It’s new comic book day! Yes, there are new comics… they’re just digital! What comics are you getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you contemplate that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Things are a bit crazy right now but it’s still new comic book day tomorrow! What are folks getting? Will you be buying digital comics? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Warren Ellis‘ Castlevania show for Netflix is about powerful old men who want to bring the world down around them and the OT3 who say “nope” to all that. I’m joined by two critics who know their anime way better than I to talk about the show: Kat Overlandis a freelance culture critic and the small press editor at Women Write About Comics. Leslie Lee the 3rd is a writer and host of Struggle Session.
We open with a Spoiler-free discussion of if you should watch the show. Answer: yes, there are lesbians. And the Byronic is actually likeable.
Netflix, Hasbro, Rooster Teeth, have released the first teaser trailer for Chapter One of the highly anticipated Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, premiering on Netflix. The Series raises the stakes of the Autobot and Decepticon war with Chapter One having six, twenty-two minute episodes, complete with a new animation look and style that presents the Transformers bots like you’ve never seen them before. The Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy plunges us deep into events that live at the heart of this legendary franchise, with “Siege” shining a spotlight on a critical timeframe in Transformers history on Cybertron.
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Siege begins in the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.
Rooster Teeth is producing the original series for Netflix, and Polygon Pictures is serving as the animation studio. Transformers veteran F.J. DeSanto is serving as showrunner on the series with several contributing writers, including George Krstic, Gavin Hignight, and Brandon Easton.
The Series voice talent cast includes Jake Foushee (Optimus Prime), Jason Marnocha (Megatron), Linsay Rousseau (Elita-1), Joe Zieja (Bumblebee), Frank Todaro (Starscream), Rafael Goldstein (Ratchet), Keith Silverstein (Jetfire), Todd Haberkorn (Shockwave, Red Alert), Edward Bosco (Ultra Magnus, Soundwave), Bill Rogers (Wheeljack), Sophia Isabella (Arcee), Brook Chalmers (Impactor), Shawn Hawkins (Mirage), Kaiser Johnson (Ironhide), Miles Luna (Teletraan I, Cliffjumper) and Mark Whitten (Sideswipe, Skywarp).
More details regarding Chapter Two, Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Earthrise and Chapter Three coming soon.
Nina and the detective are celebrating her return to sobriety and she’s completely unaware of all the hi-jinks that her kids have been up to and the evil that is headed their way. Kinsey, Bode, and Tyler are anxiously waiting for Ellie’s return unaware that Dodge got to her and is now in possession of the crown and the key needed to control it, so when she shows up at the house with a literal army of shadows it’s game on.
I WAS ALL ABOUT:
Bode using a multicolored lightsaber to keep the shadows at bay while they hunt for more flashlights, then using it to defiantly stab a closing in on shadow monster causing it to go up in all the flames, is everything good and pure in this whole cold, heartless world.
I loved Scot using his horror knowledge to be the king of captain obvious when it comes to questioning all the off choices the team makes and Eden wondering what the plan is if Lady Doge wakes up why they’re carrying her through the spooky cave.
Bode finding Rufus’ body at his house while everyone else is off on their mission to open the black door and dump the body.
Kinsey coming to her senses and realizing that opening the black door might not be the best idea, at least until she let Tyler talk her out of it it.
Bode again being the voice of reason and questioning if they really got rid of Dodge because something wasn’t adding up for him.
Watching them release Rendell’s ashes and calling the house HOME for the first time.
WHAT WORKED: Throughout the season finale we are reminded that these are just kids messing with some very grown up (and ancient) magic. They make some rookie mistakes but, they also come up with some out of the box solutions that most adults wouldn’t have come up with. Things aren’t tied up in a nice little bow and it’s messy, like life and childhood and adolescence making it reliable wherever you are in your life cycle.
I also like shoving a lot in on the front end of the episode so that you find yourself lulled into a very false of security with twenty or so minutes remaining but, at the same time there was an uneasy feeling that kept you on your toes until the last five minutes when Kinsey after receiving a call from Gabe. After the phone call, the viewer gets to have it’s idyllic happy ending shredded when a flashback gives us a bunch of aha moments and we find out that Gabe Kaiser Sose’d Kinsey to get close to the keys, made evident by the flashback reveal that shows Lady Dodge body changing from him and then using the Anywhere Key to get into the party where she seduces Tyler. Eden got shot by a glowy bullet so there’s another demon on the lose and, if that wasn’t enough, Ellie is who got thrown into the pit because Lady Dodge used the Identity Key on her to lull the kids (and us viewers) into a false sense of security so that she could continue her hunt for the keys.
KINDA SUCKED: That you spent a lot of the episode hella sure that, Ellie got thrown into the pit in the black door in a Lady Dodge suit, poor Rufus making the aha moment when you find out you’re right, that much worse.
Scot being honest about his feelings and telling Kinsey that what she wants (her dating both him and Gabe) isn’t going to work for him, so it’s best that they just stay friends.
Bode writing a letter to his friend Rufus as Nina puts up missing posters looking for Ellie.
“Is demon non-binary” – Scot
“You’re gonna have a knife fight with a demon?” – Eden
“If you’re undecided, then that’s your decision” – Scot
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a great final episode with amazing reveals a perfect ending for the show’s first season. I really hope that it gets renewed because I want to see more of Matheson, it might not be as dark and heartbreaking as the comics but, it’s still filled with great characters, a wonderful story, a well thought out and executed mythology and a rich world filled with people you can relate to, who happen to find themselves in magical situations. The series as a whole was cohesive and clever and this episode was the cherry on top of a great story sundae.
In the beginning of “Echoes” we come full circle and through flashbacks, we see that Ellie is the one who made the call that caused the man to use the key to burn himself in the premiere. We also learn that Lucas showed up at Ellie’s right after the well lady, aka Dodge, escaped and asked her for help, which is what she was doing in the house when Nina found her a few episodes back, she was stealing a tiara “The Crown of Shadows” and, looking for one thing he couldn’t find, the key that he wanted to go along with it.
We also solve the mystery of what got Mr. Ridgeway killed, he snapped a picture of Lucas and Ellie talking on his cellphone and was going to tell Nina about it, once he got the phone, despite Ellie protesting, he killed him and tried to make it look like a suicide. Lucas then used the anywhere key to escape leaving Ellie alone there when Nina showed up and discovered the body and tried to save him while Ellie used that chance to sneak out and run home where she confronts Lucas and shoots him multiple times but, he doesn’t die because he’s an Echo. We then discover Ellie’s motivation for helping him, he threatened to kill Rufus.
Back in the present, Kinsey & Tyler finally show Bode the memory of the demon dodge and what really happened to Lucas, when Bode identifies him as Rufus’ cousin. Back at Ellie’s Lucas tasks her to search Rendell’s ashes to find the Omega Key. Bode visits Rufus and fills him in on what’s going on and Rufus, in turn, shows him the crown, setting Bode up to go on a quest to find the other key to save his family and his friend.
WHATWORKED: Throughout the season each episode has built upon the mythology of the keys and the story from the previous episode. In “Echoes” we get a more detailed account of all of the missing pieces that bring the story for this season together, just in time for the finale. I loved the mystery based cinematography, the writing was well done and clever, the acting made me forget that I was watching a TV show and I found myself really invested in the lives of the Locke kids and the possible mental deterioration of their mom, Nina. This episode continued the trend of organically unraveling a story so that the viewer felt like a part of the story itself instead of just an observer. This episode was a good way to tie up the loose ends and lingering questions about what was going on with the keys and who Dodge was. We also learn why Mark killed himself so that Dodge couldn’t get the remaining keys by getting into his head since he hid the remaining keys. It was more than a placeholder, it was a box of index cards with a highlighter so that people would know what was up for the season finale and it was helpful & informative, while still maintaining some entertainment value.
BEST MOMENT: When Dodge gets the key, I don’t know if it was the music or the action or the sheer sinister nature of his grin and action, or a combo of all for but, it was epic evil and a nice solid way to end the episode and force you to skip the credits and intro to get right into the next episode so you could see how it ends.
“I know I should choose but, what if I didn’t?”- Kinsey to Scot and Gabe (on her having feeling for them both and deciding to be honest) then she dipped before they could answer to take a phone call and tells them to “Think about it!” as she walked away, which was a boss move, filled with self- awareness and autonomy and I loved it.
EPISODE MVP: TIE-
Bode, DUH! I mean he’s the only character in this show consistently with his head on straight, he is the stuff of Arthurian legends are made of. He’s brave, true, honest and compassionate. He’s also the only one who isn’t hellbent on using the keys for personal gain and it’s nice to see him be the voice of reason because of his age but, like his dad always said, and he reminds Kinsey & Tyler, ” I’m very discerning for my age.” Yes, you are young man. Yes, you are!
Rufus! Hiding keys, watching everything, dry snitching for the benefit of his fellow man, he does the right thing, even if he’s told he shouldn’t, he’s not afraid to ask for help and he’s brave AF! He’s amazing and kind and if this was Harry Potter he’d be Gryfindor down so, I’m here for it.
In Locke & Key “Ray of F***ing Sunshine,” Lady Dodge is on a mission to use the Head Key to get into the memory of one of Rendell’s old friends and find out where they hid the key that she needs the most. Kinsey finds out that her dad and his friends were once the keepers of the keys and took their oath to keep that door lock and the world safe from Dodge very seriously. We learn that Lucas, or at least his body, is alive and well and living with Ellie and a very terrified Rufus and that Nina has a drinking problem but, her inebriated lack of inhibitions allows her to remember everything about the keys. In the aftermath of Sam dying in their house Scot forgives Kinsey for leading the Savini’s to there possible doom, and the definite loss of their equipment, in the sea cave but, things get really awkward when Gabe emerges from Kinsey’s bedroom during their reunion.
WHAT WORKED:Locke & Key is very formulaic but, still manages to have shocks and reveals. The creative team seems to be very fond of slow, emotional, story-based scenes that drag on just long enough to lull you into a false sense of security before hitting you with a new piece of information or a shock that enhances the story and pushes it along. “Ray of F***ing Sunshine” does all of the usual stuff and more, it moves slowly in the beginning as the family picks up the pieces after Sam’s break-in and dead but, it also throws everything at the viewers but the kitchen sink. This episode was full of body-swapping , head key hi-jinks, and a Lucas reveal. Ray is an episode full of crumbs that are meant to be pushed together into a delicious cookie that the writers have been slowly baking since the pilot and now everything’s set at a nice warm temp ready to eat in the final two episodes.
I DON’T TRUST IT: I thought it was sweet that Scot showed up on his lunch break, intent on starting fresh with Kinsey in the Sam aftermath but, when Gabe showed up to interrupt I thought that was a bit off and the timing was hella suspect. Between the Box/Key urging and this, I don’t trust him especially after Kinsey spilled 90% of the Key beans to him when she was venting.
BEST MOMENT: Early on in the episode, the Locke kids realize that their mom, Nina, is drinking again and her remembering the keys is an unintended side effect. While it sounds good in theory to have their mom actually able to help with all the crazy demon stuff they’re dealing with, it also kind of sucks because the only way she can do that is if she’s drunk. The kids have to have a real talk about what to do and ultimately decide that they would rather have their mom, whole and healthy, than a drunken version of her there to help them out. It was a sobering and selfless moment that showed real growth and a cohesive, unified front for the Locke kids who had been fighting their own inner battles for most of the season.
There’s a whole lot of Lady Dodge in this episode of Locke & Key, not only is she serving as a distraction to Tyler in an attempt to get the head key from Tyler but, she loses the anywhere key to him in a miscalculation. She’s also about to clarify the rules for Bode and the rest of the Locke kids when she comes into the house and takes a key for herself. In a flashback heavy episode “Dissection“shows us what lead up to Sam breaking into Locke’s house back in Seattle. We learn about how Lady Dodge turned him against his former friend and his mentor Rendell and we see the Locke family join forces to defeat the enemy in the house.
WHAT WORKED: The sheer honesty of it all. Most of the episode centered around the family and their dynamics, despite the fight that Tyler and Kinsey had earlier that day there was no question that he would defend her with his last breath, in fact, I was so wrapped up in the show and characters that all I kept thinking was, wait until Tyler comes home. When Tyler uses the anywhere key to get into the house and hears Sam’s voice, we all knew what time it was and Tyler did not disappoint, unfortunately, Sam still had the fire key and managed to escape and tie him up. I liked that Kinsey was able to tell Tyler where her keys were hidden in a way that only a sibling would get and that she chose to make sure Bode was safe instead of going for Sam’s gun when her fear attacked him. All of these little choices were so realistic and showed real love and a bond that only siblings could have and it was beautiful to watch and so flawlessly portrayed by the brilliant young actors. Locke & Key has a way of making you get emotionally involved with the Locke kids and at times you feel involved in the story like it’s a really good book.
WHAT DIDN’T: I thought that it was hella cliche that Lady Dodge’s plan to get the head key from Tyler was to seduce him. Up until that point she had been portrayed as a master of manipulation, calculated deception, brilliant plotting, and ruthless evil, knowing all of that it seems out of character for her to sleep with Tyler to get the key. There’s no way that she sincerely thought that sleeping with him would get her that key which means the sole purpose for the sexy time was to give Tyler a chance to get the anywhere key and move the story along, which considering the stellar writing everywhere else in the show seems a little lazy as far as story progression and logic. This is especially true when Lady Dodge gets the key back from Sam at the end of the episode anyway, so I don’t get why she wouldn’t just wait for Sam to do her dirty work and collect the keys later. I’m all for ancient demons getting their sexy time on but, only if they really want to and, if she was using Tyler for just sex that would have made more sense and been more in line with her actions up until that point than that convoluted plan.
BEST MOMENT: Tyler finally gets some inner peace. We learned in previous episodes that Kinsey didn’t help her parents because she was comforting and hiding Bode. Throughout the season, Kinsey has been painted as a bit of a self-centered brat but, we give her a bit of a pass because we know it’s just her trauma response and her guilt at not helping but when it comes to Tyler he’s filled with rage at not being able to defend his family. Watching him pound on the door outside his house because he lost his key as his mother is attacked and his dad is murdered is heartbreaking, it immediately had a trauma bonding effect on us all, very early on in the season. When we find out that he thinks that Sam killed his dad because he made an off-handed joke to him about swinging by his house and killing his dad first, your heart drops. But, this episode gave Tyler some comfort when he asks Sam if what he said had anything to do with him killing his dad and he asks him what he said, you can see all the heartache, pain and guilt lift from him and that was beautiful and needed. In that one moment, Tyler was able to get his head back in the game and it was realistic and honest and pure.
I FELT BAD: For Sam, when after he destroys all the good things in his life because of the things Lady Dodge told him and made him believe, as he is dying, she tells him that there was nothing special about him at all. It was kind of a gut punch because, after seeing Sam’s full story, all he wanted was someone to love and care for him and she used his vulnerability to her advantage. I still think he was trash for kidnapping the remaining members of the Locke family after killing their dad but, it’s still sad that his isolation and lack of mental health help or safeguards against his violent home life left him vulnerable to Lady Dodge.
In “Family Tree” we see a bit of a shift and everything we thought we knew about the characters and situation gets flipped on its head. Kinsey uses her newly found key to control her new schools mean girl Eden and embarrass her in front of everybody at Gabe’s urging which leads to Scot’s disappointment. Tyler is feeling the pressure of protecting his family from a new type of danger which weighs heavy on him because of his guilt about not being able to save his dad or protect them from Sam when they were back in Seattle. Nina does a little investigation into her husband’s past and the death of Joe Ridgeway and we all know something hinky is up when she comes home and finds Ellie in her house.
WHAT WORKED: The show seems to be continuing down the path of kids will be kids and with the new key, Kinsey takes that to brutal extremes. With her fear dead and buried she’s up to all the no good without being scared of any consequences which we all know is going to spell trouble. The story moves along in a very organic way that seems effortless and keeps you interested in the lives of the Locke family members. There’s something about seeing all the ways that things could go wrong and having to hold your breath with every move the kids make, you feel like you have a stake in their lives and well being which keeps the viewer on their toes and glued to the screen.
HOT TAKE: “Hurt people, hurt people” is a saying for a reason and Kinsey is hurting but, that doesn’t give her the right to do remove Eden’s body autonomy with her puppet box and key. The way that scene was written and directed started off as simple pranking and escalated to next level creepiness, viewers were forced into a situation that we couldn’t escape from and it made us feel like participants. It was supposed to make us feel uneasy and it was shot and directed in a way that made us feel trapped in a situation that we couldn’t escape from, not as bad as Eden was but, just enough to freak us out. I commend the director, writer and DP for creating such a well thought out scene that served so many purposes.
BEST MOMENT: When Kinsey uses the Puppetmaster Key on Eden and Scot tries to call her off. Everything about Kinsey upping the ante on Eden making her do more and more outrageously humiliating things was cringe-worthy and wrong and we all wanted to stop it but, being outside the fourth wall we couldn’t but, Scot was every one of us when he urged her to stop and walked away when she wouldn’t. We all understand as outsiders looking in, knowing that she is using this newfound control as a trauma response from feeling powerless and small when her father was murdered but, there is a healthy response and a not so healthy response and her response is downright toxic. Scot choosing to walk away and remove himself from a toxic person was the best moment because he forced Kinsey, even if she was too blind to see it at the time, to deal with real-world consequences of her crappy behavior.
“The Keepers of the Keys” is one of the most realistic episodes I’ve seen in a long time in a TV show. Upon finding new keys and realizing what they can do, everyone but Bode uses the Head Key exactly how you would expect teenagers entrusted with such magic to use them. Tyler crams a bunch of Parker impressing knowledge into his head and Kinsey shares her mind with Scot before snagging a kiss. But, just as you’d expect when magic and dark forces are afoot, the Well Lady aka Dodger aka the series’ big bad, shows up all over the house to reclaim the keys and terrorize the Locke family.
WHAT WORKED: While it’s not exactly rocket science, I like that the creators know what their dealing with and don’t make the Tyler and Kinsey the most responsible protectors of the keys. As usual, this role falls to Bode who doesn’t have a huge grasp of what’s going on but, knows that when a creepy lady at the bottom of the well shows up, tricks a key away from you and starts making threats, that maybe you’d better be careful. What works is Bode realistically in the situation takes on the role of guardian and investigator trying to foil Lady Dodge and find out what she’s really after.
WHAT DIDN’T: I found it completely unbelievable that Parker would ever date Tyler, no matter what trauma he faced with the loss of his father after he lied about sleeping with her best friend. I know that they need to connect to bring the story along but, I don’t think she’d warm up to him that easy after he did such a scum bag thing to someone she’s been friends with for years. It’s unrealistic and kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s a fantasy series so, I’m willing to suspend reality to an extent but, I’d like to think in any reality or genre that knowing a little bit about Jane Austen would be enough to forgive such a trash mammal action.
BEST MOMENT: Bode standing up to Lady Dodge and figuring out every bit of knowledge he can about the Matheson house to combat the evil that is on the way. I especially liked him forming an alliance with Rufus that is full-on friendship.