Media Rack

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After witnessing an innocuous conversation between Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop) and a man who Annie (Piper Perabo) believes may have been responsible for murder of her last chance at discovering the truth behind the Chicago bombing, the now-benched CIA operative takes the initiative to publicly resign from the agency and accept a job within McQuaid Security to discern the truth about a man she’s already begun falling for. She won’t like what she finds.

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Playing on the Donatello‘s well-established crush on April (both in the comic and current cartoon), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #14 finds the smartest Turtle get into trouble in an attempt to create a pheromone spray to cause April to return his feelings. Things go wrong pretty quickly for Donatello as the spray doesn’t effect April but does cause the various bugs in the sewers and New York streets to seek out the Turtle leaving his brothers to clean up the mess.

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The first issue of Smallville Season Eleven: Chaos introduces Eclipso to the Smallville Universe and relocates Superman and Lois Lane to a parallel Earth within the Multiverse (which sadly is populated with Manhunters instead of talking animals in spandex). There’s a lot to enjoy here including appearances by Ted Kord and Booster Gold (who, like his New 52 counterpart, feels a bit off without his gold pants and Elvis collar) along with Zatanna and a bit of old school super-villain mischief from Lex Luthor.

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once-upon-a-time-season-three-blu-raySeason Three took characters to Neverland, the Enchanted Forest, Oz, and back home to Storybrooke. It featured a second curse, a missing year, the deaths and resurrections of multiple characters, and the introduction of both a sister (Rebecca Mader) and love interest (Sean Maguire) for Regina (Lana Parrilla).

The second-half of the season centered around a character from Oz works better than the Neverland arc which grows a bit stale as Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and her family attempt to save Henry (Jared Gilmore) from Peter Pan (Robbie Kay). Highlights from the season include the time-traveling season finale, Regina taking another step on her hero’s journey, Hook‘s (Colin O’Donoghue) time away from Storybrooke, the escape from Neverland, a battle between sisters, the death and the return of Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), and Regina and Zelena’s first meeting.

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The first-half of a two-part story, Astro City #14 introduces the character of Ellie who has spent the last several years creating something between a scrap yard and museum of former super-villain machines which she has slowly nursed back to health. Despite the once dangerous nature of the robots, Ellie’s desire to fix her metal friends are inspired by only good intentions. Sadly the same can’t be said of her nephew who sees a way to make the robots far more profitable in the short term.

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The Huntress and Power Girl‘s return to Earth-2 begins here. I’m on record as being vehemently against the move. Although the Worlds’ Finest #26 doesn’t sell me on the concept it at least doesn’t lose its way by delving headfirst into a war-torn new world. It’s actually odd, but we see very little of the modern day homeworld of the two heriones in their first issue back home.

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Every Frame a Painting returns to examine the use of texting and the Internet in film.

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Wrapping up the three episode arc, “Reckoning” forces Katana (Sumalee Montano) to face the truth about Alfred (JB Blanc), pits Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) not only against Ra’s al Ghul (Lance Reddick) and the League of Assassins but also a collection of recently-freed super-villains who are sent after the Dark Knight by the Demon’s Head, and offer the newest unofficial member of the Bat-Family a chance to shine. Before the episode ends, with the help of his friends, Batman will stand triumphant over not only the League of Assassins but also Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr. Toad (Udo Kier), Magpie (Grey DeLisle), Tobias Whale (Michael-Leon Wooley), Phosphorus Rex (Greg Ellis), and Cypher.

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Dark Horse Comics’ classic Star Wars series comes to a close here wrapping up the final arc as Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca race to rescue Leia’s childhood friend who has been working for years as a Rebel spy inside the Empire. Rescuing Seren from the determined robotic bounty hunter IG-88 is easier said than done, but by the end of the issue the core group is safe, the mission is successful, and Luke shows off a little foreshadowing of the Jedi Master he is destined to one day become.

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the-blacklist-blu-rayWhen the FBI’s most wanted turns himself over to authorities and agrees to help them catch infamous villains (many of whom the government isn’t even aware of) the life of Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) changes in a flash as she finds herself in a world of secrets, half-truths, and lies concerning all aspects of Raymond Reddington (James Spader) and why the master criminal chose her as his liason to the FBI.

The set collects all 22 episodes of the show’s First Season in which Reddington leads the team (Harry Lennix, Diego Klattenhoff, Parminder Nagra, Hisham Tawfiq) to take down a member of The Blacklist every week while Lizzie deals with ugly truths in her own life which Reddington’s prescence brings to light – including the truth of her husband Tom (Ryan Eggold). The uneven First Season is a bit too secretive for its own good (much like Red), but does produces some strong episodes.

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