Villain vs Villain as Tynion Raises Hell at DC Comics

Hell Arisen 2

The fallout from METAL continues as the evolutionarily perfected Lex Luthor serves as a John the Baptist for the goddess Perpetua, paving the way for her conquest of everything. Only one person stands in his path -- The Batman Who Laughs, the evil Joker-fied Batman from the Dark Multiverse. TBWL has spread the dark infection to six heroes, five of whom attack Luthor at his safehouse -- which turns out to be one of his employee's apartments he long ago modified without her knowledge.

Lex is not only outnumbered, but he's up against the powers of Kara Zor-El (Supergirl), King Shazam (Shazam), Deathbringer (Donna Troy), Sky Tyrant (Hawkman), and Scarab (Blue Beetle). Anyone else would give up, but Luthor -- who was already the smartest man alive before his augmentation -- has already defeated all five of them while they were posturing. It's all over except for the actual doing of it, which proves to be simplicity itself.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 110, "How Queer Everything Is Today!"

Batwoman 110 How Queer Everything Is Today

Throughout its freshmen season, I have defended BATWOMAN as being a good series in the face of all the criticisms that it existed only for the purpose of establishing identity politics over storytelling and plot.

This week, I was rewarded by the Batwoman writers through their decision to establish identity politics over storytelling and plot.

Batwoman has a secret identity. (Psst. Don't tell anyone. It's Kate Kane, played by RUBY ROSE.) Not that secret identities last in the CW Arrowverse. Star City was told countless times that Oliver Queen was a vigilante, and kept forgetting, and so many people know Barry Allen is The Flash that one wonders why he even bothers with a mask unless it's to avoid windburn.


The Best Fight in Comics is in Batman #86 -- And It's All Off-Panel!

Batman 86 2020

It feels like it's been forever in the offing, but BATMAN #86 is a breath of fresh air after the prolonged storyline that bogged down the title for the past few years.

With his longtime confidante and manservant, Alfred Pennyworth, having been laid to rest, Bruce Wayne decides to take on a new mission to honor his friend, a mission presented to him on many past occasions and always turned down: a Gotham that didn't need Batman. To that end, Bruce has dusted of his plans for a revamp of the city and fast-tracked them through all the zoning commissions. With construction already underway, however, there are forces out there that want to see their own plans for Gotham come to light.


Action Comics 1018 Hits Bottom and Starts Digging

Action Comics 1018

It's been a while since I've poked my head inside the Superman universe of books, and with the news surrounding the impending release of Superman's self-reveal, I thought it might be a good idea to check in on the latest installment of the Man of Steel, by way of ACTION COMICS 1018.

To say the issue was a disappointment is to do a disservice to language.

Let's start with the cover. Advertising a guest appearance by the Justice League pretty much means that, in the background, you see their bodies strewn about as they have been clobbered. But that cover blurb is perhaps the best drawn part of the book's frontispiece. The rest of it is a sketchy mess, featuring Superman front and center and some hastily doodled Justice League members in the background -- plus what looks to be a frozen or electrocuted Starman in the lower left.

That should have been my first warning to back away, slowly, and put my wallet back in my pocket.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 608, "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 2"

Flash 608

On the eve of the impending Crisis, Central City has its darkest night. Bloodwork (SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY) is making fast work of turning the citizens into mindless zombies -- fast work because he has a fast friend: he's infected Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN), aka The Flash.

But all is not lost as Black Lantern Flash... I mean, Dark Flash... helps terrorize the city. Because it turns out, Barry had a plan all along. And while Bloodwork has infected Barry, Barry in turn has infected Bloodwork, able to resist some of the commands and surreptitiously get coded communications to Iris (CANDICE PATTON) and Cisco (CARLOS VALDES), clueing them into just what needs to be done to defeat Bloodwork and save the city. It all hinges on the particle accelerator -- which also figues into Bloodwork's plans for infecting the entire city at once -- and newcomer to the team, Allegra (KAYLA COMPTON) and her radio wave powers.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 607, "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 1"

Flash 607 Last Temptation of Barry Allen Part 1

With only two days before the predicted Crisis hits (that's two weeks for us in audience land), Ralph (HARTLEY SAWYER) finds himself suddenly confronted by Ramsey Rosso (SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY), a battle that takes them diving out a window to the street below. In the ensuing struggle, Ralph becomes infected with Rosso's sentient blood. It takes some fast action -- and some speed healing in order to save his life, thanks to a blood transfusion from The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN).


It's a Duel Identity Crossover in Absolute's White Widow #3

Gabby Garcia's problems have only multiplied since her father showed up and injected her with nanites right before being killed. Now the platinum blonde science student and volleyball athlete finds that she can manifest an exoskeletal armor that can alter its appearance at will.The result is, visually, Silver Sable with a symbiote, but the story bears no such similarities.

This chapter finds Gabby trying to find out more about The Group, the agency she believes killed her father, and discovering she has more untapped abilities. But when her solo investigations run into a dead end, her friend Regina talks her into approaching the city's resident superhero, Andromeda, for help. As luck would have it, Andromeda will be appearing at a masquerade ball, to which Gabby had previously found an invitation.


Nora Fries Finally Free, and Ready to Be a Villain

Detective 1015 Mr and Mrs Freeze Year of the Villain

Of all the DC Universe events to actually start crossing over into the regular titles, it had to be the unfollowably tendrilous merger of DARK NIGHTS: METAL and whatever it is going on in Justice League that involving Lex Luthor becoming "Apex Lex," both of which converge to cause the "Year of the Villain" theme.

In Detective Comics #1015, we find that Victor Fries -- aka Mr. Freeze -- has found a cure for his wife, Nora, freeing her from the cryogenic tube where she's been held in stasis for who knows how long. With her fate no longer a driving force, Mr. Freeze no longer has a reason to be a criminal. And yet, he's training his wife on how to pull heists using his cold weapons. Also, she's just as blue-skinned as he is now, so we can safely assume she is Mrs. Freeze.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 606, "License to Elongate"

Flash 606 License to Elongate

It's an episode that is, once again, centered on a team member other than the tituler Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) -- and this time, I'm not even complaining.

"License to Elongate" finds Barry preparing to mentor Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER) to become the protector of Central City in his absence, planning to do so at a special press conference where Ralph will get a special symbol for his suit. Meanwhile, Ralph has a lead on his missing person's investigation, so Barry decides to tag along. Up until this very point, the Ralph we have seen has been played for laughs -- but tonight, in Ralph's world, we see a very different side of him: competent.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 107, "Tell Me The Truth"

Batwoman 107 Tell Me The Truth

Oh, BATWOMAN writers at the CW, why have you betrayed me? After weeks of supporting your show in the face of criticism, after numerous declarations that, "No, the show is not like that awful preview trailer, you should really try it," you go and stab me in the back by churning out an episode that is exactly what the critics excoriate the series for.

The episode, "Tell Me The Truth," finds Kate (RUBY ROSE) struggling with what to do about her former lover, Sophie (MEAGAN TANDY), who has revealed she knows Batwoman's secret identity and threatens to go to Kate's daddy and tell on her. What should Kate do? Continue to deny it? Bring Sophie into the circle of trust and hope that she can keep a secret?


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 106, "I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury"

Batwoman I'll Be Judge I'll Be Jury

It took six episodes, but BATWOMAN has delivered a one-and-done murder mystery that was both compelling and character elevating.

There's a new villain in town, who wears an executioner's mask and carries an axe. When he electrocutes a prominent Gotham City prosecutor, whose most famous case was the conviction of Jack Napier, aka The Joker, the GCPD fire up the Bat-signal, seeking help from the city's new bearer of the mantle. This infuriates Jake Kane (DOUGRAY SCOTT), leader of the Crows, and he vows to capture this killer before Batwoman (RUBY ROSE).


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 605, "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach"

The Flash 605 Kiss Kiss Breach Breach

As the Crisis looms, Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) has been preparing the members of Team Flash for life without him. And key to doing that is...

...taking a beach vacation with Iris (CANDICE PATTON). Which means it's time for another episode of Everybody But Flash.

Realizing he will have to make difficult decisions as future team leader, Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) had developed the B.A.R.I. -- an AI system that thinks like Barry Allen to help him know the right thing to do. (Because a computer system that knows what The Flash would do in any given situation could never be used for ill intent in the wrong hands.) 

With the focus on Vibe and his new girlfriend, Kamilla (VICTORIA PARK), we learn something new about Cisco: that he hasn't told her he loves her, even though he's sleeping with her. Oh, that, and he's been sleepwalking lately.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 105, "Mine is a Long and Sad Tale"

Batwoman Episode 105

If you haven't been giving BATWOMAN a fair shake, then you've missed out on what is a bone-chilling and disturbing episode, as we get the origin behind the death of Beth Kane -- and her rebirth as Alice. RACHEL SKARSTEN gets a chance to really shine as her character has a clandestine meeting with her sister, Kate Kane (RUBY ROSE), and we are taken back to how Beth survived the car accident -- fished out of the river but then kept captive by a sociopath and his young son with a preternatural gift for vocal mimicry.

The young boy is now a man, of course, and he is the "Mouse" (SAM LITTLEFIELD) that Alice has been looking for, freeing him from Arkham to participate in whatever plan it is she has concocted. They're friends, even though he's partly responsible for her captivity as a child, forced to use his gifts under duress in order to throw Beth's father (DOUGRAY SCOTT) off her trail.


Warner Brothers' Batman Beyond Collector's Set Ideal Gift for Bat-Fans

Batman Beyond The Complete Series

There have been a few moments in the Batman mythos that have been truly memorable, have truly changed the landscape for the fans. (If you ask Robert Greenberger, there are at least 100 of these, but that's a review for later this week.) 

One such moment came in 1999, when a new animated series took Batman into the near-future; where Bruce Wayne (KEVIN CONROY) is a retired octogenarian, and Terry McGinnis (WILL FRIEDLE) as the latest heir to the mantle, in a New Gotham that has a whole new set of problems.

When we are introduced to the series, Bruce is wearing the jet-black, tricked-out costume. But his age is catching up with him, and his heart isn't holding up. When he finds himself grabbing a dropped gun to defend himself against a common thug, he's horrified at what he's doing, and seals up the Batcave for good.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 604, "There Will Be Blood"

The Flash 604 There Will Be Blood

In tonight's Halloween episode, the title is "There Will Be Blood" and there's a bio-restorative formula at play. What an opportunity to get an cameo from Swamp Thing that we... don't get. But, moving onward.

Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) is still resigned to the fact that he is fated to die in the upcoming Crisis in order for the universe to survive. In the previous episode, Flash tried to prepare the team for his inevitable passing by taking Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER) under his wing to teach her to be a better hero. This week, he decides to spend some one-on-one time with Cisco Ramon (CARLOS VALDES), the former Vibe, because he's picked him to be the team leader when he's gone. Which, I suppose, will be Team Frozen Stretch, without the speedster around.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 104, "Who Are You?"

Batwoman 104 Who Are You

The story of Alice (RACHEL SKARSTEN) deepens as Kate (RUBY ROSE) learns just what it means personally to take on the mantle of the bat.

Gotham City has a new supervillain problem -- a catburglar who likes to steal shiny objects. No, it's not Selina Kyle. It's Magpie (RACHEL MATTHEWS), a thief with a bird-motif, who steals expensive baubles and uses small grenades as her getaway weapon. In the comics, Magpie was a bit deeper than that -- her psychosis caused her to leave something in trade for the objects she stole, which would explode when moved. After a string of robberies -- one in which she escapes Batwoman, whose miss of a returning batarang causes expensive collateral damage -- Magpie sets her sights on a special piece of jewelry: the pearls worn by Martha Wayne the night she was murdered. Visually, they're not much of a display, but historically they carry a provenance special to Gothamites.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 603, "Dead Man Running"

Dead Man Running

With the Crisis bearing down on them in less than ten weeks, Team Flash has moved from grief to acceptance -- particularly Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) who has yet to tell the team what he knows of the future -- that he has to die in the Crisis.

And the Crisis has taken on its own identity as well, losing the "the" in front of it, and simply being called "Crisis" -- which sounds a bit odd and all proper-nouny when heard spoken about prior to its occurrence by those who are going to experience it.

To prepare the team to work without him, Flash decides he has to train them better, starting with Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER). But her anger gets in the way as the pair hunt down an angry zombie named Romero (thought we wouldn't notice that naming convenience, didn't you, @FlashTVWriters?), and Flash realizes he's going to have to find a way to cool down the ice queen's hot temper before she can be an effective hero.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 103, "Down Down Down"

Batwoman 103 Down Down Down CW

The more Kate (RUBY ROSE) operates in the Bat-suit, the more Gotham City wants to see Batman fully reappear -- and that includes those who would like to see the Dark Knight dead.

Among those in that latter category are Tommy Elliott (GABRIEL MANN), who has the added advantage of knowing that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne. Kate catches him in the Wayne executive board room, looking for Bruce, fully believing that Bruce has returned because Batman has returned. Later, when Luke Fox (CAMRUS JOHNSON) informs Kate that there's been a break-in of the Bat-arsenal, we learn that Bruce developed a weapon capable of penetrating the bulletproof Bat-suit -- a contingency plan in case someone ever got their hands on it. And, Bruce being Bruce, he had contingency plans for the contingency plan.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 602, "A Flash of the Lightning"

A Flash of the Lightning

With all the news coming out about who was going to be appearing in this December's CW crossover event, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, I've been persistently saying that to cram it all into four episodes would require them to start building hard during these leadup chapters. And so far, at least with THE FLASH and ARROW, it appears that is exactly what the CW showrunners are doing.

In "A Flash of the Lightning," Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) finds himself despondent over the knowledge of his impending death. But IRIS (CANDICE PATTON) isn't one to let him give up so easily. The future has been changed before, and she's not going to quit believing it can't change again just because of some ominous message from The Monitor: "For billions to live, The Flash must die."


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 102, "The Rabbit Hole"

Batwoman 102 Rabbit Hole

When the pilot episode completed, Kate Kane (RUBY ROSE) had a strong suspicion that the terrorist Alice (RACHEL SKARSTEN) was actually her long-thought-dead twin sister, Beth, based on the evidence of a dagger Alice left behind that has a gemstone in the handle that matches the one in Kate's necklace -- the twin of the one her sister owned.

Convincing her father, Jacob Kane (DOUGRAY SCOTT) of that proves to be another matter entirely. He is convinced -- or seems to be convinced -- that Beth died, citing the evidence of skull fragments being found that matched Beth's DNA.  But if Kate can get some DNA off that knife, she may just prove herself to be correct.

Alice wants her lost knife. Someone is wanting to get the knife away from Kate.

The two events are not necessarily related, which puts Kate into the suspicion that there's a third side to this game, hidden from view and playing by their own rules.


Subscribe to RSS - Superheroes