Superheroes

Fri
21
Feb

Tom Taylor's DCeased Franchise is Unkillable, Launches Sequel

DCeased Unkillables 1

Tom Taylor's DCU Zombieverse marches -- or perhaps, I should say -- shambles on with this new chapter set in the strange new world of the zombie apocalypse...with superheroes!

After Darkseid released a corrupted anti-life equation (which killed him and all of Apokolips), Cyborg became the seed for infecting the rest of the Earth when it broadcast from him to every digital device on the planet. If you looked at a screen, you saw the equation. If you saw the equation, you became a zombie...who could, of course, make other zombies by scratching, biting or otherwise enountering another human being. Or Themysciran. Or Kryptonian.

Tue
11
Feb

Bird Flu: Femme-Flick Box Office Latest Victim of Coronavirus

Birds of Prey Sick

It cost 84.5 million to make.

It grossed about $81 million in its opening weekend.

Which has executives at Warner Brothers scratching their heads and wondering: Why is BIRDS OF PREY AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN not making money?

It couldn't be the wordy title. It couldn't be that the movie posters had all the mass appeal of a 14-year-old girl's scrapbook project inspired by Botticelli. It couldn't be that the few ads that were shown revealed the well-known intellectual property characters to be even less like their historical counterparts than any prior DC Extended Universe or televised Arrowverse character. It couldn't be that the R rating shut out a large segment of a target audience that could be remotely interested in a superhero property (if, indeed, BIRDS OF PREY was intended to be one).

Sat
08
Feb

With Shades of Hush, is Batman's Latest Epic Planned Too Precisely?

Batman 88 2020

Bruce Wayne's plans for the revitalization of Gotham City get put on hold when five of the deadliest contract killers show up -- among them Cheshire and Deathstroke. (Sorry, Merlyn and the other two forgettables wouldn't have made y radar as the top five DC mercenaries.) Batman quickly captures them and has them put into the "Black Box" at Gotham PD -- a special holding cell designed by Batman and paid for by Bruce Wayne (really, the detectives at GCPD must have gotten their badges in a Cracker Jack box). Yes, Batman now has a "Pipeline" similar to that in THE FLASH, and it's super duper secure, even if Batman does have his own secret built-in entrance to it.

Wed
05
Feb

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 610, "Marathon"

Flash 610 Marathon

Welcome back to another episode of "Iris West-Allen and her Amazing Friends." Not that The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) doesn't make an appearance -- it's his show, titularly. Yes, if a waitress drops another tray at CC Jitters, you can bet The Flash will use his amazing speed to make sure it doesn't hit the floor. He's good for that.

"Marathon" is the first episode post-Crisis, and I end up walking away from it with several questions. I'll try to parcel them out through this recap rather than dump them all at once, tempting as it is.

Fri
24
Jan

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.

Tue
21
Jan

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.

Thu
09
Jan

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.

Tue
07
Jan

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.

Tue
03
Dec

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.

Tue
26
Nov

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).

Mon
25
Nov

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.

Sun
24
Nov

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.

Wed
20
Nov

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.

Mon
18
Nov

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?

Mon
11
Nov

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).

Wed
06
Nov

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.

Mon
04
Nov

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.

Sat
02
Nov

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.

Wed
30
Oct

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.

Mon
28
Oct

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.

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