Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Well, I enjoyed the crossover plenty. Body swap stories are always difficult for me because I can slightly detach from the story, pondering: wouldn't this scene work better if Grant Gustin were playing Oliver and Stephen Amell were playing Barry? But then you'd lose the image of the actors swapping costumes. Etc.. I liked the part where Barry defeated a superspeeding Oliver by bending over. Bitsie Tulloch was great as Lois but a little too great -- her every scene was so mannered in every line, trying to pack seasons of characterization into 1 - 2 sentences to establish her role. It was great to see Tyler Hoechlin back as Superman and I liked how the yellow accents on the costume are now gold which makes it a complement to the blue rather than a contrast.

It was painful to see how that god-awful Flash costume this year hangs so loosely on Stephen Amell's neck, even more loosely than on Grant's body. Dear God, what happened?

The Anti-Monitor's plan of trying to kill the very heroes he needs as champions was nonsensical. Ruby Rose was awesome as Batwoman. Melissa Benoist had great chemistry with everybody. The Arkham Asylum action sequence was incomprehensible with all the prisoners being released and the superspeeding Oliver inexplicably running away, leaving John to secure the prisoners, leaving Deegan to escape in order to do... what? Oliver vanishes and then returns to put all the prisoners back in their cells. Where was he? Why did he let John struggle and possibly fail to accomplish what Oliver could have done in seconds? Why did he allow Deegan to escape? And are we to believe that Cisco could get hit by a van and be running around a minute later?

I dunno. It was fun. It was full of logical difficulties even with Deegan's reality warping offering some flexible logic. I liked the part where Oliver yelled at Barry that Barry would be unable to function without his wife and his team giving him a motivational speech once every nine hours and when Oliver yelped that he couldn't stand to hug Barry ever again and that twice was enough for a lifetime.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I thought, overall, it was fine.  I did agree with the podcast that I posted in the sense that it did feel like a setup more than a complete story.  Some quick thoughts:

- The Flash suit did look terrible on Amell.  I wonder if they thought it looked terrible too.  If they did, it wouldn't have been out of the realm of possibility to put him in an older version of the suit that might've looked better (if it is, indeed, the chin strap).

- I was actually surprised by the Deegan-as-Superman reveal.  I thought he'd just created an evil Superman to get rid of Oliver and Barry.  I also liked his "My name is John Deegan...." intro.  I also liked the Barry-as-Oliver one for the Arrow episode.  I was just sad that we didn't get a Oliver-as-Barry intro.  I feel like they could've restructured the opening to allow that.

- So did Deegan change anything else the first time around besides swapping Oliver and Barry?  Was there any other indication that anything else was different?  Because it seems weird that Deegan, who seemed to have some (at least to him) altruistic goals thought that he could fix the world by swapping the Flash and Green Arrow.  He didn't really seem like he knew that'd happen, and it definitely didn't seem like he had a plan for them if he did.  Were Deegan's changes only in his own little world at Arkham, and Oliver/Barry were side-effects?  Or maybe tampering from the Monitor, since they're the only ones who remember their true selves?

- Was Deegan responsible for Bruce Wayne leaving?  If so, is that still canon?

- So did the Monitor kill Earth 90 Barry?  Or did he just send him back to his world?

- Did the Monitor not consider it cheating that Earth 1 used multiple heroes from another Earth to defeat Deegan?  If this was a test of Earth 1, they really didn't win on their own.

- I really like this version of Superman, despite what that podcast guy thought.  I don't think he honestly doesn't think that the world needs him or that Kara is so much stronger than him.  Throughout the series, especially in Season One, he was acting as a guide and mentor.  I think he's still trying to build her up, more than anything.  It's a little weird that she just accepts it when he says stuff like that.  You'd think she'd have a more humble reaction, but maybe she knows what he's doing and doesn't want to make him feel bad.

- How did James Olsen end up on Earth 1?  Deegan only knew about Kara and Clark because they fought Amazo.  James never showed up.  Does this mean that James exists on Earth 1, or does it not really mean anything?

- Same question but with Alex.

- Crisis on Infinite Earths - I wonder if this is, partly, the Arrowverse realizing that they're not going to make it to 2024.  Because the Flash is still, *this season* working off the newspaper clipping from Season One.  Is this going to be separate from that?  Or is the timeline getting moved up, possibly as a result of something Nora is going to do?  If so, the newspaper hasn't updated (like it did with Iris' name).

And I'm interested in seeing what happens with Oliver.  We were teased with TF's thought in Part 3 - both Barry and Kara were supposed to die, and they're the ones who die in the original Crisis.  Obviously Oliver made some sort of deal with the Monitor to die in their place - but does that mean that Arrow won't get renewed?  Or would they really be able to kill off Oliver mid-season, possibly on an episode of a different series?  If they announce that Arrow is going to only be 11 episodes next season, won't that be a pretty big tip-off that something is going to happen?  Or would they actually try and do a final half-season of Arrow without Oliver on it?

(I'm guessing that Oliver did make a deal, but like Sam and Dean do all the time, he'll either get out with some other consequences or he'll die and then come back somehow).

If this were a few years ago, I'd have faith that there was going to be a unified plan from the whole Arrowverse team.  But I'm a little worried in recent seasons that there isn't as much control at the top as there used to be.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I stumbled onto this this you, Informant?!!? big_smile

Hahaha... no. He was nicer than me.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but it once again seemed to me like the writers don't actually care about these stories or characters. I've been rewatching Eureka lately. It's an absurd show, filled with nonsense and insanity, from the Scifi Channel (and probably a low budget) but everyone involved was so committed to that universe that it never felt fake. I was never left wondering why characters would do incredibly stupid (yet convenient for the writers) things without anyone commenting on it, and I never really thought that the emotions were false, even when it was completely unrealistic.

The problem that I had with Elseworlds from the very beginning was one of my biggest peeves in lazy writing. The fact that a simple conversation would instantly clear up the misunderstanding. Why wouldn't Oliver just tell Iris that he wasn't Barry? And that decision snowballed into this insane plot where nobody believed Oliver and Barry, despite the fact that Cisco would probably have a body-swap preparation kit tucked under his desk at all times. There was no reason for any of them to doubt Barry and Oliver. And to top it off, even if they didn't believe them, again, a simple conversation would clear it up. "Okay 'Barry', where did you first confess your love for Iris?" Oliver wouldn't know that.

And yeah, you could say that it's all because the lazy plot device made it happen, but there was no indication that their actual memories of Barry and Oliver were altered, or that they were programmed to not trust them (as evidenced by their later reversal on this point). It was just convenient writing, for the sake of a chuckle and getting the script written.

The whole crossover event was like this. It was a concept, not a plot. And there were many ways in which that concept could have been turned into a legit and solid plot, but apparently it wasn't a priority. So instead, we're stuck with countless minutes of characters trying to sound as though these plot holes and contradictions make sense, but they really don't.

100% of this fail is the writers. I don't blame the actors. They are all solid in their roles. They have great chemistry. They managed to make me smile through the delivery of their lines, even while the writing failed them at every corner.

You'd think I went into this wanting to hate it and expecting to write this post. I actually didn't. I was stupid. I made it a whole big thing in my head. I saved all three episodes, so I could watch them as one big event. And after all of that, I couldn't do it. I got through two episodes and I had to step away for a while.

I really didn't feel anything about Batwoman either way. I thought she was a bit forced and some of her scenes were clunky, but she didn't leave enough of an impression for me to really like or dislike her.

I continue to say that this version of Superman is horrible. Miscast (and again, I like the actor in other roles, and have since he was a kid in Road to Perdition) and just horrible all around. And they made the mistake of calling back to Smallville. There is nothing as jarring as using the iconic Smallville shots, and the theme music, cutting to the iconic Smallville Kent farm... and seeing this mess of an adaptation in the place of Tom Welling. Tom had so much strength and presence in that role that you looked at him and saw Clark Kent/Superman. Tyler just doesn't.

And while I think that this Superman is poorly done, that opinion pales in comparison to my views on this Lois Lane. I hated her so much that I was disappointed when Superman managed to save her toward the end. The problem is, she didn't have a lot to do here, and what little time she had to be a presence in the Arrowverse, they wasted on political bullsh*t. Lois Lane is an iconic, strong, powerful, smart, kick-ass woman. They don't need to make her a shrill feminist, whining about the pay gap and quoting statistics regarding the superiority of women. They should have spent that time making her look like a strong, powerful, smart, kick-ass woman. Maybe have her interact with Iris and show Iris what this life looks like after so many years (though I'm not sure that we're supposed to remember how long Clark is supposed to have been at this, or how old Lois should be).

Lois managed to achieve in these short episodes what Felicity took years of groundwork to accomplish. And again, it's lazy writing. In the minds of these writers, having Lois throw in these political comments makes her looks tough and smart. To me, it looked like they didn't want to put in the work and build an actual character, so they used a generic template.

The Supergirl line about the villain guy being too afraid to be a woman was just cringe-worthy. It took what seemed like five minutes of forced dialogue to get to that line, and it didn't even make sense.

Okay, now I need to step off the hate train and discuss plot and characters in a more fanboy way...

Am I wrong in thinking that they've established that Alex and James exist on Earth-1? I assumed that they didn't, because none of the other Arrowverse characters exist on whatever Earth Supergirl is on, but it seems like they (and Batman) exist on both worlds. Could this play a part in the Crisis next year, and the shows possibly merging universes? Will they kill off the "real" Alex and Jimmy? I don't watch Supergirl, so I don't know how they set up Argo City. Would Clark and Lois be in any way protected from such a merge by being there?

Barry, Oliver and Kara really are fun to watch together. It reminds me of the old days with Oliver, Diggle and Felicity in a lot of ways. The fact that there's no romantic drama or anything like that makes that relationship more entertaining and less stressful. And while I know that we're talking about a yearly visit vs 23 episodes per season, it just made me realize how forced Arrow has become lately. Every scene and every line feels like it's being dragged into the episode against its will, at a point when the series should be writing itself.

The high point of the crossover was by far the way they styled Killer Frost's hair. The wig is usually iffy, but this look really worked for her.

Did they stop referring to Diggle as "Diggle" because they wanted to build up this Green Lantern thing? Is that why he is always "John" now? Because that has really been distracting me for the last couple of seasons.

I wonder if I should just cut and run. I feel like I'm such a downer in these discussions, because it feels like I rarely have anything nice to say about these shows anymore. I want to like them. I used to like them. I don't think that The Flash is nearly as bad as last season. I just wonder if I'm adding anything to the conversation, or if I'm just making it harder for everyone else to be excited about the shows they like.

With the Marvel movies, I've more or less stopped commenting after I watch them. Maybe I'll try that here.

With Titans having finished their season, I think I might sign up for the free trial of the DC Universe and try that after Christmas/New Year. So for anyone who has seen that one... does it just feel like the Arrowverse, or does it feel like something else?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

You can quit watching if you want, of course, but I don't think your negativity has any effect on the rest of us.  I like reading your comments, positive or negative smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Tyler Hoechlin's Superman is great; he's just not the Superman whom Informant wants to see. Informant has an extremely particular vision of Superman based on the 1986 John Byrne reboot and the SMALLVILLE series. Prior to 1986, Superman was the alien inheritor of the legacy of Krypton's culture and technology who disguised himself as Clark Kent for what looked like a bizarre sociological experiment.

Given that Informant threw a fit over one line of dialogue where Hoechlin's Superman referred to English as "your language," I think it's safe to say he wouldn't enjoy this version of Superman.

Pre-1970, there wasn't a lot of thought put into WHY Superman pretended to be Clark beyond (a) positioning himself at the Daily Planet to catch news of emergencies that needed Superman and (b) giving Superman a vulnerable human persona so readers could relate to him. Elliot S! Maggin, the primary Superman writer of the 1970s, took the view that Superman enjoyed living as Clark the way cosplayers enjoy dressing up as Superman; Superman found civilian life thrilling. But there were a lot of challenges with this character and that led to the 1986 reboot.

The 1986 reboot Superman determinedly does *not* see himself as Kal-El of Krypton, son of Jor-El. He thinks of himself as Clark Kent, son of Jonathan and Martha. The reboot goes so far as to say Kryptonians don't have sex but harvest sperm and eggs to be formulated in a mechanical "matrix" which only completed 'birthing' Clark after the pod landed in Kansas. Clark only discovers his Kryptonian origins at age 36 from a holographic Jor-El. "I may have been conceived out there in the depths of space," says Clark, "but I was born when the rocket opened on Earth, in America."

He respects his Kryptonian heritage and the hologram uploads a vast databank of Kryptonian knowledge into his brain, but this character is distinctly Clark Kent with Superman being his disguise. This version was certainly a much stronger *character* in contrast to the complex, alien, unknowable Superman before 1986. Since the reboot, every film and TV adaptation has gravitated to the Kansas farmboy version.

But it is untrue to claim that Clark of Kansas is only acceptable version of this character. The original was good enough for 48 years and created a media empire that continues to this day. Both versions of the character have their advantages and disadvantages. At times, Informant blowing a gasket over Superman being presented as a strange visitor from another world reminds me of John Rhys-Davies having a tantrum over not seeing himself in how Arturo is written.

Tyler Hoechlin's Superman is neither lacking in strength nor devoid of presence -- he just isn't strong or present in the ways that Informant wants, but all of Superman's actors have had their strengths and weaknesses.

Christopher Reeve played the alien Superman and he exuded warmth, charisma and he had the physicality to convince you that he was flying instead of dangling from wires, but his Clark was such a bundle of comical mannerisms that it made him seem sociopathic and self-torturing in his desire to live as a belittled incompetent who annoyed the people around him. Any time Reeve's Superman or Clark interact with anybody -- Lois, Jimmy, Perry, strangers -- there's a situational falseness that isn't part of Reeve's performance.

This culminated in KILL BILL II: the villain remarked that Clark Kent's clumsy unassertiveness looked like Superman's contemptuous critique of all human beings. This leaves one wondering why Superman bothers to protect us at all. It is the primary weakness of the pre-1986 Superman and why the reboot reversed nearly all of these characteristics.

Dean Cain's Clark Kent was the 1986 Clark. Cain had a superhuman grace, charm and politeness that was truthful, allowing this Clark to have emotional arcs and actual relationships. However, his Superman was awkward. To differentiate Clark from Superman, Cain's Superman was simply Clark with Cain suppressing all his natural mannerisms and clearly feeling awkward and silly in his costume.

It's noticeable that Cain's Clark is a full-bodied performance while his Superman never quite knows how tall to stand or how to move with the cape or where to hold his hands. Thankfully, Superman was at most a cameo role in a show where Clark was the leading man. And this is the main failing of the post-1986 Superman: there is no distinction between Clark Kent and Superman, undermining the plausibility of Clark going unrecognized and failing to create any meaningful conflict involving Superman's dual-identity because, in terms of characterization, he doesn't have one.

Tom Welling was unusual in that Welling isn't much of an actor. Welling played himself onscreen and his Clark exuded Tom's own warmth, care and kindness matched with Tom's incredible physical presence. As a male model and amateur athlete, Welling had Reeve's ability to convey superhuman powers through his natural body language. Welling is the sort of person who spends his free time going to toy stores, buying out their inventory and sitting quietly in his living room wrapping them one-by-one and then driving them to various children's charities before Christmas. Welling reportedly earned no salary on the SMALLVILLE series finale, redistributing his pay to offer Michael Rosenbaum a bigger paycheque to win him for two days of filming.

Welling's personality was perfectly in sync with his character (although not always with the writing which made Clark seem selfish and indifferent). He also did a great job with performing the withdrawn and solitary Clark Kent in contrast to his Red Kryptonite affected persona and his alternate universe double, both of whom had a swaggering, dominant physicality that the usual Clark didn't.

When watching him onscreen in Seasons 1, 8, 9 and 10, the truth of his performance overcomes his weaknesses as a performer -- which are many. His perfect screen presence is marred by a lack of technical ability as an actor. His enunciation can be awkward such as his inability to pronounce "vigilante." His reactions to events and other actors are muted. He performs poorly with post-filming special effects; note his blankness when conversing with onscreen doubles and see that Tom cannot pretend he isn't looking at a tennis ball on a string.

Over time, this was finessed into his Clark being a thoughtful, low-key personality and it added a beautiful gentleness to his persona as he supersped into burning buildings, gunfights and car wrecks. Tom Welling and the SMALLVILLE special effects team made saving people look exciting and awe-inspiring and conveyed Clark's power and compassion.

And this is where the Brandon Routh Superman crashed hard. SUPERMAN RETURNS has no combat; Superman spends the film saving people just like Clark on SMALLVILLE, but SUPERMAN RETURNS directed in such a dull, unexciting fashion that there's almost no visceral intensity aside from the plane crash. Brandon Routh, as directed, was asked to play Superman and Clark Kent as the same low-key, quiet personality, much like Welling, but with far less scripting.

In fact, Routh was so underwritten in SUPERMAN RETURNS that it's hard to understand why this Clark Kent works at a newspaper (can't he get news of emergencies on a smartphone?) or even bothers with a civilian identity (the only person Clark has a relationship with is his mother). While Routh has the physicality to convince that he's superhuman, it's noticeable that where Reeve and Welling could shift between personas, Routh needs the blue contact lenses, S-curl hairstyle, costume and wire effects to be Superman. In SUPERMAN RETURNS, Routh might as well be a CG animatic considering how little personality the script provided him to perform. Routh's Superman is a blank slate.

In contrast, Henry Cavill in MAN OF STEEL is filled with personality, arguably personality enough for five separate movies. He's the teenager itching to flee his small town; he's the wandering nomad keeping his distance from others; he's the guilt-tormented son who let his father die; he's the humble inheritor to the legacy of Jor-El; he's the god who surrenders to humanity in order to defend them. Kal-El of Krypton, Clark Kent of Kansas and Superman the superhero are different combinations of all these personas, but Cavill is quite definitive that he is from Kansas.

The 1986 incarnation of Superman began shifting towards this multi-faceted identity in 2000 as Superman began to explore his Kryptonian heritage more while identifying as American. The change cemented fully in 2006 with writers Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns fully committing to the multi-identity situation. This version of Superman is less likely to default to American culture and seeks to balance his alien and human heritage. This led to a brief arc where Superman renounced his American citizenship and Informant had that nervous breakdown with him shrieking pre-MAN OF STEEL that Henry Cavill couldn't possibly play Superman because Cavill was a foreigner.

It was a dark time for SLIDERS fandom. I like to think we made it through, and now we come to Tyler Hoechlin. Hoechlin is playing a very different Superman from the previous actors. Reeve, Welling, Routh and Cavill were all struggling to shoulder their responsibilities, but Hoechlin's Superman has a decade of experience and found his bliss.

He isn't juggling two legacies; he's settled into both. He isn't working through his identity confusion around Lois; they're a very happy couple. He isn't nervous about his relationships; he works closely with scientists to share Kryptonian technology with humanity but holds the DEO at a distance because they want to be ready to kill him. He keeps watch on Kara but keeps his distance with texts and instant messaging because he doesn't want to be a helicopter parent.

The result is a Superman who is at the end of his character arc with his demons vanquished and his conflicts resolved. Even when disgruntled with the DEO, Hoechlin's Superman is all civility and graciousness, making sure to shake hands and thank DEO staff for all their hard work.  Hoechlin's Superman isn't designed for internal conflict or personal struggle, not because he's incapable of it, but because he's a supporting character who is Kara's role model.

This problem with this Superman, if you could even call it a problem, is that he can't sustain an ongoing TV series because he has resolved all his issues. But Hoechlin's Superman isn't meant to be a series lead anyway. His greatest superpower might be his superhuman relaxation. He has the effortless calm that would come with being bulletproof.

This is the most laid-back version of Superman ever onscreen. A Superman who has reconciled his dual origins isn't going to hit the notes that Informant prefers for this character.

The parts of Superman's legend to which Informant has a deep connection are not the only parts of Superman that exist. And it's not a crime that Tyler Hoechlin's Superman isn't Informant's Superman. It's not a weakness. It's not a flaw. Hoechlin's Superman is the perfect Superman for this SUPERGIRL series.

What it comes down to, really, is that Informant sees Superman as a self-portrait. The farm and the American heritage and the parents seem to be vital factors for him, and if he doesn't see himself in Superman, then it's not Superman to him. And I might not see my Superman in certain adaptations, but I would take it a step behind Informant's intensity.

So many writers and actors have written for and performed as this character and each one will have a very different take on the same source material. Zack Snyder, J. Michael Straczynski, Joss Whedon, Ali Adler, Jeph Loeb, Mark Waid, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and more each created their own individual Superman. Between them all, Superman has been an angsty teen, a loving father figure, a meatloaf addict, a vegetarian, a tormented soul, a cheery wisecracker, a hard-boiled reporter, a nervous milquetoast, a down-to-earth human and an unrelatable alien. Nobody should draw a box around any one incarnation as the only one that works.

My favourite incarnation is the Red Blue Blur of SMALLVILLE's eighth season and I would say this version is completely unworkable and should never be perpetuated in subsequent adaptations. My least favourite is Frank Miller's, although Clark in Seasons 2- 7 of SMALLVILLE is also pretty bad.

Weirdly, I don't even put Tyler Hoechlin on my list of favourite Supermans because he's quite distinctly *Supergirl's* Superman and he's best compared to Melissa Benoist rather than other Superman actors.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

You're doing that thing again, where you're having a conversation with yourself and attributing half of it to me. smile

It's true that I have a favorite idea of what Superman/Clark Kent should be. I do prefer the version where he sees humanity as his people, while having a respect for his alien heritage. This makes the most sense to me, since he was raised with humans and this would be his experience. If you plopped him down on Krypton, that world would be more alien to him than Earth. It's the same as if you plopped me down in one of the countries where my ancestors came from. I might have a curiosity about those cultures in some way (though I really have no more or less interest in my ancestral cultures than I do any other cultures, so I may be a bad example), but they are not my culture, and those lands are not my home. I have more connection to my Asian neighbors across the street who don't speak a word of English than I do to a random person from Ireland.

That said, I can also accept a version of Clark that feels neither here nor there, if it's done well. The thing about Man of Steel is that while Clark sees humanity as his people, he also feels like an alien among humans until he fully accepts his heritage. At that point, he doesn't become a Kryptonian, he becomes like most Americans.

It's not about any version of the character having to be written any one way. It's about the choices that the writers make when they decide how they want to write him. I have a hard time accepting Superman as someone who is super alien and who sees himself as more Kryptonian than human, because I think that violates so much of what makes Superman who he is. It also makes no sense, given his upbringing. The thing that makes Superman different than Martian Manhunter, or any of the other alien superheroes is that he has a alien DNA, but a human upbringing. That humanity is one of his super powers. It's his compass. However, the animated series' Superman was fine, and he was much more alien than I typically prefer the character to be.

This is also why Kara is such an important figure in the Superman lore, in my opinion. She is a character with the same DNA, the same powers, but who actually remembers Krypton and who really is alien. She is the balance and the contrast. She is what Superman would be without the foundation that the Kents built. She's not bad. She's not less than him. But she has a different experience.

That's what frustrates me about Supergirl, the series. They didn't write Kara as her own character. They wrote her as a copy of Superman, but they didn't remove him from the picture. So now we have two of the same character, and Superman can't make Kara look smaller or weaker, or less capable in any way (despite his many years of experience). So we have a watered down Superman. Then we have the CW requirement that all of their characters be supermodels, so he has to be younger than he should have been, while Cat was established as both his contemporary and as Kara's older mentor. Then we have a Lois who has to be CW pretty and young, yet who is supposed to have the years of experience and wisdom... It's a mess. And it's because the story wasn't a priority.

Tyler isn't a bad actor. He might even be okay as some version of the Superman character (actually, he'd have made a cool Connor Kent on Supergirl. Obviously, one who is a bit older than we normally see him). However, they chose not to cast someone who would tower over Kara or make her look small, and every time I've seen him used (before I stopped watching Supergirl), it seemed like Superman was being written down in order to raise Kara up. And this was mostly necessary because they chose to write them as more or less the same character anyway (except he's too afraid to be a woman, or whatever). He comes across as weaker than he should, less seasoned than he should, and... really, he seems like a sidekick. They should have cast someone older, who seemed more weathered and wise, and who would command the audience just by being present in a scene. However, the impression is that this would make Kara look weak and less capable than a man, and since feminism trumps story in this series, that can't be allowed to happen. This is a weakness of the character. He doesn't come across as someone who has been through the worst of it and come out the other side. He comes across as watered down.

When Henry Cavill was cast as Superman, I wasn't happy. This was because it was a time when DC seemed to be leaning away from the character's American roots, and more toward that "citizen of the world" crap. It seemed like they might be taking the character in the wrong direction, and I did think that it might be hard for a foreign actor to understand that sense of American patriotism, because most people in other countries that I've heard speak on the subject really don't get why Americans are so rah-rah American. However, Snyder didn't shy away from those roots at all, and I get the sense that Cavill is patriotic himself (though obviously to his own country), so he could understand that aspect of the character. I was right to worry, but I was ultimately proven to be wrong about Cavill.

Basically, it comes down to motivation and writing. If the writers could show me a Superman who was raised on Earth, yet felt mostly Kryptonian, and they did it in a way that was well considered and made sense for that character, that'd be fine with me. It's a hard sell, but any Superman story is a hard sell for me. Keep in mind, before Man of Steel, I was firmly on the Batman side of the age-old debate. For me, it's never been about making me believe that a man could fly. It was about making me believe that a flying alien could be a person.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I think I'm somewhere in the middle.  I do like the version of Superman that they've created - just because I think he's fun and happy and helpful.  As a supporting character, I think ireactions is right - he's a great fit.

Although I also think Informant is right on some things.  I do think they make him look weaker/smaller so that Kara can be the hero.  I think some of that is Clark saying things to make Kara feel better, unless this version of Superman is actually significantly weaker than other versions of the character.  But some of the feminism stuff does get old when they hammer it in - I think Kara and Clark being on equal footing would be a pretty strong feminist statement - having him constantly say how much stronger Lois and Kara are does make him look like a bit of a pushover.

There was an episode in season one of Supergirl where Superman flies in and saves the day when Kara needed help.  He never made an actual appearance, and he was this mysterious figure who would send Kara emails and instant messages to assure her that she's doing a great job.  I actually sorta liked that version of the character - who didn't show up because he wanted Kara to be her own person.

I'm now picturing a Deus Ex Machina version of Clark on Supergirl, played by someone the size of the Rock.  He'd be this almost-exclusively background, almost mythological character.  We'd never see him fight or do anything, but we'd know from Superman lore and from stories on the show that he's everything we think he is.  And when he compliments Kara or even asks her for help, it's a huge thing for her.

In fact, maybe never show him in the suit.  Every appearance is as Clark in his civilian clothes, and Superman is this figure that only exists in our imaginations.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Informant wrote:

if you plopped me down in one of the countries where my ancestors came from. I might have a curiosity about those cultures in some way (though I really have no more or less interest in my ancestral cultures than I do any other cultures, so I may be a bad example), but they are not my culture, and those lands are not my home. I have more connection to my Asian neighbors across the street who don't speak a word of English than I do to a random person from Ireland.

The pre-1944 Superman was a very different character from the post-1986 Clark Kent. Jonathan and Martha Kent had died when Superman was 18 or so. The characters were at most cameos. There was the sense that Superman (as opposed to Clark) had an amiable but distant relationship with his parents; he never mentioned them, it was like they didn't exist -- and there was the sense that Superman based his identity on the databank in his spaceship and the Fortress of Solitude and spent most of his childhood in hiding until his parents died and he made his debut as Superman.

However, this was undermined in 1944 when Superboy debuted and showed Superman's career as a teenager and depicted Jonathan and Martha Kent in a loving, close relationship with their adopted son. The Superman and Superboy comics were hopelessly at odds, having teen versions of Lois and Clark meet each other in contradiction to their first encounters in the Superman comics. Superman's origin story would be updated with his Superboy career in flashback issues, but Superman and Superboy would continue presenting two irreconciliable versions of their lead character and his life with Superboy as a very American and human character and Superman as an extremely alien character for whom "Clark Kent" was a constructed psych experiment. There was the (probably unintended) implication that the death of Jonathan and Martha would lead to Superman drifting from his humanity except in terms of the "Clark" identity.

The Superboy adventures were (retroactively) declared to have taken place in a "pocket universe" separate from the main DC Universe, although this had less to do with the Superboy/Superman contradictions and more to do with explaining how the Legion of Super Heroes could have featured a Superboy who never existed after the 1986 reboot. The 2010 Secret Origin mini-series, however, restored Superboy to Clark's origin story and fit in a lot better with the modern Clark Kent than the pre-1986 Superman.

Anyway. My point is that the alien Superman is just as valid a take as Clark Kent of Kansas. Yes, Clark Kent has become the main personality and this has ultimately proven to be a good move and a natural progression for the character. But every adaptation should feel free to choose whatever aspects of Superman suit its purpose whether it's the alien Superman or the human Clark and SUPERGIRL, in depicting Kara's role model, chose to have Superman reflect more of his Kryptonian heritage in his dialogue which served as an effective contrast to Kara being more defined by her human connections.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

That would be fine if it made sense, but it doesn't. Clark was raised on Earth, by humans. Kara spent most of her childhood on Krypton. Why would she represent humanity, and he represent their alien heritage?

If they took the time to have any of this make sense, it'd be fine. But instead, they wanted Kara to be a female Clark. That doesn't leave room for the actual Clark/Superman.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

To be fair, I think there's an explanation for this.  Kara has been on Earth for a really long time.  The immigrant label works for her because she was raised on Krypton but she essentially grew up (out of childhood) on Earth.  She moved here and now identifies as an Earthling (if not a human).  Just like an immigrant might move to another country, start a life and family there, and then identify as a citizen of that country.  I've met immigrants who did things the right way, earned their citizenship, and they had just as much of a right to call themselves American as I do.  And since they worked so hard for it, the American part of them was very exciting.  Learning English, learning our was all very exciting to them and they wanted to grow that part of themselves.

Then there's the nativeborn American that finds out, through DNA testing or ancestral studies, that they're 99% Polish or something.  So they study up on their ancestors, learn about the culture and food and history, and maybe even travel to visit that place. 

The first person isn't giving up their old ways and histories.  They don't stop caring about or relating to their old country, but they're just excited about a new place and the promise it brings.  The second person isn't abandoning their American citizenship or trying to become a citizen of Poland.  But they found out something about them that was pretty neat and unique and different, and they just want to get to know that a bit more.

Kara grew up on Krypton, but she'd also know all the warts about it.  Earth is new and exciting without some of those warts.  She knows the people there are good and wants to be good like them.  Clark grew up on Earth but he found out this cool part about himself and wants to learn about it.

And I think some of the stuff Superman says in public is supposed to throw people off the track that he's lived here the whole time.  It makes the Clark Kent identity a little safer if people don't think Superman has been living among them for so long.  He says "your language" in the same way that Clark tells Lois in Man of Steel that "on my world, it means hope."

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Also, Kara spent most of her life hiding her powers and subsuming herself into a human identity while Superman has embraced both his human life as Clark and his Kryptonian side as Kal-El.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Batwoman is getting a pilot.

I wonder how many of the Batman characters they'd have access to.  I'm sure Kate Kane has her own Rogues' Gallery, but she's going to be living in a Gotham where all of Batman's villains have been established to exist.  If none of them show up, it's going to be weird.

I'd love for them to be able to play around with Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake, Damien Wayne, Jason Todd, etc.  I don't remember - did Elseworlds imply/confirm that Alfred and/or Gordon was dead?  Or am I getting my DC shows confused?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I can’t help but notice the timing of it all.  Gotham ends its run on Fox soon, and Batwoman comes directly after.  With Gotham dead, I imagine that frees up everything bat related.  And looking at what’s happening on series like Titans, it’s doesn’t seem that Warner is holding them back too much on what they can use.

The interesting thing will be what comes after Crisis.  The primary function of Crisis on Infinite Earths was to merge all realities into one to streamline continuity.  We may soon see one cohesive universe across all of the shows with somethings changing and some staying the same.   After Crisis, Batwoman and Batman may exist together the way Supergirl does with Superman.

As far as Batwoman rogues go, there is some crossover not only with Batman but also Arrow and Flash rogues: … wip/52885/

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Late response to the Superman thing...

I have liked a few different takes on Superman. I liked Smallville's take, and the Lois and Clark take (which were both more human). I liked the animated series, which was leaning more toward alien, since he spent most of his time as Superman. My favorite is Man of Steel, which is pretty much what was described above, with Clark being pretty human, but with an interest in where he comes from. Clark embraced that heritage in the movie, but it didn't change the fact that he views humanity as his people, because this is what he knows. If anything, learning about that heritage made him more like a normal American.

The only depictions that I really have a problem with are the ones that paint Clark Kent as a fabrication, and portray the character as being very alien. Even if he had no parents, no friends growing up, no home, none of the moral compass that the Kents gave him, he would have grown up on Earth. Clark Kent is the person he was before the costume. Now, there could be a bit of exaggeration of certain traits when he is in public (both as Clark and as Superman), but the "real" person is who he is when he is sitting at a table with his mother or Lois. Depicting him as super alien is like me going to Ireland and telling people that I'm Irish. They'd look at me as though I were an idiot, because I'm clearly American. I can have an interest in the history, the culture, the accents, the folklore, etc, but I'm not of that place. I can't change my life experience.

Superman was created as not just a version of Moses, but as a version of what America is. It's a place where people come from all around the world, and they *become* American. That isn't true in every country (especially when the character was created). In a lot of the world, an immigrant is always an outsider. Not shamed or looked down upon, but not really one of the group either. In America, you can have the alien backstory and be as American as the guy who was born here. Having the character depicted as having grown up here, as part of an American family and an American town, yet existing outside of that, feels wrong for the character.

I don't know every version of the character, or every writer who has written him. I'm just talking about how I've viewed the character since I was a little kid, and why so many versions of the character bored me, or just felt wrong to me.

As far as the Batwoman series goes, I don't really see a need for it. There are too many comic book shows on the CW, from the same producers, who are already spread too thin. The character didn't make that much of an impact in the crossover. I think the network should be cutting back, more than expanding on this universe.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Something’s got to give.  I don’t see all of the CW DC shows surviving the addition of Batwoman.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I wouldn't be surprised to see Legends end, and maybe a shortened final season of Arrow. Supergirl and Black Lightning probably should end, but probably won't.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

If they'd done Legends as an anthology series, a season of Batwoman would work great.  It'd also be a place for a truncated season of Arrow if Oliver is truly going to die in his deal with the Monitor (he won't).

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Stephen Amell said in his podcast with Michael Rosenbaum that his contract is over as of this year and he hadn't decided if he wanted to extend ARROW, but it would be his decision. LEGENDS' ratings are dire with Season 4 struggling to crack one million viewers.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Many have speculated that Arrow’s deal with the Monitor is leading to his death.  If they’re going that route, it would be refreshing to see them pull off a Malibu Exiles style surprise.

When Malibu’s Ultraverse started, it rolled out a lot of new series in a short span, and one of them was Exiles solicited as an average monthly book.  Then issue 4 came out and everybody died.  It was always intended that Exiles was a four issue mini-series; the solicitations for the other future issues were a lie so that the ending would be a shocker.

So let’s say they renew Arrow and promote it as business as usual. Then the final part of Crisis hits in November and Ollie is dead.  The future listings on your channel guide for new Arrow episodes suddenly change to “listing not available”.  Another show appears in the slot.  It’s over.  Arrow is dead.

Probably not feasible for television, but it would get people talking.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

It'd be smart of Amell to en the show now. When the series began, his status as an actor was given a boost. However, the show has been on for a long time and the quality is falling, and he's now tied to a sinking ship. The longer he stays, the more damage will be done to his ability to get more work in the future.

Solution: Arrow ends this season (unlikely, since they'd probably want more notice of the show's ending) and Oliver returns for the crossover next season. During the crisis, he is presumed dead. Felicity accidentally stumbles into an elevator shaft. Diggle becomes Green Lantern and flies off to Oa. All of the other characters... forget that they exist.

Flash forward to some time in late 2019... a totally-unrelated-to-the-Arrowverse Roy Harper shows up on Titans.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Last night's episode had some weird conflict.  It eventually worked its way out, but I thought the whole thing was bizarre for the first 90%.

Cisco is healed from his encounter with Cicada, but he sorta liked not having his powers and the troubles that resulted from that.  He wants to be a normal person, and he thinks he might have found a way to "cure" people of their metahuman abilities.  He's excited, and Caitlin hates hit.  She (and then Killer Frost) decide that he's making a huge decision, and Killer Frost ruins his work.  Caitlin likes having Killer Frost around and doesn't want her cured.  She points out that metahuman abilities (including Barry's and their own) have done a lot of good.  Cisco counters that a ton of people have powers because of their mistake, and that a cure could easily correct a lot of lives that could be created.

Eventually, they agree that they can work on a cure, but they won't force it on anyone.  Which neither of them wanted.  Their whole conflict was resolved because they actually had a conversation.

It was so bizarre.  Cisco, at no point, is talking about creating a cure and then forcing anyone to use it.  Caitlin simply assumes that either Cisco is going to pour the cure in the water supply or go door do door hunting and curing metahumans.  It's mostly her fault for jumping to conclusions, but Cisco could've easily talked her down by talking about how it'd still be a choice.

It was a very lazy conflict just for the sake of a conflict.  I do like the idea of Cisco potentially curing his powers.  I also think a metahuman cure could end up being a powerful storyline.  If it were possible to cure powers, would every supervillain have their powers removed immediately by the police?  Would that be legal?  Would people on Team Flash push for that to be used against villains that are in the pipeline (is anyone being held in the pipeline at this point?).

Could we, at some point, see CCPD armed with "cure weapons" like in X-Men: The Last Stand?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

It is weird. Cisco's special ability has mostly been replaced by a tiny prop that anyone can use whenever they want, and now they're bringing in the idea of a cure. Is Carlos Valdes leaving the show or something?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Team Flash had Cicada cornered and they swapped out Killer Frost, their only weapon, for Caitlin, who ran up to the stabbed woman to say "we need to get her to a hospital."

Ralph could've done that....

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I wrote that during the episode.  When I finished it, I still have a lot of problems with Cicada as a bad guy.  He's essentially worthless without the dagger.  So I don't understand why Barry doesn't just speed him to the Pipeline whenever he has the opportunity.  If you really want to beat him up, you can do it there.  Or if it'd cut through the Pipeline, run him to the other side of the Earth - the dagger only moves about 20 miles an hour - he'd have plenty of time to beat up / interrogate Cicada before the dagger gets anywhere near him.

Or just run to Earth 2.  Or any other Earth - the dagger can't follow him there.

And I still don't understand why Oliver can't beat him.  He's literally just a guy, and Barry was able to keep up with him for a while without his powers.  Oliver should be able to crush him, and his dagger won't do any good (no more than a regular sword).  Granted, Nora was the one who told him that Oliver failed, and they just listened to her.  So maybe Oliver absolutely could, and she lied because defeating him too early would mess with her plan.

I don't know, I just have a lot of problems with him as a villain.  I think he's an interesting-enough character with believable motivations, but I don't see any reason why he's any harder to defeat than any other Meta of the week.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, there are a ton of problems. And they really could have given better reasons for not calling Joe or Cisco back this week. Nora was horribly, horribly injured, and people were being slaughtered left and right. Still, Cisco's time is better spent sitting alone in a lab somewhere, working on his pet project?

I really think that they'd be better off just having mini-arcs for these villains sometimes. Stretching them out for an entire season makes everyone look stupid, but there could have been a solid six episode arc with Cicada.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, that's not a terrible idea.  I also wouldn't mind a situation where Team Flash either doesn't fight or doesn't find out about the Big Bad until the end of the season.  Maybe a situation where the Big Bad has a handful of lieutenants (mini-bosses) that the team has to fight and take down throughout the season and then the big fight is only one fight and it's in the finale.

It reminds me of Jessica Jones.  Killgrave was a great villain, but there were a handful of times in the season when he should've been captured.  And the only reason he wasn't was random chance or massive stupidity on the part of the heroes.  Cicada is an interesting villain, but there's no reason why he shouldn't have been captured by now.  It's insane levels of incompetence that has allowed him to still be out there.

I find myself re-writing stories where I don't feel there is enough meat.  If it were me, I'd do it differently.

Cicada was an elite soldier or assassin.  It's the same backstory where he ends up with this kid and then he grows to love her and then she's horribly injured.  Makes sense.  So now he's Cicada, and he's killing metas.  He has the dagger to even the playing field, and because he's this elite fighter, no one stands a chance against him.  Early in the season, they fight him, and he kicks all their butts.  "Kills" Cisco, cripples XS, whatever.  So they reach out to Oliver for help, but he's in prison.  So Oliver sends someone - say Thea or Roy or someone that Oliver has trained.  And so that person is the guest star for the season, and he/she starts training Team Flash on how to fight in a "fair" fight.  So now you have Barry, who's always gotten by with his super speed, getting Oliver-level training.  So they train harder.  If you want to up the stakes, maybe Cicada goes toe to toe with Oliver's trainer, and Cicada comes out on top.

It would force Barry and the team to face the idea that, without their powers, they're essentially helpless.  Maybe instead of the dagger being an actual dagger, maybe it's embedded in his body so there's no way to "get the dagger away from him?" so there's not that little trick that Team Flash can do but fail at five times.  There's no "the one guy you never caught" or anything like that - if this is all about Thawne using a different guy to be Cicada, that's fine.  Just have Cicada be this dumb villain that Nora barely remembers.  He was a joke, not unlike any of the hundred villains Barry takes out week to week.  The fact that he's this badass now is the scary part.

That's how I'd approach it.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Another idea: What if a large chunk of the population actually sided with Cicada? What if he wasn't a mustache twirling bad guy, but someone who was actually making a dent in the number of meta-related crimes? He's killing people, and that's illegal, but is it more illegal than, say, what Oliver Queen did?

And yet, our team is still made up of metas, so they might be targets. At the very least, Killer Frost would be a target, because she has a genuine history with the other side.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

That'd be them stealing a storyline from Supergirl wink

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Would it? Man, I have no idea what's going on with those shows anymore. The Flash is the only one I'm still going back to at this point.

1,030 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2019-01-25 09:01:14)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I think Arrow is still fine.  They're actually re-introducing the Suicide Squad under a different name which could be interesting (but if they're going to do that....why not get Oliver out that way?).  I think the idea of Oliver as a police-sanctioned vigilante is interesting.

The flash-forwards are still weird, but I don't hate the side characters as much as you.  I'm still betting on Earth 2, but I'm sticking with that theory because I don't really think it makes any sense for these flash-forwards to be canon for Earth 1.

But to answer your question, yes.  The principle story in Supergirl this year is that "alien immigration" is a huge topic in the US, and a large segment of the population (not sure if it's the majority or a vocal minority - I'm sure it's been said) is against her.  The DEO has been taken over by anti-alien members of the government, and Supergirl has been working on her own.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I was planning to go back and watch the rest of the season, but the press coverage of the return is what turned me off. They were promoting the new Green Arrow, the flash-forwards, Diaz, and the new Team Arrow characters, and I realized that I just didn't care about anything that they were saying. Most of the articles that I saw didn't even mention Oliver, who is the actual star of the show.

The show hasn't been right for a long time, and they keep doubling down on everything that's wrong with it. So I decided to catch up on a Million Little Things and season 2 of Patriot, and take a break from Arrow. Possibly a long break. Possibly a forever break.

As for the Supergirl thing, I think the solution is just to cancel Supergirl, so The Flash can have a compelling villain without it seeming like a retread. smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow have all been renewed for another season.

So unless they pull off something crazy, I don't think Oliver is dying in the crossover smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I foresee - the search for Oliver Queen!

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Arrow could always get a shortened season, right?

I haven't been following the Arrow story, but I want to add my prediction:

The writers go crazy with the flash-forward, and then it's all undone after the Crisis event.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I must've missed something.

When Oliver turned himself in, he took credit for being the Green Arrow *and* the Hood?  And that became public knowledge?  Is Roy still dead according to the public?  And Rene was outed as Wild Dog, but none of the others were unmasked publicly?

I did think the episode was cool, although if they were going to go with the documentary angle, they needed to stick with it.  The fact that it started as a documentary and then went in and out was weird.  Getting back so many people was fun, though.  We even got a Huntress reference.

1,036 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2019-02-13 09:17:06)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

So was the Star City Slayer supposed to be a homicidal version of Informant? big_smile

Wanted to get rid of Oliver's team.  Wanted to get rid of Felicity.  Wanted Oliver to work by himself.  Said everyone else was making things worse and making him soft.


Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Did anyone else find it bizarre that Sherloque Wells was wandering the streets of Central City, getting coffee at Jitters, and wearing the face of known, self-confessed murderer Harrison Wells?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

ireactions wrote:

Did anyone else find it bizarre that Sherloque Wells was wandering the streets of Central City, getting coffee at Jitters, and wearing the face of known, self-confessed murderer Harrison Wells?

I think the show's essentially given up any sort of logic when it comes to the original Harrison Wells or even Eobard.  Essentially, Eddie's sacrifice is a complete waste.

I didn't really like Cause and XS all that much.  I think time loop episodes are generally pretty fun, but I found it as just an excuse to have meaningless death scenes for all our heroes and to dress up Carlos Valdes in funny costumes like they let Tom Cavanagh.

I'm willing to buy into the fate aspect that XS wasn't going to be able to save everyone - someone had to die and no matter who she saved, someone would die.  But I don't understand how Cicada was able to figure out who to go after.  Logic would say that he'd start out looking for Iris (as he did in the original variation) and then move on to Ralph or Cecile or whoever depending on what happened.

But he doesn't really do this - for the timeline to work the way that it does, Cicada essentially has to know who's going to be alone/separate and go after them immediately.  Otherwise, enough time would pass for Barry to get out of the speed force.

Not only that, how the heck were there 52 variations?  They had one where each of them die, and then she protects them all but Cecile dies.  But the next attempt should've been Nora going back to grab Cecile and watching them all.  What's Cicada's move after that?  Kidnap someone random?  Try to find Joe or Wally?  Keeping everyone (including Cecile) at STAR Labs should've been the solution, but either Nora didn't try it or she did and the writers didn't bother to come up with how Cicada still wins.

I also thought it was weird that Nora:

1. didn't want to tell everyone about the time loop.  the first time she tells them, they win.
2. didn't try to go on the offensive.
3. went to the rooftop at all.  I know she wants to help, but she didn't accomplish anything, and if she dies...everyone potentially dies.

It was just a mess of an episode.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I enjoyed the episode. i don’t have any answer to your plotholes. I also can’t really *defend* the episode except to say that I’ve been approaching THE FLASH with much lower expectations. If you’ll recall SUPERNATURAL’s “The French Mistake” where Bob Singer shrugs at a mediocre script and mutters that it’s Season 6, that’s how I feel about THE FLASH in Season 5. The first two seasons were a deep dive into the seemingly limitless possibilities of superspeed; Season 3 struggled to reiterate and expand on the formula, Season 4 attempted to change it up and Season 5 suggests THE FLASH is simply out of tricks.

They do over 20 episodes a year; they’ve run out of neat speed powers or perceptual tricks or procedural inversions or superhero subversions. So now they’re replaying some of their greatest hits (time loops) with Nora as a fresh perspective by letting Nora take the lead (which also frees Grant Gustin up to shoot crossvers?) and... I don’t think Jessica Parker Kennedy is the right actress. They chose her back in Season 4 for cameo roles, probably not anticipating the decision to bump her up to a regular cast member, they probably didn’t evaluate her skills and I don’t think Kennedy can carry THE FLASH as a leading character or at least not this one.

Casting new characters on THE FLASH has been a mixed bag. Wally was written as a youthful, volatile hellraiser and they cast the low-key and quiet Keiynan Lonsdale. Nora is supposed to be a hyperactive daredevil whose name is pronounced “excess” — and they have chosen a performer who is again, like Lonsdale, a low-key, quiet actor. Kennedy has played many troubled teens in the past, but on both SMALLVILLE and THE SECRET CIRCLE, her characters were sullen, withdrawn, introverted, suspicious.

In contrast, Nora is written to be unrepressed, angry, extroverted — and it’s just not really playing to Kennedy’s strengths. Kennedy is fine, but she doesn’t bring the exuberent, exhillarated delight that Grant Gustin creates for Barry’s joy in running. The sense of seeing THE FLASH’s past wonders through new eyes isn’t coming through at all.

Kennedy manages to hit one consistent note for Nora — innocence — and there’s a weird mismatch to it whether she’s lying to her mother or taking orders from Eobard Thawne because Jessica Parker Kennedy is clearly a grown-ass woman, not a little girl. Kennedy, at this stage, is probably better at playing characters who are older and more jaded; Nora’s being written like a teenager and Kennedy has aged out of that as most young performers do.

So — Season 5 of THE FLASH... it’s okay. They’ve made Sherloque a proper character, I like that. They have Eobard Thawne potentially seeking redemption, that’s cool. They’ve got Caitlin and Killer Frost working with an interesting dual identity. They’ve got fun stuff for Cisco. They’ve had great moments for Barry and Iris. There’s a lot of good stuff there and I have accepted that THE FLASH is never going to be the imaginative, inventive series it was before because they’ve used up all their tricks.

The only solution I have isn’t even a solution — I think that Season 1 built the Team Flash concept entirely too quickly. By episode 2, Barry had confidantes, a support staff, the STAR Labs facilities, access at the police station. I probably would have made Barry a trainee at the police lab instead of seemingly in charge (as the sole police scientist for the entire city?). I would have had the team be no team at all until the end of Season 1. The attitude in the writer’s room, however — they didn’t want to take things slow on a series about The Flash. And I understand that, but now their well is dry.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, I'm not 100% sure what to do with the Arrowverse.  I think if I were in charge, I'd move the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover to the end of next season.  I'd make all the storylines in the Arrowverse (save Supergirl) about the coming crisis, and I'd have it end with Barry disappearing, Oliver dying, and the Legends breaking apart (maybe the crisis also ends their ability to time travel).  And the multiverse would collapse into one universe where Supergirl now exists.  I'd allow each show to have their series finale in their respective shows to deal with Oliver's death, Barry's disappearance (and possible hint at a return), and the breakup of the Legends.

You'd have a Supergirl show and a Batwoman show (if that comes through).  Since the network would still want content, I'd do one more show.  Maybe they could spin off John Diggle as a Green Lantern or do something like Blue Beetle or Booster Gold.  I'd love a Nightwing show, but it's probably too similar to Batwoman (although I'd love to see Dick end up on that show).  And finally make a decision on whether or not Black Lightning should be a part of the universe or not.  If we need another show, I'd do the anthology series.  Maybe start with someone like Cisco or Caitlin or someone from Team Arrow or the Legends (Ray Palmer), but move forward with other stuff.  Maybe one season could even see the return of Barry Allen or Oliver Queen or someone like that.

I don't see any need to end the Arrowverse but maybe ending some of the shows in it isn't a bad idea.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I think ARROW had a great Season 5 and Season 6 in returning to the street crime origins of Seasons 1 - 2. I’m very happy with this year as well (sorry, Informant). I’m really enjoying LEGENDS’ craziness and zaniness. SUPERGIRL is also having a fabulous year. And all these shows could run indefinitely: ARROW can forever explore Oliver’s trauma by having each villain represent some aspect of his dysfunctionality and poor human resources skills, LEGENDS is about misfits and SUPERGIRL’s refugee metaphor is evergreen.

In contrast, THE FLASH doesn’t have that boundless applicability. THE FLASH has never identified a central metaphor. It’s not about growing up too fast; it’s not about trying to keep pace with the forward motion of the world around us; it doesn’t really have anything to SAY that’s specific to superspeed. THE FLASH has been about Barry trying to resolve his childhood trauma and embrace his future destiny as a legendary superhero. As of the Season 2 finale, it’s all been done.

I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of FLASH comics, but the era I read and enjoyed most was when Wally West was the Flash; Barry was dead. Writer Mark Waid was not the first writer to script Wally as the Flash, but Waid identified a central character flaw in Wally to explore in nearly every story: Wally was impatient. It was his greatest weakness.

He was always in a hurry; he was always leaping before looking; he was constantly underinformed and unprepared. At the end of Waid’s run, he explained that he had loved writing THE FLASH because Waid himself had been a deeply impatient person. But, in recent years, Waid had learned how to be patient and as a result, he no longer felt the intimate connection to Wally West that he had before.

THE FLASH as a TV series never found a central point of the human condition. Impatience was not one of Barry’s failings aside from Oliver pointing out that Barry needed to review environments before entering. THE FLASH pinned all its content on the Flash mythology. It worked for two seasons. Now it’s just going in circles. But, I mean — it’s not like the pure frustration of HEROES or the tedium of IRON FIST. THE FLASH has accomplished all of its goals... and it keeps getting renewed every year and has more hours to fill.

One show Informant and I have agreed to disagree on: ANGEL. ANGEL, like THE FLASH, was a paranormal procedural. However, ANGEL periodically shook up its format. Season 1 was about helping a weekly guest-star; Season 2 shifted into Angel’s dysfunction breaking up the team; Season 3 was about Angel accepting a new role as an employee working for the people he used to lead; Season 4 was a 22-episode movie about Angel and his friends facing the Antichrist; Season 5 was about trying to turn the evil law firm they’d fought for four years into a force for good.

Informant argues that ANGEL lost its way by abandoning the Season 1 template and that’s a fair criticism, but I think THE FLASH demonstrates what can happen when a show refuses to build regular evolution into its formula; it can become stagnant, tired, repetitive, predictable and every formula risks becoming formulaic.

I dunno. THE FLASH would benefit from a rest. That said, I’m always happy to see Danielle Panabaker and Tom Cavanagh working.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

ireactions wrote:

I dunno. THE FLASH would benefit from a rest. That said, I’m always happy to see Danielle Panabaker and Tom Cavanagh working.

Aside - do you like Danielle Panabaker as a actress?  Because while I agree that Caitlin's character is currently one of the more interesting, I don't really find her that great as a performer.  I don't' think the show is to blame for this, either.  She was also sorta stumbling through the only movie performance I've ever seen her in - a movie called Time Lapse.

I don't have any problem with her as a person.  She seems to have a great passion for her work and the fans, and I think that's great.  But, at times, it feels like she's simply reading lines without doing any real acting at all.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I actually feel the same way about Panabaker that I do about Cavanagh -- a very talented actor whose material has been increasingly muddled over the course of five years. Cavanagh's issue: the writers started writing his stand-up comedy impressions instead of writing his character and Cavanagh's comedy voices are not a fully-dimensionalized character. Panabaker's issue: the writing has lost Caitlin's original voice and the current characterization isn't a logical fit.

I've never been entirely clear on WHY the series named the character "Caitlin Snow," the name of the DC Comics supervillain Killer Frost. THE FLASH's procedural template did not require a future supervillain on Barry's team nor did they write her as one. Caitlin was a biologist, a scientist, a medical doctor, specifically Barry's personal physician. In Seasons 1 - 2, she was written with a crisply scientific, result-oriented characterization and Panabaker did a great job of selling Caitlin's medical acumen and the perpetual trauma of seeing Ronnie die followed by her betrayal by Hunter Zolomon. Because her name was Caitlin Snow, the expectation was that she'd become a villain -- which wouldn't have made any sense; Panabaker was contracted as a regular. The fate of most if not all villains: they are defeated and written out.

Season 2 showed an alternate universe Caitlin as Killer Frost. That really should have been the end of it. But with the writers looking for FLASHPOINT consequences, they decided in Season 3 to make the prime Caitlin into Killer Frost and... it didn't work. There was no explanation for where this Killer Frost personality came from; it had nothing to do with the onscreen Caitlin. There was no reason for why the Killer Frost persona would be so homicidal and malevolent; it didn't reflect or invert Caitlin's desires. Killer Frost was a villain of the week who kept coming back and was played by one of the regulars and inhabiting the place of a lead cast member -- and it didn't make any sense.

And with Killer Frost being a murderous loon, Panabaker was required to make the Caitlin persona distinct. And without a clear line of characterization as to how Caitlin and Killer Frost were even connected beyond sharing the same body, Panabaker unfortunately flattened Caitlin into generic, guileless innocence while Killer Frost was violent and volatile. With Season 4, the writers remembered that Panabaker was on contract, so they toned Killer Frost down and since then have written Caitlin as a member of Barry's team.

Unfortunately, they've lost Caitlin's voice with all the changes and awkward rollbacks; they've lost the Caitlin/Barry relationship with Barry as her patient. They've lost Caitlin's sense of tragedy and loss because her arc is now focused on this dual persona. They've lost the focus on Caitlin's biology background, so she's just a science girl alongside Cisco. Panabaker's performance is no longer emphasizing Caitlin's scientific nature; instead, she and the scripts are focused on making her Caitlin performance *unlike* Killer Frost and when you define a character by what she isn't, there's no sense of who she is.

Many aspects of THE FLASH have become dulled and faded due to five years of adhering to a formula, occasionally threatening sweeping change but never really wanting to lose anyone from the STAR Labs hallways, and both Caitlin and Harrison Wells have suffered for it.

I've always liked Panabaker. One of my favourite children's movies is READ IT AND WEEP where young high school student Jamie writes a daydream journal featuring a fantasy version of herself, Isabelle ("Is"), who is sharper, wittier, stronger and more well-groomed and who defeats all the classmates and teachers who annoy her. When Jamie's daydream novel is actually printed in the school paper, it becomes popular, is published as a successful novel and Jamie starts having lengthy conversations with her fictitious self, Is, and Is starts taking over Jamie's life.

Jamie is played by Kay Panabaker and Danielle, Kay's older sister, plays Is as the taller, prettier, more self-assured image of what Jamie would like to be. It's a fascinating performance where Kay and Danielle often swap places in the same scene to indicate how the Is-persona is starting to dominate Jamie. Panabaker was also in SKY HIGH playing a superheroine who could control plant life. I'm not saying READ IT AND WEEP and SKY HIGH are cinematic masterpieces -- they're low budget children's movies, but I grew up with Danielle Panabaker and she'll naturally always feel like the cool older sister to me... or, in Caitlin's case, my personal medical doctor.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I watched TIME LAPSE and Slider_Quinn21 is right. Danielle Panabaker's performance is acceptable for the first half, but there comes a point when her character, Callie, is watching people get murdered in her living room and having a gun put to her face and Panabaker's reactions are muted and sleepy. I'm not sure what's going on here, but in an interview, the director mentioned that the actors all had very different attitudes to how to rehearse and they had extremely limited time to film as the apartment in which they were filming was scheduled for demolition.

TIME LAPSE reminded me of one of my niece's student films, actually -- there was a key moment when an character was supposed to react with terror and shock in response to a ghost, but my niece was shy and didn't tell the actress to emote and failed to provide a cue and therefore never got the shot she needed. Since then, she's learned to be clear and assertive. TIME LAPSE is full of little moments where the direction and the performances just aren't capturing the details needed to convey the situation.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The flash, always intended to have killer frost be involved same with Firestorm, as the Flash universe was going to use the Firestorm universe for a bigger rouge gallery.

Firestorm. became less involved when they decided he was going to go full time in legends of Tommorrow so the recast happened, with Jax taking over for Ronnie, The Caitlin story now got muddled as their plans changed.

I remeber from interviews during season 1 that they were very aware of the killer frost connection and waiting to use her.

On Tom, do agree having 5 different versions

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

They were playing a little mix and match too.  In the comics, the first Killer Frost was a love interest of Martin Stein, but he rejected her which led her to her fate as Killer Frost.  Having Caitlin as Ronnie’s love interest, I would guess they were setting up a potential love triangle if they introduced Firehawk down the line; and that could then lead into Killer Frost.  But actors leave and plans change and orphan ideas live on.

I am surprised we haven’t seen Firehawk pop up in some form (especially since we did see Henry Hewitt / Tokamak whose experiments created her).

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

ireactions wrote:

I watched TIME LAPSE and Slider_Quinn21 is right. Danielle Panabaker's performance is acceptable for the first half, but there comes a point when her character, Callie, is watching people get murdered in her living room and having a gun put to her face and Panabaker's reactions are muted and sleepy. I'm not sure what's going on here, but in an interview, the director mentioned that the actors all had very different attitudes to how to rehearse and they had extremely limited time to film as the apartment in which they were filming was scheduled for demolition.

TIME LAPSE reminded me of one of my niece's student films, actually -- there was a key moment when an character was supposed to react with terror and shock in response to a ghost, but my niece was shy and didn't tell the actress to emote and failed to provide a cue and therefore never got the shot she needed. Since then, she's learned to be clear and assertive. TIME LAPSE is full of little moments where the direction and the performances just aren't capturing the details needed to convey the situation.

ireactions' dedication to knowledge (even if it's just pop culture knowledge) is astonishing sometimes (and I mean that in an honestly positive, complimentary way).  I made an off-hand reference to a made-for-digital movie, and he tracks the movie down, watches with analytically, and even goes out of his way to find behind-the-scenes interviews that might explain why some of the acting is off.

With 100% sincerity, a tip of my hat to you. smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

To be honest, I’ve been wondering if you might be onto something about Danielle Panabaker. The truth is, despite having fond memories of her in READ IT AND WEEP and SKY HIGH, I didn’t see her in anything for years until she popped up in ARROW as Caitlin and was revealed as a regular on THE FLASH. I was delighted to see her and actually confused because I’d mistakenly thought Dr. Caitlin Snow on ARROW had been a teenaged intern at STAR Labs. Panabaker had barely aged since she played a high school student in SKY HIGH.

And now, you point out she isn’t really that awesome on THE FLASH and was particularly poor in TIME LAPSE and I had to see that for myself. And you were right — Panabaker was very oddly distant in TIME LAPSE. Following that — well, I got around to watching Panabaker in the movie GIRLS AGAINST BOYS and I still have half an hour left, but this is another movie where there’s gunslinging and people are getting shot in a living room with Panabaker standing right there and... she’s really muted and blank and detached from the scene. Again.

Panabaker isn’t explicitly *bad*, but she really isn’t selling the audience on her character going on a murder spree of her own. She doesn’t convey rage, trauma, madness or homicidal intent. She’s just low-key, thoughtful, quiet, and certainly *adequate*, but there’s more to acting than having the right facial expression.

I think of how Gillian Jacobs brings so much spontanaity and insecurity and madness to Britta or how Alison Brie infuses Annie with a neurotic precision on COMMUNITY or how Anna Torv gives Olivia Dunham a military bearing matched with a melancholy loneliness — and next to them, I’m reluctantly finding that Panabaker has the presence of a well-designed, extremely articulate shop window dummy. A magnificently built one, to be sure. She doesn’t make what’s on paper come alive as a fully-dimensionalized person.

... I’m starting to seriously question my fondness for Danielle Panabaker. I mean, in READ IT AND WEEP, i’m now remembering that it was Kay Panabaker who played most of that role and Danielle was really in specific insert shots and fantasy sequences. And SKY HIGH was really about Michael Angarano as a teen superhero with Panabaker playing a classmate who was hopelessly crushing on him. And in Seasons 1 - 2 of THE FLASH, her job was to take care of Barry, something she fixated on at times because she was mentally using him as a replacement for her deceased fiance.

Is it possible that I only like Panabaker because she was playing a pretty, besotted high school student back when I would have liked for someone who looked like Panabaker to be crushing on me? And because I wouldn’t mind having someone like Danielle Panabaker tasked with keeping me healthy and hydrated and nourished? Do I only like Panabaker because she’s pretty?


Well, it could also be that Panabaker’s range just doesn’t extend to shooting people and that’s just not suited to her strengths as an actress.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Ha, it was certainly not my intention to sour you on her.  I guess I sorta had the same process just stumbling on it on my own.  When the Flash first started, I definitely had my own little crush on Panabaker - she's very pretty and she was fun and smart and lively.  I never had any trouble buying her as a medical doctor, regardless of her age, and I thought she added to the team and wasn't just there as part of a love triangle or to be attractive.

And when my friend wanted to watch Time Lapse, I watched and was pleasantly surprised when Panabaker showed up.  "She's on the Flash!" I probably exclaimed to my friend who certainly didn't care.  And her performance in that movie was noticeable in a bad way.  And ever since then, I've been a little more attentive of her acting to see if she was bad in Time Lapse or if she's just not great.

I definitely don't want to bash her or anything.  Again, I think she's fine - she doesn't drag down scenes in the Flash, and I think I've noticed enough from her social media presence that she legitimately loves the show and the fans and wants to be great.  I think she seems to have a lot of fun playing Killer Frost, and she does a good-enough job acting the way you described (by dulling down Caitlin to make Killer Frost more lively).

It's funny, the Arrowverse generally has pretty solid actors and actresses.  I was going through the four main shows, and I struggled to come up with anyone who I thought struggled through their part.  Everyone's done a pretty good job.  So maybe, on a show with some actors who really can sell their characters, Panabaker is just okay?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

... I've decided to break up with Danielle Panabaker. I'm taking her off my list of favourite actresses. There will now be an opening for #7.

After watching TIME LAPSE and GIRLS AGAINST BOYS, I watched the FLASH pilot. My conclusion about Panabaker: she is an intensely likable performer and her smile, body language and mannerisms encourage fondness. She also has the ability to look astonishingly young; it's been 15 years since SKY HIGH and she's aged maybe five. However, her she passed through TIME LAPSE and GIRLS AGAINST BOYS with performances that were little more than variations on the same vacant stare.

The script for THE FLASH seems written specifically for Panabaker. Barry remarks on her perpetual frown; Caitlin informs him that her blank expression is because she is deeply traumatized by the particle accelerator explosion and the death of her fiance. Throughout THE FLASH, Caitlin is largely a supporting character; Panabaker is always playing off another actor and she's terrific.

She's good at developing a rapport with others, she can support her co-stars -- but she doesn't have the screen presence to carry a scene on her own the way TIME LAPSE and GIRLS AGAINST BOYS call upon her. And, watching her in other roles, the empty distance that conveyed Caitlin's grief over Ronnie and her using Barry as a substitute -- it starts to look less like an acting choice and more like an acting limitation. Even as Killer Frost, Panabaker is depending on the wig, the sound editing and the costume to play the character for her; she doesn't personify or deepen her roles.

Well, I hope you're happy, Slider_Quinn21. I'm now going to watch another often expressionless but favourite performer, Saoirse Ronan, and hope she doesn't fall off my list too.