Earth-9 Podcast – Ep31 – Dark Multiverse

This week is another Jim and Mike comic focused episode, we discuss our newest purchases Jim’s being the first part of his Doom Patrol puzzle. Then we take a nice deep dive in the the Tales of the Dark Multiverse and the first 5 issues – Batman: Knightfall, The Death of Superman, Blackest Night, Infinite Crisis and Judas Contract!

            

Earth-9 Podcast – Ep30 – Wait, he doesn’t talk to fish??

Its just Jim and Mike this week talking comics, the give you their thoughts on the first Aquaman book in the New 52 ‘The Trench’, then Jim shares his thoughts on the Brian Michael Bendis run on Superman and Action Comics, Mike talks about the Greg Rucka Wonder Woman run and we find out whats next on our read list!!

            

Smallville – S2 Ep7 – Lineage Review

We begin the episode with a typical morning at the Kent farm house with Clark, Martha and Jonathan all rushing to eat breakfast and head off to work or school. As they all go about their day a mysterious woman arrives at their home and lets herself in – some locks on the doors would be good! She finds a picture of Clark and gazes lovingly at it, just who could this strange woman be? She then tracks him down at school and tells him that she is his mother. Now we know this can not be true as Clark isn’t even from this planet…

This episode does answer some questions about how Martha and Jonathan ended up adopting Clark legally. Rachel, the woman who claims to be Clark’s mother says she gave a boy up for adoption to Metropolis United Charities, and his name was Lucas, she says Clark was the only other boy to be adopted through them. With this revelation Clark goes to Chloe and is upset to find out she has been looking into his adoption, even after she said she would stop. Chloe does give Clark a bit more insight when she tells him that Metropolis United Charities was founded by Lionel Luthor.

With the pieces coming together Rachel’s next stop is the Luthor mansion. She meets with Lex and tells him she once had a relationship with Lionel and that he is the father of the boy she gave up for adoption, thus giving Lex the impression that Clark could be his half-brother. Lana is also on a mission to find out about the man her mother was with – Henry Small, she also goes to Chloe for help in finding him as he could be her biological father.

Clark looks to his parents for answers about why Lionel was behind his adoption. In a series of flashbacks, we return to the day of the meteor shower and find out exactly what transpired after Martha and Jonathan found Clark in the field. On the way home with Clark, and his spaceship in the back of a truck, they come across Lionel on the road asking for help with his son Lex who had been caught in the field where Clark’s ship landed. Jonathan carries Lex to his truck and they all go to the hospital together. Lionel shows his gratitude to Jonathan and tells him to call if he ever needs a favour repaid.

When Martha and Jonathan decide they want to keep Clark but struggle with how to explain his sudden appearance in their lives, Jonathan goes to Lionel for help faking his adoption. Lionel then uses this as leverage to make Jonathan convince the Ross brothers to sell their corn factory. This explains Jonathan’s deep rooted distrust of the Luthor’s and their motives for offering help to anyone. After hearing this story, Clark begins to blame himself as he feels guilty for his dad being put in a position where he had to do Lionel’s bidding.

When Clark’s DNA doesn’t match Rachel’s she thinks Lionel has tampered with the results in an effort to keep her from their son. In retaliation, Rachel kidnaps Lex and forces Lionel to admit what she believes to be the truth – that Clark is their son Lucas. When Lionel refuses to meet her demands she nearly kills Lex with an axe but Clark arrives just in time get between them. Rachel sees that Clark has powers no human being could possess and she finally accepts that she is not his real mother.

In other news Clark forgives Chloe for her constant snooping into his past and she confesses a secret of her own, that her own mother walked away from her as a child and doesn’t want anything to do with her. Also we see Lana find Henry Small and is disappointed to learn he has a new family and is reluctant to accept that she could be his daughter, but Clark convinces her not to give up on him yet. Later Henry turns up at the Talon and tells Lana he is willing to take a DNA test himself to find out the truth.

This episode certainly delved deeper into the theme of family secrets that the show has set up very well so far this season as Clark, Lex, Lana and even Chloe struggle with their identities. At the end Lex confronts Lionel over Rachel’s claims they had a child together – as we know Lionel was not a faithful husband. Lionel convinces Lex that Lucas died before his first birthday, but the final shot is of Lionel holding a locket containing a picture of a young boy. We are just now scratching the surface of all the secrets Lionel has in his closet. Stay tuned as next up is ‘Ryan’.

Smallville – S2 Ep6 – Redux Review

It’s ‘spirt week’ at Smallville High School and we begin with Clark and Pete at swim try outs. While competing against Clark, fellow student Troy receives a good luck kiss from his girlfriend Chrissy. Shortly into the swim Troy starts to struggle and Clark saves him from drowning, but after a matter of seconds Troy has mysteriously aged into a old man. Cue the shocked expressions on everyone’s faces before the opening credits roll.

At the farm Martha and Jonathan are discussing their financial problems and the subject of asking Martha’s father for help comes up. Clark is upset that he has never had the chance to meet his grandfather because of an old feud between him and Jonathan. Family is also on Lana’s mind when she finds pictures of her mother and another man and decides to question Aunt Nell about his identity. It transpires that Lana’s parents split up for a short time and her mother began seeing someone else, but when Nell brushes it off Lana goes to Lex and asks him to find this mystery man.

Unbeknownst to Jonathan, Martha contacts her father and asks him for money to help keep the farm going. This is an interesting plot point and gives a bit more context to the early parts of Jonathan and Martha’s lives. We are led to believe that Martha ‘settled’ for the life of a farmers wife when she could have had a successful law career in the city. Her father never approved of her relationship with Jonathan, clearly thinking that he was not good enough to be with her, as Jonathan tells the story of being rejected when asking for Martha’s hand in marriage. Since then the relationship with Martha’s father has been strained to say the least. Martha however, never felt like she was ‘settling’ and makes it very clear that it was her choice to live the life she does and that she is happy with her decisions. Not willing to accept that he can’t have a relationship with his grandfather, Clark tries to help Jonathan make peace with Martha’s father, unfortunately they are both stubborn men and Clark has to learn that some relationships just can’t be fixed.

Back at school Clark has a run in with the new school Principle after turning up late again. Lex comes to Clark’s defence after giving him a ride and it appears Lex and Principle Reynolds have a history from Lex’s boarding school years. The fact that Clark and Lex are friends doesn’t please Principle Reynolds and he starts to challenge Clark about his life aspirations, setting him the assignment of writing an essay on where he wants to be five years from now.

The Principle then sets his sights on Chrissy and questions her previous school history, something Chrissy is not so keen to divulge. At the Torch Chloe has put her investigative skills to work again and discovers that Troy died from a rapid ageing condition called progeria. Chrissy starts to notice herself getting older and targets another student at school who she literally sucks the youth out of with a kiss.

Clark and Chloe begin to suspect Chrissy is responsible for the strange deaths occurring and discover that she has a been re-living her high school years since the 1920’s. They worry she may be after another victim so Clark heads to the Talon where Chrissy has arranged to meet the Principle. Not happy with his questions into her past she decides to take the very little youth the Principle must have left. (An odd choice for someone who wants to stay eternally young.) Clark arrives just in time to stop her and because she hasn’t been able to steal any more youth Chrissy disintegrates right in front of Clark’s eyes and turns into a pile of ash, bringing ‘spirit week’ to an abrupt end. This new Principle sure has his work cut out for him with these strange weekly occurrences at the high school!

This was a good episode with the primary focus being family and what they keep hidden from each other and the ‘villain of the week’ becoming a ‘b’ plot. Lana learns that the man with her mother could be her biological father and her image of her parents having a perfect relationship is shattered. Martha and Jonathan tell Clark that they never wanted him to have a relationship with his grandfather as they never trusted him to keep his secret. Clark being who he is still wants to try. It was good to learn about how Martha and Jonathan’s lives together started. The story about Martha’s career potential is drawn upon again later in the story, as the long term viewer will know Martha’s future life lies way beyond the Kent farm. The theme of family continues and will become even more complicated in the next episode Lineage.

Smallville – S2 Ep5 – Nocturne Review

Season 2 continues with this instalment of Smallville called Nocturne. While visiting her parents grave Lana finds a love letter addressed to her left by a young man Byron. We learn that Byron’s parents forbid him from leaving their house and he can only go out at night. At school the next day Lana shows Chloe, Pete and Clark the letter and they debate whether it was left by a secret admirer or a stalker as Clark thinks. Even Lex has the opportunity to chime in with his opinion, which is slightly more mature and he and Lana discuss their mutual love of poetry. Even this early on in the show we can see the writers slowly dropping in little hints about Lex and Lana’s growing connection, though not romantic at this point in time.

At the mansion the bickering between Lionel and Lex continues as Lex struggles to find his blind father an assistant. Little does Lionel know the right person for the job is right around the corner. While he is sitting out in the garden, Martha Kent appears to collect their produce cheque. She takes a seat next to Lionel, and possibly out of sympathy for his current condition, she starts reading the paper to him and the two exchange some light banter. Later at the farm Martha tells Jonathan that Lionel offered her a job. Jonathan reacts the way we expect, with apprehension about the motives behind Lionel’s offer. Lex also questions his fathers reasons and fears it is because he is also becoming intrigued by the mystery surrounding Clark, and that he only wants to hire Martha to find out more information.

We see just how trapped Byron is when his dad bolts the door to his room in the basement closed. He manages to sneak out anyway to see Lana again, who oddly has fallen asleep on her parents grave stone. She wakes up to see Byron but Clark has also followed her, when Byron panics and tries to run he trips and hits his head. Lana and Clark take him to the Talon to make sure he is ok and the three talk until early morning, Clark noticing the restrain marks around his wrists. When Byron realises the sun is about to rise he rushes home and Clark and Lana have an angry encounter with Byron’s dad while his mom rushes him back to the basement. Clark and Lana suspect he is being abused and call the town Sheriff but Byron’s parents claim he is dead. unfortunately this only makes Byron’s predicament worse.

Clark and Pete break into Byron’s house and try to help him, Clark frees him from his restraints but doesn’t understand the real reason why Byron can’t go out during the day. While trying to take him away from his house Byron is exposed to sunlight and turns into a werewolf looking monster with super strength. After knocking Pete and Clark across his yard Byron flees. It transpires he was experimented on due to a medical condition. Chloe, used in this episode only for her investigative skills, finds out about the drug that was used to treat him and the company behind the experiments… Luthorcorp of course.

Upset that Clark didn’t include her, Lana tries to find Byron by herself and gets injured in the process. Feeling like he will never be normal Byron goes after the man he thinks is responsible for his condition. In an obvious attempt to impress Martha, Lionel arranges for them to go to Metropolis in his helicopter, a trip which comes to an abrupt end when Byron attacks it. Clark arrives at the scene to stop Byron and manages to push him down a well, and when Byron is out of the sunlight he becomes human again.

The story is wrapped up neatly with Lionel agreeing to find a cure for Byron’s condition, mainly thanks to Martha’s influence on his character. Lana goes to Clark and tells him that she wanted to help Byron because he was open and honest with her about who he was and his feelings, something Clark is not ready to do himself. Overall a compelling episode going back to the ‘freak of the week’ formula and also setting up a new dynamic between the Luthor and Kent families.