Friday, April 28, 2017

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part Five

The thrilling conclusion, in which we exercise our AV skills (or lack thereof) to expose the villain right before the trial-and-error dominated final "action" sequence. All this and 13.5 minutes of credits with an awesome biker rock accompaniment.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part Four

In which we blow up more bunnies trying to get to The Vultures' hide-out and enter a demolition derby to enact the most complicated and convoluted "fake your own death" scheme ever... which still somehow isn't as complicated as the bad guy's plan to kill you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 19 - Dangerous Liaisons

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


With Adrian Chase exposed as Prometheus, the hunt is on! Team Arrow, ARGUS and the SCPD are all on the lookout but Prometheus is very good at keeping hidden. Helix tells Felicity they can find him but they will need something very big - and very illegal - done in exchange! Something that will leave Felicity having to choose


The 2005 Deadshot mini-series by Christos N. Gage and the Green Arrow/Black Canary comics of Andrew Kreisberg (vigilante couples fighting over the right way to do things.)


As always, the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards manages to save a lot of dialogue that might otherwise prove insufferable.

Despite not being given much screen time as John Diggle coping with the revelation that his wife is doing the same things as the General who framed him in the name of "security", David Ramsey makes the most with what he has and nails it.


The action sequence with Ollie and Dinah moving to stop the Helix mercenaries from attacking the ARGUS agent is a solid piece of action all-around, with good motorcycle stunts, great FX work for the Canary Cry and a fair bit of fighting.

The ending of the episode was honestly surprising.


While it was revealed that Wild Dog's daughter is named Zoe in her first appearance, it seems - based on this episode - that Rene's character may have been based, in part, on Floyd Lawton in the 2005 Deadshot mini-series. There, it was revealed that the famous amoral assassin had an illegitimate daughter named Zoe, whom he tried to look after while also staying out of her life, citing his unsuitability to be a good parent. In that mini-series, Lawton confronted Green Arrow and pressured him into doing more to safeguard the Star City neighborhood that Zoe and her mother lived in.


The intelligence of Adrian Chase being in New Jersey came from an ARGUS drone, which then broadcast the information to an unsecure phone. This is an unusual breach of security, to say the least, and leads Felicity to conclude that Prometheus has a friend in ARGUS.

Psychokenesis and Telekenesis are technical terms for the power to move objects through thought.

According to the elevator activity logs, the car Jordan Pierce was in accelerated upward at 9 gs before dropping into a freefall for 40 stories.

A polymorphous worm concealed by a kernel rootkit is the signature of Alena's coding.,which allows Felicity to identify her as Jordan Pierce's killer.

When he was taken in by ARGUS, Cayden James was at work on a biometric tracker that could recognize individual heartbeats that was powerful enough to scan anywhere in the world.

After Damien Darhk took Lyla's security implant, she instituted a new policy at ARGUS that would prevent any sensitive information or location from being accessed by a single person. Access to said information now requires two security keys which are issued only to top ARGUS personnel. They keys are meant to be unhackable, with reprogramming each individual key requiring 24 hours.

Alena has a "weaponized tablet" pre-loaded with address resolution protocol spoofing.

The ARGUS site is protected by micro-chipped gun turrets.

Cayden James' cell is contained behind a grid made of 30-kilowatt spectral beam lasers.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Felicity asks Oliver and Diggle to back her up on Helix stealing ARGUS security keys.)
Oliver: Might be crossing a line, Felicity.
Felicity: Well, you're the last person on Earth who gets to give that lecture, Oliver.
(Felicity looks at Lyla)
Or second to last.

(Felicity is dressed in all black, clutching a black backpack. She is about to leave her apartment and opens the door to find Oliver about to knock on the door.)
Felicity: Oh! Hey.
Oliver: Hey.
Felicity: Nice of you to use the front door, for once.
Oliver: May I come in, please?
Felicity: Uh, actually I was just leaving.
Oliver: I can see that.
(There is a long pause as Felicity considers this.)
(The two walk back into the apartment.)
Oliver: Looks like you're not sitting behind a keyboard for this one.
Felicity: Can you blame me?
Oliver: No. (pauses) I, more than probably anyone else, understand what it's like to be willing to do whatever it takes to stop Chase.
Felicity: Then let me do it.
Oliver: Let me just tell you how I'm seeing things. (pauses) You're willing to do whatever it takes to stop Chase because I was willing to do whatever it takes to save this city. And that created him.
Felicity: (impatient) Okay. So it's ironic. That's what it is.
Oliver: It doesn't have to be! You see we... we can think of another way to find him and then we can find another way to stop him-
Felicity: Okay! How?! The SCPD tip line? No! That's not going to work this time, Oliver! We both know that! Look, this is our only chance.
Oliver: And this is me, asking you...don't do this.
Felicity: For the past four years, I have watched you do whatever you had to. Whatever it took to stop the people threatening this city. How can you stand there and not ask me to do the same thing?
Oliver: Because... for the past four years you, more than anyone else, have seen the toll that it has taken on me.
Felicity: And I told you -
Oliver: And I under - I understand and I agree that I should not shelter you from making hard decisions. But you want to talk irony? Fine. (sighs) You are willing to sell your soul... to destroy a threat that I created. And...  I...
(Oliver sighs, unable to find the words.)
Felicity: (quietly but firmly) One of the reasons I fell in love with you is because you're always willing to do what was right. No matter what the cost. Even if it's unbearably hard. It's what makes you you. So how can I be any different?  You have sacrificed your soul... for the team.  For the city. And for me. You don't... have to carry that burden any longer. Let me do it.
Oliver: Felicity, I... I can't.
Felicity: Then you'll have to stop me.
(Felicity walks past Oliver, exiting the apartment.)

(Lyla defends ARGUS holding Cayden James without charges.)
John: That sounds a whole lot like Amanda Waller.
Lyla: Waller's decisions seem a lot less wrong from this side of the desk, Johnny. You can't judge me for that.
John: I'm not judging. I'm just worried. Felicity Smoak is one of the best people I've ever known and she's gone over to The Dark Side. I don't want that to happen to my wife.

(Rene enters one of the meeting rooms at Star City Hall)
Rene: What's so important, Hoss? I was gonna call it a night.
(Quentin is standing there with a court official... and Zoe Ramirez. She smiles and runs to Rene.)
Zoe: Daddy!
(The two hug, with Rene looking stunned, until he looks over Zoe's shoulder at Quentin.)
Rene:  I told you-
Quentin: Hey, your're not the only one around here that doesn't listen to orders.


Adrian Chase had a secret hideout set-up in an old arcade in New Jersey.

The games inside were booby-trapped with one shooting game fitted with an actual gun that auto-fired after a flash bang grenade was set off.

Chase apparently escaped the building through a secret tunnel that led to Port Newark, New Jersey.

Felicity, Alena and Curtis were big fans of the video game Maximum Force.

Jordan Pierce is the ARGUS agent suspected of working with Adrian Chase.

Quentin and Rene meet with the ex-husband of Gay Eked - one of Prometheus' victims in 506. He leaves them her picture.

Curtis told Quentin about the situation with Rene's wife dying and his daughter being taken away by CPS, which Curtis learned about in 513.

Rene has not taken Curtis up on his offer to get him a lawyer to help argue his custody case, because he is "not ready".

Felicity recognizes the code used to hack the elevator that killed Jordan Pierce as having been written by Alena. Alena admits to hacking the elevator but says that the death was accidental.

Cayden James is the founder of Helix and reportedly the most skilled hacker in the world. He is so good at covering his tracks not even Felicity has heard of him. He was taken into custody and "vanished" by ARGUS some eight months earlier. Lyla describes him as 20 times more dangerous than Edward Snowden and says that he was picked up trying to hack an ARGUS transponder.

Lyla mentions the implant which Damien Darhk stole from her in 420 and how this led to the new security protocols used by ARGUS now.

Agent Ditkoff is an ARGUS agent stationed at Port Talbert who is targeted by Helix.

Zoe is on the hockey team at her school. She plays goalie.

Rene also played goalie when he played hockey.

Rene finally does talk to Curtis' lawyer friend and sets things in motion to get his daughter back.

Felicity is locked out of Helix but they do give her the tracker program she wanted to find Adrian Chase.

Things between John and Lyla are strained, with John saying that he's not sure he can trust her anymore.

The episode ends with an explosion rocking The Bunker as Felicity realizes Prometheus is with them.


The opening scene takes place at an arcade in New Jersey.

Port Talbert - a town 20 miles outside of Star City.

Untelevised Adventures
Rene describes an incident where he passed out drunk while heating soup for his daughter. She tried to get it off the stove herself, burning herself in the process. It was for that reason that Rene decided not to fight for full custody or to visit his daughter under supervision. He believed she was honestly better off without him.

The Bottom Line

Shockingly dull, for the most part. Much like the Ace Reporter episode of Supergirl - which aired earlier in the same week as this episode - Dangerous Liaisons devotes itself to tiding up some of the season's long-neglected subplots. Unlike that episode, however, it doesn't do that good of a job of it.

The sad truth is that Wild Dog is so underdeveloped as a character that it's hard for me to root for him getting his daughter back since most of what we do know about Rene and his past suggests that he's quite right to think his daughter is better off without him in her life. John's issues with Lyla's illegally jailing a man are understandable but seem rather sudden given how little time is devoted to them in this episode. The sudden conflict between Oliver and Felicity is less reasonable but Amell and Rickards sell it on sheer charisma. Despite all these problems, the ending of the episode is a stunner and promises great things next week.

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part Three

In which I luck out and manage to get through what can be the longest section of the game in about five minutes. All thanks to the power of manure!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 19 - The Once And Future Flash

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


Still seeking the identity of Savitar, Barry makes a desperate trip to the future. Arriving in 2024, he discovers his friends - and himself - changed into drastically different people in the wake of Iris' death and a Central City ruled by metahuman criminals! Can Barry become the hero the future needs?


The Flash: Terminal Velocity b
y Mark Waid (The Flash tries to save the life of the woman he loves following a trip to the future when he learns of her death) and the Fast Forward episode of the 1990 The Flash series (base plot of The Flash going forward in time and seeing everyone he knows and loves changed for the worst.).


Isn't it a bit odd that Iris asks Barry to promise to watch after Joe if she dies but not Wally?

How the heck did Caitlin get out of the STAR Labs building faster than Barry could search it?

Granting that it's necessary - from a storytelling perspective - for Future Barry to be given a reason to come out of retirement and save his past self (apart from simple self-preservation) Barry slowing down to taunt Mirror Master and The Top and giving them time to use their powers is phenomenally stupid.

When Future Barry tells his past self about Tracy Brand and The Speed Force Trap, he says that she didn't figure out the technology until "four years ago."  Barry says this was four years after Iris died. Actually, it would be three years after Iris died.

Later, Barry says he went eight years into the future. It was seven. Technically a little less, assuming he left March/April 2017 and arrived in February 2024.

So... what happened to Jesse Quick in all of this?  Did she ever come back from Earth Three?


The idea of Caitlin suddenly developing an evil persona because of her powers has been one of the weakest ideas in the show's mythology but damned if Danielle Panabaker doesn't sell it for everything it's worth in this episode as the future Killer Frost.

The scene of Barry getting ready to run back to the future and then stopping is a great bit of non-verbal acting on Grant Gustin's part. Even with his face half-hidden by his mask, you can see everything Barry is thinking in his eyes.

For that matter, Grant Gustin almost seems like another actor as Future Barry. More impressively, he does that deep "dark hero" voice and doesn't sound completely ridiculous while doing it.


The use of a darker tint and a grayer color palette in the scenes set in the future help to visually distinguish those scenes from the scenes set in the present. It's a striking choice, visually.

The production design is fantastic all around, with a STAR Labs of the future set that is virtually unrecognizable it is so ruined and disheveled.

Tom Cavanagh does a fantastic job on the direction in this episode, coaching his fellow actors into delivering some of their best performances to date.

Flash Facts

The episode title is taken from The Once And Future King by T.H. White.

This episode was directed by actor Tom Cavanagh, who plays all the various versions of Harrison Wells.

While there are several The Flash comics based around dark futures that The Flash travels to and then tries to avert, the plot of this episode is oddly close to that of Fast Forward - an episode of the 1990 The Flash TV series. In that episode, Barry Allen accidentally runs ten years into the future while trying to stop a missile and discovers that the villain who launched the missile has become mayor of Central City in his absence. Barry's allies have been changed by his apparent disappearance, growing cynical and hopeless in his absence.  Much the same thing happens here, though Barry didn't disappear from the timestream completely.

Curiously, this episode originally aired on April 25, 2017 - seven years to the day before Barry is meant to vanish, according to the future newspaper first seen in the pilot episode.

Iris' birthday, according to her tombstone, is June 24, 1989. Candice Patton, who plays Iris West, was born on June 24, 1988.

The costume worn by Future Barry is a brighter shade of red than the one worn by the 2017 Flash. Indeed, it closely resembles the traditional Flash costume from the comics, with a prominent gold-colored belt that is shaped like a lighting bolt and brighter gold lighting insignia on the arms and boot tops. Still no yellow boots, alas.


Barry calculates the force of the explosion that propelled him into the future.  Wally can generate three-times that amount of force at his top speed - more than enough to send Barry seven years into the future.

Future Cisco creates a device that disrupts the resonance field that Barry generates when he runs. This prevents him from opening a time portal back to 2017.

Future Cisco later alters this device to mimic the resonance fields of Mirror Master's portals. This will allow Barry to manipulate the mirror portals as well and restore the refraction effect caused by The Top's powers.

The Mirror Master and The Top learned a way to use their powers in tandem to create an illusion of space folding in on itself. This causes Barry to become paralyzed as he sees the buildings above him collapsing down onto him

Dialogue Triumphs

(Barry walks around the ruins of STAR Labs, his face crestfallen as he sees how bad things have gotten. Suddenly, a figure appears in the door behind him, silhouetted against the light.)
Future Barry:
Why are you here?
Barry: I need your help.
(Future Barry emerges into the light. His hair is longer and unkempt. His eyes more tired. His speech patterns slower, like those of an old man.)
Future Barry: You're from before she dies, aren't you?
(Barry says nothing, apparently dumbstruck at the sight of his future self.)
Future Barry: You can't save her.
(Future Barry turns around and heads for the door.)
Barry: Yes, I can! And I'm going to!
Future Barry: No, you can't. Go home.
Barry: Just tell me who is in the suit!
(Future Barry stops in mid-step.)
Barry: All right? That's all I need. You tell me that, we'll be able to track him down! We'll learn his weakness! We... we'll stop him before he even tries. Just tell me who Savitar is.
Future Barry: I can't.
Barry: What do you- ? Why?!
Future Barry: (sighs) Because I don't know the answer. (pauses) Sorry you ran all this way for nothing. You want some advice? Go home. Spend as much time with Iris as you can. Because pretty soon... we're never gonna see her again.
(Future Barry walks out of the room, leaving Barry watching in shock.)

(Barry looks into Killer Frost's cell. She crawls out of a corner as he speaks but does not look at him.)
Barry: Caitlin? It's me.
Killer Frost: Barry Allen...?
Barry: (sighs) I'm -
Killer Frost: From the past? I can tell. There's no hate in your eyes... yet. So to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit? Come to see how things turn out for Team Flash?
Barry: I wanted to see what happened to my friend.
(Killer Frost stands at that and moves to face Barry.)
Killer Frost: I am NOT your friend, Flash.
Barry: I'm so sorry I did this to you. I should have saved you.
Killer Frost: I'm GLAD that you did this to me.
Barry: Caitlin wasn't. (pauses) I failed her. But I won't when I go back! I'm going to find you and I'm going to help you!
Killer Frost: (scornfully) You're no match for The God of Speed!
(She watches Barry as if expecting a reaction. She looks past Barry toward Cisco.)
Killer Frost: Ohhhh... you didn't tell him, did you?
(Cisco says nothing.)
Killer Frost:
Well, secrets always were our thing, weren't they? (pauses) When I became Killer Frost, Savitar appeared to me and showed me the way. We made one hell of a team...
Barry: Why would you help him?!
Killer Frost: Because he gave me the thing that you couldn't! The cure to my illness? Embracing who I really am!
(Slowly, Barry, who has been looking at the ground for most of this, looks up in sudden realization.)
Barry: You know who he is.
(Killer Frost smirks.)
Barry: Who is he?
(Killer Frost continues to smirk, saying nothing.) 
Barry: (leaning in closer to the glass) Tell me who he is.
Killer Frost (whispering, waving a finger tauntingly) I'll never tell...

(Future Joe replaces the flowers in a vase on Iris West's grave.  Barry watches him from a distance.)
Barry: Hey, Joe.
(Future Joe tenses up but does not turn around.)
Future Joe: Why are you here, Barry?
Barry: (taken aback) I just wanted to see you... I just wanted to see how you were doing?
Future Joe: NOW you want to know? After all this time? Now?
Barry: Uh... Joe, um...
(Future Joe stands and dusts the top of the grave, again not turning around to face Barry.)
Future Joe: I'm doing my best.
(There is a long pause as Barry tries to figure out what to say... what can he say?)
Barry: What happened to us?
(There is another long pause before Joe speaks, clearly shaken as he does so.)
Future Joe: My daughter's life was taken. My son's. And then you left me Barry. The last piece of who I was... left. Turned his back and ran away.
Barry: (stunned) I wasn't there for you?!
(Another long pause, Joe clearly struggling to speak at this point.)
Future Joe: Why start now? (pause)  I'm gonna need you to leave Barry.... please.
(Barry says nothing but walks away, clearly disturbed, as he leaves Joe alone.)

Future Barry: You want answers, Barry?! How's this? You will go back. You will do everything that you can think of to save her. You're even going to create time remnants of yourself, but he's going to kill them all, mostly! And then on the night of May 23rd, Iris West will die in your arms.
Barry: (quietly) No...
Future Barry: And in that moment that she takes her last breath? It will feel like an eternity. And it will break you! She's the love of your life, Barry! (quietly) She was the love of my life...
(Future Barry walks to the corner of the room and just collapses into it, leaving on the wall.)
Future Barry: There will be nothing left at all but stopping Savitar. So no - you won't be there for Joe. You won't be there when Caitlin becomes Killer Frost. When Savitar destroys Wally... You won't be there for any of them. But then one day you'll stop him. You'll lock him in The Speed Force forever. But at that point... he already won. Because everything that you've ever loved is gone. Including you. (pauses) Go home, Barry. There's nothing for you here.

(Cisco reveals that he was the reason Barry couldn't return to the past.)
Barry: Why would you keep me here?
Future Cisco: Because I miss my friend.
Barry: Cis-
Future Cisco: If you want to go, I'm not going to stop you. I don't know why I expected you to be the same Barry Allen I remembered. That guy still had some fight left in him.

(Future HR is sitting before a crowd of women in what was CC Jitters. It is now called HR Jitters. Posters around the room and in the windows advertise a book called The Streak Vs. Mr. Reflecto by HR Wells. There are balloons and other decorations around the room. It is apparently a book signing event.)
Future HR: Continuing with the HR Romance Series, "The Streak Vs. Mr. Reflecto"... "Just as the villain was about to go in for the fatal blow, Florence felt strong hands around her waist... lifting her, like she was a feather." (makes a wind rushing noise) "She was whisked away, the wind blowing through her hair, as her mystery hero finally set Florence down on a mountain top."
(HR chuckles at this line as his phone, which rests on a side table next to him, begins to vibrate.)
HR: I love that part. I was in the zone.
(As he says this, HR looks at his phone which has received a text from an unknown caller. The message reads "I want you." He texts back "I know." We cut to a woman in the audience, who is smiling at HR as she holds her phone.)
Ah-ha. She - uh... Florence, was ah, um... and the mountain top! Back to the mountain top!
(HR's phone buzzes with another text message from an unknown caller. This one reads "I have to have you." As he looks up, a second woman is eyeing him suggestively. HR clears his throat as he tries to regain his composure.)
HR: Oh... kay. You know what?  We - uh - we should threesome. Do-some. One!  Something else, I think-
(The women all laugh at the apparent Freudian slip as a yellow streak of lightning carries HR out of the room.)

(Mirror Master and The Top walk out of a jewelry store as the alarms ring. He holds the door open for her.)
The Top: Thank you!
(The two walk along, each of them carrying a bag apparently full of stolen jewelry. The Top is wearing a rather ornate necklace and strutting her stuff, giggling a little bit.)
Mirror Master: Baby, you're a rock star!
The Top: Just like to shine for my man.
(The Flash runs in behind them. They hear the rush of air and turn around to regard him as he smiles.)
The Flash:
Yeah, I don't know. It looks a little... tacky from over here. But... I am old-fashioned.

The Top: We told you to stay away, Flash.
The Flash: Yeah, well I try not to listen to criminals. Or stupid people.

(Killer Frost emerges into a clearing. Savitar is standing there.)
Savitar: I've been waiting for you.
(Killer Frost assumes a defensive stance.)
Savitar: Fear not, my child. I've come only to offer you what you desire.
Killer Frost: And what's that?
Savitar: Salvation.
Killer Frost: You want to cure me? Turn be back into Caitlin Snow?
Savitar: No. I want to make sure that Caitlin never returns.
Killer Frost: Why should I trust you?
(Savitar kneels down and the back of his armor opens up. After a few seconds, we see a booted foot step out of the armor and settle in the snow. Killer Frost looks stunned.)
Killer Frost:
What do you need me to do?


The song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is apparently the same on Earth 19 as it is on Earth One.

Barry travels to February 3rd, 2024. This is a little under three months before the future newspaper first seen in 101 which reported The Flash vanishing during a crisis on April 25, 2024.

Mirror Master and The Top are seen for the first time since 304.

Mirror Master and The Top both remark that they haven't seen The Flash in a while or seen him wearing "that particular costume". They also claim to own Central City now.

It is later revealed that at some point in The Future, Barry switches to a bright red costume with a more prominent gold belt that is shaped like a lightning bolt and more prominent gold lightning symbols on his sleeves and boot-tops.

Future Cisco seeks out Barry, having had "a feeling" he was around. He apparently has no memory of Barry traveling to the future from 2017.

In 2024, STAR Labs is shut down. Future Cisco says that Future Barry pushed everyone away.

Future HR Wells went on to "other things" besides running The STAR Labs Museum.

Future Caitlin never set foot in STAR Labs again after becoming Killer Frost.

Future Barry lives inside the ruins of STAR Labs, rarely leaving.

We see a bit more of the future fight between Killer Frost and Vibe from 306.

Future Cisco lost his hands and his powers after a battle with Killer Frost as Vibe. He has mechanical prosthetics but he cannot channel vibes through them.

Future Julian Albert is in the employ of Iron Heights prison.

Future Caitlin Snow has given herself over completely to her Killer Frost persona. She is incarcerated in a special cell, overseen by Julian Albert. She confirms that she came to work with Savitar after he gave her what Barry couldn't - peace with who she was rather than a cure for her powers. She also says that she knows who Savitar is but that she will never tell him.

Future Wally West is confined to a wheelchair and in a perpetual state of shock, cared for by a nurse named Beth. Reportedly, he went into a rage after Iris died and went after Savitar by himself. Joe reportedly found him the next day, completely unresponsive, with a broken spine.

Iris' birthday, according to her tombstone, is June 24, 1989.

Future Joe West is a broken man, who never leaves his home except to place fresh flowers on Iris West's grave. According to Joe, Future Barry abandoned him after Iris's death and Wally's paralysis and the last piece of who Joe was died when his son ran out on him.

Future Barry says he was able to trap Savitar in The Speed Force forever but by the time he did it it hardly mattered because Savitar had destroyed everything that he loved. He also never found out who Savitar had been.

Future HR has apparently bought CC Jitters and renamed it HR Jitters. He is a successful science-fiction romance novelist, who is engaged in a live reading of his book The Streak Vs. Mr.Reflecto when Barry retrieves him to rejoin Team Flash.

Until two Flashes appeared to recapture The Top and Mirror Master, The Flash hadn't been seen in Central City for years.

Future Barry reveals that he had help trapping Savitar. He utilized a Speed Force Trap designed by a physicist named Tracy Brand. He didn't tell Barry this because the technology wasn't perfected until four years earlier.

Future Barry gives Barry a media storage device that has all of Tracy Brand's information on it. Future Barry says he doesn't understand anything on it and that he doesn't know where she is, but maybe Barry can use it to find her.

Untelevised Adventures

Future Barry tells his past self about how he trapped Savitar with the help of a physicist named Tracy Brand.

The Fridge Factor

Again, Iris has nothing to do but be the trophy girlfriend/daughter/sister to be saved.

Again, it's troublesome that the one main female member of the cast to develop superpowers is driven evil because of them.

The Bottom Line

Easily the best episode of the season. One of the best episodes of the show, without question. The script is weak and rife with plotholes but the character-work and direction save it. Hopefully Tom Cavanagh will get to direct more episodes in the future because he gets some great performances out of his fellow actors. The show's treatment of Caitlin is still problematic but at least she's shown to be a figure of power... even when locked up in a prison cell.

Injustice 2 #3 - A Review

When Harley Quinn was captured by Amanda Waller to be part of the new Suicide Squad, she expected Batman to come to the rescue right away. She did not, however, expect him to show up guns-a-blazing and ready to kill. Who is this strange new Batman? And where is the real Batman?

I feel safe giving away the "stunning twist" of last week's issue for three reasons - a gun-totting Batman is on the cover of this issue, the synopsis on Comixology spoils the same point, and, c'mon, we all knew that wasn't really Bruce Wayne! I refuse to say anything more about the story, save that Tom Taylor has retained his capacity for dark humor and keeping readers guessing.

Taylor remains well-matched with a top-notch art team. Bruno Redondo is at the peak of his powers, creating interesting and eye-catching designs for some villains we haven't seen before. Juan Albarran provides just the right amount of shade to every scene and Rex Lokus varies the color palettes in a way that is literally stunning.

Final Analysis: 10/10.

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part Two

In which we go through ludicrous lengths to get our bike repaired and even more ludicrous lengths to get past multiple police roadblocks.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 18 - Ace Reporter

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


When Lena Luthor's ex-boyfriend - a scientist named Jack Spheer - comes to National City to unveil his development of disease-destroying nanotechnology, Lena asks Kara to attend his news conference with her for mortal support. When Snapper Carr's presence inspires Kara to questions Jack's claims, she attracts the attention of a whistle-blower who prompts a bigger investigation that places Kara and everyone around her in danger!

Menwhile, Winn talks James into taking on Lyra as a partner in crime-fighting but Lyra proves over-zealous in making up for her criminal past.


The Power Company
(character of Jack Spheer and Biomax) and the movie Big Hero 6 (the villain being an executive controlling an army of nano-bots.)


The CGI for the nano-swarm changing back into Jack Spheer is a bit dodgy.

Lyra's sudden violent reaction to being told she can't help Guardian out doesn't jibe with her previous characterization.


Rahul Kohli is an engaging presence as Jack Spheer and does have good chemistry with Katie McGrath.

Between the scenes with Kohli and her bonding moments with Melissa Benoist as Kara, Katie McGrath does more in this episode to develop Lena's character into a sympathetic person than in any previous episode.

Super Trivia

Despite Kara having been fired from CatCo in 215, the opening narration still describes her as a reporter working for CatCo.

The character of Jack Spheer (a.k.a. Biomax) first appeared in the comics in Power Company #6 (September 2002). Jack Spheer was CEO of the Biospheer Technologies - a company which developed Biomax - a plasma that could control organic tissue. The original intent was to use Biomax to alter food production, creating cows that grew to maturity in days and vegetables that did not require refrigeration. Unfortunately, several people became sick after eating the altered foods but Spheer refused to stop production despite this. A confrontation with Green Arrow and Black Canary - who had started investigating the company after two of their friends got sick - resulted in Spheer falling into a vat of Biomax and becoming a non-physical being who could take control of other people.

The DCTVU version of Jack Spheer is quite a different character. The original one had no connection to Lena Luthor and was old enough to have an adult son. The DCTVU version of Jack Spheer runs a company called Spheerical Industries rather than Biospheer Technologies. The DCTVU version of Biomax is also promoted as a medical breakthrough rather than a genetic-engineering mechanism.

The biggest changes, however, are that Jack Spheer is now a living swarm of nanobots rather than a psychic projection and that rather than being a villain in his own right he is being controlled by his corrupt CFO.

An establishing shot shows that The L-Corp building is located on Cordova Street in National City. Cordova, Alaska was the name of the town where Clark Kent spent some time working on a crab boat in the movie Man of Steel.


Winn says he's going to spend the downtime working on a Lebeckian code breaker.

The Biomax Medical Nanobot Program is capable of healing a cut hand in seconds. Spheer claims that his nanobots can eliminate the need for vaccinations, anesthetics and antibiotics.

Kara asks about an FDA regulation regarding distributing drugs across state line and whether or not Spheer is following that law by having started developing Biomax in Metropolis but launching it in National City.

Lena asks Spheer about how he finally cracked the nano swarm.

Spheer says that he took inspiration from watching a flock of migrating starlings and how they all moved in perfect synchronicity. After musing on how he should have followed Lena to National City, he decided that they'd been modeling the nanobots on the wrong animal. Until that point, he'd been trying to create a "queen" as a base for the bee-like drones to revolve around by programming a protective algorithm.

The Buomax nanobots are based on murmuratiom - the technical term for a flock of starlings.

The nano-swarm's artificial nitelligence is a linked sentience, controlled through the Spheerical lab mainframe computer.

Valerians' sense of smell is so powerful that they can distinguish the scents of individual humans.

Three years earlier, Lena and Jack knew that the nanoforms had a side-effect. The brains of the rats they treated were forever altered so that "we could make them do whatever we wanted.".

Beth Breen - the CFO of Jack's company - plans to use the Biomax technology to take control of the world, one person at a time.

Sea salt incorporates better with the dough when making danishes.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Kara flies into the DEO office and walks into the War Room.)
Kara: Woo! It is another beautiful day in National City and the Girl of Steel is ready to take on the world!  I am here to kick some ass, take some names, and do it all with an endearing smile on my face! So - bring it on! What have you got for me?
J'onn: There is literally nothing for you to do.
Kara: Nothing?!
Winn: I challenge you to find an eight-year-old stealing candy!
Alex: It's like somebody slipped law-abiding serum into the reservoir.
Kara: Did somebody do that? Is that illegal? I could stop them.

(The Guardian walks to Winn's van which is rocking rhythmically. He opens up the back of the van to discover Winn and Lyra making out.)
The Guardian: Oh my God... are you serious?
Winn: Woah... ohhhhh.
The Guardian: What are you doing?! You're supposed to be watching out for me!
Winn: (laughing) Guardian! Hey, man! Uh.. you had those guys! I mean, you didn't need me!
Lyra: Yeah!
Winn: Great job!
Lyra: Relax, James. You had him.
(The Guardian pulls off his helmet to reveal himself as a furious James Olsen.)
What - told her?!
Winn: I did NOT tell her!
James; (pointing at Lyra) Well, then how do you know?!
Lyra: Humans all smell different.
Winn: Oh, hey, uh... what do I smell like?
(Lyra spins around getting right in Winn's face, slowly inhaling.)
Lyra: You smell like honey.
Winn: Oh-ho!
(The two start cuddling again, momentarily oblivious to the incredulous James.)

(As Kara is dragging him out to crash Lena and Spheer's dinner date.)
This just feels like stalking.
Kara: No! It's journalism!
Mon-El: Okay. (quietly, to himself) It's very creepy journalism.

Kara; I heard Supergirl saved you.
Snapper: Yeah. She was there.
Kara; Did you say thank you?
Snapper: Once. To a divorce lawyer. It was uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Beth Breen: You know, it's true what they say? Behind every great man is a strong woman.
Lena: Oh, I wouldn't know. I've never stood behind a man.

Kara: How are you holding up?
Lena: When Lex was arrested, my mother was there. My mother saw her son, dragged bleeding and raving from her house. And when I got there, Lillian was tidynig his room. Like he'd been away on a business trip. (pauses) That's how I feel. Cold and clam. Until I think about Beth dying in jail, and then I feel warm for a minute.
Kara: You're in shock, Lena...
Lena: Loss does strange things to my family and I have lost a lot of people...
Kara: Well, you're not going to lose me.
Lena: I think when I feel things again I... I'm gonna be very, very afraid. Of the person I might be.
(Kara puts an arm around Lena and hugs her close.)
Kara: You don't have to be afraid. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere.
Lena: Promise?
Kara: I will always be your friend. And I will always protect you. I promise.


When not otherwise occupied on Thursday mornings, Alex practices knife-fighting.

Lena Luthor and Jack Spheer dated for two years. They spend five years working together on a start-up out of a garage, trying to find a cure for cancer. They broke up when she left Metropolis to run L-Corp from National City and he refused to go with her.

It is confirmed that Metropolis and National City are in different states.

Lyra Strayd was apparently freed from DEO custody and is still dating Winn, following the events of 216.

Valerians are able to identify humans based on their unique scent. Because of this, Lyra knows that James is The Guardian.

According to Lyra, Winn smells like honey.

Winn brings Lyra in to help James with fighting crime.

The L-Corp building is located on Cordova Street.

Lena's executive assistant is named Hector.

Mon-El is still using Mike as an alias.

Mon-El is a good enough pick-pocket that he steal's Spheer's security badge while hugging him.

Lena Luthor is capable enough a fighter to go up against a black-belt.

Jack Spheer dies when Lena deactivates the robots.

Beth Breen is arrested although on what charges isn't precisely clear. Presumably the two murders she caused using a weapon.

James tells Winn that he considers him a brother.

James invites Lyra to rejoin the team with the understanding that she follow his orders exactly.

Snapper Carr enjoys baking.

Kara gets her job as a reporter at CatCo back.

At the end of the episode, Lena is approached by Queen Rhea, who is dressed as an ordinary Earth woman. She says she has a business proposition for her.

The Fridge Factor

Lyra is suddenly portrayed as having a violent temper in order to set up a crazy girlfriend joke.

The Bottom Line

A sadly flat episode that proves how essential the DEO setting has become to the series in Season 2. The biggest problem is that most of the episode is devoted to Lena's romance with Jack Spheer, which its hard to become emotionally invested in since Lena hasn't been developed much as a character so far. It's a credit to Rahul Kohli and Katie McGrath that the subplot works as well as it does.

The rest of the episode isn't any better, focusing on Kara's efforts to prove herself as a reporter and James' continuing misadventures as The Guardian. I think the Kara subplot might have been stronger had she depended more on her reporting skills and less on her powers, ala The Late Mr. Kent episode of Superman: The Animated Series. And while I seem to be one of the few critics who don't mind the Guardian scenes, even I think this week's subplot was total filler.

Worse yet, The Guardian scenes undermined one of the better subplots introduced this season - Winn's relationship with Lyra - by having her become a violent berserker when she hasn't shown any tendencies towards violence before. Where were those fighting skills when she was being abducted by Lillian Luthor's thugs or her brother was being threatened a few episodes ago?

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

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

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)
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.


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.


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.