Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Sunday Review

Eric and I finished watching the first seasons of Class and Timeless this past week. Both shows have an uncertain future, but both shows finished on a cliffhanger. Overall, I enjoyed them both and wouldn't mind seeing more.

  • Class, a Doctor Who spin-off, features a group of students at Coal Hill Academy who have to deal with alien threats and incursions due to rips in the timestream at the school. Yes, it's the same school that Susan went to and Barbara and Ian taught at in the first episode of the original Doctor Who. But the show itself is a bit over-the-top, like the deranged lovechild of Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures, leaning a little heavily on the Torchwood side. While I liked the characters and the actors, the show never really gelled. It wasn't bad - it just wasn't as good as it ought to have been. At the end of the show I realized I would miss the characters if the show isn't renewed, but the lack of the show itself won't bother me. Which is a really strange way to look at it. Regarding the season as a whole: You do not put a rifle on the wall in the first act unless you intend to use it in the last act. I expected that finale, I just wasn't sure what form it would take. Last I heard, the show isn't going to be renewed.
  • Timeless is another time travel show, featuring a historian who is recruited to help stop a madman who stole a time machine and is trying to alter the past. Each episode peels away assumptions and beliefs, and changes who is considered a "good" guy or a "bad" guy. There is a central mystery to the series in the form of a diary that the villain claims was written by the hero historian. We don't quite find out how it came about by the end of the first series, but we get very close with two major hints and a few minor ones. Each episode tackles a different historical event, with the team trying to stop the villain from altering history. However, every single time they go into the past they alter history themselves - as seen in the first episode when the first trip erases the historian's own sister. I have to wonder at the cumulative weight of the changes they make. How is the timeline even slightly intact? If we get a second season, perhaps that question will be addressed.

  • DCBS
    Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
    • Jul 20th
    • Aquaman #3 - It's a bit depressing that the relations between the US and Atlantis are so bad that Aquaman doesn't even know the proper channels to go through to contact US leadership for a discussion. Add in the repeated references to the Atlantean attacks on the surface... well, this doesn't make for a good connection. Then you have Black Manta and ... BLACK JACK!?!?? Oh yeah, somebody has looked into Aquaman's past and found a little treasure trove. This could be excellent if it's handled right. Nice cliffhanger as well. Some of the artwork seemed slightly off model to me, but it was still very nice and did the job. Looking forward to catching up on this book more than any other. Obviously.
    • Justice League #1 - Massive world-destroying threat, taking out cities across the globe including Atlantis. *yawn* I don't mind "big" stories, but does the world have to end in nearly every story arc nowadays? Can't we have a few stories where people don't die because the heroes did their jobs before the threat became world-shattering? Please?
    • Green Lanterns #3 - I can think of at least one other person cured from being a Red Lantern. That said, it still argues that Simon has some abilities that way outshine other Green Lanterns we've seen in the past. The argument could be made that Lanterns are changing after all the events in the last few years. I just wonder where that road is leading?
    • Adventures of Supergirl #6 - Everything wraps up as Supergirl takes out the baddie - but not without help from her family and friends. The story of Rampage's sister was enough to make me sad, but it also echoed what happened with the Martian Manhunter in this DC universe. Overall, not a bad book for one based on a TV show.
    • Astro City #37 - Wow. This is one to savor. I literally had to read it about three times before I was ready to write anything on it, and even now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of story in this book - despite there not being a proper story. It's in three parts, starting with a framing sequence setting up our storyteller. Then there's the tale of Silverstring and his connection to Astro City. The third portion is about the legacy of music in the early pre-Astro City days and what came from that legacy. The book covers aspects of racism and ethnicity that I've never seen addressed before, mostly because those aspects are pretty much forgotten. The result is something that is almost hard to understand - a careful balancing act done by Kurt on how racism works in a world with superheroes. I almost want to see what ancient Greece looked like in that universe. In any case, powerful stuff. Definitely one to re-read.
    • Scooby Apocalypse #3 - I feel like I should hate this book, but every time I read and issue I like it more. It's certainly not the Scooby-Doo I remember, but it's a fun reimagining - an Elseworlds version if you like. There's room in my fangirl world for both the original and this. I am enjoying the way the relationships are developing, and it's fun to already have voices for all the characters. In short, this isn't going to be a book everyone likes, but I'm really finding it fun. Odd, but fun.
    • Usagi Yojimbo #156 - Inspector Ishida and Usagi don't seem to be getting much closer to finding out who killed two of Lord Shima's men, but the action continues as Usagi has a really bad nightmare and stops an act of destruction. What is the secret behind the painting? And will Ishida and Usagi manage to stop the killer before he, or it, strikes again? As usual, great stuff. I'm going to have to reread this story from the top when I get through it.
    • Back To The Future: Citizen Brown #3 - Wow, that took a really disturbing turn. Doc Brown is a 1984-type dictator in a utopia? I loved how he "woke up" when Marty showed him the time machine. But the story seems a little hard to escape... that's the best kind. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
    • Xena Warrior Princess #4 - Ah, still very hard to understand with mixed quality artwork. I think I followed enough of the story to understand it... but I'm not sure I care.
    • Jul 27th
    • Titans #1 - Garth wants to name the big bad "Keekblu" so they can stop referring to it as a massive interdimensional threat? That's... darling. Ahem. Lots of character development in this one, with a re-establishment of the Titans as they once were. It's kind of odd to see them working to fit into their roles while still remaining their new selves. I like that Garth thinks through the problem and makes a decent suggestion, but found it odd that none of them knew who Psimon is. As for the final few pages... oooh, I wonder how *that's* going to play out?
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1 - So, Sinestro used Soranik and will now be enforcing his own rule with fear. Who didn't see that one coming? As for the rest... meh, it's not that exciting for me. I like Soranik, so I'm not sure how much this book is going to appeal to me in the future, unless she suddenly learns a way to fight back.
    • Future Quest #3 - Two shorter stories in this issue that introduce some of the characters. This was pretty useful for me, since I'm not as familiar with the characters as I'd like to be. I don't know if any of this was new or if it was all made clear on the original shows, but I still enjoyed them.
    • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #17 - Hawkman and Hawkgirl with the gang! I found it incredibly funny that the museum employee called in Scooby and his friends simply because she didn't know how to reach the Hawks. The cute explanations given in the comic nicely filled in the details for any fans of Scooby unfamiliar with the heroes. I enjoyed this one a lot.
    • Doctor Who 11th #2.11 - Alice witnesses the War Doctor in action, and provides a little bit of unexpected advice. The Volatix Cabal is frightening, especially when Alice is being examined by them. Very effective, as well. This is powerful issue.