May 2020

  • Title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The New Deal
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The New Deal television review

It’s been over two years since I sat down to watch an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which I was astonished to discover was still on the air. Set in New York City during the early 1930s, features the remaining agents tracking Chronicoms who plan on stopping S.H.I.E.L.D. from ever coming into existence by altering the timeline. The episode has fun with the look of the era, particularly in styling Daisy‘s (Chloe Bennet) hair and clothing. The season premiere also fixes a mistake with the show since it’s inception by having the version of Coulson (Clark Gregg) be a Life Model Decoy for the now dead (again) agent. The choice to allow the LMD to know what it is allows for some internal conflict within the character and also full use of its enhanced strength against the threat of the Chronicoms.

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  • Title: Rick and Morty – Never Ricking Morty
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Rick and Morty - Never Ricking Morty television review

“Never Ricking Morty” offers an anthology-style story strung together by the idea of Rick (Justin Roiland) and Morty (Roiland) being trapped on a train full of passengers all of whom have various Rick and Morty stories to tell. Pushing the limits of meta, Rick and Morty discover the train is controlled by Story Lord (Paul Giamatti) who hopes to use the imaginations of the pair to break through the fifth wall (but it turns out the entire episode takes place within Morty’s new trainset). As with previous anthology-style episodes, some of the bits (quick look at the futuristic war between cats and dogs, Biblesaurus and his veggie pals) work better than others (Rick’s musical numbers, a Christmas saving vignette without a punchline, or the constant abs jokes).

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  • Title: Scooby Doo, Where Are You! – Never Ape an Ape Man
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Scooby-Doo! - Never Ape an Ape Man television review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to Scooby Doo, Where Are You! for another mystery involving some meddling kids and their talking dog. An invite from Daphne‘s (Stefanianna Christopherson) uncle brings Mystery, Inc. to the movie set of The Ape Man of Forbidden Mountain where a real apeman begins terrorizing filming. With Daphne’s uncle playing one of the few guest-stars, it’s not hard to guess who is masquerading as the apeman (who oddly isn’t unmasked in the show’s tradition). The episode is memorable for Scooby-Doo (Don Messick) acting bravely early in the episode to save an actress from the apeman’s first attack and Daphne triggering a trap that sends Fred (Frank Welker) falling into a secret passage behind a bookcase (which would become part of the opening credits). As to the odd appearances of the parrot and a Scooby mask or the questionable motives of the stuntman putting a co-star’s life in danger merely in hopes to get a bigger role in the picture (which wouldn’t exist without the co-star), those are inconsistencies the episode doesn’t attempt to explain.

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Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1

by Alan Rapp on May 28, 2020

in Comics

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1 comic reviewBirds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1 offers a team-up between Harley Quinn, Black Canary, and Huntress when Harley brings information about a hospital lost in a sync hole and its connection to the local mob. The pairing of Harley with the Birds of Prey is obviously inspired by the recent film, but for the storyline of this comic DC turns to Gail Simone whose history with the characters is well-established (even if most of the Birds she usually writes don’t make an appearance here).

The issue offers some mystery and misdirection as Black Canary wants to trust Harley but rightfully deduces she’s not telling the whole truth about her interest in the case. Huntress is less inclined to give Ms. Quinn the benefit of the doubt. And when Poison Ivy shows up all hell breaks loose.

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  • Title: Samurai Jack – Episode XIX: Jack Remembers the Past
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Samurai Jack - Episode XIX: Jack Remembers the Past television review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the adventures of the time-displaced samurai and his quest to make his way home. “Episode XIX” is a melancholy episode even for a show about a wandering warrior stranded in a dystopian future. After a short action sequence involving our hero saving a village from the tyranny of the Cossacks, the show takes our hero on a journey home… or what’s left of it. Without realizing it, Jack‘s (Phil LaMarr) wanderings have led him to the ruins of the home he knew as a child prompting several memories including playing the once lush fields, his first encounter with a samurai (in a reference to Lone Wolf and Cub), and using his wits to stand-up to bullies. Jack makes a cute kid, and it’s fun to get to see a more carefree version of the character in his youth before the evil that is Aku.

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