blanc has been building a device that taps into the speed force and channels it into his vehicle. Flash is very concerned about this, because whenever people try to harness the Speed Force, things go very badly.

Fri
01
Jun

Flying High with Our June Bombshell, Charlee Soffer

Superboy Prime  - Bombshell June 2018

With the rains of Spring behind us, the clouds are parting and the visibility gets a light brighter, giving way to clear blue...

Look!

Up in the sky!

Is that a bird? A plane?

No, it's our June Bombshell, St. Louis Superman, aka Charlee Soffer!

Please give a warm welcome to our newest...

 

Critical Blast Bombshell, June 2018

Charlee Soffer


Lana Lang & Classic Superboy
Smallville Superfest

What is your interest in cosplay?

Thu
31
May

Super Sons Join Forces with Dynomutt and Blue Falcon

Super Sons Dynomutt

Blue Falcon and Dynomutt were two of my favorite Saturday Morning cartoon characters. Granted, almost every Hanna-Barbera product in the 70s qualified, it was the supeheroes who always had the greater appeal, even if the sidekick was a klutzy talking dog who preceded Inspector Gadget with his array of built-in technological blunders.

With SUPER SONS / DYNOMUTT AND THE BLUE FALCON, writer Peter J Tomasi and artists Fernando Pasarin and Oclair Albert have done an outstanding job. The dynamics of Blue Falcon and Batman have been blended together seamlessly in a way that it's conceivable both properties could have existed alongside each other all along. Tomasi even retroactively places Blue Falcon into the ranks of Batman, Incorporated, and Damian makes a vague reference to Dynomutt having saved him once in a Mystery Machine, which has to be a Scooby-Doo reference we need to see told.

Thu
31
May

Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #5

Doomsday Clock #5

It's been two months since DOOMSDAY CLOCK #4, when we learned the back story of the new Rorschach and saw him meet up with another Arkham Asylum inmate, Saturn Girl (of the future Legion of Super-Heroes). After reading issue #5, it's going to be a long wait for the next two months...because the next two months are actually three months. I've said before, Geoff Johns and company are mirroring the original WATCHMEN run so closely with this that they're even copying the production delays. At this rate, I expect we'll have the horrible six-month-gap between issues 11 and 12.

Wed
23
May

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 423, "We Are The Flash"

We Are The Flash

THE FLASH Season 4 started off strong, then hit more than one obstacle along the way.

Fortunately for the fans, the season ended just as strong as it began, as Team Flash gets help from The Thinker's estranged wife, Marlize (KIM ENGELBRECHT). Utlizing the pregnancy-induced telepathic powers of Cecile Horton (DANIELLE NICOLET), they are able to broadcast The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) into the mind of The Thinker, Clifford DeVoe (NEIL SANDILANDS). The mission: to find the good that once was in him, bring it to the fore through a mental nexus, and have that good take over, before his satellites completely canvass the globe and bring The Enlightenment -- the erasure of all human intelligence.

Wed
16
May

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 422, "Think Fast"

The Flash 422 - Think Fast

The penultimate episode of the fourth season finds Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) and his teammates in a last-ditch effort against the clock to stop Clifford DeVoe, aka The Thinker (NEIL SANDILANDS) from launching his satellites, which would work in conjunction to flood the world with dark matter and erase human intelligence. It's a tension-filled adventure juxtaposed against the silliness of Iris (CANDICE PATTON) having to babysit a near-idiot level Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH), while Joe West (JESSE L MARTIN) copes with the newest development in the last week of DA Cecile Horton's (DANIELLE NICOLET) pregnancy as her mind-reading powers stretch to become mind-inhabiting powers.

Fri
11
May

Knight Moves: Gotham Episode 421, "One Bad Day"

GOTHAM does its own unique spin on DC Comics' THE KILLING JOKE in this latest episode, as things lead up to next season, which looks to be a take on the mega-arc, NO MAN'S LAND.

Jeremiah Valeska (CAMERON MONAGHAN) is holding Gotham City hostage, having planted highly explosive bombs all over the city. Jim Gordon (BEN MCKENZIE) is feared dead, and as ranking detective Harvey Bullock (DONAL LOGUE) takes the lead. But the police don't want to follow him, because the last time he was in charge they all got shot at by Professor Pyg.

Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot (ROBIN LORD TAYLOR) senses an opportunity to cash in on Jeremiah's extortion plot, and convinces Barbara Kean (ERIN RICHARDS) and Tabitha Galavan (JESSICA LUCAS) to ally with him, with the underlying promise of getting a cure for Butch (DREW POWELL) and his "Solomon Grundy" condition. 

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