Gotham is now two episodes past its pilot, with the premiere for Season Three of Arrow this week along with the pilot for The Flash. There’s one more DCU series–Constantine–coming later this month. We’ve seen the first entries of the DC Comics universe on TV for the Fall 2014 season, so how did the first of the season openers fare?
We had low expectations for Gotham. A series in Gotham with all the Bat-villains and Jim Gordon, but no Batman? Whose idea was that? Yet, tight writing and a story that proceeds at a fast pace coupled with a superb supporting cast of characters and actors behind the roles really make this a series we’re looking forward to each week. That “boy scout” lead role for cop Jim Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie, must be a thankless job, and far less fun to play than all those villains, including the best reason to watch Gotham in Gordon’s partner Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue. We reviewed the pilot earlier here at borg.com and we’re still happy with the direction of the series.
If the season opener is any indication of the course of Season Three of CW’s Arrow, then consistency is the theme for this series. We know these characters well now, and the actors all solidly fit in the shoes of our heroes, from Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen to David Ramsey as John Diggle, to Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and Paul Blackthorne as Captain Lance, Arrow is a proven commodity.
Mix up Diggle’s role in Oliver’s team? Taunt us with a relationship between Oliver and Felicity? Kill off a major series hero? The writers are sure going to keep us on our toes this year.
The highlight of all the DCU series so far is the introduction of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer–the man who would be The Atom. It’s not lost on anyone watching that we are seeing the former big screen Superman face off with the Green Arrow right before our eyes. As we saw with the NBC series Chuck, Routh is one of the best actors to pop in for guest starring roles. Let’s just not take too much time before we see him transform into The Atom. Please?
We say “first” in a hopeful way.
Legenderry is the seven-issue mini-series from Dynamite Comics written by notable Fables writer Bill Willingham. Legenderry is also the steampunk setting where in Issue #7 Red Sonja joins up with Six Thousand Dollar Man Steve Austin, Zorro, Vampirella, the Green Hornet and Kato, Captain Victory, Silver Star, and the Phantom, all to face off in a final showdown with Ming the Merciless, Queen Flor Zora, Kulan Gath, Lydia Valcallan, General Tara, and Doctor Moreau.
And we hope this is the first of several series with these classic characters in their newest and most creative incarnations.
The best character development in the series is that of Red Sonja, who has spells leaving her to think she is actually the mild and citified Magna Spadarossa, sister of Sonja. By the end of the series her primitive side breaks through and she is the savage we’re all familiar with. A close second is Willingham’s Six Thousand Dollar Man and his then-pricey 19th century prosthetics. Including Oscar Goldman as his companion was a brilliant move.
Artist Sergio Fernandez Davila creates a visually stunning location, and Willingham’s fun take on these classic characters makes the series one of the best steampunk stories to enter the comic book medium.
Issue #7 hits comic book stores this week. Take a look at the first five pages of this final issue after the break.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Creating a Gotham City derived from the dark and sleazy world of the 1989 Batman film, but with a “Gotham Confidential” film noir spin, Fox’s new series Gotham managed to hit all the right notes in its Monday night premiere episode. Like LA Confidential, it even stars a ringer for Russell Crowe, actor Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) as the rookie cop James Gordon. But it’s the supporting cast and some tight writing that sticks to key parts of the DC Universe backstory that will have us back again next week.
Some elements are modified for this TV adaptation, of course, like the presence of a young Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova) at the murder of the parents of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). And Batwoman Kate Kane’s girlfriend and cop Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartegena) shows up far earlier in the DCU and, if we’re picking up the innuendo right, seems to have had a similar relationship with the would-be Barbara Gordon (now Gordon’s fiancée, not his daughter). Will this Barbara Gordon (Erin Richards, Being Human, Merlin) go on to be Batgirl and/or Oracle?
But the most riveting and engaging performances in the pilot come from Gordon’s senior partner Detective Harvey Bullock, played by the ubiquitous Donal Logue (Vikings, Sneakers, The X-Files, Ghost Rider), almost reprising his gritty cop roles from the short-lived crime drama Life and the film Zodiac, and the introduction of a new villain, mid-level mob moll Fish Mooney, played in a sultry Eartha Kitt-inspired performance by Jada Pinkett Smith (Hawthorne, The Matrix Reloaded). Logue proves again he could carry a TV series all by himself, and Smith also owns every scene she appears in.
Late Friday night Marvel Entertainment released a clip featuring a full scene from episode 1 of Season 2 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you bailed on the series after the initial glitter of the Marvel Comics universe drama started to fizzle mid-season, you may have at least one good reason to give the series another try. Agent Coulson’s team returns, this time joined by genre fave Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files, Veronica Mars, Burn Notice).
Although Marvel owns the cinematic superhero universe, it takes a backseat in TV land. The DC Comics universe counterpart Arrow on the CW Network firmly established audiences would happily accept a series full of superheroes and supervillains. With Arrow competing for viewers again this season, Warner Bros. is also adding The Flash, which looks to be great. Will S.H.I.E.L.D. finally embrace the key element of the genre it represents?
Check out this first look of a scene from Season 2 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
Why are you here?
To read? To learn something? To kill time?
OK, not why are you “here” at this website. Think Big Picture: Why are you here? To narrow the gap between the rich and the poor? To help people? To have fun? To create?
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darryl McDaniels from Run-DMC, who we met at Planet Comicon last year, asked himself that question after returning to a hotel after a night on a European tour. He’s pictured above with Wil Wheaton and my pal William Binderup. McDaniels asked himself that simple question and wrestling with that question set him on a path that he recounted to a crowd of college students years later. National Public Radio located an audio recording of that talk that they re-broadcast this past Wednesday night.
The result is a great story, and may serve as inspiration for anyone suffering from depression, anyone who was adopted, and it surprisingly serves as a great message about the power of fandom. It also should cause you to consider the possibility that you can do anything you want to do with your life, and sometimes you may even surprise yourself if you aim high. Maybe there’s more to who you are, who you like, and what you know–and don’t know–about yourself.
That is, if you’re in Scotland.
Census records estimate that more than twice as many people of Scottish ancestry live in the United States than in Scotland. Is it the destiny of Scotland to declare its independence from Great Britain? If not now, then when? At the beginning of the day everyone has been waiting for, polls show the likely outcome as a dead heat. We’ll soon learn the answer we’ve all been asking: Will they or won’t they?
Of course there are all sorts of implications to a yes vote, not the least of which is what kind of economic impact it will have on England, on the United States, and the world. If Scotland wants to make a statement to the world this could very well be Scotland’s day. So if you’re one of those Scots that are 16 years old or older and done voting or you’re in the States and can’t vote today, then what better than a brief celebration of all things Scottish? As Mike Myers’ character Stuart Rankin, proprietor of the store “All Things Scottish,” said on Saturday Night Live, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap.”
Scotland is well known for its inventors and their inventions. You wouldn’t be reading this website or surfing the Internet at all without the communications technologies that sprouted from Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. John Logie Baird would invent the first television. Scots invented the refrigerator and the flush toilet, the kaleidoscope and the lawnmower. And–shazam–James Goodfellow invented ATMs so we can get money to buy stuff on nearly any street corner.
Our future is defined in part by the adventures of a Scot in space–James Doohan’s Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott from Star Trek, an engineering miracle worker who exemplifies Scottish ingenuity. And of course, there’s James Bond, the character, whose parents were Scottish, and Sir Sean Connery, the Scottish actor, the most famous Bond, and a supporter of today’s “yes” vote.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Starting next Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the Bionic Woman is back. This time, in her third comic book series in the past two years, following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and The Six Million Dollar Man, it’s a continuation of the original television series, right where the series last left our bionic heroine.
Dynamite Comics is publishing the new series written by Brandon Jerwa, with interior art by David T. Cabrera. Issue #1 features cover art by Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes and a photo incentive cover featuring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers.
So how does Issue #1 fare?
They have the introduction right, presumably to begin each issue like an episodes of the series. As to moving the series forward in continuity of the era, the tech gets a slight–but only slight–upgrade, with walkie-talkies replaced with wireless comm-links in Jaime’s ears. Dr. Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman are back, too. So the setting checks out.
Still an entire month to wait until Arrow returns to the CW Network, and we’re got another great trailer released this weekend. The best part of this latest trailer? We hear the days of flashbacks to the island are going away, to be swapped out with Oliver Queen’s secret past honing his skills in Asia, and we see some of that here.
And the trick of showing Oliver finally hooking up with Felicity Smoak last season may have set fans up for a real relationship this season. Black Canary will return and sister Laurel Lance looks to be finally getting her life back. And what’s more fun than seeing former Superman Brandon Routh taking on a new recurring role in the DC Universe as Ray Palmer?
Check out this new trailer for Season Three of one of our favorite series, and maybe the best superhero series ever, Arrow:
Is there something not quite right about a new G.I. Joe series that features a Joe team finally headed up by Scarlett, that is also titled “The Fall of G.I. Joe”? We’re guessing the juxtaposition of these two elements wasn’t intended to be some kind of causal thing. Instead we’re focused on plenty of cool covers released by IDW Publishing for the series, which is expected to ship its first issue in September.
G.I. Joe: The Fall of G.I. Joe will be written by Karen Traviss with interior art by Steve Kurth. Several covers will be available, from artists including Cliff Chiang and Jeffery Veregge.
Check out these covers from the new monthly. The cover style from Veregge makes us wish Phil Noto or Kevin Dart was also working on this series, and maybe provide some variant covers. Still, they do look like something we might have seen back in 1972 on the box covers for large-sized G.I. Joe action figures.
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
What’s better than when all the new TV series line up just right? This coming Fall the networks have at least one great genre series every day of the week returning, including several new supernatural crime dramas: the CW’s Flash, ABC’s Forever, BBC America’s Intruders, Fox’s Gotham, and NBC’s Constantine. Well, the networks have at least one genre show per day except Thursdays, so it’s not exactly “just right.” But we could use a day off from TV anyway. And isn’t that what DVRs are for? Strangely enough, nearly all of these series have a supernatural crime element of some sort, with plenty of superheroes and time travel, too. Interesting.
Below we have the best of the Fall line-up with trailers for all but NBC’s Grimm.
Haven, Season 5 and its 26 brand new episodes begin Sunday, September 11, 2014, on the Syfy Channel. Here is a preview of the new season:
Sleepy Hollow, Season Two, begins Monday, September 22, 2014, on Fox, following the new Gotham series. Here’s a trailer for the new season of Sleepy Hollow: