Crisis Management: “Crisis On Infinite Earths: Parts 4 & 5”

Shut up, you’re crying.

And I mean a lot. While not quite as fun as it’s rising action, the climax and Epilogue to Crisis On Infinite Earths are both quite good in their own ways, and I think we’d be happiest if we just dig into things.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Arrow Season 8, Episode 8)

After this there are only two episodes of Arrow left, and one of them is the backdoor pilot for Green Arrow And The Canaries, which means really, there’s just one. I’m glad I made the decision to catch up for the final season, despite the show never really resonating with me after season 4.

Anyway, we open in The Vanishing Point and it’s been a minute. We know this because Ryan Choi now has a beard and also he tells us in a helpful voice over. Thanks Ryan. Everyone’s a little stir crazy and they sure hate Lex and Barry is missing! OH NO! Barry shows up again, super confused and then we flash to Purgatory where Corrigan is training Oliver to be the best Spectre he can be. HE then goes to The Vanishing Point and tells Barry he has to go to the Speed Force again or something. Basically everyone gets scattered into the Speed Force and needs to learn something about themselves.

The best (and most secret) cameo comes first, Barry confronts, Barry? But Barry as played by Ezra Miller and the whole scene is a damn delight. Anyway, Barry then has a conversation with Oliver/Spectre about finding everyone. Then Kate learns about Trust from watching Ray and Oliver bicker in the past, J’onn learns about teamwork from watching Oliver and Kara bicker in the past.

Meanwhile, Kara, Lex and Ryan are on Mor Nobu’s planet in the past trying to convince him not to go back in time and create the anti monitor. They succeed, but also don’t?

Anyway, they all go back to the dawn of time and fight The Anti Monitor and Oliver dies (for REALS this time you guys.) to restart everything and it seems to work. Hooray! Sara and Barry meanwhile are very sad about it, because of course they are.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5, Episode 1)

The worlds have been merged! And Kara for one, is delighted, as is a random dude on the street who approaches Kara and Barry for an autograph. (It’s Marv Wolfman!Hooray!) Sara meanwhile, is still pretty sad because even though most everyone is now back Oliver now isn’t.

She points out that Oliver was the last person who knew who she was before and this is a difficult loss for her. This is, well, incredibly profound, actually. Sara has lost a lot. (But then I realized, uh, Thea’s still alive right? Thea was young but she knew Sara…) Barry reminds her that Oliver died for all of them but before they can really get it together and giant Beebo attacks Star City.

Hello Legends! Sara calls Eva and Nate to check in about it and they moan about being sucked into another cross over. However, they note there is another Legend besides her and Ray in town.

Mick’s got a book signing and goes to fight Beebo for ruining it. Turns out the Beebo is just an illusion and as they celebrate their victory, everyone is attacked by shadow demons. OH NO!

One last stand off with the anti monitor where Supergirl and Ray save the day stops it. In a quiet moment, the world mourns Oliver Queen, and then Barry, Sara, Jefferson, Kara, Clark and Kate light an eternal flame in his memory. Barry also reveals a round table and the empty warehouse is revealed to be THE HALL OF FUCKING JUSTICE (Well, not Fucking Justice, this isn’t Titans, they’re still on their own world. More’s the pity for my dreams of watching Kate and Kara interact with that version of Dick.)

I look forward to the further bonkers shenanigans of this world, now without unnecessary dimension jumping. (Though Stargirl will still be on it’s own Earth? Good thing The Monitor gave Cisco his powers back?)

Observations

  • The Ezra Miller cameo was such a wonderful surprise I actually fell off the couch. Seriously, such a delight.
  • Lex rewrote things so that the whole world thinks he’s great. He wins the Nobel Peace Prize and everything. Kara is furious. Anyway glad Jon Cryer will be sticking around, he’s a wonderful presence on the show
  • In keeping with Legends being Legends half the episode is just people looking at computer monitors and Sara doesn’t suit up.
  • Kate chills with Alex and Kara at Kara’s apartment, and I’m so happy they’re all in the same world now. I hope Alex and Kate bond over motorcycles and awesome gay lady haircuts.
  • Sara Diggle is back! Hooray! Also, now Lois and Clark have two kids, which will be fun for their upcoming pilot.
  • Things I was hoping for but didn’t get: Digg getting a Green Lantern ring. We did see the Lantern Corp, which I’m assuming is from the upcoming HBOMax show. (I’m going to get HBOMax, purely because of The West Wing so we shall see how that one pans out) Felicity, at all. I know they wanted to save Emily Bett Ricakard’s return for the Arrow finale, but still.
  • While in all reality I want Diggle on The Waverider so we don’t have to say goodbye to Diggle, Rene’s reaction to Beebo (complete confusion) and then interaction with Rory (pouring him champagne) also makes him a good candidate.
  • I mostly cried at the montage of all the superheroes, but especially Routh!Superman flying away and winking at the camera.
  • Best Teamup Of The Crossover: Jefferson Pierce, Killer Frost and Mick Rory. Close second: Nash Wells, Ryan Choi & Ray Palmer (FOR SCIENCE)
  • I’m soaking in every moment of Brandon Routh and still can’t believe we’re losing him after this season.

Overall, I enjoyed the Crisis, the cameos and Easter Eggs were super fun, and I’d rank it third for the big Crossovers (Earth-X, Elseworlds, Infinite Earths, Heroes Vs Aliens, Whatever the Hawkpeople one was) Moving forward I’m going to do my best to keep up and write these check ins. But I’m also trying to watch less TV in general so maybe not. I don’t know yet.

 

Crisis Management: “Crisis On Infinite Earths Parts 1-3”; Black Lightning Week 9

IT’S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somewhere in time, little Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim lay in their beds dreaming of heroes. They got their shot to tell their hero story when The CW wanted to follow up Smallville with a more grounded superhero story and landed on a Green Arrow show, that was basically a Batman show with a touch of Lost.

I don’t think when Oliver Queen became something else, they had this cold open in mind (How could they? No one could have predicted this), but it’s spectacular. The Monitor explains the explains the origin of the multiverse, and we jump to Gotham, on Earth-89, the Batsignal blares in the red sky, then it’s Earth 9, where Hawk and Robin (TITANS!) gape at the same. The Ray on Earth-X (no Citizen Cold though. Damnit!) And then Earth 66, New York City, where an aging Dick Grayson (BURT WARD) gasps, “Holy Crimson Skies Of Death.”

The Crisis has begun. I’m sitting on my couch in Montclair, New Jersey, sipping on a cup of coffee, sobbing. TV has always been my main source for the DC heroes who are my favorites. Reruns of Batman, afternoon syndication of Batman: The Animated Series, Saturday morning first run of Batman Beyond , then Smallville and then The Arrowverse.

Anyway, let’s move on to the rest of the first episode. Which is good, though, doesn’t quite live up to that spectacular opening.

Part 1 (Supergirl, Season 5, Episode 9)

Lyla as Harbinger is travelling around gathering the heroes. Before she can get to Earth-38, Kara, Alex, J’onn and Brainy try to reach out to Argo in order to warn Clark and Lois what’s about to happen. We flash to Argo where they’re playing with baby Jonathan. After the warning, Clark, Lois, and Alara (Seeing Elizabeth Tulloch and Erica Durance hug was another tearful moment!) Tyler Hoechlin continues to be amazing as Clark. The new parents and grand aunt put the baby in a pod and send him towards Earth, quoting Superman the movie. SO MANY TEARS!

The other intros work in their way, Kate shaking down a Wonderland gang member, Barry surrendering, knowing it’s time, Sara and Ray losing at bar trivia due to a time anomaly Ray created at Woodstock. (The most Legends-y intro they could possibly get.) Oliver and Mia on the beach in Lian-Yu.

They get to Earth-38 and Alex and J’onn spearhead an evacuation to Earth-1, Alex recruiting Lena to build the portal. (Will Lena see Lex? I hope so!) Meanwhile, Brainy has tracked Jon’s pod to Earth-16, Star City, the year 2046. Sara, Lois and Brainy go to get the baby, and Sara and Oliver have a moment of resolution. She assures him that their trip on The Queen’s Gambit was lifechanging and magical. Again, I cry.

On Earth 38, the heroes make their stand, fighting shadow warriors. Also Oliver gives Mia a Green Arrow suit. They don’t save Earth-38, but they do evacuate something like 3 billion people. Which is exceptional. But in the fight, Oliver is mortally wounded.

That’s right, in the first episode of Crisis On Infinite Earths, Oliver Queen, The Green Arrow, dies. It’s emotional, but I’m guessing there’s still more to think about. Anyway, I cried a lot.

The episode had a lot to do setting things up. I do wish Clark and Ray seeing each other for the first time had gotten a bit more of a beat. But I guess we’re saving that for the Kingdom Come stuff. Which I’m OK with. Seriously though, that cold open was amazing, it’s a high bar for the rest of the crossover to clear.

Part 2 (Batwoman, Season 1, Episode 9)

I mentioned in the intro that I mainly associate my DC fandom with Batman: The Animated Series and Smallville, which is how I knew this episode was going to be a lot for me. It’s also a heavy Sara episode, and includes Constantine, and Mick Rory, and an alternate Waverider where instead of Gideon, Leonard Snart is the AI.

So, I like this one.

Anyway, The Monitor tells our heroes that they need to find the paragons across the multiverse. (While Baby Jon cries.) We have two already, Kara is the paragon of hope and Sara is the paragon of destiny, they need to find a Kryptonian who is the paragon of truth, and the paragon of courage, “The Bat Of The Future.” Lois, Iris and Clark go looking for Supermen, and Kate and Kara go to find a future version of Bruce Wayne.

Meanwhile, Lex gets his hand on the book of destiny and is a step ahead of the the Super-team, trying to kill all the Supermen. When they reach The Kent Farm of Earth-167, (Smallville) that Clark is chopping wood, and Earth-38 Clark notes that he could do that with his bare hands. They tried to suss out if he’s the Supes they’re looking for, but then Lex shows up.

Clark kind of sighs loudly as Earth-38 Lex begins lecturing him about their destiny as enemies, living parallel lives, written in the stars, and then he reveals some Kryptonite which DOES NOTHING, because this Clark gave up his powers to be a dad. OF COURSE HE DID. The Clark Kent of Smallville hated being a superhero. He and Lois walk into the house, living happily ever after, which kind of sucks but is also a nice ending for them.

On Earth-96, team find the supermen, goes to the Daily Planet, where they encounter an older Clark again, this one, who looks like Ray Palmer. It’s a tremendous gift to see Brandon Routh be perfect as Superman once again, this Supes having lost everyone he ever loved to a chemical attack by The Joker. (Like Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, Routh was good casting let down by a bad movie) Lex shows up and makes the two Supermen fight eachother. Once they get his head on straight they bring him back, he’s our Paragon of Truth. (Fun detail, Lois is charmed by all of the Clarks, not just hers. She gets kinda flirty with Welling and Routh.)

In Gotham of Earth-99, Kate and Kara hit Wayne Manor, where they find a shirtlesss Luke Fox and Bruce in an exo suit. (That we hear Kevin Conroy’s voice before we see him is a nice touch. We learn that is this reality, Bruce was irrevocably injured after killing Superman, and Kate tried to follow in his footsteps and was killed. Conroy is perfect, obviously, and his switch from tired cynicism to unhinged evil is pretty great. After Kara confronts Bruce, a fight ensues and Bruce dies. After returning to the Waverider it’s revealed that Kate is in fact the Paragon of Courage. I AM SHOCKED I TELL YOU! (Also on a fun note, Kara thinks Luke is cute, which Kate thinks is weird. Luke is cute, and if Kara stays on Earth-1 I could see them developing into something. Though developments elsewhere suggest the multi-verse will be destroyed.)

Speaking of Earth-1, Mia and Sara need to find a Lazarus pit because Mia is determined to resurrect Oliver, they find one on Earth-18, which is guarded by Jonah Hex, they fight him and it’s awesome, and Constantine does a spell to restore his soul, it doesn’t work, so that’ll be fun. Barry is on this errand too, but he doesn’t do much but mope.

Black Lightning: Season 3: Episode 9: “The Book of Resistance: Chapter 4: Earth Crisis”

Like Supergirl in past crossovers, Black Lighting’s role is going to be limited, and the show has always kind of done it’s own thing anyway, but they do a great job of using the trappings of Crisis, to explore their themes of family, war and the cycle of violence. Jen finds herself confronted with a red sky and goes into a coma, where she is brought to an in between place, confronted by two alternate versions of herself. Earth-1 Gen, who poisoned Freeland’s water supply to cure metas and wound up in ASA custody, and Earth-2 Jinn, who fully embraced the path that our Jen is on, becoming a living weapon for Odell.

Earth-1 is a real bummer for the Pierce family. Because of Gen’s activities, Anissa opted to stay closeted, because this Jeff is much more political and a criminal and a lesbian would be too much of a liability. (Oddly, Earth-1 Alex was closeted as well. We’re so used to Sara, Nyssa, Ava, William and Curtis, perhaps the Team Arrow is more tolerant than the rest of their world. Is Earth-1 really conservative? Captain Singh is married to a man though…but Sophie stayed closeted in the military…) Lynn and Jeff never got back together, and an ASA raid on Christmas Eve gets Jeff shot and killed.

Earth-2 tells a familiar story, Jinn actually reminds me a lot of Not-Laurel, she’s all bravado and murder to cover up her soft beating heart. Things turn so that she herself winds up killing her father, on Odell’s orders, while she recites, “Who’s life is it? What am I going to do with it?”

Our Jen tries to calm her doppelgangers and learns that she needs to stand up for herself, and that her family is the most important thing, but she doesn’t wake up in time, and the world is consumed by the Crisis, as Jeff is blinked out of existence. (My guess, he’s on the Earth-74 waverider which is currently parked on Earth-1.)

Part 3 (The Flash, Season 6, Episode 9)

I once joked but didn’t really joke that I would just watch a show that was John Diggle yelling at people. Bad guys, good guys, people who were too slow delivering food. Each episode would begin with Digg staring someone down and saying, “Now, you listen here,” and THANK GOD, his arrival on The Waverider, finding out that Oliver died and was resurrected and that Lyla was missing, lead to him yelling at both Sara and The Monitor. In fact his rant to Mornobu even began with that epic “No, you listen, I am not losing Oliver and Lyla.” (My joke was, “Now you listen here, my wife and children are hungry and we ordered this pizza 45 minutes ago with a promise that it would be in here in 30.” Said pizza guy would then retreat in tears, but Lyla and Baby Sara or JJ depending on where on the Flashpoint timeline you are, would have pizza.)

We’ll get to Diggle who inexplicably still doesn’t have a Green Lantern ring (WTF?) in a bit. We’ll start with yet another spectacular cold open, The Huntress (ASHLEY SCOTT! From the Birds Of Prey show I do not care for!) runs from an anti matter wave, talking over com to Oracle (who I did like on that show!) saying she won’t make it, she loses contact before she gets there.

Back on the Waverider, after Digg hands Sara here ass. (Metaphorically, he probably couldn’t beat her in a fight, let’s be honest here. He’s good, I love him, but he can’t beat her.) The heroes regroup, and discuss their next steps. Ray announces that the Paragon Detector is ready. HOORAY! They find out that the other paragons are Honor (J’onn), Love (Barry. BARRY AND IRIS’S LOVE OUTSHINES THE SUN!) and Humanity (Ryan Choi!) Iris, Ray and Ralph head to Ivy Town to find Ryan Choi, who immediately fanboys out on Ray. (As he’s likely to pick up the Atom Suit when Routh leaves, this is a fun intro for him)

The Monitor gives Cisco back his powers bascically because, “Your reasons are stupid, You’re Vibe.” (I agree with The Monitor and Cranky Cisco is fun!) so Cisco, Killer Frost and Barry head to find the source of the Anti-Matter Wave. (This is after Pariah and and Lyla, now infected by the Anti-Monitor fight. Poor Digg.) When they find it, they are SHOCKED, SHOCKED I say, to find The Barry Allen of Earth-90 (John Wesley Shipp!) powering the Anti-Monitor’s weapon with a cosmic treadmill. They free him but that basically activates a suicide mode. OH NO! Also appearing as if from nowhere, Jefferson Pierce! Jeff quickly freaks out that he was the only one saved. “Lynn, my daughters!” But he helps the Flashes and their friends shut down the ray, but it’s not quite enough. The Flash of Earth-90 decides to take our Barry’s speed in order to save him and run out the clock. Barry objects, strenuously, but Barry-90 does his thing, and we get a quick clip from The Flash as his story ends.

After all of this Jeff and Barry bond, talking about their fathers, their odd situations and quoting Dylan Thomas. That the surviving group of heroes view themselves as those raging against the dying of the light is wonderful. Fighting that darkness the hardest is Kara, who is considering teaming up with Lex to use the book of destiny to rebuild their Earth. Kate talks her down, telling her that she’d fight her if she needs to. The way they’re mirroring the traditional Batman/Superman relationship with these two is great, twisting to fit Kara and Kate in ways that it never quite would with Bruce and Clark. Kate eventually confesses to Kara that she’s carrying Kryptonite, which she stole from the Bruce of Earth-99, Kara says that she trusts her with it.

While all of this is happening (this episode is PACKED) Digg, Mia and Constantine go to Earth-666 and get a pass to Purgatory from Lucifer (Tom Ellis! I don’t watch Lucifer but my understanding is that I would probably like it a lot.) Turn out purgatory is Lian-Yu! Convenient! They find Oliver, Digg gives him a lecture about brotherhood and being their for eachother, and he finds himself again, but then they are confronted by Jim Corrigan, (THE SPECTRE) who explains that Oliver has to become…Something Else. (My name is Oliver Queen…)

As the Anti-Monitor succeeds in wiping out Earth-1, our paragons are taken to The Vanishing Point. (See Legends.) As they begin to get their bearings, Clark-96 begins to fall and disappear in red light, and he transforms into Lex! Kara is pissed but they have bigger fish to fry, they have to restore the universe.

And that’s it. That’s the cliff hanger, all worlds have been consumed 6 heroes and Lex Luthor have to stand.

We’re checked out until January 14. I’m really glad I managed to keep up this season, y’all. Particularly glad I reinvested in Arrow, as Mia has been a delight in the crossover.

Random Notes:

  • Lois despairs being in the middle of the greatest news story in history and not being able to report it. The Monitor nods that this is indeed quite a lot, she then asks him for his story. He gives her bits of it, and remarks that he sees why she’s the greatest.
  • The cameos were pretty wonderful. People we’ve heard might be around but we haven’t seen yet includes Lynda Carter. Welling and Durance’s scene has really grown on me and Conroy was perfection. Burt Ward kicking things off and Ashley Scott getting her due was incredible. Truly though, John Wesley Shipp & Brandon Routh owned the returns. Shipp’s history on The Flash as Henry Allen and Jay Garrick does contribute to his hitting home, and Routh getting to redeem his Superman was such a gift.
  • I continue to be worried about Jen and Khalil. I will always worry about Jen and Khalil
  • Non DC-Verse cameos include Wil Wheaton as a doomsdayer and one of the guys from The Tick, also Ryan Choi is played by Osric Chau who played Kevin Chen on Supernatural, and so now I’m going to be worried about him a lot too, because Kevin was a very worrisome character.

OK, Thanks everyone for putting up with my ramblings this half season. Thanks especially to my IRL friends and family and coworkers who nodded politely while I went through twitch fits regarding the Arrow catch up.

Whether I track the back half of the seasons is going to depend a lot on how things shake out in January. We’ll talk.

60 Books In 2018 #3: Crisis On Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez

OK so, I picked this up so that I would have a basis of comparison for when the Arrowverse version coming next fall.

Also, just because as I get back into superheroes (not that I was ever not into them, but you know what I mean!) and back into reading superhero comics this seemed a good place to start. (Seriously, last year the only superhero book I read was Grayson.) Like all it’s later immitators, Crisis On Infinite Earths is both wonderful and befuddling, and delightful and dull, all at once.

Wolfman’s story meant to forever simplify the DC Universe by streamlining it’s many alternate worlds into one, but only served to show the company that big crossovers will sell books and also that killing a Flash from time to time is to be expected, is given a huge leg up but Perez’s art. Seriously, I’m not even big into that era of comic book art, (I came to comics post Image and the glossy style of Jim Lee & Co really shaped my taste.) but Perez just so so good.

The story, though, well, let’s talk about that. The Monitor and Anti-Monitor are battling for the universe, and The Monitor calls the greatest heroes from across the multiverse to his side. Two Supermen, Supergirl, The Flash, Captain Marvel and many others, join in the battle, which in the end destroys worlds, and everyone forgets and the DC Universe spins on, but simpler, until it isn’t.

What Crisis really represents is a the last gasp of a certain time in comics. It was published in 1985, just before the earth shaking forces of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns changed everything. Crisis was trying to simplify a status quo that was about to be obliterated anyway, but on it’s own, it’s a fun exciting superhero story.

When it comes to The Arrowverse, my guess is that it’s going to end with Kara Zor-El’s world merging with those of Barry Allen and Oliver Queen.

But by this time next year, we’ll know.

Up next is The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker. I’ve joined the book club at my library and this is the book this month, so I’ve gotta get it read.

I Don’t, Not, Like You

Justice League

I spend a lot of time thinking about superheroes. (Obviously). Less lately, but still, a lot of time.

I wonder sometimes if I didn’t think about superheroes so much, if I’d be able to enjoy superhero movies more, which then leads me to believe that it depends on the movie. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Wonder Woman made me think about Grant Morrison, about ambitious storytelling, and about big ideas and superheroes. (In all honesty, I was pretty drunk when I saw that movie. Every other time I’ve tried to watch it, I fall asleep.)

Justice League didn’t make me think about any of that, but, I definitely enjoyed it more than BVS, but this was a fanservice movie, and I’m a fan. This is a movie where Alfred teases Bruce Wayne about having a crush on Wonder Woman. This movie is not for beginners. (Something I also said about Man Of Steel by the way.) There’s too much buried in there, too much history that’s unspoken and hasn’t been laid out in other movies. Too many moments like Cyborg saying, “Boo-Ya” as he hacks a Mother-Box. Too many oblique references to Apokalips, and Darkseid. Too many half asses explanations of Atlantis and Arthur Curry’s life.

But overall, the movie was good, enjoyable, well performed. (GIVE AFFLECK WHATEVER HE WANTS TO KEEP HIM AROUND! HE IS GREAT!) Not a world shaker, but you know, not everything has to be.

Oh, Also, you know Gal Gadot and all of the Amazons are amazing, but we knew this, so, there you go!

Rankings:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. The Big Sick
  3. Battle Of The Sexes
  4. Dunkirk
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  6. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. Justice League
  9. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  10. The Dark Tower
  11. Cars 3
  12. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers:

Alpha: Puppies! The origin story. No but in reality this movie looks SUPER dumb, but the dogs look cute

I don’t remember any of the other trailers…which does not bode well…

We need to talk about Supergirl Season 2

I was worried about Supergirl season 2. Mostly because Calista Flockhart left and the idea of Supergirl without Cat Grant sounded preposterous. And also, because the show’s move in network and location might spell doom. I lived through the WB/UPN merger into The CW, I saw what happened to shows I loved. Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars both lost their identity in that transition. One Tree Hill as well, but I think we’ve covered that.

I shouldn’t have been worried. The show has done a number of things to make sure that it stays afloat and after last night’s episode, I kind of can’t believe that it’s done as well as it has. The introduction of new characters (Mon-El, M’gann M’Orzz and Lena Luthor) have filled in the Cat shaped hole (it does take all three to do it, which is saying something.) and the coming out narrative for Alex Danvers has been beautifully and lovingly handled.

I’m less thrilled about James Olsen’s decision to become Guardian, though love what it’s done for Winn’s storyline, which was getting bogged down a bit into what I call, “Caitlin land” where they get nothing to do on their own.

Next week Kara heads over to Earth-1. (What number is Kara’s earth? 3? Can someone tell me this.) And I can barely contain my excitement. Almost as excited as I was when we learned that Batman is almost certainly a thing on Kara’s earth.

See, while Kara was denouncing Guardian she mentioned a vigilante that Clark once worked with, who had, “a lot of gadgets and a lot of issues.” That’s the only one person who that could be right?

I mean right????

You should understand, I’m less concerned about Batman himself interacting with Kara as I am about others who are related to him. You know, ex sidekicks. One in particular, and maybe not the one you think.

yessss

Very important.

Now, I understand that Kara of Supergirl and Kara of The New 52 are like, not even a little bit the same. And actually, TV Kara would fit better with Dick or Tim than Jason, but ever since this issue of Supergirl came out 2 years ago, I’ve been fixated on these two together.

And it could theoretically happen, now! I mean, I know just theoretically, because apparently The CW isn’t allowed to touch Bat characters, but hey, a girl can dream right?

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: On Ambition

batman-v-superman-trinity

As the final push into Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice was made, and I finished up season 2 of Daredevil,  I found myself wondering if the movie would feel too much like a Frank Miller comic book. Not that I would mind, I like a lot of Miller’s work, but after 13 episodes of what felt like Miller’s world, I wasn’t sure I wanted a movie of it.

And there is absolutely no way to deny that Miller’s DNA is all over the movie. But he’s too deeply engrained in Batman as we know him now to be erased. So that’s all there, the “sons,” the clunky epic speechifying, the brutal violence, it’s all there.

But as I sat back and watched, I realized that this didn’t feel like a Frank Miller story at all. It felt like a Grant Morrison story and for that reason, I was able to sit back and enjoy it all the more, because I don’t love any comic writer the way that I love Morrison. (And that includes Kelly Sue DeConnick and Gail Simone…I adore them, but Morrison is something different.)

Like a Morrison story this movie is ambitious, heavy, nonsensical at times, full of on the nose symbolism, and sort of impenetrable to newbies. It’s also very messy, which is not really an accusation you can hurl at Morrison, but I mean in spirit.

Elements of the movie are perfect. Affleck is great. I did go in rooting for him, but that means that if he’d been bad I would have been really disappointed. (Hello, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller in Fantastic Four…) He’s such a solid choice for this role, and we get to see things we’ve never really seen on screen. (BRUCE IN THE LAB!!!!)

The thing that made both Aless and I happiest is that we skip the Lois and Clark relationship drama. They’re together. They’re a team. That’s it. The end. There are issues, she isn’t sure he should risk the innocent lives that seem to fall around Superman for her sake. He can’t bring himself to not save her. Honestly, if it weren’t for the music and desaturated color scheme the scene where Superman saves Lois in the first twenty minutes would have been absolutely perfect.

Gal Gadot and the energy she brings to Wonder Woman is amazing. The story comes to life with her and she’s the impetus for Bruce to actually do him some sleuthing. Also, how good Gadot and Affleck look together has even brought me around to Bruce/Diana shipping. (You may recall, I have some opinions on that score…) Her movie is going to be SICK, because she owns Diana.

The Doomsday fight is fine, if unnecessary, the movie would have been streamlined by simply having the Luthor storyline, which involves him manipulating Batman and Superman to fight each other. (In fact, the final fight only happens because he kidnaps Matha Kent and tells Supes that she’ll be killed if he doesn’t kill Batman.) This is a good contrivance, and while the potential fridging of Martha is dangerous, it’s worth it to create a new framework for the smackdown. But without Doomsday they would have needed another reason for Wonder Woman to suit up, so there’s that.

The Justice League set up is probably the best part of the movie, including a brilliant reveal that I won’t spoil.

Batman v Superman isn’t a great movie. It’s either an adequate movie or an ambitious and interesting failure and I can’t decide which yet. Parts of it remind me of Iron Man 2, in the bad way, but in the end it’s worth it to see the Big Three on screen together.

Jesse Eisenberg is a huge disappointment. Or maybe the script. Either way, I’m not into weird crazy Luthor. The only time Luthor should feel unhinged is when there’s rage happening. Otherwise he should hold it together.

Overall the movie has more good than bad for me, but I can’t really recommend it to people who don’t really love these characters and aren’t overly attached to a particular version. It’s a specific niche, but a worthwhile one. It did set up an interesting world, and honestly, I think the other films, which are out of Snyder’s peculiar control (The Ben Affleck/Geoff Johns helmed Batman solo movie in particular) should be really good.

Look, if it means a lot to you to see Batman and Superman punch each other, get your butt to the Cineplex. Because that definitely happens here.

“The World Needs You To Fly”

Supergirl Poster

Like today wasn’t going to be about the Supergirl pilot?

What, have you not been paying attention?

OK, so let’s get this out of the way.

It was not the most transcendentally amazing hour of television ever made.

OMG whattashock right?

It is most certainly the pilot episode of a superhero television show. Which means that it was a little bit clunky, a little bit overstuffed with mythology and a lot of bit ridiculous.

I knew all of that going in, because I was like, one of the last people on earth who hadn’t watched the pilot yet. I’ve been watching TV long enough to know that a pilot isn’t always indicative to how a show is going to be overall.

Need we rehash things like Glee and Smash? Or in the opposite direction, 30 Rock?

But let’s not focus on the negative. (Clunky writing, tell don’t show all over the place), and let’s focus on the good. We get a quick crash course in Supergirl lore, that is, Kara is sent as a protector and companion to her cousin, Kal-El. She is delayed (cryo sleep in the Phantom Zone), and when she arrives on Earth, the already adult Kal-El sets her up with a family, scientists named The Danvers.

Literally, all you need to know about her origins and we knock it out in the first five minutes. Great.

Now all grown up, Kara is working for Cat Grant (yay!) and not using her powers until her sister Alex is on a plane that’s going down and she decides to save the plane. Now she’s Supergirl, and her friend Winn is helping her. Oh, also James Olsen (seriously, only Superman is allowed to call him Jimmy), is around and he’s going to mentor her.

That’s the show. She’s also going to be tracking down a bunch of escaped Phantom Zone prisoners, because, believe it or not, a superhero show does require a plot engine and this is a good one for this.

The show has a lot of promise, shown especially in the really great cast, and the way they click. Melissa Benoist was a brilliant choice for Kara. She’s immediately appealing, and has the hard to pin down it factor that makes for a good lead. Calista Flockhart seems to be having the time of her life with Cat, which is great, (I thought she was the perfect choice for this character.) Jeremy Jordan brings his trademark sweetened smarm to Winn. Mehcad Brooks is dreamy and perfect as James.

And I think we really need to talk about Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers. I figured from even the previews that the relationship between Kara and Alex was going to be the show’s heart. I love the prospect of it and I like that they delivered it here. These two feel like family. It’s not an easy dynamic to sell, but it’s still pretty great.

The show did more right than it did wrong and didn’t shy away from girl power, though, even I was starting to feel like, “maybe we back off after this, we get it.” It’s already won the numbers game. The ladies on this show outnumber the dude folks. (Oh, and two of the dude folks are black!)

I’m really excited to see where this goes, and the implications for my little sequined corner of nerd-dom are huge, to the point where I can’t even begin to verbalize it. The hastags last night of #Supergirl and #SupGurl will fill you in in ways that I never can.

You Owe Them Nothing

So, I don’t know about the rest of you but I had a nice quiet weekend, and did absolutely nothing even remotely attached to fandom and the nerd work.

I’m kidding.

Obviously. It was San Diego Comic Con weekend. I wasn’t there. If I was there I’d be sleeping right now and I would be currently jumping up and down like a maniac that I had just been to San Diego Comic Con. (I am going to try to go next year…truly…there are things happening…)

But I did have a lovely weekend at Chrissy and Glen’s house, and we drank beers and watched Game of Thrones, and checked newsfeeds, and saw Minions (review coming Thursday)

And of course we spent a good amount of time talking about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the amazing trailer that came out.

And while lots of things that got me excited came out of Comic Con. (Lumberjanes won the Eisner for best new comic for instance! WOOO!)  Nothing else mattered after watching that trailer on Saturday. Since I’m sure we’ve all watched, it, I’ll just link to it on Youtube again, so that we can all watch it again.

I don’t know what you all were most excited about but, I think my favorite part was ALL OF IT!

I mean, we now know some things, like this movie will be fairly brightly colored, that Batfleck has been around for 20 years, and that he was in Metropolis for the climax of Man Of Steel.

I like all of this.

We don’t know how Wonder Woman features in this movie, but she seems important and she looks amazing.

Also there is Luthor, and he looks like a real dick head.

But for the most part, I just can’t get over how at the very least, the trailer seems to be selling everything that I want the movie to be. I’m no longer ambivalent. This is the real deal. I want this movie now. Like, immediately. Let’s not see Ant-Man this weekend, let’s just all go see Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Wonder Woman instead.

I'm just throwing this up again...for...reasons

I’m just throwing this up again…for…reasons

Trinity

I wanted to say something really involved or cool about the new pictures that we got yesterday, but here’s the thing.

I’m too excited to get overly analytical about them, and that’s a good thing.

Lex Luthor

He looks like Zuckerberg, which is fine. The hair is a nice touch, I wish it was more Red, but this works.

BatmanvSuperman1

Mmmmmm, Ben…in tux….mmm…Gal in awesome dress…so long as this doesn’t lead to them together, I just really love this picture.

BatmanvSuperman2

Bat SIGNAL! RAIN! OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!

BatmanvSuperman3

He’s very, very handsome. Also the full color costume looks good. Well, better. I like it, I guess is my point.

BatmanvSuperman5

Not sure what’s happening here, but Ben looks good. It’s exciting.

And then of course there’s the big one!

EW Cover

THEY LOOK SO GOOD! WONDER WOMAN IS SUCH A BADASS! I’m obsessed with this costume, and have been since I first saw it, but seeing it in color only helps it a whole lot! I love the whole shebang!

I have a feeling that we’re going to be getting even more things next weekend, as comic con rages one.

I hope everyone Stateside has an awesome Fourth of July! I’m off to the beach! See you soon!

DC Animated Movies: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Justice_League_-_Throne_of_Atlantis

Back with a vengeance, what can I tell you? Mostly I didn’t want to be so backed up that me reviewing Batman Vs Robin would look ridiculous. (Although, I can already point to like 7 things about that movie that are going to annoy me…) So I decided to swallow my luke warm feelings about Justice League:War and Assault on Arkham and give Throne of Atlantis something of a fair shake.

I don’t know if it was my low expectations, or that Heath Corson has figured out the rhythms of writing these team movies, or a shake up in voice cast, or the spot on characterization that New 52 Aquaman has, but this movie was pretty stinking wonderful.

The plot: Oh, the plot. So the Justice League isn’t really a thing, because, as you may recall from War, these guys don’t actually like each other all that much, but Clark and Diana are totes hooking up, so there’s that. We know that at some point Bruce is busy with the whole, “learning he has a kid who’s also a super assassin,” thing, and uh, that’s about it. Anyway, when a nuclear sub gets attacked, the League regroups and try to figure out what happened.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Young Arthur Curry is mourning his father. (It’s not New 52 without dead parents!) He’s drunk in a local seafood place and befriends a lobster in a tank. When someone orders the lobster he gets into a fight with them.

Yes, that’s right, Aquaman fights some dudes over his lobster friend, and this is my new favorite thing to ever happen. He’s being watched by two people, a scientist who wants to prove the existence of Atlantis, and Mera, of Atlantis.

The League figures out that something is totally up with that nuclear sub. Turns out that Prince Orm and Black Manta want to start a war with the surface, and Queen Atlanna is like, “mmm, maybe not.” She’s also convinced that Arthur, her illegitmate half human son needs to come rule Atlantis. So, the Justice League tracks down Arthur, and they all go to Atlantis and there are battles and betrayals, and in the end, the invite him to join the League that isn’t really a league, and also Victor gets a girlfriend.

HOORAY!

Look, I just really enjoyed the movie, mayyybbbee I was a little buzzed, but for the most part I thought it was great, and fun and much more on tone than it’s predecessor.

Voice Cast! Some returned from War others were different. First and foremost Nathan Fillion is back as Hal Jordan, which is frankly, great. Rosario Dawson is Wonder Woman, and, yeah, I don’t think I need to elaborate, beyond the fact that I love her look in this movie, and I love the idea that Rosario Dawson is Wonder Woman, at long last. Jason O’Mara is Batman, as I’ve said before, he’s grown on me, but he’ll never be my favorite, certainly not within hours of seeing a movie with Conroy. Jerry O’Connell is Superman and Sean Astin is Shazaam, and that just makes me no end of happy. They also do better by Shazam in this movie, because it doesn’t play on his stupid revamped origin that I hate.

There’s a post credit tag that shows Lex Luthor visiting Orm in prison, so I’m interested in seeing how that goes, as these movies continue. But I do think, either I’m settling into this world, or it’s finding it’s groove, and that’s a good thing.