Thursday, October 8, 2015

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 1 - Green Arrow

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Several months have passed since Oliver Queen defeated Ra's Al Ghul and saved Starling City from The League of Assassins and much has changed.  Starling City has changed its name to Star City, in honor of Ray Palmer, presumed dead after a lab accident.  John Diggle now leads Laurel Lance and Thea Queen in protecting the city. And Oliver Queen has happily retired to a life of suburban bliss with Felicity Smoak. Alas, it can't last, and when a new threat proves too much for what is left of Team Arrow to cope with, Oliver Queen must once again become someone else.


The comics of Dennis O'Neil, Mike Grell and Kevin Smith (Ollie as a stay-at-home husband), the Titans comics of Devin Grayson (character of Damian Darhk) and the general theme of redemption that dominates so many classic Green Arrow stories.


Everyone seems somewhat skeptical of Oliver's claims that the supernatural is real and that he's seen things when he says that Damien Darhk's powers are mystic in nature... considering that they all saw Thea come back from the dead six months earlier after being exposed to The Lazarus Pit.


Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards play Oliver and Felicity as two clearly different characters. It is clear the time away from Starling City has done wonders for both characters, with Oliver being happier and Felicity being more confident. The chemistry between both actors is incredible.

David Ramsey has often had a thankless job in playing the under-utilized John Diggle.  This episode, however, almost makes up for every episode where he had nothing to do but stand in the background and glare at Oliver in silent disapproval until the two of them were alone and he could let him have it. Diggle is front and center with his resentment of Oliver's actions against his family and every moment - from the quiet one with his wife and daughter - to his finally putting all his cards on the table with Oliver as they search for a bomb - is good stuff.


The action scene of Laurel, Diggle and Thea chasing after the HIVE thugs in the Kord Industries truck is a good one.

The script for this episode is strong in one particular theme - redemption. Throughout the episode, Oliver is forced to confront his past mistakes (what Thea has become, how he destroyed his friendship with John Diggle, etc.) and seek a way to move past who he was to become someone else. Someone better. That idea - that someone can become a better person - is the defining characteristic of Oliver Queen's character in all of his various incarnations. And that transformation in this episode is handled beautifully.


Ollie being a fantastic chef is a direct nod to the comics. While he's primarily famous for his chili recipe, Oliver was frequently depicted experimenting in the kitchen in his spare time in the comics by Dennis O'Neil, Mike Grell and Kevin Smith.

Ollie living as a house-husband is also a nod to the Mike Grell comics.  While nominally employed by Dinah Lance as a delivery man and assistant at her floral business after the two moved in together, Ollie mostly concerned himself with tending to their home when he wasn't playing vigilante.

In the original comics, Damian Darhk was an enemy of The Titans, making his first appearance in the first issue of the Devin Grayson run on that series. A mysterious figure and something of a tech-guru, Darhk was a major player in the criminal underworld and had connections with H.I.V.E. Curiously, he had the appearance of a 20-year-old man despite his apparent connections and experience. He was seemingly killed by Vandal Savage, but apparently gained immortality after his blood merged with that of the HIVE Mistress.

The DCTVU version of Damian Darhk is a decidedly different character, apart from being definitively identified as the leader of HIVE and a former member of The League of Assassins who was enlisted at the same time as Ra's Al Ghul. Darhk is a magician rather than a tech-based villain, capable of telekinesis (he stops the arrows Ollie shoots at him), teleportation (he disappears off the train after Diggle shoots him) and he possess some kind of ability to drain the life out of people with a touch. We see Darhk performing some kind of ritual that requires spilling his own blood before an idol near the episode's end.

HIVE - the organization that Damian Darhk runs - is a reference to another villain group that fought The Teen Titans and Superman in the comics.  HIVE stands for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination and the group was involved in various criminal schemes with an ultimate goal of world domination. In the DCTVU reality, they apparently hired Deadshot to kill Andy Diggle, John's brother.

In the New 52 comics, HIVE stands for Holistic Integration for Viral Equality. Otherwise, they are much the same as the original HIVE.  The group formed an uneasy alliance with the psychic villain Hector Hammond and were responsible for the lab accident that turned Dr. Caitlin Snow into the villain Killer Frost.

Kord Industries - the company HIVE steals the cluster-bombs from - is a reference to the company of DC Comics hero Ted Kord a.k.a. The Blue Beetle. The truck HIVE steals is decorated in light blue with dark blue piping - the same colors as Ted Kord's costume in the comics.

Thea is still referred to by the code-name Speedy in the field. At one point she asks to be called The Red Arrow. In the original comics, Speedy was the first code-name used by Roy Harper, who later became known as The Red Arrow when he joined The Justice League.

The scene where Amanda Waller takes Oliver to a bar opens on a shot of a leather aviator jacket with the name Jordan sewn onto the chest. This is a reference to the signature jacket of Hal Jordan, who was Oliver Queen's best friend in the comics and also the first Earthling to become a member of The Green Lantern Corps.

It's also worth noting that Oliver and Amanda Waller were in Coast City - Hal Jordan's home town in the comics.

It is revealed near the end of the episode that the suburb Ollie and Felicity moved into is called Ivy Town.  In the comics, Ivy Town was Ray Palmer's home town and he was employed as a college professor at Ivy University.


The weapons stolen from Kord Industries by HIVE are cluster bombs with built-in GPS unites. These bombs are censor-fused and high-yield - the most powerful non-nuclear bombs in the world.

Oliver is given a backpack with AES-Encrypted Communication Gear before he is dropped back on Lian Yu, in the Five Years Ago flashback.

Dialogue Triumphs

(To Felicity) You're uncharacteristically quiet.
Felicity: What should I say? Our friends need our help. We should be in the car.

Oliver: I don't need a therapist.
Waller: The hood and eye make-up suggest otherwise.

(As they drive past a row of closed down businesses and boarded up homes)
Oliver: Jeez. It's tough not to look out this window and wonder.
Felicity: Wonder what?
Oliver: What did we really accomplish?

Diggle: That's pretty forgiving considering he kidnapped you six months ago.
Lyla: You know why he did. You have to let go of it sometime. I did.
Diggle: That's because you're better than me. That's one of the reasons why I love you.
Lyla: It was war, John. Maybe not against a country, but it was war. And in times of war, we do what we have to do.
Diggle: Really, Lyla? I mean, that include lying to me? Lying to Felicity? What was the point?
Lyla: Oliver did what he thought he had to do to defeat Ra's. I'm not saying he made the right choice. But if Oliver Queen always made the right choice, he wouldn't need you.

Oliver: Saw that you took my advice on the identity concealment...
Diggle: (sighs) Oliver, man - what are we doing? Pretending everything's normal? That we are normal?
Oliver; I'm looking for a way in.
Diggle: I was furious with you that you trusted Malcolm Merlyn more than you trusted me. But then I realized that I'm not angry at you. I'm angry at myself for thinking that you're someone that you clearly aren't.
Oliver: I don't know what that means.
Diggle: Oliver, after everything that we've been through, man, I couldn't fathom why you didn't trust me. But then I realized that you couldn't. That's not who you are. You don't trust. You don't love. You were able to fool Ra's and join The League because inside you are every bit as dark as they are.

Lance: The prodigal arrow returns.
Oliver: Captain Lance.
Lance: I thought that was you last night, some mask over your head. Felt like old times.
Oliver: I was only trying to help. 
Lance: If that were true, you wouldn't have come back. This town started going to crap the moment you put on that hood. You brought madness into all our lives and the monster you were inspired monsters.
Oliver: Maybe. But I'm not a monster anymore.
Lance: Then what are you?!

Felicity: I love our new home. And I love you. But I also love it here and you can't honestly tell me that you don't.
Oliver: Yeah, no, of course! I miss aspects of it. The sense of purpose. The idea of helping people. But Lance was right.
Felicity: About what?
Oliver: A few months ago he told me that all I brought back from the island was pain, misery and darkness. And of course I knew that the moment we came back here that darkness would be waiting for me.
Felicity:  Well, he's wrong. Dead wrong. You didn't bring the darkness back with you from Lian Yu!
Oliver: But, Felicity, I'm telling you that the only way I know to fight the darkness is to be darkness. That is why I left!  I don't want to be that type of person anymore!
Felicity: Well, maybe you need to be a different kind of person.  And you're not doing this alone anymore.

Damien Darhk: You can't be The Arrow. He died. So who are you?
Ollie: You're about to find out.

The Green Arrow: Six months ago, The Arrow died. But what he stood for didn't. It lived on in the heroes who took up his mantle. People who believe that this city should never descend into hopelessness. Who believe although life is filled with darkness, that darkness can be the key to find light. And tonight, I am declaring my intention to stand with them - to fight for this city! To be the symbol of hope that The Arrow never was. I am... The Green Arrow!

Dialogue Disasters

Thea: I thought I told you you guys to call me Red Arrow!
Diggle: A red arrow just means you can't make a left turn.


Five years ago, Oliver operated as a vigilante in Coast City, targeting drug dealers who dealt to children. He was discovered by Amanda Waller, who drugged him and arranged for him to be dropped onto Lian Yu as part of a reconnaissance mission, where he was almost immediately captured by a man in camouflage.

Waller makes reference to Oliver's bloody killing of General Shrieve in 323.

As the episode opens, Ollie and Felicity have settled in the suburbs of Ivy Town. Ollie is a house-husband and Felicity is the Acting CEO In Absentia of Palmer Technologies, though she is trying to convince the Tech Board that she can take over the position permanently.

Ollie has become a brilliant chef in the past five months. Felicity is not so gifted.

Ollie had the dragon tattoo on his shoulder surgically removed, saying he didn't need it anymore. The tattoo was originally forced onto Oliver in 217 by Slade Wilson as a reminder of Shado's death.

Diggle now wears a helmet that obscures and protects his face along with black tactical gear and a black leather jacket as a costume.

According to Diggle and Thea, Kord Industries are one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the DCTVU. They also manufacture consumer goods, including "awesome cel phones."

Walter Steele - Oliver and Thea's step-father, last seen at Moira Queen's funeral in 221 - was apparently approached about running for Mayor of Star City. He declined.

Captain Lance notes that Star City has lost three mayors and one mayoral candidate in the last three years. We witnessed these events in 201 (Mayor Altman was killed by The Hoods), 220 (Moira Queen murdered by Slade Wilson), 222 (Mayor Sebastian Blood killed by Isabel Rochev) and 317 (Mayor Castle killed by League of Assasins to frame The Arrow for murder).

The foot-soldiers of HIVE are dubbed "ghosts" by the press, due to how quickly they disappear after committing a crime. They are all equipped with cyanide pills and will kill themselves rather than talk.

Captain Lance describes some of Star City's attempts to improve the image of their city in the wake of three disasters in as many years. Apart from changing their name (in honor of the presumed dead Ray Palmer), they've also begun a new tourism program and constructed a high-speed railway between Star City and Central City.

Captain Lance makes a reference to Central City holding a Flash Day event.  We saw this in episode F201.

All of the city leaders except for Captain Lance are killed by HIVE. These include the District Attorney, The Comptroller and Head of Emergency Services.

Ollie attempts to propose to Felicity twice over the course of the episode, using his mother's engagement ring that belonged to his mother. One attempt is thwarted by the sudden arrival of Thea and Laurel. The other is abandoned in the middle of moving into Thea's old loft.

Cisco Ramon made Oliver a new costume six months earlier.  Ollie dons this new costume to become The Green Arrow.

Thea Queen has become a much more aggressive fighter, nearly killing one HIVE agent before Ollie stops her during Team Arrow's raid on The HIVE Hideout they discover. Presumably this is a side-effect of her resurrection in The Lazarus Pit in 320.

Oliver identifies Damien Darhk's powers as magical and says that he has seen mystical things in his past without elaborating.

By the episode's end, Ollie and Felicity have moved into Thea's loft. We learn that Thea has apparently been living with Laurel, not wanting to stay in her old loft as she was killed by Ra's Al Ghul there.

When Ollie says that Ra's Al Ghul specifically identified Damien Darhk's organization as "a hive", this triggers a flashback in Diggle, who remembers Deadshot's words in 206 regarding HIVE - the group that hired him to kill John's brother, Andy.  He does not share this information with the rest of Team Arrow.

It is also revealed that Captain Lance is working with Damien Darhk.

In the final scene of the episode, we see a flash-forward six months. Ollie is seen at a graveside alone and is briefly joined by Barry Allen, who apologizes for missing the funeral, saying that he was busy dealing with Zoom. We do not see who the grave belongs to.


Ivy Town.

Untelevised Adventures

Felicity apparently helped Diggle, Laurel and Thea with several cases during the five months she and Oliver were away from Star City.

At some point in his past, Oliver Queen has seen proof that magic is real.

The Fridge Factor

Laurel sucks at keeping her highly illegal vigilante lifestyle under wraps. She's abandoned any pretense of disguising her hair with a wig.

When the D.A. starts dying beside her, Laurel shouts for someone else to call 911 while she is getting on her own phone out.  She then begins talking on the phone, with several people in earshot, about Diggle and Thea needing to check on the other city leaders. Nobody finds the assistant DA's lack of concern for her boss at all suspicious.

Later on, after she's saved her father from the HIVE assassins who came after him, Laurel casually talks to her father, in costume, in front of several cops, who think nothing is odd about their vigilante-hating boss NOT shouting for someone to help him cuff the woman in the mask.

Thea's shooting a smoke arrow into the middle of a crowd before trying to evacuate them is an incredibly stupid move.

The Winick Factor

I was hard pressed on where to put the examples of Laurel and Thea's incompetence. Ultimately, I decided to put them in The Fridge Factor above instead of The Winick Factor simply because none of the male characters exhibited such issues.

The Bottom Line

A solid start with a lot of mysteries for the viewers to consider and an interesting wrinkle as magic is introduced into the DCTVU. Unfortunately, the show is still struggling to give Laurel anything useful to do and Thea is barely any better. Still, Darhk has a strong first appearance as the big-bad for the season and the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards saves a lot of scenes that might otherwise have fallen flat.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 1 - The Man Who Saved Central City

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


It's been six months since the defeat of The Reverse Flash and much has changed in Central City. The Flash now operates openly but he also works alone, determined to keep any other people in Barry Allen's life from dying while working to rebuild the city at night, one broken building at a time. Joe West and Cisco Ramon are hard at work too, developing a special police task force capable of fighting metahuman criminals and the the tools to do the job.  They will all find themselves tested shortly, as a new metahuman with murder on his mind seeks out The Flash.


The JSA comics of David Goyer, James Robinson and Geoff Johns (details regarding Atom Smasher) and The Flash comics of Geoff Johns (references to The Flash: Rebirth and the general tone of the writing.)


Al Rothstein was one of the names on Harrison Wells' list of people who died during the particle accelerator explosion in 107, so how can he be turning up dead some 21 months later or have been on his honeymoon in Hawaii at the time of The Particle Accelerator Explosion?  (Possibly there is more than one Al Rothstein in Central City?)

How can The Reverse Flash's video confession to Nora Allen's murder still exist when Eobard Thawne never existed?

Henry Allen's leaving Central City - while not a goof - is rather sloppily written.  A man has been in jail for the better part of two decades and wants to get out of town so as not to step on the toes of his devoted son?  There's a LOT better reasons Henry might want to get out of Central City for a while - see the world and revel in his newfound freedom by traveling?  Go to the places he dreamed of seeing while he was in prison?  Maybe visit the places he and his wife talked about going but never had the chance?


Candice Patton gets a nice silent moment, as Iris looks at Eddie Thawne's picture on the memorial wall at the police station.

Jesse L. Martin and Carlos Valdes play off of each other beautifully and the partnership between Joe and Cisco leads to some of the funnier moments of the episode. The two actors had an amazing chemistry in their few moments alone last season and its good to see that continuing this year.

Another good dialogue occurs between Grant Gustin and Danielle Panabaker. Barry and Caitlin are the two characters who have lost the most respectively due to Eobard Thawne's schemes, with Caitlin having lost the man she loves twice as well as her job and Barry - at this moment - feeling like he's accomplished nothing with his heroism except getting his friends killed.  It's good to see the two of them get to unload on one another and both actors play the moment well.


The set design on The Flash Day ceremony is brilliant.

There's a nice symmetry in the script, with the flashback depicting a depressed Barry some six months after his mother died and Barry's state of mind some six months after Ronnie Raymond died saving him and Joe giving him an inspiring speech each time.

Flash Facts

In the comics, Al Rothstein was the name of a metahuman who was primarily known as The Atom Smasher. Originally known as Nuklon, he was one of the founding members of Infinity Inc. - a superhero team made up of the children and heirs apparent of The Justice Society of America. In Al's case, he was the godson and namesake of Al Pratt - the original Atom. Rothstein later joined the JSA under the name Atom Smasher and adopted a costume that utilized the same blue mask as Al Pratt's costume.

Atom Smasher's costume on the show is similar to his costume from the comics, save that the comic version wore a cloth mask  rather than the retracting armored helmet we see in this episode.

In the comics, Atom Smasher's powers were a legacy from his grandfather - an atomic scientist turned reluctant supervillain called Cyclotron. Atom Smasher's chief power was the ability to increase his size up to a height of 60 feet. This in turn gave him increased strength and durability, which increased proportionately with his size. At his maximum height, he was capable of hurting Power Girl with a single punch

In the show, Atom Smasher draws upon ambient radiation to fuel his powers.  The comics version of Atom Smasher had no need to do this.

Interestingly, this version of Atom Smasher shares his comic book counterpart's tendency for making questionable moral decisions. During his time in The Justice Society, Atom Smasher bent the laws of time to save his mother from dying in a plane crash and left a super-villain for dead at the same point in time. He later killed a brutal dictator to help his friend Black Adam retake his homeland.

Superheroes being awarded the key to their city and having a day devoted to them with a ceremony that is disrupted by a super-villain attack is a long-standing tradition in superhero comics. It seems to happen with particular frequency to The Flash. So much so that one episode of Justice League United - Flash And Substance - was devoted to that exact storyline.

The Flash performing construction as super-speed to help clean up after a disaster is another long-running gag from the classic comics.  Superman also does this a fair bit.

In his speech at The Flash Day ceremony, Mayor Bellows says that The Flash restores hope as well as protecting the people of Central City. In the Blackest Night event, Barry Allen was the one person on Earth judged most worthy of temporarily wielding the Power Ring of a Blue Lantern, who draw power from Hope as Green Lanterns draw power from their Will.

Barry carries a handkerchief. This is a nod to the comics where Barry is somewhat old-fashioned, being the sort who still wears bow-ties to formal occasions.

Caitlin's plan to take down Atom Smasher by feeding him more radiation than his powers can cope with is another classic comic-book cliche for dealing with  energy-absorbing villains and monsters.

The spotlight with The Flash symbol on it used to lure Atom Smasher out into the open is, of course, a nod to The Bat Signal from the Batman comics, which is used by the Gotham Police Department to summon Batman to Police Headquarters.


Al Rothstein had petechiae on his face and the whites of his eyes and bruising around his neck. This indicated he was strangled to death by someone very strong and very large.

Cisco constructs a device that he dubs The Boot as the CCPD's first special anti-metahuman weapon. In essence, The Boot is a rifle that fires a metal circlet. This circlet attaches itself around the ankle or lower leg of a metahuman and administers a non-lethal but incapacitating electric shock. It fails to work on Atom Smasher, however, due to his high level of invulnerability and his being able to outgrow the circlet.

In the flashback to the day of The Singularity, we see that The Flash was able to contain and stabalize The Singularity by adding to its angular momentum.  In order to close it, the inner and outer event horizons had to be merged. To do this, Firestorm had to separate in the eye of The Singularity. Professor Stein theorized that the energy of the fission should do the trick. He was right, but Ronnie Raymond was seemingly lost in the resulting explosion.

Iris discovers that the hospital next to the site of The Flash Day ceremony had all of their X-Ray and CT machines go dead at the same time Atom Smasher grew bigger.  Cisco investigates this further, determining the same thing happened at every hospital with a one mile radius. This leads to the conclusion that Atom Smasher absorbs radiation to fuel his powers.

Cisco is impressed that Mercury Labs owns a 6K Proton Splicer.

All humans contain small amounts of radiation due to contact with cel phones, microwaves, and televisions. Human bodies are natural conductors.

Dialogue Triumphs

(As Ronnie and Caitlin kiss)
Prof. Stein:
Thank you for NOT doing that when I was inside you.
Ronnie: That happened one time!  Let it go.

Barry: My name is Barry Allen and I'm the fastest man alive. When I was a child I saw my mother killed by something impossible. My father went to prison for her murder. Then an accident made me the impossible. And I became The Flash. I used my powers to find the man responsible for my mother's death. I thought i wound finally get justice for my family. But I failed. It's been six months since The Singularity. I'm on my own now. Decided it's better that way.  Keeps the people I care about safe. There's only one thing I can do now. I run.

(Talking about trying to get Barry to attend the Flash Day ceremony)

Iris: Someone should try to get through to him.
Joe: Maybe his best friend?
Cisco: Joe, believe me, I've tried!
Joe: I meant her.

Mayor Bellows: Our wounds run deep and I know many of you are afraid of what threats tomorrow may bring. But The Flash doesn't just protect us - he restores hope where it was lost! That's why I'm honored to present The Key to the man who saved Central City - The Flash!

(Team Flash discover a three-block radioactive dead-zone around a hazardous waste reclamation plant)
Professor Stein: That's where you'll find your atom smasher!
(Iris and Cisco just look at Professor Stein strangely)
Professor Stein: (laughs nervously) Because he absorbs atomic power. And he... well, smashes!
Cisco: Come here.
(Cisco hugs Professor Stein)
Cisco: That's a great name. Welcome to the team.
Professor Stein: Thank you.

"Harrison Wells": Hello Barry. If you're watching this, that means something has gone horribly wrong. I'm dead. And the last 15 years have been for nothing. Bummer. 15 years. You know... when I realize in all those years helping raise you, we were never truly enemies, Barry. I'm not the thing you hate. And so I'm going to give you the thing that you want most. It won't matter.You'll never be truly happy, Barry Allen. Trust me. I know you.  Now (clears throat) Erase everything I said up to this point. Give the following message to the police. (pauses) My name is Harrison Wells. Being of sound mind and body, I freely confess to the murder of Nora Allen, in her home, on the night of March 18th, in the year 2000...


Barry makes reference to Gorilla Grodd, last seen in 121.  Reference is once again made to Joe West's fear of gorillas.

Jay Garrick is first seen taking a picture of Barry while he's at work, investigating the Rothstein murder.

Captain Singh, last seen in 123, has grown a goatee.  He has also granted Joe's request to establish an anti-metahuman task force, with Cisco as his scientific adviser.

As the episode opens, Cisco does not have a police badge. By the episode's end, he does, though it is unclear if he is considered a full police officer or if he serves in a capacity similar to a CSI like Barry.

Caitlin is said to be working at Mercury Labs, which was last mentioned in 118.

Eddie Thawne's picture is seen hanging on a memorial wall at the CCPD police station.

We see the events at the end of 123 through one of Barry's flashbacks.  While being able to hold the singularity in check by running around its interior at super-speed, he was not able to reverse it. Firestorm was able to close The Singularity by separating in The Singularity's eye.  This resulted in Ronnie Raymond's apparent death.

Mayor Bellows is seen for the first time since 117.

Jay Garrick is also seen in the crowd at the Flash Day ceremony, standing a bit behind Iris.

During the fight with Atom Smasher at The Flash Day ceremony, Cisco has another vision as in 120. He sees Atom Smasher speaking to a figure covered in blue-lightning - presumably Zoom.

Caitlin mentions Dr. Tina McGee, head scientist at Mercury Labs, last seen in 119.

Barry was given STAR Labs as part of Harrison Wells' living trust, but Barry's ownership of the property was contingent upon him watching a video message from Wells on a flash drive given to him by Wells' law firm. He refuses to watch it until Caitlin offers to watch it with him.

For the first time, Professor Stein names a metahuman criminal.

Cisco is now capable enough as a hacker than he can break into security camera feeds.

During their second fight, Atom Smasher says that "he" said Barry was some kind of big hero. The "he" turns out to be Zoom.

Comic books exist in the DCTVU and (unsurprisingly) Cisco is a fan. He credits his idea for The Flash Signal to some comic he read once.

As Barry lures Atom Smasher into their trap, Joe West says "Run, Barry, Run." - the catchphrase of Harrison Wells during Season One.

Before he dies, Atom Smasher tells Barry that he was trying to kill Barry because someone called Zoom promised to take him back to his home if he did so.

Henry Allen is cleared on all charges thanks to Wells' confession.  Rather than stay in Central City, however, he elects to travel for a bit, though he promises to be there should Barry ever need him.

At the end of the episode, Cisco alters The Flash costume so that the lighting bolt symbol has a white circle backing it, as they saw on the future newspaper in 120.

Jay Garrick reveals himself to Team Flash, not yet revealing how he got through STAR Labs new and improved security, but saying only that their world is in danger.

The Fridge Factor

Averted in that it is Caitlin who comes up with the plan to stop Atom Smasher by feeding him more radiation than he can absorb.

The Bottom Line

The Flash is back and as good as ever. There are some nagging questions about just how the laws of time work in this universe, given how little things have changed compared to what did and should have changed.  Presumably some kind of explanation is coming up and I'd be willing to be part of that explanation comes next week along with an explanation of just who Jay Garrick is.

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Four #23 - A Review

What remains of Superman's Regime storms Themyscira with one goal in mind - defeat the Greek Gods now laying siege to the world! They receive some unexpected help from Batman's Insurgency. But that will not help them against the nuclear missiles The United Nations have just launched!

Mike S. Miller is a fine artist but this is not his best issue. There are several points where the poses are awkward and the pencils seemed rushed. Still, there are some scenes we see what Miller is truly capable of and J. Nanjan's colors are fantastic throughout.

Brian Buccalleto remains on point with the script. This issue is largely one big action sequence but it proves to be a well-paced one. And the final page will leave you hungry for next week's issue.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #12 - A Review

When a strange craft destroys the International Space Station and vaporizes Lake Windermere, the call goes out for The Doctor. But UNIT can't get a hold of him and their soldiers are utterly helpless as more spaceships surround the Earth, saying only two words - Hyperios Rises.  Little do they know that The Doctor is already in the thick of it, coping with twitchy townsfolk and zombies made of ash!

One can't accuse Robbie Morrison of thinking small with his scripts for this series. When the destruction of a space-station is just the pre-credits sequence, you know we're in for something big. Yet despite the global scale of this story and the intense action, the best moments are those in which The Doctor and Clara play off of each other or interact with other characters.

Daniel Indro and Slamet Mujiono were partnered together for Robbie Morrison's turn on Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor. They do the same stellar job here that they did there. Indro has a highly detailed style, which suffers somewhat in the long-shots but looks utterly amazing in the short distance and close-ups. And Mujiono's colors prove well-chosen.

Sons Of The Devil #5 - A Review

Things between Travis and his girlfriend Melissa have never been worse. She's laid into him for not discussing his therapy with her or mentioning a woman named Jenny who claimed to be Travis' half-sister. But Travis hasn't been alone in keeping secrets and the bombshell Melissa has been hiding may be the straw that breaks the camel's back and ends their relationship forever.

There's no small irony that Travis finally seems to be moving forward in his life just in time for Brian Buccellato to declare a six-month hiatus before the next issue comes out. Still, it is gratifying that the reason for the hiatus is to ensure Toni Infante is available to work on the book, in order to maintain the series' visual continuity. I'm optimistic it will prove worth the wait.

If you haven't been reading Sons of The Devil before now, you've been missing out on a slow-boiling drama with a likable protagonist, a number of intriguing mysteries and some damn fine artwork. If you can't track down the back-issues, check out the upcoming trade. This series reads even better in one go than it does month-to-month and the TP will include a bonus story starring the mysterious Jenny.