[personal profile] locker_monster
All four CW superhero shows are back so I'd thought I would post some thoughts:

- Man, Supergirl should have aired on the CW right from the beginning. The second season premiere was so much better than most of the first season put together. When it was on CBS, Supergirl was barely a superhero show. It didn't have the cool comic book villains like the rest of the Arrowverse and it rarely made reference to other things and people and places in the DC universe. It had a lot of personal drama with some super heroics thrown in, but it lacked that comic book connectivity that all geeks love.

Thankfully, that's no longer a problem. I swear, the premiere had more references in it than all of last season. For example:

- MISS TESCHMACHER! Written in caps because the only way to say her name is to yell it. ;-) Kara's replacement as Cat's assistant. She doesn't have much to do in the episode, but it was a cute reference. One only hopes there's also an Otis out there.

- Luthors. Lex is in jail serving 32 consecutive life sentences. Apparently this version of Lex also tried to sink California into the ocean. I doubt the writers are trying to say that this is the same universe as the 1978 Superman movie, but it's still another great reference. In place of Lex, we get Lena, Lex's sister, running Luthor Corp. Oh, Lena also makes reference to Superman's line from the 1978 movie, the infamous one about how flying is statistically the safest way to travel. Oh, and moments after that, the helicopter Lena is in falls out of the sky and Kara has to save it. Hmm, yet another reference, me thinks. :-)

- Metallo! Or rather, John Corben before he becomes Metallo. Finally, an iconic Superman villain. No more Kryptonians we've never met or a watered down version of Brainiac. At one point, Alex lists his known affiliates and she mentions Kasnia, Corto Maltese (which Arrow visited in season three), and Intergang. Look at that. Three comic book references in one breath.

- "We're moving back to Gotham." Random line from a bystander on the street after Superman saves him and his family. I think this is the first time they've referenced Gotham in any of the Arrowverse shows. Wayne Enterprises got a name check in a newspaper article, but I'm fairly certain that's it regarding Batman references. Someone on another website also noted that Supergirl airs opposite Gotham, so maybe that was a cheeky in-joke, too.

- Superman! Finally, we get to see his face and hear him talk. No more showing just his boots or his silhouette. This is the best part about Supergirl moving to the CW. Kara and Clark can interact and actually act like family. He doesn't come off as a super dick anymore. Through Clark, we get more mentions of Lois, but they also refer to Perry (and his "Great Ceaser's ghost!" catchphrase!).

- Mon-El. Apparently that's who Pod Boy is. I don't know anything about him, but he's from the comics, so yay! There are even more comic book characters on the way, too, which is awesome. See what the show can do now that it doesn't have to pay a licensing fee?

Aside from the sudden explosion of comic book references, the location change from L.A. to Vancouver is also obvious. Suddenly, National City is very overcast, but hey, that's Vancouver for you. I'm sure they could colour time the outdoor shots if it becomes too gray. The move also necessitated some set changes. CatCo and Kara's apartment remain the same, but the underground DEO base is gone. Perhaps it was too big for Supergirl's allocated studio space? Whatever the reason, the DEO now has a fancy HQ in an office building with windows. No reason at all is given for why the gang is suddenly working out of this space, so the writers wisely hang a lantern on it and have the characters crack jokes. My favourite bunch of dialogue comes from Kara, who complains about working in the cave and how one time she was bitten by a bat. :-) In my head, I like to think that the underground DEO base is now being used to house metahuman criminals, since Barry showed them how to do it properly when he crossed over for that one episode.

Anyway, the episode. In a rare move, the premiere takes place 12 hours after the finale, so there's no three month or six month gap. I think it worked in favour of the plot because it allows us to see Kara and Jimmy's first date, or non-date, and we also see Kara trying to decide what her next career move should be. Had they jumped ahead, we wouldn't have seen any of this stuff. So now, Kara is going to be a reporter and she and Jimmy are just friends. I have my gripes with both of these developments. Kara being a reporter mimics Clark being a reporter. Yes, it will allow her access to places and people, but does Kara have to follow exactly in Clark's footsteps? The whole Kara/Jimmy thing was something I didn't care about, so the fact that they're not going to be dating is no big deal to me, but they spent so much of last season on it. What a waste if they were just going to dump it in the first episode of the second season. But at least they got rid of it early instead of dragging out something that doesn't work. Maybe Supergirl can be the one Arrowverse show that doesn't have tedious relationship sub-plots.

They also set up Cat's departure from the show, as Calista Flockhart wasn't willing to make the move to Vancouver. It sounds like Cat is unsatisfied with the state of her life and she wants to do more than run a multi-million dollar company. They're introducing Snapper Carr this season, so he'll probably take over for Cat in running CatCo. I know we'll see Cat occasionally, since Calista Flockhart is booked for like six episodes, but I'll miss her bluntness. She's the one character who always spoke her mind. On the other hand, Cat's role was pretty much the same, episode to episode, so there won't be much change going forward. I still like to think that Cat knows Kara is Supergirl, but keeps it under her hat. Someone as insightful as Cat would not be stupid enough to fall for the glasses disguise.

Lena Luthor might be the main villain of the season or she might not be. The main plot of the episode had Lex hiring Corben to try to kill Lena, but was it really Lex who hired Corben? Or maybe Cadmus is the main foe? Whatever happens, I hope the adversary this season is more engaging than Astra and her Myriad thing. Even if they go back to capturing Fort Rozz escapees, at least those characters can be characters from the comic books. It may not add anything at all, but I still want that small connection to the vast continuity of the Superman mythos.

Random musings: They addressed the fact that the actor playing Clark/Superman is only a few years older than Melissa Benoist by hanging another lantern. Winn comments that even though Clark is twelve years older than Kara he doesn't look it, and Clark replies that Kryptonians age slower on Earth. Um, sure, why not. I still think they should have hired Tom Welling to play the role. He's the right age and who doesn't love some stunt casting? A happy Superman! No brooding Superman from the DCEU movies. He was actually pretty secondary to Kara in regards to the plot, so that was nice. You don't have to worry that he's going to take over the show. Kara also had a great line, reminding Clark that she used to change his diapers. To her, he's always going to be her little baby cousin, and I hope we see that protectiveness come out now that the two characters can actually talk to each other. I felt like Clark wasn't nerdy enough, like how he is as Superman isn't that different when he's Clark. Yes, there was some bumbling and some "aw shucks" Kansas farm boy moments, but the actor (whose name I can't spell) didn't sell it enough. The library in downtown Vancouver was used as a building in Metropolis; man, that building gets used a lot. It's going to be so hard to mask the fact that all four Arrowverse shows now film in the same city. Oh wait, I think I know another reason why they switched DEO locations. All of the extras who worked in the cave are in L.A. To hide the staff change, the gang needs a new set. ;-) Can't wait to see all of the familiar Canadian actors on the show. Oh, and you know the show is set on a different Earth from Arrow and The Flash because the main news network is Channel 25 and not Channel 52.

I eagerly await the rest of the season and the mega crossover. Since a merging of the various Earths isn't on the menu for the immediate future, I can only assume that Barry makes a trip to Kara's Earth to recruit her. I just hope the other characters get to meet Kara and the rest of the gang. I want to see everyone freak out when they meet not one, but two aliens.

- I was kind of excited for The Flash's third season premiere, since it was based on the "Flashpoint" storyline from the comics, but what we got in the end was mostly meh.

First off, it was only one episode, so everything was rushed. Secondly, there wasn't much in common with the storyline from the comics. Yes, Barry went back in time and so his parents are alive again, but that was it. I would have loved to see an alternative Green Arrow who was psychotic and moody like the Thomas Wayne Batman from the comic's "Flashpoint". The world wasn't on the brink of world war, either, but admittedly, that's tougher to pull off since the war in the comics was between the Amazons and the Atlanteans and we haven't met either on The Flash. It was fun seeing Cisco as a tech billionaire. And Caitlin was an eye doctor! Then there was Wally as Kid Flash. I actually kind of dug that he and Iris were a crime fighting duo. Naturally, Iris would want to look after her kid brother.

But Barry's whole memory lose thing should have come at the end of an episode and the bringing the team together should have been the main plot point of a second episode. Oh well. You can't spend most of the season in an alternative timeline. But wait, we are. Ugh, lazy retcons. That made me so mad. We suddenly have character developments but we never saw the plot points that inspired them. Like, Cisco losing his brother is a big deal. Cisco begging Barry to change time to save Dante would have been an excellent moment on the show. But nope. We don't get to see that. The writers probably thought changing things would be neat, but it's just lazy. Even having Cisco develop a Vibe suit for himself can't make it better. And they better not turn Caitlin into Killer Frost. I don't want to see her turn evil.

What really bugged me was the time travel. Barry resisted the urge to change history at the end of the first season, but this time, he was super selfish and nearly screwed everything up. I hope from this point forward Barry is a lot less stupid about these sorts of things. The other thing that bugged me about the time travel is how screwed up the timeline is now. So Barry stopped the Reverse Flash from killing his mother and then he stuck Thawne in a cage in the present day. Okay. But later Thawne goes back and re-kills Barry's mother and now it seems like he's free to run around. But on the first go around, he got stuck in the past and had to steal Harrison Well's body and so on. Does that mean none of that happened? Or is the Reverse Flash that's out there right now a time remnant? Time travel is so willy nilly in the Arrowverse.

- Poor Arrow. Supergirl has aliens, The Flash has metahumans, and Legends of Tomorrow has time travel. Magic started to become its niche, but it totally didn't work. Now Arrow seems to have gone back to the basics. No magical foes this season (as far as I can tell). I think it's for the best. Arrow works best as a grounded, I dunno, crime drama. Occasional comic book silliness is all right, but the main arc should involve crime lords and not dudes with magical powers.

Seeing Ollie train a new team is kind of neat. We'll see how this goes. It doesn't seem like Thea will be rejoining the team any time soon, but dang it, I want Dig to come back. Felicity does a good job keeping Ollie grounded, but Dig does it the best. I mean, if Dig was around, no way would Ollie be training the new guys by beating them up and sometimes shooting them in the knee with an arrow. At least we're getting Mister Terrific out of this. I'm not pleased that they broke up Lance and Donna. They were the last happy couple on the show. Now Lance is drinking again and generally a mess and it makes me sad. Hopefully being deputy mayor pulls him out of his funk. But can he being deputy mayor? I thought you had to be an councillor or an elected official of some sort. Meh, what do I know.

I'm not loving all of the Laurel hero worship. It's a lot like The Flash's lazy retcons. The writers had their chance to make Laurel a good character. Hell, they had three chances: 1) Lost love 2) Assistant DA 3) Vigilante. They screwed up all of those so now they heaping on praise after the fact. The writers, and by extension, the characters, didn't really care for Laurel. Don't try to pretend that she suddenly matters. You could have honoured her by not killing off her boyfriend and her sister and then making her a drunk.

And damn you Barry and your time travelling. You wiped out baby Sara from existence. Now Dig and Lyla have a son. Is this kid meant to be "Connor Hawke" that we met in the Legends of Tomorrow episode? His age doesn't match, though. The guy we met is in his twenties, but this John Jr. was probably born a few years ago, so by 2046, he'd be in his thirties. They better restore baby Sara somehow.

- I'm conflicted about Legends of Tomorrow. The Hawks and Vandal Savage are gone, which frees up the show immensely storywise, but did they just write out Rip Hunter from the show? You don't get rid of Arthur Darvill! Going off the trailer, Rip is MIA from a lot of the footage, so it does seem we won't be seeing him for a while. I hope he isn't dead. I want to imagine that the Reverse Flash sped onto the Waverider and kidnapped Rip, but why kidnap him when you can kill him? Quick, someone check Arthur Darvill's Twitter account. Has he been posting stuff from the set?

Anyway. Having the team hunt aberrations in the timeline is much more fun than having them try to stop Savage. They can go any where in time now. Basically, LoT is Doctor Who, but with superheroes. ;-) The thing I don't get though is how the team can change history without major consequences. Barry goes back and changes one thing and suddenly everything is different. Are the Legends more precise about their changes? I suppose Rip was advising everyone to make minimal impacts while they were on missions. Maybe now that they have a historian on board that will help with any potential historical disasters.

And decent villains this season! I never found Vandal Savage to be very threatening, but this season we're getting the Legion of Doom! Well, an iteration of it. You don't know what the Reverse Flash and Darhk are up to, so that mystery will push the season forward.

I did feel like the episode was oddly structured. They never followed up on the team meeting Rex Tyler. Apparently he advised them not to go to 1942, but we don't get to see that scene. And then at the end of the episode, when everyone is scattered across time, that was super rushed. I think the premiere needed to be two episodes. Or maybe we get to see that conversation with Rex next episode, now that the rest of the JSA have showed up. JSA! Can't wait. Smallville sort of had them, but it didn't really work.

One random thing I did like. The Waverider got some upgrades (notably on the bridge) and the writers actual address it. Jefferson was upgrading things as per Rip's request. They didn't have to say anything, they could have done a joke like Supergirl, but it's nice that they had a reasonable explanation for the change. The seats still look super awkward, though.

Whew, that's a lot of DC content. Add on Gotham and Lucifer and DC is killing it on TV. I really need some Arrowverse icons...

Date: 2016-10-16 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] acciochocolate.livejournal.com
I want to catch up on all the superhero stuff!

Date: 2016-10-23 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] locker-monster.livejournal.com
I didn't even talk about the Marvel stuff. And there's still iZombie, which comes back in the mid-season, and that DC workplace comedy Damage Control which is premiering who knows when. It's a great time to be a comic book fan.

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