Friday, July 31, 2009

Comics of the Week (7/29/09)

Batman: the Brave and the Bold #7 - a fun issue with the Doom Patrol as guest heroes. With Beast Boy and the villain, it reminded me a lot of a Teen Titans Go! cartoon - which is good. I really enjoy this simple, fun book every month.

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3 (of 3) - this mini concludes with two so-so GL Corps tales (of the origins of Killowog and Arisia) but for me the highlight was the director's cut of Blackest Night #0 which was given out on Free Comic Book Day (and I didn't know about it nor get a copy - booo). At least here I get a pencilled version of the story so that was nice. Would have been better in color but oh well.

Justice League of America #35 - Len Wein is scripting an arc of the group with the Royal Flush Gang as villains. The cover teases "the Return" but who it is was kind of interesting. This hero so doesn't mix with the group as they currently are assembled. Should be a good story arc before the new creative team takes over permanently.

Justice Society of America #29 - I didn't mind the new art team on this book. No, my problem was with Willingham's writing. When characters don't sound and act the way they should, that is a problem. Also, when you bring in a mob of villains it helps out a lot that some of them aren't currently dead or being used in another title in a new costume or have been totally reformed. Way to screw up the research there, Bill. Also not digging the new characters brought in with heavy focus on them. Sounds so "Mary Sue" to me. This is the JSA - the book deserves better.

Teen Titans #73 - well, we learn of at least two characters who aren't in the coffin. The story continues with the new Fearsome Five, the prison break and the others learning how to be a team when their leader is no where to help. The Ravager back-up continues to be interesting.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 7 episodes 1 and 2

Continuing my viewing/reviewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7 (final season)....


B7-1 Lessons (written by Joss Whedon, airdate 9/24/02)

Okay, we open with a woman in Istanbul being hunted down and killed by some mystery men. Hmmmmm. What could be more heavier than that? How about Dawn's first day of school at the newly reopened Sunnydale High? Yes, it is back to the beginning of sorts with weirdness in the hallways and basement of the old school atop the Hellmouth. Sometimes you can go home again. While this one was okay, it felt off. Part of it is that the gang isn't all together. Sure, we got Xander (in a suit?) and Buffy - but no Willow in town. And Dawn's new friends don't quite make decent substitutes. Oh, and then there is Spike who seems to be a little crazy. Is he seeing things? It appears so with the array of "big-bads", but is it a side effect of his getting his soul or something more? Hmmm.

B7-2 Beneath You (written by Douglas Petrie, airdate 10/1/02)

Another country (Germany) and another woman hunted and slain. This time, though, Buffy sees it in her dreams (remember when she used to get prophetic dreams? Yup, back to the basics which is good). The drive to school was almost like a little family (Mom-Buffy, Dad-Xander, daughter-Dawn) - how cute. Buffy is to start her new job at the school but instead she goes looking for Spike. No luck. But when Nancy's dog gets snacked on by a giant worm and Xander offers to help her, Spike shows up too. Uh oh. Tension. You know you are in deep when Dawn threatens you, Spike. Turns out the worm is really a worm, of sorts, - Nancy's ex-boyfriend Ronnie whom Anya has done her vengeance mojo on. Man, remind me not to tick Anya off. Liked how all that played out - especially when Nancy realized there was a round-robin of bed-hopping there, and then the big fight in the bar. In the end, Spike drops back into his crazy mode and spouts off "Angel should have warned me". Buffy puts it all together and realizes that Spike now has a soul, and that he did it for her. Wow. Pressure much. I'm hoping for a saner Spike to return - the crazy one seems a little whimpy to me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 episode 20, 21 and 22

Concluding my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3...

*** SPOILERS ***

A20: A New World (written by Jefrey Bell, airdate 5/6/02)
A21: Benediction (written by Tim Minear, airdate 5/13/02)
A22: Tomorrow (written by David Greenwalt, airdate 5/20/02)

These final three episodes really are the arc that deals with the return of Connor and how the ramifications effect Angel and the team. We've already had the alienation of Wesley due to the perceived betrayal that lead to Holtz taking the baby. Now, Connor is back - a grown teenager - and hell-bent on taking revenge on a man he was raised to hate. The fact that the boy fights as well and so similarly as his biological father drives home the point of how much the two are alike despite the fact that they've been apart so long (okay, three weeks from Angel's view, sixteen years from Connor's).

Great stuff between Lilah and Wesley as she tries to woo him over to Wolfram and Hart. W&H meanwhile isn't satisfied with things and makes an attempt of their own to get the returned young man. All that stuff worked for me.

What didn't work was a lot of episode 20 with Connor and the drug dealer and the junkie. I just felt a lot bored with some of that one. Maybe it was, in part, the quick-fix of returning the boy to the fold all grown up. Kind of reminded me of what old sitcoms used to do with quick aging of younger siblings between seasons from infants to adorable kids. Sure, this show had the built in "time passes differently in some hell-dimensions", as evidenced from the episode "Anne" back on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Still, it just kind of mared a good bit of episode 20 for me.

That is, until Holtz is revealed to be back too. He brings about a totally different thing. His complex view at justice and vengeance is played out so well in episode 21. And we get Justine back to play a part in it, with all her mix of emotions for Holtz that were left behind when he split with the child to his sudden return, etc. What he has her do in the end - all in the name of using "love" to hurt Angel is just so amazingly twisted. Loved it.

Of course, episode 22 is all about the fall-out. Groo decides it is finally time to get out of the way as he realizes how much Cordy cares for Angel. What a noble guy. Loren, too, feels the need to move on - most likely in part due to Connor's extreme reaction to his being a demon. He cared for that infant so much and clearly was so hurt by it. I am certain he'll be back - love the character too much for him to be gone. Wesley, meanwhile, is tired of Lilah's head-games as she is really starting to get to him - but is sex with her really the answer? It just goes to show how far Wes is falling, how dark his character is turning based on his actions. This is nice to see though as it is an aspect of the character we haven't had yet. Look forward to more of that.

And, lastly, the love between Angel and Cordelia. It has been building progressively over the seasons - unspoken but there. They've known each other the longest and thus the connection. But, those final scenes - after Connor bests Angel in a fight and prepares his revenge with the help of Justine, and with Cordelia not making it to their get-together in time because of the return of Skip and his telling her that it is time for her to move on to the next level. Powerful stuff here. As she rises to the heavens, Angel is sinking to the depths of the ocean in a most horrid deathtrap for an immortal. Very striking visuals, played so well against one another. What a cliffhanger for season 3. I am so glad I don't have to wait the months the viewers did to continue the story. That would have been so painful.

All in all, an outstanding season. The cast has gelled quite nicely and the storylines have been hitting on all cylinders.

Comics of the Week (7/22/09)

This week's books all brought to me by the writing talent of Geoff Johns...

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (of 5) - this big event finally ends with this issue, with always gorgeous George Perez artwork. That means lots of details and lots of huge group scenes. This issue clearly sets the ground work for the upcoming Adventure Comics book which Johns is writing and the LSH will have a feature. The ending with the "final" fate for Superboy-Prime was a little weird but okay - leaves it open for the future I guess.

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1 and #2 (of 3) - the first issue came out last week but I didn't snag it. Glad I got these two. If you are a Green Lantern fan, you need to pick these up. It is giving some nice short tales of key players in the Blackest Night big event. Issue 1 has the origin of St. Walker, a focus on Mongul and the introduction of the Indigo Tribe. Issue 2 gives the origin of Bleez, a Red Lantern, as well as a look at Carol Ferris (of the Star Sapphires). The covers of all three issues are interlocking. Nice.

Green Lantern #44 - this issue picks up directly from last week's Blackest Night #1 with Hal and Barry having to face the newly Black-Lanterned J'Onn J'Onzz. Some great characterization on all three of these key Silver Age characters. I really enjoy how Johns is able to take his time and explore the depth of this epic event, not rushing through it like Final Crisis seemed to do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 6 episode 20, 21 and 22

Concluding my viewing and reviewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A6-20: Villains (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 5/14/02)
A6-21: Two To Go (written by Douglas Petrie, airdate 5/21/02)
A6-22: Grave (written by David Fury, airdate 5/21/02)

A trio of long time Buffyverse writers are on board for the final act of the season, and what an act! Wasting no time going from last episode, it all spins quickly out of control. Tara is dead (and how tragic is it that Dawn has to find her and cannot leave until Buffy arrives?). Buffy is critical and Xander stands by her side. Willow is juiced up after absorbing all the dark magic text (very cool effect) and then goes to save Buffy while she still can. Warren, meanwhile, realizes his goose is now cooked (he is a laughing stock of the demon bar - with good reason) and is on the run. But he can't run fast enough or far enough. Willow has her revenge in a way that is almost fitting justice for all Warren has done this season and how he has done it. But Buffy is right - they don't kill humans and the human world has its own rules. Willow has crossed the line, and she is not through yet!

Anya tries to warn everyone of the coming of Willow to the jail to seek revenge on Andrew and Jonathan (who still fight with one another despite the gravity of their situation). And, boy, does Willow tear the jail house down! Buffy and Xander manage to get the boys away only to have Willow control a truck to run them down (okay, that was just a bit weird on the visuals - very comic booky). But she needs power so where does she go? Yup, the same place Dawn convince Clem to take her - to Rack's. But Willow gets there first, and she gets a little payback to him for earlier in the season. Then she threatens Dawn (going way too far there, Will...). Meanwhile, Anya and Xander seem to be making a little amends as they talk at the shop - as Xander realizes how useless he has been of late and how, he feels, all of this is his fault. Good set up for later. Big fight when Willow shows up as the shop gets trashed. It looks like it is over when Buffy and Willow go toe-to-toe and Willow can take it all. Time for the cavalry - the British cavalry.

Yeah, Giles. Hopped up on borrowed power from the Coven, he shows that he still cares and wants to help the kids do right. But, rule 101 of fighting a big-bad - never, ever take a relaxing break. Finish the job and keep an eye on your enemy. Poor Anya gets dooped by Willow's mind mojo and we're back to square one. Buffy has to go save the guys, Xander and Dawn - leaving Willow free and clear to take Giles' power (which he wanted all along - which is why he is the clever one). Dawn and Buffy end up in a deep grave, fighting for their lives - but this time side-by-side. Don't mess with the Summers sisters! But how can Buffy save the day from a hole? She can't. Willow is stopped by the last person one would expect - one only armed with courage and love - Xander. Man, that was moving for me. Great scene. Friendship and love were the key to get us beyond this dark place. Yeah! Let's get back to the norm. Oh, wait...can't. Spike has gone through many trials to earn what he thinks he should have to give the Slayer what she has got coming to her. Surprise, Spike. That guy you went to thinks she needs you to have a soul again. Good luck with that! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Comics of the Week (7/15/09)

Blackest Night #1 (of 8) - WOW! This first issue was a great kick off to this big event. Johns and Reis deliver the goods as the day of rememberance of the departed heroes turns into the beginning of a nightmare. When they said the dead would rise, they weren't kidding! Given all the heroes who have died in the past 25 years or so just since the Crisis, this could make for an event that will hit all the major franchises. Looking forward to more.

Brave and the Bold #25 - the team ups with the Milestone heroes continues - this time with Hardware meeting the new Blue Beetle. I wasn't majorly impressed by the issue - it was okay. I never was a huge Hardware fan. Ah well.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #6 - the cosmic conflict with Starro continues, and no alien world is safe. Vril Dox again shows why he's known as a ruthless leader when he and his rag-tag team put a bit halt to Starro's campaign. That won't bode well. Enjoying this title a lot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 19

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-19: The Price (written by David Fury, airdate 4/29/02)

Eeeewwww! Those translucent creepy-crawlies gave me the willies. And, man, talk about seriously deadly. Dark magic has a price and this one is nasty. I really enjoyed this episode a lot - especially that it brought back that whole creepy, terror kind of theme for an episode. Lots of great interplay with all the regulars. And even Lilah and Gavin got into some with their own one-upping each other. Of course, the ending was the shocker icing - "hi, Dad"???? Yowch.

B-19: Seeing Red (written by Steven S. DeKnight, airdate 5/7/02)

Lots of character interplay here too. Willow and Tara back together. Dawn ecstatic about it. Anya unable to focus on vengeance for others. And lots of needed talks - Dawn with Spike, Buffy with Xander, Spike with Buffy (though I could have done without the rape attempt), Spike with Clem, and of course Buffy finally facing the Trio. Nice of Jonathan to show his true side by tipping Buffy off, and Andrew showing his totally weenie-ness when his jet pack failed. Xander and Buffy make good as friends, but Warren isn't through yet. Damn! Another shocker ending. Two for two. Side note: Warren's stunt double is very obvious in the fight scene between he and Buffy. So obvious that it almost threw me out of the episode.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 18

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-18: Double or Nothing (written by David H. Goodman, airdate 4/22/02)

While discovers that he has no place left to go after leaving the hospital, Gunn's past comes back to bite him. I enjoyed the idea of Mr. Jenoff and his casino - and how he basically contracts for souls. Interesting twist in that having someone fall in love with another is like promising their soul (here souls represent a future). Of course, Gunn goes too far in planning the perfect day with Fred, and she is way too smart to fall for the break up. Loved that Cordelia is back too and her first action is just to be there for Angel, waiting to listen when he is ready to talk and to help him over this hurdle. And, of course, she is key to the defeat of Jenoff when the cards don't go Angel's way. Great episode.

B6-18: Entropy (written by Drew Z. Greenberg, airdate 4/30/02)

I'm kind of getting sick of the Trio. They aren't a major threat yet their actions tend to cause personal mess-ups for the gang. Poor Anya and Xander - I wanted them to work it out but it just didn't happen. His poor communication and her scorned heart got in the way. Of course, having Halfrek around for guidance probably wasn't the best thing for Anya either (I'm really starting to hate Hallie). Interesting that Anya and Spike would end up comforting one another (in more ways than one) but that is just enough to ignite Xander's fury. And then, again with the poor communication, he not only manages to hurt Anya but Buffy too. Boy, he's going to out in the cold. On the plus side, Willow and Tara seem to be back to normal - but I have a feeling that Tara's decision to forgo the period of regaining trust is going to come back to bite them big time. That's just the way this season seems to be going. Can we get back to happy-monster-hunting please?

Monday, July 13, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 17

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-17: Forgiving (written by Jeffrey Bell, airdate 4/15/02)

Wow! Justine is angry for Holtz abandoning her and the gang. Angel wants someone to hit - and it'll either be Linwood from W&H or Sahjahn who opened the portal to Quor-toth. Loved the White Room (good brief role by young Kay Panabaker - who has gone on to do a lot over on the Disney Channel). Not surprising that Fred would be the one to try to keep the group together - to see why Wesley did what he did. With Cordelia still away, she provides that extra glue. But Angel wants none of that! Even when they all find out that Sahjahn altered the prophecy (as it originally implied that Connor would be the death of Sahjahn) to get rid of the child, Angel is still angry. That final scene in the hospital - powerful! And scary! I can see that though as that would be a typical parental response if someone close to them betrayed them, as Wes did, even if it was the wrong thing for the right intentions.

B6-17: Normal Again (written by Diego Gutierrez, airdate 3/12/02)

The Trio's demon stabs Buffy and makes her flip back and forth between Sunnydale and a mental facility in LA. Which is the reality and which is the delusion? I like how the story leaves that open for interpretation. Would Buffy be better off as the Slayer or a normal young woman? It is interesting that it is the talk with Spike that pushes her towards one road, and then the talk with Joyce pushes her towards the other. Meanwhile, Xander does return after last episode and realizes he still loves Anya but was not ready for marriage yet. A good episode.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 16

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-16: Sleep Tight (written by David Greenwalt, airdate 3/4/02)

Wes should have known that when Holtz offered him a bite of the apple that this was clearly a "Garden of Eden" reference. Still, Wes is blinded by concern over Connor that he fails to realize that his own betrayal of his friends would be quickly mirrored by betrayal by the enemy. Not good and something that is going to present a problem in future episodes (assuming Wes survives that slashing to the neck from Justine). Meanwhile, we see what levels Lilah will stoop too - tainting Angel's pigs-blood stock with the blood of his own son (twisted). Of course, everyone wants the baby except Sahjhan who just wants him dead. Still, the twist comes when Holtz does something no one suspected - takes the baby into another dimension, leaving a very grieving father Angel. This season just gets better and better.

B6-16: Hell's Bells (written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner, airdate 3/5/02)

Man, talk about dysfunctional family. It is a wonder Xander turned out halfway decent given his parents and such. Sad. Even sadder - the gushing bride Anya gets left at the altar. She clearly loved Xander, but his own fears of what he might become - even if those future images were faked - lead to a very unhappy ending for the couple. Loved how Dawn is very uncomfortable around Halfrek now. A shame Halfrek didn't get a scene with Spike before he and his skank date took off. Oh, and Buffy cannot stall/lie worth a darn. And, in the end, we are left wondering - will Anya, now scorned, go back to her path of being a vengeance demon? I hope not as I really enjoy this secondary character a lot.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 15

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-15: Loyalty (written by Mere Smith, airdate 2/25/02)

I'm not liking the road Wesley is taking in this arc. I get that he's now concerned about the prophecy and having, literally, Connor's blood on his hands. But he's going from his usually likeable self to a much darker place. Now, his conversation with the animated burger-order-unit was rather interesting (liked the animation on that). Still, he's going to be looking for signs all the time and reading way too much into everything folks do and say. Plus, he's giving Gunn and Fred a hard time for coupling and that's wrong. They make a cute couple. Meanwhile, I liked how Lilah has one up on Sanjhan - seems lawyers are worse than century old demons.

B6-15: As You Were (written by Douglas Petrie, airdate 2/26/02)

You know it's bad when the vamps say you stink. The mundane work life is the least of Buffy's problems though. First Riley is back and needs your help - yeah. Oh - he's married to Sam - boo. Buffy turns to Spike to feel "loved" - yeah. Oh - Riley catches her - boo. And Spike is "the Doctor" - bigger boo. At least Buffy realized that she was using Spike for her own needs and is ready to do something about it. Hopefully though he won't take no for an answer. Love the tension with the two. I did enjoy the stressing of Xander and Anya as the wedding is only a week away. A lot of couples go through that - even when you don't have to deal with drunkard family members and demon friends. Looking forward to the nuptuals.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 14

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-14: Couplet (written by Minear and Bell, airdate 2/18/02)

Both Angel and Wes find themselves odd men out when Cordelia focuses her attentions on Groo and Fred gets closer to Gunn. Some great character stuff in this one - like Cordy wanting Groo so much and how she gives him a makeover to look exactly like Angel (clearly Freud would have something to say about that!), Angel constantly down-grading Groo (his height) and being protective of his weapons and clothes, Gunn and Fred being such a cute couple - so much so they fail to miss the man they were sent to observe, and of course that nasty tree-life-sucking thing (ick!). Love how Angel got to take his frustrations out on Groo and at the same time save the day by making himself the bait. The last bit with what Wes uncovered from the prophecies is concerning: the father will kill the son. Yipes!

B6-14: Older and Faraway (written by Drew Z. Greenberg, airdate 2/12/02)

Buffy's birthday once again turns out chaotic, this time thanks to Dawn's tired of being left alone all the time. Love how Spike showed up with Clem, and the guy Xander and Anya wanted to hook Buffy up was clearly a "red shirt" (even dressed the part). Good to see Willow and Tara getting some needed reconciliation of sorts - loved how Tara stood up to Anya when things got really hairy. Of course, the best part was how Anya figured it all out and got Halfrek to appear (and how Halfrek called Spike "William" - clearly she knew him from his pre-vampire days). All in all, a decent episode - as Dawn's kleptomania gets addressed as well.

Comics of the Week (7/8/09)

Booster Gold #22 - another mission into the past - this time to save Dick Grayson. Booster ends up in the early days of the New Teen Titans. Dan Jurgens does a pretty good job with this. The only obvious thing I noticed - he doesn't do anything with Changeling and very little with Kid Flash. Expected more out of those two during the fight. Ah well. The Blue Beetle back up was okay - seems to be a little rushed as the transitions between scenes seem non-existent.

Green Lantern #43 - the prologue to Blackest Night is here, and we get a detailed look into the past of Black Hand. Once again, Geoff Johns takes a classic villain with little to them and turns them into a very interesting and exciting character. Nice. This crossover event is going to rock!

Monday, July 6, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 13

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-13: Waiting in the Wings (written by Joss Whedon, airdate 2/4/02)

Leave it to Joss to come in and pen an episode that puts the group dynamics in a new direction. Wesley and Gunn are both smitten by Fred, but only one is in her eye in a romantic way. Poor Wesley - though something tells me that this is going to lead to a bigger rift with him and the others. Meanwhile, both Fred and Lorne recognize that Angel and Cordy are right for each other - it just takes the spirited possesion of them to make them bring forth that heat. Naturally, Angel is ready to let his true feelings show to Cordy, only for her to be distracted - by the return of Groo (not the Wanderer - the hunk she fell for back in Pylea). I enjoyed the acting debut of Summer Glau, who would follow Joss over to Firefly later in the year. Oh, and the deleted scene with Amy and Alexis doing the ballet was wonderful.

B6-13: Dead Things (written by Steven S. DeKnight, airdate 2/5/02)

The Trio still continues to give geeks/nerds a bad name. Their latest plot to make women sex slaves is pathetic, and Warren drops to the ultimate level of skeeve by trying to take over his ex-Katrina and then being so callous when he accidentally kills her. I am glad Jonathan at least is still having second thoughts about the whole thing. And to have them try to get Buffy to think she killed her - twisted. Spike continues to show Buffy how much he loves her - not just for the sex but more - when he willingly tries to help her out of this "accident" she believes she caused. Buffy, of course, is heartbroken when Tara concludes that Willow's spell to bring her back was fine - that she pretty much was the exact same Buffy as she was before. Buffy can't accept it - because now she has no excuse for why she's doing with Spike what she's doing.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 12

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-12: Provider (written by Scott Murphy, airdate 1/21/02)

Angel Investigations learns the hard way that not all cases are what they appear to be and that the lure of money isn't going to support their true mission. It is interesting to see the developing attractions that both Wesley and Gunn are getting toward Fred - but two guys and one girl...well, you do that math. Good to see Lorne getting into a regular role, but the man clearly has some alcohol issues to face. In the end, though, they save their own and make $50K for their trouble - not bad considering. Closing scene: what an interesting family Angel, Cordelia and Conner make.

B6-12: Doublemeat Palace (written by Jane Espenson, airdate 1/29/02)

First, any episode that starts out with Anya giving another installment of "Go, Money, Go" is all good to me. Of course, Buffy is getting her first job and finding out what many of us as teenagers already did - first jobs suck big time. Of course, she sees the weirdness in everything (and I'm not talking about that double "meat" burger of "cow" and "chicken"). Meanwhile, Anya gets a visit from an old friend (Halfrek, another vengeance demon) and she starts to have some doubts creeping in about her relationship with Xander. Willow has to face her own demons after Amy "gifts" her a little magic; Willow was so in the right to threaten Amy, but that just might come back to bite her later on. Kind of a fun episode that had an earlier season Buffy feel to it. Oh, and the featurette "Buffy Goes to Work" was cute too with everyone chiming in about first jobs. Mine was stalking ice cream half gallons in a giant freezer during the summer after my freshmen year of college. Brrrrr.

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 11

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-11: Birthday (written by Mere Smith, airdate 1/19/02)

I always enjoy Cordy-centric episodes, and this one was no different. I love how, though the return of Skip, that we're shown how Cordy's life would have changed had she not run into Angel at that party back in season 1, episode 1. I love how we're shown how much Angel cares for her, with his actions and his challenging the Powers That Be. And I most of all love how Cordy realizes what her true purpose is and what she is willing to do to make that happen. It is a testament to her character. Oh, and that birthday cake - awesome indeed. All around great episode - and they were smart to cut the sitcom-within-the-show portion (Charisma could no doubt do comedy, but they didn't get that writing down enough for it).

B6-11: Gone (written by David Fury, airdate 1/8/02)

The Trio is back and with it the campiness of the season. Sure we have heavy things like the harsh recovery of Willow from her addiction to magic and Buffy having to face the possibility of losing Dawn since she appears to be an unfit guardian, but then we get the silliness. Like immature invisible Buffy pulling pranks, playing with objects and seducing Spike (okay, Xander catching them in bed and Spike pretending to be doing exercises naked was kind of novel - is this like the third time this season James has been nude?). The invisible fight was kind of weak too. Just came across as sort of "let's save a little on the budget" here. I just wasn't very wowed by this one. Sorry, David.

Comics of the Week (7/1/09)

Justice League: Cry For Justice #1 (of 7) - after seeing the preview of this one a few weeks ago, I knew I would enjoy it. James Robinson is going a great job on the writing (and he's picking up the regular JLA book soon). Mauro Cascioli's art has an almost painted style to it. The cast is varied and should be a lot of great action.

Secret Six #11 - once again, Gail Simone makes you think while at the same time presenting some brutal villainy in this title. Loving the plot that is include appearances by Artemis and a certain big name hero next issue. Very solid and a must read for me every month (no signs of that changing any time soon).

Solomon Grundy #5 (of 7) - a great way by Scott Kolins to tie in an appearance by Amazo. This guy does villains so well - both in art and writing. Enjoying the mini.

Strange Adventures #5 (of 8) - Starlin is back on pencils, which is good, but the story seems to be dragging along a bit. We're getting close to the final act - I'm hoping for some huge fireworks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

DVD review - Angel season 3 / Buffy season 6 episode 10

Continuing my viewing and reviewing of Angel season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6...

*** SPOILERS ***

A3-10: Dad (written by David H. Goodman, airdate 12/10/01)

Okay - Angel is a father is going to take some getting used to. Loving that Lorne has moved into the hotel - he needs to be full time on the team (as he showed here - he is invaluable). Loved the woman from Files and Records - she's so cool. And 35 file cabinets on Angel - way to blow Lilah's mind. I liked how the list of enemies kept growing and growing and growing. I see too that Holtz is recruiting with Justine, a vampire slayer (sort of). That should make for an interesting pair. Oh, and favorite line - Cordelia (to Gunn and Wesley): "trade in the DVD players and get a life!" Nice. I definitely am enjoying how this series keeps hitting on all cylinders every episode.

B6-13: Wreck (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 11/27/01)

Okay, the stuff with Rack and his little floating place of magical pleasure was just weird. I get the whole drug-analogy, treating Willow's growing dependence on magic like a heavy drug addiction. And it had to take a serious action - crashing the magically powered car and nearly killing Dawn to get her to snap out of it. But something tells me that withdrawal won't be that easy. Similarly too, Buffy realizes what she and Spike are doing is not a good thing (and, hey, James got to be totally naked twice in one episode!). Favorite line here came from Anya: "Martha Stewart is so a witch. No one could make all that decollage without using the dark arts." The episode had that weird feel to me - I think it was all of Rack's giving.