Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Comic Review: Wayward #11

The only thing I am more excited for than Wayward is the return of Saga, but that is another story for literally another day. I've been drawn to this from the beginning, loving the way that it legitimately does both manga and western comics without feeling pandering, and I missed it a lot over its hiatus. I can give it no higher compliment than this: I love it, even though it is full of spiders.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #21

This issue keeps going back and forth between being something I read before, and something that I forgot happened. It's at a point in the series that it feels like they're waiting for Angel and Faith to wrap up so that this can pick up full force when that ends. Until then, this issue is mostly just here, moving the story only incrementally forward and repeating character beats we've seen before.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Why Jessica Jones and Daredevil feel barely real

This isn't review of anything, or a particularly deep moment of thought and retrospection on Jessica Jones , since I'm six episodes in at this point and haven't had the time to really digest it. Instead, this is about the general feeling I've been getting from this show, and that I got from Daredevil before it:

These shows should not exist.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

An explanation and pre-emptive apology

I've only missed a couple of days of posts recently, but this is the kind of thing that's likely to start happening more often in the near future. Long story short, I just started working again this week after several months and no longer have this as the main focus of my attention. I will do everything I can to make sure that the number of posts doesn't go down tremendously. It likely will decline, but I will do everything I can to keep that decline from being too large, since I love doing this and I hope people like reading it.

So, apologies if content falls short in volume, but I will be doing everything I can to fit it in around this change.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Comic Review: Last Sons of America #1

Last Sons of America is a really strange comic. It feels a lot like BOOM! is trying to make an Image Comic, with a very different style than I expect from them. It's going after big ideas in a very grimy and bleak world, and I found myself fascinated and intrigued, even though I'm not entirely sure why I like it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Comic Review: Zodiac Starforce #3

It is pretty obvious from reading this that Zodiac Starforce is a 4 issue series. We're on issue #3, and it has the very specific feeling of a story trying to stop itself short before it reaches the real climax, putting this in an awkward place. It has to put everything at the lowest point, but is not really allowed to do anything with that yet. It's kind of an awkward issue for that reason, but a small bump in their execution is not going to stop me this close to the end after liking it so far.

Monday, November 16, 2015

TV Review: Agents of SHIELD Season 3, Episode 7 "Chaos Theory"

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be a weirdly frustrating show at times. When it's good, it's really good, but not for reasons that are all that interesting to talk about. It also has difficulty in trying to balance different storylines, so that when it's really good in one area, it has problems in another that don't kill it, but just drag things down a bit. This episode, "Chaos Theory" is a great example of that, putting a temporary bow on the Lash storyline while kind of fumbling some stories in the background.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

TV Review: The Flash Season 2, Episode 6 "Enter Zoom"

I was not planning on reviewing two episodes of The Flash in a row, but that was before I watched this episode and started thinking about it. It just sticks out from everything else the rest of the season, and everything else that was on this week that I might have wanted to talk about, to the point that I have to review it. In this episode we meet Zoom, who manages to meet if not exceed all expectations, and the real question to ask is how the show managed to pull that off.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Comic Review: The Goddamned #1

All that this book had to do to hook me was call itself "Biblical Noir". One thing that comes with my religious background is that I really like stories that are based Biblical stories or ideas, but not the sanitized versions that pop up a little more often. I wouldn't quite agree that The Goddamned fits as noir, but it is Biblical and different from most that I see, so it has me from the start.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Comic Review: Limbo #1

Limbo is yet another in a larger than expected number of comics about Private Investigators that I've stumbled into recently. No, I don't mean that in the "Really, another one of these?" sense, as Limbo is a very different entry into that genre. It's the kind of thing that shows why this kind of story seems to last forever, since there is always something new that they can do with it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Comic Review: Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Trying to review something like this is difficult because I feel so mixed on different aspects of it. There are times that something is "all good" or "all bad", or feels overwhelmingly one way or the other, and that makes giving an opinion of it easier. When there are different parts, all of them working at different levels, it's harder to come to a conclusion. Joe Golem: Occult Detective falls right into this, with different storylines of wildly varying quality, and that makes it quite difficult to really talk about.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Comic Review: Johnny Red #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Johnny Red will get a lot of attention just for the first name listed in the credits: Garth Ennis. He has a great reputation in comics, so any new releases with his name on it are going to get a lot of attention from the beginning. Even with his writing behind it, Johnny Red is a bit messy trying to get to the point that it becomes an interesting story.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You Should be Watching The 100

Promotional Picture from The 100, used for Season 1 MarketingI realize that I am working on a nearly impossible task here. Trying to convince someone who thinks they don't want to watch The 100 that it's worth their time is incredibly difficult. What it seems to be from the outside is not what it is, but it spends just long enough as the bad version of itself to make most people stop watching it. When you do get through it, however, it is a kind of incredible little show that doesn't get nearly the love or conversation that it deserves. On a different network or with superficial genre changes, this would be a highly regarded show, but it's a Young Adult show on The CW, so people get a bad impression from the start.

Monday, November 9, 2015

TV Review: Arrow Season 4, Episode 5: Haunted

This was the episode that everyone was really excited for because it featured Matt Ryan playing Constantine, after his show on NBC was cancelled last season. I found it hard to really get into that, considering that I never watched the show and didn't feel a particular compulsion to watch it. What mattered was how he worked in this episode, which oddly made it a good counterpoint to this week's episode of The Flash. Both of them featured a character with a lot of extra baggage attached (Constantine here, Wells there), but while The Flash used it to kickstart the plotline for the season, here most of it went to this one episode, not having quite as large of hooks for the main storyline.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

TV Review: The Flash Season 2 Episode 5: The Darkness and the Light

Though they didn't share any explicit connections, this week's episodes of The Flash and Arrow had an interesting structural connection that I don't think was intentional, but found interesting nonetheless. Both brought in a character with a lot of attached baggage (Wells here, Constantine there) and mostly built the episode around them. Over on Arrow, it felt like a diversion from the main plotline of the season, while on The Flash it's being used to kickstart development far more quickly than we expected.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Comic Review: Dead Vengeance #2

In its first issue, Dead Vengeance was this fun thing that I kind of liked reading. It was a fun read, but not something that I was going to go out of my way to try and sell people on or sing its praises. At risk of spoiling my opinion, this issue takes it from there to must-read in the span of a single issue. This started with a body in a circus exhibit coming to life, and with this issue, it throws out an idea that feels so completely out there that I cannot help but love this book now. I won't spoil what it is, but I will do my best to get across why I love this.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Comic Review: Angel and Faith Season 10 #20

I love the Buffyverse, but I've had a rather complicated relationship with the comics recently. There has been a lot of good recently, but I've also been mentioning in my last few reviews that it feels like they might be losing their way. After this issue of Angel and Faith, which has led me in both directions, I've given up on trying to project or predict where it's going. All I can do is look at the issue in front of me and evaluate it, and there's a lot of good there right now.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How People Work: A love/hate relationship with productivity porn

There is far too much on the internet written about productivity. All over the place. I've even written and sold some articles about it, regurgitating unoriginal ideas and hoping someone would be desperate enough for content to buy it - I'm not proud of it, but you'll do what you need to when it pays.

This particular type of article is one I both love and hate. This is specifically from Lifehacker and their "How I Work" series, but there's almost a pocket industry on many sites of people talking about what people do to be productive. I find it to be one of the most inane types of articles, with people going on and on about things that work for them. That's why it's trouble - it works for them. It will not work for everyone, because not everyone is them.

But it's also something that I love. I like seeing what it is that people do to try and get things done. Mostly, though, I'm looking for why they do the things that they do. If I'm going to get any value out of it, it's in the reasons why they do certain things, trying to untangle why those things work for them and what about their discovery process can be relevant for me.

These articles are probably stupid and inane, but sometimes they're things that are hiding valuable information. It just requires digging and reading between the lines to get something actually useful out of it. Unfortunately, it never feels like they're written for that, which is why I find myself so conflicted about them. 

Comic Review: Adventure Time 2015 Spooktacular

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I'm not overly familiar with Adventure Time, having seen just enough to know that I like it without having gone through the entire series. That is important because it gives me a somewhat strange perspective on this issue. The particular reason is that this issue attempts to give some backstory to Marceline before she became a vampire. To me, it was an enjoyable story, if not particularly deep, but it's likely to be controversial to people who like the fact that Marceline's backstory is mostly kept a secret.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Comic Review: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
The more time I spend with All-Ages comics, the more I think that I'm secretly 5 years old and just good at hiding it. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is not only aimed straight at a young demographic, like other Plants vs Zombies comics, it fits a lot of the things that people don't really like about comics aimed at kids. Instead of hating it, though, I find a lot of joy in reading it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Star Trek: a Truly Unsurprising Announcement

Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that a new Star Trek series is in development. The most reported aspect has been the release strategy. The first episode will air on CBS, but not the rest. Those will be on CBS All Access, their streaming service that was announced the day after HBO Now and promptly forgotten. This is an interesting gambit to get people on the streaming service, as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, and the other Netflix original series have proven that exclusive content is a strong driver for streaming service subscriptions.
Generic Starfleet logo to go with generic Star Trek announcement
Generic announcement = generic logo. 

That, however, is not the most interesting part. It's an obvious move to bring Star Trek back, since this franchise has been perpetually ahead of its time, and the rest of pop culture just caught up to what Star Trek was back in the 90s.