Comic week – 4/1/2016

Well I am just thrilled!  By now you must know that all I live for is complaining about things, especially things I hate and there’s nothing I hate as much as these shows! (Except maybe domestic kittens and import puppies.)  Thankfully they had to go and be SO wretched this week I’m going to need a cigarette after ripping these travesties apart.

Yeah I know it’s belatedly April Fools but I couldn’t resist with the date the comic week falls under.  Obviously I’m just kidding with everything above.  If anything, this week might be short as excellent as everything was.

iZombie 1.16 – Pour Some Sugar, Zombie

Was this episode written by some 12 year old boys?  Then again I guess the girls have gotten a lot of fanservice from Major & Drake lately so maybe it’s the guys’ turn?  I remember there was something of a plot around the time Liv started giving Peyton a lapdance…

Just kidding.  This entire episode felt like it was written for April Fools day with the writers let off their leash.  Heck I can’t tell whether it the stripper brain Liv was on was actually making her want to dance for Peyton or if that was her way of getting back at Peyton for being so annoying.  Either way, her actions were hilarious and made me feel like those two were really friends (because part of being a friend is being an occasional asshole to each other).

No idea what the “BLT” (Brains, Lettuce & Tomato) sandwich had anything to do with the victim this week and I spent hours at a strip bar with a BLT (bacon this time) to see if it was something I didn’t know about strippers.  Turns out the sandwiches are not accepted as currency.

Again the show continues to rock with the players in the dramas all coming together.  Liv finds out the truth about Drake while Ravi finds out the truth about Major.  Kudos to those two as I’ll confess, I felt more heartbreak at Ravi’s betrayal than Liv’s.  This episode just did a great job selling friendships all around.  Even both of Blaine’s henchmen had a great humanizing moment – which is ironic considering the moment was about one of them trading away his humanity.

We know Rita went to Liv to at least get brains, but would she have tried working it out or was she going to run afterwards?  Trick question!  Goons will kidnap her instead!  That’s why I like you, show, every time I think I’ve got the possible options figured out, you toss me a curve ball.

Lots of major plot moments and great acting moments push the episode’s grade up, BUT I did feel like the MotW was weaker and the brain shenanigans not utilized much (I mean what if stripper!Liv ran into Major?) so I’ll give it… B+ for its final grade.

Legends of Tomorrow 1.09 – Left Behind

Well almost anything had to be better following the worst episode of the series (so far)!

Thankfully this one was!  With bonus revelation that the backup antagonist to the series was one of their own.  I admit to kind of wanting Chronos to be revealed as Hawkman but Mick is not a bad choice either.  It also helps that the show has done the work to show Mick a generally decent fighter so we have some belief that he’ll be an actual threat to the team (probably more so then when he was faceless).  Given what we can do with a show about time travel, I’m hoping we’ll see some past version of Chronos come back to menace the group.

Otherwise pretty good all around.  Good to see Captain Cold have to suffer a bit and make some sacrifices this time.  I kind of wish they did something with his missing hand rather than giving the ship a “get out of situation free” tool, but that’s par for the course in these things so no big deal.  I will admit to being a little personally tired of the League of Assassins but that could be because it wasn’t long ago I binged watched Arrow S3.  Still, personally they’re starting to get overexposed.

Largest complaint I have is that (again) we don’t see Rip playing the role of tactician and even having the smallest backup plan ready. (really, why not leave Martin & Jax on the ship, then have Firestorm bail them out?)  It doesn’t always have to work, but let us see that he put in some effort and foresight (yes, pun very much intended for a time traveler).

All in all I give this episode… a B+ as well.

Flash 1.17 – Flash Back

You just know all the actors get to have fun this episode with everybody getting to pretend to be themselves from a year ago.  I’m normally not thrilled with a show using casual time travel (if it’s not a plot point from the start like in LoT) but dang it if they didn’t make this hour so much I didn’t care.  This episode was probably also why in Legends Rip’s lack of a plan bothered me – because Barry Allen does it here too (though with Barry it’s more excusable – Rip should be more experienced).

Hopefully we’ll get more about the time wraiths soon because right now it’s pretty hard to ignore the blatant “we needed a plot device” use of it this episode.  Best scene is definitely the moment where the two Barrys intersect and freak everybody out.  Hopefully the next episode will devote some time to explaining what has changed and how Pied Piper turned over a new leaf.

This is almost an A episode, but I have to knock it down to a B for just how poorly the time wraith was handled.  “You got lucky” isn’t a lampshade hang, it’s an admission of “the writers have been saving your ass.”  Though if they do some retcons that fix and add new layers to this episode on a rewatch, it could get that A grade easily.

Supergirl 1.18 – Worlds Finest

What is it about Barry and bespectacled blondes?  He just has such good chemistry with them!  So I was talking with my pen pal John and he wrote the following (reprinted with permission):

Me: You see the episode?

John: Not only did I see it, but I saw it without knowing it was the crossover episode, so that when a red streak flashed up the side of the building, and Kara was still unconscious (banshee magic is magic, one of the few things that hurts kryptonians) I was caught entirely by surprise and shocked with joy.

Then, when Flash is puzzled that the office girl does not seem to notice or mind being on fire, and then when neither one recognizes the other, I thought this was a GREAT show.

Then, when Barry’s boyish charms started making James Olsen jealous, I realized this was a CLASSIC, a keeper, an extraordinary show.

And then, when I recognized the fireman who hoses down the Big Bad in the last scene as someone Supergirl had previously saved, and the crowd began to trust her again, I was actually moved. It was one of the best shows I have seen in a long, long time.

On top of all this, keep in mind that I am something of a Supergirl fan, and therefore I have read many a comic whose writers do not know how to tell her story and tell it well.

So the contrast with all that bad writing — and she is a hard character to put into dramatic situations that do not violate either her cute little girl quality or her goddesslike superhuman powers — makes good writing all the more impressive to me.

You know what?  Nothing there to argue with (though I’m not the big SG fan he is).  This was just a lot of fun and a great example for muggles of why comic fans love to see their favorite characters share the page.  Barry thrilled at learning about aliens?  Making friends with Wynn? (and boy could he use a friend right now)  All just great moments that earned this episode, a solid A+ grade.  It has now set the curve for how the show should be judged.

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