Short Thoughts (30th November)

short thoughts

Here are my thoughts on everything I’ve checked out over the last week, and with it being a slow week for television its a even shorter set of 5minute reviews. Enjoy.

Gotham by Midnight #1
Comic book franchises are becoming slowly over crowded- and Batman may well be the worst offender with far too many new titles in the Gotham universe and as a result I tend to avoid them all, yet the creative team on this of Fawkes and Templesmith made this too much of a treat to miss and I’m glad I took the plunge. As you would expect from Fawkes the writing is dark and heavily focused on the characters while dealing with the occult, which is a nice change of pace in Gotham. Templesmith delivers his usual blend of glarigly creepy pencils and colours that look moody, gloom filled and downright amazing at the same time and this really helps the story and the feel of the entire issue.
The story focuses on a new department within the GCPD who are tasked with dealing with closed cases, that detective Corrigan (the Spirit) feels are related to supernatural entities/elements and not really closed, and this first issue gives us some creepy previous kidnapped children who return home haunted and changed- and the final panel gives us a damn creepy reveal as to why.
This book is defintely worth a read, as the story develops fast and really hooks you in and thats in part due to the great job done by Fawkes with the character work but Templesmith definitely keeps you engaged in evey panel- im looking forward to where this goes.

Raw 24/11
This week was the fallout of Survivor series, and was hopefully going to give us a small second glimpse of the ‘Icon’ Sting in the ring and the a new authority figure now the ‘Authority’ are out of power. Instead we got a stand in General Manager for the night in the form of returning Daniel Bryan- and while it was nice to see him back on WWE tv, I was hoping for a bigger move forward in the power GM role. We got to see the consequence for team Authority from survivor series, even if the main event sucked with J&J security, but I’m glad Rusev refused to say the pledge.
However this Raw left a bad taste in my mouth with the re-introduction of the ‘anonymous GM laptop’ and already has me begging for the authority to return just as HHH said we would.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
I loved the first Sin City movie and felt that it was so well done and held true to the comic book stories, that it was inevitably going to get a sequel and that Frank Millar could deliver on the goods again as the visuals were the key and he nailed those. However this movie left me disapointed, the stories were weaker than in the first and felt unsatisfying in their pace and depth (especially the new tale written for the movie) and the visuals appeared to have been tailored to include more block white which at times just made certain shots look oddly focused and out of place. Eva Green was great as a crazy lady- that should be no surprise- and Joseph Gordon Levit did well at the little he was asked to do but overall this was a huge step backwards for the franchise and a very disapointing film. However there is one saving grace and thats once again Marv who is just great in the time he has on the screen as a huge behemoth of a man who just loves to fit anything and everything.

Constantine- S1 Ep6 Rage of Caliban
Constantine has been improving in recent weeks, so its a shame that it hasnt been picked up for the final 9episodes to round out a full first season, however this may be due it starting to air later than normal autumn (UK based so no Fall here) shows and doesnt necessarily mean that its doomed to the cancelled back lot of the studio.
This episode was another step in the right direction for the show, as it once again showcased just how dark the world of Constantine can be with children being inhabited by a malevelant spirit that forces them to brutally murder their parents- and this was the firt shot we got in the episode. The story was solid again this week, and gave us some chilling moments in a haunted house that really show the promise this show has and is starting to live upto. We also got a slightly darker and more jaded Constantine, similar to a few weeks ago, and this is the direction he needs to move in to be the Constantine comic book fans love and i feel with time they’ll give us the man we all love and despise. This episode is well worth a watch!

Saga #24
Saga has been one of the best comic books out there since its inception and this issue is no different, as it gives us some action along with a host of story developments- the most interesting of which is watching the Wills brother meet Sophie and see her love for the man she inadvertantly left comatose.
Fiona Staples delivers on the great artwork again, and this is one of the reasons this book is so good- her artwork is unlike anyone elses painted pages and really suits the mad mixed up fiction world that Vaughan has created. Im so hooked on this series that there isnt enough good things I can say about it, except buy or read all the back issues now!

The Flash- S1 Ep7 Power Outage
I said last week that this show is suffering from weekly villain fever, and this week we got another villain of the week- however it seemed to work this week as it was all revolving around Dr Henry Wells and his motivations with the Flash and his future. This weeks villain was able to syphon power from his surroundings and then fire this from his hands, allowing him to electrocute people with ease and no discrimination, but the real intresting point in this show was how Dr Wells tried to use the villains ability to syphon the Flash’s power for his own ends. Will Wells turn out to be the Reverse Fash? Im calling that now!
And Barry also got a power upgrade after losing and regaining his powers in one episode- which was a little fast but the upgrade seemed to work. The other interesting point of note was we saw the ‘Clockman’ again, who previously featured in Arrow, and again he stole the show- so more of him wouldnt be a bad thing atall.
This show continues to add more of the Reverse Flash storyline and as a result is starting to find its story telling feet, if only we could string a couple of villains out for more than 40minutes it could really take off.

Gotham- S1 Ep10 Lovecraft
Once again this week we were treated to ahuge dose of young master Wayne and Selina Kyle interacting and these moments are funny, awkward and downright endearing to anyone who knows the characters and their future fates. It was nice to see this relationship given some more time as it was a real strength of last weeks show, and it was used to great effect this week to show just how much Bruce has developed in terms of growing as a strong and fearless child towards the Dark Knight he will become, the moment he faces the assasin and refuse to hand over Selina’s location was a real turning point for him and a great moment of courage.
Alfred was also highlighted this episode, and showed just what he is capable of in defending Bruce and just how far he will go to defend the only remianing member of ‘family’ that he has left and this was not only surprising to see but also brilliant, as was seeing Penguin twist around another head of the crime families this time in the form of Falcone.
This show is so different from the comic book universe, but is equally as entertaining and a really well done show- my only gripe this eosode was that it ended with a full Arkham Asylum and Gordon going to work there- I’m sorry What?! Otherwise this was another strong episode that continues to build towards the empire defining moment of the Penguin and the reveal of who killed the Waynes.

WWE Rivalries- S1 Ep4 HBK vs HHH
This wasnt the classic rivlaries show, and given how familiar I was with this rivalry that was a great thing. I remember watching the original DX form and then seeing HBK take time away only to return looking as great as ever but until recently never really knew the reason why, and this show gives us everything happening betweent he two men in and out of the ring more so than it does the wrestling that they competed in. The show gave us a great look at the relationship shared by the two best friends, and the trouble that Shawns issues casued for the company and for HHH as a competitor and a man. This was a real heartbreaking and at times warming episode as it swung from a real tale of wasted talent to a triumphant return to the ring, guided by his best friend and the rest they say is history as HBK is easily one of the greatest performers in the history of the industry along with HHH and this rivlary helped solidify this position for both men.

Wolverine and the X-Men #12
Since the death of Wolverine this book has floundered a little, however this epsiode ties into the current storyline of ‘Axis’ and because of this gives us a nice little story featuring an inverted Quentin Quire and Storm and the complete flip on their personalities makes for a really fun read. The Hellfire club are at the forefront this issue too, and I have to say its nice to see the little Hellfire children back in the pages of this book. Storm going full power crazy on the X-Men to set-up Quentin was also amazing, and the splash page looked great. This episode was a real improvment on a series that has floundered since its relaunch.

WWE NXT 27/11
I’m standing by NXT being the best wrestling show on television, and this week was another strong show that helps to re-inforce this. The opening contest between Finn Balor and Tyson Kidd helps to show just how much talent is on display within NXT- as their technical back and forth was very entertaining and made for a nice change of style and pace to WWE’s normal match-ups. However I do feel both of these have more to give together so im hopeful this contest is returned to later on.  We also got a vignette for Kevin Owens, aka Steen that helped to showcase his tenacity and ability to be a monster heel- this was well done and has me massivley excited to see him return to the ring/debut in NXT. The Lucha Dragons looked strong this week also and Kalisto appears to be ironing out some of the errors in his work- im looking forward to seeing them take on the Vaudevillians at the next live event. A show missing its champion and number one contender should struggle- however this show didnt miss a beat and was still a very entertaining watch.

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