Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

This is something I pondered in the Random Thoughts thread. I read every single NINJA TURTLES comic from the original Mirage publishers and I found that in the end, none of it was all that good because despite being the original source material, it was dated, out of touch, unrefined, raw and none of it really deepened my appreciation for the 90s NINJA TURTLES film and the 2012 NINJA TURTLES series. I enjoyed the Wally West run on THE FLASH, but I can't see it being a necessity to appreciating the TV show today. But it's case by case -- there has never been a truly great BATMAN TV show with ongoing arcs and a progressive mythology. If you want a modern rendition of Batman beyond the film noir of the Nolan series, you'll have to go to the comics. If you want a twenty-first century SPIDER-MAN series that reflects twenty-first century concerns and the 60s iconography, you'll have to go to the comics.

But THE FLASH, ARROW and SUPERGIRL as TV shows have made the Flash and Supergirl comics a bit redundant. Only GREEN ARROW comics still have something unique from the show because they're not anything like the ARROW series and more like the Justin Hartley Green Arrow of SMALLVILLE.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Informant wrote:

That's why I stopped reading comics. My father had just had a stroke and I didn't have time or money to waste on that whole comic book con, so I just gave up trying.

Graphic novels, maybe. But I just can't do the monthly books.

Comics have really become too expensive; I’m surprised there are still as many collectors as there are.  When I was growing up in the early to mid 80’s, comics were 60 cents each at the drug store / gas station / grocery, and the comics were largely self contained stories that you could read just the one issue and have a satisfying experience.  To put that in perspective, a comic cost you about as much as a regular size candy bar.

Today, the cover price on a comic is $3.99 on most.  You could buy three to four regular candy bars for that.  Plus, today’s comics are often giving you only a part of the story.  Sometimes it’s half a story; sometimes only 1/6th of a story.  Of course, you can do mail order comics to get a discount (usually changing that $3.99 to $2.39), but even that is over twice what they should cost.

Comics are by design 32 pages of disposable enjoyment that last about as long as that candy bar.  You would get much more for your money buying a DVD out of the 5 dollar bin at Wal-Mart.

I just don’t see how it’s attractive to people any longer.  It’s certainly not pulling in kids.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

And just to show the companies can do better, look to the new DC Comics 100 Page giants exclusively at Wal-Mart.  That includes reprints of three comics (some older and some that just came out 6 or so months ago) plus 12 pages of a new exclusive multi-part story.  Price - $4.99.  That’s no extra discount - cover price.  So by comparison $3.99 for 32 pages and $4.99 for 100 pages.

The reason DC gave for being able to do this was a new cheaper paper for the 100 Page giants (which looks great); but they can’t use that paper on the monthlies?  Using that paper, they should be able to sell new monthlies for $1.99 to be generous, and that would discount to around $1.25 using the current mail order formula.  That’s around where the price should be.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

There's also no reason why digital comics should be charging the same price as print versions, which account for paper, ink, shipping, etc.

I think that if the comic book publishers lowered their digital prices to something like $.99, they'd make up the difference with more sales (especially if they made a big press stink about it when they did it). That would be drawing in more readers, who are then more likely to try some of the other titles that they would never want to test at $3.99.

This is just common sense. Anyone who publishes across digital platforms and also in paper versions knows that the prices/profits are hugely different. And audiences don't like feeling like they're being conned.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant … crossover/

Does anyone else remember the days when Oliver didn't want to wear a mask, because it would mess with his ability to see? So Barry came up with a mask that would sit perfectly flat on Oliver's face, and the problem was solved.

The mask on Batwoman looks too bulky around the eyes. It's hanging over her eye in the picture. That's bugging me. The costumes on these shows have gotten out of hand. They're going for the comic book look, but they're not considering function or how they appear on screen.

I'm down on these shows right now. Everything about them bothers me, because the people making the shows have spent so much time displaying just how much they don't care about the shows themselves. Last season didn't have one good show between the whole lot of them. I really hope that they turn things around and the shows can be enjoyable again. I just don't have high hopes.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The Flash premiere:

It's hard to say how the season looks based on one episode, but it wasn't a horrible episode. It wasn't super strong. I'm not sure how I feel about so much of the spotlight being put on Nora, unless they're planning to have Grant leave the show and hand things over to her. The episode really should have been all about his perspective on this strange event, and I don't know that they sold that part if it as well as they could have.

The new costume, I wasn't a huge fan of. While I am glad to see the chin strap gone, I think the overall design of the new costume looked like a cheap 90's TV series costume. The color was too bright. The material was too flat. I just didn't think that it looked very good.

The lounge... okay. I don't buy that nobody knew about the thing, but I'll let it slide. They wanted a new set, so whatever.

So, what did I like? I liked that Ralph didn't come across as a Jim Carrey impersonator for once. He didn't annoy me.

I didn't hate Nora. We'll see how she evolves over time. She could get annoying, but we'll see. I did like the use of the word "Shway". I thought it was interesting that she mentioned Lightning Lad, since the Legion has been established in the Supergirl universe, hasn't it? Another hint at a Crisis? (and did they change they change the date of that, by the way?)

The Caitlin/Killer Frost thing is interesting. If she was a meta all along, that would imply that Barry didn't do this to her when Flashpoint happened. But original Caitlin wasn't a meta, so this is a weird wrinkle.

Like I said, it's hard to get a real feel for the season based on this episode. So far, it's not as annoying as last year. But we'll see.

I was thinking about the crossovers, and I decided that it'd be cool to see a crossover event that takes place entirely in another universe. They could have a world where Kara is Power Girl, Oliver and Laurel are a couple, and stuff like that. More like what the comic book fans would recognize, and without the need to come up with a reason for them to bring everyone together. I think that'd be fun.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Informant wrote:

I was thinking about the crossovers, and I decided that it'd be cool to see a crossover event that takes place entirely in another universe. They could have a world where Kara is Power Girl, Oliver and Laurel are a couple, and stuff like that. More like what the comic book fans would recognize, and without the need to come up with a reason for them to bring everyone together. I think that'd be fun.

There's a really good chance at least some of this happens, based on what I've read so far.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

That's cool. The crossovers usually don't feel like they're in-continuity anyway.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I'm with Informant on THE FLASH in Season 5, but I've also adjusted my expectations a bit. I enjoyed "Nora" which found a neat twist on FLASH's procedural-mythos format by bringing in Barry and Iris' adult daughter. It was great to see Jessica Parker Kennedy who played a troubled teen in SMALLVILLE (she was Plastique) and played a troubled teen in THE SECRET CIRCLE and seems to be once again playing a troubled teen in her performance and in the nervous dialogue the script assigns her. It's strange: Parker is 34-years-old and if Nora's a CSI, she has to be nearly 30, but Kennedy is playing a child with her awkward fumbling -- whether that's because she's in the presence of her parents or the scripting being at odds with the backstory, I'm not sure. But it's a neat angle and I thought it added quite a bit.

That said, THE FLASH has struggled to recapture the magic of Season 1. A lot of that is because it's a CW network drama that's been handled like a factory pumping out 22 or so episodes a year with the contracted actors. The content is a tertiary concern.

THE FLASH established itself in Season 1 as a show about (a) exploring Barry's powers and different applications of speed (b) the team learning to work together and (c) the Flash legacy and mythos beginning with the murder of Barry's mother leading to Dr. Wells as Barry's mentor. Season 2 largely stuck to this playbook. A different villain and a new Dr. Wells changed the details so it didn't feel like a rehash, but in Season 3, THE FLASH started running into some problems.

They had no effective role for Tom Cavanagh and Dr. Wells was replaced by another double who provided empty comic relief and served as a sacrificial decoy. The season-long mystery of Savitar didn't connect with the mythos of the Flash and the revelation that Savitar was Barry was diluted by insisting that a time remnant Barry wasn't really Barry, and Savitar became the third evil speedster and because the show didn't emphasize him as Barry's alternate and opposite, he became a faded photocopy of the Season 1 - 2 villains.

Season 4 was a massive improvement by having the team fight a non-speedster, but the longevity of the series began to cause problems. After three seasons, the Flash had learned pretty much all the Speed Force flourishes there were to learn; the spirit of exploring the Flash's powers were gone. The Flash mythos had largely been resolved by Season 2. The characters had settled into grooves. THE FLASH was still a capable, professional show, but it had lost the wonder and ingenuity of Season 1 and hadn't found anything to replace it. The Season 4 finale was also a bit weak; the show failed to really rationalize how the team outmaneuvered the all-knowing villain, relying on the random element of Jessica Parker Kennedy's character who was too much of a cipher to have earned it.

And so now we're at Season 5. We've explored all the Flash's powers now, so there won't be much that's new. We've settled into a criminal procedural format and lost the sense of STAR Labs as disgraced underdogs because the cast have grown competent. We're going to have Tom Cavanagh whether he has anything worthwhile to do or not. Every episode has a supervillain whether that's necessary or not. Season 5 is trying to use Nora to make it seem a bit fresher. It's a shame the show has gotten so locked into its weekly format of one superpowered antagonist per episode and one for the season.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The Arrow premiere was... problematic.

First of all, Diaz should be dead. Why did they let him live? He is one of the worse, most useless characters in the show's history. And that's saying a lot. But then he finds and attacks Felicity, and she somehow survives? She held her own in a fight against Diaz? Seriously? And to top it all off, they didn't even show us the resolution to that fight. He had her and was about to kill her, and then... nothing. Apparently, ARGUS saved her, yet he still got away? I got this from dialogue, but it was never actually shown. Did I miss something? Did my local affiliate cut out a vital scene or two? Or did the writers just decide that it was more important to show Felicity crying... again?

Also, the pink hair looks ridiculous. It doesn't scream "blending in" at all.

The problem with a lot of this show is that right now, the writers are asking a lot. They want us to just go along with the story and trust them, and that's the wrong play after last season. They needed to hit this premiere hard and convince us that the show is worth another chance, because last year was pathetic. Instead, it feels like the writers don't understand that they are on thin ice. There is no trust.

Where I stand right now:

I'm interested in Oliver in prison. That should be the season. Outside of that, the new Green Arrow is an interesting hook. Could have been like a soft reboot of the whole series. That said, the hook with this new Green Arrow was another ask of the audience, and that wasn't necessary. We'll see if they can pull off the story in a way that isn't stupid.

Aside from that, literally every other character should have just faded into the background. Maybe have them recur, but nothing else. I don't care about Renee, or Dinah, or Curtis after last season. Diggle doesn't feel necessary anymore. Felicity is annoying.

Maybe they could have followed Oliver in prison, the new Green Arrow on the streets, and William at school. Reveal that the new Green Arrow is a time jump to the future, and William's story is the new flashback, explaining how he ends up becoming Green Arrow.

I don't know. I'm just not sold on this series anymore. When it was good, I really enjoyed it. But the writers don't seem to care anymore. How do you just forget to resolve a major fight scene between an untrained, unarmed woman, and a guy who is supposed to be a mastermind and a solid fighter?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I was thinking about Arrow some more, going through comments sections and Twitter feeds, and I have to wonder what the target demographic for the show is at this point. When the show started, they were going for the male audience (broadly speaking. I'm not saying that women don't like comic books or action). The show was grittier and more grounded. The fights hit a bit harder. Relationship drama was present, but not overwhelming. It was a comic book show, about a fighter who is taking out bad guys on the streets of a corrupt city. Early casting was also very masculine. Stephen Amell is very muscular. David Ramsey is as well, and we also had Manu Bennett and Collin Donnell. All big, manly men. When Colton Haynes came onto the show, he was playing the younger, skinnier character, but even he was pretty muscular/athletic.

Looking at how the series developed over time, it seems like the tone quickly changed. I never really bought John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, because he wasn't muscular or intimidating in the least. He looked like a stage actor playing a part. None of the new crop of heroes on the show really sell the part of "superhero". They don't train like Amell, so they're not able to be as physical on screen. Curtis is supposed to be an Olympic athlete, but they kinda play that down because he doesn't look that part at all.

I'm not saying that any of these actors are bad actors or bad people in any way, but I'm not sure that they're right for the parts of superheroes.

But... were they really cast to be superheroes at all? The stories have changed as well, and the show isn't really about the superheroics anymore. It's about drama. Relationship drama. Family drama. People standing in various lairs talking about how much they don't trust each other. Felicity crying, and crying, and crying, and crying.

The show doesn't even try to resemble the comic book source material. In fact, they seem to have gone out of their way to annoy comic book fans who wanted a Green Arrow series.

Looking through the comments and Twitter feeds, I can't claim to have a great view of the audience as a whole, but based on the samples that I saw, it seems like the female audience members were much more excited about the season premiere than the males, and a lot of those comments had the word "Olicity" in them.

Basically, I'm wondering if the mission of the series changed over time. Is the show even targeting the same demo that it was when it premiered? Is it wrong to keep hoping that it "gets back on track" when they might not even be looking to reach the same destination anymore? The action and superheroics don't seem like a priority to the writers, who simply forgot to resolve a major life-or-death fight scene between Felicity and Diaz... or they thought it wasn't important to resolve that scene. They could just mention that ARGUS saved her and that Diaz got away, because nobody needs to see that.

Either way, the episode says a lot about where the writers' heads are. And they're not focused on any mission to save the city. That's just a setting for the drama.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant … worlds.jpg


Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I didn't read your Arrow opinions so maybe that's what it's about.....but isn't this exactly what you're looking for?  Something completely out of continuity where they could do fun stuff with it without bending the plot?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I was hoping to see something more tied to the comics, really. I wanted to see a really fun story with *the* Green Arrow, Black Canary, etc.

Having them swap costumes... seems fitting, really. They've swapped plotlines a couple of times. But it feels less "cool" and more "cutesy".

I might just be down on the whole Arrowverse after the Arrow premiere. I'm considering dropping Arrow, but I'm holding on because I keep hoping that it will get better.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I mean they've done stuff like this in the comics before.  What if Superman was raised by the Waynes?  What if Bruce Wayne was a Green Lantern?  That's the kind of Elseworlds stuff that is fun to play around with.

It can be a fun little story where it's not bogged down by continuity, and the actors/fans can have a little fun with something different.

I was actually pretty psyched to see that poster.  I think it'll be cool.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I can see that. I think I was just hoping to see some acknowledgement of the comic book roots, and the stories that mean a lot to a lot of people. That could have been a lot of fun.

This story could work too, I'm sure. I guess we'll see.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

SUPERGIRL had a great premiere, although I was somewhat thrown off by Supergirl being unable to catch up to a villain fleeing on a motorcycle? ARROW also had a great premiere, although I was somewhat thrown off by Felicity being in mortal peril in one scene and being completely fine the next? Both shows have set up some great stuff for the season that I'm really excited about; SUPERGIRL is pursuing its strengths as an allegorical fantasy in a wonderland of a city while ARROW is (hopefully) continuing to stick to the grounded, street-level storytelling of Season 2 combined with the soap opera of Season 4 but few if any of the fantasy elements of the League of Assassins and Damien Darhk. And Informant is also having a fantastic season premiere with all the signature aspects of a good season of his stuff and I'm really excited about what else he'll bring to the table.

Look, I take no pleasure in Informant's displeasure with TV and I can't say I share even a fraction of his distaste for the Arrowverse or that I'm enamoured with his gendered analysis of television but it's *interesting* to read and he's totally right about Felicity's offscreen rescue and the shift from ARROW becoming less like BATMAN BEGINS and more like (shudder) SMALLVILLE.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I'm not trying to gender anything. I'm talking about demographics, and I'm genuinely trying to figure out if I'm supposed to be criticizing this show as an action-based superhero story, or a relationship drama that's set against the backdrop of a superhero world. Arrow was definitely sold to us as gritty, action, superhero stuff (more of a male 18 to 45 demo), but that doesn't seem to be the priority anymore. The CW as a whole is aimed more toward women, so I'm wondering if they consciously decided to shift the tone in order to appeal to that audience.

I found the Felicity/Diaz thing genuinely puzzling. It's an action-based superhero series... yet, they seemed entirely uninterested in telling us how Felicity survived, when ARGUS broke in, or how Diaz got away. They seemed more interested in Felicity crying (which I hate, both because it's annoying as crap, and because season 1 Felicity wasn't this weak, crying mess that they constantly force her to be now). I just didn't get it. It was some of the worse decision-making I've seen on TV in a while, because that scene had to have been filmed, right? It had to have been cut for time... and someone had to have decided that *that* scene was the one that was expendable in the episode. Or else someone got away with writing a cliffhanger for one of the acts, and no resolution in the next.

I'm just baffled. That's all. I'm in awe of that particular decision, and it's making me question the motivation of the entire series. smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The Flash wasn't bad this week. I agree that Nora is being played far too young, and maybe they should have just had her come from 20 years in the future instead of 30. Maybe William could have hitched a ride with her and he's the new Green Arrow.

That said (and ignoring the fact that a major city's police department somehow decided to have no forensics department for months and months because their one lab guy was gone), it was a fun, light episode. Cicada is already less lame than the Thinker. I like Iris as a reporter, rather than commanding the team.

So far, so good. I do dread the new Wells next week though. He could be this year's shark jumping moment. I'd honestly just rather see how Harry is coping these days.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Is there something wrong with Jesse L Martin (Joe West)?  His scenes are being staged so that he spends practically the entire time sitting down; and in this week’s episode, Captain Singh filled in for the part Joe would have usually had with Barry at the crime scene.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I hadn't noticed, but you're right.  Doing a lazy check on twitter, a lot of people are concerned, but no one seems to know anything.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, I noticed that while watching the episode.  I just assumed that he had a broken foot or something. I hope it's nothing serious.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

It's weird -- Joe was very low energy in the premiere and 5.02, but I saw that as Joe being exhausted with a new infant. But yes, Jesse L. Martin being seated and clearly tired in every shot he's in is reminiscent of David Boreanaz in ANGEL when he was written to sit for numerous episodes after knee surgery.


It's hilarious for me to think that I've always seen Jessica Parker Kennedy as a willful, troubled, punk teenager when she's actually a 34-year-old woman who has been playing teenagers since she was 22. Nora is being written as a child, but making her a CSI put her close to the actress' age until the 5.02 indicated that with advanced technology, the entry requirements for forensics is a lot lower in Nora's time period due to advanced technology and that she's a rookie. I think we're to see Nora as 21 -22 which makes a bit more sense.


THE FLASH has always been hilarious with employment: Barry had this massive crime lab that seemed exclusively for his use as (apparently) Central City's only forensic scientist. He went back to work after a coma with no need for reassessment to make sure his findings couldn't be questioned in court over his mental fitness.

Season 3 had some fun with this where Barry got upset at having to share the lab with Draco Malfoy. Season 3 also had some fun with STAR Labs trying to earn money with the Flash Museum. Money hasn ever made sense on THE FLASH.

STAR Labs was disgraced and abandoned in Season 1. Where'd the money coming from to pay rent and utilities and Cisco and Caitlin's salaries and for all the supplies and equipment? Season 3 was also strange in showing Barry despondent over getting suspended from the police department. Why? What difference did it make to him if he did forensic work at STAR Labs rather than the crime lab? Why did Ralph Dibney need to give him a job at a detective agency when Barry has owned STAR Labs since Season 2?

(The answer to all of the above is that THE FLASH is a superhero fantasy show.)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

ireactions wrote:

Season 3 had some fun with this where Barry got upset at having to share the lab with Draco Malfoy. Season 3 also had some fun with STAR Labs trying to earn money with the Flash Museum. Money hasn ever made sense on THE FLASH.

It doesn't make sense on any of the shows.  Legends, I suppose, doesn't matter because they're on such a technologically advanced ship that it might as well be magic.  Like Star Trek, the ship provides them all their basic needs.

Supergirl avoids most of the problems because the characters are always employed.  Kara has always had a job at CatCo.  Same with Alex, Winn, James, etc.  I do wonder how J'onn will be able to fend for himself when he quit the DEO, but I could also see him saving pretty much every non-essential dollar he had so he might be okay for a brief hiatus.

Arrow is the weirdest one for me.  Oliver had a ton of money so the first part of the series doesn't worry about money.  Then the Queens all die and Thea has to depend on Malcolm to survive.  But Oliver didn't have a job or any way of pulling in money for a while.  For some of it, he was depending on Felicity....who, as CEO (as unlikely as that is) would have virtually unlimited pay.  But then she was fired and neither of them had a job.  Again, maybe Felicity had a golden parachute, but they don't really make any attempt to understand where Oliver gets any money until he becomes mayor.

What's crazy is that, while Flash plays it hard and fast with money with all its characters, Arrow doesn't.  Rene struggles with money and lives in an apartment in a bad part of town.  Roy was always struggling with money.  Poor people exist in the series and some of them are prominent, but the protagonist just seems to have money whenever he needs it.

I do think a lot of these shows get by with the help of random millionaires/billionaires.  Smallville had Lex and Oliver and Tess.  Arrow had the Queens and Ray and Felicity.  Flash had Wells.  Supergirl has Lena and Cat.  People who, when times get tough, can pay for random things and write it off as a symbol of friendship.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I think THE FLASH would benefit from getting into how the characters earn money, but that ship seems to have sailed. THE FLASH benefits strongly from Barry having a civilian identity because the character is fundamentally a blue-collar tradesperson superhero, something shown beautifully in Season 2 when the Flash was doing construction work and in Season 5 as he struggles with time travel as he attempts to be a husband and father. With the other shows, I don't think it would add much. SUPERGIRL is a very weird situation where Kara Danvers had a very well-defined normal identity except regular cast member knew her secret.

ARROW was initially very concerned with giving Oliver a life outside the Hood and Arrow identities. But after awhile, having Oliver mess around with running nightclubs or running his company was a distraction from Oliver's life as a street-level vigilante, but when they jettisoned that aspect of his character, they also lost the financial rationale for the Arrowcave and all the costumes, gadgets and hardware. And ultimately, the question of who pays for all the supplies was a silly question for this sort of superhero fantasy. Oliver's civilian life, unless it tied into his crimefighting life (like being the mayor), was a waste of time. I assume Oliver's adventures with ARGUS and with the League gave him many opportunities to stash away money.

Oliver isn't interested in living a normal life; the character is not well-served by having him hang out at Jitters for trivia night or chairing boardoom meetings even if it indicates how he's funding his life. Oliver is defined by his war on crime.

LEGENDS had some fun with the civilian side of things when Ray became a glorified intern and Sarah clocked in as a salesperson at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a brief sequence, but, as with ARROW, normal lives just aren't meaningful in this context.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I am putting this post in the Arrowverse thread as the creators have taken no official stance on whether or not TITANS exists on Earth 1 (FLASH/ARROW/LEGENDS) or Earth 38 (SUPERGIRL), and given that Bruce Wayne has been mentioned on ARROW and Batman in SUPERGIRL, TITANS could take place in either or neither.

Anyway. The first two episodes of TITANS are pretty dark, but it makes sense. Robin's brutality towards villains with eye gouging and crippling seems logical for a street-level vigilante character.

I'm not familiar with the TEEN TITANS comics; I read NIGHTWING religiously from 1996 – 2005 and know Dick Grayson's character well, but the NIGHTWING comics were very separate from TEEN TITANS. NIGHTWING was under the Batman line editor which mandated a street-level crime approach, so NIGHTWING neither acknowledged nor contradicted Dick Grayson's exploits with TITANS.

Dick Grayson in this show is like no Dick Grayson in the NIGHTWING comics, but that's understandable. The comic book Dick has been largely a sunny, cheerful, Captain America-type without much internal conflict. He's beloved by comic book readers, but his glowing emotional health makes him difficult to write. Some writers have drowned him in trauma or had him struggle with living up to Batman's legacy, the pendulum inevitably returns to writers emphasizing Dick's acrobatic abilities and put him in crazy action sequences or use his bright personality to contrast with grimdark situations. 

The TITANS Dick is a troubled, angry, isolated young man who is caustic towards both colleagues and people who need his help and seems to have been traumatized by Batman, an offscreen and absent father figure whom Dick has rejected. I don't know what's going on there, but it's compelling and speaks to drama and a past whereas a more comics-accurate characterization wouldn't say much of anything.

The TV show has currently formed the cast with Dick, Raven, Starfire, Hawk and Dove is showing how all the characters are orphans who either lack family or have left it behind, and that's pretty interesting. There's a bloody intensity to the show with fast cutting and hyperserious darkness that's very much like a Zack Snyder movie.

The first two episodes create a very tender and sweet brother-sister relationship between Dick and Raven, both orphans who have stumbled into each other's lives. When the show introduces Hawk and Dove, they're presented as capable superheroes whose numerous adventures have hurt them: Hawk has many injuries, needs a variety of painkillers and surgery and is impotent while Dove is no longer enamoured with being a superhero outside of appropriating money from criminals to retire. This, matched with Dick's loneliness and savagery, presents a dark view of superheroes as damaged warriors seeing criminals as acceptable targets for their violent urges.

It's most unlike ARROW presenting superheroes as civil servants and totally opposed to FLASH and SUPERGIRL depicting them as emergency responders. Starfire, off in her own plot, is shown as a dangerous superweapon who thankfully has only killed murderers so far but could go off on anyone. Beast Boy is a thief.

TITANS makes no effort to introduce the concept of superheroes; they're treated as a known quantity from the start and it's assumed that the audience knows Dick and Raven from their appearances in cartoons even if these are darker versions. There is no sense of establishing a weekly formula like the Arrowverse shows; this main throughline is Raven on the run from mysterious criminal organizations and it's one story that looks to be split across 12 episodes.

The visual quality is strong and the scenes are compelling, but TITANS feels like a TV producer taking the leftover bits and pieces of whatever copyrights are currently unlicensed and trying to cram them into a TV show. The first episode suggested that it was about orphans which would reflect TITANS being composed of castoffs from other TV and film deals, but the second episode introduced Hawk and Dove as over-the-hill heroes. I don't really know what TITANS is aside from it feeling like a spin-off to a BATMAN TV show that hasn't been made.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I haven't watched Titans yet (I will get a free trial once it's all aired), so I can't comment on that. I do see a lot of people who are upset that it's not more like the cartoon. I'm not sure what to say to those people. Anyway, the series looks like it could be good, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

As for the money issue in the Arrowverse... I think it's a problem. Not the money itself, because a lot of shows don't discuss how their "poor" characters still seem to wear new clothes every week, and eat out as though it's free. If that were the issue, I wouldn't really think it was that big of a problem. The thing is, they've made money a plot point on both shows, and then dropped it because it was boring or something. It might have been interesting to see Oliver live amongst the poor people for a while, but they just kept giving him massive penthouses. It might be interesting to see the Flash world expand a little bit with characters earning a living in different ways (Cisco would never need to get a real job. He could design tech and sell it for millions).

The issue is about how invested the writers are in their own stories. I've probably said it before in some thread, but writing fiction is about earning the trust of the audience. You make a deal with them, wherein they agree to buy into the false reality that you establish, with the understanding that there are still rules and there are still consequences. If you violate the trust of the audience by not buying into the reality of your own story, or by shattering that reality that you've created, it is incredibly hard to recover. If you don't buy into your story, why should anyone else?

That's a major issue with the Arrowverse right now. Introducing metahumans was a huge ask, after establishing the Arrowverse as a grounded "reality". But we went along with it. It was all good. But more and more often, the writers are violating the "reality" of their fictional universe, either because they don't care, or because they want to promote whatever cause they're pushing that week, and that makes it harder for the audience (or at least for me) to remain in that story. I don't buy Felicity holding her own in a fight with Diaz, because they've established that Felicity can't fight worth a damn. And the writers didn't buy that scene either, so they didn't pay it off. They didn't want to invest in paying off the money issues that they established. They didn't want to pay off Oliver falling off of a cliff after being stabbed through the chest with a sword.

I honestly don't think the writers have an interest in writing a Green Arrow series. And what's worrisome was that this started to happen on The Flash last year too. When the writers, for some unknown reason, decided to ignore the fact that Marlize was a villain who was equally responsible for numerous murders and for sending Barry to prison, and they started writing her as an ally of some sort... it violated the story quite a bit. And when the Wells alternates all became excuses for the actor and wardrobe people to show off their movie character impersonations, it was clear that the writers didn't even take their own show seriously.

The Flash can recover. It was never a show that was meant to be taken super seriously, but the writers still have to take it seriously. A weak season, or maybe even two, can be forgiven. But with Arrow... I just don't know. I find my patience to be very thin with that show. I want them to address the issues and fix them, but they don't seem to be doing that. They keep doubling down on some of them. So when they introduce this flash-forward thing, I'm not intrigued and I'm not on the edge of my seat. I'm rolling my eyes and wondering why they bothered to bring Roy back at all, after giving him and Thea a happy ending.
When I see Diggle fighting Diaz, I find myself wondering why he is having such a hard time. If Felicity can hold her own against him, surely a well trained, muscular dude can kick his ass pretty easily.

It's funny. I was watching Daredevil, and without giving too much away, there was a fight scene that took place in a weight room. One character picks up what must have been a 35 or 45 pound weight and almost uses it to bash someone's head in... but stops, because it would obviously kill the guy in a horrible and bloody way.
Whereas on Arrow, Oliver beat the crap out of someone with a very similar weight, and it was nothing.

This is the problem that I'm having right now. I will give Arrow a chance and see how the season goes, but I will probably stop watching soon if it doesn't pick up. I don't want to bother with a show that genuinely feels like the writers are just there for the paycheck and have zero interest in the actual story (or source material).

(for the record, I know that I complain about the Arrowverse a lot, but it's not just this show that I have problems with. Supernatural violated its own reality for the sake of a Trump joke, and it still bothers me to this day. On top of their soap opera lighting, the weak excuse to bring back nearly *every* dead character, and tired angel/demon storyline, even one of my favorite shows can get on my bad side)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I adore SUPERGIRL, but for Episodes 4.01 - 4.02, I have to put on my Informant hat and engage in some criticisms of the show's political positions and portrayals. SUPERGIRL's season arc kicks off with anti-alien prejudice slowly rising two years after Season 2 had President Olivia Marsdin (Lynda Carter) established alien amnesty laws to grant all extraterrestrials asylum in the United States.

Season 4 reveals to the public that Marsdin is an alien herself, pretending to be human. Her exposure and resignation brings anti-alien sentiment mainstream, leading to mass paranoia and hate crimes in the United States as aliens are perceived as infiltrators and invaders.

SUPERGIRL, having seemed oddly out of touch last year in its happy world of non-lethal black ops agents and clumsy efforts at gun control storylines, has finally understood that its strength is not in copy-pasting headlines but in allegory and metaphor, using aliens to represent real-world tensions.

But within its fictional world, SUPERGIRL seems unable to acknowledge the self-induced political disaster that Marsdin has brought upon herself and her supporters. As an illegal alien, every policy decision Marsdin made from the alien amnesty act to the Oval Office carpet must be considered illegitimate. Season 2 identified Marsdin as a Democrat; the Democratic Party of Earth-38 is now the party that allowed an illegal immigrant to infiltrate and lead them. Any policy or cause that Marsdin led is now tainted, damaged and done.

This story makes it absolutely necessary to question Marsdin's ego and motivations for the presidency -- in fact, the question should have come in in Season 2 when Cat Grant and Supergirl learned the truth, but they understandably took note that Marsdin was a staunch ally and defender against the Daximite invasion. But instead, 4.02 has Supergirl comforting Marsdin who says she only became president to help people and Supergirl tells her that it's unfair that she's been forced to resign. There is no moral analysis whatsoever regarding Marsdin's deceiving the American people to become their leader.

Marsdin selects her vice president to take over which is nonsensical; she isn't a natural-born American citizen and the whole world knows it now. Congress would never permit her to transfer her position to a chosen successor. Earth-38's America should be in a full-blown constitutional crisis right now. SUPERGIRL should be questioning Marsdin severely right now.

But to do so would force the show to adopt a greater level of ambiguity when it would prefer to present any anti-alien/anti-immigrant sentiment as unfounded bigotry and prejudice -- except SUPERGIRL's immigrants are superpowered beings, a situation that has problems well-beyond real immigration in the real world. The alien immigrant storyline, if critical of Marsdin, could conceivably lead to a story where keeping aliens and humans separate is necessary to save lives due to the massive power imbalances at work -- which isn't something SUPERGIRL wants to say. It is a risk of this storyline and SUPERGIRL should dive into it and explore that doubt and uncertainty and find a way to reconcile its values with its reality.

But SUPERGIRL has preferred to offer a black and white conflict in which anyone afraid of an illegitimate leader of the free world is the Earth-38 equivalent of a real world racist when, within the fictional context, the fear is entirely reasonable and justified.

I mean -- fine. I certainly appreciate Supergirl and her friends getting increasingly worried as National City's populace gangs up on aliens and rant about how aliens won't replace them; allegory and metaphor are potent and powerful. But if SUPERGIRL isn't prepared to question its own values when those questions are glaringly present, then SUPERGIRL's values seem hollow and weak. The show comes off as loudly blustering but is ultimately timid and hesitant.

I mean, maybe I'm asking too much of a TV show for families featuring a children's character, but SUPERGIRL raised these issues.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I forget exactly where I stopped watching (some point in season 2, I believe), but it seems to me that most of the series revolved around the idea of hostile aliens, trying to kill people and destroy cities. Season 1 was about an organized radical group of alien terrorists who wanted to wipe out humanity.

While I think that it makes perfect sense for the series to explore the whole "illegal aliens" issue through this kinda thin metaphor, I think it's absurd for the series to take a simplistic view of the situation and write off the humans as being racist. It seems like they have a legit reason to question the aliens and to want some sort of control over who comes onto the planet.

And this is a great chance to explore both sides of the very real issue without demonizing anyone or calling anyone racist. Except, Supergirl isn't interested in that. And they were never interested in telling Supergirl's story at all, really. They were interested in turning Superman into a woman and using that idea for a feminist series... which boggles my mind. Supergirl is a great character, with a story that isn't just a copy of Superman's. She has a personality which isn't Superman's. She has a life that isn't Superman's. There is no reason why a Supergirl series should have been a Superman series with a female lead, except that the people making the show don't care about the character or her story, any more than the Arrow writers care about Oliver Queen or his story. They wanted Batman, just like Supergirl wanted Superman. And because they had no interest in the story that they were actually supposed to be telling, they wound up with weak knock-off shows, rather than some original, layered stories that we haven't seen a million times before.

Imagine if Kara and Clark were on opposite sides of the alien immigration issue. Her experience is that of a scared teenager who lost everything, and who needed a new home and new people to care for her when she was absolutely shattered. His experience is of growing up with human parents, surrounded by humans, who are justifiably wary of aliens with strange powers--some of whom try to destroy the world on a regular basis.

Imagine if Green Arrow actually explored the Roy Harper addiction story, with Oliver punching him in the face.

There is so much history and story that has never been explored on any screen before, but the people making these shows have absolutely no interest in that. Instead, they focus on their selfish need to push their own politics and agendas, and the shows mean nothing to them outside of that.

Mind you, in both scenarios that I set out here, Kara and Oliver would be liberals. I'm not trying to make them conform to my politics (though exploring the issues with a little more depth would be nice, because I'm tired of being portrayed on TV as some mustache twirling villain, written by people who have never taken the time to actually understand my side of things). I just think that it'd be nice if the writers cared more about their stories and characters, and less about turning their shows into scripted twitter rants.

Sorry. I'm ranting a lot... about other people ranting. It's just irritating me. Like Sliders, I see so much potential that is being wasted by people who just don't care. There are thousands of writers who would love to have these jobs, and those writers are still starving because hacks keep getting work.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Is there an in-universe reason why Earth has become such a hotbed for alien immigration?  Is there similar levels of alien immigration on Earth-1 and it's just not an issue?  Because I feel like this would be a better topic if, like Supergirl, these aliens had nowhere else to go.  Earth is already overpopulated by humans, and it seems weird that aliens would rush here just to be persecuted.

The political stuff doesn't really bother me because it's such a lazy "a special episode" form of it.  It's only when the show takes itself too seriously (like with the gun episode last season) that it starts to bother me.  I understand that these writers feel some sort of obligation to speak out in a post-Trump world, but I think they'd get the same message across by simply showing the good guys being kind to everyone as opposed to writing these big monologues where people say we have to be nice to each other.

There's the new transgender character and she talks about standing up to bullies and how important it is for her to be accepted.  I think they could simply write her as being accepted, and it'd have the same effect, I'd think.

They should write the world the way they think it should be, and kids watching it should 1) notice the differences and strive to make the world more like the world they're seeing or 2) simply live the way their heroes live.  I don't think cramming a message down people's throats with big, emotional monologues drives the point home any further.

I was also a little uncomfortable with some of the media ethics in the episode, just because I sorta agreed with James' stance from the first part of the episode.  I think the world needs *fewer* editorials, especially since we have entire publications that are seemingly *all* editorial.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The simplest 'explanation' is that SUPERGIRL's Earth, Earth 38, has subtle yet significant differences from Earth 1 and our world. It clearly has no overpopulation or famine issues (hence Supergirl and Superman spending their time in North America and places that, on our Earth, would need the *least* amount of help from superheroes). Is it larger than our Earth? In JLA/AVENGERS, the Justice League noticed that the Marvel Universe Earth was smaller than the one in the DC Universe.

Earth 38 may, due to Superman gifting Kryptonian technology to humans, have farming and food synthesization techniques well-beyond what we know and have other forms of resource extraction and replenishment. I assume Superman has been working with scientists and built relationships so close that one of the scientists he knew was willing to adopt an alien teenaged girl into his family with Superman's complete trust.

But regardless of the source, Earth 38 is home to incredible technological advancements. They have AI, androids, cyborgs, force fields, sonic hand-weapons, incredibly advanced body armour, cryogenic pods -- it's clearly ahead of us and totally equipped to welcome refugees from other worlds.

I dated one person who identified as non-binary and transgender and they would have considered it offputting to see transgender people accepted without comment. I mean, maybe we'll get there someday, but we are not there yet and seeing someone face prejudice means more right now than seeing a world where it doesn't exist.

I wonder why it'd be okay for SUPERGIRL to act like overpopulation and poverty don't exist but it wouldn't work to say that bigotry doesn't exist. I guess what it comes down to is that SUPERGIRL is not our world, but it should always serve as a reflection and dramatic representation of select conflicts in our world as suited to its format and genre.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

While I'm not opposed to the idea of exploring real world issues through fiction and metaphor, I think that the Supergirl team hit the politics way, way too hard. Especially considering their inability to really explore the issues. The show would have been way better if they'd just done a Supergirl series instead of the Supergirl propaganda videos. And ultimately, it does more for strong female characters in fiction if they're not treated like political pets. They always say that showing is better than telling in fiction writing, and that's usually true.

The real answer to all of the questions is, the Supergirl/Arrowverse writers didn't think about it. The writers don't care about it.

But generally speaking, the world is bigger in the DC universe. They have all of our cities, and then their own fictional cities

Okay... What does everyone think about the new Flash suit?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The new Flash suit of Season 5 is an abomination. The previous designs used a darker red that was suited to live action: it could be lit for both day and night, shadow and sun. It looked like part of the reality of the show whether the Flash was on the city streets or in one of those abandoned warehouses or in a high tech lab or in a coffee shop. The material added shape and weight to Barry's body, emphasizing his runner's build and lightness of step.

The new suit -- the red is so bright, so oversaturated, that it makes the Flash look like he's been pasted on top of the more realistically coloured surroundings he occupies. The lack of lines and layers turns the Flash's body into a vaguely human-shaped blob of glow-in-the-dark red. The missing chinstrap makes the back of the Flash's head look overly large in comparison to his jaw; the back of his head seems swollen.

*facepalm* a faceful of *facepalm*

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I wholeheartedly agree. And it's sad that the old 90s costume actually looks better … 190uhalmrp

The new costume looks even worse on Amell.

We haven't discussed the return of 90s Flash. I feel like it's cool to see, in some ways. But it also feels like someone is hammering an old joke. Having him play Barry's dad was a wink to the old show. Then having him be Jay was like "get it?! Do you get what we're doing here?!" And now it's removing any ounce of playing it cool.

But it's fun on some level. Kinda makes me wish they hadn't wasted Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain on Supergirl.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I don't love the new Flash suit, but it doesn't bother me that much.  I do think Stephen Amell looks REALLY weird in that costume, though.  I figured he'd look big and bulky in it, but he just looks awkward.  And Barry looks really tiny in the Green Arrow costume.  That Elseworlds crossover is going to be something, though.  There's a lot of really weird stuff going on, and I have no idea how it's all going to tie together.

Side note : ANOTHER episode where Joe isn't standing up.  He doesn't look or sound as sickly as some people think, but I'm hardly an expert on that.  I feel like he must've had surgery on his leg or back, maybe?  I feel like if it were a stroke, we'd have heard something.  I also feel like if it was something life threatening, they would let him rest instead of having him shoot.  It's a bizarre thing, though.

Turns out, in the flash forward, that William is gay.  Doesn't bother me one bit, but I think it's funny that it seems like about 40% of the Arrowverse seems to be LGBT.  Not a criticism, just a fun fact smile

I've enjoyed Flash and Arrow this season.  I think Cicada is a really interesting villain, and I think putting Oliver in jail has been good on the flow of the story.  I do wonder what Felicity's plan is - Oliver wasn't framed.  Even if they get Diaz, Oliver will be in jail.  I'd actually really love for him to get out of prison because of the Suicide Squad.  I don't know if they're able to use that anymore, but outside of using the Supermax idea, putting Oliver on the Suicide Squad makes way too much sense for them not to do it.

I thought Legends was fun.  Constantine on the team should be good, but I still feel like that team needs to be shaken up more.  If not the cast (put James Olsen on the team! Or Caitlin!  Or Cisco!  Or Wells!  Someone from Team Flash) then the concept.  I know they're mixing it up this year with magic, but nothing about the show demands that they do time travel.  If they're staying in 2018 but fighting magical beings, it could still be the same, fun show.

Back to Flash - when it seemed like Cisco was maybe dead, I was sorta relieved.  I like Cisco the character and he's one of the ones I'd like to die least, but I was looking forward to a shakeup on the team.  I think a natural person to leave would be Caitlin, who doesn't seem to have much of a role on the team itself.  Using Cavanaugh to play Sherloque makes more sense than some of his doubles, but I'd actually like to see Caitlin go (if you don't want to kill her, put her on the Legends) and have Wells play a medical doctor Wells.  That's supposed to be Caitlin's role and it really isn't very often.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

So, having criticized SUPERGIRL for declaring a 1:1 correlation between alien immigrants and real-life immigrants when the two situations are quite different, I think 4.03 really worked by showing how a decent man of compassion and integrity became radicalized into a hate-mongering extremist through a series of traumatic events from the Kryptonian invasion of Season 1 and the Daxamite attack of Season 2 followed the terraforming crisis of Season 3.

The Agent Liberty character is clearly in shock and suffering from post traumatic stress and he loses the ability to distinguish paranoia from actual threat, becoming a murdering terrorist who justifies his crimes because he doesn't consider his victims to be equally human. 4.03 was really disturbing and frightening to me in its depiction of how hatred for Agent Liberty went from an absurd concept to his default reaction and these stories have never been more relevant than today.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The whole thing with Joe is just strange.  They had the perfect opportunity with the Cicada attack to put him in a wheelchair (or bed) due to injuries, but they didn’t take the opportunity.  Very strange.  I guess they expect him back up and running really soon?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

SUPERGIRL 4.03 really struck a chord with me. I protested the simple-mindedness of presenting alien-fearing humans as bigots in 4.02. 4.03 shows the origin of Agent Liberty, Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) and it is a profoundly haunting portrayal that creates empathy even if one is opposed to him.

At the start, Ben is a gentle history professor and loving family man put off by his father's hate-driven, fear-fuelled rants against aliens. But the family steel mill goes out of business due to alien metals cornering the market. And then Ben's house is destroyed in the Season 2 Daxamite invasion and his family barely escapes.

After that, Ben is perpetually revisiting that moment of terror, feeling powerless. He voices his paranoia and fear: he tells at alien students in his history class that they're replacing him and that humans can't compete, also blaming aliens for the closure of his father's business. He gets fired.

Later, in the Season 3 terraforming attack, Ben's father is killed in the abandoned steel mill when it collapses. A grief-stricken, drunken Ben who has lost his home, business, job and father picks up a steel pipe and murders his first alien victim. Mercy Graves and Otis empower him with the Agent Liberty suit.

Sam Witwer's performance is stunning: the transition from a kindly man of principle to a terrorist is so gradual that it's hard to identify when Ben became Agent Liberty.

Throughout the script, 4.03 portrays how Ben and his father are presented with numerous opportunities throughout. Ben's history classes after the Daxamite invasion are filled with alien students; all these newcomers need a history teacher. Ben tells them that they aren't people, tells them they are hurting his family and terrifies them.

Mr. Lockwood learns that the steel mill could retrofit the machines and retrain the workers to produce alien metals stronger than steel. He refuses, seeing alien elements as a threat, and is driven out of business by plants that are prepared to adopt the alien technology.

At Mr. Lockwood's funeral, Lena Luthor attends, seeking Ben's help to start a fund to help people who have lost their homes in alien attacks. Any fund would benefit from Ben's story, knowledge and business acumen; Ben angrily dismisses her as an alien sympathizer and her fund as unwanted charity.

Each scene is written from Ben's point of view where all these chances seem like unwanted noise. Ben lacks our knowledge of Lena's character and her desire to do good. Ben has never seen the DEO use alien technology for human and alien benefit. Ben has never seen aliens and humans in mutually beneficial relationships. Ben only sees his life falling apart right when these different and alien newcomers arrived, and every time he sees an alien, he relives his terror and lashes out.

Ben's experiences are due to Earth having to deal with being one world in a vast cosmos and humans as once race among many -- an inevitable, inescapable fact of Earth 38 which Ben's shock can't allow him to assimilate.

Instead, Ben demands that Earth revert to a pre-alien existence and sees the way back as humans clubbing each extraterrestrial to death. His existence revolves around revisiting his terror and acting out in savagery and bloodlust.

At the end of 4.03, Mercy and Otis prepare to execute a DEO agent and Ben stops them, declaring humans unacceptable targets, his kindness and loving nature reserved only for some. And Witwer gives Ben this earnest sincerity that makes his hatred for the other terrifying.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Question: are there any characters who oppose "open borders" on the show, who don't turn into hateful, angry murderers? Maybe characters who just want reasonable alien immigration policies enforced, without actually hating aliens?

Since I don't watch the show, I really don't have any opinions of the story. I'm just wondering what the spectrum of beliefs looks like with the central characters.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

There are not main characters that have those beliefs.  But, at the same time, most of the main characters know Kara and J'onn, and it'd be a bit weird to have them be anti-alien (even in a reasoned way).

There are not minor characters that are represented that way because I don't think that'd be all that compelling.  It's the same reason there aren't a ton of moderates on talking head shows.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

See, I disagree. This is part of why I stopped watching the show. It didn't explore political issues in a thoughtful and interesting way. It preached one-sided opinions and absolutely demonized anyone who didn't fall into those same beliefs.

If the show truly was using this story to talk about our real world immigration issues (and again, I am only basing my comments on what's been discussed here, so I could be off the mark), the vast majority of people wouldn't be anti-alien, but most would still prefer some sort of process for alien immigrants coming in, rather than just allowing anyone and everyone. In real life, we're not talking about people who are pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant. That's not the discussion being had at all (aside from some really radical types, I suppose). So for the show to say that everyone good is 100% "open borders" and anyone else is open to the idea of killing alien children, because they're angry and scared and that makes them bad people... That sort of storytelling is reckless and potentially dangerous. (an issue we discussed last year, with a specific line of dialogue used in the crossover)

It'd be one thing if they were just making up fun stories, with comic book villains that don't really have to be super deep. But to project real world issues onto the story and then turn *everyone* who isn't in line with one viewpoint into the season's villain is just... it's bad writing. It's shallow, and shows a complete lack of thought. The real world is nuanced and these issues are heavily debated for a reason.

This is all completely unfounded opinions, based on second-hand tellings of the actual story. So I can't really judge. This is just an issue that plagued Supergirl from the start, and why I had to stop watching. The lack of care or thought just turned me off.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Well, to be fair, they aren't really diving into it head on.  This isn't the West Wing....they aren't having deep and meaningful conversations about anything.  The bad guys are portrayed as bad guys and Supergirl is simply trying to be (and is portrayed as) the voice of reason.

I think you're right, and I think there would need to be some sort of conversation in that real world.  At the same time, I don't think this is the show that such a conversation even belongs in.  So I think even the surface that they're scratching is partially unnecessary.


That all being said, I'm with ireactions.  I had a really strong emotional reaction to the episode.  I think most Arrowverse shows would've tried to tell a normal, present-day story where they threw in some quick flashbacks to tell Ben's backstory.  But they actually committed to 95% of the story focusing on a guy who's unraveling.  He's not shown as a bad person who was always bad.  Even by the end, he's not even a cackling bad guy.  He's a guy who has a great understanding for how history has worked in the past, and he sees the forces of history working against him.

I don't really have a ton to add to ireactions' well-written piece.  I thought Witwer was fantastic, and I thought his transformation was genuine and realistic.  I really enjoyed how they had subtle clues to the changing times.  I thought it was a little too convenient that Supergirl and J'onn happened to show up at all these key times, but it was another sort of Arrowverse first...portraying how it would feel for a regular human to be a witness to these incredible beings doing incredible things.  When Supergirl swooshes in, it was done in a sort of disorienting way.  She comes off almost cold because she doesn't have all the facts.

I also thought they incorporated old footage pretty well, taking us on a tour through the show.  All the storylines kind of meld together in my head, and they did a good job of sorta pointing out exactly what danger the Lockwoods were facing at which time.

After doing a surface scratch and after showing this debate from a very one-dimensional approach, I was astounded at how they were able to make Ben such a relateable and fascinating character.  Color me impressed.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Cool. Glad to hear that they're trying to develop the character that you can sympathize with. I'm almost tempted to check it out for myself, but... Nah. smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, I even thought the way they had him break down was interesting.  An alien doesn't take his job, which would've been the easy way.  An alien doesn't kill his dad, which would've been even easier.  It isn't even collateral damage.  Aliens come to the country and bring Nth metal.  His dad both refuses and is unable to change and adapt.  Yes, their house is destroyed in a collateral damage fire, but they talk about stuff like insurance companies refusing to cover his losses.  Whole towns being supported by a single industry.  When people are hurt by an alien, it's an accident.

I thought it was very well done.  Info, if you have time, I'd check it out.  There's very little Supergirl in it smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I'll probably just let you guys enjoy it. If I watch, I'm bound to get frustrated and tear into it. More fun if I don't.

Turns out, Jesse L Martin suffered a back injury over the hiatus. He will be taking time off to recover at some point. I guess they thought it'd be too much of a downer to have a new father attacked and put into a coma or anything like that. But with Cecile a series regular now, they probably also can't have him take his family into hiding.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Fair enough smile

And good to know that it wasn't something more serious for Jesse L. Martin.  He seems like a genuinely good dude.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I love Informant. I never lived before I met Informant. But Informant's politics are very much opposed to mine -- while we're somewhat closer in terms of storytelling preferences. Let's be clear: I believe Nazis are in dire need of being punched. But I also believe that SUPERGIRL's scripts are in dire need of being edited so that the viewpoints apply to their fictional world as opposed to our very different reality.

Informant wrote:

If the show truly was using this story to talk about our real world immigration issues (and again, I am only basing my comments on what's been discussed here, so I could be off the mark), the vast majority of people wouldn't be anti-alien, but most would still prefer some sort of process for alien immigrants coming in, rather than just allowing anyone and everyone. In real life, we're not talking about people who are pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant. That's not the discussion being had at all (aside from some really radical types, I suppose). So for the show to say that everyone good is 100% "open borders" and anyone else is open to the idea of killing alien children, because they're angry and scared and that makes them bad people... That sort of storytelling is reckless and potentially dangerous. (an issue we discussed last year, with a specific line of dialogue used in the crossover)

Despite Informant and I being opposed on immigration and refugees and asylum seekers, I think Informant has a very fair point here (and only here). I would much prefer it if SUPERGIRL would tell its story of alien immigrants, aliens dealing with oppression and hate crimes, humans fearing aliens for their superpowers -- and let the audience decide for themselves how much of Earth 38 to apply to our own Earth.

Instead, 4.01 and 4.02 have copy-pasted left-wing views of immigration (which are my own) into a fictional context that actively contradicts the narrative that humans are unreasonably afraid of aliens despite three seasons of alien attacks. Earth 38 is not an effective metaphor for America; superpowered aliens are not an effective representation of refugees -- and it'd be best if SUPERGIRL scored its points within its own fictional reality instead of declaring there to be a 1:1 correlation between the fictional world and the real world that clearly isn't there.

In the 80s, a young writer named Andrew Cartmel was joining DOCTOR WHO as the new script editor. He recounts the interview before the job with producer John Nathan-Turner. "He asked me, ‘If there’s one thing you could do with the show, what would it be?’, and I said ‘Overthrow the government’, because I was young and I didn’t like the way things were going at the time. John said ‘Well you can’t do that, the most you can do on DOCTOR WHO is say that people with purple and green skin are all equal’, which we then proceeded to do." Nathan-Turner probably had a point that a fantasy-adventure TV show probably deals in far simpler situations than the real world.

That's part of why I thought 4.03 was so much better than the first two episodes of SUPERGIRL this year; 4.03 wasn't copy-pasting the life of a real-life terrorist into Agent Liberty. It was specifically about Agent Liberty's story and how his fear, trauma and paranoia made bigotry and hatred go from being unthinkable to seemingly reasonable and rational, and how from his point of view, he is a man of integrity and principle in a world gone mad, and you can take any of that or none of that into your own life.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I feel that I should clarify: I don't care much if a Nazi gets punched.

My issue is that the far left has decided to deem *everyone* who disagrees with them a "Nazi", and then they ran with the "punch a Nazi" catchphrase, which means that they're encouraging people to punch anyone who doesn't agree with them. This is wrong on many levels, and has resulted in severe violence against people in real life. So, to see superhero characters use that call to violence on a fantasy superhero series did not make me happy.

Actual Nazis are a thing. They are evil, and putting the "Nazi" label on people who are not actually Nazis not only puts the safety and lives of those people in danger, but it belittles the horrors inflicted upon the world by actual Nazis.

It disturbs me how many people are okay with seeing people being beaten in the streets, simply because those people have different political beliefs (not Nazi beliefs, mind you. Just different beliefs). That is a very dark path to go down.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I agree that I'd like to see more nuance in the alien side.  Like I said earlier, maybe they could explain that there's some sort of disaster happening in the galaxy that is driving people to Earth.  Maybe they could say that Darkseid is terrorizing the galaxy, and people are fleeing to Earth because it's the home of Superman, the only person who's ever defeated Darkseid.  With the way they're treating Superman, they could easily have Darkseid be someone that Superman exclusively deals with, and it doesn't have to even affect the show.

They could show that some aliens are either weaker on Earth than they were on their home planets (reverse Kryptonian effects), but they still feel like their lives are better here (mirroring immigrants living in poverty to avoid troubles in their home countries).  Or maybe show that a lot of aliens are voluntarily weakening themselves to human-like levels so that they don't seem like a threat.  If they showed something that displayed that aliens realize that humans would be afraid of them, and are actively trying to make that better, that'd make more narrative sense.  And if they showed that a lot of aliens are facing greater troubles than just harassment, then it might make parallels work better.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

With this week's Flash episode, I am starting to wonder what the deal is with stories being mirrored on The Flash and Arrow. Is it deliberate for some reason? But more importantly, is there a point in watching both shows if they keep doing the same things?

In the past year, we had Barry and Iris get married, only to have Oliver and Felicity highjack their wedding and get married themselves. We had both Barry and Oliver sent to prison. We have both of their adult children from the future (and I have to think that if grown William doesn't have some relevance to the current story, it's a HUGE waste of air time). Both of those adult kids are gay (or bi).

So is there some benefit to mirroring stories that I don't see? Do the writers just lack communication between shows and just happen to keep sharing plot points? Does sharing storylines remove the need to watch both shows?