Does CW’s “Invasion!”Rise To The Occasion?

I considered complaining about Supergirl last week when I made the acquaintance of a Cold Steel razor tip broadhead blow gun dart, but I opted to give it an entry off since this will be the “Heroes v. Aliens: Dawn of Invasion!” crossover review. Agents of SHIELD sure picked the wrong week to return form hiatus! (It was actually a great episode, but no fair trying to distract me when I finally have a theme!) I will tell you upfront without hyperbole that mine will be better than all the other CW “Invasion!” reviews you can find on the Interwuzzle. You made the right choice coming here! Now I’m sending SPOILERS to invade your brain!

The CW’s marketing insisted that the crossover began with this week’s Supergirl. The fact that this episode wasn’t named “Invasion!” like the rest tells you how accurate that was. So before the cameo of Flash & Vibe at the end, this installment mopped up a bunch of dangling plot threads because it was also a mid-season finale. (That crazy plot about Miss Martian’s blood turning Martian Manhunter white sure was pointless.) The center was filled with scenes that seemed to stop prematurely before they could contribute much or reach their full dramatic potential. Hank Henshaw wearing a metal Phantom of the Opera mask over his exposed metal endoskeleton didn’t make him calling himself Cyborg-Superman without resembling Superman any less dumb. Since her mom is Lillian (Lex’s mom was originally named Agnes in the comics before they went alteration mad), the insane part of me wishes they’d gone full Smallville & named Katie McGrath Lutessa Luthor.  Maybe it would’ve felt less perfunctory if they hadn’t rushed through thwarting Cadmus to get Supergirl to from Earth-38 to Earth-1. Also, Alex stealing Winn’s beer at Thanksgiving was neither chill nor sanitary.

So why would Kryptonians name their bio-weapon Medusa rather than something from their planet’s mythology? How did Henshaw know to look up a secret government bio-weapon by name at the Fortress of Solitude (& reprogram Kelex against Kara)? If Kryptonians engineered the virus to kill non-Kryptonians, why wasn’t it deadly to humans too? If they were able to modify it to be harmless to humans, why couldn’t they have also made it deadly to Kryptonians too using Kara’s blood? How nice of Guardian, the one superhero that would definitely be immune to Medusa, to not help out his alien buddies on this. More importantly, why tease us with an episode called Medusa without adapting this cover?

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Supergirl’s true power is the magic of friendship!

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I’m Thankful For Game Of Thrones

My dad shot me in the thigh with a Cold Steel razor tip broadhead blow gun dart. I am thankful he missed my genitals by three inches. I really should’ve led with that … so I did! Somehow this will be useful background research.

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In backwards-vision, divulging my only weakness to strangers was a mistake.

Game of Thrones season six came out on DVD earlier than expected this year, & watching it has been cathartic. The following contains spoilers for this season you’ve probably already seen & maybe some books that haven’t been written yet.

It was nice to see so many tertiary characters I thought they’d forgotten about. (I’m still waiting on Nymeria’s triumphant return.) While watching “The Winds of Winter” where winter finally comes to Westeros (do they need to worry about erratic seasons in Essos as well or is it localized to one continent?), it snowed outside! I’m am very excited for next season’s Clash of Queens, even if it’s lopsided against Cersei.

Naturally Daenerys’s dragons saved the day! Ride that one-trick pony all the way to victory! The only reason not to immediately use dragon babies to solve political conflicts is to prolong her story-line with the illusion of tension. Of course if all of Daenerys’s problems can be easily solved by the application of dragons, maybe they should be presenting her with different ones?

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This Custom Is A Rogue One

Yes, you read the headline right. This custom is a Rogue one. It’s just not a Rogue One custom. Now that I’ve lured all you Star Wars fans in, gaze upon my custom X-Men: Evolution Rogue action figure! (Now with moderately improved photographs! Who would’ve thunk daylight would’ve been the missing ingredient?)

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This custom began its life as an X-Treme Rogue, unfortunately afflicted with some broken joints.  Once I got a replacement, I made this one into goth Rogue from X-Men: Evolution since Toy Biz never made one. The first was fortuitously misassembled with the sleeveless arms of her long-haired variant to make this easier. Her pallid complexion gets washed out in photographs, but I assure you she’s the spitting image of legitimutant vampire Kate Beckinsale.

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I’m a bit disappointed this look never made it into mainline continuity like Logan’s lame second suit, inferior to the orange original. The closest it got was this Julie Bell cover where the the green has sadly been replaced by icky yellow. Even with model sheets, promo images, & clips, matching the cartoon colors proved tricky because animators hate consistency. It took me until recently to get the shoulder pads right. In violation of cartoon accuracy, I gave her the collar she only wore in civilian attire.  I extended the green down her sleeves since it’s Rogue’s signature color. Part of me wants to repaint her boots & gloves green too for color unity. The other part of me likes that this costume has so many colors in it to reflect Rogue absorbing various powers. So tell me whether or not I should keep tinkering with it. My easily malleable mind might even be swayed by you.

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0112If you prefer this mutie belle when she leeches all the alien-augmented muscle mass out of Ms. Marvel, check out my other Rogue custom. Continue reading

So … How About Them DC Shows?

Nightmare was going to be the villain of Doctor Strange but Marvel Studios predicted it’d be too on the nose for reality.

So let’s dive right back into fantasy! Since my last entry was thoroughly Marvel-centric, this week’s topic will be DC-focused. Except when I write about about other things. I still insist I have a topic.

One of my favorite bits about Legends of Tomorrow season two is how much the team isn’t a well oiled machine. It’s not that they’re terribly incompetent; it’s just that they’re still not used to working with each other. Not only does this prevent the team of superpowered specialists from seeming automatically unbeatable, it allows for more humor & dynamic character interactions.

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All of Heatwave’s dialogue in the cliche-ridden “Shogun” was solid fried gold! (“League of Assassins, class of ’09,” was the the only memorable competition.) Wouldn’t atomizing a real life political figure, Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, be the sort of time crime the Legends are supposed to avert?

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What’s The Diagnosis Of Doctor Strange?

As a doctor (of not medicine), I prescribe listening to my latest collaboreview of Doctor Strange with The Wages of Cinema! It’s as the prophecy foretold!

Benedict “malapropism generator” Cumberbatch may be slightly overexposed, but he’s actually a great Doctor Strange! I didn’t need him to affect a American accent, but I guess he wanted to show he’s not just coasting on his Sherlock reputation. Sadly he never utters “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” It’s a missed opportunity for Marvel to subvert the white savior trope by casting someone that’s not a WASP, yet Cumberbatch still knocks it out of the park. His Dr. Stephen Strange is Marvel’s cockiest protagonist since Iron Man Thor Star-Lord. Despite or because of his supreme arrogance, he’s always compelling if not necessarily likable. Cumberbatch definitely earns his starring role.

The special effects are superb. There’s plenty of Inception geography tessellation on steroids. Applying gravity to these shifts leads to some fun sight gag action. Other spells look generated from firecrackers & shards of molten glass. There’s a fight across the Astral Plane while both participant’s bodies are unconscious. The best scene is a psychedelic tour across dimensions. The plot may be cookie cutter, but the visuals are a feast for the eyes.

Now journey with me beyond the veil of the page break for movie spoilers, source material nitpicks, & social commentary!

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Did Gotham & (Green) Arrow Reverse Polarities?

For a spell during season two of Gotham, Riddler & Penguin were rooming together & singing show tunes adorably as best friends are wont to do. This season upped the queerbait ante by having these two ex-Arkham inmates (DC would make a killing selling Arkham Asylum certificates of sanity signed by Hugo Strange!) be incredibly supportive & tender to each other during Coblepot’s successful mayoral campaign. The ambiguous bromance turned romance when Penguin realized he loves Riddler. I was surprised Gotham made the subtextual homoeroticism text since hooking up two of Batman’s top rogues on prime time TV would be the hugest deal since Korrasami. (I can count who isn’t a murdery bastard in this series on one hand, so another gay villain couple doesn’t seem homophobic in context.) It even looked like Riddler would reciprocate Penguin’s affections … until he stood up the Mayor’s candlelit dinner for a stranger that looks exactly like the ex-girlfriend he killed. GRODD DAMN IT, GOTHAM!

Arkham’s Razor says Kristen Kringle’s dead ringer is Clayface hired by Tabitha to break up Oswald & Ed. Or this Isabella is Kristen’s long lost twin who is going to be the show’s quasi-suicidal take on Bookworm. Wait … Bella & Edward? This is a Twilight riff too?

Hopefully this will just be a short road-bump in Penguin & Riddler being happy together. This show could use a romance that’s healthy, stable, & Gordon-free.  Unlike Hannibal Lecter & Will Graham, Penguin & Riddler would be a mainstream gay pairing that’s not toxic as Hell. (Hannibal was fantastic show, but that relationship was monstrously abusive.) I am worried they’ll use a woman-shaped plot contrivance to turn these best buddies into bitter enemies. Don’t you dare ruin this, Gotham!

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Day Of The Jackal Lantern!

Guess what I made this year for pumpkin carving?

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It’s a jackal lantern! (Curse your spoiler, you dumb headline!) Get it? Sometimes puns are sight gags too! I was considering giving it a Wedjat Eye to decrease the resemblance to an aardvark until I noticed Anubis isn’t usually depicted with one. Learning that real jackals don’t look as classy as ancient Egyptians led me to believe may be the biggest disappointment of my life since I discovered pumpkin pie doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as I imagined pumpkins ought to taste. (Reality never meets my great expectations!) My cat is too scaredy to eat in the same room as the Jack-o-lantern. She was fine with my Ewok-o-lantern, but she draws a line in the litter at canines.

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