Superhero Weekly: Book of Green Light

If you think there’s a lot to digest in this week’s episode, start with just the episode’s official title. And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light is a little too long. One could say the same about the events this week, but let’s not judge a book by its cover… As large as it might be for such a long description.

With Supergirl and The Flash on hiatus, it’s up to Jefferson and crew to deliver.

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(Source: The CW)

Black Lightning, Green Light & Blue Spandex:

  • The Green Light drug has hit the streets hard and Black Lightning is out there to make sure the cops don’t forget these are kids. Where was the mace? Where was the tazer? Jefferson was right on the money there. Cops went right for the firepower. That’s one more first for this show: this superhero is not chummy with the police, nor is the police squeaky clean either.
  • Lightning has a history with our Inspector Henderson. Apparently they have sort of, kind of, collaborated in the past. I still don’t trust Henderson, but he seems to be willing to help somewhat.
  • Gambi has a deal with Tobias Whale because of course he does. The tailor seems to have connections everywhere and Whale knows it. What exactly does Gambi have over Whale to make it through that scene without getting clobbered into oblivion? More important, Tori seems to know that Tobias visiting Gambi could cause friction with Lady Eve. How deep does this rabbit hole goes?
  • Jennifer gets jumped by two girls from her school at a skating rink but as it turns out she knows how to handle herself fine. One of the girls ends up with her hand in a cast and her family pays the Pierce a visit for a cash grab. First time I sided with Jennifer here. She gets attacked but she’s the one to end up grounded?
  • Anissa dons a superhero costume. It’s kind of a stretch (not a pun on spandex btw) because… Why would you wear something flashy if you are going to go skulking for information about your own grandfather? Too soon, I think.
  • Anissa’s investigations reveal Alvin Pierce was close to the truth about an experiment to give children special abilities. She’s bound to discover her father’s secret soon enough, which means it will eventually happen but they will drag it along for some time. The part I don’t like about this is the whole “when will they find out” where the audience already knows and we’re just supposed to have expectations on the reaction. This has happened on every CW superhero show.
  • On the other hand, Anissa’s snooping should end up revealing the origin of Black Lightning. What is that vial she found?
  • The nerdy looking kid that hangs out with Tobias is Joey Toledo. It’s hard to believe this punk is a threat, or that he could be a suspect in Jefferson’s father’s death.
  • Lightning gains hover capabilities thanks to the suit but he’s got these headaches that keep getting worse. It’s every superhero’s nightmare: What if your powers are unreliable? What’s worse, what if they incapacitate you at the worse time?

That will do for now.

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Toy Review: Takara Transformers Masterpiece Megatron MP-36

“Peace through Tyranny.”

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Takara Tomy’s MP-36 is known as arguably the best version of Megatron that never existed. It’s an incredible depiction of the Decepticon Leader straight out of the cartoon, extremely articulate, posable and with more than enough personality. The transformation complexity is almost overwhelming.

The level of tolerances throughout the toy are not as bad as you think, but they do involve painted pieces rubbing together. Paint chipping is likely to happen. Like so many owners of the MP-36, I prefer to keep him on robot form. I’ve transformed only twice. Once when I got him and now for this review.

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Yes, it looks fragmented but getting him as close as you can to the gun mode is a bit of a challenge so it’s satisfying when you make it all the way through. The tolerances do exist but some panels that need to fold and turn will make you cringe. Getting the barrel to line up is only possible if you have everything clicking just right. Same with the pistol grip/handle as it won’t lock in place if things are misaligned.

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I was surprise to find myself enjoying the transformation (you will need patience and a good 45 minutes) the second time. I opted to first transform him into gun mode just to see how accurate I could get the pieces to fit together. Yes, they do with some very intricate engineering. There’s two things that you will need/want/NEED to do to this toy. That’s three if yours come with the orange plugs. Mine is a Japanese import found at the Montreal Comic Con so it was orange plug free.

The first thing is the silencer-barrel problem. If you have this toy or you’ve seen the videos you might be wondering how did I manage to fit the silencer. It doesn’t fit right out of the box. Your mileage may vary, but this is a very common problem. The solution is to sand the peg inside the silencer where the barrel attaches.

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You can’t open the silencer all the way, but you can remove the thicker part from the long tube for easier access. That takes a small screw. Then you can also remove the screw in the middle of the tube so that you can split the tube partly. Yes, I know that means you flex the plastic, but it will flex. You just need it wide enough so that the thick part will detach. You have to be VERY careful doing this, but there’s a point in which it’s wide enough for the tabs inside to keep it open. See the figure below. Once the thick part comes out, you will see the peg inside the tube.

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Sanding the peg is not an exact exercise. You sand a bit, you test how the barrel fits, you repeat. There’s these plastic ledges that run inside the peg, right where the split happens, that are what you should focus on. Here’s an additional image for clarity.

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Once you have these ledges sanded down enough so that the barrel can plug into the peg but still not completely fall out, you can stop. It’s really what you’re comfortable with. Once the deed is done, then you can finally attach the silencer.

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The second part is going to be even more of an issue if you want to transform him. It’s that darn screw right in his butt. It’s part of this central axis right in the middle of his legs.

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You just have to apply a screwdriver to it and loosen it somewhat. That’s all. I don’t know how but every single owner had to do this even if they only wanted to see the gun form once in their lifetime. On the plus side, there are some part of this transformation that are just a marvel of engineering, specially how the legs bend to form the upper part of the grip and how they extend for the legs. It’s almost mass-shifting.

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Here’s another view of the screw that you will have to loosen to get the legs to split or close together. This is how the tabs unpeg so the legs can come together for gun form.

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And this is how the pegs go inwards into that axis for robot form. It’s literally night and day. At this point I’m going to robot form, of course.

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Another engineering marvel coming up. The pistol grip splits to form the legs, but the legs are very skinny, aren’t they? Deceivingly, the legs are compressed with a lot of tricks.

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You have to split open the legs, drive in the calfs, open panels, swivel here, etc. The result is uncanny. This is how they end up looking (from the front now).

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The critical part for me when going from gun mode to robot mode is opening up the whole gun barrel. This is always the part where I think I’m about to break the toy. You need pull this apart carefully yet forcefully yet carefully. Once I’m part this part and I can see that hole unpegged, I can breathe again.

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And finally we get back to robot form, which is the best form ever. The articulation on this robot is amazing. Yes, there’s some kibble in the back, nothing we haven’t seen before.

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Final thoughts? If you are happy with one of the 3rd party offerings, you’re not obligated to get this toy. I didn’t know it existed, saw it at the Montreal Comic Con and went home to research the hell out of it. It’s literally the only Megs I have and it sparked (pun!) a renewed interest to collect a few more transformers. I know it’s expensive, specially here in Canada with customs. I’m glad just posing him on a shelf and I might transform him only once a year if at all. It’s a collector’s item and I can say that because it made a collector again out of me. If you have been biding your time to get the very best version of Megs available and are willing to pay the price, this should be at the top of the list.

Bonus shot: Megs and Soundwave talking about the good ole days.

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That will do for now.

 

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Superhero Weekly: Black Jesus, Both Sides Now and True Colors

I must say, The Flash really tried this week. There were several good things, but the episode as a whole is a bit all over the place. Consistently good, Black Lightning once more takes the lead as the character of Tobias Whale becomes more interesting and Anissa Pierce keeps stealing the spotlight. Supergirl delves deeper into the Kryptonian Worldkillers as Purity is revealed, but it’s Alex Danvers that brings about the best moments in this week’s episode. So who takes the lead this time?

It’s Black Lightning again as we go deep into the superhero myth with Black Jesus.

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(Source: The CW)

  • Anissa Pierce keeps stealing the spotlight. Yes, Jefferson is interesting. Lynn is a driving force. Henderson is shady, I still say he’s definitely dirty. Gambi is hiding information from Jefferson. With all this threads going on, who’s the player of the week in this show of the week?
  • It’s Tobias Whale of course! Well, not just him but the world around him. We get more on Lady Eve as she seems to be dissecting a living person. We meet Tobias’ sister Tori who wants to turn the world against Lightning. And we see Tobias getting close with Khalil and offering to show him how to kill his pain.
  • But Anissa is still shining as well. As she gets the drop of two drug dealers, we also get a real world call as the two thugs end badly hurt and Anissa ends up calling for an ambulance.
  • Anissa also gets extra points as she represents the superhero side versus law enforcement at the table where Inspector Henderson and his wife are all about painting Black Lightning as a vigilante and nothing more.
  • We also get Gambi playing a curator with the truth as he makes sure that Jefferson does not see the footage of Anissa going X-Woman as she protects Grace. Seems Gambi not only feels that Black Lightning is necessary, he also wants Black Lightning back. So much so, that he’ll lie and hide stuff from Jefferson to make sure nothing deters him from the superhero life.

Supergirl scores the second place in today’s week with the excellent Both Sides Now.

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(Source: The CW)

  • The mythos of the Kryptonian Worldkillers becomes more intriguing as each shows to have an oblivious, almost innocent, human side component. Purity / Julia is played by Krys Marshall. She has a Hannibal Lecter moment as she gets under Alex Danver’s skin.
  • Which brings us to Chyler Leigh’s brilliant portrayal of her character Alex Danvers as she second guesses her decisions. Besides the scene in which she and Purity trade barbs and Alex ends up shaken to her core, there’s one short scene that spoke volumes. Alex walking nervously, obviously upset, getting a much needed hug from Wynn.
  • I know it’s supposed to be a tender moment, but what I thought really poignant was just Alex walking nervously without a word and trembling as she was simply far more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen her. Just for that scene, Supergirl could’ve been at the very top of this list this week, except…
  • Except it’s a bit off. The entire setup of Purity/Julia going against Kara and Alex is supposed to be this juxtaposition scenario. It feels clunky because Alex is not really a cynical character nor has she acted as one in the previous episodes. I know the reason is her recent breakup with Maggie, but the only reason I know that is because of all the exposition they had to add surrounding the scene. Yes, I did like the conversation but the over-the-top transformation of Alex as tough-as-nails interrogator is a huge stretch.
  • Kudos once again to Katie McGrath’s amazing Lena Luthor but unfortunately most of her scenes were with my least favourite new character. I’m talking about mediocre kid actor Ruby (Emma Tremblay). I never believe her acting since she appeared. She’s an amateur act that seems to play being a kid. Every scene with her is a bit of a cringe fest as it feels like she’s a tween playing an eight year old.
  • Going back to Lena, has she really figured out what’s wrong with Samantha Arias? It would be really interesting to see Kara defending Samantha while Lena tries to prove she knows she’s Reign but I am not that lucky. I feel we’re being setup for a letdown here, but I will be glad to be proven wrong. Please let me be wrong.
  • The other suckfest is Mon-El (Chris Wood). He’s supposed to be a different character now, grown up and matured. Unfortunately this transition is a bit forced. To the point that when someone praises him on some accomplishment I can’t help but roll my eyes a bit. Make him win some point in present time and not in something he did off camera somewhere in the future.
  • That being said, there was a twist this week with the possibility that Imra and Brainiac actually planned this supposedly accidental trip back to the past. This cliffhanger of a twist seems to be intentional for a hiatus period.

The Flash really went for broke this week with True Colors, but still ends up last.

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(Source: The CW)

  • I did like Barry Allen figuring out how to break from a meta prison using science. That was cool and unexpected. The whole escape from prison had a Suicide Squad vibe but seemed to be robbed of a satisfying finale in the end.
  • Okey I gotta say it. We got a killer Killer Frost scene as Caitlin Snow goes to pep talk Ralph and literally cuts herself with glass to bring her alter ego out. That being said I noticed they went with some scenes of Killer Frost without using contacts. This kinda mitigates her usual alien look, and I wonder if it was done to make her more relatable. I rather prefer the more icy look.
  • Are we putting seeds of discord in the perfect couple? Marlize Devoe seems to finally showing some cracks in the armor at her husband’s murder of Warden Wolff.
  • And Barry is out! Well, I guess that’s that. And it was rather anti-climatic, making me think this was never long term.
  • Devoe is now in the persona/body of Becky Sharpe aka Hazard (Sugar Lyn Beard). This weakens the character as we no longer have a clear image that can mature into the villainous face since it switches to a different one. That just dilutes the identity and never cements his presence which was the same issue with Savitar last season. I feel like you have to make the villain tangible enough for the public to make a solid association.

That will do for now.

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