Boomb Tube, The Week in Comic Book Television: 8/28-9/3/2022

By | September 5th, 2022
Posted in Television | % Comments

Welcome back to Boomb Tube! Here, we will be catching you up on the week in comics TV, both through micro-reviews, as well as links to our full-length TV reviews. We also tend to review series that are dropped all at once weekly so there are a few ‘older’ shows mixed in for good measure. Are we missing your favorite show? Let us know in the comments!

And since the summer is here, check out our 2022 Summer TV binges, where Multiversity staffers reach back in time to review comics/comics-adjacent/nerdy shows all summer long. (Here’s a handy list of what’s being covered too.)

Harley Quinn – “Batman Begins Forever” (S3E8, HBO Max)

Well, shit. Harley Quinn delivers big on this week’s episode. Harley and Ivy enlist the help of their old pal Doctor Psycho and travel into the mind of a captured Bruce Wayne in search of Frank. Clayface is also there, while King Shark has an Abed-in-the-background moment as he refers to his kingdom.

This episode serves as a study of Bruce and his childhood trauma. The show covers some well-worn territory, but the execution and revelations within remain impactful. Bruce is broken, and his prison of guilt allows Harley to put on her therapist hat and try to help the boy who blames himself for the tragedy. The show is at its best when Harley is allowed to grow past her manic persona and show some depth. This is one of those episodes. A great watch with some nice Easter eggs for old Batman fans. – Carl Waldron

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – “Wrath of the Mer-Men” (S3E3, NETFLIX)

Hello, and welcome back to another installment of big muscle-men punching each other to oblivion all in the name of the power of Greyskull! This episode begins with a slightly excessive 3 minute montage of the villains powering up into their super–forms. Which I suppose is a signal that they’ll be getting more time in the spotlight soon. This is actually a good idea because so far the villains backing up Skelator have felt a bit second-rate compared to our heroes, so they need a little hyping up.

As Teela finds herself waking up in a glowing crystal-filled cavern with Duncan casually hanging out by her side, we think perhaps they’ll have a moment of respite. But no, a wounded and weakened Eldress reveals a bombshell three seasons in the making -that she killed King Greyskull! DUN DUN DUNNNNNN. I mean they didn’t actually play that sound effect but the expression on both Teela and Duncan’s face says it all. Definitely appreciate how much mystery and slow reveals the writers have planted since day 1 that are finally paying off in interesting ways.

This show has taught me that sometimes reboots are okay, and that if you expand upon established lore in a modern but tasteful manner it can totally bring more depth (and fresh legs) to an old and storied franchise such as He-Man. The thing about He-Man is his outfit.. it’s not exactly the coolest party outfit these days, a dude in furry underwear and Uggs is not it. The way they’ve visually updated the characters make them feel very friendly to people of all ages. This is shown off in this episode in the way that characters both old and familiar (Eldress) mix well visually with the new and updated (Teela and Duncan). When they are trapped in the cave together it feels very natural and organic in every way, even if the situation is dramatic and stressful. – Henry Finn

Locke & Key – “Deep Cover” (S3E5, Netflix)

Read our full review by Alexander Manzo.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – “A Shadow of the Past” & “Adrift” (S1E1 & S1E2, Amazon Prime)

Stay tuned for our review of the first two episodes by Christopher Chiu-Tabet on Tuesday.

Paper Girls – “Matinee” (S1E6, Amazon Prime)

The girls meet up with their final future self in the form of adult Tiffany (Sekai Abenì), who is working as a lighting designer in 1999 after dropping out of MIT. She accepts the time travel story and lets the girls crash at her place. While the Tiffs visit the 1999 version of Larry (a welcome return to the show from Nate Corddry) to figure out how to decode his ledger of time folds, Mac and Erin spy on Erin’s mother and sister; though they bond over attempting to understand a world that continues when they’re not around, Mac ultimately pushes Erin away, unwilling to admit that her own future doesn’t turn out the way she hoped. KJ sneaks away to go watch a Stanley Kubrick marathon, awakening a love of movies in herself and – when she sees her future self and her future girlfriend at the same screening – coming somewhat to terms with her homosexuality. Just as KJ is about to come out to Mac, Mac interrupts to confess the truth she learned from her brother in the future: that she will die of brain cancer at the age of 16. As the Tiffs discover that the next time fold won’t happen for another 7 years, Larry discovers a far more dramatic opening in the sky than we’ve seen before, as one of the girls’ bikes and a copy of the Cleveland Preserver from 1988 fall out of it.

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The sci-fi exposition largely takes a back seat in “Matinee,” letting the girls come to terms with some of the more profound and difficult truths they’ve had to swallow over the course of the series. Erin’s deepening understanding of the hidden dynamics of her family is compelling, but KJ and Mac continue to have the storylines that sing the most. Mac’s journey to find a healthy way to process her trauma and KJ’s attempt to find peace with who she is at her core have been developing in parallel, but every time they intersect the show jumps to a higher tier of quality.

It’s nice that Tiff finally gets a chance to be in the spotlight, and that Paper Girls is undercutting her know-it-all, future genius characterization. Like all the girls, Tiff’s future isn’t exactly what she had hoped, but the nuances of how it differs from her dreams bring out complex ideas about misogyny and institutional racism that Tiff is not yet equipped to handle. All this character development makes for a strong entry of the show. It’s not coincidental that these thematic beats happen in an episode where the Old Watch is completely absent; as the time war works its way back to the forefront for the final two episodes of the season, it will be interesting to see if the show can maintain this energy. – Reid Carter

Resident Alien – “The Alien Within” (S2E12, Syfy)

Read our full review by Christopher Chiu-Tabet.

Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles – “Runaway Training” (S2E1, Netflix)

Stay tuned for our review of the season 2 premiere by Elias Rosner on Tuesday.

The Sandman – “24/7” (S1E5, Netflix)

Read our full review by august (in the wake of) dawn.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – “The People vs. Emil Blonsky” (S1E3, Disney+)

Quick law student gripe that I promise ties into the broader truths of this episode: the title of this episode should really just have a “v.” in the middle not a “vs.” It’s oddly representative of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law as a greater show. It’s clever and fundamentally works; still, a little more thoughtfulness would go a long way. Take the A-plot of the episode, which follows Jen as she works to get Emil Blonsky out on parole. It’s a funny enough, solidly crafted arc. Wong’s couple of minutes of screentime are genuinely great, particularly given his and Jen’s dynamic. (It’s extremely fun to see him as a troublemaker who needs to be reined in given that he’s usually the one getting headaches from superhero antics.) Seeing the effort to paint Blonsky as a reformed person gives way to some fun one-off jokes (especially that testimonial that he taught prisoners to make toilet kombucha instead of toilet wine and the set dressing of his seven lovers, all clad in white dresses and flower crowns). The well-intentioned transformation to demonstrate that the Abomination isn’t a real threat mostly seems like an excuse to show off Blonsky’s monster form but it definitely has its charm. Tim Roth is certainly having a blast and he and Tatiana Maslany are a fun pair. Ultimately, though, there’s a certain oomph missing from the whole thing. This is the first victory that we’ve seen for Jennifer Walters and the lack of dramatic weight is surprising; the storyline just ends. Even in a comedy, major moments don’t need to rock your world but they do need make you feel something deeper than “fun!”

Then there’s the B-plot, which is the best delivery on the premise of this series thus far. Dennis, Jen’s former colleague from the DA’s office is suing an Asgardian shapeshifter who made him think he was dating Megan thee Stallion. Pug takes the lead on the case and has to prove that Dennis has such an inflated sense of self that he truly believed that as a random Assistant District Attorney, he was being pursued by one of the biggest artists on the planet. It’s a genuinely funny story that involves weird little things about MCU law that are fun to see like Thor’s speeches about Asgard as a people not a place being inadmissible in court. Jen’s moment on the stand is particularly hilarious, featuring the line “he once said he was a New York 10 and an LA 11.” It’s a more engaging story than the Blonsky parole hearings and I’m hoping we see more like it in the future. The one snag: as Josh Seggara is as a performer, it’d be great if they made him feel like an actual character and not a generic nice lawyer. I literally can’t tell you one of Pug’s character traits other than knowing what the best pooping bathroom in the office which is kind of absurd.

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The episode’s thread in which She-Hulk receives hate because she’s a woman and the media refuses to seriously engage with her is very fun. It’s made all the more sweet given that real life social media has looked exactly the way it does in the montage at the opening of the episode since this show premiered. It certainly won’t convert any of the sexists into fans but that’s probably for the best. Then there’s the tag featuring the MCU’s Wrecking Crew (a pathetic group of glorified LARPers with stolen Asgardian construction equipment) trying to steal She-Hulk’s blood. It’s an intriguing moment and I’m excited to see what comes of it, especially the Wrecking Crew inevitably connecting with superpowered influencer Titania. As for the cameo/post-credits scene that launched a thousand takes: it’s fine! It’s cute, features one very funny line by Jen, and takes up all of 60 seconds of the episode. It’s simply not worth all of the energy people are spending on it. – Quinn Tassin

Star Trek: Lower Decks – “The Least Dangerous Game” (S3E2, Paramount+)

Read our full review by Joe Skonce.

Stargirl – “Frenemies – Chapter 1: The Murder” (S3E1, The CW)

Read our full review of the season 3 premiere by Brian Salvatore.

//TAGS | Boomb Tube | Harley Quinn | He-Man and the Masters of the Universe | Paper Girls | She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Multiversity Staff

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