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.
Today we got our first look at Ruby Rose (John Wick 2) as Batwoman, debuting in December on The CW’s Annual Arrowverse Superhero Crossover, with her own series planned for after her debut. A few days ago we also got a look at Lobo (played by Emmett J. Scanlan who also played Jim Corrigan on Constantine) from the upcoming second season of SyFy’s Krypton! It’s pretty comic accurate version of the intergalactic bounty hunter and Krypton was surprisingly fun. Offer more of an alternate timeline than a predicable prequel that included Brainiac, General Zod, and Doomsday in Season 1!
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)
On this Episode, I bring in the old man, Paul Sr. to discuss the season finales of Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, and Gotham. We discuss the big moments of each finale, the quality of the preceding seasons, and where the shows go from here. A few of these shows we really love and have suffered from a dip in quality lately. So we have a lot of hot takes in this one! Including some inside info on how the shows connect to some other interesting projects like the Green Arrow movie that almost was called Supermax, the upcoming annual CW superhero crossover event involving Gotham City and Batwoman, the classic Batman stories “No Man’s Land” “Zero Year”, and more! Also, take a look below the link at some cool new images put out to promote the upcoming seasons of the show’s we talk about in this episode. Enjoy! Listen here, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher and ITunes:
As the man behind blockbuster juggernauts like Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon rocketed to Hollywood’s A-List with two of Marvel’s biggest films under his belt. With his recent success on the big screen it can be easy to forget that Whedon’s largest impact on pop culture arguably came from his work in television. He’s worked on multiple television shows over the years, but series like the cult classic series Firefly, which was gone far too soon, and of course the game changing masterpiece Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have had a massive cultural impact. Joss Whedon’s influence on the golden age of television cannot be understated. However, I think Whedon’s work of true genius is the criminally underrated Buffy spinoff, Angel.
It took a little while for Angel to step out of Buffy’s shadow. Though still very good, Angel took a season or two to find it’s legs and become it’s own unique and brilliant show. I would say Season 3 is when Angel really comes into its own. Which brings me to the point I’ll be trying to make in this article, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the most groundbreaking works of fiction in any medium and will be remembered alongside I Love Lucy and The Wire as one of the best television shows of all time. I’m here to tell you: Angel is better.
Before I get into what makes this show so excellent and brilliant, I have to give you the show’s basic setup and how the show came to be. Angel (played by David Boreanaz, you know that guy from Bones) was a character first introduced on Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He was Buffy’s main love interest for the first 3 season’s of the show before getting a series of his own. Angel was a tragic figure right from his introduction and his romance with Buffy was heartbreaking because by it’s very nature it was destined to end in tragedy. Angel was an over 200 year old vampire in love with The Slayer, a girl whose cosmic mission was to kill things just like him. It was poetic in a doomed sort of way.
It’s very important to understand how vampires worked in this universe. Every movie, TV show, piece of folklore has it’s own mythology or “set of rules” on the nature of vampires. In the “Buffyverse” as it’s commonly referred to, people become vampires by being fed on by another vampire, who drinks their blood until they die. But the human also has to ingest the blood of the same vampire during the draining to raise from the dead (so if you just get bit by a vampire you’re not going to turn into one). Once the new vampire raises from the dead, they retain all the memories and certain personality traits of the person they were before. However, they may believe they’re that same person they were before, but their “soul”, their essence, passed on when they died. The thing that rose from the dead is a monster, a soulless demon wearing that person’s face. They have enhanced strength, speed, and senses, but they weren’t so formidable that a well trained human couldn’t kill them. The key word here is SOUL, but I’ll get back to that in a minuet.
When Angel turned into a vampire, he wasn’t just any vampire, he was the Hannibal Lecter of vampires. Killing was an art for him. Sometimes he would toy with his victims for months to drive them insane before killing them. Or kill their whole family and leave them alive to suffer. Most vampires just fed on humans, but Angel or Angelus as he was known back in the day, was one of the most evil and vicious creatures to stalk the Earth. For almost 200 hundred years, anyone who crossed paths with him met a brutal death as he walked the world. Until one day he killed the wrong girl and seriously pissed off some gypsies. That’s really a good rule for anyone: DON’T FUCK WITH GYPSIES! Angel killed the most beloved member of their tribe and her people wanted revenge. So they cursed him by restoring his SOUL (remember when I said souls were important?). Now he felt the weight and the guilt of every brutal, evil act he committed and being more or less immortal he had to live with this guilt for eternity. He still had the thirst of a vampire, but now he had the conscience of a human being.
After wallowing in a gutter of guilt and despair for a hundred years (look I’m not really sure how old Angel is, ok?), he was approached by a demon, but ya’ know the good kind. This demon named Whistler said Angel could keep being a useless piece of shit or he could stand up and help fight the good fight, start trying to making up for all the evil shit he did for all those years. That’s what set him on his path to seek out The Slayer and help her in any way he could, he just didn’t know he’d fall in love with her. The rub is that the curse the gypsies put on Angel fails if he achieves a moment of true profound peace and happiness. At which point he loses his soul again and goes back to eating babies. This and other factors eventually make Angel realize he and Buffy can never really be together, so he moves to LA and becomes a private detective who helps the helpless. That’s the set up for the Angel series.
Buffy was a show that was all about metaphor. The monsters and vampires Buffy fought were metaphors for the experiences and hurdles of growing up. The physical demons were an outward manifestation of what people go through in high school, into college, and finally adulthood. Buffy was always the righteous, deep blue hero fighting a very clear evil. If Buffy was Spider-Man, Angel was Daredevil. Angel existed in a world where there weren’t always easy answers and life isn’t a simple, cut and dry choice between good and evil. It was about the grey that most people live in.
Angel’s supporting cast reflected these ideas very well. The most important people that in Angel’s life are all fundamentally changed as characters from their first appearance to the end of the series. That is of course, if they made it to the end of the series. We all know how Whedon loves to kill off characters and Angel is no exception. Angel’s supporting cast included Cordelia, a vapid aspiring actress who becomes spiritually enlightened with visions that “The Powers That Be…” send her to guide Angel on his hero’s journey.
Two characters who join the show a little bit later are: Gunn a former gang member who grew up fighting vampires that preyed on his poor and predominantly African-American neighborhood because the cops didn’t give a shit about people dying in neighborhoods like his.
Fred a girl Angel and his crew save from a hell dimension who’s also a genius mathematician, Lorne a psychic demon (the good kind) who just wanted to run his lounge that catered to humans and demons alike. Buffyverse fan favorite, sometimes villain/sometimes hero vampire, and Angel’s frenemy Spike also makes reoccurring appreances on the show.
All of these characters change significantly throughout the series as they endure the death, loss, and corruption that comes with trying to change the world for the better in a LA run by demons and really, really shitty humans. Like Angel, they all learn in their own way that you don’t wake up one day to find the battle has been won, good guys don’t always win and bad guys far too often are the ones that come out on top. You can’t stop the machine, it’s war that can never be truly won. But that doesn’t mean you stop fighting. There are always small victories and sometimes the smallest kindness can be a profound source of hope.
All of the characters are interesting in their own way, but no character represents what Angel is all about better than Wesley Wyndham-Pryce (played by Alexis Denisof). Wesley was originally a character that was mostly played for laughs. He was an academic expert in supernatural lore who was useful, but often portrayed as a coward and comic relief. But over time he became one the most badass characters on TV. Through torture, heartbreak, betrayal, and learning to hunt monsters from the most deadly vampire with a soul around, Wesley became one of the show’s coolest and darkest characters. He embodied one of the shows biggest themes, personal and emotional transformation through trials and suffering.
The things he’s been through and the people around him highlight why Angel is such a unique, compelling character. Angel has such a fascinating and unusual motivation for being a hero and it’s at the heart of why I found Angel to be such an excellent series. Angel helps people and fights the good fight because he’s seeking redemption and forgiveness. He knows he’s damned, but he keeps struggling to be better anyway and he doesn’t always succeed. Can acts of good ever really outweigh or make up for evil of the past? Or is that evil always there? A stain on your soul that can never be wiped away or forgotten no matter how much good you do? It’s a timeless philosophical question. Genre’s like fantasy and science fiction allow us to ask these questions in a direct way. Behind the otherworldly and fantastical window dressing of every good science fiction or fantasy story lies a very real tale about what it means to be human.
Running for five seasons on what’s now The CW, Angel was another Whedon show that felt like it ended too soon. Many cancelled shows, especially at the time, ended on a season finale expecting to come back for another season. So their stories are left without an ending, character arcs and storylines still in play never reached their conclusion. With Angel, each season was better than the one before and Season Five was when the show went from great to extraordinary. It felt like they were just getting started. Fortunately, even though Whedon and his writers were unhappy with the cancellation, they were given the opportunity to end the show on their terms and to give the characters, the story, and the audience the closure they deserved. And what an ending it was… It’s fitting that a show of this caliber should end on such a high note, but the writers crafted the perfect ending in the episodes leading up to the finale. To this day, The Series Finale of Angel is without question the best series finale I’ve ever seen to a TV series. And I’m not alone, everyone I know who’s familiar with the show talks about how incredible the finale was. It would be criminal to spoil the series finale in this article. However, It perfectly encapsulates all the ideas and themes of the show: Sacrifice, the idea that you can’t win the war against evil, but sometimes you can win the battle, and that evil prevails when good (or at least decent men trying to be good) do nothing. All while sending the characters out on a fantastic note. That finale stayed with me for a long time. It’s still with me even today. There’s a lot of truth in the ideas presented on Angel and the finale in particular without question effected how I see the world.
Unfortunately, Angel used to be available on both Netflix and Amazon Prime, but it’s no longer available on either platform. You can get the show on iTunes and DVD, for some insane reason the show hasn’t been released on Blu-ray yet, but I’ve heard they may release A Blu-ray set this fall. Regardless of how you watch it, I can’t recommend this show enough. Even if you’re not a fan of Buffy, you can still love this show. In fact, I don’t think you really need to see Buffy at all to fully appreciate Angel. I really hope you give Angel a try. As I said before, season three is really with the show becomes great, but the first two seasons have some excellent episodes in there. If the show connects with you the way it did with me, you’re in for a hell of a ride. I revisit Angel every few years and it always remains one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article!
UPDATE(6/16/18): Awhile back, Tim, who used to be one of our co-hosts, did a solo mini-podcast episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” focused specifically on the Buffy & Angel character: Spike. He had I done a podcast about Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I felt we didn’t give Spike enough attention, so I had Tim do a mini-sode follow up. Spike is one of Tim’s favorite characters of all time in ANY medium. Considering how Spike is such an important character both on the show and in Angel’s life, I thought it would be fun to re-post the mini-sode here as a supplement/bonus to this article. It’s a really fun listen, so enjoy!
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!