Thursday, April 17, 2014
last time, a couple involving secrets. Thanks to Slade, now Thea knows that Malcolm Merlin is her father and both her mom and her brother knew and didn't tell her. And the biggie, Slade also told Laurel that Oliver is the Arrow. Oliver drove Roy away, Quentin is in jail for helping the Arrow, Isabel has taken over Queen Consolidated, and oh yeah, and Slade is also giving Brother Blood a super-powered army to take over Starling City with.
Meanwhile Team Arrow returns to the Arrowcave to find Deathstroke lying in wait. I know this big bad is a serious big bad, but this fight is far too quick to be believable. Although he wasn't in the Arrowcave to fight or to ambush anyone. He was there to steal the Clock King's skeleton key. Now he has access to anywhere in Starling City.
Kristin Wells, AKA Superwoman. Probably not, but it gets better.
Vibe, sadly stereotyped, much hated, and doomed member of Justice League Detroit. The New 52 version of Vibe has dimensional travel powers similar to those of the Flash. Formerly a breakdancing gangbanger, the new Vibe is a scientist.
Seeking to save their lives here, Cisco uses a weapon that formerly belonged to Arthur Light, someone Wells fired two years ago because he was a psycho. This is a clear reference to Doctor Light, one of the Justice League's most dangerous and sociopathic foes, who used Thanagarian light technology to terrorize his enemies. He is a major league psycho, but his gun knocks Deathstroke on his butt. Go, Cisco!
Iris West was hinted at before, but this is the first time she's been named. Felicity is clearly heartbroken, despite the vagueness of Iris' description.
We also find out a little of Isabel's background. She was an intern having an affair with Oliver's father, but he chose his family over her. Sad to find she's just about petty revenge. It seems that Slade is playing the long game, and trained her just to hurt the Queen family. She is just a jilted lover blindly following a man sworn to hurt those she wants to hurt too. Pathetic. She deserves what she gets, at first at least. Could she be on her way to becoming Ravager? Either way, nice to see Diggle do something for once.
And I should say that's the best scene, because Slade deflecting arrows with a sword is pretty cool too. Oliver goes to confront him when he finds out where the centrifuge is, and finds Roy hooked up to it, giving his blood to the inmates. The fight between Arrow, Isabel, and Slade is intense, but still quick due to the big bad's ridiculous superiority. On the good side, Roy saved, army stopped short of superhuman, and Isabel out of the picture.
This was a good episode, chockful of comics references, performances, and action. Looking forward to Roy's journey back next week, but hope the fight against Slade doesn't drag on too long - because it's starting to.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Here are several more of the finalists for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Coperhagen in just a few weeks, including the controversial Austrian entry by Ms. Conchita Wurst. Definitely some very tough competition this year...
FYR Macedonia - "To the Sky" by Tijana
Slovenia - "Round and Round" by Tinkara Kovac
Russia - "Shine" by the Tolmachevy Sisters
Austria - "Rise Like a Phoenix" by Conchita Wurst
Sweden - "Undo" by Sanna Neilsen
Portugal - "Quero Ser Tua" by Suzy
Finland - "Something Better" by Softengine
Norway - "Silent Storm" by Carl Espen
Switzerland - "Hunter of Stars" by Sebalter
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The Dumpsta Players Present "PROMTRASH BROADWAY"
The Date: Wednesday, APRIL 16, 2014
The Time: Doors open at 10 PM, showtime is 11 PM sharp! 21+ $1.99 cover!
The Place: Bob and Barbara's, 1509 South Street, Philadelphia PA, For info: 215-545-4511
The Dumpsta Players celebrate their 18th Annual stag, drag, come-as-you-were/are/is "PROMTRASH BROADWAY" @ Bob and Barbara's!
Cheery Hell High's drama teacher, Mr. Blob Claymation, is workin' the kids up into a frenzy as this Prom is guaranteed to be an EXTRAVAGANZA! From "A Chorus Line" to "Bye Bye Birdie" the kids promise a show you will not soon forget!
Will 2013 Prom Trash queen Sharon Babcock AKA Divine Miss Jimmi return? Will last year's runner up, Mrs. Miller be back?
Come enjoy The Dumpsta Players' 150th show and the sensational crowning in - "PROMTRASH BROADWAY!"
A portion of the proceeds from "PromTrash Broadway" go to support The Rotunda.
The Rotunda is a community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.
This event is also co-sponsored by Philly Queer Media.
Check out The Dumpsta Players on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and on their own website.
Monday, April 14, 2014
It was into this environment, full of neutered superheroes and teens and their dogs solving mysteries that Blue Falcon and his robotic sidekick Dynamutt the Dog Wonder were born. They were a bit of both worlds. The latter being the Scooby-Doo like comic relief and BF being the serious superhero. For me, a new superhero was sometimes better than an out of character superhero like the Super-Friends.
Sometimes it was silly, but it was still superheroes on TV so I ate it up. Sadly though, after only twenty episodes, an apparent two seasons, our heroes were relegated to syndication. There were appearances, yes, on the embarrassing and aforementioned Laff-a-Lympics, and much later as a ridiculous recurring character on Cartoon Network's "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law."
The Blue Falcon's next major appearance was very different. In the "Heart of Evil" episode of "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated," there are several landmarks of note for the character. We finally get an origin story for Dynamutt and the Blue Falcon, the hero is presented very much the same way as Batman in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, and the Hanna-Barbera shared universe is expanded to include the "Jonny Quest" characters as well with Dr. Benton Quest involved in the origin and Dr. Zin as the villain.
But this year, just as I was getting excited by a world where Jonny Quest and the Blue Falcon co-exist, they rewrote the rules. Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon reboots the superhero as a fictional character from comics, who had a campy TV series in the past, and now a darker edgier movie coming out now. Yeah, holy Batman, Batman. It does however make some nice points about grim and gritty superheroes and Hollywood.
The direct-to-DVD movie is not without its charm however. Many of the Hanna-Barbera superhero characters of the past appear as background as this case happens at a comic book convention. Look for cameos of Frankenstein Jr., Mightor, the Herculoids, Hong Kong Phooey, Space Ghost, Apache Chief, even Atom Ant, and others. These Easter eggs make the feature almost tolerable. Despite his name in the title, the Blue Falcon isn't really in this flick. There is a sequel in the works, set in the same continuity.
Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon live on however in our memories, and on DVD (though not yet streaming). If you remember the toon, relive it, and if you're a noob, check it out. It's an animated slice of the 1970s worth watching.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series" or Nick's teenage "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" show look positively pretty. No wonder I hadn't heard of this. Even Marvel must be ashamed of it.
I'm really not sure what to make of the neon version of the movie Abomination, it's just bizarre. Is he wearing armor, or is that his skin? Speaking of armor, the Hulkbuster armor is featured early, possibly to cash in on its brief cameo in Iron Man Three or rumored appearance in Avengers Age of Ultron. Speaking of Avengers, both Adrian Pasdar and Fred Tatasciore (sadly with some sort of new voice modulation) reprise their voices as Iron Man and Hulk from "Avengers Assemble."
After Hulk and Abomination tag team for a bit, get captured by Hydra scientists who create a living energy weapon, Iron Man shows up and, shades of the Silver Age, picks a fight with the Hulk. It's weird, especially after it's established they're friends. The energy weapon unites the two as it attacks them. It doesn't have a humanoid form at first, but my first thought was Zzzax, and I was right.
I had to wonder about the redesign of Zzzax. Why not put this ugly CGI they're using to good use? With computer animation they could bring to life a character that in the two-dimensional comic book medium was usually just a human shaped lightning bolt. It could look great, but they chose differently, and sadly.
With Hulk blinded and Iron Man's armor non-functional, the two have to depend on each other. I suppose it's a lesson in cooperation for the kids this animated feature seems to have been made for. Besides Zzzax they also have to contend with shadowy Wendigos. Hmmm, I thought they were white and there was only one, but what do I know?
Captain America The Winter Soldier? Suddenly he's got his own helicarrier, a fleet of jets, and a battalion of mandroids. What's up with that? I also really dislike the idea of Hulk needing armor. I guess we know, despite the overabundance of Hulk villains, who the real star of this cartoon is.
Don't let Netflix cut off the end credits or you'll miss the lead-in to what I assume is the next CGI feature starring Iron Man and Captain America vs. the Red Skull. This was an okay distraction. I would have rather had traditional animation and maybe more thought in the plot and dialogue.