Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

iZombie, based on the comic series iZombie, created by DC Comics: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Olivia “Liv” Moore is a promising Seattle medical resident.  She is excelling at work.  She has an incredible fiancé that she loves.  A great family.  Is planning her dream wedding.  Life is great.

Until she ends up one of the few survivors of a boat party gone wrong.  So wrong in fact that she ends up as a Zombie.

When her life is turned upside down, she decides to break up with her fiancé, change jobs, and cut herself off from society as much as possible in an effort to keep from killing innocent people in her pursuit for brains! 

Her new boss, Ravi, head of the morgue she is working at, guesses her secret he ends up as one of her best friends and confidant…and completely fascinated with her condition.  As Liv continues to eat brains, she realizes that she can see and learn the things of the person whose brain she consumes. 

Suddenly a Jane Doe ends up in the morgue and Liv is confronted with the fact that she may be able to help police solve the poor girl’s murder.  What is a Zombie to do?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Procedural Crime Drama

-Creator: based on the comic series iZombie, created by DC Comics

-Length: 5 Seasons, 71 Episodes, 42 minutes per episode

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual jokes and implied sexual situations, moderate violence and gore particularly supernatural violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, mild frightening and intense scenes particularly with the consumption of brains)

-Where to Watch: Netflix (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka, Robert Knepper, Bryce Hodgson

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

This is a very promising start to a show.  Funny, snarky, kind of gory.  And the actors are just fantastic.

I have a feeling that this show is going to follow the issues that I have with DC Comics… their shows are amazing…and their movies are just mediocre with a few exceptions.

The little bits of the comic book that they work into the show is really a great concept.  It adds to that fantastical feel of the whole show.   

Solid first season.  The show held its own the whole time with very few downs.  The humor and cases were consistent which doesn’t often happen across a whole season of a show. The character development was there, as were the character relationships.

This was an incredible first season.  Between the idea that Zombies exist, Major hunting them down. The mental health issues.  The gaslighting and the lying.  Finding a cure.

So many different things happening. The storyline and the writing are spectacular.  The characters are deep and meaningful.  The twists and turns are well written.

And the ending is just a bit shocking.  What I don’t understand is why Liv doesn’t just say that she was diagnosed with a disease (like and immunodeficiency) which is why she can’t give blood.  It could be why she changed paths…quit being a doctor.  All of it.  Then again…we wouldn’t really have a show if that was the case.

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Harley Quinn, created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey, based on comics by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm: an Animated Television Series Review

Synopsis:

Based on the comic series of the same name, this animated series follows Harley Quinn as she builds herself up after her breakup with Joker.  While she begins to deal with the aftermath of her relationship with Joker, Harley tries to put together a crew to help her show the Legion of Doom that she isn’t just a sidekick but a fully fledged super villain.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS NOT A SHOW MADE FOR CHILDREN.  PLEASE SEE THE RATING BELOW.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero/Supervillain, Black Comedy, ADULT Animated Series

-Creator: created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey, based on comics by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm

-Length: 2 seasons, 26 episodes (around 22-25 minutes each)

-Rating: TV-MA (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, moderate use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, moderate to severe frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Ron Funches, Tony Hale, Jason Alexander, J. B. Smoove, Alan Tudyk

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS NOT A SHOW MADE FOR CHILDREN.  THIS SHOW WAS CREATED FOR ADULTS, EVEN THOUGH IT IS ANIMATED. THERE IS SEVERE LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE FROM THE FIRST SCENE ON.

Ok so now that I have that warning out of the way (because I wasn’t expecting the first slew of cursing in the first 3 minutes), I have to say this show is great so far.

My overall review of this is that I am absolutely in love with the storytelling and the character development that the creators are manifesting in this show.  They are showing a Harley that is dealing with the trauma of her relationship with the Joker.  Ivy is doing what she can to help and to be a good friend but ultimately this is the journey that Harley Quinn needs to make to become her own person.

Season 1:

This was a wild ride.  I knew it wasn’t made for kids but having the first five minutes riddled with curse words wasn’t what I was expecting when I turned on this animated television show.

The trauma that Harley sustains and is dealing with throughout the season is well done.  She is by no means playing the victim card at any point but the back and forth between wanting to be her own person and wanting the Joker to actually take her seriously is quite common amongst abuse victims.  It is extremely difficult to believe in yourself as a person…you do believe everything you’ve been told about yourself by your abuser.  And they handled this beautifully.

Harley’s team is funny, silly, and a little deranged.  They all fit together in the “odd men out” kind of way but they are quite effective when they are working together.

I haven’t completely read though all of the comics that are tied and that influenced this show but if they are anything like this I know that I am going to love it.

Overall, a strong first season start to the show and I can’t wait to get into season 2. 

Season 2:

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, OR Birds of Prey, created by Christina Hodson, based on characters from DC Comics: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Joker has (finally) broken up with Harley Quinn for good…four years after the defeat of Enchantress.  He tossed her out on the streets of Gotham and didn’t look back.  As Harley begins to rebuild her life without her beloved Puddin’ she starts to see that she doesn’t need him anymore.

After getting drunk at a club owned by one of Gotham’s crime lords, things kind of take a downhill turn for Harley.  She is almost abducted at the club, narrowly being saved by the burlesque singer from the club, Dinah Lance.  Deciding that she is completely done with the Joker, Harley drives a tanker into Ace Chemicals to officially announce their breakup.

Meanwhile, Dinah is recruited by Roman Sionjs, the club owner, to retrieve a diamond embedded with the account numbers to another crime family after seeing her break up Harley Quinn’s abduction.  When she and Roman’s right-hand man get the diamond in hand they never expect it to get stolen by a local pick-pocket.

As a group of mercenaries and other people Harley has wronged are after her including Sionjs’ men, Harley realizes she is about to end up in the middle of a territorial feud… and its not just the people who hate her who are going to be an issue.  When the police, a new “crossbow killer”, the criminal underground, and Sionjs’ men all show up to come after the little pickpocket things are going to get pretty messy.  And Harley (as well as her new “team”) better figure out what to do and FAST.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero/Supervillains, Girl Power, Origin Story

-Creator: Christina Hodson, based on characters from DC Comics

-Length: 109 minutes

-Rating: R (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, moderate drug and alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rozie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, Ewan McGregor

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I absolutely love this film for so many reasons.  Between the fact that the movie focuses so much on Harley Quinn coming into her own and the storyline not focusing on her ass (I’m looking at you Suicide Squad), this is an incredible movie..

The film is such a beautiful piece of cinematography.  The director did an incredible job with so many things.  From the egg sandwich being filmed like a love interest to the fact that she helps out a punk kid (even if its just to save herself at first) this really shows a big difference to the sexed-up version of Harley we see in Suicide Squad.

The women in this movie are strong.  They speak their mind, fight for themselves, and aren’t always the quiet flowers that we see in a lot of other films. They are loud and at times obnoxious, slightly vulgar and don’t shy away from their trauma.  And that is very appealing.  Women being themselves.  Not being overly sexualized and made up to be some sort of fantasy caricature of what women actually are.

However, as wonderful as all of these things are this movie should NOT have had its name changed to Birds of Prey.  While the movie is the origin story for the newest redition of the Birds it is not about them.  It is not a Birds of Prey story or film.  They just happen to be in it. 

It truly is the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

Catwoman, based on characters from DC Comics: a Film Review

Synopsis:

A brand-new product is about to hit the market.  Hedare Beauty has developed a skin cream that is toted to reverse the effects of aging.  However, there is a dangerous side effect that the company is hiding.  When designer Patience Phillips discovers that they intend to ship the product regardless of the issues she finds herself on the wrong end of an assassination attempt.

Waking up from nearly drowning, Patience realized that she was revived from death by a cat name Midnight who was bestowed certain powers due to his lineage.  She is now the Catwoman, reborn with certain powers granted by Midnight and the goddess Bast for whom he serves.

Donning a disguise and taking on the mantle of a vigilante, Patience is determined to discover who tried to kill her and why.  When all clues lead back to her former employer, she must make a vital decision: expose Hedare Beauty to the world…or take things into her own hands.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: based on characters from DC Comics

-Length: 104 minutes

-Rating:

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Alex Borstein, Frances Conroy, Sharon Stone

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the film

Review (contains spoilers):

Yeah….i remember why I kind of blocked this one out of my mind.

First off whoever designed the costume…and approved it…was crazy.  It just looks so haphazard.  And not in the cute way that say Spider-man as a teen who had no real resources or abilities to make something was.

All I can say is this character was underutilized and underestimated.

But that aside…its just…yeah.

If you watch it I’m sorry…but you’ll get what I mean.

Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

Wonder Woman, based on characters from DC Comics: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In present day Paris, Diana Prince reminisces on her past after receiving a gift from Wayne Enterprises.

The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana was raised on Themyscria.  The island of the Amazonians, female warriors created to protect mankind, had been hidden away from the world.  There Diana was trained as a warrior.

At 18 Diana does the unthinkable and saves a pilot who has crashed just off the island.  Her good will and kind heart cause an issue with the barrier around her world allowing for the German Nazi’s to invade Themyscria.  Though the Amazonians win the fight it is not without great losses.  When it is discovered that a Great War is happening outside of the world of the Amazonians Diana decides that she will go into battle with the pilot to try and save the world.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Origin Story, War Story

-Creator: based on characters from DC Comics

-Length: 141 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild use of alcohol and drugs, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This is just such a good film for so many reasons.  Above all it is just a beautiful film from start to finish.  The crew that worked on it made sure that every location was absolute perfection…I mean, I don’t even like the beach, but I want to live on Themyscria.  It’s that stunning.

Gal Gadot was the perfect choice for Diana.  She had that air about her of belonging no where and everywhere all at once.  She is beautiful and exotic in a way that catches everyone’s attention…and the dress with the sword just put it all over the top.

This is what happens when you get a female director for a female led superhero film.

You get costumes that look like proper armor (more on that in the Justice League review…), a handsome leading man, a stunning female lead, a script that is a real story from start to finish….it is just an overall excellent piece of art.

This is one of my most rewatched superhero film.  I cannot get enough of this or its sequel. 

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, MARVEL

Women in Comics: A Little Girl Power for you Weekend!

With the weekend release of the Black Widow film (finally…stupid Covid…) I thought we would spend the weekend celebrating women in comics!

Female superheroes have existed since the concept of a person with superhuman powers was created.  In fact, the first most widely recognized female superhero was none other than Wonder Woman.

While there were quite a few other female superheroes that came before Diana’s debut in 1941 with the release of an issue of All-Star Comics, she is by far the most iconic of the early women appearing in comics.  She was beautiful and dressed in a leotard, knee high boots and a golden tiara…and had come to America to fight fascism, the enemy of democracy.

Many saw her as a shining light in the comic book world.  Her ideals were in line with the feminism of the day (and even more so now).  She fought for equality for people, celebrating their differences and defining moments.  She brought hope to people when they may not have had much…for 1941 was the year that the US entered WW2 and the next few years would be grim indeed.

But not everyone was taken with the beautiful brunette and her male counterparts.  Comics were often called a “national disgrace” and Wonder Woman herself has come under much scrutiny for everything from her beliefs to the way she dressed.

Yet this was just the start of women in comics.  From her brash and beautiful origins to the modern films she is in today… this was just the start.

Now we have women all over the comic book world…

From the X-Men and their diverse cast (most notably characters like Jean Grey, Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Jubulee) to Jessica Jones, The Scarlet Witch and Black Widow it is nearly impossible to open a comic book and not see some incredible female character staring back out at you.  Most even have their own series now. 

You can read about Supergirl, Batwoman, The Gotham City Sirens, Harley Quinn, She-Hulk, Vixen, Gwen Stacey (aka Spider-Gwen), the new Iron Man who is now a 16-year-old black girl, Kamala Kahn, Black Canary, The Birds of Prey, Echo…name them and you can find them.

Their stories are being told and we really do need them, from the rebellious to the criminal, the dark to the bright…the original takes.  The celebrations and downfalls.

We have seen some of them throughout the reviews so far this month: Sue Storm, Black Widow, The Wasp, Pepper Potts (who becomes Rescue in the comics), Wanda Maximoff, Gamora and Nebula, Jane Foster (also Thor in the newer comics), Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau….and so many more.

The comics are so much more in depth than what we see on screen.  Their stories are expanded, full of hopes and desires….their drives to make the world a better place in their own ways.  And they are some of the most popular characters in the comic book world.

So this weekend we are going to celebrate women in comics….the good, the bad and even the villains…some turned anti-villain. Because as always, representation matters and seeing ourselves in the pages of a comic is no exception.

The next few days we will be focusing reviews on film, tv and comics that are primarily about female characters in comics.

Starting with the fantastic new Wonder Woman films.  And stay tuned for a review of the new Black Widow film…but if you don’t wants spoilers stay away from it until you have seen the movie!

Resources:

Smithsonian Magazine: The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman

Cbr.com: 10 Female Superheroes Who Were Created Before Wonder Woman

Gamesradar.com: The Best Female Superheroes of All Time

Wikipedia

My own experience as a life long nerd!

Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

Green Lantern, based off the comic Green Lantern released by DC Comics: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Unbeknownst to those on Earth a great evil has been lurking the far reaches of the galaxy.  The Green Lantern Corps has been imprisoning the malevolent Parallax before he is able to continue his journey of causing fear and feeding upon it throughout the galaxy.

When a ship crashes Parallax is able to gain enough strength to escape his prison, mortally wounding a Green Lantern in the process.

When he crashes to Earth his ring finds a human, a cocky test pilot, who is chosen to take his place as a member of the Green Lantern Corps.  The only issue is that no human has ever been able to harness the power of the ring.  Will Hal Jordan be able to? Or will Earth fall to the evil of Parallax?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Science-fiction, Action/Adventure

-Creator: based off the comic Green Lantern released by DC Comics

-Length: 114 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for very mild nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angel Bassett, Tim Robbins

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This is just a horrible film.  The only good thing to come out of this was the real-life relationship between Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.  And no, I’m not joking.

The storyline is scattered and nearly incoherent at best and is a fanboy’s hard-on at worst.  There is little to no structure, the characters haven’t been written in a way to where you care about them and the whole movie has the attitude that the audience OBVIOUSLY knows JUST enough about the mythology and world of Green Lantern…but not SO much that they don’t need some of it explained (in an often condescending manner).

And don’t get me started on the CGI.  By the time this movie released Avatar had officially set the standard for what CGI in film should be. To say this film falls flat is an understatement.  I know that we were in the throws of the CGI revolution that the early 2000s created…but this was just lazy.  The places where they could have used practical effects and costumes looked horrible and like an afterthought…which was even more apparent when paired up against other pieced of CGI that were actually decent.  The backgrounds and cityscapes of Oa felt incomplete.  The lighting pairs for the in-person lighting and the CGI lighting were sloppy.  And that suit and mask were HORRID.  An actual costume would have been infinitely better.

While the moments between Reynolds and Lively are the only small and redeeming moments in the film they are often ruined by rushing them causing an overall discordant feeling in the movie especially when it bounces so rapidly between the Green Lantern Corps and what is happening on Earth.

In fact, this movie is everything that Guardians of the Galaxy would have been had Disney and the MARVEL Cinematic Universe decided to not just jump in headfirst with characters that were not in the original comic line and a killer soundtrack.

Honestly…if I keep talking about this I’m just going to get irritated all over again.

0/10 would not recommend.

Rating:

Rating: 1 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, MARVEL, Read Me

comiXology: The Comic App for Those Who Want a Little of EVERYTHING!

So far today we have talked about two incredible comic book applications developed by MARVEL Comic and DC Comics.  If you want to know more about those then see our articles:

Marvel Unlimited: The Comic book App for Marvel Fanatics

DC Universe Infinite: The App for DC Comic Lovers

But what if you can’t decide which you want more… or you only want to pay for one monthly subscription for now but enjoy comics from both as well as a variety of other companies and artists as well as original stories just for that app? 

Look no further than the comiXology app (created and run by Amazon).

Over 30,000 comic issues at your fingertips from classics like Batman, Iron Man and Archie to modern graphic novels like Sandman by Neil Gaiman, manga like Cardcaptor Sakura, and even original comics like Snow Angels, Hailstone and Youth.  There is a little bit of something for everyone in this app!

With spotlight features like trending characters, same day access to certain physical releases and even specific days themed to comics and characters there is a lot to be excited about with this app!

Like the others it is intuitive and allows you to zoom in to focus panel by panel which is so helpful for those of us that struggle to concentrate on just one thing at a time when looking through comics.  I’ve been using it for about 2 months (ever since I got my Amazon Prime membership) and I’m loving it so far!

They even offer member discounts of 10-15% off all books from DC, MARVEL, Image, Dark Horse and tons of others if you want to purchase books that aren’t available through the unlimited membership access.

If you have an Amazon account, its even easier to access comiXology!  You get 30 days free when you sign in with your Amazon account and then it is just $5.99/month after that to access all the great comics and stories!  If you are already an Amazon PRIME member this service is accessible in your unlimited account along with Prime Video and Amazon Unlimited Music.

So, take a look through and get a taste of everything with comiXology!  This way you don’t have to choose!

To download the app: comiXology

Note: This is not a sponsored post.  It is just my experience and some information to get comics right into your hands with the click of a screen.