Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

Will #goalweight survive a massive Thanksgiving meal? If it doesn't, I'm blaming Red Kryptonite!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Supergirl Episode 307: Wake Up


Supergirl episode 307, titled 'Wake Up', aired this week and really was more of an opening chapter to a major plot which will be running through the season. "Wake Up" has a lot of meanings here from the awakening of Mon-El and someone else in the alien ship to Reign's continuing emergence into Sam, to J'onn realizing he is missing out on life, to perhaps Kara realizing that she does truly need to move on from Mon.

But the real juice of this episode's story was how the concept of humanity is the key theme for Season three. Supergirl and Reign are very similar in origins and concept. They both have been living on Earth and both have been trying to be human. But now Kara is willfully hardening herself, trying to be alien so she can't be hurt. Meanwhile, Sam is less in control of what is happening (it seems) and her human side is being thrust aside for something darker. In the end, I can't help but think that a call to humanity ... a cry to be human and humane ... is going to be a key part of the finale.

Lastly, this might be Melissa Benoist's strongest episode of the season. Her heart is on her sleeve as she runs the gamut of joy in seeing Mon-El again to pain when it is clear he isn't the same person to a sliver of happiness when they relive a memory, back to despair when surprise news devastates her. From the quavering of her voice to her expressions to subtle things like futzing with her glasses, you know the depths of what Kara is feeling. Seriously, I know it is Supergirl but I hope the CW is putting together an Emmy reel for Benoist.

On to the episode.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Strange Visitor Review: Part Two


The last issue of Supergirl ended with quite the cliffhanger. Sharon Vance, Strange Visitor, appeared in National City and was gunning for Supergirl! With Strange Visitor becoming a player in the magazine, I felt a refresher might be useful.

Part one of this review is available here.

Today I present the second half of the story that introduced her to the DCU!

Action Comics #759 and Superman The Man of Steel #94 completes the four parter which made Strange Visitor part of the Superman family. Written by Ron and Randall Frenz, with art by Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema, these issues fill in the gaps in Strange Visitor's origin, both earthly and other worldly.

She faces off against a classic Superman villain. And she strives to keep her powers, linked to her emotional state, under control. It is an electrifying story.

And as I have said before, I like the look of Strange Visitor. The aesthetic of the electric blue Superman suit is solid. It just seems to work on Sharon too!

On to the story!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Review: Super Sons #10


Super Sons #10 came out last week and this book continues to be a hoot. Jon and Damian are clearly learning to be heroes, clearly come from different backgrounds, and are clearly being influenced by each other. Better yet, I can't help but think that their friendship is strengthening the Clark and Bruce one. This makes me happy.

This was something of a rest issue, setting up some new plotlines and new places for the boys and the book. Much like I feel that Supergirl underwent a new focus recently, I think this book is also heading off into a bold new-ish direction. We have established the boys friendship and their partnering. Now was the time to take this to the next level. No more ad hoc adventures. Let's make this a standing relationship.

Writer Peter Tomasi does his usual job of showcasing Jon and Damian's different outlooks on life. It is that friction that brings the juice to the proceedings. However, it is the times we see a little of the other in a character that shows growth. When Damian sounds a little like Jon it makes me happy.

The art on this issue is done by recent pinch hitter extraordinaire Jose Luis. And as this is mostly a non-adventure book, Luis does a great job of keeping my engaged with the story. Much of that has to do with the characters' body language.

On to the book.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Superman #35

Superman #35 came out this week, the third part of the Imperius Lex story arc, as it continues to move our super-family across the desolate wastelands of Apokolips. Last issue focused on Lois. This issue we focus on Jon. But throughout, we keep seeing Superman and Lex both dealing with being labeled the messiah of Apokolips. As I have said for some time, I am having a hard time reading this Lex. His actions have always seemed heroic but his words have occasionally been concerning or troublesome. Is he faking us out with this desire to be the new Superman, a hero?

For me, the Jon portion of the issue was the most enjoyable. Writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason bring the youthful energy to Jon, making him act the way I think a tween with super-powers would act. He is growing in confidence. He is trying to emulate his dad. But he is impulsive.

I will also admit to having something of a hard time wrapping my head around the actual status of Apokolips these days. It looks like it is plunged into chaos. And I have to think that Tom King and Mitch Gerads Mister Miracle as well as the Allred's Bug are out of continuity. But it doesn't feel streamlined.

The art on the book is a mix of Travis Moore, Stephen Segovia, and Art Thibert. It is hard for me at least to pick out where one begins and the others end. But overall the book looked crisp and clean.

On to the books.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Supergirl 306: Midvale


Supergirl episode 306, 'Midvale', aired earlier this week and looked at the first time the Danvers sisters teamed up to solve a crime. It was a very interesting look back at the childhood of these characters as we see where they have come from and how everything wasn't always rosy between them. We knew from earlier flashbacks that Kara has always been something of a fish out of water and that Alex was often teased about her weird sister. Here we see just how the volatile cauldron of high school kicked that up a notch.

And while it was fun to see this look back, especially given the very Smallville-y feeling to the proceedings, for me the bigger thing was how this thematically fit into the current series. This season Kara has been all about forsaking her humanity and embracing her alien heritage. She doesn't want to get hurt, she can't be broken. She has to be alien. In this episode we see how that was flipped earlier in her life. In that time period all she wanted to be was alien and instead ends up clinging to humanity.

All this has to be put into a growing timeline. Now we know why Kara hid her powers for years. Now we know how Alex felt in the immediate aftermath of Jeremiah being drafted into the DEO. Now we know when the sisters really realized the bond they have.

None of this would be possible without excellent acting. And the two actors playing the younger Danvers did an absolutely incredible job channeling Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh. Izabela Vidovic physically looks like Benoist but also brings the emotional punch of her performances. And Olivia Nikkanen basically is a young Alex as portrayed by Leigh.

On to the episode!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: New Super-Man #17

New Super-Man #17 came out last week and continues to push the All-Yang battle to a near conclusion. This feels like it should be the penultimate issue of the series. I have wondered if the axe was nearing for this book which continues to sell less than 20K. But we haven't got a Final Issue solicit yet so I am happy.

Writer Gene Luen Yang continues to weave a nice new continuity of DC heroes over in China. I love the infusion of all the mythology both of China and the DC Universe.  I love the humor which is slyly inserted into the book. And I love the steady maturation of Kenan Kong as he leaves his bully/bratty persona behind as he embraces the mantle of Super-Man. Plus, this issue has the JLC meet the JLA and it is a great introduction.

The art is by Joe Lalich, someone who I have never seen before. The turnstile of artists, sometimes newcomers, also has made me wonder if this book was nearing the end. The art is something of house style, with few stylish flourishes. But it kicks it up a bit when it needs to.

On to the book.