July 26, 2018: Joseph Mallozzi’s Top 10 Funnest Episodes!

Oh, sure.  As a viewer, your mileage may vary.  But, looking over the list of 100+ episodes of television on which I’ve been credited or co-credited as a writer, THESE were the ten I had the most fun writing…

Honorable Mentions…

The Ties That Bind/It’s Good To Be King (Stargate SG-1)

Yeah, it’s always the way.  You decide to do a Top 10, put together a long list, start narrowing it down and, in the end, you’re always left with 12.  So, rather than cast them aside, I include these two as Honorable Mentions, two scripts that were much fun to write but, to be honest, for one reason or another, didn’t fully deliver in the end.

#10

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Wormhole X-Treme (Stargate: SG-1)

No one can truly appreciate the banality, frustrations, and sheer ridiculousness of producing television unless they actually work in the industry…OR watch a show in which it is mercilessly lampooned.  Sci-fi handwavium, ruthless broadcasters, sexy female alien-obsessed executives – it’s all here.

#9

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Stuff To Steal, People To Kill (Dark Matter)

The only thing I love more than a good time travel episode is a good alternate reality episode, and this one was a blast delving into the colorful personalities of the badder versions of our bad guys.

#8

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Point of No Return (Stargate SG-1)

One of the things I loved about Stargate was the creative allowance it gave us to write humor.  I always reflect back fondly on this episode as one of the first instances in which we were just let loose to script the story as we envisioned it – conspiracy kook, Teal’c on the motel massage bed, and all.

#7

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Remnants (Stargate: Atlantis)

I’ve always been fan of multi-story scripts, especially when those seemingly disparate tales neatly dovetail at episode’s end.  Still, the highlight of this episode for me was Robert Picardo’s Woolsey,  a character who had come such a long way since his introduction back on SG-1.  He’d gone from pencil pushing jerk to principled ally and in this episode, his journey to redemption is fully completed thanks, in large part, to the terrific comedic timing of Bob Picardo who made Woolsey at turns vulnerable, sympathetic, and gosh darn lovable.

#6

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Kill Them All (Dark Matter)

What did I just say about those various moving pieces of the narrative ultimately falling into place?  Yes, in the worlds of Hannibal Smith: “I love it when a plan comes together.” and the moment FIVE utters this episode’s title phrase, it DOES come together in fast and furious fashion.

#5

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Ripple Effect (Stargate: SG-1)

This delightfully bonkers episode will forever hold a special place in my heart as probably my favorite episode of Stargate for its humorously bizarre instances involving varied AU SG-1’s, a dark timeline team, and that scene with Cam (Ben Browder) in his underwear.

#4

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Family Ties (Stargate: SG-1)

This one kicks off with a shot at Syfy’s failure to promote the show (Mitchell: “They cancelled it? Really? I didn’t even know the new season had started.) and ends with Teal’c unwittingly attending a reading of The Vagina Monologues (I remain convinced that, at that point, the network had stopped vetting the scripts because I don’t see how else they would have let this one go).  Fred Willard is a comic genius, Claudia Black gets to show off her expansive acting chops, and, oh yeah, more shots at Syfy –

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#3

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Window of Opportunity (Stargate: SG-1)

Yeah, you knew this one was going to be in the Top 3.  The original pitch for this episode was quite dark, but Executive Producer Robert Cooper steered us toward a more comic take.  After listening to his notes, I said: “But that’s Groundhog Day.” To which he replied: “Right.”  And so, we went ahead and wrote the Stargate version of Groundhog Day – which ended up being one of the franchise’s most beloved episodes.

#2

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Isn’t That A Paradox? (Dark Matter)

By this point in the series’ run, I was in a writing groove pretty much wholly due to my wonderful cast.  I knew that whatever I wrote for them, they would deliver – and boy did they ever.  TWO’s heartfelt yearning for the quiet life, THREE’S suburban rogue, a reminder that our FIVE is still very much a kid, SIX’s bike mastery, and Android’s not-quite-know-it-all attitude – all combine for an episode that, more than any other, leaves me with bittersweet memories of a show ended way too soon.

#1

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All The Time In The World (Dark Matter)

Was there ever any doubt?  I wasn’t even working off an outline when I sat down to write this script but from the moment I started, I was on fire, blazing through a first draft  with almost no interruption.  I was in the zone and this one came together beautifully in all of a day (A record!).  Whenever I watch the THREE/Android duet, I get downright wistful at the thought of where these two characters were headed had our audience been rewarded for tuning in.

Addendum – Since so many asked, 200 didn’t make the list because I was one of many writers who contributed to that one.  Having said that, the segments I wrote WERE a lot of fun…

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July 25, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

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Descender #32 (cover art by Dustin Nguyen)

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Marvel-Two-In-One #8 (cover art by Jay Anacleto)

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Multiple Man #2 (cover art by Marcos Martin)

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Saga #54 (cover art by Fiona Staples)

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Punisher #228 (cover art by Clayton Crain)

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Wonder Woman #51 (cover art by Stanley “Artgerm” Liu)

What do you think – and what did I miss?

July 18, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These caught my eye…

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Batman #51 (cover art by Elizabeth Breitweiser)

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Batwoman #17 (cover art by Dan Panosian)

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Falcon: Take Flight (cover art by Jesus Saiz)

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Ice Cream Man #5 (cover art by Frazer Irving, Martin Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran)

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Old Man Hawkeye #17 (cover art by Marco Checchetto)

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Shipwreck vol. 1 (cover art by Phil Hester)

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VS #5 (cover art by Tom Muller, Eric Ribic)

Which were your favorites?

 

July 11, 2018: Best Comic Book Covers of the Week!

These were my favorites…

Domino #4 (cover art by Greg Land)

Jirni Vol. 3, #5 (cover art by Michael Santamaria, John Starr)

The New Mutants: Dead Souls #5 (cover art by Ryan Stegman)

Old Man Logan Vol. 7: Scarlet Samurai (cover art by Mukesh Singh)

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 3: Remastered (cover art by Ashley Witter)

The Dead Hand #4 (cover art by Jordie Bellaire)

And which were your favorites?

July 6, 2018: Making the comic book move!

My credits include:

400+ hours of produced television

100+ hours as a writer

100+ hours as a showrunner

But two of my greatest accomplishments remain:

My contribution, “Downfall”, to the Lou Anders-edited superhero-themed anthology Masked

And the four issue Dark Matter comic book for Dark Horse Comics

As much as I love television, I love comic books even more for the freedom they allow a creator to tell a complete story, uncompromised by budgetary constraints or executive interference.

For some time now, I’ve been sitting on a few original ideas.  Three years ago, I would have gone out and pitched them to broadcasters and production companies, looked to secure a development deal, been paid handsomely to write a bible and accompanying overview, pitched, and hoped it I would get the opportunity to produce a television show based on those original concepts.  Today, I’m less inclined to do so because, to be honest, the lure of actually being able to tell a full story, from beginning to end, outweighs the attraction of development work and the gamble on a prospective pick-up.

Sure, in the case of Dark Matter, it was the best of both worlds – a comic book AND an ensuing t.v. series.  But for me, right now, the endgame is an awesome comic book series (or two, or three, depending on which get the green light) that will, in at least a couple of instances, fill that Dark Matter-sized hole in your hearts.

First things first though.  I need an artist, preferably one with experience, who’d be interested in collaborating on a sci-fi comic book series.

Let’s discuss.

I’m still going to continue my t.v. work, follow through on the various projects in play – the sci-fi series, that horror novel adaptation (deal pending), that small town horror series (overview delivered, pilot script up next), that sci-fi series (doing a polish on the pilot next week), and the drama pilot (just optioned) – but I just really want to tell some amazing stories.  And I can think of no better, and no more satisfying, medium than comic books.

Stay tuned!

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to the memory of The Amazing Steve Ditko.

July 4, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were the ones that caught my eye…

Astonishing X-Men #13 (cover art by Greg Land)

Batman #50 (cover art by Mikel Janin)

Captain America #1 (cover art by Alex Ross)

Catwoman #1 (cover art by Laura Allred, Joelle Jones)

Death of the Inhumans #1 (cover art by Kaare Kyle Andrews)

Spawn #287 (cover art by Jason Shawn Alexander)

Star Wars #50 (cover art by Travis Charest)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi #4 (cover art by Rahzzah)

Weapon X #20 (cover art by Rahzzah)

So, which ones caught your eye?

July 3, 2018: Best Books of 2018 – so far!

I have been on a reading tear this year.  212 books and counting.  Of those 212 titles, 51 were graphic novels while 70 were 2018 releases.

We’re still a long way off from my end of year rankings and countdown but, for now, I’d like to give a halfway-mark shout-out to The Best Books of 2018 so far.

Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thrillers, graphic novels, general fiction, and non-fiction – a little something for everyone in no particular order…

A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa

In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

When Myriam, a mother and brilliant French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband are forced to look for a caretaker for their two young children. They are thrilled to find Louise: the perfect nanny right from the start. Louise sings to the children, cleans the family’s beautiful apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late whenever asked, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment, and frustrations mount, shattering the idyllic tableau.

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again—with even more devastating results.

A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis

Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.

With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa’s skin. Everything she has buried – her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother’s death – threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself…and return to the darkness she’s been hiding from for years.

The Armored Saint by Myke Cole

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.

While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog’s care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.

Spider-Men II by Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli

The sequel five years in the making! The first time the Amazing Peter Parker and the Ultimate Miles Morales met, things ended with a question – who is the Miles Morales of the Marvel Universe?! Now that the Miles you know and love shares a world with Peter in the mainstream MU, you’re finally going to get that answer! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…because as the mystery deepens, the wall-crawling wonders will be targeted by Taskmaster!

Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen

The day nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to a framed portrait of Chairman Mao is the day that forever changes their lives. To prove his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the authorities. But his belief in doing the right thing sets in motion a terrible chain of events.

Now they must flee their home on Drum Wave Islet, which sits just a few hundred meters across the channel from mainland China. But when their mother goes to procure visas for safe passage to Hong Kong, the government will only issue them on the condition that she leave behind one of her children as proof of the family’s intention to return.

Cyanide & Happiness: A Guide to Parenting by Three Guys with No Kids by Kris Wilson, Rob Denbleyker, and Dave McElfatrick

Finally, a definitive and reliable manual that demystifies the complicated world of parenting while delivering crucial tips and sage advice—all from three guys who make comics instead of children. This informative guide for breeders tackles all the big parenting issues: Finding messages in your alphabet soup, drawing the perfect hand turkey, getting away with kidnapping, telling your kids you don’t love them anymore, and making out with your kid’s best friend’s dad.

Semiosis by Sue Burke

Forced to land on a planet they aren’t prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape–trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

My Boyfriend Is a Bear by Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris

Nora has bad luck with men. When she meets an (actual) bear on a hike in the Los Angeles hills, he turns out to be the best romantic partner she’s ever had! He’s considerate, he’s sweet, he takes care of her. But he’s a bear, and winning over her friends and family is difficult. Not to mention he has to hibernate all winter. Can true love conquer all?

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker

The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.

War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

We’ll Fly Away by Brian Bliss

Uniquely told through letters from death row and third-person narrative, Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel expertly unravels the string of events that landed a teenager in jail. Luke feels like he’s been looking after Toby his entire life. He patches Toby up when Toby’s father, a drunk and a petty criminal, beats on him, he gives him a place to stay, and he diffuses the situation at school when wise-cracking Toby inevitably gets into fights. Someday, Luke and Toby will leave this small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never look back.

But during their senior year, they begin to drift apart. Luke is dealing with his unreliable mother and her new boyfriend. And Toby unwittingly begins to get drawn into his father’s world, and falls for an older woman. All their long-held dreams seem to be unraveling. Tense and emotional, this heartbreaking novel explores family, abuse, sex, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love.

The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry

A threat is called into the LAPD Bomb Squad and when tragedy ensues, the fragmented unit turns to Dick Stahl, a former Bomb Squad commander who now operates his own private security company. Just returned from a tough job in Mexico, Stahl is at first reluctant to accept the offer, but his sense of duty to the technicians he trained is too strong to turn it down. On his first day back at the head of the squad, Stahl’s three-person team is dispatched to a suspected car bomb. And it quickly becomes clear to him that they are dealing with an unusual mastermind–one whose intended target seems to be the Bomb Squad itself.

As the shadowy organization sponsoring this campaign of violence puts increasing pressure on the bomb maker, and Stahl becomes dangerously entangled with a member of his own team, the fuse on this high-stakes plot only burns faster.

Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

Belfast 1988: A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave.

Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece

Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Jeff Lemire and Max Fiumara

An aged crime fighter desperately wants to reconnect with his estranged son, who he hoped would one day take the mantle of Doctor Star. Over the course of the story we learn his World War II-era origin, how he got his powers, his exciting astral adventures, the formation of some of Black Hammer’s greatest heroes, and more in this heartbreaking superhero tale about fathers and sons.

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

How far does the apple really fall from the tree?

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

Harley McKenna is the only child of North County’s biggest criminal. Duke McKenna’s run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley’s been working for him since she was sixteen–collecting debts, sweet-talking her way out of trouble, and dreading the day he’d deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he’s built.

Her time’s run out. The Springfields, her family’s biggest rivals, are moving in. Years ago, they were responsible for her mother’s death, and now they’re coming for Duke’s only weak spot: his daughter.

With a bloody turf war threatening to consume North County, Harley is forced to confront the truth: that her father’s violent world will destroy her. Duke’s raised her to be deadly–he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she’s got to take out Duke’s operation and the Springfields.

Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father’s daughter. And McKennas always win.

***

There were a few pretty good books that missed the cut as I tried to limit myself to a Top 20.  They’ll no doubt make an appearance in my end-of-year rundown.

So, any 2018 releases you’d like to recommend?

July 2, 2018: On Spoilers!

Oh, teasers are teasers and spoilers are spoilers and never the twain shall meet.

The subject of spoilers came up the other day after a New York Times article essentially spoiled the ending to DC Comics’ big Batman/Catwoman wedding storyline.  Not only did they spoil it, they spoiled it in the damn headline!  Fan response was…heated.  Comic shops that had pre-ordered copies were suddenly left holding the bag (and board to ensure its contents remain in mint condition!) as readers responded by cancelling their planned purchases.  Twitter was ablaze with a furious fandom who felt betrayed by either the book’s ending and/or the decision to reveal said ending days before the title dropped.

To be fair, it was a curious PR call.  I mean, I understand the great buzz that would follow a feature profile in the New York Times, but surely that could have been achieved without ruining the ending.  It’s not like you’re going to convince new readers to check out a movie, t.v. show, or book by saving them the trouble of actually watching/reading.  I honestly don’t get it.

On the other hand, there are productions that guard against any and all pre-release reveals with merciless determination.  Many an extra and crew member has been fired, publicly pilloried, and, on occasion, even sued for posting what they deemed a perfectly innocent pic on their instagram page, or made mention of a seemingly innocuous onscreen development on twitter.  In some cases, I get it.  In others, not really.  For me, it comes down to the difference between a spoiler and a teaser.

And what is that difference?  Oh, that’s easy.  A spoiler spoils viewers while a teaser simply teases them.  I know, I know.  Where to draw the line?  It varies from production to production, viewer to viewer, but I’ve personally always been very forgiving when it comes to on-set posts and pictures so long as they don’t reveal any major plot twists or surprises.  For example, a photo of a presumably deceased character on set would, by my definition, be considered a spoiler.  Photos of our series regulars in action would not.  Yes to sneak peeks of most concept art, costumes, visual effects designs and props because I want to get viewers excited in the lead-up to the episodes – and hopefully intrigue some new viewers as well – rather than wait until after the episode airs at which point these visual tidbits are rendered mere points of interest for the hardcore fans.  No to major reveals – like that new Android costume or a shot of SIX back on the ship after his apparent departure in Episode 303.

I think that’s reasonable.

Inciting a full-scale rebellion among your fandom probably isn’t.  But then again, I’m not the one with the marketing degree.

My Top 5 Stargate Spoilers

#5 – The Curse: Dr. Daniel Jackson reconnects with some people from his past, one of who, it turns out, has been taken over by a goa’uld.  Who could it be?  Well, if you watched the broadcast promo, you’d note a fiery-eyed Anna-Louise Plowman using a goa’uld hand device to blast our heroes.  A dead giveaway.

#4 – Apophis episode: Don’t recall which episode, but the network aired a promo that included a scene of Apophis actor, the amazing Peter Williams, snapping orders.  Only problem was they inexplicably used raw footage in which the actor’s voice had yet to be flanged to achieve that ominous goa’uld delivery.  As a result, mystified viewers were treated to a uniquely terrestrial-sounding System Lord with a slight Jamaican lilt.

#3 – Solitudes: A gate mishaps strands Sam and Jack on an icy wasteland.  Stargate Command races to locate them.  Where could they be?  Well, if the SGC had merely consulted TV Guide before the episode aired, they would have learned Antarctica and saved themselves the time and effort.

#2 – Kindred I: Another network promo totally ruins a surprise the production had kept under careful wraps for almost a year.  “You won’t believe the last five minutes!”says the voice-over, at which point we are treated to a shot of a once-dead, now very much alive Carson Beckett asking Sheppard and his team: “What took you so long?!”.

#1 – Forever In A Day: The German title for this episode is “Sha’re Ist Tod”.  Translation: Sha’re Is Dead.  But maybe not!  Ah, who am I trying to kid?

June 27, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

Astro City #52 (cover art by Alex Ross)

Black Panther #2 (cover art by Daniel Acuna)

Harrow County #32 (cover art by Tyler Crook)

Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Mandripoor #2 (cover art by Greg Land)

Man of Steel #5 (cover art by Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, Alex Sinclair)

Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #4 (cover art by Tommy Lee Edwards)

Multiple Man #1 (cover art by Marcos Martin)

Quantum and Woody! #7 (cover art by Ariel Olivetti)

Sex Criminals #25 (cover art by Chip Zdarsky)

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #21 (cover art by Ashley Winter)

Thanos Wins (cover art by Geoff Shaw)

The Complete Killer (cover art by Luc Jacamon)

The Realm #7 (cover art by Nick Filardi, Jeremy Haun, Baldemar Rivas)

The Wicked + The Divine #37 (cover art by Erica Henderson, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson)

Venom #3 (cover art by Ryan Stegman)

So, which were your favorites?

June 26, 2018: 13 of the Most Insidiously Evil Organizations!

A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics)

What’s Their Deal?

An off-shoot of Hydra, they’re a terrorist organization run by science-minded nerds unfettered by things like morals, ethics, and laws.

How Low Can They Go?

Their distinct yellow uniforms ensures they are constantly being mistaken for rogue beekeepers.  Also, in addition to creating the reality-altering cosmic cube, they also created M.O.D.O.K., a living computer with a giant head and tiny baby feet.

Shocking Twist!

Big Head Baby Feet?  He’s their leader now.

***

Cobra

What’s Their Deal?

World domination and international arms dealing under the direction of the aptly named Cobra Commander.

How Low Can They Go?

Released ultrasonic waves from their underwater base in the Gulf of Mexico, devastating the surrounding marine life.  Also, once held a telethon (the equally aptly named Cobrathon) to raise money from fellow criminals so they could target and destroy law enforcement computers.

Shocking Twist!

Cobra Commander kills his own son, Billy, with a poison dart, then hoists his corpse up a flagpole for the Joes to find.

***

The Hand

What’s Their Deal?

Black magic-wielding ninja operatives who serve a demon called the Beast.

How Low Can They Go?

Stole Elektra’s corpse in an attempt to resurrect her and turn her to their cause.

Shocking Twist!

Daredevil accepts their offer and becomes their leader.

***

H.A.M.M.E.R.

What’s Their Deal?

Created by noted philanthropist Norman Osborn as a substitute for S.H.I.E.L.D. during the post-Skrull Invasion, this government-sanctioned organization abused its authority, using the superpowered Dark Avengers as muscle.

How Low Can They Go?

Lead an unsanctioned attack on Asgard after framing Volstagg for a civilian massacre engineered by Osborn himself.

Shocking Twist!

Osborn has Bullseye kill Sentry’s wife because he considers her a source of weakness.  Bullseye accomplishes this task by choking her and then tossing her out of a helicopter.

***

H.I.V.E.

What’s Their Deal?

The Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination.  That about sums it up.

How Low Can They Go?

The organization’s leader, HIVE Master, was murdered by his wife, HIVE Mistress, who took over and then, when facing defeat at the hands of The Teen Titans, killed herself and a bunch of scientists in their undersea headquarters.  What a sore loser.

Shocking Twist!

Deathstroke, under contract to H.I.V.E., uses Terra to infiltrate The Teen Titans!

***

Hydra

What’s Their Deal?

They’re a terrorist organization with roots in the Axis Powers of World War II.

Hail, HYDRA! Immortal HYDRA! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master—as the world shall soon serve us! Hail HYDRA! – Hydra oath

How Low Can They Go?

Killed Wolverine, resurrected him with the help of The Hand, then sicced him on his former friends.

Shocking Twist!

One of its longtime leaders, Madame Hydra, was really…a sleeper agent working for Hydra’s ancient enemy Leviathan!  Another one of its other leaders, Kraken, was really…Nick Fury’s younger angrier bother Jake!  Also,  a number of its members were…skrulls!  And one of its most infamous deep undercover agents was none other than…Captain America!  But then he wasn’t.

***

Intergang

What’s Their Deal?

Metropolis-based crime syndicate outfitted with advanced tech and weaponry courtesy of Darkseid.

How Low Can They Go?

Leader Bruno Manheim punished those who refuse to join Intergang by eating them.

Shocking Twist!

Boss Moxie has his neck snapped by Superboy-Prime.  Yep, that was him.

***

League of Assassins

What’s Their Deal?

Aka The Society of Assassins, aka The League of Shadows, aka The Society of Shadows.  An international cult-like guild of trained killers led by Ra’s al Ghul.

How Low Can They Go?

Wiped out an entire pod of sperm whales in order to harvest their wombs so that Ra’s al Ghul could use them to grow a cadre of genetically-altered assassins.

Shocking Twist!

Batgirl is killed by the fearsome Mad Dog, then resurrected in a Lazarus Pit by Lady Shiva.

***

LEXCORP

What’s Their Deal?

With its headquarters in beautiful LexCorp Tower located in bustling Metropolis, this mega-corp is owned and operated by Lex Luthor.  Its front as a legitimate ruthless business operation belies its true nature as a ruthless criminal operation.

How Low Can They Go?

Its employment charter specifically prohibited LexCorp employees from rendering Superman any manner of assistance.

Shocking Twist!

Company CEO and grandstanding business magnate Lex Luthor becomes President of the United States – only to be forced out for abuse of power after three years in office.  He goes bankrupt, and see LexCorp’s assets sold to the Wayne Foundation.

***

OSCORP

What’s Their Deal?

Formerly known as Osborn Industries, it is a megacorporation,  specializing in defense weaponry, under the direction of CEO Norman Osborn.

How Low Can They Go?

Norman gained control of the company, and the goblin formula, by ensuring his business partner, Mendel Stromm, was locked up for embezzlement.  Yes, he was technically guilty but, in all fairness, his strength was chemicals and robots, not accounting.

Shocking Twist!

Allan Chemicals merged with Oscorp, giving rise to the Alchemax Corporation.  Its CEO, Liz Parker, hires a man named Mason Banks who, it turns out, is actually Norman Osborn in disguise.  It turns out he has secretly orchestrated the takeover.

***

Roxxon

What’s Their Deal?

Roxxon Energy Corporation (formerly Roxxon Oil Company) seeks world domination through a world-wide energy monopoly.

How Low Can They Go?

Arranged the deaths of Tony Stark’s parents, Howard and Maria Stark.  Also, after microwave radiation from their satellite Star Well 1 killed over 200 inhabitants of Allantown, Iowa, Roxxon covered their asses by passing the incident off as an Anthrax scare – then hosted a celebrity golf tournament for the town’s survivors.

Shocking Twist!

Jonas Hale, Executive VP and Head of Research, is named after the actor who played the Skipper on Gilligan’s island!

***

Sinestro Corps

What’s Their Deal?

They’re the anti-Green Lantern Corps, made up of Qwardian Yellow Power ring-wielding members committed to the propagation of fear.

How Low Can They Go?

The Corps’ surprise assault on Earth and their massacre of a multitude of Green Lanterns evidenced, not by witnessing the killings, but the sight of innumerable Lantern rings flying through space in search of new and worthy bearers.

Shocking Twist!

Sinestros’ ringer revealed at the end of Sinestro Corps War Special #1 = none other than the Anti-Monitor.

***

SYFY

What’s Their Deal?

Basic cable and satellite channel featuring fantasy, horror, supernatural, paranormal, drama, and reality programming.  Occasionally, science fiction.

How Low Can They Go?

Proclaimed their commitment to science fiction and fandom, even went so far as to adopt a new catchphrase #ItsAFanThing, then canceled sci-fi fan favorites Dark Matter and The Expanse.

Shocking Twist!

That guy making the programming decisions?  He’s really just a monkey picking random chits out of a top hat.