Superheroes

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. 

Wed
09
May

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 421, "Harry and the Harrisons"

Flash Harry and the Harrisons

Instead of racing toward the season finale, THE FLASH seems to have entered into a slow jog. Seeking some method of attacking Devoe while circumventing all his powers, the team lands on the idea of seeking assistance from Amunet Black (KATEE SACKHOFF) because Devoe won't be able to use Kigore's powers to "hack" her metal fragments. One supposes he couldn't increase their gravity to make them fall, or sonically knock them out of the sky, or alter luck to make them miss, or shrink them to a molecular level, because he has all those powers as well, but they don't seem to have been accounted for.

In other words, the season's over and the writers have checked out.

Mon
07
May

Plenty of Reasons to Avoid Batman Ninja

Batman Ninja Blu-ray and DVD

So there it is: the worst BATMAN animated story I've seen (and I've seen BATMAN UNLIMITED: MECHS VS MUTANTS, so that's saying something).

There's so many things wrong with this movie, but let me start out on the high note: the animation isn't one of them. The imagery -- inconsistent in style as it is -- is gorgeous. Watch it with the sound off, and only glance at it now and then, and you'll always see something awesome.

But if you actually expose yourself to the story, your fascination will quickly dwindle away.

Fri
04
May

Knight Moves: Gotham Episode 420, "That Old Corpse"

Gotham That Old Corpse

Jerome was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

Well, sorry, Mr. Dickens, but there does indeed seem to be a doubt, at least in the mind of Jerome's twin brother, Jeremiah Valeska (CAMERON MONAGHAN). True, Jerome fell from a building, was pronounced dead when brought into the coroner's office and was even more dead after he was autopsied. But that doesn't stop Jeremiah from severe anxiety as he shows off his new free-energy invention to Bruce Wayne (DAVID MAZOUZ). Bruce does hs best to convince Jeremiah that Jerome is truly gone, and suggests they go see his grave to confirm it to Jeremiah, to beat the insanity gas Jeremiah was subjected to at the end of last episode.

Wed
02
May

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 420, "Therefore She Is"

The Flash - Therefore She Is

Paralleling and mirroring the structure of episode 407, "Therefore I Am," this episode, "Therefore She Is," tells the story of The Thinker's wife, Marlize (KIM ENGELBRECHT) -- aka The Mechanic, although we've never really heard her referenced as such in the series. Through flashbacks we see how she met Clifford DeVoe (NEIL SANDILANDS), fell in love with him, found him to be a sociopath with an agenda, and came around to his way of thinking -- a Luddite view of technology that sees it as killing mankind.

Tue
01
May

Striking While the Iron is Hot: Marvel Releases Ant-Man and The Wasp Trailer!

Ant Man and The Wasp

With Marvel's AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR tearing up the box office, the timing couldn't be more perfect for Marvel Studios to release the trailer for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.

Fri
27
Apr

Sympathy for the Villain: How Thanos Makes Avengers: Infinity War a Must-See

Too often in comic book stories, the villain is motivated by greed or power. They not only are evil, but they know they are evil, and you will submit to them or fork over all your cash, depending on the depth of their megalomania.

The best villains, however, see themselves as the heroes of their own story, and act accordingly. Thus it is with Thanos, in a lifetime achievement role for actor JOSH BROLIN. All Thanos wants to do is eliminate poverty, make sure there are plenty of resources for people to live on, and see the universe at peace. And to do this, the only thing he needs to do is simply cut the existing population in half.

Wed
25
Apr

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 419, "Fury Rogue"

The Flash - Fury Rogue

Admittedly, after the emotional blows dealt in last episode ("Lose Yourself"), I thought "Fury Rogue" was going to be more of a coast. I mean, they just killed Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER) and effectively eliminated Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER) from Caitlin Snow's persona. Since this episode dealt with the final bus meta being safely transferred to a secure facility, how much excitement could it really generate?

While the episode didn't have quite the level of action as others, the drama was tense throughout. Caitlin still finds notes from her alter ego, Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) has to admit to Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) that the Thinking Cap has begun the process of eroding his intelligence, and Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) refuses to deal with the emotions of Ralph's death.

Tue
24
Apr

Avengers: Infinity War Is The Ultimate Superhero Movie

Avengers: Infinity War opens everywhere 4/27/2018.

Thanos. The name alone strikes a chord with Marvel comic aficionados. It’s like sitting at a WWE event when the lights all go out, a lone, deep bell peals, and the arena is bathed in eerie blue light and theatrical fog, signaling the arrival of The  Undertaker. When Thanos shows up in a comic book, someone is going to die. If Thanos had his way, everyone would die.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a bit different than the Marvel Comic Universe, but Thanos is still the ultimate cosmic antagonist. Up until know he’s been relegated to talking head spots, chiding Loki in Marvel’s The Avengers, putting Ronan the Accuser in his place in Guardians of the Galaxy, and so forth. With The Avengers: Infinity War Thanos finally takes center stage against the entire host of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s expansive cast. And if Thanos had his way, nearly everyone would die.

Fri
20
Apr

Knight Moves: Gotham Episode 419, "To Our Deaths and Beyond"

The Riddler (CORY MICHAEL SMITH) teaches a lesson in betrayal with this episode of GOTHAM. Having agreed to perform a series of bank robberies for Lee Thompkins (MORENA BACCARIN), the proceeds of which are distributed among the impoverished of The Narrows, GCPD Captain James Gordon (BEN MCKENZIE) and Harvey Bullock (DONAL LOGUE) suspect Nygma's cleverness behind the thefts.

They're not the only one. Oswald Cobblepot (ROBIN LORD TAYLOR) and Butch Gilzean (DREW POWELL) are also on the trail of The Riddler. They want in -- by force -- and they want half of the take. When Oswald sees that Nygma is lending his brilliant mind in the service of Thompkins, he plants doubts in The Riddler's mind about Lee using him, doubts which fester when the mirrors are turned on Riddler, who is now taunted by his alter ego, Nygma (where it used to be the other way around).

Thu
19
Apr

Batman 45 Takes Booster Gold Back to Being a Total Idiot

Batman 45

"The Gift" leads up to the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle by taking us, after the events of METAL and all the various universes to -- you guessed it -- another alternate universe. In this case, it's an alternate timeline -- a BoosterPoint universe.

Gotham City is unrecognizable. Jokers -- plural, and way more than just three -- run amok in the streets. Tim Drake has a cubicle job, Jason Todd sells tires, and Duke Thomas is a mental invalid. And where is the Batman?

He's armed to the teeth and killing superheroes who come to Gotham so they don't get "Jokered." Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is at a party, dancing with his mother on her anniversary.

That's right. Bruce Wayne and Batman are different people, all because Booster Gold time-travelled in an attempt to recreate "For the Man Who Has Everything" as a gift to Batman for his upcoming wedding.

Wed
18
Apr

Superman Talk: Simonson and Ordway Deliver in "Five Minutes"

It's here! Action Comics #1000 is available today and we're covering yet another previously released story right out of the pages of the landmark issue!

"Five Minutes" is written by Louise Simonson with art by Jerry Ordway. Listen in as I discuss my thoughts about this self-contained story as well as share in my excitement for Action Comics #1000. Wednesday, April 18th will forever be a holiday for Superman fans, as it's the 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1.

 

Wed
18
Apr

After Shocks: Black Lightning Episode 113, "Shadow of Death: The Book of War"

Book of War

The first season of BLACK LIGHTNING wraps things up after a 13-episode run -- and, honestly, it's none too soon.

There were so many different things going badly for this series after its debut, but the acting wasn't one of them. CRESS WILLIAMS turned in a fine portrayal of high school principal Jefferson Pierce, but he's simply not action hero material when it came to being Black Lightning. Or perhaps it was just that the hero suit was so bulky and inflexible that made the fight scenes look stilted and awkward. The suit itself was never really fully explained, as far as having a reason other than disguise and identification. The best I can guess is that Pierce could funnel his natural electrical charge into it to make it do other things, but he still could perform electrical stunts without the uniform.

Wed
18
Apr

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 418, "Lose Yourself"

I've known that this episode of THE FLASH was likely coming, given the track record of the bus metas that The Thinker (NEIL SANDILANDS) had been tracking. But that doesn't mean I had given up hope, and it certainly didn't mean I was prepared for the event when it got here.

Last night, it got here.

Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN) and Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER) are examining the actual bus that was hit by the wave of dark matter, scanning it for dark matter signatures in order to help the find anything on Edwin Gauss (ARTURO DEL PUERTO), a man who is completely off the grid, and lived that way even before the bus incident. As Harry (TOM CAVANAGH) gets further addicted to using the "thinking cap," the rest of Team Flash investigates a commune to find the extremely laid back Gauss to bring him in for protection. They're intercepted by one of The Thinker's Samuroids, but ultimately get Gauss into the Pipeline.

Tue
17
Apr

Tom King's (Almost) Perfect Superman Story in Action Comics #1000

Not sure if you've heard by now but Action Comics #1000 comes out tomorrow. On the same day that Action Comics #1 debuted.

In AC1K Tom King (Batman, Grayson) tells a tale about the end of days for the planet Earth, and how Superman is visiting for one final goodbye to his parents. It's a beautiful homage to Ma and Pa Kent who took in an alien immigrant and raised him as their own. Loved him like he was born from them.

Then King ruined it with one panel. Give a listen to the latest "Superman Talk" and I'll explain why. If you haven't read his story yet and can't wait for tomorrow, you can read it for free here.

 

Tue
10
Apr

Let's Talk Superman: Superman #44 by Tomasi/Gleason

Steve talks (Bizarro) Superman as he goes over the latest issue of Superman by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.

Some of the topics covered:

  • Is Bizzaro truly Superman's opposite? 
  • How much effort goes into editing Bizarro language?
  • Why is there so much emphasis on characters being attracted to Superman?

Did you read Superman #44? Leave your comments below!

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