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)
There are a lot of great comics hitting the stands this fall so I wanted to highlight some of the best books to look out for in my 2018 Fall Comic Book Preview! This’ll be a 2 or maybe 3-part series, with Part-1 focusing on DC COMICS and Part-2 focusing on MARVEL. Comic Books are an amazing storytelling medium and there are a lot of great jumping on points for new readers in the books featured here. So don’t be afraid to go to your local comic book store or ComiXology on your tablet to give these comics a try. You may be surprised how much you like what you’ll find. Without further ado, here are some of the DC COMICS to keep an eye out for…
Writer: Brian Azzarello Artist: Lee Bermejo Release Date: 9/19/18
This 3-issue miniseries is part of DC’S new Black Label, using their most talented writers and artists to tell exciting and edgy stories without necessarily worrying about continuity. You’re going to see DC’s Black Label pop up more than once in this article because some of the most interesting upcoming stories are being published under that label, so stay tuned.
Batman: Damned follows what happens after The Joker is killed and Batman himself may or may not have been the one to finally put an end to The Clown Prince of Crime. What follows is a story about Batman teaming up with John Constantine on a trip through the supernatural side of Gotham City.
This is definitely a book to be very excited about. The prospect of Batman finally just offing The Joker is interesting enough on it’s own, but throwing John Constantine into the mix and a trip into the supernatural corners of the DC Universe makes this even more fun.
The creative team of Azzarello and Bermejo have given us great stories like Lex Luthor: Man of Steel and Joker, which were both fantastic graphic novels. So make sure this at the top of your pull list when it hits shelves. THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
Writer: Scott Snyder
Release Date: November
The Batman Who Laughs was arguably the breakout character from the Dark Nights: Metal event miniseries. He was a version of Bruce Wayne from an Earth where he finally killed The Joker. But at the moment of his death, The Joker’s released a gas concocted specifically to turn the person that killed him into the next Joker. Not only did The Joker win by finally getting Bruce to cross his (very, very blurry) moral line of not killing him, but the gas essentially turned Bruce into The Joker.
A Batman retaining all his knowledge, skills, and intelligence, but mixed with The Joker’s lack of empathy, sick psychopathic behavior, and evil was a true nightmare. This essentially made The Batman Who Laughs the apex predator of the Dark Multiverse. As The Batman Who Laughs, he was the most dangerous being on his world and systematically killed everyone and everything on his world in the most twisted way imaginable.
By the end of Dark Nights: Metal, he was still in play and fans have been wondering when he’d rear his rictus grin again. This miniseries sees The Batman Who Laughs teaming up with another dark alternate reality Batman, who’s been described as Bruce’s second worst nightmare of what he could have become. This Batman got a hold of the gun the night his parents were killed and gunned down Joe Chill. He would grown up to become a gun toting, killing machine. Basically, Batman combined with The Punisher.
I feel I should point out that Scott Snyder has probably been my favorite comic book writer for quite awhile now. I haven’t enjoyed some of his newer work as mush as say, his Batman run. However, Snyder re-teaming with Jock on a Batman story will be something to behold. Their work on the modern classic Batman story The Black Mirror is one of the best Batman stories ever told. So, my excitement isn’t quite where it would normally be, but I’m still looking forward to this one. Not much else is known about this miniseries except that it will draw heavily from Snyder’s roots as a horror writer, with Snyder saying this book has some of the most twisted, terrifying stuff he’s ever written. With the characters involved and the creative team, it’s a must read when it comes out in November. I can’t wait to see what nightmares The Batman Who Laughs has in store for the DC Universe.
HEROES IN CRISIS
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
Release Date: 9/26/18
Tom King is fucking killing it lately. He first caught my attention with his incredible Vision miniseries over at Marvel. Now, King had the unenviable task of following Scott Snyder’s legendary Batman run when he took over the book with Batman Rebirth #1. But goddammit, King is giving Snyder a run for his money, where he’s crushing it on Batman right now.
This new story HEROES IN CRISIS is a apparently a very personal project for King. Superheroes and the people around them, have to deal with some very fucked up situations. Not dealing with mental health issues like PTSD or the death of a loved one can be unhealthy and dangerous. Much like real life soldiers coming home from war and having to deal with challenges of having seen horrible things and what that does to a person’s psyche. As a former member of the CIA, King knows all about the challenges our soldiers coming home after war have to endure. In the DC Universe, heroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have created a place where heroes and people in their community can get the help they need, in a facility called The Sanctuary.
The story revolves around some unexpected deaths and unexpected killers at The Sanctuary. CRISIS is a loaded word in DC Comics, but this seems more like Identity Crisis than Final Crisis. Little bread crumbs and references to The Sanctuary have popped up in several DC books over the past few months. A good example being the original Wally West being sent to The Sanctuary at the end of Flash War after the emotional roller coaster he goes on in that story. DC released these covers depicting iconic and traumatic moments in DC comics history. Supposedly incidents like this are the reason The Sanctuary was created. The idea is that The Sanctuary has been a part of the DCU for longer than readers have known, dealing with physical and psychological trauma these heroes has endured over the years.
I’m really curious to see what King does with this story and I like the idea of a DC event being more of a psychological thriller than a multiverse ending mega crossover.
JUSTICE LEAGUE/AQUAMAN: DROWNED EARTH
Writer: Scott Snyder/Dan Abnett/ James Tynion IV
Artist: Francis Manapul/Howard Porter/Fraser Erving/Jorge Medina
Release Date: 10/31/18
This story will run through both Justice League and Aquaman, picking up story threads from each book. This 5-Part story involves the origins of Atlantis and introducing a new pantheon of gods into the DC Universe. It sounds like this story will highlight big changes to the mythology of Aquaman. Similar to the huge changes we’ve seen play out with The Flash and Green Lantern in Justice League, with concepts like “The Still Force” and the “Ultraviolet Spectrum” being introduced. Since Scott Snyder came onto the book, Justice League has been excellent, so at least the JL chapters of the story stand to be pretty good.
The last time JL and Aquaman crossed over was in the “Throne of Atlantis” storyline and that was a great read. On the other hand, I don’t like crossovers where I’m required to pick up a series I don’t read (in this case, Aquaman) to follow the entire story. One the other hand I’m hearing some rumbling about some cool and interesting stories in Aquaman’s future, so this may be a good time to jump onto the book. So, this gets a cautiously optimistic thumbs up from me.
THE GREEN LANTERN
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Release Date: 11/7/18
Grant Morrison returning to write a monthly superhero book is something to be celebrated. His Green Lantern book will focus on Hal Jordan and really lean into the idea that the Green Lanterns are “space cops”. The book is supposed to have an almost police procedural feel to it. Hal is a cop working a beat, but his beat is the crazy alien worlds of deep space. Apparently Earth isn’t part of the story at all. This is solely Hal, doing Green Lantern, space cop work in the farthest reaches of the universe. With Grant Morrison writing and Liam Sharp drawing, that sounds fucking spectacular!
*(Keep an eye out for more updates!)
Thanks for reading and make sure to check out Part 2 where I’ll be looking at MARVEL’s big comics coming out this fall!
I’ve always been a big fan of the DC Animated movies that come out each year. For those of you that aren’t familiar, they’re animated adaptations of DC Comics stories that go directly to iTunes and Blu Ray. They usually release three a year, around January, April, and July. They’re PG-13 or R-Rated films marketed to adult and teenage DC superhero fans. They’re hit or miss, in terms of quality. They run the spectrum from “Ok” or “Fine” to “One Of The Best Superhero Movies I’ve Ever seen”.
Their latest release is “The Death of Superman” and you may be thinking: “Wait, didn’t they do this one already?” The answer is: Kind of. Way back in 2007, the very first DC Animated Movie was Superman: Doomsday, a very loose adaptation of the classic death of Superman story. So, as far as THIS movie is concerned, this current film I’m reviewing is a much more faithful adaptation. The Death of Superman is the first part of a 2 movie story.With Part 2 titled, Reign of The Supermen, premiering in January or February 2019.
Like I said before, they usually release three of these a year. Starting with 2013’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and 2014’s “Justice League: War” (A JL origin film FAR superior to the live action one we got in November 2017), 2 out of the 3 animated movies they released each year were part of an ongoing cinematic universe, like the MCU or whatever the fuck DC is trying to do in live action at the moment. Including Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, 11 movies that take place in this DC Animated Movie Universe have been released. The other stories are cool one offs, like the recent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, for example. Which is a what if? tale that imagines a steampunk, Victorian era Batman hunting Jack The Ripper in late-19th Century Gotham. Most of these have been pretty solid across the board. It probably doesn’t say much about the overall quality of this Animated Movie Universe that there isn’t a sense that we got to know these characters over an 11 film continuity. Or that the movies had been leading to something like this.
At nearly an hour and half, this movie is slightly longer the most of the recent DC Animated Movies. However, it’s a smart move because the running time allows for a much deeper film that I was expecting. Going into this, I expected the whole thing to one big superhero punch up. Great animation, cool fights, but at the end of the day just a fun piece of entertainment. So, I was delighted when at least half of the film is about Clark and Lois and the issues that arise in their still relatively new romance. The movie is well paced considering all of the characters in play. Because this movie is about his death, everyone in Clark Kent’s life is in this film and they all get their moment to shine. The Justice League, The Daily Planet staff, Ma and Pa Kent, Lex Luthor, and few other local Metropolis citizens with ties to Superman all pop up in the movie. It’s a credit to the film that even with all these characters, it never feels over stuffed or loses it’s focus on Lois and Clark.
You don’t need to have seen any of the other DC Animated Movies to enjoy this wonderful film. All of the great character work and storytelling come straight from THIS movie. Real life husband and wife Jerry O’Connel and Rebecca Romijn are perfect as Clark and Lois. O’Connel has voiced Superman to good effect before in other animated movies and Romijn makes a solid debut as Lois Lane. They’re real life chemistry definitely translates into the film. We have all the usual suspects from the other films back to play their respective roles in the Justice League, as well as other returning supporting characters.
Before getting into the movie there’s one other bit of voice casting I want to touch on. Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) voices Luthor and is surprisingly effective as the character. Lex is an interesting presence in this film. He’s not that dissimilar to the Lex we’ve seen in the comics over the past few years. He’s undeniably despicable, arrogant, and cold, but there’s a glimmer of something more underneath. Inside him’s the shadow of a man who could be better than he is. He adds a little something special to the overall film.
I’m going to make a bold statement here. I think this is the best film about Clark Kent that I’ve ever seen. This movie is Clark Kent’s story. Lois is very important, but this is Clark’s tale. This man’s death shows us who he is. This was just one more reason I loved this movie. Outside of the fights with Doomsday, I deliberately refer to the character as Clark, not Superman, throughout this review. This is one of the better onscreen portrayals of Superman I’ve seen and that’s because they understand who Clark Kent is. The kid who grew up on a farm in Kansas, that’s the real character. Not Kal-El, not Christopher Reeves’ mask of Clark Kent as pathetic buffoon, not Superman. He’s Clark Joseph Kent. Jonathan and Martha’s son. Even when he’s in costume at the beginning of the movie, interacting with the League or stopping bad guys with high tech weapons. He seems more man than god. He’s happy to stop and take a picture with a man he’s gotten to know, because he’s saved the guys life so many damn times. In these scenes before the fight with Doomsday, while he’s in costume as Superman, he feels like a citizen of Metropolis. Not a distant god, but more like a cop on his beat that gives you a nod and smile. Superman knows these people and they know him. It’s a brilliant way to humanize the character in a way live action films always struggle with.
At the heart of Clark’s story here is his romance with Lois. Unlike other takes on the Lois and Clark/Superman dynamic, Lois is into Clark, NOT Superman. She wants their relationship to move forward but she knows something’s holding them back. She knows there’s more going on with Clark, but doesn’t quite know what it is. She’s a little taken aback when, while asking Clark to dinner, he tells her he cant because his parents are in town and he’s having dinner with them. Lois is understandably a little insulted when Clark didn’t even mention the possibility of meeting his parents. It’s clear that they’ve been dating for at least several months if not more. But what she perceives as Clark being aloof and having an emotional wall up, is actually Clark wrestling with the idea that he’s falling in love with her and that he should tell her he’s Superman. He’s afraid that his parents will accidentally let something slip before he has a chance to tell Lois the truth about this part of his life. After all, besides a few fun DC Easter Eggs mentioned by Ma and Pa Kent, Clark’s ex- girlfriend knew had superpowers from the jump, this the first time Clark has been in a relationship like this. Not just with a normal person, but someone he’s falling in love with.
The movie does an excellent job of showing the audience exactly what an unstoppable, terrifying force Doomsday is. We’ve seen Doomsday in live action and animation before, but the threat he represents is much more impactful here. This is a creature that kills every single living thing it sees.
The Justice League faces Doomsday before Superman gets into the fight and they have some pretty heavy hitters. We see Doomsday go up against Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Cyborg, and Batman all before the Monster’s fateful Confrontations with The Man of Steel. Even with out Superman, that’s a fucking stacked roster. Despite how powerful the Justice League is, they’re simply not up to facing Doomsday. They’re completely helpless to stop him.
So, when the fight between Clark and Doomsday finally goes down, there’s no backup or cavalry coming. Superman is the “last watcher on the wall”. If he doesn’t stop this Monster there and then, there will be no end to the death and destruction Doomsday will unleash. There’s an inevitability to Doomsday. As he slowly kills his way to Superman. We all slowly march towards death and this story shows us The Man of Steel is no different, but for him Death comes in the form of Doomsday.
The fight between Superman and Doomsday is easily the most brutal and bloody Superman fight I’ve seen in any medium. I found myself wincing or exclaiming “Jesus..”, as conflict went on. At a certain point, it stops being a fight. You realize you’re watch Superman slowly be beaten to death with each blow and it’s hard to watch. The fact that there’s such emotional heft shows that the storytellers did their job with this film. The movie is called The Death of Superman, OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO DIE! But the movie magic was that the filmmakers had me so engrossed in the story onscreen, I almost forget that there was no question to the outcome of this fight. The battle’s hard to watch not just because of the level of violence, but because you really care about Clark Kent and it’s heartbreaking seeing this man die in front of us.
The animation in this film is top notch. When the action goes full tilt there’s a level of detail that comes close to resembling anime, without completely going over into that style. Every once and awhile a western animation superhero project will use anime influenced sequences, Justice League Unlimited comes to mind for example. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s used well here and only adds to the already visceral fight scenes. For those of you who aren’t fans of that animation style, It’s not so noticeable that it takes you out of the story.
I think its was smart that DC decided if they were going to tell this story, it should be a 2-Parter, like they did with their fantastic adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. As impactful as the death of Superman is, the story of how the world, his friends, his enemies, his family, and his fellow superheroes react to his death is arguably more compelling . Who or what will step up to fill the void left by The Last Son of Krypton? Considering how well this story was told, I can’t wait to see what the filmmakers do in Reign of The Supermen. If you’re a DC Comics fan, there are some Easter Eggs in the movie that hint at some of the story and characters elements that’ll be used in Part 2. Make sure you stay for the end credits, there are multiple mid credit tags setting up the next movie.
I didn’t want to end this review without mentioning something I noticed that the writers chose to add to the story. As I said before, this movie is part of a DC Animated Movie Universe, this story doesn’t exist in a bubble. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but pay attention to EXACTLY how Doomsday comes out of space, ultimately crashing on Earth. Also be sure to pay attention to the details when STAR Labs examines the high tech weapons Superman takes off the thugs at the beginning of the movie. None of these story elements are from the comics, so the writers deliberately chose to add them in. I have my own theory about what’s going on, but I wont spoil the fun here.
This is top notch superhero story telling from DC Animation. This movie is the best DC Animated Movie since Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (which is high praise). This a surprisingly moving story about love, death, family, friendship, and sacrifice. No DC fan worth their salt should miss this one. I know I cant wait to see Part 2, when Reign of The Supermen comes out early next year. The Death of Superman is an excellent film, the best DC Animated Movie in years, and a must watch. Don’t miss it.
Years ago there was a script for a Green Arrow movie called Supermax that involved Green Arrow being arrested, framed for murder, and being sent to a Supermax prison. There would be cameos from big DC villains like Lex Luthor and The Joker, but the story would involve Oliver Queen having to team up with some of the DC’s B- list villains to escape and clear his name. The way Arrow ended season six made me think they may use story elements from this canceled film. After seeing characters like Bronze Tiger and Brick locked up in the same prison with Oliver, I think at least part of the season will go in that direction. Take a little look:
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 4:
Right now Legends of Tomorrow is probably my favorite of the Arrowverse DC shows. It’s a lot of fun, it has great characters. The big draw for me this year is John Constantine is finally becoming a series regular on one of these shows. I think Constantine fits in perfectly with the rest of the Legends, especially after his excellent appearances in season 3. Check out the season 4 trailer below:
The Flash season 5:
There was a time when The Flash was by far one of my favorite shows on television, but sadly those days are long behind us. The show has a lot to make up for after what is without a doubt it’s worst season last year. But the trailer for season five has promise and I’m very curious to see who that villain is at the end.
Supernatural season 14
C’mon guys, did you really think I wasn’t going to included something from Supernatural throughout my Comic-Con coverage? I love this show!
The Batman Who Laughs miniseries by Scott Snyder & Jock
Acclaimed DC Comics writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock will be bringing us a new miniseries that brings Snyder back to his horror roots! This November they’ll be putting out a new story following one of the breakout characters from Dark Nights: Metal, The Batman Who Laughs. That’s a very winning writer, artist, character combo, so I know I’ll be reading.
I don’t have any comic series that I read consistently, but I do like picking up stories that are either getting a lot of buzz, or are going to be the basis for some adaptation. I’ve been seeing a lot about the “Flash War” event which will pit Barry Allen against Wally West. Last week the first issue came out, and I picked it up, along with the ‘prelude’ which was in the annual.
Hey Everybody, Paul here. As the resident comic book expert I thought I’d help fill in some of the blanks in the background with ‘Flash War”. Mike not quite having his comic book super nerd powers yet. So anytime in this article you see italics text like this pop up, that’s me putting in my two cents. It’s two authors for the price of one!
Now, I’ve read Flashpoint, and Flash: Savage World, a couple of the Justice League trade paperbacks, as well as being a fan of the TV show, so take my opinion as that of someone who’s not an expert, but also not diving in for the first time. If you’re interested in this story, I do suggest picking up the annual with the prelude, because I found that it makes things a bit clearer in the first issue.
Besides the Flash Annual that Mike mentioned earlier, the storyline that is most important to understanding Flash War is a story that goes back to Geoff John’s original run on The Flash BEFORE The New 52 and even before Barry Allen came back from the dead. At this point in DC history Barry Allen had died in the classic mega-event Crisis on Infinite Earths. For the nearly three decades after, Barry’s sidekick Wally West aka Kid Flash became The Flash full time. For a whole generation of readers (or if you even just knew The Flash from the Justice League animated series) Wally West WAS The Flash. Anyway, this super important story was called BLITZ and it was all about how former FBI criminal profiler Hunter Zolomon, who was a good friend of The Flash, became the super villain Zoom and initiated a devastating attack on Wally West and his family.
I’m not going to review the individual parts, but now that I have an idea of what the story is, I’m going to write about it, and then when the series concludes, I’ll write a review of it as a whole.
So, if you’re familiar with DC’s recent history, they had the “New 52” runs, and then there was Flashpoint which I believe allowed them to reset somethings after that, to try the “Rebirth” runs. Well, there were some consequences to all of these resets and reboots, and one major one, which apparently directly stems from Flashpoint, is that the Wally West (the third Flash) from pre-“New 52” no longer exists as he did. He is still around, but he has no history, much of his memory is cloudy due to being lost in the ever-changing timeline, and almost no one remembers him.
Ok so there’s actually another super important story that you need to read called DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, also written by Geoff John’s. When Barry created Flashpoint and created The New 52 as we know it, “classic” Wally West had seemingly been erased from history. This story partially shows how he escaped from The Speed Force and why there are 2 very different Wally West’s in The New 52 continuity. It also, tells us that Barry creating Flashpoint was not the only person responsible for this altered universe… Just read the story, it’s a huge reveal.
*Some minor spoilers from this point out*
As Mike goes into here, there are now 2 Wally West’s in this reality. The adult, white, pre-The New 52, FLASH Wally West who escaped The Speed Force in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH and teenage, African-American, KID FLASH Wally West. Now Wally is a white red haired guy, still operating under the title of Flash (although Iris West-Allen, Barry’s wife and Wally’s aunt who doesn’t know who he is, refers to him as the new Flash because Barry is still the Flash as well.) Wallace on the other hand, is a younger, black teenager (not sure how old he’s supposed to be, but he’s shorter which I’m pretty sure equals younger) Paul chiming in here, he’s roughly in his mid-teens and is Kid-Flash, but is also Iris’s nephew.
So, they’re the same person but different people. It’s a little confusing, but I like it, because I’m a big fan of time-travel and the idea that if anything were done differently in a time-line individuals could be genetically different people from one to another.
At this point in the article, bless his heart, Mike sort of misinterpreted the chain of events. Basically, Time Agents from the 25th Century (kind of like Minority Report) all dressed like good versions of classic Flash villains, The Rogues, show up at try to arrest Iris for supposedly killing Eodard Thawne (Classic Flash villain The Reverse Flash) at some point… in the future… I guess? Even I’m a little confused on this on, guys. These Time Agents could be full of shit, but adult Wally freaks out at the idea of these assholes taking Iris, where Barry wants to let cooler heads prevail and calmly go with The Time Agents to figure out what’s going on. Some fighting and time travel ensues… One of The Time Agents has a really cool and surprising power source I won’t spoil here.
As the first issue comes to a close, we see that Wally has been transported to a future in which he did exist, while Barry, Iris, and Wallace were transported to the alternate future, and Hunter Zolomon aka Zoom tells Wally he’s going to help him change the past and save his children who were erased in Flashpoint.
This issue is kind of framed by Hunter Zolomon and his POV. To the best of my knowledge, the first time we’ve seen this version of Zoom and Wally’s kids since before Flashpoint, because they’re all pre- The New 52 characters.
I’m really excited, because as I said before I really enjoy time-travel and time line stories, I also really enjoy stories in which protagonists conflict with each other, sometimes I find it more interesting than when there is a clear protagonist. I’m not sure to what level Zoom will participate, my only familiarity with him is from season 2 of the Flash on CW, but I’m really looking forward to what’s coming up.
The Hunter Zolomon/Zoom of this comic is VASTLY different from the Zoom from The Flash CW series. I like Mike’s enthusiasm, but I think this isn’t a great comic for new readers. It’s really more for people who’ve been following The Flash and DC Comics in general for the past decade or so. I recommend new readers check out, as an alternative, the mini-series The Man of Steel by Brian Michael Bendis currently in it’s 3rd issue. You can get at your local comic book store or on your tablet on the ComiXology app. It’s very new reader friendly and all you really need to know is who Superman is and the bare minimum about his world. I hope you guys enjoyed our different takes on Flash War part 1. Thanks for reading, everyone!
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:
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.