On this episode of Arrow, Oliver decides it’s time for Thea to come back to Starling City, so he packs for Corto Maltese, where Felicity has traced Thea’s whereabouts. Lyla asks Diggle to go with Oliver because one of her field operatives, Mark Shaw, has gone dark in Corto Maltese and she’d like him to look into it. Feeling responsible for Thea’s departure, Roy joins Oliver and Diggle on their journey. Shaw double-crosses Diggle, putting numerous A.R.G.U.S. agents, including Lyla, at risk. Meanwhile, Laurel meets Ted Grant, and Felicity adjusts to her new job.
Interspersed throughout the episode is Thea’s origin into whatever she is now. We get to see her and her father in the beginning, and generally how he won her over. Juxtapose that with Oliver and Roy attempting to bring her back and you get an interesting back and forth.
Then you have Laurel, who seems to be heading down an expected path, especially after the introduction of Ted Grant, a name that should be familiar to DC Comics fans. Blonde hair, and mask? Yeah, I think we might be seeing a new Black Canary in the making. We’ll see where it all goes though in the television series.
What’s a bit meh is the A.R.G.U.S. storyline which just feels like they needed to add in a big action sequence for the hell of it. The episode would have been much stronger focusing on Laurel and Thea instead and get rid of the side story. Giving more details on either of them, some more training, some more discussing their motives, that would have been much more interesting.
Overall, this is a needed episode that could have been done a bit differently with a much better result.
Overall rating: 8
Played by Adrianne Palicki, Marvel has released a look at the tactical suit that Agent Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird will wear on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The character debuted on last night’s episode.
Coulson’s team is up against the beautiful and deadly Bobbi Morse — Security Chief for Hydra. Meanwhile, Skye’s father forces Raina to reunite him with his daughter at any cost.
The first third of the episode, I honestly tuned out. Not much jumped out at me as exciting our all that interesting. It wasn’t until Coulson talks to Skye, and reveals she might be an alien…. now you have my interest…. until predictably Jemma is threatened with being outed as a mole for S.H.I.E.L.D. by Hydra. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. summed up in a two minute span right there.
But, really the episode is about the introduction of Bobbi Morse into the Marvel cinematic universe. And boy does she enter in a pretty bad-ass way.
The rest of the episode mixes things up a bit getting things settled for the rest of the season. Bobbi is now part of the team, and clearly has some history with folks, REALLY entertaining history. Skye’s pursuit of her father is probably the main story for the season, and I’d expect a big reveal at the end about Skye, or for it to lead to a further mystery next season. There’s the weird symbols Coulson is drawing. And Jemma is back, which can mean a whole lot of things for Fitz.
Overall, better than last week’s episode, but not quite the quality from the end of last season.
Overall Score: 6.5
Warner Bros. has revealed some of the details about its digital production unit. The unit named Blue Ribbon Content has unveiled some of its initial development plans, including some more work based on comics.
Already announced is Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, which will debut on Machinima in 2015 as well as the virtual reality experience, Batman: The Animated Series Experience. Warner Bros. has a stake in Machinima, so the project makes complete sense. Some other projects are tied into The CW, the television network that Warner Bros. is also involved with.
Today brought even bigger news, a project based on Static Shock.
The action series include Static Shock, an adaptation of the Static comic from writer-producer-director Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained).
That’s a pretty big announcement quietly put out there. Warner Bros./DC Comics was the first to announce a movie based on one of their female characters, as well as an African American character. Now we have Static Shock out of nowhere. Seems like the company that had been receiving lots of criticism is now beginning to fire on all cylinders.
Here’s more details on the comic related projects:
Static Shock — Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar nominee for producing Django Unchained) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock.
Batman: The Animated Series Experience — As previously announced, Blue Ribbon, DC Entertainment and visual effects pioneer OTOY are teaming up on an immersive entertainment experience that will see the Batcave from the acclaimed Emmy Award–winning Batman: The Animated Series brought to life via interactive holographic video for virtual reality displays. OTOY is collaborating with series producer Bruce Timm on this interactive narrative experience which will give fans the opportunity to explore Batman’s world like never before, allowing them to feel what it is like to be inside the show’s stylized universe on devices such as the Samsung GALAXY Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, and on forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays that will power future TV and mobile devices.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)
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
In 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
With 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
After 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
In 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
Separated 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