Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Unexpected Guest” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E8 – “Unexpected Guest”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
GUEST-STARRING: Kelson Henderson
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 17, 2021
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers get some unexpected aid from Mick, who has followed the Nexus Prism back to Earth.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Nice high-energy start to the episode as we see the end of a Megazord battle. We see the Megazord fail after taking Wolfgang’s energy blasts. Not sure if I’ve ever seen a Megazord crumble like that before. It crumpled like it was made of Legos.

Moments after the battle we get the return of Mick from Power Rangers Ninja Steel. Not sure why they opted to have Kelson Henderson return as the character, but I certainly won’t complain. It’s always good to see him.

Zayto was kind of a jerk to Mick. The Rangers had no time to help him? At all? I mean, granted their Megazord had just fallen apart. But he is a visitor from another world. Couldn’t they have given him an I.O.U.?

Ah yes, a cake gag. Straight out of the Bulk and Skull playbook.

So Mick has a handheld database with info on all the other Ranger teams. That’s how he fills the Dino Fury team in on the Nexus Prism. Seems like it’d be kinda catastrophic if that thing were to fall into the wrong hands.

Not that I’m pitching a fanfic or anything…

Good use of footage from past seasons during the Morphing Masters sequence. That’s the kind of thing that seems really small and obvious. That’s the kind of thing that seems so small and obvious. But it does a lot in terms of reminding us these seasons don’t take place in a vacuum.

The Morphing Masters are always watching, huh? That seems like the kind of thing we’d want to stash in our memory for later this season.

Unlike last week, Boomtower did bite the dust this time. How much you wanna bet Void Knight’s new “general” shows up in the very next episode? Hardly a guarantee. But possible.

We see Void Knight has a woman he calls “my love” in stasis in a secret chamber. Looks like our villain has a Mr. Freeze complex…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “A Friend Indeed” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E7 – “A Friend Indeed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Emmett Skilton (voice)
WRITERS: Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 20, 2019
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers take their Beast Bots for granted. Evox’s forces, however, do not.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We see Ravi attempting to spar with his Beast Bot, a big blue mechanical gorilla. Later in the episode we’ll see Zoey talking to a yellow mechanical bunny. I can’t help but wonder what that’s like for these young actors, and what they were thinking during some of these early episodes…

These Rangers are obnoxiously ungrateful, considering they essentially have friggin’ robot butlers. Though I guess that’s the idea, isn’t it?

We continue to foreshadow the idea of Nate having wanting a brother. It won’t be too long before that comes to fruition…

Emmett Skilton, the voice of Jax, is the low key MVP in this episode. He had to maintain that cartoony New York accent while also doing some serious emoting, particularly late in the episode when Jax gets his “feelings” hurt. Now that’s a voice actor, ladies and gentlemen.

Toward the end of the episode, Devon, Zoey, and Ravi wind up throwing a party for the Beast Bots. Remember the scene during the first act of Star Wars, when C-3PO gets an oil bath? That’s what I imagine an actual robot party would be like.

That, and maybe a table full of spare parts.

I was surprised to see this episode end on something of a cliffhanger, as Scrozzle tells Blaze and Roxy he’s working on a “cybergate” to move Evox out of the Cyber Dimension.

So let me make sure I understand this…the Cyber Dimension is a place where beings can assume “digital” forms, while also being able to exist outside the dimension in physical form. Evox, however, is too powerful to be transported to Earth without a certain amount of Morph X. Thus, the need to steal it.

So wait, do Blaze and Roxy’s avatars use a certain amount of Morph X every time they transport in and out of the Cyber Dimension? If so, you’d think Evox would want them coming and going as little as possible, thus conserving what Morph X they have. Maybe they’re already doing that? I’unno. Maybe this is one of those things it’s best not to apply too much logic to…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: The Joker #2

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: The Joker #2
AUTHOR: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns
ARTISTS: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo, Arif Prianto (Colorist), Romulo Fajardo Jr., (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer) Ariana Maher (Letterer). Cover by March & Tomeu Morey.
RELEASED: April 13, 2021

In two issues, The Joker has become the most interesting thing James Tynion IV is writing right now. It’s more interesting than his Batman run. I say that despite not really caring much about Punchline’s back-up feature.

Last time I compared this book to Mindhunter. But because of the Gotham City influence, these first two issues have also felt a little like Gotham Central. And God help me, it just occurred to me that book came out almost 20 years ago.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #1

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #1
AUTHOR: Chip Zdarsky
ARTISTS: Pasqual Ferry, Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED: April 14, 2021

So what if Peter kept his black symbiote costume? That’s the question this book asks, and the answer is pretty much what you’d think it is. Under the symbiote’s influence, Peter pushes things too far.

I’ll say this much: It’s a little refreshing to go back to a simpler time in Spidey’s career. Even if things are about to get really dark.

Weird is it may sound, I appreciate the depth of the black Joe Caramagna uses for the symbiote costume. You stare into it, and it feels like you’re looking into some kind of twisted abyss…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Batman: The Detective #1

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Batman: The Detective #1 (of 6)
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: Andy Kubert, Brad Anderson (Colorist), Clem Robins (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 13, 2021

I was tempted to close this one early. Not because this isn’t a talented creative team. It just isn’t my cup of tea. Not just because Batman is wearing the ridiculous jacket and goggles, but because it feels like Tom Taylor is doing his best Frank Miller impression. The dialogue and narration is very terse and blunt, and there’s no shortage of blood. Bruce Wayne even has a military-style short haircut for no apparent reason. Kubert’s work is fine, but the fact that he did DKIII makes this feel all the more Miller-ish.

I’ll pass, thanks.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Action Comics #1029

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Action Comics #1029
AUTHORS: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad
ARTISTS: Phil Hester, Michael Avon Oeming, Eric Gapstur (Inker), Hi-Fi (Colorist), Taki Soma (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)
RELEASED: March 23, 2021

As a fairly new father, the narrative in this issue about kids stepping out of their “golden age” and learning their parents aren’t infallible was touching. It felt very true to Superman.

*sigh* Oh Phil Hester. If only you were sticking around.

I can’t help but think of Powers every time I see Michael Avon Oeming’s work. He’s well suited for the Midnighter back-up, though. I’m looking forward to more.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Deep Dive Reviews

TMNT #3844 Deep-Dive – Going Big

***This year marks the 10-year anniversary of IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. In celebration, we here at Primary Ignition will be looking back at the book as a whole. For some, this has emerged as the definitive version of the TMNT. Here is why…***

TITLE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #38-44
AUTHORS: Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman
ARTISTS: Mateus Santolouco, Cory Smith
COLORIST: Ronda Pattison
LETTERER: Shawn Lee
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
COLLECTED IN: TMNT: The IDW Collection, Vol. 5 (shown right)
RELEASED: October 2014 – March 2015

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s TMNT Deep-Dive Review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I was about halfway through these issues when I noticed things were feeling bigger. We had a big bad guy with a big bad plan for his big terrible fortress. So our heroes made their own big plans, got in some big fights, and in Donatello’s case, took a big risk. A risk that came with big consequences.

Naturally, with big things come big visuals. Slash using only his massive body to shield Michelangelo from an airborne car. A friggin’ building collapsing on Bebop and Rocksteady. Krang looking into the sky with glee as his Technodrome begins to terraform Earth in his home planet’s image. And lest we forget the intense ground battle between the Foot Clan and the forces of Dimension X. It’s all here in these seven issues.

But before we get into all that, let’s talk about Old Hob, shall we?

Before IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series brought us its take on classic villains like Shredder and Krang, there was Old Hob. He was there from the very first page of the very first issue. My initial impression of this mutant cat with an eyepatch was that he was what I’ll call a “starter villain.” In essence, a one-note bad guy for our heroes to fight while we as readers learn about them and their world. Under a different creative team, we might have been done with Hob as early as issue #4. Having served his purpose, the character could have been cast aside.

Instead, the crew at IDW Publishing has consistently found a place for Old Hob. We’ve seen him evolve from gang leader to would-be mutant revolutionary. Issues #38-40 represent a big step in that evolution, as we see Hob has started using mutagen to create his own mutant army. But calamity ensues when Bebop and Rocksteady catch wind of it. It’s all the mass chaos and destruction you could hope for.

Hob has two new recruits who we meet in issue #38. The first is Mondo Gecko, a TMNT legacy character and skateboarding lizard. The second is Herman, a hermit crab with a knack for heavy artillery (shown above). What I appreciate more than anything about these two is that, like the Turtles, they’re tonally versatile. More often than not they’re funny characters, Herman in particular. But when it’s time for a fight, they can pose a serious threat.

Less versatile, yet undoubtedly priceless, is Pidgeon Pete, who we met back in issue #35. Pete is a dim-witted, boundlessly enthusiastic slice of pure cheesy comedic joy. As much crap as I’ve given Mateus Santolouco about how he draws the Turtles, his dumb anthropomorphic pidgeon game is on point, and should never be tinkered with or changed. Ever.

Santolouco is indeed back for issues #38-40, before Cory Smith tags in for #41-44. Interestingly, their stylistic approaches to the Turtles and their world are very similar, to the point that it’s difficult to differentiate between the two at times. Whether that’s good or bad depends on one’s personal tastes. For yours truly, the upside is that it offers a comforting consistency between Santolouco’s issues and Smith’s. Both are good at high impact fight sequences and turn in a tremendous amount of detail. The downside? I’m still not in love with how Santolouco draws the Turtles. Smith’s, while slightly better, have many of the same traits.

If there was any doubt, it becomes pretty clear in issue #40 that the book is gradually working toward a romance between Raphael and Alopex. The idea of one of the Turtles having a genuine love interest hasn’t been explored much over the years. So I’ve been curious to see how the IDW crew develops this. At the same time, there’s an awkwardness to it that I’ve never quite been able to get past. One is a turtle, the other is a snow fox. One a reptile, the other a mammal. So how to they “match up?” Physically, I mean…

Y’know what? Let’s just change the subject.

Moving into the “Attack on the Technodrome” story, one thing becomes damn clear: Cory Smith draws a hell of a Krang. The sheer amount of detail he puts into this tentacled alien blob makes it genuinely look like it could exist in the real world. The last three pages of issue #40 are a thing of beauty.

Writers have a habit of keeping all four Turtles in their respective character “lanes.” Leonardo the leader, Raphael the rebel, Michelangelo the fun one, and Donatello the brain. One thing this series has been great at is blurring those lines and not giving us cookie cutter characters. One small example: in issue #38 Mikey actually says, “Just ’cause I’m not a genius like Donnie doesn’t make me dumb.”

To that end, Donatello is a character to watch during this stretch of issues, and not just because of what happens to him at the end (no spoilers!). Early on we see him stand up to Splinter, calling him out for his fixation on stopping Shredder, insisting Krang and the Technodrome potentially terraforming the Earth are more urgent. We then see him take initiative and a real risk to try and thwart Krang’s plan. He winds up making a tremendous sacrifice for his family, and for the world at large. There’s no mistaking it: These ain’t cookie cutter Ninja Turtles.

It all comes down to a battle at Krang’s base on Burnow Island. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance as the Technodrome begins to terraform the Earth, the Turtles infiltrate the massive moving fortress while Shredder and the Foot face Krang’s forces on the ground. Sadly, because we only have about two issues to left by the time they get to said ground battle, it isn’t as satisfying as you’d hope.

What is satisfying is the one-on-one fight we see between Shredder and Krang. And shockingly, the right guy wins!

The most interesting thing about the Shredder/Krang tandem on the ’80s TV show, at least for yours truly, is that their modus operandi are so different. Shredder is an Earth-bound ninja master, and Krang is an intergalactic warlord. They shouldn’t work well together, but somehow they do. In the IDWverse, however, Shredder and Krang are not partners (yet). In this story, they’re actually at war with one another. And while Shredder is very much the arch rival of the TMNT, when you stack his forces up against Krang’s, it should be no contest. Krang’s space age weapons beat Shredder’s blades and shurikens any day of the week. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so given their awesome track record, that’s exactly what this book gives us. It doesn’t inflate Shredder’s power based on his arch villain status. The world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t really the place to look for realism. But I appreciated that little pinch of it.

One character who’s easy to overlook in all of this is Baxter Stockman. Like Old Hob, he’s been around since issue #1 and has big plans of his own. In these issues we find him working alongside the reluctant robot Fugitoid (see the Neutrino story arc) as Krang’s servants and Technodrome tech aficionados. But as ever, Stockman has his own agenda to undermine Krang. When confronted by the Turtles, Stockman unveils an army of “flyborgs.” They’re half cyborg, half insect zombies. God help us.

Stockman is a TMNT legacy character that dates back to the original comic book. But fans of the ’80s cartoon may remember him as the evil scientist character who turned into a mutant fly. As the ’80s cartoon is obviously one of this book’s main influences, I was ready for them to turn him into a fly pretty quickly. But to their credit, the IDW crew held off and gave the evil scientist time to shine. The flyborgs are a pretty nice hold-off, though. I love their design, which originated in a Micro-Series issue drawn by Andy Kuhn. It’s a wonderful sci-fi/horror blend, and Smith’s execution of it is great.

It’s no accident that the series feels like it’s moving toward a crescendo. The stakes are getting higher, the cast is growing larger, and things do indeed feel like they’re getting bigger. All roads lead to issue #50, and one more epic showdown…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Suicide Squad #2

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Suicide Squad #2
AUTHOR: Robbie Thompson
ARTISTS: Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira (Inker), Marcelo Maiolo (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 6, 2021

The only real complaint I have with this issue is that it has a gratuitous Batman cameo. Not the worst I’ve ever seen. But hardly inspiring.

With all the emphasis on Peacemaker in the upcoming James Gunn Suicide Squad, it comes as no surprise that he remains our central character. Thompson is developing him nicely.

Aside from Superboy, I’d argue most of the characters Peacemaker is surrounded by are fairly obscure and a little silly. As such, they’re fairly expendable. That’s not a bad thing in a book where, theoretically, any of them could die at any moment.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Batman #107

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Batman 107, cover, Jorge Jimenez, 2021TITLE: Batman #107
AUTHOR: James Tynion IV
ARTISTS: Jorge Jimenez, Ricardo Lopez, Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 6, 2021

Tynion is doing a story where mass panic has broken out in the wake of a Scarecrow attack, all the while the police seem to be a little trigger happy. You don’t think that could have been inspired by anything in the real world, do you…?

The more I see it, the more I dig this design of the Scarecrow. It’s like a mix of his classic look and his look from the Arkham games.

Ricardo Lopez’s art in the Ghost-Maker back-up is just a little bit reminiscent of Skottie Young. Can’t say I expected that.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Stego Search” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E7 – “Stego Search”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Guy Langford
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 10, 2021
SYNOPSIS: As the Rangers search for the Stego Spike Zord, Javi struggles with a lack of acceptance from his father.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The very first line in the episode is, “What’s the haps, Solon?” Is that really a thing kids say? I thought it was just Sam Roberts.

Random: Chance Perez’s hair has impressive volume. Maybe I just appreciate it because I’m a bald guy.

Izzy: “I feel like I’ve been massaged by a truck.” How very specific. Izzy continues to get the best lines.

Solon finds a “viral video” of Javi’s dad taking his new keytar away from him. What’s the title of that video, I wonder? “Keytar Kid’s Dad Acts Like a Dick,” maybe?

So when Javi plays music it amplifies his “Ranger energy,” prompting a response from the dormant zord they’re looking for. Fair enough. By Power Rangers logic, at least. If the Dragonzord could be summoned by playing a flute, why not a Stegosaurus?

Hunter Deno’s facial expressions were strong in this episode. Very good kids show acting.

I thought Boomtower was a goner. But the big guy lives to fight another day.

I was happy they didn’t quickly resolve the issue between Javi and his dad. There’s enough meat on the bone there to make that season-long story arc between the two of them.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.