CW Shows Week 3 (Fall 2017)

Supergirl 3×03 “Far From the Tree”
-This episode was about Dads. Specifically J’onn’s and Maggie’s. This episode played like two episodes wrapped into one, so let’s focus on Maggie’s first. Maggie and Alex are having a shower hosted by former Supergirl and their Mom Eliza Danvers. Eliza kinda forces the conversation to Maggie’s unpleasant past with her family and Maggie tells the story. It’s the same story she’s told before but we get a few more details. Prompted by Alex, she calls her dad and invites him to the shower, where he tries to show up and then bails when he sees the brides kiss. He’s so uncomfortable that it makes the viewer uncomfortable, but not in the empathetic way so much as the “it’s the 21st century, get over it” kinda way. He gives a really long political story about how hard it is to be Hispanic in America and that it’s harder to be homosexual in America than Hispanic, and her being a lesbian throws is a disgrace to his sacrifices. It’s all selfish and a dick move, and Maggie sees it and is stronger for it. Big Plot Senses Tingling: Alex thinks Maggie will want to have kids now that she’s over her dad being an ass. Alex is wrong.
-The best part of this episode, in my opinion, was the story that followed J’onn and Kara. Don’t get me wrong, I love the political commentary and Maggie and Alex’s relationship, but I watch Superhero shows for Superhero shit, and J’onn flew to freakin Mars with Supergirl to partake in a White Martian resistance! I mean, Duh…that shit was good. Anyway, Martian resistance wants the staff of Ra, but Indy is unavailable, so they saved the other last green martian, J’onn’s dad. He’s a super priest who knows the location of the staff, but first they have to convince him that J’onn is real, then they have to have a kickass showdown with the white’s over the staff (That totally isn’t called the staff of Ra, but I can’t remember). The J’onn story ends with J’onn’s dad living with him on Earth.
Random Thoughts:
  • Maggie’s dad mentions that they are building a wall, but Trump isn’t the president there, Lynda Carter is, and she’s a super progressive alien too. They bring in our real world politics throughout the series in off-handed comments (Mostly references to “fake news”), but this was the first time, that I’ve caught, that it actually challenged continuity.
  • Loved J’onn’s car.
  • The best scene in the history of this show was in this episode when Kara drives up to the Aliens in J’onn’s car, blasting Britney Spears, and mentions missing the right turn at Albuquerque, a la Bugs Bunny, and then proceeds to use that sound track to kick some serious ass. This show has a secondary purpose of empowering women and, while I’m not a woman, I thought this scene was supercharged by that. So good. Girls need kickass fight scenes, too.
  • Maggie’s issues with her father are super tear-jerking. She just wants her dad to love her and he’s pretty solid on the “Only if you’re straight.” What an ass. Although, I almost got teary eyed when he pulled out his own picture of Maggie to add to the picture collage.
  • Definitely also got teary eyed when J’onn’s memory of his kids and family running around is played.
  • Because the Martians are CGI, you can see Kara punch them and their reactions are more on par with what you think would happen if Supergirl really punched someone. They get hit, fly back, and slam into crap super hard.
  • Kara totally used the magic spear to kill like six martians. She’s not supposed to kill, right? She didn’t kill Dominators…but Martians are ok? And I mean, she disintegrates them. She might as well have used heat vision.
The Flash 4×03 “Luck Be A Lady”
-Harry’s back, baby!
The big things in this story are about discovering the plot of the big bad. They realize, pretty early in the show, that when Barry came out of the speed force he released a burst of Dark Matter that created 12 new metas. One of them, named Becky, messes with quantum causality, giving herself good luck while everyone around her experiences bad luck to the same degree that she experiences good. Some other things of note that happen this episode are Jesse breaking up with Wally, Wally moving to Blue Haven, and Harry Wells rejoining team Flash. Oh, and Cecile’s pregnant with Joe’s baby, which I saw coming, but it all felt kind of unnecessary. The bad luck lady shows that she has the ability to destroy the whole city if she wanted to. I honestly have no idea how they’ll stop her if she escapes again without the use of particle accelerator.
Random Thoughts:
  • What’s up with Harry’s hair
  • Earth 2 is sick! How messed up does your Earth have to be to develop “Breakup Cubes.”
  • “You don’t have to shame him…” Barry’s hilarious.
  • Wally will be back for the Earth-X crossover… Right? It’s his sister’s wedding.
  • When everything was going down at the casino, I wondered why Vibe and Kid-Flasg weren’t helping while Harry worked the accelerator. So, no Wally, I wondered where the hell you were, and I’m disappointed that you’d just disappear in the middle of a damn catastrophe.
  • Cisco’s haiku shirt. I want it.
  • Laser tag: “You have failed this city.” Hilarious.
  • What did Caitlyn do this episode…at all?
Legends of Tomorrow 3×03 “Zari”
-This episode is why I love Legends of Tomorrow. We got future stuff, more Gary, and Stoned Nate.
Intercepting a rescue message from Gary to the Time Bureau, the team races to the future to save the day only to find the entire thing is more complicated than they thought. Zari, the person they need to rescue, is a crazy good hacker being chased by a water witch thing that’s somehow related to Amaya. Amaya is told not to be afraid of her powers, and Stein mansplains the shit out of everything. Once again, we get a big showdown between Sara and Agent Sharpe that ends in a way that made me think that we haven’t seen Rip in a few episodes for a reason. Call me paranoid, but I’m willing to bet he’s been overthrown or something at the Time Bureau.
Random Thoughts:
  • Stoned Nate is nothing but win.
  • Gary says “Geeze Louise.” So do I. Gary is suddenly cooler.
  • Nate also has a fidget spinner. Funny.
  • Amaya discovers the term Mansplaining about 60 years earlier than she should have. Oops, time-travel.
  • Why would Amaya join a time-travel team to get help with her totem if she doesn’t want to time travel back to when the totem was made.
  • Sara ditching Agent Sharpe was predictable but still cool.
  • Can’t imagine Rip would sanction attacks on his time ship. Laying bets on it being fake Rip somehow.
  • “Quiet, the marshmallows are talking.”
  • “If anyone’s going to kill Haircut, it’s me.” “Aw, thanks Mick!” “Pleasure.”
  • Gideon with the snark: “What a bitch.” Love snarky Gideon.
  • Amaya’s decendent is also a bitch.
  • Shit dude! Ray made friends with Pennywise!
Arrow 6×03 “Next of Kin”
-New intro dialogue kind of explains it all, but Oliver passed the Green Arrow torch to John Diggle, his long time partner, codenamed Spartan. Diggle is worried about his ability to make the tough calls and he can’t shoot a bow, which I’m not sure is 100% true. John totally dressed up as the Arrow before and has used a bow, but maybe I’m remembering it wrong. Anyone, a Gal named Onyx and her old Army buddies are trying to steal nerve gas to do some crime thing. John freezes at one point and two people end up in the hospital in critical condition. John questions himself some more, and has to get a pep-talk from Oliver. All of this is happening while the MOST IMPORTANT MATH TEST EVER is happening for William, and Oliver needs to be a dad and help his kid with school, but at the same time he doesn’t know how to do school shit. We get a lot of Oliver and Felicity back and forth sexual tension. She signs on to be William’s tutor, Oliver dreams of her tutoring him and gives her a key to his apartment as we restart this on again, off again relationship between these two. John finally comes into his own and gets a pretty cool gun that gets deemed the Green Monster.
This episode was good and I really like the character of Diggle. Unfortunately, I’m not really feeling this PTSD/Nerve Damage thing. He’s spent years telling Oliver that lies destroy the team, and he’s lying to the team, first about his Nerve Damage, and then about the weirdo street juice that’s letting him deal with it. It seems entirely out of character. There was an interview with him recently, and all the crossover news, so we know he doesn’t hold the mantle for long, but still someone needs to call him out about his bullshit. Maybe a monthly SuperHero drug screen? That should be done anyways. The team has had issues with alcohol and drugs in the past. Drug tests would help. Just saying.
That all being said, I can also suspend my Diggle belief on the fact that maybe the PTSD is making him do the lying. If I suspend the belief in that regard, this episode was pretty good. Of course, I like all of the episodes…so you know.
Random Thoughts:
  • “It’s weird, but at some point we all have to get used to it.”
  • Kord Industries? We getting Blue Beetle?
  • Oracle crossed out! This week’s Batman reference.
  • Lol at Green Diggle riding shotgun.
  • I love big boxes of coffee. True story.
  • Rob Reynolds? He’s in Iowa! I can help Team Arrow find him! Does that make me part of Team Arrow? (Inside joke: I have a friend named Rob Reynolds.)
  • “You can be abetter hero than I ever was.” Lies. Diggle runs support. He’s good at that.
  • When the kid referenced Quadratic equations I was all “I’ve heard of that!” Then I realized that I’ve also heard of quantum physics, but that doesn’t mean I know anything about it.
  • Go suit up, Curtis!
  • Cool jumps…don’t see the point, though. Could have taken the stairs…
  • John’s always been good at the fights.
  • Wild dog gets more fight scenes. That’s good.
  • Screams to direct air? Nifty.
  • In car fight scene was different and good.
  • Tennis balls are the real victims.
  • The News Anchor looks like Laurel. I’m not saying she’s Black Siren, but I haven’t seen the news anchor and Black Siren in the same place at the same time…

Review: Reanimatrix by Peter Rawlik

Reanimatrix by Peter Rawlik

Reanimatrix by Peter Rawlik

Reanimatrix is the third in a series of books written by Peter Rawlik that focuses on a world that Peter has built out of H.P. Lovecraft’s works focused around the story Herbert West: Reanimator. In the previous stories in Rawlik’s world, he’s introduced his own reanimators and several other characters, but weaves them into the Lovecraft mythos flawlessly so that you can see exactly where these characters are even when you’re just reading Lovecraft’s stories. He fills the gaps, so to say, and he’s very good at it.

Reanimatrix follows a protagonist who has seen some weird stuff, a la Lovecraft, and after being indoctrinated into the world view that this weird stuff is kind of everywhere, he becomes a local specialist in Arkham. He’s the guy on the police force that the police send to the weird crimes.
After meeting a woman, Megan Halsey-Griffith, briefly before his police career, the protagonist, Robert Peasley, falls in love with her from afar. Alas, this romance isn’t to be, as the next time that Robert sees Megan, she’s dead and entangled in a fisherman’s net.
When her body disappears, and the case seemingly gets closed, Robert becomes obsessed. He buys her house, reads her diaries, goes off the deep end essentially.
Then things get really weird. Her diaries map out her interesting history, her lineage tied back to the actions of Herbert West and events that took place in the first book by Rawlik as well as in Lovecraft’s tale.
The Bad: 
It has a very slow pacing. The most interesting scene in the beginning focuses around a botched version of the Reanimator Formula in France that has people reliving their last moments. This scene did well to introduce the concept but also made me wonder if following that serum and it’s use (maybe in criminal investigations) might have been a stronger narrative. That is the only really exciting bit at the beginning, and after that it becomes incredibly over-descriptive in every possible scene, slowing the pace even further. I’ll be honest in that I picked up this book about a year ago, stopped reading it only a quarter of the way through, and only recently decided to finish it last week.
The pacing does pick up, although the description of every little thing never stops, and this book really picks up pace when Robert finds Megan’s body. Then it gets weird… There’s lineage stuff in this book, and sex is a big part of how lineage comes about, obviously, but instead of explaining that people have sex, the story disembarks “Weird Murder Mystery” and suddenly jumps the track to “Esoteric Eroticism” but for only two scenes in the whole book. These scenes weren’t necessary for the plot and only came across as the author looking to exercise his skill set. Somewhere along the lines, it feels like he wanted to know if he could write weird sex scenes (weird like Lovecraft with fish people and zombies, not weird like “eww sex.” Sex scenes have their place, even weird ones), and so he did and then he put them into a story that’s weird pacing hadn’t revolved around weird sex scenes. It would have made sense if he continued to pepper them through the story, but he has only two and then an exposition on how one of the main characters will be trained in the arts of sex but then never touches on it again. I guess my concern is: What was the point?
The Good:
The things that I liked about this book were plenty, and weighed heavily in it’s favor. Rawlik does what I’ve done with some of my stories (looking at you Dr. Doran) and weaves a tale that tries to incorporate multiple stories from the Mythos. We have the Reanimator, obviously, but also the Dunwich Horror, The Witch House, Thing on the Doorstep, Shadow Over Innsmouth, Whisperers in Darkness, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and more. Every chapter touches on a different aspect of the mythos and flawlessly weaves it into the narrative.
Also, I joked earlier about Robert’s obsession with Megan, but that wasn’t really a problem. His obsession is obvious, as he’s seen weird things and he’s gotten a crush. His obsession with the weird sets him out on a mission to either save, protect, or solve the mystery that is Megan Halsey-Griffith. Taking us down the Rabbit-hole this way makes Robert seem not weird, but enlightened.
I really liked the portrayal of Herbert West throughout this story as well. He’s creepy, but not just Lovecraft-creepy, as I feel this version definitely embodies Jeffrey Combs.
I mentioned the clever weaving of Lovecraftian mythos into this story, but Rawlik also involves several other stories from that time. I had to google the obvious mentions, but there’s one that references Ms. Halsey-Griffith visiting a cousin who just so happens to be from a movie out of the 30’s regarding reanimation, and yet another that I can’t recall at the writing of this review. Rawlik has a gift for stitching together narratives in a way that makes it seem natural.
I did like this book, a lot. The slow pacing, weird sex scenes, and descriptive nature of the story don’t detract from the strength of the addictive plot that pulls you in and makes you want to solve Peasley’s case with him.
I give this story 4 out of 5, but hope that future installments go back to the Weird Company side of Rawlik’s writing.

Review: Star Wars: Crucible


I went into this expecting more of the excitement from the Legacy of the Force novels, but came out of it a little disappointed. In several instances, the Jedi are more powerful than they usually are, and then when it counts, their power is strangled to create more tension. I didn’t feel any sort of unity in Luke’s abilities, or that of his sister.

One major theme for the novel, that I’ll omit for those that wish to read it, could have easily tied into the entire Jaden Korr novel series and thus created a lot of changes and excitement. I thought that this was a direction that was being set up for them to go, and yet it never took that turn. It makes me mostly wonder what the entire point of that plot arc was for.

Mostly, this book is for anyone who’s read most of the rest of the Star Wars books, especially the Legacy of the Force series. If you haven’t read it, than you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as you could. That being said, I give it a 4 out of 5 stars (because I have read the rest of them).


This review was originally posted on an older blog of mine. 6/27/2013

Musings on CW Superhero Shows

So, I love the CW Superhero shows. A lot. For this reason, I wanted to review/comment on them as they come out. I’m a few episodes behind, so this is my catch up post. In the future, I’m going to write each segment after I’ve seen the episode so that it’s fresh in my mind, but I’ll post them after Arrow airs. Expect Spoilers!
Second disclaimer: I love these shows. They can’t do anything wrong, so my reviews are going to be heavily biased. They will be less reviews and more musings about each episode.
Supergirl, 3×01
Kick off the season with Smallville’s Lois Lane kicking down doors as the new version of Kara’s mother. That’s pretty badass. I liked the way they had her dealing with Mon-El’s leaving, but I feel like a lot of what they dealt with (Alien vs. Human) has kind of already been done. I mean, are they really going to show try to convince us that Kara doesn’t care about Alex and Maggie’s marriage stuff? I’m happy she came around by the end.
Random thoughts:
  • Loved the lifting the Sub thing she did. Really liked Lena Luthor this episode.
  • They did a really good job getting me interested in the Rubie stuff. I really want to know what’s going on there. I know a little bit from online, but I don’t know how they plan on getting there, and that has me excited.
  • Lena Luthor buying CatCo came across as very Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville. Loveable Lex could always be counted on to solve everyone’s problems by spending a shit ton of money. “You want the Talon, here, I’ll help you buy it.” “Hit Clark with my car? I’ll buy him a truck.” They’ve decided to follow Smallville’s narrative a little bit here, and I think that might be a good thing when you’re dealing with a new character that Kara is supposed to end up hating (I assume).
This episode should have been the first episode. I liked the character development that we got with Kara and her fears of the pod and then the awesome explanation for why she’s still upset. Also, Alex and Maggie never had the kids talk. Uh Oh.
Random thoughts:
  • I didn’t like Lena in this episode so much.
  • I don’t get her animosity with Jimmy Olsen at all.
  • Oh, and the ending with J’onn and M’gann was a good ending. Loved that.
The Flash, 4×01
I loved this episode. It was, obviously, a perfect mirror of the original first episode of the Flash. I wasn’t a fan of how Wally and Vibe are supposedly not as solid as Barry at being superheroes. I get it as a plot device, but Wally is as fast as Barry ever was, and Cisco is pretty kickass. Whatever, it was a great episode. Another flaw I saw, that doesn’t get dealt with properly until the second episode in my opinon, was Iris not wanting Barry back. It made sense once episode 2 aired. Loved how they dealt with bringing Barry’s mind back. Also, how friggen kickass is it that they couldn’t stop Barry from getting out of the cell? On another note, the is she, isn’t she with Caitlyn is getting old. Just make a decision and let us know if she’s an ice queen or not.
Random thoughts:
  • This house is bitchin’. That was great.
  • I also really missed Harrison Wells in this episode. Which version of him? All of them, really.
  • The Thinker was a little cartoony, but it was ok.
  • This is my favorite of the superhero shows. Very happy this is back.
  • I also liked that we’re back to comic book Barry who is mentally stable after the death of his family. It’s fun again.
Everything about this episode was perfect. I loved the crossover stuff with the mention of Oliver. This episode was good fun. Kilg%re was a great badguy and we got to see Forensic Barry and Tech Consultant Cisco again. Captain Singh was back, too, which is always a plus. I liked having Caitlyn back, and loved the Cisco/Gypsy stuff that’s building up to the introduction of her father, Breacher.
Random thoughts:
This was a good way to explain the new team dynamic.
I liked the therapy scenes a lot.
This was the first episode where I started wondering what happened to Iris’ writing career…
Did anyone else notice that they started repairing the Star Labs burn marks on the outside? It’s only been four years, way to get on that guys…
Legends of Tomorrow, 3×01
Wow, they really shoehorned this plot together… I feel like they wanted season 2’s finale to lead to a very specific plot of repairing the timeline and then decided that was a lot of work and screw it, let’s just do this completely other thing that undoes all that we set up with that huge cliffhanger at the end of season 2. This episode made me very unhappy with Rip, too. I am now deciding that this Rip is still the altered one from Season 2. Geeze, it’s obvious that Victor Garber is on his way out. Wonder how they’ll make Firestorm work… How the hell are they going to justify to me, their audience that loves them no matter what, that Rip, who basically wants to fuck Gideon, turned Gideon off for 5 years?
Things that I loved:
  • Mick has a lot of STD’s
  • Amaya’s story tying into the rest of the universe.
  • Using the old missions as training scenarios.
  • I went to IMDB and started reading quotes, and quickly realized that I loved this episode. I take back everything.
  • “Sometimes we screw things up for the better.”
  • Love everything Mick. He’s always so great. Really want to see more of him and “Haircut.” They’re great together.
  • While I feel like Sara would have gone off and joined back up with Oliver and company instead of working in Housewares ala Ash J. Williams, I liked it anyway.
This episode was more fun than the season’s first episode. We got to see some of my favorite things in the form of Ray building tech and Nick bro-ing it up. This episode was worth it for the big showdown between Sara and Agent Sharpe. Also, Gary added some great comedic powers to the episode.
Random thoughts:
  • Amaya is a literal beast.
  • Shrink rays show that Ray is still the awesome tech monster he is and was totally wasted on that Tinder knockoff.
  • Victor Garber as a clown is great!
  • Even better was Victor Garber hating on the Titanic. Classic, love it.
  • Damn…Billy Zane got old…and is still weird.
Arrow, 6×01
This episode really glossed over what would have probably been a great episode in everyone leaving or surviving the island. The plot points they made me care about involved whatever’s going on with John, Felicity’s weird standoff style interest in Oliver’s kid, and Quinton’s alcoholism and problems with his doppeldaughter. I feel like we’re missing a big opportunity to deal with Doppeldaughter’s own version of alcoholism. Our Laurel dealt with it, and I can’t imagine that this Laurel, without the same support structure, doesn’t still deal with it. The only thing I wasn’t alright with this episode was Oliver’s kid. Everything dealing with that seemed weird. Also, does the nanny know Oliver is the Green Arrow? Also, that sucks about Speedy.
Random Thoughts:
  • Liked Wild Dog’s new outfit.
  • Liked Mr. Terrific’s T-Spheres getting more action.
  • Liked Green Arrow relying on his team to stop the missiles.
  • The arrows all seemed to have weird flights in this episode. Go through and watch, starting with the first bad guy they catch who launches those missiles. I’ve shot bow, a lot, arrows don’t fly like that… Whatever. Still fun.
  • Oh, hey, everybody…Look…Green Arrow and Oliver…same person…again…
Diggle, what are you doing? Seriously, we’re six years in and you should know better than to keep secrets. Felicity’s voice seemed really off this episode, I think she was either sick or hungover. I think this episode is implying that KGBeast is gonna keep coming back, and I liked that. He’s a believable villain with a backstory that we don’t have to guess about. I don’t like that ARGUS hasn’t called off the FBI yet. Although, I like the idea of Arrow fighting to keep his identity secret.
Random thoughts:
  • Liked the name drop. Very awesome. When I first heard about it, I thought we might see Lois Lane in the crowd or something, but I’m ok with this name drop instead.
  • Really didn’t like the passing of the torch at the end. I’m sure it’s only part-time, but that makes me like it less.

Review: An American Weredeer in Michigan by Phipps & Suttkus

An American Weredeer in Michigan (The Bright Falls Mysteries Series Book 2) by [Phipps, C. T., Suttkus, Michael]An American Weredeer in Michigan is the newest urban fantasy novel from C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus. The book takes place a year after the events of the first book, I was a Teenage Weredeer, and follows the same protagonist, Jane Doe. The entire series takes place in a world that has gone through the “Reveal” a time in which supernatural elements of the world are known to everyone and the world is still reacting to that information. Michigan is, more or less, a safe place to be, but a lot of people didn’t react well to the revelation and a new type of racism bursts forth.
So, when the new Shaman of Bright Falls, Jane, discovers a mass grave of discarded babies she already had a lot on her plate. Someone has been discarding newborns for the last hundred or so years, and it’s an atrocity that can’t go unpunished. Teaming up with her crew from the last book, Jane is on a quest to stop the murder of innocent lives…
Until a few more things come up. First, there’s a cult leader/wizard who wants to find the person or being responsible for the massacre and harness them for his own purposes. Also, money is an issue for the young and inexperienced Jane, and she’s struggling to make ends meet when the current leader of the werewolves wants to buy out her family business. Jane is, of course, reluctant to sell.
Oh, and her boyfriend’s brother is super into her. Her day is going to be a busy one.
Jane is a snarky protagonist in the vein of Harry Dresden and I love her for it.
I like ( a lot) how Phipps makes you feel the tension between Alex, Jane, and Lucien. The relationship, or confusion considering it, between herself and Lucien, and herself and Alex, is something that Phipps and Suttkus build up really well. Robyn, a new character introduced in this story, I like specifically because of her “Watson-esque” role she’s taken over for Jane. She becomes our outsider that helps us understand things while playing a pivotal role to the story, and I love that. She also feels like she came from Straight out of Fangton (another book that takes place in this universe, but not in this series), in her personality, which really helps tie the two series together in a thematic way.
I can’t recommend the Weredeer series by Phipps and Suttkus more. We have books that we read for fun and enjoyment, and we have books that we read as guilty pleasures. This is one of my guilty pleasures, falling into the snarky hero/urban fantasy genre that I always go back to.
5 out of 5, will grab up the next one as soon as it is out.

Broken Nights: Strange Worlds by Matthew & Michael Davenport

Now Available!!!E Book Cover II

Six months have passed since the Guardian saved Darden Valley. The city’s path to recovery is well underway as the citizens gratefully accept their new protector as one of their own, but for every crime the Guardian stops, two more take its place as the city’s criminals try to make a name for themselves against Darden Valley’s champion.

With new abilities and a computer system that acts and sounds like his departed sister, Jason Night is struggling to adapt to this new world without letting his emotions destroy the momentum he’s built for himself.

As he finally begins to put the pieces of his life back together, Samson arrives. Stronger than any other man and with unbreakable skin, Samson is a warped and twisted vision from biblical legend. Samson’s arrival heralds a new threat to Darden Valley. A supernatural threat that one man with a few clever gadgets is no match for.

Magic is real and the Guardian is powerless to stop it.