Tag Archives: Black Lightning

Pharoah Miles’ Favorite TV Shows of 2018

Luke Cage Season 2

Luke Cage Season 2 – In what would be its “swan song”, the show comes into its own, telling a unique story, subverting a horrible stereotype, and giving the hero a transition, which fans were sorely cheated out of.

Iron Fist Season 2 – Just like Luke Cage, this series also found its way in its sophomore outing, fans can only speculate where the show would go with two Iron Fists

Timeless – Over its two seasons, the show has more than made fans worldwide, it has given the time travel genre, a few new twists

Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil Season 3 – Though the season started slow, it had a ton of revelations and pushed its titular hero to his limits, as fans got to enjoy the show at its zenith, before its cancellation

Sense8 Series Finale – In this show’s swan song, we get one last team-up that truly puts all other finales to shame, as this particular episode I watched three times just to catch all the things they put in it.

Krypton – Kudos goes out to SyFy for doing a prequel show right, despite one of their earlier attempts, Caprica, failing. They took those lessons learned and applied it to this show, where we get to meet Kal-El’s grandfather and a Back To The Future version of Adam Strange

Titans

Titans – In a fine fist season that will be ending soon, this series gives us a gritty yet fun version of the characters have grown to love and this shows properly ”adults” them up

Black Lightning – As the newest show to be part of the CW’s DC TV Universe, this show strikes the perfect balance between character development, superhero action and tackling relevant issues, even better than its counterparts in its freshman season

The Tick – As beloved the comic, the cartoon and the first live action version of the show are, this version more than sets itself apart, as this one finally gets the humor from the comic.

The Haunting Of Hill House – As a fan of Shirley Jackson, I could not wait for this show, as it more than delivered in spades, and happened to be scarier in places where I least expected it

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here and we’ve got lots of geeky things we’ve got planned. What are you all doing? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the week day to end and weekend to begin, here’s some news from around the web.

The Wrap – Jaime Reyes ‘Blue Beetle’ Latino Superhero Movie in Development at DC and Warner Bros – Good. This is a smart move.

ICv2 – Lion Forge Restructuring – We’ve been hearing rumors.

CBR – Black Lightning Showrunner Faces Domestic Violence, Copyright Lawsuit – …

iO9 – Adorable Into the Spider-Verse Heroes From Build-a-Bear Workshop Have Arrived – Hell yes!!!

TV Review: Black Lightning S2E1 The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of The Green Light Babies

The board considers a motion to shut down the school, forcing Jefferson to go to Napier Frank to sway the vote; Jennifer struggles with her powers; Anissa finds a new way to give back to Freeland.

I’ll admit, I fell behind on the first season of Black Lightning and have yet to finish watching it (life got in the way). So, I was intrigued as to how accessible the second season’s debut would be. The answer is a bit mixed honestly.

Unlike a lot of the other CW shows, this first episode of the second season feels like a continuation of the first. It’s not so much a new storyline that may reference what came before, it straight up feels like part two to the first season’s part one.

What I enjoyed about the first season is its dive into today’s very real social issues and not flinching at all to call things for what they are and be honest, brutally honest, about it all. The second season opens with something that gave me hope too for a repeat. While the episode does that somewhat, it’s more focused on the meta aspect of it all. It feels a bit like a DC X-Men in a way. There’s a lot of discussion about metas and government experimentation. That, along with how best to help one’s community, are about as social aware as the episode gets.

There is a lot to reflect upon. There’s hints of Flint’s water crisis and absolutely the Tuskegee experiments. But, while abuse by the police is there, it feels like this season debut is focused more on the meta abilities and giving us “magical” moments full of special fx. But, there’s a focus on the experience of the underlying brutality this community experiences that pervades the episode. Trauma is front and present, both deep down and on the surface like experienced at the end of the episode.

While the episode could have been better at being new viewer friendly but still, it’s an emotional show that has no problem mixing the fantastical with a social consciousness.

Overall Rating: 8.0

SDCC 2018: Jordan Calloway Joins Black Lightning as Painkiller for Season 2

He may have saved Freeland in season one, but Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is in for a new season of pain when Jordan Calloway returns as DC villain Painkiller in the show’s sophomore season! Guest starring as Khalil Payne in season one, Calloway’s promotion to series regular was revealed by showrunner/executive producer Salim Akil during Black Lightning’s San Diego Comic-Con 2018 panel.

Khalil Payne was a high school All-American track star with dreams of going to the Olympics until a stray bullet severed his spine, leaving him embittered and unable to walk. Black Lightning’s archnemesis Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) offers him legs for loyalty. Khalil accepts the offer and receives cybernetic enhancements that transform him into the Painkiller, meta-strong and able to generate an anesthetic from his body that causes temporary paralysis when delivered through darts. Now, he is a living weapon for a ruthless crime boss. Before long, he pines for his old life and dreams, and his teenaged love, Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain).

In addition to Black Lightning, Calloway’s credits include Beyond for Freeform, Riverdale for The CW, The Mick for FOX and Pure Genius for CBS.

Black Lightning returns for season two on Tuesday, October 9, at 9/8c on The CW. Based on the DC characters, the series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter. Black Lightning is produced by Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

SDCC 2018: Black Lightning Joins the LEGO Exclusives

LEGO has unveiled the second exclusive minifig that you could win at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

Based off the DC comic character turned television series, LEGO is bringing Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning to the show.

You can get a chance to win it by signing up through the exclusives portal available to those with a ticket.

Review: Detective Comics #983

Beginning with a nod to the zeitgeist where “YouTubers” have supplanted television, film, sports, and music stars as the idols of youth culture, Bryan Hill lays out his thesis for his Detective Comics storyline and with artists Miguel Mendonca and Diana Egea and colorist Adriano Lucas adds explosions and obstacles to the team-up between Batman and seasoned principal, yet up and coming superhero Black Lightning. Detective Comics #983’s mysterious villain’s M.O. is that giving young heroes the opportunity to be a member of the Batman family and wear the Bat-symbol and dulling Batman’s edge as a vigilante who strikes fear into the heart of criminals. Hill and Mendonca immediately create a fairly high threat level as Batman’s young allies begin to be picked off one by one.

I really love how Hill, Mendonca, and Egea introduce Jefferson Pierce the principal and Black Lightning the superhero in Detective Comics #983. They show his dual nature by juxtaposing text of Pierce interviewing a potential teacher candidate with Black Lightning rescuing a kid from a masked criminal with a gun and a grenade. Hill’s writing, and Mendonca, Egea, and Lucas’ art show Black Lightning’s realist approach to crime fighting and life in general and that includes sometimes not saving everyone. Sadly, some students fall through the cracks, or criminals end up blowing themselves up instead of being taken alive. But this is the reality of Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning’s jobs, and his persistence and willingness to learn from his failures is why Batman wants to recruit him to lead and teach a team of young heroes.

Although, he could have gone the standard, house style superhero out, Miguel Mendonca makes Detective Comics #983 more memorable and even pays homage to the great comics of the past through his layout choices, like Dark Knight Returns-esque talking heads that add commentary to the events of the story. For example, explosions are a given in a superhero book, but Mendonca and his inker Diana Egea don’t do a double page money shot and move on. First, they show the impact of the bomb on Duke flying from a building in a way that screams pain and not cool action movie. And then they build on this by crafting a page with fragmented panels that look like stitches or veins as Alfred treats Duke after a fight with this mysterious hater of young people who are inspired by Batman and wear his symbol. In the panels, you can see Alfred pull shrapnel out of Duke’s skin with his own hands before it cuts to the title/credits page with Batman holding Duke’s arm and saying it’ll be okay. This inciting event shows the need for a “safety net” that Jefferson Pierce says his role as a principal is and coupled with the murder of the Batman-loving YouTuber creates the question of the Bat-symbol leading to more harm than good, which has sort of been a big theme in the comics since the death of Jason Todd in the late 1980s.

If there’s any real weakness in Detective Comics #983, it’s that Hill and Mendonca’s scene to scene transitions can sometimes be jarring like immediately going from Batman feeling pain for Duke to Bruce Wayne in sunglasses telling Martian Manhunter and the Justice League to not interfere with his new team that he’s setting up with Black Lightning. It’s a bit of a mood swing, and there’s a bit more in the Batcave before introducing Black Lightning in Metropolis. A thought will be introduced like Duke telling Batman that the villain said having a “Bat-family” made him weaker, and then it’ll cut to a fight scene in Metropolis. Hill has a definite grasp over the big picture and ends the book on a dark, powerful note, but location transitions could be a smoother. However, it is damn cool when Batman and Jefferson Pierce have their first meeting with Adriano Lucas bringing extra shadows, and Hill giving Batman a bit of a know it all attitude when it comes to calculations for his Black Lightning suit.

By starting Detective Comics #983 with a pair of tragedies that Batman failed to prevent, Bryan Hill, Miguel Mendonca, Diana Egea, and Adriano Lucas immediately place the Dark Knight on the defensive and challenge his preconceptions and reliance on young people to assist in his war on crime. Black Lightning is an organic fit for the story and doesn’t seem like a second fiddle with struggles and strengths of his own. Finally, Mendonca, Egea, and Lucas’ art work captures the power of a superhero action sequence without glossing over the pain that comes after especially in Duke’s case.

Story: Bryan Hill Pencils: Miguel Mendonca
Inks: Diana Egea Colors: Adriano Lucas Letters: Sal Cipriano
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

SDCC 2018: Warner Bros. Television Brings Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, Supergirl, DC Super Hero Girls, Legends of Tomorrow, Young Justice, and more!

Warner Bros. Television Group has unveiled its San Diego Comic-Con Class of 2018! With 15 of the Studio’s fan-favorite series making their way to San Diego Comic-Con, WBTVG’s graduating class this year will be as epic as ever.

Series stars participating in all the Comic-Con action are fan-favorites and new additions ––including Arrow’s Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, Colton Haynes, Echo Kellum, Juliana Harkavy and Rick GonzalezBlack Lightning’s Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Damon Gupton and James Remar; DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Nick Zano, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Tala Ashe, Matt RyanJes Macallan andCourtney FordThe Flash’s Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes;Legacies’ Matthew DavisManifest’Josh Dallas and Melissa Roxburgh; Riverdale’KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Mark Consuelos, Casey Cott, Skeet Ulrich, Mädchen Amick, Luke Perry and Vanessa Morgan; Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks, David Harewood and Katie McGrath; and Supernatural‘s Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins — to name just a few, who will join producers to deliver the ultimate experience for fans, with screenings, panel sessions, free autograph signings and media appearances.

Warner Bros. Television highlights include:

  • Comic-Con essentials Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Gotham, Riverdale, Supergirl, Supernatural, and Unikitty! are all back in San Diego.
  • World-premiere pilot screening of mysterious new drama Manifest, plus a brand-new episode of WBTV’s fan-favorite series The 100 — as well as the world premiere of season two of Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
  • The Studio’s 2,400-square foot, multi-level booth will once again be a must-visit destination on the convention floor.

SPECIAL PREVIEW NIGHT SCREENINGS

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

6:00–10:00 p.m. Manifest World Premiere and Special Sneak Peek Screenings — Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television Group proudly continue our annual Preview Night tradition with an exclusive pilot screening of the new series Manifest, plus an advance screening of the following week’s episode of The 100 (“The Dark Year” will air Tuesday, July 25, at 8/7c on The CW) exclusively for the Comic-Con audience. On top of all this, the evening will include a special world premiere of brand-new episodes from season two of Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which will later stream on CW Seed. Ballroom 20

  • Manifest: When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent, but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible. From executive producer/writer Jeff Rake, and executive producers Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke and comes an emotionally rich, unexpected journey into a world grounded in hope, heart and destiny.  The cast includes Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J.R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina and Parveen Kaur. From Compari Entertainment and Jeff Rake Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Manifest premieres Monday, September 24, at 10/9c pm NBC.
  • The 100: Over the last four seasons The 100 have fought to survive against unimaginable odds, only to see the world end for a second time. Season five begins six years later, with our heroes still separated: Bellamy’s team in space, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) on the ground, and hundreds trapped in the bunker below. But when a massive prison ship descends upon the last survivable place on earth, The 100 must come together to reclaim their home. As two armies converge on one valley, alliances will shift, friends will become foes, and the march to war threatens to destroy all that’s left of the human race. Can our heroes break the cycle, or is humanity doomed to repeat the past? In this epic battle for survival, one thing is certain: there are no good guys.  Based on the book series by Kass Morgan, The 100 is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Jason Rothenberg, Dean White and Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries).  Starring Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropoulos, Lindsey Morgan, Christopher Larkin, Richard Harmon, Tasya Teles and Henry Ian Cusick, the series airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
  • Freedom Fighters:  The Ray: All his life, Ray Terrill has fought injustice, dreaming of making a real difference like his older brother, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan. One day, he stumbles upon a dying superhero from another Earth and is stunned to find that this superhero looks just like him—because it is! The dying Ray Terrill of Earth-X transfers photokinetic energy to this Earth’s Ray, making him a superhero – THE RAY. However, Ray quickly learns being a Super Hero isn’t all hanging muggers from streetlamps and fighting giant robots. As the evil Nazi New Reichsman of Earth-X, led by Overgirl, close in, The Ray must learn to harness his powers by coming to terms with his true self, even if that means also finally coming out of the closet to his parents. The fate of Earth-X depends on it!  Based on the DC characters, the animated series is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Blue Ribbon Content, Warner Bros. Television Group’s digital studio. New episodes stream on CW Seed, starting July 18.

WBTVG/WBA SERIES SCHEDULE

PLEASE NOTE: Series stars and creative teams scheduled to attend are subject to change. Additional information on panel sessions, signings and other events will be provided as news breaks.

FRIDAY, JULY 20

10:00–11:00 a.m. Young Justice: Outsiders Special Video Presentation and Q&A — The fans have waited long enough and it’s time for a first look at one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year.  In Young Justice: Outsiders, the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in an animated world of super-powers, Super-Villains and super secrets.  This time, the team faces its greatest challenge yet as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy.  Join producers Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti, art director Phil Bourassa, voice director Jamie Thomasson and members of the voice cast, Troy Baker and Stephaine Lemelin as they give you an inside look at what it means to be an outsider.  Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Young Justice: Outsiders is coming soon to the DC Universe digital streaming service. Room 6DE

10:15–11:15 a.m. Inside The Big Bang Theory Writers’ Room — Join The Big Bang Theory writers and producers as they return to San Diego to take you inside the biggest moments of season eleven, and behind the scenes of television’s smartest comedy! From the engagement to the wedding, and all the moments in-between, find out what goes into making the hit series each week, and how the writers keep things fresh after more than 250 episodes! Join the show’s executive producers and writers as they take you inside the Writers’ Room for a lively discussion and special video presentation. From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory returns for season 12 this fall, airing Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS. The Big Bang TheoryThe Complete Eleventh Season is available now on Digital, and will be released this fall on Blu-ray™ and DVD. Ballroom 20

12:30-1:30 p.m.  DC Super Hero Girls Special Video Presentation and Q&A –– The DC Super Hero Girls universe continues to expand with new original graphic novels Out of the Bottle and Search for Atlantis and an all-new animated action-comedy series featuring fresh character designs and storytelling from Emmy®–winning producer Lauren Faust (Super Best Friends Forever, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends).  The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe.  After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life.  But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.  Join DC Group Editor Marie Javins for a sneak peek at upcoming books, and producer Lauren Faust and other members of the creative team for a first look at this upcoming series.  DC Super Hero Girls is coming soon to Cartoon Network. Room 6DE.

12:45-2:00 p.m.  World Premiere of Hulu’s Castle Rock  –– Escape the summer heat for a chilling world premiere screening of the first episode of J.J. Abrams and Stephen King’s psychological horror series about the hometown of some of your favorite nightmares.  You’ve read the books, you’ve seen the movies, you know the characters, but you’ve never heard the story of Castle Rock.  Following the screening, join the creators and executive producers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason (Manhattan) along with stars Sissy Spacek (Carrie), Bill Skarsgard (It), Melanie Lynskey(Togetherness) and Jane Levy (Suburgatory) as they discuss the most tragic and disturbing town in America.  Prepare to sleep with the lights on.  From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Castle Rock premieres Wednesday, July 25 on Hulu.  Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/CastleRockHulu and follow the series on Twitter at @castlerockhulu.  Ballroom 20.

SATURDAY, JULY 21

10:00-11:00 a.m. Unikitty! New Episode Premiere and Q&A –– Your favorite character from The LEGO® Movie, Unikitty, is bringing her joyous kingdom to Comic-Con!  Make sure to bring plenty of sparkle matter, positive vibes and all your questions as producers Lynn Wang and Ed Skudder, animation director Anna Hollingsworth and the voice cast, Tara Strong, Grey Griffin, Eric Bauza, H. Michael Croner, Roger Craig Smith will be there to share a brand-new episode and answer your questions.  Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Unikitty! airs Fridays at 6:30/5:30c on Cartoon Network. Room: 6DE

11:00–11:45 a.m.  Black Lightning Special Video Presentation and Q&A — Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, he must return as Black Lightning — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.  Join series stars Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Damon Gupton andJames Remar and producer Salim Akil for an electrifying look at season two!  Based on the characters from DC, Black Lightning is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil, and Sarah Schechter. Black Lightning returns to The CW on Tuesday, October 9 at 9/8c. Black Lightning: The Complete First Season is available now on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital. Ballroom 20.

12:00–12:50 p.m. SYFY Panel: Krypton Special Video Presentation and Q&A — After a mind-blowing season one finale that saw Krypton’s history drastically rewritten, the future of Superman has never been in greater jeopardy. Join series stars and executive producers of SYFY’s hit series as they discuss the many surprises of the first season and provide an inside look into what fans can expect in season two. From Warner Horizon Scripted Television and executive produced by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knighttrilogy) through his Phantom Four banner, along with Cameron Welsh, Krypton is based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, published by DC.  The series will return in 2019 on SYFY. Indigo Ballroom

1:00-2:00 p.m. Manifest Pilot Screening and Q&A –– When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely in New York after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible. Join executive producer Jeff Rake (The Mysteries of Laura, The Tomorrow People, Boston Legal, Miss Match, The Practice) and series stars Melissa Roxburgh (Valor, Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies), Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time, Thor), for an emotionally rich, unexpected journey into a world grounded in hope, heart and destiny.  Manifest premieres Monday, September 24, at 10/9c on NBC and is produced by Compari Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television. Indigo Ballroom

2:00–2:50 p.m.  Legacies Exclusive Video Presentation and Q&A –– Continuing the tradition of The Vampire Diaries and The OriginalsLegacies is the third installment of this supernatural series about witches, vampires and werewolves.  The story follows 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson, daughter of Klaus Mikaelson along with Alaric Saltzman and his twins at the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted as they come of age in the most unconventional way.  Join executive producer Julie Plec and series stars Danielle Rose Russell and Matthew Davis for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A.  From My So-Called Company, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, Legacies premieres Thursday, October 25, at 9/8c on The CW.  Indigo Ballroom.

3:30–4:15 p.m. Supergirl Special Video Presentation and Q&A —  Season three saw Supergirl stop Reign and the other Worldkillers’ threat to humanity and our planet, and in the process, Kara was shocked to find her mother Alura alive and living in a salvaged Argo City that survived the destruction of Krypton. Reconnecting with her past caused Kara to realize that her true home is now here on Earth, where big changes are taking place for her and all of her friends in National City – and also, it appears, for a doppelganger in Russia! Season four promises to be full of surprises, action, adventure and lots of big revelations for Supergirl, Alex, James, J’onn, Lena and Brainy.  Join the series’ cast, Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks, David Harewood, Katie McGrath and Jesse Rath and executive producers Robert Rovner, Jessica Queller and Sarah Schechter for a special video presentation, followed by a Q&A where they’ll discuss what’s to come and more! From Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Supergirl’s fourth season will premiere in its new Sunday 8/7c time period on The CW starting October 14.  Supergirl: The Complete Third Season is available now on Digital, and will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on September 18Ballroom 20

4:15–5:00 p.m. Arrow Special Video Presentation and Q&A — There has been no shortage of close calls for Oliver Queen when it comes to protecting his Super Hero identity, but in the season six finale, he was finally backed into a corner and forced to reveal himself to the world as the Green Arrow. Now, Oliver will come face-to-face with many of the criminals he placed behind bars, as he makes a new home for himself at Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Oliver will find himself vulnerable in a way unlike ever before when a mysterious new enemy begins to unravel his work as Green Arrow, challenging him to redeem his name or risk losing everything. Join series stars Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, Echo Kellum, Juliana Harkavy, Rick Gonzalez and Colton Haynes and executive producer Beth Schwartz at their annual Comic-Con panel to be among the first to learn more about what this means for Oliver and the rest of his team. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, Arrow will return to The CW on Monday, October 15, at 8/7c, and Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season is available now on Digital, and will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on August 14. Ballroom 20

5:00–5:45 p.m. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Special Video Presentation and Q&A — After defeating Mallus by cuddling him to death with a giant stuffed animal named Beebo, the Legends were ready to ease off the gas. That was until Constantine arrived to inform them that, in solving one major problem, they have created another, much larger one. When the Legends let time crumble in order to release and defeat Mallus, the barrier between worlds softened. History is now infected with “Fugitives” – magical creatures from myths, fairytales, and legends. Having been expelled throughout time by people like Constantine, these Fugitives are now returning to our world in droves and making a real mess of things. So when all hell breaks loose, who ya gonna call? That’s right, the Legends! Join the cast and creators of The CW’s zaniest Super Hero series – stars Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Nick Zano, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Tala Ashe, Matt Ryan, Jes Macallan, Courtney Ford, showrunnerPhil Klemmer and producer Keto Shimizu – at their annual Comic-Con panel for an in-person look at what makes this time-traveling crew tick. From Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will return to The CW on Monday, October 22at 9/8c, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season is available now on Digital, and will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on September 25. Ballroom 20

5:45–6:30 p.m. The Flash Special Video Presentation and Q&A — Matching wits with The Thinker, who by season’s end had harnessed the powers of all twelve bus metas he created, stretched Team Flash to their limits, but with the help of some new allies, Barry Allen (aka The Flash) and company were able to put a stop to the Enlightenment and save Central City once again. However, with the arrival of Barry and Iris’ speedster daughter, Nora, who arrived from the future admitting to having made a “big mistake,” things are anything but status quo. Will parenthood be the challenge that finally slows The Flash down? For answers to this, and all your other Season five questions, please join the cast and creators of The CW’s highest-rated series – stars Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Hartley Sawyer, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Danielle Nicolet and executive producer Todd Helbing – at their annual Comic-Con panel. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, The Flash will return to The CW on Tuesday, October 9 at 8/7c. The Flash: The Complete Third Season is available now on Digital, and will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on August 28. Ballroom 20

SUNDAY, JULY 23

10:30–11:30 a.m. Supernatural Special Video Presentation and Q&A — Join the series’ stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Alexander Calvert and executive producers Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner in Hall H to answer questions about the shocking events in last season’s intense finale, as well as what’s in store for the 14th season of this exciting series, when the show will reach the rare milestone of 300 episodes! Fans will also be treated to an exclusive video presentation featuring series highlights! The 14th season of Supernatural will return to The CW on Thursday, October 11 in its 8/7c time period. The series is produced by Kripke Enterprises Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television. Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season is available now on Digital, and will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on September 4Hall H

11:45a.m.–12:45p.m.  Riverdale Special Video Presentation and Q&A –– Following yet another drama-filled season and shocking season two finale, don’t miss Riverdale when it returns to San Diego for its third appearance at Comic-Con – this time in Hall H!  Join Archie and the gang as they continue to dive into the secrets that loom and keep emerging from the shadows in a town that once seemed like a quiet, ordinary place. The circumstances surrounding Archie’s arrest kick off the drama of season three as the gang tries to #FreeArchie and Hiram Lodge continues to flesh out his plans to control not only Riverdale, but the ever growing SoDale.  Based on the characters from Archie Comics and produced by Berlanti Productions (The Flash, Supergirl, Blindspot, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) in association with Warner Bros. Television, this one-hour drama is a bold, subversive take on the surreality of small-town life.  Join us for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A with series stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Mark Consuelos, Casey Cott, Skeet Ulrich, Mädchen Amick, Luke Perry and Vanessa Morgan and producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater.  Riverdale’s season three returns Wednesday, October 10 at 8/7c on The CW. Riverdale: The Complete Second Season is available now on Digital, and will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on August 7. Hall H

11 Things to Check Out Before Black Panther

The hype is strong out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s newest addition — and not without reason. While I am prohibited from revealing major plot points or spoilers from Black Pantherwhat I would like to provide is a sort of guide to what you’re getting into. Think of it like a wine and cheese pairing list to prepare your appetite before you go into see this next film.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron / Captain America: Civil War.

The second one may seem obvious — it was the first time we saw Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa on screen, and it tells us at least a little bit about his home country of Wakanda. But we’re also introduced for the first time to Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, who shows up a lot in Black Panther. 

But many of us will have forgotten (or tried to forget?) that Andy Serkis showed up for about 10 minutes in Age of Ultron as Ullyses Klaue, a South African arms dealer who stole vibranium from Wakanda, which Ultron then took from Klaue, along with a sizeable portion of his arm. This becomes important, so it’s worth revisiting at least that scene from Age of Ultron, and then watching Civil War, because Civil War is just so. dang. good.

It’s also worth noting T’Challa’s character arc in the film, especially as it relates to him being on Team Iron Man. In Black Panther, we’re treated to seeing just how much he respects international law and being subject to the Sokovia Accords. . . which is not at all, as we first see him in the film running an operation outside of Wakanda’s borders to rescue a colleague.

Also, note the final scenes he’s in with Zemo, and with Cap and Bucky in Wakanda. Boseman’s character work and scripting is excellent here, and this carries over into our film here.

Oh, and anyone who felt teased by this scene where a Dora Milaje is about to throw down with Black Widow?

“As entertaining as that would be. . .” Well, we get that entertainment in Black Panther. And the wait is worth it.

2. An Encomium To The Black Experience: Why I Am Excited To See Black Panther

This article by our own Troy Powell is a must-read. This is an incredibly thoughtful take on why Black Panther’s vision of afro-futurism is refreshing and exciting. Just go read it. I’ll wait.

3. Fruitvale Station and Creed

Director Ryan Coogler‘s career so far has been pretty well entangled with that of actor Michael B. Jordan and it’s great to see Jordan stretch his wings as the villain of Black Panther, Eric Killmonger. The MCU has often been faulted for relatively weak on-screen villains, but Killmonger is a rare exception.

To see their first collaboration, go back to Coogler’s first film, Fruitvale Station, which he both wrote and directed. It tells the true story of Oscar Grant who was shot by a San Francisco Transit Officer on New Year’s Day in 2009. It’s a heartbreaking story of hope and tragedy, and a film which I first reviewed as being “the best and most important film of 2013 that everyone who truly needs to see it never will.”

Coogler followed this up with the most unlikely of films– the Rocky franchise reboot/sequel Creed, also starring Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed who seeks out the aging champ Balboa to train him. The single shot of the young Creed’s first fight is such a masterwork of filmmaking it’s worth the price of admission alone.

You add onto that really brilliant character work and an intense understanding of the franchise, and you can understand why Coogler was a great choice to take on the MCU. Coogler grows as a visual director, and it’s great to see his growth from a low budget film to a medium budget studio film to using Disney/Marvel money.

4. That Kendrick Lamar soundtrack

black panther soundtrackAnother common complaint about the MCU is lack of memorable music. And especially where the films have tried to pair up with popular music, results have been. . .  mixed. Yes, I love hearing Foo Fighters play Walk in the bar in Thor (and over the credits), but it doesn’t quite mesh with the film overall. And then you have Soundgarden playing some nonsense over the credits to The Avengers — in my mind, the only problem with that film at all. They should’ve just licensed a good Soundgarden song and called it good. (How much better — and more fitting — would “Rusty Cage” have been there?)

But from the moment we heard a hip hop sample of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” in the first trailer for Black Panther, we knew we were getting something different.

You can listen to the album streaming on Spotify here and now.

5. A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates

a nation under our feet 1

While this current run on Black Panther may not have a lot to do with the movie from a narrative or character standpoint, it shares something incredibly important which is a social commentary. Coates’ opening run on Black Panther may have been set in Wakanda and been about the politics of Wakanda, but it wasn’t hard to see parallels to our current political situation in the US.

This is completely true of the film as well. It’s also clear that Coogler and Coates are of similar minds about presenting a critique of colonialism (and our current neo-colonialist attitudes towards Africa). Our film also hits hard on the oppression faced by black Americans, a struggle Coates has written on extensively and which finds itself woven into the philosophical discussions of A Nation Under Our Feet.

Beyond that, the basic premise of this run is whether T’Challa and Wakanda have some duty to the larger world or only to their country and their throne. That resonates thematically with T’Challa’s growth in the film. It’s also paced similarly– with lots of dialogue and character and less action.

Please also check out our video review of this on Facebook.

On a side note, a quick shout out to one of my favorite podcasts, Funnybooks and Firewater, which covers comics and offers drinking games and custom cocktails to go with your reading. They covered this a few weeks ago, and if you ever wanted to hear four white guys from Utah and California struggle with their privilege and talk about why they love this book so much, this is worth a listen. Also, they’re currently halfway through Watchmen and inching up on their 100th episode, so check them out.

6. Black Panther by Christopher Priest

h/t to my colleague Jon Carroll, who recommended this to me. Starting in his 1998 run on Black Panther, Christopher Priest introduced the Dora Milaje and the character of Everett Ross, whom we see a lot of in this film.

7. Static Shock

Speaking of Christopher Priest, it’s worth mentioning and recommending Static Shock, which he co-created with Dwayne McDuffie (Rest in Power– we miss you still), Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, and Michael Davis.

For kids of a certain age who will remember this fondly from the Kids WB lineup of cartoons, this was simply the height of early 00’s superhero awesomeness. It was also important to remember how groundbreaking this was at the time to have a superhero show led by a young black hero. Sure, Storm had been on the X-Men cartoon, but only as a part of a team that also included a fuzzy purple demon.

But this was the impetus for creating the character in the first place– greater representation and diversity in the world of comics and tv. Here’s hoping we also see more of him with the upcoming Young Justice continuation on Netflix as his inclusion was a highlight of Season 2.

8. Blade II 

Yes, for all the hype about this being the first time we’ve had a black comic book superhero in a big budget Hollywood movie, we’ve forgotten that Blade was a Marvel comics character before Wesley Snipes took on the role. However, in my opinion, the first film was good, not great. But Blade II is the far superior film.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, contender for Best Director this year for The Shape of Water, we get Blade teaming up with a vampire clan to take out the Reapers, new creatures that feed on vampires. This also reunites Del Toro with Ron Perlman from their previous work on Cronos, but perhaps more importantly, set up Del Toro and Perlman to make Hellboy. 

The major difference between the Blade movies and Black Panther? It’s missing a broader social conscience. This is something the Blade franchise always seemed to approach but never quite executed on, using vampires as stand-ins for parasitic and oppressive capitalism and the resulting income inequality. You can read that into the first two Blade movies (we dare not speak about the third one), but it isn’t quite there in the same way Black Panther wears its social commentary on its sleeve.

Some have suggested along with Blade, I should also recommend Spawn, which also starred a black superhero. But then I would be recommending Spawn. And I just can’t bring myself to do that. The Summer of 1997 was very cruel to comic books at the movies. I’m still not sure what is the bigger ignominy– nipples on the batsuit or the entirety of Spawn. 

9. Ultimates II

A Marvel animated film based off the second arc of The Ultimates, or the comics themselves, in which the Ultimate Universe versions of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (which became a sort of meta-blueprint for a lot of the MCU) enter Wakanda and meet Black Panther.

10. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Because one good cartoon deserves another, this cartoon series for some reason met an early death after only two seasons despite some amazing work. Klaue shows up fairly early, and T’Challa shows himself the equal or superior of all of our Avengers.

11. Luke Cage and Black Lightning

Last but certainly not least, these are great tv shows, and certainly Luke Cage is set in the same universe. But I didn’t want to just fall into a trap of just listing every superhero adaptation with a black protagonist. What sets these apart is a clear connection with a strong social commentary on what it is to be black in America right now. It should go without saying that if you aren’t watching Black Lightning every week on the CW, you should be. And if you somehow skipped Luke Cage on Netflix, it’s a good time to catch up, especially before the next season of Jessica Jones comes out in a few weeks.

 

Well, there we go. While certainly not an exhaustive list, this should help you as you wait patiently to see this film later this week.

Did I miss anything? Have a favorite Black Panther tie-in? Leave it in the comments section. Wakanda Forever.

TV Review: Black Lightning S1E2 Lawanda: The Book of Hope

The community starts to suspect that Black Lightning may have returned; Jefferson Pierce struggles with his decision; Gambi urges him to take up the mantle once more and return to life as Black Lightning.

I was impressed with the first episode of Black Lightning. The second episode is all about the small details and that helps make the series continue to stand out from the crowded field of comic adaptations on television.

The episode picks up on the first with Jefferson Pierce figuring out if he really wants to dive back into the superhero world. There’s kids being held against their world in prostitution and the cops don’t seem to want to do anything about it… at least they come up with shitty excuses.

While that story is interesting, an exploration of the community and what one can do in their dual roles, it’s the small details of the episode that’s great.

What’s particularly interesting is a scene with one of Jefferson’s daughters Anissa. In it we see Anissa with her girlfriend in bed talking. Anissa talks about her destroying her sink in the previous episode but says she did so when she went to “go pee.” While that might seem like a minor thing, I can’t think of too many shows, if any, admitting bodily functions yet having a woman being the one who did it. It’s a small detail, but a detail that adds authenticity to the show and weirdly feels groundbreaking in some way.

And that’s the thing the show exudes is authenticity.

One gets the feeling from the the dialogue, the interactions, this is the writers and creators’ world. There’s nothing about what happens that doesn’t feel like something that’d actually be said in the real world and the series doesn’t go overboard in all of that. It feels natural and reel. There’s another relationship moment with Anissa’s and a boy and the awkwardness again feels so realistic.

There’s also a real sense of emotion through it all. In the triple exploration of relationships. There’s acknowledgement of PTSD. You feel the sense of struggle within Jefferson. All of that is on the shoulders of the cast who raise what they’re working with to the next level (and what they’re working with is really good).

Black Lightning is great. It takes the superhero live action formula and shakes it up in positive ways that makes it leapfrog the competition. A fantastic addition to live action comic adaptations that will hopefully help raise the bar.

Overall Rating: 9.0

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Black Lightning

The CW‘s Black Lightning, the new show based on the DC comic book character of the same name is actually an icon in the comic book world in that Jefferson Pierce was one of the first black comic book characters created by DC comics. I decided to explore “10 more Things You Might Not Know” about him and his daughters Jennifer and Annisa, ultimately heroes “Thunder” and “Lightning”.

Check out the list below and see if you knew all of these:

  1. Black Lightning Was Co-Created by A Black Man – I’m not quite sure why this fact is rarely mentioned, but in 1977, Black Lightning was the first black comic book character actually co-created by an African-American. Artist Trevor Von Eden, who is African-American was the artist on the entire first run of Black Lightning which was written by Tony Isabella.
  2. Black Lightning was Originally a Racist Character Called Black Bomber – Seriously, he was a white racist, who would turn into a Black man when under stress. Isabella is actually the person who convinced DC Comics NOT to go that route. However, in 2008, Dwayne McDuffie did decide to briefly highlight the ridiculous character under the moniker The Brown Bomber.
  3. Black Lightning Originally Had No Innate Powers – Kind of like Tony Stark, Pierce’s powers instead came from his suit. His belt, created by his friend, mentor and tech-tailor, Peter Gambi, (kind of like James Bond’s “Q”) could generate and channel force fields and he often used it like a whip.
  4. “Suicide Slum” vs Freedland – In the comics, Pierce’s neighborhood is located on the Southside of Metropolis in an area called “Suicide Slum”. An area that I don’t think Superman ever visited. This neighborhood has been changed for the CW version to the fictional area of Freedland. But it is not clear whether Freedland is still within Metropolis or just near it.
  5. Black Lightning is NOT an Adult Static Shock – While Jefferson Pierce and Virgil Hawkins (Static) both do have the ability to manipulate electricity and yes, their suits look similar they have slightly different powers. Pierce internally pulls electricity from his body and can direct it in the forms of lightning bolts. In a heightened state he can also turn into pure electricity itself. However, Virgil pulls electricity out of the air around him, and also has the ability to manipulate metal. Pierce also is old enough to be Virgil’s father as is demonstrated in this clip from Young Justice from 2016.
  6. He is an Athlete Turned Superhero – Like Cyborg and Mosaic, who all were athletes before they gave it all up to fight crime, Black Lightning was once an Olympic Decathalete, which means in addition to the metagene, and a suit that lets him control his powers, he also has some trained talent as well in terms of speed and agility.
  7. Tobias Whale Might Have Been Immortal in the Comics – In DC Comics lore, the 100 or El Ciento, were a group of humans who had achieved a type of immortality through alchemy and science in Spain and then spread out across the world with different factions, later being called the assassins group The 1000. (Simliar to Marvel’s The Hand). Tobias Whale was an original 100 member who made Metropolis his base, which means technically, he might have been immortal as well at some point in BL/Batman lore. The CW actually stuck to canon here, by casting an albino rapper turned actor Krondon as Black Lightning’s nemesis Whale. The only thing that is different, is that the character is no longer obese, although he does have incredible strength and they did keep his weapon of choice, a harpoon.
  8. Black Lightning is Not Part of the Arrowverse – The CW “Arrowverse” is basically made of up the shows, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. Although premiering on the same network, showrunners Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil say that Black Lightning does not share their universe and currently has no crossover plans. I can see why. The Pierce’s were all born with their powers, whereas Barry Allen (The Flash) and other metahumans on the show gained theirs through a suspicious electrical storm.
  9. Thunder is a Lesbian Superhero -Thunder was created by Judd Winick and Tom Raney, and she first appeared in Outsiders #1, August 2003. As Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Anissa Pierce is also one of the few lesbian superheroes in comics and had a long-term relationship with Grace Choi. Choi, a bisexual Amazon (in the comics), is also a superhero and along with Anissa is a part of Batman’s vigilante Outsiders. The CW has cast Canadian-Vietnamese actress Chantal Thuy as Choi so it looks like they will be bringing Anissa’s comic book relationship to life onscreen as well. This means that the CW is bringing the first queer representation to primetime that includes women of color.
  10. Lightning Was a JSA Member – In the comics, Annisa Pierce was forbidden to use her powers and to fight crime until she graduated from college. Ignoring her father she ends up in a coma after a fight. To avoid the same rebellion in his younger daughter Jennifer (a.k.a.- Lightning), Jefferson allows Jennifer to join the Justice Society of America so that at least she will be part of a team and have some protection.

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

Karama Horne is on a mission to shine a light on indie, female and comic artists of color and highlights them and their work on her blog theblerdgurl. She also is a freelance producer for SYFYWire and is a regular guest on SYFYWire’s Who Won the Week Podcast. She’s always on twitter, but you can find her hanging out on facebook, instagram,  tumblr  , youtube and soundcloud on her own podcast as well.

 

 

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