Doom Patrol Episode #7

Therapy Patrol

The seventh episode of Doom Patrol shifts the focus away from the search for the Chief and plants it squarely on the individual members of the group. It opens up with Cyborg making the rounds, waking everyone up and telling everyone that a group meeting will take place in fifteen minutes. After thirty plus minutes of watching flashbacks and internal struggles of each individual as they prep for the meeting, everyone finally makes it downstairs and Cliff (freshly recovered from a violent spell) suggests talking about each other’s problems.

The session is a mix of humor, heartbreak, and yelling and ultimately the team makes a few steps forward and just as many back. Mr. Nobody is in their heads and is using their own shortcomings and doubts against them. In one case, he literally has an operative at work inside someone’s head.

We get to learn a little bit more about each member of the team as they talk about their issues. Cliff is pretty much an open book. Larry remains somewhat distant (at least with the group, but he’s making progress on his own). Rita and Vic also make some headway with their own individual problems. We only see a brief flashback of Jane and then watch as she battles her other personalities. She is then dealt a harsh dose of reality by Cliff. It’s one of the most serious and sobering moments of the episode.

With all of the talk going on, you’d believe that this might be a boring episode. You’d be wrong, as the character development is strong and full of violent spats between individuals and the group as a whole. This is a solid episode that gives us a nice break from the depressing revelations uncovered last week.

At the end of the episode, Mr. Nobody’s plant is revealed and in true Mr. Nobody fashion, it’s an absurd revelation. Heck, there’s even a Princess Bride reference that’s adds just a touch more humor to the reveal.

Once again Doom Patrol has proven that it’s a unique superhero series. It doesn’t rely on standard comic book devices to build its story. The heroes are multi-dimensional and the villain is interesting. If you haven’t checked this series out yet, I highly recommend giving it a chance.

As always, thanks for reading. Look forward to more Doom Patrol coverage next week and I’ll be posting about the upcoming CyPhaCon convention in just over two weeks!

Getting “The Dirt” On Mötley Crüe

Netflix

Despite being one of my favorite bands of all time, I’ve never read the autobiographical The Dirt by Mötley Crüe. I’ve read and heard plenty of their stories over the last few decades in other media, but never did purchase the book. Thankfully Netflix has breathed life into some of their misadventures in the film named after the notorious tell-all.

L to R: Colson Baker as Tommy Lee, Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Daniel Webber as Vince Neil, and Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars.

The film opens with a wild party scene that’s narrated by Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth) and each member of the band is introduced as the scene plays out. From there the story cuts to a young Nikki at home in Seattle and eventually makes its way through Tommy Lee (Colson Baker), Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), and wraps up the formation of the band with the addition of Vince (Daniel Webber).

The film then follows the band on their whirlwind rise to fame and the ups and downs that come with it. Unlike most biopics about musicians, though, this film uses the band’s music as window dressing, focusing primarily on their time between shows and albums on the road and at home.

We get to see the members of the band deal with vices and personal demons. All of them deal with drug and/or alcohol addictions at various points during their time in the band. If you’re even a casual fan of the group, you’ve probably heard or read most of the bigger issues that the Crüe have faced over the years. In this film, they focus on some of the hardest trials for the group like Vince’s car accident that resulted in the death of Hanoi Rocks’ drummer, Razzle (Max Milner), the death of Vince’s young daughter Skylar (Kamryn Ragsdale), and Nikki’s drug addiction that resulted in his death and resurrection thanks to two adrenaline shots. The film also addresses Vince’s exit from the band and briefly shows his replacement, John Corabi (Anthony Vincent), on screen.

Mick Mars and Tommy Lee seem to fare a little better than Vince and Nikki. Always known as the quiet foundation of the band, Mick is utilized primarily to inject dry humor and blunt honesty into the film. His battle with ankylosing spondylitis (chronic arthritis in the spine that leads to severe pain and inflammation) is touched upon but never really given a lot of screen time. Tommy Lee is shown to be an eternal child full of enthusiasm and hope. It’s funny to see him as the sweetest and most wholesome guy in the band considering the fact that he’s probably the raunchiest (in a good way) guy in the group.

The film will definitely not receive any awards, but I honestly believe that that is exactly how Mötley Crüe would want it. They aren’t trying to sell themselves as heroes or legends in this film. Nope, they know and openly admit that they did some pretty dumb and horrible things over the years and should probably all be dead, but they managed to survive it all. They give you many of the ugly details and harsh truths about themselves and, in a way, that makes it easier to like them.

Almost all of the cast do great jobs in this film. All of the men chosen to portray the members of the Crüe did bang up jobs. Baker nailed down Tommy Lee’s mannerisms and enthusiastic persona. Webber and Booth were excellent as well. Rheon didn’t look like Mick Mars very much, but he delivered the best portrayal of any member of the band in my opinion.

Tony Cavalero has just a few minutes of screen time as Ozzy Osbourne, but those few minutes are perfect. Cavalero gives a great performance as Ozzy giving the Crüe advice about how the rock n’ roll lifestyle can consume you and drive you insane all while completely blitzed. He also shows the band exactly how extreme his life is using ants and urine. If you haven’t heard this particular story, I won’t spoil it for you here.

Not all of the performances in this film were great. The weakest performance of all was delivered by Pete Davidson as Tom Zutaut. Every time he pops up on screen, it’s as if the film gets trapped in a lame Saturday Night Live skit (bad wig included). I don’t know if Davidson was intentionally acting cheesy, but his performance was both forced and out of sync with the rest of the film.

SAN BERNADINO, CA – SEPTEMBER 12: Vince Neil (L) and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue perform at the US Festival 1983 on September 12, 1983 in San Bernadino, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

While absolutely not a perfect film, The Dirt does its best at portraying four of the most iconic figures in rock n’ roll. It doesn’t paint them as great heroes or role models. It shows us how ugly, insane, hilarious, and downright despicable they could be and how swiftly they could be slammed back into reality. It’s a brutally fun film that people of my generation will enjoy.

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1970: Photo of Motley Crue (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

It’s definitely not for everyone, and the bad reviews that this film is receiving from professional critics proves that they are completely out of touch with this film’s audience and its subjects. The few good reviews that I have read have all been from self-confessed fans in their late thirties or older. I happen to be one of those people. I grew up listening to Mötley Crüe and still listen to them to this day. I appreciate what this film is and what it’s trying to do. If you grew up in the 1980’s as I did and happened to be a headbanger, you’ll probably enjoy this movie, too.

L to R: Vince Neil, Mick Mars, and Nikki Sixx. Tommy Lee is in the background on drums.

Thank you for reading this post and special thanks to Mötley Crüe for managing to stay alive long enough to give us some great sleaze rock and for not glossing over their chaotic lives. Keep on rockin’!

Doom Patrol Episode #6

Doom Patrol Patrol

No, I didn’t make a mistake when I typed that header. The latest episode of Doom Patrol, released on Friday, is entitled Doom Patrol Patrol and it certainly lives up to its name.

Minor Spoilers Ahead!

Still recovering from the events of the previous episode, our heroes find themselves broken up once again. This time, Cliff and Jane aren’t together as they have been in every other episode. Instead, Jane, Larry, and Rita head out to find the Doom Patrol…..the original Doom Patrol, as part of a plan placed into motion by Mr. Nobody. Rita doesn’t believe that working with Mr. Nobody is a good idea, but Jane’s teleporting personality, Flit, whisks the trio away to a school that is being run by the original team of Mento, Celsius, and Lodestone. Also at the school is its director, Joshua Clay.

While at the school, Jane uncovers a dark secret about the original Doom Patrol. She also learns about her potential future at the school. Rita attempts to heal herself emotionally by rekindling her relationship with Mento and Larry makes a discovery of his own while befriending Celsius.

Victor’s father arrives at Doom Manor to reboot him after his arm cannon exploded and Cliff set off his safety protocols in order to keep Victor alive. When he arrives there are a few tense moments between Cliff, Victor, and Dr. Silas Stone. We get to learn a little bit more about the relationship between Victor and his father, and Cliff seeks out more information about his daughter.

Things start to unravel at the Doom School once Mento begins losing control of himself while talking with Rita. Jane learns what is really going on and she, Larry, and Rita all face off against their own darkest fears. While this part of the show chips away at all three characters, it only hints at what made them who they are in the present. The episode ends with the revelation of a dark secret, Jane questioning her loyalty to the Chief, and a bond slowly growing between Cliff and Victor. We also see the sad fate of the original Doom Patrol and watch as all of the current members tackle their own inner demons.

This was a sad episode in many ways. Cliff’s heart is broken by information he discovers about his daughter. Victor and his father are still estranged, but someone gives Silas a heavy dose of reality that softens the tension between he and Victor. Rita begins to see herself as perhaps uglier on the inside than the outside. Jane is crushed by what she learns at the school. Larry has issues as well, but we aren’t given enough information about his problem to know what is really going on inside of his mind. The most painful thing about the episode is seeing what happened to the original Doom Patrol. All of these moments were played out with a tender hand. This was an excellent episode.

Cast members for this episode included:

  • Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan as Robotman/Cliff Steele
  • Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane/Kay Challis
  • Joivan Wade as Cyborg/Victor Stone
  • April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman/Rita Farr
  • Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk as Negative Man/Larry Trainor
  • Timothy Dalton as Dr. Niles Caulder/Chief
  • Phil Morris as Dr. Silas Stone
  • Will Kemp as Mento/Steve Dayton
  • Jasmine Kaur as Celsius/Arani Desai
  • Lesa Wilson as Lodestone/Rhea Jones
  • Alimi Ballard as Joshua Clay

As always, thank you for reading my post. I plan on making one or two more posts this week, so keep an eye out for them! Doom Patrol is seriously one of the best shows that I’ve come across in a long time. It’s thought-provoking, humorous, and does an excellent job at making the viewer feel for the characters. Give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Louisiana Comic Con 2019

Lafayette, LA

I’ve attended Louisiana Comic Con in Lafayette almost every year since its inception. I’ve watched as it has grown along with other events put on by AVC Conventions over the years. I’ve always been impressed by their lineup which includes local fan groups, authors, and artists, as well as more nationally known talent including celebrities from science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other pop culture genres.

Myself and Orion’s Envy. Photo by Nadine Perry

This year was a tad different as this was the first year that I presented a panel at an AVC event. I’ve done a number of panels over the years, many of them with my friends in Southern Geek and a few by myself, but this was really the first time that I did a panel on my own at a convention with very few of my friends in attendance. My panel was about blind bag collectibles and while my audience was small, it was very engaging. I learned a lot from the experience and hope to offer up another panel next year.

Scott Innes, the voice of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and many, many more.

I got to attend multiple panels at Louisiana Comic Con this year. When I first started attending conventions I spent most of my time in the fan group or vendor area but have grown to really love attending panels. My favorite panel at the convention was by Scott Innes, voice of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred Flinstone, Elroy Jetson, and many more characters. Innes told the crowd about his life on the radio, writing music, and voicing some of the most beloved characters in animation history. He would easily jump from one character voice to another and even gave us a replay of Shaggy and Scooby arguing over food (surprise, surprise). I also enjoyed panels by Little Red Fox Cosplay and the Drag Punks.

Nicki Nicolai of the Drag Punks.

Of course, no convention is complete without a few celebrities, and Louisiana Comic Con had them in spades. This time around I got autographs and photos with Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Walking Dead, the original Pet Sematary) and Amy Dumas (Lita from WWE). Other celebrities in attendance included Kel Mitchell, Austin St. John, Walter Jones, Jamie Marchi, and Kate Flannery, among others.

Amy Dumas/Lita.
Denise Crosby.

Both Ms. Crosby and Ms. Dumas were great to meet. They were extremely friendly and appeared to be genuinely happy to meet their fans. Ms. Crosby loved the fact that she was given Mardi Gras beads! It was really nice meeting both of them.

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Cosplayers are a staple at most conventions, so it wasn’t a shock to see quite a few at LCC. Two of my favorites were a gentleman dressed as Doc Brown from Back To The Future and another fellow dressed as everyone’s favorite Cajun mutant, Gambit! There were many more cosplayers in attendance and all of them looked great.

Gambit!

I capped off my day at the convention with a trip to the official after party at Caffe Cottage on St. Mary Blvd. Hosted by the Drag Punks and Orion’s Envy, the event featured karaoke and drag performances. I braved the stage for my take on KISS’ classic ballad, Beth, and then enjoyed the performances by everyone else. It was a really fun time and my first drag show!

The Drag Punks put on a great show!

I left the after party a little bit before the show ended (I’m old. I know) and headed back home to the Lake Charles area. I wasn’t able to attend the second day of the event, but based on pictures and comments on social media, it was just as fun as the first day. I will definitely be returning next year and can’t wait for Louisiana Comic Con to return!

Thanks for reading my post. I’ll be heading to CyPhaCon next month and will have a full report on that event as well. If you would like me to attend your event or know of one that I should attend, let me know in the comments!

Doom Patrol Episode #5

Paw Patrol

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

Picking up where the previous episode left off, Paw Patrol finds our heroes split up into two groups. Rita, Victor, and Larry are in Cloverton with Willoughby Kipling attempting to find a way to stop the Decreator. Cliff and Jane are in Nurnheim (although they aren’t sure exactly where it physically is) and are struggling with their own identities at the foot of the Archons’ thrones. We also get to do a tad bit of time traveling with Mr. Nobody and the Chief as they join forces to pull off a wacky scheme in order to defeat the Decreator. Sounds kind of insane, right? Well, it all works together perfectly as it has with every other episode of Doom Patrol.

As the episode plays out, the actions of each group quickly adds to Mr. Nobody and the Chief’s plan against the Decreator. The groups aren’t even aware that their plans are actually being manipulated from the past (and for good reason) but it all eventually leads up to a movement (or possibly another cult) that was born from one of Jane’s personalities in the seventies becoming the catalyst for fighting the Decreator in modern times. The final battle is just as absurd as every other battle in the series so far and works out with just as much perfection in the end. I won’t reveal anything else, but know that the episode ends on a cliffhanger that changes everything.

This series has consistently managed to take completely insane situations and turn them into one brilliant moment after another. The show’s writing, acting, comedic timing, and character development have been nearly flawless. As soon as we think that we’ve figured out a character, they take an entirely different turn into darker territory. I could attempt to pick one character that hasn’t developed in some way with each episode, but it would be a fruitless endeavor. All of the characters, from Robotman to Mr. Nobody, have undergone changes and/or backstory reveals that add more and more layers to their personal stories. Those layers are then blended together to make the larger plot points even more interesting.

It has even become difficult to choose a favorite character. All of them are interesting and all for different reasons. Definitely check this series out if you’re interested in character development laced with perfect amounts of action and humor. I’ll keep giving reviews of episodes, but I’m getting to a point where it will be hard to cover too much of the story without giving anything away!

As always, thanks for reading. I’ll be giving a rundown of what went down over the weekend at Louisiana Comic Con either this afternoon or tomorrow.

See You This Weekend!

Lafayette, LA

If you happen to be in or around the Lafayette, LA area this weekend and love comics, science fiction, fantasy, films, or television, be sure to check out Louisiana Comic Con! I’ve attended this convention on multiple occasions and have really enjoyed it every time. This year will be the first year that I actually get to attend as a presenter for a panel. My panel, It’s The Little Things, will take place on Saturday in the second panel room at 4:00 PM. It will take a look at blind bag collectibles and why myself and others collect them.

Here’s the full panel schedule:

I plan on being in attendance all day Saturday and can’t wait to meet Lita from WWE and Denise Crosby from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Tons of other guests will be on site to meet with fans, take photos, and sign autographs. In fact, the convention has regularly added guests for weeks now including their most recent addition, the voice of Scooby-Doo himself, Scott Innes.

I plan on checking out the Convention After Party at Caffe Cottage once the doors close on the convention on Saturday. It’s being hosted by my favorite green ladies, Orion’s Envy! I’m not sure how long I will be able to stay at the party, but I’ll definitely be there for a bit. The Drag Punks will perform and there will also be cosplay karaoke! Who knows? I might get on stage and belt out a few tunes myself!

I originally planned on cosplaying for this convention, but due to the fact that I’m pretty lazy, I have not completed the costume that I hoped to wear. With that being said, I’ll still be easy to find at the convention. I will most likely be wearing my blue DC Universe Superman shirt. If you plan on attending, let me know in the comments. It would be great to meet some of my readers!

I want to thank Louisiana Comic Con for the opportunity to present a panel at their event. I hope that I get to see a few of you this weekend!



Marvel At This?

1995

When Iron Man got the MCU ball rolling over ten years ago, it was the first and last big risk that Marvel took on the big screen. Since that time, the films have been released at calculated times with specific intent and they’ve all been financially profitable. While characters such as Captain America and Thor are known by moviegoers with just a casual knowledge of comic books, other characters in the Marvel universe needed to be supported by these bigger names in order to build them up.

Black Panther is a perfect example of this need, as he was relatively unknown outside of comic book circles until he debuted in Captain America: Civil War. He benefited not only from the popularity of Captain America and almost every other hero in that film, but also from a brilliant performance by Chadwick Boseman. The Disney machine then turned up the hype for Panther’s solo film and then strategically placed its release between Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War. To top it all off, Black Panther was actually very good, and put more behinds in seats than either Disney or Marvel could have dreamed.

That ability of feeding hype and releasing a film at just the right time greatly benefited Captain Marvel. Probably less familiar to general audiences than Black Panther, Captain Marvel arrived on the scene squarely planted between Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, ensuring Disney and Marvel that most fans of the MCU would go see the film no matter how unfamiliar they were with the character because the movie might feature some key information about the big Avengers/Thanos showdown in Endgame.

Spoiler Free Review Ahead!

The movie wastes no time jumping into Captain Marvel’s story. We learn that through dream sequences and memory extraction. Instead, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck toss us into an opening sequence that features Marvel (Brie Larson) training with her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). It quickly establishes Vers (Captain Marvel) as a self-assured person who’s a little trigger happy at times. We then get to see her join up with a Kree squad featuring Yon-Rogg, Korath (Djimon Hounsou, reprising his GOTG role), Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan), and others as they infiltrate a Skrull stronghold to rescue a Kree spy.

When that mission goes south, Vers finds herself on Earth in 1995 where she meets Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a rookie SHIELD agent named Coulson (Clark Gregg). She’s also being tailed by a Skrull leader named Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). Eventually he catches up to her and Vers learns things about herself and others that change her entire outlook on the Kree/Skrull war and her own life.

The story plays out at a somewhat slow pace. Whether this was writing, direction, or editing, I’m not sure, but it kept me longing for something to happen during the film. It seemed to take forever for sequences to complete in the movie and when they finally did come to a close, the end result was dull.

The film’s characters were all over the place. Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau gave one of the film’s best performances as did Mendelsohn as Talos. Those two characters were well written and executed on the screen to perfection. Sadly they weren’t enough to keep this film interesting. Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, and Annette Bening were all wasted in this film. Law wasn’t convincing in his role at all. Jackson seemed to be playing a character that was Nick Fury in name only, as he was pretty much reduced to comic relief in this film. Gregg’s role was limited and unnecessary. Bening just gave a bad performance. Her acting completely threw me out of the film while she was on screen.

Young Akira Akbar portrayed Maria’s daughter, Monica, and did so with youthful wonder. I loved her performance in the film and really wish that her excitement would have bled over into some of the other performances in the film.

Lee Pace also revives his monotonous Ronan for the film. Much like he did in Guardians, he stands around with a dull look on his face and holds his hammer. He’s only in the film for a few minutes, but they are the most boring minutes of all.

Sadly, Brie Larson’s performance was my least favorite in the film. Whether it was poor direction, weak writing, plain old bad acting, or a combination of these things, Larson gave quite possibly the weakest performance of all of Marvel’s MCU heroes. Almost all of the humor in the film felt forced and unnecessary, but especially so when delivered by Larson. It almost seemed as if she was attempting to portray the second coming of Tony Stark minus the money, comic timing, and alcoholism. She also reminded me of Thor prior to him being humbled and eventually becoming a true hero. Captain Marvel is just as cocky, but never really considers herself less than the best even after a major twist occurs about halfway through the film. I honestly hope that if and when she faces off against Thanos in Endgame, she gets humbled and experiences an attitude changing event that makes the character more interesting. She suffers from Superman syndrome, but instead of being so powerful that she becomes boring as Superman has often done in the past, she’s so powerful and cocky that it becomes annoying.

The film relies on 90’s nostalgia quite a bit. From music (which was actually pretty cool, especially during one of the final fight sequences) to an old Blockbuster video store, this film repeatedly reminds you that it takes place in 1995. I kept waiting for a Friends reference, but it surprisingly never came. The soundtrack was cool, but the score by Pinar Toprak was forgettable. I didn’t even notice it while the film dragged along.

The film does have some brilliant visuals. I’m not sure if it was Boden or Fleck, but one or both of them really love wide angle shots, and there are plenty of them in this film. They work to the film’s advantage and look great in 3-D. I also really enjoyed Stan Lee’s cameo in the film.

Ultimately this film falls flat. It constantly teases of greater things to come but nothing ever happens. Talos and Maria keep the film from being a total loss, and I really enjoyed the music and a lot of the film’s cinematography, but I wasn’t that impressed with this movie overall. It will definitely pull in big numbers based on the fact that it is a Marvel film and that it’s bookended by two of the most anticipated Marvel movies, but I don’t consider this to be one of Marvel’s better films.

As always, thanks for reading. I know that my opinion is probably in the minority, so please let me know in the comments what you think about this film.


Doom Patrol Episode #4

Cult Patrol

With the Chief and Mr. Nobody still missing, the members of the Doom Patrol find themselves regrouping back at home and discussing the potential places (or dimensions) where their friend and his abductor might be found. While doing this, a stranger named Willoughby Kipling (science fiction mainstay, Mark Sheppard) arrives and asks to talk to the Chief. When the Doom Patrol tells him that the Chief is missing, Kipling informs them that they’ll have to help him find and destroy the Book of the Fifth Window in order to save the world. The Book, by the way, happens to be an eighteen year old boy named Elliot (Ted Sutherland).

Doom Patrol EP. 104b — “Cult Patrol” — Photo Credit: Eli Joshua Ade / ©2018 Warner Bros.Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The episode introduces new villains, a new realm, and chips away slowly at the backgrounds of the members of the Patrol. Crazy Jane and Cliff find themselves united once again as they are tasked with closing a supernatural door. They also learn more about each other. There’s a lot of friction between Cyborg and Rita as he continues to play the role of leader and she struggles with her own place in the group. Larry uncovers a painful truth about the negative entity that resides within him and battles with himself once again.

There is a great action sequence in the episode that features Cyborg and Kipling battling an enemy force that leads up to another confrontation with an even deadlier group of enemies. While this battle is ongoing, Rita talks with Elliot about his place in this world. Strong characteristics of Rita are shown during her time with Elliot and it’s one of my favorite sequences in the episode.

The episode ends on a brilliant cliffhanger and viewers are left wondering just how in the world the Doom Patrol will get out of their wold destroying situation. It’s my favorite episode so far and I can’t wait for next week’s episode to get here.

Minor spoilers ahead!!!! Stop now if you haven’t seen the episode!!!!

Bizarre is a term that can be used to describe pretty much everything that happens in the world of the Doom Patrol. This episode has bizarre in spades. We learn a little bit about the Cult of the Unwritten Book and some of its agents. We meet the Archons of Nurnheim, the Little Sisters of Our Lady of the Razor, the Hoodmen, and the Dry Bachelors. We are also introduced to the Decreator. I can honestly say that up until this episode I had never heard of any of these characters. Based on a quick web search, these are just a few of the many characters that are part of this cult. Hopefully we will get to meet more of them in the next episode.

Comic version of the Little Sisters of Our Lady of the Razor.

We also meet Kipling, who I’m sure will be compared to John Constantine quite a bit. Like the members of the cult, I was unfamiliar with Kipling and had to do a little web research on him. He’s a lot like Constantine because he is essentially the same character. DC Comics wouldn’t allow Constantine to be used due to an editorial policy, so Grant Morrison and Richard case created Kipling as a substitute and based him on the title character from Richard E. Grant’s Withnail & I (thanks, Wikipedia).

Like Constantine, Kipling uses all sorts of magic (albeit a tad dodgier) to fight against villains. He also likes to smoke and drink. Unlike Constantine, Kipling appears to use song lyrics and relics from pop and rock icons as tools in his magic. It’s a pretty cool aspect of the character in my opinion. Oh, and he can summon a talking blue horse head named Baphomet.

As I already mentioned, we see a whole lot of development in the character of Rita this time. She takes on a protective role with Elliot and starts to show less fear in the face of the enemy. Cliff and Jane start the episode at odds primarily because of Jane’s attitude thanks to her personality named Hammerhead. Their bond quickly strengthens, though, as during their attempt to close the door that will let the Decreator through, Cliff sees hints of what might have happened to Jane as a child and it’s revealed that he sees her as his daughter whom he was taken from years ago.

As I’ve already stated, this is my favorite episode so far and despite being more and more absurd with each episode, it doesn’t rely on the absurdity to carry the show. It features great character development and a nice dose of humor that keeps things interesting. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really need to check out Doom Patrol!

As always, thanks for reading. I hope to see Captain Marvel this weekend and if I do, I’ll be sure to post a review.




Shazam! 1974-76

Talking With The Elders

DC Universe made a lot of us old folks happy yesterday with the release of all three seasons of the classic 1974-76 series Shazam! starring Michael Gray as Billy Batson, Les Tremayne as Mentor, Jackson Bostwick as Captain Marvel during season one and partially in season two and John Davey as Captain Marvel to finish out seasons two and three. The series followed Billy and Mentor as they drove around in a motorhome looking for people to help.

I was just a baby when the original series aired, but caught up with the reruns of the show on weekday afternoons when I was a bit older. I decided to start re-watch the series last night, and am currently seven episodes into the first season.

The show has been completely remastered in HD and it looks extremely good on my television and my phone. I’ve found the audio to be a bit off at times, so I’ve been watching episodes with subtitles. I’m sure that anyone too young to remember television shows like Shazam! will probably laugh at the special effects, but the stories hold up surprisingly well. Issues like drug abuse, bullying, and discrimination are addressed and still need to be addressed to this day. The series takes a lighter approach with each issue, but still manages to drive home the point of each message.

Both Bostwick and Davey give excellent performances as Captain Marvel, and I can definitely see youngsters looking up to them and hanging on every word they say. Gray gives a solid performance as Billy Batson. His comedic timing was excellent when called upon, and he played well against Les Tremayne’s caring performance as Mentor. Both Gray and Tremayne are likeable in their roles, and while the script wasn’t always necessarily deep, they always delivered a great performance.

If you’ve never watched this series, I recommend giving it a look, especially if you have youngsters in your home. It’s warmhearted, funny, and has a good amount of light action. It also features the voice of Adam West as Hercules. He’s one of the Elders that grants his powers (and offers up wisdom) to Billy and Captain Marvel. The series also features Isis (JoAnna Cameron) in a few episodes, who had her own show entitled Isis that played back-to-back with Shazam! in the Shazam/Isis Hour.

I plan on finishing the series over the next few days and hope to see DC Universe release Isis as well. Also, DC will be releasing the Shazam film starring Zachary Levi in April of this year, and I’m definitely going to check that out. If you’re a fan of the classic series, you’ll get the chance to meet both Michael Gray and John Davey at the Lake Charles Film Festival in October of this year. I’ve already met Jackson Bostwick and I can’t wait to meet two more members of the cast of such a fun show.

As always, thanks for reading. I plan on seeing Marvel’s version of Captain Marvel on the big screen this weekend. I’ll be sure to post a review as soon as I can.

Doom Patrol Episode #3

Puppet Patrol

If the first two episodes of Doom Patrol taught us anything, it’s that the show has absolutely no problem with the bizarre. In fact, the more bizarre something or someone is in an episode, the better. Episode #3, Puppet Patrol, cranks up the bizarre about fifteen notches and holds nothing back…..and still manages to move the overall story ahead with great success.

Mild Spoilers Ahead!!!

Let’s start off with the short and sweet recap of this episode. It’s a road trip that finds our heroes on a drive to Paraguay in order to rescue the Chief. Negative Man has a literal internal struggle with the negative energy entity that lives within him. Rita admits that she is afraid of looking for the Chief. Robotman discovers that he can be very, very violent. Cyborg assumes the leadership role of the group but never really gets a grip on anything. And as for Crazy Jane, she’s still the most unhinged member of the group but actually manages to keep everything together better than her friends. Oh, and there are Nazis, puppets, and Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man.

If you want to know more, scroll beyond the photo below.

The group’s attempt at a road trip is rather funny. A decent amount of time is spent showing the group in their bus arguing with one another. Jane even threatens to commit suicide and Robotman encourages her to follow through on the threat. Eventually we see Negative Man in the driver’s seat while everyone else is asleep. He and the entity within him get into a fight which results in the entity tearing up the bus engine.

The group is forced to spend the evening in a rundown motel and we see them in yet another humorous moment as they share beds and watch television. When morning arrives, Rita takes too long in the bathroom and Jane, under the personality of Flit, teleports herself, Negative Man, and Robotman to Paraguay, leaving Cyborg and Rita behind.

The trio eventually find their way to Dr. Von Fuchs’ lair (which will remain nameless) where Mr. Nobody was originally created many years prior. They, along with their newfound friend named Steve, learn the history of Dr. Von Fuchs and how he created a device that has the ability to give normal humans almost any metahuman power that they want.

As expected, things go south quickly and Robotman and Jane have to fight their way through a ton of Nazi servants loyal to the doctor. Robotman realizes that he can become brutally violent and you can almost hear the fear in his voice at his own actions. Two more of Jane’s personalities that we’ve already scene in previous episodes return for the battle here and I’ve quickly grown to appreciate just how powerful Jane can be.

Negative Man enters one of the devices on his own in an attempt to separate himself from the entity within, but the pair end up arguing with one another whenever the entity refuses to leave Larry’s body. We also get to see a little bit more of Larry’s life prior to becoming Negative Man.

The episode ends with the group still on the hunt for the Chief, but they are all a little bit wiser about themselves and about Mr. Nobody. There’s also the introduction of the strange Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man at the end of the episode, but no real ideas are given as to whether or not he’ll become a factor in later episodes.

This episode gave us small glimpses into the former lives of Victor and Larry, but didn’t really expand on those particular characters that much. We’ve still got plenty to learn about Rita and Jane as well. Cliff seems to have found out more than he wanted to about himself whenever he unleashes an attack on Von Fuchs’ lackeys. That particular sequence was gory and violent, and I am really interested in seeing how Cliff handles future situations that I’m sure will happen this season.

DC Universe has a winner on its hands with Doom Patrol. The series shows no fear of driving away its audience. It has no problem with embracing the bizarre and relishes in its goofiness. If you haven’t watched this series yet, you’re missing out.

Thanks for reading. I’ll have a recap of Episode #4 next week and hopefully a film review as well.