WINTER HOLIDAY HOURS 2019

We are keeping the doors open a little later for you this season to make sure you get every ounce of awesomeness you can from our store! Visit us in Hurst the following hours:

  • Monday 12/23 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • Tuesday 12/24 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • Wednesday 12/25 CLOSED
  • Thursday 12/26 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • Saturday 12/28 10am – 11:59pm
  • Sunday 12/29 12:01am – 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 12/31 5:00pm – 12:00am
  • Wednesday 1/1 – 10:00am – 10:00pm

Let us know if you have any questions!

COMIC PREVIEW – AVENGERS #22

THE CHALLENGE OF THE GHOST RIDERS STARTS HERE! Robbie Reyes wants to get rid of the flame-headed monster inside him. So it’s time to do the common sense thing: perform an exorcism on his car. Only problem is, Johnny Blaze, the king of Hell, has some plans of his own for the newest Ghost Rider and his Avengers friends.

Swamp Thing Episode #102 “Worlds Apart” – Review

After the pilot of “Swamp Thing” the latest streaming show from DC Universe shows much promise as they delve into a darker and more horror-oriented drama, but unfortunately as I will address later in the review. This show, while hopeful is fated to be short-lived.

Following the alleged death of Alec Holland in the swamp at the hands of an unknown assailant, Dr. Abby Arcane and the Marais sheriff’s department conduct a search for his remains. While Susie Coyle remains in the hospital, two more cases of the illness have been reported. And while the Swamp Thing emerges from the swamp and struggles to understand what has happened to him, Susie has an episode and seems to be somehow connected to the creature. And later, while Abby searches for clues as to what Alec was working on, she reluctantly approaches Avery Sunderland, who she hopes can provide her access to his lab. But when Susie goes missing from the hospital, Abby and Matt Cable follow her trail into the swamp, where she encounters a human monster as well as the Swamp Thing. Now as the plot thickens, the mysteries of the plant accelerant formula and Alec Holland’s fate are revealed.

As the second episode begins we finally get a fairly good look at the Swap Thing, and he is most impressive. No more B-grade rubber suits or overly campy performances, this is the Swamp Thing as he was meant to be. The costume, along with prosthetics and CGI effects are very realistic and add an otherworldliness to him that is very believable.

Also with this episode we are introduced to two new characters who will no doubt become an integral part to the story. One being the blind mystic Madame Xanadu (played by Jeryl Prescott), whose character has been a part of the DC comics magical world with characters such as the Spectre and Phantom Stranger since 1978. Also introduced is the botanist Dr. Jason Woodrue (played by Kevin Durand), who, without spoiling anything about his character, DC Comics fans will instantly recognize but who was previously but limitedly played by John Glover in Batman & Robin (1997). There’s even an appearance by Dan Cassidy (played by Ian Ziering) who fans will also know by another name, as the ‘Blue Devil’ but in a much different incarnation.

Overall, this show is slowly building up characters and backstories, but also doing a great job of adding both supernatural thrills and suspense that fans will come to expect. There is a particular two very horrifying scenes where Madame Xanadu tries a voodoo-like séance with Maria Sunderland (Virginia Madsen) and we also get to see a fairly bloody display of Swamp Thing’s powers in the climax of the episode.

On another note, before the airing of this episode, viewers received some shocking news that may have come to soon and which also may bring detriment to the future of the show and its continued audience. On June 4th, rumors spread on the internet that the new “Swamp Thing” series was in fact Cancelled! As more details emerged, the company announced that after filming had ended on the first season, that there will be no second season, due to a combination of production troubles, corporate bureaucracy, and money, along with the uncertain future of the DC Universe streaming service with the upcoming AT&T’s Warner Media streaming service. Before “Swamp Thing” emerged from the swamp it seems as if his fate was sealed with a $100 billion deal. Much like 2014’s “Constantine” TV show on NBC, which was also canceled after one season. The character of John Constantine (perfectly played by Matt Ryan) was able to live on in CW’s “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” While it seems DC has always had a problem with their darker heroes, their more mainstream characters such as Green Arrow, Flash and Supergirl, have prospered on the CW Television Network. As for the other original shows on DC Universe like “Titans and “Doom Patrol,” their futures seem just as uncertain. I for one will continue to watch and review “Swamp Thing” for the next 8 episodes and hope that soon, after the fans on the internet have spoken, “Swamp Thing” will return!

We Are Moving the Store

Hey, Nerds, I hate to say it, it we have to close our storefront. We will be continuing to pull subscriptions and offer them at a great price (up to 25% off) as we figure out the next move. Until the dust settles, you can find us out of our unit at Life Storage. It’s only an 8 minute drive from the shop.

5575 Davis Blvd

North Richland Hills, TX

Our phone number is 817-210-8376. It is a cell phone so feel free to call or text for more info.

We hope to see you soon!

Titans Episode Review S01: E08

After watching Episode 8 of Titans — titled “Donna Troy” — I can only ask myself one question. Where has this quality been all season? Why have we been flip-flopping between “plot episodes” and “character episodes” when, as made clear by this week’s episode, an effective combination of the two could be so easily accomplished?

After some much needed recouping from the hell that was the Asylum, the team has to move on from squatting in Batman’s safehouse. Dick is feeling a little lost at this point, so he decides to head off on his own for a little while, with the rest of the group migrating to a house that may or may not belong to Rachel’s birth-mother. From there, the story is divided between two paths — one in which Dick pals around with Donna Troy and one in which everyone else is stuck on a train for the majority of the episode.

Character-building is the best it has been all season with everyone getting something concrete and interesting added to their identities. Even though Gar gets the short-stick again, the subtle nuance in his body-language and mood is a prime example of the old adage, “Show don’t tell.” It’s executed so effortlessly that, again, it’s a shame it’s so underutilized. Rachel’s development is a tad stagnant, but it’s exploring what seems like an earnest relationship between her and her birth-mother. This will most likely end badly for Rachel, but the show is investing time into that relationship to make that eventual turn much more effective — you know, how you should generally build character dynamics.

Conor Leslie as Donna Troy is great, and her friendship/ confidante-role with Dick is something new for the brooding hero. The main issue with Dick’s character so far is that it’s pretty one-note; beyond being angry or sad, we haven’t seen Dick really be a person. Donna helps show how much of a character Dick can actually be. He’s inquisitive, he’s vulnerable, and — gasp — funny. There’s a throw-away gag about a well-known Batman villain that not only had me chuckling but also further illustrated Dick’s inability to just live life. He’s constantly in “vigilante-mode” due to Bruce’s own obsession, and this kind of multipurpose story-telling is littered throughout the episode. It’s simply a breath of fresh air.

This leads into Kory’s portion of the episode, and on it’s own, it’s a fine internal character struggle. I derided her treatment in the last episode as serving no purpose, and I’ll be the first to admit that some patience would have benefited my viewing (though the show has mustered very little goodwill in that department). We do see that Kory has by no means escaped her torture unscathed, with the experiments sort of unlocking PTSD-laden memories from her past. Kory struggles with these new, painful memories that exacerbate her worst tendencies — paranoia and violence — and that makes sense. It’s when her seemingly unrelated  narrative coalesces with Dick’s that everything really clicks. It’s bit of a deus ex machina, but it ultimately serves the a purpose and is, frankly, fun.

Episode 8 is, so far, the best Titans episode to date. It expertly weaves plots, character motivations, and relationships that would normally all be relegated to separate episodes. It’s exactly what a show about a team should be — all of our heroes being connected even when they’re apart. It’s a little late in the game to say this will be the turn-around for the show as a whole, but it’s a shining example of what Season 2 can aspire to be.

9/10

Titans is released every Friday only on DCUniverse!

Comic Review – Books of Magic #1

As part of the relaunch of DC Vertigo’s Sandman Universe, another one of Neil Gaiman’s memorable creations returns to comics with the long awaited “Books of Magic.” First published by DC Comics in 1990 as a mini-series, fan-favorite Tim Hunter began his long journey to becoming the world’s greatest magician, with the help of several mystical DC Comics alumni such as Phantom Stranger, Doctor Occult and John Constantine. The series was ongoing until it was discontinued after the short-lived “Books of Magick: Life During Wartime” in 2005. With this latest relaunch, the story catches us up (whether the reader be a longtime fan or a newcomer) in a fairy tale-like collage retelling of his origin:

Once upon a time…there lived a boy named Timothy Hunter. He seemed like a very usual sort of boy. Except.”

 Then we find Tim Hunter asleep in class, as a seemingly normal student who tries to impress girls with his amateur magic tricks. Getting bullied and of course getting into fights, he is pulled into one of his teacher’s office and we learn that Tim has “lost” his mother. But his teacher Dr. Rose is apparently has a connection to magic and knows that Tim is destined to become the greatest magician. As she gives him a book that appears blank to him at first she advises him to start reading and when he is ready, the magic will be visible to him. Despite his frustrations, Tim is certain he is ready, but as the book soon reveals its first lesson:

“Magic is neither good nor bad. Only its use determines its character. There are always consequences for its use.”

And upon opening his first book, we are given a glimpse of three mysterious cultist figures that are apparently watching him from afar as they decide that steps must be taken…and that some books must not be read.

Written by newcomer Kat Howard, known for her novel “Roses and Rot” and illustrated by Canadian artist Tom Fowlerm with colors by Jordan Boyd, the new “Books of Magic” has a promising start. While sharing the spotlight with other titles in the revived Sandman Universe, such as “The Dreaming” and “House of Whispers,” the new “Books of Magic” hopes to recapture the “magic” of a series that unfortunately fell into obscurity 13 years ago as it soon became marred by its similarities to the popular Harry Potter franchise in which tabloids claimed that Gaiman had made accusations of plagiarism against J.K. Rowling, which he went on the record denying. But hopefully time will tell if fans will return to this series as we see what the fates have in store for Tim Hunter.

 


 

Titans Episode Review S01: E02

After the series premier of Titans, I was cautiously optimistic about the trajectory of the show. It definitely had room to improve, but it seemed to get off on the right foot. Episode 2, titled “Hawk and Dove”, is another step in the right direction, albeit while still stumbling on the same major problems that were present in the first episode.

This episode strictly follows Dick Grayson and Rachel, a.k.a. Raven, and introduces two new faces to the proceedings – the eponymous Hawk and Dove. Despite the end of Episode 1, Beast Boy makes no appearance and Starfire is completely absent, which is kind of nice because it allows for a more focused story this go-around. Hawk and Dove do have their own limited narrative, but it’s nested within Dick and Rachel’s attempts to understand what’s happening with her latent powers.

Speaking of Rachel, as of Episode 2, the troubled teen’s story is already running into issues. The most telling of which being that any transition away from Hawk and Dove felt tiring. Whether it be Rachel just being, frankly, uninteresting as a character or her mystery not taking any meaningful steps forward, her scenes with Dick are kind of boring. They can only have the same conversation so many times before it starts to become white-noise. It also doesn’t help that these two leads feel very wooden; Brenton Thwaites has no urgency and Teagan Croft has no subtlety. The resulting interactions feel kind of like a mix between a text-to-voice app and a soap opera. This, for obvious reasons, never works.

Once again, the writing really feels like it was thrown together in a day, and I fear this will be a persistent problem throughout the series. There are Man-of-Steel-sized leaps in logic, most of the dialogue feels stilted and forced, and little to no attention is paid to what is actually happening outside of “the moment”.  There’s no room to breathe and get a feel for the characters beyond one word descriptors. True enough, it’s only the second episode, but there should be something that we’re continually learning about these people. Yet, unless they’re new characters, everyone on display feels stagnant; ancillary characters that have had about ten minutes of screen-time across the first two episodes feel like they’re on the same developmental level as our main characters. There’s a real opportunity for a well-crafted character-driven show if the writers had any sort of confidence in the viewer. Not a single scene can go by without everyone on screen taking a beat to virtually look straight at the camera and say, “DON’T FORGET ABOUT RAVEN, GUYS. ALSO, DICK IS REALLY ANGRY NOW, REMEMBER?”

Which is a bummer considering the glimpses of what could be with Hawk and Dove. While not perfect, the interaction and chemistry between the two aforementioned heroes makes this episode much more enjoyable than the first. They keep the plot grounded in a central location for a while and provide a much-needed break from the Raven stuff, even if she is still always lurking around the corner. Most importantly, I actually kind of had fun with this episode, despite its flaws – and that’s just because of some minimal work between two secondary characters. Their choreography was frenetic, their dialogue, while not Shakespearean, was at least interesting, and it actually felt like there was a reason to root for them other than, “They’re the good guys.” Their presence in the show is left seeming like it might fluctuate by the end of this episode, but I would very much enjoy seeing their evolution as people – provided the writers felt up to the task.

6/10

Titans is released every Friday only on DCUniverse!