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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Aquaman's Gonna Kick Your Ass If You Make Any More Lame Fish Jokes...


The Week In Superhero TV...


The Flash - Crazy For You: Another episode chock full of Easter Eggs for comic book fans from Barry's meeting with Linda Park (Malese Jow), through the foreshadowing of Cisco's future identity as Vibe, to our first glimpse of Gorilla Grodd.

When a low-level crook Clay Parker (Micah Parker) disappears from Iron Heights prison, Team Flash discover they're dealing with a metahuman teleporter, Clay's girlfriend Shawna Baez (Britne Oldford) aka Peek-A-Boo.

While Shawna wants to leave town, Clay needs to stay as he owes a gangster a load of money and so the couple pull off an audacious bank heist, using Shawna's Nightcrawler-like short-range 'porting ability.

Bonding over their lack of decent social lives, Barry and Caitlin decide to check out bars that Clay and Shawna were known to frequent. They end up in the least dive-like dive bar I've ever seen, where Caitlin gets drunk and drags Barry into a karaoke duet (a chance to show off his secret Warbler skills, Glee fans!) which brings him to the attention of Linda Park.

Ultimately, Team Flash works out Peek-A-Boo's weakness, which Barry can then exploit in their final showdown. However, given that he is the fastest man alive (and getting faster every episode as he pushes himself in preparation for his next meeting with The Reverse-Flash), it's rather odd that Clay still manages to elude him by getting out of car and running away!

Barry also continues to be totally cack at concealing his secret identity, but this time it's with his dad (TV's original original Flash, John Wesley Shipp) and does lead to a very powerful scene of Allen Snr telling Barry what he would say to The Flash if he was The Flash's proud father!

Next Time:



Arrow - Uprising: Since its return from the mid-season break, Arrow has gone from strength-to-strength, thanks in large part to the main story that has run through these three episodes - the villainous Brick (Vinnie Jones) taking over The Glades in Starling City and Team Arrow having to cope with the ensuing anarchy sans Oliver.

Oliver, meanwhile, spent a large portion of the episode making his way back from Nanda Parbat, arriving just in time for the dramatic finale.

It was great to see Ted Grant suited up as Wildcat in the large-scale dust-up at the episode's climax, although his ultimate fate was rather vague. I hope he hasn't been written out, as I'd love to see Wildcat standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of Team Arrow during a future confrontation.

Even the flashbacks - ever a sticking point with me - were right on target in Uprising, focussing on the backstory of Malcolm Merlyn (the ever-excellent John Barrowman), a key player in this episode once he discovers a connection between Brick and a tragic moment from his past.

Merlyn's involvement with Team Arrow proves to be a major issue with Felicity and it's going to be fascinating to see where the team dynamics go in the next few weeks.

Next Time:



Daredevil: As the Netflix début of Daredevil draws ever nearer, the publicity machine is ramping up the teases...



Supergirl: Hot on the heels of the announcement of Calista Flockhart being cast as Cat Grant, DC Comics has revealed that Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy) will play Alexandra 'Alex' Danvers, Kara’s foster sister, and Doctor Who and Robin Hood star David Harewood will be Hank Henshaw.

An interesting bit of background on the character explains that "onetime CIA agent, Hank now runs the Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO), which tracks extraterrestrial threats on the planet Earth. Fans of the comics will also know that Hank Henshaw is known in DC Comics lore for being Cyborg Superman".

Meanwhile, the DC Comics blog is also reporting that former Superman Dean Cain and former Supergirl Helen Slater have been cast in the pilot episode as "mystery" guest stars. Money says they're playing Kara's Kryptonian parents.

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season two resumes in the States on Tuesday, but no word (surprise, surprise) as to when it returns to Channel 4 in the UK.

Check out the trailer below to see what we're going to be behind on. By the way, it plays the "inhuman" card front and centre!

This is then followed by a clip from Tuesday's episode.


Agent Carter: Although it's now wrapped up its first season in the States, still no clue as to when this highly-lauded show will land in the UK. However, here's a mini-feature about the show's vintage costume design... just to rub our noses in it.

Cable Car Chaos (Mickey Mouse Short)

February's Pictoral Phantasamagoria...

Friday, 27 February 2015

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015)

"We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honoured dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human."
- James T Kirk, Spock's eulogy from The Wrath Of Khan.

Monster Island News has a comprehensive obituary for the beloved Star Trek and Fringe star, actor, director, musician, who has been such a major part of many of our geek lives for the longest time.

You just have to look at Facebook this evening to see how much he meant to us all and how much he will be missed.

Leonard Nimoy leaves an incredible body of work that will allow his memory to "live long and prosper".

Chin Scratcher Follow-Up: Furries Furever...


My recent Sunday Chin Scratcher about people's attitudes to anthropomorphic animals in roleplaying games (where they weren't the default setting) elicited generally positive feedback.

Brian Rogers, on the Villains & Vigilantes Facebook page, summed up the mood when he wrote:
"A lot depends on the feel of the game but as I get older I gain more appreciation of those sorts of things - as long as they're played straight. If the player is using it to steal spotlight time with dumb animal jokes and not taking the game seriously it's a problem. If the player is just playing an anthropomorphic animal as a hero and that opens the door for humor it adds a lot"
Strange Stars and Weird Adventures author Trey Causey echoed this when he said: "I think a lot of it depends on the tone of your game and to a lesser degree how you handle the anthropomorphics. Traveller has some 'animal people' and so does Jorune, and they aren't really handled in a silly way. Some of it may have to do with the species of animals you choose."

Traveller's handling of its animal-inspired alien races was cited by a a number of people as a good example of how anthropomorphic characters should be treated, however superhero gamers took a more laissez-faire attitude.

On the ICONS Google+ discussion page Tommy Brownell said: "It's supers. I'm okay with it if that's what someone wants to play" and Bill Olander added: "I'd assume it wouldn't be any weirder than Beast or Thing in the Marvel Universe and depending on origin might have a deeper impact on the world."

The Dark Knight Arrives...


My third figure for Knight Models' Batman: The Miniatures Game arrived this morning: The Dark Knight himself, Batman, sculpted after his appearance in the video game Arkham City.

He's pictured above with the Batmobile from the Michael Keaton Batman movie (probably still my favourite of the many live action attempts to bring Bats to the silver screen) - another eBay bargain purchase from the Eaglemoss Batman Automobilia collection.

Batman joins TV's Arrow and The Joker in my unpainted collection, which will soon be winging its way to Neil (my figure painter of choice) for executive treatment. These will eventually stand alongside the painted League Of Shadows I initially acquired (again from eBay).

Further good news, from Tales Of A Tabletop Skirmisher, is that the Batman: Miniatures Game rulesbook should be shipping to those of us who have pre-ordered it in a week or so.

The Chinese might be calling 2015 The Year Of The Goat, but it's shaping up to be the Year Of The Bat at HeroPress Towers!

What Does The Future Hold For Batman... And The Joker?

Fleamarket Friday: For Your ICONS Collection...


The latest addition to Fainting Goat Games' line of cosmic supercharacters for use in the rules-lite superhero game ICONS is Mizar Omega aka The Broker.
"Mizar Omega is known for his ability to procure valuables, priceless wonders and knowledge from all corners of the universe. Devoted soley to the pursuit of knowledge - Omega has amassed one of the greatest collections of arcane knowledge, political intel, curiosities and wonders in the galaxy.
He pays well to anyone who can bring him items of interest and can be a formidable foe if someone tries to keep him from an item he wants. Mizar Omega is ready for use in your ICONS games as an ally, adversary or neutral NPC."
The six-page PDF is available from the usual outlets for $1 (65p)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Supernatural: Rock And A Hard Place


Good old Sheriff Mills (Kim Rhodes) calls up the Winchesters for their help on a missing persons' case that involves evidence of apparent superhuman strength and flashes of bright, blue light.

The brothers discover that not only were the missing souls all members of a local church, but also of its "chastity group".

After meeting church spokesperson Bonnie Fuschau (The Librarians' Lindy Booth), Sam and Dean decide to infiltrate the group.

Dean finds himself drawn to chastity counsellor Suzy Lee (Susie Abromeit), who he recognises but can't place from where. It turns out she has her own secrets that lead to Dean falling into the clutches of the story's antagonist.

Rock And A Hard Place is a fine, stand-alone story (except for some elements towards the end of the episode which reference of the overarching story of the season) that like last week's superb Bad Boys is very much a return to the traditional "monster-of-the-week" format that Supernatural is founded upon.

The episode has a nice balance between humour and horror, even though the central foe is perhaps slightly underdeveloped and could have done with more screen time to elaborate on its interesting motivations.

On the other hand, it's great to see Sheriff Mills again, a well-developed, but always growing, returning character who serves to add to the verisimilitude of the Supernatural universe by reminding us that people who survive contact with the Winchesters are invariably changed by the experience.

Next Time:

Wednesday On Wednesday...


Show your support for Melissa Hunter by contributing to her Patreon campaign, so she can bring us more Adult Wednesday Addams.

Retro Comic Book Cover Gallery...

Wonder Woman Wednesday...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Welcome to Riverdale: Episode Sixteen...


Amy's Talkin' Comic Book Death...

From Ally To Cat...


Calista Flockhart (best known as the lead in quirky dramedy Ally McBeal) is to play Cat Grant in the upcoming Supergirl TV show.

According to the DC Comics blog "Cat Grant... is described as a self-made media magnate and the founder of CatCo. On the show, Cat Grant started her career as a reporter and has built her company into a global powerhouse. Kara (series star Melissa Benoist) works at CatCo as her assistant."

Telling the story of Kara Zor-el, who escaped the destruction of her home planet before arriving on Earth, Supergirl will follow the adventures of the 24-year-old Kryptonian as she begins to embrace the powers our yellow sun provides her and gradually becomes the hero she’s destined to be.
The show is being developed by Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.

A Cop Show With Braaaiiinnnnnsss...

Monday, 23 February 2015

DVD Of The Week: Justice League - Throne Of Atlantis (2015)


Following on from the mediocre Justice League: War, the Justice League still hasn't gelled as a functioning entity (because everything is so hard in the New 52) but the disprate elements get pulled together when the "surface world" is threatened by the previously unknown forces of Atlantis rising from the oceans.

The key to the League's success is a lighthouse keeper called Arthur Curry (voiced by Matt Lanter) who happens to be the half-human/half-Atlantean half-brother of Orm (Sam Witwer), the usurper who has slain their mother, the queen of Atlantis.

Having been manipulated by Black Manta (voiced by The Blacklist's Harry Lennix), Orm is now leading the invading armies - with paper-thin plan, no more complex than "kill!kill!kill!".

The League, barring Batman, come off as sulky teenagers for the most part and their own strategy isn't much more involved than Orm's - in the grand finale they each take it in turns to attack him (and get squashed in the process), rather than co-ordinating their attacks.

Because no reference is made to Superman's vulnerability to magic, he doesn't come off as particularly super in this story.

Ultimately, every member of the League plays second-fiddle to the Batman (voiced by Jason O'Mara) and, even with the intervention of the newly empowered Arthur Curry, it's pretty much Bats' smarts that save the day.

There's a lot of little details than an old fogey like me can't get his head round in this New 52 iteration of the League (for one thing, I can't grok Superman and Wonder Woman dating, he should be with Lois; and Captain Marvel is Captain Marvel, not Shazam) but now DC and Warner Brothers are starting to build a series of this movies I hope they let it continue - even though DC Comics has abandoned the whole New 52 schtick now - so we can see the characters grow through the films. We certainly don't need yet another origin movie!

Hopefully, if this series continues, the various members of the League will become more rounded (and more likeable).

The Throne Of Atlantis was a solid enough "next" film, but all being well the third Justice League outing will fell more like a self-contained Justice League adventure and not just another chapter in the slow and tortuous retelling of the League's origin. 

The Joker's Sinister Seven...



DC Comics' top seven sinister Joker moments. I'm sure some of you will have your own favourites...

Hell Comes To Riverdale!


The long-running flagship title of Archie Comics - Archie - ends its run in May with the 'ominous' issue 666, making way for the relaunched (and redesigned) title to commence later in the year with a new issue one.

Archie Comics isn't giving away too much on how the title will bow out, but it has released pencil sketches (below) of the five, interlocking, variant covers that will be offered alongside the main cover (above):

Eternals (2021) + Spider-Man (2021) + The Matrix (2021) +The Batman (2022)


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