Trust Arrow to give us something dark before X’Mas! With Damien Darhk hellbent on teaching Oliver Queen a lesson, the spectre of death was looming over all of Queen’s family, friends and beloved ones. Well, let’s just say it does not end well (remember that in the season opener, a death was foreshadowed) and so …
A wonderful Xmas episode for The Flash! Attention was drawn to many faces as secrets were revealed, Weather Wizard & Trickster joined forces (Captain Cold demurred) & Team Flash (this time consisting of Cisco, Harrison AND Jay) saved the day! However, Wells had to make a Faustian bargain. Oh and not much of Barry in his costume…
“Human for a Day” – Supergirl loses her powers and Hank Henshaw reveals his true identity (yeah, spoiler-ish).
Debuting in January 2016, the DC/CW TV series Legends of Tomorrow is quite an ambitious superhero team project that spins off the successful Arrow and Flash series.
Barely before the excitement over the first Captain America: Civil War trailer has subsided, Warners releases a new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it is a humdinger!
Why does this exist? Well, a couple of reasons.
— Sequels are profitable.
— Trilogies are in vogue
— A cash in on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (where the version of Batman is inspired by The Dark Knight Returns)
Oh, you wanted artistic reasons.
Probably aware that comic fans might just be getting tired of publishers using the death of superheroes to create the facade of something new happening in their titles, DC have decided to kill off its most iconic villain, Darkseid (see above)!
This event occurred in the currently ongoing Darkseid War within the pages of Justice League. With the demise of this dark god, DC have elevated five characters to divine status viz. The Flash – God of Death, Superman – God of Strength, Batman – God of Knowledge (see above), Shazam – God of Gods and Lex Luthor – God of Apokolips! Of course, everything returns to normal by the end of this arc but curiously to see how it all pans out.
What was perhaps jarring was that Act One of Darkseid War had quite brilliant artwork by Jason Fabok but Act Two features less impressive work from Francis Manupal. Although that last full page seemed just fine (see above). Well, of course, the narrative could have done with less characters – it’s so hard to keep up as usual with superhero plots (convoluted for its own sake) but all things considered a good run thus far.
Well, it may have taken 54 years but better late than never! Finally, the concept of the DC multiverse first mooted in The Flash #123 (1961) makes its way into mainstream pop culture.
The second episode of CW’s The Flash Season 2 sets up this premise as the core storyline for the series with the introduction of Jay Garrick (the Flash of Earth-2). Kudos to the writers and producers of the show for diving boldly into this challenging scifi-superhero concept. That last bit teasing the Earth-2 Harrison Wells was brilliant as well – could Wells be Zoom? Can’t wait to see how The Flash develops this in the episodes to come!
There have been doubts about Warner Bros throwing in a Suicide Squad movie adaptation so quickly in the mix but they wanted to different themselves from Marvel Studios, then this is certainly one way to do it! A super-villain team-up? How more contrasting to The Avengers can you get? From the trailer, it is clear who will getting the most fan attention – Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and of course, Jared Leto’s Joker. Looks like an interesting ride, if nothing else.
No finer time to be a geek!
… still there’s more …
Zack Snyder has well and truly thrown down the gauntlet for DC superheroes with this new Batman v Superman trailer!
The trailer explains the background behind why the Dark Knight would want to take down the Man of Tomorrow and in doing so gives a solid middle finger to all the trolls who have been bitching about the third act of Man of Steel all this time!
There are great shots of Wonder Woman to savour as well and it does look like B v S is going to give Captain America: Civil War a good fight for superhero movie of 2016.
No finer time to be a geek!
… still there’s more …
CW is on a roll with its superhero TV series and the new trailer for new series DC Legends of Tomorrow tries to ensure that you do not forget this fact!
So… we are ‘treated’ to a recap of the origins of Arrow and The Flash – for the newbies probably – before being introduced to the Legends team one more time.
Rather inconsequential all told but keeping expectations in holding mode till 2016.
See what you think.
… still there’s more …
The last two years have been amazing for superhero comic book geeks. In the wake of the mega-success of The Avengers, superheroes have gone from strength to strength with Arrow and Agents of SHIELD setting the pace for superhero TV as well. But it is with The Flash, that geeks can truly see the potential of TV series that are faithful to the core values of the original comic book. From the very beginning, the folks behind The Flash have been committed to the tone of DC Comics’ Silver Age – superheroes created by science, tongue-in-cheek reference points without sacrificing the crucial human element – by getting the casting right (Grant Gustin must be the find of the season!), ensuring quality writing on the episodes and giving something back to the diehard geeks on a consistent basis (Mark Hamill saying the line “I am your father” for one!).
Could the much anticipated finale live up to the hype? Yes it could and how! The pacing of the finale kept keen watchers on tenterhooks for most of the duration as Barry Allen tried to resolve the conundrum – should he change the past and lose his present? The emotional resonance was kept to a reasonable degree but that didn’t stop me from crying buckets at different points. Along the way, the writers also offered glimpses of things to come in Season 2, even as The Flash made his critical decision to pursue justice instead of mere sentimentality. Still that did not prepare me for the shock twist at the end! A brilliantly conceived denouement that brought about a catastrophe that left Season 1 on a cliffhanger.
And so, we are left hanging and looking forward to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow before The Flash Season 2 speeds into our lives! Can’t hardly wait!
CW and DC up the ante in the Superhero TV stakes with a super-team of time travellers. This is really ambitious but if done properly could be a game-changer and force Marvel/ABC to look beyond the lame grey super-spy concept of Agents of SHIELD. It’s a good time to be a geek!
… still there’s more …
Warner Bros. is employing a different strategy than Marvel as it hires five writers for ‘Wonder Woman,’ has no clear leader and deals with new frustrations in its struggles to craft a compelling 10-movie world.
What the hell is Warners up to? They need to back off and let the editors at DC Comics determine the creative path of the DC Universe. If not, Warners and DC are headed for financial disaster.
Why so serious?
The Joker in Suicide Squad makes no sense to me at all. Can you imagine the Joker as a team player? So for me, that whole concept is already somewhat of a non starter.
But of course, Warners wanted a character that would conceivably sell tickets (nobody else in the Suicide Squad has that profile – Captain Boomerang?) and thus the rationale becomes crystal clear.
Remember the last time, geeks kicked up a fuss (pre-movie) about the Joker? The late Heath Ledger gave the performance of his life, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award (f0r a superhero film, no less). Therefore, as much as the tattoos seem very un-Joker-like (“Damaged”? Really?), seeing is believing and let’s watch the Suicide Squad before going ballistic.
I mean, it’s only a superhero comic book movie…
Warners have their work cut out to get ahead of Disney in the geek movie stakes. Man of Steel was the first salvo in its war effort. And it is certain that the reinvention of the DC universe in the movies is going to take quite a battering from Marvel fans, whilst it gets its act together.
The first proper look at what promises to be the beginning of a slew of Warners/DC movies – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer – demonstrates the uncompromising approach of director Zack Snyder and crew to a darker, grittier presentation of the DC characters.
Like in the Daredevil Netflix series, we are seeing the strong influence of Frank Miller’s 80s work (Dark Knight Returns) coming to bear on the DC universe. I am excited by the setup – that Superman is not accepted by the people of Earth (and after the events in Man of Steel, can you blame them?) and Batman has to confront Superman.
Of course, one cannot tell too much from a trailer but from what I have seen, this introduction to the Justice League looks very very promising.
In Snyder we trust!
… still there’s more …
Time to consolidate reviews on the weekly superhero TV fare out there.
FLASH Season 1 Episode 15 (CW)
By all accounts, a pretty dark instalment in the Flash’s story so far. Things go wrong for quite a few of the supporting characters : for Cisco as he discovers Dr. Well’s secret and for Joe as the new Weather Wizard seeks revenge, though the Barry-Iris relationship takes a new twist and in attempting to save Central City from destruction, the Flash goes literally faster than time. A critical point in the narrative.
When DC first collapsed the multiverse into one universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths, I was rather upset to lose the alternative earths that gave DC its unique flavour. Most of all, of course, I hated what it meant for the Legion of Super-heroes. But that’s another story, altogether. Well, a couple of years ago, DC went the opposite direction and brought the multiverse back – 52 universes to be exact (I rather enjoyed the process though – the Flashpoint event). In the Multiversity series, writer Grant Morrison has begun to develop this concept and take it to its logical conclusion, exploring the diverse universes that the New 52 had introduced into the continuity.
Thus far, the most interesting issue was undoubtedly the one with “Pax Americana” (featuring the ex-Charlton characters) drawn by Frank Quitely and coming across like a Watchmen homage of sorts. The latest issue – subtitled as “Guidebook” brings the concept home with Morrison detailing the 52 universes that exist (with a few mysterious exceptions) within the greater DC continuity now. Potentially, this provides creators with lots of room to work with, without having to be limited to the continuity of Earth-0 (see below).
After all, there are 51 other universes to be explored! Seems like DC is the place to be to at least see whether they can make this ambitious concept work. Time to investigate them universes more closely!
The secret origin of Firestorm! It took some time but finally The Flash revealed to us how Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond merged to become the Nuclear Man. In the meantime, Joe West recruits Cisco Ramon to investigate further the death of Barry Allen’s mother, with Dr Harrison Wells being the prime suspect.
Well written overall, with emotional resonance but somehow Firestorm’s lack of a costume made him look terribly lame. But Cisco’s investigation turns out some shocking results and the cliff-hanger ending kept the interest high. And.. where is Grodd?
The ‘death of Arrow – Brick takeover’ saga comes to a conclusion. But the threat of retribution from Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassin towards Merlyn and Arrow remains very real. A myriad plotlines come together nicely but not without setting off more new ones.
Laurel settles into her role as Canary as the Arrow team plot to take down Brick. Meanwhile, Oliver Queen struggles to return to Starling City, after rising from the dead. There is some back-story for Merlyn to get through, which humanizes him just a little, so that perhaps the audience can accept somehow Arrow’s difficult choice at the end.
Good superhero TV!
Disappointingly, no development of the Reverse-Flash story line but instead we are pushed into the direction of Firestorm as Hartley Rathaway reveals the mystery of the disappearance of Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein.
On the side, Barry Allen has some down time with Caitlin Snow, which provides the show’s lighter moments. At the centre of attention – Peekaboo, a teleporter whom Flash and the team have to overcome.
A typically good episode for The Flash, with different plot strands being examined in the coming weeks.
When CW’s Arrow debuted, it opted to follow the Christopher Nolan interpretation of the superhero. Functional costumes, real world scenarios and realistic heroes. Another leaf that was taken from the Nolan book was the parallel narratives that were set in different times and places.
CW’s TV adaptation of DC’s The Flash is distinctive for its lighter tone (compared to Arrow, of course) and while that’s what makes it fun, it can also make the show somewhat silly, at times.
Directed by Ethan Spaulding
Written by Heath Corson
Starring (voices of) Matt Lanter, Sam Witwer, Jason O’Mara, Shemar Moore, Jerry O’Connell, Christopher Gorham, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Astin, Harry Lennix.
Ostensibly a sequel to Justice League War – the animated movie introduction to the New 52 continuity – Throne of Atlantis is a very loose adaptation of the storyline that ran through the Justice League and Aquaman comics from 2012-2013.
Considering that Aquaman was replaced with Shazam (the original Captain Marvel) in War, it’s clear that Throne was to be used as an introduction to Aquaman. Thus, major changes to the comic book plot were made that greatly weakened the storyline. (AND seriously, why change Mera’s costume?)
In that context, it is recommended that you skip this movie completely and go straight to the source material.
However, if you do feel the need to compare and contrast.