Our July Bombshell is a Real Cosplay Booster: BoosterGoldNY

Bombshell July 2020 BoosterGoldNY

Every month the staff at Critical Blast combs the cosplay community for up-and-coming cosplayers who deserve to have a broader audience for their work, taking into account not only costuming skills and spirit, but also how they use that ability in service to others. Through this, we've not only met some talented cosplayers, but also some fine human beings.

As the summer months heat up, we found ourselves a cosplayer who brings back the cool of characters that don't get a lot of attention in the cosplay community. (If you've gone to a convention and lost count of the Harley Quinns, you know what we're talking about.)

So light those fuses and get ready for fireworks, as we move into yet another hot month of cosplay. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our...



Magic and Monsters Collide when Shazam Makes LEGO Debut

Shazam - Magic and Monsters

We saw this hinted at in the last LEGO BATMAN animated movie, FAMILY MATTERS. It was more than just an Easter Egg when Batman received assistance from a young boy named Billy Batson, as was revealed in the movie's after-credits scene that showed Billy boarding a mysterious subway car that whisked him away.


Green Lantern 80th Anniversary Shines, But Dimly

Green Lantern 80th Anniversary

The GREEN LANTERN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTULAR is yet another prestige-bound release this month celebrating eight decades of a DC Comics brand. But whereas the anniversary issues for Catwoman and Joker focused on a single character, with stories viewed through the lens of some of the particular eras, this release is different. Because there is no single Green Lantern, but there are in fact a few thousand plus.

That's where this issue disappoints, because almost every story takes a different Green Lantern as a focus, turning this collection into something less "spectacular" and more into something that could have been just about any issue of TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS. That disappointment is compounded when you see the stories doing things like trying to retrofit the Golden Age Green Lantern's sexuality, or deliver yet another tired retread of the "people in red baseball caps are racist terrorists" trope.


Generation Justice: Stargirl Episode 106, "The Justice Society"

Stargirl Episode 106, The Justice Society

The team comes together in the latest episode of STARGIRL, aptly titled "The Justice Society." After having successfully recruited Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), Beth (Anjelika Washington), and Rick (Cameron Gellman) as the new Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite, and Hourman, Courtney (Brec Bassinger) is busted by her stepdad, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), for having absconded with all the JSA paraphernalia. The weaponry is simply too dangerous, and he charges Courtney to go get everything back from her friends.

Her friends, unsurprisingly, disagree. Yolanda finds hope for renewal in the saga of the first Wildcat, Ted Grant. Rick has a connection to his father and a way to hunt down his killer. And Beth has a rather cringey and uncomfortable connection to the A.I. that runs through her powered goggles.


When Sequential Art Stories Eschew Both Sequence and Story: Legion of Super-Heroes #6

Legion of Super-Heroes 6 2020

The Legion of Super-Heroes. A group of teens with powers, one thousand years in the future, inspired by the legend of Superman and brought together to show teamwork and unity among the citizens of different planets. Over the years, I've been there for the classics. The death and resurrection of Lightning Lad. The sacrifice of Ferro Lad. Reflecto. The Great Darkness. The Cockrum era. The Grell issues.

You might say I'm a bit of a fan.


Shallow Hell: Death-Defying Devil #5 Wraps Longest Lunch Ever

Death-Defying Devil 5

The Devil has gone to Hell...and taken his readers with him.

The fifth and final issue of Dynamite's DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL pits the masked hero against the ultimate evil -- The Devil. But the father of lies has slipped a little over the eons, having fallen over the edge of the abyss into a bottomless pit of banality as he gets into a street brawl with Bart Hill, the Death-Defying Devil. Or, in this case, the Devil-Defying Devil, which someone must have thought was a cute idea.

Let's recap the last year of issues succinctly: Bart Hill awakes in a strange house populated by a handful of random people who talk his ear off and serve food. The street gang outside that harasses them constantly are actually demons, sons of Lucifer, and he wants a soul.

Where is this house? Who are these people? Why are they there? How did Bart get there? For that matter, does good triumph over evil, and see the righteous rescued from the clutches of the demonic hordes?


Has Everyone Figured Out the Bad Guy is The Joker...Again?

Batman 92

Batman is having a very long night. With Catwoman finally having filled him in on how The Designer met with the four major villains in Gotham and helped them work out their most nefarious plans, Batman went on to fight Deathstroke while Catwoman and Harley Quinn battled their way through a squad of zombied police officers (and we still don't know how these zombies operate or how The Designer sees/speaks through them; it's just comic book magic).

Having gained nothing from his fight with Deathstroke, Batman now finds himself challenged -- and I used the term loosely -- by The Riddler, who walls off the city (a feat that would challenge even the Wayne fortunes) into a crossword puzzle grid. Batman has to solve the clues for each block, and wrong answers will trigger bombs. And to make sure Batman doesn't cheat, he blocks off all electronic transmissions to Batman's cowl.


Generation Justice: Stargirl, Episode 104: "Wildcat"

Stargirl Episode 104, Wildcat

The ranks of the new Justice Society of America expand by one this week with the induction of Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal) into the role of Wildcat. Yolanda's backstory is a heartbreaking cautionary tale that rings true to the viewer, making her instantly both sympathetic and heroic as we see how a young girl who only three months prior was outgoing, vivacious, and a leader in the student body go to being an outcast and introvert.


Red Rooster a Comic Worth Crowing About

Red Rooster #1

The comic book chase of 2020 isn't the search for BATMAN #92 or HELL ARISEN #3. Rather, it's the Quest for Allegiance, the upstart comic book company that bypassed the direct market and instead brokered a landmark distribution deal with the corporate juggernaut, Wal-mart. Mitch Breitweiser and his team have released four comic book series -- NORAH'S SAGA, BASS REEVES, THE FUTURISTS, and RED ROOSTER -- to the ubiquitous retail chain, complete with its own endcap display to highlight the item.

But it wasn't the smoothest launch. Not every Wal-mart put the books out, and since the books weren't typically displayed with the rest of the books and magazines, they were difficult to find in the store if that store had them in the first place. They were frequently in the toy department, and we have one report of them having been found in the electronics section.


That's a Stretch: Hartley Sawyer Fired from The Flash for Tweets of Misogyny, Racism, Homophobia

Elongated Man Hartley Sawyer Fired from Flash

The Hollywood Reporter has just announced that Hartley Sawyer, who playes Elongated Man on The Flash on the CW Network, has been fired over tweets that have been deemed misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The tweets, dating from 2011 through 2014, were all posted before he began his stint on the DC Comics supehero show about the Fastest Man Alive, and read:


Catwoman 80th Anniversary: Not Purr-fect, but Better Than Expected

Catwoman 80th Annivesary 100 Page Super Spectacular Adam Hughes cover

2020 sees a number of 80th anniversaries for major -- if not titular -- characters within the DC Universe, and if these 100-Page Super Spectacular releases are even moderately successfuly, we should start seeing the release of 85th anniversary issues in 2024-25.

What's interesting about getting to do this with Catwoman is that she has, of almost all the longstanding DC characters, gone through the most changes in her published life. She's gone back and forth over the line of hero and villain on more than one occasion. In the 80s she had become an ally to Batman until the Joker drove her insane and made her a villain again. Then she was given a reboot with Frank Miller's BATMAN: YEAR ONE, and a tragic backstory with Mindy Newell's miniseries that eventually launched Selina Kyle into her own iconic, long-running series with Jo Duffy and Jim Balent.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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