Tag Archives: the flash

TV Review: The Flash S3E23 Finish Line

The Flash Season 2With nothing left to lose; Barry takes on Savitar in an epic conclusion.

The Flash wraps up its third season with the team reeling from the shocking ending of the last episode. Though, things aren’t as they seem which also kicks off the episode in a way that’s unexpected and definitely kept me on my toes fore the rest of it.

Someone does die, and it’s not some cheap trick where the person is alive and survives. That’s not quite a spoiler and I think important because I was fully expecting the episode to undo the death and just wasn’t convinced of what I saw.

What follows is some of the best and most frustrating things about this series all wrapped up in an hour. The team both reaches out to and fights Savitar in what’s at times predictable and at other times out of left field. It’s good, it’s bad, but it wraps things up in something interesting ways.

What’s good is they bring everything together and there’s characters that play big roles that are unexpected and in that it’s good. The bad is of course there’s the moment where they want to try to help Savitar which you just know isn’t going to go well. It’s the superhero version of the villain monologue. As I said, it’s frustrating.

There’s also good in that the episode focuses on the paradox that would happen by stopping Savitar. It’s been something on my mind and here it’s addressed perfectly.

But, the episode gives us a lot packed in there and also delivers a lot to come setting up the next season, again something that’s somewhat frustrating in that there’s a pretty clear solution.

This is a good finale that wraps up a season that had its ups and downs and hopefully, we get a rejuvenated next season.

Overall Rating: 8.50

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Mini Reviews: Dept. H, American Monster, The Howling, Smoketown, and more!

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Christopher

Dept H. #14 (Dark Horse) – Unable to return to the surface, the surviving crew of Dept. H must make some difficult choices, with air and livable space at a premium. Will they have to sacrifice one of their own in order for the rest to survive? Meanwhile, we begin to see the larger role that Verve has played in the fate of our crew.Things are beginning to look up, as someone self-sacrifices to get the rest of the crew to the surface. Yet that still doesn’t answer who kills Mia’s father. Given they have two issue still to come, I hope they manage to answer that. Since that has been the lingering question throughout. Overall the story and art continue to impress. Merging both past and present. Writer and Artist: Matt Kindt Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Ryan

Dead Inside #5 (Dark Horse)* – A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to John Arcudi and Toni Fejzula’s prison murder mystery complete with a Tarantino-esque Mexican stand-off on steroids? This is pretty much why I love comics in a nutshell. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

American Monster #6 (Aftershock)* – Just when you think that all Brian Azzarello is capable of these days is mailing it in, along comes the second arc of this amazingly depraved series complete with Juan Doe’s usual gorgeous, eye-popping artwork. Every single character here is a reprobate — even those who only show up for a page or two such as the couple splitting up at the start of this issue — and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lots of moving pieces and subplots within subplots going on here, so it pays to give every single word and ever single image very close attention indeed. Heady stuff, to say the least. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Flash # 22 (DC Comics)* – So, “The Button” began with the death of the Reverse-Flash and ends with — the death of the Reverse-Flash? So, what was all that bullshit in between about, then? Spoiler time: Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter — at the behest of their editors, no doubt — contrive a way to bring back Jay Garrick for a few pages before exiling him off into the Speed Force again, and Dr. Manhattan goes from looming over events off-page to looming over events on-page, but if you’re looking for anything resembling a resolution, look elsewhere: this is pure set-up for DC’s sure-to-suck “Doomsday Clock” mini-series that will finally see the Big Blue-Vs.-Superman punch-up that none of us in our right minds ever wanted to come to fruition. Kill me now, please. Or better yet, kill this whole “Watchmen-Vs.-DCU” idea before it goes any further. I know, I know, it’s too late for that vain wish to come true, but still, one can live in hope. Overall: 1.0 Recommendation: Pass

Batman #23 (DC Comics)* – Seemingly out of left field, Tom King delivers the stand-alone story that almost makes the rest of his hugely disappointing run on this title worthwhile. Seeing the Dark Knight team up with Swamp Thing is always great, but King’s take on the former Alec Holland goes well above and beyond, giving us the best iteration of the character since a certain bearded gentleman from England, and Mitch Gerads’ art — apart from a couple of goofy-looking pictures of Batman on the last page — is just plain incredible. Both a moving tribute to Bernie Wrightson and a heartfelt rumination on the relationship between fathers and sons, this is straight-up comic book magic, not to be missed under any circumstances. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Allie

Night Owl Society #2 (IDW Publishing) – I had hopes for this. Not high hopes but hopes. Sadly, Night Owl Society #2 let me down again. As I mentioned in my review before, the writing and story presented here is bland and predictable. The main character has no redeeming qualities and the foils around him are all two-dimensional. Simply put, there’s just no reason to put any emotional stock behind these characters and reading made it feel like it was just a matter of when the “twists” would come less than what they would be. All in all, another disappointment that makes me want to drop the series entirely, if for no other reason than that I can probably call the ending right now. Recommendation: Hard Pass

 

Patrick

Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #3 (Dynamite) – I finally nailed what’s been bothering me about this competently-written, competently-drawn series: it’s trying SO HARD to be Noir, when the actual genre of the Hardy Boys novels is Procedural. The former assumes that nothing can be solved; the latter assumes that every crime can be solved with the application of reason, science, and intelligence. So the mixing of the two genres could be interesting – but they just don’t dig in deep enough. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Will Eisner’s The Spirit: Corpsemakers #3 (Dynamite) – Normally I love Fernando Francavilla, and the Black Beetle is a favorite. But maybe I’ve just read too many Spirit stories, so anything more than 8 pages gets too far away from the Platonic ideal of Eisnerian. I had the same problem with the Cooke/Bone/etc version a while back. It’s also devilishly hard for us goyim to really nail the Yiddishkeit of the originals – that combination of pathos and humor, romance and tragedy. Overall 7.0 (because Francavilla after all) Recommendation: Pass

Smoketown #2 (Scout Comics) – As an Army brat, I’m always happy to see stories that explore the life of military personnel and the demands that are made of them without most civilians really understanding what we’re asking them to do. Writer Philip Kennedy Johnson does a pretty good job with this crime fiction of a soldier returned from Afghanistan and the demands that his new civilian life makes of him, without understanding what has happened to him and what he’s dealing with. Artist Scott Van Domelen is also pretty good here, though still I think in a no man’s land between graphically flashy and kitchen-sink drama (I can’t help but compare his war sequences to Leandro Fernandez on The Old Guard). There’s something there, but not quite there yet. Overall 7.5 Recommendation: Read

The Howling #1 (Space Goat Productions) – Try as they did to recap the 1981 movie in the first few pages to bring us up to speed for this sequel, I found myself having to go back and rewatch it. So how does writer Micky Neilson and artist Jason Johnson’s work stack up? Pretty poorly. The original movie at least had something to say about the end of the 70’s, California cults, and the beginning of the 80’s fascination with the media. But this comic is just another werewolf story, and not even a particularly scary one at that. The writing is paint-by-numbers and the art is just too well-lit and neatly-delineated for the genre. Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass (but do watch the movie!)

 

Shean

Star Trek TNG: Mirror Broken #1 (IDW Publishing) – In this debut issue of the Mirror Universe implications for the TNG crew, what one finds is a much more sinister and cynical crew. We find a muscle bound Picard wanting to climb the ladder in rank but is stuck on a ship called the Stargazer. While at HQ, he stumbles upon what looks like plans for a new class of ship. He recruits Laforge into his dastardly evil plans and gives the reader, a familiar sight on the horizon. Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

TV Review: The Flash S3E22 Infantino Street

The Flash Season 2Barry chooses to use any means necessary to save the woman he loves; The Flash turns to Captain Cold to help.

The Flash gives us the last 24 hours before the fateful showdown between Barry and Savitar with Iris’ life on the life. The episode does some reall solid work in setting the somber tone and mood, with some good humor mixed in to lighten it up a bit.

The two stand out things from this episode are Iris and her father dealing with the fact she might die. There’s a recognition of the possible and everyone reacts perfectly. What’s especially good is a scene between Joe and Iris where she admits some things and he admits some things as well. It’s very touching and got me to think about what I’d do in that sort of moment, where you’re sure someone you love is about to die. It’s a disaster film in a way where the people embrace each other just before the disaster actually hits to wipe them out. Heartfelt, appropriate, surprisingly touching.

The other thing is Barry’s interactions with Captain Cold who he rescues from time to help him steal something he needs in hope of defeating Savitar. What works here is the fact that not only is actor Wentworth Miller brilliant in the role, the show really gets what works between the two, so much so they lay it out for the audience. Captain Cold sees the dark side in Barry and Barry sees the good in Captain Cold. They feel like the flip side of the same coin and this episode is where it’s acknowledged and bluntly laid out.

There’s also some good for comic fans as well. The title, “Infantino Street” is a reference to Carmine Infantino, the comic editor, and artist who drew the landmark “Flash of Two Worlds” introducing us to Earth-Two and the concept of the multiverse.  The episode and series knows its roots and recognizes it.

The bad is, it’s clearer in this episode that if Barry stops Savitar it’ll result in a paradox and some horrible circular logic.

The episode is a good one in that it leaves us wondering to the last moments whether Iris will live or die and what will happen. Mix that with touching moments, you’ve got an episode that really delivers and has me excited and scared for what happens next.

Overall Rating: 8.50

Review: The Flash #22

The Flash #22 is a rush of speed lines from artist Howard Porter as The Flash and Batman travel through time and the Speed Force and come to the conclusion (with us readers) that “The Button” is a prologue to the upcoming “Doomsday Clock”. Joshua Williamson and his sometimes co-writer Tom King barely scratched the surface on the cause of the rewriting of the history of the DC Universe. It will be up to Geoff Johns and Gary Frank to tell the story  the Watchmen characters’ connection to the DC continuity. But “The Button” was still a pretty fun ride, especially with the interactions between Batman and Thomas Wayne, who is Batman in the Flashpoint Universe, and there is even at a glimpse at the Justice Society before Williamson, Porter, and colorist Hi-Fi snatch it away.

“The Button” has been like a cool teaser trailer that has some emotional resonance. The Flash #22 starts with a physical and verbal back and forth between The Flash and Reverse Flash until Reverse Flash dies yet again after boasting about being a constant point in a shifting sea of time and space. This seems like a replay of what happened in the first part of “The Button”, but Williamson and Porter throw in the new wrinkle of the return of Jay Garrick in a powerful splash page that reminded me of the winged helmet showing up in the Season 1 finale of The Flash TV show. It a powerful glimpse of hope that is yanked away and probably yet another plot thread that will be explored in “Doomsday Clock” so hence the fact that The Flash #22 seems like yet another teaser for a bigger, upcoming story. There is a running plot thread between the disappearance of the Justice Society, the death of Reverse Flash, and the Watchmen characters that could be really interesting to see play out in the fall. But, for now, it’s nice to see the DC Universe add even more elements from its past to the DC Rebirth universe as Williamson realizes the intergenerational legacy of heroism is one of its greatest strengths, especially where The Flash is concerned.

But The Flash #22 does have some emotional heft between it as Joshua Williamson realizes the connection between the post-Flashpoint/DC Rebirth versions of Barry Allen and Batman. What sets them apart from the other characters in the DC Universe is that they’ve had an opportunity to speak and interact with people who they’ve loved after they were taken from them thanks to the events of Flashpoint and “The Button”. Barry is kind of the perfect person for Batman to talk to after having an extended conversation with his father in previous issues. They have both seen some crazy things and understand how difficult it is to process. The fact that Thomas Wayne wants Bruce to move on with his life and not be Batman is just a major character beat for Batman in general, and Williamson and Porter leave his reaction to these words ambiguous closing on a moody nine panel grid. Hopefully, either Tom King in Batman, Geoff Johns in “Doomsday Clock”, or yet another writer builds upon this powerful moment.

With art that is constantly in motion by Howard Porter along with some nostalgic imagery, The Flash #22 is a suitable end to a storyline that’s only job was getting readers excited for a storyline down the road. However, Joshua Williamson and Porter make time to show Batman and Barry Allen’s personal reactions to this crazy journey so it’s not all sizzle and no steak. “The Button” crossover also shows the care that the Powers that Be at DC Comics are taking to restore and rebuild their history and continuity via the vehicle of relatively self-contained crossovers and slow burn mystery thrillers instead of making Superman a fascist or something.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Howard Porter Colors: Hi-fi
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Around the Tubes: A Wayward Board Game, DC’s Hiring, and Comics in College

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things do folks have planned? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for work to end, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Comichron – How comics sales have changed across time; new pages tracking benchmark levels added – Some great info!

ICv2 – ‘Wayward’ Board Game Based on Comics – Cool to see this translated into a game.

ICv2 – 70,000 Copies of ‘My Favorite Things Is Monsters’ – Congrats!

Newsarama – Want to Edit the Batman Titles? DC is Hiring – There’s a job opening!

The Beat – Conservative pundits are tut-tutting about teaching comics in college – Don’t they tut-tut education in general?

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

IGN – Deadpool: Bad Blood

Talking Comics – The Flash #22

Comic Attack – Huck

Pop! Movies: Justice League in August

Pop! Movies: Justice League features a few members of the DC comics superhero team.

From the upcoming film Justice League releasing November 17, 2017! Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman are now joining the Funko team!

Pop! Movies: Justice League are out this August from Funko.

 

 

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Review: The Flash #22

The fourth part of “The Button” wraps up the event that has brought The Flash and Batman together to solve the murder of Reverse Flash by “god” and something to do with a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall.

As this issue wraps up, we’re left with more questions than answers as Batman and the Flash race through the Speed Force in hopes of catching Reverse Flash before he’s killed by an unknown being. We’re given glimpses and hints of what’s around in a story that’s more of a mystery than the previous three.

What the Reverse Flash sees is off the page and may not be who everyone thinks. A classic character makes an appearance and is lost in the speed force again.

This is an issue and story that feels like it’s as much a prelude as it is anything else. The event leads into the just announced Doomsday Clock which will pit Superman against Doctor Manhattan and leaves Bruce and Barry in interesting places. It’s a bit mixed as a result and a bit frustrating too. I like it, but at the same time I don’t as well. Writer Joshua Williamson delivers what is a great mystery but the end product feels like a prelude for what’s to come months ahead.

I think what stands out to me about The Flash #22 is that it feels like DC of old in a way that to truly care about its content, you need to know the long history of the DC Universe and the characters presented. That’s especially true with Jay Garrick who briefly makes a return. That’s not much of a spoiler, it’s there on the cover. Like previous installments, the glimpses of what we see build a mystery that’s not answered here.

But, like previous issues, the art by Neil Googe is where it’s at. The art for all four chapters have been fantastic and here Googe references the classic Watchmen towards the end with page layouts that act as an homage to that work. The coloring too references back to that series. How the art is used to tell the story is fascinating in so many ways and books can be written about it all.

The Flash #22 is an interesting one and after reading it, I’m still not 100% sure what I think. It’s a bit flustering in that way because it’s one that’s hard to judge on its own, instead, it’ll be one that’s judged by what’s to come.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Neil Googe Cover Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Preview: The Flash #22

The Flash #22

(W) Joshua Williamson (A) Neil Googe (CA) Jason Fabok
In Shops: May 17, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“THE BUTTON” part four! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #4 (Black Mask Studios) – This series is one that has taken awhile to finish, but so far it has been worth the wait. Hopefully #5 follows shortly after!

The Flash #22 (DC Comics) – It is so far so good for The Button, and I’m excited to see how this all pans out and sets up the big fall event by Johns.

Superman #23 (DC Comics) – One of my favorite Rebirth books just keeps getting better. This looks to be another Jon heavy issue, which is okay with me.

The Mighty Thor #19 (Marvel) – Aaron has been doing a fantastic job on Thor for years, and this run is no different. I have enjoyed the epic galactic war and more Quentin Quire is never a bad thing.

Batman #23 (DC Comics) – Now that The Button is ending in this weeks The Flash, this book gets back to the aftermath of Bane. I’m looking forward to how everything plays out.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Star Trek: The Next Generations: Mirror Broken #1 (IDW Publishing) – The Free Comic Book Day release put this on my radar as I’m not much of a Star Trek fan (I watch the shows once in a while, but wasn’t a regular thing for me). That issue sucked me in with a Mirror world that I want to find out more about and see where this series goes.

4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #4 (Black Mask Studios) – It feels like forever since the last issue, but as soon as I start reading it it’s like getting together with an old friend. Funny and surprisingly tense this issue.

Eleanor & Egret #2 (Aftershock Comics) – The first issue was cute and quirky with a fun story and amazing art. I can’t wait for this second one.

Ian Livingstones’ Freeway Fighter #1 (Titan Comics) – The classic game comes to comics and the first issue is fantastic. If you’re a fan of Mad Max or that type of world, this is one that’s a must get.

Josephine Baker (Self Made Hero) – A graphic novel about this trailblazing woman who lived a life that’s so amazing it can’t be true… but it is, so read up and find out more.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Generation X #1 (Marvel) – FINALLY! I have been waiting for this title since it’s reveal. I loved the original run of Generation X back in the day, and I know this is a new batch of students taking up the name, but Jubilee is now in charge…how can this not be good? The line up is interesting, and anything with Quentin Quire is definitely worth checking out. This should be a fun read.

Super Sons #4 (DC Comics) – This book is fun and action packed and I love this new dynamic duo of Superboy and Robin. You definitely should be reading this title.

U.S.Avengers #6 (Marvel) – Steve Rogers is looking to take down Roberto and his team. Like they’re going to let that happen. This book has been hit or miss with me, but I am curious to see how they deal with Rogers and Hydra taking over.

X-Men Gold #4 (Marvel) – Gambit turns up, so you know things are going to be exciting. I’d like to see him re-join a team of X-Men, so why not this one?

Preview: The Flash Vol. 2 Speed of Darkness

The Flash Vol. 2 Speed of Darkness

(W) Joshua Williamson (A) Jorge Corona, Felipe Watanabe, Oclair Albert, Davide Gianfelice, Neil Googe (CA) Carmine Di Giandomenico
In Shops: May 17, 2017
SRP: $14.99

A storm is brewing over Central City. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster appears-but just where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning out of the events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at a crossroads. Collects issues #9-13.

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