review

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So, I guess the first question to get out of the way is the obvious one – Do we really need another X-Title?  Well, here’s the short answer…if it’s written by Jason Aaron, then yes, yes we do.   The thing about the X-men books right now is that they are strong across the board and the flagship titles (Uncanny, All-New, Wolverine and The X-men) are really knocking it out of the park.  Therefore, any new book needs to fire on all cylinders right out of the gate to warrant a place on the pull list.

Rest easy, True Believers, Amazing X-Men is everything we’ve come to expect from a Jason Aaron comic not titled Scalped.  Aaron lays down a healthy dose of bombast, wit, and absurdity.  Oh, and swashbuckling.  There is definitely swashbuckling.

For me personally, one of the most tragic moments in recent X-memory was the death of Nightcrawler.  In general, I don’t pay a lot of attention to character deaths in the big two.  Death is most generally a temporary condition in the world of mainstream comics.  Because of this, character deaths very rarely have the writer intended impact of me.  However, Nightcrawler’s death was one that got my attention.  It was well done and it fit with the character.  Of course, Nightcrawler was also one of those somewhat rare universally loved characters.  Because of those reasons I had mixed feelings about Nightcrawler’s return.  When a character’s death actually has an impact, I sort of want said character to stay dead otherwise there’s potential for the death to be cheapened.  Also, characters tend to return from the dead in contrived ways (I’m looking at you Jason Todd).  To Jason Aaron’s credit, he just straight up hangs a lamp-shade on the whole issue of Nightcrawler returning from the dead, by making it just that.  Nightcrawler is 100% dead at the beginning of this issue, no clones, no time displacement, no reality punching.  Nightcrawler is in heaven, he’s bored and he’s going to be heading back to life.  It’s as simple as that.

Now, that the preliminary stuff is all out of the way let’s get to the meat, shall we?  How is the issue itself?

Exceptionally entertaining.

This comic reads a lot like Wolverine and the X-Men and that is by no means a bad thing.  As a matter of fact, this issue seems to indicate that Amazing may be a sister title to Wolverine and the X-Men in the same way that Uncanny X-Men is related to All-New X-Men.  Jason gives us a solid quick introduction to the major players and their various character dynamics.  Wolverine and Storm are arguing and flirting in equal measure.  Beast is careening through the school on the trail of those mischevious bamfs.  Iceman is having some lady problems.  It’s all great stuff and worth the price of admission.  Perhaps most interesting for those who have followed Wolverine and the X-Men is that we are finally getting some explanation on what the bamfs are and what they are up to (unsurprising hint #1, it’s got something to do with Nightcrawler).  And it’s the bamfs that bring the principle characters together and pull Wolverine and Northstar into the afterlife and right on track to meet up with that ubiquitous blue elf we all know and love.

9/10

NHL-14-Logo

 

Howdy out there sports fans it’s Frank here again, finally saddling up my writing horse and taking it into some cold pasture.

Now I am a HUGE hockey fan! I have also been playing hockey for more than half my life and I can’t say I don’t still love both.
That being said, I don’t like EA’s monopoly on sport’s franchise games and it’s even more vexing when it’s actually true now that 2K  games has been hung out to dry. It makes for very slim innovations each year, almost as bad as Pokemon’s shallow sequals. But, I usually take a few years off hockey games to give them time make a lot of improvements since the last one I bought, it’s also easier to not buy a 60 dollar game every year (For me). Now that all that negativity is out of the way let’s hit the ice.

NHL-14-Sceenshot

 GRAPHICS:

Now the first thing you might notice is the graphics have taken a HUGE bump! The shadows, ice reflections, jerseys and small details have take a huge leap since 2011′s kind of flat clean graphics. The players faces actually look well shaded and textured and even the posts on the nets even have damage and rust near the bottoms (a very real thing that happens to all nets). It’s pretty, and I really feel immersed just like when I play MLB the Show, every detail has finally been added.

 

CONTROLS:

The trailer talks a lot about “Precision Skating Controls” and, yes they are better but you can’t reinvent the wheel with what was the strong core of the game the feeling of the weight and speed of skating around. They have added skating backward which is easily activating by a shoulder button, allowing you to poke check in reverse or put on some special moves in a breakaway. They also have included a simplified deke button, which is pretty cool.

ENGINE AND ELEMENTS:

nhl14-mtl

The game has a completely redesigned physics engine which makes all the shooting and checking finally feel real. Skaters who take a big hit fall as a ‘rag doll’ meaning there’s no more reused animations from the previous games which makes hitting so much more satisfying as opponents go rolling down the ice or off the boards.

Now as soon as you notice the awesome hits you’re soon to find out about the “Enforcer System” lay a huge hit on the wrong guy, snow job a goalie or even shoot a puck after the whistle (yeah really) and you’re liable to become the target of direct and swift justice in the form of a fight. Hockey’s most strange and unwritten law system has finally been implemented and the first thing you’ll notice in the DEMO is the fights happen almost literally at the drop of a hat (if there was hats that is). The second thing you’ll likely to notice is the level of details of both persistent facial injuries as well as the depth of the fighting game engine. It’s definitely a fun diversion, as long as I don’t have to take 5 fights a period in the actual game.

NHL ’94 MODE:

nhl94_snes_616

There’s going to be a working version of the SNES/GENISIS classic NHL ’94 for you to play! That’s right! 90s hockey being my personal favorite era is a great inclusion, not to mention that it’s the year the Rangers (My favorite Team) won the Stanley Cup in the first time in 50 years.
In addition to the inclusion of this benchmark game there will also be a very interesting “NHL 94 MODE” were the game is changed over to a 3 button control scheme and the ice is blue and the music is 16 bit organs. I loved it, but I only played one game, and I have no idea how deep the game play will be, I would certainly love to set back rosters to those from 94 and then play a season or dynasty mode, as it is, it’s kind of a fun gimmick.

WEIRD STUFF:

There are plenty of weird hiccups in the demo that HOPEFULLY will be resolved before the actual game is shipped out. Such as a bunch of strange issues where the background, camera or characters jerk around strangely or wiz by too fast, or when a fight occurs and the paths of the characters have to go through areas close to others those others are bumped out of the way awkwardly, which looks horribly fake and weird. The same sorts of pathing issues happen with the penalty boxes as well. Also all the players have the same visored helmets in the demo.

Other than those issues which will hopefully be resolved, by the time the game launches I would strongly recommend checking out the demo and the game when it drops September 10th!

See you on the ice!

What Makes A Great Superman Movie?

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Adam and Nick welcome Mikey back to the show to talk about the REAL Superman trilogy: Superman, Superman II, and Superman Returns….and maybe just a little bit of Superman III and IV. Just the tiniest bit.

The Superman movies directed by Richard Donnor (Superman I and the edited “Richard Donnor Cut” of Superman II) and the 2006 movie: Superman Returns (directed by Bryan Singer and inspired by Donnor’s vision). Superman I is the benchmark that all Super Hero movies have been tested against since it’s 1978 release.

This episode is SUPER! Why is the first Superman from 1978 still considered one of the best super hero movies of all-time? Why aren’t movies like this being written today? Why didn’t Superman Returns launch the Superman franchise again in 2006?

These questions will be answered by three big Superman movie fans.

Listen on iTunes.

Or listen/download the file here.

R.I.P. Damian Wayne

dc comics podcast review batman

One of the greatest new characters of the past 10 years of comics, Damian Wayne has been killed in Batman Inc. #8. This death was at the end of a 6 year run by the character’s creator, Grant Morrison. Because of this and how it was handled, this death did not feel like a stunt. It felt organic and had a real emotional impact. This podcast was about who Damian is and where he stands against the other Robins in history.

Listen to the Episode Directly.

Listen to the Episode on iTunes.

Check out the best Damian Panels in Nick’s latest Tumblr – www.SonOfTheBat.com

Nick goes into what he thought about Damian in more depth here.

Check out some of the best recent Batman panels here.

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Have something you’d like us to discuss? Please email us question at info@shortboxpodcast.com with “Listener Topic” in the subject line and make sure to let us know if we can use your name on the podcast. Thanks for listening!

An Unexpected Journey

I was able to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on New Years Eve. Being a fan of the book I have been waiting for this movie ever since the end of the Lord of the Rings movies. The Hobbit was always one of my favorite J.R.R. Tolkien books. A simple adventure to save a kingdom from a Dragon named Smaug.The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first part of this film series, followed by The Desolation of Smaug, and finally There and Back Again. It seemed odd at first that they would split this one book into three movies. Lord of the Rings was actually written as three books so it made sense, but ever since the Star Wars trilogy it seems expected to have three movies. Movies also make more money if they’re a trilogy as opposed to just one movie.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, The Hobbit is about Bilbo Baggin’s adventure to the Lonely Mountain. Gandalf the Grey visits Bilbo’s home, The Shire, to invite Biblo on an adventure to help a group of dwarves save their home from the dragon, Smaug.

The beginning of the movie starts off a little different than the books. They introduce you to an older Bilbo Baggins, who is writing his book for his nephew Frodo. The time is established that this scene takes place right at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, right before Bilbo’s birthday party. Even though this scene was not in the book it is a nice transition between both movie franchises. Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings franchise, returns to his role for a short time in the film.

Thorin’s Map

I loved the music in this movie the most. A lot of the songs used in the movie we taken directly from the book. If I didn’t hear any of these songs, the movie wouldn’t have felt right. The main theme for the movie is a song about The Lonely Mountain that is directly from the story.

The dragon, Smaug.

The movies main antagonist is a dragon, Smaug, who you don’t actually see a full shot of in the entire film. I love it when filmmakers hide the main villain till the very end. The book is really not that different in this aspect in hiding the villain. You are told about Smaug and you know he is a dragon, but that is about it.

I am really happy with how they put this film together. When I first heard that there was going to be a movie made based on The Hobbit I assumed that it was just a cash grab. Not to say that it still isn’t, because it definitely is that, but it is also a very well made movie. I definitely will be seeing the next part of this film series.

How Amazing Was It?

Episode #28 of the Short Box Podcast is all about this summer’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot movie. Nick and Adam waited until the Blu-ray release to really give it an honest shot. This podcast goes into what they liked and didn’t like with the latest Marvel Movie.

How does this movie stack up to the Sam Rami movies? Is this truer to it’s comic book roots?

Listen to it directly here.

Listen to it on iTunes here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes here.

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Have something you’d like us to discuss? Please email us question at info@shortboxpodcast.com with “Listener Topic” in the subject line and make sure to let us know if we can use your name on the podcast. Thanks for listening!

Batwoman Reviewed

So what’s up folks? You’re saying you don’t know anything about Batwoman? Oh ok….this is what you need to know!

Yeah that’s not even the cover! The art in Batwoman by J.H.Williams III is ABSURD! His layouts are amazing and the style and painstaking attention to the aesthetic make every page almost literally a work of art onto itself. Many thanks to my good friend Travis for suggestion this title to me. I love it!

Now for those not in the know about Batwoman, the first and only fact you’re court ordered to know about her is that she’s a Lesbian, she used to date Gotham Police Department Detective Renee Montoya. Batwoman’s background and costume was first generated by Paul Dini and Alex Ross, she made her debut in DC: 52 (though this wasn’t when she was drawn by Mr. Williams) later she took over Detective Comics and this is when we get to see her grim backstory.

Like any good Bat-person Katherine Kane has one horrendously tragic back story!

If you’ve been reading the New 52: Batwoman (2012) you may already know some of the details of her origins which are well handled in flashbacks and call backs to her past. BUT! You really should read these 7 Issues of Detective Comics if you can. Like I said before it’s an amazingly drawn and handled mystery story which unfolds around the return of the Church of Crime to the streets of Gotham! Batwoman has a history of going against this group, their leader Bruno Mannheim even almost succeeded in taking Batwoman’s heart…literally!

But after surviving non-elective cardiac surgery Batwoman recovers and is now after the new “Patriarch” of the Church of Crime, Alice. The story follows Kane and this mysterious figure while pieces of Kane’s backstory and her previous exploits are explained in detail. Without spoiling it, her back story is pretty bleak! It’s handled very well at every turn, there’s a point when she’s expelled from the military for being Homosexual and her response to her father and her superior officers is actually really great and speaks well to her character of a ‘good soldier.’ Her entire encounter with Alice and her flashbacks on her tragic past are amazingly well handled by the writers Williams III and Hayden Blackman. I can’t say anything else really without spoiling it, so track these down.

Another thing worth mentioning and that’s handled well is her sexuality, saying she’s a “proud lesbian” is true, she is!

…but that conjures something else as I imagined what kind of character she is.

Kate is a proud lesbian, sometimes using her sexual preference to upset her step-mother and others but she’s mostly somewhat reserved with the way that she acts (After becoming Batwoman). And the times where there’s scenes of “intimacy” the artists did well to not overly sexualize the scenes, it seems like mostly real couples stuff and not like the artist just wanted to draw ” girls doing it.”

So I would SUPER recommend this story line in Detective Comics, it made me love this character, and I would definitely recommend her current tenure in New 52, in her own book. I haven’t read all my back issues but it’s great so far! So get out there!

Commentary As I Watch

I decided to jot down what I thought of this episode as I watch it. The time stamps are based on watching this on TV which means commercials are in there.

Season Three Episode 8

  1. Zombies just got hatcheted by some guy. It’s Tyreese!
  2. THIS is what I like about the Walking Dead…some characters die and new ones come in.
  3. There’s a whole in the prison? Uh-oh. Better secure that.
  4. Andrea REALLY falls for the Governor quick, huh?
  5. The Governor is a quite type of crazy in this show most of the time. This scene with his daughter shows him more unhinged than usual.
  6. Maggie was saved the rape that Michone experienced in the comic, at least.
  7. Time to see just how good Rick is at strategy. He has one hell of a team.
  8. So they don’t want the prison for themselves? Interesting.
  9. Uh…what are the screamer pits? Sounds pretty messed up.
  10. I wonder if Tyreese will be Daryl’s replacement if anything happens to him?
  11. What Rick doesn’t understand is that the people of Woodbury aren’t all to blame for The Governor’s action.
  12. Axel the perv. I’ve been waiting for this…
  13. “You’re not a lesbian? My My…this is interesting” – Axel. Haha.
  14. Maggie and Glen are pretty capable, huh?
  15. This would make a great stage for a video game!
  16. Rick is pretty tactical. He’s rolling in like a BOSS. (:23 minutes in)
  17. Michone is on her own. Uh oh.
  18. Daryl knows about Meryl. Decision time.
  19. Rick needs to get control of Daryl. Victory hinges on what Daryl decides.
  20. Andrea and Daryl. Where do their allegiances lie? It’s a big part of this season. (:26 mins in)
  21. Michone wants the Governor. It’s a vendetta. Why is she so hateful of him in the TV version, I wonder?
  22. I think the Governor was thinking about taking out Andrea right there and then.
  23. THIS is war!
  24. SHANE?!? Rick is still way out of it.
  25. Oscar is down. He’s never really impressed me as an interesting character in this show so far.
  26. Is Carl in charge at the prison?
  27. “My father would go.” – Great line, Carl. He’s a legitimately cool character in this show.
  28. Annnnnd the group gets bigger again. (36 mins in)
  29. WELL! There are the heads, Michone. What do you think of the Governor now?
  30. Michone! No! She’s a zombie!!!
  31. THE showdown begins. Governor vs. Michone with zombie daughter in tow.
  32. Dead zombie daughter (:39 mins in)
  33. This fight is straight outta Kill Bill! Will there be mutilation?
  34. Those heads are waking up!
  35. Glass to the eye? Yep.
  36. Andrea vs. Michone. That went quick.
  37. Andrea…think about this. What’s with those heads. What’s with the zombie daughter? GET OUT OF THERE!!
  38. #Headcount – Chris Hardwick is so cool.
  39. (Just saw the Trailer to Warm Bodies. Looks cool!)
  40. Donna is dead. Carl wants to shoot her in the head already. He’s made of tougher stuff. (:46 mins in)
  41. It’s Hammer Time!
  42. Sasha seems hot blooded but Tyreese seems really even tempered.
  43. The Governor’s answer about the heads…it makes sense. Smart.
  44. It looks like The Governor is about to go to war.
  45. This is the last new episode I’ll see until February? I can’t wait that long! No!
  46. Every episode of The Walking Dead in order on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Cool.
  47. Well, this is the last 5 minutes. (:55 mins in)
  48. Questioning Michone. Guns on her. Will they keep her?
  49. The Arena. This is going to be huge. You can just feel it.
  50. “What can I say? There hasn’t been a night like this since the walls were completed.” What a powerful speaker. He’s like a preacher.
  51. Terrorists. He used it four times. It’s a powerful word.
  52. Meryl the traitor. Daryl the terrorist. Andrea caught in the middle. The mob of angry citizens.
  53. “You wanted your brother, now you got him.”
  54. That trailer looked great!

Well, thanks everyone. This was fun. Season Three has been my favorite season so far and it looks like it’s going to continue at this pace.

See you in February!

Hello there everyone’s bodies,

Frank here again and I’m going to take a look at the newest incarnation of The Titanic Sister from Themiscera.

First off let me say, I am a big fan of Wonder Woman! She’s pretty sweet. I especially like all the times she uses wrestling moves in the DC Animated Universe.

If there’s one downfall to Wondie it’s that she’s one of the harder characters for people to write for and often misrepresented by writers who don’t know what to do with her. There’s plenty of potential and relate-able personality traits Wondie could and should have and lots of people really get those (cough cough Gail Simone). The best Wonder Women fall somewhere between an Icon of Virtue and Classical Greek Hero slicing and dicing her way through  monsters or other beasties. It’s a strange trait of Wonder Woman that she can and DOES often kill. It’s the Classic Greek Hero in her. Achilles, Homer, Hercules and many others were all Greek Heroes who killed people, often very VIOLENTLY at that. Wonder Woman is often portrayed this way, but she also has a high value for human life usually attempting to prevent the loss of it at any cost. Heroically fighting and killing beasts or evil to protect some bystanders. She’s also usually portrayed as someone who’s kind and inspiring to innocent or good people …like a Girl version of Mr. T…

Yeah like this!

This is not exactly the kind of gal the new Wonder Woman is after the 2011 DC reboot. She’s farther over to the Greek Hero side of things, which is fine! She’ mostly engaged in direct battles with God’s and mythic beasts for the entirety of the first 12 issues. She’s kind of scarey at times horrendously gutting centaurs and then lifting a car to save her pregnant friend Zola…

ARE YOU OK?

Yeah you don’t want any of that!

Now I have been really enjoying the new WW series following the reboot. The art is great and her adventures put her against almost an entire pantheon of Greek Gods collecting artifacts and favors to help her in the quest to protect her friend Zola and her unborn baby who’s father is Zeus. ..

It’s great! I would highly recommend reading it! I’ll do my best not to ruin that much of the plot but minor spoilers will be present from here on out.

First off I’d like to talk about WW’s new back story and outfit.

Her new outfit is pretty standard, she thankfully lost that goofy jacket before the reboot, but I feel like her pants were nice. . Some people are really put off that WW is in her battle underwear and not proper pants but it’s not something that bothers me most Greek heroes didn’t wear proper pants and even Hercules (marvel) usually charges into battle sans shirt and proper pants.

Both Herc and Wondie  have their shoulders and upper arms exposed.This is  a costume choice that implies great strength and a need for a freedom of movement in combat. . The thing that bothers me the most about WW’s new costume is that dang choker! It’s not part of her “Bracelets” set as seen in Issue # 12 and it’s not fitting of her whole deal as a badass amazon ass-beater, it’s really out of place. Overall though her new outfit is just a darker version of her old one which is a good symbol for the ‘darker’ tone of the new comics in relation to the older ones.

Wonder Woman used: Headbutt!
It’s super effective!

Now let’s get to the most aggravating and controversial piece of the new  back story for Wondie.

Hippolyta Queen of the Amazons and WW’s mother, she told WW that she was made of clay and given life by the Gods. Hippolyta keeps secret that it was actually Zeus who is WW’s father and Hippolyta kept this her own secret to protect herself and WW from Hera’s (Zeus’ wife) wrath if she found out of yet another person had an affair with her husband Zeus. Following this so far?

Ok, so it’s some Classic-Greek-Mythological-Fact that Zeus is a pretty unfaithful husband and who’s into freeky sex with anybody, half the Greek Pantheon is his bastard children. This is not the controversial part. Hypolita also kept a 2nd secret from Wondie and that would be that Amazons go out to have sex with Sailors in order to get pregnant and then once they give birth the girls become amazons and the boys…

…get traded to Hephestus the smithing God for weapons.

Amazon Planned Parenthood

WOAH! WOAH! WAY TOO DARK! comic woah hold on…

…Let’s back it up! Now to say that this is out of place in a Greek Myth is…

…wrong Zeus turned into a Bull once to have sex with a Cow! Seriously! And that’s just the begining of F@#!ed Stuff that happens in real Greek Myths. So yes! This is a fitting solution to what they do with the unwanted children. It’s just SOOO DARK! It’s dark enough that modern readers don’t like it and it’s a hard counter to the old Amazons who had eternal life and no men but no need to go out and harvest kids. Maybe they could have tweaked it a bit, the real problem is that unless the “Sons of the Amazons” rise up for revenge later on this was kind of pointless. It doesn’t go anywhere or do anything for the back story of WW herself, it makes the Amazons seem more villainous than maybe they ought to but hey it’s Greek Myth, no one is a good guy but…DAMN!  Wondie doesn’t know about it apparently since she reacts with shock, even trying to free her ”brothers” from Hephestus’ forge which kind of vindicates her…but it’s still really dark. Too dark for a lot of people who probably put the book down at that point. I was glad I kept though reading since there’s a lot of awesome visuals in the first 12 issues including all the Gods redesigned appearances.

War: Played by Colonel Sanders

Hephestus

Speaking visually for a moment, the art in the comics is great, simple but elegenant and emotional, using lots of pallet swaps to give different moods to different settings, from rainy London, to the bowels of Hell itself every place has a different amotsphere picked out by some simple but well chosen color pallets.

Poseidon on the streets of London

In Hell

Yeah! I love Zola’s shirt here. There’s a lot of great reveals in these books too, like when Wondie get’s her powers or a great throwback at the end to Golden Age Wondie…

…Earlier I mentioned that WW’s “Bracelets” are separate from her Wonder Choker because there’s a great throwback in a later issue where Wondie takes off her “DBZ Weighted Bracelets” and her power level goes over 9000 unleashing her true power. This whole thing is one of the very seldom remembered or used facets of WW. Which mostly appeared in the Golden Age. Here’s a glimpse…

I owe Kirby $1 for every one of those dots, but it was worth it!

You’re scared…

…Anyway if  I don’t end on that I’ll never leave, so with that it’s wrapping up time.

I love new Wonder Woman, Art is good, Characters are good, lot’s of good action and a story that’s pretty interesting. Also some great modern day touches on the core Greek Myth. I’m not a fan of the “Amazon Sons” thing but…it goes a long with the Darkening of WW’s universe so it’s at least somewhat in the same tone as the rest of the new WW stuff.

So let’s say 9/10, Get out there and read it!

Goodbye Ponds

whovian season 7 short box reviews

This is goodbye to Rory and Amy. Amy had to choose one final time. In fact, she had to choose to be with Rory twice this episode. Thematically this episode covers a lot of old ground without covering anything new. The first half of this episode feels like a very typical time travel mystery with Rory and Amy as secondary characters. With all the hype surrounding this episode, expectations of some final revelation about these characters was expected but, dare I say it, not delivered. I wish I could tear out the last page and write my own ending.

I have more problems with this episode than any I’ve had so far this season. Why? It has a lot of live up to. Finales need to end leaving you feeling SOMETHING. This is the end result of the journey years in the making and it felt rushed. I wish last week’s episode was their final episode because it at least gave Rory and Amy a potential emotional ending.

Because I have more problems than praise, I’m going to start with the problems…

1. Rory’s Farewell. Rory’s final end didn’t do anything for the character. He seems just like a device of Amy’s. When he disappears, he leaves on a note of confusion. Not the most heroic end. His jump was heroic and felt like a good ending but then he comes back and…he appears to just disappear. In fact, the Doctor tried to convince Amy to just leave Rory and come with him in the Tardis (that’s how LITTLE the Doctor cares about Rory and for their relationship…in my opinion). I felt like his character got short changed but I’ve felt that way most of this season and off and on through his tenure. I feel terrible for his father Brian because this was just the sort of thing he feared would happen. I am just going to assume the first thing the Doctor does is tell him and then Amy’s parents. Maybe even pop in to Rory’s job and tell them he is never coming back… oh, and Amy’s friends.

angels take manhattan review

2. The way they went out. This was like a fireworks show where, after the finale, there are a few small explosions that leave you wanting more. The rooftop scene was done so well (albeit a little fast) that the graveyard (Back to the Future like gravestone scene) exit felt unnecessary and weird. How did the Angels know where to find them? Did the paradox not work? Are they stuck in one room for 60 years? If so, that’ s like a prison sentence!

3. Never to be parents. After hints this year I really thought that they would get to go back and raise River as a child before she regenerated and became their childhood friend. With as much attention this season on Amy and Rory wanting to be parents…why was it just dropped?

4. Choosing to save the world. Last episode took me to a place I didn’t think I would go after the beginning of this season. I was back on with the idea that Rory and Amy SHOULD be with the Doctor on his adventures. The problem was…I knew that this was their final episode. To me, that meant a lot had to be covered for the reversal to happen so quickly. it made it feel like last week’s resolution didn’t matter.

5. Mortality vs. the Doctor. A lot of hints were given this year on aging and the Doctor. This episode was rife with them! Between wrinkles, reading glasses, River’s warning to Amy about growing old, and Rory seen as an old man…what were we suppose to take from that? The Doctor never gets to see these two grow old. That is totally unresolved. The same goes for River. We know she is fated to never grow old. What were we suppose to take from that?

6. The Doctor can never go back to 1938. This reminds me of when the Doctor could never go to the dimension Rose got trapped on. THAT felt a little bit more permanent than this copy of an idea. What we are left with is the feeling that time is fixed…when it fits where they want to take the story. It’ s not fixed when they want to break it. I wanted there to be an emotional reason that they separated not a fakey science fiction reason.

I hate being negative but this had a lot of live up to. Rory and Amy are two of my favorite Doctor Who characters of all-time now and I had really high hopes for a finale AT LEAST as important or profound as the others of Moffat’s run. This didn’t feel like a finale. This felt like a quick and dirty ending to something that was forced to happen.

What I Liked:

1. 1930s Noir. The movie genre of the week concept done this season was fun! It’s something I love about the possibilities of Doctor Who. He go from the Old West, to a spaceship to 1930s New York and you love him for it. This private investigator novel angel was a great plot device that worked perfectly in a time travel story (even though reading a book to find the answers has been done by Moffat before). The opening to this setting really put me in that world and was expertly crafted.

2. The Weaping Angels. I felt like they redeemed in this last episode as true monsters important to the Doctor Who mythos. They will forever be on the Doctor’s radar now. In fact, he has more of an axe to grind with them now than the Daleks.

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3. River Song. The return of River makes a lot of sense with her parents leaving the show. She was around before Amy and Rory and, it seems, will be around after. When she watched Amy go towards the Angel…THAT was powerful.

4. Closure. I didn’t like how we got there and the implications but the scenes between Amy and Rory on the top of the building and then with Amy and the Doctor in the graveyard…POWERFUL. I wish those scenes were a bit more earned and meaningful in the grand scheme of the world and universe but they were really great moments between those characters. We got to see Amy choose possible death over life without Rory…one more time.

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My favorite quotes:

The Doctor: I always rip out the last page of a book. That way it doesn’t ave to end. I hate endings.

 

Doctor: Weren’t you the person who killed The Doctor?
River Song: Doctor Who?

 

Amy: Together or not at all.

 

River Song: One psychopath per Tardis, don’t you think?

 

River: Never let him see the damage. And never ever let him see you age. He doesn’t like endings.

I’ll end this from the episode where River died because I think it says a lot about this episode that came years later:

“”When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end. But however hard you try you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call… everybody lives.”

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