Friday, January 28, 2011

Young Justice 103 Welcome to Happy Harbor Review

Okay, I figured since I covered the Independence Day pilot/movie for Young Justice I might as well continue with the series. It helps that I didn’t get much sleep last night and I wasn’t in the mood to do any reading so I decided to watch this - if I can manage to stay awake I’ll probably do the second episode of Being Human also.

This episode gives us the introduction of Brick and Mister Twister. I’ll start with Brick first, Speedy has been keeping track of Brick and systematically shutting him down. I didn’t really care for Brick but it was an excuse to keep Speedy around and in the show which I like. I like the idea of him trying to remain separate from the team because of how he feels they are treated in general. It’s a nice touch that they started this early when the actual team themselves don’t really now or trust each other that well so I can see them possibly building this into a seasonal arch and perhaps this is a bit of foreshadowing that someone either on Young Justice or The Justice League is actually working with ‘the Light’ and using the younger heroes to further their own needs and once that betrayal is played out Speedy will either be there to fill the gap in the team member (I’m betting it will be Artemis since it’s been stated that she’s not: Arrowette, Mia or the Amazon Artemis but a pre-existing DC Universe character, and that only leaves like 2 ‘Artemis’es left and they’re both villains.) or he will be there once the team sees things his way.

The other character – Mister Twister, is actually the central point of the plot. He’s attacking random locations and Red Tornado sends the team off to check it out. Miss Martian tries to read his mind and finds out that he’s a robot so the team assumes that it is simply Red Tornado testing them. I don’t know what to think about this character, it’s not one that I’m familiar with at all so I have nothing to go off of but his whole purpose seemed to be to be that of a plot device to get the team to trust Miss Martian while showcasing her overall inexperience.

I don’t know what to think of this weird little love triangle between Dick/M’gann/Wally it feels like mostly filler because they’re not doing/can’t for legal reasons do the Tim/Cassie/Kon since they aren’t using Tim and there were legal issues that prevented Wonder Girl from being included at the time. I think the reason why I’m so off put by it is because M’gann feels like she’s nothing more than a  substitute for Secret/Suzie/Greta; when she was first introduced she lived with the team and they had to go through the motions of teaching her what was acceptable behavior. It feels very much like that they’re trying to do with M’gann; she lives at the HQ, she’s learning how to interact with the humans, she’s learning what is okay and not okay to do and while the team really seems to like her they don’t trust her much. These are all things that were staples with Secret’s plots.

Aqualad didn’t really do much this episode and I’m okay with that. After how much they pimped him in the hour long movie it was nice that they scaled him back quite a bit for this episode. It’s going to take a while for me to get used to him so it will be easier if he’s not constantly shoved down my throat. I’m indifferent to the bond that he’s forming with Superboy (again this is a case of me liking the original comic cast much more than the TV incarnation) but I guess it fits because Wally and Dick aren’t in the right places to help Superboy at this point in his life.

Okay, can someone explain to me why the hell they keep pimping Artemis yet she has yet to appear? She was featured in the mid show bumper for the pilot, she’s in the opening credits, she’s featured on the cover of the comic book… yet she hasn’t even had her introduction yet. It seems odd when you think of how Speedy is getting a lot of screen time (especially for a character that isn’t the focal point of the series) and he’s not even a member of the team.

Rating: B

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Young Justice Issue 0 'Stopover' Review

Young Justice #0 – Stopover

You know, I’m not even going to get into the different characters thing here – it is obvious how I feel about that so I’ll just move on. I’m glad to have Young Justice comic back in my life, but it’s painful that Todd Nauck isn’t drawing it. I loved his style on the original Young Justice run and he did the majority of the book so it is odd seeing someone else tackle the characters. However I can’t hate on it too much because the art is actually good and it fits the style of the TV show nicely. I wish they would have gone with a different cover though, I mean Artemis and Miss Martian don’t even appear in the book, heck, Artemis hasn’t appeared in the series at all yet – but she’s plastered all over the promotional art. Also…. She’s not Arrowette – sorry, I couldn’t help myself there. The new characters are a nice touch and they do remind me a lot of the original run and in the original run we would have gotten characters like Tommy and Tuppence Terror. I like the aspect of this whole issue taking place between the two final scenes of the pilot episode it was a nice tie in and helped bridge the gap – I wouldn’t mind if the series continued on and did that more often. It was a bit odd though whenever they displayed the date and time no matter what time it always was ‘16’ seconds – I’m sure that’s probably an inside joke that I’m just not a part of. I like the idea of possibly building on a friendship between Wally and Superboy. It did feel a lot like the old series which was nice and one thing really stuck out to me: in Wally’s bedroom we see a poster of He-Man and Skeletor from Masters of the Universe, as well an action figure of He-Man, Electro and Morph figures from Marvel comics and a Bat-Mite from DC and a poster of Richard Dragon – a DC universe character. This is a really nice nod to things that ran in the original series like Wendy the Werewolf Stalker. There was another little ‘dig’ this time at the long running TV show Smallville when Superboy is dressed very much like the TV Clark Kent and Superboy can’t stand it. It was a fun book and I want to see where it goes, but at the same time I’m not entirely sure I can fit another comic book into my reading/collecting rotation.

Young Justice #0 – Stopover: A

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Nightcrawler Review


The Uncanny X-Men #194 – Juggernaut’s Back In Town

This issue we have the first appearance of Fernis A.K.A. Andrea and Andreas von Strucker however only Andreas is named. They’re off in Africa apparently hunting and causing random trouble which Ororo stops. I liked touching bases with Ororo to see what she’s doing now that she’s powerless and trying to find herself. We also touch bases with why Charles and certain characters aren’t present because they’re off on Muir Island (off in the Legion plot) and we get a little bit more info with the whole Nimrod plot. I think I’ve said it before but I’ve always thought Nimrod was overhyped and an issue like this where he has many powers and can seemingly deal with everyone doesn’t really help with the overrated feeling. If anything makes the character more Mary Sue like. I like the idea of Rogue taking on more than one ability at a time and the type of struggle she would have to deal with because of that but I don’t really get why random parts of her body mutated. Sure it was for shock value, but I kind of wish they explained why which part took on a particular appearance. This was a good little filler issue and surprisingly I can see myself reading this one again.

Nightcrawler #1 – How much is that Boogie in the window?
Nightcrawler #2 – A Boggie Day in L’un D’un-T’wn
Nightcrawler #3 – To BAMF or not to BAMF!
Nightcrawler #4 – The Wizard of OOPs!

This particular story takes place right after Uncanny X-Men #194 but before Charles and the New Mutants return from Muir Island. At first Kurt, Kitty and Illyana are all alone in the mansion and Kurt is training himself in the danger room and forces himself not to use his teleporting abilities because there could be situations where he won’t be able to use them at all. Or course this causes Kurt to tell Kitty and Illyana all about his adventure when he was teleported to an alternate dimension with Vanisher and neither of them were able to use their powers. He tells the girls all about the Well at the Center of Time which leads Kitty to programming it into the danger room, only some how she actually manages to conjure up the real well. Kurt and Lockheed get sucked in and the two of them begin their own pirate adventure; which is actually perfect for Kurt’s character considering he’s always had a swashbuckler aspect to his character. Kurt and Lockheed stop the pirates from kidnapping a princess and the duo end up being sold to a shark creature who plans to use Kurt to learn how to teleport. The series is fun but it’s so out there in it’s comedy and sight gags that it goes past the obvious and into the ‘oh dear lord this is annoying when will it stop.’ We know that time moves differently in other dimensions which allows for this adventure to be larger than it is, but what wrecks it for me is one little blurb when we check back in with Kitty and Illyana and it says that Kurt has been missing for a few days yet the girls never once change their clothes. I don’t really understand why Illyana couldn’t use a locater spell and then just teleport to Kurt… I get that they included her because the whole story is a nod to magic and teleportation but here we have a character that can do both and she really doesn’t do anything in the story. The jokes aren’t really so much jokes as they are generic non copyright infringement based jokes off of other properties, places and people. I know that the BAMFS are supposed to be personifications from the story she told Illyana when she was a little girl – but to me they seem like sexually frustrated Smurfs. I do like the tie in to Kurt’s story from Bizarre Adventures and the referencing of Kitty’s Fairytale – it helps to sort of tie this story in with the real ones. And you could almost argue that this whole series was done for Kurt to prove to himself that he can lead the X-Men since he led an entire race of BAMFS. My only problem with the story was the ending. Did we really need to know that Illyana who is 15-17 (with all the aging and de-aging of Kitty I can’t keep track of Illyana’s age anymore) but like two years ago was only 7 has a collection of Playgirls?

The Uncanny X-Men #194 – Juggernaut’s Back In Town: A
Nightcrawler #1 – How much is that Boogie in the window?: B
Nightcrawler #2 – A Boggie Day in L’un D’un-T’wn: A
Nightcrawler #3 – To BAMF or not to BAMF!: A
Nightcrawler #4 – The Wizard of OOPs!: B

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Truth About Long Running TV Shows

So I saw this earlier and it got me thinking exactly how true it is:
I find it especially true with shows like Friends, The Office and CSI - the only real exceptions that I can think of are:

Buffy - I LOVED seasons 5-7, but 8 is kind of meh, on the other end of it I didn't really care for s2 (it was good but far from my favorite) and even though season 3 gave me a lot of characters I enjoyed I didn't really care for it.

Smallville - This show actually got stronger as the seasons went on. It got a lot better with the addition of Lois, and it grew even more once they introduced Green Arrow and wrote out Lana and Lex. But... there was Doomsday.

Weeds - The show makes it a point to jump the shark at least every other episode but I revel in it. That's the whole point of the show, everything Nancy does makes things worse and it expands with each move she makes.

Medium - This show was truly amazing and my dvr is a much sadder place now that it doesn't have weekly visits from the Dubois family. There was absolutely no decline in quality at all with this show as the seasons progressed and that is extremely rare.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Legion Review


The New Mutants #26 – Legion
The New Mutants #27 – Into the Abyss
The New Mutants #28 - Soulwar

This is a small little story but it’s a pretty big one so that’s why I decided to separate it into its own little section. We do get a draw on some recent history as well as a few things that up until this point had seemed to have been forgotten. The most recent events that are covered are the fact that Thunderbird (II) kidnapped Banshee to exact revenge on Charles Xavier, Charles getting jumped and beaten nearly to death only to be saved by Callisto and Emma Frost not being happy with Empath’s recent actions which played a role in ruining Emma’s plans to use Firestar to assassinate Selene. The stories that seemed long forgotten were Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander being transformed by the Demon Bear and Moira and Gabrielle keeping the fact that David Haller is autistic and Charles’ son. The little things really helped to fill out the story - it was nice to see Jamie Madrox show up, he has been MIA for quite some time now. The aftermath of Empath’s actions was surprising because of Emma shutting down his powers. She has always been ruthless but to take away someone’s powers like that is a new level of sadistic even for Emma. Of course this leads to Empath reaching out to a mysterious group to seek revenge on Sunspot and Magma – although I’m not sure why he didn’t go after Emma, Thunderbird (II) and Angelica instead. We touch bases briefly with Magneto and Lee who have started up a romance that appears to end within this particular storyline. The cast is pretty full as it is but it would have been a nice touch to have Illyana present for this story because she was with Moira when they first met Gabrielle. We finally see David Haller for the first time and meet three of his stronger personalities: Jack Wayne – who is a telekinetic, Cyndi who is pyrokinetic and Jemail Karami the telepath who was part of an assassination team sent to kill Daniel Shomron (David’s godfather,) Gabrielle and David. Unfortunately Gabrielle wasn’t there and David’s psychic powers manifested after he witnessed Jemail murder Daniel. David killed the assassination team and unintentionally managed to absorb (at the very least) Jemail’s mind. The main story revolves around Charles and the New Mutants trying to help cure David similar to the way that Charles cured Gabrielle years ago but in the process: Charles, Gabrielle, Dani, Rahne, Doug, Moira, Tom and Sharon all get pulled into David’s mind which is a battlefield. At first we’re led to believe that Jemail has taken over David’s mind and is trying to destroy the boy and take over his body but we learn that Jemail actually wants to help knit David’s fractured mind back together and that Jack Wayne is the one who is trying to keep everything the way it is. Ultimately Jemail and Dani combine their powers to return all of her friends to their physical bodies and Jemail and Jack (under Dani’s threats) piece together David’s mind. However after Dani returns to her physical body Jack built in a failsafe that kept himself, Cyndi and Jemail all separate personalities within David who is now awake and finally comes face to face with the father he thought had abandoned him and Charles remembering that he felt the Beyonder probing David’s mind while they were all trapped in there. It was a good story, nothing really to pick on – there was one little mistake where there’s an image of Gabrielle and Moira with David as a little child but that’s easy to over look. I do wish that they had more time to play up the betrayal factor of the two women he loved the most keeping such a thing from him. Once again the art really suited the story, but I wish it was a bit darker and I’m not really a fan of David’s overall look in the ‘real’ world.

Marvel Graphic Novel #50 – The Scorpio Connection

I put this one in here mostly because I didn’t feel comfortable just doing three issues here and Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection was the easiest to place. Sure it happens a bit further in the continuity since Dazzler is an X-Man, however she’s only really in one panel so it’s very easy to ignore. Plus Kurt and Ororo aren’t around and that makes sense since Ororo lost her powers and since Nightcrawler is about to go off on his own little adventure thanks to Kitty (who is also not present) and Illyana. The story itself is all about Wolverine and Nick Fury teaming up to take down a man who killed a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and left a calling card in the shape of the Scorpio Zodiac sign. Logan wants revenge because one of the men that Scorpio killed was an old friend of his that once saved his life; Nick wants in on this not because of the dead agents but because the original Scorpio was Nick’s younger brother. Now the big problem for Nick is that he witnessed his brother killing himself so there’s no way it’s possible for Scorpio to be back. Through the story we have the first appearance of Mikel Fury – Nick’s nephew but we find out that he’s actually Nick’s son. We have the first and only appearance of Amber D’Alexis – Mikel’s mother and an outright ruthless woman who manipulated her son into thinking another man was his father just so she could secretly train him to kill his actual father. I really liked the story despite me not being familiar with the bulk of the characters within the story; the only problem I had was the art and coloring. It just wasn’t my thing and all those red panels kind of hurt my eyes with how they’d pop in and out.

The New Mutants #26 – Legion: A
The New Mutants #27 – Into the Abyss: A
The New Mutants #28 – Soulwar: A
Marvel Graphic Novel #50 – The Scorpio Connection: B

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MotUC: Vikor: Action Figure Review

I’m going to switch it up a little bit and go back to something I haven’t done in a while – an action figure review. Like always it’s going to be Mattel’s Masters of the Universe: Classics line. Now that I’m on a semi-regular posting schedule I think I’ll be doing more of these, not only as filler for if I do get a little bit behind but also just to switch it up a little bit once a month and a reason to bust out my camera when the new figures arrive with my Club Eternia 2011 Subscription.

Now before I even get into anything relating to the actual figure itself I feel like I have to touch bases on a few things that have happened. First off Vikor wasn’t even planned to be the January figure. Originally it was going to be Bow and for the giant sized beast it was going to be the Shadow Beasts. First the Palace Guards from 2010 slipped to January so they pushed the Shadow Beasts back to February, then Bow started slipping so they moved Bow and Shadow Beasts to February subsequently moving Battle Armor Skeletor back to March. Now with the new schedule it was going to be Vikor, the Palace Guards, the Grayskull stands and Evil-Lyn. Well that quickly changed, Evil-Lyn wasn’t ready so they decided to sell the remainder of the (Green) Goddess figures – which are faulty, and Mattel is aware of this and has said they won’t do another production run of this figure even though they know it’s faulty until they sell off the rest of the stock) – that would be fine with switching the line up. So people log on to yesterday and there was a huge error that prevented any US resident from ordering the stands unless they went through a specific thing first. People were forced to make separate orders which resulted in double shipping costs for many. Then Vikor sells out within THREE MINUTES and then about 3-4 hours later there’s a statement from Mattel saying that part of the shipment was delayed. Logistics... go figure.
Now the figure itself isn’t one that I’ve been excited for at all. I get that Vikor and Demo-Man and the Fighting Foe Men were all part of the initial concept that launched the line back in the 80s but I didn’t even know about that until a few years ago so it doesn’t really do anything for me. It’s odd for me to take such an opposite stance on him than the one I did with Goddess but GG all her problems aside – gave us a cool refresh of the female buck and nifty translucent green skin and came jam packed with accessories. Vikor.. Well Vikor is He-Man dressed up as Conan for Halloween. Anyone who looks at this figure instinctively thinks of Conan *not* He-Man.

Now on to the bio:
Real Name: Vikor
Shortly after King Grayskull’s death, Vikor, a great warrior from the north was chosen by the Goddess to help protect the Sword of He while all of Eternia waited for a true heir to be born. Already a master of the battleaxe, Vikor’s legend soon spread across Eternia as he quested to vanquish evil – battling the remaining renegade Snake Men and defending the Valley of Gnarl from the Fighting Foe Men. Although his time as a He-Man was relatively short, his contribution to the legend will never be forgotten in the great archives of Eternia.

I like the idea of including a Powers of Grayskull sticker on the front of the package it’s a nice line to the subdivisions within the line (we’ve had ‘The Evil Horde,’ ‘Space Mutants’ and ‘Princess of Power’ – but it does get confusing because some characters did belong to multiple factions, and there are faction-less characters so I’d rather there be stickers for everyone, or no one) and that ‘Powers of Grayskull’ is supposed to represent the ‘Preternia’ age however more characters from that era (the original run of King Grayskull, He-Ro, (Green) Goddess, Wun-Dar (and the first run of) Tytus) remain sans PoG sticker. The back of the package showcases characters that are connected to Vikor – King Grayskull, Wun-Dar, (Green) Goddess, He-Ro and Zodak. Part of me wishes that they swapped out Zodak and Wun-Dar with Zodac and Hordak. Zodak’s plot revolves mostly around the 200X era so he shouldn’t be included in the PoG connections and Wun-Dar was a subscription exclusive so it’s sort of a slap in the face to the few people who were able to snag the figure on its sale date that don’t have a Club Eternia subscription.

The articulation is the same that we’ve seen so far: swivel biceps, ball heck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel wrists, hinged elbows, hinged abs, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel calves, hinged ankles but it doesn’t have the rocker ankles like the females of the line. There’s been a bit of retooling with the ankle joint which hides the peg hole a bit more so it makes it more visually pleasing. The main problem is with the cape and the length of Vikor’s hair (I’m still not entirely sure that the Four Horsemen have nailed the longer hair of characters) it makes it difficult to take advantage of the neck joint.

As indifferent as I am about this figure it’s hard to deny that it comes with some pretty cool accessories. The cape is pretty much an accessory and the detail on the front part with the skulls is very good. The helmet on his head is also very good, some people wanted it to be removable but I’m glad they didn’t do that because it might have made it look too bulky. The chains on Vikor’s wrist gauntlets are a nice touch, but I prefer what we saw at Comic Con with the longer chain on one side. We get a new sword which I like more than the original plan to include yet another incarnation of the power sword and finally we get a new shield and axe. It’s not really an accessory but the longer tattered loin cloth is a nice touch (and I enjoy the holster for the sword in the back) but it really bothers me that it just abruptly stops at the waist. It might have been better if they sculpted the belt over it to give it a less obvious breaking point.

This is a case of the figure looking better in person and that is always nice and I really love the rust details on the weapons and on the horns on his head. The joints are by far the tightest of the line to date – again a plus. My head had a bit of trouble popping on and I’m assuming that’s because it sits higher due to the hair and the collar on the cape and I had a few paint blotches on the back of the arm and one that is hidden completely by the cape so I’m not too worried about that. The shield is difficult to snap on because of the chain but that’s something that everyone is going through so I can’t moan to much about that being an issue. I love the new ankle joint but it takes some getting used to and if you get up close and try to move the ankle the gap looks a bit odd. All in all I’m surprised what a great figure this is and I think it will be one I constantly take off of the shelf and alter the poses and that’s a good thing.

Figure Rating: B

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Firestar Review


Firestar #1 – Mark of the Mutant!
Firestar #2 – The Players and the Pawn!

This is a bit odd because this miniseries sort of takes place over the course of at least two years, given the fact that when we first see Kitty in this she has long hair it means that the first issue takes place before Kitty Pryde & Wolverine but then over the course of the first two issues the main character ages two years. Speaking of the main character – in this issue we meet Angelica Jones – Firestar. Now this miniseries isn’t technically her first appearance – it’s actually Uncanny X-Men #193 but certain events in this story lead up to those events. We also meet Angelica’s father Bartholomew and Angelica’s Nana. I actually liked the idea of introducing Angelica since she originally was created for the cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and she was so popular she was later introduced into the mainstream continuity (much like how Harley Quinn was treated in the DC universe years later.) Another high point for me is just how evil Emma is acting in this series, hurting her minions, manipulating Angelica, mindwiping random people, creating a whole series of events that would bring the New Mutants to her school just as Emma is about to push Angelica over the edge by killing her horse and then allowing Angelica to believe tht she did it.  There were a few errors – mostly Emma being colored with white hair and Tarot being shown to have black hair instead of her red/brown color that she’s been shown with so far. It’s easy for me to get over a mistake like that because as a whole the art itself I really good (there are a few weird depth perception problems I found with the first issue but they had moved past that on the second.

The Uncanny X-Men #192 – Fun ‘n’ Games
The Uncanny X-Men #193 – Warhunt 2

Kitty and Logan return from Japan to find that things have changed a bit – Ororo has lost her powers and there’s a new team member in the form of Rachel. Kitty remembers meeting Rachel when she unwillingly visited the future which sets Rachel off onto her own series of flashbacks (which are technically flash forwards) and we learn that Kitty created a plan to fight Nimrod and she had implanted a mental trigger in Rachel that would force her to go into the past so she couldn’t stop Kitty from going off on a suicide mission. Magus, Warlock’s father finally reaches Earth and attacks the X-Men in an attempt to get them to flush out his son. I like the idea behind Warlock and Magus but it’s hard to take Magus seriously with how he’s drawn. There are a few big things here – the first being that Kurt is now the leader of the X-Men. The next big event is the fact that Charles is assaulted at a school he’s lecturing in and beaten and left for dead because his students believe him to be a mutant. We learn that someone murdered the Morlock Annalee’s two children and find out that Nimrod is staying at the home of Jaime Rodriguez (the man he saved recently. There are a few major things happening here the first being Nimrod deciding to kill all mutants to protect humanity, like I said before the murder of the two Morlock children, Thunderbird (II) seeking his revenge for his brother, Thunderbird (II) and Firestar learning that the Hellions aren’t all that they thought they were but both of them decide to stay in order to set things right and finally thanks to Empath’s actions caused a riot that initiated the media coverage that now has left the X-Men branded as criminals. It is a good story and I know that they wanted to act on the anniversary of the new team of X-Men but it felt a bit rushed, the story would have been better served if there was more of a buildup.

Firestar #3 – This Lady Kills
Firestar #4 – Now Strikes the Assassin!

The Firestar limited series ends directly after the events of The Uncanny X-Men #192-193 – Angelica makes references to meeting the X-Men as well as recounts the events of those issues. We learn that the reason why Emma was so desperate to recruit Angelica into the Hellions was because she and Sebastian had decided to train her as the Inner Circle’s personal assassin – the first target Selene. First Emma sets up a meeting with Angelica and her father, which she knows won’t go well and then stages an attack at an airport after Angelica is outted as a mutant to prove that she has instinct enough to defend herself if her life is at stake. The plan originally was for Emma to take Angelica to a party at the Hellfire Club and have her kill Selene, in order to make this happen Emma had to fake an assassination attempt on her own life and then once Angelica’s bodyguard Randall found out about Emma’s plan she then staged his death to make it look like Selene did that as well. Ultimately Angelica learns the truth and turns on Emma and destroys the underground training center below the Massachusetts Academy leaving Emma and Sebastian to start over and Angelica leaves to reunite with her father. My only real complaint here was I don’t understand why Emma didn’t simply kill Randall instead of holding him hostage.

The Uncanny X-Men Annual #8 – The Adventures of Lockheed the Space Dragon and his Pet Girl Kitty

For this annual we take a break from the traditional baseball game interrupted by a major event and instead we are treated to a camp out where Illyana tells a story to the X-Men and the New Mutants that is very similar to the story Kitty once told Illyana before she had been taken to Limbo. The story Illyana tells is a skewed reimagining of how Kitty was introduced and a series of events that followed. Kitty and her parents are part of a crew for the space ship Chicago and are soon attacked by the White Queen and her crew. The White Queen ends up killing Kitty’s parents as well as the entire crew of the Chicago in an attempt to force Kitty to work for her. Kurt and Logan arrive and are led by Lockheed and after temporarily defeating the White Queen they decide to take Kitty in. Eventually Kitty meets Peter, Charles and Lilandra at Charles’ birthday. She quickly falls for Peter and that upsets Lockheed so he storms off. The White Queen attacks the party and kidnaps Logan and another dragon. Kitty meets Ororo in a bar and convinces her to pilot their ship to track down the White Queen and get revenge on her (she believes Lockheed is dead) – but it turns out that Lockheed has actually been teleported to his homeworld because he is the last male dragon left and the females of his planet need him to help repopulate their race. Ultimately they defeat the White Queen but it costs Lockheed his life but Kitty is able to resurrect him through the power of her love for him. It’s a fun story that I really liked and I’m glad that it was used because hopefully now we can move past the whole Kitty/Piotr thing and it shows Ororo exactly how broody she’s been.

Firestar #1 – Mark of the Mutant!: B
Firestar #2 – The Players and the Pawn!: A
The Uncanny X-Men #192 – Fun ‘n’ Games: B
The Uncanny X-Men #193 – Warhunt 2: B
Firestar #3 – This Lady Kills: A
Firestar #4 – Now Strikes the Assassin!: A
The Uncanny X-Men Annual #8 – The Adventures of Lockheed the Space Dragon and his Pet Girl Kitty: A

Friday, January 21, 2011

Being Human (US Version) 101 There Goes the Neighborhood I Review

Today I’m going to take a look at the new SyFy show Being Human. Once again this is semi-live blogging meaning I’m watching it live and doing this blog – yet I’m doing it off of a prerecorded thing – hey, I’ve had only a little sleep and it makes sense to me. Before I start I want to say a few things. This isn’t an original series, it’s the American version of a UK show that has been around for a while – and honestly I’ve wanted to watch the original British incarnation for a while I just haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. The premise of the show kind of strikes me as Three’s Company meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s simple: a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire live together and try to exist in the normal world.

I’m going to try to have an open mind about this but I know it will have two major drawbacks for me. The first being the most obvious; they can show/do/say much more in the UK version than they can on SyFy and I’m more than a little worried about how that translates. Are they going to find a seamless way to work around it, or will this end up being like when a basic cable network tries to air a show like The Sopranos on their network and end up having to edit out so much it’s basically a thirty minute show?  My other problem is with the casting Meghan Rath plays Sally and I’ll be more than willing to give her a chance after all she was one of the best things to have come out of the short lived series The Assistants (Brittney Irvin was also good but she’ll always be Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl to me); Sam Huntington plays Josh and I’m willing to give him a chance too, I like the things I’ve seen him in and I’ve been meaning to watch Fanboys for a while now. Mark Pellegrino plays Bishop and I think he’s going to play a pretty big part in the series so I’m glad I like him from his work on Supernatural – he played Jacob in Lost too but I had pulled away from the series before he was really in it. My biggest, and I guess only problem with the casting is Sam Witwer. I’m sure he’s a nice guy but his stint on Smallville as Davis Bloome/Doomsday made me absolutely detest the man. Seriously, I dislike him about a thousand times more than Kristen Kreuk and words cannot express how I feel about that woman.

Alright, now it’s time for the show.

Well I’m a little into it and so far the most disturbing this has been seeing Josh all bloody and wearing a dress. That was just disturbing. Also I don’t now if this is just me or not but every time the camera focuses on Aidan Sam is making that annoying duck face thing with his mouth that you always see on everyone’s myspace profile picture. It’s kind of annoying.

When Aidan and Marcus are arguing I find it really hard to believe that no one on that floor in the hospital managed to hear the crash from when Aidan was thrown up against the wall. I mean if you hit the wall hard enough for parts of it to fall off I’m sure someone would come running – especially in a hospital when it would be easy to assume that it was the sound of a patient falling on the ground.

I actually like how Josh and Aidan play off of each other so at least it makes at least half of the scenes with Sam in it easier for me to watch. Anyway I really wish that they would have done a little bit more to show how they met up, how Josh became a werewolf, how the two of them learned their secrets. I mean I know that they can’t show the creation of every connection the characters have but Sally had more of an introduction. Speaking of Sally I like that she’s pretty much a sarcastic jackass. I did find two things really funny so far: 1st Aidan and his bad credit, and 2nd the fact that when Josh sees Sally for the first time his instinct is to grab a slotted spoon – he lives with a vampire and is a werewolf yet he grabs a spoon? Yeah I’m really digging Sally and Josh’s freak out over it the two of them have pretty fantastic chemistry. And we have yet another character that makes Aidan passable. Well.. I knew PBS had to be good for something.

I get that they need to establish all this internal turmoil and make Aidan this big tragic hero type person but is it really necessary to flashback to events that happened in the first episode not even 20 minutes ago? And we have yet more duck face – I think I should make a drinking game out of it. So Bishop is a cop – so I take it between vampires working as cops and Aidan working at the hospital that this has the potential to turn into one of those conspiracy shows where this evil supernatural race no one knew exists is actually behind the scenes in everything running the show. If they do it correctly it could be interesting.

I don’t know if I like Josh’s sister, I think I need to see more of where her storyline goes in order for me to know for sure what to think about her. I’m glad we saw some flashbacks to Aidan and Bishop feeding on that wedding party it gives away a nice piece of the backstory here but leaves a lot open to interpretation. Is the reason Aidan plays nice now because he fed off of that kid, did he see Bishop feed from that kid – what happened there.

Things ended with a pretty good cliffhanger. Aidan at some bar feeding off of a willing girl, Josh locked in the basement with his sister about to transform and possibly kill or eat her. And Sally desperately trying to leave the house to reach Josh to save them both. It was a pretty good episode, it could have benefited more from a two hour premiere but there aren’t any more real complaints. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. My only fear now is that I’ve started out with the US version that whenever I do get around to having enough time to watch the original UK version that it will feel like that’s the rip off  instead of the other way around.

Before I leave I felt this wouldn't be a proper review unless I present to you.... vampire duck face!

Rating: A