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Superhero Sundays: Jan 5-10

This week we discuss Gotham 1x11: Rogue's Gallery, Agent Carter 1x1: Now Is Not the End and 1x2: Bridge and Tunnel, plus all of the usual TV/movie news and comic buzz!

Superhero Sundays: Jan 5-10

Speedy Synopses:

Gotham 1x11: Rogue’s Gallery

After the midseason hiatus, we return to Gotham to find that Jim's hating life at Arkham Asylum, Barbara's still off finding herself being THE WORST, and Penguin's overstepped his bounds just enough to threaten his very tenuous position with Don Maroni.

At Arkham, Jim finds himself dealing with a serial killer who kills his victims using electroshock therapy—straight to the temples. (Yeouch!) His boss is so not on board with Jim involving the police, but Jim goes behind his back and calls Harvey regardless. Harvey is overjoyed to see Jim, and wastes no time in helping him with the case, and with his super lame boss. (When did Harvey become so awesome?) Turns out, one of the inmates, who also might be a Volturi, has been working to create the perfect minion. Unfortunately, this guy hid his tracks too well, and escapes before Jim and Harvey can figure out the true killer. You can bet he'll be back though. (In next week's episode. It was in the preview.)

Elsewhere in Gotham: Even Montoya is getting sick of Barbara's shizz, and tells her to go home. When Babs tries to call the penthouse, however, where Jim hasn't been staying, the phone is answered by Ivy, who Selina brought to recuperate from illness. That little sasspot! Penguin spends basically the entire episode in lockup at the precinct after trying to increase taxes without Maroni's approval. Harvey, of course, thinks it's hilarious. And Fish, never one to rest on her laurels, is busy moving forward with her plans to take out Falcone. (Mandy C.)

Agent Carter 1x1: Now Is Not the End

It's here! Peggy Carter is finally on our small screens and all is right with the world! Well, unless you're Agent Peggy Carter and you're still mourning the love of your life plunging into an icy abyss in order to save the world. But Peggy is no simpering American, she's keeping her upper lip stiff and British and her game face on as she goes to work in NYC at The Phone Company, aka the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Here we're treated to old school everyday sexism that today would warrant an HR nightmare and possibly a lawsuit. The men are back from the war, you see, and so even though Peggy is capable and excels at her job the men in the office can't find their way to seeing her as anything other than a Bringer of Coffee and Filer of Paperwork.

Her old friend Howard Stark has been in front of Congress, defending himself from accusations that all of his Dangerous Inventions and Formulas ("Bad Babies") were sold to the highest bidder. He goes on the run and enlists the help of Peggy but she has to do it off the books since he's a wanted fugitive and all. Luckily Howard has Edwin Jarvis, a butler so loyal that he could given Alfred Pennyworth a run for his money. Jarvis is helping Peggy whether she likes it or not, as long as she doesn't phone after 9. Peggy is a good friend and, let's be honest, tired of doing grunt work so she agrees to help Howard and figure out who stole all of the Dangerous Inventions and Formulas. We get to see Peggy in her element: kicking ass and taking names, using her sexuality and exploiting sexist expectations to her advantage as she dons a blonde wig, American accent and poisoned lipstick. She finds a bomb prototype which she then diffuses with household chemicals. I STAND IN AWE OF HER. She takes it to Stark Labs for research who inform her that it was likely made at Roxxon Lab. Peggy and Jarvis head to Roxxon where they find Shady Scientists and More Glowing Objects. There are voiceless goons who use voiceboxes to warn her that "Leviathan is coming", and Peggy escapes while Roxxon explodes into oblivion in the distance. We see that Jarvis is still in touch with Howard and that the two of them have intel that they aren't sharing with Peggy. This should go well. The goons have murdered Peggy's poor roommate, adding guilt to the grief and secrecy cocktail that was already swirling inside of Peggy's heart. It's as if she's having her very own superhero origin story. 

Agent Carter 1x2: Bridge and Tunnel

The second hour of the two-hour premiere of Agent Carter largely served as a means to answer the setups posed in the first hour of the premiere. (the missing molecular nitramene, the pictures from the night club, Carter's emotional closed-off-ness).

Carter, now crashing in one of Stark's properties for "entertaining," re-purposes a doctor's outfit (used for his more more theatrical bedroom performances), Carter poses as a health inspector to get a line on the milk truck used to transport the molecular nitramene (which look A LOT like holy hand grenades) from the now ball of twisted metal of the Roxxon refinery. The SSR, following up on the Roxxon refinery explosion/implosion talk to Roxxon CEO Hugh Jones (which blesses us with strategic scene chewing from Ray Wise). Which eventually leads to the capture of Van Ert (Venture Bros.' James Urbaniak!) who was at the plant along with Leet Brannis, former Leviathan operative who decided to profit off of Stark's bad babies.

During the episode we have the through line of various episodes of the Captain America Adventure Program radio serial playing throughout the episode, featuring fictionalized adventures of Captain America which always had triage nurse Betty Carver being captured and needing to be saved by Cap, much to the chagrin of Carter.

This leads up up to a final set piece in the missing milk truck packed with Carter riding shotgun, and Jarvis armed with a shotgun. Along with the MacGuffin explosives, Brannis, and the Man in the Green Suit. The milk truck ends up being driven into the water, and the threat is eliminated (by detonating in the water).  Brannis is killed (but at least helping break Jarvis's fall).

The episode ends with Carter taking Angie (the waitress from the automat) on the vacant room in her women's building.

By having multiple "Bad Babies" being stolen, it essentially establishes an easy, breezy case-of-the-week framework, in which I am expecting the same call and response style of plotting the premiere showed us on Tuesday, with multiple payoffs and narrative escalation through the run of Agent Carter(Paolo S.) 

Hero of the Week: Edwin Jarvis, Agent Carter

Surprise! I bet y'all thought I was going to give it to Peggy, and I WAS but I can't help but be impressed by a butler who's willing to throw himself in danger's path just to help exonerate his boss. Loyal Butlers is a trope that's like my own personal kryptonite (see Pennyworth, Alfred). Jarvis is also very dedicated to Mrs. Jarvis, which MAY have something to do with their 9:00 bedtime. 

Villain of the Week: Agent Jack Thompson, Agent Carter

Ok, so maybe he's not a villain...YET. Come on, it's CMM! If there's a HYDRA plant anywhere in S.S.R. it's this guy. Plus, he treats Peggy like she's only good for filing and coffee. END HIM.

Troy Barnes Award for Evoking The Feelz: This entire flashback sequence.


Clark Kent Moment of Duh:

As much as I can respect Peggy's wig game, this was definitely giving me Betty/Veronica flashbacks. Not that she was really trying to hide her identity from anyone who already knew her of course, because Peggy Carter is ten times smarter than most of the eejits she has to share an office with. 


Is this cheating? It totally is. I DON'T CARE. And you're welcome. 

Right in the Kisser:

Barbara is in full addict mode with booze, pills and the sexytime with Montoya. Let's just say that she's not at her best, especially when Montoya tries to put a lid on it and she acts like a petulant child. Barbara, honey, you need to get your sponsor on the phone, and if you don't have one ya need to GET ONE.

Peggy is still mourning the loss of Steve and all of us weep silently as we remember their reunion in Captain America 2: Winter Soldier. How do you date again after you've lost your first love who was CAPTAIN AMERICA? Agent Sousa has Potential Romantic Interest written all over him and he's really quite lovely, standing up for Peggy against the sexist meatheads in their office. He lost a leg in the war in case you needed a more obvious signpost that he's NOT Captain America. 

Biff! Bam! Pow!

Comic Pages:

New releases/recs:

-Rocket Salvage #1 by Yehudi Mercado, illustrated by Bachan

This actually came out a few weeks ago-ish and I keep forgetting to post about it! Primo Rocket was the most famous racer in the galaxy, that is until...he crashed. Now he's the owner of Rocket Salvage and a pair of kids. Well, Beta is actually his clone but is still only a teenager, and Zeta is his whipsmart daughter who is DYING to get behind the wheel. Throw in a thousand-year intergalactic war, organized crime and some gorgeous artwork and you've got one hell of a book.

-Ant-Man #1 by Nick Spencer, illustrated by Ramon Rosanas

Confession: I know next to nothing about Ant-Man. I know, I know, he has a movie coming out starring Paul Rudd, but I would watch Paul Rudd read the funnies. This series is a great primer for anyone like me who needs Ant-Man 101, but even tried and true fans will enjoy it; it's funny, sad, sweet and has a heartfelt father-daughter relationship between Scott and his daughter Cassie. Scott Lang's life is a bit of a mess. He's a former thief who's now reformed and an almost-Avenger, but his marriage still didn't survive and he wants to prove himself to be the dad his daughter deserves. 

-The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson

When she's not saving the world from Bad Guys, Doreen Green is just your average college freshman that's part squirrel. She dreams of having her own theme-song and has a squirrely sidekick named Tippy-Toe. This first issue made me laugh quite a bit and I'm really excited to share this series with my nieces. Buy it for your kids and sneak it off of their nightstand!

-Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #4  by Gerry Duggan, illustrated by Matteo Loli and Jacopo Camagni

This arc has been nothing but fun, pairing up everyone's favorite mercenary (reluctantly) with everyone's favorite archer. And did I mention Kate Bishop also shows up? This was my first time reading Deadpool and I can see why this lovable smart-ass is such a fan favorite. 

-Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #2 by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Phil Jimenez

While this issue seems to mainly serve as exposition/backstory it's still proving that this new series can hold its own. Watching Thor get flustered by yet ANOTHER difficult sibling is pretty damn fun.

News and Notes:

-CBR votes Ms. Marvel as the top comic of 2014!

-The MarySue has compiled a great list of the Best Moments in Female Fandom 2014. Captain Marvel movie! Supergirl TV show! Lumberjanes! Calling out misogyny and harassment at conventions! Pedro Pascal lovin’ on the ladies!

-And just in case you were feeling a bit too positive, here’s a compilation of The Worst.

-Adorable chart shows the winners and losers among superhero films passing the Bechdel test.

-Ant-Man trailer, which is certainly...a trailer. 

-Gambit will be gracing our movie screens on October 7, 2016 for better or worse, cher.

-The Fantastic Four sequel has already been greenlit and will be in theatres on June 2, 2017.

-Benedict Cumberbatch knows that Dr. Strange will be a success because Marvel.

-Hayley Atwell would love to play Agent Carter throughout several decades if she could. Make it happen, Marvel.

-The trailer for next week's episode of Agent Carter has HOWLING COMMANDOS! I need another cat so I can name him Dum Dum Dugan.

-Edward James Olmos will be guest starring on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., playing a character named Robert Gonzalez; he's not known to be connected to any current character in the Marvel universe.

-Know this: if Hawkeye shows up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. AND canonically is an ex of Mockingbird? I will lose my shit. 

-All thirteen episodes of Daredevil will drop on Netflix on April 10. I can't even wrap my head around how we're going to review it because I'm an old lady who goes to bed at eleven.

-God is real and she has heard our prayers because we are very likely to get Viola Davis as Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad

-In news surprising absolutely no one, it’s been confirmed that we haven’t seen the last of the Suicide Squad on Arrow.

-Speaking of, here's a new promo for the next episode of Arrow:

-The Flash wins Best New TV Drama at the People's Choice Awards! This almost makes up for Maleficent beating out Winter Soldier AND Guardians of the Galaxy. ALMOST.

-ICYMI, that sonic boom you heard when Betty White won her Favorite TV Icon award? That was every woman on the planet collectively ovulating when Chris Evans helped her onstage.

-Cisco gets to name another Spartacus bloke "Weather Wizard"

So what did you guys think? Was Agent Carter everything you'd hoped for? (HER RED HAT THO.) Did you miss Cockney Geezer Alfred and Wee Bruce Wayne this week? (I did.) Are we all dying a bit because we have to wait another week for more Arrow/The Flash? (YES.)

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.