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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

Krypton: The Complete First Season Comes to Blu-Ray/DVD on March 5, 2019

Krypton, the all-new series from executive producers David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Cameron Welsh (Constantine) tells the origin story of DC’s iconic Superman in a whole new way! Just in time for the second season on SYFY, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the action-adventure hit series Krypton: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2019. Fans can purchase the set which, in addition to all 10 exhilarating episodes from season one, contains over an hour of extra content, including the 2017 Comic-Con panel, featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel. Krypton: The Complete First Season is priced to own at $24.98 SRP for the DVD and $29.98 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy. Krypton: The Complete First Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

What if Superman never existed? Set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet, Krypton follows a young Seg-El, the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed in order to restore the fate of his future grandson. With Krypton’s leadership in disarray and the House of El ostracized, Seg fights alongside Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange to redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves while saving the future of his legacy from DC Super-Villain Brainiac.

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, the Blu-ray release of Krypton: The Complete First Season will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 2-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital Copy of all 10 episodes from season one.

Krypton stars Cameron Cuffe (New Year’s Eve), Georgina Campbell (One Night, Black Mirror), Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2), Colin Salmon (Arrow), Elliot Cowan (The Golden Compass), Ann Ogbomo (Wonder Woman, Justice League), Aaron Pierre (Britannia, The A Word), Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness), Wallis Day (Will), with Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons, Indian Summers) and Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones). Based on the DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Krypton is from Phantom Four Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by David S. Goyer alongside Cameron Welsh.


BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES

  • Krypton: 2017 Comic-Con Panel
  • Krypton: Bringing the Home World to Life
  • A Lost Kingdom: Life on Krypton
  • Gag reel
  • Deleted Scenes

10 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Pilot
  2. House of El
  3. The Rankless Initiative
  4. The Word of Rao
  5. House of Zod
  6. Civil Wars
  7. Transformation
  8. Savage Night
  9. Hope
  10. The Phantom Zone

DIGITAL

The first season of Krypton is also currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

BASICS
Street Date: March 5, 2019
BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 600 min
Enhanced Content: Approx. 61 min

DVD

Price: $24.98 SRP
2 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – ESDH, Latin Spanish, French

BLU-RAY

Price: $29.98 SRP
2 BD-50s
BD Audio –DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – ESDH, French, Latin Spanish

Review: Action Comics #1000 Captures Superman’s Inspirational Power

In Action Comics #1000, an all-star team of writers, artists, and colorists try and for the most part succeed at getting to the heart of Superman. Some stories touch on different eras of history from his time in the 1930s as a non-flying, slumlord buster and the Mort Weisinger Silver Age sci-fi kookiness to classic comics like Kingdom Come. Others look at his relationships with his parents, wife/co-worker Lois Lane, and his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. One story even looks far in the future of the DC Universe while another acts as a semi-controversial prologue to Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming Man of Steel miniseries and his runs on Action Comics and Superman.

To give each story the attention it needs, I will do a short review of each one and score it at the end of the paragraph. A final aggregated score  will conclude this (hopefully not that long) “80 page giant” review.

Action Comics #1000 opens with one hell of a curtain call from writer/penciler Dan Jurgens, inker Norm Rapmund, and colorist Hi-Fi that acts as a victory lap for Jurgens’ DC Rebirth run on Action Comics and his tireless work turning Superman from the edgy, armor wearing New 52 version to his classic role as a heroic hope bringer and a family man too. The story is simple. Metropolis is holding a Superman celebration day, but Superman doesn’t want their praise and adulation and wants to keep saving the day. However, through a little trickery from Lois and the Justice League, he ends up getting his moment in the sun. Jurgens’ writing cuts to the core of Superman and his positivity with a small-time Metropolis criminal named Benning talking about how he got him a job after prison so he wouldn’t keep relapsing and running with different supervillains. His art is a little old school, but that’s not a bad thing, and Rapmund’s inking helps make the crowd shots sharp in a story that shows Superman’s bond with the citizens of Metropolis and the superhero community while not neglecting the family elements that have been a big part of the Rebirth era of Superman. There really wouldn’t be a superhero genre without him.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.8

The next story “Neverending Battle” from the Superman creative team of Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Alejandro Sanchez is a tiny bit philosophical, somewhat historical, and definitely epic as a story only done in full page spreads. It’s about Vandal Savage weaponizing Hypertime to trap Superman in his own history so he can’t get back to Jon and Lois to celebrate his birthday. Tomasi’s writing is a little corny at times with adages like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “History repeats itself”, but Gleason and Sanchez’s glorious visuals and the through-line of Superman consistently overcoming great odds wins out just like Superman over Vandal Savage. The first spreads are the most iconic with Golden Age Era Superman punching out gangsters, stopping locomotives, and throwing tanks around with Tomasi commentating on the simplistic, good vs. evil nature of these early stories. But he and Gleason aren’t afraid to get vulnerable with a poignant homage to the scene in The Dark Knight Returns where Superman is weakened after stopping a nuclear explosion that blocks out the sun or a page where he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone. However, despite cunning and powerful enemies and occasionally death itself, nothing will stop Superman from being a hero or spending time with his loved ones on his birthday. Gleason has a strong handle on the moral clarity and goodness behind Superman’s strength and I look forward to his upcoming work as the main Action Comics artist.

Story: 8.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.3

The third story “An Enemy Within” with a script from Marv Wolfman, Butch Guice and Kurt Schaffenberger inking over recently discovered Curt Swan, and colors by Hi-Fi straddles a thin line between optimism and naivete and definitely falls on the naive side. Superman is too busy fighting Brainiac in Japan so he relies on Maggie Sawyer and the Metropolis PD to take out a mind controlled teacher, who is holding his students hostage. There is an opportunity to address social issues, like school shooting, gun control, police violence, and even homelessness in a scene towards the end, but Wolfman, Swan, and Guice gloss over these issues with a simplistic “humanity is good and will save themselves” mantra and use the mind control plot device to cover their asses. Honestly, your enjoyment of this story will depend on how much you believe in the idea of original sin or your tolerance level for after school specials. Guice’s inks bring an interesting grit to Swan’s usually clean, bright pencils, and honestly, the best part of the story is a solemn Superman pinup at the end inked by the late Schaffenberger.

Story: 4.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.5

Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Olivier Coipel, and Alejandro Sanchez turn in a stoic, 1930s era Superman story about a small time crook named Butch who gets his car beat up when trying to fight Superman. It’s probably the car from the cover of Action Comics #1. Johns and Donner’s take on Superman is a little rougher and little more stern, but he has a solid moral compass and cares for humanity as shown by his empathy towards Butch, who lost his dad in combat during World War I. Coipel’s art is wonderfully rough hewn and is like Norman Rockwell’s work without the sentimentality, and he even plays the “It’s a bird, it’s a plane…” line for sardonic, silent comedy. His Superman commands the page and is someone who you would listen to and definitely take seriously. He doesn’t smile either. But the ending of “The Car” has an earned happiness and is a little spark of light in a cynical world. Johns and Donner really get that heroism is about the little things and not flying the world backwards or time travel shenanigans.

Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.8

Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Dave McCaig tell a quiet, yet time spanning story about the relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor, and how Superman chooses to see the good even in his worst enemy. The story starts intense with shadow wreathed art and dark colors from Albuquerque and McCaig as Luthor has assembled some powerful MacGuffins to take out Superman. But he’s actually just star gazing at the Smallville Planetarium? Albuquerque’s art is sharper and sadder after that with a nostalgic orange palette from McCaig as Lex tells Superman that the planetarium was an escape from bad weather and his abusive parents. They seamlessly blend past and present as it’s revealed that a young Clark Kent gave Lex’s space laser a little boost and saved his life. Snyder uses this anecdote/flashback sequence to hold out hope for a time when “maybe” the cycle of hero and villain will be broken between Superman and Lex Luthor as the story fades to black.

Story: 9.6 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.7

Tom King makes a case for winning back to back Eisners for Best Short Story in his, Clay Mann, and Jordie Bellaire’s contribution to Action #1000, “Of Tomorrow”. It’s a tone poem about Superman’s last day on Earth as he says goodbye to Ma and Pa Kent one last time as the Earth is engulfed in the sun with flames and winds that are reminiscent of the last days of Krypton. King writes Superman as an old man wrestling with his past and legacy, wishing he could save more people, and being supremely proud of his wife and son. And it gets deep at the end when he reflects on his father’s blend of science and faith. Mann captures each tiny, beautiful moment in his artwork as he makes art with his strength, tears, and freeze breath: a frozen statuette of Jonathan and Martha Kent like the one of Jor-El and Lara-El in the Fortress of Solitude. Bellaire goes for Earth tones in her colors as Superman immerses himself in his adopted planet before flying off forever. He loves his parents, he loves Earth, but he realizes that all planets die and all story ends. (Except for his comic book for now.)

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Two veteran comics creators Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway show they still have a lot in the tank in their “Five Minutes” story with colorist Dave McCaig that expertly intertwines Superman’s life as a superhero and Clark Kent’s life as a journalist in five minutes. Simonson’s narration shows that both Clark and Superman’s “powers” come in handy in different situation as Superman is able to dart from a train accident to a hold up and finally to save the city from an asteroid just like Clark is able to write a story and get it in under deadline. It’s a quick, zippy read with a lot of heart and a kind of cheesy “twist” ending, but Simonson and Ordway show how much passion Superman/Clark Kent has for both saving people and reporting. He is precise, efficient, and knows when to fly to next crisis just like a writer juggling different projects. Plus there’s a Bibbo Bibbowski cameo, which will be a treat for Superman fans of the 80s and 90s.

Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3

Paul Dini, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Kevin Nowlan, and Trish Mulvihill turn in a cheeky homage to Superman’s history, Garcia-Lopez’s ability to skillfully render almost every DC Comics hero and villain, and most of all, Mr. Mxyzptlk. Mxyzptlk has the ability to wipe out Superman from the existence in the blink of an eye, but he’s more of a prankster than a coldblooded villain and enjoys toying with him instead. Dini, Garcia-Lopez, and Nowlan also provide a little meta-commentary on how stories involving superheroes in comics never seem to end even after they’re killed off or have passed their mantle to sidekicks or legacy heroes. Probably, because they’re too much fun. This story’s kryptonite is Dini indulging his sleazy side towards the end, but the energy and humanity of Garcia-Lopez’s figures and Mulvihill’s heroic colors more than make up for it.

Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0

In a much darker story than the previous one, “Faster than a Speeding Bullet” happens in a very short span of time as Superman tries to stop a domestic abuser from shooting his girlfriend, Lila, in the head. Artist John Cassaday tells the story in a series of freeze frames as you can see the strain of Superman flying to stop the bullet, and the red, yellow, and blue of Laura Martin’s colors as his chances increase. Brad Meltzer starts incredibly dark in his script with Superman running calculations in his head that he won’t be able to save Lila and ends with Superman admitting that he is inspired by humanity as much as they are inspired by him. “Faster than a Speeding Bullet” is a taut, mini-thriller that also captures Superman’s essence and the strength of his and the people he inspire’s resolves.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The final story in Action Comics #1000 is Brian Michael Bendis’ DC debut with Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair doing the art. Lee and Williams definitely put the “action” in Action Comics, and most of the story is a third act of Man of Steel fight sequence with collateral damage galore as new giant sword wielding alien conqueror villain Rogol Zaar crashes all over Metropolis and tries to kill the last two Kryptonians on Earth. Yes, Supergirl has a cameo in this comic and is there to get her ass kicked as much as Superman. Bendis’ writing is quippy as ever and doesn’t really pair well with the disaster movie feel of Lee and Williams’ art. He seems to be going for an “Avengers Disassembled” type of throughline in his approach to Superman by physically breaking him down and also taking shots at his past. Yes, the final page of Action Comics #1000 is a huge retcon for Superman’s character, and hopefully, Bendis has the reasoning and great story to back it up, or Rogol Zaar might just be a Mongul knock-off with a cooler sword.

Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0

 

Story: Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Brian Michael Bendis  Art: Dan Jurgens with Norm Rapmund, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan with Butch Guice and Kurt Schaffenberger, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Jerry Ordway, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez with Kevin Nowlan, John Cassaday, Jim Lee with Scott Williams  Colors:  Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Dave McCaig, Jordie Bellaire, Trish Mulvihill, Laura Martin, Alex Sinclair
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

TV Review: Krypton S1E1 Pilot

Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El, learns Krypton is in danger of being destroyed so that his future grandson will never be born.

The history of Superman’s family is explored in Krypton, the new series from SyFy. A cross between the comic series and Game of Thrones, the series focuses on Superman’s grandfather Seg-El and a time travel conspiracy to erase Superman from existence.

The debut is an interesting one taking us deep into the Kryptonian society as they’re take over by the Church of Rao, the quasi-cult like Church that’s been mentioned in Superman and Supergirl’s history but not explored too much.

What we learn is a fanatical sect has taken control over Krypton and rejected science. It’s an interesting concept and one that’s a solid reflection on today’s world as anti-science individuals have invaded our government and rejected logic. Enter the House of El who believes there’s an alien threat that will soon attack Krypton. Replace alien with climate change, and you have a series that’s a loose allegory for today’s ills and one that could soar if it really focused on that.

The series though is about the family drama as the House of El is shamed and the House of Zod rules. It’s more Game of Thrones than Superman comics and that’s quite ok as it makes the series a step above sci-fi adventure.

The characters are interesting but no one stands out. They all feel second tier in their own special way. Only Adam Strange, a time traveller to help save the future, is interesting and makes things a bit more entertaining.

What does stand out is the set design, costumes, and world which has so much detail. The show looks amazing. While it’s drab in color and a bit depressing, it still looks fantastic. Particularly impressive is our brief glimpse of Braniac, the big bad that’s coming, whose make-up and design is heads and above what we’ve seen on live action comic adaptations.

The debut episode isn’t bad, it’s also not amazing either. It’s a good start that has me wanting to see where it all goes. There’s potential here and if any of the characters stand out going forward will be key because right now, there’s no “star” to make the series really stand out. There’s “heart” that’s missing here. The motions are being gone through without the emotional depth and connection that’s needed. No matter what though, it’ll be fantastic to look at.

Overall Rating: 7.0

SyFy’s Krypton Gets a New Trailer

Set two generations before the destruction of the legendary Man of Steel’s home planet, Krypton follows Superman’s grandfather (Cameron Cuffe, The Halcyon) — whose House of El was ostracized and shamed — as he fights to redeem his family’s honor and save his beloved world from chaos. Based on DC characters, Krypton is executive produced by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight trilogy). Cameron Welsh (Ash vs Evil Dead) will serve as executive producer and showrunner. Every generation needs hope.

Krypton Premieres March 21 at 10/9c on SYFY.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will you all be doing? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy Cast in ‘New Mutants’ – This could be cool.

Deadline – ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Renewed For Season 5 By ABC – Well ok then.

CBR – Happy: TV Adaptation of Morrison & Robertson’s Comic Gets Series Order – This should be interesting.

CBR – Krypton: Superman Prequel Officially Gets Series Order at SyFy – And this should be interesting.

The Shallow Brigade – a primer on nick spencer’s shitty politics – The more you know.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1

Review: Supergirl #1

supergirl1coverIn Supergirl #1, Steve Orlando writes Supergirl as the most awkward super teen this side of Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man as she tries to “fit in” on Earth at her new school, with her new family, and with the DEO. It’s a tough task, and Orlando and artist Brian Ching make good use of flashbacks to show how confident Kara was using the more advanced technology of Krypton versus the internal combustion engines and PowerPoints of Earth. The constant scolding from people, like Cat Grant and the DEO head Cameron Chase, doesn’t help either, and by the end of the issue, Orlando and Ching have taken Kara to a sad place.

In most stories, the fish out of water trope is played for a few easy and often stereotypical laughs. (E.g. Crocodile Dundee, Hercules in New York, most recently Thor) Orlando goes for a more nuanced approach in Supergirl #1 and has Kara make little quips about how slide projectors are primitive technology and about her adopted dad, Jeremiah Danvers’, pretty atrocious attempts at speaking Kryptonian. Except these jokes come from a place of deep pain and loss as she simply can’t fit on Earth. Ching opens the comic with a gorgeous splash page of Supergirl flying around one of Jupiter’s moons with Michael Atiyeh putting the red, yellow, and and blues of her costume on full display. And this sets the tone for the comic as Atiyeh uses brighter, richer colors for the Krypton flashbacks and more muted tones for the present scenes set on Earth except when Supergirl is in action. Earth is a dull, awkward place for Kara except when she’s being Supergirl, who everyone likes to criticize.

supergirlsplashpage

The underlying theme of Supergirl #1 is the danger of stereotyping other cultures, especially when they are new to your native country. For example, after Supergirl rescues hostages on a train without the DEO’s permission, Chase uses that incident to rant about how Kryptonian culture was “toxic”, arrogant, and that her going in solo to save the day could lead to Earth suffering the same fate as Krypton. Supergirl doesn’t say much in this confrontation, but her sadness is conveyed excellently through wistful facial expressions from Ching as Chase gets in Kara’s face, asserts her power over her, and passes judgment on an entire culture.

But this stereotyping can happen in other ways, like when Jeremiah Danvers redesigns their living room after some pictures he saw of Krypton. (That happen to be 200 years out of date.) He wants to make Kara feel more comfortable, but this gesture makes her feel even more awkward and leads to her flying out to the Fortress of Solitude. This action is equivalent to a white parent cooking a meal or wearing the “traditional costume” of their adopted child from another country and leads to bad feelings all around as they feel that they can “master” the child’s culture.

Supergirl #1 is an intense exploration of both the immigrant experience (Especially when Orlando has Kara quote the line from the old Superman radio show, “strange visitor from another planet.”) and the general awkwardness of moving to a new area and trying to figure out what people like and don’t like and failing at fitting in. And Steve Orlando and Brian Ching aren’t afraid to end this issue on a down note as Kara is no closer to feeling like she is valued by her parents, peers, and handlers at the DEO. Supergirl isn’t hated and feared, but is treated like an out of place nuisance, which actually is a more relatable experience, even if she can fly and destroy assault rifles with her freeze breath.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Brian Ching Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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