Friday, December 26, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman '66 #18 and Sensation Comics #5

My other book reviews for the Christmas week have arrived!

Batman '66 #18 - 8.3/10
Sensation Comics #5 - 9.6/10

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #38 and Batman Annual #3

Hope everyone had a good time with their Christmas Day! Here are some belated reviews from this week.

Batman Eternal #38 - 8.1/10 (revised from 8.5 in video)
Batman Annual #3 - 8.9/10

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Doctor Who Series 8 thoughts

So Merry Christmas, everyone! (If you don't celebrate it, it's a well-wish. Please take the compliment and not assume the worst in people during this great time of year.)

In honor of the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas Special/First episode of Series 9 when it releases on Netflix, Here are my thoughts on the Revived Series' eighth season.

For the record (in case you don't have time to watch immediately or don't want spoilers for your binge-watch), I thought Peter Capaldi was an excellent Doctor and early on appears to be my favorite for the Revived Series. It's early, but he's definitely starting well.

Clara has grown on me slightly (mostly due to growth from actress Jenna Coleman), but her status in the show as 'Impossible Girl' is still frustrating to me and so I'm still very lukewarm at best to her.

Her possible departure from the show would have rated highly as a companion departure had it been a true departure. But it's already known she's in the Christmas special and is rumored for Series 9, so I can't count it.

I really liked Danny Pink, though I don't count him as a companion, Courtney counts as a companion, and she was decent. Hopefully she shows up more in Series 9.

My episode rankings are as follows:

1. Robot of Sherwood
2. Flatline
3. Caretaker
4. Into the Dalek
5. In the Forest of the Night
6. Dark Water/Death in Heaven (two-part story)
7. Kill the Moon
8. Listen
9. Mummy on the Orient Express
10. Time Heist
11. Deep Breath

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why I... rank the College Football Playoff like THIS

The final game of the college football regular season (not counting Army-Navy) has been recorded and so the time has come for the committee to make the only ranking set that counts.

Before I get into my thoughts on the six teams vying for the four playoff spots, I feel I need to make a very loud, vehement complaint against how this entire process has worked.

I am NOT a fan of the College Football Playoff rankings being issued every week. To me, it makes the early games of the season get counted in one shot and relies a tad too much on the early season rankings, since most of the big make-or-break games have not been played and the validity of certain conferences cannot necessarily be ascertained yet.

If an entire body of work is going to be judged, then at most there should only be two rankings - one before widespread conference play and one after all the games have been played.

But this is a 'give it to me now' society, so let's throw out what makes sense and talk about this week's set of games, which I'd guess will have a tremendous amount of weight in the committee room.

It was about as big a nightmare as the committee could have asked for, as every member of the top six won, and all but Florida State won by double digits.

Now the debate begins between four conference championship game winners and a pair of co-champs from the Big 12. Who gets in? Who gets out? Let's look at the teams.

(Order of examination based on previous week's rankings)


Record: 12-1 (SEC Champion)

Non-conference schedule (all wins): vs West Virginia, vs Florida Atlantic, vs Southern Miss, vs Western Carolina

Opponents beaten while ranked: at LSU, vs Mississippi St., vs Auburn, vs Missouri

Opponents beaten who were ranked during season: vs West Virginia, vs Texas A&M

Loss: at Ole Miss

Thoughts: This hasn't been one of the SEC's better years, and just looking at the teams the Tide have listed as their claims to fame leads me to question their actual skills. Still, six teams who were ranked at some point hit the team's schedule, so that's more than enough for me.


Record: 12-1 (Pac-12 Champion)

Non-conference schedule (all wins): vs South Dakota, vs Michigan State, vs Wyoming

Opponents beaten while ranked: vs Michigan State, at UCLA, at Utah, vs Arizona

Opponents beaten who were ranked during season: vs Stanford

Loss: vs Arizona (avenged on neutral site)

Thoughts: You know, actually reading the schedule out loud makes me realize that Oregon lucked out that they were in the North division. This team would have fallen in the South division. Regardless, the wins that Oregon has make up for an otherwise pedestrian schedule.

Texas Christian

Record: 11-1 (Big 12 Co-champion)

Non-conference schedule (all wins): vs Samford, vs Minnesota, at SMU

Opponents beaten while ranked: vs Oklahoma, vs Oklahoma State, at West Virginia, vs Kansas State

Opponents beaten who were ranked during season: vs Minnesota

Loss: at Baylor

Thoughts: The Big 12 is probably the deepest conference in football this year, but it lacks a high perception to make mid-level teams look like bigger threats. Admittedly, the resume is still solid, but it's hindered by a lack of a title game and a minimal non-conference schedule.

Florida State

Record: 13-0 (ACC Champion)

Non-conference schedule (all wins): vs Oklahoma State, vs the Citadel, vs Notre Dame, vs Florida

Opponents beaten while ranked: vs Clemson, vs Notre Dame, at Louisville, vs Georgia Tech

Opponents beaten who were ranked during season: vs Oklahoma State

Loss: None

Thoughts: Honestly, the schedule for FSU doesn't look half bad, and considering they're the lone undefeated, I've got no gripes.

Ohio State

Record: 12-1 (Big Ten Champion)

Non-conference schedule: at Navy, vs Virginia Tech, vs Kent State, vs Cincinnati

Opponents beaten while ranked: at Michigan State, at Minnesota, vs Wisconsin

Opponents beaten who were ranked during season: None

Loss: vs Virginia Tech

Thoughts: This is probably the weakest resume of the bunch, but it may be one of the hardest to question, as the opponents listed are mostly shared by other teams.


Record: 11-1 (Big 12 Co-champion)

Non-conference schedule (all wins): vs SMU, vs Northwestern State, at Buffalo

Opponents beaten while ranked: vs TCU, at Oklahoma, at Kansas State

Opponents beaten who were ranked during season: vs Oklahoma State

Loss: at West Virginia

Thoughts: I'm torn, on one hand, this team beat TCU. On the other, West Virginia beat Baylor. It comes down to whether the head-to-head matters or record vs. common opponents.

Final rankings: If I'm casting a ballot, here's what I think... we need an 8-team playoff. Seriously, it would ensure that any gripes over a tournament slot would be between dunderheads with at least two losses and no leg to stand on.

As it is, though, here are my rankings:

1) Florida State - perfect season, discussion over
2) Oregon - multiple road wins over ranked squad and a slightly better conference than the SEC
3) Alabama - way too many wins over ranked squads to overlook
4) Baylor - The Big 12 produces a better resume than the Big Ten, and when comparing the two co-champs, Baylor has head-to-head. Besides, TCU only managed a one-point win with WVU themselves, indicating the loss they took was a good one as well.

On the outside: TCU and Ohio State (in some order)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #35 and Superman Unchained #9

Catch-up continues with some Scott Snyder Batman and Superman action!

Batman Eternal #35 - 8.7/10
Superman Unchained #9 - 9.0/10

Comic Book Reviews: Green Arrow #36-37

I have A LOT of catching up to do, so I'm going to pair a November issue with a December one to try to make these blogs go as efficiently as possible. First up, the Green Arrow comics!

Issue #36 - 8.8/10
Issue #37 - 9.0/10

The Flash "Flash vs. Arrow" episode recap/review

I know it's been some time since I've been on here, but the good news is that I'll be belting out stuff quite a bit to get caught up, so expect a very, very busy December. What better way to start than by tackling the Flash-Arrow crossover's first part? Check it out here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Legend of Korra Book 4, Chapter 3 review

This episode wasn't as strong as previous Korra episodes, but I was impressed nonetheless. Mostly, my gripes are with a specific character and some bad choices in how a reveal was done, but Toph and Korra's stuff more than carried the day.

I gave the episode 8.6/10.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Arrow Season 3, Episodes 1-2 reviews

I didn't get to post the premiere review before, but given how episode 2 went, I'm really glad the two reviews will be in this one blog. Both connected well and were really awesome. Check the reviews out below.

Comic Book Reviews: Batman #35 and Batman Eternal #27-28

Scott Snyder was on his A-game for sure with the start of "Endgame" while Eternal spun its wheels a little in issue #27. However, issue #28 brought the quality of Eternal back to form. Ratings and reviews are below.

Batman #35 - 9.3
Batman Eternal #27 - 7.1/10
Batman Eternal #28 - 9.0/10

Gotham Episodes 3-4 review

Gotham started to sink a little this week, but regardless, here are my reviews of the two most recent episodes.

Legend of Korra Book 4, Chapters 1-2 reviews

Wow. Just wow.

I'm really sorry I didn't get these on this blog faster. Korra's final season would be the most must-see thing on TV right now if it wasn't online-only.

In any case, here are my reviews. I feel these ratings are completely justified:

"After All These Years" (Episode 1) - 9.6/10
"Korra Alone" (Episode 2) - 10/10 (Perfect 10 club; First for LoK, 8th for Avatar Universe)

Flash Episodes 1-2 reviewed (finally!)

For those who don't follow my YouTube channel (which you should), I've been reviewing stuff in the last week that you may be interested in. Most notably, here are my thoughts on The Flash and its first two episodes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

300th Blog Special: A look at the state of DC's Trinity titles

So you can expect a mad rush of blogs in the immediate future.

Yeah, thanks to my goal to make this the 300th post, I have kept all my video reviews on tv shows and such on my YouTube page (subscribe there if you'd like to follow).

In any case, thanks to the many, many people who have read my blog over the last 300 posts. With all that said, let's talk DC!

There really was no other subject I feel would be appropriate to cover given this blog's main topic (comic reviews), so today I wanted to focus on DC's three biggest characters: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

These three characters are probably the two most recognizable superheroes and most recognizable superheroine in the business, and that comes from their longevity. Superman celebrated his 75th anniversary in 2013, Batman is celebrating it this year, and Wonder Woman celebrates hers next year.

With these three soon to be in theaters in the same film (if DC in fact gets this film off the ground for 2016) let's see how they are doing in the comic world. I'll go character by character:


This one is easily the longest since books on the fringe on the Bat-verse comprise a colossal portion of DC's New 52.

That said, let's go title by title to see where the Batman universe stands:

Batman - The self-titled series has easily been the most stable of any title in not only the Batman stable, but in the whole DCU. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been in control since the reboot and have produced three long-term stories to critical acclaim: Court of Owls/City of Owls, Death of the Family and Zero Year. They are currently starting Endgame, which featured the Justice League in its opening issue.

Detective Comics - Detective has entered its third long-term creative team after John Layman, who replaced original New 52 writer Tony Daniel, left following his Gothtopia arc. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccatello have completed one arc, Icarus, that followed a drug ring and (in my opinion) became too complex at the finish for its own good. Currently, a guest team is in the middle of a two-issue arc on a biological weapon. This book has been slightly better from Layman's run onward at giving the title a different feel from the self-titled book, and the more stylized art of the current run is helping create that as well.

Batman & Robin - This title has been under the supervision of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason for some time now. I gave this title a lot of credit early in its run for working on Bruce's relationship with Damian Wayne, saying that the opening arc and the first Annual issue were incredible. However, after the death of Damian, the title spun its wheels for quite some time. The current arc appears to be setting a new Robin in place, so I'm interested to see what becomes of this book.

Batgirl - Batgirl is in a state of transition at the moment. The title started out trying to re-establish Barbara Gordon as Batgirl while keeping "The Killing Joke" as canon. This led to a lot of emotional stuff in the early arcs, which was then replaced by some of the darkest material in the New 52. I dropped the title around that point, but I know many people who enjoyed the entirety of the run. A new creative team just started, so we'll see how the title shifts.

Batwoman - This title is pretty much a fringe Bat-title as she hardly appears in most books. JH Williams III was much beloved for his work, but creative differences sent him off the book. The title has seen very little talk since his departure.

Catwoman - Ann Nocenti is off the title! After a lot of nonsense that I thankfully only endured during crossovers, the title is being handed off this month. Time will only tell if this finally makes the book good or not. I really can't believe this title is still going.

Red Hood and the Outlaws - I followed this book through Scott Lobdell's first run and thought it was decent. I was not happy with Starfire's initial direction, but they began to right the ship. Sadly, the James Tynion IV run didn't help the book, causing me to drop it and I've yet to regain interest in the book despite Lobdell's return.

Grayson - This book replaced Nightwing after Dick's fake death. I've heard very good things and the first issue I read seemed to be pretty solid. That said, I'm not happy with the direction and don't need a spy book added to my reading log when stuff directly in the DCU is taking up so much space already. If you like it, great, but it's not my thing.

Harley Quinn - People freaking love this book and I kind of get it. DC wants to make her their version of Deadpool and she is a much-loved character. I've been ambivalent on her in the New 52, so I really can't comment, having never read any of her title.

Gotham Academy - I really liked this. It focuses on the citizens of Gotham, something that isn't often explored in the books. Once again, I don't know if I'll be fitting this in anywhere, but I like that this book exists and that it appears to be in good hands with its creative team.

Batman Eternal - The weekly series is past the halfway mark and it appears to largely be setting itself up for the big build to the climax, so if you want to get in, it's a good time as long as you're aware that very little is currently happening. Scott Snyder and crew have definitely got a plan in store for the finish, but it's hard to tell what just yet. Either way, I'm looking forward to finding out what it is.

Batman '66 - I'm including the Green Hornet crossover here. I love how we are actually allowed to have some levity in Batman, even if it is a different universe. I really enjoy seeing the Adam West characters back and the title has been really strong this year.

Other Digital Series: Legends of the Dark Knight and Arkham Origins have received widespread acclaim over the last few years. I have too much in-canon stuff to go through to grab these, but I wish both the best.

Some new titles like "Arkham Manor" and "Gotham by Midnight" will be starting soon as well, but I can't really give my thoughts on either besides that they're in parts of the Batman universe that I don't take a lot of interest in. As such, don't expect any reviews of them in the near future.

Overall: Batman remains the cash cow for DC, and not surprisingly. People love what Batman represents and the title has produced more than enough characters to carry their own title. There's something for everyone here, and I'd highly recommend quite a few books here.


Superman - You want a title that has seen confusion in its direction, look no further than the self-titled Supes book. George Perez had taken the book, but kept getting hit with editorial issues (specifically Grant Morrison refusing to say what was canon during his origin story). This led to Dan Jurgens taking over to much critique. He was replaced with Scott Lobdell, whose run added elements that were immensely difficult to add into other titles. Geoff Johns has finally come in to add some stability back to the title, so we'll see how it goes.

Action Comics - Grant Morrison's run to start the title post-reboot received a mixed reception, and the length of it left other writers confused about what they could use or not in their own titles. He definitely left the Super-verse in confusion. Tony Daniel took over briefly but decided to leave, allowing Greg Pak to join the title. He's received much acclaim and I've certainly enjoyed his work.

Superman Unchained - This is a nine-issue series that is on its final book. It's been good, but it clearly hasn't been a high priority. When the last issue releases, be ready to grab the trade paperback, though.

Supergirl - I enjoyed the initial Mike Johnson/Mike Green run, but the events of H'el on Earth left the title in a state of disarray. (Thanks Lobdell!) She became a Red Lantern and now has to deal with Superman: Doomed aftermath. It's like editorial mandates are the sworn enemy of this title.

Batman/Superman - I'll talk about this title here since Supes has very few titles (and even fewer with Superboy being canceled). I've heard good things. I've heard bad things. Given what little I've seen of the book, it appears to be in good enough hands, but it's not a title with a direction that interests me.

Supeman/Wonder Woman - Supes and Wondy teaming up is consistenly marred by the idiotic decision to make them a couple. It doesn't kill the book, but it does keep breaking up narratives with weak, shoehorned conversations. It's a shame because the title doesn't seem that bad apart from the relationship stuff and the craziness that took place in Superman: Doomed.

Adventures of Superman - The digital-first series is basically the Superman version of Legends of the Dark Knight. I've heard great things about it, and if Action starts to tank it may take the spot of Supes title I follow.

Smallville - This is a continuation of the Smallville series. If you liked the show, I assume you'll like the book. I didn't watch it, so I can't say for certain how well it ties in.

Overall: I've often wondered why it seems like the number of great modern Superman stories seems to be more infrequent than Batman. Why are there so many bad Supes runs? I think the reason comes down to the fact that people really like the underdog. They prefer to identify with a character like Batman who is human and has to overcome obstacles because that's how they see themselves.

Superman represents an ideal of what to do when you have the ability to do good, and nowadays people rarely see themselves as being empowered and in control. People are more used to rebelling against authority, not acknowledging that in many cases, they have authority, either over their own lives or others'. Very few writers are able to get into the mindset to write a Superman story and wind up telling either ultra-complex stories or very action-heavy stories.

There are definitely writers who get the character, and great stories come from them. But there really need to be more.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman - The self-titled Wondy book has seen major critical acclaim behind the team of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. Well, not from me. I personally dislike the use of Amazons Attack elements in her origin and the level of violence, but that's just me.

A wife-husband team of Meredith and David Finch will be taking over next month, so we'll see what direction the story goes in.

Sensation Comics - Basically, this is another Legends type of book. It's been really good so far and the talent has produced some great stories. It's not my top book, but I'm glad to be reading it.

Wonder Woman '77 - Lynda Carter's character returns in this revival of yet another classic show. This is starting soon, so I'm hoping it succeeds like Batman '66 has.

Overall: Where is all the Wondy merch?! Hopefully her 75th anniversary will lead to some widespread excitement on the world's greatest superheroine.

Of all of DC's main characters, Wonder Woman is the one who is most under-utilized. Why George Perez or Gail Simone weren't immediately placed on the title during the reboot is beyond me, but these next few years are key for making the character a major pop culture focus.

If done right, I think we may finally see the character making the mad dollars Batman and Superman make.

Thanks for bearing with my rants and maybe I'll talk about how things have gone with regards to my hopes for the characters in my 400th post. Until then!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Legend of Korra Book 3 thoughts

Before Legend of Korra begins its final season, I have some final thoughts on Book 3 to give.

Check them out below, as well as my episode scores.

Episode scores:

"A Breath of Fresh Air" - 8.6/10
"Rebirth" - 9.0/10
"The Earth Queen" - 8.9/10
"In Harm's Way" - 8.6/10
"The Metal Clan" - 9.6/10 (revised from 9.4)
"Old Wounds" - 8.9/10
"Original Airbenders" - 8.8/10 (revised from 8.9)
"The Terror Within" - 8.0/10
"The Stakeout" - 9.5/10
"Long Live the Queen" - 7.8/10 (revised from 7.9)
"The Ultimatum" - 8.5/10
"Enter the Void" - 8.0/10
"Venom of the Red Lotus" - 9.7/10

Overall: 8.74/10

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #26 and Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #5

It's the midway point for one title and the penultimate issue for the other. It's time to move these plots along!

So yeah, these were the books that really moved story forward this go-around. For my full reviews, check the video. For my scores, check below.

Batman Eternal #26 - 8.3/10
Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #5 - 8.9/10

Comic Book Reviews: Gotham Academy #1 and Detective Comics #35

Enjoy my thoughts on a new Batman title and the start of a two-page arc in Detective below. If you're just here for the scores, here you go:

Gotham Academy #1 - 8.0/10
Detective Comics #35 - 8.7/10

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Action Comics #35 and Green Arrow #35

SIX books?!

Yeah, the week has gotten crazy busy, and since I have to work on my 300th blog (out this week), I'll leave you with the scores and video.

If you're looking for Gotham Academy #1 or Detective Comics #35, check the next post, and check the one after that for Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #5 and Batman Eternal #26. For now, here are these scores:

Action Comics #35 - 7.8/10
Green Arrow #35 - 8.2/10

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gotham Episode 2 "Selina Kyle" review

So we're two episodes into Gotham, and I can say that I like the direction, but I was not as big a fan of this episode, if that makes sense. The video will explain somewhat better.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #25 and Batman '66 #15

The Bat-books for the week were a little underwhelming. I expected far more from the '66 title especially, given the track record.

Nonetheless, Eternal had a very worthwhile set-up issue that's only real issue is that it doesn't really do anything but ask questions to be answered later.

And Batman '66 still had flashes of quality. It just needed more time to iron out the story.

Here are the scores and video review for more information:

Batman Eternal #25 - 8.0/10
Batman '66 #15 - 5.9/10

Comic Book Reviews: Superman Doomed #2 and Samurai Jack #12

I'm in a bit of catch-up mode, so I'll keep this brief: I'm REALLY glad the Doomed storyline is over.

This was a case of too many ideas coming together in a messy way. I can honestly say this was not a story I'll be anxious to re-read.

That said, there are some nice moments and I am interested to see where they take it next.

Samurai Jack is doing a big universal change in its arc and is handling things much stronger in my opinion. If you're curious, check out the video or these scores below:

Superman Doomed #2 - 4.0/10 (and I might be a tad generous with that score)
Samurai Jack #12 - 9.2/10

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Gotham" Premiere Episode thoughts

Want to know what I, a Batman fan, think of the prequel-ish Gotham show on Fox? Check my opinion out in the video below. Want the long story short? It's good enough that I'll add it to my Arrow, Flash and Korra reviews. That should tell you enough.

It's so Arrow-esque it hurts!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #24, Sensation Comics #2 and Edge of Spider-Verse #2

This week's comic book issues are all centered around female characters, and they're all good reads.

I enjoyed all three, and my first voyage into Marvel territory in months has me campaigning to give Gwen Stacy's Spider-Woman a solo series. Seriously, buy this book and write to Marvel.

As for the other two, they're the quality I've come to expect from the books. I'm a little behind on YouTube stuff, so forgive the shortness of this blog, but it looks like we're going video-exclusive today.

Here are the scores and the video for you to review:

Batman Eternal #24 - 7.7/10
Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #2 - 8.2/10
Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman) - 9.1/10

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #23, Batman (Futures End) #1 and Superman Unchained #8

Scott Snyder is taking up my entire review day, whether he writes or plots, with comics.

Superman Unchained has suddenly gotten back on track and now only has one issue left, so maybe we'll get the end of the story by Halloween (or at least the end of the year).

The art remains its glorious self and the actual story is finally coming together. I felt like the random appearance of Jimmy Olsen's plotline felt really shoe-horned, but there was clearly an idea for how this stuff was supposed to tie together, and it works. It's really just the pacing that limited it.

The fight scene between Superman and Wraith was epic and really showcased Supes at his best and most competent. It also may have ruined Superman: Doomed for me because it reminded me that Superman is smart enough to be able to avoid all the stuff that went down in "Death of Superman" and "Doomed."

Overall, I thought it was the best issue of the day. I give it an 8.4/10.

Batman Eternal was a strong plot issue, but it was so focused on being big and bombshell-heavy that I'm not sure it all flows perfectly.

I did like the art, though Catwoman's face seemed a tad blocky, and I am interested to see how she responds to the request made to her.

For more spoiler-filled thoughts, check the video, and much of my opinion will be shaped by future issues. But for now, know that I enjoyed the story and give it a 7.8/10.

The Futures End tie-in for Batman was the weakest element in the entire stable today. It works significantly better as a tie-in to the "Number 27" future story that was in January's Detective Comics issue.

This even having the potential to be canon is upsetting for me, as the characterization for Bruce was irritating. The villain's character was off-point. I'm not a fan of the ending and the art portrays everyone as WAY too old given this is only five years in the future.

Some of you may enjoy this, and good for you. For me, it's a 4.9/10.