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‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 5: ‘Plastique’

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Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the episodes, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of Central City’s finest hero, Barry Allen: aka the Red Blur, aka The Funky Flashman, aka The Flash.

We had a skip week! I missed you so much! You look great! Did you do something new with your hair? Well, it is working, let me tell you. This week, we’re looking at the fifth episode episode of the first season of The Flash, featuring a woman who is literally the bomb, more than two disastrous heart-to-heart chats, and the wonder that is Clancy Brown. So let’s light the fuse on this week’s episode, “Plastique.”

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Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Recap, Episode 7: ‘The Writing On The Wall’

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After a one-week hiatus, Agents of SHIELD returns with an episode about math. And look, I'm not trying to be mean here, but I understand that an hour earlier in the night, the Flash stripped down to his underoos over on his TV show Shoe. (They use the Arrow naming convention, right?) So Agents of SHIELD really needs to step up its game if it wants to be competitive in the increasingly crowded superhero TV market. Lance Hunter in a Speedo, at the very least.

This week's episode, 'The Writing On The Wall', was directed by Vincent Misiano and written by Craig Titley, and guest stars both Cougar Town's Brian Van Holt and The 4400's Joel Gretsch, who are two handsome grizzled blond men that you probably thought were the same person until this exact moment. Psych. Here's our uniquely formulated "SHLEID" recap.

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Bizarro Back Issues: The Strange Saga Of Captain Strong (1973)

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I love crossovers. Even when they don't really work that well or make a whole lot of sense, it's almost always interesting seeing how characters that don't usually hang out bounce off of each other -- and it's especially fun when you've got a character like Superman. That guy's such a well-known, well-defined cultural institution that there has to be a huge temptation to see how he interacts with pretty much anyone else, even if you don't actually have the rights to do the real thing.

But really, that's the magic of comics. Even if you can't get the genuine article, you can always file off the serial numbers and do your own version and get the same effect. Sort of. And that's how Superman ended up spending a good chunk of the '70s hanging out with Captain Strong, a thinly veiled stand-in for Popeye the Sailor Man who was addicted to alien seaweed.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 5×13: ‘Hidden Agendas’

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The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.

This week, it's the penultimate episode, which seems like a pretty good time to introduce Cannonball, Husk and Project Wideawake, right? Right.

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Oh Captain My Captain: How Carol Danvers Became Marvel’s Biggest Female Hero

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Fans of Captain Marvel probably won't tire of being reminded that their hero is getting her own movie, scheduled for a July 6th 2018 release. There's no director, no writer, and no star attached, but the movie has a title and a date, and that alone is progress. Superhero fans have been waiting a long time for a Marvel Studios movie with a female lead.

The Captain Marvel movie is due to come out thirteen months after a planned 2017 Wonder Woman movie from Warner Bros, and those two pictures could help usher in a new age for female heroes, if the studios follow through.

The Wonder Woman movie was a long time coming, but she's an obvious choice for Warner Bros; she's the definitive female hero, a brand, and an icon, with more than seventy years of history. By contrast, Captain Marvel has been around in her current incarnation for two years. But there are good reasons why she's Marvel's pick for a leading lady.

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The Top Five Worst Superhero Teams In Comics

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If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

This week, we're talking about superhero teams, and while everybody these days loves the Avengers and, shockingly, the Guardians of the Galaxy, that doesn't mean that they're all winners. That's why we're taking on five of the worst teams in comics, from the weird but secretly awesome all the way down to the absolute dregs!

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‘Arrow’ Season 3 Recap, Episode 5: ‘The Secret Origin Of Felicity Smoak’

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The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson is back for the third season of the popular series in our recap feature we’re officially dubbing Pointed Commentary.

This week: A hacker with a link to Felicity Smoak causes panic in Starling City, Ollie lies to his sister a whole bunch, and the day is saved via a signal watch.

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What Exactly Is a ‘Big Hero 6′? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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Opening on November 7 is the new Disney animated hullabaloo titled ‘Big Hero 6.’ In ‘Big Hero 6,’ five regular human beings are brought together to fight crime alongside an inflatable robot doctor. I swear that all of this will make sense, kind of. Ahead, as a service to the world, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Big Hero 6.’

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The Sensational Character Find Of 2014: Bookworm Returns In ‘Gotham Academy’ #2

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Listen, Gotham Academy: I already liked you. You had me hooked from the very first promise of teen boarding school drama in a city full of supervillains with Batman showing up to try to reach these kids. That is exactly what I am into in virtually every way, and with the first issue being as good as it was, you didn't have to sell me on the series any harder than you already did.

But then you brought back Bookworm, and cemented your place as the single best comic on the stands today.

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FunkyWatch: October’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

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Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

A few days ago, I wrote a little about how there aren't a lot of characters that I hate as though they were actual people, but let me tell you: After October's Funky Winkerbean strips, There is not an amount of money in my possession that I would not give for a chance to punch Les Moore right in his stupid, smirking face. I've been doing this column long enough that even the most harrowing depths of the Funkyverse don't really depress me, but last month, I learned that his self-satisfied smirk can still provoke a white-hot rage. Join me, won't you?

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