Monday, April 24, 2017

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part One

In which we watch the opening movie, establish the setting of this post-apocalyptic world where bikers roam freely and set about trying to catch up with our gang to stop an ambush at the hands of sleazy corporate suit-wearers.


Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #12 - A Preview/Review

Faking the death of his companion Tara Mishra and setting up Rose Tyler as an examiner from Earth, The Doctor framed himself for murder and arranged to be sent to The Hesguard Institute - an Arkham Asylum in space for the most wretched examples of humanity. Why? So they could all investigate the new "Bad Wolf" process that purges people of their negative emotions and projects those emotions into emotionally blank beings called Sin-Eaters.

Unfortunately, the process had unforeseen side-effects when applied to a Time Lord who has done a lot of things he regrets. And now The Doctor's dark side is rampaging around what remains of The Hesguard Institute...







This second half of Sin-Eaters may have the fastest downturn in quality I've ever seen in a two-part comic book series. The sloppy, unfinished artwork of Adriana Melo is a large part of the problem, with the horrifically rendered gestalt Doctor from the final page of the last issue now rendered as a simplified Space Hulk.

I can usually suffer Melo's art for a good Cavan Scott story, but Scott isn't at his best this time around. His characterization is shockingly off, with The Doctor disturbingly undisturbed at the prospect of destroying a space-station full of relative innocents and Rose Tyler - whose courage impressed even The Doctor - reduced to the role of a panicky bimbo who says they need to talk about "acceptable safety standards"!

Martha Jones lovers may be pleased by this story but the vast majority of Doctor Who fans won't be.

Final Analysis: 4 out of 10. It's a nice take on Jekyll and Hyde and the caricatures of Christopher Eccleston in close-up are spot on. But that's about the only good things I can say about this comic.



Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #12 releases on April 26, 2016.
Ask for it at your local comic shop or purchase it on Comixology.com.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lucifer #17 - A Review

Lucifer has come to expect a certain degree of turmoil in his life. After all, he's organizing a new rebellion against a God that has been reborn as a fascist out to destroy Free Will. The Japanese goddess of the underworld (who he once lay with) is plotting to place their son (who wants to kill him) on the throne of Hell, which is nominally under the rule of his ex-girlfriend, Mazikeen. And his most reliable allies are his idiot brother Gabriel, a junkie sorceress and a pair of tween girls who are bonded to a Tarot deck that can rewrite reality. Yet as strange and varied as his enemies are, Lucifer did not anticipate having his nightclub, Lux, foreclosed upon by the City of Los Angeles...


I know I said last month that I would probably stop reviewing Lucifer. I still suspect I should. There seems little point in reviewing a book that - due to the legacy it draws upon - is entirely inaccessible to new or casual readers. That's usually a big sticking point with me and why I don't write reviews of long-running titles like Knights of the Dinner Table.

When it comes to Lucifer, I've felt at times I've been doing little more than finding new ways to say"This is awesome, but you need to have been reading from the beginning of the saga to understand it." every month. Yet when I read this book, I can't help but want to share how amazing it is.

Take that appraisal for what you will. What Richard Kadrey, Lee Garbett and Antonio Fabela present in this issue - and every month - is a worthy continuation of what Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey and the many artists who worked on the original Sandman and Lucifer series created. If you've read those classic series, you'll love it. And if you haven't, you really should.

Final Analysis: 10 out of 10.

Aquaman #21 - A Review

The  substance called "Strange Water" - dubbed H2 Point O by the US Navy - has revealed more mysteries to Aquaman and Mera. Responding to their powers - and seemingly irresponsible for the creation of the monster called Dead Water - the substance seems to have come from some manner of underwater gateway. Unfortunately, this revolution discovery may soon be spoiled by the couple's so-called allies...


With Aquaman #21, Dan Abnett shifts gears yet again, entering into the realm of pure science-fiction after two issues of horror. It's a good change, however, and the script has the same spirit as a top-notch Doctor Who episode. The artwork is equally varied and memorable. Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Gabe Eltaeb are each delivering some of the best work in their careers. This is one book every comic fan should be reading!

Final Analysis: 8 out of 10.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Make Mine Marvel... No More!


I spent the better part of an hour trying to articulate my thoughts on why, effective immediately, I will not being supporting any product made by Marvel Comics including comic books, novels, merchandise or movies.

I've read a number of convincing arguments from other people as to why they can no longer support the company in the wake of Secret Empire #0.  From the Veteran who was inspired to serve his country because of Captain America to the Jewish and LGBT comic shop owners who balked at being asked to dress as Nazis in order to promote the comic, there are a lot of people who have legitimate, personal reasons to be upset by this comic.

I sympathize completely. I was similarly torn by One More Day and the idea that Peter Parker - who lived and breathed the idea that With Great Power, There Must Also Always Be Great Responsibility - would sacrifice his marriage in a Faustian Pact rather than work past the guilt of having indirectly caused the death of his Aunt May.

I boycotted all things Marvel from that point on until I was convinced to lift the ban so that I could see The Avengers movie. The argument from a fellow Browncoat that I shouldn't deny myself a new Joss Whedon movie over some comic that would be changed back to normal sooner or later swayed me. I still abstained from all things Spider-Man, but I would read titles written by writers I enjoyed under the Marvel banner.

The problem I face now is that any rallying cry I make for a boycott will ring hollow. Until recently I'd only been reading two Marvel Comics on a monthly basis and I'd already dropped one of them since it looked like it was going to start requiring me to read other titles. I lack the words to make up for my lack of gravitas.

Thankfully, I have an image that captures my feelings perfectly.


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 60

The undead killing streak continues, as we go off in search of a vampire lair on behalf of the court mage of Solitude. I also give a quick master-class in inventory management, enchanting and smithing before we buy ourselves a house, I become a Thane (again!) and we recruit one of the best companions in the game as our new Steward... right before I die a most random and unexpected death.


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 59

Having dealt with one necromantic menace and claimed the rewards for doing so, we head to the temple of Meridia - the Daedric prince of light and life - to rid it of the undead and magical darkness that now defile it.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 58

In which we continue furthering our education at The Bard's College and undertake some quests on behalf of the faculty to recover some legendary musical instruments. But first we deal with the more pressing business of preventing the resurrection of a Necromancer Queen...


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 57

In which I ramble a bit too long about one of my favorite books growing up while making a point, read through some of the books in our inventory and we set about ensuring that the Skyrim equivalent of Guy Fawkes Day goes on as planned before stealing all the spiced wine and sweets!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Green Arrow #21 - A Review

As Oliver Queen ponders his life and the father he never really knew while visiting the Queen family tomb, a sinister plot unfolds. Four villains - all in the employ of Queen Enterprises CEO Cyrus Broderick - have set about bringing Hell to Seattle in one form or another. Soon Green Arrow and his allies will find themselves tested as never before...


It's difficult for me to show any scans of Green Arrow #21, given the unique way in which Juan Ferreyra illustrated this issue. Up until the final three pages, the top third of each page depicts Oliver Queen's as he visits his father's grave. The bottom two-thirds depict the various villains in action and the story spans across both pages, splash-page style. It's a bold breakage of the standard comic-book format but Ferreyra pulls it off beautifully, taking advantage of the extra space in some truly unique ways.

Benjamin Percy's script is more concerned with the practicalities of reestablishing several members of Green Arrow's rogues gallery than any fancy aesthetics. More, the story attempts to reconcile the new origin for Robert Queen presented in Jeff Lemire's Green Arrow with something somewhat closer to the Arrow TV series character. Far from being overly expository, Percy balances this set-up and some thrilling action sequences like a master plate-spinner.

Personally, I regret the necessity of needing to stick with the story where Shado is Oliver Queen's weird step-mom. But what do I know? I'm one of the three people who miss Mia Dearden and Felicity Smoak from The Kingdom story arc!

Final Analysis: 9 out of 10. 

Batman #21 - A Review

Returning to his investigation of the mysterious blood-soaked button that materialized in The Bat-Cave shortly after the return of the first Wally West, Batman makes a shocking discovery. Summoning Barry Allen to ask for assistance after he detects the influence of The Speed Force at work, Batman quickly finds himself facing a new foe - one who claims to be an old enemy!


Those hoping for quick answers to the mysteries posed by DC Universe Rebirth #1 in this issue will be sorely disappointed. Batman #21 ultimately does little but give us more mysteries to ponder. It must be said, however, that those mysteries are well-presented and that Tom King's script - based on a plot by Geoff Johns - does a fine job of setting up the story to come.

Apart from the titular Button, there is little obvious connection to Watchmen in the main plot of this issue. Subtextually, there is a mirror story, seemingly unrelated to the main action, which parallels the battle between Batman and the apparent villain of this issue in a way similar to the stories within stories of Watchmen.

The influence of Watchmen is more obvious in the artwork. Most of the pages - saving a few splashes - display the three-by-three grids utilized throughout Watchmen. Jason Fabok masterfully constructs surprisingly detail-driven pictures within the confinement offered to him, with Brad Anderson utilizing a perfect palette to finish it all.

Final Analysis: 8 out of 10. A solid start.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 56

In which we enter Dead Man's Respite in search of a lost Bardic slam-poem about how horrible King Olaf One-Eye was. Given that said poem is buried in the middle of a zombie-infested tomb, this is more exciting than you'd think.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 55

In which Elisif The Fair - showing the wisdom that has made her the perfect puppet for The Empire and The Thalmor - entrusts us with an incredibly hypocritical quest. And since such stupidity leaves me longing to prove my own intelligence, we head back to school and join The Bard's College.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Injustice 2 #2 - A Review

Pretty much everything I need to say about Injustice 2 can be summed up by this page.

Truly, he is the son of Oliver Queen!


In truth, I do need to say a bit more, despite that one page displaying the art team's amazing ability to match the anarchic spirit of Tom Taylor's writing while still holding true to the dramatic conventions demanded of a mainstream superhero comic. We also see Taylor's own gift for comedic timing, as Bruno Redondo's pencils, Juan Albarran's inks and Rex Lokus' colors work together in perfect unison to craft one amazing looking comic.

The action from last issue continues, with Harley Quinn in the custody of Amanda Waller and the apparent latest incarnation of The Suicide Squad. Harley has zero damns to give, however, so confident is she in an immediate rescue at Batman's hands. Meanwhile, Dr. Fate returns to the parallel Earth where he left a mostly-dead Black Canary, along with her newborn son, to give them a happy ending of sorts with an Oliver Queen who had lost his Dinah Lance at some point in the past. Hilarity ensues.

More about the story I cannot say.  Suffice it to say that if you enjoyed the previous Injustice comic series, you will enjoy this one as well.  It has the same great artwork and a story that will continually surprise you, one way or another.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 54

In which we explore Wolfskull Cave to fight a coven of necromancers who seek to resurrect the dread necromancer queen Potema - a task that proves much easier than you'd expect! So we also help a beggar and enter into the mind of madness, as we encounter the kindness (and silliest) of the Daedric Princes.


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 53

In which - having soothed an old woman's heart and reunited Master and Hound, we do a bit of exploring along the northern coast of Skyrim and clear out the fanciest bandit hideout ever.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 52

In which our efforts to retrieve an axe for a Daedric Lord are put on hold so that we can jailbreak a Stormcloak soldier to ease his poor mother's heart. And so that we can kill a bunch of Thalmor. Because screw the Thalmor!


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 51

In which - after restoring the game to show that Aerin really IS creeping on my family and delivering justice once again - we have Mjoll don her fan-servicey armor, kill off The Dark Brotherhood, get adopted by a talking dog and speak with the imprisoned God of Trickery and Wishes.

 Sure, it sounds insane when I type it all out...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Conan The Slayer #8 - An Preview/Review

Conan's newly forged alliance between the Kozak tribesmen and the Reavers of the Vilayet Sea has succeeded! Indeed, Conan's leadership has proven as profitable for his roguish allies as it has been aggravating for Jehunigir Agha, keeper of the coastal border of Turan. Lord Agha proves unwilling to wait for his men to deal with the barbarian, however, and sets a trap on a remote island using an enslaved noblewoman named Octavia as bait.










Conan The Slayer #8
seems a fairly straight-forward adaption of the first few chapters of Robert E. Howard's The Devil In Iron at first glance. Cullen Bunn has built on the original story, however, displaying the full action of events that were only referred to in the classic tale. These additions are well within the spirit of Howard's oeuvre and serve only to enhance what was already a ripping yarn. The artwork by Sergio Davila and Michael Atiyeh is of similar high quality, evoking the memory of Frank Frazetta as easily as Bunn resurrects Howard.



Conan The Slayer #8 releases on April 26, 2017. 
Ask for it at your local comic shop or purchase it on Comixology.com.

Titans #10 - A Review

Nightwing and The Flash have been captured while investigating Meta Solutions and their connection to The Fearsome Five. Not even the rest of the Titans may up to the task of saving them! Yet help can come from the most unlikely of sources...


While I can forgive a lot in the name of a story where the power of love and friendship win the day, I can't quite forgive Dan Abnett for this issue. The action sequences are good but the Deus Ex Machina employed here strains credibility and Abnett is capable of writing so much better.

By contrast, the artists seem to have upped their game, with Brett Booth's artwork looking less posed and more fluid than usual. Norm Rapmund's inks are light, adding to the continual sense of motion that dominates Booth's art and Andrew Dalhouse's colors create some truly amazing eye-catching light effects.

The Flash #20 - A Review

Iris West is accustomed to moving fast and taking chances. You have to be when you're a reporter in Central City, chasing news regarding The Flash! However, she may have taken once chance too many with her latest story,which sees her infiltrating the secretive scientist group called The Black Hole and winding up in a fire fight with The Flash himself!

It's high time that Iris West got a solo story and Joshua Williamson gives her a great one in this issue. At her best, Iris can be every bit the equal of Lois Lane and it's a crying shame that we don't see stories from her perspective more often. The artwork by Neil Googe and Ivan Plascencia looks fantastic for the most part.  Some of Googe's facial expressions look a bit odd but the action sequences are well-blocked and Plascencia's colors are well-chosen throughout.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 50

In this very special episode, Matthias The Dastard takes a wife, adopts a daughter, demonstrates how you can force your spouse to dress in impractical "armor", gets kidnapped on his wedding night and deliver justice to the most base and vile villain in the entire game - Aerin The Friendzoned!


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 49

In which we clear out some of our minor quests and I muse upon why bandits remain bandits when they're sitting on a treasure trove of glass weapons. Sell that swag and buy a house!

We also steal a book, fight a dragon and adopt a daughter.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Detective Comics #954 - A Review

With The League of Shadows laying waste to Gotham City and all of his operatives abducted, Batman is in little mood to indulge Ra's Al Ghul's desire to talk. Can the two old enemies find common cause against Lady Shiva and her splinter group? Or will "The Detective" have one more enemy to face this night?
Detective Comics #954 is a decidedly average comic. James Tynion IV's writing is in fine form, presenting that rarest of all sighs - an emotionally out-of-control Batman who is off-balance and fighting blind. His take on Ra's Al Ghul is solid too. Unfortunately, the artwork by Marcio Takara is uncharacteristically sloppy and over-inked. It's difficult to follow the action of the issue and the muted palette utilized by Marcelo Maiolo leaves everything looking dull and washed out. Hopefully the art game will be stepped up in two weeks.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 48

In which we embark upon the noble quest of distributing religious literature to the illiterate masses of Riften. Annoying? Yes, but it's worth it for a 15% bonus to our Magical Resistance.

We also embark on a slightly less noble quest to blackmail the local priestess of the lust goddess Dibella just for the fun of it.


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 47

In which - after a brief recap of some of the tedious grinding I did off-camera - we cash in selling "rare" Dwarven arrows to the wizard we just helped to find true love. Okay, it's 10 gold for an arrow but that's a damn good price for one arrow!

From there I show off my new house, return to Riften to tend to some Thieves' Guild business before embarking on the last of The Book Of Love quests and reuniting two lovers from beyond the grave...


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 46

In which we finally become Thane of Morthal the ol' fashioned Viking way - through drunken brawling!  We then go to return a sword and romance a sword-maiden. Finally, with romance still on our minds, we head to the temple of Mara - goddess of Love - and take on a quest or two to spread the power of Love in a way that doesn't involve drunken whoring... for once.


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 45

In which we set off to slay another dragon on behalf of the people of Morthal. Get ready for more extreme mountain climbing and some giant slaying as we struggle to become the Thane of these unworthy peasants.


Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Three #4 - A Review/Preview

Trailing the strange red TARDIS that kidnapped Cindy, The Doctor, Gabby and Noobis soon find themselves in Ancient China. They befriend the sage Father Wu Wei and his son, Li, who tell them of The Red Jade General who rules the land with a metal fist. Gabby manages to infiltrate The General's citadel, finding not her best friend... but five-hundred women with Cindy's face!








This final chapter of Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth provides a satisfying conclusion to the opening arc of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Three. Nick Abadzis' story puts a twisted spin on a classic villain as we learn the true nature of The Red Tardis/The Red Jade General. The artwork by Giorgia Sposito and Arianna Florean continues to astound. This book is a must read!

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Three #4 releases on April 19, 2017.
 Ask for it at your local comic shop or purchase it on Comixology.com.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 44

In which I set off for the dwarven ruin of Mzinchaleft in search of a certain sword belonging to a certain sword-maiden, whom I intend to make Mrs. "The Dastard".


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 43

In which we set out to slay the dragon of Skyborn Altar and wind up getting completely side-tracked after an encounter with M'aiq The Liar, wandering all the way to Dawnstar!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 42

In which - after defending our home from a random giant attack - we set about doing some repair work and adopting an urchin. We then set off to restore the Eldergleam Tree of Whiterun before liberating the town of the Stones of Barenziah that are hidden there. Finally, we start to win the hearts (and gold) of the people of Morthal.


Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 41

In which we make it to Morthal and begin investigating reports of a vampire terrorizing the popular... after playing tag with the local children. Because damnit, the children ARE our future.




Saturday, April 8, 2017

Green Arrow #20 - A Review

Green Arrow #20 works perfectly on multiple levels. It satisfies as a thrilling action story in the vein of Dennis O'Neil and Mike Grell, but this is the least of Benjamin Percy's accomplishments as a writer. The most impressive part of this issue is the redemption of Roy Harper.


As I mentioned in my review of the previous issue, Roy's background in The New 52 reality was left largely undefined. The flashback sequences in the past three issues have done much to restore Roy's past and, in doing so, define his current character. Some cosmetic changes have been made - such as the name of Roy's adoptive Native American father and what tribe they were part of - yet all of this, curiously, has helped to restore Roy to his Golden Age roots as an orphaned boy-adventurer.

Another aspect of Roy's past that is finally explored in detail is his history of drug abuse. Given Roy's new status as a homeless youth, this makes sense, with the real world statistics regarding homeless teenagers and drug use being depressingly high. Percy does not go for shock value in this, however, and if there is any justice the same people who gave the atrocious The Rise Of Arsenal an award for its depiction of drug use will give the same award to this story arc.


Another change of note that will interest long-time Arrow-heads is Percy's revamp of Count Vertigo. As with Percy's new take on The Clock King, the changes here are largely cosmetic and limited to a brilliant - but logical - twist on a classic character's modus operandi. In this case, Vertigo uses his powers to help a withdrawn Roy Harper get his fix by simulating a heroin high, in order to convince the young hero - recently abandoned by Green Arrow - to work for him.  On that note, the story also does a fair bit to redeem Oliver Queen for his reactions to his young ward's habit while still leaving Oliver firmly in the wrong.


I must not forget to praise the art team in all of this. Both Eleonora Carlini and Mirka Andolfo do a fantastic job of illustrating this entire story arc. The colors by Arif Prianto are perfectly chosen throughout. Quite frankly, if this story arc doesn't see a few Eisner and Harvey nominations, I will be very surprised!

Bottom Line: If you are any kind of Green Arrow and Arsenal fan, you need to read these last three issues.

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 12

The thrilling double-size conclusion! The Law and Order Party may have been stopped, but the Overlord Project they planned to exploit still exists. In order to save the world again (for the first time!), Tex Murphy will have to brave a secret compound under Alcatraz and play a deadly game of chess... after solving several more illogical logic puzzles.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Aquaman #20 - A Review

Sealed inside a secret US Navy research facility with the monster known as Dead Water, Aquaman and Mera must forge an unlikely alliance with their enemies The Aquamarines and The Scavenger to survive. Yet even if they manage that, there is still the mystery of "Strange Water" - the substance that Atlanteans cannot breathe which seems to transform ordinary humans into monsters - to solve...


Aquaman #20 breaks the format of the book to date, being a military/horror story rather than a political thriller. Dan Abnett writes this sort of thing well but the fact remains that most of the characters here are cliche stock types (the treacherous academic the loyal grunt, etc.) that exist only as canon fodder. The artwork by Philippe Briones and Gabe Eltaeb looks fantastic, however. Just don't expect there to be as much depth to the story as there is to the ocean and this is an enjoyable bit of entertainment.

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 11

In which - after a quick demonstration of how the death scenes work in a game set in flashback - we endure an annoying, trial-and-error sequence to bring down... BIG JIM SLADE! We top it all off by getting past the most nonsensical puzzle in the game, involving a randomly electrified floor.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pathfinder: Worldscape #6 - A Review

The city of Shareen is razed and the Empress Camilla lies dead. Alas, the sorcerer Kulan Gath has acquired her scepter and what remains of Camilla's circle of advisors have joined him to acquire the magic crown that, coupled with the scepter, will give them power over The Worldscape and the three worlds that feed it! It is now a race against time as John Carter, Red Sonja and their new friends among The Pathfinders must meet with The Council of Jungle Kings and rouse the bearer of the crown - the one called Tarzan - from his contemplation to join the battle!


Alas, this engaging bit of pulp fiction has fallen flat in its final chapter. The strength of Erik Mona's story has lain in the interactions between the heroes of different worlds, such as John Carter discussing religion with a priestess whose magics he cannot explain. Those interactions are tossed aside here, as we are introduced to a horde of public-domain jungle kings whose only purpose is to serve as canon fodder until Tarzan can be bothered to put in an appearance. The artwork by Jonathan Lau remains astonishing but this ending feels rushed and might have benefited from a few more issues to develop the larger cast.

Batgirl Annual #1 - A Review

My Wednesday morning comic shop was shorted on Batgirl Annual #1. So I didn't get a chance to pick it up when it came out last week. Thankfully, it proved more than worth the wait!


The first story, by monthly-series writer Hope Larson, is a team-up with Supergirl worthy of the name World's Finest Comics.The plot centers on Kara Zor-El seeking Batgirl's help in quietly sneaking inside a CADMUS facility, where she believes another Kryptonian may be held hostage.

The story is definitely more in Supergirl's territory than Batgirl's, but Larson does a fine job explaining things for those, like me, who don't read Supergirl. More importantly, the chemistry between the two heroines is strong and the artwork by Inaki Miranda and Eva De La Cruz is fantastic. I've never seen their work before but I'll be sure to seek it out after this impressive showing.


The back-up story by Vita Ayala is a more thoughtful piece, set back during the Burnside era. This story's main purpose is answering a question that has bothered long-time readers for a while - why did Barbara's best-friend, Alysia, disappear from her life for so long?

While the real-world reasons are well-known, Ayala's story gives a good in-universe reason for the sudden distance between the two friends and has the two reconnecting as Barbara tries to deal with the reemergence of an old enemy without blowing her secret identity. It's a fun bit of farce and the artwork by Green Arrow artist Eleonora Carlini and colorist Mat Lopes does not disappoint.

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 10

In which we perform brain surgery on ourselves - a task made easier by judicious use of a cheat code (Don't judge - that brain maze puzzle is impossible!) and break back into The Law and Order Party HQ to find the secret lab of Overlord scientist and total loonie John Klaus.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 9

In which we track down Robert Knott of the Law and Order Party and pull The Oldest Trick In The Book to bring about the most unlikely escape ever. We then get to enjoy an honestly well-acted scene  before solving another cipher and another round of pestering everyone we've met with every damn thing we've heard of.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 17 - Aruba

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



Plot

With Amaya dead, Snart alive, Stein having forgotten who he is and The Spear of Destiny destroyed, all of reality is in risk of falling apart under the weight of too many paradoxes. In order to save everything that is, The remaining Legends must break the cardinal rule of time travel and risk an encounter with their past selves in order to destroy The Spear of Destiny before The Legion of Doom creates Doomworld.


Influences

The film Back To The Future 2 (heroes fighting to recover an artifact to prevent a dark alternate timeline from coming into being), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (time-travelers have to help their past selves while avoiding being spotted), The Wizard of Oz (the movie is playing the "There's no place like home...." line during the vision Sara has about resurrecting Laurel, the whole idea of a heroine having her power taken away so she can return to a normal life, Amaya's Ruby Slippers), Men In Black (the memory-erasing light guns return) and countless Doctor Who episodes, particularly the writings of Steve Moffat, where the usual rules regarding time travel are broken to a create a farcical atmosphere.


Goofs

Why is Damien Darhk hanging around STAR Labs? Thawne should be just as likely to kill him as The Legends if pushed, given Darhk and the rest of The Legion of Doom betrayed him.

The prop heart that Thawne rips out of Ray Palmer's chest looks incredibly fake and plastic.

Why do the time quakes not start until the two Rip Hunters see each other?  All the other time duplicates were already in the room together.

Why don't the dozens of Thawnes bull-rush Past Sara before she can activate The Spear? Why do they waste time picking off everyone else first?

When did Past Sara learn the phrase to activate The Spear of Destiny? (Presumably Future Nate taught it to everyone before they tried to escape the Past Waverider?)

Katie Cassidy still cannot emote worth a damn.

The CGI for Thawne's death is incredibly cheap looking.


Performances

Once again, Caity Lotz is the episode MVP. Most of the episode's power moments require her to do most of the heavy lifting, including a magical little scene where Sara has a long talk with herself. It almost makes the sudden revival of the "Sara is dark and broken" subplot from Season 3 of Arrow tolerable. Almost. Still, the fact that the material works half as well as it does is a credit to Lotz's talent as an actress. It only falls apart when Lotz is forced to act for two opposite the Botox-faced Katie Cassidy.


Artistry

The effects work to have the various past and future incarnations of The Legends interact is rather brilliant.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

Instead of the usual opening narration, the episode opens with a montage of Season Two highlights, set to the song Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers.


Technobabble

Ray and Jax assumed that The Waverider was broadcasting using a quantum frequency. That would only be possible if the quad band antenna array was in alignment.

The current team of Legends - Jax, Mick, Sara, Rip, Ray and Nate - will cease to exist once The Spear of Destiny is destroyed, since they never would have existed if The Legion of Doom hadn't have stolen The Spear and created Doomworld.

A time quake is the result of two versions of an individual from different times interacting with one another.

A time storm is a paradox, much stronger than a time quake, which results when two versions of an individual attempt to time travel together,

The memory-erasing guns are used to erase Merlyn, Snart and Darhk's memories of what happened.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Rip looks out the pilot's window of The Waverider at a dome-like object from which light pours from the bottom.)
Rip: Gideon? What is that? Is that another ship?
Gideon: Negative. It appears to be... a desk lamp.
(Comprehension dawns on Rip's face as he realizes what's happened. We see a long shot of the shrunken Waverider hovering above the main desk in the middle of STAR Labs.)
Rip: (quietly) Oh, bollocks. (regular voice) Right! Engage our cloak and plot a course!
Gideon: Heading, Captain?
Rip: The nearest open window.

(The Legends have just made radio contact with Rip.)
Ray: Rip?
Rip: Yes, Doctor Palmer. I've homed in on your location.
Jax: Well, haul ass over here and come pick us up!
Rip: There may be one  small problem with that.
(The shrunken Waverider hovers into the rest of the team's view.)

(Darhk is strangling both Jax and Ray with his magic telekinesis as the shrunken Waverider flies into the room and circles around to face him.)

Rip: Gideon, fire!  Fire everything!
(The Waverider begins firing its lasers into Darhk's chest. Unfortunately, at this size, it is less than effective.)
Darhk: Awww... isn't that adorable?  Is that the best you've got?
(Mick enters the room from behind an oblivious Darhk.)
Mick: How about this?
(Mick pistol-whips Darhk across the back of the head with his flame gun, knocking him out cold.)

(Ray picks up the vial holding Christ's blood.)
Ray: Well... that was easier the second time around.
(There is a streak of red-lighting as Thawne appears, vial in hand.)
Thawne: I knew you idiots would come back from 2017. Apart from being incredibly stupid, you are just -so- predictable!
Ray: (powering up his lasers): Give me back the vial!
(Thawne squeezes his hand and the vial breaks.)
Thawne: (deadpan) What vial?
Sara: (over radio) Ray! Ray, get out of there, now!
Thawne: You know, my allies keep giving me the same, simple piece of advice?
(Another streak of red-lightning and one metallic clang later, Ray Palmer is standing there with a hole in his chest plate.  Thawne is standing where he was.. clutching a still beating heart. Without a word, Ray falls backwards as Thawne lets the heart fall to the ground. He looks down at Ray's corpse.)
Thawne: They were right. I should have done that ages ago.

Mick: Never stolen anything from myself before. Could be interesting.

Mick: Not for nothing, but Aruba would have been a better option.

(Thawne runs into the tent where Darhk and Snart are talking. With him is a confused-looking Merlyn, who glances around, momentarily terrified as he finds himself somewhere else.)
Thawne: Gentlemen.
Merlyn: What the hell is going on here?!
Darhk: That's what I was going to ask. Aren't you supposed to be searching for The Kalabros Manuscript?
Merlyn: (testily) I was.
Thawne: And I found him. And I brought him here. We no longer need The Manuscript. We have a different problem. The Legends are here.
Snart: We know. I just punched Mick.
Thawne: Not -those- Legends. And I'm not your Eobard. I'm from the future.
Darhk: (bored) Yeah, what else is new?
Thawne: (sighs in annoyance) Okay. I mean -your- future. One where have The Spear of Destiny and The Legends from -that- future are here now too.
Merlyn: Wait - there's two sets of Legends?
Snart: (annoyed) When do I get to rob a bank?
Thawne: Just deal with them!
(Thawne turns and takes a step to the tent exit.)
Darhk: Where do you think you're going?!
Thawne: To get backup.
(Thawne disappears in a streak of red lightning. The sudden rush of wind hits Darkh like a punch to the gut, forcing him to spit-take his drink.)
Darhk: I hate it when he does that.

(Past Sara has just ordered Past Ray to deal with her "fake" self over the radio.)
Past Ray: Sorry, Sara.
Future Sara; For what?
Past Ray: Listening to you.
(Past Ray punches Future Sara and throws her to Past Rip as Past Mick tries to punch Future Jax.)
Future Jax: Woah! Big dude! Chill out, bro! We're not impostors!
Tolkien: This is madness! What has come over you people?!
Future Sara; If you would -
(Future Sara ducks under Past Ray's punch, which hits Past Rip.)
Future Sara: - just -
(Futura Sara grabs Past Ray's arm and punches him in the stomach.)
Future Sara:
- let me-
(Future Sara punches Ray in the face, knocking him down.)
Future Sara:  - explain!
Past Sara: (over radio) If fake me is anything like real me, Ray's going to need some help.

Future Rip: We are not The Legion. Believe it or not, we are actually future iterations of yourselves who have traveled back in time to prevent some form of calamity.
Past Sara: I don't believe it! Why would Rip Hunter violate the First Rule of Time Travel?
Future Rip: I'm asking myself the very same question.
(The door at the far end of the room opens as Past Rip enters the room. He looks at his future self as they both speak in unison.)
Both Rips: Oh bollocks.
(There is a great rumbling that shakes the ship.)
Past Jax: What the hell was that?!
Future Rip: It's a time quake.
Past Rip: The result of us interacting with ourselves.
Future Nate: Well, that wasn't so bad.
Future Rip: Yeah. Give it time.

Past Sara: Whose bright idea was it to do the one thing that could jeopardize all of time?!
Futura Sara: Yours.
Future Mick: (To his past self) What the hell are you starring at?
Past Mick: Just imagining what you'd look like without teeth.
Both Saras: Knock if off, Rory!
Past Stein: I can't believe that even we would do anything so foolish, unless something went terribly wrong the first time we were here.
Past Ray: Uh - I can't help but notice...
Past Amaya: ... not all of us came back with you.
Past Nate: What happens to us in the future?
(There is a long pause as the future Legends just look at each other.)
Future Mick: (chuckling)
Well... (points to Ray) Dead. (points to Amaya) Dead. (points to Stein) Good as dead.

Past Sara: In the future you're from, The Legion gets The Spear?
Future Sara: ... yes.
Past Sara: So this is my fault?
Future Sara: It was more of a... team effort, really.
Past Sara: Can I ask you a question? Do you wish you would have used it?
Future Sara: (without hesitating) No.
Past Sara: But you could have stopped all of this!  I mean, you could have erased The Legion of Doom from existence. You could have kept your team alive!
Future Sara: You know why I... we... can't use it. The Spear... it draws on our desires. Our weaknesses. Our hatred...
Past Sara: Our darkness. We're not strong enough to wield it.
Future Sara: The Spear is a weapon. And you know what we do with weapons.

Future Nate: (To Past Nate) I want you to do the things I wish I would have done instead of the things I wish I would have said. You want to know why? Because there's nothing - nothing worse than looking back at your life with regret.

Future Sara: Everybody clear on the plan?
Past Sara: Run like hell. Try not to die.
Future Sara: (To the Future Legends) What about you guys? You ready?
Future Jax: Other than the fact that I can't Firestorm and Nate can't Steel?
Future Nate: You bet your sweet ass we're ready.

(Darhk and Merlyn are firing at The Legends with their futuristic guns. Suddenly, they both seem to run out of power.)
Darhk: Damn it.
Merlyn: Damien, I think we should go back to basics.
Darhk: Yeah, you're right. Killing's gotten so gosh darn impersonal lately.
(Merlyn draws his bow as Darhk draws his sword.)

(Future Mick overpowers Darkh and pins him over a barricade. He puts his heat gun to Darhk's chest as we hear the familiar sound of Snart's cold gun powering up.)
Snart:
Let him go, Mick.
Future Mick: I'm not listening to you anymore.
Snart: C'mon! Is that any way to talk to your old partner?
Future Mick: I don't have a partner. I have a team.

Past Ray: I can't believe we made it.
Future Sara: Don't jinx it.
(Suddenly, red lightning appears on the horizon and surrounds them.)
Past Jax: Awww! He jinxed it!
Past Mick: I hate that guy.
(Suddenly, Future Rip goes flying, falling to the ground, apparently punched dead.)
Thawne: Not that guy. These guys!
(Thawne stands before The Legends but the red lightning continues to dance around them, as more and more Reverse Flashes stop until there's a few dozen surrounding them.)
Thawne: You traveled back in time to help yourselves? I figured I could do the same. You know, it's true what they say - if you want something done right, you really have to do it yourself.

Future Sara: You did it.
Past Sara: You would have done the same.
(Future Sara looks down as her body begins to fade into smoke. She looks up at Past Sara and smiles.)
Future Sara: Remember - Legends never die.
(There is a moment of quiet as the team gather themselves up.)
Nate: Really?  Goonies?
Amaya: What's a Goonie?

(Snart and Mick walk into a warehouse.)
Snart: Should have done this in France, Mick. Could've saved us both a lot of time.
Mick: I didn't bring you here to kill you, Leonard.
Snart: So what are we doing here?
Mick: This is where Thawne recruited you for The Legion. I'm going to wipe your memory and put you on the right path.
Snart: You mean the path where I join up with some Brit twit and die trying to save the world?
Mick: No. You die trying to save your friends.
Snart: Still a death sentence.
Mick: You know what your punishment is, Leonard? You end up being a better man. And so do I.
Snart: (scoffs) Better? You mean softer.
Mick: No. I mean better.

Sara: Stay out of trouble.
Rip: What? Without you lot? I think that will actually be quiet easy.

Sara: Guys? I think we broke Time.
(Everyone looks out the windshield of The Waverider. The skyline of 2017 Los Angeles is made up of varying styles of building. Perhaps more worryingly, a pack of raptors are converging on the crashed ship...)


Dialogue Disasters

The whole of the scene with Laurel and Sara when Sara uses The Spear.


Continuity

Sara had no idea that Nate and Amaya had begun developing romantic feelings for each other.

Thawne used Ray Palmer's ATOM suit to shrink Rip Hunter and The Waverider.

Thawne kept Ray's suit in another lab in the Central City STAR Labs complex.

The team return to the setting of 215.

Future Ray dies after a confrontation with Thawne, where Thawne destroys the vial of Christ's blood before it was destroyed originally.

Future Jax dies taking an arrow shot by Merlyn to save Past Stein.

Jax has apparently been training with Sara, proving capable enough in a fight, to snatch an arrow from Merlyn's quiver, stab him in the leg with it, grab Merlyn's bow from him while he's stunned and smack him in the head with it.

Future Rory is killed after being shot in the back by Snart, impaled on an icicle.

Future Nate is killed by Darhk, stabbed from behind with a sword.

Future Rip is killed by one of the Reverse Flashes.

Future Sara fades out of existence after Past Sara uses The Spear of Destiny to depower itself.

Malcolm Merlyn is returned to his crummy Star City apartment in 2017 and has his memory erased.

Leonard Snart is returned to where he was pulled in 2014 Central City and has his memory erased.

Damien Darhk is returned to where Thawne first approached him in 1987 Miami and has his memory erased.

We see the ruby slippers that Nate gave Amaya in 211.

Amaya decides not to return back to 1942 yet, deciding that if she has a destiny, it will wait for her.

Amaya and Nate officially become a couple.

Rip decides to leave The Waverider, taking The Jumpship to go his own way. He tells Sara he has nothing left to teach her about being the Captain of a Time-ship.


Location

Central City - 2017.
A battlefield near the Somme River in North-Central Framce - 1916
Central City - 2014.
Miami - 1987
Los Angels - 2017


The Fridge Factor

Sara's sudden crisis of faith in this episode regarding there being too much darkness inside of her to use The Spear of Destiny drudges up one of Arrow's most annoyingly stupid plot beats (i.e. the idea that Sara had a natural darkness inside her while Laurel had a light). Every bit of character development Sara had over the past season of this show, growing confident as a hero and a leader as she took over the team, is aborted so that Sara can fall back into the role of the emo whiner who isn't worthy of happiness or love that was forced upon her to justify her removal from Arrow at the end of Season Two.

What makes this even worse is that the universe (or whoever is speaking to Sara in Laurel's form) agrees with her assessment that there's no light in her and that she's a broken bird.

The crowning touch?  Sara can't use the spear until a man tells her that he believes in her.


The Bottom Line

Ignore the fifth segment and it's a solid episode. One might have a spirited debate as to which is more painful - Katie Cassidy's under-acting or Matt Letscher's over-acting. I opt for the former since Matt Letscher is at least amusing when he goes over the top and when you're having to boss around the likes of John Barrowman, Neal McDonough and Wentworth Miller you have to go big or go home. As is, this episode would be perfect if it weren't for their need to tear down Sara Lance in Act 2 to make Act 3 work. Still, the matter seems to be settled once and for all and we can look forward to more of Captain Canary kicking ass and taking names in Season Three.

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 8

In which we infiltrate the offices of the fascist Law and Order Party and I briefly break the game by typing in a password before I should have learned it. We also learn that one of CAPIRCORN's agents was VERY successful in infiltrating The Law and Order party and Sylvia hasn't been entirely honest about her past...


Monday, April 3, 2017

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 7

In which we head to the Big Surf Lodge and a confrontation with hired killer Big Jim Slade. By which I mean we hide in closets and showers in an effort to avoid a confrontation, because he's the kind of guy who packs heat in the shower. We then get to solve a surprising number of logic puzzles in order to figure out how Slade is getting his orders and who his next target is.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Gone To Fan Expo Dallas 2017 - Be Back Monday!


I will be representing Kabooooom.com at Fan Expo Dallas 2017 this weekend. I'm also coming out of retirement to riff on the live The Rocky Horror Picture Show with Amber Does Dallas at noon on Saturday.

If you are attending the event and would like for me to get pictures of your cosplay, I will be at the Red Carpet area in Hall A at the following times.

FRIDAY - 7 PM to 8 PM
SATURDAY - 3 PM to 4 PM
SUNDAY - 11 AM to 12 PM

Have a good weekend! I fully intend to!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 6

In which we meet billionaire philanthropist J. Saint Gideon, who is absolutely NOT the ultimate bad guy of this game even though his first appearance is preceded by dramatic music and ominous chanting in Latin!

We also get to meet the local mutant chess shop owner, explore yet another lab belonging to a dead scientist who was working on Project Overlord and learn the final fate of Sonny Fletcher.


Titans Annual #1 - A Review

Eight heroes. Four mentors. Four pupils. Four Titans. Four Justice League founders. Trapped in a maze that resists their every effort to map it or escape it by an unseen enemy, they must overcome their paranoia as they puzzle out who has trapped them and why. But can they really trust each other?


Describing Titans Annual #1 as Cube with superheroes - while an apt summary - would do it a disservice. Dan Abnett's script is far more than that, playing off of Abnett's knowledge of their characters and the reader's uncertainty as to just how things stand between these characters in the Rebirth reality. In this, Abnett is able to define another piece of the lost lore of the Titans while spinning a riveting tale and making use of an underused villain I was quite pleased to see return.

And yes, it must be said, we do discover Donna Troy's origins in the Rebirth reality here. It's something wholly original (as far as I know) and rather fitting given the changes to Diana's background in The New 52. More I will not say beyond this issue being a must read for any Wonder Girl fans out there.

The artwork for this special is outstanding. Minkyu Jung does a fine job of keeping the story moving visually - no small feat given how much of the story is the characters just talking! The use of light and shadow is particularly impressive and the colors by Adriano Lucas are perfectly chosen.

Green Lantern/Space Ghost Special #1 - A Review

Sent to investigate a message regarding a weapon from beyond the boundaries of known space, Green Lantern  Hal Jordan soon finds himself in a place his ring cannot identify. Worse yet, he is engaged in battle by a strangely dressed figure whose wrist-mounted weapons seem as dangerous as the weapon he was warned about. Naturally this is all a great misunderstanding and two lawmen of different realities will have to trust one another to survive the battle to come.

I came into Green Lantern/Space Ghost with high hopes but I'm afraid they weren't met. Given this story was written by James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela - whose respective work on Detective Comics and Injustice: Ground Zero I've loved - I expected more than a cliche tale of two similar heroes getting into a fight, realizing their mistake and joining together in the end. The individual panels of Ariel Olivetti's painted artwork look amazing but the story flow between them is clunky at best. This isn't a bad comic - merely a passable one. Given the talent involved, however, it should have been better.


The Ruff 'n' Reddy back-up story by Howard Chaykin and Wil Quintana is a different beast - no pun intended. Set in a world much like that of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? where animated anthrmorphic animals live and work among humans, we follow two comedians - a cat named Ruff and a dog named Reddy - whose careers are floundering after their respective acts break up.

It spoils little to say the two have decided to partner up by issue's end. Personally, I enjoyed this piece but as a fan of 1940s comedians my opinion may be biased. It remains to be seen how this will play in Peoria or if the barber in Peru will get it, to borrow two old phrases from the agents of yesteryear. If nothing else, Chaykin deserves credit for briefly partnering Ruff up with a Mae West type named Sexx.

Clean Room #17 - A Review

The Entities have unleashed their first major offensive upon our world. It is the moment that Astird Mueller has been preparing for all her life, yet she isn't leading the attack. Instead, she is saving her most loyal follower and her fiercest detractor from the mind of the madman who has taken over The Clean Room...


I apologize for the relative brevity of this review but there's little I can say without giving away the game. How do you describe the ocean to someone who doesn't know what water is?

I can say this. Clean Room is easily the strongest new horror title to come out of Vertigo Comics in years and it is some of the finest work to date from Gail Simone, Walter Geovani and Quinton Winter. If you haven't been reading it, do yourself a favor and get the back issues. You'll thank me later.

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 5

In which we explore the secret lab of Bosworth Clark and then do some real detective work - i.e. making phone-calls, going through legal records and asking people the same questions over and over in the hopes of learning something useful from one of them.

Look, it isn't always bourbon and babes, alright?!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 18 - Disbanded

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



Plot

Having disbanded the Team Arrow and given up his cowl and bow in the wake of a week's torture, Oliver turns to his old allies in The Bratva to deal with Prometheus once and for all. This greatly concerns John Diggle, who confronts Oliver on his decision to turn to gangsters over his friends to deal with the current crisis.


Influences

The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick.


Goofs

Given that Oliver knows that Prometheus knows about his past in Russia,  why does he think turning to The Bratva is something Prometheus wouldn't have planned for?  You'd think Ollie would at least consider how bad it would be if word got out that The Mayor was in collusion with Russian gangsters or that said gangsters might double-cross him as he double-crossed them.

While not really a goof, how many times is Oliver going to have to learn that his friends are his strength and that he cannot stand alone against his enemies? (At least one more, obviously...)

Granting that the SCPD are corrupt and incompetent in equal measure, how do they not stop the one car speeding away from the remote safe-house that they are speeding toward to catch a now-wanted super-villain?!


Performances

Stephen Amell plays a totally different Oliver Queen here - subdued and beaten. It's frightening how different Oliver seems since last week's ordeal.

David Ramsey is the show's most solid performer, making the most of what little material is is given generally. Give him some great material - as occurs here - and he dazzles. Ramsey's performance as John Diggle here is one of his most powerful ever. Possibly his best turn yet as the character in five years.

Again, David Nykl does a fantastic job playing both versions of Anatoly. The final two scenes showing how far he has fallen, in a mirror of Oliver's own arc, are astonishing.


Artistry

The script for this episode is a solid one, which does a great job balancing the flashback sequences and applying them to the modern action. Of particular note is the disparity between the Oliver and the Anatoly of five years earlier. Five years ago, Anatoly was a kind man who visited sick children in a hospital to offer them words of comfort and arranged heists to get the drugs needed to save lives. Now he is robbing medical companies in order to create designer drugs to make a profit. There's also a nice shift between the two different heists in the fifth segments.

It's worth noting that this episode is unusually realistic in depicting how hackers actually operate. While most of what Helix does is still Hollywood Hacking at it's finest, the methods used by Curtis - looking at an unattended computer and stealing hardware - are more commonly used by real world hackers than actively breaking into a network.


Trivia

Rather than the usual theme song, a more somber, sad tune plays underneath the Arrow logo when it appears.

Kord Industries is mentioned once again, identified as the manufacturers of Prometheus' optic-scrambling technology. In the original comics, Kord Industries was the technologies company run by Ted Kord a.k.a. The Blue Beetle. The DCTVU version of Kord Industries was identified as Palmer Technologies' main competitor back in Season Three.


Technobabble

Prometheus uses some form of optic-scrambling technology that prevents a camera from capturing his image when he is in his costume but not wearing his mask.

Felicity determines that the pixilation pattern of the images scrambled by Prometheus' tech is consistent with that of a Kord Industries' Optic Scrambler that will be hitting the market within the next six months. It works by interfering with the camera's digital conversion circuit. This means they can use an algorithm to remove the distortion. Unfortunately, that requires them to have physical access to the hardware.

It is revealed that all the gun-wielding members of Team Arrow have been using tranquilizer rounds rather than standard bullets.

The drug Anatoly and his men are stealing is Oplimid. Wild Dog notes that this is a medication for treating diabetes.

The chemicals in the two drugs Anatoly and his men plan to steal - Revlextra and Oplimid - can be combined to form an opioid more addictive than heroin.

Curtis is able to use his T-Sphere to pickpocket Adrian Chase's optic scrambler.

Curtis uses Ray Palmer's tracking nanites - last seen in 510 - to find Felicity and Helix.

Felicity says that the encryption on the pixilation algorithm on the Kord optic scrambler will take her 13 months to break. The apparent number of possible codes is (3.1610 18) (E 6) (75 teraflops)

Rene uses one of Curtis' T-spheres as a flash-bang grenade.

Curtis is able to use his T-sphere as a "bloodhound" to sniff out precisely where the original prototype of the optic scrambler is in the Kord Industries' lab he and Felicity break into.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Chase is alone with Oliver in his office at City Hall.)
Oliver: What are you doing here? You won. It's over.
Chase: What did I ever say that gave you that impression?
(Chase reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a throwing knife, which he puts on Oliver's desk.)
Oliver: What are you doing?
Chase: Proving a point, so to speak.
Oliver: You think I'm going to stab the District Attorney in the middle of City Hall?
Chase: You're an animal who enjoys murder. There's no telling what you'll do. And it's not like your alter ego can kill me. Not since the SCPD put me in protective custody since The Green Arrow slaughtered my wife. So you kill me in broad daylight. Or you let me live knowing there is nothing you can do.
(Oliver says nothing. Nor does he move toward the knife. He just holds Chase's gaze until he has to look away.)
Chase: Disappointing. (turning to move toward the door) You can keep that knife.

Oliver: Listen, Susan. I know that... we never got a chance to resolve things. (pauses) I can't be with you. My apologies if that's presumptuous.
Susan: Oliver...
Oliver: This is not how.... this is not how I wanted my life to... to touch yours. (pauses) I should have known better. And for that, I really, truly am sorry.

(Oliver is standing in The Bunker. We do not see who else is with him.)
Oliver: Thank you for coming on such short notice. I understand that after last time... I have run out of favors. But this is an impossible situation. And you are my only option.
(The camera shifts and we see a stone-faced Anatoly regarding Oliver.)
Anatoly: Obviously. Last time you made very clear you did not want Bratva in city.
Oliver: Circumstances have changed. I need you to kill Adrian Chase.

Anatoly: Interesting. I never thought you would give up the hood.
Oliver: Well, you were the one who told me it was silly to think that a... piece of cloth could contain the monster inside of me forever. You were right.
Anatoly: (sighs) Such a burden. Always being right.

(Team Arrow moves in on the gangsters robbing the medical supply company.)
John: Hands up! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up!
Dinah: (dryly) He doesn't like repeating himself.
(One of the gangsters says something to his associates, laughing.)
Curtis: Sounds like Russian.
(Curtis begins to try speaking to them in Russian. Anatoly emerges from the loading dock.)
Anatoly: Look. This one's accent has not improved. Still sounds horrible.
John: Anatoly?
Anatoly: John Diggle! My favorite American!
Rene: We know this guy?
John: What the hell are you doing in Star City?
Anatoly: Isn't it obvious?
(Anatoly says something to his men, who move to continue loading the drugs onto their truck.)
John: Anatoly, I can't let you steal these drugs.
Anatoly: It is not a matter of "let". I have invitation to be here.
John: Invitation from who?
(Anatoly raises an eyebrow as if to say, "Really? Who do you think?")

John: (speaking slowly, as if to a child) Oliver... We don't hire criminals and pay them in diabetes drugs!

John: Prometheus tried to convince you that you were responsible for everything bad that happens to people? Oliver, I swear, that's a bunch of crap.
Oliver: (speaking slowly and deliberately) Tell that to Laurel. Tell that to Tommy. Tell that to my mother. Tell that to Billy Malone. Maybe tell it to Thea - she's so damaged that she had to leave town. This isn't post-traumatic stress, John. This is a truth that I was keeping myself from seeing and I am no longer doing that. Anatoly and his men will kill Adrian Chase. That is the solution. The team is done. So I'm telling you - I'm not asking you - I am telling you. For the last time. Stand down.

Oliver: I'm not going to keep having this same conversation.
John: That's too bad. Because I dedicated five years of my life to your crusade. So I'm the one who gets to say if I need protecting. Not you.
Oliver: I'm not going to have your death on my conscience.
John: Oliver, don't talk to me about your conscience! Not when you get back in bed with The Bratva! (sighs) This isn't you, man. The Oliver I know would never let a group of dangerous criminals crawl into his city! Let them steal medicine!
Oliver: You don't know what kind of man I am.
(Oliver turns around and starts to walk away.)
John: What?! What the hell did Chase do to you, Oliver?! Whatever it was, he - he messed with your head in a way I didn't think was possible! Look at me, man! I can help you! I'm your brother!
Oliver: You don't want me as a brother.
John: What does that mean?
Oliver: Chase showed me the truth about myself. You signed on for a crusade that turned out to be an outlet. It was an excuse for me to murder people.
John: (exasperated) Oliver, please-
Oliver: I put on a hood, and I created a persona. Because John - somewhere, along the way, something in me broke. Something is sick inside of me. The crusade? All of this? The foundation of it... is a lie. So I disbanded the team because I won't sit by and watch all of you participate in my murder spree. I am beyond redemption. You and the team will be fine...  if you stay away from me. You stay away from this. You stay away from Chase. And you allow the Bratva to do their job.  Let my crusade die.

(Anatoly leaves the bedside of a sick child. He whispers to Oliver as they are out of earshot.)
Anatoly: That kid won't last a month.
Oliver: They have tuberculosis?
Anatoly: Mmm-hmm. The disease comes from prison. Super resistant strain.
Oliver: Well... I, I mean, is it in any way treatable?
Anatoly: Mmm - yeah. With right medicine, yes. But even Bratva cannot buy for them. Not in quantities needed. All we can do is pay for funerals.
Oliver: Antaoly, is this how we're planning on spending my last two days in Russia?
Anatoly: (smiling) I thought, what better way to cap off your time here than with good old-fashioned heist?

Curtis: If Diggle is the new Oliver and I'm obviously the new Felicity - don't hate - which one of you guys is the new Diggle?
Dinah & Rene: (in unison) I am!
Rene: Seriously? You've been here like, what, ten minutes? You don't even have a code name!
Dinah: Fine. You're the new Digg.
Curtis: The fact that she was not petty and... I mean, that's extremely Digg-like. You-you, see what I-
Rene: (curtly) Yeah. Okay. You're the new Digg.
(Dinah beams in triumph and winks at Curtis.)

John: We're not done, Oliver. You and me? We're never going to be done! Do you understand that? Listen man, you can tell me you're a serial killer. That you're crazy. Or you're whatever Chase has shoved into your head! But I'm not believing any of that, even if you do. And that's because I know the kind of man you are, Oliver. The good, the bad and the ugly! I know! And you don't need to punish yourself. Or isolate yourself. But what you need to do is stop pushing me away! Because I'm not going anywhere, Oliver! Do you get that?!
Oliver: What do you want me to do, John? I told you what I am. Who I am. And even if you don't believe it, I do. (softer) I do.  So I don't know where that leaves us.
(There is a long pause as Oliver walks past John deeper into his apartment. John strokes his chin as if thinking before speaking.)
John: It leaves us right back in Langham, Oliver. Do you remember that? I killed my brother, Oliver. And I was going to let myself rot in prison for what I did.  But you told me to atone for what I did as Spartan. And if that's true for me, it is one-hundred times truer for The Green Arrow. You don't just get to walk away from this, man. The hood is who you are. You don't think you deserve it? Fine. Work to become the man who does.
Oliver: I don't know how.
John: You just ask for help. You don't have to do this alone, Oliver.

(Anatoly holds up a cel-phone. It shows video of several people being held at gunpoint by his men.)
Anatoly: You have chosen where you stand with Bratva. Now you must make one more choice - save pills or save hostages.

(Anatoly and Oliver both have guns drawn on each other.)
Anatoly: Go ahead, Oliver. You want to kill old life? (he lowers his gun) Start by killing me.
(Oliver shoots a control panel behind Anatoly. An alarm begins to ring.)
Anatoly: Very stupid! Now you have to run!
Oliver: So do you.
(Anatoly holds back a curse and runs for the exit. Oliver runs to a different exit.) 

(Curtis and Felicity show the rest of the team the decrypted picture of Adrian Chase as Prometheus.)
Oliver: That is what we needed! Something that he couldn't plan for.
(Oliver looks to Felicity.)
Oliver;
You.
Dinah: Please let me be the one to walk this into SCPD.
Curtis: Knock yourself out.
Felicity: Yeah.. Then I'm going to throw it up on YouTube. There won't be anywhere that son of a bitch can run.
Curtis: Does this mean that we're official back in business?
(Oliver walks past everyone, moving to a light switch in the middle of the bunker.)
Oliver: Aside from a few minor changes... yeah.
(Oliver flips the switch and the lights come on along the wall where the display cases for the team's costumes were set-up. There are extra mannequins now, with all of their costumes lined up... except for one empty one in the middle.)
Rene: The line-up could use a little more green, hoss.
Oliver: I'm not quite there, yet. I'm thinking that with this team behind me, it will be sooner rather than later.

(Anatoly walks among the smiling families in the children's hospital before returning to Oliver, who watches from the hallway.)
Oliver: How's it feel to be Robin Hood?
Anatoly: You tell me. You're the one with bow and arrow. (sighs) I know I said Russia's not good for you, Oliver -
Oliver: But you thought that this heist and helping these people would convince me to change my mind about leaving?
Anatoly: Da. Like I said, I need your help.
Oliver: Russia is your home, Anatoly. Let me go save mine. You can do this without me.
Anatoly: (suddenly serious)  I am not worried about what Bratva will become without you. I worry about what I become. (smiling again) But more important question - how drunk can we get you before dropping you off on Lian Yu?

(Anatoly has just told Oliver that he is going back to Russia but he's leaving his men behind  in Star City and that they are anxious to get revenge on the city's vigilantes.)
Oliver: This is between you and me! No one else!
Anatoly: "No one else?!" You betrayed every man in Bratva! You betrayed Russian community! You even worked against old team! When I see this, I think "I still trust him anyway." What a fool I was!
Oliver: No. I'm the fool. Because I thought that our friendship - everything that we have been through together - actually meant something to you. The person that I knew would never betray a friend. -would never threaten innocent people and over what? A payday. When I left Russia, I was convinced that you could lead The Bratva. That you could set them on a better path. And now look at you. You're no better than Gregor.
Anatoly: (sadly but firmly) I told you I was worried about what I would become without your help. I did what I had to do to keep Bratva together and to stay alive. I became what I had to become. You asked why I changed? That is it.


Continuity

Felicity offers up her apartment as a new secret lair for Team Arrow after Oliver locks up The Bunker.

Lyla loans the team gear from ARGUS.

Quentin tells the City Council that Oliver was away for a week on a spiritual retreat. It turns out Counilwoman Pollars is a big fan of that kind of thing.

Oliver breaks things off with Susan Williams.

Anatoly was last seen in the modern day in 512.

Oliver refers to his conversation with Anatoly in the flashbacks of 517 and how Anatoly told him trying to shift his rage into his Hood persona would not work forever.

Rene notes that the medical company Anatoly and his men robbed was barely hanging on and that the jobs of the hundreds of people working there were already endangered. This was covered at a briefing which Oliver also attended.

Rene was suspended from work, by Quentin, until Chase is dealt with due to Rene having threatened to "pop a cap in the DA's ass."

Anatoly's reason for stealing the drugs is to fashion a street drug more addictive than heroin. Things have gotten bad for The Bratva and he needs a new revenue stream to secure his position.

Diggle refers to the events of 504 and Oliver telling him that he could atone for murdering his own brother as Spartan rather than rotting in a cell for a crime he didn't commit.

Curtis uses Ray Palmer's tracking nanites - last seen in 510 - to find Felicity and Helix.

Helix knows that Felicity is Overwatch and Curtis is Mr. Terrific. It took them 8 minutes and 3 minutes respectively to figure that out.

Anatoly returns to Russia, telling Oliver that Oliver Queen is now considered an enemy of the Bratva. For the sake of their former friendship, Anatoly tells Oliver that his men will be staying in Star City after their bail is paid and that they are anxious to get revenge on the vigilantes that bested them.

Adrian Chase is publicly  revealed to be Prometheus.

The episode ends with Adrian Chase fleeing the federal agent's safe-house in a stolen car.

Five years ago, Oliver made plans to return to Lian Yu to create a cover story for where he had been for the last five years. At the same time, Anatoly plans to take the Bratva back to its roots as an organization that protect the common people. To that end, he plots a heist to steal the drugs needed to treat an entire hospital full of children who are dying of tuberculosis. He later admits that he hoped to use this "feel-good' situation to persuade Oliver to stay, in part because he feared trying to take over The Bratva alone. Oliver convinced Anatoly that he was capable of saving his own home and that Oliver should leave to save his.


The Winick Factor

Granting that Oliver has done a lot of stupid and short-sighted things in the comics, hiring Russian mobsters to kill an enemy and allowing them to steal vitally-needed medical supplies in exchange for their help is somewhere on the Top Ten list. In fact, I'd place it just under Oliver engaging in insider-trading to profit off of a weapons manufacturer's stock price soaring, arranging a hostile takeover and then closing all their factories to finance his run for mayor. At least this episode - unlike the Judd Winick storyline from the comics that I just described - acknowledges that Oliver's actions have endangered the jobs of innocent people and that he is being stupid/selfish.


The Bottom Line

A solid episode ignoring the repetitiveness of stories where Oliver needs to learn to trust other people and the fact that Oliver is acting stupid and short-sighted even by the standards of this show. The ensemble's performances (particularly those of Amell, Ramsey and Nykl) and a strongly balanced script help sell some of the contrivances.

Starman Plays Tex Murphy: Overseer - Part 4

It's logic puzzles galore, as we have to tape together a cut-up key-card,  transpose times to open a safe and explore some ancient Anasazi ruins in order to find a hidden laboratory. At least we get to talk to Wanda Peck some more... *sighs*


Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 16 - Doomworld

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




Plot

With The Spear of Destiny in the hands of The Legion of Doom, reality has been rewritten and The Legends have never existed! Still, success has not eased tensions within The Legion of Doom's membership. Shockingly, the fate of The Legends and all of reality may rest on the broad shoulders of Mick Rory, who has never found it easy to be a hero...


Influences

Countless science-fiction stories involving restoring a timeline that has been changed.


Goofs

While the question of Mick's trustworthiness is debatable, why in the name of Odin's ravens would you leave the guy you don't trust unattended, in the home of one of your teammates with his mother upstairs making sandwiches, after telling said untrustworthy person that you don't trust him?! Even ignoring the potential danger to Mrs. Heywood, what's to stop said untrustworthy person from going off and doing something untrustworthy?


Performances

Emily Bett Rickards has a fun cameo as an alternate version of Felicity Smoak who dons a costume in the wake of the rest of all of Team Arrow (save perhaps Mister Terrific) dying.

Honestly, the whole ensemble is on fire to such a degree it's hard to pick anyone out as the best.


Artistry

The script for this episode is strong, filled with lots of witty dialogue and the perfect balance of drama, action and comedy.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode opens with a new narration by Eobard Thawne.

At one point Snart says that he and Rory could be tossed in Iron Heights Prison and plot an escape for old time's sake. This is a clever nod to the show Prison Break, which Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell starred in before being cast in The Flash.

The STAR Labs reactor building in which Jax and Stein are working on Thawne's secret project resembles the domed-base of The Legion of Doom from the classic Challenge Of The Superfriends cartoons.

Nate remarks that Ray's pet rat looks like an Indiana as Ray and Rory argue about his name. This is a nod to the Indiana Jones movies, where we find out that Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr's nickname came from the dog that he had growing up.


Technobabble

Among Eobard Thawne's many scientific accomplishments in the new reality are figuring out cold fusion, saving the polar bear, fixing global warming and making desalination sustainable

Nate Heywood calls the inconsistencies in reality that he discovered "scars". He theorizes that when reality was rewritten, his subconscious picked up on the inconsistencies in the new reality whenever he saw something that conflicted with his memories of the old reality.

Ray borrowed a set of dipole magnets from STAR Labs in Star City.

Ray constructed an energy gun which he calls a Transreality Multiplexer. It targets irregularities in the hippocampus, acting like a Ctrl-Z for memories (i.e. like an undo command on a computer). In short, it can restore the memories of people who had their minds altered by reality changing.

Nate notes that Ray's random impulse to work on such a device was the result of a scar prompting Ray to try and create something to fix reality despite his completely lack of training and resources in the new reality.

Gideon spent the last year working on new algorithms to redirect power from the the idle quadrants of The Waverider. This, in theory, could allow them to boost the power of Rip's distress signal.

Jax says that the reactor Stein is building will burn 1,000 times hotter than the sun once it was fully operational. Depending on if he was referring to the surface temperature or the core temperature, this means the reactor would burn somewhere from 58,000 degrees Kelvin to 150 million degrees Kelvin.


Dialogue Triumphs

Eobard Thawne: (voice-over) My name is Eobard Thawne. With the help of Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn, Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, I have obtained The Spear of Destiny - an ancient artifact with the power to rewrite reality itself. And we have. It's a brave new world!

Amaya: The mayor would like a word... Miss Smoak.
Felicity: (in a deep, gravely voice like what Oliver Queen uses as Green Arrow) Then maybe he should have come down here himself instead of sending The Bimbo Brigade.

Merlyn: You keep ignoring my requests for a meeting.
Thawne: Because there's no reason for one. Our partnership is ended! You got what you wanted. Your wife and your son are both alive and in good spirits. Your daughter Thea adores you! Nyssa Al Ghul is trapped in a miserable, closeted life in the middle of Ohio. And - hey - you can even clap again! What more could you possibly want?!
Merlyn: How about The Spear of Destiny? There are still some things in this world I would like to see changed...
Thawne: How many times do I have to tell you this, Malcolm? The Spear is safest in my hands. Besides, I'm the only one who knows how to use it.
Merlyn: That's because you destroyed The Kalabros Manuscript!
Thawne: Well, it's not my fault you don't retain information like I do! Speedster brains are handy that way.

(Snart and Rory exit a diamond exchange. A guard comes running at them. Rory shoots a fire blast the guard barely ducks away from.)
Snart: Cool it, Mick. We already got what we came for.
Rory: Just heating things up.
(A team of police officers run up as they round the corner.)
Cop: Don't move! Both of you on the ground!
(Rory draws his gun and aims it at the cops. Snart holds back.)
Cop: Mr. Snart! Sorry. Sir. We didn't realize it was you. Carry on.
(Rory looks confused as Snart just smiles and the police put their guns away and break ranks, leaving Snart and Rory a clear path to walk away.)
Rory: What the hell's going on? No roasting pigs?
Snart: No need. We're home free, buddy.  It's good to be the king.
Rory: No getaway? No chase?
Snart: You want a chase, I can arrange a chase. Even get us tossed in Iron Heights and we can plan an escape, just like old times. How does that sound?
Rory: Boring!
Snart: Well, we can hit up the Central City Bank. They've got a fancy new vault I've been dying to crack...
Rory: What's the point? You own the bank and half the city!
Snart: You mean we own half the city, Mick. We're partners, remember?
(Snart reaches for his phone, which has begun vibrating while he was talking. He glances at it and his smile fades.)
Snart: Hmmm... Seems our next score will have to wait. Thawne is... summoning us.
Rory: Since when do we get summoned?
Snart: Since the man agreed not to erase you and your friends from existence.

Nate: You saved my life?! Why?!
Rory: ... because I'm an idiot.

Nate: This is crazier than any of my crazy theories! You're trying to tell me a group called (making air quotes) "The Legion of Doom" used something called the (making air quotes) "Spear of Destiny" to rewrite reality? Who even names something The Legion of Doom?!
Rory: You did.
Nate: Me?! (scoffs) Now, you only remember the old reality because you're part of The Legion?
Rory: I'm not part of anything. I just made a terrible mistake.

(Nate gets up off the floor after being zapped with the Transreality Multiplexer. His face is oddly calm as he turns around, looks at Mick Rory and then punches him.)
Nate:
You son of a bitch!
(Rory grabs his jaw, not knocked back but stunned by how hard the punch was as he looks at the Transreality Multiplexer and then to a completely stunned Ray Palmer.)
Rory:
It works!

(Rory zaps Ray with the Transreality Multiplexer. After a second, Ray looks at Rory, becomes enraged and punches him.)
Ray: You!
Rory: (rubbing his jaw) I deserved that.
Ray: Damn straight you did!
Rory: Hey! If it wasn't for me, you'd all be dead!
Nate: Yeah, Mick. Thanks a lot! You trapped each of us in our own personal hell.
Ray: Do you have any idea how many toilets I've cleaned?!  So many!
(Sara and Amaya enter the room.)
Nate: Amaya?
Ray: Sara?
Rory: Hey, dumbasses? They have no clue who you are. They work for Damien Darhk.
(Without a word, Sara withdraws her escrima sticks and Amaya pulls her guns.)

(Sara is shot with the Transreality Multiplexer. She is shaken for a moment and then walks over to Mick Rory before punching him.)
Rory: One more person hits me, I'm gonna punch back!

Ray: I can only imagine how those psychopaths are torturing Rip.
(Cut to Rip, passed out on the floor under a table in the galley of The Waverider, where an ornate, clock-themed, multi-layer cake stands. He is quite clearly drunk.)
Rip: Gideon!  I've discovered the missing ingredient for my recipe! (takes a swig from the bottle he is clutching) Rum!
(Rip tries to put the bottle on the table and succeeds only in dropping it on the floor. He shrugs at this in momentary confusion.) 
Rip: And speaking of which, I'm gonna need you to fabricate me another bottle of it! Ooooh! And some nachoes!

Snart: When your minions bring Mick back, I want to arrange a meeting with Thawne. And when I say "arrange a meeting", I mean -
Merlyn: - one between Thawne and his maker?
Darhk: Cute. A little mustache-twirly for my taste.

(Damien Darhk lifts Sara off the ground with his telekinesis.)
Darhk:
I'm going to miss you, Ms. Lance. Having you around to attend to my every whim was too enticing to pass up. Plus it's so hard to find good help these days!
Snart; (sarcastically) Really? Now's the time for a bad guy monologue?

(As Sara escapes with a now unbrainwashed Amaya, all thanks to Damien Darhk deciding to gloat and have Amaya kill Sara instead of just killing Sara himself.)
Snart:
Damien? What did I tell you?
Merlyn: (mock-cheerful) For what it's worth, I thought it was a very good bad guy monologue.
(Darhk just simmers in impotent rage.)

(Thawne has just run into the reactor room where The Legends were trying - and failing - to restore Stein's memory.)
Thawne: Well. It looks like you losers managed to remember who you are.
(A flash of red lightning later and Thawne is standing on the other side of the room, holding The Spear of Destiny.)
Thawne: I should have wiped you from existence when I had the chance! Do you have any idea how infuriating it is... to know that Merlyn was right?!

(Darhk and Nate are struggling over The Spear Of Destiny. Thawne wakes up at that moment and they both see his eyes open. There is a moment of silent agreement as Darhk releases the spear and Nate swings, somehow catching Thawne as he's charging them. Thawne goes flying across the room and into a rack of chemicals. Darhk and Nate both laugh in delight and almost high-five before they remember "Oh yeah - you're on the other team.")
Darhk: Perhaps not.
(The two resume fighting.)

Snart: Mick! Hand it over! Like a good boy.
Rory: You mean a good dog. That's all I am to you. An attack dog.
Snart: Now, that's not true. Sure, we both know you're not the sharpest tool in the shed. But that's why we're partners! Remember?
Rory: You're right. I'm not a genius.
(Rory starts to walk toward Snart... then slides The Spear of Destiny along the floor behind him to Amaya.)
Rory: But I'm no one's dog, Leonard. Not anymore.
Snart: Well... I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Rory (to Amaya) Undo this mess.
(Amaya takes up The Spear and begins to chant. Suddenly, she freezes up - literally as a cold blast takes her in the chest and Snart approaches her.)
Snart: I am sorry about your friend, Mick. I know you loved her pieces.
(Snart taps Amaya on the shoulder and she shatters completely. Everyone else stands in shock, except for Rory, who draws his flame gun and stares down Snart. After a few seconds though, he lowers his gun and turns away, walking for the exit.)
Snart: Well, if you want something done right...
Darhk: Well done, Leonard.
Sara: (To Snart) You bastard! (To the rest of the Legion) I'll kill you all!
(Thawne suddenly appears behind Snart.)
Thawne:  Actually, I believe that's my line...


Continuity

In the new reality, Damien Darhk is Mayor of Star City.

Sara and Amaya work for Damien Darhk as his enforcers.

In the new reality, Felicty Smoak - her hair now dyed black - is a vigilante fighting against Damien Darhk. We never find out her code-name but she has a purple costume with a mask, similar to the one worn by The Huntress, and is armed with two of Mister Terrific's T-Spheres.

Darhk has a collection of masks from vigilantes he has defeated. The collection includes the masks of Ragman, Black Canary, Wild Dog, Vigilante, Green Arrow, The Flash and Spartan. He adds the mask worn by Felicity Smoak.

In the new reality, Eobard Thawne runs STAR Labs.

Thawne has The Black Flash trapped in a cell in the main lab of STAR Labs.

In the new reality, Rebecca Merlyn and Tommy Merlyn are still alive. Thea Queen is now a loving and devoted daughter of Malcolm Merlyn. Nyssa Al Ghul is trapped in a miserable, closeted life somewhere in Ohio and his severed hand has been restored.

Thawne destroyed the Kalabros Manuscript, ensuring that he's the only person who now knows how to use The Spear of Destiny. He's also holding onto it... despite Merlyn's objections.

In the new reality, Jefferson Jackson and Martin Stein are employees at STAR Labs with Jax acting as Stein's manager.

In the new reality, Snart and Rory have returned to a life of crime. This time, however, the cops allow them to get away with anything.

From Rip's perspective, a year has passed since The Spear of Destiny was used. He has spent that time in hiding, perfecting his baking skills with Gideon, unaware if any of the rest of The Legends are alive or not.

In the new reality, Dr. Martin Stein still has a wife and daughter.

In the new reality, Ray Palmer is a janitor at the STAR Labs Reactor site.

In the new reality, Donald Trump is President of the United States and good friends with Eobard Thawne.

In the new reality, Nate Heywood has become a crazed conspiracy theorist with a blog that only his mother reads, who goes to Eobard Thawne with his theory that reality was rewritten.

The video game that Ray is playing when Nate and Rory find him seems to be based on Ray's actions during the Invasion! storyline. We see a meter on the screen that says "Dwarf Star Energy" and the character is blasting aliens called Dominators who look like the alien invaders from Invasion.

In the new reality Axel - the rat that Ray gave Rory as a pet in 211 - is a test animal at STAR Labs that Ray liberated for use in his own experiments. In this reality, Ray named him Tesla.

Snart implanted a GPS inside of Mick Rory.

The first thing Damien Darhk did in the new reality was reacquire his magic powers.

Damien says that he was told that he killed Laurel Lance in the original reality but that future never came to be for him. He did, however, kill Laurel Lance again in the new reality.

Ray Palmer has a gluten allergy or, at least, prefers gluten-free bread.

Rory recognizes what Aramaic sounds like because he enjoyed The Passion of The Christ.

Snart kills Amaya before she can finishing using The Spear of Destiny.

Thawne uses his reactor to destroy The Spear of Destiny. He then lets everyone - including his treacherous teammates - go free, since it's more satisfying for him to know that they failed to stop him and have to live out the rest of their lives in the reality he created.

As the episode closes, Martin Stein still hasn't had his memories of the original timeline restored.

Sara declares that their only chance now is going back in time to 1916 and stopping The Legion of Doom from getting the complete Spear of Destiny in the first place.

It is revealed that The Waverider has been shrunk and is disguised as a model on the desk in the main lab area of STAR Labs. Rip Hunter and Gideon have apparently been trapped inside it for the last year.


Location

Star City - 2017.
Central City - 2017.


The Bottom Line

Fantastic. Just fantastic.