Superheroes

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. 

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.

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