Tag Archives: the cw

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow. What are you all getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below. While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

ICv2 – Event Organizers in 2018 Demonstrating Some Unconventional Thinking – Some conventions you all need to check out.

Newsarama – CW Renews All But One Of Its Comic Book Shows – Not too surprising.

The Hollywood Reporter – Why ‘The Good Doctor’ Is Bad Medicine for Autism (Guest Column) – An interesting article and gets us thinking about comic depictions.

 

Reviews

Newsarama – Black Panther #171

Talking Comics – Dark Nights: Metal #6

Recap: Supergirl S3E13 Both Sides Now

SupergirlBoth Sides Now” starts off with the full scale assault, complete with lackluster door kicking in by Supergirl on the apartment of a suspected Worldkiller, who is so engrossed in her Lisa Loeb singalong that she doesn’t even notice the armed cavalry that has come into her apartment. The fear of the guns drawn squad unleashes her inner Worldkiller and she sends out some seriously destructive screams that shatter windows, peel paint, and the glasslike walls. Samantha is feeling slighted by Lena taking over more day to day operations to give her friend a break until they can figure out what’s going on with her medically. Mon-El and Winn set out to do some spaceship repairs before the Legion can’t go home again which feels like the start of some good old fashioned boy bonding and hijinks.

Supergirl and Alex have some very different feelings about how to deal with the first Worldkiller they’ve managed to capture. In typical Supergirl fashion, she wants to save her and find her humanity while Alex is hellbent on killing it, with fire or Napalm or whatever is clever and available. Since Julia is no longer in control and Purity seems to be in charge of this party, Alex and her go toe to toe verbally getting us ready for one of the sisters to be proven wrong. While the Danvers sisters are trying to figure out how to solve the Purity problem, Samantha is trying to enjoy a hopefully Reign free ditch day with Ruby.

It doesn’t take very long before Alex is done playing nice and calls Supergirl out on her brand of illogical, saccharine filled hope which adds a nice level of realism to the mix. She makes very valid and human points with her argument that cynicism is what keeps us humans alive and she makes it known that she is about to do things her way if that’s what it is going to take to save our world and keep them both alive. Alex and Purity continue their verbal sparring and Purity doesn’t pull any punches and goes for all the soft spots in her attempts at destroying Alex’s very soul since she can’t destroy her physically yet.

The crystal they recovered and took straight to heart of the DOE headquarters is activated while Supergirl is talking to Purity and Reign gets activated while Purity uses her sonic boom level vocals to tear the DEO headquarters apart in her escape. Which is kind of heartbreaking because Reign was out with Ruby at the time, luckily Lena was only a phone call away and she gets a bit more insight into what’s going on with her friend. But, with Reign out in the wild with the mission of finding and guiding a “newborn” Worldkiller, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach because, I’ve grown fond of Sam and Ruby and as a comic book reader, I have a sense of where this is all headed.

Purity and the DOE All Star team go toe to toe in a subway station, with Supergirl getting most of the WWE action, while Alex tries to save the commuters, Mon-El and J’onn J’onzz try to save the structure. In a change of pace, Alex is the one who coaxes Julia out of Purity just in time to save Supergirl from a crushing throat blow. The calm is short lived though because Reign shows up and is ready to kill them all, Julia agrees to go willingly with Reign to avert the oncoming slaughter and they speed away in search of their third sister, Pestilence. I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s kind of cool that you need four HorseMEN to run an apocalypse but only 3 women to kill a world. Lucky for us that isn’t the end of Reign tonight because we get to see Samantha and Lena get into a bit of a spat over Ruby and how much she should know about her moms mysterious condition and Lena gets a sneak peek into the fact that she might be Reign which, might be a good thing because Lena truly wants to help her friend.

What was supposed to be some quirky, fun, hijinks filled boy bonding over old cars and space ships takes a turn for the serious & the writers added a bit of relationship tension into the mix with Imra and Mon-El who seem to be in the middle of a marital spat. There was a lot unsaid when Imra walks in and makes some suggestions about how they guys can fix the cars and just as suddenly she storms out with a vague quip. Her actions seemed very boilerplate and gave off some serious , “women be crazy” stereotypical vibes that I wasn’t too fond of. The story of their marriage gets told to J’onn J’onzz and it isn’t a romantic one which opens the gate to will they or won’t they on the Supergirl/Mon-El tip. While the writers are clear on the reasons Mon-El has been having weekly chats with Kara, it also leaves a bad taste in my mouth because, I’m worried that the writers are veering towards an eventually reconnect which isn’t a bad idea because of the infidelity, relationships are complicated, it’s a bad idea because Kara is still finding herself and learning to live on her on. , sans male attachments and through heartache. I am happy that the writers keep things honest when it comes to emotions and the complexity of relationships but, the way things are headed, I worry about Kara retaining any sense of agency. Especially since the story hasn’t been too focused on her this season outside of to show her heartbroken or proving how girl power filled she is by focusing on every woman on screen who isn’t her.

Overall this episode was a whole lot of conversation and a little less action, Elvis would not have approved and for the most part neither do I. The problem of late with Supergirl is that it stays very formulaic and enjoys going as close to the girl power line and straddling it with pop feminism. Despite the show being called Supergirl, the other women in the show seem to be better written and take center stage. Most of Kara’s emotional complexity comes from a place of discovering herself through her romantic relationships and less about her own emotional growth and discovery. It’s been wearing on me in a way I can’t put my fingers on but, the show seems to becoming stagnant and I feel like the staff should get back to basics and make a Supergirl show about Supergirl. It’s not to say that they can’t have fun with the other characters but, they shouldn’t be the central focus of the show and they shouldn’t have solid storylines, emotional arcs and depth while the main character gets campy one note lines that seem to be the equivalence of an emotional Groundhog Day that’s been running on a loop for most of the season. I hope that things turn themselves around for the rest of the season because, while last nights episode was solidly written and not horrible, it wasn’t a standout and while I don’t expect every episode to be a home run, it should at least make me want to come back for more immediately without using the last scene cliffhangers in every episode just to give us a bait and switch.

Overall Rating: 7.1

Recap: Supergirl S3E12 For Good

The DEO is on the hunt for the rest of the Worldkillers, that’s the central story in the Supergirl episode “For Good.” But, the rest of the characters help to push the story along and whose plots ultimately intersect. Alex tries to diagnose what’s going on with the humor form of the super villain we’ve come to know as Reign. Morgan Edge is out for payback against our favorite Luthor after an attempt on his life.

The writers continue their formulaic approach to story set up, all the main parts of what’s going to happen in the episode are set up before the first commercial break. We know that Kara and Jimmy are going to have to defend Lena’s honor against Edge’s accusations and possible war on her. We suspect that Reign will become Reign full time and might possibly give Alex the child she’s always wanted and that the WorldKillers will be discovered one by one and set up the rest of this seasons arc. In true Supergirl fashion, we’ve come to expect that two of these story lines will be explored in depth and have real teeth and one of them will fall to the wayside until the last few minutes where we will get an AHA moment of a glimpse of the story to come.

“For Good” is all about Alex showing off her doctor chops and maternal instincts along with Lena and her Luthor family drama. Kara and Jimmy try to calm down a reasonably distraught Lena who is over all of the drama and toxic masculinity oozing from Edge’s every pore, while Alex finds nothing terminal in brain scans so she takes some blood and sends it and the scans out to a professional. Reign gets humanized as she talks out her fears about what will become of her and her daughter Ruby. Alex shows off her bedside manner and friendship, urging her to talk to Lena and let her friends in. Which might be hard because Lena is going through a lot on her end. Jimmy ends up chasing down a coffee cart thief after Lena ends up poisoned. While Supergirl still in Kara clothes breaks cover to take her friend to the DEO to save her life.

Jimmy goes full fledge vigilante and out of character attacking Edge on a carport rooftop and J’onn J’onzz reminds Kara that she needs to get Lena out of the DEO before she finds out where she is. He does his magical alien negro pep talk for the episode by retelling some of his life on Mars giving Kara a glimmer of hope about the things to come.

Lena wakes up and is ready to go to war but is talked down by Kara and Jimmy who remind her not to go full Luthor because she is better than that. After hearing of a magic bullet, she realizes that her mother is behind it and heads for a clandestine meeting involving those signature Luthor trench coats.

Mamma Luthor gives another sinister pep talk to her daughter trying to get them to join forces under the guise of love, while simultaneously demeaning all the good qualities that Lena has and her current career trajectory. Samantha (human Reign) opens up to Lena and Kara about the craziness going on with her, most of which has to do with her maternal instincts towards Ruby. There’s a nice bit of sisterhood and they rally around her and try and figure out what to do about her child. Lena having a change of heart and opens up to Kara about her actual attempt on Edge and let’s her know that her mother is back. The touching moment snaps Lena back to reality and she realizes she needs to integrate all sides of her because, there is nothing wrong with being cunning and strategic as long as you don’t go full Luthor sociopath.

After figuring out her mothers plan and looping Kara in for an assist, a call back to the realization that Kara is just as capable as Supergirl, the ladies make a plan to save Edge because Lena is better than that. Lena warns Edge that mad mamma bear is on the loose and coming for him because, she is a bit miffed at him trying to kill her daughter and also, because she’s crazy and likes killing people, aliens, things, whatever. After a drone attack Lena gets Edge to confess to trying to kill Lena and just when she thinks it is over, Edge tries to attack her to get the confession back, when mamma bear comes in with a super suit to finish the latest murderous plot she’s started. Edge makes a run for it and steals the recording with Lena in pursuit. Mon El goes in for to help Supergirl, since he has had some upgrades in his time in the future he can finally go toe to toe with the Luthor’s super suit. And and the end of this episodes battle Jimmy, as Guardian shows up and helps his lady Lena get the recording back.

“For Good” is an excellent reminder that Lena is one of the best characters on the show, she isn’t a replacement for Cat Grant, she’s something new and exciting. She’s a dark horse full of complicated feelings and actions and she’s wonderfully portrayed with every bit of nuisance by Katie McGrath whose talents are the only one’s not wasted this season. Everyone seems to be stuck firmly in their pigeonholed character tropes. Lena has a heart to heart with her mother and she comes to terms with every part of herself and enjoys the realization that she is better when she owns her good and bad parts. The ladies get together to hear Samantha’s test results and learn there is nothing medically wrong with her and they all agree to be there for her until they figure out what is going on. Mon El and Kara have their weekly heart to heart where he says the same thing he always does, how much he changed for her and how much she means to him.

The episode ends with its requisite come back to the pre first commercial break red herring and we meet the first world killer, the one who was activated at the end of the last episode before cutting to black and hitting us with the credits ensuring we tune in next week. The episode wasn’t bad, it was exactly what we have come to expect from Supergirl , the writers stuck with their, “if it ain’t broke” mentality and churned out another mediocre episode. There was no real tension or action but, there was a good story with pieces of heart. It was well written, a bit too much so, and so by the numbers that it was downright predictable. I realize the need for place holder episodes but, this season has been full of them and it’s had a lot of wait until next week build up in the last 2 minutes that turn into much ado about nothing.

Rating: 7.6

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

TV Review: The Flash S4E11 The Elongated Knight Rises

A familiar villain returns to terrorize Central City; Ralph must rise up to defend the innocent while Barry is detained by his trial; Barry searches for the strength to keep is optimism alive in the face of his new circumstances.

The Flash shifts a bit as Barry is sidelined in jail but there’s still villains to take care of. A classic villain is back, along with his mom, and it’s Ralph to the rescue to stop the bad guys.

The episode’s a good one and the shift to Ralph as a focus of the superheroic antics actually works well. It’s different but what’s fascinating is that it shows how much the show has shifted from Barry-centric to an ensemble.

The biggest change for the episode with Ralph being the center is the introduction of a lot more humor. The character is very Jim Carey-esque in the delivery at times and it really works. I’ve never expected the character to work in live action and I’m wrong in that department. The episode also has helped him grow with understanding his powers and eventually a new costume. It’s a Ralph stepping up episode.

Then there’s Barry. Here’s in jail now and instead of doing a “woe is me” focus, the series has decided to use the opportunity to actually tell us more about Barry’s father’s time in jail. There was hint of that in the last episode but we get our first taste here. It’s an interesting direction and really smart of the series.

With the main character sidelined, The Flash seems to have gotten better?! A really solid episode that has me excited to see what’s next.

Overall Rating: 7.85

Recap: Supergirl S3E11 Fort Rozz

Last night’s Supergirl episode “Fort Rozz” starts off with a stir crazy Alex, still nursing her broken leg, volunteering to do babysitting duties for Reign’s alter ego’s daughter, Ruby. Back at the DEO Kara and the team discover the location of Fort Rozz and the identity of the priestess who can lead them to Reign, Jindah Kol Rozz. They also find out that Supergirl will be powerless because Rozz’s location is in a place with a blue star, so she decided to put together a lady powered team to have her back. I was glad to see that one of her picks was Livewire who is one of my personal antihero faves of this series and since her other pick is Psi, I found myself excited at all the possibilities.

While the Birds of Prey meets Suicide Squad quartet explore Fort Rozz for its namesake priestess, the powers behind Reign attempt to thwart the ladies mission. Imra gets accidentally brain sprained by Psi during an attack from an inmate causing them to lock up her powers again. As they are getting intel from the recaptured prisoner, they lose contact with the DEO thanks to a solar flare, which is pulling the prison and their ship along with it, into to the blue star. Back on Earth, Alex helps Ruby handle her school bully problem in an attempt to take her mind off of a text from Maggie.

Livewire and Supergirl head off to find Jindah while Psi and Imra try to keep the ship safe. Back at the DEO Winn and Braniac 5 go toe to toe for nerd supremacy with Winn coming out on top by figuring out a way to use the Voyager 2 to get a message to the ladies ship.

Priestess Rozz speaks in riddles and comes off as Grey Gardens level crazy when spouting riddles about Supergirl’s demise right before Reign, who still has her powers, runs Rozz through with fire from behind during her monologue. Supergirl tries to talk sense and compassion into Reign and gets an assist from Livewire and eventually Psi, since Imra has to work on getting their ship flight ready and detached. Psi brings Reign to her knees and Livewire dies in a heroic act of bravery trying to save a powerless supergirl from a supercharged Reign. When the remaining members return to earth, Supergirl is shaken from the loss of her friend, Imra is happy to be reunited with her hubby and Psi has grown fond of the rest of the team. Sam picks up Ruby from Alex after a great bonding day but, she’s clearly off an doesn’t remember anything, like the fact that she is Reign.

The episode ends with Mon-El and Kara having a heart to heart about her failings and the loss of her favorite frenemy and Kara telling him that there are more Worldkillers out there. It’s a somewhat tender moment that is immediately turned on its head by a brutal car crash, unleashing another Worldkiller.

While the banter was cute, caustic, and amusingly clever it wasn’t the shows best. There were lots of missed opportunities to true feminism but we instead got served a lot of verbal Cat fights and some hints of crabs in a barrel mentality. The episode seemed kind of forced with its interactions between the team and the only parts of the episode that seemed authentic and true were the scenes between Alex and Ruby. The scenes that were meant to mission statements about what to do with Earths Reign problem come off as redundant and catty and the name calling is unnecessarily shallow. I’m not sure who dropped the ball in the writing room for this weeks episode but, this was one of the series most faux feminist musings and it didn’t do the brand justice. The show has always been campy and tethered on bubblegum pop feminism but, at least it gave girl power newbies, bite sized teachable moments. Tonight’s episode was so off the mark that I didn’t even have feelings when Livewire was killed by Reign. I also cringed when Mon-El mansplains Kara’s emotions at her “failure” on Fort Rozz. Overall , last nights episode wasn’t the worst thing ever, it was just blah , like the writers gave up ten minutes in. It was the moving image equivalent of a place holder issue of a comic book and highlighted some of the shows flaws and none of its strengths.

Rating: 6.7

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.

 

 

TV Review: Arrow S6E10 Divided

Oliver discovers one of Cayden’s secrets; he decides to team up with an unlikely ally to defeat him; Dinah spends time with Vince.

Arrow returns after its break and the team is fractured. Can Oliver go it with just Felicity and Diggle? And what about the rest of the former Team Arrow members?

Cayden is still going after Ollie and it turns out he’s recruited a hell of a lot of individuals to make his plan happen. There’s lots of attacks on Oliver and his attempts to attack back, which doesn’t go well.

But, through all of those distractions the episode is really a lesson that Oliver can’t achieve his goals with a small team and has to try to get back everyone he either booted or quit. Can he put away his pride and do what’s needed?

The episode is solid in that it doesn’t play out how you’d expect. There’s moments where the episode absolutely surprises and the fact it doesn’t go the way I thought is a good thing. The episode as a whole though lags a bit. There’s a lot here that just feels very extraneous and a leaner more streamlined episode would have helped things a lot. It feels like an hour show with about 15 minutes of important things.

It’s been a bit since the last episode and this return isn’t quite there to get me excited for the rest of the season. The series feels like a lot of its steam has been taken out of it and things are stumbling along.

Overall rating: 7.05

Black Lightning Lights Up The CW with Solid Ratings

Black Lightning debuted this Tuesday for The CW delivering solid ratings for the channel. The show scored a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.31 million views. It retained all of The Flash‘s audience, its lead in. The show was behind other channels though in the same time slot. It wasn’t too far behind Fox’s LA to Vegas which had a 0.9 and a repeat of NCIS: New Orleans for CBS, also 0.9. It tied The Mick at 9:30 on Fox which had 0.8 and 2.3 million viewers.

It was the best rating the The CW this season in the time period and highest-rated debut since Legends of Tomorrow in January 2016.

(via TV By the Numbers)

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