Posted in DC comics TV shows

She said He said #1

What do you mean I gotta leave AND I don't get to beat on Penguin's beak?
What do you mean I gotta leave AND I don’t get to beat on Penguin’s beak?

1-28-15: ” Gotham”

Here is our first edition of “She said He said.” It is our “watercooler” talk about shows. This week follows the return of Master Wayne to Gotham, as well as Gordon to his police station in Gotham. Some spoilers are ahead, so Read on if you’re ready.

 

So, second (third) episode back from the break. Seems like the stakes have been raised. We saw the return of master Bruce and Alfred. Wow, the level of violence in this last episode. Looks like things are spiraling out of control, eh? Thoughts?
Richard

love it when things spiral out of control and no episode has done that more than last night’s…

Hank

I was a little uncomfortable through out the episode with Gordan’s choices, thinking woah he’s kinda teetering on self destruct mode… His emotions taking over any rational behavior. Now, after that ending, I realize that’s what they were building too. I wonder if he’s going to “go” with it or if he’s going to have a mental break.

On the flip side, Bruce shut off the emotion.

In fact, if I start to think about it… The adults of the episode were all over the place in a desperate- no control -over emotional way but the “kids” put the walk up & turned off any emotional response. Curious.

Anyway. Just some immediate thoughts. Thanks for including me in the conversation!
-Black Sparrow

Yeah, kris I didn’t pick up on that tidbit about the kids.
What I did notice was my disappointment about there being no penguin torture scene. I hate to advocate violence or torture, but…

Richard

Penguin escaped torture due to his good fortune my man !  Fish will still not give up now that she has escaped her fate … this tussle between the two of them may never end !! I like how his muscle solves the case for Mr Gordon by coaxing a confession  !!! Greatness albeit it is busy it is a bullseye !

Hank

Yeah, we noticed the same thing watching. I commented that “it’s not just the good guys that get the breaks.”

Was it just me, or did you guys see the Fish Mooney and Harvey Bullock kiss? The moment kind of fell flat for me. So did the Bruce Wayne moments. I just want to have a sit down with the kid and talk about the birds and the bees. Maybe set him up with a therapist.

Richard

Posted in DC comics TV shows, Movies and TV

Constantine Review by Hank Van Hawkins

 

Constantine - Season 1Without me sounding overly excited about another DC product, yet again, I have to say the TV series of Constantine is quite on the mark. The actor Matt Ryan is a superb Constantine; a lot better than Keanu Reeves was in the movie. I have heard a lot of people believe they took some wild liberties with the film version in fact. The TV show is spot on. I haven’t read a ton of Hellblazer myself, save for a few issues here and there.  I knew of Constantine, but I had yet to come to know him. In the New 52 I have run across his character while being a huge fan of Swamp Thing. They are known to run into each other within the DC universe. In all honesty I became a fan of Papa Midnite initially. He is an awesome bad guy/heel.   That is when I first bought something of The Hellblazer series at a brick and mortar shop when it was his title. Without being too much of a spoiler, a few of the high points in the TV show thus far have involved Papa Midnite.  Their relationship with one another is one that runs back and forth from friend to foe with a fury.   It definitely stirs up a lot of enjoyable drama that I enjoy.

Constantine - Season 1

  One of my comic book habits is that I do like to wait until an arc is complete before getting into it. Just knowing the answers in the next issue are already there and able to be bought at the store serves me comfort. I simply hate waiting on comic issues as well as TV episodes now thanks to both Gotham and Constantine as well as the Flash and Arrow for that matter. Yet at the same time, it’s great. Because there is an adrenaline rush on Wednesdays at the comic store. You’re getting that issue you are anxiously waiting for.  That being said, Constantine has me on the edge of my seat. When I get home from my gigs on Friday night, it’s the first guilty pleasure I want on my DVR.  I surely hope people outside the comic book world come to love this character/TV show as much as me so it can have a long life on Friday nights.  The writers seem to be wrapping up the episodes nicely each time with no real cliff hangers continuing over to the next episode, even if the themes are complex at times.  Just to keep my point short each episode is simply a great starter kit to the world of Constantine.   

    It’s a no brainer that this show has to stay on the air. It is miles above the current programming, that’s for sure. With so many detective shows and programs like Grimm, it seems obvious DC’s true talents will come to battle it out with all those guys on prime time.  I firmly believe they will only grow in their viewership over the next few years. Especially considering what else Major networks are offering up.  Mark my words, DC is about to rule the TV roost. I still keep a toe in the water over at Marvel, but the Agents of Shield hasn’t been enough to capture me even for an entire episode. Granted, I have a short attention span.  With all this being said I have to suggest Constantine to anyone who likes a good detective show.  It obviously has its supernatural twist where there are battles over good and evil as well as confrontations with both devils and angels. I’d love to hear some feed back or criticisms otherwise, that’s for sure.

Hank

Posted in DC comics TV shows

Gotham is finally GOTHAM

Hank likes me, he really likes me!
Hank likes me, he really likes me!

We’ve had so much success with the one article we’ve done on Gotham, a review by Hank Van Hawkins that can be found here, that we decided to focus on the show on our podcast. You can find the podcast here. We start discussing the show about 22-23 minutes in, so if you’re not interested in baseball very much, go ahead and fast forward to that time. We also discuss Arrow, Terry Moore’s ‘Rachel Rising,’ Vile: The Legend of Thunder Valley, Batman and a few other things like Richard’s upcoming interview on November 22nd with Ed Brisson from ‘The Field’ by Image Comics. Thanks for reading, and please enjoy the show. You can find the link below.

SOBS podcast discussing DC tv shows and other awesome things

Gotham- a rebuttal on the criticisms

Gotham

A few words on the criticisms of Gotham

 snitches I felt it was about to time to review the new Television series Gotham on Fox. I wanted to hold back my enthusiasm and try to give a somewhat subjective review of the show and also  not to be in too big of a hurry to either praise or scorn it myself until at least several episodes in.  Also, the reviews I have read online  immediately after each episode have been scathing and very critical so far,  which I find somewhat perturbing. I say that because the TV shows of our comic book characters are going to take different liberties than the comic book.  This is prevalent in any major comic book character that finally hits the live action big screen whether TV, movie or cartoon for that matter.  It gives us yet another angle/story arc of the characters we love.  They should take these liberties and I am glad they do.  

How can you not like that? Much less be super critical of it? There is a method to the madness.   Granted, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But it is a risk and a liberty that I feel must be taken.  ( Side note: case in point personally for me Jonah Hex’s debut on the big screen should have been closer to the comic book character. Because if you ask me in that instance they took way too many liberties and it didn’t work. There is a fine line. )

Hank and Richard discuss some of the criticism about Gotham and discuss their opinions about the show on their podcast SOBS. You can listen here.

  Anyway, the critics are not wrong in saying this, but so far I think the writing on the show has been solid if somewhat sparse. That doesn’t bother me for keeping it less is more is favoring those who may not be familiar with every character or many comic books in general.  The shows and movies are more or less about promoting the comic books. That’s why the Easter eggs have been somewhat obvious.  It is stunning the amount of characters Gotham harbors and always has. It is a critical epicenter in DC’s Universe.  It’s a great idea for a show.  None the less, it is being kept  intriguing week in and week out and I can’t say enough good things about how phenomenal the characters are. I love the casting and every one is doing more than a solid job of filling these characters proverbial comic book shoes. The never ending twists and turns of Gotham’s history  is a fertile field of episodes and outlandish bad guys with their sordid back stories.   

The future of Gotham

Hank likes me, he really likes me
Hank likes me, he really likes me

The future of this show excites me.  I am looking forward to every Monday from now on. The continuity of the stories and characters is closely tied to enticing the viewer’s curiosity.  Making it a easy hook so to speak because  I am known to plead for those folks that are not comicbook geeks to check into shows like Gotham that can give them a glimpse of the magic that is within the pages of comics. It’s a good starter kit and it’s not just a show about when Batman was a kid. I hear that lot. Even if it was, how great is that? Tune in to find out. Basically what I’m saying is that I like to write and review things without giving too much away. Because part of the fun of getting to know a series or a particular arc in a comic book is about coming to know the characters and the details within each one by getting excited  by it and then going out and buying it and having fun reading it for yourself. That is the beauty of reading and lending an open ear to some imaginative wonder that always leads you to wonder a little more about the world that we live in.

Gotham is a very overtly corrupt place, and when you see that candidacy in the show and you can also take a  closer look at the world we live in see the same type of callousness in the very cities and states that we live in.  I’m not saying it’s outright social commentary, but comics have always had their finger on  the pulse of popular culture and I am glad to see them continuing the tradition on TV now. I figure it’s a great master plan to get more people reading comic books again.

What do you think of the Fox hit Gotham?  Leave a comment or let Hank know through the contact form, or even his Facebook page here.

Hank has reviewed several of the DC TV shows. Please follow the links below to read them.

Hank’s Flash Review

Hank writes about Green Arrow

Posted in Comics, DC comics TV shows, Movies and TV

‘The Flash’ on CW review by Hank Van Hawkins

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The FLASH TV show review

  Ok, here I go with another review about a Superhero that not everyone may be so up to date on. I know I wasn’t at all familiar with the Flash short of his appearance in the Justice League movie. He was a super hero that  I never really ever got around to knowing before. Of course alot more attention is being brought to the character thanks to his new CW show. Which I have thoroughly enjoyed and I would have never guessed the endless crime fighting possibilities for the world’s fastest man would be so plentiful and engaging. Just for the record DC is killing it on the TV scene as of late.  Of course it was the TV show that set me up to buy a few issues from my local brick and mortar to further my research for this review in particular.  I was far from disappointed because the comic fed my curiosity as I waited for the next episode to air this week. It also proved to be serendipitous because one of my personal favorites Deadman made an appearance in the comic issue I bought. Which again pushed my curiosity further. The same curiosity that keeps me wanting to find out more not only about the hero himself but all of his battles with his more than formidable enemies.

    The TV show does a stellar job of summing up Barry’s back story in what I consider well timed flash backs much like they do in the Series Arrow. So regardless of where you pick the series up at a back story is sure to be dropped in by some sort of flash back or dream sequence and again the writers are making these moves flawlessly thus far. Barry Allen is a engaging character himself  even before becoming the Flash. His back story is awash with injustice and it is a large part of what propels him to use his powers for good once they are bestowed upon him. With this chip on his shoulder he makes fighting crime look easy as he anxiously awaits the next clue to the mystery of who it was that killed his mother when he was just a child.  Which is well established as his main priority albeit constantly being sidetracked by the constant discovery of Central City’s next rogue meta-human as his first prioritized task at hand.

  A fantastic thrill ride that can be enjoyed by anyone whether you are a comic book nerd or not. I feel like all these TV series DC is doing are a great introduction to heroes you may have never explored before. Watching them on the old boob-tube is a good way to find out if you would enjoy the comics or not.  It’s nice to find out some info before actually purchasing the books. Personally I tend to lean towards the bad guys because it seems that every one of them carries as big a chip on their shoulders as Barry does.  So it always makes for a great episode when another villain is introduced and Barry and his team have to figure out on the fly on how to stop them dead in their tracks. The Flash proves to be very worthy of the mainstream TV audience. Because if main stream TV needs anything it, needs super heroes and it could stand to take more general direction from the world of comic books in doing so.  DC is more than up to the task. It seems that they took enough notes from The Walking Dead’s TV success to try and replicate it for itself and its own heroes. So if you haven’t watched the Flash already I bid that you do so soon!

 

Hank Van Hawkins 

Someone drop a lady? Someone drop a lady?
Someone drop a lady? Someone drop a lady?
Posted in Comic reviews, Comics, DC comics TV shows

Review of Green Arrow-introducing Hank Van Hawkins

One of the many incarnations of Green Arrow.
One of the many incarnations of Green Arrow.

    

Well, I want to start off by saying I love doing reviews and I couldn’t be more excited to take part and share my take on many things creative week in and week out. I am starting off by reviewing The Green Arrow. Not necessarily a particular issue, arc, or the CW TV show. I am reviewing Green Arrow as a whole in general.  That being said, the world of superheroes and comic books is an ever expanding universe and can sometimes overwhelm a newbie or first time reader. Simply sometimes by not knowing where to start or which hero to start with. As for myself ,I have many titles and arcs that speak to me and peak my interest, and they are in turn compelling me to buy the newest issues directly off of the stand every Wednesday. (Of course I will make more notes of these in the future!) So I always say/suggest to go exactly for what you like and what stokes your own curiosity. From a collector’s standpoint maybe it doesn’t have a lot of dollar value per se. But, if you enjoy the story and the art work and it respects and satisfies your curiosity then that is all that really matters, Therefore it is valuable to you and it makes it that much more easier to pass the fascination on down the line to the next generation.

   That being said I am going to review some lesser known and or out of the normal heroes as a whole sometimes, if not only to discover their stories for myself but to help the general comic connoisseur to have as much information about a title/hero (without giving away spoilers of course) before simply buying it blind.

I started my Green Arrow journey by playing his character on Injustice God’s Among us and I totally enjoyed having his skill set at my disposal. I actually won a few battles. Woo hoo! That in itself kindled an interest in the character for me and low and behold, with a trip to the comic shop, I went ahead and thought there was no better place to start than with this year’s Future’s End Green Arrow one shot. I picked it up upon seeing the cool cover art and once I started reading it I was drawn in and immediately wanted more.  Sure Oliver Queen follows DC’s magic formula for super heroes where they take a wealthy man who turns vigilante at night much like their greatest success Bat Man, but that is where the similarities end. It is following the formula, albeit with Green Arrow’s very own sense of identity far removed from Batman. Not to mention a whole other host of foes he ends up coming to blows with.  I can never get enough of the back story of any villan/enemy/arch-nemesis. I find the bad guy’s back story is always fascinating, and The Green Arrow always delivers this in abundance. 

     I also love the wealth of plots and back stories that not only come along with Green Arrow, but his true identity Oliver Queen and his company Queen Industries. It is a fail safe method of always having another source of corruption or criminal influence to keep the character’s battles ongoing and constant, thus giving these characters a long running saga that can carry itself for years on end. I find it very easy to just jump right into the story line regardless of where it is at to the plot or arc as a whole. That is especially so with his TV show Arrow. Which I had never seen at all until this year and I think this is either the third or fourth season. It has been seamless. In fact, if anything, it compels me to go ahead and catch myself up on the previous seasons and episodes I have missed thus far. My fascination keeps pollinating with the more info I get. With the flashbacks and the constant building blocks of the current plot, it’s almost hard to miss the story line, much less the moral to the story. Green Arrow also relies on a staff of others who help him both on location and behind the scenes. Behind every great hero is a whole set of unheralded sidekicks there for support and help. Characters that not only add to the plot but to the legend of The Green Arrow himself. So, I say don’t be scared off by the similarities here. Embrace them if you haven’t already. Green Arrow is a bad ass and I have loved everything I have read, watched, and played so far.  I will continue to do so since it has indeed touched on all the hallmarks of a super hero that appeal to me. 

   Hank Van Hawkins

Co-host for SOBS