The Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future!! (Or, Critical Missives Presents: A Viewer’s Guide to Gotham: Season 1!!) (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8 or Night 9 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Hello! Welcome to Night 10 of The 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Television

Today we’re going to preview what I hope will become a semi-regular feature here on Critical Missives:  Episode Guides for comic-book TV shows! We’ve been teasing these for awhile now, but the 12 Nights of Clix-mas has finally given us the chance we needed to make it a reality! First up will be a FOX Freshman series about a cop. Who lives in a very dangerous city. Today, we’re just publishing a recap of the Pilot, but the full article (which should come in early January, smack dab in the middle of the Heroclix Dead Zone) will have every episode that has run to that point! We’ll also make that page stick so that we can keep adding to it as the season continues.

After the Gotham project’s done, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be next, followed by Flash!

Having said all that, enjoy the preview!

 

"The name's Gordon!"

The name’s Gordon!”

We’ve seen the first half of the first season of GOTHAM, so buckle in–it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

 

Gotham Title

 

Series Overview:

Gotham tells the story of Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.

Season Overview:

The first season of Gotham is the story of the distinguished war veteran and perpetually serious-faced James Gordon, who comes back to his hometown of Gotham to take a job as a detective with the GPD. His private agenda is to fight the corruption eating at the city’s core by helping to solve as many crimes as he can while also exposing the misdeeds of those in power, but he is alternately impeded and aided by his partner, Harvey Bullock. He also quickly finds out very quickly that his new job has put his girlfriend, Barbara, in harm’s way.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Detective Gordon introduces himself.

Meanwhile, gangster Fish Mooney bides her time as a lieutenant in the Falcone crime empire as she waits for the perfect time to dispatch her boss, Carmine Falcone, and take over, but her plans take a detour when her confidence is betrayed by one of her own employees, a violent, passive-aggressive young man named Oswald Cobblepot…

Showrunner: Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist)

Main Cast:

Ben McKenzie…………………………………………..(James Gordon)

Donal Logue……………………………………………..(Harvey Bullock)

Jada Pinkett Smith…………………………………..(Fish Mooney)

Robin Lord Taylor……………………………………(Oswald Cobblepot)

John Doman……………………………………………..(Carmine Falcone)

Erin Richards……………………………………………(Barbara Kean)

Zabryna Guevara……………………………………..(Sarah Essen)

Camren Bicondova……………………………………(Selina Kyle)

Cory Michael Smith………………………………….(Edward Nygma)

Sean Pertwee……………………………………………(Alfred Pennyworth)

David Mazouz…………………………………………..(Bruce Wayne)

 

Recurring Cast:

Victoria Cartagena……………………………………(Renee Montoya)

Andrew Stewar-Jones………………………………(Crispus Allen)

Drew Powell……………………………………………..(Butch Gilzean)

J.W. Cortes……………………………………………….(Detective Alvarez)

Richard Kind…………………………………………….(Mayor Aubrey James)

Makenzie Leigh………………………………………..(Lisa)

Claire Foley………………………………………………(Ivy Pepper)

David Zayas……………………………………………..(Sal Maroni)

Carol Kane……………………………………………….(Gertrude Kapelput)

Nicholas D’Agosto…………………………………….(Harvey Dent)

 

Episode 1.01: “Pilot

Gordon Wayne Pilot

Written By: Bruno Heller

Directed By: Danny Cannon

Tonight, on Gotham… : James Gordon, Gotham PD’s newest detective, is partnered with grizzled veteran cop Harvey Bullock by their Captain, Sarah Essen. The city is rife with violence and corruption, which sickens Gordon, who has come back to his hometown to do his best to clean it up. Bullock, for his part, seems to be every bit the sort of “dirty” cop that Gordon is crusading against. Before either can object to their pairing, however, they’re assigned to the investigation of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, two titans of the Gotham business, political and social landscapes.

Bruce-Wayne-in-the-Gotham-TV-show

The case soon takes them through the Gotham City underworld where they encounter Fish Mooney, a ruthless lieutenant in the Falcone crime family. Eventually Mooney’s information leads Gordon and Bullock to corner their lead suspect, Mario Pepper, but Bullock is forced to kill him before Pepper can assault Gordon.

Back at the station, Gordon and Bullock are applauded as the heroes who solved the Wayne murders, although something isn’t sitting right with Gordon. Against Harvey’s objection, Gordon journeys to Wayne Manor to speak with Bruce Wayne–Thomas and Martha’s young son who is now in the care of the family butler, Alfred–so that he can tell Bruce that he screwed up; Mario Pepper wasn’t the guy who killed their parents.

Eventually, a witness to the killings comes forward. Street urchin Selina Kyle was there when the Waynes were murdered, and she may know who did it.

Meanwhile, Fish Mooney finds out that Gordon is still investigating what should be a closed case, and she dispatches a team to kill Gordon and Bullock. Before the hit goes down, however, Carmine Falcone finally makes an appearance and gives Gordon and Bullock a reprieve–provided that Gordon “plays ball.”

Previously, Fish had determined that none other than her little errand boy, Oswald Cobblepot, was the one who tipped Gordon off in the first place about Pepper not being the real killer, so Carmine orders Bullock to have Gordon execute Cobblepot. Gordon, realizing he has no choice, walks Cobblepot down to the edge of a pier with a gun to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot begs for his life and says that there’s a war coming to Gotham. He’s seen it coming for awhile now, and he can help avert it.

Gordon Cobblepot

When they arrive at the end of the pier, Gordon can only whisper one sentence to Cobblepot before he aims his gun: “Don’t come back to Gotham.”

Gordon pulls the trigger and fires–right NEXT to Cobblepot’s head. Cobblepot falls into the water and Bullock is now satisfied that Gordon’s “gotten his hands dirty” by murdering Cobblepot. Gordon can keep his life–and his job–for now.

In the very last scene, a startled fisherman could have sworn he just saw something move in the water. He looks to investigate, but finds nothing. Then he turns around and finds Cobblepot standing there with the fisherman’s own fillet knife. Before the fisherman can run, Cobblepot brutally slices his neck open.

Oswald

Reaction: There was a lot going on in the Pilot–arguably too much. Gordon is really kind of one-note so far, and Bullock is painfully over the top, to the point that Logue really looks uneasy in the role. That will change (mostly because Logue gets more comfortable as the writing gets better), but Bullock is tough to take seriously in these first few episodes.

Fish Mooney is the one major character (so far) that the writers have cooked up exclusively for the show (meaning she isn’t based on a comics counterpart), and the verdict is still out. I like the concept of her (although the name is awful–it would be more at home in a Dick Tracy comic than a Batman story); the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith (who I normally love) seems to be trying to channel Eartha Kitt with each of her line readings is really distracting. The writers clearly love her, because they put her in almost every scene. Still, the whole momentum of the show seems to grind to a halt.

The actors playing Alfred and Bruce are good, but it already seems like it’s going to be tough to shoehorn them into the story every week. Leaving the Waynes’ murder unsolved will give Gordon a reason to check in with them every now and then, but so far Pertwee seems almost wasted as Alfred. An episode or two detailing his backstory (which is quite adventurous, at least in the comics) and why he’s so devoted to the Wayne family would go a long way.

These sorts of problems are actually common for a pilot, as everyone–including the writers–is still sort of feeling their way around. But the biggest find in terms of the cast is Robin Lord Taylor. He’s the one actor on this show who had a clear idea of what he wanted to do with his character from the get go, and he really pops in every scene he’s in, whether it’s well written or not. The writers will grow to lean heavily on Cobblepot as the series goes on, and this is in no small part due to Taylor’s performance.

The one thing the show really has going for it is the cinematography. This show looks gorgeous. They got the feel and atmosphere just about dead on. If I lived in Gotham, this is what I’d expect to see when I looked around. I know some folks aren’t sold–they still have the hyper-realized production design from the Tim Burton movies fresh in their mind. But for my money, this aspect of the production was a home run.

Overall, Gotham’s first episode has a shaky foundation, but there are definitely some intriguing elements to build on.

Verdict: C-

 

And there ya go! Look for the full Episode Guide in January!

And now that you’ve seen the Ghost of Critical Missives’ Future, come back Christmas Eve night for a special Ninwashui-penned “Christmas Carol”-style look at Heroclix…

Ain’t No Sunshine in This Post (Cuz It’s Still #@$%-ing Snowing Buckets in Michigan!!) (Or, The Weekly Roundup!! 02/23/2014)

Roundup

Has another week come and gone already?! What’s that? Wait, it’s been another TWO WEEKS?! Yikes. Wow. That got away from me quickly. Nevertheless… This was your (LAST 2!!) week(s!) in Heroclix:

Podcasts:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix has been new the past two weeks. The guys released Episode 31 (“I’m the Map… I’m the Map… I’m the Map… I’m the Map,” wherein the importance of map selection–along with a review of the best maps in the game for various army builds– was discussed) AND Episode 32 (“AvX Constructed Figs,” wherein the guys discussed, uh, AvX constructed figs. I’m mean, it’s right there in the title. Actually, this was a really thorough discussion of the best X-Men and Avengers keyworded figs for putting together builds for the monthly AvX OP events).

The Dial H guys also run a fun Dial Design Contest over on HCRealms.com. Basically they hand out three weekly dial design assignments each month, and then score each dial on a 1-30 scale. The highest total point getter each month receives some spiffy custom poker chip action tokens. Right now, February Week Two’s assignment (design a figure with the “Tiny” symbol) is just finishing up…

Clixcast

ClixCast is up to Episode 140! Hosts Steve and Jeremiah talk about their 3 favorite maps (lots of map info these last couple weeks!) and also discuss the latest X-Men: DoFP previews.

Closed for business?

Closed for business?

–Has anyone seen Duo Attack? Cuz if so, you’d have more information about it than I do. Again, great podcast, but for whatever reason, it may be no more…

Push to Regen

Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus. If you’re missing them, their most recent show (Episode 30) is still available for download. Their main topic was a “2013 Year in Review,” and their special guest for that discussion was none other than Brian Roll, the Creative Director of Heroclix.

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches.

The Quarry has no official logo that I’m aware of, so I came up with my own. You’re welcome, Dark Logos. Episode 8 & 9 both featured plenty of ROC results reporting, along with some pretty entertaining ESPN-Style roundtable discussions about the teams that made the Top 16 at the most recent ROC’s. This podcast has gotten slightly better every week; the roundtable discussion usually yields plenty of insight in the current ROC-Age Meta. If you’re a high-level tourney player or a Meta addict, this and Dial H are the podcasts for you.

ROC:

–The ROC is going to Dragon Con!! They even have a tentative schedule of events that’s already up!

Previews:

–Outside of some Yu-Gi-Oh! previews, there wasn’t too much of note happening in terms of WizKids-approved sneak peeks. There were a couple of cool Toy Fair photos, however, showing off some of the sculpts from SLOSH, Deadpool and X-Men: DoFP. Validus, in particular, looks GIGANTIC. Which he’s supposed to be, I guess, but DAAAANNNG! This is like a return to the days of Bat Sentry or Ultimate Giant Man. Very cool. Oh, speaking of…

Validus

–Validus DID get a preview, actually, and he’s massive–in every way. A Super Rare, he can be played at two different point levels: 249 and 175. Both dials are pretty good, but at 175 he starts with a 12 Attack, 8 Range Special Psychic Blast power that gives an action token if his target already has an action token. Plus he’s immune to Pen/Psy at both point levels. Given that he’s also Indomitable, that special can go a long way towards keeping Validus from getting out-actioned too severely (since even at 175 he’s a pretty significant point sink). He’s not Silver Centurion (who is?!), but he’s pretty good. I’d be psyched if I opened him in sealed, that’s for sure!

Entertainment News:

What a bunch of A-holes!

What a bunch of A-holes!

–GUARDIANS. OF. THE. FREAKING. GALAXY!

Yep! Tons of news here. We already know we’re getting a regular 5-figure booster set based on the comics ALONG with an awesome Gravity Feed movie set. Well, we learned a ton more about the actual movie this week.

–The official trailer has dropped! That’s the new poster leading into this line item! New tagline? You’re Welcome! Heh. Love it! You can see it embedded here, along with more info about the poster.

–Go to Entertainment Weekly for a quick 30 second feature with director James Gunn and Bradley Cooper talking about Rocket Raccoon and you’ll get to hear and see 10 seconds of RR footage (if you’ve been curious as to what Cooper will sound like–here ya go! As much as you can make a judgement after one line of dialogue… I think Cooper will be great!).

–Vin Diesel’s got Groot fans covered as well via his Facebook page. Cool ass shot of Diesel (from the aforementioned Facebook page) on stilts playing the character (presumably for some mo-cap?!), plus a quick featurette, all available here.

–Over in DC news, Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman Versus Superman, and at least one site thinks his casting could have contributed to the year-long delay for that movie (which, again, is probably gonna get Clix’d). Still, I think this was a great choice for Lex. I’d assume at this point that he’d be the major villain in the film, but time will tell.

–FOX is prepping a major Batman prequel television series called “Gotham.” Several casting announcements have been made, including the OC’s Ben McKenzie as Det. Jim Gordon (this series appears like it’ll revolve around Gordon, rather than Bruce Wayne), Donal Logue as–well, click here to find out which famous GCPD member HE’S playing–and Sean Pertwee (whom Doctor Who fans may remember is the real-life son of Doctor #3 Jon Pertwee, as well as being the badass Sgt. Harry Wells in Dog Soldiers). Who’s Pertwee playing? Another very important character to the Batman mythos (and if you read the parenthetical I just wrote about him, you can probably already guess which character that is. But if not, click here for the answer).

Godzilla! We must flee! And no, this is just a nice custom someone made (presumably from some Pacific Rim figs), not what the actual figs will look like.

Godzilla! We must flee! And no, this is just a nice custom someone made (presumably from some Pacific Rim figs), not what the actual figs will look like.

–And finally, since I forgot to mention it last time, we’ve got pretty good evidence at this point that WizKids will be Clix’ing the upcoming Godzilla movie (out in May of this year) that stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, among others. You can see the fairly awesome preview right about… here.

 

Critical Missives:

So NinwaShui was left in charge of the site this past week, and he did a decent job, I must say. We’ll have 2-3 more articles this week, including another Build column. The last BUILD  didn’t go so well for me. Thanos was great, but a little slower than I anticipated because I had to wait a turn to Hammer him up. I also substituted Stealth Suit Iron Man for Scarlet Witch, which proved to be my undoing! I went 1-2, and I had some of the worst rolls I’ve ever had. While Stealth IM was a great figure in his own right, not having SW’s Prob and healing cost me big time. I was also outplayed the first game by my opponent (he was playing the Serpent). With his move and attack (Running Shot, I believe) I should’ve just Hammered up and then retaliated. Instead, I ended up screwing up my positioning and losing fairly handily. Oh well. The lesson? Stay with your original plan! And bringing at least one Prob fig is never a bad idea. Especially if she’s borderline broken like the Witch. I would play Thanos again in a heartbeat; hopefully, I’d play him better (and field a better supporting cast!).

 

That’s all for now! Until next time, stay safe, and watch where you draw those lines of fire!