All posts by JC Alvarez

Writer | Producer | Personality. Pop-Cultural Agent. Music | Entertainment & Genre Enthusiast. I knew comics were cool before primetime. The voice of "Out Loud & Live! with JC Alvarez" on Internet Radio. Visit www.thefanzite.com for more!

iReview :: THE FLASH Episode #302 — “Paradox”

The new season of “The Flash” continues as Barry learns first hand the consequences of playing with time…

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The Flashpoint was only the beginning of Barry Allen’s problems! After fixing the timeline, effectively returning the Reverse-Flash to the night of Nora Allen’s murder, this time not interfering, but allowing the psychopath to carry out his mission, it would appear that The Flash had solved all his problems. Or did he? It would seem that the consequences from “Flashpoint” carried over into the second episode of The Flash Season 3 in “Paradox”.

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) may have traveled back in time one too many times, as is evidenced by the alternate timeline that is created after his last “flashpoint” — the most drastic alteration yet — did not entirely set itself right, but Eobard Thawne/The Reverse-Flash (Matt Letcher) did warn him after all. When the Flash returns to the present, events aren’t exactly the way he left them. At first Barry assumes everything is just like he left it except for “Team Flash” which has fallen apart.

Most evident is the rift among the West family. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton) aren’t speaking to one another, not since she learned that her father had kept the secret that her mother was alive from her. At STAR Labs Cisco (Calos Valdes) is battling with his own issues over the loss of his brother Dante who dies in a car accident. Back at the CCPD Barry learns he shares his crime lab with a new workmate, the adversarial Julian Albert (Tom Felton).

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The Flash — “Paradox” — Pictured: Tom Felton as Julian Albert — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Looking to some help to figure things out Barry races to Star City to confide in close friend and confident Felicity Smoak (guest star Emily Bett Rickards). Going over the details, it isn’t long before the two discover that Barry’s “flashpoint” has also had effects as far reaching as Wednesday night on The CW. Particularly they learn that John Diggle (David Ramsey) no longer has a daughter, but a son named John.

Among some additional aberrations there is the arrival of a new threat, a villain calling himself Alchemy that haunts the memories of Edward Clariss (guest star Todd Lasance) who fought the Flash in the “flashpoint” reality as the speedster The Rival. Clariss seeks out the origins of the haunting visions that lead him to Alchemy’s underground cult. Alchemy seduces the man with power turning him that alternate reality speedster!

While Barry attempts to steady his “new” reality and bring his friends close together again, a mystery surrounds Central City as epidermal husks are appearing around the city. When Barry and Joe arrive on the latest crime scene, Barry is able to steal a sample right from under Julian’s nose to bring back to STAR Labs for investigation. Barry also corrals the group and persuades them all to come to dinner at his house.

Dinner doesn’t entirely go as well as Barry anticipates, and before he can open up to the group about all their troubles, The Flash is called into action when The Rival attacks! When the two speedsters meet, Clariss reveals he remembers the alternate timeline and holds The Flash responsible for taking everything away from him challenging him to a fight to the finish. The speedsters race all through Central City, under the watchful eye of a mystery man.

It isn’t long before Iris starts to put things together and confronts Barry, but before he has time to bring her up to speed (so to speak) The Flash makes off and runs headlong into a time-tunnel. Suddenly an arm whips up behind him and tosses him out of the time stream sending Barry tumbling onto the pavement. Catching his breath, he realizes he’s been prevented from making another change to the continuity by none other than Jay Garrick/The Flash (John Wesley Shipp).

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The Flashes of Two Earths unite as Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) attempts to school Barry (Grant Gustin) on the choices he’s making with his speed force.

The two speedsters, the Flashes of two Earths, find themselves visiting a diner in 1998 (in a wink to both Shipp and The Flash’s executive producer Greg Berlanti, an episode of the WB classic drama Dawson’s Creek is playing on a television in the eatery). Jay cautions Barry about altering the time-line, using the speed force so irresponsibly will undoubtedly have serious repercussions not only for Barry but for everyone in his life. He tells Barry, they are not gods, they are regular men with extraordinary powers, and have a choice about what kind of hero they are going to be.

  • This is certainly a moment that the television audience has been eagerly anticipating ever since the launch of the series. Seeing the two Flashes interacting guarantees the significance and importance of the “legacy” aspect of these characters. After all Barry Allen, the “Silver Age” Flash is considering responsible for inspiring the Modern Age of comics. The relationship between these heroes is a valuable story that is just beginning to get explored on The Flash and will play an important role going forward in the evolution of this series.
  • Series producers pulled quite a whammy on fans when they decided to cast John Wesley Shipp in the role of Jay Garrick, especially when many anticipated that when Shipp was to appear on the series when it premiered in 2014, he was going to be playing the original Scarlet Speedster.
  • One of the greatest achievements of The Flash is the brilliant casting that occurred right from the beginning of the show’s run; the chemistry between the actors at the center of this magnificently impossible universe, creates a narrative that fans are thrilled to tune into.

Barry decides to come clean with Team Flash, and tells them all the truth about “Flashpoint” and he is not proud of but has to live with the consequences of what he’s done, and trusts that they will forgive him. Soon The Flash finds himself confronting The Rival again, only this time the villain has brought Alchemy to the fight. He fires a blast against The Flash using a stone — the Philosopher’s Stone — of which Alchemy uses to derive his super powers.

Realizing that The Flash is in danger, Team Flash pull it together and Cisco as “Vibe” rushes to his friend side to even out the odds. With the help his friend, The Flash is able to stop The Rival, but Alchemy — Doctor Alchemy — escapes. Unfortunately for Clariss, the captured villain meets with Alchemy’s disappointment and is crushed by a powerfully packed arm of metal thus concluding the “Flashpoint / Paradox” arc introducing the third season of The Flash.

In truth it would have most probably served the producers well had The Flash Season 3 kicked things off with a 2-hour back-to-back episode that featured both the premiere “Flashpoint” paired with “Paradox”. It certainly would have given the audience their bang for the buck. Between the two, “Paradox” is the stronger part of this clear Act II to “Flashpoint”. The episode also features some of the best performances from the ensemble.

Properly concluding The Rival’s arc and more effectively introducing Alchemy as this season’s big bad, “Paradox” revs the drama for a new season, and guarantees that there will be action for sure. The appearance of the “real” Jay Garrick into The Flash world is also wonderfully gratifying especially since the “original” speedster made a quick in-and-out at the end of Season Two leaving audiences wondering if we were going to see these two Flashes teaming up.

The moments between Barry and Iris continue to inspire and reveal more about how deeply tied the destiny of these two friends turned lovers is, and watching the evolution through the performances by Gustin and Patton is truly exquisite. With all the changes expected this season, the biggest surprise may be the revelation that Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) may have developed a frosty disposition!

The Flash Episode #302 — “Paradox” directed by Ralph Hemecker and written by Aaron Helbing  and Todd Helbing (Original Airdate: October 11, 2016)

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iReview :: Supergirl Episode #201 “The Adventures of Supergirl”

The Girl of Steel returns with a new season on a new network and proves she’s had the might all along to play in the big league!

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It’s no surprise that CBS just didn’t know what to make of the superhero genre. It had a chance in the 90s to break the mold of primetime television and introduced into its mainstream line-up The Flash which starred John Wesley Shipp. Following the theatrical blockbuster Batman in tone and texture, the series would only last a single season, but it left an indelible impact on its audience. Cut to a generation later and The Flash returned, spinning out of the Arrow on The CW it reignited an entirely new fandom and fascination with the superhero genre.

CBS wanted to get in on the action and requested that the production team that created both Arrow and The Flash give them their own DC Comics adaptation for primetime. That series was Supergirl which borrowed heavily from the standard set by The Flash including a lead actor,  Melissa Benoist, that won an audience appearing on the FOX musical comedy Glee. The rest — as they say — is history, and in this case — history repeating itself. It appeared that CBS truly didn’t know what to make of the series (befuddled perhaps by the genre) and cast it off.

Cast off after one season, just like it had The Flash in 1990, CBS released Supergirl from the confines of mainstream network television and give the series a new home. In a move that surprised no one, the series was added onto the already DC Comics heavy-ladened line-up on The CW, back on its regular Monday night time slot (competing against another DC Comics television series FOX’s Gotham) — and the fit couldn’t be any more perfect!

The series production itself has also been moved to Vancouver, shooting on the same sound stages as the rest of the DC TV shows produced by Greg Berlanti and his production team. It all makes perfect sense and it shows! The premiere episode of Supergirl even takes its title from the successful relaunch of the comic from the  The episode entitled “The Adventures of Supergirl” even goes the distance to expand the universe of Kara Zor-El by teaming her up with her famous cousin Superman/Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) for the first time!

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One of the series first promo pictures revealing series lead Melissa Benoist alongside her cousin Superman played by guest star Tyler Hoechlin who will open the new season on its new network The CW.

Having successfully navigated the curve of embracing her super powers, Kara now struggles to balance her life as both National City’s defender Supergirl, and her earthly alter-ego Kara Danvers.  With the help of her famous red caped cousin who flies in just in time to help land a space plane with engine trouble, the two uncover a dangerous plot to kill Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) Lex Luthor’s adopted sister who is now running the company while Lex rots in prison. The mastermind has unleashed the mercenary John Corben (guest star Frederick Schmidt) to do his dirty work.

Meanwhile the D.E.O. has another mystery on their hands when a Kryptonian space craft crashes in National City and a young man (Chris Wood) from Krypton is found unconscious inside!

This first episode truly re-inaugurates the entire season! Almost immediately the tone feels very different, and although the series has ditched its LA sets for Vancouver, it still has a vibrancy that sets it uniquely and wonderfully alongside the rest of The CW/DC TV line-up. With a teleplay by Jessica Queller and directed by Glen Winter (who also worked on Smallville) this first episode of Supergirl feels like a brand new show — perhaps the show that fans were waiting for all along. Benoist is far more comfortable in her characters skin and skin-tight suit, but the heart of her hero is the most powerful aspect that shines right through.

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Faster than a speeding bullet Supergirl immediately won an audience based on following the formula that made The Flash such a hit which always includes “Heroics, Heart and Humor” to make for interesting storytelling.

When it was announced that Berlanti Productions had been commissioned to produce another superhero series based on a DC Comics character for CBS, Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg has said they never flinched! Everyone agreed that the time had come for a female character to move into the lead — that heroine would be “Supergirl”. The cousin of arguably the most famous hero in the world is a genuine favorite among fans, and has been for a long time, and especially after the Silver Age version of the character sacrifices herself to save the multiverse during the epic Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Supergirl appeared as a supporting character on the highly successful television series Smallville which chronicled the ascension of Clark Kent into the Man of Steel. The resonance and appeal of the Last of Daughter of Krypton has always been apparent. Supergirl the series premiered to great anticipation on CBS and mirrored the adoration that comic book fans always had for the Girl of Steel. The creatives behind the show kept faith to the style of storytelling established with its CW counterparts and chronicled adventures taken right from the comic books.

Perhaps that’s why the action adventure series didn’t rate very high with the CBS audience which is married to its CSI investigations and court room style dramas. Now that Supergirl has landed on The CW and aligns with a weeklong of primetime leads based on the DC Comics heroes the show feels revitalized — showing its true muscle! Immediately the show runners went to work on one of the most spectacular stunts to open the new season: the return to television of Kara’s famous cousin Superman!

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Supergirl — “The Adventures Of Supergirl” — Pictured (L-R) Tyler Hoechlin as Clark and Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Proving once and for all the the cinematic and television properties are their own entities, and that there’s more than enough room in this multiverse for everybody. Adding Tyler Hoechlin to the guest star line-up as the Man of Steel was an exceptional; one that paid off as brilliantly as the crossover episode from Season One that brought Grant Gustin over into National City as his CW counterpart The Flash! Supergirl is such a huge part of a great comic book legacy, it should be no surprise to the viewer that attention is being paid to keeping the show as connected to the source as possible — and it’s paying off!

The supporting cast are also very much more relaxed into this new world. Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) is now working full-time at the D.E.O. alongside Kara’s sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) under the tutelage of J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) protecting the planet from foreign incursions on all fronts. We learn right away that Superman and J’onn have met before, and have a tenuous relationship especially because the organization harbors the very element that can stop both Superman and Supergirl in their tracks, but they are able to work side by side for the greater good, and what’s that — an hour of super powered action!

Supergirl is right where she is supposed to be and we now believe that this girl can fly!

iReview :: The Flash #301 “Flashpoint”

Season 3 of The CW hit The Flash is already shaping up as the most unpredictable of all the DC TV series. Welcome to “Flashpoint” where anything can happen…

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Careful what you wish for. Clearly it’s never a good idea to travel back in time and trifle with your own history. At the conclusion of last season on The Flash, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) had just had enough! In a final confrontation with his sworn enemy ZOOM, before The Flash was ultimately able to stop the madman from destroying his world and saved the multiverse in effect! The villain, although, struck our hero with a terrible blow — murdering Barry’s father, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) right in front of his eyes.

In the race of his life, The Flash took down ZOOM, but the damage had been done, and Barry believed the universe owed him one.

Though he had finally won the girl, Iris West (Candice Patton) believed that Barry could never be happy, not while he wrestled with some unanswered questions, so Barry felt he had no other choice, but to travel back to the single greatest defining moment of his life: the night that his mother, Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison) was taken from him by another speedster, the time-traveling Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher). The Flash is determined to stop the man in the yellow suit, the man he believes is responsible for all of his grief, from carrying out his plan — and he travels back in time, to that crucial moment, and stops the Reverse-Flash in his tracks!

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The Flash — “Flashpoint” — Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Effectively saving his mother, stopping yet another vengeful foe from carrying out a threat against him, Barry Allen as changed everything — creating a “Flashpoint” event that irrevocably has consequences — a butterfly effect — on the history and evolution of events that follow. And although Barry Allen has fulfilled one of his greatest wishes, to have a life where both of his parents are alive and well, everything else has changed. Everything.

The Central City that Barry now inhabits is very similar to the one that he’s always known, except that he is no longer its defender. There’s another “Flash” in town that is dealing with the metahuman threats, especially in the form of one particular baddie calling himself The Rival aka Edward Clariss (guest star Todd Lasance). A speedster who fancies himself “the fastest man alive”. No longer having to concern himself with the responsibility of being a “hero”, Barry Allen focuses on the things that are more important to him now — being a son in a loving family, great at his job with the CCPD, and reigniting those feelings he had for that “special girl”.

In this timeline, Barry Allen and Iris West didn’t grow up as best friends, in fact — the entire structure of the West Family has been compromised. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Barry’s surrogate father, is not the loving and responsible, decorated Central City detective that took in Barry after his father was wrongly convicted and sentenced to Iron Heights Prison for the murder of his wife. Joe is now hardly able to pull himself off the couch and meet his responsibilities in the CCPD. Barry is constantly running interference for the office with Captain Julio Mendez (guest star Alex Désert another alum from the original CBS 1990 “The Flash” series).

What’s worse, it appears that Joe is estranged from both his children and has a tenuous relationship with Iris and Wally West (Keiyan Lonsdale) the son that he just discovered he had. The siblings on the other hand couldn’t be closer, in fact Wally has inherited the powers and the title of Central City’s new “The Flash” (although the name “Kid Flash” suits him best) and is singlehandedly attempting to take on the Rival, with little success. Having pursued Iris and begun a courtship, it isn’t long before Barry reveals to her (and Wally) the truth about his super speedster alter ego, The Flash, but has a harder time convincing them about the “rebooted” timeline he has in effectively inspired!

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The Flash (Grant Gustin) teams up with Central City’s new protector Kid Flash aka Wally West (Keiyan Lonsdale) to take on a new enemy threaten the city.

Confident that if they are to stop The Rival from his rampage of Central City they are going to need all the help that they can get, Barry insists on putting together “Team Flash” beginning with enlisting the support of Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), except that in the new “Flashpoint” timeline Ramon is a billionaire industrialist who wants nothing to do with (either) Flash’s vendetta on crime. Upon seeing Iris and Wally when they arrive at his lab, Ramon asks them all to leave — including Barry whom he’s never met.

But Barry is adamant about pulling the team back together and even “kidnaps” Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who is this altered-timeline is a children’s eye doctor and not the biochemist we’ve known (and loved) all along. On Barry’s initiative alone, they do band together to bring down the Rival, but it isn’t long until Barry learns the truth…

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The Flash — “Flashpoint” —  Pictured (L-R): John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen and Michelle Harrison as Nora Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, who has been Barry’s prisoners for the last three months reveals the truth about the damage to the timeline that the Flash has caused by creating the “Flashpoint”. Barry is losing his memories about the original reality and as time folds in on itself it won’t be long until he completely forgets everything — including how to use his powers as the Scarlet Speedster. With so much at stake, including his mental state, Barry agrees along with Iris to return Eobard to that moment in time. The moment when the Reverse-Flash murders Nora Allen in an attempt to set things right.

Barry returns home with Iris to bid his parents one last good-bye, thanking them for “the last three months” before freeing Thawne and succumbing to the effects of the “Flashpoint”.

With Barry unconscious the Reverse-Flash uses the Speed Force to travel back and when Barry wakes up, it looks like everything has returned to normal. Both Nora and Henry Allen are dead and Barry has just beat ZOOM. He returns to the West home and toasts to his father’s memory with Joe and Wally, but when he asks why Iris isn’t there with him, Joe angrily excuses himself — chalking up Barry’s ignorance to grief. Barry learns through Wally that Iris and Joe don’t speak, and haven’t in a very long time!

“Flashpoint” Episode #301 (Season 3 Premiere/Original Airdate Oct 4, 2016)

Directed by Jesse Warn

Story by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg

Teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg and Brooke Roberts

Inspired by the comic book arc written by Geoff Johns that ultimately re-imagined the entire DC Comics multiverse and introduced “The New 52” timeline to readers, the events in the television adaptation of “Flashpoint” are appropriately scaled down for the serialized television format of The Flash. What was originally a cross-issue event that lead to a complete overhaul of the comic book universe, has been told in an incapsulated one-hour show and wrapped up by the time we got to the credits.

Or has it?

Obviously there are consequences to Barry’s actions. Although his intentions are well-meaning, they are selfish and lead to a total rewrite of the two seasons of The Flash that have come before, but what choice did he have? After all, playing the hero has cost him a great deal. Being the man that saved Central City again and again has lead to nothing but ill-fate for Barry Allen and the contempt and envy of speedsters from not only the the Prime-Earth, but menaces from across the multiverse!

Seeing Barry reunited with both of his parents, even for a few moments is remarkably rewarding, and the scenes between The Allens — Grant Gustin, John Wesley Shipp and Michelle Harrison — are at the core some of the best moments of the episode, especially because of the genuine affection these actors have on display for one another. The same can be said for the chemistry on display between Gustin and co-star Candice Patton, as Barry and Iris get to revisit their courtship and take us along for the ride.

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Together again…for the first time, Barry reveals himself as The Flash to Iris.

This episode featured some of the best work between the series two leads, and Patton continues to very skillfully navigate the complexities of a leading lady who has to deal with super-powers, alternate universes, dopplegangers and rebooted timelines! It makes for some challenges that Gustin and Patton approach beautifully and make us believe that whatever it takes love will keep Barry and Iris together. Hopefully, these two can stop having “first dates” and get to really developing eventually into the love story that fans of the comic book are rooting for.

One of the more exciting moments of the series have come from the introduction of the multiverse and the opportunity that this revelation has given the cast to play alternate versions of themselves. Almost every single cast member has now had to play at least 3 different versions of their original characters, and some like John Wesley Shipp have been reintroduced as all-new players on the field. That this ensemble continues to deliver and rise to the occasion is testament to their dedication and the skill and creativity of the writing staff to keep audiences guessing.

It’s obvious that with Matt Letscher back in the picture the Reverse-Flash will continue to play a role as one of our hero’s most dangerous adversaries. Show runners have already revealed that Letscher’s Thawne will become a cornerstone member of the Legion of Doom which will be taking on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow later this season, but there is a greater menace coming that Eobard eludes to and what that will mean for the Flash is yet to develop.

The episode’s “stinger” reveals that Earth-Prime’s Edward Clariss, the “Flashpoint” reality’s “Rival” hasn’t become the villain, but perhaps with the intervention of a new threat that scrawls the word “Alchemy” on his mirror, this season’s big baddie has just been revealed!

Unboxing…The BATMAN

The action figure collectibles market is again booming thanks to toy makers eager to latch onto the adult collector!

The collectible action figure market has exceedingly grown up with its market, and never more so than in the last decade. Everyone from Hasbro, Mattel to competitively invested Japanese toy makers have invested in the fabrication of sculpting multi-articulated and artfully crafted figures that outweigh their appeal to capture adult collectors, and similarly attract younger investors. The DC Comics universe and all its brand expansion has generated some high-collectible interest especially in the last year.

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Medicom Toy manufacturers Batman action figure based on the film design appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is among one of the best on the market for a 6″ line.

With several movie and television licenses, and a limitless volume of publication imprints to their name, DC Comics must lead the charge on several toy lines that have grabbed collectors attention and garnered major excitement. Among one of the most anticipated films of the year, Warner Bros. launched the blockbuster season with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which expanded on the DC Comics Cinematic Universe and brought together on the big screen for the first time the “big three” including the film’s headliners and Wonder Woman.

The action figure roll out featured for all audiences a selection of 1:18 (3.75”), 1:12 (5”- 6”) and 1:10  (7”) scale at several different price levels. The DC Comics Multiverse line released prior to the BvS film’s premiere in theaters gave fans the first look at the characters distinct looks for the big screen with durably strong, variably articulated and heavily accessorized action figures for general play. The release was also accompanied by figures for the DC TV personalities including The Flash and Green Arrow as they appear in their respective television series.

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Though the likeness of these figures, the detailing and craftsmanship is admirable, for the adult collector, more recent releases will be far more attractive especially in the form of the action figure line from Japanese toy maker Medicom Toy. No. 017 in the line is part of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice series. Let’s examine the Batman action figure now available on the collectible market. I picked up my figure here in New York City’s Midtown Comics Grand Central Station location, and I was skeptical at first of picking up the figure.

The last Medicom figure I purchased was their version of Batman (V.1) as he appeared in The Dark Knight Rises and although the figure was highly-detailed, beautifully crafted and well articulated, it was extremely delicate in construction. The right arm on the initially purchased figure fell out of its socket when it was raised to shoulder height. I exchanged that figure, and the second also suffered from a similar limitation. I resorted to never moving the right arm to keep it in place. Already from the looks of the much sturdier BvS version, that isn’t a problem.

The detail alone on the 6″ figure is astounding. The figure is accurately sculpted to resemble actor Ben Affleck in the kevlar armor suit he dons for most of the film. The proportions are among the best ever for a figure of this size and appear to have been made from a laser scan of the actor in the suit itself. The brass-fitted detailing on the Batsuit, including the utility belt, gauntlet and steel-tipped boots are appropriately worn from battle. The cape is properly fitted under the cowl through to the shoulders and is wired to allow for dramatic poses.

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The figure is packed with movie-accurate accessories including a perfectly sized batarang, Batman’s signature grappling gun and the kryptonite grenade launcher the character uses in the film in defense against the Man of Steel. The action figure is hyper-articulated for an unimaginable number of positions and comes with a transparent stand to solidly pose the figure for display. By comparison to the similarly scaled DC Comics Multiverse figure from Mattel of about the same size, the Medicom figure is far superior and a much better buy for the price point.

The Mattel line, which is meant to appeal to a younger audience, and is manufactured for practical play, is a hunk of a 6″ figure, and for what it lacks in detail it makes up for in articulation, but the Medicom figure is in a class all of its own. Ideal for the serious collector, great for play and posing, this Batman v Superman Batman action figure is a delight. The first in a series that will also feature Superman and Wonder Woman in their movie accurate costume, Medicom is also releases a companion set of figures based on the cast of Suicide Squad to position alongside the expanding DC Comics cinematic universe.

A high-end line of action figures based on BvS from DC Collectibles will also be hitting the market under the brand title of “DC Films” and promises to deliver on the level of the Medicom Toy line, but in the meantime this series is a must have, and at a price mark of just under $50 they are well worth picking up.

iPreview :: BATMAN #9 “I Am Suicide” Begins!

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Readers are still reeling from the recent “I Am Gotham” storyline which played out in the first six-issues of the DC Comics Batman relaunch which introduced a pair of super-powered vigilantes set on waging a war to defend the city they’ve named themselves after. Writer Tom King with illustrators David Finch and Ivan Reis explored the legacy of the Dark Knight, the current theme of the publishing imprint’s current reboot, from a alternate perspective as Batman himself examined how his own war on crime may have influenced the denizens of Gotham City.

At the conclusion of that arc, the new hero Gotham fell apart, succumbing to the influence of the dangerously calculating Dr. Hugo Strange who used the mind-altering powers of the Psycho Pirate to infect Gotham and his side-kick Gotham Girl. In order to now save her life, the Batman will begin a manhunt for the Pirate that will take him into one of the world’s most  impenetrable prisons to challenge one of his greatest foes in the “I Am Suicide” arc beginning with Batman #9.

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The cover art of the upcoming Batman #9 which will kick off Tom King’s latest arc “I Am Suicide” which will team the Dark Knight with the DC Universe’s most dastardly loose canons, the Suicide Squad in a mission unlike any other they’ve ever faced before. The issue goes on sale next month and is part of the “Rebirth” line.

“Gotham Girl’s been infected by the Psycho Pirate’s fear,” says King. “She needs to get that out of her head and the only one who can do that is the Psycho Pirate himself. So to save Claire — to save this one last remnant of this hope he has — Batman has to find Psycho Pirate, and that mission leads him directly to Bane.” The strong armed, gang leader and all-around around has terrorized the Caped Crusader ever since he was introduced in the early 1990s. Bane is most remembered for having “broken” the Batman in the now classic “Knightfall” story arc.

With Bane holding the Psycho Pirate prisoner, the Batman has no other choice but to team-up with perhaps the diciest bureaucrat in the DC Universe, Amanda Waller and enlist her Suicide Squad to help him take down Bane. “It’s Batman forming his own Suicide Squad,” says King about the new story arc. “It’s Batman working with Amanda Waller, going into Arkham Asylum and picking out a special team to accomplish a mission that he can’t do on his own or with the Justice League — he needs a team who can do something illegal and impossible.”

Fans of the Batman will be most excited to see him team-up with the Suicide Squad, especially since the group of rogue malcontents are often than not made up of some of his own worst adversaries, and add to that the suspense of extracting the Psycho Pirate, a character that was at the center of the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the expectation that Batman will take on Bane, “I Am Suicide” will no doubt be one of the season’s most highly anticipated storylines yet.

Batman #9 arrives October 19th, 2016, written by Tom King with art and cover by Mikel Janin, colors by June Chung, letters by Clayton Cowles

Suiting Up for BATMAN DAY 2016

In celebration of the third annual love fest for everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader, DC Comics offers some special discounted ebooks that take us through every decade of The Batman and revisit some of his greatest story arcs.

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BATMAN DAY has become quite the “thing”! It began 3 years ago when DC Comics and its fans came together all across the world to honor the Dark Knight Detective on his 75th Anniversary. No one could have imagined that Batman, an icon that has transcended the medium that launched him into the center of popular culture. Batman has starred on television, in Saturday morning cartoons, and has especially made an impact as a cinematic sensation.

DC Comics has now taken the love of this character very seriously and created an inclusive experience for the fans and dubbed it Batman Day! On September 17 from coast to coast there will be several events all honoring the Batman. DC Comics will also give fans an added treat and with very special pricing on two of its most popular and definitive Batman titles. Fan-Favorites Batman Vol. 7: Endgame and Batman Adventures Vol. 1 will be available on Batman Day for $3.99.

Leading up to the “Big Bat Day” DC Comics is offering up to 75% off some of its best Batman titles representative of the Batman through the ages. From September 13 – 19 take the “Road to Batman Day” and check out some greatest moments in Batman’s history. Batman collected editions on sale include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: The Complete Hush and more featuring the rest of the Batman Family including Nightwing, Robin and Batgirl.

Revisit the Golden Age of the Caped Crusader with Detective Comics #27 the first appearance of the Batman, and travel through each era with Batman in The Brave and the Bold (Silver Age) and Detective Comics (Bronze Age). Relive Batman: Year One and A Death in the Family and more. 100 digital comics and 15-eBooks will be available for a special price during the giant “Road to Batman Day” sale.

The following digital retailers will be participating in the “Road to Batman Day” and the BATMAN DAY sale: readdcentertainment.com, the DC Comics iOS and Android apps, comiXology, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble NOOK.