Review by C.J. Bunce
Raise your hand if you wish you could watch more adventures of Buffy Summers, Veronica Mars, Claire Bennet, or Tru Davies. Fortunately you can get your fix here and there–you can find Buffy in comic books in Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Veronica continues in a series of novels by Rob Thomas, Heroes is coming back to NBC, and, well, it doesn’t look like we’ll ever see Tru again. But thanks to Veronica Mars’ creators Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero, a new strong woman-led series might make you think they are all back.
iZombie premiered Tuesday night adding another winner to the pantheon of solid hit shows the CW Network has been churning out of late, alongside Arrow, The Flash, Reign, Supernatural, and the Vampire Diaries. iZombie follows Olivia “Liv” Moore, a cardiac medical student resident who ends up at a party on a boat where all the guests break out into an infection and become zombies. Liv thinks fast and jumps off the boat, but not fast enough. She’s scratched and dies, only to return as the undead. Her so-called life crumbles from there and she ends up working for the medical examiner’s office where she can get easy access to unwanted brains, which she needs to eat to avoid getting mean and stupid.
And the execution of that off-the-wall premise is simply brilliant. There’s no hiding the fact that the voice of Rob Thomas’s Veronica Mars is echoed in Liv–many scenes aren’t just banter between characters, but chock full of Liv’s inner-thought narration. It was that storytelling device that was a big part of what made Veronica so accessible and endearing. And it even works for a zombie.
It began as a successful comic book series by Masks writer Chris Roberson and artist Michael Allred for DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint about a gravedigger zombie gal who eats brains to survive. This week Allred’s own adaptation of his iZombie world comes to television on the CW Network, but with some changes, like swapping Eugene, Oregon for Seattle, Washington.
Rose McIver plays Olivia “Liv” Moore (“live more”– get it?), a medical student turned zombie who gets a job at the coroner’s office in order to gain access to the brains she must eat so that she can maintain her humanity. And there will be plenty of brain eating going on in the series. But each brain she eats brings with it the final memories of the dead, so she shares her visions to solve their deaths with help from the medical examiner and a police detective. If they can grab some of the spark of Tru Calling, another show about a young woman who gets visions that allow her to solve crimes in a morgue, there could be an interesting series coming our way. That is, if you’re not yet tired of zombies.
But this series has the one thing that should get you to at least give it a try. It’s produced by Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars, who has proven he knows how to make great stories. Check out several previews for the series, after the break.
McIver has been on plenty of TV series, including appearances on both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess in the 1990s. Also starring will be Heroes’ Adam Monroe, David Anders (also Arrow’s Cyrus Vanch), a good performer who is always a scene stealer.
In light of actor John Wesley Shipp taking on the role of Barry Allen’s dad in CW’s The Flash reboot series, we figured the show’s writers couldn’t avoid doing what we all want to see anyway. And that would be? Revealing that the new series isn’t really a reboot, but a sequel–that Shipp, who originally played Barry Allen, is somehow the same Barry Allen, and Grant Gustin is either his son or some part of him, some kind of Kid Flash.
This idea was bolstered when the 1990s The Flash series co-star Amanda Pays returned as Dr. Tina McGee for the December 9, 2015 episode, “The Man in the Yellow Suit.” They didn’t even hide her as some different character. For those of us who still view the 1990s The Flash series as the best superhero TV series ever, we couldn’t ask for more. Well we could, and that would include Mark Hamill returning as The Trickster. For years fans of Hamill wondered what he was up to, and then he surprised us by showing up out of nowhere as a villain on TV.
Ask and ye shall receive.
The CW Network has released a new preview for its next three episodes, airing Tuesday nights March 17, March 24, and March 31. And it looks like Mark Hamill is back 25 years later in a story that flows from his original story line.
Check out the preview, after the break:
Much like was done for the successful Supernatural TV series from the CW Network (like the book we reviewed previously here at borg.com), Titan Books has released a new full-color photographic archive book for fans of the Arrow TV series. Arrow: Heroes and Villains is the first of three books coming our way this year featuring Oliver Queen and his cohorts.
More like a fan magazine or souvenir book in trade paperback form, with photos of the actors and details about their characters, Arrow: Heroes and Villains is the kind of book I would have been after for my favorite shows as a kid. Most of the photos are marketing shots for the characters, but it also includes snapshots from the series. Enough text is provided to get anyone who missed the first two seasons of the series caught up with each character and the major storylines up to the beginning of season three. It’s mainly an in-world book about the world of Oliver Queen, but also has interviews with show creators, and offers a behind the scenes look at the character development of key roles.
Grab a copy and get it signed by series star Stephen Amell next Sunday at Planet Comicon in Kansas City.
Split into two parts, plus a look at the Suicide Squad, Arrow: Heroes and Villains provides an essay on each of Oliver Queen, his parents, Thea, Walter Steele, Laurel and Sara Lance and their parents, John and Carly Diggle, Felicity Smoak, Tommy Merlyn, Roy Harper, Barry Allen, Frank Pike, and McKenna Hall.
The CW Network revealed Brandon Routh’s latest supersuit–for his role as The Atom, Ray Palmer’s alter ego from the DC Universe playing out this month Wednesday nights on Arrow. Unlike the classic Captain America-esque suit, this live-action version has more in common with the classic Marvel Ant-Man garb. It’s a cool outfit and seems to fit his role on the show, much different than anything else seen in the series so far. We’re sure Routh, awesome as Superman and everything else he tries, will make it work.
Check it out:
Look for Routh in the supersuit for the first time on the February 25, 2015, episode of Arrow. He’ll then be in a team-up with Grant Gustin’s running man on a future episode of The Flash with the most comic book title yet: “All-Star Team-Up.”
Netflix has also released the first full trailer for its new series, Daredevil. So far it looks like it could be as good as Ben Affleck’s movie version (good or bad, depending on whether you liked that effort or not). Check it out for yourself, after the break:
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
It’s a line by Alexander Pope in his 1709 poem, and Oliver Queen played out the saying fully in Arrow’s mid-season finale. Unwisely confronting the League of Assassin’s far more powerful Ra’s Al Ghul and covering for sister Thea by posing as the killer of Sara Lance, Oliver met his end. “Where Angels Fear to Tread” is also the title of the story arc that took the original run of DC Comics’s Green Arrow one hundred issues to get to–the original fall of the Emerald Archer. In the mid-season TV finale it was literally a fall–off a cliff after a pretty undeniable death via Ra’s Al Ghul’s sword.
But we all know that the death of a superhero is short-lived 99 percent of the time. In Issue #101 of DC Comics’ long-running Green Arrow monthly series Ollie met an untimely death in an exploding airplane, and yet the series continued for 36 more issues–without Oliver Queen. Series star Stephen Amell may have given a clue to a similar direction for the return of the series in January via a Facebook post after the show:
“Despite the title, our show is bigger than any one character. We’re going to prove that to you.”
The original, explosive death of Oliver Queen.
So we may see a period during the last half of Season 3 without Ollie. But a note to the show writers: just don’t take it too far.
It feels like the series has barely begun and the writers have taken the big leap. Where can we go from here? Taking a superhero book forward without the title superhero in the 1990s comic book series was a risk, and split those fans who were loyal to the classic Green Arrow and those willing to accept a second Green Arrow–Connor Hawke, Oliver Queen’s son, as a new Green Arrow. Three years was a surprisingly long run without Ollie, but ultimately the series was cancelled. Oliver was to be resurrected years later by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks in a second successful Green Arrow series.
If you’re not watching The Flash on the CW Network there’s no time like tonight to join in and get caught up. All the DC Comics fans who grew tired of the dark and gloomy nature of the DC Comics universe as realized in television (like Constantine) and the movies (like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy) have the alternative they have been looking for from this spin-off of CW’s Arrow.
Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen against all prior types. He’s more like Peter Parker than the Barry Allen of the Silver Age or more recent New 52 incarnations, and little like the older, more serious scientist in The Flash television series from the 1980s starring John Wesley Shipp. He’s cheery, funny, friendly, and generally a happy guy despite his obsession with his mother’s death years ago, having to deal with his father in prison for her murder, and the fact that his life has been turned upside down by a bolt of electric current from a particle accelerator.
And if the series isn’t enough for you, check out the tie-in comic book series The Flash Season Zero. Season Zero provides a supplemental story to the TV show but also is a jumping-on point for those who may have missed the first few episodes. Now only two issues in, you can get these back issues easily from any comic book retailer. The best reason to check out Season Zero? The return of artist Phil Hester to the part of the DCU he drew for many years as penciller on the monthly Green Arrow series. With multiple crossover episodes this season between The Flash and Arrow, hopefully we’ll get a chance to see Hester’s take on drawing Stephen Amell’s much younger version of Oliver Queen.
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:
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:
CW Network’s Oliver Queen, Arrow star Stephen Amell will be the emcee for the big Warner Bros./DC Entertainment crossover event at San Diego Comic-Con International, only two weeks away. Warner Bros. announced their line-up for their Saturday night event and it looks to be a great show.
As master of ceremonies, Amell will be presenting three hours of content in Hall H between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. July 26, 2014. Called “A Night of DC Entertainment,” Amell will reveal content from three new DC Comics-based TV series and his own Arrow. Sure to share some of Oliver Queen’s billionaire playboy image, first Amell will present a screening of the world premiere of the new Fall 2014 TV series Gotham for thousands of SDCC attendees in the big hall.
Next up will be the complete pilot screening of The Flash starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen. The Flash will be followed by exclusive footage from Constantine.