Shiny! Celebs That I’ve Met Over The Years (And A Couple Of Funny Encounters)

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Fandom

I have been fortunate enough to meet quite a few celebrities in my day.  One of my favorite memories from childhood was the chance to meet and take a photo with Benji (yes, the dog) at a local drugstore in the Lake Charles area.  He was the main attraction, but there were a few other “celebrities” there like He-Man, Skeletor, and Tinkerbell.  I was scared to death of He-Man and Skeletor, and firmly rooted my feet into the concrete of the store’s sidewalk when I saw both of them walking to the store.  My mother eventually convinced me to get a high five and a handshake from He-Man, but I didn’t want anything to do with Skeletor.  I’m sure that my mother has the photo with Benji somewhere and I also believe that I took a picture with He-man, but I guess you could say that my interaction with Benji was the first in what has turned out to be a long line of celebrity meetings over the years.

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One of my biggest fanboy moments occurred when I met Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor from Doctor Who.  I grew up on the classic Doctors, so the chance to meet one was very exciting.  Mr. McCoy was extremely courteous and joked around with my son about the pronunciation of his name.  I was a tad bit speechless when I first saw Mr. McCoy, and was very glad that he decided to speak with my son for a bit.  To this day McCoy is the only person that I’ve ever paid to have a professional photo-op with, and it was done with the TARDIS console from the television movie from the 90’s.  Hopefully I will get to meet more of the Doctors as the years go by.

Another celebrity that I entirely fanboyed over was Jeremy Bulloch (pictured in the featured image).  While most of the celebs I have met over the years have been very nice, Mr. Bulloch went out of his way to be super friendly to all of the folks that came to see him.  When he saw me walking up to him, he noticed my Cybermen shirt and talked to me about it.  He mentioned that he was also on Doctor Who and, being a typical nerve-rattled fanboy, I cut him off and told him that I owned one of the serials he was featured in on DVD.  He laughed, talked for a bit more, and posed for a photo.  He was a truely nice gentleman.

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The most recent celebrity that I met was Mary Kate Smith.  For those of you who might not recognize Ms. Smith, she’s from Season Two of King of the Nerds.  She was extremely friendly, extremely positive, and I’m glad to say that I met her.  She’s an excellent role model for not only young girls, but for young boys interested in science and engineering.

Some other celebs that I have met over the years include Hacksaw Jim Duggan (pro wrestler), Brent Spiner (Data from ST:TNG), LeVar Burton (Geordi from ST:TNG), Michael Dorn (Worf from ST:TNG), Chase Masterson (Leeta from DS9), Ray Park (Darth Maul from SW Episode I:  The Phantom Menace, and a ton of other films), Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett from SW Episode II:  Attack of the Clones), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Jon Bernthal, Michael Rooker, Steven Yeun, and many, many more.

Meeting Chase Masterson actually got me into the local newspaper.  They took a photo of us while I was handing Ms. Masterson a photo to autograph.  She is another celeb that is very nice and goes above and beyond to make sure that her fans have a good time with her.  I can also say that the cast members from The Walking Dead that I have met over the years have been very cordial as well.

Two celebrities in particular that I want to mention are Zendaya (pop singer and Disney Channel star) and Marina Sirtis (Troi from ST:TNG).  I met Zendaya a few years ago at an auto show in New Orleans.  I was actually attending a Wizard World event on the same weekend and overheard that she was at the auto show next door.  Knowing that my daughter was a huge fan of Zendaya, I paid the small entrance fee and stood in a line with a friend of mine for roughly twenty minutes.  Needless to say that we were the oldest (and only male) people in the line.  Roughly estimating, I’d say that the average age of girls in the line was twelve.  When it was my turn to get an autograph and a photo with Zendaya, she was noticeably shaken by the appearance of an overweight dude nearing forty in the line.  My face went red and I immediately said that I was there because my daughter was a huge fan.  She laughed and said something about that being sweet of me and signed the autograph.  One of her handlers, a massive mountain of a man with a deep voice, looked at me and said, “Come on, man.  You know you love Zendaya!”  It was an embarassing moment, but the look on my daughter’s face after giving her the autograph was more than worth it.

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Finally, I have to mention one of my favorite celebrity encounter stories.  It was at Comicpalooza in Houston, TX a few years ago.  I was standing in line to meet Marina Sirtis of TNG fame.  There were a couple of people ahead of me in line and no one behind me at the moment except for this one person who doesn’t have the best personality on the planet.  We are former friends, and I’ll leave it at that.  When I approached Mrs. Sirtis, she introduced herself and called me “Love.”  That right there was really all I needed, but I was there for an autograph, so I started to look over the photos she had to offer.

There were many photos to choose from, and it was taking me quite a bit of time to decide on which one I wanted.  She and I made small talk until the acquaintance behind me said, “Hurry up and pick one!  Just pick one!”  In one sharp movement, Marina turned to the dude and said, “You shut up.  He can take all the time he wants!”  She then turned to me and said, “Take all the time you need, sweetie.  Pay no attention to that nasty man.”  It took everything I had to stifle my laughter.  What made the moment especially funny was that the guy is a massive TNG fan and he just got owned by Counselor Troi!

When I finally picked a photo for her to sign, I chose one from Star Trek: Nemesis.  I’m a big fan of that film despite the fact that a lot of people, including the schmuck behind me, dislike it very, very much.  He again opened his mouth and said, “Nemesis?  Nemesis?  You picked a photo from Nemesis?” to which Marina once again snapped at him with, “He can like Nemesis if he wants.  Leave him alone!”  She signed the photo for me, said, “Here you go, love,” and told me to be extra careful with it since she used a silver marker and it takes longer to dry.  The scolding of that “nasty man” made getting that autograph one of my favorite moments of all time.

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Sadly I didn’t have enough money on me to get a photo with Mrs. Sirtis, but if I ever run into her again, I plan to recount the story of my first meeting with her and will definitely get a photo with her.

As always, thanks for reading.  I’ll post more celebrity encounters later.

Live Long And Prosper…..

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The Final Frontier

In my life there have been very few celebrity deaths that have affected me in any way.  Sure, many famous people have died whose deaths shocked me, saddened me, or made me reflect on their careers and personal lives.  A couple of deaths deeply saddened me and almost made me cry.  DeForest Kelley’s death way back in 1999 shocked me.  He was and still is my favorite actor from Star Trek.  However, the internet as a whole was still finding its footing and social media was nothing like it is today with the instantaneous report of a person’s death and the just as instantaneous flood of recounted memories, funny moments, musings, poems, and other forms of paying respect to (or hating) the deceased, so there was no constant feed of such things to work on my emotions.

The death of Harold Ramis also shocked me.  As Egon on Ghostbusters, he was my favorite member of the team.  I also enjoyed the many other productions that he was involved with whether it was as a writer, an actor, director, or otherwise.

Prior to today, the death of Robin Williams was the most recent celebrity death that had an affect on me.  I wept briefly and feel no shame for admitting that I did.  Hearing Williams’ voice on Aladdin or seeing him in Hook made my eyes well up a bit.  It was tough, but I moved on rather quickly.

Today, February 27th, a certain celebrity passed away that tore my heart apart.  For those of you who don’t know, Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock from Star Trek, passed away from his ongoing battle with COPD.  I took his death very hard and I cried.  His death, coupled with the many tributes and memory sharing by friends and celebrities alike, tugged at my heart even harder than the death of DeForest Kelley.

I MISS Mr. Nimoy.  I never knew him, never even met him at a convention or glimpsed him at one, but I felt like he was a part of my life.  As Mr. Spock, Nimoy represented many nerds out there.  He was an outsider, half human and half Vulcan.  He suppressed his emotions as much as possible but they still managed to squeak through at times.  He was respected for his knowledge but also received as a bit odd (or too darned logical).  Kirk and Bones saw his intense use of logic as both a hindrance and an excellent quality.  He could be very funny whether he meant to be or not.  He was an excellent person…..and now he is gone.

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Trekkers and Trekkies across the globe and the entirety of humanity lost a brilliant and wonderful soul today.  Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy.  I hope to see you in the Final Frontier…..

Louisiana Comic Con!!!

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Bossier City, LA

North Louisiana has a lot of wonderful things going for it.  Unfortunately, having an excellent comic convention hasn’t been one of those things in a long time.  Thankfully that shortcoming has been erased with the first Louisiana Comic Con in Bossier City, LA at the Bossier Civic Center.  Myself and a friend left southern Louisiana a little after six in the morning and made the long trek up to Bossier City.  We arrived at the Civic Center at around 9:20 or so and managed to find a fairly good parking spot just minutes before a huge crowd of people invaded the area.  We got into the pre-registration line waited for forty or so minutes before getting into the door.  We were part of the lucky ones who got in at a decent time.  I’ll touch on this particular subject a bit later.  For now, let’s focus on the positives.

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The convention had a nice amount of vendors, artists, and media guests.  Vendors were selling everything from comics to Chibis and soaps to statues.  Artists offered prints, sketches, and comics that they worked on to anyone interested in them.  There were a few authors as well.  A couple of cosplayers were featured, as well as a few fan groups such as Southern Geek (of which I’m a proud member), the 501st Legion, and the Rebel Legion.

For a first year event, I was rather surprised at not only the large amount of costumes on display, but the skill level shown as well.  There were many very well executed costumes and a few, like my own, that were just worn for fun.  Of special note was MoodHair Cosplay, who cosplayed as Batwoman/Kate Kane.

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I did not attend any panels at the convention.  There was only one panel room (which is both good and bad), and the panels focused primarily on the media guests.  Speaking of media guests, the convention featured Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Theodus Crane (The Walking Dead), Scott Schwartz (A Christmas Story), Nicholas Brendon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Mary Kate Smith (King of the Nerds), and a few others.  I took a little time to talk to Ms. Smith and I must admit that she was an extremely sweet and friendly lady who had nothing but positivity for any and every person that spoke with her.  I got a quick photo and an autograph from her.

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I spent most of my time hanging out with my friends in Southern Geek.  I don’t like broadcasting names in this blog unless I have permission, but I will say that Rafe White and his lovely wife, Shannon, have taken Southern Geek and turned it into something very special.  I had a lot of fun hanging out with them and Rafe ended up winning the Discount Dark Knight’s Earth 2 Batman contest.  I also hung out with a few fellow Whovians and some Star Wars buds as well.

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With all of the wonderful things going on, I have to mention that there were a few negative items that popped up.  Of course, most of these were due to the fact that this was a first year event at a venue that wasn’t ready to handle the massive crowd that the convention attracted.  Many people stood outside in the rain for many hours to get into the event.  The line was for “day of event” ticket buyers, though, and pre-registered people got in a lot faster.  There were naturally a lot of people that were upset, but I do not entirely fault the event runners for this mishap.  I consider this to be a learning moment for the show runners and hopefully they’ll expand to more than one day and have a larger venue to use.

Having such a large crowd in such a small venue also lead to crowded walking areas.  At certain points during the day I literally could not move when walking through the vendor area.  This isn’t the first event that this has happened to me, and again, I hold the venue more at fault than the show runners.

One final thing that I want to bring up about the event was the food.  It was VERY cheap for a convention.  Hot dogs were only two bucks!  Had this been a Wizard World event, the same hot dog would have cost me six or eight dollars. Granted, the offerings ranged from the aforementioned hot dog to corn dogs, nachos, candy, and soft drinks, but as cheap as it was, I’m not complaining.

The Discount Dark Knight had a very good time making people smile, threatening to tie the Flash’s shoelaces together the next time he challenges him to a race, and generally making people smile.  One lovely young lady dressed up as Pinky Pie from My Little Pony asked DDK for a hug.  Another even asked him for a picture!  He was a mini celeb for just a few brief minutes.

Oh, and this lovely lady called DDK “Puddin!”

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Overall, Louisiana Comic Con was a successful event than ran into typical first year bumps.  It was a bit chaotic, a whole lotta crowded, and very, very fun.  It was great to catch up with friends (some that I haven’t seen in almost two years) and just nerd out for a few hours.  I’m pretty sure that this event is coming back next year.  It may not be at the same venue and I hope it’s longer than just one day.  I wish only the best of luck to this event in the future!

As always, thanks for reading.  The next event that myself and the Discount Dark Knight plan to attend is CoastCon in lovely Biloxi, MS.  It’s the Gulf coast’s oldest fan run event and a personal favorite of mine that I haven’t been able to attend for the last two years.  Get ready, Biloxi, DDK is coming your way!

DC Day At My Own Fortress Of Solitude

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Somewhere In The Boondocks

I have plans to be at Louisiana Comic Con on Saturday, so I decided to take off the Friday prior in order to get in a little pre-nerd out nerd out in order to prep myself for the big day in Bossier City.  To start my day I visited my favorite local comics shop, Paper Heroes.  I picked up the trade paperback, Justice League, Volume 1, Origins (The New 52).  I must admit (and I’ve blogged before) that I have really been hooked by DC Comics lately, especially the work of Geoff Johns.  I’m still playing catch up with the work of Johns, but everything I’ve read that he’s been involved with has been excellent.  Most impressive of all is the Aquaman books from The New 52.  Johns and company took a character that many feel is a laughing stock and made him VERY awesome!!!  On top of that, Mera is just as fantastic!

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After picking up JL Origins, Vol. 1, I had a nice chat with the owner of Paper Heroes, Kevin, and headed on my way.  I picked up a copy of Justice League:  Throne of Atlantis and jetted home to watch the film.  I loved it!  Humor came from Flash and Green Lantern.  Action was delivered by all of the JL gang.  It was an excellent story and I highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of heroes like Aquaman and Mera.

After watching Throne of Atlantis, I tossed in Justice League: Doom.  It was very good as well, and I really loved how each hero in the story gets taken out and then come back to take on their enemies with the help of Cyborg.

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The rest of my day was spent getting my convention backpack ready for the convention tomorrow.  Basically it’s a regular backpack loaded with Batman related buttons, a Trapper Keeper (yes, a Trapper Keeper) with protective sleeves for autographed photos that I store inside of said Trapper Keeper, hand sanitizer, 5 Hour Energy shots, and pain medication (in case of headaches or other minor aches).  I also charged up my camera and my phone and got the Discount Dark Knight’s suit ready to go.

Tomorrow is going to be awesome and I’m ready for it!!!

Oh, just for your information, I’ve got a few more DC movies in my possession, and I’ve been watching all of them with a lot of frequency lately.  Two of the movies that I have are both collections of stories.  One of them, Batman:  Gotham Knight, features multiple stories with different animation styles (all with an anime touch to them).  It’s not my favorite film in my collection, but it’s not too bad.  The other film that features collected stories is Green Lantern:  Emerald Knights.  The stories are all tied together by the Green Lantern Corps’ battle against an enemy.  While prepping for battle, Hal Jordan clues rookie Lantern, Arisia Rrab, in on the Corps and some of its more impressive members.  I enjoy watching it much more than the Batman flick.

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Another film in my collection that I really enjoy is Superman:  Doomsday.  If you familiar with this tale, just know that it features a very famous battle that ends in a very famous death.  It’s an excellent tale, just not one of my favorites.  I’ve also got Green Lantern:  First Flight, and I really enjoy it.  In it, Hal Jordan faces off against Sinestro in a classic battle between the two of them.  I highly recommend it!

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Well, that’s about all I have right now.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I know I’m going to have a blast!  As always, thanks for reading!

Oh…..My……Grodd!!!!

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The World of Television

Tonight’s episode of The Flash proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the only show that you should be watching on Tuesday night!  Spoilers begin NOW, so don’t read another word if you haven’t watched tonight’s episode of The Flash OR last night’s episode of Gotham.

This week’s episode of The Flash picked up right where last week’s episode ended.  We see Barry and Caitlin making a mad dash from the nuclear explosion that was Firestorm.  Once the mushroom cloud clears out, Barry and Caitlin return to find not only Ronnie Raymond, but Dr. Martin Stein as well.  The two successfully separated from one another and except for a bit of a fever, they seem perfectly fine….until they start feeling each other’s sensations, begin to act like each other (including a humorous scene in which Stein gets Barry to fetch him a pizza), and realize that they are no longer as individual as they once believed.

As featured last week, Clancy Brown’s General Eiling is still after Firestorm (and the Flash), and actively seeks out Dr. Harrison Wells in an attempt to force Wells to give up one or both halves of Firestorm.  Wells does just that, drugging Stein and allowing Eiling to walk into S.T.A.R. Labs and take Stein to an abandoned military base for “testing.”

When this happens, Ronnie uses his mental connection with Stein in order to decipher the doctor’s location.  Once Ronnie and the gang figure out the location of the old base, Ronnie and Barry make a mad dash to save Stein.  The only catch is that if Ronnie and Stein get too close to one another, they run the risk of fusing together again.  In order to prevent that, Cisco gives Ronnie the tachyon device that was used in last week’s episode to separate them again if needed (and if possible).

Eiling is ready for them, though, and immediately attacks the Flash with an exploding corrosive.  In order to stop it from burning him to death, the Flash does what he does best:  Run.  In the meantime, Ronnie and Dr. Stein fuse together to form Firestorm once again and prove to be more than a match for Eiling.

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In the end, Ronnie and Stein decide to go on the run in order to stay a step ahead of Eiling.  That may or may not be necessary, though, if the end of the program is any indication!

Before addressing the end of the show, though, let’s take a look at a couple of things going on in the background while the focus was planted squarely on Firestorm.  First of all, Iris is starting to dig deep into the S.T.A.R. Labs incident and is beginning to find answers as to what really happened on that fateful night that Barry became the Scarlet Speedster.  I’m sure this story will develop more as the series progresses.  Barry, who really took a step back on this episode for other characters to take the spotlight, learns that he is present at his mother’s murder in both his young form and in a future adult form.  He talks about time travel with Dr. Stein and we all got the hint that sooner or later, the Flash is going to be traveling a whole lot faster!

Now, that ending…..THAT……ENDING!!!!  We were teased a bit a couple of weeks ago by Gorilla Grodd (and even got a very faint glimpse of him), but tonight we got to see him in a bit more of his glory, as Reverse Flash (or Professor Zoom, whatever he goes by) delivers General Eiling to Grodd.  When Reverse Flash first drops Eiling into the sewer, Eiling asks him who he is.  Reverse Flash pulls off his mask, revealing himself as Dr. Wells (no big surprise there), and then we hear growling in the background.  Wells tells Eiling that he “protects his own” and Grodd grabs Eiling, pulling him into the darkness!  It was awesome, and I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here!

The episode as a whole was brilliant.  I really enjoyed the fact that this episode was about Firestorm and not so much about the Flash.  I also loved how the tachyon device looked eerily like Firestorm’s costume from the comics.  I hope they build on that look for the character, as it’s a great look.  The cast was solid as usual and I see nothing but excellence ahead with this show!  I can’t wait for the next episode.

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Gotham was new on Monday night and, yes, all of the talk was about the Joker making his highly anticipated appearance.  Many people felt that the character shouldn’t be explored since his origins in the comics and in other media is so out of balance.  There’s no one true accepted origin story for the character, so the show can take his origin in any direction, but the brief intro that we got on Monday night was excellent.

In the episode, Detective Gordon, along with his date for the evening, Dr. Thompkins (Morena Baccarin), are attending Haly’s Circus and enjoying performances of the Flying Graysons (hint, hint).  When the Graysons finish their performance, a fight breaks out between them and a group of clowns.  Gordon goes into cop mode, ends the fight, and soon uncovers a murder.  The murdered person is a snake dancer named Lila Valeska, and she has a son named Jerome, who Gordon brings in for questioning.

During the initial investigation, Thompkins uncovers a family feud between the Graysons and the family of clowns.  She tells this to Gordon and as the episode continues, proves multiple times that she has excellent investigation and deduction skills.  Thompkins has definitely developed with each episode she appears in, and I hope the writers keep up the development.

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A blind fortune teller arrives at GCPD and gives Gordon a cryptic clue to the true identity of Lila’s murderer.  Gordon quickly deduces that the real murderer is Jerome, and also finds out that the fortune teller is Jerome’s father.  Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) has a shift in both mood and speech, phasing from scared and upset teenager to psychotic and murderous villain and back again.  His description of his mother and his reasoning for murdering her were classic Joker-speak, and it was excellent.  Monaghan may or may not eventually become the Joker, but he has definitely laid the groundwork for the character’s eventual turn into the greatest of Batman’s villains.

Also going on while the episode played out was Bruce Wayne’s first meeting with Wayne Enterprises’ board members.  The meeting was quick and to the point, and young Bruce showed the much older board just how serious he was about the company, going so far as to remove any and all of them if necessary.  It was a gutsy move, and David Mazouz pulled off an excellent performance.  We also got to see Penguin’s shaky management skills at work at his newly acquired club.  Victor Zsasz shows up with an “experienced employee” that he personally rehabilitated for Penguin:  Butch, Fish’s former right hand man.  Oh, and we totally saw Dick Grayson’s future parents become a couple as well!

Sadly, the two poorest performers in the show were, once again, Jada Pinkett Smith and Erin Richards.  Richards fumbled through her role as Barbara as she took advice from Cat and Ivy on how to get Gordon back into her loving arms.  Her performance was lukewarm and the whole story was forgettable.  I seriously hope that something is done to remedy the poor development of this character.

Smith’s Fish somehow became the leader of the group of prisoners she is a part of in her storyline.  I’m sorry, folks, but Smith is wretched in this role.  Her attempt at being a strong and fearless leader is forced, overacted, and flat out terrible.  She needs to go, and soon!  Of all of the characters on this show, she is the poorest in both writing and acting.

So, while the episode as a whole was very good, the Fish and Barbara debacle weighed the overall quality of the show down.  It has to get better, Gotham, because you can only rest your success on the shoulders of the Penguin and the excellent acting of some of the cast for so long.

Oh, and the best line of the night belonged to Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock:  “You smell like lady soap!”

That’s all for now, citizens.  Thanks for reading!!!!!

The Heat Is On!!!

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Central City

!!SPOILER ALERT!!  If you didn’t watch The Flash last night, stop reading NOW!!

Last night’s episode of The Flash turned the heat up to nuclear with a deeper look into the life of Firestorm.  One of the most unique things about Firestorm in the comics is that he has always been a pairing of two individuals, one body and two minds.  Thankfully the producers of The Flash kept that particular bit about Firestorm alive in this live action incarnation.

This time around, Firestorm features the body of Ronnie Raymond (portrayed by Robbie Amell) and the mind of Martin Stein (Victor Garber).  These two characters were part of the original character and, much like in that version, the pair have quite the identity crisis in the beginning.  Of course, viewers weren’t made aware of this pairing until last week, when the Pied Piper (Andy Mientus) revealed security footage to Cisco (Carlos Valdes), showing him how the two men became one during the particle accelerator accident at S.T.A.R. Labs.

In last night’s episode, we learn that Firestorm (both men inside of his mind) struggled to find his identity for a long time, with Stein apparently managing to control Raymond’s body for the most part.  Stein tries to contact his wife who is afraid of him and calls the police when he tries to convince her that he really is her husband even though he is in a different body.  The revelation of his internal struggle also shows why Ronnie/Martin told Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to stop looking for him in a previous episode.

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Once Firestorm is convinced that the Flash and the crew at S.T.A.R. Labs are trying to help him, he agrees to join them at the lab.  After some hard convincing from Caitlin, Dr. Wells decides to use his tachyon belt (part of the Reverse Flash’s suit, but Wells does not reveal his true identity) in an attempt to split the two men apart.  However, when Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) reveals that Firestorm could destroy everyone in the city (by exploding) if the atoms of the two men continue to struggle against each other causing Ronnie/Martin to go nuclear, Firestorm leaves the city in order to protect everyone from him.

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Flash and Caitlin race to save Firestorm and attach the device to him, but Firestorm still goes nuclear.  Whether or not he survives is not revealed, but his explosion draws the attention of an old government foe we’ve seen in previous episodes.

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Now, that might seem hot enough for most fans of The Flash, but the show turned things up even hotter with the revelation that one of the two men that are present during the death of Barry Allen’s mother is actually a future version of Barry Allen!  This is revealed when Cisco reluctantly runs blood tests on blood found at Barry’s old home while he’s out helping Joe West (Jesse L. Martin).  Joe believes that Wells has something to do with Barry’s mother’s death, and he convinces Cisco to play detective for a day.

BUT WAIT….THERE’S MORE!!!  To make the whole situation even hotter, the show introduces Chase Masterson in a guest role as Sherry, the lady who currently lives in Barry’s old home.  Her spot on the show was brief but both steamy and humorous.  Her interaction with Jesse L. Martin and Carlos Valdes was a real highlight of the show and I hope beyond all hope that she returns again!

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I had the great pleasure of meeting Chase Masterson a few years ago at a small convention in Lake Charles, LA.  Not only was she amazingly beautiful, she was fun to interact with as well.  She also sang some wonderful tunes in a small concert for convention goers.  I picked up a copy of one of her CDs and an autographed photo as well.  She’s on a very short list of people that I would love to meet again at a convention!  I hope she does return to The Flash very soon!

Oh, and one more thing.  Old flames and new flames heated up as Iris (Candice Patton) squared off against Barry’s (Grant Gustin) new flame, Linda (Malese Jow), when she “kinda, sorta” mentioned that Barry used to have a thing for her.

This series is definitely getting better as it goes.  The show has an excellent balance between humor, action, and drama.  Characters are developing quickly but not so fast that their changes don’t make sense.  The Flash has set the pace for future comic-based television shows, and it shows no signs of slowing down!

Thanks for reading!!!  Let me know what you think of the show in the comments section!

Gotham Gets Scary!!!

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Gotham City

!!SPOILER ALERT!!  Read at your own risk!  If you didn’t watch Gotham last night, you don’t want to read this post!!!  Stop reading now!

Last night’s episode of Gotham gave us a deeper look at one of my personal favorite villains of Batman:  the Scarecrow.  I’ve always felt that if the character were done right in either a film or in a live action television show, Scarecrow could become one of the scariest villains that Batman ever faced.  While his appearance in Batman Begins and briefly in Christopher Nolan’s two films that followed was well received by myself and others, I felt that the Scarecrow could have done so much more if his character was allowed to be fleshed out a bit more.

Gotham appears to be doing just that as last week’s episode and last night’s episode have shown to viewers of the series.  Last week we caught a glimpse of a young Jonathan Crane and his sadistic father’s search for a “cure for fear” by stealing the adrenal glands of people at their most fearful moments.  By preying on phobics, Crane’s father would literally use people’s greatest fears against them in order to force their body to produce maximum amounts of the “fear chemical” (it was named in the show but I don’t recall what it was AND I’m too lazy to google it) in their adrenal glands and then cut those glands out of their bodies.  From a fear of drowning to a fear of pigs, Dr. Crane scared the bejeezus out of people in that episode and continued doing that in last night’s episode as well.

Last night we also got to see the reason for Crane’s attempt to cure fear in both himself and in his son.  As Gordon and Bullock attempt to catch him, they uncover the fact that Gerald Crane couldn’t (or wouldn’t) save his wife from burning to death in their home and then lied about what really happened to her.  Once Crane cured himself, he began “treating” his son, Jonathan.  The show climaxed with a shoot-out between Gordon, Bullock, and Gerald Crane.  Prior to the shoot out and his eventual death, Dr. Crane pumped Jonathan full of his cure and sent the kid into a spasmatic fit.  The episode ended with Jonathan in a hospital room reliving his greatest fear over and over.  What was that fear?  A scarecrow, of course!

The element of fear was cranked up big time in this episode, and there were moments of true horror scattered throughout as well.  I LOVED this and I hope that they continue with it as the series continues.

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While the Crane arc developed over the course of the evening, we also got to catch up with Fish Mooney.  We find Fish as a captive of someone (I’m thinking it might be the Dollmaker, but I could be wrong) and she and a whole lot of other kidnapped people are being held in what appears to be an underground chamber.  She befriends one of the other prisoners and soon decides to establish herself as the leader of the group in a very violent way.  Overacting ensues, and one of the other prisoners arrives back from somewhere with her eyes torn out.  Oh, yeah!

However, it wasn’t Jada Pinkett Smith’s overacting that was the highlight of the evening, it was the first meeting of two of Batman’s most iconic villains on the show.  The man who will eventually become the Riddler, Edward Nygma, had his first meeting with Penguin at GCPD.  The encounter was brief, humorous, and simply wonderful.  Nygma annoyed Penguin (which is saying a lot considering Penguin’s current “snitch” rep) and Penguin rebuffed him quickly by telling him that if he knows who he is then he knows that he’s “Standing too close.”  It was quick and great, and I can’t wait to see more encounters between villains as the show progresses.

Also of note was Penguin’s slow rise to power under both Falcone and Maroni.  An uneasy truce was called between the two mobsters, but Maroni swore that he would get revenge on Penguin for double-crossing him as soon as Falcone passed away.  Penguin has gotten out of tighter spots before (as seen last week), so I have no worries about him making it out of this one alive.

We were also given a little more insight into Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth’s relationship.  Sean Pertwee has proven to be the best actor in this series so far (even though there are many brilliant performances) as he has managed to make Alfred one of the most interesting characters in the show.  Fans of the comics know that Alfred is SO MUCH MORE than just Bruce Wayne’s butler, and I’m glad to see Gotham give him his due.

Overall, last night’s episode was excellent.  The writing, direction, and acting (except for Smith) seems to get better with each episode.  Gotham has managed to take us back into the history of Batman and build (or rebuild) core characters from the beginning.  You would think that the general public’s familiarity with some of these characters (especially Bruce Wayne, Penguin, Riddler, and Gordon) would make the show boring since we all basically know how things are going to turn out, but the writers have managed to revise characters or give them different origin stories to keep things interesting.  It’s excellent.

At the end of the episode there was a teaser that hinted at the Joker.  Fans of the comics know that there have been many origin stories for the character over the years, but none of them have ever taken hold as gospel truth.  Heck, even the Joker has said he isn’t sure who he is or where he came from at times.  It’s the chaos of the character that makes the Joker so great, so I wonder just how the show will play out his origin (if they will play it out at all)!

Stay tuned, true believers, and thanks for reading!