The works of Award winning author, Rick Pipito, and more

Posts tagged “comics

Editorial: Overwhelming Comic Movie News

marvel-and-dc-logoThis has been a week of news that may even surpass that of comiccons.  Fox, Sony, Marvel, and Warner Brothers continue to compete with each other to see who can get the most news to us, and most memorable.  Here is a quick summary of what we know about the upcoming films/shows, and my own speculation/suggestions as to how it should happen or may happen.

X-Men Days Of Future Past: The Wolverine leads directly into this (you’ll know what I mean if you saw the end credits scene).  The cast of the original cast (well most of them) and the First class cast (most of them as well) will be taking on the classic story from my child hood.  We know that Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the main villains.  We also know that newcomers Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Quicksilver, Ink and Blink will be in it.  Wolverine will be sent back in time to “possess” his younger self, and try to prevent the events that lead to mutant prejudice.  This event is probably the assassination of JFK, which Magneto is assumed to have been responsible for, and mystique having some sort of role in it.  —— This will be a reboot, sure, but what will it mean for the past cast?  Will they kill off Logan?  He’s not getting any younger.

X-Men Apocalypse: All we know now is that Apocalypse will be the villain.  ——  They should bring back Angel for this story.  It’s only logical.  I believe that the events in DOFP will change the future in a way where Age of Apocalypse will begin.  A darker present will emerge, with the first class characters and possibly a recasting of some of the veterans.  Cyclops should be brought back.  We never saw a dead body in X-3.  He could have been taken by Mr. Sinister and made into one of the horsemen along with Archangel, and two others.

X-Force:  All we know at this point is that the writers like the current run in the comics, and are working on it.  —– Who should be involved?  I personally want to see Domino, Psylocke, Cable, Deadpool, and Archangel.  Maybe even fantomex or a cameo by logan, but I really think this should be fresh and not use Wolverine.

Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman is back with the same director who did an outstanding job on The Wolverine.  He’s now got bone claws, which may be corrected by magneto being an ally in DOFP.  Either way, it’ll be fun.  I want to see Alpha Flight and Logan going up against Omega Red and Department H.  I can’t think of a more fitting storyline for them to tackle, and they can end his run here respectfully.  Unless they want to do an old man logan storyline, which would be awesome.

Fantastic 4: It will be a reboot, and exist within the same universe as the other Fox owned Marvel properties.

The Amazing Spider-man 2: Electro is the main villain.  Gwenn Stacey dies.  Rhino and Hobgoblin (Ultimate versions) are in it.  Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Venom and Morbius were all hinted at in the trailer.  —- This needs to be done VERY carefully.  As much as I want to see Sinister Six on screen, and Venom done right, I can’t see how they can cram it all.  If (Mecha)Rhino and Hobgoblin are in it as small roles, then it’ll work.  Having it set up for the third film, which is planned already with Rhino at least returning, and introduce Black Cat would make the most sense.  Then they can taper off into 4, which is also confirmed as in the works and bring in Mysterio as a singular menacing villain.  There are various spinoffs in the works too… I can only assume (and hope) that one of these is Venom, and will feature Carnage as the villain.  Make it dark and gritty.

Thor 3: It is all but confirmed.  The Dark World has grossed over 600 million worldwide, so it’s inevitable.  —– thoughts?  I believe Loki died in 2, and made a deal with Hela for Odin’s soul, so that he could come back and assume the throne.  Loki teaming with Enchantress and  Executioner and a reference to Surtur and Hela would be a great way to keep it going.

Guardians of The Galaxy: What we know is that it might take place slightly in the future, that the Collector is the villain, that Adam Warlock’s cocoon was in Thor 2.  We also know that The Mind, Space and Soul gems have all been used in the movies, and that there is a good possibility we will see the Time gem, and maybe another gem make their debut, setting it up for Avengers 3 with Thanos.

Avengers Age Of Ultron: Quicksilver and Scarlet witch are new additions with Ultron as the villain, and the original cast returning. —- This will probably be an epic movie, though I’m a little leary about not being about to call Pietro and Wanda mutants.  I have faith though, and am interested in seeing Ultron on screen and how they will transition from phase 2 to 3.

Captain America The Winter Soldier: Bucky survived the fall, and we all knew it was going to happen.  Crossbones and Falcon also will make their debut on the big screen.  I’m excited to say the least —– I believe that Robert Redford’s character is actually the Red Skull in disguise (or perhaps Baron Zem0), and other than the SHIELD characters involved, I dont think it will really tie into the other movies, and will seem more stand alone.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ——- all I can say is this…. I enjoy it, but have many issues with it.  In order to survive as a series, they really need to start adding people from the comics.  This half assed SHIELD team just isn’t going to cut it for long.  The ONLY reason I’m hanging on at this point is because I want to know what Coulson’s deal is… is he an LMD?  Did Magic ressurect him?  They are hinting at both robot and magic, so I’m interested.  I want to see it survive, but even I am having a hard time staying.

Marvel Miniseries’: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all getting their own thirteen episode series’ where they will then tie in to forming a Defenders type group.  —- I’m all for this, but wish they’d do heroes for hire instead of Cage and Rand separately.  Jessica Jones holding her own will be tricky; however I do think that by using the Kingpin as the main antagonist for ALL of these, it would be fun and exciting.

Phase 3: Dr. Strange and Antman are the only two confirmed to lead into Avengers 3.  Rumors of Black Panther and Inhumans still circulate.  — Make it happen and add a new Hulk movie in there.  We never got to see the Leader, despite the setup.

Batman vs Superman: Batman’s costume will be more like the traditional black and grey and less armored.  Lex Luthor is one of possibly 2 villains (the other being Metallo).  Wonder Woman has been cast.  There will be cameos by other JLA members. ——-  I’m dying to see Affleck in his role, and I think Gal Gadot is beautiful, but she really needs to gain a few pounds.  I don’t want Wonder Woman as a main character.  Instead, I’d love to see Diana Prince as a potential love interest for Bruce Wayne.  Her role could be as simple as observing the other two Trinity heroes and deciding whether to trust man or not.  In the end, revealing her true identity would be a great way to kick off JLA.  The cameos by other heroes is nice, but I’m hoping it is a quick reference to other people with abilities, and that is all.  maybe a flash (pun intended) shown on a monitor or something quick in a news feed.

Justice League: —– not much is known.  Please, for the love of God, have Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow and Gary Gustin’s Flash in it.  learn A lesson, DC.  Superman Returns would have been better with Tom Welling in a Smallville spinoff.  Not that Smallville was perfect (it was far from it) but it was established.  No one wanted to see someone else in the role.  Arrow is doing EVERYTHING right.  Tie it all together; otherwise you will have some seriously confused audiences, and countless irritated fans.

Arrow: What’s to come?  Clock King, Ra’s Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Flash, possibly the real Black Canary, references to AMAZO, Red Arrow donning the hood, Oliver finally using an eye mask, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad…. the list continues to grow.  It’s established.  It’s having a Flash spinoff…. Make it part of the movie universe.  I can’t stress this enough.  Oh, and one other thing.  Get rid of Laurel (Dinah) Lance’s sister.  Laurel needs to be likeable again, get her crap together, and become the real Black Canary.

There you have it.  My two-cents, and hopefully someone will listen out there.  Bring me in as a writer or consultant.  What do you think?  Which movies are you looking forward to?  What are your thoughts?  Do you agree or disagree with my comments?  Chime in.  The bottom line?  I’m a comic book fan.  I want to see both DC and Marvel succeed.  I want the best of both worlds.

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short story – Ghostly Hauntings

Front cover

These are stories that expand upon the novel “Souls 4 Supper.”

You’re speaking with your grandfather. It seems like forever since you have last seen him, but your conversation reminds you of being a child again. Then it dawns on you. Your grandfather has been dead for years. As you focus your eyes on him, he vanishes. His absence forces a feeling of dread as your hair stands on end.

**UPDATE: This is now available as a short story in text form in print at lulu.com and on amazon in digital as part of the Pandora’s chaos trilogy extras

 Written by Rick Pipito, with featured art by: Dan Pipito, Joe Parisi, Kristie Vanderzee, Michael A Garard Jr, Jacob Greenawalt, Kelly Swann, Muhammad Nurul, Mao Estheim, and Asher Humm.

Artist Story Details:

Joe Parisi returns as a sCrypt veteran artist, and this time, he is illustrating a story about a haunted book where the pages tell the tale of its reader.

Dan Pipito goes back to his own childhood in this issue, and helps to tell the tale of old man Butsy, who murdered his wife.  Her spirit will not be happy.

Kelly Swann brilliantly illustrates the story of Djinn, a spirit trapped within a lamp, whose magical wishes are not all that the wisher desires.

Michael A Garard Jr is a newcomer whose art is featured in two stories.  The first of which tells about the lost souls and their connection to heaven and hell.  The other story takes the main character to a graveyard to investigate why the spirits there are so angry.

Kristie Vanderzee returns by showing us the ghost town of Atlantis after it has risen from the depths of the ocean.

Jacob Greenawalt illustrates a sequel story from issue #1.  Detective Hwong has had a near death experience leaving her with the ability to see the ghosts of the dead.

Asher Humm had a one issue hiatus, but is back to show just how close to the spirit realm we travel while sleeping.

Mao Estheim comes at us from Japan with her Mangaesque style in a haunting that may just be a hoax after all.

Muhammad Nurul resides in Great Britain, but this Indonesian native draws the story of a child whose imaginary friend is more than just in his mind.

Souls 4 Supper: Ghostly Hauntings  is TM and © Rick Pipito. All rights reserved.

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short story – In Case Of Werewolf

These are stories that expand upon the novel “Bones At Breakfast.”

Do your bones ache? Does your instinct sometimes prevail over rational thought? When night descends, do you feel “different”?  If any of these are your symptoms, then you are not alone.  You may have contracted lycanthropy, and when the moon rises, your inner beast will emerge.   This is the third graphic installment in the world of “Flesh And Leftovers,” where cases of werewolves will shatter your bones.   Ten talented artists bring one author’s stories to life in this spinoff of the novel “Bones At Breakfast.

** UPDATE: This is now available as a text short story in print at lulu.com or in digital form as part of the Eden’s Order Trilogy Extras at Amazon

 

Written by Rick Pipito, with featured art by: Dan Pipito, Joe Parisi, Scott Modrzynski, Ivy Duffy, Kristie Vanderzee, Ken Hensley, Michael Coppolecchia, Jacob Greenawalt, Sakura Jones, and Kelly Swann.

Artist Story Details:

Joe Parisi returns as a sCrypt veteran artist, and this time, he is illustrating the journal of a man in search of the Abominable Snowman.  He soon finds out that this creature is not what most people think it is.

Scott Modrzynski takes photography and art to a whole new level in a truly Beautiful and Beastly tale.

Ivy Duffy brings her talent to this issue by showing how animal instincts can take over a man in order to survive being shipwrecked on an island.

Dan Pipito’s watercolor takes us to an alternate future in a dilapidated Philadelphia, where a Lycan queen is hunted by human resistance.

Kristie Vanderzee takes us on a journey through Russia’s underground subways as a rogue soldier gives in to his new werewolf appetite.

Ken Hensley shows us the true story of the historical “Moonlight Battle.”  An ancient wolfman turns the tides of this revolutionary event.

Michael Coppolecchia, a veteran Marvel Comics artist, truly channels a native American Indian’s animal spirit as he attempts to interfere with the white man’s plans to build on his people’s ground.

Jacob Greenawalt adds his style to a story where a man cursed with changing into a wolfman during the cycles of the moon, pilots a craft to the lunar body to see why the moon has these powers over him.  What would happen to a werewolf on the moon?  One man is about to find out.

Sakura Jones enters the Garden Of Eden with us, and what happened once man found it again.  Zombies, vampires and werewolves are cured in a healing wave that sweeps the planet.

Kelly Swann tackles Norse mythology and the story of Loki’s half human half wolf son, Fenrir.

Bones At Breakfast: In Case Of Werewolf  TM and © Rick Pipito. All rights reserved.

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A Gift From sCrypt to Homemade Delish

A note by Rick Pipito

As you may or may not know, the wife of sCrypt Comics’ co-founder Rick Pipito, is a master in the kitchen.  Her expertise in food, beer and wine has attracted a large audience in the past year, bringing her up close with the likes of Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batalli, Anne Burrell, and more.  She has also been a contestant on ABC’s The Chew & NBC’s 10 Show Top Philly Chef, as well as had access to major food, wine and beer press events.  What does this have to do with our blog?  Nothing.  BUUUUTTT, in my travels to the comic book store, I found something of the perfect gift for her tastes and mine.  Behold, A Wonder Woman apron.  I’ve been wanting the Batman one for myself for when I cook on the grill, but since she is much more skilled than I in the likes of kitchen mastery, I felt she needed one first.  You can find these character aprons at many comic book retailers and online.

If you are a food, wine or beer person, or know someone that is, please check out her blog as well and follow her.  Send her a line, say hi, and tell her where you heard about her.  www.homemadedelish.com.  Roberta has had a great amount of creative input and criticisms in my work, and I’m proud to have her in my life.

Thanks


Review: Smallville Season 11 Episode 1 (Guardian)

Review by Rick Pipito

When Smallville was on TV, I used to tune in every week to watch the new episodes.  The show had its flaws, one in particular that I won’t go into and cant forgive, but overall it was enjoyable.  When the series ended I almost shed a tear to see something that had grown on me for 10 years.  Clark had finally become Superman, and saved Earth from the threat of Darkseid and Apokolips.  After that finale, I wanted to know what could have happened in the Smallville version of Superman.  Hopelessly wishing for a new series that would be more about the Man of Steel and less about the growth of Clark Kent into what he had become, I had my prayers soon answered.

No, it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned it, but the announcement of Season 11 being continued in the comics gave me hope.  No longer did they have to worry about budget issues, and the stories could go on.  Here is my review of the first 4 print issues of Smallville Season 11.  Each issue comes with 3 chapters (which are all availabe for digital download as well).  Twelve chapters make up an episode.  Be warned, that there are spoilers ahead.  If you want to see what rating I gave it, scroll down to the last paragraph.  That being said, here it is… my review of Episode 1 “Guardian”.

The story picks up 6 months after the season 10 finale.  The world knows that it has a savior.  People are glad to have such a marvel amongst them, and even the Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) and his wife, Chloe Sullivan are up to watch Superman’s morning streak through the sky.  People feel safe.  There are of course people who view Superman as a threat.  Lex Luthor is one of these people.  His reasoning is that if a man is powerful enough to move a planet out of orbit (Apokolips) then he is too dangerous to be living among them.  While trying to piece together memories of his past, his new assistant, Otis (yes, the same Otis from the Christopher Reeve Superman movies) listens to his boss.  Luthor makes an observation as Superman zips across the sky, that the Man of Steel has changed his costume.

Here are some things I’ve noticed about this issue right off the bat.  The artwork really is fantastic for the most part.  Each character looks to be drawn almost exactly the way the actor who portrayed them looks.  There are certain angles that look off in certain frames however.

In space, a Russian station is hit by some kind of wave.  I am a little upset that there was no explanation as to what this damaging wave was, but it is soon forgotten as we get our first glimpse of Superman’s new suit.  It’s not a bad design, though at first I was looking for the original outfit.  No big deal.  It grew on me.

Superman’s ego is portrayed well in the next few frames.  He knows people look up to him as an icon, and he loves every bit of it.  Then we get a glimpse of the homelife of Lois and Clark.  This is what I believe the comics have so far done perfectly.  The humor, sarcasm, and issues that they have to deal with everyday are addressed well.  The chemistry of the couple is dead on the way I picture it to be.

Oh, and I spotted an easter egg.  Lois’ laptop computer says “Waynetech” on it.  This is the first real mention of Bruce Wayne or Batman in the entire series.  A foreshadowing of events I guess.  After a quick change into his Clark Kent persona, we are taken from that scene to where Lex luthor is chatting up General Sam Lane (Lois’ father.)  Luthor wants Lane to take action against Superman.  Finally during this discussion it is mentioned that the Russians were putting weapons in space.  That is what caused the accident a few pages prior.  Plothole filled, but reader still not that happy.  I want to know WHY the accident happened.  I’m left to believe that it may have been Lex who somehow sabotaged the space station.  The reason I think this is that he is trying to get the General to place his Guardian satellites in space, as a protection against Superman.

I love that every sinister word being said by Lex Luthor continues on with what I missed of him once he “died” in the series.  Now that he is back, there seems to be no good left.  Everything he does has a purpose, and he is the center of it all.  I hope Michael Rosenbaum is reading these issues to see the greatness that was left behind and that he could have continued.

Next I found another hidden nod to comic fans.  Clark is reading a newspaper, and the headline is about Superman saving the Russians in space.  The headline reads “Russia’s Red Son”.  This is of course a tribute to the Red Son story in the comics.

As he is checking out this paper, he bumps into Luthor.  Just as Clark’s ego swells when he’s Superman, Lex’s ego is all about money.  He is portrayed as a rich snob who basically doesn’t see how he and Clark could ever have hung around in the same circles.  Clark is nervous that Lex might remember something, but it looks like Luthor is only knowledgeable of his past through paperwork, and not memories.  I’m glad too.  The last thing I want is for Lex to know who supes is again.  Then it would get too predicatable.

Here comes a Smallville twist on the next page.  Tess Mercer (aka Lutessa Luthor) is dead, buuuut they still managed to work her in.  Lex is seeing visions of her.  It makes the reader believe that he is losing his mind.  Don’t worry, this is soon corrected as they explain in the next issue that a part of her consiousness lives in his brain.  How?  I am not sure, but they most definitely have to answer this at some point.

Finally, we get to see Green Arrow kick some butt too.  He takes out a whole gang, but is almost killed until Clark arrives to save him.  Oliver and Clark have a quick “brotherly” conversation, and Queen mentions about him heading off to Star City as soon as Chloe is finished with one last task.  Well my suspicions were wrong, because it wasn’t Lex who sabotaged the station.  Chloe finds out that some sort of space ship came down in that explosion.  This is why I love Smallville.  The suspense keeps me going, and the comic continues to bring that.

End issue 1, begin issue 2… It begins with Lex being checked out by a doctor.  The doc explains that he is puzzled because while Lex’s brain is whole, it appears to be brand new (this is of course because he has been cloned from his original DNA.)  He also explains that the neurotoxin that made him forget everything actually left his brain operating at beyond normal potential.  Here is my problem.  If Lex were to really be hit by a neurotoxin that has the capability to completely wipe his memories clean, wouldn’t he forget how to talk, do business, etc?  Or is it more like a permanent amnesia?  Either way, it is a slight loop hole.

Next problem?  well Superman is in space scanning for any source of the ship or trail.  He scans using his multiple spectrum visions which is cool, but he is speaking to Chloe over the head com.  Noise is absent in space, so for him to create a sound would be impossible even for him.

Now we get to the good stuff.  Lex holds a press conference to announce a shuttle mission led by commander Hank Henshaw.  If you are familiar with Superman characters, then this should excite you.  Lois is in attendance and attempts to rile Lex with some snide questions.  While he is clearly agitated, he handles it well, and even manages to deal with Oliver Queen’s intrution too.

When the shuttle launches, Superman is there to save the day.  As yet another accident occurs, Superman grabs the astronauts one by one and flys them back to Earth.  Henshaw is his last save, but not at a cost.  The Commander is exposed to deadly levels of radiation outside of our ozone layer.  Superman gets him home alive, but he is scarred at this point (to say the least).  Oh, and remember that unknown ship that came down to earth?  Well, it landed in Smallville of course.  Whoever was in it emerges, and knows quite a bit about Superman to say the least.  I don’t know why she is wearing armor though that looks as if she is straight out of a Halo video game.

On the las page, it is clearly stated too that Lex set this whole accident up.  There is a purpose, but at this point we don’t know what it is.  End issue 2… begin issue 3.

Oliver and Chloe head to Smallville to investigate the downed craft.  This scene seems a little forced, but what we do find out is that to their surprises, the craft is not alien at all.  In fact, it says Queen Industries on the side of it.  Now they are just as puzzled as us.

We also find out the status of Commander Henshaw, which is not good.  I like how they put the emotion of having his wife in there.  It is relatable to a lot of us to see someone that we love sick or dying.  Because of this, there is an audience connection.  While his wife blames Superman, the Last Son of Krypton races to see Lex Luthor.  He claps and blows in the windows in Luthor’s office.  I love how he is shown that he has to control his temper here.  Between the outburst and the closeup of the clenched fist, it portrays how dangerous Superman really can be.  Perhaps Luthor is right?  At least he’s got witnesses and some of the public may begin to agree with him.

General Lane, despite his daughter’s safety, puts Superman to the test with a few missile launches.  After more Tess and Lex interaction, Luthor goes to STAR Labs and talks to Henshaw’s wife.  He says that he can place Hank Henshaw’s mind in one of the High Density robots to at least save his consciousness.  Of course, Luthor always has an ulterior motive.  If it works, he may have a way of getting rid of Tess from his own mind.

Back to Smallville where Oliver and Chloe are being stalked by a mysterious figure.  They are following the “Halo” like woman, while they are being watched by from what I can tell a bald man with earrings in one ear and a few lines on his head.  I’m dying to know who this is, because he only shows up once later as well, and we are left guessing.

Otis finally gets a little page time in a scene where Lex was talking to Tess.  Of course, he is the only one who can actually see and hear Tess, so Otis acts like the bumbling lackey that he is.  They check back in with Hamilton and see how the transfer of Henshaw is going.  (Oh, and you do get to see Lex’s gloved hand ungloved.  The scarring is very detailed and depicted gruesomely awesome.  Henshaw is transferred and wakes up.  Immediately he grabs Luthor by the throat.  I’m not sure I like what they did here with Cyborg Superman, but it is their interpretation, and while the design is not what I’d expect for that character, I do like the idea and design as a whole (if it were for another character).  BTW you can see the design I’m talking about on the cover of issue 4 in this post.

End of issue 3… begin issue 4.  The one cool thing though is when Cyborg Superman is angry, his digital face turns red.  When he’s calm, he is has a blue face.  The lights that run across his body also sort of form the crest Superman has on his chest, only there is no “S”.  It is also explained that the body was made for deep sea and space exploration, and has lasers for mining as well as a jet propulsion unit.  Okay, so it has heat vision, has a nearly invulnerable body, super strength, and can fly.  Yep, sounds like Superman’s cybernetic counterpart to me.

The real Superman soon shows up and saves Lex from the robot.  The bot and the Kryptonian battle and throw each other around, but after the long build up, Cyborg Superman doesn’t prove to be much of a challenge in the end.  I felt that it ended much too soon, and was upset at how it all went down.  Afterwards, Hank Henshaw is shown as just the cyborg’s head attached to electrical wires in the lab.  I’m confused too.  At one point, he is completely ripped apart and basically system repairs himself, but then when he is a head he can’t do the same?  I’m skeptical to say the least.

In Smallville we find out that the Halo figure is in reality, Chloe Sullivan from Earth 2.  She explains that the parallel world has been destroyed, and that she came to give them a warning… that the “Crisis” is coming.  Could this be a foreshadowing to Crisis on infinite earths storyline from the comics?  Or perhaps one of the other crisis stories.  Only time will tell, but this was a setup to something coming down the line, that I can’t wait to see.

Earth 2 Chloe dies and we also find out that when Superman saved the shuttle, Lex knew he’d be exposed to radiation.  Now, no matter where Superman goes, Lex will be able to find him via satellite.  This does not bode well for Lois and Clark, because now Superman cannot return home until they figure out how to get the radioactive marker out of him.  Clark tried to see the good in Luthor, but it is definite that he is a fool to think anything of the sort.

end of issue 4.

So where are we?  This was a fun reintroduction to the Smallville universe.  I’m happy to see the characters again, and am left wanting more.  The questions remain:  Who is the man who was stalking Chloe and Oliver, and killed Chloe from Earth 2?  What will happen with Hank Henshaw (Cyborg Superman)?  How will Lois and Clark get out of Lex tracking Superman’s every move?  What is the Crisis that is coming?  So many possibilities and new questions to come about, I’m sure.

My opinion of the series stands.  There are always things that I feel could have been done better, but overall, I love this universe.  Episode 2 comes up next, and it will involve the first Smallville meeting of Superman and Batman.  I can’t wait to see where this goes, and will post a review up at the end of the episode (in 4 months).  I’m glad to see new characters being constantly introduced.  Cyborg Superman may not have been the best design in my eyes, but I loved having him as part of Smallville continuity.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this episode a 7.  It effectively continues the feel of the show, and I hope that it continues on for a long while.