CYBER MONDAY SALE FOR THE GOD KILLERS & MORE!!!

Hey everyone! Now that we’ve recovered, or at least we’re on our way to recovery, from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we have Cyber Monday to look forward too!

TGK OFFICIAL COVER ARTToday, and today only, the ebook version of my debut novel, “The God Killers,” will be on sale for only .99 cents!

That’s right, only ninety-nine pennies and you can own a copy of “The God Killers!” So, if for some strange reason you haven’t already purchased my novel, now is your opportunity to do so and at a HUGE SAVINGS!

Click here to purchase: The God Killers

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But wait Johnny, there’s more!

REVISED_SWORD_COVER_1200X840Not only is “The God Killers” on sale, but also the anthology, “Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword, Vol 1,” featuring my most acclaimed short story, “Forest of Shadows!”

Click here to purchase: Thunder on the Battlefield:Sword, Vol 1

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SEVENTH STAR PRESS

SEVENTH STAR PRESS

Also, follow the link below to enter into the Seventh Star Press, “Feel the Fire III Contest,” offering a Kindle HDX (7 inch screen) as the grand prize with bonus entries for tweeting and posting about the sale. Only USA-based winners can receive the Kindle grand prize, if an international winner is chosen, a cash prize of equivalent value will be substituted and sent via PayPal. Contest entries will end at 12 AM EST on Monday, December 22nd. Winner will be selected that Monday.

Click here to enter: Feel the Fire III Contest

After you enter the contest, feel free to look around at the other wonderful Seventh Star Press titles, written by other exceptionally talented authors, also on sale for .99 cents during Cyber Monday!

Thanks and remember TBIYTC (The Best Is Yet To Come)!!!

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

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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.

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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 Gotham (Season 1, Episode 9, “Harvey Dent”; Airdate: 11/17/14)

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.

Gotham (Season 1, Episode 9, “Harvey Dent”; Airdate: 11/17/14)

GOTHAM WALLPAPER

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Plot Synopsis

Gordon teams up with young, hotshot lawyer, Harvey Dent much to the Mayor’s dismay. Meanwhile, Wayne Manor receives a NEW house guest in one Selina Kyle and Penguin makes contact with Mooney’s secret weapon, Liza.

Nicholas-DAgosto as Harvey Dent

Gotham Bruce and Selina

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Top 5 Moments

  • Harvey Dent is introduced! I like Nicholas D’Agosto’s performance as Harvey Dent. He brought the right balance of fearless crusader for justice and creepy dude with a psycho streak lying just below the surface. I especially enjoyed Dent’s meeting with mobster Dick Lovecraft, where he was pleasant and polite and in one breath after Lovecraft threatened him, he went
  • Selina bunks at Wayne Manor! I think this situation is a great nod to the future, tempestuous love affair between the adult Bruce Wayne and adult Selina Kyle. I know they’re kids, but you can see in the writing (dialogue) that there is a genuine chemistry there. Alfred is highly suspicious of Selina (and rightfully so), however Bruce is smitten with her and she’s more than a little curious about him (curiosity and cats…meow!). I also enjoyed that while there was definitely chemistry, Bruce and Selina were able to enjoy innocent childlike fun.
  • Penguin finds out about Fish Mooney’s spy! I knew it was only a matter of time before Mr. Cobblepot made the connection and confronted Liza and threatened her so that she would end up reporting to him on Fish Mooney. I am a HUGE fan of how Penguin is a very meek and mild person on the surface, but lying just beneath the surface is an extremely manipulative and scheming persona.
  • Arkham Asylum was reopened. This is a big deal and will play out over the course of the series. As you saw, Ian Hargrove’s brother suggested that he wasn’t a hardened criminal, but instead someone with a mental illness. This was a lead in to him being transferred (along with other inmates) from Blackgate Penitentiary to Arkham Asylum. I think it was a cool way to introduce Blackgate and open Arkham Asylum, KUDOS!
  • Barbara Kean gets back with Detective Montoya! This is an aspect of the show which makes me not like Barbara’s character even more. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but everything to do with the fact that she lied about her relationship with Montoya and she ran straight back into her arms when things got tough. Personally, I’m glad she left and hope she stays away because she’s very annoying to me.

Easter Eggs

Blackgate was introduced. Blackgate in the comics is a penitentiary located on an island in Gotham Bay (click the link above). It was used to house career criminals who are hardened and aren’t insane. Famous inmates from the comics include: David Cain, KGBeast, Catman, etc…

Lovecraft was introduced. The name of Lovecraft was of course a homage to author H.P. Lovecraft, along with his creations, hence: Arkham Asylum, named after a fictional New England city which appeared in H.P. Lovecraft’s works.

Predictions

I see this all boiling over into a gang war between Falcone, Maroni and new player Lovecraft. I like that the real crime elements of Gotham are being explored, more so than the supervillains in Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery. This is a great way to establish a basis for what comes next, down the line.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think it was a pretty solid episode and I do like D’Agosto’s Harvey Dent, as well as how the interactions between Bruce and Selina were handled. I give this episode a B rating.

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)

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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!

Review for Gotham (Season 1, Episode 8, “The Mask”; Airdate: 11/10/14)

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.

Gotham (Season 1, Episode 8, “The Mask”; Airdate: 11/10/14)

Plot Synopsis

The Mask 3Gordon and Bullock investigate a murder, tied to a Gothamite who runs a deadly fight club for potential candidates applying for a position with his financial firm. Bullock demonstrates his loyalty to Gordon when the other cops refuse to help with the investigation. Penguin continues to manipulate the situation between Maroni and Falcone, to further his own devious agendas. Bruce returns to school and is confronted by a bully and as a result, is set upon one leg in his journey to eventually becoming the Dark Knight. Meanwhile, Barbara makes a “Not so shocking” decision, in regards to her relationship with Gordon.

The Mask 2

The Mask 4

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Top 5 Moments

  • Selina Kyle is back! After a brief hiatus, she is back in the fold. I’m interested to see how the dynamics of the relationship with Bruce develop. She is using Gordon as her “Get out of jail free card”, and it only makes wonder what DC has in store for their relationship as well. In this episode we find Selina burgling a fur store…IN BROAD DAYLIGHT ON A CITY STREET! No matter how idiotic the rest of the world thinks that was, Gotham’s Finest (at least the cop who told Gordon she was there and wanted to see him) thought so. I’d have to say that this is one of the dumber scenarios so far. Perhaps it was to speak to her inexperience as a cat burglar.
  • Barbara left Jim! I saw this coming a mile away to be honest. The chemistry between them always seems off to me, not just as characters but also as actors. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not. I suppose it was, because DC recently announced the coming of Leslie Thompkins as a possible love interest for Gordon. Hopefully, the sparks fly a bit farther with this coupling. I really can’t say that I was very fond of Barbara’s character from the beginning.
  • Bullock proves his loyalty to Gordon! After showing his ass for the first six episodes, Gotham’s most sarcastic and rude detective proves that he’s got his partner’s back. As a fan of the comics, I still find it hard to wrap my mind around Bullock being the senior man in their relationship and that they are peers. However, I have grown to like the dynamics between the characters and the actors. Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie are both talented actors and flesh out the complexities of the characters brilliantly. Here is where the REAL chemistry lies onscreen. I think it will be pretty interesting to see just how far the limits of their partnership and budding friendship is going to be tested over the course of the season.
  • Bruce punches the shit out of some bratty kid! I think that the development of Bruce Wayne has been very slow on this show. I’m not saying it should speed up necessarily, but I do want to see more of it. Besides burning his hand with a candle and putting together a corkboard of events surrounding his parents’ murder, we haven’t really seen any development of Bruce’s character. I think it’s very important that the show tackle the progression of his development from the orphaned rich kid to the Dark Knight. In this episode, we see him at his first day at school since his parent’s murder and right away, the school bully picks a fight with him. The bully taunts him about the death of his parents and finally, Bruce snaps and pimp slaps the kid. After an embarrassing explanation to Alfred, he is taken to the kid’s home where the rings the doorbell, the kid answers and Bruce proceeds the punch the shit out of him. I personally wasn’t really feeling that moment. It seemed a bit contrived and didn’t speak to the heart of the Bruce Wayne character, in my opinion. I’d have enjoyed it much more if he were defending another student or something a bit more altruistic. After punching the kid and grabbing pizza for dinner, Bruce and Alfred return home where he opens up and says that he liked the feeling that came from beating up the bully and then asks Alfred to teach him how to fight. Again, in my opinion it would have been better served if he had been defending someone else. I understand the goal of this story thread, however it comes off as being a bit heavy handed and self-serving. Not the makings for the hero we all know and love.
  • Favorite episode quote! “I’d give you a good cop routine, but it’s not in my tool kit.” This was a brilliant line from Bullock and speaks volumes of the character and Donal Logue’s ability to portray him. Kudos to the writers for giving us this particular line and here’s to hoping we get more like it.

Final Thoughts

The Mask 1I wasn’t particularly impressed with the portrayal of Black Mask. I wanted him to be a major player and not some “Villain of the Week” character. I think that Todd Stashwick did a decent job of acting in that role, but it wasn’t the “BIG BOSS” portrayal I was looking for and/or had anticipated. In the comics, Black Mask was portrayed as a tortured soul who exposed the deeper parallels for figurative masks worn by people to hide their true natures/feelings. This episode and its plot felt more like “Executive Fight Club” in the Batman universe. I feel that this was a wasted opportunity to integrate a deeper storyline and a waste of a potentially GREAT character to be used/explored in future episodes. Black Mask could have served as a foil for the uneasy Maroni/Falcone truce, had they kept him in line with his depiction in the comics. Instead of properly developing some of the villains they introduce, it seems to me that they’re just using them as filler stories with no foreseeable impact on future stories.

Also, the thread with Bruce at school really didn’t sit well with me at all (see comments above). Besides Bullock demonstrating his loyalty to Gordon and his AWESOME line (see comments above), I didn’t really take too much away from this episode in terms of entertainment value.

Overall, this episode, by far, wasn’t the best and while I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t impressed and in a way it was a bit of a letdown. I’m giving it a C-.

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 5, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”; Air Date: 11/05/14)

Hey everyone! Welcome to a NEW 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 and my Predictions for future episodes and seasons, along with Final Thoughts.

BE WARNED, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!

So, if you haven’t seen this 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 review for the current week’s episode will be posted on the day following the episode’s air date.

Arrow_season_3_posterArrow (Season 3, Episode 5, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”; Airdate: 11/05/14)

Plot Synopsis

When a cyber attack threatens Starling City, Team Arrow is determined to contain the destruction and put an end to the threat. Things are complicated for Felicity by her mother, Donna’s surprise visit. Meanwhile, Ted Grant aka Wildcat, is suspicious of Laurel’s motivations and is at odds on how to approach her training, and Thea uses Malcolm Merlyn’s money to purchase an apartment, which vexes Oliver. Actions and relationships (both with her mother and college acquaintanes) from Felicity’s past begin to surface in connection to the cyber attack and she must come to grips with the consequences of that past and how it will effect the present and future.

Goth FelicityThis episode focused on Felicity Smoak, which I had been looking forward to. I liked Felicity’s character from the first moment she was introduced and find she adds charm to the show. However, not much had been revealed about her past and she remained a familiar mystery. We learn a lot about Felicity, in that she wasn’t always the organized voice of reason. In fact, she was a rebellious, Goth/Punk “Hacktivist” in college, along with her boyfriend, Cooper Sheldon (cool nod to The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper) and his roommate, Myron Forest (who diehard DC Comics fans will recognize this as the name of the scientist who was originally responsible for the creation of Brother Eye—a semi-autonomous artificial intelligence surveillance system.). In more recent incarnations of Brother Eye, it was Batman who created it. While in the show, Forest isn’t the one responsible for the mayhem, it’s still a solid nod to the comic roots. Another thing to note, is that in a past week’s episode, Ray Palmer was looking at plans for OMAC, while researching Queen Consolidated archives. This ties heavily into Brother Eye in the comics and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in future episodes. In case you didn’t know, OMAC in the comics, used to refer to Buddy Blank aka One Man Army Corps. Now, OMAC is an acronym for Omni Mind and Community—cyborgs who take over human bodies via a virus and are controlled by Brother Eye. While in the recent comics, OMAC ties into the Batman mythos, more so than Green Arrow, it’s still great to see this concept being realized nonetheless.

Felicity and Donna SmoakI loved that Felicity’s mother, Donna Smoak, showed up for a surprise visit in the midst of all the chaos Felicity’s past brings about. I liked the stark contrast between Donna, a somewhat ditzy, but honest to who she is sort of woman and Felicity, the incredibly smart and focused woman we all know and love. The relationship between mother and daughter, reveals a lot about Felicity and helps us to relate to her character even more. I thought that this plot thread of the episode was well woven into the larger overall plot thread concerning Cooper Sheldon and Brother Eye. Actress, Charlotte Ross did a great job of portraying Donna Smoak and she’s a character I’d like to see revisited at some point during the show’s run.

Top 5 Moments

  1. The episode opens with training! Ollie and Roy, Thea and Merlyn, Laurel and Ted Grant…even Felicity was exercising. I think this dynamic further illustrates the relationships being developed in this season.
  2. Felicity Flashbacks! All of the episode’s flashbacks were of Felicity, not Oliver. I think this was handled well and I found myself loving them. We get to see a side of Felicity that fleshes her character out and going forward, we can look back to this origin moment and how it has shaped her character, as she is today.
  3. Palmer Tech is here! This episode dealt heavily with technology. Not just the computer virus Felicity created 5 years prior, but also the wearable technology developed by Ray Palmer. Also, the concept of cogeneration was introduced and may play a significant part in future episodes. If you didn’t know, cogeneration is the process of converting waste into energy.
  4. Thea is using her daddy’s money! It was brought to light in this episode that Thea is using Malcolm Merlyn’s money to fund the renovation/reopening of Verdant and to fund her new digs. She even ends up inviting Oliver to live there with her, which is funny considering he is opposed to her using Merlyn’s money to begin with. However, the two eventually meet each other in the middle when Oliver accepts the fact that Thea’s using the money and she agree to give the proceeds to charity aimed at helping those affected by the earthquake machine debacle. I see Thea evolving into the Mia Dearden character from the comics at some point, but only time will tell. Another thing of note, is Laurel’s transformation into Black Canary. I feel that this tempering process is not only a predestined realization we comic fans know will come to pass, but also a personal journey for the character, which will give her a more fulfilling role in the show and eventually as a part of Team Arrow. Up to now, Laurel’s character has annoyed most fans and now we see that being turned around. Her training with Ted Grant aka Wildcat is using the tragedy of Sara’s death as a catharsis for her metamorphosis into the character we all know she is meant to be.
  5. Shout out to Zork! This is one of the earliest interactive computer games and to be honest, one I never played. I heard about it back in the 80’s but by then it was sort of passé. This is something only older geeks like myself would have even known about, let alone played. So, to any readers born after 1970, this was indeed a WTF Moment.

Easter Eggs

  1. Cooper Sheldon (again, cool shout out to The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper) was wearing a t-shirt with a giant starfish on it, who happened to have an “eye” in its center. This was a shout out to none other than Starro, the alien adversary of the Justice League.
  2. Myron Forest. As I mentioned earlier, he was the scientist who created Brother Eye in the comics. Although they are utilizing his character differently in the show, it’s nonetheless a solid nod the comic roots, as it the whole Brother Eye concept to begin with. There’s so much that can be expanded on here. Like, what if A.R.G.U.S. gets a hold of this tech? Will we eventually see Team Arrow go up against Brother Eye and an army of O.M.A.C.’s? Remember, Cooper Sheldon’s death was faked so that he could go to work for the NSA. This is just the sort of thing that Amanda Waller would love to get her hands on and could play out in future episodes to great effect, in my opinion.
  3. There was a Robin Hood poster (Errol Flynn, 1938) on the wall, over her mantle place of her apartment (which we get to see for the first time). While very tongue in cheek, I thought it was also charming and a great nod to Felicity’s penchant for emerald clad bowmen.

Predictions

Cheshire aka Jade Nguyen

Cheshire aka Jade Nguyen

I think that the OMAC tech that Ray Palmer was checking out and the cogeneration concepts, will somehow be tied to his debut as The Atom. I’m not really sure how, but these things seem to be more than just trivial items mentioned for naught. I also see the character of Cheshire being introduced at some point, perhaps not this season, possibly next season. Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but I think that she is needed for Roy’s character to evolve into Arsenal and be fully fleshed out. Right now, he’s been peripheral at best. Felicity got her episode, Diggle’s had his, now I think Roy needs his. Especially now that he’s become a full fledged member of Team Arrow.

Final Thoughts 

Going into next week’s episode, we get Roy dreaming that he was responsible for murdering Sara. In the episode’s trailer, we see him opening up to Felicity about the dream and leaving us to wonder if it’s just a nightmare or did he actually kill her (likely as a side effect from his Mirakuru addiction). It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and if this becomes a plot thread that unravels throughout the entire season. I give this episode an 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 point them out. Thanks!