Superheroes

Tue
01
Oct

Why DC's Doom Patrol Deserves a Shiny Winged Statue

Doom Patrol Season One BD

After having endured the dark debacle that was passed off as TITANS on the DC Universe streaming service, I was once bitten, twice shy about DC Universe's other original series, DOOM PATROL, a spin-off of the TITANS series (having made a guest appearance that season).

Trepidatiously, I began watching the opening season, hitting the play button like clicking the pull/spin switch on video slot games, hoping this one was going to roll up better results than TITANS did.

Jackpot!

Sun
29
Sep

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Hardly Rise from Ashes for Marvel/Fox Franchise

X-Men Dark Phoenix BD

Back in the day when the UNCANNY X-MEN were jumping from one classic arc to the next classic arc, the House of Ideas threw a huge curveball at us when it was revealed Jean Grey had been possessed by a cosmic entity so powerful that it could -- and did -- destroy planets. And even though she was supposedly cured of this, there was still a need to balance the scales of justice. She couldn't just walk away from a genocide unscathed. The death of Jean Grey for the actions of the Phoenix Force was more than just a classic story -- it was a pivotal milestone in the history of the X-Men.

Getting an accurate retelling in a movie was a hopeless case from the beginning. To do it even the slightest justice would have required a season of a live-action X-Men series.

So what we get with X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX is pretty much a standalone film that uses some of those ideas and character names, to tell a completely different story.

Tue
24
Sep

CW's Superhero Sitcom Gets Magical, Musical in Fourth Season

Legends of Tomorrow Season 4

Starting out as a B-team of heroes in the CW's Arrowverse, DC's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW has evolved from being a time-traveling adventure story that didn't take itself too seriously to being a full-out sitcom of superheroes who reference the main continuity but who remain unaffected by it -- and, apparently, don't affect it all that much themselves, despite what should be some world-changing impacts -- particularly given the very public appearance of some very supernatural happenings.

Mon
16
Sep

Supergirl Almost Saved by Lex Luthor in Season Four

Supergirl Seasn 4 Blu-ray

SUPERGIRL is one of the Arrowverse shows that stands apart from the rest of the CW shows. First of all, it's not strictly a part of the Arrowverse as it is part of the Arrow-MULTI-verse. Kara (MELISSA BENOIST) lives on a completely different Earth than The Flash and Green Arrow, but crosses over whenever there's a crisis at hand, such as with this fourth season's ELSEWORLDS event, and the upcoming CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

Tue
10
Sep

Better Read When Dead: DCeased Heroes Continue to Entertain

DCeased: A Good Day to Die 1

DCEASED is a comic series I can get invested in. Why? Because despite utilizing the characters of the DC Universe, it's self-contained. It doesn't promise to have any impact on the DCU as a whole -- unlike, say, books that have that promise stolen from them like DOOMSDAY CLOCK.

In this pocket universe, Darkseid has unlocked the much-sought-after Anti-Life Equation. But it has been corrupted, and turns whoever sees it into a mindless undead creature who can infect others into becoming the same. And with Darkseid's death, the equation gets broadcast through Cyborg to every television, computer, and phone in the world. An epidemic ensues, and even the world's greatest superheroes are not immune from its effects.

Thu
05
Sep

Deconstructing the Doomsday Clock #11: A Lifelong Mistake

Doomsday Clock 11

It's the penultimate issue of what was anticipated to have been a huge event in the DC Universe -- the culmination, in fact, of what began in REBIRTH.

It still is the culmination of what began in REBIRTH. Except REBIRTH doesn't mean anything any longer. The years of teasing the presence of Saturn Girl in the present day, the absence of the Justice Society, the return of Wally West, THE BUTTON... all of that is for naught, because the Legion of Super-Heroes is being introduced in a different fashion, the Justice Society has already returned in JUSTICE LEAGUE, and Wally West has been ruined by Tom King in HEROES IN CRISIS.

Mon
02
Sep

Arrow's Plot-Packed Seventh Season Lands on Blu-ray

Arrow Season 7

The seventh season of ARROW brings with it echoes of the Green Arrow movie idea that was tossed around in the late 1990s. SUPERMAX was teased as a film about a superhero who gets incarcerated in a maximum security prison with the people he helped put there. It was later revealed that superhero was going to be Green Arrow, but the movie never made it out of development.

Now in ARROW we get a taste of what that movie might have been, as Oliver Queen (STEPHEN AMELL) is arrested for his activities as the Green Arrow under a plea deal that allowed the rest of Team Arrow -- including his wife, Felicity (EMILY BETT RICKARDS) -- to walk free. But while Oliver's new identity is Inmate 4587, a new Green Arrow has taken to the streets, one whose identity remains a mystery to all.

Tue
27
Aug

Kid Crowdfunding Comics: Pillowman and Blanketboy

Pillowman and Blanketboy

When I was in first grade, I wrote my first play. At a school assembly, I saw that play come to life, thanks to the support of my teacher.

In eighth grade, we had to turn in a paper every week on any topic. I turned in episodic chapters of a monster adventure, and my teacher set aside time for it to be read, by the author, to other classes.

Mrs. Joanne Paul and Mr. Stanley White cultivated those early efforts, allowing me to realize the dream of becoming a professionally published artist.

Parker Davis is an eleven-year-old boy with a dream. Since the age of three, he has been expanding the universe of his own superhero creations: Pillowman and Blanketboy. And thanks to the advent of crowdfunding, he's close to seeing those heroes star in a published comic book.

Tue
06
Aug

Gail Simone Brings the Death-Defying Devil Back to Street Level

Death-Defying Devil #1

The last time I saw the Death-Defying Devil in Dynamite Comics, he was a spirit on the level of The Spectre, able to stride down the street while looking over skyscrapers. Quite a leap from his time as Daredevil (yes, that's his real name, much like Shazam's real name is Captain Marvel, and like Captain Marvel he also had the name first), when he fought in the streets and had a band of feistly little kids as his entourage.

Well he doesn't have the entourage, but he's definitely back down to street level in this newest series, DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL, by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani.

Mon
05
Aug

Gotham's Worst All Involved in Batman: Hush, on Blu-ray and DVD

Batman Hush

The iconic Batman tour-de-force that served as a vehicle for Jim Lee's introduction to the DC Comics stable, HUSH, is the latest storyline to be adapted into the DCAU straight-to-DVD library, and scene omissions and straight-up plot changes, it's a largely enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes.

Sun
04
Aug

Holy Retro TV! Could Caped Crusaders have Comeback in CW's Crisis Crossover

Crisis Batman Robin

The news from CW about the next season's huge crossover (just around the corner, really, with episodes in December 2019 and January 2020) continue to tease fans with new potentials at every turn. With the recent revelation that KEVIN CONROY will be appearing in the event as an older Bruce Wayne, it's easy to think he may be playing the Bruce Wayne seen in BATMAN BEYOND.

But there's also the possibility he's playing an entirely different Batman -- perhaps a kinder, gentler, exceedingly poite and moral Batman.

Earlier it was revealed that BURT WARD would also have a role to play in the upcoming CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Ward, of course, played Robin in the 1960s Batman television show, opposite of Adam West. With the addition of Conroy to the multiversal cast, it raises the potential likelihood that what we may get to see are a retired Dynamic Duo -- a Batman and Robin who, on another Earth, had their heyday in the swinging 60s and 70s.

Tue
30
Jul

Ikari Press's Brand Has Trouble Picking a Plot

Brand 1

BRAND is one of many new independent comics coming from the crowdfunding trend that has grown up over the past two years. The brainchild of writer Antonio Brice and artist Caanan White, the comic book is mostly impeccably drawn and colored, and each individual scene is compelling in its narrative.

It's when looking at the book as a whole where things suffer.

Sun
21
Jul

The Magic Word for the DCEU is Shazam

Shazam on Blu-ray

The character you are about to see in this movie has a lengthy and rich history, nearly as long as Superman's, and peppered with controversy from the beginning.

And, despite a relatively recent change to the comic book mythos that carried over to this movie, his name is not Shazam. His name is Captain Marvel, and he predates a certain Air Force pilot turned alien warrior turned superhero by leaps and bounds. "Shazam" is what he shouts to change from youthful Billy Batson into his adult hero persona, as he does in this movie. Why would he call himself "Shazam" if every time he introduced himself he ended up changing identies?

Tue
16
Jul

Not Your Father's F-ing Titans

Titans Season One

I've been reading comic books for nearly fifty years. It's not just a fandom for me, it's a lifestyle. In all that time, there are characters I've grown to love, teams I've rallied for, and storylines that have served as touchpoints in my life.

The Teen Titans were always more than that. The Teen Titans were special. They were the sidekicks, given a chance to stand on their own. It was a one-off idea, putting Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad together for an adventure in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, arguably a filler series, but it struck a chord. The next time these three got together, they were joined by Wonder Girl as the Teen Titans, quickly getting their own series. Those Bob Haney and Nick Cardy books were elevated in some way from the other titles--more culturally relevant, and definitely more relateable to the younger audiences.

Tue
16
Jul

Strange Communion: Priest's Vampirella a Therapy Patient

Vampirella 1

Vampirella has gone through a number of origins through the years. She's been an alien from Drakulon, an escapee from a realm of Hell, a daughter of Lilith. Through it all, she has been a force for good, standing against the agents of Chaos. And she has become an icon.

The creation of Forrest J. Ackerman, Trina Robbins and Tom Sutton, Vampi first came Drakulon to survive the blood drought on her planet. Attempting to blend in to human society, she caught a flight to take her to a television contest. The plane crashed, and she survived by drinking the blood of all the victims.

Sun
07
Jul

Gotham's Final Season Short, Sweet Introduction to Batman

Gotham Season 5

The original premise of GOTHAM was underrated. It was going to focus on James Gordon (BEN MCKENZIE) who would begin the series as a sergeant and work his way up to commissioner. Bruce Wayne (DAVID MAZOUZ) would appear, but he would still be the young boy who had just lost his parents to a murder, a case Gordon worked. And while Bruce sets out on the path that will take him to becoming Batman, the villains are already taking the stage. Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin (ROBIN LORD TAYLOR) went from being an assistant stooge to a crime lord. Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler (CORY MICHAEL SMITH) started as a mentally troubled forensic scientist for the police to letting his evil alter ego take over his life. Ivy Pepper went through the more startling metamorphoses, as she began as a child and grew to adulthood thanks to some weird chemical process. Even Leslie Thompkins (MORENA BACCARIN) went from being Gordon's love interest to being a psychotic villain and back to good guy again.

Fri
28
Jun

Sina Grace Spills the Tea About Marvel's Handling of Gay Superheroes

Iceman and writer Sina Grace

Sina Grace has been a focal point controversy within the comics community. Not for unprofessional behavior or for unethical crowdfunding efforts, as is de rigeur for the troublemakers these days. No, the attention on Grace has been solely because he is a gay man, writing a gay character, who just happens to be one of Marvel Comics' oldest mutants: Bobby Drake, Iceman.

Fri
28
Jun

Absolute's White Widow Absolute Fun, with Concerns

Born out of a Kickstarter crowdfunding effort, WHITE WIDOW is the creation of Jamie Tyndall and Benny R. Powell, and puts a sexy superheroine front-and-center of the action. Gabrielle Garcia has just learned she was born with a fatal disease, and that her parents arrested the disease using experimental technology from the government think tank where they worked. But when the cure began to fade, another unique treatment was applied. Only this time, her parents got caught and her father was murdered before her eyes -- but not until after injecting her with some special nanites to bond with the white widow spider DNA that had already been spliced into her physiognomy.

The result: Part Philip Wylie's Gladiator, part Marvel's Carnage, part Spider-Man. In fact, lots of Spider-Man, right down to the sticking to walls, spinning of webs, and spider symbol on the front and back of her nanotech / spider-silk armor.

Fri
28
Jun

When Spectre Needs a Detective, There Will Be Blood

Batman Detective 1006

Detective Jim Corrigan is the human host for the Spirit of Vengeance known as The Spectre. But that's a secret that someone has figured out, and they've enacted a horrific, bloody plan to separate the ghost from the host, and hiding him where the supernatural spirit cannot find him.

You would think that when one "good guy" needs the help of another "good guy," it's a simple matter. That's not the case when The Spectre is involved. Because Spectre operates on a different plain, and reports to a higher authority. So when Batman visits the scene of the crime, he finds an abbatoir of death -- a dead police and the several bodies Spectre left behind that allowed the villains to steal away Corrigan. This is not the kind of "justice" Batman can get behind.

Fri
28
Jun

Holland, Zendaya and Gyllenhaal Excite In SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Spider-Man Far From Home starts July 2, 2019

I really enjoyed Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man series, at least the first two films. The inclusion of Macho Man Randy Savage as Bonesaw more than made up for the very slight shortcomings of the Green Goblin. Willem Dafoe was great, but that suit--there just was no good reason to not use the classic look. The second movie, with Alfred Molina's excellent turn as Doctor Octopus, was a rare sequel that surpassed the original. Beyond those two films, well, let's focus on the positive. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched and over the course of 22 films it became a paradigm shift in cinematic storytelling.

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