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).


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.


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.


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.


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?


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 603, "Dead Man Running"

Dead Man Running

With the Crisis bearing down on them in less than ten weeks, Team Flash has moved from grief to acceptance -- particularly Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) who has yet to tell the team what he knows of the future -- that he has to die in the Crisis.

And the Crisis has taken on its own identity as well, losing the "the" in front of it, and simply being called "Crisis" -- which sounds a bit odd and all proper-nouny when heard spoken about prior to its occurrence by those who are going to experience it.

To prepare the team to work without him, Flash decides he has to train them better, starting with Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER). But her anger gets in the way as the pair hunt down an angry zombie named Romero (thought we wouldn't notice that naming convenience, didn't you, @FlashTVWriters?), and Flash realizes he's going to have to find a way to cool down the ice queen's hot temper before she can be an effective hero.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 103, "Down Down Down"

Batwoman 103 Down Down Down CW

The more Kate (RUBY ROSE) operates in the Bat-suit, the more Gotham City wants to see Batman fully reappear -- and that includes those who would like to see the Dark Knight dead.

Among those in that latter category are Tommy Elliott (GABRIEL MANN), who has the added advantage of knowing that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne. Kate catches him in the Wayne executive board room, looking for Bruce, fully believing that Bruce has returned because Batman has returned. Later, when Luke Fox (CAMRUS JOHNSON) informs Kate that there's been a break-in of the Bat-arsenal, we learn that Bruce developed a weapon capable of penetrating the bulletproof Bat-suit -- a contingency plan in case someone ever got their hands on it. And, Bruce being Bruce, he had contingency plans for the contingency plan.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 602, "A Flash of the Lightning"

A Flash of the Lightning

With all the news coming out about who was going to be appearing in this December's CW crossover event, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, I've been persistently saying that to cram it all into four episodes would require them to start building hard during these leadup chapters. And so far, at least with THE FLASH and ARROW, it appears that is exactly what the CW showrunners are doing.

In "A Flash of the Lightning," Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) finds himself despondent over the knowledge of his impending death. But IRIS (CANDICE PATTON) isn't one to let him give up so easily. The future has been changed before, and she's not going to quit believing it can't change again just because of some ominous message from The Monitor: "For billions to live, The Flash must die."


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 102, "The Rabbit Hole"

Batwoman 102 Rabbit Hole

When the pilot episode completed, Kate Kane (RUBY ROSE) had a strong suspicion that the terrorist Alice (RACHEL SKARSTEN) was actually her long-thought-dead twin sister, Beth, based on the evidence of a dagger Alice left behind that has a gemstone in the handle that matches the one in Kate's necklace -- the twin of the one her sister owned.

Convincing her father, Jacob Kane (DOUGRAY SCOTT) of that proves to be another matter entirely. He is convinced -- or seems to be convinced -- that Beth died, citing the evidence of skull fragments being found that matched Beth's DNA.  But if Kate can get some DNA off that knife, she may just prove herself to be correct.

Alice wants her lost knife. Someone is wanting to get the knife away from Kate.

The two events are not necessarily related, which puts Kate into the suspicion that there's a third side to this game, hidden from view and playing by their own rules.


Wonder Woman: Bloodlines Resets Origin Told in Previous Animated WW Flick

Wonder Woman Bloodlines

WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES is a callback to the DC Universe crossover event of several years back. It has nothing to do with that event however, so don't get excited if you were a fan. Rather, this new release from the DCAU represents the origin of Wonder Woman (ROSARIO DAWSON), with Steve Trevor (JEFFREY DONOVAN) crashing near Themyscira after attempting to shoot down an incursion of Apokoliptian parademons. This serves to tie the story in better to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR, to cement Diana into the mythos.

Diana sacrifices her life on Themyscira, defying her mother, Hippolyta (CREE SUMMER), and losing her life on Themyscira for good in choosing to help Trevor and defend Man's World.


Death and Return of Superman Releases as Single Movie Experience

Death and Return of Superman Bluray

Previously released in two parts, THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN and REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN have now been edited together into a seamless, single movie experience.

Superman (JERRY O'CONNELL) is struggling. As Clark Kent, his relationship with Lois Lane (REBECCA ROMIJN) is difficult to commit to as he has been keeping a huge secret from her. He becomes particularly nervous about this when his parents come to town and meet Lois for the first time. The advice of his fellow Justice League members is that he should open up to her if he wants her to be a larger part of his life.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 601, "Into the Void"

While we've seen The Monitor, Mar Novu (LaMONICA GARRETT), make a cameo appearance in the season finale of SUPERGIRL, it's his message during this season opener for THE FLASH that really gets the ball rolling for the December 2019 crossover event, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

As Iris (CANDICE PATTON) and Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) continue to mourn the loss of their future-daughter Nora, The Flash has kept busy chasing down the mystery of mute speedsters in Godspeed suits. Iris realizes she still has something left of Nora in her dad's garage -- but he's cleaned out the garage, sending Iris to dig through the local junkyard. But when she finds the item, it's sucked out of her hands by the sudden appearance of a miniature black hole. Yes, a black hole. Where did that come from? That's the mystery of tonight's episode.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 101, "Pilot"

Batwoman 101 Pilot

It was the CW series with what was perhaps the most off-putting promo trailers ever created. BATWOMAN starred RUBY ROSE as Kate Kane, and our introduction to her had her uttering a sequence of lines that came off as smarmy and militantly feminist, claiming the Batsuit would be perfect "when it fit a woman," and remarking that she wasn't going to let the credit for her work go to a man (after, of course, borrowing everything right up to the reputation of the man who built it).

When the pilot finally aired in its totality, we do get the line about the Batsuit, but given that it wasn't so concentrated with similar lines, it was easier to swallow.


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.



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