Short Thoughts 23Feb – 1st March 15

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This weeks saw some great television and some amazing comic books get released, so here are my thoughts on what made the big screen and the world of comic books this week including the Agent Carter Series finale, and the latest issue of Scott Snyders terrifying Batman ‘Endgame’ run.

short thoughtsRaw 23-2
This weeks Raw was a follow-up show to Fastlane, and as such helped pave some of the way towards Wrestlemania, but at the same time left alot to be desired for the time of year were at. There were some good highs in this weeks show; Paul Heyman on the microphone dressing down Roman Reigns after a nice build up, a good tag team main event between Bryan&Reigns Vs Rollins & Orton and the always great team of Cesaro and Kidd in action. However it also gave us a 40second divas match that made no sense, and di no-one involved any favours at all along with what appears to be no plan for Bryan at WrestleMania at the moment. The show should have forwarded some of the stories more, especially with their biggest show of the year upcoming but while it may have spun its wheels it also gave us some good action. A show you could probably miss, but I would definitely watch the main event again.

Thor Annual #1
This annual contains the regular mish-mash of out of continuity stories that take place across multiple times and characters. However amongst these is a real gem of a story around pur new Thor proving her worthiness to the Warriors 3 by finishing tasks set out for her by them that they expect her to fail- however she goes about completing the same tasks as Odinson in a very different manner but completes them all and then laughs saying she didn’t feel she needed to but really wanted to experience the joy of doing the things offered. This was a great tale to set her on the right side of the warriors three and introduce her to some of the more meaningful Thor related characters. We also got the writing debut of CM Punk in this issue, and he penned a ver entertaining story around Thor and Mephisto engaging in a drinking contest that was pretty good- it wasnt amazing but given the 10pages he had and a story out of context this was good job. Overall this was a decent annual- but nothing to rush out and but I’m afraid to say.

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Walking Dead S5 Ep11 The Distance
This weeks episode was brilliant story telling, as we got to see how the group felt about the possibility of a truly safe place for them to stay with other people. We got to see Rick being cautious given all the group have gone through and almost becoming a baddy in the way he treated the stranger (Aaron) who had been nothing but polite and pleasant to the group. This was a shock but at the same time you felt like he needed to do this to keep the group safe and secure. We also got to see how Glenn and Michonne felt about this as they really made a good case for how badly the group needed somewhere to rest there heads and more importantly how they really needed some more hope to get them through after everything that has happened. Add to this an awesome zombie carmageddon scene at night, that culminates in a glowing flare in the face zombie attack and this was another strong episode that does deliver some hope for the group even if it may be fleeting.

Better Call Saul S1 Ep4 Hero
This show hasn’t been the comedy spectacle that i was expecting, but what it has been is a truly engrossing and well written drama piece that is exploring the emotional background of one of Breaking Bads most memorable characters. This episode continues to give us glimpses of the underhanded Saul that we all know and love, but at the same time gives some really emotional scenes with how he interacts with his family and how he really does want their approval. The real draw for this weeks episode however was getting to see Jimmy (Saul) work multiple cons to get himself publicity and get his practice out there, this is the character we all know and watching him grow and become more underhanded as his hand is forced; get clients or go out of business is engrossing and so well done that you can’t tell whats a con and what isn’t until its made clear. This was another very strong episode that continues to develop Saul and keep him highly watchable even if just to hear him speak when he really starts to build motivation towards his arguments.

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Batman #39
This  was an amazing issue of Batman, as the Joker continues to take his plan to Gotham and take over the city while it slowly burns to the ground and it citizens are easily becoming his. At the same time, we get a truly shocking moment with Alfred- I have to admit I really hadn’t seen that coming at all but given how insane and brutal Snyders Joker is it shouldnt really be a surprise at all. The final plan from Batman was also a surprise and a welcome change to the whole superheroes only saving the day- but then it appears as if Joker had even seen this coming. Snyder has made the best villain comics even better, and im excited to see where we go from here now.

NXT 25-2
This weeks NXT wasnt a great show, compared to NXT’s general standard, but was still the best 1hour of pure wrestling on television. This week we got to see a great Womens match between Bailey and Becky Lynch that went for a good 10minutes and is well worth checking out as the main roster seems incapble of being the given the right time to do this. We also got a great match between Finn Balor and the returning The Brian Kendrick, which while it was slightly distracted from for the first half by Owens on commentry but aftet that the match really picked up and delivered a very good end. This was a decent show but not as great as the recent shows have been, but with the NXT standard so high this show felt like a small step down.

Agent Carter- S1 Ep8 Valediction
This series has been amazing, it has delivered some great character driven stories and some recall paced episodes that feature a compelling narrative and some well shot action scenes; and this series finale delivered everything I had hoped. This episode delivered a great payoff and closing chapter for the current Leviathan storyline and really helped to elevate Peggy in the estimations of the SSR and her co-workers despite her coming to the conclusion that others opinions don’t matter because she knows who she is. We also got to see Starks involvement in everything from Finnau to the Tech that had been created, and we got a satisfying end for Jarvis too; if not a very emotional end for him and Peggy together. Add to this episode a great fight scene between Peggy and Dotty (Black Widow?) and this episode was a great closing segment for the show- which most definitely deserves a second season.

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Arrow- S3 Ep15 Nanda Parbat

The second half of this season of Arrow has felt like a real disappointment given how great season2 and the first half of 3had been- and most of these issues appear to be with the story. So far we had Oliver confirmed as alive after 40mins of the return, he arrived in Starling city in full Arrow gear in Episode3 (post midseason break) and this week was offered the post of ‘Demons Head’ by Ra’s Al Ghul at the end of the episode; WHAT???!!! I’m a huge fan of the show but that ending left a really spur taste in my mouth, as Oliver is not worthy of being the next in line to be the demons head at all, he has done nothing to prove himself as isn’t even a hugely successful hero/vigilante and as a long time comic book reader this really annoyed me. Ra’s should have nothing but disdain for Oliver after his poor showing in their first bout, and should want to rectify the wrong of him returning from the dead by returning him there and finding the traitor not offer him his role at the top of the League of assassins. It all just made very little sense to me im afraid. However on the plus side this episode we got to se the birth of Atom, and the suit looks pretty cool- but even a geek out moment like this couldn’t save the episode.

Darth Vader #2
The first issue of this series was great, and the second continues to deliver a great tale of the best known Sith in the universe, but somehow manages to add new facets to the character without changing the concept you have in your mind of him being pure evil and malevolent. This issue sees Vader being scolded for the destruction of the Death Star and the failure to stop the rebel invasion last issue, and as a result sees him sent aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer to take orders from its general, which as you can imagine doesn’t go down well. From here Vader is given a chaperone to escort him on a mission, to track down and destroy a rebel base by hijacking a cruiser. Vader is not happy with the chaperone and seeing him deal with this situation is brilliant, as he manages to manipulate everything from the start to make himself look great and useful while proving that he is truly the most powerful force that the Empire have. The story worked very well, and the artwork was great and just getting to read Vader be a downright villain is superb.

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ROH 21-2
This weeks ROH show featured a huge main event between Jay Lethal and Roderick STrong for the Television Championship that was the best wrestled match on any show this week and truly deserves you to check it out from the hard-hitting shots to the technicality of some of the moves and the in ring psychology this match had everything that makes a main event title match worth watching. On the show we also saw a glimpse of Alberto El Patron as he took on the always impressive ACH, and we got to see all 4 competitors for the ROH world title on television involved in a brawl to set up the main event for their anniversary show. This was another good outing for ROH on television and managed to make me more excited for the 13th Anniversary show.

Gotham- S1 Ep17 Red Hood Gang
This weeks episode continued the teases for the Joker by giving us a great bank robbing tale about the Red Hood Gang and how sometimes a symbol can become more meaningful the man behind it- this is a common Batman theme. This weeks we got to see a team of robbers stealing from a multitude of banks, but really once one of them donned the Red Hood, and stayed alive despite a guard firing 6shots at them (hitting with none) the mythology that the hood kept them safe and made them the boos took over and the gang began to turn on each other for the hood and the feeling it gave them. This was a really nice episode as it was well known with its nod to the Joker without going to far out-of-the-way to give us the character or his potential origin despite the teaser at the end which just like last weeks great performance (Amazing laugh) is just a red herring towards his first appearance. This week we also saw how tough Fish Mooney can be when she came face to face with Mr DollMacher (Id called him being the Doll Maker- just saying) but it was nice to see this done for television and done so well. And we also got to see just how much Selina Kyle knows who she is and has accepted this as opposed to Ivy who seemed to take Barbaras advice to heart- and we all know when she grows up its all about the look she uses. This was a great episode og Gotham that continues to deliver week after week.

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Uncanny Avengers #2
This issue gave us a more in-depth look at Counter Earth and who is in charge there- the High Evolutionary, who I’ve never been the biggest fan of. However this issue displayed him as a ruthless tyrant willing to do anything to create the perfect world (although this is nothing new) what we saw him do to Sabretooth was, and he seems to have some knowledge around how and why Wanda and Pietro may not be related are they evolutionaries? The book took the focus off the team and placed it squarely on Sabretooth and his moral dilemma to not fight back and it worked for the story being told, as did the few moments of Brother Vodoo interaction. Remender is starting to do good things with this new team, and im hopeful that this book will reach the same heights as the previous Uncanny Avengers run as it certainly has loads of potential.

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