A lot of trailers and promotional videos for upcoming superhero shows dropped today and they’re all pretty cool. I even have a few interesting promo images to shows you guys as well! So let’s get right into it!
First we two videos promoting Iron Fist Season 2 which premieres on Netflix on 9/7. I actually have high hopes for Season 2. Issues with the show’s fight choreography was one of the big criticisms of Season One. It seems like the purpose of these two videos was to tell the audience that the creators heard your criticisms and stepped it up big time with the fight sequences and the martial arts. Based on the content I’ve seen so far, I think they‘ve succeeded. You be the judge…
Next up, The CW and it’s Arrowverse, released a sizzle real proclaiming that it’s going to be “Superhero Season” pretty soon. I love these videos and I have to admit, it’ll be fun to see Oliver Queen, Black Lightning (I’m still not sure if this one is in the Arrowverse), The Flash, Supergirl, and all the other DC heroes and villains on these shows. They may not always knock it out of the park, but when they do, goddammit these shows are great!
Finally, DC’s new streaming service, DC Universe is coming closer to it’s launch, which has now officially been confirmed as Sept. 15. They’re running a pretty decent special if you pre-order your membership. It’s $75 for a 15 month subscription and a few other cool perks. As they gear up for the launch they showed a clip from the upcoming Young Justice: Outsiders, set to premiere on the streaming service in early 2019. Young Justice was one of the best superhero TV series ever made, so especially if you’re an older fan looking for slightly more mature content that’s still really, really fun, check out the first two seasons of Young Justice on iTunes, or Blu Ray.
Also premiering on the new streaming service is Titans, a dark, adult take on the classic comic. Titans premiers on 10/12. DC released a few character photos which you can check out below.
As always, thanks for reading! Keep it here for all the latest updates on comic book, movie, streaming, TV, superhero news and more!
I’m a big fan of the Arrowverse. I watch every show, including Back Lightning, which doesn’t technically seem to be part of the Arowverse and I personally hope it stays that way. But there have been a few pieces of evidence that suggest the shows may be connected. Don’t forget, when Supergirl premiered on CBS and even for a few months after, it was definitely not apart of the Arrowverse. But things change and I suppose we’ll have to see. Speaking of The Girl of Steel, I’m even a defender when people like to talk about their least favorite one (which tends to be Supergirl). I think what they’re doing on that channel is great. But not amazing.
I think each of the shows right now has one element that seems to be holding it back from achieving something amazing. With Arrow, I think it’s Oliver as the Green Arrow. Let me explain that explain that. I really like Oliver, but whole idea of juggling his two lives is played out to me. Earlier this season, he stepped out of the role, and John Diggle became the Green Arrow, and honestly, I loved that. Arrowverse Trivia: In Legends of Tomorrow season one, John Diggle’s son, John Diggle Jr., is the Green Arrow protecting Star City, decades in the future, under the assumed name of Conner Hawke. Anyway, I wish Dig as Green Arrow had been a season long arch, maybe with Oliver being forced to take up the mantle again towards the end of the season. That could have the show go out with a real bang at the end of season six.
I also hope that they are able to make Ricardo Diaz a really cool village. Up until now, he’s just been in the background as a puppet master, so he couldn’t really be in the forefront of the story. Otherwise it wouldn’t be as much of a surprise when the revealed he’s the one orchestrating everything. In the comics (and they reference this on the show) he goes by the name Richard dragon, one of the greatest martial artists on the planet and formidable thorn in the side of characters like Batman, Nightwing, and of course Green Arrow. I’ve always wanted to see him on the show and I hope they do him justice now that he’s been revealed is the true big bad. It’d be pretty cool if he started going by Richard Dragon for the rest of the season, I’ll be honest I’ll be disappointed if they don’t.
Before I move on to the other shows, I want to touch on something else that all of the Arrowverse shows are guilty of: Many of the really interesting, major changes seems to be resolved way too quickly. Season 3 of Flash began with Barry having traveled back in time, changing the timeline and arriving in Flashpoint, within 3 episodes he was back in the regular timeline. Yes, there were consequences for Barry later in the season, but I think everyone would have wanted to spend more time in the Flashpoint timeline. They had set it up at the end of Season 2, and it seemed like over the summer they said “oh shit, we cant pull off such a massive world change!. Let’s fix it asap.” The same thing happened this season with Legends of Tomorrow, the final shot of last season showed them appearing in San Francisco with modern architecture and dinosaurs running around. That would have been a crazy season, but within minutes of the first episode, the anachronism was fixed, as if they realized it wasn’t in their budget. It’s a bit frustrating.
Anyway, back to each show’s big flaw. I think The Flash’s biggest flaw has been the villain. We got three season of speedsters and honestly they were each great in their own way. Thawne and Zoom inparticular where fantastic villains. But 3 speedster villains was one too many and the show needed some variety. So as we entered this season and you got The Thinker. The guy they got to play him was amazing, then they killed him off and put his brain into another guy’s body just as soon as you become invested in him as a villain. This was hugely disappointing even if it did land Barry in jail for several episodes (which did end up being it’s own highlight). Now Barry’s out of jail, facing an able-bodied Thinker (part of the appeal of the character was that he was so smart that he would be able to beat Barry with just his brain, while sitting in his hover chair).
Other cool heroes:
Then there is Supergirl. I might be in the minority here, but I do like Supergirl, I just think it has some major flaws. Most superheroes stories derive their success from action sequences and thrills, but the best parts of Supergirl are the character moments . There have been less of these great character moments that make the show so good. This season for example, the highlight has been Kara’s sister Alex’s personal turmoil over her romantic life, and her desire to be a mother. Alex’s struggle last season with her sexual orientation, and discovering she was a lesbian, was the highlight, and this season expanding on that, breaking her heart has been the most intriguing. The problem then falls on the action, and the “A plot,” and unfortunately, it’s just not keeping up. It’s serviceable, but it’s not special, it’s not captivating like Alex’s life is.
Finally we come to Legends of Tomorrow. Before I get into it I’d just like to say, Sarah Lance, whom I disliked during her run on Arrow, is amazing on this show. She’s the Han Solo of the Arrowverse, and honestly, even though I’d really want Barry’s powers, ultimately if I had to BE anyone character, it would be Sarah Lance (She even has her own Millennium Falcon!).
Legends is probably the most fun show of the lineup. It definitely keeps improving year to year. It is amazingly fun every week and definitely the best of the Arrowverse, at least for now. Also, the cast’s natural rotation, and the structure of the show allow for it to always seem fresh. So what is wrong with it? It’s unoriginal. The idea’s cool, that’s not what I mean. The Wave-Rider, the team’s time-machine is suspiciously similar to, as I mentioned before, the Millennium Falcon, there are a lot of Doctor Who similarities, and while I loved the episode this week, it was Groundhog’s Day. None of these things ruins the show for me, in fact I like them all, but I do think it keeps the show from achieving the ‘amazing’ status certain other genre shows achieve.
I mentioned before that I hope that Black Lightning doesn’t become part of the Arrowverse, and I just want to clarify that is just because it’s a different kind of show. The Arrowverse may touch upon issues of the day, but mostly they’re fun fare, where as Black Lightning as far as we’ve seen it, is a drama, with some comic book elements. They don’t really mesh, and so I hope they don’t try to force them to.
It’s Paul and I’m very excited to announce my brand new Podcast… PAUL’S PULLS! As you all know I LOOOOOOOVE comic books and superheroes, so this podcast is all comics all the time. It’s a shorter show than “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”, but it’s perfect for the format. Each episode I’ll be recommending the best comics of the week and talk about comic book or comic book movie, Comic book TV, COMIC BOOK ANYTHING news! I really hope you’ll enjoy it. In the first episode I give an annotated breakdown of the awesome new DC series Doomsday Clock. Then I wrap thing up talking about the very cool new superhero show Black Lightning. The podcast will be available on iTunes soon but for now you can listen to it right here:
Black Lightning is the latest superhero drama from The CW, which has made DC superhero shows it’s bread and butter. Based on the DC Comic of the same name, Black Lightning follows Jefferson Pierce (played by Cress Williams), a former Olympic medalist and retired consumed superhero with electricity powers and who gave up the life of superhero/vigilante Black Lightning, to focus on his family. Today, Jefferson’s main focus is raising his 2 daughters with his estranged wife and helping his community in a different way as an award winning high school principal. His oldest daughter Anissa is a medical student who inherited here father’s desire to help her community by protesting against the violent local gang The 100. Meanwhile his youngest daughter Jennifer, a senior at Jefferson’s high school, is going through her rebellious teenage years. Which of course drives her father nuts.
What makes this series stand out is that it tackles issues of race, violence, and the antagonistic relationship between the police and the communities they protect, head on. Before the opening title is even shown, our hero, Jefferson Pierce is driving home with his two daughters and is pulled over and harassed by the police solely because he’s black. The police don’t even offer an apology or explanation when they realize they have the wrong man. It’s ugly and feels all too real. Like thousands of other police stops around the country that are a razors edge away from becoming a tragedy. It’s an opening that grabs you and gets your attention without any superheroics.
Black Lightning is a surprisingly intense series for a superhero show on The CW. Maybe it just feels that way because much of what happens in the story is so similar to what we see on the news everyday. Considering that the main character is a meta-human with electricity powers the show feels more grounded than any other superhero show on The CW.
There’s a great scene where Jefferson has to come to the rescue of his daughter Jennifer, when she gets in some trouble with members of the very dangerous 100 gang at a local club. Despite being out of the game for awhile, Jefferson can still kick ass and take names. After he absolutely fucks up the bad guys in the club, which is pretty damn cool, the cops show up as Jefferson is leaving and immediately pull their tasers on him (I should note that Jefferson is in formal wear throughout this scene). After yelling some racially charged orders at him, the cops tase Jefferson, at which point he’s had enough. When the taser has no effect on him, he electrocutes the 2 cops (without killing them) and blows up their police car. It’s a very cathartic moment. Cress Williams, who plays Jefferson, conveys very well that this is probably something that has happened to the character before and this time he’s not going to take any shit.
There’s a lot to like in this series. There’s even a little bit of a “Dark Knight Returns” vibe. An aging hero comes out of retirement to find his city worse off than ever and he’s forced to confront a particularly vicious gang. There are definitely some parallels there. Also, any big DC Comics fans could guess where some of the stories may go for certain characters.
Overall, Black Lightning was surprisingly good and a welcome addition to The CW’s DC Superhero line up. It’s not completely clear if this show takes place in the “Arrow-verse”, but we are told that other superheroes exist in other cities in this world. Unlike those other DC Superhero shows, Black Lightning seems to have something of a bit more substance to say, which is always welcome in the genre. The characters are likable, especially Cress Williams in the lead roll, the story is appropriately timely, and there are some excellent action sequences. Black Lightning is definitely a show to check out. Highly recommended.
Black Lightning airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 9PM!