Perception – Dirty

by Alan Rapp on August 21, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Perception – Dirty
  • wiki: link

Perception - Dirty

The the mid-season finale Donnie (Scott Wolf) gets himself, and Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) whom he calls for help, in a pickle when the Assistant District Attorney wakes up in bed with his dead campaign manager (Brooke Nevin). Although Pierce is quickly released from custody, Donnie faces serious murder charges when his toxicology screen comes back showing no evidence to support his claim of being drugged and set-up. Kate‘s (Rachael Leigh Cook) own worries about Donnie cheating again, along with her husband’s blackout and bloodstained clothes, don’t help the situation.

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Justice League United #4

by Alan Rapp on August 21, 2014

in Comics

Justice League United #4The comic’s five-issue opening arc comes to a close with the team’s return from Rann, but two members don’t make the trip. I was surprised to see Hawkman‘s death not quickly reversed, and given his new connection to Alanna and the Zeta Beam the safest place for Adam Strange is Rann meaning the comic has lost two of its core members before ever getting started.

The Animal Man/Green Arrow relationship remains the best part of the book, but I am disappointed with writer Jeff Lemire’s choice in Supergirl‘s adversarial relationship with the team, particularly Stargirl. As the comic has already lost two of its major selling points (in favor of far-less interesting stand-ins like Miiyahbin), the only way for it to succeed is to build relationships among the group which aside from Ollie and are sorely lacking.

Although Justice League United #4 wraps up the arc it doesn’t do much to sell me to continue reading the title past this so-so issue which leaves the team and comic with holes to fill. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

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Covert Affairs – Spit on a Stranger

by Alan Rapp on August 20, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Covert Affairs – Grounded
  • wiki: link

Covert Affairs - Spit on a Stranger

After witnessing an innocuous conversation between Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop) and a man who Annie (Piper Perabo) believes may have been responsible for murder of her last chance at discovering the truth behind the Chicago bombing, the now-benched CIA operative takes the initiative to publicly resign from the agency and accept a job within McQuaid Security to discern the truth about a man she’s already begun falling for. She won’t like what she finds.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #14Playing on the Donatello‘s well-established crush on April (both in the comic and current cartoon), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #14 finds the smartest Turtle get into trouble in an attempt to create a pheromone spray to cause April to return his feelings. Things go wrong pretty quickly for Donatello as the spray doesn’t effect April but does cause the various bugs in the sewers and New York streets to seek out the Turtle leaving his brothers to clean up the mess.

The issue’s back-up story centers Michelangelo‘s short attention span which gets him kidnapped by Baxter Stockman and imprisoned in the mad scientist’s latest robot creation sent after Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello. Mikey uses his brains (sort of) to save the day leaving his brothers both impressed and exasperated (as usual).

The pair of goofy stories both center around well-established character traits and fit well into the comic’s existing catalog. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

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  • Title: Pretty Little Liars – No One Here Can Love or Understand Me
  • wiki: link

Pretty Little Liars - No One Here Can Love or Understand Me

Confession is the theme heading into next week’s summer finale as the Liars prepare to come clean to Lt. Tanner (Roma Maffia) about Alison‘s (Sasha Pieterse) lies (only to be stopped by A‘s latest threats), Melissa (Torrey DeVitto) leaves a message for Spencer (Troian Bellisario) shedding new light on the night Bethany Young died and the layers of lies in the Hastings family that spun out of those events, and, forced by an intervention with Spencer and Toby (Keegan Allen), Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) comes clean with Hanna (Ashley Benson) about the bizarre goings on in Ravenswood which continue to haunt him.

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Smallville Season Eleven: Chaos #1

by Alan Rapp on August 19, 2014

in Comics

Smallville Season Eleven: Chaos #1The first issue of Smallville Season Eleven: Chaos introduces Eclipso to the Smallville Universe and relocates Superman and Lois Lane to a parallel Earth within the Multiverse (which sadly is populated with Manhunters instead of talking animals in spandex). There’s a lot to enjoy here including appearances by Ted Kord and Booster Gold (who, like his New 52 counterpart, feels a bit off without his gold pants and Elvis collar) along with Zatanna and a bit of old school super-villain mischief from Lex Luthor.

With Lex throwing a wrench into Ted Kord and Michael Holt‘s new super collider for his own ends to explore the existence of the bleed, Superman and Lois find themselves pulled into a depressing world where humanity is at the mercy of a Manhunter army. Back home, Superman’s quick takedown of one man possessed by the mysterious space gem isn’t quite finished as several become infected by the shattered gem allowing Eclipso to rise in a world without Superman. Better hurry home boy scout. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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  • Title: Once Upon a Time – Season Three
  • wiki: link

Once Upon a Time - The Complete Third SeasonSeason Three took characters to Neverland, the Enchanted Forest, Oz, and back home to Storybrooke. It featured a second curse, a missing year, the deaths and resurrections of multiple characters, and the introduction of both a sister (Rebecca Mader) and love interest (Sean Maguire) for Regina (Lana Parrilla).

The second-half of the season centered around a character from Oz works better than the Neverland arc which grows a bit stale as Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and her family attempt to save Henry (Jared Gilmore) from Peter Pan (Robbie Kay). Highlights from the season include the time-traveling season finale, Regina taking another step on her hero’s journey, Hook‘s (Colin O’Donoghue) time away from Storybrooke, the escape from Neverland, a battle between sisters, the death and the return of Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), and Regina and Zelena’s first meeting.

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Astro City #14

by Alan Rapp on August 19, 2014

in Comics

Astro City #14The first-half of a two-part story, Astro City #14 introduces the character of Ellie who has spent the last several years creating something between a scrap yard and museum of former super-villain machines which she has slowly nursed back to health. Despite the once dangerous nature of the robots, Ellie’s desire to fix her metal friends are inspired by only good intentions. Sadly the same can’t be said of her nephew who sees a way to make the robots far more profitable in the short term.

Robot soldiers have been a staple of comics for decades and it’s an interesting take to view them not from the creator or those that battled them but from the perspective of a loving fan of the robots who sees the marvelous creations as far more than only weapons. Artist Brent Anderson has fun offering a variety of different types of robots which make up Ellie’s makeshift museum.

The slimy nephew taking advantage of the old woman is a bit pretty easy to see coming, but writer Kurt Busiek hints that there’s far more to Ellie’s story than we’ve seen so far. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $3.99]

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Worlds’ Finest #26

by Alan Rapp on August 18, 2014

in Comics

Worlds' Finest #26The Huntress and Power Girl‘s return to Earth-2 begins here. I’m on record as being vehemently against the move. Although the Worlds’ Finest #26 doesn’t sell me on the concept it at least doesn’t lose its way by delving headfirst into a war-torn new world. It’s actually odd, but we see very little of the modern day homeworld of the two heriones in their first issue back home.

Worlds’ Finest‘s best issues have all centered on the friendship between Power Girl and Huntress which continues here and (thankfully) doesn’t get overwhelmed by their new surroundings. I’m still not looking forward to months of New 52 Apokolips storylines (or Desaad‘s return) but at least the core relationship of the book appears to remain intact.

Oddly, the comic also continues the storyline on Prime Earth where Tanya Spears has been apparently tapped to take Power Girl’s place (both in and out of tights). How or why this is possible is unclear. I also wonder how long the comic plans to split focus between two worlds taking several pages away from its established stars. For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

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Beware the Batman – Reckoning

by Alan Rapp on August 18, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beware the Batman – Reckoning
  • wiki: link

Beware the Batman - Reckoning

Wrapping up the three episode arc, “Reckoning” forces Katana (Sumalee Montano) to face the truth about Alfred (JB Blanc), pits Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) not only against Ra’s al Ghul (Lance Reddick) and the League of Assassins but also a collection of recently-freed super-villains who are sent after the Dark Knight by the Demon’s Head, and offer the newest unofficial member of the Bat-Family a chance to shine. Before the episode ends, with the help of his friends, Batman will stand triumphant over not only the League of Assassins but also Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr. Toad (Udo Kier), Magpie (Grey DeLisle), Tobias Whale (Michael-Leon Wooley), Phosphorus Rex (Greg Ellis), and Cypher.

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