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Superhero Sundays: Sept. 29–Oct. 3

This week, we discuss Gotham 1x02: Selina Kyle and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2x02: Heavy is the Head. Plus: Our recs for a couple of great new superhero comics for you to add to your shelves!

Superhero Sundays: Sept. 29–Oct. 3

Speedy Synopses:

Gotham 1x02: Selina Kyle

I need to get something off of my chest, y’all. I find it really hard to watch this with young Bruce Wayne. He should have been in the pilot and that’s IT. Now we get to watch a young kid burn himself, cut himself and refuse any and all treatment. I understand that he HAS to mentally unravel in order to become Batman but it feels kind of cruel and not particularly believable. That bogus note that his dad left Alfred? PSHAW. Anyway. They could have sent him off to boarding school and focused solely on the villains.

This week we have some nasty child traffickers who are taking homeless kids, Selina Kyle and her crafty self helping Jim Gordon, with the big “reveal” to him at the end that she saw who killed Bruce’s parents. Then we have Oswald limping and hitchhiking his way back to Gotham (I think?) with a little added murder, kidnapping and extortion along the way. The highlight for me was the dinner scene between Falcone and Fish at her club. He makes it VERY clear to her that he’s not retiring anytime soon and will always be several steps ahead of her. She’s humiliated and enraged, and this unchecked ambition will probably lead to her undoing.

Bonus: Carol Kane channeling her best Miss Havisham as Gertrude Kapelput, aka Mama Penguin.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2x02: Heavy is the Head

The aftermath of last week's episode culminates in Hunter's capture by the U.S. military, and Talbot's offer of $2 million and a proper burial for Hartley in exchange for Coulson, and May tailing Creel, who's apparently having a bit of trouble since touching the strange, death-causing piece of modern art that everyone's after, even though no one knows what it is. Creel's contact, the shady, suit wearing Sunil Bakshi, isn't exactly helpful, and when Raina comes to him with an alternate plan, and a piece of metal that's too good to resist, Creel takes the opportunity to shift allegiances. Hunter tries to pull the wool over Coulson's eyes, but of course, he fails pretty miserably. Even after trying to sell out the team, however, Hunter's forgiven—but doesn't get his $2 mil—and Hartley gets her burial. Fitz helps Mac come up with a way to stop Creel, and Coulson hands him over to Talbot with a well-deserved quip about keeping him in a more secure location than the last time.

The episode felt a little like the tying up of some loose ends until the end, when Coulson has some sort of trance-y moment of digging symbols into a wall—with May watching and taking photos, which felt kind of weird and voyeuristic—and the discovery that Raina can handle the object without it killing her. Plus: Her boss—Kyle McLachlan!—apparently knows a whole more than we do about what it is and what it does, and is just maybe Skye's father?

Hero of the Week: Alphonso “Mac” Mackenzie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Poor Fitz’s brain has melted and all his fellow agents are trying their best not to treat him any differently ... by treating him completely differently. They can’t even make eye contact with him. Mac is the only one who meets Fitz where he is on his slow road to recovery and this leads to Fitz being able to communicate the necessary information for the cloaking device for their ship. It was a really nice moment and I freely confess to feeling just a wee bit maternal toward poor Fitz.

Villain of the Week: Detective Harvey Bullock, Gotham

Gotham is getting a bit heavy-handed with the Good Cop/Bad Cop vibe for Gordon and Bullock, ESPECIALLY Bullock. Not only does he punch a teen suspect already in custody but he refused to believe that ANYONE would abduct homeless teenagers. They’re homeless because no one wanted them, ya see? So why would anyone go out of their way to take unwanted kids? Bullock is apparently the only cop who’s never heard of TRAFFICKING. Cold, stupid and devious as well as a bad cop? Gross.

Honorable Mention - Mayor Aubrey James, Gotham

What’s not to love about a mayor who ships his city’s homeless children up to a juvenile detention center? It’s a shame that criminalizing homelessness isn’t despicable enough to ONLY happen in Gotham.

Costume Count: 0

Still no masked heroes, although Oswald Cobblepot’s limp seems a bit more pronounced and Penguin-y. It’s only a matter of time before he’s carrying an umbrella and cackling like our favorite ex-Vice President.

Clark Kent Moment of Duh:

I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss some names in Gotham. Selina Kyle’s declared nickname of “Cat” for one. Sigh. WE GET IT. I guess it’s fine that she wants to call herself that? She’s not a sophisticated cat burglar yet but she’s a pretty decent pickpocket that dances across rooftops.

And Fish Mooney. I love her but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be dead by the end of the season. Hmm, what sort of animal eats fish I wonder….


This week was sadly ab-less, even though Mac’s crazy physique breaks through ANY shirt that he’s wearing.

Lest anyone think I’m a tease, I give you the greatest Superhero Workout gif of all time: The Salmon Ladder.


Right in the Kisser:

Not much happening in the LURVE department this week, unless you count the uncomfortable weirdness between Oswald Cobblepot and his adoring mama.

OH .. there’s a story there alright.

Biff! Bam! Pow!

Lots of shoot-em-up action scenes this week on both shows, but the one I found particularly chilling was Oswald v. Frat Boys. Oh dudebros. You are going to be so very, very sorry for telling Oswald he walks like a penguin.

Comic Pages:

One of my most anticipated comics of the fall was released this week, Gotham Academy! It ticks so many boxes for me: teen girl protagonists, creepy boarding school, female author, diversity, SECRETS and Bruce Wayne (ME-OW). Olive Silverlock and Maps Mizoguchi have an interesting dynamic as Been-There Sophomore and Eager Freshman, but also because Olive is the ex-girlfriend of Maps’ brother, Kyle. Olive hates Batman but we don’t yet know why and she also has to deal with your typical Mean Girl bullshit since she's a bit of a loner. And Karl Kerschl’s artwork - GAH! It’s so beautiful and vibrant I want to frame EVERY PAGE.

You should buy this comic. And then commiserate with me that we’re watching Gotham instead of Gotham Academy

I mean, how can you NOT want to read this? LOOK AT THIS COVER. And so many fanboys have their panties in a wad over it, it's GLORIOUS. Marvel announced months ago that the new incarnation of Thor was going to be a woman and it was finally on the shelves this past Wednesday. The gist is that Thor can no longer wield the mighty Mjolnir as he is no longer worthy. Not even ODIN is worthy. We still don't know who the mystery woman is but so far it's a great kick-off to the newest series with bonus points for a FULL breastplate and not one that merely covers her nipples. Practicality wins!

So what did you guys think? Are you feeling more or less positive about Gotham now? Do you think you can watch a 12-year old boy mentally unravel over an entire season? And what about S.H.I.E.L.D.—do you have any theories about the Mystery Stone from last week and the symbols that Coulson keeps drawing, Good Will Hunting-style?

Amanda Reid's photo About the Author: Amanda R. is an East Coast girl living in California who will never stop missing a true autumn. She's a bookseller who specializes in kid and teen lit, the leader of FYA Oakland, and bakes a damn fine pie.