Category Archives: Television

Viz Media Celebrates 30 Years of Voltron

Voltron-30thAnnvBook-3D-smVIZ Media takes readers on an exciting journey to explore the history and legacy of Voltron, the legendary giant robot anime series that marks the 30th Anniversary of its original North American broadcast premiere.

Voltron: From Days of Long Ago, A 30th Anniversary Celebration examines the entire Voltron universe and the property’s notable impact on pop culture and will be released in-print on October 28th from the company’s Perfect Square imprint. The hardcover oversized edition will carry an MSRP of $29.99 U.S. / $34.99 CAN.

A digital version of Voltron: From Days of Long Ago, A 30th Anniversary Celebration also will launch on October 28th for $14.99 U.S. / CAN from the Perfect Square App, which has titles available for the Apple iPad and iPad Mini. The Perfect Square App is available from the iTunes store. Readers also will be able to find a digital version for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo eReaders, as well as in the iBooks and GooglePlay Stores.

Thirty years ago, Voltron: Defender of the Universe hit the airwaves, and the world hasn’t been the same. Now, Voltron: From Days of Long Ago chronicles the story of Voltron and its cultural relevance, taking a detailed look at the story behind the show and the many related toy releases, the mythology of both Lion Force and Vehicle Voltron (with a nod to Albegas), and concludes the exciting Voltron Force saga. This new book is truly for fans, by fans: authored by Brian Smith, a former Marvel Comics editor and writer for Perfect Square’s Voltron Force series of original graphic novels, Marc Morrell, co-host of the official “Let’s Voltron!” podcast, and Joshua Bernard, founder of CollectionDX, a popular website devoted to covering the world of Japanese toys, action figures and pop culture; with a bonus Voltron comic written by Smith and illustrated by Jacob Chabot, artist on the Voltron Force series; with a foreword by Jeremy Corray, former Creative Director of World Events Productions, the company behind the classic Voltron TV series.

 

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TV Review: Gotham S1E5 Viper

gotham cast In the fifth episode of Gotham, Gordon and Bullock search for the source of a new street drug that causes euphoria then death. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot works his way deeper into Maroni’s inner circle and Fish Mooney continues to plot against Falcone.

The street drug aspect of the show is interesting, though a bit silly at times, and that doesn’t help with some of the dialogue that comes off as rather silly. But, as has been for the last couple of episodes all of that isn’t the draw of the episode. The real draw again is Cobblepot’s story.

Cobblepot, in an attempt to get ahead decides to out himself to his new bosses. This leads them to go grab Gordon to corroborate the story. This of course now puts Gordon in a spot, because now some mobsters know his story.

But, lets get back to that drug thing. The drug is called Viper…. you know that sounds a lot like a certain other drug… wink wink nod nod. Oh yeah, it’s mentioned, Venom gets a nod in the series. It was pretty obvious where the story was going with a drug that made people super strong, it’s just an example of Gotham the tv show feeling like it has to tie every little detail into the bigger Batman mythos.

Again, the series strength is when it focuses on Cobblepot, Gordon, and the mob. It again stumbles when it attempts to tie itself too much into the future Batman world. Stick to the basics, and the series would greatly improved. A story of mobsters, with Gotham as a background, is much better than trying to shoehorn in what we all know is coming. Letting it come organically, that seems to be the balance the series is trying to find.

Overall Score: 7

TV Review: Comic Book Men S4E2 Walt’s Treehouse

comic book menIn this episode of Comic Book Men, a returning customer swings by the store with a toy Walt always wanted but never had. Also, an aspiring student brings in a book signed by comic greats.

If there’s a theme for the second episode of the fourth season, I guess it’d be about dreams. There’s two that’s touched upon, mixed in with the usual craziness of the show. Walt gets his hands on a toy he always wanted, and there’s the student who comes in to sell a comic so that he might have some money to go to school. Both show an interesting end of the spectrum, one of consuming, the other of letting something go.

There’s no doubt many of us can relate to Walt and his excitement as the toy he’s always wanted comes into the store. You’ll need to watch the episode to find out what that exactly is. To say I had no idea it existed is an understatement, it was a bit before my time. That magic is brought together by the same individual who appeared previously on the show with the G.I. Joe USS Flagg, which got Ming so excited. Watching Walt jump for joy is worth it, there’s something very kid like about it all, and it’s a bit infectious in the positive feeling.

The student on the other hand is a bit of a downer. Here we have someone who is giving up something very cool to help make their future possible. It’s something that Kevin Smith himself did to fund his first film Clerks. It’s a nice lesson to see, and again something many of us can relate to.

To have both of these in an episode is a nice juxtaposition that sets the show apart from just being Pawn Stars of comic geeks. As seen in this episode, there’s something a bit more than just business here, and that’s making it all relateable to us the viewer.

While the episode isn’t amazing, it’s another fine example of a “comic geek” show, that doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Overall rating: 7

TV Review: The Walking Dead S5E2 Strangers

walking-dead-5 photoWith Terminus burning behind them, Rick and his crew again are left wandering the woods for a destination unknown. With the group together, numerous answers are left out there, including Rick and Carol burying the hatchet, new members of the group, and what next? Not long into the episode many of these questions and issues are addressed, almost taking on previous season’s habits of stretching out storylines.

While the episode wraps up some threads, it also opens new ones, with the introduction of Father Gabriel Stokes, a character we’ve seen in the comics. For long time fans of the series, you immediately wonder what of the comic storyline the television series will pull in. Most immediately is the need for food, something that also carries over from Terminus. With supplies low, how far will individuals go? In this case, Rick and a small team head out to forage and look for food.

In all of that, it’s pretty clear Father Stokes is hiding something, with signs around the church he’s held up on that there’s something going on. But what’s his secret, especially with his freak out hinting at something more.

Speaking of storylines, Beth’s abduction is again brought up and for fans of the comic, that question of how much the television show will crib from the comic is answered towards the end of the episode. Oh it’s going to be a great season. From the creepy build up to the end, another amazing episode.

Overall rating: 9

TV Review: Arrow S3E2 Sara

arrowAfter the shocking ending of the season premiere Team Arrow is in pursuit of a new villain who poses a threat to Starling City. Meanwhile, Oliver is worried about not having heard from Thea.

Arrow‘s second episode picks up soon after the shocking ending, with the rest of the team finding out about what’s befallen Sara. But, if that wasn’t shocking enough, we also see Amanda Waller’s first mission for Oliver five years ago in Hong Kong, that’s another wtf moment. The season so far has learned the mistakes of the previous two keeping us on our toes for what’s to come.

The episode introduces us to Komodo, a character familiar to fans of DC Comics’ Green Arrow. That along with Ray Palmer’s introduction last episode expands the show’s own version of the DCU. It also helps the show makes references like Qurac and Bludhaven, a country and city long time DC Comics fans will appreciate. There’s also nice touches like changing the green Q in Queen Consolidated to Ray Palmer’s signature blue. How long before we get to see Palmer suit up?

The episode has its issues, the use of real names around bad guys, the fact that Sara’s body looks a bit too good after falling off the roof of a building. But, the show is the type of entertainment where you’re not supposed to think about that.

The episode continues this season’s bigger mystery and at the same time reinforces the risk that Oliver takes in his dual role. For a comic book show, it also does well in attempting to ground the character’s lives in some sort of reality.

What’s actually really great about the episode is some solid stunt work including cool battles on motorcycles and some chase sequences with entertaining acrobatics.

Each season, and each episode the series seems to learn from what’s come before. It has no issues fixing issues, which includes offing characters, and is a series where anything might happen. If you need evidence of that, all you need is this episode’s last few moments.

Overall rating: 8

TV Review: Comic Book Men S4E1 Heir Apparent

comic book menIn the debut episode of the fourth season of Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith sends his daughter Harley to the Stash to learn how to be a clerk. Also, a customer sells his rare and unusual Rocky action figures.

Kicking off the latest season of the series set in Smith’s comic shop, The Secret Stash, we actually get some insight into what it’s like working at a shop. It’s something I spent many years doing myself, and the episode for me, brought back a lot of fun memories of my time doing so.

The episode pulls back the curtain a bit of some of what goes into working in a shop. Harley has to buy something from a person, decide if she should cut someone a deal, and finds, there’s a rush to it all. That sort of work is pretty fun. What is missing is the shit part of the job, inventory, the horrible customers, trying to figure out orders. The fun is shown, the hard work isn’t. But then again, that hard work wouldn’t make entertaining television.

Overall, the first episode shows a bit more of what it’s like to work in a shop like this through the eyes of an outsider. And by doing so, brings the fun.

Overall score: 7.5

TV Review: Doctor Who S8E9 Flatline

doctor who capaldiSeparated from the Doctor, Clara discovers a new menace from another dimension. But how do you hide when even the walls are no protection? With people to save and the Doctor trapped, Clara comes up against an enemy that exists beyond human perception.

Lately, Doctor Who has been on a string of horror episodes. This one is interesting in that it also mixes in a lot of humor, especially when it comes to a running gag of a mini-Tardis.

The bad guys themselves are pretty cool with a very nice design, and some awesome special effects. The monsters themselves aren’t much of the point in the episode though, instead acting as a driver to something bigger.

Overall though, the episode is about Clara, who has taken on the role of the “Doctor,” and must save the day. It builds on a theme of the season, building up the strength of Clara, shifting her from her role as a macguffin whose character was intertwined with the Doctor reminding him of who he was, with no other motivations. This season has changed her into an independent companion who’s as much the hero as the Doctor, and much more of a 3 dimensional character (pun intended considering the bad guys this episode). The irony being, this is her last season.

Overall, the episode continues an intriguing season with each episode having a goal, and aiming to accomplish it.

Overall Score: 8

LEGO DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered

Get a sneak peak of the action from the all new special event, LEGO DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered, premiering Monday, October 27th, at 6/5c only on Cartoon Network!

The Walking Dead’s Season 5 Premiere Breaks Records

walking-dead-5 photoThe season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead was amazing, and a record audience found that out. The episode was number 1 in Live+Same Day results, but also broke the Live+3 ratings. Yup, the first episode is the most watched non-sports telecast in cable history.

The episode had 17.3 million viewers and 11 million adults 18-49 for an 8.7 rating. The episode saw 29% and 32% surges in its premiere Live+3 ratings among total viewers and the key demo. The Live+3 results added 5.086 million viewers via DVR bringing the total to 22.372 million viewers for the episode. Season 4’s debut saw 20.2 million total viewers which included 4.1 million from the Live+ and the 16.1 million from the Live+Same Day.

In the key 18-49 demo, the Live+3 added 3.537 million bringing the total to 14.523 million. That’s an 11.7 rating which beats everything on both cable and broadcast so far this fall.

Globally, the show saw growth, with the opener increasing 45% from the season 4 debut.

TV Review: The Flash S1E2: Fastest Man Alive

theflash_full_costumeBarry escorts Iris to a university gathering honoring scientist Simon Stagg. When six gunmen storm the event, Barry changes into The Flash and tries to stop them. While he does save a man’s life, he passes out before he can capture the robbers, which frustrates him. As Dr. Wells, Caitlin and Cisco scramble to find out what’s wrong with Barry, Joe comes down hard on Barry for taking the law into his own hands and risking his life. Barry realizes that it wasn’t six gunmen but a metahuman named Danton Black, who can make multiples of himself. Meanwhile, Iris becomes even more intrigued by the “red streak.”

The premiere episode of The Flash caught me in its speed and fun. The debut was fresh, positive, entertaining, and most importantly fun. The series has a lot to live up to with such a solid start. The second episode isn’t quite as good, but it’s still a fantastic episode that continues along a solid path.

The second episode does really well in building off of the first one. It gives us an idea of the issues that Barry will deal with as he learns about his new powers. It fleshes out his relationship with Detective Joe West. It also has some fun with his balancing his secret identity with his work and social life. It also adds to the mysteries from the first episode as well as winks and nods for fans of DC Comics.

Two episodes in and the series is solid. It challenges The Walking Dead as the best “comic” television show out there right now. There’s something vibrant about it all, it makes me want to come back for more. A great second episode for a series that looks like it’s a can’t miss. I had high hopes for it, and it looks like it’s going to deliver, building on the success of what’s come before, just doing it with a positive and fun spin.

Overall rating: 8

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