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Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #12

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 12:00 PM PST


Already confused about what direction to take now that the Slingers have kidnapped Cassandra Mercury as leverage to force the Scarlet Spider to turn himself in for the brutal attack on Thorne, the sudden return of Kaine (who has his own agenda in freeing the kidnapped club owner) only further complicates the situation. In the end the two Scarlet Spiders agree to work together.

The murky reality of Ben Reilly continues here as he's talked into saving Cassandra from would-be-heroes who, let's face it, are no more heroic than either of our web-slingers. This leads to some heavy action in the later-half of the comic between the Scarlet Spiders and the group along with some serious questions about just who or what some of the Slingers are and what they are truly after.

Kaine's return makes me wonder how Ben's clone brother may play into his attempt at redemption. After the current conflict will Kaine disappear for another few issues, or will the title get a co-star as the two flawed copies of Peter Parker try to make good together? Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

The Librarians and the Graves of Time

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 10:00 AM PST


"And the Graves of Time" brings back Nicole Noone (Sonya Walger) as Eve (Rebecca Romijn) hunts down the former Guardian and decides to help Nicole stop a group of thieves from robbing several of her graves of magical artifacts hidden in them over the centuries. With Jenkins (John Larroquette) firmly believing that Nicole harbors ill-will to both himself and the Library, and Eve and Flynn (Noah Wyle) both willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, the plot allows the character's true motivations to remain questionable up until the end when a powerful new villain is revealed (and, oddly, immediately dispensed with).

Rasputin (Christopher Heyerdahl) is certainly an interesting character to introduce for the series, although I was surprised to see him bested so quickly. The choice of Jenkins to save Nicole's life at the cost of his own immortality out of sense of duty and Flynn's sudden departure both further murky the waters about the future of the Library (and the Librarians). "And the Graves of Time" builds on the previous episode (a mixed-bag of Flynn hanging out with a legendary former Librarian) by further stoking his doubts about his place in the world. As for Nicole, what are her plans now that she has apparently succeeded in her plan to separate the Librarian from the Library and weakened another of its protectors?

Battle of the Sexes

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 08:00 AM PST

Battle of the Sexes works as a kind of CliffsNotes version of events leading up to the inter-gender 1973 tennis match between women's champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and aging men's star Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). The script by Simon Beaufoy offers glimpses at both players' home lives, marital and emotional issues, and eventually the match itself. While Battle of the Sexes touches on the creation of the WTA and the rivalry with the men's tour, I'd have preferred more insight here and overall better framing of the historical importance of the match.

Battle of the Sexes doesn't add much the narrative of the events or subjects it covers. Stone and Carrell are both put to good use, and the story is succinct, but the film is more a lightweight crowd-pleasure than genuine biopic. Released on DVD and Blu-ray, extras include galleries, footage from the original match, and a featurette on Billie Jean King.

[20th Century Fox, Blu-ray $34.99 / DVD $29.98]

Cosplayer Christmas Gifts 2017 (That Cosplay Show)

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:00 AM PST