My Favorite Thing Isn’t “Monsters”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

In 1983, Pink Floyd released The Final Cut, an album that hailed itself — in its own words —as “a requiem for the post-war dream by Roger Waters.” A none-too-subtle reaction to/commentary upon Thatcherism’s great betrayal of Britain’s national sacrifices during and after WWII upon a rotten altar of consumerism, anti-egalitarianism, and perhaps most disturbingly resurgent militarism, it was a commercial failure that I’m reliably informed divides fans of the band to this day, but its message is crystal clear : we become the monsters we fight against. Even — maybe especially — when we win.

Precisely one year later, legendary comics artist Barry Windsor-Smith began his own magnum opus that grappled with remarkably similar themes, although he certainly may not have been consciously aware of its scope at the time — after all, what has finally emerged, 37 years later, as Monsters actually began life as a Hulk

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Right Man At The Right Time? On “Captain America By Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1” : Part Three Of A Three-Part Series

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

You know the drill — the comics gods giveth, but they also taketh away. And so it is that the back half of the deluxe hardback Captain America By Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1 — a six-part storyline titled “Captain Of Nothing” that ran in issues 7-12 of the still-current volume of the monthly Captain America series — offers some significant steps forward, but also some irritating steps back.

For one thing, Cap spends nearly the entirety of this “arc” in prison, awaiting trial for a murder he didn’t commit, but it is, as you’d likely expect, not just any prison — no, The Myrmidon (Coates’ love for mythological names really comes to the fore as this series goes on) is a “big house” for super-powered inmates run by one of Cap’s most notorious nemeses, Baron Von Strucker, who was “gifted” with the job of warden of his very own “superjail”…

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Right Man At The Right Time? On “Captain America By Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1” : Part Two Of A Three-Part Series

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

What impresses most in the early going of Marvel’s deluxe hardback Captain America By Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1 is that Coates seems to have a clear and distinct vision for what he wants to do with the character — and it’s clearly not to make him a mouthpiece for his own ideas and opinions, much to the probable consternation of those who assumed that was exactly what he had in mind.

On the contrary, when a battle-scarred and psychologically adrift Steve Rogers engages in combat with an army of cloned copies of his old villain Nuke (a fight which began in the pages of a Free Comic Book Day giveaway number that is presented as an introduction here and continues in earnest in the first issue proper), his one anchor is his resolute belief in his country not as it is — divided after Hydra occupation and ideologically, economically, and…

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Right Man At The Right Time? On “Captain America By Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1” : Part One Of A Three-Part Series

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Patriotism, the old saying goes, is the last refuge of scoundrels, but I dunno — these days it just might be the first. From Donald Trump to Alex Jones to Larry Elder to Ben Shapiro to the rapidly-growing list of right-wing “shock jocks” dropping over from COVID at a steady clip (hey, who says all the news is bad?), the media landscape is utterly polluted by scurrilous grifters dry-humping Old Glory for a quick buck and tossing her aside until it’s time to milk their audience of lemmings for even more of their hard-earned (unless it was given to them by means of one of those dastardly “gub’mint handouts” they oppose for other people) cash. The ringleaders of this shell game writ large don’t care about America any more than they care about you, of course, but it seems there will always be a ready and willing audience for…

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Back In The Saddle, Part Three : Ryan Alves, Chaia Startz, Drew Lerman, And More

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I dunno if I’ve got miles to go before I sleep (let’s fucking hope not), but I’ve got miles to go before I’m caught up, so let’s keep on keeping on with the single steps that make up the journey of a thousand — you know what? Enough with the cliches already.

Spiny Orb Weaver #2, Edited By Neil Brideau – Starting things off with a shameless plug for my Patreon, I’ve been talking a lot recently about the new trend in comics toward more locally-focused anthologies over on that site, and Brideau/Radiator are taking things a step further by funding this Miami-centric ‘zine with a South Florid arts grant. The format of each issue is tight and disciplined, to be sure, but there’s room within it to tell just about any story a person could want to : the lead feature is done by a South Florida-based artist, followed…

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Back In The Saddle, Part Two : Tara Booth, John Sammis, And Noah Van Sciver

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Continuing our frenzied and likely haphazard overview/brief analysis of stuff I read over the course of my break from posting here, we happen upon the following foursome of comics —

Cabin In The Woods, Part One By Tara Booth – Admittedly, the cover price on this 2019 comic from Berlin’s Colorama is steep at 18 Euros plus shipping, but there’s no denying that it’s absolutely gorgeous, as well — which comes as no surprise given that all of Booth’s gouache-painted comics are. The title’s a bit curious given that most of the “action” takes place in the city, but rest assured that by the end (for now) of the largely-wordless narrative our heroine/authorial stand-in makes it to the rural retreat in question. Prior to that, though, we are treated to an equal parts thoughtful and dizzying display of motion and its absence, communicated via the entirely relatable means of workaday…

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Back In The Saddle With The Latest From Robb Mirsky, Brian Canini, Connor McCann, And More

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

And so we — or I guess that should be I — return after a few weeks’ absence, certainly none the worse for wear (in fact, dare I say feeling somewhat refreshed), but with plenty to catch you, dear reader, up on. To that end, the next batch of reviews are going to be whirlwind overviews of a number of comics I read over the course of my hopefully-well-earned (you can be the judge of that) break. And seeing as how I’ve wasted enough time recently as is, I think the best course of action is simply to jump right in —

God Bless The Machine By Connor McCann – Don’t look now, but the “Strangers Fanzine Presents” label is turning into the closest thing the comics world offers to a guaranteed mark of quality. Latest case in point : this artistic and conceptual thrill ride from Connor McCann…

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Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/22/21 — 8/29/21, Part One (American Justice to Dragnet)

And so another week comes to a close.  You may remember that, last week, I announced that I was taking a break from watching the news this week.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Instead, I spent most of this week worrying about everyone stranded in Afghanistan and getting increasingly more and more angry with the government that appears to have abandoned them.  That the attacks on Thursday were expected by anyone who had been actually paying attention to the situation did not make them any less horrific.  I watched a lot of news this week.

Here’s some thoughts on the non-news related programming that I watched:

American Justice (Tuesday Night, A&E)

A&E has apparently decided to revive the old true crime mainstay, American Justice.  I watched an episode of Tuesday and while it was well-put together and it highlighted an interesting crime, it just wasn’t the same without Bill Kurtis introducing the story while standing behind police tape and wearing a trench coat.  Dennis Haybsert does a serviceable job as narrator but no one can replace Bill.

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

David Spade’s time as guest host came to an end with this Monday’s episode and I was sorry to see him leave.  He had exactly the right “who cares?” attitude for this silly show.  As for the rest of the episode — well, I’m glad Demi is there because she brings the drama and she doesn’t pretend to be impressed by anyone.  And I have to applaud the show for taking a lesson from Paradise Hotel and intentionally embracing just how silly and stupid it all is.  Unfortunately, a lot of the people on the show are kind of boring when left to their own devices so let’s hope that the rotating hosts can keep things lively.

On Tuesday, Lance Bass took over as host.  Also, Thomas — one of the more controversial bachelors from the previous season of The Bachelorette — joined the cast.  As soon as he showed up, Aaron — who was also on the previous season of The Bachelorette — started to complain that Thomas wasn’t on Bachelor in Paradise “for the right reasons.”  Like, seriously, Aaron — take a Midol and shut up.  There are no right reasons for being on Bachelor in Paradise.

Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount)

I watched Road House on Wednesday night so I had to watch Bar Rescue on Thursday morning.  I don’t remember much about the two episodes that I watched because they do tend to all blend together.  Mostly, I just remember Jon Taffer yelling a lot and the guest bartenders saying stuff like, “We’re going to keep the cocktails basic because all of you suck.”

Big Brother (All the time, CBS and Paramount Plus)

This season is turning out to be fairly dull but I’m still watching the show and writing about it over at the Big Brother Blog!

Dragnet (Weekday Morning, MeTV)

Because I’ve been sick and dealing with some other things, I started this week with a month’s worth of Dragnet on the DVR!  On Sunday, I started watching.

The first two episodes that I watched were recorded on August 2nd, a Monday.  These episodes also started the third season of the show, which was rechristened Dragnet 1969.  The third season is the season that focuses on what the 60s version of Dragnet was best-known for, Joe Friday and Bill Gannon lecturing hippies.  The first of Monday’s two episodes was one of my favorites.  Joe and Gannon are assigned to appear on a public affairs talk show where they debate a hippie newspaper editor and an sanctimonious professor.  Joe and Gannon win the debate but the hippie (played by Howard Hesseman) gets all of the best lines.  The host of the show wears a good deal of love beads, just to make sure that the audience knows he’s a commie.  The 2nd episode featured Joe and Gannon working the night shift in the Juvenile Department, which meant dealing with a suspected shoplifter, an abandoned baby, and a stoned hippie who insisted on being called Prince George.  Joe was tough but fair and probably didn’t convince a single person to change their ways.

On August 3rd, a Tuesday, the first episode of Dragnet featured Joe and Gannon trying to convince a group of black high school students to consider a career in law enforcement.  Not surprisingly, many of the students were not particularly enthused about joining the LAPD.  Gannon and Joe decided to recruit a black cop who was a former football player to make their case for them.  The cop was reluctant but Joe told him, “If you talk to these students now, you might not have to put handcuffs on them later on.”  The episode got even more cringey once it became obvious that a young O.J. Simpson was playing one of the high school students who was debating whether or not to become a cop.  This was followed by yet another cringey episode, in which Joe and Gannon headed up the Command Room to coordinate the LAPD’s response to the “civil disturbance” that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Again, the show meant well (i.e., “Look at how professional the police were, even at a moment of great unrest.”) but it was hard not to cringe at the sight of the command center — staffed by several dozen white officers and one black patrolman whose only function in the story was to ask Joe and Gannon to explain things to him — smiling as they bragged about how the LAPD was doing a better job of keeping the peace than other police departments that night.  There was little thought given as to why people across the country were rioting. 

On August 4th, a Wednesday, the first episode of Dragnet featured Joe and Gannon pursuing dishonest tow truck drivers.  Get ’em, Joe!  As opposed to the previous four episodes, there was little moralizing or preaching to be found in this episode.  Instead, Joe and Gannon just did their jobs.  I liked it because, as a result of watching too many episodes of Parking Wars, I don’t particularly like tow truck operators.  This was followed by an episode where Gannon and his wife went to Joe’s apartment for dinner.  Joe dealt with some noisy neighbors.  I always enjoy episodes where Gannon and Joe are off-duty because they act exactly the same as when they’re on duty.  They don’t even loosen their ties.  During the course of the dinner party, someone tried to burglarize the building’s laundry room so, of course, Joe and Gannon drew their guns and ran out of the apartment.  Arrests were made and the laundry room was safer.

OJ On Dragnet

On August 5th, a Thursday, the first episode found Joe and Gannon working in the Robbery Division. They weren’t investigating crimes. Instead, they sat in an office and dispatched other officers. They did interrogate one quasi-hippie who tried to hold up a convenience store. He was shocked to discover he was going to jail! Take that, you ungrateful hippie! This was followed by an episode in which President Johnson came to town and Gannon and Joe coordinated with the Secret Service to keep him safe from all of the L.A. hippies. Though it should have been fun, it was actually a pretty boring episode.

On August 6th, a Friday, the first episode featured Gannon and Joe escorting “one of those lady authors” as she did research on a story about women at the police academy. The writer made the mistake of telling Joe, “I’ve never been high on cops” so it soon become Joe’s mission to educate her on why the police are important and also why she should totally be high on the cops. The writer wanted to do a profile on recruit Anderson. Unfortunately, Anderson’s fiancé didn’t want to her to become a cop. It was a bit of a mess but everything worked out in the end. Anderson decided she wanted to be a cop. Joe replied, “Well, I’m glad to hear that. A lot of time and money has been spent on your training.” Awwwww! This was followed by an episode in which Joe and Gannon met with business owners and encouraged them to start a neighborhood watch. “Get involved!” Joe commanded them. It was a bit dull.

On Monday, August 9th, Dragnet returned with two episodes. The first one was one of those unfortunate Dragnet episodes in which Joe, Gannon, and a private busybody citizen attempted to reach the kids. This time, they recruited a bunch of anti-drug teens to come up with posters and slogans that could be used to keep other teens from smoking marijuana and dropping acid. The anti-drug teens were so incredibly earnest and square that it was hard not to feel that they probably drove more kids to drugs than away from them. The 2nd episode featured Joe and Gannon investigating a case of police brutality. It turns out that the detective did go overboard but it was just because he was frustrated by not being appreciated by all the hippies on the streets.

On Tuesday, August 10th, the DVR did not record Dragnet. Maybe I forgot to set it. Maybe the cable was temporarily down in the middle of the night. It happens but, because Dragnet is an extremely episodic show (with every storyline resolved within 30 minutes), missing an episode is not as big a deal as missing an episode of modern show would be.

On Wednesday, August 11th, the DVR did record. The first episode found Joe and Gannon working the telephones at the police station, dealing with various situations that occurred as a tidal wave rolled towards California. Two hippies showed up at the station, demanding their right to hang out with their hippie protest signs. Joe kicked them out. This was all observed by a priest who was taking notes for an article. Fortunately, the priest learned that the police should never be doubted. This episode ended not with the usual details about whether or not anyone was convicted of a crime but instead with the narrator ordering the audience to appreciate the cops who work the front desk. This was followed by an episode where Joe and Gannon helped to train dogs to sniff out narcotics at the airport. Apparently, this was a new thing in 1969. The highlight of this episode was a lengthy dog training montage in which Joe and Gannon watched as dog-after-dog failed to track down the marijuana. Fortunately, the dogs got their act together by the end of the show.

On Thursday, August 12th, the first episode featured Joe working undercover to take down a crooked vice cop. As I’ve said before, I love it when Joe and Gannon go undercover because neither one of them is ever the least bit convincing as people interested in breaking the law but no one ever seems to notice. Joe pretending to be on the take and awkwardly reacting to a flirtatious waitress made this a classic episode. The second episode featured Joe and Gannon dealing with spoiled middle-class teenagers who thought it was no big deal to steal cars. Interestingly enough, I instantly recognized that one of the teenagers was played by the same actor who appeared as a LSD-loving hippie in the first episode of the third season. I looked up Lou Wagner on the imdb and discovered that he played four different characters — all of them out-of-control teens — on Dragnet. Wagner is also one of the two last-surviving cast members of the original Planet of the Apes. (The other is Linda Harrison.) Wagner played Lucius, the young chimpanzee who helped Taylor to escape. “Never trust anyone over thirty, Lucius,” Taylor told him at the end of the film.

Lou Wagner on Dragnet

Friday, August 13th, got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon used a gigantic, bulky, multi-part computer to track down a gang that was stealing disability checks. This was one of those fun episodes where everyone was amazed by technology that was top-of-the-line in 1969 but which looks like an antique to modern viewers. There’s a certain amount of elitism that goes with laughing at an episode like this because it’s not like anyone in 1969 could have imagined what the world would be like in 2021. But that’s okay because, seriously, watching Joe and Gannon stare in amazement at that huge computer with its dot matrix printer was just too much fun. This was followed by a rather effective episode in which Gannon and Joe investigated a case of child abuse.

Monday, August 16th, started off with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigates a series of burglaries being committed by someone calling himself The Crimson Crusader. He only stole comic books and movie posters but still, theft is theft and no one gets away with breaking the law when Joe Friday’s on the case! The second episode featured — YES!!!! — Joe and Gannon going undercover to investigate a prostitution ring. This time, they pretended to be farm equipment salesmen who were in L.A. for a convention. Once again, they didn’t even bother to loosen their ties before going undercover. Everything about them screamed, “Cop!” but no one seemed to notice. The undercover episodes are some of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 17th, got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a gang of check forgers. Did I mention they were hippie check forgers? Joe and Gannon had to decide whether or not to trust an informant. Did I mention that he was a hippie informant? This was a fun episode, as most episodes where Joe and Gannon have to deal with hippies are. Whereas past episodes at least humored the idea that hippies were idealistic but misdirected, this episode left no doubt that they were all crooks sponging off of decent society. This was followed by an episode in which a child was bitten by two dogs that might have been rabid and Joe and Gannon had to track down the dogs. AGCK! Rabid dogs are actually one of my big fears so this episode actually effected far more than you might otherwise expect.

Wednesday. August 18th, started off with an episode in which Joe, during his opening narration, explained that “Hippies see the world as being square. They want to change the world but, like all of us, they get overanxious. That’s when I go to work.” The actual case, though, had nothing to do with hippies. It involved Joe and Gannon trying to discover who had abandoned a 4-day old infant in a garbage can. It turned out that the culprit was Donna, who was knocked up by her boyfriend Tony right before he left for Vietnam. This was actually a pretty serious episode and it was pretty well-done. Joe and Gannon’s fury that someone would be so irresponsible as to abandon a baby was palpable. “You’ll never make mother of the year, lady,” Joe snarled as he arrested Donna. This was followed by an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a case of embezzlement at a department store.

Thursday, August 19th, started off with the final episode of season 3 and yes, once again, Joe went undercover! A militia leader approached Joe about getting a licence to sell machine guns. Joe pretended to be willing to help but it was just so he could arrest the guy for illegally selling guns. Interestingly, for a season that loved to scold hippies, the third season ended with Joe arresting someone who disliked the counterculture even more than Joe did!

The second episode to air on August 19th was also the first of the show’s fourth (and final) season, during which the show was called Dragnet 1970. It featured Joe and Gannon investigating the shooting of two police officers during a liquor store robbery and it was actually a very serious episode, one that featured none of the preachiness that dominated season 3. This was a straight police procedural and it was well-done, if a bit dry. To be honest, it was so serious that I kind of found myself hoping a hippie would show up, just so Joe could yell at him.

Friday, August 20th, started off with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a double murder. The killer turned out to be a nerdy college student who wrote “gloomy poetry” and who claimed to be an exisentialist. “What’s an existentalist?” Gannon asked the student’s English teacher. “No one knows,” the teacher replied. This was followed by an episode with Joe went undercover — YAY! — to arrest a jewel thief. Helping him in his undercover operation was a policewoman. “Don’t worry,” the captain assured Joe and Gannon, “she’s capable and she looks good out of uniform.” Yes, welcome to 1970.

That brings us to this week!

On Monday, the first episode featured Gannon and Joe, waiting for a missing man to show up at a hospital. As they waited, they also investigated a series of other cases. One man brought in a dead woman who he claimed has just passed out in his car. It turned out that she was actually living with the man when she died but, because the man was on probation, he didn’t want anyone to find out the true circumstances of her death. Still, it was determined that she died of natural causes so the man was “released into the custody of his probation officer.” It was a bit of a dry episode, to be honest. It needed some hippies. This was followed by another dry episode, in which Joe and Gannon tracked down a burglar who was also a con artist and a bigamist. The criminal insisted on being called “mister.” Joe informed him that, from now on, he’d only be known by his prisoner number.

Tuesday returned us to the deadly world of hippies! This time, Gannon and Joe were investigating the case of a 12 year-old who overdosed on seconal. It turned out that he got the pills from the local hippie commune. While this episode featured some pretty Manson-like hippies and a scene where Gannon and Joe lectured a bunch of new teachers on the dangers of drugs, it actually wasn’t as campy as the anti-drug episodes that aired during the show’s third season. Still, I did have to smile a little when Joe and Gannon made a point of warning people about taking the meds that I take every day for my ADD. This was followed by an entertaining little episode where Joe and Gannon had to determine whether the man who had confessed to a murder was actually guilty. In typical Dragnet fashion, this episode featured a length explanation of how finger printing worked.

Wednesday featured two excellent episodes. The first featured Joe and Gannon investigating the disappearance of a high school student who turned out to be not quite who she was believed to be. An actress named Jill Banner gave a great performance as the missing girl. The second episode featured Joe and Gannon going to court and helplessly watching as three burglars they arrested were allowed to go free because a material witness was not able to make it to the trial in time. It was a well-acted episode and it was interesting that the point of the episode seemed to be that it was better that the three burglars go free than that they be convicted in an unfair trial.

Jill Banner on Dragnet

The first of Thursday’s episode was an interesting if somewhat dry one. A prisoner in Colorado was up for parole but he still had a 14 year-old arrest warrant in Los Angeles so Joe and Gannon had to investigate the old crime and see if there was still enough evidence to justify charging the man. It turned out there wasn’t. Interestingly, after season 3 was all about criticizing the Left for being too easy on criminals, the first few episodes of Season 4 seemed to emphasize that the importance of protecting the rights of even the most obvious of criminals, even to the extent of letting a guilty man walk rather than violate proper procedure. This was followed by an amusing episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a series of burglaries that had been masterminded by a diabolical and clever 12 year-old.

Friday started off with Gannon and Joe arresting a con artist and sending him to jail. It was typical Dragnet stuff. This was followed by another Dragnet drug episode, in which Joe and Gannon searched for a missing addict who, having completed rehab, had fallen back into his old habits. This episode was actually handled fairly well, largely because the addict was hooked on heroin, an actual dangerous drug. (Previous Dragnet drug episodes often portrayed marijuana as being the most dangerous drug on the planet, which made them easy to laugh at.) Still, it wouldn’t have been an episode of Dragnet without at least one scene of Joe telling off a snooty pro-drug academic and that’s what happened during this episode. Then again, snooty academics are kind of annoying so it’s always fun to watch them get put in their place.

Wow, I watched a lot of Dragnet last week. In fact, I watched so much that, for space considerations, I’m going to have to divide this post into two separate parts. So, look for part two of my week in television to post in about ten minutes!

Titans, S3 Ep3, “Hank & Dove” (CALLBACK!), Review by Case Wright

“Hank & Dove” – We open with the empty grave. The question: Bruce, what did you do with Jason? I’m guessing either the Lazarus pit or a Bruce Campbell Necronomicon crossover.

The Titans know that they have to stop Jason. Hank cuts through all the bullshit- He’s gotta be put down. The hope is that Donna Troy could come back too, but wait he’s all nuts now. Why do that to Donna?

Jason calls Hank and it’s intense. It looks like a setup, but Curran Walters plays it so well- I can’t tell. Hank goes to see Jason. I hope that Hank doesn’t die. Jason sends at a dirty pool. Hank all over town and gets him to strip. He gets captured – of course and he’s very naked.

When Hank gets back, he has a bomb on his chest from Jason. Jason demands that the Titans heist a truck and get him gold bars to keep Hank alive. I love the comment from Hank – “Did he have a white cat in his lap?” Hank throws so many one-liners; it’s great watching him laugh at the face of death. Hank and Dawn have a make out session. It’s sweet.

Dick is holding the hardline on no robbing an armored truck, BUT Dawn doesn’t care. She robs the Hell out of that truck. The ticking clock is great in this episode.

Dawn V Dick V Jason- FIGHT! Jason set up Dawn to kill Jason and save Hank. Shoot Jason, Hank lives. She shoots, but the gun was the detonator; so, Dawn ended up killing Hank. This is painful for me. Alan Ritchson was just brilliant in this show. I hope that Berlanti finds a way to give him a show.

Titans, S2 Ep12, Faux-Hawk, Review by Case Wright

Yep, you guessed it! This is a FUN episode. After huge plot points, this show really likes to bring some comic relief. “Faux-Hawk” is no exception. It’s got perfume ad sets, tigers eating people, cage matches, and Wondergirl tying up a dude that is totally not burned into my brain.

“Faux-Hawk” opens with Jericho getting stabbed by dear old Deathstroke, but right as death was coming- Jericho possessed his Dad, but not like anyone else. Deathstroke is able to keep Jericho in his mind and hang out with him in a….perfume ad? I guess- Deathstroke for Men.

Yes, Jericho is trapped in his Dad’s head, but I gotta say Deathstroke has a point. They both agree that Dick and the Titans lied and manipulated him, creating a direct line to his own death. Jericho, sure, your Dad is a supervillain assassin, BUT he’s SOOOOOOO Cool!!!! Come on, Bro! He even tried to make his Dad walk in front of a truck. Boo!

Back in San Francisco, Gar is getting some coffee. Uh Oh, he’s hearing music. He’s gonna start eating people aaaaand that barista is lunch. Oh well, that’s one way to get out of San Francisco.

Walter of Evil Cadmus, lets Dawn and Wondergirl into his home and Wondergirl uses the sexy rope of truth on him. My favorite line: Walter says – I deserve nice things. HA, buddy Minka Kelly and Conor Leslie just pushed their way into your home. Nice things?! Dude, more like you won lotto twice, found the holy grail, and got the last unicorn as a pet. They find out they control Gar and Superboy now. Ok…totally not something I’d like. If this happens to Cadmus employees on the regular, I’ll forego Dental and 401k. Cadmus, call me.

Now for off-the-wagon Hawk is a steel cage fighter! This is fun!

He’s all on blow and winning and taking beatings. He’s got a groupie and is too hurt to perform… aaaaand he’s asleep.

Starfire is having performance issues. Uh-oh, what will we call her, if she can’t make fire. She’s got serious guilt for not going back to Tamarin to take the throne.

Jason and Rose are doing their thing, but then he sees a text. Gar is in trouble. Jason want to blow it off, but Rose has gone good and wants to confess. People are just spilling their guts left and right. 3 years ago. She’s hit by a car and she starts re-building herself. She confronts her mom- what’s up with my healing ability?

She tracks down her Daddy Deathstroke. Ok, this family reunion has serious comic relief. He puts his pistol on the counter like he’s putting away keys and she shoots herself in the hand and it heals. Great exchange: Dad, I’m freak. Eh, Circus always needs us. Beats cubical work.

Everything you expect to be dark, goes to humor and it’s so fun! Later, she goes to prom ….. but it’s her dad who picks her up. Unlike the whiner Jericho, she’s tough and full of snark- She’s her father’s son. Ladies who can throw out clever one-liners and snark are a true treasure. To you Rose, I know you’re into …. murder, but I got my own hobbies too; more cooking and math related – we could make it work. 😉

Gotta say, really like Deathstroke. He’s trying to reconnect with his daughter – it’s through murder, but still. He’s been supporting her mom and the stepdad. It’s sweet. Her date shows up and starts honking. Fuck that guy.

Daddy got her Cape uniform. It’s bring your daughter to murder day. Awww. He’s got a bad rap. Team Deathstroke all the way. Swordfights! Deathstroke tells Rose that she had a brother that a highly trained gang of psychopaths murdered her brother. Deathstroke – you magnificent bastard! She asks for socks and underwear and he gives her a bankcard with 1,000,000USD. Ok, he’s a superdad. Jericho- thumbs down. Good showing not telling BTW!

He’s bringing her in to destroy them from the inside. That’s great. She busted out Doctor Light, infiltrated. I have so much fun with my daughters. Team Deathstroke! All the way!

Poor Rose, just spilling her guts to Jason and he’s not taking it well. The truth shatters Jason’s heart and it’s a great performance. Rose is all the Titans need us and Jason says- NO. I’m done with everyone. This is the beginning of the birth of Red Hood. Nightwing was born from relief, pain, and redemption. Red Hood is the product of betrayal, rage, and self-pity.

The final battle is coming!!! They’re all in San Francisco. Dick has been taskered by Jericho’s mom to extricate Jericho from Deathstroke’s head.

Then, more awesome. Hawk and Dove are cage fighting! Titans is the greatest thing to happen to tv since color.

Dick goes to Stu’s shop. Oh Stu, he’s just the creator of all the bat uniforms. There’s a SECRET LAB!!!

The episode ends with a guy who stole Hawk’s uniform. Comedy ensues and it’s pretty funny… Until it turns out he sold the suit to get blow. He gets home and the drugs are waiting for him.

Everything is ready for the final fight!