iO West had another night of comic book and science fiction goodness this past Saturday with a back to back attack of Comic Book Live! and Doctor Who Live! What we got was Ra’s al Ghul teaching the last Irish cop how to fight, and a
Darlek Dalek with a need to make daytime television the right (and cookie) way.
Batman (Chris Gore reprising his role from last time) returned to the stage accompanied by Catwoman (this time played by Ayako Kojyo) and Ra’s al Ghul (played by Ayako’s translator, Taiki Ishida) who all joined Comic Book Live! this issue, to tell us more tales from Gotham City. This time a sinister plot to steal all the hats of the world by the Haberdasher was working behind the scenes, as Gotham’s last Irish cop (and only be-hatted one) learned to fight to protect his hat. We also had Jim Gordon trying to prove that he really is friends with Batman to the rest of the precinct and his family. Also, the dangers of OKCupid accounts claiming they are Catwoman, and what would young Bruce do in Gotham if he was on television’s CW channel.
Chris Gore, Ayako Kojyo, and Taiki Ishida started things off with some stand up comedy by Batman. Batman’s extravagant lifestyle makes his observational humor incredibly hard to relate to unless you happen to be an avenging crusader by night and a billionaire playboy by day. Then the cast explored Batman and Catwoman’s interactions on OKCupid, and how she was not the actual Catwoman. Things then got awkward as we jumped into the world of the Gotham City Police Department.
Gordon (played by Dustin Sterling) is not Commissioner yet, but will be as the night progresses, and most of his coworkers don’t believe he knows the Caped Crusader. The police force itself is dealing with the heavy loss of all their Irish officers in a horrible explosion, and they also have had all their police hats stolen by a villain called the Haberdasher. GCPD is really hurting; thankfully it doesn’t stop them from being funny.
Gordon tries to show how he’s cool with Batman while dealing with his home life, where his son is trying to prove he’s important like his sister Barbara (Markeia McCarty), and his marriage (his wife is played by Zach Huddleston) is on the rocks as he surfs OKCupid for Catwoman and others, ignoring J-Date entirely.
We learn from Batman that the CW is releasing Gothamville, a show about teen Bruce Wayne trying to find his way in the world. It’s about as story accurate as Smallville. Teen Bruce has a lot of rage and no outlet for it, until he takes on the mantle of Batboy (Brandon Barrick) and goes around Gotham angst-ing about, riding a moped to go fight people only he perceives as villains.
Gotham PD’s last Irish and be-hatted officer (Patrick Ian Moore) runs into Ra’s al Ghul, who takes pity on the man and begins training him to fight. Montages galore follow, and the history of this cop unfolds as we jump around time seeing him in his better days to now. His hat becomes the final hat needed to complete the Haberdasher’s plan. We learn that this officer allowed the Electric Gotham Festival, a massive rave event that Gotham now holds yearly. This becomes the endgame location of the Haberdasher as he’s revealed, and he will take all of the world’s hats and toss them into the ocean if he isn’t give vast amounts of money (it is pointed out that the hats could all be replaced at a fraction of what the ransom would cost).
During some down time moments, Chris Gore would show trailers of the Dark Knight Rises film and comment on them. Telling us things from Bruce Wayne’s perspective and giving us behind the scenes views only Bruce could give. Overall the show was a wonderfully chaotic mix of comedy and comics, as we once again got to see the madness of everyday life in Gotham. You don’t get a city like that without the average citizen being slightly skewed.
Doctor Who Live! brought us another new episode with a newly regenerated Doctor, played by Markeia McCarty. She’s the first non-white, non-male Doctor; your move BBC. She does a great job as the Doctor as she and her companion, former cheerleader Chuck (played by Stephen Ji), deal with a lone
Darlek Dalek (Clint Verner, the simplicity of putting one’s arm and fist over your head to convey a Darlek Dalek is very effective) who attempts to take over the ABC television network in the episode “A Dalek Takes Over Daytime TV!” It may have taken a few attempts to say the name correctly, but it worked out in the end. By the way, how’s issue two of Doctor Who and Star Trek TNG? I gotta wait for my shop to get a second printing.
In the distant future of 2014 (it is going to be a scary time) where clones and flying cars are very common, Regis Philbin hosts his daytime show with a clone of himself named Philburn (Gian Molina). The two are on the west coast doing a beach episode when a shark attacks Regis. This shark seems suspiciously pepper-pot shaped with a plunger coming out the front… this is not what it seems.
The familiar theme begins as the Doctor and Chuck arrive at ABC headquarters to begin a tour of the place, with extremely naive rookie CIA agent John. They hear more of these suspicious shark attacks and begin to uncover ABC’s role in the recent shark attacks. Ted Koppel (Peter Fluet) does his damnedest to maintain journalistic integrity, and pays the price by losing limbs and gaining plungers instead, eventually paying the ultimate price. Meanwhile, this lone
Darlek Dalek is demanding all daytime television be about “Cookie Time” with celebrities making delicious cookies. I can’t get too mad at the idea of daytime television being all cookie baking, but I do not agree with his murderous methods even if it’s toward annoying daytime talk show hosts.
Eventually, the Doctor uncovers the plot that is Anne Curry’s vengeance for having lost her career and falling in love with the
Darlek Dalek who will seek to get her back on television. 2014 is dark, ladies and gentlemen, not looking forward to that, let’s just skip to Back to the Future‘s much nicer 2015. Chuck finds out that the supposedly dead Kelly Ripa was in hiding, but corrects the rumors by killing her himself with a crossbow given to him by Philburn (who got it from Michael Jordan, as he was always giving those things away).
The Doctor is able to stop the madness of the Darlek Dalek by showing it love by making out with it, which is too much for the villain and it dies. That is some high level slash-fic, folks. CIA agent John and Philburn are able to seduce Anne Curry to join them and stop her wrath, making quite an ending. Learning of Chuck’s murderous intentions for killing one of the Doctor’s favorite celebrities, the Doctor regretfully mind wipes Chuck, and the episode ends with our new Doctor as a lonely angel once again.
Both Comic Book Live! and Doctor Who Live were able to pull off more great comedy, no surprise there. The concepts are solid to see each again and again, and never feel like you’re getting anything recycled. I’ve seen several different shows now, and each time they wow me with their improvisational skills. If you aren’t going to San Diego Comic-Con this year, do yourself a favor and go see some iO West shows that weekend. Heck, make it any time, the place has fun shows all the time, great people, and drinks aplenty. Quit reading this and go laugh with them.