Two Martians enter, only one Martian leaves. Actually, that’s not right. On tonight’s Very Special Episode of Supergirl, “The Martian Chronicles,” it’s White Martian (evil) vs. Green Martian (good) with a self-hating White Martian (for good reason, since she’s not evil), M’gann M’orzz (Sharon Leal), turned Green Martian pretending to be human (standard for Martians of any hue or color) on the side of our resident superheroes, Supergirl/Kara Zor-El/Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and the Martian Manhunter/J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood), with Kara’s adoptive sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), on perpetual back-up. The battle royale – like all battle royales – doesn’t happen until the last few minutes and when it does, it’s confined to a single, closed location (TV budget, in effect) that deliberately, consciously borrows from James Cameron’s Aliens and John Carpenter’s The Thing, but it’s less about the fight than the subtext: It’s all about overcoming our/their differences and fighting/defeating a common foe. (more…)
The Walking Dead has been an emotional rollercoaster so far this season. It opened with a mighty bang with the deaths of major characters. But then something strange happened. The show absolutely deflated after the season premiere, to the point where the show started losing an alarming number of viewers. The show blandly followed the journey of all the separated main survivors and struggled with pacing and entertainment value. For the most part, Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s turn as Negan has been the highlight of the show, but even that has become stale and routine. But then the mid season finale rolls along and renews much of our faith in the show.
Don’t call it the first part of a four-part crossover event. The “it” in the previous sentence refers to Supergirl’s fall finale, “Medusa.” Every TV and internet ad touted “Medusa” as the first part of a mega-crossover connecting Supergirl with The Flash (Tuesday), Arrow (Wednesday), and Legends of Tomorrow (Thursday), pitting the CW’s DC superheroes against an intergalactic, world-conquering alien menace/existential threat, the Dominators. Unfortunately, the Dominators don’t make an appearance in “Medusa.” They don’t even get a shout out from a single character. On the plus side, we do get seven or eight seconds of Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and comrade-in-superhero-arms, Cisco Ramon/Vibe (Carlos Valdes), dropping into Supergirl’s (Melissa Benoist) National City apartment via a space-time portal/wormhole moments before the credits roll and a “To Be Continued … on The Flash” title card. (more…)
The Walking Dead has been dragging on slowly like a walker in mud since the murderous season opener. Thankfully, there have been some bright spots in the season such as “The Cell”, despite that godforsaken “Easy Street” song. Now we can add the Tara-centric “Swear” to that painfully small list of enjoyable episodes that have been aired thus far. You read that right: an episode all about Tara was actually a pretty good one. To be honest, most people had probably forgotten that Tara and Heath had gone off on a “two weeker” scavenging run immediately after the ambush at the satellite bunker.
“Hank Henshaw is dead. I’m … Cyborg/Superman.” That’s not a line from a decades old comic book about the death and rebirth of one Superman. It’s from tonight’s very special episode of Supergirl, “The Darkest Place.” It comes earlier than expected too as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) loses a fight against the real Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), the anti-alien, xenophobic head of the DEO who presumably lost his life a decade and a half earlier, only to be replaced by the pro-alien Martian Manhunter in human disguise. This Henshaw hates aliens with the fire of a thousand dying suns. Thanks to Project Cadmus, a super-secret, privately funded organization, he has the cybernetic enhancements necessary to defeat Supergirl.
There’s a new (super) hero on Supergirl, but it’s not Mon-El (Chris Ward), the last – or one of the last – survivors of Daxam, Krypton’s ill-fated sister planet. Mon-El’s frat-bro behavior repeatedly annoys the fun-averse Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), but it doesn’t stop Mon-El and Kara from hanging out at the local, alien-inclusive dive bar, the same bar where Alex (Chyler Leigh), Kara’s adopted sister and DEO Special Agent, and Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), a National City police detective, spend quality bonding time together. It helps – or maybe it doesn’t – that Alex has begun taking the first tentative steps toward coming out to herself and later, to her sister.
The Walking Dead continues its push into the Negan storyline as he and his motley crew pay their first visit to Alexandria. Some aspects of the visit were fairly predictable, while others were mildly surprising. Yet still, some moves were head-scratchingly confusing. It is understandable that the show has to hit its marks in order to further the story, but for those who even have a vague sense of what is coming, it’s hard to tell how long it will take things to play out. We already know that the show has been renewed for Season 8, but does that mean things will take on a slower, more deliberate pace? Granted, this is only the 4th episode of the season, but is two seasons too long for a build up to the inevitable confrontation? (more…)
When we last left Supergirl … actually, scratch that. What happened on last week’s episode of Supergirl matters less than you think. Season 2’s fifth episode, “Crossfire,” replaces the “super-villain of the week” with a local gang armed with alien firepower. Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) encounters the gang moments before they rob a bank. She’s caught completely off-guard by the alien weaponry, losing the fight (in superhero stories on the big or small screen, superheroes invariably lose or tie their first fight with a new foe), but not her thirst for justice (that’s unquenchable, of course). The real culprit, Project Cadmus, the not-so-secret, anti-alien organization with deep pockets, is playing the long game, using the attacks to sow anti-alien sentiment and a backlash against the recently passed Alien Amnesty Act.
After the losses of the season premiere, it feels as though we are going through something akin to the 5 stages of grief when it comes to The Walking Dead. Last week, we were all still pretty depressed. This week, however, feels closer to acceptance than anything else. Acceptance comes as the audience realizes that The Walking Dead has a rhythm and pace that we all know. Some love it, while others hate it. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, you know that after a strong opener, The Walking Dead will now spend a number episodes explaining what is going on. In the case of episode 3, we were treated to an interesting view of what Daryl was going through as a prisoner of Negan. (more…)
Anyone who thinks – let alone imagines – that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange, the latest entry in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will revolutionize big-budget superhero-oriented blockbusters will be likely disappointed. Story wise, there’s nothing in Doctor Strange that can be described as revolutionary or even evolutionary, but that’s looking at Doctor Strange through one narrow lens, a lens that obviously ignores that film operates on a visual, cinematic level too and there, Doctor Strange succeeds beyond even the highest of expectations shared by comic-book fans and MCU fans (i.e., everyone else). Despite a sporadically intriguing, mid-level career as a genre filmmaker, Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, Sinister, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) has delivered a superhero entry bursting with visual ingenuity, creativity, and imagination unparalleled in superhero-themed filmmaking, in or out of the MCU, expanding the MCU into a multiplicity, into a multiverse of possibilities that will repay a near infinity of repeat visits.