Review of Arrow (Season 3, Episode 7, “Draw Back Your Bow”; Airdate: 11/19/14)

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly series of blog posts, which will review the following Comic Book Themed TV Shows:

  • Gotham
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The Flash
  • Arrow
  • Constantine

I will be giving my TOP 5 Moments in the weekly episodes, Easter Eggs (if applicable) and my predictions for future episodes and seasons (also if applicable)!

BE WARNED, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!

So, if you haven’t seen the week’s episodes, DO NOT READ THE REVIEW! I’ve broken it down by show, so you can skip reviews of episodes you haven’t seen yet, or don’t intend on watching. The blog post for the prior week will be posted on Monday mornings, so that most people have had a chance to watch the episodes.

 

Arrow (Season 3, Episode 7, “Draw Back Your Bow”; Airdate: 11/19/14)

 Arrow_season_3_poster

____________________________________________________________________

Synopsis

When an Arrow-obsessed serial killer, Carrie Cutter aka Cupid, leaves a trail of murdered criminals in her wake, Ollie must race to stop her. In her psychosis, Cupid is convinced that The Arrow is her one true love and continues her murder spree to get his attention. Meanwhile, Felicity is asked to accompany Ray to a work related dinner thrown by important clients. Thea clashes with a cocky DJ when she holds auditions for Verdant.

Draw-Back-Your-Bow-1

Draw-Back-Your-Bow-2

Draw-Back-Your-Bow-3

Draw-Back-Your-Bow-4

__

_______________________________________________________________________

Top 5 Moments

  • Enter Cupid! Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter aka Cupid was a great introduction to a crazy character with a manic fixation on Arrow. Her obsession, let alone her fighting skills and prowess with a bow, make her a very dangerous adversary. She appeared in the comics as a former Special Forces soldier who was experimented on and granted superhuman strength as well as mental instability. For the show, it seems they toned things down a bit and made her a former cop with mental instability issues. This works for the show and I’m not really trippin’ on the change from the comics, as it’s the mental issues which most define this character. I like how Oliver pretty much dumped her on the doorstep of A.R.G.U.S. as a potential Suicide Squad member. This hopefully means we’ll be seeing her again in the future.
  • Ray-licity! I don’t have a problem with this relationship, as it allows for the show to follow the true mythos of Green Arrow, as he is destined to be with Laurel Lance aka Black Canary. This also gives viewers a stronger glimpse into Ray Palmer and allows Felicity to have a life after Oliver. I think there is a burgeoning chemistry there and it will be interesting to see how their relationship develops alongside his evolution into the role of Atom!
  • Dwarf Star Alloy and the Atom suit! I had a mini Geek-gasm when I saw the holographic image of the Atom suit. I’ve been waiting on this since the character of Ray Palmer was first introduced. They were true to the comics costume colors (red and blue), while modernizing the look and feel of the suit. It seems much more functional and techy. I like this aspect of it and can’t wait to see Brandon Routh “Suit Up” in it.
  • Katana in action! There’s nothing like seeing a badass female protagonist with a sword! From The Bride in Kill Bill, Lady Sif in Thor to Michonne in The Walking Dead, Katana is in EXCELLENT company. We get a glimpse into who Tatsu is and what transpires to help her develop into Katana. I look forward to seeing more of Katana as the season progresses. So far, the fight choreography for this show has not failed, imo.
  • Enter the Boomerang! I have been looking forward to the introduction of Digger Harkness aka Boomerang, or Captain Boomerang as he’s known in the comics. He was always one of my favorite members of The Flash’s Rogues Gallery. This is a great set up for the upcoming Flash/Arrow crossover.

Easter Eggs

  • Sherwood Florist! Arrow and Arsenal This little Easter Egg is from the comics and harkens back to the days when Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance moved from Star City to Seattle. Dinah owned a flower shop called Sherwood Forest. Ollie and Dinah lived in an apartment above the shop. This was an obvious play on the Robin Hood mythos and its influence on Oliver. They used the florist as their base of operations while they lived in Seattle.
  • Dwarf Star! In the comics, and apparently on this show, it is the Dwarf Star matter which gives The Atom his shrinking abilities. I was GEEKED when this was dropped towards the end of the episode. This just means that we’re that much closer to seeing Ray “Suit Up!”

Predictions

Despite the buzz about “No Powers” on Arrow, it appears that Ray Palmer aka The Atom, will be suiting up here on Arrow. I personally don’t have a problem with this at all. Barry Allen was introduced on this show and he’s set to make an appearance in crossovers, so I don’t see the BIG deal.

I also see Tatsu aka Katana, resurfacing in present day (probably towards the end of the season) to assist Team Arrow with the League of Assassin backlash which is sure to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if the catharsis (the murder of Tatsu’s husband and son as it is in the comics) is tied to the League, which would put her at odds with them in the present and solidify her alliance with Team Arrow. I don’t think Katana will be a permanent member of Team Arrow (I don’t think they’ll need to make room in the Arrow Cave or anything), but I’m hoping that she’ll be seen at least once or twice each season as the show progresses.

Finally, this isn’t a prediction, so much as a suspicion. All you fans of the comics, please bear with me. But,Thea’s NEW DJ is a young man named Chase, who I’m wondering isn’t either Adrian or Dorian Chase aka Vigilante. I know there’s nothing to be revealed yet for this to be a logical conclusion, however given the track record of Arrow, in terms of introducing and developing NEW characters from the comics, this wouldn’t surprise me if it in fact came to be. I suppose only time will tell.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this episode. I am glad that the flashback storyline is moving forward and it was AWESOME to see Rila Fukushima own the role of Tatsu Yamashiro aka Katana. I like the direction this plot thread is headed and I can’t wait to see Katana in action during the present day. I think that this episode is a tipping point towards the future of the show and I’m totally diggin’ it!

I give this episode a solid B+.

Please be sure to subscribe to my blog and let me know what your thoughts are on the episode. Also, if you spot any Easter Eggs that I missed, please be sure to point them out in the comments section. Thanks!

Review for Arrow (Season 3, Episode 6, “Guilty”; Airdate: 11/12/14)

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly series of blog posts, which will review Comic Book Themed TV Shows. I will be giving my TOP 5 Moments in the weekly episodes, Easter Eggs (if applicable) and my Predictions for future episodes and seasons (also if applicable) and my Final Thoughts!

BE WARNED, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!

So, if you haven’t seen the week’s episode, DO NOT READ THE REVIEW! I’ve broken it down by show, so you can skip reviews of episodes you haven’t seen yet, or don’t intend on watching. The blog post for the prior week will be posted the day following the episode’s airdate or at least sometime by the end of the week. Reviews for prior episodes than what’s current, will be release sporadically until I’m caught up.

Arrow (Season 3, Episode 6, “Guilty”; Airdate: 11/12/14)

Arrow_season_3_poster

Plot Synopsis

When a body is found hanging from the ceiling in the Wildcat gym, the main suspect is Ted Grant. An argument between Oliver and Laurel brews over Ted training her and his innocence. Flashbacks reveal that Maseo requires Oliver to recall where China White’s informant stashed vital information. Tatsu is asked to assist in jogging Oliver’s memory. Roy is forced to share the details of his dream secret with Felicity.

Arrow Season 3 Episode 6 pic 1

Arrow Season 3 Episode 6 pic 2

Black Canary 1

__________________________________________________________________________

Top 5 Moments

  • Ted Grant is revealed to have been Wildcat! Even though comic book fans knew from his given name that Grant was Wildcat, this episode confirmed that he spent time as a vigilante.
  • Oliver finds out that Laurel have been training with Ted! I knew it would come out eventually, but I’m glad it happened sooner, rather than later. Oliver is just going to have to deal with it, but it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.
  • Roy remembers! I had always suspected that the dreams that Roy was having were tied to him killing the cop, while under the influence of the Mirakuru and not that he actually murdered Sara. However, now that he remembers that he killed a cop, I wonder what sort of effect this will have on his crime fighting? Will this be the catharsis for him to pull away from Oliver?
  • Laurel will not be deterred! While I can understand the reasons why Oliver wouldn’t want her to be trained, I’m also glad that she has made up her mind not to listen.
  • Cupid arrives! I am excited that there’s a crazy lady in Oliver’s life now. The character is bound to shake things up a bit. To learn more about Cupid, click the link: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Carrie_Cutter_(New_Earth)

Easter Eggs

  • When Roy and Oliver are talking, Oliver suggests that Roy take on the codename, Arsenal. This is the actual name he used in the comics and hopefully it will stick. I’m glad that they decided on Arsenal, over Speedy (I think that will be Thea’s codename eventually…hint, hint!) or Red Arrow.
  • When Oliver was fighting Ted in the storage unit, he put a boxing glove on the end of an arrow and shot it at Ted. Boxing Glove Arrow! This is something I’d been wanting to see and it was worth the wait. Fans of the comics will understand all too well, but this particular type of trick arrow is a staple of Green Arrow.

Predictions

I think that we haven’t seen the last of Wildcat. Ted Grant needs to shine and be the independent, uneasy ally that Oliver will at some point need. Plus, I doubt that Ted will let Laurel go out on her own without being her back up. I also think that the Wildcat suit will receive an upgrade. Not really sure how they can pull off the mask without it looking silly, but here’s to hoping that the try.

The animosity between Oliver and Ted was perhaps planted so that when Laurel debuts as Black Canary, we’ll have a Batman and Robin meets Green Hornet and Kato moment between them. I’m actually looking forward to this. I like that other characters are being introduced. Hopefully, they will eventually introduce a few, if not all of the following characters on this show:

The Question

Doctor Mid-Nite

Manhunter (I know Mark Shaw was already introduced, but I want him suited up)

Mr. Terrific

Sandman

Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)

The Guardian (Jim Harper)

Richard Dragon

Black Spider

Cat-Man

Cheshire

Vigilante

David Cain

Lady Shiva

…to name a few

Final Thoughts

I’m pleased with the changes we’ve seen in Laurel. She coming into her own finally and it’s about time. Of course there’s the obvious reason that she is to become Black Canary, but also because it marks an independence for her as a character, someone who isn’t in need of rescuing. I hate damsels in distress, that’s so played out.

While I enjoyed this episode, it was disappointing that Ted Grant didn’t:

  1. Have better fight scenes.
  2. He didn’t suit up

I know that may just be the fanboy in me, but I’ve always liked the Wildcat character and had hoped to see more action from him. As I mentioned above, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Wildcat and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up working with Laurel when she’s ready to assume the role of Black Canary.

Overall, this was a pretty good episode. I give it a solid B.

Please be sure to subscribe to my blog and let me know what your thoughts are on the episode. Also, if you spot any Easter Eggs that I missed, please be sure to point them out in the comments section. Thanks!

Review for The Flash (Season 1, Episode 5, “Plastique”)

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly series of blog posts, which will review Comic Book Themed TV Shows. I will be giving my TOP 5 Moments in the weekly episodes, Easter Eggs (if applicable) and my Predictions for future episodes and seasons (also if applicable) and my Final Thoughts!

BE WARNED, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!

So, if you haven’t seen the week’s episode, DO NOT READ THE REVIEW! I’ve broken it down by show, so you can skip reviews of episodes you haven’t seen yet, or don’t intend on watching. The blog post for the prior week will be posted the day following the episode’s airdate or at least sometime by the end of the week. Reviews for prior episodes than what’s current, will be release sporadically until I’m caught up.

The Flash (Season 1, Episode 5, “Plastique”; Airdate: 11/11/14)

the-flash

Plot Synopsis

Following an explosion in downtown Central City, U.S. Army General Wade Eiling commandeers Central City Police Department’s investigation, much to Detective Joe West’s chagrin. This leaves Joe suspicious, so he tells Barry to work with his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs to look into the Army’s involvement. Eiling is known to Wells, who informs the team of experiments Eiling conducted on his own soldiers to transform them into Super Soldiers. Cisco is able to determine one of Eiling’s soldiers, Bette Sans Souci, was present at the bomb site. The Flash is able to track her down and soon realizes that she’s not a bomber and is instead a meta-human with the ability to cause objects to explode on contact. Meanwhile, Joe discovers that Iris has been writing a blog about “The Streak,” and asks Barry to stop her. However, when Barry realizes Iris refuses to stop writing about him, he decides to pay her a visit as The Flash.

Plastique 2

Plastique 3

Plastique 1

__________________________________________________________________

Top 5 Moments

  • We have Plastique! I was very excited about this character appearing on the show and from her first scene it was on! I think Kelly Frye did a GOOD job of portraying the character and I could have seen her coming back for future episodes. Her apparent death was one thing that kind of pissed me off about this episode. (see Final Thoughts)
  • General Eiling is introduced! I’ve always liked this character and wondered if he would show up someday, when S.T.A.R. Labs was introduced in the Arrow. I thoroughly enjoyed the iteration on The Justice League Animated Series and find the similarities here very refreshing. Clancy Brown is a FANTASTIC actor, both on screen and as a voice actor. Despite his somewhat limited number of scenes, he has the acting chops to make his presence felt even off screen. A little Clancy, goes a long way…and I can’t wait for more!
  • The Flash running up the side of a building! I always loved seeing this effect/speed application in the comics, but seeing it on the screen was TOTALLY AWESOME! It’s amazing how far television special effects have come over the past thirty years.
  • The Flash running on water! Just when I geeked out over him running up the side of a building, I get even more geeked out by seeing him run on water! This was another AMAZING effect and I’m so glad that it looked as cool as it did.
  • Grodd! I almost freaked out when he was shown in the very last scene of the episode! I am so stoked to see how they develop this character and the story line utilized to do it. It would be so WICKED if they got Powers Boothe to voice Grodd for this show, as he did for the Justice League Unlimited Animated Series.

Easter Eggs

  • Cameron Scott. Dedicated comic book fans may recognize this name, as it is the alias used by none other than, Captain Atom! I like that this opens up the possibility for him to appear in future episodes/seasons and gives General Eiling a GREAT reason to appear again as well. Growing up, Captain Atom was one of my favorite characters, even when he was still with Carlton Comics, before he wound up with DC Comics. I would love to see him on the small screen, along with other former Carlton Comics alums, Blue Beetle, The Question and the villains, Punch and Jewelee!
  • Harold Hadley. This character was a member of the Captain Atom Project and a member of the Manhunters. He first appeared in Captain Atom #1 (1987). With all of these characters related to the good Captain showing up, it makes me wonder if he isn’t too far behind. Inquiring minds want to know!
  • General Eiling and Wells were in on the experiments which led to the creation of Gorilla Grodd. This isn’t an Easter Egg, so much as a reveal. However, the fact that Eiling eventually becomes a version of “The Shaggy Man,” is too cool not to mention.
  • Barry discovers that his Super Fast metabolism prevents him from getting drunk. Despite Caitlin’s attempt at providing 500 proof liquor, he only gets a buzz that lasts less than a minute.

Predictions

I could totally see Plastique coming back, as her powers could have her reconstitute herself, as we don’t know the full extent of her abilities. I know it may be wishful thinking, but with comic book characters, more outlandish things have happened. Either way, I’m still invested as DC Comics builds its small screen universe. Like McDonald’s, “I’m lovin’ it!”

It’s obvious that Grodd escaped when the particle accelerator exploded and that eventually he’ll show up in the future. I could see him controlling an army of apes like Caesar in “Planet of the Apes” and exacting revenge on mankind for what was done to him.

Captain Atom is coming! I think there were far too many nods to this character for them not to introduce him at some point in the future. I have to admit, when I first saw the trailer featuring the villain Girder, I actually for a split second thought it was him. I think it would make for an awesome storyline to have Captain Atom being forced to work for General Eiling and having to have an Atomic Showdown with Firestorm, sometime after he’s been introduced.

I expect to see quite a few more heroes and villains from the Flash, Captain Atom and Firestorm mythos, now that this thread has been presented. The possibilities are virtually endless!

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I think that a lot was revealed and with the introduction of General Eiling, his ties to Wells and the fact that there are other meta-human test subjects/villains forthcoming, we will be seeing quite a few introductions in this season alone, not to mention future seasons, as I’m pretty confident this will be renewed for next fall.

What I wasn’t very happy about was Plastique’s death. Even though I mentioned my suspicion/wishful thinking that she may appear again, there is no guarantee of that. If she doesn’t resurface, I think this was a waste of a really good character, a good actress and good potential storylines for the future.

Also, I’m growing tired of Joe, Barry and his team keeping Iris in the dark about his dual identity as The Flash. I hope they reveal it to her by end of season at the latest, because this “Lana Lang Syndrome” (clueless love interest, who doesn’t know the hero’s true identity or that he’s in love with her) is getting old really fast…no pun intended. Don’t get me wrong, I like Iris’ character and I think Candace Patton does a good job of portraying her, but I want to see her as more, unlike how Lana Lang was interpreted on Smallville.

While I enjoyed this episode and with the exception of the two gripes I mentioned, I have to give this episode a B rating. Had they not killed off Plastique, this would have easily been an A or A+.

Please be sure to subscribe to my blog and let me know what your thoughts are on the episode. Also, if you spot any Easter Eggs that I missed, please be sure to point them out in the comments section. Thanks!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MOVIE REVIEW

GOTGGuardians of the Galaxy

Directed by: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker and Vin Diesel.
Rating: PG-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel Studios Logo

Marvel Studios, the producers of fan favorite films and mega blockbuster films such as: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Avengers, presents a NEW and EXCITING franchise, which explores the darkest and deepest reaches of the galaxy.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy is an epic, action/adventure film which picks up where The Avengers left off and transports the audience farther into the ever expanding Marvel Universe.

The story unfolds with Peter Quill—a young, swashbuckling adventurer—who seeks to procure a bounty, which leads to others pursuing him in an effort to retrieve it. The bounty in question is a mysterious orb of great value and power, which is being sought after by a powerful villain named Ronan, with plans of galactic conquest. In an effort to keep the orb from Ronan and survive his fury, Quill aligns himself with a rag tag group of dissidents: Rocket—a vicious, cybernetically altered raccoon with a gun, Groot—a humanoid tree-like creature with a very limited vocabulary, Drax the Destroyer—a grief stricken, vengeance seeking warrior and Gamora—the alluring and mysterious fem fatale. When the quartet discover the inherent power of the orb and its destructive potential, they join together with a band of renegade pirates from Quill’s past, to stand against Ronan and his forces to save the galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy was a near perfect summer film. It had a solid story, good casting, good performances, action/adventure, excitement, drama, comedy, social commentary and plenty of heart.

GOTG 2While the characters aren’t nearly as recognizable as their mainstream counterparts, The Avengers, they don’t really need to be and I feel it’s for the better. A motley crew of reluctant protagonists form the core of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the quintet consists of Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt), Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Drax the Destroyer (played by Dave Bautista).

The film was directed and co-written by James Gunn, who I must say did an excellent job of bringing together story, actor performances, tone and characterization. The elements of this film hit on all cylinders without hiccups. There’s never a dull moment with this film and even when the action has slowed down, the audience is exposed to a great deal of character introspection from the characters, delivered with just the right amount of emotion. The back stories are carefully woven into the tapestry of the film and evenly dispersed throughout.

 

 

GotG RETRO POSTER1Guardians of the Galaxy takes the audience back to the roots of Marvel’s developmental stories from the 70’s and 80’s, which led up to the powerful stories and events that are unfolding today. The film has a free-flowing, old school soul which harkens past films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. That very sense of wonder and perilous adventure which epitomized those films are very much present in Guardians of the Galaxy…IN SPADES!

From a directorial perspective, Gunn encourages the audience to let go and not take things too seriously. The world created—while connected to the greater Marvel Universe seen in The Avengers and other films—is well imagined and developed within this glimpse that is given. Like Star Wars, the alien landscape portrayed is at once foreign and intimately familiar in its depiction. It’s that very familiarity which drives you to feel the characters, their plight and the societal structure of the film, beyond the comic book inspired, alien setting(s).

Actor performances in this film were astounding. Pratt appeared to be born for his role, Saldana has evolved into a bankable, female action star, while Cooper and Diesel’s animated characters steal the show!

 

 

 

 

GOTG RonanGOTG NebulaGOTG Yondu 2GOTG KorathGOTG POSTER THE COLLECTORThe villains were colorful, but not too over the top. Lee Pace stars as Ronan the Accuser and Karen Gillan as his enforcer, Nebula. Both actors breathe life into their characters and while the audience isn’t necessarily rooting for them, they are in awe of them and respect their power. The character of Yondu, the leader of  a band of pirates called the Ravagers—played by Michael Rooker—was an excellent foil/anti-hero also, Djimon Honshu as Korath and The Collector played by Benicio Del Toro as well.

 

 

 

GOTG Soundtrack CoverThe music, phrases and metaphors used in this film definite are throwbacks to the 70’s and 80’s. Those old enough to remember will really enjoy them and they will serve as great nostalgia. It includes:

Blue Swede – “Hooked on a Feeling”
10cc – “I’m Not In Love”
The Five Stairsteps – “O-o-h Child”
The Runaways –  “Cherry Bomb”
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

To name a few. For those not old enough to remember, I don’t think they will weigh things down and leave you scratching your heads…at least not too much.

GOTG Comic CoverGuardians of the Galaxy doesn’t require you to be a sci-fi junkie or comic book geek, in order to enjoy the film. You also don’t have to have viewed the other films in the Marvel Cinematic canon in order to follow along. There was plenty of wit, grit and drama to entertain audiences from various walks of life. That said, you are missing out on a great comic series if you don’t check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fell in love with this film, not only from a fanboy perspective, but also from a movie goer/movie buff perspective. I highly recommend this film for everyone and while there is a small sprinkling of foul language and violence, I think anyone twelve or older can handle it without too much issue. So, if you’re a sci-fi fan, comic book/comic book movie fan, Marvel fan or whatever, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this film and walk out feeling entirely entertained! BE SURE TO STAY UNTIL THE END OF CREDITS FOR AN EXTRA SCENE!!!!

 

Afro Pick FistAfro Pick FistAfro Pick FistAfro Pick FistAfro Pick Fist Half

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I GIVE IT 4.5 OUT OF 5 FISTS!!!

This review was written by John F. Allen and is the sole opinion of the author.

JOHN F. ALLEN Copyright © 2014