Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Do you know how long it’s been since the last Sonic comic came out? It was March twenty-fifth; back in the halcyon days where we thought we could “prepare” for the virus and that we were going to take steps that would ACTUALLY make a difference instead of just delaying the inevitable backlash from the MY FREEDOMS crowd. Needless to say, it has been a rough three months and having Sonic back is certainly something I’m happy for to distract me from the horrors of the world even if we’re still stuck in the Zombot arc which frankly feels a bit TOO relevant considering the way the world has changed but I’m frankly too exhausted to get mad at it anymore. At least I HOPE it’s not bad enough for me to get mad at it again! Is this issue a fun and fulfilling distraction that gets us closer to the end of the arc, or will I be begging them to wrap this nonsense up now more than ever? Let’s find out!!
Where we last left our heroes, they were in the midst of a massive guerrilla attack on the Deadly Six who have taken the Chaos Emeralds for themselves and are underway in taking over the Zombot blighted world. Amy and Tails got the emerald held by Zomom which went well enough, but despite Cream and Gemerl getting Zeena’s emerald as well, they were essentially lost in the battle. This issue covers the rest of the teams getting their emeralds so thankfully they aren’t mercilessly dragging these fights out like I had feared, and for the most part, they’re fun little action set pieces with a variety of tactics and character moments. First up is Silver and Whisper taking on Zor; the resident Goth of the Deadly Six. Zor is fast and it’s taking all of Silver’s power just to keep him occupied while Whisper and her Wisp buddies set the trap. Apparently, Whisper’s gun fires a REFRACTABLE beam of energy, and so the wisps surround Zor holding crystals to essentially encase him a flurry of lasers; one of which hitting the Chaos Emerald and detaches it from him. Without missing a beat, Silver grabs the emerald and takes them all back through the portal to Angel Island; leaving Zor to his fate that he seems a little TOO pleased about.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It’s been a heck of a week in the wrestling world, hasn’t it? Needless to say that my already drained enthusiasm from last week’s recap took a very significant hit with all the news coming out, but the show must go on and it’s of some comfort to me that I have something locked in a scheduled every week to try and keep my brain puttering along during these less than ideal times. So then! Does AEW still have what it takes to put on a good series of wrestling matches and entertaining promos, or is the world in a funk that even the very best the industry has to offer can’t drag us all out of? Let’s find out!!
Wardlow Vs. Luchasaurus – Lumberjack Match
Wardlow is accompanied to the ring by MJF while Luchasaurus is accompanied by Marko Stunt and Jungleboy
In case you didn’t know, a Lumberjack match is one where wrestlers stand outside of the ring and if either wrestler in the match gets thrown out of the ring or tries to run away, the lumberjacks will put them back in the ring. Seems like an odd match for two guys who WANT to fight as you usually do a Lumberjack match to wrangle a cowardly heel, not to mention that these two being as big as they are won’t likely be stopped from leaving if they REALLY want to, and on top of that it’s not the best look in the world to have THIS many people participating in a match and being this close to each other in the middle of a pandemic. On the other hand, it’s become clear this week that AEW’s testing policies have been pretty effective as no one at their company has wrestled positive while WWE just had a huge outbreak due to the incredibly lax testing that they’ve done. Frankly, though, I wouldn’t even call this a Lumberjack match as they don’t REALLY do their job and it’s more of a Rumble. No, not a Royal Rumble; more like a West Side Story Rumble where the ones on the outskirts are there to antagonize the other side, and Luchasaurus or Wardlow getting tossed over the wrong side of the ropes will certainly mean bad news and a few cheap shots. It also comes off a bit like an attempt to drill it into everyone’s heads that THEY NEED TO CATCH PEOPLE because there are so many dives in this and it’s not like they couldn’t use a refresher course considering how many people have gotten hurt recently! So the two of them fight all over the place occasionally having to toss off the lumberjacks and throw people over things, but eventually, Luchasaurus gets a chokeslam and goes for the pin… when MJF manages to distract the ref. SERIOUSLY!? The ONE THING you need to look for is pinfalls, and when one happens you stop to instead chat with this dude? Luchasaurus should have gotten the win as he’s got Wardlow for more than a three count, so in retaliation, Jungle Boy spears MJF off the apron and into a crowd of heel lumberjacks waiting below. Unfortunately, this gives Wardlow enough time to do a low blow behind the ref’s back and gets the pin with an F-10; an impressive feat considering how big Lucahsaurus is. The scene then devolves into chaos as the Sharks and the Jets… I mean the Heels and the Faces, all storm the ring and start hitting each other for a few minutes before things calm down and Tony Schiavone announces that at Fyter Fest it will be MJF & Wardlow Vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. This was a great match and I really enjoyed the interplay between these two competitors as both are way more flexible and agile than their size would lead you to believe; with Wardlow landing a Hurricanrana on Luchasaurus and Luchasaurus doing some sort of clothesline reversal where he flips around the arm and forces Wardlow into a near fall. I’d be interested to see if they do more Lumberjack matches like this in the future, especially since we won’t be having fans for a while longer, but all in all, it was a great way to start the show; just as long as everyone used hand sanitizer afterward.
Da 5 Bloods and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Spike Lee
It’s not often that a film gets released at the EXACT moment it should be, but leave it to Spike Lee to make a movie worth talking about at a time when its message couldn’t be more relevant. I’ve certainly liked more of Spike Lee’s movie’s than I haven’t with Chi-Raq being a downright masterpiece and it’s like movie studios are giving us anything else worth watching at this period of time (including Disney who thought putting Artemis Fowl on Disney+ was a better idea than just chucking it in a garbage can), so consider me pumped to see something important instead of just spending another evening watching reruns and staring at the ceiling! Is Spike Lee’s timely examination of Black people’s relationship to the Vietnam War and by extension the systems created it which are still in place to this day, or is Lee like the rest of us and finds himself missing a step in these unusual times? Let’s find out!!
Nearly fifty years after their tour in Vietnam, the remaining members of The Bloods return to Vietnam to reconnect, remember the good times, and find their fallen comrade Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Boseman) who died during the war and whose body is still out there. Our surviving members are Paul, Otis, Eddie, and Melvin (Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr) as well as an unexpected fifth member David (Jonathan Majors) who’s the son of Paul and wants to keep an eye on him during this trip. Now that’s all MOSTLY true, but there are some details missing such as the fact that The Bloods buried a whole bunch of gold back then and are out here to find it along with Stormin’ Norman to secure their retirements, though saying that to the US government who’s gold it is they’re digging up (it was supposed to be delivered to the Vietnamese government that was declared a loss after the plane crashed), so they omitted that part when they appealed to both countries’ governments to explore the area. And so the journey begins, with our heroes telling stories of their time in the war, confronting the demons of their past, and hopefully leaving the country far richer than they entered it. Will The Bloods find what they are looking for in this country they left long ago, and will it be what they came to find in the first place? What hardships will they face along the way, and will their struggles ultimately be in vain? How the heck is it that the ONE dude to die in the war was Black Panther!? Isn’t he bulletproof!?
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It is week… I don’t even know anymore, of the COVID era of wrestling and like everything else things are starting to blur for me. I USED to be able to at least keep up with the WWE PPVs, but Backlash looks about as interesting as a symposium on paint drying and NXT is only faring slightly better. That’s not to say that AEW has been above reproach in recent weeks as I’ve found the most recent episodes a bit of a chore to get through at times, but they’ve at least kept things afloat for me as a wrestling fan while the rest of the country (and the government in particular) is doing everything they can to prolong this crisis. Gee, I’ve been getting on my soapbox a bit much lately! Let’s just try to forget the world for a bit and focus on another fun show of dudes beating the crap out of other dudes and yelling into microphones! Can this week’s AEW get me out of my lockdown lethargy and get excited for this noble sport once again!? Let’s find out!!
Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. The Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall)
The Natural Nightmares are accompanied to the ring by Brandi Rhodes
Not wasting any time, the show begins with The Natural Nightmares already in the ring while Omega and Hangman get their full entrance. Seriously, I can believe Dustin got the Jobber treatment! QT Marshall, sure, but they couldn’t give freaking DUSTIN the airtime to play his song!? If it wasn’t clear from the lack of buildup last week and the entrances here, Dustin and QT Marshall don’t have much of a chance at winning these belts, but even if they spent the time to make this seem like a legitimate challenge before entering the ring, the match itself would give away how unlikely The Natural Nightmare’s chances are within the first few minutes. I don’t know, Dustin doesn’t look his best in this match and Kenny is bumping like a mo-fo which makes it all feel a lot faker than it should. There’s something about Kenny that I first noticed in his match against Joey Janela where it’s hard to buy some people fighting against him. Dustin is looking worse than he ever has working against Kenny as it just looks so fake for him to sell this damage of moves that don’t look like they’re doing that much. It’s not much better for QT Marshall who is certainly more athletic than Dustin and manages to look okay against Adam Page, but there’s just not enough here to invest in the bout as it feels far too scripted. The match heats up eventually once Marshall pulls off this awesome flip kick, and Dustin eventually does that amazing Canadian Destroyer of his, so from that point on the match feels a bit more even handed. QT Marshall even gets the advantage with a Diamond Cutter and it’s at that point that Allie comes out from the back to cheer for him who if you recall has been dating him for a few weeks now. Her encouragement spurs him to try and take out Omega with a jump from the top rope… and he totally whiffs it, so good job Allie! They go for a bit after that but it’s clear that Marshall’s momentum has been lost and he eventually eats a Last Call from Omega and Hangman to end the match. It took a while to get there, but I ended up enjoying it by the end. I think Kenny’s one fatal flaw is his ability to sell for lesser opponents, and it’s not like he isn’t TRYING but it seems he has trouble making it convincing in certain circumstances and it was the case for at about half of this match. Aside from that it wasn’t the best match from any of the wrestlers involved, but it ended up being an alright way to start the show.
Artemis Fowl and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
I don’t think I’ve seen a GOOD new movie since the theaters closed up which is probably no coincidence as any studio who thinks their film will earn MONEY will probably want to wait until theaters are open again to take their chances on a strong weekend box office. It certainly hasn’t improved my general outlook in this very challenging time, but Disney has a chance to lift the spirits of the world by giving us a fantastic adventure film that the whole family can enjoy! Is this the YA cash cow that Disney’s been looking for!? Let’s find out!!
Artemis Fowl Jr (Ferdia Shaw) is the son of famed… artifact collector or something, Artemis Fowl Sr (Clin Farrell); both of whom live a happy little life in a giant coastal mansion with their not-butler Domovi Butler (Nonso Anozie). The only problem is that dear old dad has a habit of jetting off to another adventure in artifact “collecting” which leaves little Artite with little more to do than win dozens of awards at school and be a pompous jerk about it because on top of being super-rich he’s also a super-genius with a bad attitude. Everything changes however when one of his father’s trips ends with his yacht sinking in the ocean and somehow it also comes out that he’s actually a master thief. In reality, he’s been captured by an EVIL fairy and tells little Artie to give them the MAGICAL MACGUFFIN OF ULTIMATE DESTINY, or else his dad is going to die. Oh yeah, fairies and other magical stuff are in this movie which comes in about as abruptly as that sentence did and little Artie gets over the shocking revelation just as quickly. It turns out the MAGICAL MACGUFFIN OF ULTIMATE DESTINY is some artifact from the land of the fairies which is located underground (glad we never ran into any of THOSE cities amongst all the fracking, am I right?) and Magic Cop Julius Root (Judi Dench) is adamant about finding it. One of her subordinates Officer Holly Short (Lara McDonnell) has a personal stake in finding this artifact so she goes rogue and gets… let’s say ENTANGLED with Little Artie’s situation and through further complications, the ENTIRE Magic Army is on Artie Jr’s doorstop and are looking to drag him out of there with the help of a giant dwarf named Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) who they need for… reasons I suppose. Using only his wits, the help of his non-butler, and even the help of his non-butler’s niece who is ALSO a super genius and kung-fu expert, he must find a way to locate the artifact, get the Magic po-po off his lawn, and try to wrangle an entire novel’s worth of world-building and character development into less than ninety minutes of screen time. Can Artie Jr outsmart the Magic Cops with this heightened intellect and penchant for slick suits? What is the mysterious evil fairy planning, and what will happen if the MAGICAL MACGUFFIN OF ULTIMATE DESTINY were to fall into their hands? Is this grab bag of every other fantasy movie even CLOSE to the sum of its blatantly lifted parts!?
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more AEW goodness, though for whatever reason I’m just not feeling it going into this episode. Last week we had the big main event that was built up in the week prior while this week’s match was just thrown out at the end of last week’s show. I mean sure, the Orange Cassidy and Best Friends Vs. The Inner Circle match will be fun, but other than that I’m hard pressed for an episode that has less going on heading into it. That said, hype is far from the most important part of a wrestling show and AEW has done far more with far less, so I’ve little doubt that this will be yet another outing from them. Will this be yet another collection of solid matches to the week that much more bearable to get through? Let’s find out!!
Before the first match begins we are informed that Jericho will be joining Jr, Tony, and Excalibur in the booth tonight. Jericho doesn’t JUST walk to the booth and do commentary! Dude comes out with his FULL entrance and theme music just to walk to the right and put on a headset. THAT’S how you get a show started! I know that JR has his own theme, but why doesn’t everyone else? I’d LOVE to see what Excalibur’s entrance is like!
FTR Vs. The Butcher & The Blade
The first showcase for the former Revival is something that fans have anticipated for months, so can they live up to those expectations? Heck, it’s been a while since we’ve seen The Butcher and The Blade in action so you could argue they have as much to prove as FTR does, and thankfully both teams manage to bring their A-game here for a very satisfying opening bout. I still don’t really GET The Revival the way that apparently everyone else does (I still don’t know which one is which), but they are a VERY good team here and pull off some impressive moves; especially this one part where one of them grabs Blade out of mid-air and slams him to the mat which looked brutal and a spot later where the bald one superplexes The Blade to the mat and is soon followed by the one with hair landing an elbow drop from the top rope. There’s also a great bit of storytelling here where a lot of the big wigs at the company, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Jake Roberts, you could even count Jericho since he’s calling the match, have come out to see what happens. Everyone wants to know what FTR are about and are hoping to recruit them to whatever faction they represent; whether they’ll join The Nightmare Family, help Lance Archer get another stab at the belts, or join The Inner Circle which frankly would be the BEST option. I’d love to see Santana and Ortiz get super passive aggressive at them like a bad sitcom plot. The match eventually comes to an end when FTR lands a Goodnight Express on The Butcher (kinda looks like a Jackhammer only with two people) which gets him out of the match and they immediately follow it up with a Mind Breaker (a pile driver thingy) onto The Blade for the win. FTR are then being interviewed in the ring when The Young Bucks come out form the back. They tell FTR how great the match was and they thank them for helping fight off The Butcher & The Blade two weeks ago. However, they are a LITTLE bit salty that FTR has kind of been avoiding them up to that point and makes it clear that THEY are the best tag team at AEW and FTR can sit comfortably in second place. It looks things are about to spark between them when The Butcher comes back and takes out The Bucks. FTR tries to make the save but are overwhelmed by Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc who come out… for some reason, but are soon run off by Kenny Omega and Adam Page who come out to ACTUALLY make the save. Once the heels are gone, the three teams are left to stare at each other; a teasing of things to come as these three times will no doubt clash in the near future. In a company full of really great tag teams, I’m not convinced that they are at the TOP of the heap (especially with the Omega/Page Vs. Bucks match still fresh in my memory), but they’re gonna have lots of chances to prove themselves so perhaps I’ll change my tune soon enough. In any case, this was a fun match and a solid introduction for these two.
The Last Days of American Crime and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Olivier Megaton
With the world descending into righteous fury at the systems that have failed them for generations, there hasn’t been a whole lot of film news out there that has kept me on a regular routine which will certainly be a lurch if things DO ever get back to normal and they finally start releasing those movies we were supposed to get months ago. The only thing I’ve seen AT ALL about film in the last week or so (besides the Bill and Ted trailer which dropped the day I’m writing this) is some movie on Netflix getting the coveted ZERO PERCENT ON ROTTEN TOMATOES award, so here we are I guess; I’m gonna waste my time watching a movie that everyone already knows is terrible and it’s somehow going to be the most productive thing I’ve done since I, a grown-ass man, vomited up two thousand words telling you why the Scooby-Doo movie wasn’t very good. Can this movie with a very unwieldy title at least be better than THAT movie; especially since this has the edge of NOT charging you an arm and a leg to see it? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows a man named Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez) who certainly acts like such as he joylessly and emotionlessly goes from one horrific violent crime to another in what I can only assume is a near-future Michigan that’s about three months and a few missed orders from Deer Park from turning into a Mad Max hellscape. Things are about to be changed for the better, at least as far as the government is concerned, as they’ve developed a SUPER SCIENCE MIND CONTROL SIGNAL that will prevent anyone from knowingly committing a crime which I’m quite certain is what those 5G conspiracy theorists believe is actually going to happen. In any case, the people in this movie haven’t figured out how tin foil hats work and so they’ve resigned themselves to losing their free will; at least in the United States. Canada hasn’t developed a MIND CONTROL RAY and so the border has become fully militarized as people get shot to pieces trying to cross; all of which sounds like the filmmakers are trying to make a point but darned if I can find out what the heck this movie is trying to say! Bottom line is, Bricke gets recruited by some dude named Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt) for one last heist to steal a whole bunch of money from a government vault in the city before booking it for the Canadian border mere minutes before the government turns on their MIND CONTROL RAY and who have helpfully provided everyone with a countdown clock to the second as to when that will happen. Joining the crew is Cash’s girlfriend Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster) who may or may not be the brains of this operation, and throw into that a conspiracy involving the death of Bricke’s brother to make a perfect storm of bad planning and bad timing for this heist that has to go off without a hitch! Can Bricke outrun his own past and set himself up for a nifty little retirement in the land of hockey and poutine? Does Cash have an ulterior motive to all of this that could get in the way of Bricke’s meticulous professionalism and throw this whole operation into chaos? If you were going to follow anyone into a ridiculously convoluted heist, would it REALLY be a guy who looks like an off-brand Jason Mewes?
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It only seems to be getting rougher as the weeks go on and on, but we have to believe that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and despite the issues I have with it, I am glad that AEW is putting on shows now and that they’re doing it in such an entertaining way. Is this the brief respite we need to help us decompress from what came before and to get us recharged for what comes ahead? Let’s find out!!
The episode starts with a promo that I actually thought was building up to a Dark Order segment, but it ended up being a sincere message in support of Black Lives Matter. We get a recap of the previous week’s events before jumping into our first match, and boy did they pick a BIG one to start with!
Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc – Tag Team Championship Match
Sabian is accompanied to the ring by Penelope Ford
It’s been WAY too long since we’ve seen Page and Omega in action inside of a ring! Sure the Stadium Stampede match was fun, but I’ve been itching to see them in a proper match for some time now, and while this match against the very solid Sabian and Havoc isn’t everything I wanted it to be, it was a great return for the duo on Dynamite. It starts off a bit slow and uneventful as Omega takes an early advantage and the other side can’t get a leg up no matter what they try. I’ll give the match credit where it’s due in how they’re doing a great job of showing off the strengths of their opponents, but it’s not until we’re like eight minutes into the match that any offense from Sabian and Havoc even fazes Omega or Page. The turning point comes when Ford goes for a Hurricanrana off the top rope on Adam Page and DOES land it, but Page doesn’t sell it for a second and as soon as he drops her to the floor, the ref ejects her from the match. While Sabian is arguing with the ref about this decision, Jimmy hits both Page and Omega with a wrench which puts the latter out of action and the former in a bad state to defend himself against the offense from both of his opponents. This evens things out a bit and I found the match more enjoyable as both sides started to trade near falls for the remainder of the match. Backstabber from Omega onto Sabian only gets a two count, an impressive combo from Page and Omega only gets a two count as well, and Omega even eats a swinging DDT followed by an uppercut and Death Valley Driver from Havoc capped with a double stomp from Sabian but even THAT only gets a two count because Page breaks up the pin! No one is willing to go down for the count for anything and the match just keeps going and going, but eventually Omega and Hangman hit Havoc with a Last Call (Omega’s V-Trigger and Hangman’s Buckshot Lariat hitting at the same time), and Page finally manages to get the pin. Perhaps I’m still spoiled by the Bucks match from Revolution and am being a bit unfair in having ANY criticism of this match which is genuinely a very good match. If a match is too one sided it’s not much fun and if the other team is clearly going easy on the other than it’s even less so, but Sabian and Havoc get more than enough offense to make it look REALLY close to a fair fight, and while I thought it went a bit slow at first and MAYBE a bit too long with just how many near falls they trade back and forth, the ending was great and I’m glad that Omega and Page are having these kind of matches again!
James Bond 007 and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Dynamite Entertainment and Ian Fleming Publications
Is the world still crumbling around us? It sure as heck is, so after a few days (weeks, months, who can even tell anymore?) of watching Simpsons reruns until my eyes bled, it was time for me to get back in the saddle and use some of this time to read even more James Bond comics! With the mastermind of ORU revealed to be the one and only Aurc Goldfinger and agent John Lee being captured by him, it looks like this story will be going down some very familiar paths! Will Bond be able to bring an end to ORU and Goldfinger without having to take out his friend Agent Lee, or is this a challenge even the great James Bond is not ready to face? Let’s find out!!
Issue 7 (May 2019)
The issue begins on a rather familiar scene of Bond entering a Casino and flirting with the ladies while a bad guy is doing something under the watchful eyes of stern-faced henchmen. This however is no ordinary day in the life of Bond as the bad guy in question is Auric Goldfinger and the henchmen are his good buddy John Lee and the captured Agent Kim; both under control by Goldfinger’s nicotine patch looking mind control devices that you’d think the spy agencies would have picked up on as a mark of being an ORU agent! You’re telling me the FBI can figure out what the heck Juggalos are and classify them as a street gang, but it took James Bond for everyone to figure out what’s up with the giant glowing neck thingies!? In any case, his orders are to follow Goldfinger and find out what he can about his next target. Being the leader of the terrorist organization ORU, he’s certainly very dangerous and can’t be up to any good even if he needed to capture and brainwash South Korea’s two top agents. Now the question is, how much of this is going to be a straight retelling of the movie Goldfinger, and how much is it going to be its own thing? Well, they did go through all the trouble of getting the new Oddjob to be his henchman which indicates the former, and they have a nice moment in this scene that plays out similarly to the opening of Goldfinger. Mr. Goldfinger is cheating at a game using some sort of communication device and Bond manages to interrupt it to cost him the game; though sadly there’s no giant telescope involved.