Category Archives: Television

TPub Comics’ The Theory Goes from Comics to Animated Sci-Fi Series

TPub Comics has been busy developing its comics for feature films and television. Their first project to go into development is an animated sci-fi series The Theory, based on the graphic novel of the same name.

The pilot episode will premier by Razer on May 29th, 8am PT. You can watch the proof of concept pilot episode “Battlesuit” below.

“Battlesuit” was Directed and Produced by sci-fi director Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull (The Beyond, Disney’s Fast Layne & 2036 Origin Unknown) and written by Neil Gibson (Twisted Dark, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man & The Traveller). “Battlesuit” will be officially released in mid-May.

The Theory is based on a story by David Court, co-written by Forrest C. Helvie and Neil Gibson, and features a rotating team of artists. Artists include letterer Justin Burch, illustrators Amrit Birdi, Phil Buckenham, Jake Elphick, Cem Iroz, Davide Puppo, Atula Siriwardane, and Jim Terry, as well as colorist Liezl Buenavenura.

The pilot episode was finished remotely during Covid and created using high-performance Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition laptops with NVIDIA graphics and software from Unreal and Glassbox.

Razer and Tpub will be launching a competition in conjunction with pilot where a lucky winner will both receive a new Razer computer and the chance to star in the next issue of The Theory.

TV Review: Stargirl E102 S.T.R.I.P.E.

Stargirl

Stargirl featured a solid debut that dripped with nostalgia and saccharine sweetness. The second episode picks things up quickly as Pat explains to Courtney about the Injustice Society of America and we get hints as to why the Injustice Society is all in one small town.

What’s briefly mentioned feels like something we’ve seen so many times before but it works and explains a Pollyanna-ish town.

What the episode does right, and right away, is to continue the dynamic between Pat and Courtney. There’s something that really clicks and works between Luke Wilson’s Pat and Brec Bassinger’s Courtney. They’ve got a timing that plays off each other and moments, like when they both say they hurt themselves on the stairs, really plays off their dynamic which relies heavily on humor.

And that goes into the humor of the show. Much like the debut episode, the second has a lighthearted sense about it. That’s best shown in Pat getting S.T.R.I.P.E. to work in a sequence full of fantastic moments. We also get the segment of Courtney creating her costume which breaks the mold of the sequence going smoothly, takes on stereotypes of women, and also is just funny. Both segments really set up the tone of the show which tends to be a bit less serious than other DC live-action shows.

That sequence, like so much else of the show, really highlights the production value of the show. S.T.R.I.P.E. looks really great, so much so I’d love to see segments in how they put it together. There’s also something very “Iron Giant” about it, again tapping into nostalgia.

What the episode also does it set up the future. There are moments that feel like they foreshadow future threats once the Injustice Society is defeated. It’ll be a while before we see how that plays out and most likely won’t happen until a second season.

The episode continues the solid start of the pilot delivering humor and entertaining moments. There’s a good blending of the superhero genre with that of a small town setting. And, while it hints as to why everything has come to this one point, what is teased works and makes sense.

In the end though, what the episode really does is surprise. While there’s so much nostalgia, Stargirl flying by the moon is very ET, what’s said and where the episode goes is unexpected. The finale of the episode isn’t the direction that one would think the series would go. It ends on an interesting moment, not just for Brainwave, but also for the relationship between Courtney and Pat.

Stargirl isn’t the best comic adaptation that has been done for live-action but there’s an enthusiasm and innocence about it that’s unmatched. It’s hard to not just smile and enjoy the series.

Overall Rating: 8.5

TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E2 Prepare to Brace

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In the second episode of Snowpiercer, “Prepare to Brace,” Layton uses his new position as the train detective to investigate the murder while gathering intelligence for the revolution on the side. Melanie faces a resource crisis with potentially drastic consequences for the entire train.

The second episode of the series does a bit better of a job diving into the themes of the show, especially the disparity and brutality of the reigning regime. The episode opens with punishment being meted out for the uprising in the first episode. It’s a brutal in your face reminder that those that rule see the individuals in the back of the train as less than human because they’re not ticketed. Adults or children, it does not matter, justice and order shall reign and those who rock the peace shall be sacrificed to “appease” the train.

The episode continues to tell much of its story and world through the visuals. As Layton explores the train, we the viewer, do as well. Each train car tells a story with so much detail pack in it begs to be watched again.

An prime example here is the nightcar concert. It’s hard to not watch the excess and free expression while knowing the suffering in the back of the car is occuring. What’s interesting is what we also see happen in that car, which hints that the order from outside the tail might not be as present as believed and there may be potential allies.

The nightcar does allow us to learn more about Andre’s life before the train. We get a better sense of who he is and it’s a positive direction. Up to this point we just know he snuck on the train with family, lying about being a detective, and plotting a revolution. These aren’t exactly the makings of a straightforward hero. Instead we at least get a better sense of who he was before in a “loving” sense.

But, where the episode goes from there is interesting. Andre discusses the gangs and cannibalism that happened in the tail creating a sharp contrast with the individual we just saw. And the episode continues its uses of visuals by then cutting to the cows of the cars setting a contrast between what the tail has needed to do to survive compared to what the rest of the train has done.

From there, we get a bit more potential of the show as threats in the environment itself emerge with the train taking a beating from the snow and entire cars wiped out from a breach and the cold. That, along with the choices that stem from it continue to tease the potential of the show. And the entire episode is mostly those teases. We see the disparity of the cars and the people. We also see the choices that need to be made due to resources. It really continues the first episode’s setting up the world the show takes place.

While the debut felt a bit too much focused on Andre and his solving a murder, the second episode uses that as just a plot to set up our exploration of the train and the world and a tool for potential revolution.

The second episode is an improvement on the first teasing the potential of the series and bringing it more into focus of what was expected from the previous graphic novels and film. While still a bit drawn out, it’s setting up an intriguing series with a lot of potential.

Overall Rating: 7.15

Ruby Rose Exits Batwoman

Batwoman

In unexpected news, Ruby Rose has announced she is leaving the role of Batwoman on The CW show. Her exit comes after one season and guest appearances on other DC CW shows. The first season finale aired this previous Sunday. The series has been picked up for a second season. It will continue recasting the role.

The character debuted in December 2018 as part of the Arrowverse crossover event, eventually spinning into her own show. The series aired 20 of its 22 episodes, the season was cut short due to COVID-19. It’s unknown when Rose’s decision was made and when she told producers.

In the statement, Rose said:

I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season. This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles.

I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created. Thank you Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and the teams at Warner Bros. and The CW who put so much into the show and always believed in me. Thank you to everyone who made season one a success – I am truly grateful.

The reason for the departure is unknown but it’s reported that it’s not related to a stunt injury she sustained while filming the first season that lead to emergency surgery and her facing paralysis.

Berlanti Productsion and WBTV also released a statement:

Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best. The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months.

Batwoman is an important show as it’s the first gay lead, male or female, in any live-action superhero series.

KJ Apa Talks his First Gibson

Gibson TV is the iconic guitar maker’s all-original video network. It’s been running an interesting series called “My First Gibson” where artists tell the story of how they acquired their first Gibson guitar.

Riverdale star KJ Apa is a guest on the show talking about how he became a fan of Angus Young and Gibson’s SG guitar. KJ Apa is known for his role as Archie Andrews on the CW drama series Riverdale.

Catch the video above to catch this crossover between comics and music.

TV Review: Stargirl E101 Pilot

Stargirl

Stargirl is the newest DC comic hero to make it to a live-action series and it’s one that’s a bit unexpected. But, from the first few moments of the show beginning, the show not only stands out from what has come before but feels like a welcome improvement.

The show has an almost Disney like feel about it evoking a style and special fx look that’s reminiscent of the string of films based on their popular rides. Through the action, and a brutal fight, we’re delivered an opening that’s exciting and fun with a style unto its own. There’s a “retro” aspect to it with that Disney feel and a bit of Rocketeer thrown in.

The opening is impressive with what feels like high production values and an attention to detail. There’s a lot going on in the chaotic battle but no detail of the costumes falls short and everything looks high quality and well designed evoking the classic designs they’re based off of.

There’s a lot thrown in there to start with the Justice Society of America getting torn apart and destroyed. And despite the seriousness of it all, there’s levity with Joel McHale as Starman delivering some laughs in an otherwise serious moment.

It sets the tone of the show and what’s to come and it’s clearly intentional. From that serious moment the show pivots a bit and Darlene Love’s “Christmas” plays which brought back memories for me of Gremlins and from there some Hanson and “Mmmm Bop.” The show’s playing with some interesting tones and it doesn’t end there.

The show follows Brec Bassinger‘s Courtney Whitmore whose mother, Barabra played by Amy Smart, marries Luke Wilson‘s Pat Dugan, the former partner of Starman. They move to Nebraska where the town is very “white” and mysterious. It sets up an interesting family dynamic and some familial friction. But that white bread vibe of it all also helps the eventual discovery by Courtney of Pat’s past and what he’s been hiding, Starman’s staff.

It too evokes a familiar emotion, one from my childhood of the hero discovering their power or the excitement of meeting that friendly alien. It’s saccharine in a way evoking an innocence that feels almost needed in these rather dark and ominous times. It’s a feel good start that makes all that’s recently come before feel a bit jaded and missing that childlike excitement. It’s a clear goal with hints like the use of the film The Goonies at a drive-in which also shares many of these qualities.

But with that also comes some predictable moments and tropes we’ve seen numerous times. The discovery of the power and its misuse to take on bullies is reminiscent of Peter Parker fighting Flash Thompson in the original Spider-Man. The school bullies and what’s revealed about them too is not too surprising and a bit predictable in many ways.

What’s so interesting about the show is the tone it delivers having as much in common with films like ET and the animated Transformers movie as it does Spider-Man and other teen-focused heroes. There’s a fascinating tone about it all and one that feels like it’s been missing in the current superhero genre.

Stargirl feels like a bit of a throwback in many ways with an innocence about it that’s missing from today’s superhero live-action releases. It really goes for a throwback 80s feel in so many ways and it nails it in so many ways. It’s a show that wants to deliver fun and wonder

Overall Rating: 9.0

TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E1 First, the Weather Changed

Snowpiercer

When the news that Snowpiercer was coming to television, I wondered how they’d take such a compact story and adapt it for television without stretching out what we’ve seen so far. Based on the French 1982 graphic novel series and praised film spun out from that, the show takes the familiar and mixes in… the familiar.

The story of Snowpiercer tells the tale of the last of humanity. The world has become a frozen wasteland and all that remains, that we know of, is a 1,001 car train the can never stop and circles the Earth. Along with the ticketed passengers a rush of those trying to survive fill the back of the car with stowaways. That sets up a story of class and caste. The “tailies” and ticketed passengers. The haves. And the have nots. It’s a story of class warfare while the survival of everyone is on the line. In the age of COVID-19, the series takes on an even more interesting twist layering on the haves representing those who want the world to open at the expense of the lives of tailies.

But, where can the show go? A police procedural.

There’s been murders on the train and actor Daveed Diggs‘ Andre Layton is tapped to solve it. Layton is a tailie and uses his newfound role to explore the train so that his fellow oppressed can rise up and take the train. We’re not getting the uprising, instead of a familiar genre with an unfamiliar backdrop. There had been a previous murder and now there’s doubt the individual found guilty committed the original.

Jennifer Connelly, the other marquee name on the series, is relatively underused acting as the voice of Mr. Wilford and keeping the train running. The talented Steven Ogg is the other face you might recognize, but his role is also rather short and abrupt. That leaves the focus, and pressure of success, on Diggs’ shoulders.

It’s an interesting start that teases the show’s themes as it introduces us to this world. There’s something intriguing about the direction and choice of how to plot this season but the end result is a bit cold in the end. The excitement and tension of the graphic novel and film are missing and we’re left with the shell of the original concept. It feels like a different show was fused with the Snowpiercer story.

The first episode teases a possible great series but doesn’t quite deliver on its concepts. It doesn’t commit to the struggle. But, as a debut, it’s more than enough reason to explore this world further. Hopefully, we get a more to connect with, instead of CSI: Train.

Overall Rating: 7.0

Review: Batwoman S1E19 “A Secret Kept From All the Rest”

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Secret opens with Kate confronting Reagan about the stolen journal and discovering that she’s Magpie’s sister and accomplice. While Tommy, Mouse and Alice are torturing a Professor Carr for help deciphering the journal at Arkham they decide their best bet might be to kidnap Luke. Mouse tries to talk sense into Alice, who’s hellbent on revenge with a side of reckoning but, she’s more than her usual level of irrational. Kate talks with Julia about her attacking Reagan on the book hunt but, they’re forced to stick a pin in the conversation because Julia’s new love interest and Kate’s ex Sophie shows up.

The Big Bad: Gotham is under attack from a new villain, Hush (aka Tommy) kidnapping cryptographers to help decipher the journal. When their plan to get Professor Carr to help fails they “enlist” the services of NSA data analyst Tony Kim and Alice doesn’t want to stop even with all of the codebreakers in Gotham on lockdown so Hush takes the one that they don’t know about, they take former “nemesis” turn friend/mentee Parker from school.

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The Bat Gang: Mary tries to get Kate & Luke to reconcile because the team needs him, and personally so do they. Mary might not be a Luke level tech genius, she does come up with the idea of tracking Carr’s pace maker to the location where it went dark to find out where he was taken. Since Parker was facetiming with her girlfriend when Hush took her and her girlfriend had the sense to call Batwoman, she was rescued before Alice was able to get her hands on her which means the Bat Gangs resident techie Luke is back on her radar as prime target number one.

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Confrontations All Around: After going toe to toe with Kate over needing to trust Julia, Luke does some research of his own and discovers that Julia is in fact rogue but, after he talks to Julia about it and tries to get her to come clean to Kate, the duo is captured by Hush, right in front of Crows HQ and they plan on using Julia as incentive to get Luke to crack his dad’s code.

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What I Liked: Watching Parker and Mary watch Sophie & Kate make awkward small talk , like only two people who are still in love and neither wanting to yield can, like it was a soap opera.

Julia trying to talk Luke through his mental block to save both their lives was one of the most beautiful moments because it was in sync with the whole theme of reconnecting and emotional history.

Parker being a computer whiz doing her best to track Carr’s last living location and Mary coming through with an unintentional assist by trying to keep herself busy and accidentally uncovering special glasses that were made to read the journal.

Luke and Julia deciding to die rather that tell Alice what the journal says even though Luke, being the genius that he is deciphers it on his own.

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It’s Almost the Finale and… : Batwoman has broken into Arkham which leaves the already angry Papa Kane with even more of a reason to go after his , unbeknownst to him, super suited daughter.  Alice has the glasses and the book after Batwoman makes  a heroic and selfless trade but, that’s not good enough for her and she lets loose all the crazies in the asylum to fight off Kate while she drags a reluctant Mouse through the tunnels on their escape. Papa Kane shows up with an army of Crows with one mission, to capture the Bat, not knowing what he’s really setting in play and Alice is now loose in Gotham with everything she needs to know, to kill her sister. It’s all one hell of a set up for what I’m sure will be a killer season finale and no matter how the chips fall in episode 20, it’ll pave the way for a fan worthy season 2.

Overall: The episode is exceptional and kept with the dark nature of the show. It’s well written, exceptionally acted, brilliantly directed, and completely plausible. The creative team behind Batwoman seems to be amazing at having just the right mix of action, drama, and credibility which sets it apart from the rest of the CW’s DC Universe shows. “Secret” is a believable and strong episode from the first frame through the final scene and it showcases the excellence that we expect from the show.

Rating: 9.8

DC Unveils the Supersuits of DC’s Stargirl

With only days remaining before DC’s Stargirl premieres on DC Universe, the digital subscription service has revealed a set of images that showcase the series’ heroes and villains in their supersuits! From villains like Icicle and Brainwave to heroes including Doctor Mid-Nite, Wildcat, Hourman, S.T.R.I.P.E. and Stargirl herself, these never-before-seen images give fans a first look at the costumes each character will wear while in action. Created by DC’s Stargirl costume designer Laura Jean Shannon, the supersuits are inspired by the original comic books and embrace the classic old-school characters from Geoff Johns’ 1999 series.

Beginning May 18, DC Universe members will be the first to stream new episodes of DC’s Stargirl, every Monday commercial-free in downloadable 4K Ultra HD. Additionally, members will have access to several exclusive offerings, including extended versions of select episodes, behind-the-scenes footage of cast and crew, exclusive collectible pins and limited-edition posters, DCU’s fan community forum to discuss the latest episodes and access to all the comics that inspired the series.

From original creator and comic book writer Geoff Johns (executive producer of “Titans”, “Arrow,” “Batwoman,” and “The Flash”), DC’S Stargirl follows high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) as she moves to Blue Valley, Nebraska after her mother remarries Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) and inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past. The live-action superhero drama reimagines the 1999 Stargirl comics and the very first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, in an unpredictable series. DC’S Stargirl is lovingly inspired by Johns’ late sister, who was killed in a plane accident.

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