Saturday, September 23, 2017

The CW Arrowverse Casts Russell Tovey as The Ray

The CW Arrowverse is beaming a ray of light into its upcoming crossover.

Entertainment Weekly reported yesterday that "Crisis on Earth-X", the upcoming 4-part crossover taking place across Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, will feature Russell Tovey as Raymond "Ray" Terrill, better known to DC Comics fans as the superhero The Ray.  Tovey will also voice The Ray in the upcoming CW Seed animated series Freedom Fighters: The Ray.

The Ray is described in the article as "a reporter who discovered a group of government scientists working on a secret project to turn light into a weapon of mass destruction.  But before he could report on his findings, the project head exposed Ray to a ‘genetic light bomb.’  The bomb failed to kill him and instead gifted Ray with light-based powers.  With these abilities, Ray realized he could go beyond reporting on injustice — he could take action to help stop it.  Calling himself The Ray, he was recruited by Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters to fight violence and oppression wherever it exists."

Tovey, 35, is an openly gay, English actor best known as the werewolf George Sands on the BBC series Being Human.  He's also appeared as Midshipman Alonso Frame on Doctor Who and currently appears on Quantico as Harry Doyle.  His other television work includes the Sherlock episode "The Hounds of Baskerville", and episodes of The Night Manager, Drunk History, Him & Her, Little Dorrit, Gavin & Stacey, Holby City, and Agatha Christie's Poirot.

Created in 1992 by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada, the second Ray first appeared in The Ray (vol.1) #1 as Raymond "Ray" Terrill, a young man told by his supposed father that exposure to direct sunlight would kill him. Privately tutored in his window-darkened home, he was dubbed "Night Boy" by the media.  At the age of eighteen, Ray learned the truth about his heritage while at the deathbed of his father, Lanford "Happy" Terrill.  The dying man admitted that he was the Golden Age Ray, and that exposure to sunlight would activate Raymond's own light-based super powers.  As a child he would have been unable to control such power, and thus had to be kept in darkness.

At the funeral for "Happy" Terrill, Ray met his cousin, Hank, who urged him to become a superhero like his father.  When he refused, "Happy" showed up, very much alive, in his classic Ray costume and looking far younger than he should, to meet his son.  He told Raymond that he was actually raised by his uncle, Thomas Terrill, and that he must use his newfound powers to save the Earth from a powerful cosmic light-entity. Raymond eventually decided to take up the mantle of The Ray, defeated the evil Doctor Polaris, and succeeded in dissuading the light entity from its destructive purpose.

In the current DC Rebirth continuity, Ray Terrill was told that exposure to direct sunlight would kill him. Running away from home as a teen, he soon discovered that exposure to light granted him light-based superpowers, including flight, light projection and invisibility. Ray eventually settled in Vanity, Portland, where he saved a childhood friend from a supervillain hate-group. This version of the Ray is openly gay.  He was later recruited into Batman's new Justice League of America team, which includes the Atom, Vixen, Black Canary, Killer Frost, and Lobo.

Although this will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, he previously turned up in background appearances in the animated series Justice League Unlimited.

The "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover will air across two nights, Monday, November 27th and Tuesday, November 28th on The CW.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The 2017 DC Comics CW Crossover is "Crisis on Earth-X"

The good news:  Barry and Iris are getting married.  The bad news:  Nazi supervillains from an alternate Earth are crashing the wedding.

KSiteTV has revealed that this fall's 4-part crossover between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow will be "Crisis on Earth-X"!  The crossover will air across two nights, Monday, November 27th and Tuesday, November 28th on The CW.  Arrow will air on a special night at Monday at 9 p.m EST following Supergirl, just for the crossover only, while the other DC television shows will remain in their regularly scheduled time periods.

The official logline for the crossover states "With all of the heroes in town to celebrate Barry and Iris’s wedding, villains from Earth-X crash the festivities with a deadly agenda."

"We conceived this year’s crossover to be evocative of the annual Justice League/Justice Society crossovers we grew up with and looked forward to as kids," said executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg.  

Even better, The CW and Warner Bros. commissioned artwork from comic artist Phil Jimenez, best known for his work on Wonder Woman and The Invisibles, to create a custom comic book cover paying homage to the annual comic book crossovers.

Jimenez said, "Some of the first DC Comics I ever read were those insane crossovers with a dozen characters from alternate earths and dimensions — the kind of stuff I later became known for!  So when CW asked me to do an homage cover inspired by those amazing team up covers, I couldn’t resist, the chance to draw all of The CW’s DC superheroes in one crazy action sequence was insanely fun and exciting.  And Romulo Fajardo’s colors brought everything to life!"

"Phil was the perfect choice to bring the comic book cover iteration of this idea to life," remarked Guggenheim and Kreisberg.  "You can count on one hand the number of artists who could compellingly represent so many characters in a single image.  Phil is one of them. And his design invokes the cover of Justice League (of America (vol.1)) #207, which was the 20th Annual JLA/JSA crossover.  Our ten year-old selves are in heaven.”

Here's the full artwork from Phil Jimenez...

Created in 1973 by Len Wein and Dick Dillin, Earth-X first appeared in Justice League of America (vol.1) #107 as a parallel Earth in the Pre-Crisis multiverse, where Nazi Germany won World War II instead of the United States and the Allies.  The Freedom Fighters, originally from Earth-Two, migrated to Earth-X in 1942 to help fight Hitler, but Earth-X's American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed away from a heart attack in 1944, leaving the country in such a state that Nazi Germany was able to develop atomic weaponry. By this point, both countries were reluctant to use such destructive capabilities against the other for fear of retaliation that the conflict continued using conventional warfare. The war dragged on until Adolf Hitler's Nazi war machine had developed mind control technology that weakened the opposition's willpower ending the war in 1968 with complete Nazi victory. However, some proved to be immune to the effects of the mind control devices, and small resistance pockets began to form in various cities.  Japan was originally an ally of the Nazis, but after winning the war and laying down their arms, the Nazis betrayed them.

In 1973, members of the Justice League of America from Earth-One and the Justice Society of America from Earth-Two arrived on Earth-X by way of a Transmatter Cube accident. They paired off with various members of the Freedom Fighters and helped them fight the Nazi threat.  It was revealed that a computer brain had taken control from the Nazis and replaced the leaders with android replicas.  

During the event known as Crisis on Infinite Earths, some of the history of Earth-X was merged with Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four, and Earth-S to form one composite universe. A similar reality (called Earth-10) was created at the end of the series 52 and a reality called Earth 10 appeared after the event known as Flashpoint.

GHOSTWOOD 019: "The Return, Part 16" is Up!

"What the f#@% kinda neighborhood is this?!"
-- Bradley Mitchum to Rodney Mitchum, Twin Peaks: "The Return, Part 16"

It is happening again...My co-host with the most Xan Sprouse and I are back with a new episode of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast!  This time, we review "The Return, Part 16" from the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks!


In our latest episode, Xan and I discuss things like Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible, Jerry Horne's bad binoculars, Twin Peaks Season 3 on Blu-Ray and DVD, Richard Horne getting zapped out of existence, unfortunately being right about Mr. C raping Audrey Horne, actor Jonathan Pryce, mashing up old animation PSAs with Twin Peaks, Hutch's horrible decision to ask Chantal if she's "on the rag", the Polish Accountant vs. Chantal and Hutch, FINALLY getting the return of Dale Cooper, Diane going all Manchurian Candidate, Diane telling the story of what happened when Doppelgänger Cooper showed up at her door all those years ago, Diane being revealed as a tulpa, Cooper promising to walk through Janey-E's red door and be home for good, wanting to know how Candy, Mandy & Sandy hooked up with the Mitchum brothers, me not being Pearl Jam Guy, Audrey's dance at the Roadhouse, my pet theory about Audrey waking up to reality, David Lynch hinting that Season 4 could happen, Xan not liking Back to the Future Part II, more Strong Bad and Homestar Runner referencesand more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

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Be sure to come back next week as Xan and I review "The Return, Part 17", the penultimate episode of the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks!  Look for more of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

HBO Orders Pilot & Backup Scripts for WATCHMEN

We're one step closer to watching the Watchmen.

Deadline has confirmed that HBO has given a formal pilot green light to the proposed Watchmen television series and has also ordered backup scripts.

Showrunner Damon Lindelof teased the news two days ago with the following Instagram post captioned "Day One".  The post featured a real-life replica of the statue that Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl, was killed with by the Knot-Tops street gang.  The statue of himself as Nite Owl was given to Mason as an acknowledgment and reward for his service as a costumed adventurer.

Created in 1986 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen was a 12-issue maxi-series set in an alternate reality that closely mirrors the contemporary world of the 1980s, but with the presence of superheroes that has altered the outcome of real-world events.  In keeping with the realism of the series, the costumed crimefighters of Watchmen are commonly called "superheroes", but only one, Doctor Manhattan, possesses superhuman powers. The war in Vietnam ends with a U.S. victory in 1971 and Richard Nixon is still president as of October 1985.  When the story begins, the existence of Doctor Manhattan has given the U.S. a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, which has increased tensions between the two nations. Eventually, superheroes grow unpopular among the police and the public, leading to the passage of legislation, the Keene Act, in 1977 to outlaw them.  While many of the heroes retired, Doctor Manhattan and a veteran superhero known as The Comedian operate as government-sanctioned agents.  Another, Rorschach, continues to operate outside the law as a vigilante.

In October 1985, New York City police investigate the murder of a man named Edward Blake.  With the police having no leads, Rorschach decides to probe further.  Discovering Blake to be the face behind The Comedian, Rorschach believes he has discovered a plot to terminate costumed adventurers and sets about warning four of his retired comrades -- Dan Dreiberg (formerly the second Nite Owl), the emotionally detached Doctor Manhattan and his lover Laurie Juspeczyk (the second Silk Spectre), and Adrian Veidt (once the hero Ozymandias), a successful businessman.

After Blake's funeral, Manhattan is accused on national television of being the cause of cancer in friends and former colleagues.  When the U.S. government takes the accusations seriously, Manhattan exiles himself to Mars.  As Manhattan is one of the United States' greatest military powers, his departure throws humanity into political turmoil, with the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan to capitalize on the perceived American weakness. Rorschach's concerns appear vindicated when Adrian Veidt narrowly survives an assassination attempt, and Rorschach himself is framed for murdering Moloch, a former supervillain, and imprisoned.  Nite Owl and Rorschach work to uncover the conspiracy surrounding the death of The Comedian and the accusations that drove Manhattan into exile.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

THE FANDOM ZONE 114: "The End of the Road" is Up!

"I didn't sign up for this shit."
"Spoken like a true Messiah."
– Jesse Custer and Herr Starr, Preacher: "The End of the Road"

Wake the kids and phone the neighbors, Karen and I are finally back with a special Preacher themed episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Preacher 2x11: "Backdoors"
Preacher 2x12: "On Your Knees"
Preacher 2x13: "The End of the Road"  (Season Finale)

In this episode, Karen and I talk about things like Karen's life being a dumpster fire, Preacher's closed captioning fail, why Miss Mannering needs to guest star on Lucifer, Cassidy having zero effs to give about what he wears, Jesse's escalating prayers, Young Jesse being lowered to the bottom of the swamp in a coffin, Hitler's epic man fail, a personal Dan Quayle anecdote, Jesse and Cassidy being sexist, that awkward moment when you're trying to scalp Jesse Custer and Miss Mannering shows up to bring you back to Hell, Cassidy's unicorn story, Herr Starr wanting Jesse to be the Messiah, teasing Gran'ma, T.C. and Jody for Season 3, confusing Charon with Sharon, Hitler's inevitable betrayal of Eugene, Cassidy's daydream of making out with Tulip and biting her, Banjo from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, our rant about people not recording cell phone video in widescreen, finally seeing Cassidy with his fangs out, Jesse and Cassidy's fight over Tulip's life, Cassidy telling Jesse that he hates him, wondering if AMC is burning through Fear the Walking Dead, convincing Karen that she's awesome, Karen hoping to see Peter Capaldi at New York Comic Con, and more!

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And if that isn't enough for you, you can also check us out on YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!  Oh, and if you're interested in an officially official Fandom Zone Podcast t-shirt that all the cool kids are wearing, you can get those on TeePublic HERE as well!  Feel free to post a picture on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Karen and I review the Season 4 premiere of Gotham and more episodes of The Defendersright here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 094: "The Caves of Androzani" is Up!

"You better turn this ship around, Doctor!"
"Because I'll kill you if you don't!"
"Not a very convincing argument actually, Stotz, because I'm going to die soon anyway, unless of course I can find the antidote…I owe it to my young friend to try because I got her into this.  So you see -- I'm not going to let you stop me now!"

-- Stotz and The Fifth Doctor, Doctor Who: "The Caves of Androzani"

That's right, my partner in time Jesse Jackson and I are finally back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  In this episode, Jesse and I review "The Caves of Androzani", the sixth serial of Season 21 from the original series of Doctor Who in 1984, starring Peter Davison in his final story as the Fifth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown!

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like "The Caves of Androzani" ranking highly in Doctor Who Best Story Ever polls, my recent trip to London and my Doctor Who filming locations pics, my wife's Outlander fan experience in Scotland, Jesse's final chemo treatment, running down other Robert Holmes stories, Peter Davison's final season being his best, Nicola Bryant's American accent, Peri being a better Fifth Doctor companion than a Sixth Doctor companion, the Fifth Doctor feeling responsible for Peri and his determination to save her life, Sharez Jek as The Phantom of the Opera, David Lynch's film adaptation of Dune, almost having Tim Curry and David Bowie as Sharez Jek, the Fifth Doctor's heroic sacrifice to save Peri, the old comics newspaper Comics Buyer's Guide, whether the Fifth Doctor had the best regeneration, finally getting an explanation for the celery in the Fifth Doctor's lapel, my Reverse the Reverse the Polarity segment, Jesse attending Dragon Con in Atlanta, new feedback from Holly from Wisconsin and Paul from Australia, our anticipation for the upcoming DC Comics series Titans, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
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And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back in two weeks as Jesse and I review the 2015 Big Finish audio adventure "The Brink of Death", the fourth story in the Doctor Who: The Last Adventure set, which features Colin Baker's final chronological story as the Sixth Doctor, Bonnie Langford as Melanie "Mel" Bush, and Michael Jayston as The Valeyard!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

GOTHAM Season 4 Dark Band Trailer Teases The Scarecrow

Gotham City is a getting a bit more scary this fall.

The Fox series Gotham has released a new "Dark Band" trailer approved for "Gotham citizens ready for a Dark Knight", recapping some of the show craziest moments and giving us a good look at what's coming up in Season 4.

The four minute trailer opens with fleeting images of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) as a prototype Batman, standing on a rooftop at night wearing a black mask and some body armor.  We hear a voiceover from Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), who tells Bruce "You gotta find something that you really care about, and you protect it at all costs."  From, there we get an edited recap of the show's first three seasons.

At around the 2 minute, 14 second mark, we hear those same words from Alfred once again, as we begin to see new footage from Season 4.

"I can make a difference in a Gotham, Alfred," says Bruce.  "I know I can."

"It's dangerous," replies Alfred.  "You are engaging villains, Master Bruce."

Next, we see The Scarecrow, who was previously introduced as Jonathan Crane in the first season episode "The Fearsome Dr. Crane", played by Charlie Tahan.  "Jonathan Crane isn't here anymore," says the villain as he sprays various people with fear gas.  "It's just The Scarecrow."

One of Scarecrow's victims is left for the GCPD, trussed up in a field like an actual scarecrow, and he warns Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) that the Scarecrow is coming.

The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) confronts Gordon at GCPD headquarters as the press takes pictures and scribbles notes furiously.  "The GCPD can no longer keep us safe," says the Penguin.

"I am not giving this city over to the Penguin," Gordon tells Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue).

"This is a war," replies Bullock.  "Not one battle."

Meanwhile, we find Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) cornered by a street gang in an alley and she asks them to let her go.  "Not a chance," says the gang leader.

"Don't say I didn't warn you," replies Selina as she pulls out her bullwhip and proceeds to take out the entire gang.

Next, the Scarecrow corners Gordon menacingly.  "All right, Mr. Cop, let's have some fun," he remarks, spraying Gordon with his fear gas.  "I wonder, what scares you the most?"

From there, we go to the Penguin's new Iceberg Lounge, featuring the still-frozen Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) as the club's centerpiece display.  Presumably, this is the Iceberg Lounge's opening night, because Bruce, Alfred and Selina are in attendance.  Alfred tells Bruce, "There is a time for masks and there is a time for Bruce Wayne."

Bruce and Selina share a moment on a rooftop, as Selina balances herself on the edge. "You don't know anything about me," she tells Bruce.

Next, Bruce talks to Alfred about his new nighttime crimefighting activities.  "Alfred, I feel more alive than I've ever felt before."

Later, at GPCD headquarters, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) confronts Bruce about his battered face.  "Rough night, Bruce?  Get into a fight?"

"Rock climbing," lies Alfred as we glimpse images of Bruce in action.

After we hear some various lines delivered by several characters and glimpse Selina wearing a mask, Lucius opens a briefcase, showing Bruce and Alfred some body armor he's designed.  "It is a thin kevlar weave with reinforced forearm protection.  Extremely lightweight, and actually, bulletproof.  You know, for rock climbing."

Bruce is shown on another rooftop, fully garbed in the black mask and body armor.  "I'm going down for a closer look," he says to Alfred over a radio.

Alfred sits in a car nearby, listening to Bruce over a headset.  "How did I know you were going to say that?"

If you'd like to watch the "Dark Band" trailer, you can view it below thanks to the official Gotham YouTube account...

Gotham returns for Season 4 on Thursday, September 21st at 8 p.m. EST.