Wednesday, August 24, 2016

THE FANDOM ZONE 073: "Close to Home" is Up!

"It's not every day you get to punch the devil in the face."
– Reverend Anderson to Sheriff Giles, Outcast: "Close to Home"

You guessed it, Karen and I are back with a new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Outcast 1x09 -- "Close to Home"
Wynonna Earp 1x09 -- "Bury Me with My Guns On"

This time, we talk about things like wacky morning radio DJ voices, a slight correction on the first of the original Star Wars cast to die, not making the finalists for the Parsec Award, Megan's downward spiral, Megan's Twin Peaks season finale moment, the lives of everyone around Kyle going right down the crapper, Allison checking into a psychiatric hospital, Archer getting caught in a rope trap, wondering why Reverend Anderson keeps doing really dumb things, getting some demon action while being surrounded by Auton mannequins, the Revmobile, the Stone Witch's resurrection fail, Wynonna being hotter than Waverly, Doc Holliday's tingling Stone Witch Sense, salt being Witch Kryptonite, Canadian snow supposedly looking like the Salt Flats, Waverly finally making a move on Officer Haught, some feedback from the mysterious Xub Xerox, Karen's book-reading progress, some comics on TV news, bonus stuff at the end of the episode, and more!

You can now check out episodes of The Fandom Zone using...

Google Play Music
 -- HERE 
iTunes -- HERE
Direct Download MP3s/Libsyn -- HERE
The Fandom Zone on Facebook -- HERE
The Fandom Zone on Twitter -- @FandomZoneCast

And if that isn't enough for you, you can also check us out on YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Sticher, 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 we review the midseason premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, the Season 1 finale of Outcast, and Episode 10 of Wynonna Earpright here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

THE FLASH Casts Todd Lasance as The Rival

Savitar?  Nope, try again...

TVLine reported late yesterday that The CW series The Flash has cast Todd Lasance as DC Comics supervillain The Rival.  Several news sites originally reported that Lasance was playing a different villain, Savitar, until this was debunked by Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti on his official Twitter account.

The Rival will be a recurring character who first appears in the Season 3 premiere, "Flashpoint."

Lasance, 31, is an Australian actor probably best known as Julius Caesar on Spartacus: War of the Damned and as Julian on The Vampire Diaries.  In addition, he's appeared on episodes of Home and Away, McLeod's Daughters, Rescue: Special Ops, and ANZAC Girls.

Created in 1949 by John Broome and Joe Kubert, The Rival first appeared in Flash Comics #104 as Dr. Edward Clariss, a professor at the university attended by the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, who recreated the formula that gave Garrick his speed, which he called "Velocity 9".  Clariss had heard the Flash's girlfriend, Joan Williams, talking about how the Flash gave his speed to another student, which helped him develop the formula.  Bitter at the scientific community's rejection of his claims, Clariss became a criminal.  He wore a darker version of Flash's outfit and gave it to several other criminals. The Rival's version of the formula proved to be temporary, however, and he was defeated and jailed.

Through unexplained methods, Clariss regained the power of super speed.  During a second battle with the Flash, Clariss reached light speed and vanished into the Speed Force.  Following the reformation of the Justice Society of America fifty years later, Johnny Sorrow retrieved Clariss from the Speed Force and invited him to join the new Injustice Society in 2000's JSA #16. The Rival, driven insane by his time in the Speed Force, raced across the country on a super-speed killing spree.  The Flash realized that the Rival's path across the country spelled out Clariss' name, and that the final murder would be Jay's wife, Joan Garrick.  The Flash later absorbed the Rival's speed before he could kill Joan.

The Rival eventually returned, posing as Joan's doctor.  Now pure speed energy, he possessed Jay's fellow Golden Age speedster Max Mercury.  After battling Jay and Impulse, the Rival escaped via time travel to an unknown destination, still in possession of Mercury's body.  In The Flash: Rebirth #4, Max Mercury escaped from the Speed Force and was rejuvenated by Wally West's energy, allowing him to return to Earth in a new corporeal body. Following the events of Flashpoint that altered the timeline, it's unclear what happened to the Rival and Max Mercury's original body.

The Flash Season 3 premieres October 4th on The CW at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Friday, August 19, 2016

THE FLASH Casts Joey King as Magenta

This latest Rogue has one hell of a magnetic personality. has revealed that the CW series The Flash has cast Joey King as Frances "Frankie" Kane, better known to DC Comics fans as the superhero-turned-supervillain Magenta.

According to the article, Magenta will appear in the third episode of Season 3 and is "a metahuman with the ability to control metal...but her powers come with a dangerous side-effect, causing her villainous alter ego known as Magenta to emerge."

King, 17, is best known as Ramona Quimby in Ramona and Beezus and as the young Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises.  She's also appeared in the films Independence Day: Resurgence, Stonewall, The Sound and the Fury, White House Down, Oz the Great and Powerful, Battle: Los Angeles, and Quarantine.  In addition, she's appeared on episodes of Fargo, American Dad!, New Girl, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Entourage, Jericho, and Malcolm in the Middle.

Created in 1982 by Marv Wolfman and George PĂ©rez, Frances Kane was the only survivor of a car crash that killed her father and brother.  Her mother blamed her for their deaths, believing her to be possessed by the devil.  It didn’t help that things had started to fly around in the house with Frances as the focal point.  She sought help from longtime friend Wally West, whom she had already guessed was Kid Flash, and Wally brought the Teen Titans in on the case.  Her mother never forgave her, even though it turned out Doctor Polaris was using her latent magnetic abilities to escape from imprisonment.

Frances dated Wally for some time, but was never comfortable with her powers.  She finally left Wally, feeling too pressured to be part of his life as a superhero, and went to S.T.A.R. Labs to deal with her powers.  There, she was treated by an unscrupulous doctor who created a second, lethal personality called Magenta, who could be triggered with a code word.

An evil form of former Titan Raven kidnapped Frances and implanted a portion of her demon father Trigon’s soul into Frances, bringing her into the world of genuine evil. Trigon was eventually defeated separately by the Titans, but his influence left Frances still unstable, and still blaming Wally (now known as The Flash) for not letting her be normal. She later fell in with the Cicada cult, a group that believed that the Flash was saving lives fated to die so that they could take them. She helped the cult capture the Flash, then later joined the New Rogues Gallery.  Her two personalities fought for dominance, and she finally turned on the Rogues—particularly on Girder, who wouldn’t stop harassing her.

The Flash returns to The CW for Season 3 on October 3, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Casts Zendaya as Mary Jane Watson

Is Peter Parker about to hit the jackpot?

TheWrap is reporting that the upcoming Jon Watts film Spider-Man: Homecoming has cast Zendaya as Spider-Man's best friend, love interest and occasional wife Mary Jane Watson.  Zendaya's involvement with the film was first revealed in March, although she was originally reported to be playing a new character named Michelle.

TheWrap cited "two individuals with knowledge of the project" as sources confirming Zendaya's actual character, with "At least one recent draft of the script has Zendaya’s character dropping several clues to her identity as Mary Jane."

Zendaya joins Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Michael Keaton, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Laura Harrier as Liz Allan, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei as May Parker, and Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Zendaya (full name Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman), 19, is an actress, singer and dancer best known as Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up.  She also appeared in the TV movies Zapped and Frenemies, Dancing with the Stars, and episodes of A.N.T. Farm and PrankStars.

Created in 1966 by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr., Mary Jane Watson was first mentioned in 1964's The Amazing Spider-Man (vol.1) #15 but didn't fully appear until #42 two years later.  The character was introduced as a running joke about Peter dodging his Aunt May's attempts to set him up with "that nice Watson girl next door", whom Peter had not yet met and assumed would not be his type, since his aunt liked her.  Peter finally met her, and was stunned by her beauty as she spoke the now-famous line: "Face it, just hit the jackpot!"

Following the death of Peter's girlfriend Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane and Peter become very close friends.  Eventually, upon realizing the feelings that they share for one another, they decided to take their relationship to the next level.  Their relationship had a few initial hurdles, such as M.J.'s hot temper and Peter's activities as Spider-Man.  Despite loving Peter, Mary Jane didn't want to be tied down, and when she allowed the relationship to progress too far, she was left with a difficult decision when Peter proposed to her.  After taking a short time to consider, she turned him down.  After a series of traumatic experiences involving Peter's absences and his costumed alter ego endangering his Aunt May, an emotionally drained Mary Jane left New York for several months.

In the days following Ned Leeds' murder at the hands of the Foreigner, Mary Jane returned to Peter, presumably to patch things up, but Peter surprised her with a second proposal of marriage, which Mary Jane again turned down.  She returned to her family to settle old debts with her father, with Peter following her.  After aiding her sister in having her crooked father arrested, and helping Peter against a Spider-Slayer, Mary Jane had an epiphany on their relationship and agreed to become Peter's wife.  The two were married in 1987's Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.

In 2007, the marriage was negated, per the directive of Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, in the controversial "One More Day" storyline.  Peter was forced to decide whether he would accept Mephisto's offer to save Aunt May in return for wiping the knowledge and memory of Peter and Mary Jane's life together as husband and wife from the face of reality.  This would leave only a single, subconscious piece of their souls to remember, allowing Mephisto to feast on the pain exhibited by those vestiges for eternity.  Mary Jane accepted Mephisto's offer, but only with the caveat that Mephisto promised to restore Spider-Man's secret identity that was revealed during the events of Civil War.  She also asked to put his life back as it was, for a chance at happiness.  Mephisto accepted these terms, and in the revised timeline, which began at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man #545, and was further explained in the following issues, Mary Jane and Peter were never married, but instead "dated seriously for years."

Zendaya will be the third actress to portray Mary Jane Watson in live-action, after Kirsten Dunst in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, and Shailene Woodley in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, although Woodley's scenes were cut from the film.  The character has also appeared in various animated projects, including 1967's Spider-Man (voiced by Peg Dixon), Spider-Man: The Animated Series (voiced by Sara Ballantine), Spider-Man Unlimited (voiced by Jennifer Hale), Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (voiced by Lisa Loeb), The Spectacular Spider-Man (voiced by Vanessa Marshall), and Ultimate Spider-Man (voiced by Tara Strong).

Spider-Man: Homecoming is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on July 7, 2017.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

ARROW Casts Wil Traval as The Human Target

The Human Target is getting a third Chance on the small screen.

KSiteTV has revealed that the CW series Arrow has cast Wil Traval as Christopher Chance, better known to DC Comics fans as The Human Target.  The article states that the character will appear in "Human Target," the fifth episode of the show's fifth season.

The official description for The Human Target states the character will be "a professional bodyguard and master of disguise who assumes the identities of those targeted by assassins. His latest client: Mayor Oliver Queen."

Traval, 36, is an Australian actor probably best known as Will Simpson/Nuke on the Netflix series Jessica Jones.  He's also appeared on episodes of Once Upon a Time, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Rizzoli and Isles, The Inbetweeners, Dexter, Leverage, and All Saints.

Created in 1972 by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino, The Human Target first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #419 as Christopher Chance, a private detective and bodyguard for hire.  Master of disguise and all manners of combat training, he was nearly unmatched in skill. Chance would assume the identity of his clients and personally handle any danger when they believed their life was being threatened.

Chance's father Philip was murdered by a professional killer after he owed money to Amos Sharkey, a local loan shark, and was unable to pay.  To make an example of him, a hitman named Dancer was sent to murder the man late one night.  Although Chris tried to defend his father, he was brushed aside and the gunman fired.  After the assailant was scared off by police sirens, his dad told him to make something of himself like he had never been able to, before passing away.  That day onward, Christopher Chance found himself unable to feel any fear.  He made a personal vow to never again let anyone else suffer the indignity and fear that his father had if he could do something about it.  He spent years obsessively studying martial arts techniques and weaponry, training to become a top athlete.  Then he began his own private business where people could hire him to impersonate them, and put his own life into danger in place of theirs. 

Traval will be the third actor to portray the character in live action, after Rick Springfield in the 1992 Human Target TV series that aired on ABC and Mark Valley in the 2010-11 Human Target TV series that aired on Fox.  

Arrow returns to The CW for Season 5 on October 5th at 8:00 p.m. EST.

THE FLASH Casts Ashley Rickards as The Top

I wonder if she listens to the band Dead or Alive...

E! Online is reporting that the CW series The Flash has cast Ashley Rickards as Rosalind "Rosa" Dillon, a genderbent version of Roscoe Dillon, better known to DC Comics fans as the supervillain The Top.

According to the article, The Top "has the power to make people's heads spin.  She's the Bonnie to Mirror Master's Clyde and one of the most dangerous members of the gallery of Rogues."

Rickards, 24, is best known as Jenna Hamilton on the MTV dramedy series Awkward.  In addition, she's appeared in the movie Behaving Badly, and on episodes of American Horror Story: Murder House, Entourage, One Tree Hill, Ugly Betty, Zoey 101, CSI: NY, and Everybody Hates Chris.

The Top will debut in the fourth episode of the show's third season, which will also be an "an origin story of sorts" for The Mirror Master and feature the return of Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold.

"It's kind of the origin of Mirror Master...We're really excited," said executive producer Aaron Helbing.  

Added executive producer Todd Helbing, "It's the origin story of him, but it's this struggle between Mirror Master and Captain Cold and you get to see who comes out on top."

"We're excited to have Wentworth back because he always brings this amazing presence," said Aaron.

Created in 1961 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, The Top first appeared in The Flash (vol.1) #122 as Roscoe Dillon, a small-time crook who turned his childhood obsession with tops into a criminal persona.  Roscoe taught himself how to spin around fast enough to deflect bullets and produce other semi-useful effects.  The Top soon discovered that the spinning somehow increased his intelligence as well, allowing him to create a variety of trick tops.

He tried to blackmail the world with an Atomic Top that would destroy half the world when it slowed down and imprisoned the Flash inside it, but the Flash vibrated out of it and sent it into space.  His unique gimmick and moderate success in crime soon made him a respected member of the Flash's Rogues Gallery.  He dated Golden Glider, Captain Cold's sister, while coaching her on ice skating.  Eventually, the Top developed immense psionic powers, after years of spinning moved dormant brain cells to the outer areas of his brain, endowing him with mental abilities.

Unfortunately, the newly activated brain cells were destroyed by close proximity to the Flash's superspeed vibrations.  The Top died within days from the injuries sustained by his brain, but not before he planted a series of powerful bombs to destroy Central City as a final revenge.  In addition, he prepared a recording explaining his terminal condition and scheme to spitefully challenge his comrades to attempt to find and defuse the explosives, knowing that The Flash would surely stop at least one of the attempts and doom the city.  Knowing that neither the superhero nor the police would believe them if they tried to warn either of the crisis, the Rogues desperately attempted to find the bombs despite the Flash's unwitting opposition.  Fortunately, the Flash eventually realized the situation and aided the Rogues in stopping the Top's scheme in time.

When Barry Allen's parents were in a car accident, Dillon's spirit was somehow able to take possession of the vacant body of his father, Henry.  Realizing who Barry Allen was, The Top, along with Golden Glider, plotted to kill the Flash and take over his body.  He failed when he tried to take over the Flash's body while he was alive, leaving Henry's spirit to reclaim his body.

In the current The New 52 continuity, The Top appeared as one of the Acolytes of Zoom. This version of the character diid not use the codename of his Pre-New 52 counterpart, however, and also has the ability to control centrifugal force, having created a tornado in his hometown prior to being found by Zoom.

The Flash returns to The CW for Season 3 on October 4th at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 063: "Time Reaver" is Up!

"Time-travelers have issues with paperwork."
-- The Tenth Doctor to Donna Noble, Doctor Who: "Time Reaver"

After a final, brutal battle with Skype, we're FINALLY back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  In this episode, we review "Time Reaver," the second Tenth Doctor audio adventure from Big Finish Productions starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate!

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like dumping Skype for Zencastr, the problematic writing of Jenny T. Colgan, Terry Molloy as Davros, the TARDIS fluid link story trope, gradually winning over cynical Donna Noble fans, resetting the running theme of something on Donna's back, the Doctor looking for a dangerous place only to find a coffee shop, the nod to "Silence in the Library," my Reverse the Polarity segment, some feedback from Fred Firestine, the insane knowledge of Doctor Who superfans, and more!

If you'd like to check out this episode, we're now available on Google Play Music RIGHT HERE, or you can find us on iTunes RIGHT HERE, or Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and rate us!  If you're looking for direct MP3 downloads, you can find them RIGHT HERE as well. Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

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 soon as Jesse and I review "Death and the Queen," the third Tenth Doctor audio adventure from Big Finish Productions, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Sticher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!