First Thoughts on CW’s Vixen

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The CW needs to be commended for their role in bringing superheroes onto the small screen. In comparison to their big screen counterparts, it can be argued that television suits the hero’s lifestyle far better than occasional film adaptions do, allowing the characters far more screentime, and ultimately relaying the feel of serialized issue-to-issue storytelling in a proper episodic format. With immensely successful efforts, such as Smallville, Arrow, and The Flash, to their name, the CW have paved an all new golden age for many of DC Comic’s most iconic heroes with an all new medium.

CW has even made excellent strides at making their onscreen universe all the more compelling by connecting their properties into a chronological and overarching story. As we’re well aware, Arrow has paved the way for The Flash to inhabit the very same television universe. This ultimately hurt the storytelling quality of Arrow’s 3rd season, but what we received with the Flash strongly made up for it. For better or worse, this onscreen universe is only going to get larger with the next CW series, Legends of Tomorrow.

Before any of that though, we’ll be treated to a six-episode webseries, this time in the form of an animated cartoon. Said to take place around episodes 15 and 16 of Arrow, this webseries follows Vixen, a lesser known DC Comics character who can mimic the abilities of any animal that has ever lived.

“What we really need is a short animated webseries about Vixen set in the same universe as the Flash and Arrow!” – A sentence that I can guarantee has never been uttered before. And my sentiments after watching the debut episode leave me questioning why it does actually exist.

Let me just put it out there: the little we are given isn’t terrible. And yet it leaves so much more to be desired than it actually delivers upon. It’s so short that I doubt the accumulated time of all 6 episodes will amount to the length of even one of its prime time contemporaries’. Subtracting the opening and closing credits, the first episode doesn’t even hit a length of five minutes. I don’t know about you, but no series has ever captivated me within it’s first five minutes, and that’s where Vixen fails most gravely. It’s too short to even begin to enjoy.

It took me longer to find the first episode, and get it to actually play, than the time allotted. Using my iPad, I had to first download the CW Seed app (CW Seed is their free web-based programming), and then find Vixen. I have had a long history of trying to get their normal CW app to work for me, and knew immediately this was going to be a struggle. I was using Starbucks WiFi to watch it, so perhaps that was the issue, but it just did not want me to play the damn thing. (I’ve never had an issue sreaming anything off YouTube in a Starbucks, I’ll have you note.) Either it would freeze on the opening advertisement, or it would freeze on the opening credits. And then when it would play it was only audio. After many relaunches, I finally got the thing to work. And the hassle honestly just wasn’t worth it.

We see a brief scene where she is on the run and neither Flash nor Arrow could catch her (which frankly, is ridiculous), and it was cool seeing her use her powers to evade them as she did. Next we see her, Mari McCabe, imprisoned three days earlier for stabbing a potential employer in the hand with a pen. She did this because he made a sexual advance on her which didn’t sit very well with her. Or me.

Throughout the episode we see individuals gravitate towards a particularly ugly necklace, which was… interesting. I didn’t really get the appeal, but that’s just me. The first was a police officer trying to buy it off of Mari – a recently bailed prisoner – for his wife, which is mad grimy (if you’ll excuse my NY slang), and really awkward writing. The second instance is minutes later, as a guy holds her at gunpoint over it. Must be a really nice necklace… Or, the writers are simply trying to stress it’s relevence to the plot in the short time they’ve given themselves. Anyway, the man holding her at gunpoint calls her by an unsavory title.

The fact that it’s a cartoon based off a prime time series conveys, to me at the very least, that this is a program for children. But, for whatever reason, its creators have decided that is not the intended audience – that this was created for a more mature crowd. But why?

Aside from completionism and the endeavor to devour any new shred of the Arrowverse, why would any grown adult actually care to sit through a program that doesn’t deliver in time or quantity what they actually desire? Why stress so fervently that this is a program to be consumed by adults?

Vixen is more of an oddity to me than a commodity. There’s not enough to realistically get oneself hooked, the intended audience is very strangely suggested, and neither the writing nor it’s animation style stun in any particular way. It would be best to just wait for all six episodes to air than attempt to watch this on a weekly basis.

15 of the Greatest Geek Podcasts

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There comes a time in every child’s life when they realize that they are a geek. They might not be a geek in every sense. But whether it’s a fandom or an obsession, it happens to everyone. And then, for many, maturity sets in and they choose whether to continue down that ever spiralling path of being considered a geek, or not. Many stray from that path, deciding it uncool, uncouth, and unworthy of their time – choosing instead a more normal, socially acceptable role. But others, myself included, choose to get swept away in the torrent of today’s geeky underground. Somehow we manage(?) to get by.

This post is for my fellow geeks, who (somehow) haven’t absorbed enough of what’s being thrown at them left and right from a number of mediums. For those geeks who’ve grown up and still watch cartoons, who still discuss Star Wars and Doctor Who and Star Trek behind their coworkers backs; those who still go to comic shops on Wednesdays and get lost in hard scifi and high fantasy before gong to sleep. If you’ve found this post, likely you’re in search for a new podcast or three that’ll scratch that geeky itch of yours just long enough to get you through the day, to tide you over until that movie comes out, or to discover new and interesting things to entertain yourself with until Martin decides to release book 6.

Comics & Entertainment:

The 52 Now!
 
For all your entertainment needs, Dave and Andrew of The 52 Now! podcast have you covered. The two discuss comics, movies, television, cosplay, and other prominent headlines within pop culture. I’ve personally been featured on their show, and can vouch that their geek cred is strong, and their banter is hilarious.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

The Weekly Planet
 
Perhaps you’ve watched some of Mr Sunday Movies on YouTube. Now listen to the official podcast of ComicBookMovie.com to stay caught up on all your comic book movie news.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Cartoon Connoisseur Theater
 
Looking for intelligent and legitimate discussions of your favorite cartoons growing up? Look no further. Dave and Josh dive into some of the best cartoons and anime, discussing their relevance, the voice actors therein, and other great viewing suggestions. They offer interviews with creators, guest speakers (myself included), and so much more.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy
 
This podcast is pretty much an all-you’ll-ever-need talkshow. Weekly guest hosts, interviews, and discussions on everything from books to films, everyone will find something to love about this weekly podcast.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!


Doctor Who:

Radio Free Skaro
 
Follow the three who rule, the legendary Radio Free Skaro podcast, going strong now on a weekly basis for almost a decade. Discussing all things Doctor Who, these Canadians know all there is to know about the 52 year old program.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Verity!
 
Sometimes it takes a women to view things in a new and different light. Sometimes it takes six. Verity! celebrates all things Doctor Who, and they’re not afraid to fangirl.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Kasterborous PodKast
 
The Kasterborous podcast is the official podcast of Kasterborous.com, and they’re dedicated on chatting up all the new rumors and happenings within the Doctor Who universe.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!


Star Wars:

RebelForce Radio
 
Jimmy Mac and Jason Swank bring radio proffesionalism and intelligent discussion to Star Wars, and it’s just so great. A handy soundboard, industry and insider interviews, and two huge geeks, make this a must listen for Star Wars fans. They’re also not afraid of going over two hours. This is the podcast you’re looking for.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Fangirls Going Rogue
 
Fangirls Going Rogue is a monthly podcast that is an auxiliary affiliate to RebelForce Radio run entirely by fangirls. Sometimes you just want to revel and geek out about all things Star Wars. These are three of the most prolific female Star Wars fans on this side of the galaxy. Fangirl flail!
Subscribe on iTunes! (Attached to RFR)
Visit their website!


Star Trek:

Mission Log
 
Mission Log’s continuing mission is to produce intelligent, meaningful discussions on each and every one of Star Trek’s many episodes. Going through each episode, chronologically, from TOS to ENT. It’ll take them over a decade though. It’s the definitive Star Trek compendium podcast, if ever there were one.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!


Reading & Writing | Sci-Fi & Fantasy:

Writing Excuses
 
Writing Excuses is a 15-minute long weekly podcast discussing each and every writing topic, trope, hurdle, and scene imaginable. Better yet, its brought to you by four industry proffesionals: Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Taylor. They encourage you to flex your writing muscles, and give you a fresh writing prompt each and every week.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Sword & Laser
 
Sword and Laser may be a sci-fi/fantasy book club at its heart, but it is so much more. Bringing you the latest news on upcoming releases and tidings within the community, as well as having excellent audience interaction, and a drinking segment, S&L is perfect for all genre fans.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Rocket Talk
 
Rocket Talk is Tor.com’s official podcast on all things science fiction and tantasy. It blends radio-style interviews and discussions with industry proffessionals, as well as talking about some of the hot topics within the writing community.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Midnight in Karachi
 
Another of Tor.com’s featured podcasts, Midnight in Karachi is hosted by Mahvesh Murad. This biweekly program discusses everything from writers, publishers, editors and illustrators. She has a knack for making her guests feel extremely comfortable, making conversation flow naturally amongst her guests.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!


Other:

Welcome to Night Vale
 
Welcome to Night Vale blends comedy and horror, as this twice monthly podcast delivers you community updates on the bizarre and ridiculous desert town of Night Vale. Think Courage the Cowardly Dog, but as a radio drama.
Subscribe on iTunes!
Visit their website!

Hasbro’s Complete Star Wars Catalogue for Force Friday

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September 4th is rolling around the corner. That day, known to Star Wars fans as Force Friday, will see the release of a TON of new merchandise. The first, and largest, wave of merchandise that the forthcoming Star Wars film will receive. Stores will be opening all over the country at midnight on the 3rd just to let the awaiting crowds get their hands on the items for the first time.

Not only will there be new books, clothing, and back-to-school equipment being released, but it’ll see Hasbro’s long awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys finally hit the shelves. Below is Hasbro’s full catalogue for Force Friday. Returned is the classic line of 3.75′ figures, as fans will Joe and love, but also a line 6′ Black Series figures, a new 12′ line, along with much, much more.
When they become available, I’ll post preorder links.