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Review: DC on TV Fall 2016

I feel like I have to review all of these shows in one article, as they co-exist in the same universe.  Notice I kept Gotham separate, because it’s its own entity.  This will cover the first half of Supergirl Season 2, The Flash Season 3, Arrow Season 5, & Legends of Tomorrow Season 2.  This brings everything up to the winter finales of these shows, so I’ll review the latter halves later. There will be spoilers, so if you’d like my full review without those, then scroll down to the last paragraph of each section to get my ratings.

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First up….

SUPERGIRL SEASON 2 PART 1:

Kara / Supergirl is easily the strong point of this show.  Her and Martian Manhunter are what really makes it fun to watch.

Sadly Cat Grant has left for at least a little while, but she’s been replaced with a decent interpretation of Snapper Carr.  He adds a little more to the dynamic.

Miss Tessmacher and The President (played by Lynda Carter) were fun little throw backs to the Superman and Wonder Woman movies and show.  Plus we got a little Batman reference in there as well.

Superman was a very pleasant addition, and though I didn’t feel the actor quite had the look down, we ended up with arguably the best interpretation of Superman for the fans.  He was a cross between Chris Reeve and Tom Welling’s portrayals in their best moments.  Hopefully he’ll return for more.

Miss Martian and Mon-El are welcome additions though they are likeable to the point of making me wonder who they are going to turn bad or kill first.  Still each scene is done well with these two, and their origin stories are pretty close to the comic versions.

Scorch, Roulette, and Parasite were done very well with the latter two easily being the highlights.  Even though Parasite’s history was altered, I can’t tell you how excited I was to see a good version of him on screen.  Of course then they killed him off, so that’s a bit upsetting.

Jimmy /Guardian & Wynn – having James take on the role of Guardian was initially upsetting to me.  After it played out a bit I realized that he’s better off in this role.  Let’s face it… this isn’t the Jimmy Olsen we know and love.  He fits in the Guardian shoes better.  Wynn works well as a compliment here, so all I’d like to say is I hope they add some color to his outfit to reflect the comic counterpart well.  I am eager to see how Supergirl will take the news of these two working behind her back.

Lena Luthor – Something makes me want to believe her, but the Luthor name just has me skeptical.  Lena’s presence feels a bit off.  I think Lillian plays a better fitted role as the director of Cadmus, and that should be the focus… not redeeming the company’s name by Lena.

Speaking of Cadmus… we were given two great comic book villains that came off quite differently.  Metallo was perfect in every way, but Cyborg Superman was downright stupid.  First off…. it was stupid to call himself that because he isn’t Superman at all, nor does he have any connection to him in this universe.  Secondly he’s more of a Cyborg Martian at this point than anything else.  I know this is me being nitpicky, but the actor playing Superman could have easily done this as the real Cyborg Superman and it’d have been much better.  OR they could have turned Mon-El into him. Instead we were left with a pretty lame take on the character.

And finally we get to the part that makes me cringe.  When Maggie Sawyer stepped onto the scene I was excited.  I love her in the comics.  Her sexual preference doesn’t feel forced in the comic pages, and it really doesn’t here either.  My problem isn’t with Maggie.  It’s with Alex Danvers.  Her coming out wasn’t handled well at all.  Instead we got 5 episodes of her realizing she was gay, having very uncomfortable dialogue (it would have been uncomfortable were she straight too), and a drawn out forced plot line that fell short.  What does this mean?  It means the writers saw an opportunity to introduce a gay character, but didn’t take time to flesh out the scenes.  Instead of a natural flow we get a very forced, and very bad dialogued few scenes that are almost unwatchable.  I’m glad she’s found her true feelings, but the constant focus on this is too much.  It should only be a minor side thing, and not a primary focus.  This is SUPERGIRL after all.

Despite the villains being high points, and the appearance of Superman, this season has so far been bad.  I feel as though they didn’t take time to develop anything, and are just throwing characters and situations in without giving the viewer time to understand or adjust to what’s going on.  So far this season gets 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  Let’s hope when it returns on January 16th they get their heads on straight and deliver some really fun and good writing.

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THE FLASH SEASON 3 PART 1

The Flash (Barry Allen) is struggling this season with his decisions to alter the past.  By creating Flashpoint, he managed to really screw things up for everyone.  What I don’t understand is everyone being pissed at him, but we will get into that down bottom during the crossover event.  Grant Gustin continues to shine in the role.

Iris & Joe – Sometimes feel out of place, but they are necessary over all.  I love their presence here, so while it isn’t always written well, they make up for it in their delivery and support of Barry.

Jay Garrick / Flash, Wally West / Kid Flash, and Jesse Quick in no way feel like they are overshadowing Barry.  They work well as compliments to him.  To me however, I want to constantly see Jay Garrick.  John Wesley Shipp is the flash I grew up with and the cameo of “his” earth’s Trickster (Mark Hamill) was really fun to see.  He’s playing Jay the way he played Barry back in the day, so for fans of the old series this is a very pleasing thing to see.  I can’t get enough Jay Garrick in this show.

The Rival, Magenta, Top, Reverse Flash, and Alchemy were good villains for an episode or two.  Though the Rival’s costume reminded me of Bale’s Batman, I still liked the villain he played.  My favorites so far are Mirror Master and Shade.  The first of those two should really have had some closer costume to his comic book one, but I’m glad to have finally see him debut.  Although Shade was a bit underwhelming, he was always a character I liked, so performance didn’t matter because the threat was there.

Killer Frost and Vibe – are now direct results of Barry’s altering of the timeline.  I love the slow shift of Kaitlyn into her evil half, but am a little upset at how much of a dick Cisco has become.  I understand him being upset at his brother’s death, but he was the comic relief on the show, and now we’ve barely got that.  It leaves us with a very serious season, that is great for story, but brings the tone too close to that of Arrow (which is meant to be that way).

Savitar is finally an interesting villain, but he looks like a Transformer.  I’m not sure why only Barry can see him, but perhaps its the speed his molecules vibrate at that makes this possible.  Will we find out if he really is a god like he says?  Time will tell.

Overall this season has become too dark.  It’s not bad at all and the additions were done well on the hero and villain side.  Flashpoint was touched upon in a way that worked nicely, but I hope we get some more lighthearted moments back for the second half of the season in January.  I give Season 3 part 1 a 4 out of 5 sCrypt rating.

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ARROW SEASON 5 PART 1

Let’s start with Green Arrow, Diggle, Felicity, and Speedy.  These staples in the series remain the way they have been with not much change to them.  From acting to character arcs I find them at times annoying, but overall enjoyable.  It is Quentin Lance that bothers me.  Grow up, man.  I get it.  You’re heart broken and on multiple levels, but the city can use you and that is a way to distract you from it.  The drunk issue is a real issue, but we can move on from that.  Plus how much longer is Oliver going to be able to have dual roles of Mayor and Green Arrow?  When does he sleep?  Oh, and Thea just decides during Invasion that she’s in?  WTF?  You’ll fight aliens, but not save your city?  Seems like they just wanted to throw her in there. (Still it was nice to see her back in action).

The new team is a mess. Wild Dog is nothing but a thug who doesn’t care for the rules.  How many times does this guy have to screw up?  Mr. Terrific needs to be more like his comic counterpart.  Instead, he feels like he’s just shoved in there to be another character.  Don’t get me wrong… I love what they are doing with Curtis, but as Mr. Terrific I don’t buy it.  Artemis?  Well who didn’t see that coming?  I only wish they’d have used Sportsmaster (since he’s her dad) instead of Prometheus for her betrayal twist.  Finally Ragman.  While I love that he’s on the team, I also hate it.  It’s almost like he could do it all himself because of his powers.  Why wouldn’t he have been more of a help during Invasion?  There’s just many plot holes with these characters because we were bombarded with them all at once.

Adrian Chase / Vigilante – is not quite like the comic version, and to be honest, I’m not sure I like him either.  So far he’s just someone who kills anybody in his way.  I mean he tried to murder team Arrow even though he knew they were doing the right thing.  The guy is a nutcase that makes all gun owners look bad.

On another note, Christopher Chance aka Human Target, was awesome!  He was used perfectly, and with no fanfare. I hope we see him again at some point.

Anatoli is the KG Beast in the comics.  He’s less of that and more of a mob boss here.  This is neither a good nor a bad thing, as the actor does well.

If anything, the awesome cameo from Dolph Lundgren should have been in the KG Beast role.  I was waiting for him to whip out some Rocky 4 lines, but for a role on TV, I have to admit, this was some of Dolph’s best acting so far.

Tobias Church was an intimidating villain who seemed to be too easy a pickoff when Prometheus was done with him, but the latter character gives me mixed feelings.  I don’t like the costume or the rehashed feel of this season, but I love that it all ties back to season 1 here.

Black Canary is back!?  Is this a result of Flashpoint somehow or the time travel in the Invasion episode?  Who knows?  But I really don’t care!  I Love that Laurel is back, and she better stay that way.

All in all this season is shaping up to be mediocre.  It’s better than the last season, but feels rushed at points.  I am eager to see where it all leads, and for the first time in the history of the show I want to know how it will affect everything.  I feel like there is way more on the line, other than crazy villain trying to destroy a city.  It’s a breath of fresh air in most places, while still stale in others.  Arrow Season 5 Part 1 gets 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.

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LEGENDS OF TOMORROW SEASON 2 PART 1

Firestorm finally has an interesting turmoil plot point where Stein is dealing with the existence of a daughter that initially wasn’t there.

Atom is all over the place.  First he’s Iron Man, then he’s a brief Captain Cold replacement, then he’s got a suit again, but there is hope… He mentioned that he needs to update the suit, so maybe we will be getting a more Atom appropriate costume soon.

White Canary must have every STD ever known because she just sleeps with every woman she meets in history, instead of focusing on her being the new leader of the team.

Heatwave is perfect the way he is, and always has been the stronger point of this show.

Both newcomers Vixen and Citizen Steel have been given interesting stories and their substance hashed out well.  If anything I enjoy this show for these two the most.

Rip Hunter just up and left?  WTF?  And to top it off now he seems to be just a movie producer?  It makes little sense at this point, but hopefully we get some resolution as to why he left in the first place, and why he has no recollection as a time master.

The Justice Society of America was placed well with decent representations of Commander Steel, Stargirl, Obsidian, Dr. Midnight, and Hourman.  Likewise was the utilization and return of Jonah Hex done well.

Damien Dahrk and the Reverse Flash are interesting villains in this.  With Dark Archer/Malcom Merlyn coming on board, it’s bound to be not just a legenday hero team up, but also a villain team up.  Throw in Captain Cold, and have Rory betray the team, and we’ll have a Legion of Doom that will be way better than the heroes they are facing.

Captain Nazi Baron Krieger and Quentin Turnbull were nice comic book cameo villains.  The zombies and historical figures were a welcome addition too, but I sometimes feel like this show only has to do with time travel so that they can throw stuff like that in there.  It’s called subpar writing, something DC struggles with recently.

In all I am enjoying Legends much more this season than the previous one.  It’s a little more developed.  While it shines in some areas, it’s still lackluster in others.  I think with the Legion coming on that it will become much more interesting the rest of the season.  I’ll give Season 2 Part 1 of Legends Of Tomorrow 3 out of 5 sCrypt logos.

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The 4 part crossover “Invasion”

I wanted to include this as a separate entity because it really remains a standalone miniseries without affecting much of the main shows’ content.

Invasion was a lot of fun.  Supergirl’s episode was really only a stepping stone.  Arrow’s 100th episode was filled with cameos.  Flash’s episode was filled with everyone hating on Barry.  And Legends’ episode was downright kick ass.

I have to address two major problems with this whole thing.  1) They are not the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, that’s the Avengers, but even if that wasn’t an already taken tagline, they still aren’t.  A true crossover of this scale would have brought Superman & Martian Manhunter to fight against the Dominators.

The Dominator storyline was actually a bit interesting, and the CGI was good in most parts.  My second complaint isn’t with that though.  It’s with time travel.  Everyone is blaming Barry for everything, yet these idiots in Legends are traveling through time every week and killing countless people in history.  How is their tampering not having ramifications?  Even Vibe said he felt guilty realizing he changed the past a little.  But this whole future Barry sending a message back to blame himself is BS.  If anyone’s to blame for screwing up the timeline while trying to protect it, it’s the Legends.  Every. Single. One of Them.

It was a kickass team up though, and I think handled better in the future (pun intended), that they can get rid of the problems I had with it.  On a side note that doesn’t affect my rating.  Don’t they all look like a bunch of cosplayers above?  Just saying. 🙂

Invasion gets 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  So what did you think of the 4 shows and the crossover?  Chime in with your comments below.

Review: Agents of SHIELD Ghost Rider S4Pt1

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Francisco Francavilla’s Ghost Rider promo art.

Season 4 Part 1 of Agents of SHIELD focuses on Ghost Rider, and it made me enjoy a take I wasn’t sure about.  Read my spoiler filled review of the first half of this season.  If you don’t want spoilers, then scroll to the bottom paragraph for my rating.

 

The Agents: We are getting more of the same here with slightly adjusted roles, but they are less of a focus this season, and seem more of a supporting cast to those with powers.

Robbie Reyes / Ghost Rider – let’s get this out of the way now.  I never thought I’d like the Robbie Reyes version.  I grew up on Dan Ketch and Johnny Blaze.  I was completely unfamiliar with him except I knew he had a cool car.  That being said, Robbie’s Ghost Rider is the best thing about this show so far.  His origin even brought in who we can only assume by his attire and motorcycle is Johnny Blaze’s Ghost Rider.  And he gets a face to face with the demon itself.  Mac gained the GR abilities briefly making us really see how desperate this demon is.  While we’ve seen his story end in SHIELD’s current season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him come back soon or get the rumored spinoff.  Either way we know there’s more to come.

Gabe Reyes – Unlike his brother, Gabe’s role was only supporting to serve for an origin story.  At times it felt like the actor was merely present on set, but there wasn’t much more for him to do.  It was wise to work it the way that they did.

Yo-Yo / Slingshot – While she took a slight backseat role this season, they used her when it was necessary.  She even pulled a cool Quicksilver moment, and is now getting a 6 episode mini-series on the web.  What was initially to me an unknown character, I feel has become a staple in the show.

Dr. Radcliffe and AIDA – I was worried that they were going to pull another Ultron event, but the creators are handling this quite well.  AIDA has already replaced May with a Life Model Decoy (LMD), so it begs to question how she did it, and what’s her motive?  We still have yet to find out if she’s going to help or hinder everything, but this will be the focus of the second half of the season.

Jeffrey Mace – Known as the Patriot (and one time replacement Captain America for Steve Rogers) his timing couldn’t have been more appropriate.  Now that Steve is no longer Cap, it’ll be interesting to see where they take this Inhuman.  In the comics he didn’t have powers, but his enhanced strength and athletic abilities here make sense as an addition.  We could very well see him suit up as Cap or at the least, the Patriot.  What are his motives though?  He’s done good, but also shady things.

Quake / Daisy – While I enjoyed her being a vigilante I was getting sick of her arms constantly breaking.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think this was a good story element, but it made no sense that she had shattered arms, yet she was still fighting without any issue.  She should have been an invalid for the most part based on the description of what was happening to her with every use of her powers.  Now that she’s back as an agent of SHIELD, we don’t have to worry about it, but it still feels like a weak plot point.

Eli Morrow / Darkhold – For a very small villain, he played a very intimidating role.  This half of the season presented us with a threat that seemed to put everything on the line.  We haven’t truly had that before, so despite his lack of grandeur, Eli was a great antagonist (as well as the ghosts of Darkhold and their link to the afterlife).

Agents of SHIELD Ghost Rider started season 6 off with a bang, and ended it on a high note.  When it returns next year I hope to see it continue on this high note.  For this part I give it 4 out of 5 sCrypt logos as my rating.  What did you think?  As always it’s open for discussion.

Review: Once Upon A Time Season 6 part 1

once_upon_a_time_season_6Well the winter finale has happened, so how is this season shaping up so far?  Last year we were left with a mostly unwatchable series, but now we seem to be going back to what originally made this show great.  Below will be spoilers, so be warned.  If you want my rating without the spoilery material, then scroll down to the last paragraph.

The Snow White family: Snow White, Prince Charming, Emma, and Henry are exactly what they started out as.  Henry’s holding everything together, Emma is doubting herself, Snow and the Prince are acting like real leaders.  My question is what happened to their other baby?  Has he been written out of the show?  This seems like a plot point that needs to be addressed.  Other than that, I have no complaints so far.  Even the return of the sleeping curse (with a major twist) was very creative.

Regina vs The Evil Queen and where the Wicked Witch lies: This just reminds me how much I missed the Evil Queen.  I love Regina as a good guy, but she’s so much better when she’s bad.  I’m not sure I like the dynamic between her and Rumple, but it doesn’t take away from anything.  Zelena is always better showing her wicked side, and we’ve gotten away from that a bit, but it’s starting to return, which I love.

Captain Hook and Nemo – Hook has proven to be quite the hero all around.  Even his past seems to haunt him in ways I didn’t think possible.  The 20,000 Leagues under the sea episode was one of my favorite this season.  It proved Hook can be like a father to Henry, and leaves me with no doubt that he has good intentions.

Belle and the Beast: Rumplestiltskin proves to be a thorn in his own side.  As evil as he is, he still doesn’t seem like the threat he used to be.  Instead of everyone fearing him, it is really Belle who does for their baby.  Rumple is a beast to himself more than anything and causes much of his own sorrow.  I want the secure beast to return and be the ultimate bad with his ways.  Otherwise the portrayal falls a little flat for me at times.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – What a twist!  I had no idea the roles would be reversed, but they did it in traditional Once Upon a Time fashion.  They were a short lived arc, but given just the right amount of time.

Aladdin, Jasmine, & Jafaar – Even Iago the parrot got his little cameo this time.  Jafaar has been recast since Wonderland, but the transition was smooth.  I only question when this happens in the timeline.  Since Wonderland a few seasons ago seemed off time wise, it makes for confusion for long time fans.  Aside from that, I like how they told the story of these three, and look forward to more.  There were nods to the late Robin Williams (who played the Genie in the animated film), and to Abu the monkey.  I think Aladdin deciding to put on the cuffs and becoming the next Genie was an interesting approach.

Morpheus: He appears in a dream to Rumple and Belle as their unborn son.  It was a small nod to the Greek leftovers from last season, but it didn’t feel forced or out of place any of the times he was there.

The Count Of Monte Cristo – This was the first episode in a few seasons that had me feeling refreshed.  It finally focused on something new, and added to the already great arc of Jekyll and Hyde.  It may have been a one timer, but the land of untold stories is great source material for many one shots.

The return of Cinderella, Dr. Frankenstein, & Jiminy Cricket – Ella’s back story was a great episode, and finally answered some things that were left hanging since the first season.  The Cricket and Doctor have supporting roles, but I’m happy to have them back, since they’ve been virtually missing since 2 seasons ago.

The Woodcutter (Huntsman) – A small villain role that served as a very interesting addition to a crowded snow white back story.  It shoehorned in nicely as filler material to the main couple’s true love.

The Black Fairy and Blue Fairy – I always enjoy the Blue fairy, but the addition and identity of the Black Fairy was decent.  It shows that Gold has ancestry of an evil entity, and this contributes to why he is the way he is.

The Mirror and the Dragon – If you missed earlier seasons, it is implied that the Dragon is Mushu from Mulan.  The episode with the Mirror trapping, and how the original entity was trying to escape took us to another dimension entirely.  It also showed the power that the evil Queen really does hold.

The Wish Realm, and the return of a hero? – Emma and Regina are trapped in an alternate world where Emma was never the savior.  It took some convincing, but as they are ready to return, Robin Hood arrives.  In this universe he never died, which leaves us waiting until March to see what will happen.  With Emma and Regina trapped away from Storybrooke, how will the real world get through it all?

In conclusion, Once Upon a Time Season 6 part 1 has utilized some of the old, and brought in some untold stories anew.  The potential for this show could continue for years, and I’d like to see that happen if they keep on this route.  I’m sad that I have to wait until March to find out what happens, but at the same time I feel the break is needed to keep the show going like this.  Dare I say season 6 could be the best season yet?  Yes.  I dare to.  If you haven’t watched in a while, then you should tune back in, and if you never have watched, then now is the time to.  Cheers to the writers this season.  I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

 

Review: Gotham Season 3 pt 1 Mad City

gotham-season-3-poster-mad-city-gotham-39872020-333-500Since seasons of TV shows seem to be split into two mini seasons with certain ones, I figured I’d review this fur the break.  Gotham Season 3 has so far made some good decisions, but some very very bad ones.  Let’s take a look at the characters and what worked or what didn’t.  There will be spoilers, so if you want my non-spoilery rating, scroll down to the last paragraph.

James Gordon – I’m a little disappointed so far.  This is not the guy who becomes commissioner.  This is a guy who is lost in every sense of the way.  They really need to step up his character in the second half of the season to rectify what they are doing here.  Prime example of this culminates at the end of the winter finale.  WHY would he go alone to find Mario?  He has to be the dumbest detective ever to see how many ways this would go wrong.  Plus it felt rushed.  Everything he’s done so far this season is very amateur, and I hope we aren’t seeing him go back to prison again because of his actions.

Lee Thompkins: Now that she isn’t attached to Gordon, she’s much more bearable to watch.  So far her story arc is convincing and enjoyable.  The aftermath of this last episode will be interesting to see.

Harvey Bullock: Easily one of my favorite parts of the show, though I don’t get him being Captain all the time.  Sure he’s the highest ranking officer at the force after Barnes, but it doesn’t work well for his persona.

Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy): I’m not sure of how she’ll play into the future of the show, but there’s good character development here.  Her rapid aging to a mature woman fits well with her adolescent demeanor.  I can’t wait til she throws another temper tantrum and goes full on Ivy.  So far so good here, and they are playing up her sexuality which is a key part of her character.

Valerie Val, Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennyworth, and Carmine Falcone – all seem to have a solid role in the season.  The first of the group I was wondering how they’d use her.  Is she related to Vicki Vale?  Who knows, but her short lived presence worked well.  Lucius and Alfred were as they should be.  Carmine’s return was amazing, because I feel he really is the most convincing person to be in that role.

Tabitha, Barbara, and Butch: While in prior seasons these three annoyed me, but this season is doing much better.  In fact, Barbara, who was my least favorite character (aside from Fish), is shaping up to having a much better place.  She’s no longer annoying, but more of a Harley Quinn.  I hope she doesn’t end up becoming the Joker’s love interest, but she’s starting to be interesting to say the least, and the three of them teaming with Riddler has potential to make the second half of the season a wild ride.  Will we see more of the Red Hood gang?

Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle – Both are beginning to take on more of the characters they will one day become.  They don’t act the best in the show, but as the actors mature, so do their skills.  Wayne’s doppleganger was strange to me.  What is he supposed to be?  Is he a precursor to Hush?  It felt a little strange, but the possibilities are intriguing.

Isabella – speaking of look alikes, WTF was this?  Worst story arc ever.  I don’t even want to go into it.  Sure it served a purpose, but the writers on this show make some really stupid decisions that make no sense.  Motive for Riddler could have been handled much better.

Riddler – Edward is just awesome.  He IS the Riddler already, just not calling himself that.  What he did to Tabitha and Butch was a classic scenario that made him even more fun to watch.  Can’t wait to see how he exacts vengeance on Penguin.

Penguin – AAAAnd here’s where I got really upset.  F You, DC!  This is stupid!  Again, you’ve changed a character.  Penguin now is gay and is in love with Riddler.  If you spent half the time focused on who Penguin is rather than his infatuation with another man, then you’d realize you butchered one of the best characters in the show.  This has nothing to do with the focus on the sexuality, but rather the fact that he was an intimidating and interesting character to watch because he was so unpredictable.  Now he’s very predictable, and a bit of a tantrum thrower without much of a cause.  Penguin doesn’t need to have any romantic interest (male or female) to make him work, and here we are seeing someone stray away from what made him great (a loner who relied on only himself, and his henchmen).

Fish Mooney: Do I really need to revisit how much I hate this character, and the need for her to stay dead or off the show?  Horrendous acting on Jada Pinkett’s part, and now that she’s got powers it has made the cheese factor with her unbearable.

Mario Calvi: Although a smaller role, he was crucial to the story for this first half.  I was sad to see him die, but it served a greater purpose in the long run.  Perhaps now we will see Carmine in full mob mode again, making him the antithesis to Gordon and the GCPD.

Chief Barnes – Michael Chiklis plays his roles well.  It seems like he’s a proto version of the Executioner here.  I thought it felt a little forced when it all happened, but his swift turn of motives made for interesting TV.

Zzasz and the Court of Owls – Zzasz needs to become more like his comic counterpart in order for him to be interesting.  This hired gun thing doesn’t feel right and its time for him to become full blown serial killer.  Perhaps Gordon’s punch to his head will change his personality to become that darker version.  Otherwise it’s just a name on a different person.  There isn’t much to say about the Court other than their presence is well known now.  It’ll be interesting to see what exactly Selina and Bruce stole, and how her mom plays into the whole story.  Even Falcone seems to be afraid of the Court.  So the question needs to be answered “Why are they so intimidating?”

Jervis Tech (Mad Hatter), Alice, White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum: I put them all together because it plays hand in hand.  Alice’s story gave us a little history of Jervis and how he is.  He’s a sick man that it is implied raped his own sister.  He’s so mentally disturbed that he’s easily one of the best villains so far.  The minor roles of the White Rabbit and the Tweedles fit well and worked.  For this I can say the writers did something right.

Assessment: I’ve many unanswered questions… for instance: Was that supposed to be Man-Bat or a vampire early on in the season?  Who are all these other “freaks?”  I’m glad they’ve killed a few off.  Where does this all lead?  It truly did end on a cliffhanger.

In conclusion I have to say this.  These writers are out of their minds and clearly don’t care for source material.  There’s enough here to keep me watching, but I don’t know for how long.  The Batman universe is so vast that there is no need to add countless new characters, short of a few here and there.  To top it off they need to stop changing key characters into something they aren’t, or adding pointless story arcs.  As a writer I’m appalled that this show even continues with its countless plot holes and rushed nature.  As a Batman fan I’m aggravated at what they’ve done to the existing characters.  As a comic book fan, I’m always interested in seeing what they will do, but I have my limits.

I will continue to watch in the hopes that they keep the things that work, and fix the things that don’t.  For part 1 of Season 3 (Gotham: Mad City), I give it 2 sCrypt logos out of 5.  It’s certainly not the worst comic adaptation, but it could quickly become that.  It has potential to get better though, so here’s hoping.

Think, Sip, Write – ep 18: Finding the Perfect gift

Popular food personality, Roberta Pipito of Homemade Delish, is not just my wife, she’s the perfect cohost for this episode.  We talk about some great gift ideas for the holiday season, and some bad ones, as well as a slideshow about what’s trending in 2016.

Take a peek and let us know your ideas or who you’re shopping for.

Thanks to Roberta @Homemadedelish for making this episode fun.

December Deals on my books!

It’s that time of year, so why not purchase a book or two for a friend (or yourself?)  I’m offering personalized signed copies of all of my works at discount prices all throughout December.  They will be sent directly to you from me.  All you have to do is send me an email and I can give you price rates on multiple copies. (Rickpipito@hotmail.com)  Of course you can always buy online, but if you do it through me you can have it signed!

I’ve got horror, sci-fi, children’s book, non-fiction and more available.  All you have to do is figure out what you’d like.  Spread the word, and contact me if interested.

** All orders through me will get a limited edition laminated sheet.  Details below.  Here are the titles and a brief hint as to what the books are about.  Full descriptions are on Lulu and Amazon:

devoured-cover

DEVOURED UNIVERSE – (Novel) At the point of creation two universes were formed.  Now something that dates back to the dawn of time is threatening the existence of reality itself.  A group of astronauts must go into the unknown to find out how to preserve all life.

Planet Ate WorkingPLANET ATE – (Novel) The Earth is just one of many planets out there which supports life.  But what if some of those alien beings visited man’s world?  They already have, and the government has been hiding it for their own agenda.  A group working under a black ops budget must find the truth and unite the knowledge of many beings to combat an alien that’s only purpose is to feed upon worlds.

genetic morsels cover

GENETIC MORSELS – (Novel) Evolution has taken its next step on humanity.  While a new generation of people struggles to harness extraordinary gifts, a corrupt world leader has his own plans.  As he creates an army of advanced soldiers using the enhanced gene, some unlikely heroes must work together to halt and expose his sinister plot.Cover art for "Techno Feast"

TECHNO FEAST – (Novel) A self aware computer has seen the atrocities humanity has committed.  In order to preserve, it has decided to take from us what makes our lives easier.  Can a group of highly trained operatives stop this supercomputer without the assistance of technology?

Cover art for "Devil's Dessert"DEVIL’S DESSERT – (Novel) Faith will be put to the test as the war between Heaven and Hell takes Earth as its final battleground.  As the forces of Light and Darkness wage their war, humanity must put aside their religious differences to find out the truth behind their beliefs.  The Sword of Eden, Christ’s Crown of Thorns, and the Spear of Destiny are the key.  If they are not found in time, Earth’s residents may become a casualty of war.cover art for "Souls 4 Supper"

SOULS 4 SUPPER – (Novel) A race to find Pandora’s Box leads a team of mercenaries into the heart of Atlantis.  With the spirits of the dead looking for the afterlife, the team must figure out who they can trust.  Their actions may leave the world forever haunted.

Bones Cover

BONES AT BREAKFAST – (Novel) Werewolves and fairy tales may not be works of fiction after all.  An uneasy alliance between two foreign governments will send them searching for the lost Garden of Eden.  Their agendas put them at odds, but they know that by not cooperating it could mean a flood of lycans enslaving the future.  Eden is the key to the human and were factions, but the results of opening those gates could be far more than anyone imagined.

Blood Cover

BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING – (Novel) Since the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, blood has been a key to life.  From that event spawned the Fountain of Youth and vampires.  King Arthur defeated the vampire lord long ago, but he has returned in modern times.  Can a new group of heroes defeat this undead creature before he brings about his armies once again?Flesh Cover

FLESH AND LEFTOVERS – (Novel) A survivor of a zombie incident looks to recruit a team of others like him.  Each has had their own experience with the undead that will be a key in defeating a coming threat.  The Eternal Hunger Saga starts here.

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COSMIC ORBITS – (short story) A spinoff of “Devoured Universe” that delves further into the mysteries of the cosmos, by focusing on the return of a fan favorite character.

alien-encounters

 

ALIEN ENCOUNTERS – (short story) A spinoff of “Planet ATE” which looks further into the conspiracies involving UFOs and aliens on our world and beyond.

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EVOLVED MUTATIONS – (Short story) A spinoff of “Genetic Morsels” that takes place before and after the novel.  One character must use his abilities to depower the rest of his kind, but can he make that decision on his own?

viral-upgrades-cover

 

VIRAL UPGRADES – (Short Story) – A spinoff of “Techno Feast” that shows how other people were reacting to the events in the novel.  The Network Entity had secondary goals, which are addressed here.

demonic-entities-cover

 

DEMONIC ENTITIES – (Short Story) A spinoff of “Devil’s Dessert.”  What happened to the demons defeated in the war?  The events follow the aftermath of the novel.

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GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS – (Short story) A spinoff of “Souls 4 Supper” with more ghosts, spirits, and lost souls trying to find their ways.

#3 In Case Of Werewolf - sCrypt Comics

 

 

IN CASE OF WEREWOLF – (Short story) A spinoff of “Bones At Breakfast” with werewolves, wolf men, and even a Lycan queen.

Legends Cover

 

LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE – (short story) A spinoff of “Blood, The Second Helping,” that focuses on the back story of Cain’s vampire House of Twelve.

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ZOMBIE INCIDENTS – (Short story) A spinoff of “Flesh and Leftovers” with more undead scenarios existing in the novel’s world.

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A LITTLE GIRL IN: THE LAND OF THE HICCUPS – (children’s book) A little girl is trying to find her way home from a frozen land, where Eskimos need her help.  She uses what her parents taught her to help stop pesky creatures known as the Hic-cups.  Her good deed won’t go unnoticed by her new friends, who may just know how she can get home.

argue

 

NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS – (non-fiction) People argue.  That’s human nature.  But do we do it correctly and take into account where the other side’s views may not be as wrong as we think?  This light hearted book will present some facts in an unbiased way, and share insight into some of the author’s own personal funny moments.

Eden's Order Cover

 

EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY – (collection) This trilogy includes the first three novels, their spinoffs, and bonus material in the Eternal Hunger Saga.  Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves will each come into play.

Pandora's Chaos Trilogy cover

 

PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY – (Collection) This is books 4 – 6 of the Eternal Hunger Saga, plus their spinoffs, and a few bonuses.  Ghosts, Demons, and Technology are the threats that step up the game.

Munchies & Deedoos #1: Tale of the Beaster Bunny.  Written by Rick Pipito (c) 2013, art by Dan Pipito

 

 

**THE ADVENTURES OF MUNCHIES AND DEEDOOS: TALE OF THE BEASTER BUNNY – (Sunday funny) – This will be included as a bonus in any order you make through me.  It will be a laminated limited edition print personalized for you of the short comic one sheet that my brother and I did to kill some time.

 

 

 

Think, Sip, Write: ep 17 – The Cliche

Everyday language has us saying things that don’t necessarily make sense at the moment, but they’ve become cliché/idioms/or common phrases.  The meanings at the moments of use are known to the speaker and recipient, but where did these sayings come from?  I take a look at the origins of some of these sayings.

What are some common phrases you use in everyday life?

Review: Star Trek Beyond

star-trek-beyond-living-one-sheeI finally had time to sit down and watch the newest Star Trek film, and came out of it with mixed feelings.  It was not a bad movie at all, but instead a slower paced installment than most of the others in the series.  So what made the 13th movie work, and what didn’t?  Here’s my brief review with some spoilery material.  If you just want my rating and skip all of the other comments, then scroll down to the last paragraph.

As I mentioned, the narrative was slow.  It felt like the first half of the movie was void of energy.  I was surprised at this, but it didn’t turn me away.  I wanted to see what was going on, and though the second half more than satisfied me I was left with a few questions unanswered.

Idris Elba’s character was a decent villain, but I felt like we didn’t get enough explanation as to how he’d extended his life and why he changed appearances.  It was awkward at times.  We also didn’t get further explanation on the weapon he was using.  We only got a brief origin of both of these and they could have used more clarity.

Those were my complaints.  It’s not a lot, but then again I don’t have many compliments either.  Here’s what I felt really worked… The feeling of a family.  They used the Kirk, Spock, McCoy connection to its finest.  Their feelings of doubt and wanting something other than what they had ended up being replaced by knowing that they are all a family of sorts, and it’d be dull without each other.

Leonard Nimoy’s death was addressed by having Spock learn of Spock Prime’s death.  It was written in well, and served as the catalyst for younger Spock’s feelings on life.  The picture of the original crew in Prime’s belongings was a surreal moment, that probably is the best tribute to the original series we will ever get.

Finally, onto Chekov.  Sadly Anton Yelchin has passed tragically at a young age.  He did such an amazing job bringing the character to life.  I don’t know how they will write him out of the series.  In the original series he was absent from season 1.  However they go about it I could see them tastefully replacing the character with Jayla as she easily shined in this film.  Plus it would be good to see more of her species and back story.

All in all it was far from the best Trek film, but certainly not the worst.  Its low moments were balanced by nostalgiac high moments making it a worthwhile rental.  I will always be a trek fan, so my hopes for the 14th movie are even higher now, as it will have to step up.  My final rating is 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.  What did you think of Star Trek Beyond?

original-star-trek-crew

Review: Doctor Strange

doctor_strange_posterAnother Marvel movie that proves relatively unknown mainstream characters can hold their own has arrived.  Is this the best Marvel movie yet?  No.  In fact I wouldn’t say it is in the top 5, but that isn’t saying much.  Marvel has gotten to the point where each film holds its own, and just because it hasn’t made a top 5 doesn’t mean it was not worth seeing.  In fact, for this movie I think you almost need to see it in the theater.

I must warn you though… if you have vertigo or any type of motion sickness it is possible you’ll feel a bit woozy.  Visually its stunning, but a lot to process.  Okay down to the review.  There will be spoilers, so if you don’t wish to know anything going in, then you might want to scroll down to the last paragraph to see my overall rating.  As usual I’ll focus on the characters and how they made or didn’t make the movie…  Here goes:

Dr. Stephen Strange – Benedict Cumberpatch is one of those few actors who really excels in all he does.  While the movie itself dragged a little bit in narrative, the character of Dr. Strange made it interesting.  This is a whole new type of persona in the Marvel Cinematic universe.  Yes, Tony Stark has an ego, but Strange’s comes from a different background.  It will be interesting to see the two meet for the first time.  My only complaint is not knowing the timeline here.  It seems that with all he learned while on his healing journey, he had to have been away for years.  Despite time travel being involved we really don’t get an idea of how much the length of time is during this film.

Karl Mordo – Chiwetel Ejiofor was great in the role of Mordo.  I was disappointed to see him as an ally, but it was set up for him to return as the big bad in a follow up.  Because of this I can be forgiving.  This film serves as an origin of sorts for him becoming the man who will be against everything Strange does.  I look forward to seeing him again.  His race here is a change from the comics, but I feel like we’re getting an updated version, so it’ll be interesting to see how he comes into play later.

Christine Palmer – Rachel McAdams had a supporting role, but one of much importance.  She is officially the second Night Nurse in the Marvel film world.  The first would be Rosario Dawson’s character in the Netflix shows.  Both Christine and Claire had similar roles in the comics, and it’d be nice to see McAdams return again to serve that role for what’s to come.

Wong – I find it amusing that Benedict “Wong” is the actor playing this role.  Surely that must have been on purpose.  He was an almost direct interpretation of what I remember from the comics.  His role was one crucial to the story, and obviously he will serve as a great ally to Strange from here on out.  I liked how the Time Infinity Stone was incorporated into the Eye of Agomotto.  It is a slight change, but one worth having.  I only wonder how long Wong had been guarding it.  His predecessor was killed, so having a slight back story to what Wong’s origin is would be a great idea for the sequel if we ever get one.

Kaecilius – Mads Mikkelsen is one of those actors that is the perfect bad guy.  He’s so badass in this role, but I feel Marvel is following a pattern with their origin stories.  It always seems the villains have a less than interesting reason for their actions.  Maybe it’s just become redundant as to how the story progresses, but regardless Kaecilius was a decent henchman for the big bad here.

The Ancient One – Unfortunately going into this I already knew Tilda Swinton was playing the role.  This isn’t a bad thing as I think she was easily a great highlight of the movie, but knowing the comics I was expecting an old Chinese guy.  When Strange first appeared in Tibet Marvel should have done better at hiding the trailer giveaways.  It would have been a good approach to have her as a shocker to the audience, just as Strange was shocked that the elderly oriental guy wasn’t the real Ancient One.

Dormammu – was a character that this movie needed, but I don’t like how he was portrayed.  The CGI seemed a little off to me, but maybe that is because my focus was on everything else.  Don’t get me wrong, the visuals were absolutely stunning, but I guess I didn’t see him being portrayed in quite the manner he was.  Benedict Cumberpatch also voiced Dormammu, but questions are left open.  If Strange used the Infinity Stone to loop time, then how long was he actually facing off against the dark creature?  I read that it was implied Dormammu had killed Strange over 1,000 times, but we never get an accurate portrayal of that.  On a positive note, this was one of the best final fight scenes in a Marvel Movie for the mere fact that it was so different from the rest, and really focused on the use of the Infinity Stone by a hero.

Stan Lee – Okay, so he was just a bus passenger in this movie, but we can’t ignore his cameo.  He is after all “the Man”.

Thor – the first credit scene shows Thor consulting with Doctor Strange.  This was probably one of the most significant credit scenes to date.  Why?  Well, we got a half answer to the aftermath of Thor the Dark World.  We now know that Odin was missing from Asgard and that is how Loki got the throne.  Details are still slim, but it gets rid of certain speculation and preps us for Thor Ragnarok’s events.  Plus we seem to get confirmation that not only are Thor and Hulk teaming up for the movie, but Doctor Strange will be there in some way as well.

Speculation from here: as usual, I like to throw my thoughts out on where this will go and what can be done.  Keep in mind, it is just speculation, but as an avid fan of these stories I have to let my inner geek out.  Baron Mordo will probably be the villain saved for Doctor Strange 2.  Perhaps it will have the subtitle of “The Sorcerer Supreme” because now that the Ancient One is no longer around, Strange can earn that title.  Mordo bargaining with Dormammu would be easy to do because he could tell Dormammu that he doesn’t approve of how Strange is using his powers, so their “deal” can be broken (if even for a little extra boost of power.)  The Time Stone will be taken at some point for Infinity War, but let’s look beyond that.  After the showdown with Thanos there will have to be some sort of protection of the stone usage.  Could Avengers 4 be subtitled “Illuminati?”  Think about it.  Vision would regain the Mind Stone.  The Time Stone would remain with Doctor Strange. And the others could be scattered to different characters (one of which probably Adam Warlock).  Add to all of this the fact that a “multi-verse” was mentioned and this is the way that you can bring in a Marvel/Fox studios crossover event.  It’s well overdue, and could explain the difference between the universes interpretations.  Finally, Stan Lee.  His presence in everything should be addressed.  I’d love to see him revealed as some sort of character.  Is he the Beyonder?  Is he Impossible Man?  A Watcher perhaps?  Who knows, but it would make his role that much more important to it all.

My rating: Doctor Strange was not the best Marvel movie, but it was a unique one that was done well.  We now have a surgeon in the group who is well versed in magic.  The ride was a visual rollercoaster of excitement, and while there were slow narrative moments, they were placed well with a build up towards the magic shown.  To some it may be confusing, but for others its a highly well thought out story that introduces a whole new fun batch of elements to an already booming film continuity.  Doctor Strange gets 3.5 out of 5 sCrypt coffins from me.  What were your thoughts?  Any speculation?  Feel free to chime in with your comments.

 

The Short Stories trailer

A new trailer is up for my short story spinoffs.

From top 25 author, Rick Pipito, comes 9 short spinoff stories from the award winning Eternal Hunger Saga.  Each book expands upon the world created in the novels.  Existing fans and newcomers will love what is brought to life here.

The novels and short stories are available at lulu.com in print.  On Amazon the novels are in digital, and the shorts are in the trilogy collections.

Feel free to contact Rick on social media @rickpipito or email rickpipito@hotmail.com

Thanks to Dan Pipito for the artwork, and Roberta Pipito for cover assistance.

The novels are: FLESH AND LEFTOVERS, BLOOD THE SECOND HELPING, BONES AT BREAKFAST, SOULS 4 SUPPER, DEVIL’S DESSERT, TECHNO FEAST, GENETIC MORSELS, PLANET ATE, and DEVOURED UNIVERSE.

The Short stories are: ZOMBIE INCIDENTS, LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, DEMONIC ENTITIES, VIRAL UPGRADES, EVOLVED MUTATIONS, ALIEN ENCOUNTERS, and COSMIC ORBITS

More info is at http://www.scryptcomics.com