‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1 Finale: A Timemaster is Never Late!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Spoilers everywhere!

Well, now. Given the events of the previous episode, particularly what happened to our beloved Snart, Captain Hunter has decided to take all our Legends home, back to 2016. The thing is, it’s May 2016, not January, when they officially left the first time. And once again, Captain Hunter has taken it upon himself to what he believes just has to be the right thing, without consulting anyone else on the team, and our Legends are understandably upset.

Those of us who keep up with all the CW DC shows (Arrow, Flash, and, soon, Supergirl) remember that the Black Canary left us recently. Sara didn’t know that though, and she is justifiably devastated. Meanwhile, Rory is trying to go back to his old life with a new partner, and of course that isn’t working, either. Ray coming to save Rory and become his new partner is one of the most unlikely things to happen in this universe, but then again, perhaps not. Harken back to the Russian gulag episode, and we see a strange understanding begin to develop between “Haircut,” as Rory calls Ray, and Heatwave. Stein and his wife are trying to rebuild and of course our silver fox is restless, and Jax just can’t let the mission to stop Vandal Savage die, either. If nothing else, Carter and Kendra still need to be saved; bring the Waverider back here, right now!

So where, or rather when and where, the hell is Kendra anyway? Someplace called Saint Lo, France, in 1944, apparently. Some helmeted skullduggery (how did she know how to do that again?) allows our hunting Legends to figure out the answer to both questions, and off the ship goes to catch our wayward Hawk folk!

Okie doke, so now it’s time for some background, if you haven’t been paying attention to the major background plots of Legends of Tomorrow. Way back when, in ancient Egyptian times when all this stuff with Savage and our Hawk folk popped off, the Thanagarians sent three meteorites with alien technology to earth. Combined with the blood of Carter and Kendra, Savage is going to take these three meteorites he’s been chasing all over time and literally re-write time itself, according to his wishes. The Thanagarians and the Hawk people have a long and rich history in the DC-verse, so introducing this depth of a storyline is actually quite cool.

Sara Lance is perhaps the finest female character on the show, and to see her literally begging Captain Hunter to go back and save her sister is truly heartbreaking. Why can’t Hunter go back just a few measly months and help Sara save Laurel? Some muckity-muck about timelines and alternate multiple deaths, which is kind of the show’s way of saying, “Her death is now canon in the Arrow-verse and there really isn’t anything we can do about it.” I had kind of hoped for a better thought-out explanation, but hey, we recall along with Sara that Laurel was the one who convinced Sara to go serve and save as the White Canary, so perhaps that’s the encouragement she needs to never, ever give up fighting.

Dude, lookit, we now have a plan! Three plans, to be precise. Somehow, yet another thing that wasn’t explained too clearly, but who cares: Vandal Savage is able to be three places at once, crossing his own timeline. (I bet Sam Beckett could tell Savage that was never a good idea.) And he’s after the three Thanagarian meteorites, armed with Hawk folk blood, for the timeline re-write ritual too! In 1958, according to Stein, there was a rare alignment of the Earth with Thanagar, so, of course, one Savage will be there/then. The ATOM and Heatwave are waiting in hiding for their turn to heat things up! St. Roch in 2021 finds current-Savage with Kendra, preparing for the ritual, while Captain Hunter and a newly-resolved and becostumed Carter anxiously await much asskickery! And in Norway in 1975, while Sara is dealing with thugs and a nuclear bomb, Jax and Stein wait to take people out as Firestorm!

This really is the ultimate climax scene of the entire season of Legends of Tomorrow, where, in unlikely pairs, our Legends all simultaneously take out a different Vandal Savage and stop alien armageddon! Kendra bursts her bonds with a mighty flap of her wings as Carter is downed and sets upon Vandal Savage with the fury of four thousand years of deaths, persecution, and lies! Sara Lance in her leather whites besets another Vandal Savage with the quip, “A Timemaster is never late,” and proceeds to kick his ass up, down, and sideways! Wait, did she just say that, about herself? Ooh. Layers. The ATOM is dealing with flying monkey monsters while Heatwave just puts the beatdown on the man who caused the death of his beloved partner, the other half of his sundered soul, we miss you already Leonard Snart. A savage neck-snap, a pillar of fire, and an intimate stab through the heart later, and the changed timeline bubble-ripples across the land, as Rip Hunter finally gets his revenge. But it’s not over yet!

Still got to deal with those damned meteorites, right? The ATOM shrinks one of em, no problem there. Firestorm freaking vaporizes another one, and with the help of the AI ship, all our Legends are back together for the final ball of destruction. But these other methods aren’t working anymore, so once again the Captain takes it upon himself to grab the death-ball with the Waverider and fly it into the sun! Of course this means the death of Captain Rip Hunter, the AI Gideon, and the ship Waverider, and we simply cannot have that. It’s time for some final soul-searching, for forgiveness, and ultimately, for some real responsibility taken for all these actions in the shows previous episodes. Leave it to the AI to say, “I’m not ready to die.”

Since the Chronoflow was pretty much destroyed, the Oculus doesn’t help any more, either. The Timemasters scattered to the winds and there’s no real police force against Vandal Savage (or any other DC villains) messing with the timelines; that is the new job of Captain Hunter and our Legends! Sara at Laurel’s graveside remembers her dear sister and takes on the new mission in her name. Stein gets a loving but firm push out the door from his wife, and Jax, because Firestorm is truly meant for changing things for the better. Poor Rory takes a farewell jaunt back to Central City in 2013, and — aw, my heart is melting — he went to meet Snart one last time. This is what we call a loving full-circle coming around, as Rory stumbles about telling Snart he’s a hero, the best guy Rory ever knew. We all saw Snart struggle and resist the heroic ideal while part of the crew of the Waverider, and yet he truly became one somehow, perhaps because he knew it was important. Not to the universe, or even to the other Legends, but to his best friend, the guy who had his back from when they were pickpocket-y pre-teens, his partner, his brother: Mick Rory.

So now, we’re finally back where we began, the team gathered in Star City, preparing to go off on the Waverider with Captain Rip Hunter! Well, everyone but Carter and Kendra, who want to make a go at a “normal life.” Being reincarnated Hawk peoples might make that kind of difficult, you just know they’ll show up again in season two. But wait! It’s another Waverider, piloted by — holy shit, it’s Rex Tyler, a member of the Justice Society of America!

Legends of Tomorrow has never shied away from bringing in relatively obscure but beloved DC characters, and this drop of Patrick J. Adams as Rex Tyler, also known as Hourman in the DC-verse, is no exception. There was Connor Hawke, a legacy of Green Arrow; world-destroyer Per Degaton; son of Deathstroke, called Ravager in the comics; even the redoubtable cowboy of the DC world, Jonah Hex. But this finale episode really stuck it to us eternal fans in the best way possible, by introducing the Justice Society of America for season two!

I enjoyed this series way more than I ever thought I would, and hope you-all have enjoyed running through it with me and fellow Agent Nur Hussein. While, yes, there may be some issues in translating the time travel twisty funnery to the audience in a believable way, that’s honestly not really what we’re here for. These characters and their enduring story of personal drama, idealistic morals and epic ass-kickery in the face of pure evil ensures that they really are legendary. We can’t wait to see what season two brings!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E11: Welcome to a Town Called Salvation

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Sharp-shootin’ spoilers a-comin’!

Ah, yes. Here we are hiding in the Old West, away from the Hunters the Time Masters sent after our Legends, and of course the town is called Salvation. Ray is immediately fan-boying the whole old west scene and Sarah wants to take a look around outside, so everyone gets ship-made, era-appropriate clothing and some pistols and away we go!

The entrance of our Legends in their various western-style getups with that slo-mo gangster walk and the heroic cowboy music into the town of Salvation is a hoot and a holler and looks fun and laughably ridiculous. Sarah and Rory immediately begin a drinking binge with alcohol that could take the paint off your walls, Stein surprisingly gets to gambling with Snart, and Kendra has an unexpected encounter in the saloon over (what else?) a disagreement on how to treat ladies, even saloon ladies. Next thing you know, Snart’s killed a bad guy and started a bar brawl. It’s the old west right? But things are almost immediately stopped by a smart figure in a very old uniform with a uniquely scarred face, the bounty hunter extraordinaire of the cowboy-inspired part of DC comics, Jonah Hex!

Of course, idiot Ray, with his penchant for modern history names like the highly original “John Wayne,” wants to save the town of Salvation from the tyranny of the Stillwater gang and insists the crew stay to do so. Never mind that Ray finds himself the new Sheriff and really has not a bit of experience with pistols,  he is good at planning and strategizing. So, when the Stillwater gang comes in for their first confrontation, they get an invitation to go packing from the carefully placed sharp-shooter Legends arranged about the town square!

Not a bit of this impresses Jonah Hex (Jonathon Schaech), however, who reminds our Legends that whenever they do decide to leave Salvation with the Stillwater gang matter unresolved, the same thing that happened to Calvert will happen here. What is Calvert, we ask? Gideon explains it was a town in Oklahoma a few years before their current time-location that was destroyed in the aftermath of a younger Rip Hunter and Jonah Hex feeling their oats and regrets. Yes, our Captain knew Jonah Hex from before; the show even implies that Hunter’s murdered son in the future, Jonas, is named in Hex’s honor.

Stein, meanwhile, is very taken with the kind woman with the dying son from the original bar brawl. He has the consumption, you see, and his mother wanted him to see the west and ride that stagecoach he always wanted to, before tuberculosis takes him down completely. Stein, with his large heart and science-y brain, absolutely refuses to sit by and let this happen, insisting on the Waverider synthesizing a cure as close to old western medicine as he can manage, and giving it to the boy.

Sarah and Kendra have gone off riding into the woods to go looking for the woman Kendra encountered at the saloon, who, of course, offers them a lead-lined greeting when they find her. Turns out, this older, hardened woman who lives bitterly alone is actually a former incarnation of Kendra herself, the aging Hawkgirl who endures in obscurity because in this time period, there isn’t any Carter to comfort her. She claims, in sorrow and regret, that Kendra will never love another person the way she loves Carter, that trying to love anyone else always ends in tears, that the two hawk folk are fated to be together forever and ever. Which, considering the original mission of our Legends bucking future fate and all, doesn’t go down well for Kendra.

So, the boys mistakenly went to go confront the Stillwater gang and end up with a bad guy in their med bay and down a teammate; Jax gets himself taken. Much arguing later, we’re going to have High Noon from Captain Hunter in town square and inevitably it’s not that simple – right about then is when the Hunters decide to show up, and main street of Salvation is suddenly filled with flying fire guys and laser beam future-pistol shots!

The showdown on main street is actually pretty cool. Hawkgirl is doing dive-bombs, Jax and Stein are fire-bombing their way up and down the street, Jonah Hex is firing the future pistol he borrowed from Captain Hunter, Ray’s in his A.T.O.M. suit doing damage, and the criminal twins and their assassin friend are shooting and stomping their way through the villains!

The Hunters just have to get in the last word before defeat, telling Rory that the Timemasters have sent the Pilgrim after our Legends, which can’t be good. Stein gets the most astonishing information when he goes to say goodbye to the young boy he saved from tuberculosis, who happens to not-so-coincidentally bear his father’s surname, Wells. Herbert George Wells, as a matter of fact. Absolutely adorkable. Sarah and Kendra are back from their walkabout, and it’s time to have a talk with Ray, sadly. And now it’s time for one final talk with everyone around the planning table, because the Timemasters have sent the Pilgrim, their deadliest assassin, into everyones previous timelines, to stop all our Legends from becoming thus long before they could do anything about it!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E10 : Teach Your Children Well

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

All the Spoilers!

When we last left our intrepid Legends, things had gotten all shook up! The real identity of Chronos has been revealed, Rory is back aboard the Waverider, and the next time jump is intended for the future!

The Kasnian Conglomerate is the main corporation in charge of things here in the future, where we’re now attempting to hunt down Vandal Savage at a stockholders meeting approximately five years before the destruction of Captain Hunter’s future world. After some adorable sleight of eye, our Legends get an earful of the untenable situation for those outside the Kasnian borders, living in squalor and misery as they are. Predictably, Vandal Savage, who is sitting at the stockholders’ table, is all in favor of a culling, which is exactly what it sounds like. He’s also a tutor to Per Degaton, son of his main opposition on the council, the kid Captain Hunter equates to the Adolf Hitler of his own time. This information leads to a very frank discussion around the planning table, bringing up one of the great philosophical questions of any generation: If you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Adolf Hitler? Or the LoT equivalent, which, in this case, means killing Per Degaton.

Everyone on the team has an opinion about this plan, ranging from outraged at infanticide to the “I volunteer as tribute already,” drawl of Snart. So, instead, our well-meaning heroes graduate from infanticide to child abduction, thinking this is somehow better, and figuring they’ll decide what to do with Little Lord Fauntleroy after they’ve nabbed him. The team’s actual method of kidnapping the mini-goose-stepper are fairly clever and fun.

Meanwhile, Ray and Stein and Jax have all gone to check out the robotics department of the place that made the autonomous robots based on Palmer’s A.T.O.M. design. What do they find? A very merry sci-fi alum, in the form of Jewel Staite as Doctor Rachel Turner, purportedly the great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Palmer himself. So yes, Ray gets to have his own internal mini-crisis, at the idea that his ghosted girlfriend back in 2016, who never got a name mind you, potentially had his child. And, you know, that his family would be responsible for the bots Savage uses in the future in his massive despotic takeover.

Elsewhere, Kendra is dealing with visions of her past lives, in particular the life with Carter that led to the birth of the Boardmans and their son. The flashback scenes are in sepia Oz-style tones, which is fine, I suppose, but I’d like to see some other lives, too. How about a Victorian Hawkgirl, or a Renaissance Hawkman? Well, the idea they seem to be trying to get across is that, in this particular life, Kendra will make her own choices, and right now, she chooses Ray. For a while, anyway.

Also in the midst of this funnery, people are visiting the clear cage Rory is being kept in, each speaking with him in their own way, from their own point of view. Sarah’s scene in particular, how she speaks so bluntly from a position of absolute calm and without any fear, about the bond between Rory and Snart, is a gorgeous little piece of writing. Only Sarah could somehow get Snart to finally go to his adopted brother, his partner, the heat to his cold, honestly the other part of his soul. So much for being a soulless League of Assassins killer; we heart you Sarah.

So, Captain Hunter is off with mini-Hitler in tow, to learn once again the simple lesson that we’re supposed to be a team, and you really shouldn’t be trying to do these time-changing moments alone. Because, hey, Savage and the future-time military police are headed for our Legends, to steal back Per Degaton at any cost! Time for lots of fighting, some harsh Palmer family truths, and a final exchange of he-who-could-become-Hitler and Sarah with the enemy!

None of this sits well with Captain Hunter, especially since the current-future timeline shows Per Degaton taking out his competition and Savage’s rise to sudden power. Ray and Kendra have come to an understanding and that’s fine, for now. The best part of the last segment is the fight between Rory and Snart, where the two of them finally hash it all out with their fists, after which a healthy serving of nasty truth is served up to the entire team, and a new mission of sorts is given: run.

Next episode, our Legends are headed to the Old West and the introduction of another epic DC character, Jonah Hex!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E7: What the Hell Is a Time Pirate?

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Here we are, a-floatin’ through space, trying to figure out when to go after Vandal Savage next, but needing a serious software update to the shipboard A.I., Gideon, in order to manage that. Captain Hunter is torturing himself with holographic visions of his past, while our Legends are going stir crazy. Rory and Snart are still sniping at each other over the events of the previous episode, Ray and Kendra are tippy-toeing around romantic entanglement, and everyone else is just really bored. Then comes a distress call from Captain Baxter of the Timeship Acheron, and our Legends are off to save the day!

We have to remember that Professor Stein is the manchild nerd for the sci-fi geek in all of us, and really, the Waverider hasn’t really gone through space yet: Only timestreams. So, while Stein waxes poetic about the stars and his time as a Space Ranger when he was a wee boy, we’re treated to further memories of Rip Hunter’s time at the Timemasters academy, where he trains with a love interest and fellow student, Miranda Koburn. It’s so cute how Rip responds to being overshadowed in the training simulation by his female counterpart with something like, “You beat me – that’s so hot,” and a makeout session that sadly, gets them into trouble. Timemaster romance of any kind is rather harshly discouraged, and young Rip and his Lady are about to be the equivalent of court-martialed.

Meanwhile back in the really-real world, the boarding party that went to check out the Acheron has been overrun with — say it with me — space pirates! Or rather, as Captain Hunter calls them, Time Pirates, led by Captain Valler (Callum Keith Rennie). Many of us did wonder, as we were watching the episode, how does a pirate plunder time? Are there tachyons to be stolen? Well, anyway, our Legends are here in space being harried by Time Pirates, which inevitably opens the cargo bay doors for every single last classic Sci-fi reference you can think of! Star Wars, of course, Jax probably got the best line for that one; Ray as Captain Palmer is so much better as a Sulu reference rather than trying to Shatner his way through Star Trek; the green lighting on the Acheron makes us think of the excellent atmosphere in Ridley Scott’s original Alien; Stein talked about being a Space Ranger when he was a kid, DC just broke the fourth wall; there’s even a cry of “Great Scott!” and we all know what beloved time travel epic that’s from! The commands, “Imperiex,” and “Kanjar Ro” are also names of space-based DC comics villains, just FYI. And it has to be included, Captain Hunter running around fighting time pirates in that coat reminded me very much of Captain Jack Harkness, doing his epic thing in Torchwood!

Much emphasis is placed on the deteriorating relationship between Rory and Snart, especially when Rory decides he’s had enough and attempts to make a deal with the Time Pirates. Snart has a few beautiful moments with Sara, first while they play cards to alleviate boredom and she has some almost-sympathy for the dwindling brotherhood, and then later when they’re both freezing to death (because nature’s vacuum runs on irony) and they exchange what death is really like and how Mick and Leonard met. The assassin and the thief, we adore them both and the show seems to have them swimming towards true friendship, if not an actual romance. I’m voting for a romance, even if it’s brief, because just imagine the shockwave reverberations through all the Legends once it’s over!

Eventually — we knew it was coming — our Legends overcame the Time Pirates, repaired both the Acheron and the Waverider, cleared Captain Hunter’s name as far as the snooty Timemasters reputation fuckery goes, and now we have to deal with internal issues. Our resident firebug, Heatwave, has just gone too far into the darkness, and our Legends meet around the table to discuss what to do now. Snart says he will handle it, and even makes an actual go at it, but can he really take out the sundered other half of his soul? As much emphasis as the show placed on love no matter what, I kind of doubt it. The preview for next week’s episode shows a few of our Legends off chasing Vandal Savage in 1950s Oregon and Kendra in an actual poodle skirt, so let’s pray for visions of a greaser Heatwave, or at least a Rory on ice for now!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E5: Not our First Prison Break

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

When we last left our intrepid time-hopping Legends, fully half the team was either incapacitated or captured in a – what else? It’s 1986 – maximum-security Russian gulag. Our resident silverfox Professor Stein is being held for extra-special treatment, because the bad guys have figured out he could make a Russian Firestorm way way earlier than such a thing should be possible. Rory and Ray have been tossed into gulag gen-pop together, and the crew of the Waverider are working on how to bust them all out!

Well, mostly. Snart claims to be generally only interested in getting his partner back, which makes it odd when he very easily figures out that Captain Hunter ordered our assassin Sarah to take Stein out if it looks like rescue isn’t an option, and he has a rather surprisingly adverse reaction to the idea. Though of course the proposed plans give Snart the chance to smirk, “Not my first prison break,” to Rip, and all of us in the know have to grin. No-one seems particularly interested in rescuing the lone boy scout of the team, and indeed, Ray gets himself a good old fashioned beat-down in the gulag yard when he just can’t seem to shut his mouth, while Rory is over there fascinated by a Zippo he stole and not doing a damned thing to help. Rip also completely vetoes recovering Jax and Kendra’s offer to help, at least on the scout mission to the Bratva, the Russian mafia underground.

This episode’s scenes with Ray were particularly hard to watch, not necessarily because he takes several hard-core beatings, but because of why he does it. The first beat-down in the yard, well that was just your standard Russian cold-war welcome. But later, when it’s all gone to hell and Ray and Rory have been brought out for glorious electrical torture to goad Stein into giving up his Firestorm secrets to Vandal Savage and the crazy Russian lady scientist, Vostok, Ray’s deadly boy scout instincts kick in and he purposefully turns all attention to himself. While it’s true that as soon as they can get Ray to the Waverider his injuries can be healed quite easily, that says nothing for the here and now and those busted ribs, blackened eyes, and weeping cuts. What we see here is the run of being Superman that Brandon Routh just can’t seem to escape, the one who heroically takes it all upon himself because he just can’t stand to see others he cares about harmed. And it takes that kind of selflessness to get Heatwave, the criminal Rory who uses his S.T.A.R. labs firegun to mow down good and bad guys alike while he steals things, to go back for Ray when the rescue attempt is made.

So, the rescue attempt has degenerated into a prison riot, as often happens, and at the same time that crazy Russian chick and the Prof have melted together in the hottest forced not-sex you’ll ever see! Captain Hunter and Vandal Savage have had their posturing moment, and Jax and Kendra have decided to get in on the rescue mission regardless of what the Captain says! The small moments of humanity from our assassin Sarah, goaded on by our less-criminal-than-previously-thought Snart, are beautiful and show the team coming together despite their clear differences. And that’s how, working together once again, our Legends have made it back to the Waverider more or less whole, to jump through time while being chased by Chronos yet again!

Spoiler, Spoiler, Spoil-ers!

But wait! There’s totes more. Our Legends managed a landing despite Chronos’ best efforts, and here we are in Star City! Sort of. Star City in 2046, apparently, rather remarkably different. And of course there’s a guy in those iconic forest green leathers with a bow! But that’s not Oliver Queen. No, my fellow archer fan-atics, it’s Connor Hawke! Drool with me.

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E3: Changing Your own Fate is Hard

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Thar be spoilers ahead!

When we last left our legendary heroes, the team had suffered a defeat and a major loss, and they were stuck in 1975. Everyone is trying to convince Captain Hunter of their various ideas, to which our beloved Rip replies they know nothing about time travel consequences, citing that he’s seen darker days, where “men of steel die and dark knights fall.” The entire show, and the audience, pauses for a breath and our hearts swell with the knowledge that Captain Hunter just referred to the Justice League! Epic squee! Ahem, moving on.

After a teensy bit of convincing, the team scatters into smaller groups on separate missions: Rip and Sarah are going after Vandal Savage’s money, Ray and Dr. Stein are trying to save Kendra from dagger fragments left in her bloodstream, and the criminal twins have convinced Jax to steal the jump ship and go off to do a jewelry heist! What could possibly go wrong? Well…

Starting off with the wraparound story of still going after Vandal Savage (isn’t that the idea here?), Sarah and Rip head for the big bad bank where purportedly Savage hides his money. Sarah, as we’re reminded, is an inductee of the Lazarus Pit, meaning she died and was brought back to life with some serious consequences: the monstrous need to kill. So, finding themselves fighting Savage mercenaries and trained killers inside the bank is no problem for Sarah, other than, ya know, the whole bloodlust killing people thing. Captain Hunter has more of a problem with such a thing, which is rather ironic, as Sarah points out.

Meanwhile, Jax is reading the instruction manual on how to fix the Waverider, happily nosing around the smaller jump ship and learning how to fly it, when Snart and Rory show up. Snart wants to go out to Central City and steal a giant emerald, and it doesn’t take much convincing at all for them to go off all kinds of half-cocked!

The thing that’s so extra great about Snart and Rory in this episode is that they both demonstrate that there is quite a bit going on below the surface. Snart may be the brains of their partnership, but Rory is far from actually stupid, or thick, as Rip calls him. There’s an extra-epic scene where the criminal pals come in to save the day and Rory takes in Sarah’s ballroom dress, proclaiming he didn’t have her pegged for the “Eyes Wide Shut type.” And that reference, to Stanley Kubrick’s last and highly controversial film, is actually more highbrow than anyone would have guessed, for Rory. Dominic Purcell’s muscles-upon-muscles physique and Rockbiter-eating-rocks voice notwithstanding, I like the idea that Heatwave can actually hold his own for at least a scene or two. And, oh my, Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold and Leonard Snart is my current favorite of the epic eight, or rather, seven, now that we’re down a winged companion and all. His bemused drawl, eternal sarcastic expressions and even those glimpses of good-guy-ness are marvelous, and amongst all of them, Snart still gets the best one-liners. So far.

Which actually leads us into the whole reason for the jewelry heist thing: Snart didn’t have the greatest childhood, as I’m sure we’ve all kind of guessed. When Snart was five, his father went to prison for attempting a jewelry heist of a giant emerald, and came back an abuser that ruined the lives of his wife and small children. Can you guess where Snart is going with this? Change your fate. The trouble with that idea is, that whole nature-abhors-a-vacuum thing, and the universe tends to have its own circular plans for your fate. Just ask Captain Hunter, he knew damned well that wasn’t going to work.

After mostly failing the first attempt to save Kendra, Ray had his little crisis of confidence and, buoyed along by Dr. Stein, managed to power through it and save her. The ATOM suit flying through Kendra’s bloodstream blasting knife particles like the ancient video game Asteroid is adorkable, and a happy nod to the potential science nerd in all of us, young or old. Every one of us has moments where we wonder if we really can do the thing, and it’s nice for Ray to have Dr. Stein to say, “Of course you can! Go on, already!”

Meanwhile, the Brumberg bank folk and Vandal Savage’s people are having a big ol’ party! What for, you ask? This thing they’re obscurely referring to as the Vessel, which turns out to be poor Carter’s body, is going to be shared bloodily with the cult followers of Savage, to grant them temporary immortality. What’s a hundred years or so between friends? Our Legends can’t have that! Much ass-kickery in fancy ’70s clothes later, most of the rest of the team show up to battle Savage and his minions yet again. The whole thing more or less ends in a draw: about par for the course. Then it’s time for a very sad double funeral, and everyone has to remind Captain Hunter that they work so much better as a team, which was why he got them together in the first place. And now it’s time to head to the next time Vandal Savage is known to pop up, the 1980s, so grab your parachute pants!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E1: Make Your own Fate

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Every bit as epic as the previews and lead-ins promised it would be, Legends of Tomorrow is rife with one thing – thoughts of the future. Regardless of whether you happen to be Vandal Savage, psychotic immortal bent on world domination in every incarnation, or Rip Hunter, Timelord of 2166, so concerned about Savage’s world wars and slaughter he goes rogue against the Time Council insistence of non-involvement, all potential futures are in question here. Rip decides to hie himself to 2016 in the stolen Waverider time travelling ship and pick up an elite team he’s chosen for their various skill sets, to go gallivanting through time to kill Savage. Funny thing is, each and every of the chosen eight is kind of stagnating right now in whatever they’re doing and so it’s pretty easy for Rip to pick them off. *deep breath*

The criminal twins, Captain Cold and Heatwave, are pulling off kiddie bank robberies, Ray Palmer as the ATOM is spinning his wheels on mini-jobs for Green Arrow, Sarah, who becomes White Canary, is off drinking in freaking Tibet, Kendra and Carter are still arguing like a thousand-year-old married couple while they practice flying, and the two unlikely fellows that make up Firestorm are still fighting while they attempt to patrol and stop fights.

Fast forward some through fast talking from Rip Hunter and some soul searching from the newly made team, and one roofie job later, we’re off in the time travel ship to 1975 and the one man who knows more about Vandal Savage than anyone, Professor Boardman. The good Professor is full of all sorts of heart-wrenching and spoiler-ific information, but he serves as a distraction when a bounty hunter starts taking pot shots at the cloaked ship. Sarah and the temperature boys are off happily barroom brawling, but everyone chips in and manages to hightail it away from Chronos the bad guy at the last possible second with relatively few casualties.

Now it’s time for a healthy dose of good, old-fashioned, brutal honesty from Captain Hunter, and that leaves our epic eight to ponder what their next move will be – fade into the shadows of relatively safe obscurity, or grab dangerous adventure with both hands and make your own damned fate! It’s no real surprise that everyone decides to stay, for their varied and amusing reasons, and the relief and dawning glory on Rory’s — I mean, Rip’s —  face, is a joy to see as they take off for yet another timeline after Vandal Savage!

I know, there are a lot of apparent parallels between Legends of Tomorrow and Doctor Who. There’s Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter, he’s a defrocked Timelord, stole an awesome ship and ran away to chase bad guys with companions through time – I get it. But seriously folks, you’re looking at it the wrong way. DC TV is handing us a show from the amazing parentage of Arrow and Flash, done in the style of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Who among us didn’t love Bill and Ted? We grew and our tastes got harder to satisfy with our need for more epic heroes and villains, but DC’s Legends of Tomorrow reminds us to look to our own future and the thought that it’s never too late to change our fate, with our own two hands. Sarah Connor thought that too, and I bet she’d love the hell out of this show.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is on Thursdays on the CW @ 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

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The ‘Flash’ Winter Finale: Have a Very Merry Trickster-mas

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Who doesn’t want to spend the winter holidays with their families? *crickets* Right, that was rhetorical. Here in the Flash-verse, the Weather Wizard wants nothing more than to gather a few buddies around him and gift wrap our beloved scarlet speedster in a casket for Krampus!

It’s always interesting to see Liam McIntyre, the man who bravely took up the mantle of Spartacus after the sad passing of Andy Whitfield, as a nasty villain on Flash. Weather Wizard Mark has that ol’ holiday bloodlust going for the Flash, and he breaks the abominable Captain Cold and the wacky Trickster out of jail to help him! Leonard Snart, a.k.a. Captain Cold, seems to have snowflakes of good-guy floating in him somewhere, which nudges him to warn Barry of the coming snowstorm in the worst secret Santa move ever. And then Jesse James, a.k.a. Trickster, you know, he’s down for whatever, so long as it involves lots of cocoa and killing a bunch of people, perhaps those annoying carolers, for openers.

On the completely normal (ish?) side of things, Iris West is just boiling over with the knowledge of her brother, kept hidden from her father. She just can’t keep the news to herself anymore, and enlists Barry’s help to tell Joe. Why does this matter, apart from the completely normal, if not devastating, news that Joe had a blood son he never knew about? Because Joe’s long-lost, unaware son is named Wallace, and called Wally. Wally West (check this out, if you have to ask what that means).

Of course, Flash can’t let the Weather Wizard, the Trickster, and even a reluctant Captain Cold wreak havoc during the winter holidays. But fighting all three of them means asking Cisco to make a weather wand that, for those of you paying attention to the now-multiple timelines of the Flash-verse, wreaks a whole bunch of havoc all on its own. With the threat of perhaps a hundred or so gaily wrapped Christmas bombs handed out to children by a very merry Trickster Claus, Barry has no choice but to gird his loins in speedforce and take them head on!

Mark Hamil as the Trickster really is the best present this episode has to offer. Nearly all of us fans who watch the show Flash, remember watching Batman the Animated Series back in the 1990s, in which Hamil gave great voice talent to one of our favorite versions of the Joker. Hamil has been the Trickster once on Flash already, but the winter finale episode gave us a glorious gift of a Joker-voiced Christmas episode one more time. To hear him sing, “Deck the halls with body parts from a girl named Holly,” in that well-known and forever-beloved cackling voice is epic. And you know, exploding dreidels.

The interplay between Wells 2.0 and Zoom is kind of completely expected, so there’s that. But that moment when, after the hero has saved the day and the heroes, plain ol’ humans, and all their loved ones have gathered together at the West house for Christmas eve, Wally West comes to the door and meets Joe face to face for the first time – that was a winter holiday miracle right there. And with all Wells 2.0 and the bad guys are up to, Flash and all his pals deserve a miracle now and then. The Flash speeds back to us January 19, 2016!

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https://youtu.be/ozN-Nn8Ed9E

2015 Salt Lake Comic Con Earns Place in Guinness World Record Book

by Agent Sheralyn Pratt (a.k.a. The Sin-sei)

It’s official: Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 is the new Guinness World Record holder for largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters in a single place. Convention organizers brought together 1,784 cosplayers Friday night to claim the record over China’s Joyland, which set the previous world record in 2011 with 1,530 participants.

A Guinness representative was present at the Salt Lake Comic Con not only to count participants, but to ensure that only qualifying costumes made the cut. Costumes that were disqualified from the count included characters from:

  • Video games
  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Doctor Who
  • Animated series

Even cartoon characters with strong comic ties, like Harley Quinn, were turned away, leaving only traditional comic book characters to be included in the record attempt.

In the end, Salt Lake Comic Con may have beat the previous record by more than 250 cosplayers, but the event came dangerously close to setting no record at all. After everyone in the hall was counted Friday night, it was discovered that they was actually 100 people shy of breaking the record.

Even worse? Some of the participants who hadn’t planned on the world record attempt taking more than a few minutes started bowing out — deducting from the event’s total.

At first count, not only was Salt Lake Comic Con short of the numbers they needed, but they were breeching.

Unwilling to accept failure as an option, event organizers got on the overhead speakers of the Salt Palace, broadcasting across the nearly 700,000 sq. feet to ask anyone dressed in a costume to head over to Hall E for the world record attempt. Everyone in the building heard the call, including Manu Bennett, who finished his panel in the Main Ballroom, donned an eye patch, and made his way over dressed as Slade Wilson.

How long it took for the other 253 participants to show up and generate the numbers needed to break the record, no one could probably tell you. Everyone was too busy giving Manu Bennett their full attention. Manu kept all the gathered cosplayers entertained until organizers gave him a nod and the Guinness representative stepped forward to request that the area be locked down for five minutes.

No one in, no one out … because those are the rules for setting a world record.

This is when a five-minute dance party began, leading out with “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. The countdown to the end of the five minutes was reminiscent of New Year’s Eve, after which the Guinness representative gave Ryan Seacrest a run for his money in drawing out the announcement of the new world record: 1,734. The Guinness official then handed a certificate to event organizers, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, who held up the certificate with Manu Bennett.

And then, in the words of Monty Python: There was much rejoicing … and a MASSIVE group picture.

It’s worth noting that this record-setting outcome is exactly the reason co-founders Farr and Brandenburg declared Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 to be #EPIC. Farr and Brandenburg know their fans, and they had complete faith that attendees were up to the task of setting a world record. After all, Salt Lake Comic Con may only be in its third year, but it already has some records under its belt.

In its first year, Salt Lake Comic Con set the record for largest inaugural Comic Con, with over 70,000 attendees. Year two brought in about 120,000 attendees, and while the numbers for 2015 have yet to be released, it’s pretty safe to say that they will be impressive by any standards.

But it’s not just the numbers that make Salt Lake Comic Con remarkable. Even more noteworthy is how an event can be so big and genuine at the same time … like a second Disneyland. Somehow the Salt Lake Comic Con manages to perpetuate a friendly and family-like vibe to all those in attendance, and the events leading up this successful world record attempt is a perfect example of the top-to-bottom mood present at Salt Lake Comic Con.

Take Manu Bennett, in this case. He could have finished his panel and been done for the day. It’s 7:00. Why not head out, have dinner, and relax? There’s nothing in Bennett’s agreement that says he needs to entertain 1,500 people while organizers round up more cosplayers to claim a world record. It’s also unlikely that Bennett came to the con intending to dress as Slade Wilson and be part of the official count, but he did both things.

Why? Because he chose to.

And that’s part of the magic of Salt Lake Comic Con: Guests who want to be there, organizers who are involved on a ground level, and attendees who are respectful and enthusiastic in equal measure. All of these things combine with courteous staff, top-notch vendors, and hundreds of fan-focused events to create a geek-fest that is only going to be bigger in 2016 … which begs the question:

With all this positive momentum and good mojo, which record will Salt Lake Comic Con break next?

1734 cosplayers gathered at Salt Lake Comic Con

1734 cosplayers gathered at Salt Lake Comic Con. Photo credit: Sheralyn Pratt

Family-ish Photo: Deathstrokes and Deadpools with Manu Bennett

Family-ish Photo: Deathstrokes and Deadpools with Manu Bennett.  Photo credit: Sheralyn Pratt

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The 2015 Eisner Awards: The Year of the Triple Threat

by Agent Amanda Grefski (a.k.a Madame Helleveeg)

The 2015 Eisner Awards have been announced! This year’s nominees seem to be dominated by double-, triple-, and sometimes, quadruple-threats: an artist or group of artists who have their pen or brush in more than one projects and/or an artist who has more than one nomination.

For example, writer-artist Gene Luen Yang is nominated for both The Shadow Hero and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Or the team of Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez , whose piece Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland was nominated for Best Coloring, Best Limited Series, Best Anthology, and Best Publication for Kids.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that there are several triple- and quadruple-threats focused on the subject of both Winsor McKay and his iconic character, Little Nemo. Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream and Winsor McKay’s Complete Little Nemo are not the only McKay based books and hold multiple nominations on their own.

It’s a playing field of multi-talented, multi-versed artists, which I’m sure will make difficult work for this year’s judges. And as much the focus on McKay’s ever-popular Slumberland, winning will undoubtedly be a dream come true for the hardworking and talented nominees.

Best Short Story

  • “Beginning’s End,” by Rina Ayuyang, muthamagazine.com
  • “Corpse on the Imjin!” by Peter Kuper, in Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World (Simon & Schuster)
  • “Rule Number One,” by Lee Bermejo, in Batman Black and White #3 (DC)
  • “The Sound of One Hand Clapping,” by Max Landis & Jock, in Adventures of Superman #14 (DC)
  • When the Darkness Presses,” by Emily Carroll

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

  • Astro City #16: “Wish I May” by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
  • Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
  • Madman in Your Face 3D Special, by Mike Allred (Image)
  • Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 (Marvel)
  • The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)

Best Continuing Series

  • Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo)
  • Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
  • Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction & David Aja (Marvel)
  • Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
  • Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
  • The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)

Best Limited Series

  • Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid & Peter Krause (Marvel Infinite Comics)
  • Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • The Multiversity, by Grant Morrison et al. (DC)
  • The Private Eye, by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
  • The Sandman: Overture, by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo/DC)

Best New Series

  • The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
  • Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
  • Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
  • The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

  • BirdCatDog, by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch (Lerner/Graphic Universe)
  • A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories, by John Martz (Koyama Press)
  • Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories, edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki (VIZ)
  • Mermin, Book 3: Deep Dives, by Joey Weiser (Oni)
  • The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke (First Second)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

  • Batman Li’l Gotham, vol. 2, by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen (DC)
  • El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
  • I Was the Cat, by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey (Oni)
  • Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse, by Art Baltazar & Franco (DC)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • Doomboy, by Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
  • The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley (Graphix/Scholastic)
  • Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
  • Meteor Men, by Jeff Parker & Sandy Jarrell (Oni)
  • The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew (First Second)
  • The Wrenchies, by Farel Dalrymple (First Second)

Best Humor Publication

  • The Complete Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson (Andrews McMeel)
  • Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. by Jim Benton (NBM)
  • Groo vs. Conan, by Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, & Tom Yeates (Dark Horse)
  • Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
  • Superior Foes of Spider-Man, by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber (Marvel)

Best Digital/Web Comic

Best Anthology

  • In the Dark: A Horror Anthology, edited by Rachel Deering (Tiny Behemoth Press/IDW)
  • Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon)
  • Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It, edited by Anne Ishii, Chip Kidd, & Graham Kolbeins (Fantagraphics)
  • Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World, edited by Monte Beauchamp (Simon & Schuster)
  • To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)

Best Reality-Based Work

  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)
  • Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, by MariNaomi (2d Cloud/Uncivilized Books)
  • El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
  • Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
  • Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale (Abrams)
  • To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)

Best Graphic Album—New

  • The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins (Picador)
  • Here, by Richard McGuire (Pantheon)
  • Kill My Mother, by Jules Feiffer (Liveright)
  • The Motherless Oven, by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
  • Seconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Ballantine Books)
  • This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus (Magnetic Press)
  • How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)
  • Jim, by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)
  • Sock Monkey Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
  • Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old)

  • Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan: The Sunday Comics, 1933–1935, by Hal Foster, edited by Brendan Wright (Dark Horse)
  • Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, by Tove Jansson, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Pogo, vol. 3: Evidence to the Contrary, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly & Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, vols. 5-6, by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)

  • The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics)
  • Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
  • Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Son, by Don Rosa, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
  • Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics, vols. 1–2, edited by Daniel Herman (Hermes)
  • Witzend, by Wallace Wood et al., edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
  • Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn, by Hugo Pratt (IDW/Euro Comics)
  • Jaybird, by Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen (Dark Horse/SAF)
  • The Leaning Girl, by Benoît Peeters & François Schuiten (Alaxis Press)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

  • All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Takeshi Obata & yoshitoshi ABe (VIZ)
  • In Clothes Called Fat, by Moyoco Anno (Vertical)
  • Master Keaton, vol 1, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, & Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
  • One-Punch Man, by One & Yusuke Murata (VIZ)
  • Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki, by Mamoru Hosada & Yu (Yen Press)

Best Writer

  • Jason Aaron, Original Sin, Thor, Men of Wrath (Marvel); Southern Bastards (Image)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel (Marvel); Pretty Deadly (Image)
  • Grant Morrison, The Multiversity (DC); Annihilator (Legendary Comics)
  • Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image); Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)
  • G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
  • Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)

Best Writer/Artist

  • Sergio Aragonés, Sergio Aragonés Funnies (Bongo); Groo vs. Conan (Dark Horse)
  • Charles Burns, Sugar Skull (Pantheon)
  • Stephen Collins, The Giant Beard That Was Evil (Picador)
  • Richard McGuire, Here (Pantheon)
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
  • Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)

Best Penciller/Inker

  • Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
  • Mike Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
  • Frank Quitely, Multiversity (DC)
  • François Schuiten, The Leaning Girl (Alaxis Press)
  • Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
  • Babs Tarr, Batgirl (DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

  • Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen, Jaybird (Dark Horse)
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
  • Mike Del Mundo, Elektra (Marvel)
  • Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad: Amarillo (Dark Horse)
  • J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)

Best Cover Artist

  • Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
  • Mike Del Mundo, Elektra, X-Men: Legacy, A+X, Dexter, Dexter Down Under (Marvel)
  • Francesco Francavilla, Afterlife with Archie (Archie); Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight (Dark Horse); The Twilight Zone, Django/Zorro (Dynamite); X-Files (IDW)
  • Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
  • Phil Noto, Black Widow (Marvel)
  • Alex Ross, Astro City (Vertigo/DC); Batman 66: The Lost Episode, Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet (DC/Dynamite)

Best Coloring

  • Laura Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
  • Nelson Daniel, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder (IDW)
  • Lovern Kindzierski, The Graveyard Book, vols. 1-2 (Harper)
  • Matthew Petz, The Leg (Top Shelf)
  • Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)
  • Matthew Wilson, Adventures of Superman (DC); The Wicked + The Divine (Image), Daredevil, Thor (Marvel)

Best Lettering

  • Joe Caramagna, Ms. Marvel, Daredevil (Marvel)
  • Todd Klein, Fables, The Sandman: Overture, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC); Nemo: The Roses of Berlin (Top Shelf)
  • Max, Vapor (Fantagraphics)
  • Jack Morelli, Afterlife with Archie, Archie, Betty and Veronica, etc. (Archie)
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

  • Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
    Comic Book Creator, edited by Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows)
    Comic Book Resources, edited by Jonah Weiland
    Comics Alliance, edited by Andy Khouri, Caleb Goellner, Andrew Wheeler, & Joe Hughes
    tcj.com,(link is external) edited by Dan Nadel & Timothy Hodler (Fantagraphics)

Best Comics-Related Book

  • Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (4 vols.), edited by M. Keith Booker (ABC-CLIO)
  • Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton, by Greg Sadowski (Fantagraphics)
  • Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell (IDW/LOAC)
  • What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck, by Michael Alexander Kahn & Richard Samuel West (IDW/LOAC)
  • 75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen, by Roy Thomas & Josh Baker (TASCHEN)

Best Scholarly/Academic Work

  • American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife, by A. David Lewis (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics, by Andrew Hoberek (Rutgers University Press)
  • Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books, by Michael Barrier (University of California Press)
  • Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, edited by Sarah Lightman (McFarland)
  • The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, by Thierry Smolderen, tr. by Bart Beaty & Nick Nguyen (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor
  • McCay, by Katherine Roeder (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design

  • Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti/DC)
  • The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
  • Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon)
  • Street View, designed by Pascal Rabate (NBM/Comics Lit)
  • Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, designed by Anna Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)

Winners will be announced at San Diego Comic Con in July. Congratulations to all the nominees!

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