Spider–Man: IntoTheSpider–Verse has come along and done what so many people didn’t think was possible, the film yet again reinvents the superhero genre. For the past several years, a number of people in the industry, including individuals like Stephen Spielberg, called the comic book or superhero movie phenomena “a bubble” that will eventually burst like the Western, for example. They argued it’s a genre that will eventually no longer be relevant.
In my opinion, there are major flaws in this kind of thinking. First of all, the terms “comic book” and “superhero” are incorrectly, interchangeable used. Comic Books aren’t a genre, they’re a medium. Just like film, television, or prose literature. While superheroes are certainly the most recognizable type of comic book storytelling by far, comics tell a vast array of stories in dozens of different genres. Comic books and Graphic Novels tell hard boiled mysteries, fantasy sagas, countless sub-genres of science-fiction, coming-of-age romance stories, World War II memoirs, and many others. Comic books, like film and prose tell incredible tales in every genre. So, my point is, to say that there is some kind of “bubble” that will eventually burst, not only misunderstands the current business landscape in Hollywood, it also fundamentally misunderstands what comic books and superheroes stories are.
What’s so brilliant, what’s so genius about IntoTheSpider–Verse is that it is a superhero film that truly reinvents the genre. Just when the critics thought there was no longer anything unique, compelling, or wildly original to find in a superhero film, here comes Spider–Man: IntoTheSpider–Verse. Without a doubt the biggest thrill ride you will have at the movies all year.
I know these are very bold statements, especially coming from me. After all, this is the same year that saw the release of Avengers: InfinityWar, which is certainly up there vying for the top spot of my favorite MCU film. However, I feel to compare InfinityWar andIntoTheSpider–Verse is missing the point. These are very different movies, trying to do very different things for their audience. What’s so wonderful is that we can get two completely different superhero epics that are both game changers for the genre. They’re both brilliant pieces of entertainment, yet they’re nothing alike. I feel wonderfully grateful that in addition to several of the other very good superhero movies we saw this year, we get two genre redefining superhero film masterpieces that don’t feel like more of the same.
Now, onto the podcast!
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally here to give my two cents on the terrifying, the terrible, the AMAAAAAAZING SPIDER–MAN: INTOTHESPIDER–VERSE!!!!! Even though it’s been out for a hot minuet, I still wanted to do an in-depth recap and review of what may be one of the best superhero movies ever made. Period. That’s some pretty high praise. There are SOME spoilers here, so proceed with caution, but this is NOT a full SPOILER-FILLED extravaganza. Also, I take some time to discuss the recent Arrowverse Crossover, Elseworlds! How does it rank among the other crossovers? Where is the Arrowverse heading from here? All this and more! Enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:
Tonight, Part 1 of the 3-part DC superhero crossover event Elseworlds aired on The CW. As I’ve often said, these annual crossovers are always a delight for me to watch. They’re always wildly entertaining and they seem to get more ambitious year after year. After watching the first episode of Elseworlds, I came away from the episode thinking of one word: Fun. This episode was fun as all hell.
All of the Arrowverse crossovers have been really fun, but compared to something like last year’s epic CrisisonEarth–X, Elseworlds feels more exuberant and joyful. Don’t get me wrong, CrisisonEarth–X was an absolute blast. However, watching Elseworlds, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this cast looking like they’re having more fun and It’s easy to see why.
Barry and Oliver are very different characters and the episode gets a lot of entertainment mileage and comedy out of them switching lives and abilities. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more watching an episode of an Arrowverse show. It’s really funny seeing Oliver’s bewilderment at suddenly waking up with superspeed and the world believing that he is Barry Allen. While Oliver immediately feels out of his element, Barry seems to be getting much more of a kick out of suddenly having all of Green Arrow’s skills and fighting ability.
For the purposes of this review, I’m not really going to touch on the overarching threat and the circumstances that altered reality. This episode focuses more on the “What do we do now?” than “How did this happen?”. Though we briefly see how this was set in motion, it’s a very minor part of the episode. I’m sure they’ll be covering much more of that territory in the next 2 installments.
I only have one real criticism of the episode. Considering all of the insane things that Team Flash have seen and been through over the years, I found their reluctance to believe that Barry and Oliver had somehow switched powers and identities a little odd and out of character for the team. It really only exists in the story to give Barry and Oliver an excuse to go to Supergirl’s Earth and seek out Kara’s help. They figure that if something is wrong with their reality, another universe like Supergirl’s may not be affected. Of course they’re right and Supergirl recognizes them for who they are right away.
To my utter delight, Kara just so happens to be visiting her cousin, Clark Kent and his wife Lois Lane, on The Kent Family Farm when Barry and Oliver pop up in her universe. In a nice Easter Egg that will make many long time superhero TV show fans happy, The Kent Farm where they filmed this episode is the same Kent Farm that was used on the TV series Smallville. When we see the farm for the first time “Save Me” by Remy Zero, the them song to Smallville, kicks in and I’ll admit that had me grinning ear to ear. It was a hot mess at times, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Smallville.
As a long time DC Comics fan, it was so much fun seeing Barry, Oliver, and Kara interacting with Clark Kent and Lois Lane on The Kent Family Farm. In what I think was my favorite moment of the episode, as soon as Oliver meets Clark, he immediately starts puffing up his chest and Barry instantly calls him out on it. It’s great.
Though we’ve seen relatively little of him over the last few years, Tyler Hoechlin is probably my favorite the live action Superman right now. Anytime he shows up in the Arrowverse is cause for celebration and his inclusion here does not disappoint. While it seems like he may be out of the picture at the end of the episode, I know for a fact we’ll be seeing him again throughout the crossover. I was equally impressed with Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane. In what little screen time she has, she instantly embodies Lois Lane. She’s tough, funny, smart, and likable. As much as I like Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, Tulloch seemed really dialed in to the character and I can’t wait to see more of her as the crossover progresses.
Another very pleasant surprise was the inclusion of an iconic DC villain that’s the perfect enemy to have a Superman, Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Arrow go up against. Apparently in this new altered reality, Professor Ivo, the psychopathic scientist responsible for torturing Oliver and his fellow castaways on Lian Yu, killing Shado, and indirectly creating Deathstroke in Arrow Season 2, somehow got off the island alive. He opened his own lab in Central City and created the iconic, ultra powerful android A.M.A.Z.O. using advanced robotics, computer programming, and the Mirakuru super soldier serum that was such an intricate plot point in Arrow Season 2. A.M.A.Z.O. has the ability to immediately replicate the powers of any meta-human it comes into contact with. In the comics, it’s so powerful that even the Justice League have a difficult time handling this thing. So this was the perfect bad guy for the heroes to go up against in the climax of the episode.
Elseworlds only has three episodes, unlike last year which had four episodes and a much bigger cast. Legends of Tomorrow isn’t officially part of the crossover this year (part of me thinks that’s a shame because I would have loved seeing someone like John Constantine interact with the characters featured in Elseworlds ). This year has a much tighter focus so far on Barry, Oliver, and Kara. As a result more money went into these 3 episodes and it really shows on screen. More money means better special effects. You can really see how well that money was spent because A.M.A.Z.O. looks incredible and his final fight with our heroes is really, really fucking cool. The Arrowverse in general and The Flash In particular, has always had excellent special effects considering they’re on The CW. Which makes the fight with A.M.A.Z.O. all the more impressive.
Last year the 4-part CrisisonEarth–X aired over two night, with each night featuring two episodes of the crossover. This year we’re getting 3 episodes spread out over 3 nights. So it definitely felt like the whole thing was over way too fast. Which is really a testament to how well Part 1 of Elseworlds was executed, because it leaves the audience wanting to see the next installment immediately. I know I certainly did.
Part 1 leaves you with one hell of a set up for Part 2. The episode wraps up with our heroes heading off to the legendary Gotham City in search for answers. We catch a glimpse of Wayne Tower and a quick glance at Batwoman looking out over the Gotham City skyline. After seeing how good this episode was and how so many amazing characters and pieces of DC lore show up, the promise of seeing iconic places like Arkham Asylum and Gotham City leaves me incredibly excited for the next installment of Elseworlds. I don’t want to speak too soon, but at the rate Elseworlds is going it’s shaping up to possibly be the best Arrowverse crossover yet.
We’re taking a quick detour from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Month to give you folks an update on the annual CW Superhero Crossover, Elseworlds, starting on December 9th. I fucking LOVE these DC TV Crossover Events. They seem to get better each year and up the ante on the scope and ambition. Last year’s event, Crisis on Earth-X was basically a Justice League movie that was WAY fucking better than the actual Justice League movie. With the premiere of Elseworlds fast approaching, The CW and DC have released some really cool promo art and our first teasers for the event.
This comic book cover style poster is dynamite. I eat shit like this up! (yes, I eat shit. Beat you to it!)
I really like this photo from EW.com, that shows Clark Kent and Lois Lane (who’s making her Arrowverse debut in this crossover) at the Kent Family Farm. It’s actually the same farm they used in Smallville, which is a fun reference that’s very in keeping with the Elseworlds concept. Considering TheFlash from the early 90’s John Wesley Shipp (AKA Barry’s Dad/Jay Garrick) short lived TV series is making an appearance, I wonder if they’ll acknowledge Smallville as an alternate reality in their Multiverse.
Also from EW.com, we get this look at Batwoman in action with the classic grapple gun used by every member of “The Bat-Family”. According to EW.com, Batwoman makes her big debut in an action sequence taking place in Gotham City’s iconic Arkham Asylum. I really hope they nail Batwoman on this one (Get your heads out of the gutter!). She’s a fantastic character with huge potential if she’s handled well in her live action debut. I think Ruby Rose was perfect casting for this role and she seems to be really honored to be playing this character.
Finally, they’ve released these three brief teasers, one for each of the Arrowverse’s Trinity of major heroes: Green Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. In the comics Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are often referred to as “The Trinity” of major superheroes in the DCU. According to the showrunners, this crossover will thematically focus on Oliver, Barry, and Kara as “The Trinity” of the Arrowverse. UPDATE:Hey guys, I wanted add in this very cool promo that gives us our first look at Batwoman in action and Gotham City. It also touches on Batman in a big way, which is pretty cool. Check it out below.
As always, thanks for reading and give us a follow if you want to support the site or get updates when new content is posted.
This year’s Annual Superhero Crossover Event on The CW, just keeps getting more interesting. Each new photo, each new piece of information that’s been released so has been great. This year’s Crossover, “Elseworlds”, seems to be,by far their most ambitious Superhero Event yet. Each announcement has been more intriguing than the one before. This Crossover will see the Arrowverse debuts of Batwoman, Lois Lane, and Nora Fries (which can only mean that her husband Victor Freeze can’t be far behind), they’re even making Superman a major player in this kind of story for the first time.
Sure, we’ve seen some pretty great Superman appearances on Supergirl, but seeing Clark Kent interacting with The Flash and Green Arrow for the first time is really exciting.
Over the past few weeks, set photos have shown that the miniseries event will take it’s “Elseworlds” namesake seriously. We’re going to see alternate versions of Barry and Oliver. Apparently we’ll see Stephen Amell playing not only an alternate version of The Flash, but Barry Allen as well. We’ve also seen Grant Gustin as Green Arrow. This isn’t just a costume and power swap, Barry and Oliver are switching their alter-egos as well
Plus, John Wesley Shipp (AKA Henry Allen AKA Jay Garrick) will return as The Flash from the short lived 1990’s Flash TV series. Which seems like another fun addition to this event.
At first, I thought only Barry and Oliver we’re getting fun alternate versions of themselves in this Crossover, but Superman will as well. When the photo of Superman in a black costume was released I didn’t think it necessarily meant this was an evil, alternate version of The Man Of Steel. This was definitely a Superman from another Earth, but not necessarily a villainous version of the character…
POTENTIAL SPOILERS HERE, I’ll BE DOING A LOT OF SPECULATING, WHICH DOESNT MEAN I’LL BE RIGHT. BUT IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO THIS CROSSOVER COLD, PROCEED WITH CAUTION….
Still here? Ok… t turns out I may have been wrong about this version of Superman. He is indeed a bad guy. In the set photo below (and others you can find online) we see Supergirl, Green Arrow, and “our” Superman facing off against the (presumably) evil, black suited, Superman holding Barry hostage and, possibly, considering crushing his head like a grape. Now, take a good look at “our” Superman, the good Superman in the foreground. He’s holding a large, old book that other set photos have seemed to suggest, evil, black suit Superman is after in a big, bad way. This is just a theory, but if I’m right, that book could have a massive significance for the entire ArrowMultiverse, but more on that in a minute…
With all these alternate Earths and alternate versions of heroes in play, it’s unsurprising, but no less cool, that LaMonica Garrett will be playing a key role as The Monitor. An extremely powerful entity that’s part of a race of beings called The Monitors, who safe guard The Multiverse. Courtesy of EW.com we have our first look at The Monitor it’s pretty fucking awesome. Take a look:
Remember the book I told you to keep an eye on in the superhero standoff photo? Well, it looks like The Monitor is holding the same book in photo above. What’s this book and why’s it so important? Because, in my opinion, it looks a lot like The Book Of Destiny. Destiny is one of The Endless. Siblings who personify states of being for sentient life: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Despair, Desire, and Delirium.
Destiny is the oldest of The Endless and forever chained to his book. The Book Of Destiny contains everything that ever was and will be. So if The Monitor has it, this story is possibly a lot bigger than we’ve speculated. This wouldn’t be the first time The Endless were referenced, or at least hinted at, in The Arrowverse, so it’s a possibility. If someone could find a way to get The Book away from Destiny (a presumably impossible task), they’d have the knowledge of all of creation at their finger tips. Unlimited power. However, like I said this is just a theory. But it would be really fucking cool.
Another exciting idea is, with The Monitor in play, his evil counter part The Anti-Monitor could the villain of the Crossover or will at least make an appearance.
The Anti-Monitor is arguably the most powerful and dangerous villain in the DC Universe. He was the main antagonist in Crisis On Infinite Earths, a story that’s been hinted at since the first episode of The Flash. The Anti-Monitor and The Book Of Destiny, if they’re in play, the stakes don’t get any higher.
The newspaper headlines from the future, “Flash Missing, Vanishes In Crisis” and “Red Skies Vanish” are both references to this seminal miniseries. It seems like regardless of how this plays out, this is going to be one epic crossover.
Despite any problems you may have with the individuals shows, The Arrowversealways seem to really pull it off in a spectacular way when it comes to the crossovers each year. They have yet to disappoint and this one doesn’t look to break that trend. I know I can’t wait for December to see exactly what crazy adventure our heroes find themselves in.
One of my favorite aspects of the Arrowverse has always been their use of John Constantine. When Matt Ryan played the character on the very underrated and short lived Constantine TV series, it was clear there was something special about him in this role that made him perfect for the character. Almost immediately after the Constantine series was canceled, something fairly unique happened where Matt Ryan became DC’s de facto John Constantine. He made a guest appearance on Arrow as the character, retroactively integrating Constantine into the Arrowverse. Ryan voiced Constantine in his own online animated series (which is how Vixen and The Ray joined The Arrowverse). The excellent DC Animated Movie; JusticeLeagueDark, and the just released Constantine: City Of Demons, also had Matt Ryan return to voice John Constantine.
As soon as LegendsofTomorrow was first announced, I thought Constantine would make an excellent addition to the cast. It was an eclectic group of DC characters and it seemed like a pretty big missed opportunity to not include him on a show like this. Thankfully, It seems like the folks over on The CW have finally come to their senses. After his excellent reoccurring appearances in Season 3, it seemed like the character was finally sticking around. At last, in Season 4, John Constantine is on of the crew of The Waverider (kind of).
Now that my gushing about Constantine is out of the way, back to Legends. After last season, the Legends are basking in their success at actually saving the timeline and doing things right for once. They’re even being honored by The Time Bureau. Their personal lives are looking pretty good too. Sarah and Ava are even thinking about moving in together. So the team really doesn’t want the other shoe to inevitability drop.
Constantine, always knowing how to make an entrance, returns to remind Sarah of the warning he gave the team at the end of last season. When the Legends defeated the time demon Mallus, they unleashed other supernatural and magical entities onto the time stream. Now the Legends have to clean up this latest mess and it looks like it’s going to be pretty great.
The first mystical threat they encounter occurs at Woodstock, where an iconic mythical creature gets a fantastic Legends spin. A Unicorn is impaling and eating people. That sentence should give you an idea of just how crazy and fun this show is. Much to the chagrin of Mick, it may not be a dragon (he REALLY wants to kill a dragon), but it’ll do.
Sarah turns to John for help dealing with the creature, while the rest of the team trips on the mystical goo the Unicorn sprayed on them (Because, of course). To capture and banish the Unicorn, John needs to perform a spell with ingredients that include a joint stolen from Jerry Garcia, Janice Joplin’s hair, and a virgin as bait. Of course the only virgin they know is poor, poor Gary from the Time Bureau, who they sucker into being bait for the human heart eating monster. The Unicorn actually looks really cool in it’s true monstrous form and after biting off Gary’s nipple, Constantine is able to use the spell to send the creature to Hell.
When everything is said and done, Sarah tries to convince John to officially become a member of the Legends. But John being John basically tells her to fuck off in his own special way. However, we know that it’s unlikely he’ll keep that attitude for long. Especially after the very ominous way and the episode ends. There’s a larger threat out there that will take Constantine and the Legends to deal with. I suspect I know what it is specifically, but I don’t want to spoil it here.
I also wanted to mention that Thomas F. Wilson AKA Biff Tannen himself has joined the show as Nate’s disapproving father. He didn’t respect Nate’s job as a historian and has no Idea that his son has been playing time traveling superhero for that last two years.
LegendsofTomorrow is at its best when it embraces it’s most absurd ideas and they seem to be doing exactly that this season. Much like the new season of Arrow, this seems like a fresh new direction for the show that could be a new start for LegendsofTomorrow. I know I had a blast and I can’t wait to see where the season goes from here!
This month sees the return of all The CW’s Superhero Shows, including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. In this episode, I focus on the season premiere of Arrow and the first two episodes of The Flash. I also discuss some of the cool revelations surrounding this year’s epic DC Superhero Crossover: Elseworlds! Featuring Superman and the debut of Lois Lane and Batwoman!
As I mentioned in the Podcast, The CW just released this incredibly intriguing poster for the crossover that promises an exciting and unpredictable event. After all “Elseworlds” means a “What If…” story. Not another Earth in The Multiverse exactly, but a look at what might have been. It looks like the Crossover is taking this to heart in a big way.
What makes this poster even more fascinating, is when Stephen Amell posted it on Twitter, it was with the subtitle: “My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive.”.Which would suggest that they’re not just swapping powers, but identities as well. As if the poster didn’t switch things up enough, we also got this behind the scenes look, that shows Tyler Hoechlin wearing a black Superman costume. Interesting…
One thing I forgot to mention in the podcast is the fact that, DC character and quasi-villain, The Monitor is a major player in the event. Considering that The Monitors are an advanced race of beings that watch over The Multiverse, The Monitor’s inclusion is very big deal.
As things get bigger and bigger in the crossovers each year, I wonder if sooner or later The Arrowverse will do it’s own version of the classic, massive event series Crisis on Infinite Earths?
In the very first episode of The Flash in Season 1, we a news headline from the year 2024 in Harrison Wells’ time vault that reads “FLASH MISSING. VANISHES IN CRISIS”. Another headline on the front page reads “RED SKIES VANISH”.
The skies turning red are a key aspect of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a story that sees Barry Allen sacrifice himself to save a The Multiverse. As the Season 5 premiere shows us, it seems Barry never comes back from that fateful battle.
Which would lead more legitimacy to my theory that eventually The Arrowverse will tackle their own version of this classic and seminal tail. Any way you look at it, this seems like one of the most exciting crossovers The Arrowverse has ever attempted.
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!
Without a doubt one of my favorite things that I look forward to each year is The CW’s Arrowverse Crossover Event. They hit a new high last year with Crisis On Earth-X and this year looks to be just as exciting with the crossover involving “the world” of Gotham City and the debut of Ruby Rose as Batwoman. But that’s not all, which I’ll get to in a minute.
No Batman though. Warner Bros. just will not let them play with Batman for some reason on live action TV (No, Gotham doesn’t count). Which is weird because they’ve established that Batman exists in this universe:
*(If you’re curious I’ve put a longer video with all of the Batman/Bruce Wayne references in the Arrowverse so far at the end if this article)
Also, it seems problematic from a storytelling standpoint to introduce Batwoman as a major new character in this universe (she’s getting her own show next year in case you didn’t know) and not reference Batman AT ALL. I mean, sure it’s not impossible, but it seems like unnecessarily complicated writing. People don’t know the deal with Batwoman like they do with Batgirl, Robin, or Nightwing. She is a fucking awesome character, FYI and anyone who’s curious about her should check out this fantastic graphic novel by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams:
(Here’ the link to buy it on amazon, which I highly recommend)
This has been an annoying line in the sand that WB drew a long time ago. I remember for years fans of that Smallville clamored for a young Bruce Wayne cameo to no avail. Fortunately, they did allow the Arrowverse to have a pretty fucking awesome Superman with Tyler Hoechlin in the role as Clark Kent. To make this crossover 100 time more exciting, SUPERMAN and LOIS LANE are joining the crossover for all 3 episodes! This isn’t a cameo either, they will be major players in the entire story. Hoechlin is an excellent Superman, and almost more importantly, a great Clark Kent. So it’s great to see him back in the role in a big way.
This is really cool for a few reason, first this will be the first time Superman has interacted with any characters in the Arrowverse besides Supergirl characters. Supergirl technically lives on another Earth than all of the other Arrowverse heroes and Superman has only ever appeared on Supergirl. Though on last years crossover, Eobard Thawne AKA Reverse-Flash makes a comment to Supergirl that he fought he cousin in the future and smugly says “He’s fast. But I’m faster.” Could this mean Thawne could pop up as well in the crossover? I know I’d love to see him fight Superman. Anyway, it will be so cool to see the MAN OF STEEL finally fighting along side Green Arrow, Flash, Vibe, and all the other heroes of the Arrowverse. Unfortunately, Legends of Tomorrow will NOT be a part of this crossover. As much as I would have liked to see the crew of The Waverider and especially John Constantine as a part of all this, I understand why they chose to exclude the show this year.
Which brings me the other reason this is a really cool piece of news, coming over to Earth-1 along with her husband is iconic DC character Lois Lane, making her Arrowverse debut! Lois hasn’t been cast yet, but the fact that she’s a big part of the crossover as well is really thrilling to this old comic book fan!
Now, we just need an awesome DC villain (Or Villains?) worthy to go up against these iconic characters…
The 3 Episode Crossover begins with a special Sunday night premiere on 12/9 at 8pm and wraps up Tuesday 12/11 at 8pm! I cant fucking wait!
* (Oh and here’s that video with ALL of the Arrowverse references to Batman)
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.
Now this is more like it! This was geek heaven. As I knew it would be, it was the perfect way to cleanse the palette after the disappointment of Justice League. More so than any other crossover The CW has done, this just felt like one big 4 hour movie (well, a 3 hour movie with commercials by the time we see all 4 parts). Tonight’ part one was 2 hours of pure superhero fun. The individual shows don’t even get their typical openings, the title card was only Crisis on Earth-X, which made the whole thing feel a little more special. During last years crossover, there was definitely more of a focus on the characters and the story of each particular show throughout the crossover, like Arrow for example. That’s not the case here at all. This is clearly a movie spread out over 2 nights and the event is far better for it. Personally, I absolutely loved the first night of the annual CW DC Crossover Event. Warner Bros. executives take a look, THIS is how you do an Epic Superhero Team Up Crossover.
Especially if you’ve been watching all of these shows from the beginning like me, the fun little character beats and interactions makes this more than just wall to wall action. Just like the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron where the team is having a party, just relaxing and they all take turns trying to lift Thor’s hammer. It’s fun just to watch all of these characters play off each other. Even with all of the characters involved, it never felt over crowded. It’s redundant at this point to keep saying this, but every scene with Mick was gold. I love how a man whose literally tried to kill the groom multiple times, was invited to this event (or he just tagged along for the food and free booze). I loved how chill Sarah was about her one night stand with Alex after the rehearsal dinner. Yet another reminder that Sarah is kind of the Han Solo of Legends. I want to keep this review relatively brief, so I wont go into too much more detail, but it was so much fun seeing these heroes work together and fight the bad guys. And who doesn’t enjoy seeing Nazis’ getting their assess kicked?
When it comes to the villains, a big highlight for me is that we got Tom Cavanagh playing Eobard Thawne again. This wasn’t an alternate Earth Thanwne, this is the same man Barry’ s been fighting for his entire life. I’m not sure how it’s possible (and frankly I don’t care) as good as Matt Letscher was as Reverse-Flash, Tom Cavanagh will always be the true Eobard Thawne to me.
I thought making Earth-X Oliver and Kara a couple was fun and unexpected. Even in an alternate Earth you would expect someone like Barry to be with Kara, so that relationship was a nice curveball (I’m not 100% sure, but I think they might actually be married).
Of course, I’m sure there were a million fans out there who loved seeing Tommy Merlyn return (even briefly) as Earth-X’s Prometheus. You could really see the pain in Oliver’s face seeing his long dead friend only to lose him all over again. Sure it wasn’t HIS Tommy, but that doesn’t really matter to Oliver in that moment. There were so many moments and Easter Eggs that any DC fan would love to see. Hell, we got to see Metallo show up, like full blown robot, no skin, Metallo. What a treat.
This wasn’t perfect of course. I have one or two nitpicks. Considering the level of the story they’re telling, with a lot of action set pieces and the use of fully CGI characters like King Shark and Metallo, the budget for this undertaking must have been pushed to the max. As a result, some, but not all, of the VFX looks a little rubbery. Also, considering how many doppelgängers were in play, it was sometimes hard to keep track of who’s who in some of the fight sequences.
I should have mentioned it before, but super villains crashing the wedding of a superhero is a staple of the superhero genre. I’m really interested to see who the “modern day Hitler/ leader” of Earth-X is. My guess is Vandal Savage, which is cool on paper, but he was never well liked as a villain on Legends. The comic book version of Vandal Savage is much more interesting . Ras Al Ghul is another possibility. In the comics at least, he wasn’t afraid to use the Nazi’s as a means to an end. But who know? I’m REALLY looking forward to tomorrow night because, so far this is shaping up to be the best Crossover Event they’ ever done with these shows.