E3 2017: Nintendo’s Upcoming Games

This year at E3, Nintendo announced several new games for the Switch and 3DS. Let’s take a look at some of them.

First up, Super Mario Odyssey.

I really like the way this game looks. It looks to have fun game mechanics. I’ve got my copy pre-ordered!

 

Yoshi *working title*

I just love the way this game looks. The diorama look of the stages is adorable. It’s very much a side scroller as Yoshi walks on a defined track, but I will still buy this game.

 

Metroid Prime 4 (Switch) and Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

 

 

We didn’t get much for Metroid Prime 4 other then a title. So can’t say anything there. Metroid: Samus Returns looks decent, but I was never a fan of the Metroid series, so I don’t have much of an opinion there.

 

Sonic Forces

I’ve always liked Sonic games. This one has something unique to the franchise, you not only get to play as original and modern versions of Sonic, but you get to make your own Sonic Universe character with their own special abilities. This one might be worth a look.

Kirby

I will admit to never having played a Kirby game. This one looks good, you suck up bad guys or convert them into allies to help you out.

 

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions (3DS)

Mario & Luigi quest to return Peach’s voice. Bowser as also been kidnapped! Team up with Bowser’s minions to save everyone’s day.

 

Fire Emblem Warriors

I’m not really well versed in the Fire Emblem games, but I’m sure this will be a game that people will seek out.

Not only will we be getting these and other new games, but their will be new DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, with the first pack due out at the end of June.

 

So if you’re a fan of Nintendo, 2017-2018 may be your years.

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8Bits: Reactions to News from E3

So, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, has come and gone for 2017, and we got quite a few tidbits of news about upcoming games and new consoles.

Some of our gang of gamers are gathered around the table to discuss the latest from Bethesda, Microsoft, Atari — is that a new console they’re teasing? — Sony, Ubisoft, and the rest of the usual suspects.

Also: don’t forget to check out SciFi4Me TV.2 — our Twitch channel — where we’re expanding our live game play and inviting you into a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign every Monday night.

 

The panel: Jennifer Wise, Thomas Townley, Daniel Green

 




The Longbox Hunter: GREEN ARROW (Volume 3) #1

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In the back of my house, I keep my most prized possessions. My long boxes.  Filled with issue after issue after issue (Guess you could say I have issues) of comic books dating back thirty years or longer.

This is just one of them.

Green Arrow #1 (3rd series)
Written by Kevin Smith
Pencils: Phil Hester
Inks: Ande Parks
Color: Guy Major
Letters: Sean Konot

Rebirth. Something that is so common in comic books these days that it’s become a trope. Original character dies. Only to be brought back months or years later because they MUST come back.

The subject of this rebirth in this case is Oliver Queen, the original Green Arrow.

Green Arrow was created in 1941 by Mortimer Weisinger and designed by George Papp in More Fun Comics #73.

In 2001, the character was turning 60 years old. Not that anyone would notice; the character had died in issue #100 (second series), preventing a group of eco-terrorists from destroying Metropolis with a bomb. He was replaced by his son, Connor Hawke, as the Green Arrow. During the last issue of the second series, #137 (October 1998), Hal Jordan, who had gone crazy and had become the villain Parallax, resurrected Oliver.

Not the best place to take a nap.

Years later, we got a new number one issue, written by writer/director/producer/fanboy Kevin Smith with pencils by Phill Hester and inking by Ande Parks.

The issue starts during the Final Night with Batman and Superman (Damn, I miss when Batman and Superman used to be “super-friends”) talking about the seeming cold apocalypse when Supes feels something leave him, but with his weakened powers he can’t tell what.

We then visit the grave of Oliver Queen where we see Parallax visit before he leaves to kill the Sun-Eater and resurrects the sun. As he fades out, another pair of green boots show up. We see Green Arrow, Connor Hawke, sprawled out at Ollie’s grave.

Roy remembers when…

We spend the rest of the issue revisiting Ollie’s other friends and associates, the former Speedy — now Aresnal — Roy Harper. He recounts his time with Oliver.

We then visit Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, she recounts a time when she and Ollie made love.

Next on the wheel of former Oliver Queen friends and family, we visit Connor Hawke, who is now in the ashram where he came from trying to find inner peace, as well as himself.

We then find ourselves on the last two pages where a mysterious trick arrow wielding  vigilante emerges…

Artwork: Phill Hester and Ande Parks’ art style is pretty good, if a bit squared off. I’m still not a huge fan of this kind of art style. But Hester and Parks make it look pretty good. Some other artists who do this style, make it look kind of undone or exaggerated.

The classic returns.

Story: This is the opening to a story arc, so it reads more like a preamble then an actual story. It serves as a sort of introduction to the Emerald Archer’s return. (“Hey remember the guy who used to be in this title?” He’s back and a bit rebooted.”) This arc brought Oliver Queen back without the memories or scars he received during “The Longbow Hunters” storyline. He got some of the grim-dark removed that was weighing the character down. After all, he shouldn’t be just Batman with arrows. We have a Batman. He should be a bit more Robin Hood. Daring and Dashing.

That put aside, the real value here is Kevin Smith’s words. If there is one thing Kevin Smith can do (other then talk) is write. Kevin Smith is a wordsmith extraordinaire.

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit biased toward old “Silent Bob”.  He took a character that had been shoved so far aside, he didn’t even have a title (or a life) and brought him back and put him on a strong foundation. The third series of Green Arrow lasted for 75 issues and ended in 2007.

There are plenty of Green Arrow stories availiable. You can find Green Arrow in your local comic book store and on Comixology.

So start reading today!

 

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E3 2017: MICROSOFT Announces the XBOX ONE X Console

(All photos courtesy Microsoft)

At the 2017  Electronics Entertainment Expo, Microsoft announced that the much whispered about “Project Scorpio” next generation console will now be called the Xbox One X and that it will be in stores on November 7th, 2017 for $499.

It’s being billed as “The world’s most powerful console”.  It uses forty percent more power than any other console and will deliver 4K gaming when paired with a 4K display. It will even make your existing Xbox One library look better with better textures, smoother frame rates and faster load times, even when used with a 1080p TV. The Xbox One X also will offer a 4K Blu-Ray player, HDR support for gaming and video and support for Dolby Atmos.

The physical stats for the new machine are pretty impressive. The Xbox One X is smaller then its predecessor, the Xbox One S (30cm x 24cm x 6cm vs 29.5cm x 23cm x 6.5cm). It weighs 2 pounds more then the Xbox One S (8.4 lbs). A 2.3 GHz, 8 core CPU, a 1.172 Ghz GPU, 12 Gb of memory and an internal storage drive of 1TB.

A beautiful exploded view of the Xbox One X.

“Xbox empowers game developers large and small to create different types of games for every type of player,” Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said during the E3 debut. “Not only do we have the biggest cross-platform blockbusters on our platform, we’ve also scoured the world to bring our fans unique content from creative artists that capture the imagination.”
Gamers are certainly waiting in anticipation of this new generation console.




Nintendo Releases Details on Nintendo Switch Online Service

Nintendo of America has released details about its much-anticipated paid online service for the Nintendo Switch.

The service dubbed “Nintendo Switch Online” will allow Switch owners to engage in online multiplayer gaming as well as an interactive app that will connect with the Switch console itself. According to Nintendo, the app will help players chat with their friends during online play, set play appointments and allow them to invite friends to join them online. A free limited version of the app will be available during the summer of 2017.

In the meantime, once the service launches sometime during the summer of 2017, online play will be free for Nintendo Account holders until the paid service launches sometime in 2018.

There have been some additional services announced including: Classic Game selection (subscribers get to download a compilation of classic titles with added online play. Some examples given were: Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario.

Nintendo eShop Deals with special offers on select digital games and content.

Pricing for the service has three different payment tiers: 1-month membership for $3.99,a 3-month membership for $7.99, or a 12-month membership for $19.99

For more information, check out Nintendo’s website about it here.

 




ROGUES GALLERY #55: Tis the Season for Finales

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For a lot of the shows, it’s season finale time, and for some of the shows, it couldn’t come at a better time. Because more than a few of these story lines are drifting into “oh, please” territory, and we have concerns that if they continue on their present trajectory…. well, maybe one more season for some.

Arrow ended with another burning, because it’s the season finale and something has to burn. Supergirl ended with a big thud named Mon-El, and The Flash ends … without the Flash?

 

The panel: Ann Laabs, Jeff Hackworth, Thomas Townley, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt

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DC Comics Announces June 3rd as “Wonder Woman Day”

In celebration of the highly anticipated movie Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the titular character and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, DC Comics is sponsoring Wonder Woman Day on June 3rd, 2017. The day after the release of the movie. The celebration will honor the 75-year legacy of the Amazon Princess with wondrous festivities across the country and around the world.

Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston in 1941 and has been a staple of the DC Universe ever since. She has been featured in comic books, a TV series, and animated movies. Wonder Woman will be the character’s first solo film.

Wonder Woman #1 cover by Liam Sharp & Laura Martin

More than 2,000 comic book shops, libraries, bookstores and other outlets around the world will host Wonder Woman activities, including distributing free copies of two special edition issues. Wonder Woman Day Special Edition #1 will reprint the Rebirth title Wonder Woman #1 by bestselling writer Greg Rucka and artist Liam Sharp. In addition, for young readers, DC Super Hero Girls Wonder Woman Day Special Edition #1 will feature a chapter from the upcoming DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 3 : Summer Olympus, written by Shea Fontana with art by Yancey Labat.

DC has also teamed up with a variety of retail partners including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Walmart, Costco, and Amazon for exclusive in-store and digital promotions. There will be more promotions from Warner Bros. subsidiaries including Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, alongside key partners including Six Flags Theme Parks, to help further spotlight the groundbreaking DC Super Hero.

Comic writers and artists will also participate in special events to mark “Wonder Woman Day,” including Greg Rucka, Phil Jimenez, Cliff Chiang, Shea Fontana, Marc Andreyko, and Cat Staggs. Fans will also be able to pick up exclusive Wonder Woman tiaras and bracelets at select retailers.

DC Comics has also posted a free official activity kit which includes comic book activity sheets, coloring pages, trivia, and games. This can be found here.

Be sure to join in the festivities before the movie and share on social media using #WonderWomanDay.




Review: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD is Time Well Spent

[All screencaps taken from gameplay]

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
Developed by Nintendo EPD
Published By Nintendo
Released March 3, 2017
Available on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo WiiU 

I want to start this review by saying that I was skeptical that Nintendo could win me over with the Nintendo Switch. I had lost most of my interest in console gaming. I never even had much interest in buying the predecessor to the Switch, the Wii U. I lost interest with the Wii, it just bothered my wrists and didn’t hold my interest and attention.

Then Nintendo released trailers and footage for the latest entry in The Legend of Zelda series (the nineteenth in the series), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and I fell in love.

Link starts the game very bare bones.

This game is gorgeous; the look of the land of Hyrule is worth just sitting and gazing out over the landscape. It even has weather: rain, sun, thunderstorms and snow in the higher elevations. It is also huge! It takes a lot of time to get from one end of the map to the other. Thankfully, they give you a way to warp to shrines and towers that you have activated. You can also travel by glider and horse — and you have to capture your own horse!

Another feature of this game and a first in Zelda franchise history is that weapons and shields break after several uses. Therefore you have to keep picking up or buying new weapons to keep on your quest. This may seem tedious, but it can actually be quite rewarding if you’re battling a tough enemy and manage to pick up their weapon and kill them with it.

I could just watch that water flow by for hours.

The gameplay is open-ended. You are given a quest to take back the Divine Beasts, destroy Calamity Gannon and rescue Princess Zelda, but you are not expected to rush off to Hyrule Castle right away. Instead, it gives you all the time you want to do side quests and explore in search of over 90 shrines that will give you tokens that you can turn in to get more heart containers or more stamina. As of the writing of this review, I have only defeated one of the Divine Beast guardians.  There are also hundreds of hidden beings across the land that will give you Korok Seeds, you can then turn these in to expand your inventory.

I enjoy this game that I almost have no problems with it. My few complaints are small, like accidentally hitting the right joystick too hard and zooming in when I’m trying to make a jump (which causes me to fall).

Another beautiful sunrise. Let’s take the apple.

As of the writing of this review, I have completed one of the Divine Beasts, collected 39 Korok Seeds and completed 55 Shrine Quests and I am so looking forward to the rest of this game.

I have some thoughts about the future of the Zelda franchise. Breath of the Wild is a great game and a good start for the reimagining of the story. Now I think they should add more to it. Fishing, something of a staple in some of the past Zelda games, is absent from this game. I would love it if they added it back. It would also be nice if you could repair broken weapons instead of having to constantly pick up new ones you’re enemies dropped. They already have mining in the game, you could turn this into a basis for weapon repair. Just take your ores to a blacksmith and reforge that sword.

I would also love to have a game where you could play as either Zelda or Link. Maybe Zelda could do actions that Link can’t perform.

Anyway, I look forward to the next game in the franchise!

I highly recommend this game for anyone who is looking for a quest for adventure!

 




POWERLESS Gets Trapped in “Emergency Punch-Up”

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Season 1, Episode 9: “Emergency Punch-Up”
Written by Lillian Yu
Directed by Linda Mendoza

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Score one for the viewers! We actually get the episode we were promised this week!

Ron (Ron Funches) is watching a new documentary on Dr. Psycho (which paints him in more of a favorable light.) Everyone thinks it’s bunk, but Ron thinks the documentary producers are correct and that Dr. Psycho is an innocent man.

Van (Alan Tudyk), meanwhile, is telling the staff about the upcoming corporate retreat in Coast City. Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) has been planning it and has plenty of fun in store for everyone.

If there is ever a Van Wayne action figure, I want him in this white suit.

Everyone leaves…except for Emily’s team, who has to wait for Dorothy (Dorothy Schock), to make sure the elder lady makes it to the retreat. Suddenly an alarm goes off! Dr. Psycho is attacking Charm City. The explanatory news caster tells us that everyone must shelter in place for at least the next 12 hours until the gas dissipates. The building is put in lockdown and Emily’s team is trapped at work.

Emily is worried about Dorothy, not to worry though, Dorothy is shown to be at the retreat, they stayed behind for nothing.

Since they are trapped, Emily decides to turn the office into a faux island retreat with a Tiki bar…and not much else, so the team just sits around and drinks. They play a game of Desert Island Companion, which only upsets Teddy (Danny Pudi) after Ron says he’d rather have Jackie (Christina Kirk) as a companion than him.

They bet Teddy that he can’t hit a trash can with a tiki torch. He throws, misses and hits a window, breaking it and letting in the white gas. The team quickly retreats into the lab, which can be sealed off easily.

Party Time!

Unfortunately, all the gas masks and hazard suits are outside the lab, having been appropriated for the party. Also, they are a man short, since Van had two writers helping him with jokes and speeches and the joke guy got left out in the gas, so he’s probably dead.

Emily uses the resources they do have in the lab to make a makeshift hazmat suit so she can venture out to get the masks.

Ron is ready to go.

And it turns out the joke writer wasn’t dead, the gas just made him super angry. He attacks Emily and breaches her makeshift helmet. She takes a breath of the gas and is consequently … not well. She’s mad and sick of having to babysit her team. She throws away the masks.

They receive a timely report on TV that the gas will eventually kill those exposed to it unless they are treated within a few hours. Jackie rallies the troop and tells them they need to get Emily back into the lab.

They put together another makeshift hazmat suit and Ron goes out to retrieve Emily. Emily attacks him and he fails and is pulled back to he lab. Van gives a rousing speech — from his speech writer — and they try a new tactic. They start singing Karaoke. Emily loves Karaoke and she comes back into the room singing and then collapses.

Later, the team do a post-mortem on the whole situation and take Emily out for a night of Karaoke.

A happy Emily is a good Emily.

Analysis:

I really liked this episode, which might be one of the best episodes of the series so far. It wasn’t over complicated; it stuck to one story instead of trying to shoe horn a “b” plot into the story. Hey, Powerless writers! More of this, please. Follow Lillian Yu’s lead and write them like this one.

So if Emily is the team’s baby sitter, is Jackie Emily’s watcher?

How is the gang not super mad at Dorothy for sneaking out of the building and making them get stuck in the building? They were kinda mad at the wrong person.

The team should some ingenuity in making those makeshift hazmat suits. That’s right, we get an episode that really shows that they can be MacGyver type geniuses when they need to be (or when the script tells them they can be).

The DC Universe references in this episode were sparse, just Dr. Psycho and Wonder Woman. I think this really helped out the episode.

Next week, we get to do what ever we want…or do we? It’s “No Consequence Day”!

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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POWERLESS Formally Introduces The New Hero in “Green Furious”

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Season 1, Episode 8: “Green Furious”
Written by Dean Loray
Directed by Michael MacDonald

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Breaking News! The Olympian (Joel Michael Kramer) and Green Fury (Natalie Morales) have split up!

Anyway, Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) sees Green Fury being mobbed on the street by the paparazzi after pulling off a rescue. While her attention is on them, Jack-O-Lantern (Kimani Ray Smith) takes the moment to try and fry our new hero with a pumpkin bomb! Luckily, Emily grabs Fury and saves her. “I owe you one,” she tells Emily and gives her a signal device so she can call on the green haired one in the future.

Van, meet Green Fury.

The team looks at Emily’s “prize”, with Teddy (Danny Pudi) being furious because he’s still hung up on the firey lass.

Today, Emily is going to sit in on a board meeting with Van (Alan Tudyk); he tells her not to talk, but just laugh at his jokes.

Jackie (Christina Kirk) has brought her daughter, Ruby (Willa  Miel Pogue) with her to work because she was suspended from school for hitting. Wendy (Jennie Pierson) warms right up to the tyke, much to Jackie’s chagrin.

In the board meeting, Emily is dismayed that they’re considering axing the Poncho that Emily likes. So, Emily speaks up and tells them that they need a new ad campaign with a superhero selling the product. She pulls out the signal device and summons Green Fury, impressing the board.

Fury is a little upset that she was summoned for something so trivial, but Emily convinces her that this will help reshape her image which was damaged by the breakup. The green haired heroine agrees to be in the commercial.

Van better watch what he says to the green-haired one.

Meanwhile, Ron (Ron Funches) is in a focus group when Teddy busts in with his new leather jacket, wearing it in the hopes that Fury will notice him. The group just tears him down.

Meanwhile, Wendy and Ruby are becoming friends, when Jackie comes over and asks Wendy to stop hanging around with her child.

At the commercial shoot, Emily is dismayed to find that the executives have taken her tasteful commercial and made it really sexy, featuring a nude Green Fury and very little of the poncho.

Jackie is at the end of her rope with Ruby and tells Wendy that she can have her. All she really wants to know is why Ruby hit that other kid. Ruby finally comes clean and admits that the kid was saying bad things about Jackie.

The Olympian is available for all your stripping needs.

Meanwhile, back at the studio, Green Fury isn’t having the changes that the execs made, she trusts Emily though and they come up with a compromise.

The Olympian, a total glory hound, is called in to do the commercial. We see the finished commercial with a bare naked Olympian washing a car and Green Fury demonstrating the poncho at the end. The commercial tests positively.

The commercial works and the paparazzi are more interested in The Olympian then Fury’s life. Fury even got a call from the Justice League…Europe.

Oil him up, he’s ready to go.

Analysis:

This episode was… not bad. In fact, I might say this has been one of the best episodes of the series so far.

We get a good look at our new hero, Green Fury, and she doesn’t even like that name.

We get a “b” story that stays short and in the background allowing the “a” story plenty of time to work with.

And for the ladies, we get The Olympian “naked”.

We also got some good DCU references including Darkseid, Justice League Europe and The Scarecrow.

I just wonder if we aren’t missing an episode between this one and the last, as last week Green Fury had just arrived and this week were she and The Olympian were breaking up.

Maybe it’ll be in next week’s episode, “Emergency Punch-up”, the reason that “Green Furious” was switched for this episode was because “Emergency Punch-up” featured a gas attack and that just happened in Syria. Although this episode does come after “Van v Emily…” in the production order, so I guess we will see.

How difficult must it be to live in a world where you need to carry around a security poncho so not to be injured or killed? That must kinda suck.

Natalie Morales’s performance as Green Fury was pretty good. I do wish that her flames would cover her body all over like in the comics, but that might be beyond the budget of a half hour sitcom.

Finally, we still have no idea if this show will get renewed. The viewership has been consistent at around 2 million, but that might not be enough to save it.

Next week, this series gets an “Emergency Punch-Up”, (we hope).

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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POWERLESS Crowns Its Champion in “Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice”

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Season 1, Episode 7: “Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice”
Written by Greg Lisbe & Jared Miller
Directed by Jaffar Mamood

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Ron (Ron Funches) and Teddy (Danny Pudi) are talking out on the office balcony about Teddy’s girlfriend when Jack-O-Lantern (Kimani Ray Smith) zooms by throwing a pumpkin bomb at them causing Teddy to fall off the balcony, in a flash, he’s rescued by Charm City’s newest hero, Green Fury (Natalie Morales).

Meanwhile, Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) goes to Van (Alan Tudyk) to complain that she doesn’t have her own office. Van tells her that there is no space.

Excited to meet Green Fury or just smooth dancers, you decide.

So she goes over Van’s head and talks to the home office in Gotham. Turns out, there is a space in it that has a spider in it; if she gets rid of the spider, it’s hers.

Van is upset over Emily’s actions and tells her to get back to her cubicle. Back in her cubicle, Emily is crushed, but she goes to Van to demand her office back and ends up challenging him to a game of Green Arrow darts.

Emily is trapped in a cubicle of emotion.

The team warns Emily that this is a bad idea and that Van is a sore loser, confiding in Emily why Van is Employee of the Month ever month.

Later the game is set up, and after some trash talk, they play. At first, Emily lets Van win, but her competitive nature and Van’s bragging causes her to actually try to win. Emily still ends up losing.

The next day Van is in such a good mood, he’s given the office all new chairs and scones. He’s even gonna let Emily get her office.

Van is not Green Arrow, but he does have a lot of green.

Meanwhile, Teddy has created a dummy to throw off the balcony to get Green Fury’s attention; unfortunately, he goes off the balcony with it. Instead of being saved by GF though, he’s saved by The Olympian (Joel Michael Kramer) instead.

Emily has her office, but she’s still not happy that she lost and challenges Van again. She lets the proverbial cat out of the bag by demonstrating to him that people have been letting him win all his life. Van is crushed. Emily has completely broken him with this revelation. Van and Emily talk, and she tells him that he beat her all on his own with no one’s help. Van’s ego is reinflated again.

When Van wins, life is good for all.

Meanwhile, Teddy is out on a date with his girlfriend when a thief steals her purse. Green Fury stops the robbery and Teddy gets to meet her face to face, putting him in an awkward situation with his girlfriend.

Analysis:

This episode was a definite improvement over last week.

We get plenty of references in this episode: Lois Lane, Green Arrow and an appearance by The Olympian, as well as a new superhero to take Crimson Fox’s place, Green Fury.

Green Fury is better known as Fire in the DC Universe. She first appeared in Super Friends #25 in October 1979. Beatriz da Costa was given her powers by Brazilian mysticism and was the president of Wayne Enterprises in Brazil. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, her history was changed to that of a super model turned Brazilian secret agent who got endowed with powers in a pyroplasmic explosion.

Green Fury’s special effects were decent but brief. I wish that they had an all over fire effect on her as that would make the costume look better.

This was a big insight into Van and Emily’s competitive natures. Van was competitive because he thought he never lost (mainly because everyone let him win to avoid his nasty streak). Emily was competitive because she has a bit of a superiority complex. Emily got her way but STILL felt the need to not let Van gloat, causing her to go confront him and burst his bubble about his own superiority complex.

I must applaud the title for this episode. At the very least, it was way shorter than the movie.

I’m kinda getting worried here, because the production vs air order of the episodes is pretty wild. So far it’s been this: 2,3,6,7,5,8,10. Episode 1 was the original pilot so that can be discounted. But what happened to episodes 4 and 5? When will we get to see them and if they air, will they make sense out of order?

I’ve been giving it some thought and I really think this series would have worked better with either a longer runtime, two-part episodes or a more serialized format.

Next week, this series gets an “Emergency Punch-Up”.

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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POWERLESS Has a Friend in Me in “I’ma Friend You”

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Season 1, Episode 6: “I’ma Friend You”
Written by Sabrina Jalees
Directed by Alex Reid

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

We open this week’s episode with Breaking News! Crimson Fox (Deanna Russo) has announced that she’s leaving Charm City for Metropolis! While the guys joke about getting Aqualad instead, the women worry about an uptick in crime and super villainy.

Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) suggests taking a self-defense course and asks Jackie (Christina Kirk) if she wants to join her; Jackie’s kinda noncommital, so Emily takes that as a yes.

Crimson Fox is leaving! Who will save the city now?

Emily waits for Jackie and gets chased by one of Jack-O-Lantern’s (Kimani Ray Smith) fireballs. She finds Jackie…driving an Uber. Later, Jackie tells Emily not to mention it to the others but she’s working to send her kid to Six Flags over Metropolis.

Meanwhile, Van (Alan Tudyk) is mad. SOMEONE used his private toilet, leaving a magazine behind and he wants to know who it was so he can fire them. He zeroes in on Wendy (Jenni Pierson), Ron (Ron Funches), and Teddy (Danny Pudi). No one confesses, so he makes them work in a creepy boarded up conference room.  They really don’t care.

The women of Wayne Tech give their best impressions of Hot Dog Tony.

Emily finds out there was no trip and confronts Jackie; they get in a fight about it.

Van, meanwhile, has Ron, Teddy, and Wendy in the hot seat telling each of them that the others have confessed and offering them a gift card if they narc on the others.

Jackie gets her car destroyed by Jack-O-Lantern on an Uber run and winds up in the hospital. They call Emily (her emergency contact) and the women make up. It turns out Jackie wants to get an MBA so she can get away from Van’s asshattery.

Hot Dog Tony (Michael Cornacchia) has moves that aren’t amusing.

Meanwhile, Van is successful at getting Ron, Wendy, and Teddy to turn on each other. Finally, Ron decides to put an end to this and just confesses…just then Wendy and Teddy also come in and confess. Van finally gets security footage from his office and sees that no one used his restroom, it was just Jackie trying to kill a bee with a magazine.

Van plays it off like he was just teaching them a life lesson.

Over the closing credits, we see who was using his restroom just before the janitor erases the file.

Wendy, Teddy,and Ron Marvel at footage of Van…scared of a bee

Analysis:

Well, we’re finally back after last week’s false non-start. The leading theory is that NBC didn’t want to burn up an episode opposite of the NCAA basketball tournament and instead substituted a rerun of its new John Lithgow docu-comedy series Trial and Error. Dear NBC, thank you for thinking of us mortals, but please decide these things in advance so the listings will be updated correctly! Errrrrr.

Well, not much comic book stuff in this episode except a mention of Aqualad, Crimson Fox’s press conference and Jack-o-Lantern causing a little mayhem. It didn’t make for a great episode. Maybe NBC was mistaken and should have put this one up against the tourney anyway.

So..who will they get to replace Crimson Fox? Wasn’t she supposed to be a semi-regular character?

So the main plot of this story is that Emily is doing her “friendly puppy” routine and Jackie just wants Emily out of her business. But in the end, Jackie realizes that she needs to open up a bit and Emily learns a little about boundaries.

A few weeks ago, Emily didn’t listen to Jackie and learned a lesson. This episode the same thing happens again. Emily tries too hard to engage Jackie, she doesn’t listen and she ends up learning a lesson. This is a little repetitive.

Once again the “B” plot saves the day as Van tries to discover who has been using his private toilet. Alan Tudyk’s Van would be dangerous if he was smart.  Luckily the team can outwit him. I like it that everyone uses the bathroom….if only Van was nicer to the maintenance man he would have known.

Nice use of Uber as a side job for Jackie. Hey, Uber! If you’re looking to sponsor something, why not sponsor us? We have plenty of shows for you!

All and all, this episode was just kind of skippable.

Join us next time, true believer as Van wins a major award in “Van of The Year”!

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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ECHO CHAMBER: Rebooting THE MATRIX Is a Terrible Idea. Or Is It?

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Recently, the Internet buzzed with the news that Warner Bros. is contemplating a reboot of The Matrix to be the Next Big Franchise to Make All The Moneys.

But is this a good idea? What stories are left to tell in that virtual universe? Do we need to know Agent Smith’s origin? Do we need to see a young Morpheus? Neo as a child? And what special effects innovation can be the next Bullet Time? Or is there potential for some really good stories yet to be told? Can we dive back into the Matrix after all this time?

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sonya Rodriguez, Thomas Townley, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt

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ROGUES GALLERY #52: Snobs, Songs, a Sellout, and a Slog

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[recaps by Jason P Hunt]

This week: Supergirl is Juliet and Mon-El is Romeo Light as the Kryptonian faces off against Lois Lane and Hercules. Then she gets whammied and has to sing for her supper, dragging the Flash into the musical mental minefield. Hijinks ensue. And J.R.R. Tolkien helps the Fellowship of the Time Ship retrieve the blood of Christ to destroy the Spear of Destiny, only it doesn’t go so well. And over on Arrow… just, ugh…

PLUS: a discussion about the new Justice League trailer.

The panel: Ann Laabs, Dave Margosian, Tim Harvey, Jeff Hackworth, Thomas Townley, Jason Hunt

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GOTHAM: Logo.
Returns April 24

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Episode 216 “Star-Crossed”
Written by Katie Rose Rogers & Jess Kardos
Directed by John Medlen

Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo!

This week, we get the reveal so Kara (Melissa Benoist) gets caught up with the rest of us: Mon-El (Chris Woods) is actually the crown prince of Daxam. And now that he’s been revealed as a liar, “This changes everything!” for Kara, and …

Why is the B-story with Winn (Jeremy Jordan) getting framed for stealing a Van Gogh the more interesting part of the episode?

And just like in the “Invasion” cross-over, this one has one scene at the end to launch us into The Flash musical episode with the singing and stuff…

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Episode 317 “Duet”
Teleplay by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Dermott Daniel Downs

It’s the full-episode part of the episode-and-some-change crossover (so called) where Supergirl gets taken to Earth-1, where Mon-El and J’onn enlist the help of Team Flash to figure out what’s going on inside her head — which is a mental recreation of 1940s Hollywood musicals, because of course Barry (Grant Gustin) and Kara both love musicals.

Music Meister has got them trapped inside the mental maze, where they have to play along with the script to get out. Along the way, we have several moments of exemplary musical skill (even though every song but one was a cover…). And while it’s not “Once More With Feeling” in terms of impact, it does have a way of cleansing the palate of all the angst and grimacing from previous episodes of both shows.

And in the true spirit of the After School Specials, both Barry and Kara find their own relationship answers when attempting to advise others about the same problems. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

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Episode 215 “Fellowship of the Spear”
Written by Keto Shimizu & Matthew Maala

Directed by Ben Bray

Firestorm (Franz Drameh) finally is using his transmutation powers! And the show acknowledges the birth, life, and death of Christ, which is kind of a big deal for a Hollywood thing, you know?

The Time Team figures out that Christ’s blood is the only thing that will destroy the Spear of Destiny, the remaining pieces of which they retrieve from the Legion of Doom’s base camp at the Vanishing Point. And Nate (Nick Zano) knows of a theory that Sir Gawain of the Arthurian Knights actually recovered a vial of Christ’s blood instead of the Holy Grail. It’s a theory developed by J.R.R. Tolkien (Jack Turner), who’s serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the North of France during World War I.

So when Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) shows up to confront Mick (Dominic Purcell), everyone figures it’s just more hallucinations. Only it’s not, and Snart convinces Mick to hand over the Spear of Destiny.

Too bad there’s not a Magic Helmet to go with it…

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Episode 517 “Kapiushon”
Written by Brian Ford Sullivan & Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen

Can this show just get cancelled already?

We spend a lot of time in Flashback Russia, maybe because the whole Prometheus thing isn’t really much of a thing? Because it’s not. It’s boring. Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) manages to capture Oliver (Stephen Amell), and we spend way too much time with Chase trying to get Oliver to admit something everyone but Oliver already knows. Even Anatoly (David Nykl), easily the only redeeming element of this show at the moment, understands that Oliver is kidding himself thinking that he can keep the “monster” isolated under a green hoodie.

And Drago Konstantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) still hasn’t said, “I will break you.”

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POWERLESS Warms Up to “Cold Season”

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Season 1, Episode 5: “Cold Season”
Written by Amy Mass
Directed by Clark Mathis

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Ron, Teddy and Wendy (Jenni Pierson) have that cold feeling.

A hot day in Charm City…and everyone is wearing coats. Every spring, a cold-themed villain invades Charm City. Who is it this year? Frostbite. Brrrr.

Teddy (Danny Pudi) has a new invention that’s just right for cold season: a pair of powered gloves that will not only unfreeze objects but also heat up your coffee. Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) thinks Teddy should enter them in the Wayne innovation contest. Teddy is reluctant to do so, but Emily enters them behind his back. Jackie (Christina Kirk) tells her the story of the last time Teddy was pushed into something like this…it wasn’t pretty.

Meanwhile, Van (Alan Tudyk) needs help putting together a Superman kiddie car for his girlfriend’s kid; Jackie won’t do it, so he coerces Ron (Ron Funches) into doing it for him.

Teddy gets obsessed over getting the gloves to be perfect. It starts to push him to the edge…so Emily tells him that they’ve made it to the finals (a lie).

Warm hands, bad ideas.

Van, meanwhile, calls Ron. Turns out the kid is a girl and she wants a Wonder Woman jet kiddie car…which are invisible. Ron is willing to help, even though Wendy tells him that Van is taking advantage of him.

The team from Wayne X drops by to rub it in Emily’s face that they won the contest. She goes to Teddy at his apartment to tell him the bad news and meets his ultra-successful family including his brother, the space doctor. Teddy is humiliated.

Back at work, Teddy seems fine, but when they start to work on a new version of the fear gas detector, Teddy starts to freak out. So Emily tries to calm him down out on the balcony. Just then Crimson Fox (Deanna Russo) lands on the balcony! Look out! Frostbite attacks and freezes Crimson Fox in a sheet of ice.

Locked out of the office, they use the gloves to unfreeze the Fox and have a chat about what it’s like to have over-achieving siblings. Unfrozen, Fox asks to use the gloves to defeat Frostbite.

Emily should really listen to Jackie more often.

Meanwhile, Van calls and asks for more and more from Ron. He snaps and tells Van off. Later, in person, Van and Ron apologize to each other. Van asks for a treehouse, Ron is only happy to oblige (sucker).

Marv Wolfman (Bill A. Jones) reports that cold season is over! Crimson Fox used the gloves to defeat several cold-themed villains, and Teddy is very happy.

Analysis:

First off, this was such a fast paced episode, helped along by nifty Wayne Tech transitions between scenes; very nice.

So many cold villains were listed it was fantastic. The one we get to see for a hot few seconds was Frostbite.  The only Frostbite I know in DC Universe lore was the hero Frostbite from “Young Heroes in Love”. The answer to the riddle came from fellow SciFi4Me correspondent Jeff Hackworth, who identified the character as Ice’s counterpart from Earth-3 in Justice League Quarterly #8 (1992). [You can hear that exchange in the latest Rogues Gallery.]

We did get a good look at Crimson Fox in this episode as she got frozen by Frostbite.  I like the costume, but I’m not really sold on the actress’ performance.

Did I mention that this episode was jam packed? We had the cold villain wrapper, the “A” plot with Teddy and Emily and the “B” plot with Van and Ron. The two plots would have been even better if they had been a little longer. The way this episode went they both seemed short and tiny.

Van is a really a jerk. He takes advantage of Ron to put together kiddie cars for the brat of his latest girlfriend. I gotta give them credit for the invisible jet car gag, impractical as it is. How did he put that together? I’m also going to guess the kid loses it in a day. It would also seem like it would be a safety hazard. Maybe safety laws are a little lax on Earth-P?

A big question here: after they gave the gloves to Crimson Fox, how did Emily and Teddy get back into the office? They never melted the ice off the door. After she takes off, they’re still stuck on the balcony. Did someone in the office call for help?

That is one handsome robot.

The team from Wayne X (sounds like an Elon Musk type of team) are really good. They built a nearly human robot. Wonder if they have Professor Ivo working with them? Also, if they’re in the same building, are there other tech teams in the same place?

Next episode, we learn the power of friendship…and how to use that to your advantage in “Ima Friend You”.

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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