Saturday, June 13, 2009

FanBoyWonder Audio Book Report—52, Parts 1 and 2

A funny thing happened while FanBoyWonder was at our local public library not too long ago—while scanning the “latest selections” section of the audio books, lo and behold what did we see but 52 Parts 1 and 2, by Greg Cox, based on the DC Comics maxi-series of the same name.

As regular FanBoyWonder readers may remember (assuming there are many of you left following our prolonged absences of late), last year we reviewed The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson—a novel chronicling the history (at least the tail end) of Superman’s home planet.

We’ve always had mixed feelings about novelizations of comic book stories. The comic book (or “graphic novel” for those high falutin folk) is a storytelling medium like no other as it’s a unique and seamless blend of words and pictures.

Yet there is no denying that a novel, with its much, much higher word count, is the best forum to expand the breadth and depth of a character where comic books can only scratch the surface.

The audio book takes that relationship yet another step farther. Graphic Audio has produced a number of DC Comics novelizations including the adaptation of 52.

That said…here’s the Upshot of 52 from Graphic Audio: A year without Superman. A year without Batman. A year without Wonder Woman. But not a year without heroes... Earth’s most revered heroes have vanished. In their absence, the cities of Metropolis and Gotham have fallen prey to the machinations of super-villains and the criminal activities of Intergang.

Booster Gold, a hero from the future, has stepped into Superman’s boots only to find them too big to fill, especially when rival hero Supernova arrives on the scene. Recruited by the mysterious crime fighter known as the Question, detective Renee Montoya investigates an even more mysterious vigilante prowling the streets: Batwoman. These and other veteran and rookie heroes around the world must unite against a vast conspiracy of evil about to usurp control of the Earth once and for all.

We have to admit that we enjoyed this audio novelization of 52 a lot more than we enjoyed the original weekly, year-long (i.e. 52 weeks) maxi-series.

First and foremost, the Graphic Audio presentation was First Class. There slogan is “A movie in your mind,” and they delivered. We really did feel like we were listening to a comic book.

This is in stark contrast to the Kingdom Come audio book from a decade ago. The KC audio was an adaptation of the Kingdom Come novel by Elliot S. Maggin which in turn was an adaptation from the now classic Kingdom Come graphic novel by Mark Waid and Alex Ross.

The KC audio was professionally produced but it was voiced by commercial and voice-over actors. The pronunciations were right but the inflections were all wrong. A decade later, Graphic Audio has gotten it pitch perfect.

Secondly, author Greg Cox has done the 52 story a great service by streamlining the year-long story into a coherent narrative—partly by inserting some badly needed exposition and partly by trimming down the story to the three strongest character arcs—1) Black Adam and “The Black Marvel Family; 2) Booster Gold, Supernova and Rip Hunter and 3) Renee Montoya, The Question and Batwoman.

Thankfully omitted and barely remembered by this reader was the “Cult of Connor” dead-end story line; the Steel/Luthor/Everymen story, the Ralph Dibny time killing “investigation” and the cosmically bad Adam Strange/Animal Man/Starfire lost-in-space saga.

At the time it was launched in May 2006, directly following the screw up that was Infinite Crisis, 52 was a groundbreaking experiment as DC Comics sought to produce a weekly comic book. The premise of 52 was to tell the story of the DC Universe during the lost years between Infinite Crisis and One Year Later.

To this end, 52 had its big gun scribes—Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid—on the project working hand in glove…or trying to. Despite their best efforts and we have no doubt it they tried very hard to make it work, 52 was a jumbled mess as the storytellers were writing by the seat of their pants and it showed.

With some time and with the benefit of unfolding his story to the reader in one sitting rather than 52 weekly bites, the 52 audio novel works. We found ourselves hanging on details of the audio book that we barely paid notice to during the weekly comics series.

The Renee Montoya character is the emotional heart and soul of the story here in the novel version. The former Gotham City police detective is a well into a self-hating binge of booze and broads (she’s gay) after her cop partner and best friend was murdered and she couldn’t bring herself to murder the murderer.

Vic Sage/ “Charlie”/The Question finds Renee and saves her by making her his (crime busting) partner and eventual successor as Sage is dying of lung cancer. With the Batman out of town during this missing year, Intergang is moving into Gotham, but a new, unrelated Batwoman has appeared to step into the void left by the Dark Knight.

It turns out that the mysterious Batwoman is Kate Kane, a billionaire socialite, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point…oh yeah and a lesbian…but not just any lesbian but Renee’s old flame from way back. Given that in the original comic book series, Batwoman was defined pretty much only by her sexual identity peppered by a couple thin slices of background detail, Cox does his admirable best to flesh out this one-dimensional character.

While Renee Montoya is the heart of the book, Black Adam is the muscle…in every which way. Cox builds upon and expands the impressive job the committee of writers did in the comic book of making the reader feel both compassion and contempt for Adam.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the very best kind of villain is the one that doesn’t think he’s a villain but just trying to do good…and Gods help who gets in the way.

The Booster Gold story line is the weakest of the trinity. While Cox captures the shallowness of the character who time traveled back 400 years to become the success that he wasn’t in his own time, Booster’s voice actor made him sound too much like Jeff Spicoli (“Hey Bud, let’s party”).

The Booster Gold character is as shallow as any Hollywood “It” guy but he’s at least a little brighter than the three-watt bulb that Cox portrays him in the novel.

Cox does the best job of it by seamlessly meshing the “World War III” story line into 52. In the comics, WWIII was a slap dash affair where the committee of writers—realizing they had utterly failed to fill in the storytelling blanks of the missing year between Infinite Crisis and One Year Later, scotch taped their solution—Black Adam going insane after the murder of his wife Isis and taking a magic-powered rampage across the globe.

What was Gods-awful in the comic series, Cox has managed to make the battle action of WWIII highlight of the book.

Greg Cox and Graphic Audio has actually made us like a story that we hated reading the first time around.

If 52 is supposed to be “A movie in your mind” then FanBoyWonder gives it a thumbs up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

FanBoyWonder DVD Review—Hulk Vs…

FanBoyWonder hit the video store and among our rentals was the recently released “Hulk vs...” featuring two separate animated films—“Hulk vs. Thor” and “Hulk vs. Wolverine.”

To be honest, we were in the video store looking for the even more recently released Wonder Woman animated DVD but loathe to walk out empty handed, we picked up Hulk vs…

We found it an amusing waste of time…with the operative words being “waste of time.” Not for nothing but since we went to the trouble of watching it, we thought we would bang out a DVD review from the hip.

Here’s the Upshot from Marvel Animated Features: Hulk vs. WolverineAlberta, Canada. The Incredible Hulk has been tearing a line across the Canadian countryside, leaving a swath of destruction in his wake. He has to be stopped, and there's only one man up to the job. He's the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice. He's Wolverine, an elite agent of Canada's top secret Department H, and he's been put on Hulk's trail with a single objective: stop the green all costs. Hulk and Wolverine are about to enter the fiercest battle of their lives.

Hulk vs. Thor—Asgard, realm of the gods. For ages, Loki the trickster has sought a way to bring defeat to his accursed stepbrother, Thor. But for all the battles Thor has fought, in all the nine realms, only one creature has ever been able to match his strength - a mortal beast of Midgard known as The Incredible Hulk. Now, with Odin, the almighty king of the gods, deep in a regenerative sleep, and the forces protecting Asgard at their weakest, Loki is finally ready to spring his trap. In an epic battle that will pit gods against monsters, that will test a hero's limits more than ever before, only The Mighty Thor can hope to prevail.

FanBoyWonder is glad that we only paid $3 to rent this video rather than $20 something or more to own it.

Two weak stories packaged together into one DVD do not make a good buy…or even a rental. Our biggest of many gripes about this DVD comes from the fact that the Hulk is a guest star in his own video—two times over. In both stories, a rampaging Hulk is little more than the plot device to spur Thor and Wolverine, respectively, into action.

Worse, we are promised Hulk vs….the two heroes but the fighting between Hulk and Thor and Hulk and Wolverine short and not all that satisfying—especially in the Wolverine movie.

At PG-13, this video is not geared to the little ones but more toward the hard-core fanboys—both due to the graphic violence and to the non-existent attempt to provide any kind of back story to the viewer. The storytellers simply assume that the viewer is up to speed the goings of the Marvel Universe.

If nothing else, there is an implied promise to the viewer that there will be some serious battling, brawling action between the God of Thunder, the Main Mutant and Marvel’s heaviest of hitters but even there, Hulk vs… fails to deliver.

We laud the Marvel marketing machine for its animated effort to plant the seeds of interest for live-action movies featuring Marvel characters but it seems to us that it’s counterproductive to attempt to grow interest by slapping out such inferior product.

Unless it’s a freebie two-for-one rental deal, avoid this inferior product.

Monday, May 11, 2009

FanBoyWonder Film Review—X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Hello everyone. So sorry that we’ve been away…again. Life has taken a couple very interesting turns these past several weeks and among other things, recent events have taken a toll on our creative side. Writer’s block isn’t so bad if you are a dental hygienist but very, very ungood if you are a professional writer.

Yet the sometimes you just have to find the time, get back into the batter’s box and start swinging at fastballs until you connect. So that said, FanBoyWonder took a much needed break this past weekend from said current events for a two hour distraction at the cinema. Look for our next posting sometime sooner than six weeks hence—we promise.

Okay, then…let’s get it on.

The Upshot from 20th Century Fox: Leading up to the events of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed (Live Schreiber) and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe.

FanBoyWonder walked out of the movies on Saturday last night with some mixed feelings. Wolverine did everything that a comic book film and an action movie should do—advance the hero/protagonist (along with the viewer) through the adventure—but like most prequels, the story was limited by the need to stay (more or less) true to the previously told events of the other X-films while also trying to stay fresh in the moment.

Despite some dragging during the first half of the film, Wolverine was decently paced with a couple of genuine surprises yet it failed to reach that critical mass of excitement.

Having long ago stopped reading X-Men and Marvel Comics in general, we went into the movie familiar with Wolverine but not knowing his back story chapter and verse. So it was surprisingly pleasant to enjoy the movie without being overly hung up (or even aware) on the differences between Logan’s comic book history and the movie’s adaptation of the character.

Hugh Jackman continues to shine in the title role. It’s funny to remember that Jackman was the second choice to play Wolverine and got the part only due to another actor’s scheduling conflict. Yet from the very first scene in 2000’s X-Men, Jackman owned the role.

However, even here in his own solo adventure, Jackman’s Wolverine still seems a bit sedate. Too much of the man and not enough of the animal. We see hints of it but we have yet to see Jackman’s Logan in full throttle berserker mode.

Ironically, it is Schreiber as Victor Creed…the future Sabertooth …that displays the most feral ferocity. You just know that this guy is bad seed but there’s a hint of nobility in him that makes us like him in spite of himself.

The film does stay true to the X-film’s continuity despite the fuzzy timeline. We guess it takes place about 1980 given WHERE the bad guy’s secret HQ is located.

The main bad buy is Col William Stryker (Danny Huston), who was previously introduced in X2: X-Men United. Danny Hudson does a good job of playing a younger version of the character first played so deftly by the great Brian Cox while at the same time adding his own presence.

However, it’s a major failure of the script that fails to deliver the story’s promise to fully flesh out Striker’s origins and motives in his ruthless dealings with mutant-kind. Despite a valiant effort by Hudson, Striker is just your ordinary, average crazed military guy eager to “take the fight to the enemy” in a “preemptive strike” to “protect Americans.”

Okay…FanBoyWonder has never served, never wore a uniform (unless you count Cub Scouts) and we’ve never so much as done a single boot camp push-up, but we don’t think it’s too much to ask that Hollywood portray the military and armed forces personnel as something other than blood crazed killers and/or rigid dopes who obey orders but never think.

In other words, come on Hollywood, let’s let the military be part of the solution in a story rather than the problem for a change. But we digress.

This wouldn’t be an X-Men movie without a plethora of mutants. Some we knew, some we were meeting for the first time.

Ryan Reynolds does little more than a cameo as Wade Wilson, a sword swinging mutant along with Agent Zero (Daniel Henney), an expert tracker and lethal marksman; Wraith (, a teleporter; Fred J. Dukes (Kevin Durand), The Blob, a morbidly obese and super-strong behemoth; and Bradley (Dominic Monaghan), who can manipulate electricity.

We also get to see a young Scott Summers and future Cyclops and Emma Frost who lead a rag-tag band of imprisoned kid mutants. Patrick Stewart makes a welcome but all too brief cameo as Charles Xavier/Professor X. However, the CGI attempt to de-age Stewart into a younger Xavier looked so ridiculous that it was a distraction.

We couldn’t help but smile mid-way through the film when Striker tried to appeal to Logan’s patriotism to leave the simple life of a lumberjack with a beautiful woman living on a mountain cabin and come back into the fold.

“Your country needs you,” says Col. Striker. “I’m Canadian,” Logan retorts.

Good day eh? Who says the Great White North doesn’t have anti-heroes. Bob and Doug McKenzie, Rodney McKay and of course that wacky Wolverine, Logan. So take off you hosers.

The “Easter egg” at the end features Logan “drinking to remember” in a bar in what looks like Tokyo. This leads us to think Wolverine will be “Turning Japanese” for the sequel. Personally, we hope for an adaptation of the 1982 classic “Wolverine 4-issue mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, back in the day before they both jumped the shark.

The Bottom Line: The fight and actions scenes were competent and even well executed but it fell short of spectacular. That pretty much sums up our take on X-Men Origins: Wolverine—neither un-watchable nor uncanny.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Battlestar Galactica—Daybreak Part 1

A note from your friendly neighborhood FanBoyWonder: As we noted upon our return, FanBoyWonder is on limited duty as we are still busy at work and in coping with Mrs. Lovey Wonder’s long recuperation and our efforts to bring her home.

We DO intend to expand the scope of the blog again beyond BSG reviews…including taking aim at the clusterfrak that is today’s DC Comics but for the moment we’re talking before we fly. Stay tuned, we’re working our way back to full speed.

Meanwhile, on with the pain.

Here’s the Upshot from Sci-Fi Channel: Upshot: As Galactica is stripped for parts, a call for volunteers is made for a final mission.

This is it…the beginning of the end. FanBoyWonder is having trouble believing this is the next to last Battlestar Galactica…EVER. Not so much because we are in denial as to the show’s impending expiration as that there are just so many darned plot threads hanging out there that we’re afraid we’re going to be left hanging by our unresolved curiosity when clock runs down.

This was a strange episode it truth be told. Others we have read didn’t like the pre-holocaust flashbacks to life on Caprica but we liked the symmetry—ending with the prologue.

Plus it was interesting contrast to see our characters now, worn down after four years of post-holocaust existence and then to see them as the people they were when life was “normal.”

In Caprica City, there is a brief scene of Bill Adama discussing job plans with someone else in an office—Adama is wearing a suit….the first time we can ever recall seeing Adama NOT wearing any kind of uniform.

We then see a newly acquainted Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar in his limousine before he gets a disturbing call about his father. He can’t seem to recall her name and hence the running joke of the series.

Given how hated he is now, it’s easy to forget that of all of the crew Baltar was the big cheese, a celebrity scientist with political connections while the two more important people of the fleet—Bill Adama and Laura Roslin—were little known and less important cogs in the machine.

Speaking of Laura, we find that she was no stranger to tragedy and loss even before the Cylon attacks as her family is wiped out by a drunk driver.

We also get to see Kara Thrace and Lee Adama meet for the first time over dinner at Zak Adama’s apartment. Amazing what a couple of haircuts can do to take years of both characters.

Meanwhile, in the not so delightful present day, the viewer is jolted back from to reality at the sight of a cancer ravaged Roslin is in sickbay while Doc Cottle watches over her.

Elsewhere, a reluctant Lee Adama gives the orders for Galactica to be stripped for its parts, while Admiral Adama packs up his belongings in preparation for their transport to his new quarters aboard the Cylon baseship.

In an attempt to take advantage of the ship's low morale, Paula tries to convince Gaius that the Galactica's current fall could lead to their group's political uprising. Yet when Gaius asks Lee about gaining political leverage, Lee points out that Baltar has never, not once ever committed a truly selfless act, prompting Baltar to withdraw.

In the brig we seek a bitter Galen Tyrol visited by Helo in the brig. Tyrol is there presumably for his knowingly helping Boomer to escape and unknowingly helping Boomer to kidnap Hera.

All things considered, Helo is being pretty cool to the guy who helped kidnap his kid. For his part, Tyrol is down on himself and all Number Eight Cylons and Cylons in general.

Adama is moved to change his mind rescuing Hera after seeing her picture on the now abandoned memorial wall. Adama and Starbuck share a touching scene when she confirms what Baltar said publicly last episode and he says he doesn’t care. Kara is his daughter as far as he’s concerned.

Having found out Cavil’s location from Sam the Hybrid, the Admiral and Kara make a call for volunteers to assist with the search mission for Hera. They mark a divisional line in the flight deck with red tape and instruct those who are willing to join this last fight to cross over it. Lee Adama is the first and others soon follow suit, including a withered Laura Roslin who has come down from sickbay to show her support.

Adama also is taking volunteers from those crew members who were part of the mutiny hence we get to see Racetrack…ah the lovely, smoking hot Racetrack …oh yeah and Skulls too…back in a raptor doing recon.

It’s doesn’t take much to get Tyrol to volunteer and he drag Tory along with him… “like you have anything better to do” he tells her. Tory's reveal as one of the Final Five Cylons has been a disappointment to us.

Her character was a bit of a blank slate to begin with but after the reveal, we not only knew less about her than before, but what we do know, we don’t like. She is always the wet blanket of the party….trying to be the most Cylon of the Cylons.

Oh yeah, the little fraker murdered Cally when Cally found out they were Cylons. We will be very disappointed if Tory is not held to account for this.

The episode ends abruptly into “To Be Continued” leading us to believe that this is meant to see in its three-hour entirety.

Frak! We miss the show already.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Battlestar Galactica—Island in a Stream of Stars

The Upshot from Sci-Fi Channel: While Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) copes with Hera’s abduction, Galactica’s damages overwhelm the crew’s repair efforts.

Sorry for the delay folks but we were distracted as Mrs. Lovey Wonder’s recuperation had a setback this week. She’s better now and trying to make up for lost time so we can get her better and bring her home. We miss our Lovey.

Speaking of catching up, with just 24 hours until the next episode, your friendly neighborhood FanBoyWonder is striving to memorialize our thoughts on last week’s episode—we still can’t believe this is nearly the end.

Part of that is due the fact that “Island” seemed to promise the viewer answers but just left us with more questions.

Repairs to Galactica are making little headway and that’s even before the major hull breach kills some 60 souls—human and Cylon alike. Just like last week, the crew is in just as bad shape as the ship.

Helo and Athena (Grace Park) are beside themselves with grief following Boomer’s abduction of their daughter. Helo is racked with guilt at not being able to tell his wife from Boomer—Cylon model Number Eights both—and Athena seems unwilling to assuage his guilt.

It was a tough, uncomfortably familiar scene for us to watch. Having been suddenly and involuntarily separated from their little girl, they are frantic with worry not knowing where she is or even if she is safe. Trust us when we tell you that what they are enduring is the worst feeling in the universe.

The second worst feeling is to see the thing(s) you love most dying before your eyes knowing you can do nothing to save either. We are of course talking about Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) as he watches President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) lose her battle with cancer and he sees his ship lose its battle with time.

Adama is reluctant to concede either loss. Adama is increasingly falling apart from within—as evidenced by his increased drinking and pill popping. Like his battlestar, Adama is starting to buckle from all of the hits he’s taken over the years.

Suddenly the rules have changed and what has worked for him in the past—strength and force of will to achieve the desired outcome—is utterly failing him. It’s interesting to see Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan)—Adama’s XO and best friend in the universe, Cylon or no—be the rock this time while Adama lets go.

When talking to our best pal and all around Kemosabe John today, he noted how annoyed he is at Gaius Baltar (James Callis) and “his harem” of beautiful women who literally worship the brilliant but feckless fracker.

Yet Baltar has two great scenes here. First when meeting Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer) again for the first time since the Eye of Jupiter. Baltar expresses condolences to Six over the miscarriage of her unborn baby with Saul Tigh.

As always with Baltar, he does the right thing for the wrong reason—although he thinks he means well. Six knows Baltar’s bag and is having none of it.

Poor Six, she’s come a long way from that ruthlessly curious sexbot we first met in the mini-series. Consider that one of Six’s first scenes had her snapping the neck of a newborn—just to see what it was like—Six HAS to be pondering irony of her miscarriage. Perhaps the Cylon One True God has extended the fickle middle finger of fate her way.

In the second Baltar scene, Gaius encounters Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) in the head. You gotta love our girl Kara Trace—only she could so stonily stare someone down while sitting on the pot.

In a moment of impulse, Starbuck confesses to Baltar of discovering her own charred remains back on “Earth” (again, we still don’t think that nuked out planet was really Earth) and she gives him the corpse’s dog tags to analyze.

He does, concludes the corpse was Starbuck and he proceeds to out Kara as an angel—“proof of everlasting life”—in a misguided attempt to instill hope in the crew.

Starbuck’s critically wounded husband, Samuel T. Anders (Michael Trucco) one of the Cylon Final Five, has been placed in a hybrid tank in the hopes of speeding his healing recovery. Racked with guilt, Starbuck puts a gun to his head to euthanize him when he reacts by grabbing her gun hand and speaking hybrid.

As Kara goes to the Memorial Wall, Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) tells her he doesn’t care how she came back, she’s there and he’s glad. Kara puts her photo back on the wall. Starbuck is dead, long live Starbuck.

By the end of the episode, Adama has reluctantly concluded that the old girl’s day is done. The Admiral orders repairs stopped and that Galactica start to be stripped down for parts, offloading the civilians and transferring the weapons to the Cylon Basestar.

After convincing a reluctant Tigh, they raise a glass together to toast the old girl before they send her off “in style.” –End of Line.

Tomorrow’s episode Daybreak part 1 purports to tie up all of the loose ends. We hope so. Of all of our burning questions we REALLY want to know the secret of the Imaginary characters—Imaginary Six (Tricia Helfer) who has been Baltar’s constant companion, guide and punisher since throughout the life of the series, as well as Imaginary Baltar who has appeared to Caprica Six on occasion. What’s the deal there?

We’re really going to miss this show when it goes dark but it least they got to go out on their own terms. So say we all!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Battlestar Galactica—Somebody To Watch Over Me

We’re back! A hello to our loyal fans who all but gave up on us during our “hiatus” as well as a welcome to some of our Facebook friends who are checking out FanBoyWonder for the first time.

Our blogging muscle is still weak from inactivity so we’ll be shooting from the hip during this review, but for your reading pleasure, here’s some of our thoughts on Friday’s Battlestar Galactica with our recap of the final episodes so far to come before this coming Friday—three episodes and counting until The End.

The Upshot from Sci-Fi Channel: Kara/Starbuck (Katie Sackhoff) tries to reconcile her identity with her grisly find on “Earth” (quotes are ours) while the Cylons aboard Galactica want to charge Boomer (Grace Park) with treason.

Boomer, Boomer, Boomer—you are a bad, bad girl. Who knew? Well at least you aren’t conflicted anymore and you’ve chosen a side.

We have to admit that we were pretty faked out by this little crazy eight. We had been hoping that Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) would have stayed the frak away from her, having long since moved on but his having discovered his true Cylon nature was a game changer. Understandable but disappointing nonetheless.

It was especially hard to watch Tyrol beg President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) for her life and to see her coldly rebuff him. We’re not sure how we feel about the whole Cylon projection thing—a little too “virtual reality” for our taste and that little sci-fi chestnut had been overdone long ago.

We have some trouble with Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) making the beast with two backs with Boomer impersonating Athena (also Grace Park) and with him not being able to tell it was NOT his wife. Worse, little Hera didn’t know Boomer wasn’t her mommy when it had been established previously that Hera can tell mommy from all of the other Number Eights?????

So Boomer makes good on her escape jumping away—the wake from the FTL jump to Galactica was like someone with broken ribs getting a jab in just the wrong place.

Only later does Tyrol realized that he had unwittingly helped to kidnap Hera—talk about a gut punch. Galen, the girl’s nothing but trouble. Wake the frak up already!!!

Meanwhile, poor Galactica—the old girl has really taken a beating over the years and now it seems to be all catching up.

There’s an old Indiana Jones quote that we are quite fond of repeating around our birthday each year—“It ain’t the years, it’s the mileage.” Unfortunately for the old bucket, BSG-75 is running long on both.

The aging and scarred battlestar is the perfect metaphor for the condition of the rag-tag fugitive fleet—all 39,556 souls (Apparently we’re now counting Cylons among the fleet, hence the boosted head count.).

The entire fleet received a collective gut punch when they found “Earth” and it was a long dead, radioactive wasteland. (We don’t think that was really Earth but we’ll find out for sure in just three more episodes.) They went all in and came up empty.

The mutiny was just the most obvious result but there are signs everywhere that everyone in the fleet is just going through the motions. They’ve lost hope.

It’s contrary to human nature to just give up or to simply lie down and die, so they keep going but it’s a half assed attempt at best. Little by little, they let things slide, too overwhelmed or tired or worn down to do anything more than what’s in front of them, acting on instinct with no reason to believe that tomorrow will be any better than yesterday—indeed they expect it to be worse.

With no one is this more true than our girl Starbuck. The Lords of Kobol must be angry and vengeful gods the way they have kicked poor Kara around like a hacky sack.

So it’s small wonder when Kara is like a moth to the flame when she encounters the Piano Man at Joe’s bar. We seemed to figure out early on that Piano Man was real only in Kara’s head (like Imaginary Six or Imaginary Baltar) but we didn’t make the connect until late that he was her long, lost daddy.

Plus he seems to have composed the Watchtower song—at least the melody—that switched on the Final Five Cylons. Could Starbuck’s dad be Daniel—the missing and presumed destroyed seventh Cylon? If so, this would make Kara, like Hera, a half-and-half?

We feel cheated that we only more questions than answers but we can’t wait to find out more.

So say we all!

Post Script: Just as we were about to post we just remembered the funniest bit of the show—Starbuck’s prize of the last tube of “Feldercarb” toothpaste in the universe. We almost fell off the couch laughing at this little nugget of original BSG trivia popping up like that. Feldercarb indeed!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

FanBoyWonder Returns

FanBoyWonder would like to apologize to our loyal readers for our lengthy and unexplained absence.

By way of explanation and to de-bunk some of the potential rumors, FanBoyWonder was NOT detained during our business trip to San Francisco in October and held in captivity all these months. We were in fact able to make good on our escape from the hippy moonbat center of the universe as planned.

Unfortunately, we flew home directly into a bleepstorm that started at home and continued at the office with circumstances at either home and/or work requiring our urgent, undivided attention to put out fires.

The sad story at home is that a few weeks ago, we had to say good-bye to Brianna The Girl Wonder (AGAIN!!!) and to our grandson T.J. The Wonder Lad when we reached an impasse with their parents and we had to ask them to leave. I miss my little girl terribly, as well as the baby boy I was just getting to know but I’m grateful for the time that I had with them.

During all of this, our wife—Mrs. Lovey Wonder—has been seriously ill for sometime now. Her prognosis is hopeful but it’s going to be a long climb back.

Following our absence, we want to thank our motley crew of fans for reaching out to us to ask if we were well—especially you Ryan from Film Fodder. Sorry we couldn’t answer but blogging wasn’t at all on our mind.

But as we’ve learned in caretaker school, if you neglect yourself too much, it does nobody any good.

So FanBoyWonder is back—on limited duty to start—but as we survey all that has gone on during our absence—we’re looking at you Dan DiDio at DC Comics—we are sharpening our poison pen ready to impale all that is mediocre and praise the praiseworthy in comics, sci-fi and television.

We’re polishing up a review of Friday’s Battlestar Galactica with future programming to be announced.

“Sometimes, you have to roll a hard six.”
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