Author Archives: Brett

Review: Green Arrow #44

Green Arrow #44 CoverThe secret mythology of Green Arrow’s new pet wolf is revealed—plus Oliver’s women troubles escalate as Tarantula bullies her way into his life, demanding his help in the battle against the skeletons.

Some folks might see a dog and an archer and immediately think writer Benjamin Percy and DC Comics are attempting to create their own Pizza Dog. For those who have read this comic, you know that’s far from reality.

Green Arrow #44 gives us the story of the dog who has become a friend of Oliver Queen, giving us the dog’s origin tale. It’s very interesting mixing in some mysticism, Native culture, it’s kind of cool aspect that will blend well into the character of Green Arrow, and move him away from the “urban” feel a little. I do wish Percy spent more time on the abuse leveled on the dog, if nothing else to maybe give some more depth as to his behavior and also to shine a light on such a horrific treatment of an animal. Making the story completely silent with that as a big focus, a psychological story about a dog, might have been stronger.

Percy also weaves in Oliver Queen’s personal relationships, which plays well into the dog’s backstory (which in a way is about relationships too). The little it’s brought it, it still is very affective and adds a solid humanizing layer to the story.

Artist Patrick Zircher continues his gritty style which feels like a great look for the nature of this story (no pun intended). The violent tale is told with some pretty ferocious panels and Zircher captures it well.

Overall, we’re seeing the next step for the Emerald Archer, and while the first story of this new arc didn’t have me pumped with excitement, it did have me very intrigued to see where it all goes from here.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Patrick Zircher
Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman Beyond #4

Batman Beyond #4 CoverEveryone knew he wasn’t good enough to be Batman, and now Tim’s mistake has put humanity at risk. But when all seems lost, an old friend takes him back where it all started. Will a gift from the past give Tim what he needs to save the future?

Batman Beyond has taken DC’s weekly series Futures End, and stretched it out, throwing us into that familiar, but different future. Much like Tim Drake, we’re figuring out what’s different, what’s new, and what happened!? This issue has a lot of that in what’s a pretty action-packed story that has the future Batman battling brother Eye, and then catapulting that battle into a new battlefield that I wouldn’t have expected for another few issues at least.

Writer Dan Jurgens has amped up the battle, making it really feel like a final last stand. This is a series whose future might be a bit tedious, and the story feels like anything can happen because of that. This is a good thing as it had me excited to see what’s next and I really felt like anyone could die, be turned, or, well, who knows! It felt like a more adult action cartoon throughout.

Jurgens also digs into Drake’s past and mines the self-doubt and shoes he has to fill. Not just the previous’ future Batman’s but also Bruce Wayne too. It personalizes the story a bit more, and fills it into the legacy of the character nicely.

All that action is brought to us by Bernard Chang who mixes the war-torn environment into a future scape, and a future city with a seamless flow where everything goes together though it really shouldn’t. Brother Eye’s forces too are a mix of familiar robot constructs and twisted nightmares.

The comic felt like one big fight, not something I generally enjoy, until the end, which features a twist that ties in what’s currently going on in the various current Batman series directly into this. It’s not something I thought about, and it shows there’s a greater plan out there for what’s going on. That ending had me more excited to see what’s coming in the next issue.

Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Bernard Chang
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.35 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook

It’s the first of the month and that means a new look at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

Facebook Population: Over 36,000,000 in the United States

As discussed below this month seems to be a strange anomaly, and I’ll be rerunning these numbers over the next week or two to double, and triple check them. Since August 1, the overall population has dipped by 6 million. All of that loss, and then some, was men, in an unexplainable phenomenon. Other numbers back up this massive swing in data, but we’ll take that stat by stat. This also continues the drop from last month, which also disproportionally affected men.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 13.10%, and this month is 10.83%, a huge dip from the previous month.

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 42.86% and men were 57.14%. Men have decreased a whopping 8 million individuals since last month, while women gained 2 million. The overall Facebook usage population has only increased by 2 million since last month, evenly split between the two. We might be seeing a mass exodus, or a bizarre glitch, at this point it’s unknown. The basic term of “comics” sees women as the majority, and we see gains by women below, so that 2 million increase is likely. It’s the 8 million dip in men that’s suspect. Overall, I wouldn’t rely on this month’s stats.

facebook gender 9.1.15

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

facebook gender age 9.1.15

Compared to last month, there’s a large dip for those under the age of 17, and men have decreased too. There is no age segment where men didn’t decrease.

facebook gender age raw 9.1.15

Relationship Status

Here too we see the gender shift reflected. Women did decrease in a few segments, “Single,” “Unspecified,”Open Relationship,”Complicated,” “Seperated,” and “Widowed.” Married women in particular saw a massive increase of 2.4 million.

facebook relationship 9.1.15

And for those that like pie charts.

facebook relationship pie chart 9.1.15

Education

We see the shift here too when it comes to the gender shift.

facebook education 9.1.15

Gender Interest

Compared to last month those interested in the same gender has increased overall, especially among women interested in women.

facebook relationship interest 9.1.15

Ethnicity

African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics have dipped enormously from last month.

facebook ethnicity 9.1.15

Generation

Compared to last month Generation X and Millennials have remained pretty steady compared to last month. Baby Boomers has dipped.

facebook generation 9.1.15

Again, this month has been a very interesting shift, and I would not hold these stats very high. Something is clearly off, and more investigation is needed.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

DC_Bombshells_2_5575d95d36ac86.74035338Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Plutonia #1 (Image Comics) – A new series by Jeff Lemire? Well, that alone gets this on my list, but the idea of him tackling a coming of age story through the lense of the superhero genre is too awesome to not look forward to. Add in beautiful artwork by Emi Lenox, and this is the first comic I’m reading this week.

Imperium #8 (Valiant Entertainment) – Harada and Divinity, two of the most powerful beings in the Valiant universe have come face to face. This is the climax to “Broken Angels,” continuing the awesomeness that is this series.

Midnighter #4 (DC Comics) – Writer Steve Orlando has made punching to solve problems cool again. I’ve never been the biggest Midnighter fan, but Orlando has given me reasons to be as he’s given the character a fresh mix of a personal life and superhero life. Such a fantastic series.

The Omega Men #4 (DC Comics) – Superhero terrorists? This series shows the gray and that there’s a fine line between terrorist and revolutionary, all in space! A very cool sci-fi series that does what sci-fi does best, explore our society through entertainment.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #44 (IDW Publishing) – I’ll keep plugging the various IDW Transformers series until you people wake up and see that it’s more than just giant robots and fighting! Every series has been an interesting mix of political intrigue, action, and religious philosophy. It’ more than meets the eye (sorry had to).

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #40 (Valiant Entertainment) – I’ve become a huge fan of this series over the past few months, and after the way the last issue ended, I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks.

We Stand On Guard #3 (Image Comics) – I have been really enjoying this series so far. We’re almost at the half way mark, and I’m really looking forward to see where the story takes us.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Danger Girl: Renegade #1 (IDW Publishing) – Love’m or hate’m, the Danger Girl team is back, and this time focuses on one of the team’s unanswered questions, Abby’s past.  Those that like the series can expect more tongue-in-cheek humor combined with decent action.

Jem and the Holograms #6 (IDW Publishing) – More fun abounds for this series which has been focused so far solely on the battle of the bands, and while it has been a simple enough concept, the creative team fills these pages with life.

Lazarus #19 (Image Comics) –  The ongoing battle of Duluth proves to be an issue for Forever after she is nearly killed in the last issue.  How thia works from here on will be interesting as numerous clans are trying to take down the Carlyles.

Star Lord and Kitty Pryde #3 (Marvel) – A lot of the Secret Wars tie-ins have either mostly ignored the crossover or told a crossover-centric story.  This is one of the few that does both while maintaining the charm of what made the pair of heroes so special to begin with.

Wonderland #39 (Zenescope) – Zenescope’s stand-out series returns with higher stakes as Calie faces threats in Wonderland and on Earth.

 

Elana

Top Picks Tie: 8House: #3 Kiem Part 1 (Image Comics) – Brandon Graham’s inter-connected fantasy world series begins a new storyline. The art by Xurxo G. Penalta is beautifully detailed and creative. The world has an air of Dune mixed with cyberpunk. The story involves astrolprojection. This will be unlike anything else you buy.

Top Picks Tie: Heavy Metal #276 Jack Kirby Issue (Heavy Metal) – Jack Kirby made art for the CIA’s secret Operation Argo plan to free American hostages. Never before published, we can finally see it in this issue! It is based on Robert Zelazny’s famous fantasy series “Lord of Light.” The rest of the mag sounds good too. But the Kirby cover alone with worth the cost of admission.

Jem and The Holograms #6 (IDW Publishing) – The Food Fight of the Century is over and now it is time for the Battle of The Bands! A really fun series for people of all ages and genders. Which band would you be voting for: The Holograms or The Misfits (not the Danzig Misfits, the entirely fictional Misfits that the artist has said sound like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs)? I think Black Sabbath singer Dio would vote for Jem and the Holograms but Black Sabbath singer Ozzy would vote for The Misfits. Please tweet me your own wild speculations to @Elana_Brooklyn #JemBattle (this is just me, not an official IDW tag).

Midnighter #4 (DC Comics) – I’m addicted.

Toil and Trouble #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’m fairly discriminating about my “re-imaginings of Shakespeare” but this new mini series looks stunning, innovative and feminist.

Silver Surfer #14 (Marvel) – A title that had felt at the periphery of the Marvel U (in an interesting, exploratory way) now finds itself at the middle of it. It looks like the rebuilding of the post Secret Wars Marvel U starts here. The last issue ended on some absolutely stunning art. Among the best I’ve seen in ages. I was very frustrated with Slott’s response to the Hercules bi-erasure story but he’s apologized so I’m still reading this.

 

Kenny

Top Pick: DC Comics Bombshell #2 (DC Comics) – Making this story a period piece has me interested in the many ways they could take Wonder Woman, Batwoman, and Supergirl, after a solid set up in the first issue. But it’s mostly the gorgeous art that has me most excited about diving back into this world.

Daredevil #18 (Marvel) – Honestly, I could break down the multitude of reasons this comic is worth reading but, to keep it simple, when Mark Waid is writing Daredevil it is always worth checking out.

Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 (Marvel) – Deadpool messing with anyone is usually all I need to be happy, but watching him send Thanos into a massive rage has me feeling extra giddy inside.

Herald: Lovecraft and Tesla #6 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Being a history junky, I am all for any type of twisted history tale. And just the potential of watching Mark Twain versus a book golem is enough to make me want to read this right now.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 (Marvel Comics) – The one who personifies death vs. the one who can talk you to it? Oh yes this is a must see even for me. Viva la Deadpool!

Daredevil #18 (Marvel Comics) – The final chapter. See how it all ends. I am on the bench with anticipation.

DC Comics Bombshells #2 (DC Comics) – The Womens’ Super Revolution continues. Is Steve Trevor going to make it? We shall see…

Green Lantern #44 (DC Comics) – Hal as a renegade just really fits and I’m liking this fun little space chase, I’m hoping that some incoming Thanagarian influence can shift it into over drive though!

Thors #3 (Marvel Comics) – Move over CSI and every other crime drama. This one is how it’s done.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Thors #3 (Marvel) – This is one of my favourite books to come out of Secret Wars.  The Thors have been hunting a murderer who has been targeting Jane Fosters from different areas of Battleworld, and now they have a suspect.  This is a great cop story, following the Thors as they uphold the laws of Doom, and I can’t wait to see the interrogation of their suspect.

Age of Apocalypse #3 (Marvel) – Issue 1 was fantastic and took me right back to the AoA I remember…and then issue 2 totally left me flat, basically a rehash of the first.  I am really hoping they pick this story up and we get more into the thick of things.  I’m really enjoying seeing the story from Cypher’s point of view, but I want to see more then some observations on character behaviour.  There’s been hints of a virus that could end all the mutants…can we please see more of this story?

Squadron Sinister #3 (Marvel) – I was surprised that I enjoy this book as much as I do.  I’m familiar with the Squadron Supreme, and Hyperion from his time in Avengers…and it’s a fun read to see Battleworld’s version of this team being nothing more then an organized gang, quietly taking over realms to expand their power…but how long will this go before Doom steps in?

The CW Teases Jay Garrick’s Arrival on the Flash

The CW has teased out the arrival of Jay Garrick on this coming season of The Flash. Eagle eye viewers could catch a glimpse of the iconic helmet in the series’ first season finale.

Who’s excited?

Hold onto your hats, season 2 of #TheFlash premieres in just 36 days!

A photo posted by The Flash (@cwtheflash) on

DC Comics’ #DCYou Shows Strength. Looking Beyond Physical Sales.

comixology_top_24If you were to read some sites that tread more into rumor and hyperbole, you’d be led to believe that the sky is falling for DC Comics. It has been reported that the entertainment company is over $2 million down for their 2015 financial year budget. Reportedly the move from New York to Burbank is to blame, as well as a “lack of bump” for their June relaunch. There’s much to dissect and discuss, and others have hopped on to the full of questions reporting to write their early obituaries for the comic company.

But, looking through the gaps of what’s written, there’s not just success for the company, but a promising future. You just need to see more than cobbled together sales numbers for a sliver of the market.

First, as said above, their shortfall is a combination of things. If it is indeed $2 million, and the move was a part of it, the percent the move contributed is a key factor. If the move was over budget by $2 million, as an example, then the shortfall is not a big deal, and revenue for comic sales is indeed on target. Context and information is key here to make a proper assessment of the situation. Also keep in mind, a shortfall is not a loss. The company could have projected a $5 million profit, but are really only going to have $3 million. Running a profit is still good, it’s just not what they hoped. And in the business world, when you don’t make your projected profit, but still make a profit, the company still gets hit. That’s just business.

comixology_top_tenBut, there’s more than physical sales today in the comic world. Digital sales are not reported for instance, and as I’m going to show below, the segments where DC Comics have gained purchase digitally. So, we wouldn’t necessarily see a bump in physical sales.

While I don’t have historical trends, DC Comics dominated comiXology’s sales last week for instance, taking 6 of the top ten slots. They also took 12 of the top 24 spots. Those are sales not reflected in the statistics the prognosticators and online chatterrotty go off of. In other words, sales are much better than people are giving credit. While the company had only one comic in the top 10 comics in July with Batman #42, and four in the top ten graphic novels in the same month, add in digital sales, and the rankings would likely be vastly different. In other words, one data set does not make a narrative, it makes a narrow world view, which then turns into gossip, hastily written obituaries, and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy due to negative perception.

And the perception for DC hasn’t been good. When the company announced its new #DCYou initiate, instead of celebrating the diverse line-up of characters, series, and creators, instead we got commentary from the peanut gallery about spacing and font choice of their ads. As well as erroneous information as to how diverse the change really was. According to Topsy the #DCYou hashtag has just a 52 positive sentiment (out of a score of 100), while #DCComics is 82. Marvel on the other hand has a 70 sentiment for #SecretWars and 85 for their brand #Marvel. People in general are talking more positively about Marvel. It’s cool to shit on DC right now.

DC Comics has an African-American headlining character in a solo series, written by an African-American writer, Cyborg and David F. Walker. DC Comics has a gay man and bisexual woman headlining series in Midnighter and Harley Quinn (and she’s in multiple series too). There were numerous female and LGBT creators brought on board, not just white men. We have a diverse cast in We Are Robin, as well as numerous series geared towards women and teens including Prez, Batgirl and Gotham Academy. In other words it was a launch aimed at particular demographics.

When it comes to digital distribution, women are much more of a fan than men. Using Facebook’s demographics, 60% of those in the United States who like digital distribution are women. African-Americans also make up 13% of those who like digital distribution, that number is in line with African-Americans who also like digital comic services as well. In 2013, comiXology stated that their fastest growing user base was young women. Who DC is targeting with these new series aren’t buying comics in traditional physical stores, they’re likely buying digitally. More on why this is important later.

DC Comics is making gains with both the female and African-American demographic.

dc_comics_interest_since_new_52_launch

DC Comics is currently on an upswing of interest. Since their relaunch of the New 52 in September of 2011 (the above starts in August 2011 when news began to break), according to Google trends, the interest in DC Comics has increased over time. There’s been ups and downs, but more people are interested. Some of this is the upcoming films, some of it is the televisions hows, some of this is their new recent new direction, but what this shows is, more people are paying attention. There’s an audience there to tap.

But, more importantly, it looks like the #DCYou initiative is actually working. The demographic segments that some of the titles were focused on are increasing.

Leading up to San Diego Comic-Con, I did the second yearly report for Marvel, DC Comics, and Indie/Small Press comics to see what the specific demographics were of those who like them on Facebook. In the month since, we actually see some changes, and especially positive ones for DC.

Like in July, today DC Comics’ “likes” still stands at 12 million individuals in the United States, no change there. The composition of that 12 million has though. 3.4 million of those are women, an increase of 100,000. 1.3 million of those are African-American, an increase of 100,000. Hispanics now stand at 2.8 million, that’s an increase of 400,000. All of those demographic sets have increased in the month and a half since last measured. There’s also other interesting data.

Those age 17 and under currently are 930,000 individuals, that’s a decrease of 270,000. But, out of that 930,000, women 17 and under are now 490,000. That’s right, women 17 and under are a MAJORITY of that age range segment.

The numbers are moving in interesting ways, and since these numbers tend to predict things months ahead of times, I’d expect some gains for DC down the road.

But, how did Marvel compare during this time period?

During that same time period, Marvel’s “likes” decrease from 22 million to 18 million. The number of women who like their brand decreased to 3.5 million, a loss of 900,000. African-Americans now stand at 2.1 million, a decrease of 400,000. Hispanics now make up 3.9 million of the likes, down 200,000. Those 17 and under account for 990,000 individuals. That’s a decrease of 410,000. Men are the majority of them with 580,000.

Marvel is slipping in the demographics they made an effort to make gains in, and recent flaps like the Hip-Hop cover variant blow up, or issues with Hercules being made straight instead of his previous bisexual self aren’t helping with perceptions.

While DC is in an upward trend in many ways, Marvel is has taken a dip in what are likely the fastest growing segments. Could Marvel’s issues also stem from the fact that 65% of their All-New, All-Different series headlined by an individual are male? Could it be that 65% of those same characters are white? Out of the 39 writers announced for the 53 series (not including limited), 85% are male and 97% are white. Out of the 56 artists announced, 93% are male and 68% are white. Their All-New, All-Different is very much been there, done that.

While we don’t know why Marvel has slipped during the same time period, there’s a chance this is a reason, adding in the only thing going on are movies that haven’t performed as well as they should have, an event that while praised has dominated the time period, and no major announcements.

If I were projecting and betting, I’d be putting money right now on DC based on the above, and that’s without having weekly puff piece interviews on a major site to help boost them.

This weekend DC Comics’ co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio spoke to the Daily News about #DCYou and refute rumors of austerity. Some interesting things stood out to me. Unlike their competitor, the company is looking to inspire televisions series and movies, not be a reflection of them. They want to be research development that can be used elsewhere. DiDio explicitly states that their goal is to “constantly introduce new ideas and new concepts.” And we’re seeing that with #DCYou. And with experimentation, there’s going to be success and failure, and plans change, that’s the nature of risk, and this initial risk was a scattershot to see what might work. The next step is to focus on what did.

DiDio states:

If you’re trying to build a fan base, a new audience, you’ve got to nurture it. You’ve got to take your time. You’ve got to take your losses. Sooner or later, it’s going to take hold and hopefully be a leader in the business. Right now, our goal is to try and feed out as much product that’s as different as possible to try and attract the widest audience possible.

The above stats show, there’s something that has worked, and DC is succeeding in building that new fan base and audience. Here’s hoping the comics community is supporting that, because out of the big two, when it comes to diversity of characters, voices, creators, and product, DC is putting its money where its mouth is.

Straight Outta Compton Takes First for the Third Week in a Row

Straight Outta ComptonThe competition was rather week, which had Straight Outta Compton easily sail to keep first place at the weekend box-office. The film has been in first place for three weeks in a row, in what shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It was a slow weekend though with an estimated $68.8 million earned by the top 12 films, and that’s 22% lower than last year’s $88.2 million, and even that was an off year.

Straight Outta Compton earned an estimated $13.2 million which kept it number one, beating out War Room which earned around $11 million. In third place was another debut, No Escape, which did escape with an estimated $10.3 million. That bumped Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation into fourth.

In comic and geek related movie news, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was in sixth place with an estimated $4.4 million. Hitman: Agent 47 has already been assassinated earning just $3.9 million in its second week. Jurassic World keeps eating dollars adding $3.1 million to its impressive totals. Minions keeps multiplying adding $2.9 million to its domestic total. Ant-Man came in at tenth earning $3.1 million. Fantastic Four continues with a non-fantastic earning, bringing in $1.7 million. The Diary of a Teenage Girl added $425,000 to its total. And finally Terminator: Genisys brought in $190,000.

For the year, Jurassic World reigns supreme domestically having earned $643.1 million. Avengers: Age of Ultron is second with $457.5 million. Furious 7 is third with $351 million. Inside Out is fourth with $344.5 million, and Minions is fifth with $324.8 million.

Worldwide grosses are the same movies, but a different order. Jurassic World rules with $1.6367 billion. Furious 7 is second with $1.5117 billion. Avengers: Age of Ultron is third with $1.4013 billion. Minions has crossed the billion line and stands currently at $1.0189, and  Inside Out is fifth with $702.5 million.

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S1E2 So Close, Yet So Far

fear-the-walking-dead-posterWhile Madison struggles to keep Nick from a crippling withdrawal, Travis ventures out to find his son before the city of Los Angeles falls.

Fear the Walking Dead’s second episode keeps the slow burn established in the first episode. Unlike films where the meltdown of society happens quickly, this is a long form series, so is taking its time. That’s likely to anger some folks who come for zombies. Instead we get a look at how society falls apart in this sort of situation and how a family might actually deal with it.

The first 40 minutes are a slow build, finally getting us to our first real attack that affects our main characters. This is the beginning of it all, so there’s a learning curve that makes it all rather blunt and not graceful at all.

The episode also has society breaking down a bit, with protests over the police killing individuals. With that, we get shades of protests going on today such as Black Lives Matter, and with the breakdown we also have an echo of Katrina which happened a decade ago. Sci-fi/horror does what it does best, making commentary on today’s society.

We also get introduced to a few more characters, who we know through casting announcements, will be playing roles that’ll last for a bit. And seeing what folks are willing to do, especially parents for their kids, is going to be interesting.

As a whole, the episode keeps up the excellent start of the debut episode. Much like The Walking Dead, this isn’t about zombies. Fear the Walking Dead is about the crumbling of society. Though it looks like it’s dipping into some tropes, it’s still has me interested in seeing what comes next.

Overall Rating: 8

TV Review: The Strain: S2E8 Intruders

the strain s2 imageIn the eighth episode of the seventh season of The Strain, Eph must protect Zack against a surprise intruder into Red Hook.  Gus convinces the Guptas to make a difficult choice.  Fet and Setrakian set out to acquire the Lumen but discover they are not the only potential buyer.

This episode is an interesting one, as it mostly feels like those moments where you’re screaming at the movie or television show over the idiotic decisions that are made.

Here’s the good. The make-up is pretty cool for some of the things that are going on. And, there’s some moments where various characters realize that games are being played and they’re likely being screwed over, or played. Really, the quiet moments are some of the best of the episode, and I particularly liked the Red Hook intruder aspect. How that was done was really cool.

The bad is the moments, and there’s a few, where decisions make no sense. The fight over the Lumen feels dragged out, and where so many other things are taken by force, why isn’t this one from the beginning? Then, there’s the fight at the end. Leaving the door open and having your back to it? Going down stairs that are open? Really!? That whole thing felt like a scene limited by budget as opposed to story.

Overall, the last few episodes have been solid, this one though feels like a step backwards a bit. Oh well, can’t be all winners.

Overall rating: 7

Relaxing Flow-based Adventure Game, Lumini Coming to Steam September 3 From Rising Star Games

Rising Star Games and Speelbaars is set to release the relaxing, flow-based adventure game, Lumini on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux on September 3. A deluxe edition of Lumini, featuring the game and soundtrack will also be made available on Steam at launch.

In Lumini, players take control of a swarm of the titular creatures – an ancient race that has been missing for thousands of years – and grow, evolve and keep the swarm safe during their challenging and perilous journey. Sail your Lumini through beautiful, time-worn landscapes, encounter mystical and bewildering creatures and solve ancient puzzles to discover why the Lumini vanished, while trying to restore peace and harmonic balance to their home planet.

Lumini Key Features:

  • Discover the history of the Lumini and their mysterious home world
  • A mesmerizing flow-based experience with accessible controls and gameplay
  • Divide your Lumini swarm and control both groups simultaneously to solve puzzles and unlock the mysteries of the Lumini home world
  • Evolve your swarm into different species with unique abilities
  • Immersive and fully adaptive audio score
  • Deluxe edition packaged with soundtrack also available at launch

Watch the Lumini announcement trailer.

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