Monday, May 25, 2009

Witchblade #127 review

Witchblade #127
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Stjepan Sejic
Letters by Troy Peteri
Published by Top Cow

Conflict is inevitable. Here we have a continuing installment of the ongoing saga "War of the Witchblades." Last we learned, aspiring dancer Dani Baptiste (daughter of Sara's police captain) has the light half, while Sara Pezzini wields the dark half, possessed by an entity known as Tau'ma (pronounced TOWW-MA). The issue opens up with a man praying to God for help, however Sabine (one of the Angelus) shows up and toys with the man's faith, for mere amusement no less. She is quickly informed that Sara is alone and without the "aid" of Tau'ma. So Sabine and her cronies fly out looking for Sara.

Meanwhile, back at Sara's apartment, Dani uses her key to get in and finds Sara's boyfriend/partner Patrick Gleason waking up on a recliner. After a quick "hi/how are ya," they discuss Sara and how she's changed and how they're both worried. Dani tells Patrick that the Curator told her that she has to take the Witchblade from Sara. That's pretty direct coming from a guy who speaks in riddles. Just as Dani goes to check up on Hope, Sara walks in.

*cue dramatic music*

Right off the bat, there's something. . . off about Sara. She's short with Patrick, she can't remember where she was last night, she's even ruder to Dani. Hell, even her baby daughter knows something is wrong as she wails when Sara snatches her from Dani. Then, Dani tries to talk to Sara and explain that there is definitely something wrong and the only way to fix it is for Sara to give her the rest of the Witchblade. Needless to say, Sara isn't having any of that. She lunges at Dani out the window and the two bearers have a brief skirmish. Sara, goes on rants of hate and violence, while Dani is trying to calm Sara down and assure her that something is terribly wrong. It ends on a pretty good cliffhanger, but I won't give away the details.

Ron Marz continues to hammer out solid story with great pacing and flow. Stjepan Sejic's art has grown on me since I was first introduced to it. The detail from the Angelus' armor to Sara and Dani's Face/Off pose, it's all pretty immaculate. I was really impressed with the fast pace of the fight scene at the end. There is one minor hiccup with the paneling structure, but nothing to take you out of the story, it just may have you scratching your head. This issue is nearly flawless and gets the ball seriously rolling with this arc.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold -- The Color of Revenge!

"Speedy sharpened arrows, Aqualad scraped off barnacles, everyone earns their stripes." -- Batman

From the start of this episode, I knew I was in for a treat. The opening sequence mimicked that of the 1960's Adam West Batman show. Red phone, Shakespeare's bust, Bat-poles! The whole shebang! They even used the Batmobile from the 1950's, the one with the large Bat-fin down the middle. Batman and Robin are on the hunt for C-lister villain, Crazy Quilt (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor). Yeah. Really threatening, huh? Quilt and his "Color Guard" (Red, Blue, and Green) are after this light emission ray. No one really explains what it does, so I guess it uses highly-intensified light waves to destroy things. Anyways, much like the C-lister Crazy Quilt is, he's taken down pretty quickly, though Robin uses the ray against Quilt and ends up blinding him. Crazy Quilt prides himself in being an artist, so this is the motivation for his revenge and the build-up for the episode.

After the theme music and title, we cut to Solomon Grundy robbing a bank. The cops seemed out-forced and start to call back-up when suddenly Robin bursts on the scene. However, this isn't the prepubescent boy with the elf shoes, this is grown-up Robin (voiced by Crawford Wilson), who sort of has the characteristics that I think Nightwing would have, but with the infamous Earth-2 Robin costume. While Robin dukes it out with Grundy, he goes off on a little rant saying it feels good to not have a boss, there's no lectures, etc. You can hear the bitterness in his voice. He takes down Grundy, is thanked by the police, and we learn that he's in Blüdhaven, which is another Nightwing reference. Later, on patrol, Robin catches a signal in the sky. It's a blinking eye that is blinking out Morse code. Just as Robin is trying to figure out what it means, Batman pulls along side him with the answer.

Turns out it's an old warehouse where Crazy Quilt has left a red herring (literally, watch the episode to see what I mean), but it turns into a killer kaleidoscope that sort of resembles a Gravitron you would find at a county fair. Quilt's out for revenge on Robin for taking his sight. Batman dismantles the machine and the duo head out, however Robin's bike has been destroyed. Luckily, Batman has the solution: the side-car on the Bat-cycle.

"I thought you liked the sidecar," says Batman.
"Yeah, when I was 8," replies Robin.

Batman inquires about Quilt's next clue (he ALWAYS seems to be speaking in clues), and Robin says in fact Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and deduces that Quilt must mean Star Labs. That's when Batman chimes in with the exact same answer! Now, this is where I'm siding with Robin. Did Batman honestly not hear him? He's RIGHT next to him. So the Dynamic Duo race to Star Labs and another skirmish breaks out. Batman tells Robin to go after the henchmen. Wow. Not even back together for a few hours (give or take) and he's already ordering Robin around. So, Batman goes after Crazy Quilt and his light emission ray, however, not everything goes according to plan and Quilt takes Batman and destroys Star Labs and it collapses on top of Robin, but he manages to come out alive, scraped up a bit. He remembers that Quilt had told Batman he was going to make a carpet out of him and walk all over him. Since he knows Quilt's weakness for leaving clues, he heads to Blüdhaven Textiles.

Sure enough, Batman is tied to a giant weaving machine. That's right, a giant weaving machine. If there was any one reason why I love this show, it would be scenarios like this. If he ever fought Cluemaster, you'd half-expect for them to fight on a giant typewriter or something. Anyways, Robin notices Quilt's obsession with him: across the room there are tons and tons of Robin-inspired art. Robin takes out the goons and in the meantime, Batman has freed himself and tells Robin the only reason why he has him going after the henchmen is because he was good at it. I guess that's a compliment, yet Robin goes off an on a tangent about how he wants to be treated like an adult.

That moment is interrupted by Quilt who has modified his laser so now he can use it with only his thoughts. Batman and Robin seem to be outnumbered, but Batman lets Robin decide how to take him down since Quilt's "his villain." Now that's teamwork! While Batman distracts Quilt and his device, Robin goes up and uses a blowtorch and uses a rafter to impale the tank's barrel. "Once a Flying Grayson, ALWAYS a Flying Grayson." Good thing he said that after Crazy Quilt was knocked out cold. Soon after, Quilt is quickly taken into custody. The two makes amends and answer a call from the Commissioner to stop Killer Moth.

Now, I understand this show is supposed to be appealed to kids, but it harks back so many memories of the Super Friends and the Super Powers Team. Anybody remember those shows? They took place during a time in comics when almost anything can happen, and usually did. This show incorporates all that is good with comics and doesn't make one think too hard, so they can sit back and enjoy it. Superhero team-ups, great action, one-liners, etc. There are constant nods to fans and plenty of Easter eggs to look for, such as the Earth-2 costume Robin wore as a grown-up. It doesn't have to rely on A-list villains to be good. It's just good storytelling that doesn't take itself too seriously (a la Grant Morrison). The voice acting is great, and I hardly recognized Tambor as Crazy Quilt. He had the perfect mad scientist voice and both the Robin's were top notch, too. I am very much looking forward to Batman: The Brave and the Bold on DVD.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

crossed posted from Shotgun: Interview with Raven Gregory

Recently, I had a chance to talk to Raven Gregory: writer and editor over at Zenescope Comics to talk about the new chapter in the Wonderland series, "Escape from Wonderland".

Shotgun Reviews: For those out there that have no clue what it's about, can you explain Wonderland in a nut shell?

Raven Gregory: Return to Wonderland is the story of a mentally sick Alice, now an adult with a family of her own, who's teenage daughter, Calie Liddle, travels to wonderland to discover the source of her mother's insanity and discovers what wonderland really is. While Beyond Wonderland follows a now pregnant Calie, as she goes into hiding in New York City unaware that something has followed her beyond wonderland and is stalking her and those she holds dear.

Escape From Wonderland, the final part of the trilogy, deal with Calie, now determined and no longer running from her destiny, go back to wonderland intent on saving her newborn child from the madness of that world. But if you're asking me what Wonderland is...It's another dimension tangent to our own. A place that is the source of all madness in our world. Once every generation a sacrifice must be made to wonderland to keep the madness of that world from pouring into our own. But as we learn in Beyond Wonderland that may not actually be the case.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sorta old news. Kirk's dad is Odin's son.

It has been officially announced: Chris Hemsworth, who recently portrayed James Kirk's father, George Kirk in the box office smash "Star Trek" is the one worthy enough to wield the hammer of Thor. The 25-year-old Australian hunk is a virtual unknown here in the United States. However he played the character of Kim Hyde on 171 episodes of "Home and Away", the successful TV series chronicling the lives and loves of the residents of Summer Bay, a small Aussie coastal town. He also just snagged the lead in the "Red Dawn" remake for United Artists on Thursday and currently filming Joss Whedon's horror flick "Cabin In The Woods" for UA. I'm surprised Hemsworth is the one, he beat out fan-favorite Alexander Skarsgard for the role, who I also wanted to wield the hammer and armor. Director Kenneth Branagh had announced that his Thor's casting was close to be being called earlier this month, so it was only a matter of time. Marvel Studios has scheduled Thor for a May 2011 release.

Space Nazis!

This movie has been in production for a while, and finally will be going to Cannes.

Imagine if in 1945, the Nazis went to the moon. That's right. The moon. And what if they took their best scientists to help build a new fortress and weaponry. Actual fact: a plethora of former Nazi scientists worked on the Apollo missions for NASA. Now...what if they have been planning to return?

That's right! SPACE NAZIS!

official site

Monday, May 11, 2009

strange tales

alone in the house. sick. At least I have Babs to talk to.

*shifty eyes*

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Witchblade Annual 2009.

Witchblade Annual 2009
Written by Jay Faerber
Pencils by Eric Basaldua
Inks by Rick Basaldua, Dulce Brassea, and Alix Minjarez
Colors by John Starr
Published by Top Cow

After a bit of a delay Top Cow's Witchblade Annual 2009 is hitting comic store shelves this week. Though Sara Pezzini and her magical gauntlet has been around for about 15 years, I was surprised to know that this is their first annual. The almost 40 page issue is actually two stories, one a backup story about Ian Nottingham and his new cell mate, written by Joshua Cozine and Joe Henderson and penciled by Sheldon Mitchell.

The primary story has Sara and her partner/boyfriend Patrick Gleason chasing after beautiful women who suddenly have psychotic breakdowns and killing random people. After they catch the first murderer, who tries to severe Sara's arm off with a meat cleaver, she is taken into custody and questioned. She can remember her name, but not the events of the past few hours, so that takes care of the total amnesia theory.

Later, while Sara and Gleason are discussing the case, a fellow officer congratulates them and compares the girl they brought in to a girl he caught. At one table over, another officer says something similar about a gorgeous young woman bashing in some random guy's head in. And doesn't remember it.

Sara uses her detective skills which leads herself and Gleason to an unusual place: a plastic surgeon's office. Later, there is a scene that I don't think you would see on nip/tuck (then again, knowing that show, I wouldn't put it past the writers). I liked this issue for a plethora of reasons. Namely, how the readers get to see Sara as a detective, which echoes perfectly what Ron Marz has been doing on the title.

There is plenty of dialogue and Eric "Ebas" Basaldua could have turned a "talking heads" book into something bland, but he nailed the panel construction magnificently. The angles are exciting and doesn't make one feel they're looking at just boxes on a page. There is some action in the issue, but it's mainly at the end.

Fans of the series will no doubt want to grab this when it hits stores Wednesday.

Wonderland Annual 2009

Story by Dan Wickline and Raven Gregory
Written by Dan Wickline
Art by Dave Hoover
Colors by Gary Henderson
Edited by Jenna Sibel and Raven Gregory
Published by Zenescope

Our story starts with a new family moving into the old Liddle house, which is almost a character itself in the series at this point. The family consists of Eric (the father), Ann (the stepmother), Tracy (the 16 year-old daughter), and Ben-- the youngster with SCIDS, who has to be moved while inside a large clear plastic box. While Tracy is putting things away in the basement, she finds an old diary with the name "Alice" written on the first page. Tracy wants to show her brother the stories inside but Ann takes it away, fearing for Ben's safety because it has to be sterilized. Of course Tracy knows that and states that she's been taking care of Ben longer than Ann. Tracy storms off as she goes to make Ben some lunch. The interesting thing here is that then Ben asks for a Coke, but he isn't supposed to have any soda. A small digression: David Vetter, aka the famous "boy in the bubble" who had the same ailment, always wanted to try Coke, but the sterilization process required to insert it into his bubble ruined the taste.

A few days later Tracy stays home to wait for the plumber to work on the hot water heater in the. Tracy leads Mike the plumber down to the basement, and that's where things get a little heated. Tracy starts to undress and practically attacks the guy. Too bad for Mike, her dad walks in and punches the guy straight in the face-- knocking him to his feet while yelling at him that Tracy is only sixteen. Tracy again storms off and attends to Ben. Meanwhile we see a familiar shape in the blood spatter from the punch: a malicious-looking rabbit.

Obviously with that sort of behavior, Tracy is grounded. Ann goes up to check on Ben and sees that he's been most prolific with his art, drawing horrific scenes featuring creatures like spiders with one eye and blades for legs or snakes made of razors. And of course, he has drawn a dead white rabbit. The parents leave for the night, leaving Tracy in charge of Ben and household. Things get creepier however when Tracy notices a blank page on Ben's wall. "That's the rabbit. He's out looking for something." Sure enough, a few pages before we notice the white rabbit in various places throughout the house. When the parents return, Ann goes to bed while Eric tries to talk to Tracy which doesn't end well because now HE'S seeing the white rabbit. Everywhere. Ann convinces him it's just exhaustion and he joins her in bed.

The next morning, while Tracy and Eric are at the dentist Ann checks on Ben and thanks him for taking the spiders down. As she walks off, Ben says he didn't take them down. Sure enough, Ann gets attacked in the shower by the spider creatures and ends up impaled over the broken shower door. Pretty gory stuff here. Ann's funeral is in a few days and as Tracy and her father come back to the house, they are greeted by Mrs. Moreno who insists on staying outside of the house since she knows the history of the Liddle family and their gruesome history. Too bad Tracy and Eric sort of blow her off.

Eric tends to some of his art but notices the white rabbit in one of his paintings and soon after is attacked by the snakes made of blades and is quickly shredded to death. Tracy runs down to check but finds herself on the run from a man, thin like paper, with a sword. She tries to sneak away but he easily slides underneath doors. Tracy goes to check up on Ben, but that's when we realize the creatures are coming out of his drawings. Tracy runs to the basement, but is followed, however manages to bust a pipe blasting the paper man away. Though a bookcase knocks her down. . . as the room is quickly flooding. Back upstairs the white rabbit finds Ben in his plastic room and sits and waits. Too bad his windows are tightly sealed as well. Nobody can hear him scream.

Obviously despite the "Wonderland" name-- this book, much like several other titles that carry the Zenescope name, is not kid-friendly. I've been a fan of the series for a while, though it's honestly never been one of my monthly pulls. This 46-paged annual plays out like a creepy movie. Dave Hoover's panel structure is strong and not at all bumbling. One complaint though: Ann and Tracy look sort of too similar. Both in body type and facial features. Wickline's script is pretty easy to read and follow. This annual is continuing with the tradition of the "Wonderland" series quite well, and for that reason alone deserves a look-see.

Monday, May 4, 2009

This Just In


Los Angeles, CA (May 4, 2009) – Continuing its tradition of excellence and a commitment to high-quality creator-controlled comics, Archaia announced it will resume a full publishing schedule beginning in June.

“Our number one priority is to show our commitment to publishing by completing the great stories we have already begun to tell,” said Publisher Mark Smylie. In June, Archaia will release hardcovers of The Awakening and Some New Kind of Slaughter and has committed to put out at least two hardcover collected editions per month, thereafter, for the rest of the year. Making good on this promise, July will see the hardcover releases of The Engineer (which will be offered at an unprecedented $9.99 price point) and the second volume of the Eisner Award-winning Mouse Guard. Collections of the critically acclaimed Primordia and Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 2 are set to debut in August.

“We’re also moving forward with series that are ongoing, such as The Killer, Okko, The Secret History and Artesia: Besieged,” added Smylie. These titles will pick up with individual issues and eventually be collected into hardcover editions.

“In addition, books like Robotika, Killing Pickman and Titanium Rain, which had just started toward the middle and end of last year, will be relaunched in double-sized formats, with 48 to 64 pages of art for only a $4.99 cover price,” exclaimed Smylie.

“And as the year goes on, we’ll be slotting in new titles we’ve recently signed, like God Machine, Days Missing and others we’ve yet to announce,” the publisher teased.

“This is what we’ve been working toward: Making sure that every month for the rest of the year, our publishing schedule is solid,” declared Archaia President P.J. Bickett. “Additionally, when we commit to a date, we’re going to meet that date. Readers can be assured of two things: First, our books will be on time and second, the same quality they’ve come to expect from Archaia will be matched and delivered in every single instance.”

For more information on Archaia or any Archaia titles please visit

About Archaia

Founded in 2002, Archaia is known for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds. The winner of multiple Eisner awards and nominations, Archaia has come to represent the pinnacle for creator-owned titles. With a slate including such popular titles as Mouse Guard, The Killer, Awakening, Gunnerkrigg Court, Robotika, Killing Pickman and Artesia to the Publisher’s latest additions Titanium Rain, God Machine and Days Missing, Archaia has become synonymous with quality content that only creators can provide.

More framed art and such.

Put some more art up. It's a smaller room than my last, so I can't put EVERYTHING up, but I'm managing.

Smallville 8.20 "Beast" review

If this was an episode of Friends, it would've been entitled "The One Where Chloe Makes Every Bad Decision Possible." Of course I adore Alison Mack. From Day One she has made Smallville the watchable show that it is, even in the low points of seasons which, to be fair can haggle the best of network programming that endure for years. But "Beast" was almost like the drinking game that would have you forgetting how you got home in that Chloe, for all her infinite wisdom over the years, was almost like a whole new character that infiltrated this particular episode. It was stupefying at times, and fortunately I have my Best Shots colleague Lan Pitts to help shoulder this week's noticeable burden. Don't be surprised if we're loaded by the time it's all done.

THE Rev. O.J. Flow: "Beast" opens with Chloe preparing to turn in for the night. Washing a lot of human blood off one's hands can make them tired, I can see that. But she is interrupted by a call, and it's Davis Bloome, holed up in her Talon basement so as to behave himself and not mangle and dismember the guilty (in his favor, Davis HAS been selective with his Doomsday person in killing people; save for ruining a wedding, he picks his battles well). She goes downstairs only to find the steps covered with rose petals. Davis is channeling his inner John Cusack and seemingly romances Chloe, getting exceptional results. Signs of another Doomsday day bloodbath (and the most ghoulish imagery from the show's first-ever episode) snap Chloe out of a dream and cut to the "Save Me" credits...

Lan Pitts: Okay, for some reason, this scene reminded me a lot of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Maybe it was the rose petals, or Chloe's gold dress, or the passionate kiss they both share and the obvious allegory of monster and maiden. Well, that was until Chloe followed a trail of blood and discovered probably the most gory thing they've ever shown on the show. Thank God it was a dream sequence. Nobody is that dumb to follow a trail of blood. That game never ends well.

OJ: Clark, prompted by some headlines spurred by Daily Planet head honcho Tess Mercer's crusade, approaches Chloe about the front page news that there is still a serial killer out there despite their recent efforts. He knows how things worked out recently, but his suspicions of Davis' likely revival are shot down by a seemingly (uncharacteristically) skeptical Chloe. With a ceiling of 10, the BS detector necessary for this episode with Chloe's actions for the first time hits 9. Not quite how you want to start a fresh episode.

Lan: Clark is not dumb, maybe a bit naive at times, but not dumb. Since this whole Davis thing, Chloe has just become obsessed and has become a whole new girl. Why does she honestly protect Davis like she is? I am not amused.

OJ: At Luthorcorp offices, Oliver Queen (now running that company) is hosting a meeting and going green is on the agenda. He gets some almost uncharacteristic positive feedback from his corporate suits on the move. If they only knew how "green" he is. His meeting is interrupted by a strung out and unemployed Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy's looking for an infusion of cash claiming that it's to fix his car, but all signs point to him looking for a whole other kind of fix. Oliver sees through Jimmy's convoluted story and turns him down. He wants to help the lad while not playing enabler.

Lan: It's weird to see Jimmy like this. Sort of zombie-fied and actually grew a pair. Asking Ollie for $600 is a pretty big deal, but he's Ollie Queen. Doesn't he blow his nose with $100 bills? Too bad Ollie doesn't give Jimmy the benefit of a doubt, but we can see why he would be so hesitant.

OJ: Elsewhere Chloe's arranged a clandestine meeting in the city with one of Queen's scientists. She's trying to figure out a way to undo Davis' condition, and even though the doc he could get more conclusive results with the subject in person, he's hardly interested in getting anywhere near Davis. Afterward Chloe is approached by Davis who's snuck out of the Talon basement. Again he insists that he can tame his inner beast in her presence. His proposal for the two of them to run away from it all is met with little resistance. Take another shot for the latest bad decision by Chloe.

Lan: Chloe trying to find a cure is pretty interesting since, again, it adds to the new characterization of Doomsday. At this point though, the scenes are changing pretty fast. Maybe 2-3 minutes if that. It just seems like some hasty editing with some of these subplots. So, Davis finds Chloe and they travel back to the basement...then Chloe is willing to leave it all for him? Her level of devotion to him is almost sad at this point. One would think Chloe of all the people would have more common sense.

OJ: Clark visits Ollie at this office to tell him that if he buried the presumed-dead Davis where he said he did, it ain't there now. Clark's hunch is on the money, and Ollie does all he can to convince him that the "ultimate destroyer" is probably worthy of the ultimate end resolution. To no one's surprise, Clark can't be talked into killing his most resilient foe.

Lan: So Oliver and Clark discussing the Davis creature, and Ollie finally says Clark just needs to kill the thing. Yet Clark refuses. It's weird for him not to see the big picture.

OJ: At the Watchtower, Chloe's communicating with the doctor again who confirms that the extreme feeling Davis has for Chloe are the only thing suppressing his Doomsday persona. Not exactly the feedback she was hoping for, but the conversation's cut short by another visit by Clark. When he shares with her his master plan to use his Fortress crystals to banish Davis to the Phantom Zone, she sends him on a wild goose chase to Alaska to get him out of the way long enough to make a break for it with Chloe. Geez, Chloe, who is the good guy and the bad guy in all of this??

Lan: So what Dr. Emile is saying is that Davis' obsession with Chloe is what's keeping him under control. Ugh. Really? So Clark swooshes in and almost catches Chloe chatting with Emile, but apparently Chloe has become a better liar. This is where Clark's naivety shows. He could have used his super-hearing to detect her heartbeat to see if she was lying, but no. He just accepts her words as the truth and THEN she sets him a wild goose chase. That's what friends are for.

OJ: Back at the Talon, Ollie's on the case and walks in on Jimmy rummaging through Chloe's things looking for that elusive cash. Ollie calls Jimmy out on the depths that he's plunged due to his drug addiction. Their confrontation is rudely interrupted by Davis who knocks out Ollie before making a move toward Jimmy that leads to a commercial break.

Lan: This scene is a perfect example of the not-so-perfect editing. It couldn't have been longer than 24 seconds. It did show that Jimmy was THAT desperate to steal from his ex-wife, but got busted by Ollie then they BOTH got jumped by Davis. Such a good little guard dog.

OJ: We find that Davis has taken them down to his makeshift lair, the Talon basement. It's almost surprising that Davis didn't just take them out out right there and then, but he knows better that he'd lose Chloe as a result. It's a compelling battle of wills and wits between the three. Davis does have a jonseing to inflict some sort of damage on one of them before getting a call from Chloe who is on her way. Jimmy taunts Davis to kill him since he took everything else dear in his life. Davis almost takes him up on his offer before he realizes that Chloe would never forgive him. He knocks out Jimmy instead and sets his sights on Ollie, but Clark shows up in time get steals away Davis to go to the Fortress.

Lan: So, Jimmy and Ollie are tied up and are about to get beat down. Both realize that he is the beast. Why he couldn't fathom that before, we'll never know. Chloe is on the phone with Davis and realizes he is about to mess them up, so she tries to hurry to stop him from changing. The thing is, Ollie calms Davis down and Davis just knocks out Jimmy since he is important to Chloe. So...that means it's not JUST Chloe keeping him under control. Sounds like something that will be useful later.

OJ: As Clark is en route to the Fortress with Davis, Chloe gets to the Talon just in time to miss them while Ollie's team cleans up the scene and gives Jimmy some necessary medical attention. Jimmy's definitely not happy with Chloe, and Ollie represents every frustrated viewer who wonders when she's going to come to her senses. In his epic browbeating, it is revealed that Clark is likely doing what she should have done ages ago, fixing the Davis Bloome crisis.

Lan: I don't really think Chloe is sorry. She doesn't seem to be in the right frame of mind. Ollie's taking control of the situation finally.

OJ: I am beside myself over how wrong Chloe is. Like almost an entire series worth of sanity just disappeared. Clark gets Davis to the Fortress and before they can tussle, he explains to his "brother" that where they're at is the last remnants of Krypton thanks to Jor-El. Clark offers to send Davis to a place where he can Hulk out to his heart's content, the Phantom Zone. Other than an unceremonious (and likely ineffective) execution, it strikes me as a solid option for Davis. He, not surprisingly, declines when he realizes that it means a life without Chloe. They fight over this and Clark's so close to success, but Chloe inconveniently shows up with a Kryptonian keystone that weakens Davis. The guilt trip she sends Clark on is dizzying, if not appalling. She makes Clark think that he'd never forgive himself if he "gave up of Davis." After sufficiently stupefying Clark (you're not alone, Kal, but she's allegedly doing it all for you), she uses the Kryptonian piece to somehow disappear with Davis.

Lan: Clark explains the Phantom Zone and, meh, another confrontation at the Fortress of "solitude." Seems like everybody gets to go there nowadays. Even...Chloe...? How the hell did she get there? This just beyond annoying now.

OJ: Later, at Oliver's office, Jimmy is given that $600 he wanted before, and he initially refuses on the assumption that it's a handout. Queen says it's actually an advance for the job he's offering to him. Ollie appreciated how Jimmy handled the Doomsday situation, finding out well before anyone that there was more to Davis than met the eye. Speaking of eyes, Oliver's recognition of a kid with a drug problem reminded me of the classic storyline from the 1970s where Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy wrestled with heroin addiction. I was half surprised that they didn't insert a sly reference to that.

Lan: Ollie wanting Jimmy to go to rehab shows he really does care for the kid. He even gives him the money he wanted earlier and gives him a job. Jimmy was reluctant at first, and a nice plug for was thrown in there, but it's nice to see Ollie give Jimmy props.

OJ: "Beast" concludes with Clark at the Watchtower looking for any sort of clue as to what could've happened to Chloe and Davis. Ollie pops in and gives a "hard decisions" talk to Clark about how the situation should be handled going forward. A lot of people, Clark included, think that Chloe must be under some sort of adverse influence to make all of these inane choices, but Oliver astutely points out that she's likely just changed. Not for the better, clearly, and her phone call to Clark from the road right after does little to change my thinking. Clark's frustration is palpable, as evidenced by the file drawer he smashes, and I'm dying to see how this reconciles itself with two episodes remaining.

Lan: The confrontation between Clark and Ollie is a bit tense. Clark notices the things about Chloe, namely her irrationality concerning Davis. Ollie agrees that Clark could have killed Davis and rightfully should have. Chloe tries to put things in perspective, but I'm slowly losing respect for the character as Davis and her just move on like that.

Where to begin, viewers? Did the proverbial drinking game get you wasted off all the bad decisions Chloe made? Will she OR Davis be around for Season 9 next fall? Has Oliver made a solid move bringing Jimmy into the fold? Is Clark ready to make the move needed to eliminate the ultimate destroyer. Can Chloe possibly be redeemed after this?