Based on the Jack Kirby creations from the pages of Fantastic Four, Inhumans TV series will be produced by ABC and Marvel TV with IMAX Corporation as a financing partner. Which probably explains why the series is set to debut on IMAX screens on September 1, 2017, and run for two weeks, before premiering on ABC on September 22, and airing eight episodes.
Supergirl is the latest superhero TV series and joined the likes of The Flash (2nd Season), Arrow (4th) & Agents of SHIELD (3rd) in an ever-increasing costumed tights buffet. I don’t count Gotham as a superhero TV series as it is just a (boring) police procedural set in the Batman universe & worse still, a prequel (I hate prequels).
Ironically, despite the fact that the pilot was leaked online months ago, Supergirl’s premiere episode did very well out of the blocks. Presumably, the female lead and Superman associations put the new series in good stead. Apparently this series is based on the Christopher Reeve Superman continuity and thus adopts a more light-hearted tone. And thus has nothing to do with current DC comics continuity (which is messed up) or the DC movie universe as established by Man of Steel (very very dark) – which makes sense.
However, because of this, there is less Geek Out value to Supergirl compared to the other series above-mentioned & will probably appeal more to the Gotham crowd than hardcore comic book geeks. The Flash and Arrow still have an edge over Agents of SHIELD, due to the CW writers and producers being more faithful to the source material than even Marvel itself, surprisingly.
Oliver Queen’s running for Mayor of Star City (Arrow) and the appearance of King Shark (!!!) in The Flash (not to mention the new Firestorm) in the latest episodes gives us geeks exactly what we want in a superhero TV series – nods to original material, over the top heroics & of course, ridiculous villains! Awesome fun!
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.
To be honest, after the intense drama over Olivia’s kidnapping, it was hard to imagine how the series could ramp up again after that high. But this episode hints at a whole new ball game, with the introduction of Susan Ross the new Vice-President and Huck’s wife reporting B613 to the Attorney-General, there’s a whiff of something dark and sinister on the horizon.
That all said, it was rather annoying to see Olivia sulking throughout the entire episode. Yes, I get that she suffered through an awful ordeal but you would think she would be used to all the nonsense by now. Or maybe not.
Things are finally cooking in Agents of SHIELD! Asgardian Lady Sif returns chasing a Kree warrior (in disguise) and the latter explains Kree history regarding the Diviners, Terragenesis and (without saying the word) the Inhumans. Also, Skye is outed as an Inhuman and Coulson, May and team do their best to protect her but things are not peachy within the ranks. Mack and Bobbie are working against their team-mates and whilst it seems par for the course for a spy drama, it is an annoying plot device after all the HYDRA nonsense.
What is significant is that it is obvious that the Agents of SHIELD will feature strongly as a lead-in to the Inhumans movie – which is still years away though. It is great though that the MCU continues to be brought more into play – just resolve that Mack-Bobbie conspiracy ASAP!
After the stress and the pressure of Olivia’s kidnapping, Scandal is brought down to earth with a hard bump with an episode that reflects the recent controversies in Ferguson and New York regarding the killing of unarmed African-American men by the police. Yes, it’s a relatively simple and un-convoluted plot but highly effective. By the end, the viewer will be brought to tears by the emotion of the message. A very strong episode, that does not need too much elaboration.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers speaks to an aged Peggy Carter and tells her “knowing you helped found S.H.I.E.L.D. is half the reason I stayed”.
When Agent Carter was first announced, perhaps many thought that the story of how Carter “helped found S.H.I.E.L.D.” would be told. Instead, what we got was how Carter was marginalised at the SSR but still ultimately played a major role in stopping Leviathan from executing a diabolical plot to kill thousands of innocent people and take revenge on Howard Stark.
This final episode of the mini-series does what one expects it to, and with much aplomb. Hayley Atwell, Dominic Cooper and James D’Arcy provide the star power as Carter, Stark and Jarvis as required, whereas Chad Michael Murray (Agent Thompson) and Enver Gjokaj (Agent Sousa) are functionary at best. So while Agent Carter was a fun ride into the post-war MCU, hopefully subsequent mini-series will explore more seriously the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Carter’s role in the same.
Agent Carter has done well to make connections with MCU films (unlike say, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and has exploited well the strengths of having a shared universe. Let’s hope there’s more to come.
Yes, Scandal fans, if you haven’t seen the latest episode, I’ve just spoilt it if for you! But seriously, this was the solution to the ‘how do we get Olivia back?’ conundrum? Don’t really buy it! Sillier still if you consider that after all the brouhaha to demonstrate how much the enemies of America would want to get hold of Olivia, we are led to believe that a couple of new locks on her apartment door would keep her safe and secure? C’mon, these jokers were willing to pay a billion bucks!?! So, what’s to say some other bright spark would try the same trick? See where I’m going with this – how does the world go back to status quo after this?
Best part is that there was no hint of what the next storyline could even be remotely about after this. Which is rare for Scandal. I mean, how could they possibly top this? Over to you, Shonda…
Things are looking grim for Peggy and the SSR. She has been captured and accused of high treason whilst Dr Ivchenko is free to work his manipulative hypnotism and instruct fellow Leviathan agent Dottie in his evil schemes. Jarvis tries his best to assist but ends up making things worse. Thompson and Souza have mixed emotions about Peggy as the evidence conflicts with their experience of Peggy himself. Chief Dooley has no such qualms and falls prey easily to Ivchenko’s machinations.
Slowly but surely, Thompson and Souza come to their senses and realize that Peggy is telling the truth but it is too late for poor Chief Dooley and pays the ultimate price for trusting Ivchenko. This episode also reveals what Ivchenko’s plans are and it is surprisingly similar to that of Richmond Valentine’s in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Great minds think alike? Or is there a paucity of ideas in the ‘genre’?
Either way, it sets up brilliantly for the final episode. Considering how long it took Agents of SHIELD not to suck, I say give Agent Carter more episodes!
Peggy is in big trouble and so is the SSR. The agents of Leviathan have the upper hand and SSR is not even aware of this. SSR wrongfully accuse Peggy of being a spy and most of the episode is spent demonstrating Peggy evades capture until the end where she is subdued in unique fashion, to say the least.
With only two episodes left, it will be intriguing to see how Peggy and the SSR get out of this mess.
Finally, Peggy Carter gets the respect and credit due to her in the SSR. “Iron Ceiling” finds Carter traveling into Eastern Europe to team up with The Howling Commandos (from Captain America: The First Avenger) and also introduces to us the Soviet program that made Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.
Now, this is what you do with a TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! It’s a pity that there are only 3 episodes left as Agent Carter has proven itself more viable than Agents of SHIELD, thus far!