iReview :: TEEN TITANS #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One

Following the recent events in Gotham City during the METAL crossover, Robin is looking to reboot the line-up, but it’s the Titans that expect Damian to fall in line! Can they persuade him to re-enlist Kid Flash?

When young Damian Wayne decided that he had all the makings to pull a team together that could rightly inherit the legacy of his father, the Batman and his teammates in the Justice League, Robin decided that he would gather alliances some tested and true. He pulled together the Teen Titans which had all but crumbled after losing their intrepid leader, the Red Robin in battle. DC Comics took its current company-wide rebrand “Rebirth” literally and raised the title from the ashes.

Robin convinced former Teen Titans, the shape-shifting Beast Boy and the telekinetic-witch Raven to stand by his side, and brought onboard the alien princess Starfire and the relative newcomer Kid Flash. It looked just like old times, except that with a penchant for being abrasive Damian didn’t immediately elicit the camaraderie necessary to inspire his teammates to follow him. Fortunately the Teen Titans eventually came around to help defeat Ra’s al Ghul.

The cover to the latest issue of TEEN TITANS #13, published by DC Comics.
Team Titans?

It’s unfortunate for Robin that he’s had to at many instances live in the shadow of his predecessors, and is most often confronted by the successes of the first Robin, Dick Grayson who helped co-found the original Teen Titans, then largely made up of the sidekicks of the Justice League. Now a full-fledged adventured of his own, Grayson is known as Nightwing and leads the Titans the original team of sidekicks, all-grown up and life-long friends into battle.

Most recently, the Damian’s team of Titans joined forces with Nightwing’s team to prevent the mercenary Deathstroke from altering history! With the advent of one-time “Kid Flash” Wally West having returned from his exile outside of mainstream continuity, Deathstroke intended to use the Speed Force to help him travel back in time and rescue his son from a fate worse than death. Chronicled in the recent crossover event “The Lazarus Contract”, ended with due consequences.

Both Wally Wests were held prisoner by Deathstroke who manipulated the younger Wally (Kid Flash) into helping him absorb the Speed Force for himself. In order the stop Slade from his dastardly task, Damian struck the older Wally West in the chest — in affect killing The Flash and stopping time, but irrevocably causing him to suffer permanent heart damage. Now whenever The Flash uses his powers he is danger of suffering a heart attack.

At the conclusion of that episode, Nightwing walked away not entirely trusting that Robin was a capable leader, and after firing Kid Flash from the active roster, Damian lost the confidence of his teammates. The mantle of leadership was passed to Starfire, a more experienced combatant and certainly a far more compassionate leader. Though the damage had been done, and with Kid Flash off the team the Teen Titans wondered if indeed they could be a team at all.

Full Circle

Although Robin has done his best to keep their faith, even bringing in the new Aqualad into their ranks, working closely with Nightwing and Green Arrow to protect Gotham City from the menace of the Dark Knights, he hasn’t won back the trust of his teammates — who decide that they want Kid Flash to rejoin the group. Damian, as usual, has other plans and goes off in pursuit of another candidate. At the behest of Green Arrow, Robin seeks out the archer known as Red Arrow.

The rest of the Titans try to convince Wally that his place is with them, but Wally will only return to the team on one condition — Damian has to apologize for treating him so badly. With the latest arc unraveling in the pages of Teen Titans #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” may be imminent, but can anyone predict what the team will look like when this latest adventure reaches its apex? Who have the Teen Titans put themselves in the crosshairs of this time?

What makes this line-up one of the more interesting reads published by DC Comics, is its very distinct personality. Although the characters are all very familiar and have a profoundly importantly legacy to live up to, with Damian in the reigns of this incarnation of the team, the Teen Titans is always unpredictable and fresh, keeping it one of the more consistently invigorating reads especially as the “Rebirth” rebrand continues.

Teen Titans #13 – “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One is on newsstands now.

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Tickets Go On Sale for JUSTICE LEAGUE!

Get ready to join the Justice League when the DC Comics heroes finally arrive on the big screen, you can be among the first to see them in action. Tickets are now available via Fandango!

The time is drawing nearer and with tickets for Justice League finally going on sale, fans will have an opportunity to be among the first to see the team come together. Gal Gadot returns as the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman joining Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader! When a threat too big for either of them to handle alone threatens the earth, Batman decides to recruit a team of adventures to prove they can’t save the world alone!

Buy your tickets in advance from Fandango and get this exclusive Justice League poster art!

Check out the exclusive Teaser Trailer appearing on Fandango and visit the site here to purchase advance tickets. Fandango VIP ticket-buyers will also be given the opportunity to receive an exclusive and complimentary Justice League movie poster that won’t be available anywhere else! Perfectly capturing the members of the super powered epic that is already getting some brilliantly positive buzz.

The Justice League will unite on the big screen Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and introduce Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg who will join forces to prevent an apocalypse!

On November 17 Justice League will be released and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures! Get ready to POWER UP!

 

Coming Soon: THE NEW MUTANTS First Look Trailer is here!

The X-Men’s Universe is about to get very dark! 20th Century Fox has released its first trailer for the upcoming next installment of their highly successor X-Men films franchise. The highly provocative “first look” at The New Mutants sets up some very sinister implications of a world that not only fears and hunts the extraordinarily gifted among them, but exists to frighten them most into submission!

Here is a look at the trailer:

The film directed by Josh Boone is an adaptation of the premiere spin-off of the Marvel Comics comic book The Uncanny X-Men which expanded the world of the imprints most popular characters at the time by including a “new generation” of untrained young people who were also gathered together by Professor Charles Xavier, the X-Men’s mentor and founder. The series was written by Chris Claremont who is responsible for the X-Men’s best-selling run.

Among the familiar faces appearing in the film which will be released in 2018, Game of Thrones fans will recognize Maisie Williams who will embody (most appropriately) the role of Rahne Sinclair, the ferrel beauty known as Wolfsbane. In the book, Rahne is the most obvious link between the two team, being the niece of Dr. Moira MacTaggert, a colleague of Professor X’s who is played by actress Rose Byrne in the films.

Other familiar “New Mutants” that will be appearing in the film include Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot and Magik, the younger sister of the X-Men known as Colossus. The New Mutants is released through 20th Century Fox and will be released in theaters in 2018.

Cover2CVR :: JUSTICE LEAGUE in EMPIRE

Join the LEAGUE! The cover of EMPIRE Magazine puts the JUSTICE LEAGUE front and center…and fanboys everywhere rejoice!

If you’re not yet excited about the upcoming release of the Justice League movie, maybe you’re still suffering PTSD symptoms after 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — which is understandable — though the recent success of Wonder Woman should be taken as hopeful indicator and inspired audiences everywhere that there is hope! One thing is certain, as the premiere date gets closer and the anticipation tightens, the league are looking pretty cool!

On the cover of the latest issue of EMPIRE Magazine the Justice League have been assembled — and that’s not a play on words just because filmmaker Joss Whedon has been recruited to wrap up production on the latest installment of Warner Bros. expanding DC Comics cinematic universe — the Marvel’s Avengers director stepped in for Zack Snyder when a family tragedy forced him to move aside. It has been confirmed recently that Snyder’s will remain credited as “director”.

Come Together

The journey to cinematic blockbuster has been a long one for Justice League and especially dodgy for Warner Bros. Studios and their line of DC based films. The franchise has had an ebb and flow of popularity with audiences; not to mention the competitive pace that’s been set by the Marvel Studios films which have successfully generated a serialized universe that has also recently partnered with Sony to incorporate a certain web-slinger into the mix.

From a Hollywood studio point of view, Warner Bros. and DC have a lot to catch up on. They were certainly given a leg up with the narratively successful take on the Batman when visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan took over that franchise. Nolan and his team of creatives have continued their association with the studio and DC, upon completion of his Dark Knight Trilogy. The reins were ceremoniously passed to Snyder who launched a universe with Man of Steel.

Starring Henry Cavill as Superman, perhaps the most iconic superhero in the entire pantheon of comic book characters, Man of Steel raised many an eyebrow with its darker and more apocalyptic tone. The Superman mythology is one that is often associated with aspiration and hope, and when its follow-up the 2016 teaming up of Batman v Superman hit theaters, it continued on a trajectory that made many moviegoers wonder whether the DC universe was a place worth visiting.

With the advent success of Wonder Woman featuring Gal Gadot in the titular role as the Amazing Amazon, first introduced as part of the trinity in BvS it all seemed to change! Wonder Woman who will star prominently alongside Ben Affleck in Justice League has proven enough of a draw in her own right to raise anticipation and ignite excitement for the first blockbuster to bring the fabled team of DC Comics heavy hitters together on the big screen.

The Justice League Covered

The cast has been making the rounds have appeared as a united front at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con sans Cavill, who has been very secretive about Superman’s role in the film — many suspect that after the hero’s seemingly final moments in BvS he may have become a pawn of the invading alien armies and may not be on the side of the angels when JL hits theaters in November. Regardless EMPIRE Magazine covered the team brilliant in their new issue.

With words by Chris Hewitt the article dives into the behind-the-scenes construction of perhaps the biggest movie ever made (at least until Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War comes to light) and especially the passing of the baton between filmmakers. With Whedon tightening up the post-production of JL and doing some script-doctoring, many have speculated the writer/director famous for his lighter touch has gifted JL with more colorful dialogue.

In the article Hewitt cites the recent reshoots that have recently concluded and will continue to factor nearly into the 11th hour, as Whedon works steadily to finish editing Justice League. Everyone is very hopeful that when the film is complete it will shape-up as one of the best for DC and herald the age of its expanded cinematic universe which will continue with The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg the additional members of the league to appear in the blockbuster.

Justice League arrives in theaters in November. The latest issue of EMPIRE Magazine with the team on the cover is currently on newsstands!

Among the collectibles rolling out in support of the film a series of action figures have been released capturing the group likenesses. Here is THE FLASH!

Unboxing :: Eaglemoss STAR TREK STARSHIPS Special Editions

The collectable line of starship models unveiled some very special new editions that include never before realized “hero” ships and an entire new collection starring the vessels featured on the just premiered hit original series Star Trek Discovery.

Eaglemoss Collections has expanded on its series of collectible models to meet the demand and expectations of its dynamically enthusiastic fanbase. The expansive final frontier of their signature line of Star Trek Starships Collection now includes “oversized” versions of the famous ships named Enterprise including Kirk’s Constitution-class from The Original Series stunningly depicted in rich die-cast detail and measuring a little over 8”.

The most recent addition to the “oversized” line includes Archer’s NX-01 which is now available for pre-order, and joins the Galaxy-class and Sovereign-class ships. Though the Enterprise is without a doubt the most famous of all the starships in the Federation’s Starfleet, the flagship isn’t the only vessel to have served with widely popular distinction. Throughout Trek history there have been many ships of the line that have stood out, or are still blazing a legacy for themselves.

Special Editions Indeed

Recently unveiled at New York City Comic-Con the Eaglemoss design team wasted no time in bringing to the forefront several key, new ships into the collection, some for the first time manifesting into physical representations of themselves — especially after winning fandom imagination over with their thrilling adventures within the pages of some of Pocket Books most memorable Star Trek novels.

Among the first ships to attract attention was the much anticipated release of the USS Titan. Captain Will Riker’s first command is mentioned (but not seen) in the last film to feature TNG crew Star Trek Nemesis. It was then made famous in the series of novels that continued the mission to broker peace between the Federation and the fractured Romulan Star Empire. The Luna-class USS Titan ship registry NCC-80102 was distinct in origin since it was designed by a fan.

It was one of the first times that the Star Trek brand extended to its audience an opportunity to become part of its history by creating the next “hero” ship to lead the Federation into the farther reaches of space. The honor went to Sean P. Tourangeau who was selected among hundreds of candidates with his exceptional design of the exploratory vessel that featured the Enterprise’s one-time first officer and his own intrepid crew.

The Luna-class ship was intended to serve multiple functions and featured a modular design which included a structural pod was placed just aft of the saucer section and above the ship’s bridge, and served as the ship’s main science and observation area. Once fully outfitted the USS Titan was dispatched on its first mission to Romulas. Ironically it mirrored the design aesthetic of the Sovereign-class and the Intrepid-class.

The Eaglemoss Collections model is beautifully detailed and captures the relevancy of the Titan which is now so well established that it is even featured within the recently released Fourth-Edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia. Fans of the novels which continued the exploits of Capt. Riker and Counselor Troi who serves alongside her husband onboard the Titan will no doubt appreciate the effort taken to realize this ship design for the collection.

Going Even Deeper

Following the tradition in excellence of the novelizations which have extended the continuity of Star Trek adventures especially expanding on the timeline established for The Next Generation and the rest of their fellow 24th-century inhabits, another crew that has emerged with great distinction is that of the spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Though settled on an outpost at the edge of the final frontier, once the show went off-air its cast of characters widened their horizons.

Though the Dominion War played out as a major arc during the remaining final seasons of DS9 there were several repercussive storylines that emerged from that epic confrontation. One particular story threat lead to the introduction of the USS Aventine which would be commanded by Ezri Dax, a character featured prominently in the final season of the show. The majestically styled Vesta-class ship with the registry of NCC-82602 became an instant fan favorite.

The model was introduced at New York City Comic-Con as a “convention-premiered” Special Edition which convention goers scooped up, but has recently resurfaced on the Eaglemoss shop website and is available now. The accompanying magazine delves deep in the creation of this ship which rivals that of the Sovereign-class ship in scope, though it is unique in that it is among the first Starfleet vessels to feature the experimental Quantum Slipstream Drive.

The USS Aventine is now the second recent “Special Edition” release in the Eaglemoss line, joining the Titan, to introduce a ship from the novels as a physical model! Another vessel that was made into a model was the larger-size Special Edition release of the SS Enterprise (Refit) which had been intended to appear had the series ran a longer course.

A New Discovery

The latest original series Star Trek Discovery has also yielded its own particular line of collectible ship models from Eaglemoss that are now available for pre-order to ship in January. Many eager fans were treated to the prototype at NYCC of the series premiere “hero” ships the USS Shenzhou and the USS Discovery itself. These models will be slightly larger than the usual starship models in the line with the Discovery coming in at nearly 10 inches long.

Visit the Eaglemoss Shop https://shop.eaglemoss.com website to reserve your Special Editions now.

iReview :: THE FLASH – “The Flash Reborn”

Season 4 of The CW series The Flash returns and with it a new set of problems for Team Flash as they try to carry on without the Scarlet Speedster…but wait!

The Flash is back — literally! After stepping into the speed force at the calamitous climax of Season 3 and preventing his own future-self from carrying out a mad plan to steal time right from under him, our hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) returns to fight another day! By the end of the Season 4 opener entitled “The Flash Reborn” Barry is running headlong in defense of his one true love Iris West (Candice Patton), after she is abducted by a sword-swinging samurai that is threatening to destroy Central City!

It’s as if Barry had hardly been away! At least that’s what they’d like you to think, but after Barry makes the decision to step into the light — a decision that he looked to have accepted rather quickly in readily at the end of last season — he left the rest of “Team Flash” in a rather precarious position. The ceremonious defeat of the Speed God, Savitar left a vacancy in the Speed Force prison that through the world asunder! The villain had escaped before and forced speedster-in-training Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) to take his place.

When Barry entered the energy field to rescue his Kid Flash, he found himself confronted with his own inner demons, and questioned the decisions that he’d made — some of which altered the timeline and created a “Flashpoint” — significant consequences of which cost Barry the trust of some of his teammates and contemporaries. Before ultimately relenting to the Speed Force, Barry is assisted Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) the Flash from Earth-3, who agrees to take Wally’s space in the Speed Force prison, while Barry returns to challenge his enemy.

With Great Power…

Though Barry made good on his promise to free Jay who is rescued by the timely intervention of tech-wizard Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), and the team is able to ultimately stop Savitar, without someone to inhabit the Speed Force prison the energy field begins to run amok and if left unchecked could destroy Central City, if not the entire planet. It’s clear to both speedsters Barry and Jay what has to be done! Barry decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and enters the Speed Force, especially after it appears to him as his deceased mother Nora (Michelle Harrison).

Leaving behind his friends, family and fiancee, Barry encourages them all to carry on without him and insists that Iris never look back and “keep running”! That’s exactly what Iris has been doing since Barry disappeared six months ago. When Season 4 of The Flash opens up, the episode entitled “The Flash Reborn” Iris has been keeping the team in gear and running the logistical heroics while her brother Wally as Kid Flash and Cisco as Vibe take on new threats attacking Central City. Even Iris’ father Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is in on the act!

Iris is doing such a good job running things in Barry’s absence that perhaps the group fears she is losing site of the bigger picture; not allowing herself to grieve the loss of her lover or perhaps come up with a way to get Barry back! Cisco is determined to achieve the latter and enlists Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who left S.T.A.R. Labs in order to deal with her own emerging alter-ego “Killer Frost”. Cisco finds Caitlin bartending in a seedy dive, and encourages her to help him find Barry — Snow agrees, and without Iris’ consent put their plan in motion!

A Rebirth!

Given the attacking samurai’s threat to destroy Central City if The Flash doesn’t present himself to him, the group have precious time to put their plan into affect. With Caitlin’s ingenuity Cisco has come up with a plan to “fool” the Speed Force into relinquishing Barry, but when they launch their initiative, they are almost immediately met with a bombastic failure! All sparks and no fire, they are unable to produce Barry — and Iris is none too happy when she discovers what they’ve been up to, but unbeknown to them — their plan has worked!

The Flash — “The Flash Reborn” Pictured (L-R) Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

They indeed have freed Barry Allen but what has returned from his adventures in the Speed Force is not the same man that they remember. Barry is communicating in an incomprehensible gibberish and writing a series of glyphs across floors and walls that although appear to have a structure are at least for the moment undecipherable. Barry appears healthy, and according to Caitlin in the “best health of his life” but his mind appears unable to process the shock of the time he’s spent in the Speed Force. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking and the samurai is gearing up for a fight!

Wally decides to give him exactly what he wants and dons Barry’s Flash suit to apprehend the foe, but is immediately put in his place and meets the sharp end of the samurai’s sword through his leg. With little other alternatives left to them and Barry still in a state of shock, Iris decides to place herself in the villain’s crosshairs and turns herself over as its hostage, hopeful that it might trigger a reaction in Barry. Her gambit pays off and Barry springs into action, immediately sliding into hero mode and into his newly designed Flash suit courtesy of Cisco!

The Flash rescues Iris and makes short work of the samurai, which is in fact a “samuroid” — an android disguised as a Japanese warrior, but the real mystery is who is behind its sophisticated design and deployment? Team Flash on the other hand is happy to have Barry back and it appears he’s back to his old self, but Barry has no memory of his time in the Speed Force — he only remembers walking in and the next rescuing Iris from her captor. He also doesn’t have a clue about the gibberish he was speaking or the cryptic symbols he was writing.

Elsewhere in a very high-tech lair a pair of nefarious individuals discuss the reappearance of the hero and how The Flash will factor into their plans! From his dangerously styled throne The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) contemplates his next move!

Recharged!

As far as Season Openers go The Flash kicked things off rather brightly with “The Flash Reborn” which has many clear indications that this year the cast is shaking off some of the restraints and trappings of the previous years. The most obvious difference is the introduction of a “big bad” that isn’t a speedster — The Thinker, who has made numerous appearances throughout the history of the character in the comics and started out (in fact) as an arch-nemesis of Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, is a serious departure from adversaries seen before.

It appears that this year Barry will be facing an enemy that is as quick on his feet as our own hero, but who is far more super-charged when it comes to brain power, which will undoubtedly play very interestingly as Barry attempts to put the pieces back together of his own missing time. You don’t really suspect that he’s forgotten everything about this time in the Speed Force? After all he’s built up a much faster velocity that helped him take down the samuroid, and he’s obviously still very much in love with Iris — so we can expect to see the pair get hitched this season, no doubt.

The group dynamic has also evolved greatly and it’s still good to see that the core cast chemistry is very much intact. Cisco and Caitlin are genius level best friends and with the pair getting a handle on their own metahuman powers it will be exciting to see how this dynamic duo translate those power levels when suiting up and taking on other metas. Iris and Joe are at the core the beating heart of the series, especially after the premature departure of Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp), and it’s exciting to see that their relationship is also on an interesting trajectory.

Iris has evolved into a very independent personality and is now even comfortable giving her own father advice; seeing them engage as adults, a loving father and daughter, has become an integral component of The Flash. The same can not be said about Wally West, who makes up the third part of the West family and who appears much more focused and acting recklessly even after facing the dangerous situations set before them. As Kid Flash, Wally is making many mistakes, and is perhaps is need of some serious mentoring, though not the kind that Barry might be able to make.

Missing from the season opener was another speedster, Jay Garrick who at the end of last season appeared to be sticking around especially after Barry took his place inside the Speed Force. With Barry putting it all together still, Wally should turn to someone with some genuine experience like Jay — an experience that hasn’t really been explored inside the narrative of the series, at least not yet. With Barry about to face a new enemy that might be capable of out-thinking him, Jay Garrick would prove an asset to the team, if only to get Wally up to speed!

All in all, “The Flash Reborn” lives up to igniting a fresh perspective on this now long-running series that has surpassed its predecessor Arrow and stands unique among its spin-offs Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. With a silver screen “Flash” about to join the league, The Flash on television is proving it has blockbuster potential, and can keep pace with its own competition all the while carving its own path. Hopeful that it remains true to its character development, The Flash Season 4 proves it is still able to strike lightning!

The Flash has indeed returned to The CW Tuesday nights, with new episodes airing @ 8/7c.