Superheroes

Fri
05
Jun

Generation Justice: Stargirl, Episode 103, "Icicle"

Stargirl Episode 103 - Icicle

STARGIRL continues to scintillate for the DC television universe, aka the Arrowverse, and this third episode shows the series has no intention on dimming any time soon.

Having confronted Brainwave and leaving him in a coma, Courtney (Brec Bassinger) is eager to confront the rest of the Injustice Society of America. Now, I'm sure you may be thinking that the "Injustice Society of America" is a bit on-the-nose for a gang of criminals. But in this episode we are made privy to the notion that the group was formed to confront perceived injustice, not create it. In this instance, it's the Icicle, Jordan Mahkent (Neil Jackson) who wants to fight the injustices that gave his wife cancer and took her from him and his son.

Thu
04
Jun

Superman Stars in Standing Around Talking Comics #1022

Action 1022

Superboy is back! No, not that Superboy, the other Superboy. Well, technically, he's back too, but that comes later.

Welcome to another inaction-packed issue of Misnomer Comics, as the Man of Steel converses with the befuddled scientific community who can't make heads nor tales of who Conner Kent is. In fact, he's so unique, they can't even find another Conner Kent in the multiverse, and I'm pretty sure I could find at least three of them with a basic Spokeo search.

Mon
01
Jun

Who Doesn't Want to Be a Gay Superhero? Ruby Rose Exits Lead Role After 'Batwoman' First Season

Batwoman Logo

When DC Comics first announced there would be a modern Batwoman character in their universe, it was a news event -- not because DC had a new character, nor because that character was going to be part of the Batman lineup, but because the title character was going to be openly gay. The series came out with a strong, noir-inspired start under writer Greg Rucka, but never really became integrated into the rest of the DC Universe outside of the “52” crossover miniseries where she made her debut.

Thu
28
May

Harley Quinn: Potty-Mouth Bloodbath Version Fun for Adult Comics Fans

Harley Quinn Season One DVD

If you go into the DC Universe streaming series HARLEY QUINN expecting it to be an extension of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES or any of the other DCAU projects, then you've put up an unnecessary barrier to enjoying this show. Yes, the series has Batman and Robin and the Justice League, and yes it has more DCU villains than you could feasibly lock up in a single asylum. But this is the DCU as viewed through the lens of Mad Magazine, with the editors high on cocaine while wearing bondage gear. It's irreverent, it's foul-mouthed -- and it's funny AF.

Wed
27
May

Generation Justice: Stargirl, Episode 102, "S.T.R.I.P.E."

Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan in STARGIRL

The second episode of the DC Universe streaming service's scintillating series, STARGIRL, addresses the question many viewers considered during the pilot: why are the villains of The Injustice Society all settled down in the idyllic small town of Blue Valley, Nebraska? It doesn't answer the question, mind you, but it at least aknowledges that it's a strange thing, as Courtney (Brec Bassinger) tells her new stepfather, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) about her run-in with the villainous Brainwave.

Wed
20
May

Innocence, Charm Create Stellar Superhero Debut for Stargirl

Stargirl Pilot

DC Comics debuts a new superhero to its ever-widening stable of page-to-screen transitions, and it couldn't be a more welcome one. With the bulk of CW shows floundering with the handling of their title characters, the introduction of STARGIRL comes with a refreshing charm and innocence that makes the show not only a pleasure to watch for fans of the character, but also makes it attractive to new viewers.

Thu
09
Apr

Kamen America: Stars and Strife

Kamen America Digital Cover

Like Linda Low in Rodgers & Hammerstein's FLOWER DRUM SONG, young Carly Vanders enjoys being a girl in an era where girls are told they should like typical girl things anymore. That's the peek we get into her mindset during an introductory scene from her childhood, before launching straight into her adult life singing and dancing for the USO. Carly's a fashion designer who loves to make her own things, and she loves to make them feminine.

Thu
02
Apr

Team Stargirl Filled with JSA Legacy Characters

Stargirl 2020 on the CW

After the CW's heavily watched CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS crossover, the showrunners made a point of merging the separate universes (SUPERGIRL had existed in a parallel Earth to FLASH and ARROW, largely because she originated as a CBS show before migrating to the CW). In current canon, the characters still believe there is now only one merged universe. But the viewers realize this is not the case, as multiple Earths were shown once more at the close of the event.

One of these Earths was Earth-2, originally the home of Jesse Quick and now the setting for the new CW series, STARGIRL, starring Brec Bassinger as young Courtney Whitmore who finds herself carrying on the legacy of a Justice Society of America hero. Whether or not this opens the door to Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) or her father, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh)  is anyone's guess, but we can keep our fingers crossed.

Mon
23
Mar

Titans a Team of Lesser Criminals in DCU Second Season

Titans Season 2

The second season of TITANS picks up with -- and rapidly resolves -- the first season cliffhanger, which saw Raven's father, Trigon, take over all the Titans and begin his slow-walk of death to the world. With Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) being the only member unaffected he gets through to Raven (Teagan Croft) who in turn reaches out to Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites). One by one Trigon loses his grasp on their souls, as Raven takes out her father with a mighty release of her powers. 

Sun
15
Mar

What if Superman Landed in Soviet Russia? Superman: Red Son Releases on Blu-ray and Digital

Superman: Red Son

The Mark Millar Elseworld's tale gets an animated adaptation as DC Entertainment releases SUPERMAN: RED SON on Blu-ray this week.

The premise of the Elseworld's graphic novels was a genius concept, wherein all the elements of an event in the DC Universe would remain fairly the same save for one change that altered the course. With SUPERMAN: RED SON, that change was a half-day; twelve hours, in which the Earth's rotation made it so that Superman's rocket did not land in a Kansas wheat field, but in a wheat field within Stalin's Russia. This gave Millar the playground to test the ages-old argument of nature versus nurture, as Kal-El is raised to support the State and believe in the ideals of communism, while still having within him the innate desire to help people.

Fri
06
Mar

Best Film of 2019 Awarded to Iconic Villain: Joker

Joker Critical Blast Best of 2019 Film Award

In the category of Best Film of 2019, we had, perhaps, the most competition of any other category in terms of the number of nominations each vying for the vote of our readers. But there were only three films that cracked the barrier into double-digit percentages of the prize pie.

Coming in for the third place position was the Quentin Tarantino blockbuster with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD, and its fictionalized account of actors who fell into the orbit of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, just before the Manson family murders.

Sun
01
Mar

Hickman's House of X Delivers Best Comics Story of 2019 to Marvel

House of X Best Comic 2019

Comics fans run both hot and cold. One of our favorite activities is kvetching about how some of the big comic stories are going in odd, strange, uncomfortable, or flat-out wrong directions. But ask us what our favorites are? Well, then we'll switch gears and tell you all why those exact same stories are captivating our attention and why you should be reading them too!

And so it that we had quite a number of votes for our nominees for Best Comics Story of 2019, starting with some independent titles who made some impressive debuts, like WHITE WIDOW (Absolute Comics) and BIGFOOT BILL (Doug TenNapel).

Fri
28
Feb

Drawn to Success: Best Comics Artist of 2019 is Ivan Reis

Ivan Reis Superman Best Comics Artist 2019

In the five years of running the Critical Blast Best Awards, we've never sweated bullets as much as we have over this year's Best Comics Artist category. Every day we peeked in on the results, the top spot would belong to someone different, and the margins were nearly microscopic! And while there was a minor skirmish going on at the lower end of the poll between independent crowdfunding publishers Doug TenNapel and Ethan Van Sciver (who won this award for 2017), the real battle was taking place between Gary Frank (DOOMSDAY CLOCK), J. Scott Campbell (BLACK CAT) and Ivan Reis (SUPERMAN).

Thu
27
Feb

2019's Best Comics Writer: Scott Snyder

Scott Snyder Justice League Best Writer 2019

Looking back over 2019, there were a number of high-profile comic arcs that caught the attention of the fans. Some of those were the annual event or non-canonical runs, like Tom Taylor's DCEASED, which brought a zombie apocalypse to the DC Universe. Geoff Johns' sequel to WATCHMEN, DOOMSDAY CLOCK crossed universes to tell it's tale, while Jonathan Hickman received critical acclaim for his remastering of Marvel's mighty mutants in HOUSE OF X. 

But there were also notable runs this past year in your ongoing series that focused our eyes on the people crafting the latest twists and turns in the lives of our favorite characters. Brian Michael Bendis stunned us by having Superman reveal his identity publicly to the world, while Donny Cates and Kelly Thompson enjoyed the increased readership on their titles, VENOM and CAPTAIN MARVEL thanks to the appearance of their characters in theatrical films.

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.

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