Month: October 2013

X-Men trailer out

I don’t have time right now to completely pick apart the two minute trailer for Days of Future Past, but I will give you something that gave me a little tingling in my fanboy parts.

bishop

Hell yeah, that’s Bishop!

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Arrow – “Identity”

This past week’s episode of Arrow was titled “Identity.”  Here’s what you need to know.

Island Flashback

  • Having just killed a guy, Oliver is freaking out a bit.  Slade tells Shado to speak with him to clam him down.  They do a bit more than talk, while Slade, who walks up on them, tries not to notice.  Or let them know that he notices.
  • They find a map and a picture on the guys they killed.  The map leads them to a cave.  All they find there are a bunch of WWII era skeletons that have incredibly misshaped heads.

Vigilante stuff

  • A gang on motorcycles led by China White rob a FEMA truck that is headed for a hospital in the Glades.  Roy Harper had tried to stop them, but he just ends up crashing his car and getting arrested.
  • Arrow figures out the next shipment they’re going to hit, and tries to stop them.  Only this time, China White has Bronze Tiger with her.  The fight with Bronze Tiger is interrupted when the police show up, and go after Arrow.
  • Arrow talks with Laurel Lance, who is working for the DA now, and tries to convince her to call off the cops from chasing him.
  • Felicity finds one more shipment that is leaving.  Arrow finds out about it too late to save the drivers, but Diggle is able to drive the truck away while Arrow fights Bronze Tiger.  China White chased after the truck.
  •  Arrow contacted Roy Harper, and asked him to be his eyes and ears in the Glades.  Gave him a red arrow as a sign to contact.
  • Arrow again visits Laurel, hoping that she has reconsidered.  Instead, she set a trap for him, and cops swarm in to surround him.  (End of episode.)

Oliver Queen stuff

  • Oliver Queen visits the hospital in the Glades, only to have Alderman Sebastian Blood turn an angry mob against him.
  • Felicity is not happy about being made the “Executive Assistant” to Oliver, because that’s not what she went to MIT for.  Oliver tells her that he needs her here in case he has to do vigilante stuff during work.  Diggle tells her to be thankful that her secret identity isn’t “black driver.”  It also comes out that Diggle isn’t with Carla anymore, because he couldn’t do it, know that his brother’s killer, Deadshot, is still out there.
  • Oliver talks to Sebastian, and they agree to throw a benefit for the hospital.  However, Oliver ends up not showing because he has to save that last shipment of supplies for the hospital.
  • Sebastian uses this absence to harm Oliver’s perception in the media, despite Laurel asking him not to.

All in all, this was a phenomenal episode, and I really like where this season is heading.  Oliver’s new desire to not kill people was a great way to introduce the trick arrows.  And no, I don’t think it’s an oversight or a plot hole that we didn’t see him make and test the trick arrows.  You know why I think that?  Because that would have been boring.  Very, very boring.  Just accept that as the CEO of large company, he has resources at his disposal.  But Green Arrow once again has trick arrows, and all is right in the world.  I eagerly await the boxing glove arrow.

I like what they did with Sebastian Blood.  It was a good way to show that Oliver can’t always when.  Even when he’s doing what’s best.  He made the correct decision in going to save the shipment, rather than appearing at the benefit.  But the public doesn’t know that.  The public will never know that.  And there’s nothing that he can do about it.

That’s all for now.  See you next time when we see how what happens with Arrow and the cops, and have an appearance by Black Canary.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Eye-Spy”

Welcome to this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., titled “Eye Spy.”  Here’s what you need to know.

  • A bunch of people in red masks, with briefcases handcuffed to them, went walking through the city, with many boarding a subway train.  A woman followed the group onto the train.  She briefly closes her eyes, knocks out the lights, and proceeds to knock out all of the people in red masks.  She breaks one of the guy’s hands off and steals the briefcase.
  • It turns out that the woman is named Akela Amador, and she is a former agent that was trained by Coulson.  She had been the loan survivor in a mission, and ended up being considered a traitor.
  • Inside the briefcase was a lot of diamonds.  Amador trades the diamonds for a security card.
  • The team thinks they have tracked down Amador.  FitzSimmons and Skye think hack a local video signal, but it turns out that the video was coming from a truck that ran into the van FitzSimmons and Skye were in.  Back in the bus, they hack the video again, and realized the the video is actually coming from Amador’s eye.  While watching the feed, they realize someone is feeding Amador instructions.
  • May brings Amador in, and they are able to hack the feed to make whoever is watching think that nothing has happened.  Ward and Skye proceed with Amador’s mission while Coulson tracks the controlling person down.
  • Ward completes the mission, which was to infiltrate a building and get a picture of a formula that may have alien origins.  Ward is able to keep the “Watcher” (no, not that Watcher) from knowing what is going on until FitzSimmons are able to remove Amador’s camera eye (it had a fail safe to kill her).  Coulson finds who was sending Amador messages, but it turns out that he was also being controlled, and is killed.  (more…)

The Walking Dead – “30 Days Without an Accident”

The fourth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead kicked off last night, drawing in over 16 million viewers and dominating the ratings for everything not football related. The episode drew more than six million viewers than the season three premiere, and nearly four million more than the season three finale, continuing the trend of The Walking Dead being the highest rated show on cable. Scott Gimple takes the series’ helm starting with this season. He’s the third show runner for the series; replacing Glen Mazzara, who’d just taken over for Frank Darabont after season two. Gimple was responsible for writing some of the best episodes of season three, which managed to find a nice balance of emotional, character driven stories and gory zombie goodness. If this episode is any indication of how season four will play out we’re in for some good times. Now, with a healthy dose of spoilers both television and comic book related, let’s get into the story…

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Unintended consequence of DC’s Villains month

For those of you living under a rock, but still have very specific Internet access, DC spent the entire month of September releasing one-shots that featured villains.  Some of these books tied into current story arcs, some teased future ones, some explained further things that happened in the past.  The important thing to note was that they essentially replaced all of the ongoing titles for a month.  So, your main titles were numbered 23.1, 23.2, etc., while books like Nightwing and Batgirl were not released at all.

At first, I didn’t really think much about it.  I looked through the September solicits, found the characters and writers I was interested in, and just bought those titles.  I read those books, and for the most part, I enjoyed them.  But then, October started, and the ongoing titles continued, and I’m finding it a little difficult to get back into them.  Most notably the two mentioned above, plus Detective Comics and Batman.  Issue #23 of those issues, which came out in August, ended on pretty big cliffhangers.  Not going to spoil anything, but take my word for it.  The books were reaching climaxes.

So here we are, 2 months after issue #23 came out, continuing the stories.  And sadly, to me anyways, they didn’t have the impact that I would have expected them to.  Sure, some of that lies on me as the reader.  I could have gone back and reread the previous issue to remind myself of where we were.  But honestly, this will be the first week in a couple months in which I don’t have any of the previous week’s comics left to read on Wednesday.  That’s not really going to happen.

Which brings us to the scheduling itself.  Two months is a long time to have in between issues in a story.  Unless the title is Image United (zing!).  Yes, books have existed on a 5 or 6 week schedule before.  One title that comes to mind is Geoff Johns/Alex Ross Justice Society of America run several years ago.  But that was aided in there there wasn’t a lot of JSA material coming out.  You didn’t have a family of titles that came out the rest of the month.  You didn’t have 16 one-shots featuring JSA villains come out in between parts of the story.  All you had was JSA, and then the next issue of JSA.  So, it wasn’t that difficult to keep track of what was going on with them over an extended period of time.

So, in the future, as much fun as these issues and the 3-D covers were, it’d be great if they didn’t do this again.  Of course, I know they’re going to.  It’s an increase in what they did last year.  Last September, there were the #0 issues, that were supposed to hint at origin stories of the heroes.  Those were only slightly removed from the story lines, being that each writer could fit those in somewhere, mostly.  With this trajectory, next September, we’re likely to get 52 books that don’t have a thing to do with what is currently going on.  Or maybe Elseworlds stuff.  Oh, maybe it’ll be a tie-in for Multiversity.  They may be ready to go by next year.

Arrow – “City of Heroes”

Arrow returned for its season 2 premiere.  Sorry for the delay in getting it posted.  Have had some technical difficulties this past week.  The show seems to break up nicely into 3 different categories:  flashback, Oliver Queen stuff, and vigilante stuff.  Here’s what you need to know.

Flashback stuff (5 years ago on the island)

  • Slade Wilson and Oliver Queen are training when Shado returns from hunting.  (Oliver and her have developed a romantic relationship.)  Using some of the equipment they took from the mercinaries, they detect some new people on the island.  They go to investigate this, but after they split up, Shado is taken.  Oliver and Slade track them down, and Oliver ends up killing one of the strangers.

Vigilante stuff

  • After the man-made earthquake caused by Malcolm Merlin and Moira Queen, and death of Tommy, Oliver has gone back to the island to seclude himself.  Diggle and Felicity are able to find him, and convince him to return.
  • Upon his return, a group of 4 people impacted by the earthquake have taken it upon themselves to take up the Hood’s work, and seek revenge for the earthquake.  They start by killing the mayor.
  • They decide to go after Oliver, since his mother was partly responsible.  However, all they are able to do is kidnap Thea (sister).  Roy Harper (her boyfriend) tries to stop them, but is unable.
  • Oliver reluctantly puts on the costume again.  He had reservations because he didn’t like the body count he had racked up, and that his friend died thinking he was a murderer.  Felicity suggests that there is a different way to do things, and he doesn’t have to kill people.
  • Oliver goes after the group, and ends up leaving them for the cops.

Oliver stuff

  • The family business is in shambles.  Something about the majority owner being involved in a plot to destroy a section of the city.  Isabel Rochev is attempting a hostile takeover, by buying up enough shares to get a 55% stake in the company.  She and Oliver both currently have 45%, leaving 10% up for grabs.
  • Oliver doesn’t have enough money himself to buy up the remaining shares.  Rochev so far has only been able to purchase 5%.  Oliver reveals that he was able to some help from “family.”  Walter Steele, Moira’s now ex-husband (I think), has purchased the remaining shares.  He felt loyal to Oliver’s father, and wanted to help Oliver.  So now, but Oliver (essentially) and Rochev have 50/50 split of the company.

I don’t really get the whole “going back to the island” thing.  It barely lasted any time at all.  You could have easily just done a thing with Oliver not putting on the hood for a long while.  And it’s a flimsy cover story for Oliver leaving town.  He went to Europe?  His best friend just died, and his mom was involved in a plot to destroy part of the city.  I find it unlikely that he’d even be allowed to leave the country.

I am interested in how far they’re going to go with Roy Harper.  Right now, he’s just picking fights with street thugs.  Do they have Oliver bring him in as a side kick?  If that happens, then does his sister get brought in on the secrets as well?  Or does Roy just decide to be a copycat, and continue doing his own thing.  It should be noted that at the end of the episode, Roy had came to the aid of a lady against 3 thugs, and was himself saved by someone that may have been Black Canary.