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REVIEW: Supergirl the Complete Third Season

There is so much to like about the CW’s Supergirl that you want it to be brilliant, entertaining, and empowering for its young female viewers. That it is such a muddled mess more often than not spoils that because you admire their intentions and scratch your head at how the execution too often misses the mark.

Out tomorrow is Supergirl the Complete Third Season on Blu-ray with a Digital HD code from Warner Home Entertainment. The four-disc set contains all 23 episodes including all four episodes of the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover with Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.

We start the season with Odette Annable’s Sam, newly arrived in National City with her young daughter Ruby (Emma Tremblay). They’re in the wrong place at the wrong time when an accident happens and we see Sam affected and over the course of the season’s first third, we watch her become a villain. It’s a wonderful, slow build, especially her growing sense of panic over her blackouts.

As luck has it, she has arrived to work for Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), who is now spending more time at CatCo, micromanaging James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), and still trying to be besties with Kara (Melissa Benoist). With Wynn (Jeremy Jordan) now at the DEO (and apparently as smart as a 12th level Coluan intellect – who knew), and Snapper Carr absent, it’s just a distraction. The James/Lena romance appears to exist just to give the actors something to do.

Without Cat Grant around, there’s less and less a need for CatCo and maybe they need a fresh break, since it splits the focus although we do get a delightful reveal for Eve Tescmacher (Andrea Brooks) late in the season.

Similarly, the super-secret DEO has become a revolving door with just about everyone wandering in and out, making one wonder about national security. John Jones (David Harewood) doesn’t seem too worried because most of this season his focus is on his father M’yrnn (Carl Lumbly) who has developed Martian Alzheimer’s, giving them some charming moments.

Increasingly, Alex (Chyler Leigh) takes charge, and gets a uniform upgrade along the way. She’s got little else to focus on since she and Maggie (Floriana Lima) break up early, over the perfectly reasonable issue over having children. It’s a natural pause in their romance and one of the best handled plot lines.

On the flip side, we get Sam becoming Reign and she has her own desert-based Fortress (which no one ever seems to notice), chided into performing destructive acts for reasons that continually shifts and never makes sense. We’re halfway through the season before we realize she’s one of a triad then we hastily add the other two and do absolutely nothing with them so viewers could care less, especially as it takes the focus over Sam’s problems.

Reign and her gal pals are such a threat that a mere three members of the Legion of Super-Heroes hurtle back in time to change the future (like that trick ever works). Leading the charge is Mon-El (Chris Wood), who is now married to Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson), who is now a telekinetic rather than a telepath, and for comic relief Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath), with the worst makeup job on network television.

As the show came back from hiatus in January, the series suffered from the usual Greg Berlanti problem of an overstuffed cast, an overly complicated nonsensical major plot arc, and the focus diminished from the title character.

We get diversions as we cross the stars for a visit to Argo City, where her mother (Erica Durance) and others from Krypton have managed to survive (further diminishing Superman and Supergirl’s uniqueness). The Argo revelation should be its own arc or season but shoehorned here, takes away from the specialness of the event. Instead, it’s all to retrieve a Magoffin to save Earth.

Speaking of which, once Superman was introduced in season two, every time the stakes are raised, it raises the question of where is her cousin? The dialogue usually is something about him being in space rather than Kara declaring her confidence in handling the situation no matter how dire. I wish the writers did a better job handling the Big ‘S’.

The climactic episodes are so much sound and fury that you stop caring. The human elements are too lacking in favor of spectacle. Kara is either getting beaten by Reign or moping over Mon-El that’s she a lesser character this year, which is a waste of Benoist’s skills.

In addition to the episodes and crossover, we have a 41-minute Inside the Crossover: Crisis on Earth-X and The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017 (both appearing on other series sets). As a result, the only unique to Supergirl features are a brief one exploring Annable’s arc, an assortment of deleted scenes, and the gag reel. The high def transfer is just fine for audio and visual.

Book-A-Day 2018 #256: Cerebus by Dave Sim

I haven’t read Dave Sim’s Cerebus in years. At least ten, probably more like twenty. I fell off the horse sometime before the big ending — Cerebus famously was a self-published series whose creator declared he would do three hundred issues, monthly, and by gum he did it — during what I think of as the Sour Years.

(As far as I can tell, Cerebus ended as planned in 2004, but the Sour Years did not. There’s a lesson for all of us, as we get older.)

Before that, though, Cerebus was one of my favorite comics. More importantly, it was an exemplar of what comics could do, one of the first comics I picked up at Iron Vic Comics in Poughkeepsie sometime in the fall of 1986, when Young Andy went to see what these “new comics for adults” were all about.

I must have come in with a list of some kind, at least a mental one — I almost always have lists — because I know I didn’t ask for anyone’s advice. Or maybe I just grabbed what looked the most different on the racks. It was 1986; there was a lot of different available, especially in a comics shop near a college.

In any case, I know I got Flaming Carrot and Nexus that first trip. Maybe Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen, but I don’t think so: I think it was all indies, that first time out.

Other comics had different things going for them: Flaming Carrot was the most bizarre, with a beating heart of pure dada. Nexus was smart SF of a kind I didn’t yet realize was vanishingly rare in comics. But Cerebus was easily the most impressive. Sim was a great artist, a masterful letterer — the least-appreciated of the comics arts — and a master of fizzy, funny dialogue. He also clearly had a master plan and knew how to pace a story. (Even then, I was looking for storytellers who knew how to do endings. Sim has his flaws — they are huge and un-ignorable — but he always knew how to close a story.)

Sim eventually fell into the Autodidact’s Curse: swallowed whole by his own self-inflicted cranky explanation of everything in the universe, which of course also took over Cerebus, because that’s what happens with autodidacts who live and work alone: their work is the way to reach the world, so it fills up with everything in their heads. And what was in Sim’s head, starting in the mid-90s, got pretty vile.

But I’m not in the mid-90s today. Cerebus , the book, is the first of sixteen big fat “phone books” — Sim pioneered the complete book-format reprint series, the way he pioneered self-publishing, by just doing it damn well and inspiring others to follow. It starts with the very first issue, from the end of 1977, and collects that along with the next twenty-four issues, up to just before the beginning of his first really long story, High Society, in the spring of 1981.

The Cerebus book has four years and about 550 pages of comics, starting with a cartoon aardvark (the title character) in a fantasy story that sits uneasily somewhere between parody and homage of the Roy Thomas/Barry (Windsor-) Smith Conan but rapidly turns into its own distinctive blend of comics-industry parody, comics versions of various old comedians (and some others), sword-swinging realpolitik, every cultural influence that hit Sim in nearly real-time, convoluted scheming among various strains of serious and silly fanatics, and just plain gleeful joy in overcomplication.

At the center of it all is Cerebus: an aardvark in a world of men (this will be explained, sort of, much later, and not necessarily in a way anyone will be satisfied with), and a person who relentlessly hides his depths, and any trace of nuance, in pursuit of being the bluntest of blunt objects. Cerebus primarily is a force of need and demand — mostly, in these early stories, trying to get as large a pile of gold coins as he possibly can, and generally losing what he has in his greed for more. He’ll come to want bigger things later, but that essential nature remains: he’s smart, but not thoughtful, and insightful about the weaknesses and exploitable flaws of others, but never introspective for a second. Those traits lead him to fail, over and over, in interesting and frequently funny ways.

As I said above, the story will all go sour, in various ways, later on, as Sim’s hobby-horses and the bludgeon of Cerebus’s personality combine badly into histrionic misogynistic stories and endlessly tedious text features. But that’s a long way in the future from these stories. These stories see Sim expanding from single-issue stories to first two and then three-issue plots, and threading background details into launching points for the next ideas. By the end of this book, Cerebus has changed from a comic about a cartoon aardvark who has a somewhat humorous fantasy adventure each issue into a comic about a big, quirky world, full of conflict and modernizing in a vaguely late-medieval way, across which travels a deeply flawed but very interesting grey-skinned fellow.

This is the rising curve of Cerebus: Sim got noticeably better with every issue, and was doing entertaining and intriguing fantasy adventure from the first page. He got very funny very quickly; his drawing improved immensely from what was already a nice Windsor-Smith follower; and his plots and dialogue filled with amusing and fascinating complications as he built out that complex world.

There are hints of the later attitudes towards women here — women do not come off well in any era of Cerebus, except maybe the Jaka storyline. There are two major female characters in this book: Jaka, a dancer that Cerebus falls in love with when drugged and abandons immediately afterward, and the Red Sonja parody Red Sophia. Jaka does eventually get more emotional depth than the standard beautiful, loving, loyal girlfriend role she gets here, but that’s still far in the future. And Red Sophia is very funny, but no deeper than any of the other parodies, like the Cockroach or Elrod of Melvinbone.

(Though I have to say that I was reminded again, reading this, just how amazingly funny Elrod is. It’s a bizarre combination that shouldn’t work for any logical reason — an incompetent, self-important version of Moorcock’s Elric who speaks in the tones of Foghorn Leghorn — but it kills, and every time Elrod appears again it’s a high point of the book.)

I don’t think any of this is “you had to be there.” It definitely will work better if you are of the male persuasion, and doubly so if you don’t know where it all ends up. But there’s well over two thousand pages of really good Cerebus comics, and they start here. You can always jump off the ride before it crashes. You’ll have plenty of time and warning. Comics has few enough geniuses: we can’t afford to ignore the crazy ones.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection hits Home October 16


Experience all three chainsaw-wielding seasons of the hilarious, critically acclaimed, most-watched comedy on Starz when the Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) and DVD October 16 from Lionsgate. Legendary horror icon Bruce Campbell stars in this series that follows up Sam Raimi’s cult-classic horror film The Evil Dead. The Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection 6-disc Blu-ray and DVD includes hours of bonus content and will be available for the suggested retail price of $49.99 and $49.98, respectively.


Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), the chainsaw-wielding, wisecracking antihero of the legendary The Evil Dead films, is back for more gore-filled adventure in this complete 30-episode collection of the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series. Follow Ash’s journey as he returns home to Elk Grove, Michigan, meets his long-lost daughter, and unites with former enemy Ruby (Lucy Lawless) and fellow demon fighters Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) for a final blood-splattering stand to save the world!


  • “Inside the World of Ash” Featurette
  • “How to Kill a Deadite” Featurette
  • “Best of Ash” Featurette
  • Audio Commentaries


  • “Season 2 First Look” Featurette
  • “Inside the World of Ash vs Evil Dead” Featurette
  • “Up Your Ash” Featurette
  • “Women Who Kick Ash” Featurette
  • “Puppets Are Cute” Featurette
  • “Dawn of the Spawn” Featurette
  • “Bringing Henrietta Back” Featurette
  • “The Delta” Featurette
  • “How to Kill a Deadite” Featurette
  • “Fatality Mash-Up” Featurette
  • Audio Commentaries


  • “Season Overview” Featurette
  • “Inside the World of Ash vs Evil Dead” Featurette
  • Audio Commentaries


Bruce Campbell                     The Evil Dead franchise

Lucy Lawless                         TV’s “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Spartacus: War of the Damned”

Ray Santiago                         Meet the Fockers

Dana DeLorenzo                   A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

and Arielle Carver-O’Neill       TV’s “Worst Year of My Life, Again!” and “Suburbs”


Year of Production: 2015-2018
Title Copyright: Ash vs Evil Dead © 2015, 2016, 2018 Starz Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2018 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Type: TV-on-DVD
Rating: TV-MA
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Action
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, French*, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 14 Hrs., 20 Mins.
Blu-ray Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 (1.78:1) Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 (1.78:1) Presentation
Blu-ray Audio: English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio*
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio*
*Seasons Two and Three Only.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Debuts Friday

The savior of Etheria is here as DreamWorks She-Ra and The Princesses of Power brings to life a story of magic, friendship, loyalty, and an epic battle for peace. Inspired by the popular ‘80s series, DreamWorks She-Ra and the Princesses of Power tells the story of an orphan named Adora, who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess, She-Ra. Set in a world where women are unabashedly at the forefront, the series brings forth indomitable female characters each with their unique abilities and flaws to empower and entertain audiences everywhere. To celebrate the upcoming series, we have included both the new teaser trailer and press kit link below.

Eisner Award-winning author and executive producer Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes, Nimona) and executive producer Chuck Austen (Dawn of the Croods, Steven Universe) present a modern take on the ‘80s girl power icon by giving a generation of young fans a warrior princess that is tailor-made for today. The series will debut Friday, 11/16/18 exclusively on Netflix!

Created by an amazing production team, this Netflix original series features a talented voice cast, starring Aimee Carrero (Elena of Avalor) as Adora/She-Ra, Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad) as Glimmer, AJ Michalka (The Goldbergs) as Catra, Marcus Scribner (Black-ish) as Bow, Reshma Shetty (Royal Pains) as Queen Angella, Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black) as Shadow Weaver, Keston John (The Good Place) as Hordak, Lauren Ash (Superstore) as Scorpia, Christine Woods (Hello Ladies) as Entrapta, Genesis Rodriguez (Time After Time) as Perfuma, Jordan Fisher (Hamilton: An American Musical) as Seahawk, Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Mermista, Merit Leighton (Katie and Alexa) as Frosta, Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) as Castaspella, and Krystal Joy Brown (Motown: The Musical) as Netossa.

Buzzworthy Sorry to Bother You Comes Home October 23

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, arriving on Digital and Movies Anywhere October 9 and on Blu-ray and DVD October 23.

Expect the unexpected in hip-hop artist Boots Riley’s directorial and screenwriting debut, Sorry to Bother You – an outrageously surreal look at capitalism, corporate greed, and fractured workplace dynamics. In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, California, struggling telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe.

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features Include:

  • Beautiful Clutter with Director Boots Riley
  • Commentary with Director Boots Riley
  • Gallery
  • The Cast of Sorry to Bother You
  • The Art of the White Voice

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU Blu-ray and DVD Specifications:
Street Date:                  October 23, 2018
Screen Format:            Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio:                           Blu-ray: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1
DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Subtitles:                      Blu-ray: English SDH, Spanish
DVD: English SDH, Spanish
Total Run Time:           100 Minutes
U.S. Rating:                  R (Restricted)
Closed Captioned:Yes

The Spy who Dumped Me Sneaks onto Home Video October 30

SANTA MONICA, CA (September 10, 2018) – Two of today’s biggest female comedians join forces to thwart a high-stakes undercover operation when The Spy Who Dumped Me arrives on Digital October 16 and on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand October 30 from Lionsgate. Directed by Susanna Fogel, acclaimed creator of TV’s Chasing Life, and written by Fogel & David Iserson, The Spy Who Dumped Me is a hilarious, action-packed ride that also features the work of Gary Powell, the stunt coordinator behind Jason Bourne, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Mission: Impossible. Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis (Best Supporting Actress, Black Swan, 2011) and Emmy® Award winner Kate McKinnon (Best Supporting Actress, Saturday Night Live, 2016 and 2017) “show the boys a thing or two about pals-in-peril laughs and thrills” (Robert Abele, The Wrap) in this buddy spy comedy romp. Also starring in the film are Justin Theroux (The Girl on the Train, The Leftovers), Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show), and Sam Heughan (Outlander).

Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon), two thirty-year-old best friends in Los Angeles, are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Surprising even themselves, the duo jump into action, on the run throughout Europe from assassins and a suspicious-but-charming British agent, as they hatch a plan to save the world.

The Spy Who Dumped Me home entertainment release includes never-before-seen deleted scenes, outtakes, and four featurettes giving insight into the making of this huge action comedy. Experience four times the resolution of full HD with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes Dolby Vision HDR, bringing entertainment to life through ultra-vivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. The release also feature Dolby Atmos® audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. The Spy Who Dumped Me will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively.


  • “Covert Operations: The Making of The Spy Who Dumped Me” Featurette
  • “Gary Powell: The King of Action” Featurette
  • “Makin’ Friends with Hasan Minhaj” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • “Off Script” Featurette


Year of Production:  2017
Title Copyright: The Spy Who Dumped Me, Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2018 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: R for violence, language throughout, some crude sexual material and graphic nudity.
Genre: Comedy, Action
Closed-Captioned: NA
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 116 Minutes
4K Ultra HD™ Format: Dolby Vision, 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation
BD Format: 1080P High Definition 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation
4K Audio Status: English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Audio
BD Audio Status: English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Arrives in Homes October 30

Burbank, CA, September 11 – When the Teen Titans go to the big screen, they go big! Teen Titans GO! to the Movies finds our egocentric, wildly satirical superheroes in their first feature film extravaganza—a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the superhero genre, complete with musical numbers. Get ready to LOL when Teen Titans GO! to the Movies arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital.

The first-ever big-screen version of DC Entertainment and Cartoon Network’s animated TV show stars Greg Cipes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Beast Boy, Scott Menville (Spider-Man) as Robin, Khary Payton (The Walking Dead) as Cyborg, Tara Strong (the My Little Pony franchise) as Raven, and Hynden Walch (Adventure Time with Finn & Jake) as Starfire, reprising their roles from the series. Will Arnett (The LEGO® Batman Movie) and Kristen Bell (Frozen) also lend their voices as the evil Slade and Hollywood director Jade Wilson.

Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath directed the film from a screenplay by Michael Jelenic and Horvath, which is based on characters from DC. Horvath, Jelenic, Peggy Regan, Michail and Arnett produced the film with Sam Register serving as executive producer. The music is by Jared Faber. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film and special features in high definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition and a Digital version of the movie. Blu-ray special features are filled with music and fun, including the DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby mini-movie, sing-a-longs, a hilarious look at the Teen Titans characters dubbing their favorite lines in other languages in Teen Titans GO!: Translated plus much more!

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

Fans can also own Teen Titans GO! to the Movies via purchase from digital retailers beginning October 9.


It seems like all the superheroes are getting their own movies – everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! Determined to be a star, Robin vows to change this. If only they could get Hollywood director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) to notice them! With a few madcap ideas and musical numbers (of course), the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town. But when Supervillain Slade (Will Arnett) messes with their plans, the Teen Titans will have to become true superheroes to save the world!


Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • Lil Yachty Music Video: “Teen Titans GO! Rap”
  • Sing-a-long with Silkie “DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby” Mini-Movie
  • Red Carpet Mayhem
  • Teen Titans GO! To the Movies: WB Lot Shenanigans
  • “Everything is Fake”: Exclusive song not in the movie
  • “Teen Titans GO!: Translated”
  • Storyboard Animatics:
    • Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
    • The Final Battle

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
  • The Final Battle

Blu-ray Combo Pack $35.99
DVD $28.98
Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: October 30
DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French
BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, French
BD Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 84 minutes
Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor
Blu-ray: DTS HD-MA

Fox Combines X-Men Trilogy for 4K Release

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 10, 2018) – Coming this Fall, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing a fan favorite in 4K Ultra HD™. Grab the enhanced X-Men Trilogy on September 25th.

X-Men Trilogy – September 25th
Relive the original X-Men excitement with the first three films starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. Follow the group of mutant outcasts as they learn to control their powers in the first X-MEN. Then, watch as the X-Men join forces with their enemies to save all mutants in X2: X-MEN UNITED. Finish the trilogy with X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, as the discovery of a “cure” for the mutation starts a war.

  • Special Features: Audio Commentaries, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Deleted/Extended Scenes, The Mutant Watch, Animatics, Character and Production Design Stills

Book-A-Day 2018 #254: Jack Staff, Vols. 3 & 4 by Paul Grist

It can be annoying to catch up on something you’re enjoying. Doubly so if “caught up” means “read up to the stuff published in 2009, which just sort of stops.”

But I just caught up with Paul Grist’s quirky British superhero comic Jack Staff, with the back half of the collections — the third book was Echoes of Tomorrow  and the fourth one was Rocky Realities . They’re both roughly a decade old at this point, and I don’t think there’s been any new Jack Staff material since then.

(See my posts on the first two volumes — Everything Used To Be Black and White  and Soldiers  — for more background and details. In general, since those posts are from earlier this year, I won’t talk about anything I mentioned then, like the tropism to have a splash panel and logo every time the focus shifts to another major character. [1])

Creator Paul Grist is still having massive amounts of fun with the various things he can do with a superhero universe in these stories from 2004-09, bouncing from plotline to plotline and character to character with glee and verve, throwing ideas up on one page to catch them ten pages later. It’s a whole mini-superhero universe, contained in one comic and centered on one minor British city, with multiple heroes (each with their own complicated histories) and villains and others, plus vampires and vampire hunters and plain cops and spooky cops just to keep it all interesting.

The last plotline even introduces a time cop, in the person of spacesuit-wearing chimp Rocky Reality. [2] And I have to imagine that Jack Staff‘s world would continue to grow and proliferate for as long as Grist wanted to keep it up.

Actually, I can’t prove he didn’t stop Jack Staff out of ennui or boredom. I can say that it doesn’t feel that way: the series doesn’t really have any sort of ending. The particular villain in the last issue (#20) is captured, but, as usual, the last few pages see Grist throw some more balls up in the air…and he hasn’t had a chance to catch them since then.

With that caveat in place, I’ll still recommend Jack Staff. It’s goofy and more-or-less serious and full of smart dialogue and quirky situations and energetic art. I usually hate superhero stuff, and I think this is a hoot, and wish there were five or six more volumes full of the stories Grist would have made over the past decade in a better universe.

[1] Saying that I won’t mention something and then mentioning it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Everything in science fiction should be mentioned twice — with the possible exception of science fiction.” — Samuel Delaney

The only problem is, I haven’t been able to source that quote. I have a vague memory of reading it in a book about SF: I used to think it was in Tom Disch’s The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, but I poked through that extensively and didn’t find it.

So it is entirely possible one of my favorite quotes is either horribly mangled or entirely false. I’m OK with that.

[2] He, too, gets a logo and a jingle: “If normality is out of whack, Rocky Reality whacks it back!”

You can almost hear Grist chortling as he draws these pages: that’s how much he’s having.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Flies Home October 16

BURBANK, Calif. (Sept. 10, 2018) — Moviegoers are still buzzing about Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp, the follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man and the 20th consecutive Marvel Cinematic Universe film to debut at No. 1 opening weekend and ranked in the box office top 10 for six consecutive weeks this summer. On Oct. 2, fans can instantly watch the laugh-out-loud super hero adventure Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™, and on Movies Anywhere; and on Oct. 16, take it home on Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™.

Exclusive extras provide an inside look at some of Marvel Comics’ most celebrated characters and the consummate, comedic actors who portray them in Ant-Man and The Wasp. Featurettes spotlight Paul Rudd, who returns as good-hearted thief turned hero, Scott Lang, and delivers big laughs both on set and in theaters; Evangeline Lilly, who transforms into The Wasp, the first female character to be featured in the title treatment of a Marvel Studios film; and iconic actors Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer as super couple Hank and Janet Van Dyne.  Viewers can explore more about the visual development artists and effects used to bring the characters to life and drastically alter the size of the Super Heroes and their surroundings. Additional extras include deleted scenes, bloopers, outtakes, and audio commentary by Ant-Man franchise director Peyton Reed.

Ant-Man and The Wasp comes packaged in several formats to best fit today’s varying consumer desires. Viewers can instantly bring home the film two weeks early on Digital SD/HD/4K Ultra HD and receive access to two exclusive features — including a clever commercial promoting a close-up look at the online magic school that FBI agent Jimmy Woo references to learn his card tricks and a 10 years of Marvel Studios featurette profiling the artists of the MCU — or they can purchase a physical copy of the film as either a Cinematic Universe Edition (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Code) or a Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray and Digital Code), granting the flexibility to watch the device of their choice.

BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):
Blu-ray & Digital:

  • Director’s Intro by Peyton Reed – The talented creator behind some of Marvel Studios’ funniest and most charming films will invite home audiences deeper into the world of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
  • Making-of Featurettes:
    • Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang – Hero and all-star dad Scott Lang keeps the laughs coming for the audience, cast and crew.
    • A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – Highly trained Hope Van Dyne is now the Wasp. See how some of her craziest stunts and action-packed scenes were brought to life.
    • Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – Hank Pym’s wife Janet was lost in the quantum realm. Trace the legacy of these characters and the iconic actors who portray them.
    • Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of Ant-Man and The Wasp – Explore the movie’s visual effects and production design from a whole new viewpoint, in which every micro and macro detail counts.
  • Gag Reel and Outtakes – Audiences are treated to the hilarious quips that did not make the film as well as exclusive outtakes from Stan Lee and Tim Heidecker.
    • Gag Reel – Join in the fun with these outtakes from the set.
    • Stan Lee Outtakes – Stan Lee tries out a series of hilarious one-liners for the scene in which his car shrinks.
    • Tim Heidecker Outtakes – Check out Whale Boat Captain Daniel Goobler and his improvised whale-watching riffs.
  • Deleted Scenes (with commentary by Director Peyton Reed)
    • Worlds Upon Worlds – As Janet leads Hank through the surreal landscape of the quantum realm, they encounter an intelligent life form.
    • Sonny’s on the Trail – On the hunt for Hank Pym and his lab, Sonny Burch and his henchmen check the security camera of a neighborhood bookstore.

Digital Exclusives:

  • 10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – See what it takes to bring the MCU to life, and the role concept artists play in bringing Super Heroes from comic book to screen.
  • Online Close-Up Magic University – This commercial will inspire you to expand your mind and maximize your full potential!

In Ant-Man and The Wasp, Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices, as both the Super Hero Ant-Man and a father, in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission to rescue Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp, all while attempting to serve house arrest, assist fast talking-Luis (Michael Peña) and the X-con Security crew, and thwart the efforts of a new adversary called Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and her ally Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne).

Ant-Man and The Wasp returns director Peyton Reed to the franchise and stars Paul Rudd (Captain America: Civil War, Knocked Up), Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Lost), Michael Peña (The Martian, Fury), Walton Goggins (Vice Principals, Six), Bobby Cannavale (Vinyl, Chef), Judy Greer (War for the Planet of the Apes, Wilson), Tip “T.I.” Harris (Sleepless, Get Hard), David Dastmalchian (Twin Peaks, The Belko Experiment), Hannah John-Kamen (Black Mirror, Ready Player One), Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness, Transparent), Randall Park (Veep, Fresh Off the Boat), with Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (1993 best actress in a leading role nominee for Love Field), Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne (1994 best actor in a leading role nominee for What’s Love Got to Do with It) and Academy Award winner Michael Douglas (1988 best actor in a leading role winner for Wall Street).

Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard produced the film with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari wrote the screenplay.

Peyton Reed’s creative team includes Academy Award®–nominated director of photography Dante Spinotti (2000 best cinematography nominee for The Insider); production designer Shepherd Frankel (Ant-Man, Bad Words”); editors Dan Lebental (Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Craig Wood (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Great Wall); costume designer Louise Frogley (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Finest Hours); two-time Academy Award nominee, visuals effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti (2017 best achievement in visual effects nominee for Doctor Strange); and eight-time Academy Award nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (2018 best achievement in visual effects nominee for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).

DISC SPECIFICATIONS (applies to film content only):
Product SKUs: 4K Cinematic Universe Edition (4K Ultra HD+Blu-ray+Digital Code), Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray+Digital Code), Digital UHD, HD, SD, DVD and On-Demand
Feature Run Time:Approximately 118 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Aspect Ratio: 2.39

  • UHD BD: English Dolby Atmos; Latin Spanish, French Parisian, German & Italian 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus; French Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital; English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Blu-ray: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Brazilian Portuguese, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • DVD: English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • UHD Digital: English Dolby Atmos (some platforms), English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus (some platforms), English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • HD Digital:  English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus (some platforms), English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • SD Digital:  English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital

UHD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, French Canadian, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, Thai
BD Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
Digital Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
Digital & DVD Captions: English