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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Yeah, I think this version of Malcolm is just a businessman.

So are we sure that the CW doesn't have more Batman rights than we thought?  Tommy Elliot (Hush) appeared on the show, and they name-dropped the Riddler.  They've also said that Kate was worried that some of Batman's old villains would show up if they thought Batman was back - that might not happen because of the Batwoman reveal, but between what we've seen and what was teased in Elseworlds, I'm interested to see if they'll actually use Batman villains in this show.

I'm also curious how the world of Batwoman works in the comics.  Does she fight Batman's rogues gallery as well as her own?  Does Batman fight her rogues gallery?  Because, like with all the Marvel heroes in New York, it's crazy to me to have separate worlds in the same city.  They'd be crossing each other all the time.

Well, Batman has been cast for CRISIS. He will be played by Kevin Conroy, veteran Batman voice actor of the BATMAN animated series. But because Tom Welling and Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh are each playing Superman and Routh is also playing Ray Palmer, it's unclear if Conroy's Batman is BATWOMAN's Batman. But even without that, the situation is peculiar to be sure.

There is really no reason why TV and film versions can't co-exist, but Warner Bros. seems to frown upon it. THE FLASH TV deal came together well before Zack Snyder wanted the Flash for his JUSTICE LEAGUE film and the subsequent spinoff and was grandfathered past the films getting first pick. However, ARROW introduced the Suicide Squad, introduced Deadshot, introduced Deathstroke, setting them up as semi-regular cast members -- and then WB ordered that these characters be removed as the Suicide Squad and Deadshot would be in SUICIDE SQUAD and Deathstroke was planned to be the central villain in a Ben Affleck-directed BATMAN film.

SUPERGIRL and BATWOMAN strike me as shows made by a TV wing that can't get Superman and Batman on TV. During Season 1 of SUPERGIRL, the show was barred from showing Superman's face on camera and in TVLine, the BATWOMAN showrunner has shared how BATWOMAN was not permitted to make Batman a regular cast member. https://tvline.com/2018/12/10/arrowvers … no-batman/

The situation seems to be that if a character is headlining a feature film, WB doesn't want a competing version of them to appear as a regular or semi-regular character in a TV show. However, on a case-by-case basis, they have permitted Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, Deadshot and Deathstroke to appear or return -- as guest-stars who won't appear so regularly that they seem like they're replacing Robert Pattinson or Henry Cavill in advance of the movie franchise. Bruce Wayne has appeared on TITANS, but he's a 58-year-old version of Bruce played by Iain Glen, clearly not competing with Pattinson. Tyler Hoechlin has to date only appeared in six episodes of SUPERGIRL.

Also, I consider Hush to be a D-list villain.

Hush is one of the lamest characters ever to appear in a BATMAN comic book, memorable only because he was drawn by superstar artist Jim Lee in a 12-issue BATMAN arc written by Jeph Loeb where Hush was supposedly masterminding attacks from all of Batman as he was attacked by Catwoman, Superman (both mind-controlled), Poison Ivy, the Joker, the League of Assassins, Clayface. The imagery of Hush as a trenchcoat clad man in bandages and two guns was a red herring to indicate he might be Two Face, but beyond that, Hush had no real character or rationale -- until he unmasked as Jason Todd. But the next issue immediately dismissed this, revealing that Todd was actually Clayface and Hush went unrevealed for awhile longer.

The half-explanation given for his motives at the end of his opening arc: Hush claimed to be Tommy Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce's who became a brain surgeon. Hush says that as a boy, he caused a car accident to kill his parents, but Dr. Thomas Wayne saved Mrs. Elliot, enraging Tommy who wanted his inheritance -- and so, the money-seeking Tommy decided to become a hardworking brain surgeon (?) to get revenge on Bruce Wayne and Batman. The story arc was so inept that Hush is never unmasked to confirm or deny this story, and then the resolution has the Riddler taking full credit for Hush's plot, meaning Hush was a pointless poseur who wasn't responsible for anything at all.

Because the HUSH arc featured all of Batman's greatest villains drawn by a popular artist and because the Marvel Comics editor in chief enthusiastically promoted this 12 issue arc from his competitor (for some reason), HUSH was a sales smash but one of the most-mocked publications of the year. And there were sequels. A later arc by Judd Winick in BATMAN revealed that the Jason Todd that Batman fought had indeed been Jason (who switched places with Clayface later in the fight) -- although Jason was not Hush.

Another arc in GOTHAM KNIGHTS had Hush trouncing various Batman villains to consolidate the Gotham underworld and framing Alfred for murder and suggesting that he wasn't really Tommy Elliot after all -- only for it to be confirmed that he was actually Tommy. It was a clumsy mess.

However, for some strange reason, this misbegotten character struck a chord in DETECTIVE COMICS writer Paul Dini (showrunner of the BATMAN animated series). Dini brought Hush back in an arc called THE HEART OF HUSH where flashbacks reveal that Tommy as a boy was an obsessive, driven child who loathed his abusive mother and was psychotically jealous of Bruce Wayne's wealth and freedom as a rich orphan (which justifies why he went to med school after his failed murder attempt).

Dini also wrote Hush with something Hush never demonstrated in his previous arcs: Hush now had an innate understanding of Bruce Wayne and Batman in his new plan where he kidnaps Catwoman, puts her on comic book scifi life support machines and then rips out her heart. "It doesn't matter what socialite or reporter you're dating," Hush snarls at Batman. "There's only one woman who's ever held your heart and now I'm holding HERS!" Later, Hush incapacitates Batman and reveals that Hush has altered his face via plastic surgery: Hush now looks like Bruce Wayne and intends to assume the role of Bruce and Batman and become the very man he hates and of whom he's nursed a lifelong jealousy.

The fight goes into the Batcave where Hush remarks upon the bay of Batmobiles with, "Bruce! You magnificent bastard! A car for every mood swing!" Hush is defeated and Catwoman is restored, but when Batman is thought dead after FINAL CRISIS, Dini presented THE HOUSE OF HUSH: Hush attempts to assume Bruce Wayne's identity only for the Justice League to let him and then have him under constant guard, letting them control Bruce's ongoing legacy with Hush as their puppet. Hush escapes just as Bruce Wayne returns from the dead and Hush then reveals to the world that Bruce Wayne is Batman -- except Bruce has started Batman Incorporated, a global army of Batmans, and has already revealed that Batman has been many different people over the years and he was only ever one of them, rendering Hush's revelation meaningless.

I concede that Paul Dini has told some excellent Hush stories, but that is because Paul Dini is an A-list talent. Hush remains D-list. He has a deeply uninteresting visualization, a clumsy motivation from an inept writer that was ironed out later by a better one, and he's ultimately a reflection of Batman and Bruce Wayne rather than being a strong character in his own right. But I reserve the right to change my mind on that at any time.

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Hmm. I've been re-reading the original BATMAN: HUSH issues and I think I may have been overly hard on Jeph Loeb and HUSH. HUSH features Batman being attacked on all sides by friends and foes, manipulated by a mysterious stranger in a trenchcoat, his face and body swathed in bandages. Throughout the initial issues, there are hints: Batman suffers an injury when the mystery man severs Batman's jump line with a Batarang, blows out the Batmobile's tires, leaves residue of a Lazarus Pit at the scene of a crime -- all of which adds up to the revelation where Hush rips off his bandages to reveal that he's Jason Todd, the second Robin whom Bruce failed to save from being murdered by the Joker. The Batarang was Jason's; Batman’s severed line landed him on the street where he first encountered Jason trying to steal the tires off the Batmobile.

However, the story abruptly declares this a fakeout, Jason Todd is actually Clayface impersonating Todd, and Hush is actually Bruce's childhood friend, Tommy Elliott -- except Hush's bandages are never taken off to reveal Tommy's face underneath. In addition, it's unclear how Tommy knew Batman's true identity and knew the details of Jason Todd's relationship with Bruce or how he was able to engineer and motivate all of Batman's enemies -- which then requires another reveal that the Riddler was behind it all and Hush was his pawn -- except the Riddler was defeated and imprisoned by Batman in a throwaway action sequence earlier in the arc and makes this revelation from Arkham Asylum, hardly the position of the mastermind behind the HUSH arc.

The explanation for how the Riddler knows Batman's true identity is nonsensical with the Riddler claiming that he gained enlightenment from being resurrected by a Lazarus Pit. And how did the Riddler acquire all the intimate details of Jason Todd's story with Bruce Wayne?

Reading it now, it seems very clear to me that Jeph Loeb's intention was that Hush was indeed Jason Todd -- because the structure of the story makes no sense without it. Without Jason Todd being the villain behind the bandages, the only justification for Hush's knowledge of Batman is to attribute it to another villain which makes the titular villain of the story nothing but a figurehead for someone else. The clues that hinted at Jason Todd make no sense as misdirection because they could have only been planted by Jason Todd himself.

It seems like DC editorial got cold feet around the last three issues of the 12 issue HUSH arc and mandated that Hush could not be Jason Todd after all. That's why why Tommy Elliott's motivations make so little sense and feel like they've been written without regard for the rest of the story. It's probably why Loeb never unmasks Hush as Elliott -- Loeb didn't know how to write Hush without Hush being Jason Todd. And indeed, a later story, UNDER THE HOOD, reveals that it was Jason Todd in this story after all, although Hush as Tommy Elliott remained a separate character.

It's quite hilarious to read the GOTHAM KNIGHTS arc from #55 - 74 where another writer tries to pick up from where Loeb left off by having Hush return to menace Batman. Hush is portrayed as a gripping visual; a flowing trenchcoat, his bandages billowing in the wind, his dual-pistols firing -- but now it's just baffling. Why is Dr. Thomas Elliott, famous and wealthy neurosurgeon, wearing bandages? Why is he using a gun? Why is this man, so jealous of Bruce Wayne's wealth, running around Gotham beating up various supervillains and saying they work for him now? Why did he fake his own death and throw away a life of success and appreciation to get into street brawls?

It's tragically obvious that without the Todd identity, Hush is merely empty imagery without any real characterization and it's only later that Paul Dini gives him some.

Anyway. I excuse Jeph Loeb for the misbegotten mess of Hush.

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Having now reread HUSH by Jeph Loeb, HUSH RETURNS by AJ Lieberman and HEART OF HUSH by Paul Dini along with UNDER THE RED HOOD by Judd Winick, there's the odd sense of sequels trying to make contrary efforts to capitalize on the sales success of HUSH while repairing its flaws. HUSH RETURNS insists that Hush is an important villain because... the writer insists upon it, writer Lieberman can't explain why Thomas Elliot does anything or why he's constantly playing random mind games with Batman.

UNDER THE RED HOOD feels like an embarrassed cough after HUSH; Judd Winick's story has a mysterious Red Hood fighting crime in murderous fashion in Gotham and this Red Hood is revealed as Jason Todd alive after a cosmic reset and a Lazarus Pit, who also confirms that he was fighting Batman in the original HUSH storyline. The intent is clear: Winick acknowledges that HUSH would have worked better if Todd had been HUSH, but offers Jason Todd a different persona as a brutal, merciless crimefighter. He's like the Punisher and Batman created him, and Batman is forced to co-exist with his wayward pupil. In the stories that followed, Jason returned as an antagonist and eventually re-joined the Bat-Family and was accepted by Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Damian and even Bruce himself, and it's probably the story that HUSH should have told in the first place.

Paul Dini in HEART OF HUSH, however, manages to cobble the disparate pieces of Hush into a coherent character. Why does Hush wear the bandages? He tears them off and we finally see underneath them at last -- and the face is Bruce Wayne's -- retroactively explaining why Tommy Elliot faked his life of wealth and success; he wanted to kill Batman and then live Bruce Wayne's life; he's been performing plastic surgery on himself to that end.

Why did a psycho kid trying to kill his parents to inherit money become a hardworking doctor? We see that Tommy's parents were insanely abusive and his mother constantly compared him to Bruce, leading to a psychotic obsession and hatred -- and that Dr. Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, was (before his life of crime) Tommy's psychiatrist and amused by Tommy's insanity which he fostered and encouraged; this is why Tommy become a doctor. Why is Tommy so fixated on Bruce? He is fuelled by a mad jealousy towards him. None of this characterization was in HUSH, and it feels like THE HEART OF HUSH should have been part of the original HUSH and Dini makes it feel like it's been there all along, weaving all the disparate details together.

I think I have to take it back -- Hush is an A-list villain, albeit one not currently being used in the film adaptations and so fair game for BATWOMAN. However, Hush is weakened by how either UNDER THE RED HOOD or HEART OF HUSH should really have been contained in his original debut.

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I re-read some of the BATWOMAN comics, specifically the opening arc in DETECTIVE COMICS by writer Greg Rucka and artist JH Williams III, and then BATWOMAN #1 - 24 by JH Williams III, W. Hayden Blackman III and some other artists.

The opening arc by Rucka is strong. It capitalizes on Batwoman having appeared in the 52 comic book, an anthology series of sorts, but it gives Batwoman much clearer definition as a daughter of two US army officers with a severely militaristic approach to crimefighting after being rejected from service for being gay. Williams III's art is hallucinogenic and eerie, Kate Kane is all punk defiance and rage while Batwoman contains Kate's fury in bright red hair and an elegant costume. Everything that makes the BATWOMAN TV show great is present: Kate feels duty, a compulsion to serve as a soldier. The mystery of Beth/Alice is also established with strength.

Then we go to the full fledged BATWOMAN series which Rucka didn't write and... things get weird. Williams III assumes responsibility for scripts and art (while other artists come in but clearly follow Williams' preferences for double-paged layouts and wide composition). And Williams III's interests define BATWOMAN #1 - 24 and his interests seem to be mythological monsters. Water deities. Giant serpents. Werewolves. That's what he wants to draw and he's great at it.

And while the book is well-scripted and a strong, rich reading experience, I just don't see how gorgons and water elementals bring out the Kate Kane character who is defined by her military background, whose abilities are in street level crimefighting, whose nerve strikes and tasers should be useless against smoke monsters. Kate regards the monsters with a certain calm stoicism, but never panics and instead runs away and comes back with Wonder Woman for help and I couldn't help but think that this was more a Wonder Woman story than a Batwoman story.

The subsequent arc involved Batman and Batwoman being manipulated against each other by dark forces and was unfinished by Williams III as he quit the book in frustration after DC approved his plot for Kate to marry Maggie Sawyer but then withdrew permission. It was wrapped up in a perfunctory, rushed BATWOMAN ANNUAL #1 written by another writer.

Ultimately, I'm not surprised that the BATWOMAN television series makes absolutely no effort to draw on Batwoman fighting water elementals and werewolves and Medusa and mystical tears in reality, all of which are unaffordable on a CW budget as rendered in the comic and none of which really speak to the Kate Kane character.

HUSH and BATWOMAN comics often seem a bit amateurish compared to the TV shows, although I can't pretend the TV shows don't have their failings.

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The CW and Warner Bros. TV are developing a SUPERMAN television series featuring Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch as Clark and Lois. Interestingly, they're aiming for adapting a recent run of comics, the post-SUPERMAN REBORN (hunnh) where Superman is married to Lois and together in Metropolis, Lois and Clark are raising a 10-year-old son named Jonathan Samuel Kent who has inherited Superman's powers, Clark Kent's hapless innocence and Lois' inability to stay out of danger.

This means one of two things: WB has given up on a new Henry Cavill movie or recasting him for now and is letting the CW do whatever or WB has really loosened up since the days when they ordered that the Suicide Squad on ARROW be killed off and blocked Harley Quinn from appearing on the show.

The post-SUPERMAN REBORN (hunnh) era of comics (2016 - 2017) is interesting too from a comic book narrative perspective because it resembles all those Season 6 fanfics that have Rembrandt meeting the original Professor who then helps him split the Quinns who then reveals that the Earth Prime in "Genesis" wasn't their home Earth followed by the discovery that the Wade in "Requiem" was a clone and rescuing the real Wade followed by by Logan St. Clair catching up to the sliders and holding Henry the Dog hostage followed by the sliders defeating the Kromaggs using a combination of the Slidewave, the "New Gods for Old" nanites and the Professor's slide rule followed by the FBI appearing to guide the sliders to their true home followed by world peace and global nuclear disarmament followed by -- well, you get the idea.

The New 52 had 'rebooted' the DC Universe in September 2011. In August 2011, Superman had been happily married to Lois and in his late 30s. Suddenly, SUPERMAN featured a single, mid-20s Clark Kent who'd never dated Lois and been Superman for five years. ACTION COMICS was set five years previous and had a new origin for Superman. The loss of Lois and Clark's friendship and the confusion over what had and hadn't happened between the origin story in ACTION and the present day stories in SUPERMAN led to multiple writers repeatedly quitting the books, unable to find a tone or a direction for their work.

The first writer, George Perez, said DC couldn't even tell him if Clark's parents were alive or not in the new continuity. Eventually, the books found their feet, but the muddled two years caused sales to crash despite the eventual excellence of arcs where Superman starts dating Wonder Woman and then the spectacular TRUTH where Superman's secret identity is exposed to the world. I wrote up quite a summary several years ago:

http://sliders.tv/bboard/viewtopic.php?pid=3288#p3288

The New 52 Superman would eventually find creative success, but it wasn't a financial success. The idea that a single, young Clark Kent would sell better had proven false. DC Editorial began laying groundwork to reverse the New 52: the LOIS AND CLARK mini series revealed that the original Superman found himself in the New 52 universe from the start along with Lois. They assumed new identities as Lois and Clark White and Clark observed his alternate's adventures and avoided interfering. In this peaceful retirement, Lois also gave birth to a son, Jon, who is now 10 years old.

At the end of the New 52 run, the New 52 Superman dies burning out his powers. In the DC REBIRTH relaunch, Clark White resumes the role of Superman and explains to the Justice League that he is from a parallel universe and he can't replace their lost friend, but he will serve them as best he can. Another complication occurs: a man who looks exactly like Clark Kent and is only human reappears, claiming that the New 52 Superman put him in witness protection and assumed his identity.

Telepathic scans reveal he has all of Clark's memories (but none of Superman's). This undoes the Clark/Superman identity being revealed. In addition, the New 52 Lois Lane absorbs the New 52 Superman's powers after his death, but then she promptly dies. To investigate, Lois assumes her double's identity and resumes work at the Daily Planet. There was a year of these stories: Lois Lane impersonating herself, Clark White carefully avoiding and investigating Clark Kent, little Jon confused by all of this.

In 2017, there was finally the climax, SUPERMAN REBORN (hunnh), where Kent is revealed as the fifth dimensional prankster, Mr. Mxyzptlk trying to help Superman regain his life in his mischievous way. The New 52 versions of Lois and Clark are shown to be alive after all but as disembodied energy that were split off from the original Lois and Clark due to the New 52 reboot. In REBORN (hunnh), both versions of the characters are merged, resulting in a combined timeline of 1985 reboot and the New 52 reboot.

The New 52 adventures are rewritten so that some of them happened, but during the past 10 years, Lois and Clark have mostly been away from the Daily Planet and Metropolis, taking some time off to raise their son. No one remembers there having been two Supermans; the Superman/Wonder Woman romance has been erased, the entire supporting cast has known Jon Kent all his life, and Clark White is able to resume his life as Clark Kent once again. Like I said, this is the SUPERMAN equivalent of all those Season 6 fanfics.

I grudgingly respect DC spending a whole year's worth of SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS having Lois and Clark White slowly regain their lives as Lois Lane and Clark Kent and merging the New 52 and 1985 timelines -- but Jesus. There's a reason why most readers and writers haven't been able to finish their Season 6 SLIDERS fanfics.

I assume that a CW Superman series will skip past all of that.

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And now from Berlanti, a Green Lantern series and Strange Adventures, but on the streaming service HBOmax:

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/green- … 203387210/

If Berlanti looks at the comics history (and he’s surprised me at how closely he often does with Flash), then Strange Adventures featured characters like Captain Comet, Animal Man, Deadman, Enchantress, Adam Strange, The Atomic Knights and the Immortal Man (who later had a connection to a great character called Resurrection Man).  Strange Adventures even featured the 25th century Space Museum (which was later part of the origin of Booster Gold).

Will also be interesting to see how they pull off Green Lantern in space.  But in the end, it’s going to be planetside based scenes too.  I really don’t see it being more complicated or costly than something like Stargate SG-1 or Farscape.  The Green Lantern constructs will be the complicated thing if anything.

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Time for this year’s left field Flash theory!

So Barry is fated to die in the Crisis.  What if they go through with it for real?  Barry dies - gone for good.

As we know, Wally takes up the Flash mantle in the comics; but I don’t think that will happen on the show.  The actor who plays Wally can’t commit; and I really doubt they would bring in a new, white Wally from the multiverse.  There is another option, though.

Iris has a strange history in the comics:

https://www.cbr.com/should-the-cws-flas … ts-future/

The new show runner Eric Wallace was directly asked if the show will ever address Iris’s comic book life in the 30th century.  His simple answer - “Yes.”

https://www.cbr.com/the-flash-showrunne … -season-6/

What If Barry dies and a new Flash appears after Crisis.  He takes off the mask and he’s Grant Gustin, but he’s not Barry Allen.  He’s Bart Allen - Barry’s grandson who’s traveled from the 30th century to hide in the 21st century with the help of his grandmother - an older Iris using an image inducer to appear young.  And what better way for Bart to hide than step in the shoes of his grandfather.  People will think he’s Barry Allen if he can pull off the act with Iris’s help.

Like many families, a descendant can look exactly like their ancestor.  This happened in my own life as I one day found a photo, and I asked my mother when I took that picture.  She said “That’s not you - that’s your father at your age.”  It fooled even me.

So we’ll see what happens!  I’ve been wrong with my theories every year so far; but even a broken clock is eventually right - twice a day in fact.

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I maintain that Temporal Flux is completely correct in all of his ARROWVERSE theories and that the show just hasn't validated them YET.

**

I sometimes fear that, like those ridiculous people who claimed that BATWOMAN was a disaster before it had even aired, I focus too much on the negative. I tend to post when something strikes me as wrong; I take it for granted when something is good.

I'd like to say that'll change, but I thought it was really weird that Regan the Bartender flirted with Kate Kane and then promised to call Kate having at no point in the episode exchanged any contact information with Kate. Was she going to use the Bat signal?

That said, I'm adoring BATWOMAN which has thankfully dropped the voiceover. Kate fighting crime in the shadow of Bruce Wayne is effective; the action sequences have a brutal physicality and the humour works, especially where Kate fails to catch a returning Batarang and Luke realizes he forgot to calibrate it for her height and arm span. That's funny.

I am fascinated by how Beth became Alice and wonder if the revelations the show will provide will in any way resemble what Greg Rucka and JH Williams III intended to offer in their abortive run in the comic.

I am also deeply amused by how we couldn't have Catwoman so we get Magpie, one of the lamest villains to ever feature in a comic and not even a BATMAN comic. She appeared in MAN OF STEEL #3 as the villain Superman and Batman teamed up to fight. Yes, that's right, Batman teamed up with Superman to catch a jewel thief. My God, MAN OF STEEL #3 was lame. Magpie worked for BATWOMAN, though.

**

THE FLASH is also starting out well. As a show, it's suffered from never finding a central metaphor for the superspeed. Seasons 1 - 2 were nominally about Barry running away from his past except he was investigating it quite thoroughly. Season 3 got too muddled with Flashpoint and wasn't about anything. Season 4 was about how the Thinker was too smart for Barry's speed, but then sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was fired off the show and his successors, unwilling to maintain his plans, fumbled the arc and turned a strong seasonal arc into the Flash fighting Sylar, as Slider_Quinn21 put it. Season 5 was slow with maybe a half-season arc of Nora secretly working with Thawne stretched out to a whole year and THE FLASH, while not being sure of what it is, shouldn't ever be slow.

Season 6 has found a way to focus on speed: the Flash is now racing against the clock before his time runs out. His death is inevitable, inescapable, unchangeable and it's entirely possible Season 6 could be the last year of the Flash. As a result, each episode of Season 6 has had a drive and passion and intensity that Season 5 so singularly didn't: Barry must train Killer Frost and teach Cisco because the annual crossover isn't coming any slower and he doesn't expect to survive it.

I'm also pleased that showrunner Eric Wallace has announced that he's treating Season 6 as two mini-seasons much like AGENTS OF SHIELD often had two arcs within one season. If it's a self-criticism of Season 5 and an effort to amend the problem, it would work.

**

SUPERGIRL has found a really compelling arc this season where friends are foes in secret and seeming foes are in fact friends. Kara's love for Lena has never seemed more romantic even as Lena is plotting against her; William Dey seems to be Kara's nemesis but turns out to be her ally; J'onn's loathsome brother turns out to be a villain of J'onn's own creation and Alex -- well, I dunno, but I liked the look of her poached eggs. It's good, although random remarks about voter turnout are a bit, well, random -- if the episodes' plots don't actually involve an election. There is nothing as sickening as people who throw out the term "virtue signalling" towards any expression of morality and responsibility and people like that are insufferable and tend to post transphobic rants on their Twitter accounts and support homophobic harassment -- but I'm grudgingly forced to concede that this would count. Damn it.

**

ARROW. Wow. I am really impressed by how propulsive this short season is. Every shot of every episode is like one of Oliver's arrows flying from his bow: there is intensity and purposeful drive. It's quite odd that a street crime vigilante is battling a cosmic crisis, but ARROW moves so fast it gives you no time to think about it. The season premiere was a touching revisitation of the first season. The second episode was a fascinating look back at Oliver's exploits in Hong Kong. The third was a gripping adventure that recalled the R'as Al Ghul season. By shifting the show out of Star City, Emily Bett Rickards' absence feels natural and it's interesting that she's been maintained in the recap sequence (and I see she's been booked for the series finale, very good).

The future sequences are also really strong and Katherine Macnamara really convinces as Mia, conveying both Felicity's intellectual ferocity and Oliver's heated aggression. I've never seen this actress play a role with such savagery and she's really gripping. Press reports seem to say that the spinoff she'd lead, GREEN ARROW AND THE CANARIES, is as good as sold, but I seem to recall a similar attitude for WAYWARD SISTERS and we all saw how that turned out. Regardless, nothing would make me happier than to see Mia Smoak fighting crime ever week next year other than a SLIDERS revival using Temporal Flux's REDUX concept.

**

LEGENDS is deeply frustrating for me right now on account of it not airing any new episodes.

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ireactions wrote:

That said, I'm adoring BATWOMAN which has thankfully dropped the voiceover.

Has it?  I'm fairly certain it's still continuing.  I'm also not 100% sure about two things about the voiceover:

1. Kate is talking directly to Bruce.  Is this some sort of letter she's writing?  A set of recordings she's making?  Or are these just thoughts in her head?

2. I don't understand the timeline of this show.  Have we caught up to last year's Elseworlds spinoff, or is that still coming?  Will Crisis on Infinite Earths be a flash-forward in Batwoman's timeline?  Or will that never be addressed?  And as far as the voiceover goes, are these recordings/thoughts/letters to Bruce in real time, or is this some sort of "How I Met Your Mother" voiceover where she's actually talking to Bruce?  I don't know

I do like the show, though.  I think Alice is a fun villain, and it's pretty nice to have a season-long villain that I can feel can be truly redeemed.  My biggest fear of this show is still the shadow of Bruce Wayne and I guess the shadow of the whole concept of Batman.  This is a world where Batman existed, and most of his villains ended up in Arkham.  Last episode, they said there was a breakout at Arkham.  So we know that Batman's villains were in Arkham and now they're out.  Do they all just go underground because Batman is gone? 

If they're not going to ever get to do Batman, they should've had Batman die.  Him being "gone" is a cliffhanger like Quinn being merged.  There's no point in doing a plot point that you're literally never going to get to resolve.  And they're keeping things in Gotham - I'm continually wondering where Alfred is.  Where Gordon is.  Where Dick Grayson is.  Where Tim Drake is.  Where Jason Todd is.  It's distracting.  With Supergirl, they played with Clark Kent, but Supergirl was in a different city.  Keeping Kate in Gotham is working to the detriment of the show in my opinion.  Put her in Coast City or something, or she's never going to get out of Batman's shadow.

************

I'm really really enjoying Arrow.  I think it's insane that the most grounded show is now about Oliver time traveling and world hopping on the behest of a cosmic being.  But the character stuff has been great.  I still don't love the whole flash-forward stuff (even though that's maybe over now that the kids are in the present?  I haven't seen the most recent episode), but it's a backdoor pilot so it's fine.  I don't mind the characters - I just wonder what the point is.

******

Flash is good.  I feel that Barry is both taking the Crisis too seriously and not seriously enough.  Yes, it's important to get his affairs in order, but I don't know if picking a new leader for Team Flash is the best use of his time.  Without the Flash, the team is going to be radically different.  No speedster changes a lot of things, even if they can just teleport the rest of the team anywhere they want.

This would actually be a great time to bring Wally back.  Or check on Jessie Quick.  Which brings me to another thing...I miss the casual connections these shows had.  Harry Wells is probably dead.  Jessie Quick is probably dead.  Earth 2 is destroyed.  And I don't think there's even been a mention.  Shouldn't this be something that the Council of Wells would be worrying about?  Or even just something Cisco could casually figure out (if that random scientist Black Siren found knew, Cisco should've).  Again, I haven't seen this week's so maybe that's why Breacher comes back, but Harry and Jessie were big characters.  And their deaths should at least get a casual mention on the Flash.

And while it's nice that Barry has accepted his fate....he's not going to do any investigation into the Crisis?  Just like "this is going to happen and I'm going to die."   Yeah, but Barry, maybe you still have to do something when you die?  Don't you feel like investigating what that might be?

I think Ramsey is a good villain.  I like that actor very much, and he should be in more genre stuff.

********

Supergirl is fine. I don't know if they know what they want to do with most of these characters, though.  Kara seemingly has no character arc, and she doesn't seem to learn anything or grow at all.  Is she attracted to Lena?  Is William supposed to be a romantic lead?  I honestly have no idea what her character really is.  I think the writers seem to have a lot more fun with J'onn and Nia and Brainy and Alex.  Kara's really just there to do the fight scenes and go back and forth to check on how the characters are doing.  Am I wrong here?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Oh my God! BATWOMAN hasn't dropped the voiceover! I just... stopped recognizing it as such and viewed it as Kate's letters to Bruce. Haha!

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

News broke this weekend that Tom Welling only shot for one day and is only in one scene.  Erica Durance, Tyler Hoechlin, and Elizabeth Tulloch were all on set at the same time (on the Kent Farm set), but it's hard to say if it'll be a non-speaking cameo with just Welling and Durance (with Tulloch and Hoechlin filming their own scenes at the farm separately) or if they'll share a scene together.

There's been a rumor that Hoechlin, Welling, and Brandon Routh will all have a scene together, but Routh isn't in any behind-the-scenes photos from that day.  Tom looks like he's in good shape in the pic I saw.  More than believable as an older Superman.

I'm sticking with my thought that I'm cool with whatever Tom gave his time for.  Still willing to bet that it's a minor cameo in a sequence of red sky reactions.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I thought Welling looked fine in the photo I saw of him with Tyler Hoechlin. Definitely not as sculpted as he could be, but he's lost some of the weight he gained (deliberately, I think) as Cain on LUCIFER. Welling is unshaven and wearing Clark's flannel and a worn golf shirt on top of his jeans and the clothes are very loosely fitted to Welling. In contrast, Hoechlin is wearing the Metropolis uniform for Clark: a very slim-fit business jacket, shirt and trousers. I wonder if the scene was shot to contrast Clark on the farm, relaxing and being a farmer, with Clark visiting from Metropolis and in reporter mode.

There is stuff Welling could have done to youthen up for the scene -- he could have shaved. Spent a week getting cucumber masks and retinol treatment on his face, especially the eyes, to plump some of the age lines. Or he could have worn a muscle suit under the long-sleeved flannel. Dyed the silver from his hair and grown it out as well to offset his face. But Welling has served the superhero genre with honour, so I say let him be.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

That's kinda what I thought.  If the timeline is what it is, he's been Superman for a decade.  Maybe he's lost a step.

If we get a cute Clark and Lois scene.  Maybe a reference to Lex.  And the sky turns red, and they look up.  That's all I need.  If we get Tyler Hoechlin showing up (maybe with Routh) to talk about some sort of crisis, that's a bonus.

I would absolutely love it if Tom's Clark played an instrumental role.  If he got to be Thor in Infinity War, showing up and turning the tide.  But at the same time, this isn't his story.  This still needs to be about Barry and Oliver and Sara and Kara and Kate and the rest (primarily Barry and Oliver, I assume).  But legitimizing Smallville into the Arrowverse, in whatever form it takes, will be cool to me.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Supergirl is fine. I don't know if they know what they want to do with most of these characters, though.  Kara seemingly has no character arc, and she doesn't seem to learn anything or grow at all.  Is she attracted to Lena?  Is William supposed to be a romantic lead?  I honestly have no idea what her character really is.  I think the writers seem to have a lot more fun with J'onn and Nia and Brainy and Alex.  Kara's really just there to do the fight scenes and go back and forth to check on how the characters are doing.  Am I wrong here?

I've enjoyed Melissa Benoist in every season of SUPERGIRL. I don't take any issue with her character in Season 5, but I don't disagree that she lacks an arc in Season 5. I'm not sure she needs one right now. The main thoroughline of Kara in Season 5 is that she has merged the two halves of her life, or she at thinks she has. From a plotting perspective, it makes sense to give her an 'arcless' period of stability before Lena overtly turns on her or Kara discovers that Lena considers her a treacherous enemy.

That said, I'm trying to be more open to different kinds of characterization. In Season 1, the writing for Kara Danvers was a mess: she was an entry-level intern at a news agency who was a top level secret agent employed by a government espionage agency who was struggling to keep a secret identity amidst a regular cast where everyone except Cat Grant knew all about it who had a close relationship with Superman although Superman never appeared in person.

Season 2 got its act together at last: Supergirl is the friendly superhero face of a covert spy agency; Kara Danvers is a nervous mess of a human being who has to get her act together when trying to mentor a shiftless layabout, Mon-El, in the superhero game. Supergirl was everything Kara could never be in civilian life.

Season 3, unfortunately, got confused again and this was a season where Kara's only real arc was her grief at Mon-El returning a married man. There was a lot of intrigue over Kara's Kryptonian heritage, but Kara didn't really have a strong direction this season, likely because sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was fired off the show halfway into the season and none of the writers wanted to use his planned material once they were rid of him.

Season 4 was good, exploring how Lena is Kara's most rewarding relationship and Lena can't stand Supergirl. The constant collisions between Kara's civilian and superhero life were played out beautifully as Kara discovers that Catco's reporting is at threat, as Supergirl finds that she's part of a discriminated minority, as Kara finds that the ordinary people she lived among for most of her life consider her the other, as Supergirl realizes that she's part of a government agency that is falling entirely in line with a xenophobic White House administration.

The most heartbreaking moment of Season 4 was when Alex is forced to have J'onn erase Alex's memories of Supergirl and Kara feels truly lost. There's another beautiful moment where Supergirl, unable to defeat a Kryptonite fuelled villain and in a jail full of people who hate her, switches to Kara Danvers and is astonished to be dismissed by Supergirl's attacker and embraced by an inmate who is a devoted reader of Kara's articles. And the season finale is where Kara and Supergirl are at last united: Kara exposes the President and Supergirl stops Agent Liberty. Season 5's premiere was, to Kara, the seeming conclusion to this storyline where she tells Lena who she really is and now we're dreading how Kara thinks all is well when she has no idea what she doesn't know.

... is Kara in love with Lena? I think Kara and Lena should be the romance of the show -- but I don't think it's going to happen. I don't think it was planned for Katie McGrath to have such chemistry with Melissa Benoist, but it happened and the writers have tried to steer into it as much as they can, they've made the Kara/Lena friendship the center of Season 5.

However, Supergirl is owned by a corporation that took over seven decades to concede that Wonder Woman is bisexual (and that's with Wonder Woman living on an island nation of immortal women and no men since 1942). The character of Supergirl as she's been portrayed since 1959 is a boy crazy teenaged girl; letting the Melissa Benoist Supergirl be bisexual implies that every version of the character is the same because Benoist is the most commonly known rendition. I don't see this slow, lumbering and heteronormative multinational finding the institutional will to make one of their iconic properties bisexual based on the specific chemistry between one performer playing the role with a specific scene partner.

That said, accidents happen and good shows capitalize on them. ARROW realized that, despite Black Canary and Green Arrow being a couple in the source material, the onscreen chemistry of Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards was the way to go whereas Katie Cassidy was better as Stephen Amell's friend. COMMUNITY planned for Troy and Pierce to be best friends; they soon realized the real bromance was between Donald Glover and Danny Pudi, just as they realized that Joel McHale's best scene partner was not Gillian Jacobs but Alison Brie. SUPERGIRL realized that Winn, despite being a Catco employee, worked better in the spyfi environment of the DEO and made the change for Season 2. MACGYVER started out with MacGyver a gunslinging, arrogant action hero but realized the actor was better as an unarmed innocent. SLIDERS meant for Quinn Mallory to be an unathletic, socially inept geek, but Jerry O'Connell transformed the character into a damaged, self-isolating athlete brainaic and Tracy Torme ran with it.

I doubt SUPERGIRL will capitalize on Supercorp any more than it's chosen to; SUPERGIRL has made Lena the most passionate friendship in Kara's life and I think that's all it can be. Institutionally. If SUPERGIRL were an original property and the showrunners could make decisions without worrying about whether or not they can use the Suicide Squad or get their content past DC Comics, I do think Kara would have been out and proud by the middle of Season 4.

1,165 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2019-11-15 11:35:16)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I agree with that.  I just think it's odd that I don't really feel like the show really treats Supergirl as the protagonist sometimes.  I just feel like the show feels like it wants to spend more time dealing with the other characters, and that sometimes Kara is just used as a mechanism to tell their kind of stories.  It's a little odd that Brainiac is in a relationship and Kara hasn't been one in three seasons?  I know "being in a relationship" doesn't automatically translate to "character growth" but it's funny that the show started with love interests in season one and two and then just stopped trying.  Maybe Mon-El is her soulmate or maybe they're going to try and make William a love interest?  I don't know.

I also find it weird that they decided to have Superman leave Earth, but they haven't really had Kara face that many Superman-related dangers.  Is Metropolis just fine by itself?  I know they've periodically showed Supergirl facing world-level threats (they had a worldwide montage either last season or this season) but they've been reluctant to have her fill Superman's shoes all that often.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

One thing that struck me about Kara Danvers' look in SUPERGIRL -- the actress has a very distinctive face. I always noticed how one iris -- in the left eye -- is expanded and significantly larger than in her right eye. On a talk show, Melissa Benoist described how she was wrestling her very large dog and tripped on some stairs and hit a potted plant, she said with a cheery, self-deprecating goofiness. I thought it was cute.

Benoist had a tough time when SUPERGIRL first premiered: private photos of her being intimate were leaked which didn't do anything good for SUPERGIRL's family friendly image, but thankfully, our society has advanced sufficiently that Benoist could refuse to be shamed out of her career. Benoist was later reported to be cheating on her husband Blake Jenner with SUPERGIRL co-star Chris Wood (Mon-El), but it was later revealed that Benoist had filed for divorce from Jenner well before she'd even met Wood whom she would later marry. Throughout all of it, Benoist had a distinctly enlarged left iris.

Then recently, Benoist posted a video on Instagram where she said all this.

Melissa Benoist wrote:

So -- I don't normally do things like this. But I've written something that I want to share. And I wanted it to stay my words and not have to edit it down for publishing. So I thought -- I'm gonna read it out loud -- and I'm quite nervous, so bear with me.

I am a survivor of domestic violence or IPV intimate partner violence -- which is something I never in my life expected I would say -- let alone be broadcasting into the ether.

He was a magnanimous person who didn't really give you a choice not to be drawn to him. He could be charming, funny, manipulative, devious. He was younger than me and his immaturity obvious and for a period of time I wasn't interested.

I was newly single and gaining my bearings in a period of change in my life. Making dumb decisions. But in the midst of that, he became a friend. A friend that made me laugh and feel less alone. Made me feel special and worthwhile.

And then once we started dating, it was a zero-to-sixty catapult. And I wasn't just a rag doll letting myself be swept away into a relationship I didn't want, but I was unsure about what I was getting into from the get-go. As strange as that might sound, it's still hard for me to dissect what I was thinking and feeling that kept me from stopping what felt like a runaway freight train.

But the most logical deduction I've come up with is I was a child from a non-violent but broken home. And the ways in which the effects of my parents divorce manifests in me were varied. But sheer terror at a failed relationship in my own life was one of them.

I also hadn't figured out that I could say no and disappoint someone and still be okay. It didn't matter that I had misgivings; whether or not he was the one at the time, it felt very good how much he coveted me. How much he seemed to treasure who I was. He loved me. I thought I loved him and I was going to make it work.

The abuse was not violent at first. At first, it reared its head at me under the guise of common dysfunction coming from his insecurity and depression. He confided in me the tragedies he had experienced the injustices and insecurities he had been dealt.

It was all very real and easy to sympathize with making it alarmingly easy to excuse when the damaged man that I felt for became too wounded to control himself.

There was a lot of jealousy. He was snooping on devices. He was angry when I spoke to another man. I had to change clothes often before we went out because he didn't want people looking at me.

On a birthday, I spent working I was criticized because I had to dance with a co-worker. Work in general was a touchy subject. He didn't want me ever kissing or even having flirtatious scenes with men which was very hard for me to avoid.

So I began turning down auditions job offers, test deals -- friendships -- because I didn't want to hurt him.

None of that registered as abuse because I was worried about how he felt at that point. To even comprehend how it affected me in retrospect, I see that each red flag followed a very clear path on the way to things becoming violent. Because violence is so often preceded by mental emotional verbal and psychological abuse which were all very sneaky things.

It started about five months after our relationship began. And the violence escalated just as quickly as the relationship had. So quickly. I didn't know how to respond the first time that happened. He threw a smoothie at my face. It smacked my cheek and exploded all over the floor and the sofa.

I ran to grab paper towels rushing back because I was so worried about cleaning the couch than the fact that it was all over my face, my hair, my clothes, and that my cheek was painful painfully throbbing.

I was more worried about the furniture than I was about the fact that I had just been abused.

It wouldn't be easy to describe in detail the physical arguments that occurred more after that. It's hard to even articulate, not just because of the anger and the pain that surfaces, but because the memories feel like they took place on a different planet where I was breathing different air and could never tell anyone what I had seen.

It had to be secret for shame, for a fear of more attacks, for reluctance to actually admit any of it was happening. The stark truth is I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly. Punched so hard the wind was knocked out of me. Dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted. Pinched until my skin broke. Shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke. Choked.

I learned to lock myself in rooms but quickly stopped because the door was inevitably broken down. I learned not to value any my property as irreplaceable. I learned not to value myself. Most vividly, I remember how the arguments would usually end. There would always be a click of reality snapping back into place when he would see what he had done.

And a wave of guilt would wash over him. And I imagine in a subconscious effort to wash the both of us clean after what had just happened, he would carry me and put me in an empty bathtub. Throwing the faucet on. And leave me while he gathered himself and I would sit in the tub as the water inched up my body surveying the damage.

Insert the typical abuser's apology speech here.

He'd kneel next to the tub crying self-hating tears with me. He never made me feel like he thought I deserved the beating which I guess eased my mind. And internally, I still held on to the sympathy and the empathy I felt for his brokenness he admitted to. Having his apologies were heartfelt and effective in getting us back to sanity and a semblance of a loving relationship.

But deep down, I never believed he would change. I just fooled myself into believing I could help him. I thought that I could love him enough to make him see a way of life where violence was not the way you handled emotions.

So I consciously deluded myself into thinking that forgiveness would heal him enough to make it stop. Someone had to let him know that his behavior wasn't okay. Who better than the one he was taking it out on? So I pull down the drain in the bathtub and down the pipes the argument would go with its indecency, humiliation, sorrow, rage, and myself.

I went down that drain every time he put me in the tub. My fortitude. My worth -- that he had begun to define my blood, my tears. He once jokingly told my mother she cries enough water to end thirst in a third-world country. Months and months of this routine passed. sometimes there wouldn't be a physical argument for a month or two. Sometimes, I would distrustingly rejoice in the peace thinking maybe it's actually different now.

And things were different, but not for the better. I've changed and I'm not proud of how I changed. I became --

A person that I never could have imagined lurked inside of me because I was livid at what was happening and the fact that I was allowing it to out of fear of failure.

I experienced firsthand that violence begets violence. I started fighting back because rage is contagious. I had an astonishing poker face, but inwardly I was the ugliest version of myself I had ever known.

I became unreliable. Unprofessional. Sometimes unreachable. There were stretches of weeks where I wouldn't get out of bed for more than two hours a day.

If you met me at this time I was most likely friendly -- just to the point of getting too close -- and aloof to the point of being cold.

It was as if I split into spinning plates to maintain a false image versus the truth. I was living another performance of sorts. Melissa in public put on a happy face and purported a healthy life. Whereas Melissa at home dropped the veneer and lived the nightmare in the middle of one never-ending dispute. Battle wounds and all.

To my closest circle I just plain lied. I made up stories of how bruises and scratches were born. I did this at photo shoots at work with my family -- all to shield myself from my own anger, protect myself from more arguments -- and of course, to protect him.

I knew how he was treating me was wrong but I thought the consequences he would suffer if I exposed his behavior outweighed suffering through it.

And then he threw something at my face again -- only this time, it was significantly worse. It was a blow to my face with his iPhone.

The impact tore my iris. Nearly ruptured my eyeball. Lacerated my skin and broke my nose. My left eye swelled shut. I had a fat lip. Blood was coursing down my face and I can remember immediately screaming at the top of my lungs.

The next morning I was due to work on reshoots for a film. After it happened, complete stillness blanketed the room. We panicked. He put me in the bath time, but this time that wouldn't be enough. This wasn't going to be easy to hide, let alone fix.

And something inside of me broke. This was too far. I couldn't flush this one down with the tug of the drain. We made up a flimsy story together.

I had tripped and fallen on the stairs of our deck and hit my face on a potted plant. We called our mothers, all of our representatives, all of my representatives -- who then had to call producers and directors I was working with.

He drove me to the hospital. When the ER director doctors made him leave the room and cops came to question me at my hospital bed, I told them our transparent story that I'm sure they'd heard versions of before.

And then we laughed together when he said my face was cute and looked like Squirt from FINDING NEMO because my eye had become bulbous.

This is an injury that's never going to fully heal. My vision is never going to be the same.

And emotionally after that I was done. I felt that whatever I thought love was, it certainly wasn't what I had been going through.

I was so tired of living the way I'd been living, but it felt too late to get out. Would it be safe for me to leave?

I had ostracized myself so completely in my life that I made myself believe I had no one to turn to if I did. And I was ashamed. But abuse doesn't just affect the people. It's better in its chokehold.

However -- and unbeknownst to me -- many people in my life suspected and feared exactly what was happening. A friend visited me where I was working. My abuser wasn't there so she had a rare opportunity to talk to me without his looming presence.

She sat me down and said she wanted to talk about something important and I immediately knew where it was going. My heart pounded. She was nervous. Shaking. Afraid that it would ruin our relationship.

But she bravely asked me if I was a victim of domestic violence. It was the first moment I spoke about the abuse to anyone.

And I can't describe the amount of relief and solace. I felt she held me. And she said, "You know what you have to do now. Don't you?"

Here's the irony about enduring an ordeal like a violent relationship. Inevitably, while terrible and irreparable damage is done to you, you build an impenetrable strength without realizing it.

Finally utterly uttering the words that I had muted for so long inflamed that power in me.

I had to get out and I took careful steps to leave him as quickly as our relationship had sped into my life. Leaving was not a walk in the park. It is not an event, it's a process.

I felt complicated feelings of guilt for leaving and for hurting someone I had protected for so long -- and yes -- mournful feelings of leaving something that was so familiar. But luckily, the people I let in, the more I was bolstered.

And I never lost the sense of clarity that kept telling me, "You do not deserve this." None of this is salacious news. It was my reality. What I went through caused a tectonic shift in my outlook on life. It taught me what love is and isn't the strength I'm capable of.

The violence I endured and yes, even tolerated -- the lies I told -- the protection I gave my abuser -- these facets all paint the dark and sinister portrait of that time of my life.

But recusing those habits and breaking that cycle was the most rewarding and empowering choice I have ever made for myself. I feel an enduring strength and self-assurance that has dug its roots deep within me.

I will be healing from this for the rest of my life and that's okay. And I've discovered that healing is a constant maneuvering and fidgeting to find what works and what triggers. But it is possible.

Sadly, IPV is one of the most chronically underreported crimes in the country according to the US DOJ, it's estimated that one in four women in the US ages 18 and older will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

And while it affects men as well, the numbers clearly show that it is a more prevalent women's issue and it's wildly intersectional in its reach. I want those statistics to change and I hope that telling my story might help prevent more stories like mine from happening.

I choose to love. I don't choose to minimize my life out of fear. I choose to love myself to know that love does not include violence. And to let victims know that there is a way out in which you will be protected.

If you are enduring what I went through and you see this, maybe you will find this tiny straw that will break the camel's back. Or at least you might begin to think of your freedom --

In which case, I am here. I am with you and you can and deserve to live a violence-free life.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I saw that about Benoist - very sad.  I'm glad she's doing better.

*************

Okay, so I wonder if they've solved the Bruce in Batwoman problem - I wonder if he'll just be Kevin Conroy.  It seems like Conroy is playing a version of Bruce that Kate can recognize.  We've read throughout that he's playing an older Bruce Wayne, and I think we have to take that as truth.  Kate seems surprised so I'm assuming that's because he's older than she'd expect.  If that's still the case, could Bruce appear on Batwoman with Conroy's voice, audio-only?  Would that be enough?

I'm assuming that Bruce is supposed to be in his mid to late 20s in Batwoman?  I don't think Conroy could play that young of a Bruce, but if Bruce is never supposed to actually show up, perhaps they picked Conroy so that he could convincingly be the voice of younger Bruce.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Some thoughts on CRISIS casting *spoilers*

































Kevin Conroy's Bruce Wayne did not sound like Kevin Conroy doing his Batman voice, but he's considerably older than when I last heard him. Kate recognizes Kevin Conroy as Bruce, but remarks that he isn't the Bruce she knew which seems to be the show both leaving it open to having Conroy play Bruce in BATWOMAN or having another performer in the part. Except Luke Fox is played by the same actor at the same age on Conroy's world and on Earth 1, so............

I've seen some displeasure at CRISIS showing Brandon Routh's Superman having lost his entire supporting cast to the Joker and Tom Welling's Clark having given up his powers.

However, that seems an inevitability of the production. Kate Bosworth and Frank Langella would have been unaffordable for a TV production, so CRISIS had to account for their absences. In a nice moment, CRISIS reveals that after SUPERMAN RETURNS, Lois and Clark found their way back to each other and got married and that Clark and Jason became father and son. (Hopefully, James Marsden's Richard character wasn't vaporized like he was in X-MEN III.)

And Tom Welling had visibly aged and put on an average amount of weight for an average middle-aged man and was no longer doing the bodybuilding he used to, so CRISIS had to account for why Tom's version of Clark was clearly no longer superhuman. They had to work with the actors they had; they didn't have SUPERMAN RETURNS' Lois or Perry and it would've been odd to have Sam Huntington's Jimmy without them, and they didn't have Tom Welling in superhero shape.

Also, despite the showrunner saying that he considers the SMALLVILLE: SEASON 11 comic books to be canonical to CRISIS, that's unfortunately not the case. SEASON 11 dealt with the multiverse and multiple Earths quite extensively with Monitors and a Crisis of its own, and that cannot be reconciled with the Arrowverse version of CRISIS. In addition, SMALLVILLE: SEASON 11 had Clark becoming extremely well-acquainted with the multiverse, so Clark's ignorance of the concept in CRISIS indicates that this is not in the same continuity as the post-show comics; instead, both the comics and CRISIS exist on parallel tracks as potential outcomes for what happened after "Finale."

There's a lack of acknowledgement towards the casting -- nobody comments on why Tom Welling doesn't look like Tyler Hoechlin -- which becomes strange when everyone comments on how Brandon Routh's Ray and Clark look the same. Not even a line about how "universes take different shapes; so can the people in them." But intriguingly, Bitsie Tulloch's Lois and Brandon Routh's Clark feel an instinctive connection to each other, almost as though despite different forms and actors, the fundamental soul of the characters are present.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I actually really liked the Smallville scene.  I feel like Tom fell right back into the part, and I think it was done beautifully.  I heard on Crisis Aftermath (the aftershow) that the scene was written by a couple of former Smallville writers so that made sense.  I loved how annoyed Clark was by the whole thing, and I liked how much fun he seemed to have.

I think Clark would give up his powers if it made sense.  I can picture, only going by the show, that he set up the Justice League and felt comfortable.  Or maybe he found some way to transfer his powers to someone like Oliver so that someone could be Superman and he wouldn't have to.  It's a bit weird that they spent ten years getting Clark to accept that his powers are a part of him and for his story to end with him giving them up.  But for Clark to end up living a normal life on the farm is pretty cool.  Even if he is dead.

***********

I thought the Flash "twist" was an incredible copout.  I actually liked TF's idea of Barry dying and being replaced by a lookalike relative from the future that Grant could play.  Or if they just wanted to end Flash at the same time they're ending Arrow and have Barry go out with a bang.  To just say "it was a different Barry Allen" was cheap.  The Monitor didn't mean that.  The future that XS is from didn't mean that.  None of the futures that Barry saw showed that.  Earth 1 Barry was supposed to die, and that's been on the show since the beginning.  To just say "nah" at the last second was pretty disingenuous.

I get that they needed Stephen Amell to do the crossover and they don't want to cancel Flash.  But they could've done some stuff to make it better.  And, to be fair, maybe they will.  Maybe Barry switching places with Barry will have consequences.

But all in all, I think the crossover has been great.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Overall, I’ve had fun watching it even though there are things that have been mishandled.

One of those problems is Pariah.  While they kept his story beats in some form, the portrayal of the character is way off.  Pariah is supposed to be an emotional wreck.  I mean falling to his knees crying all the time emotional wreck.  In the comics, he had been forced to watch Infinite death and destruction like some evil version of Quantum Leap.  Tom Kavanaugh just doesn’t seem to know what to do with it.

Also, Pariah was more of an accidental hero.  In his great despair and desperation, he leapt at someone on a dying earth to save them; and to his surprise it succeeded as they were transported with him to the next doomed earth.  In the comics, that was Lady Quark; for tv it would seem the intention was that this be Black Lightning, but they instead presented it like it was something Pariah meant to do.

So there are missteps and things that could be done better, but I’ve enjoyed it.  Luthor’s parts so far are probably my favorite; and I really liked the Smallville scene for many of the reasons SQ21 did.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I liked the SMALLVILLE scene, but I understand why fans didn't. Many seem to think Clark woke up one morning and decided to stir some Gold Kryptonite into his eggs. But I imagined a very different story in which Clark lost his powers, and if Rosenbaum had signed on, maybe it would have been explained fully like this:

Luthor (Earth-38) throws a furious punch at Clark (Earth-167). Clark easily catches the fist and decks Luthor.

CLARK: "Still stronger."

LUTHOR: (fuming) "You backwards, subliterate hick from nowhere!" (grabbing the Book of Destiny) "I'm going to turn you inside out until all that's left of you are rags and denim! I'm going to -- "

From off camera, the AXE that Clark dropped swings in. The flat of the blade strikes Luthor in the head and he falls and drops the book. We see who swung the axe. It's a man in a bleach-white suit with a subtly superior expression, a bizarre contrast to the farmland surroundings. It's Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum).

LEX: "You came to the wrong farm."

LUTHOR: (from the ground) "You! What's WRONG with you!" (waving at Clark) "He's POWERLESS! Why haven't you KILLED him!?"

LEX: "He's my friend."

Luthor's eyes nearly pop out of his sockets.

LUTHOR: (sputtering) "He's your 'friend'!? Are you deficient!?"

LEX: "The Braniac 5 virus was going to wipe out the world. Superman contained it. I set off a nuclear implosion to take it out for good -- and me along with it. Superman absorbed the blast. Took in the radiation. And then expelled it along with all his solar energy. He gave up his power for me."

Clark smiles, Lex picks up the Book of Destiny and opens it.

LEX: "I saved the world. Clark saved me -- and gave me a chance to change my life."

LUTHOR: "That book gives you the power to change it too! Look at you! A pet to this glorified day laborer! He's made you a shadow of yourself. Use that book and rise!"

Lex leafs through the Book.

LEX: "This book gives you the power to control the destiny of every person in this world. It comes from the multiverse."

CLARK: (warningly) "Lex -- "

LEX: "I'm giving it back."

A portal appears. Lex throws the book into it, then grabs Luthor by the collar.

LEX: "I've closed off this Earth to any more visitors and taken it off the multiversal grid. Antimatter waves or you -- you won't be coming back. Now go."

Lex throws Luthor into the portal and it instantly closes.

LEX: (to Clark) "You alright?"

CLARK: (warmly) "You should'a called. I would've made up a room for you."

LEX: (reaching to the ground to pick up a grocery bag) "I had the Secret Service drop me in quietly. Wanted to surprise you with my latest attempt at your mother's apple pie."

LOIS: (off camera) "Clark!"

Lois (Erica Durance) steps in the scene.

LOIS: "Oh, Lex. If you haven't killed anyone in the last eight years, you can come hang out." (to Clark) "Did something just happen here?"

CLARK: "An alternate Luthor tried to kill me and Lex saved me."

LEX: "Also, the multiverse outside our reality might be ending."

LOIS: "Smallville and Chromedome, you both made a funny! It's taken you about a decade, but you're getting the hang of it."

CLARK: "What did the girls make?"

LOIS: "A mess. They can't wait for you and Uncle Lex to see it."

CLARK: "Oh. That sounds like a job -- for us."

I think SMALLVILLE as a TV show was one long build to Clark putting on the suit which it failed to deliver. CRISIS, however, acknowledges that Clark's superhero career and the costume were ultimately outside SMALLVILLE's purview (for better or for worse).

Admittedly, SMALLVILLE as conceived could only have lasted for four years and stayed effective: it was about the high school years of Clark Kent. For the show to maintain its "no flights, no tights" policy, Season 4 of SMALLVILLE should have ended with Clark graduating from high school, stopping some mass destruction event while wearing the red jacket and blue shirt, but being spotted at a distance by children who would layer draw what they recall as a man in a blue bodysuit and red cape with an S-symbol on his chest. Martha would make Clark the costume, but Clark would decline to wear it, saying he needed to leave Smallville, travel the world, understand what he could do for the planet as a whole, and when ready, he would come back and wear it then.

However, the unexpected longevity of the show put it in a position where the plot expectations called for Clark to put on a costume and Tom's insistence on maintaining the "no flights, no tights" policy was at odds with SMALLVILLE continuing even after the high school years. SMALLVILLE fans, I suspect, wanted CRISIS to make up for "Finale" by truly showing Clark as Superman, but CRISIS instead chose to represent its SMALLVILLE scenes with a scene that actually represented what SMALLVILLE was as a TV show which was a show about "a guy working on his farm," as Clark put it.

Ultimately, that's yet another anti-climax in a series that was full of them and that frustrates those fans again: they spent 10 years waiting for Clark to become Superman and now they're told he was only Superman from 2011 - 2019.

However, I do think that Clark "gave up" his powers in a major, cataclysmic conclusion to his Superman career and given that he wasn't all that concerned about Lex trying to kill him, it suggested to me (and only me) that Lex is no longer a threat to humanity and that they're on good terms.

1,172 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2019-12-14 21:22:10)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, I could see it being something like that.  The thing is that it was Clark's decision.

The timeline is a bit confusing.  Canonically, Clark is Superman in 2018.  It's definitely 2019 in the Arrowverse.  And yet Lois and Clark have at least two girls that are old enough to "want to show Clark something."  So if Clark gave up his powers in 2018, there's *at most* 23 months where that could work.  So the kids could maybe be one year old.

There are tons of explanations for this:

1. Clark and Lois could've had kids in the same/same-ish way that Clark and Lois had kids in the Supergirl universe.
2. Clark and Lois could've adopted during the time Clark was Superman.  So Clark's reasons for giving up his powers could be unrelated to the kids directly but still important to him indirectly.
3. "The girls made something for you" could be just making a mess, and they could be one year old.

But I think Clark would see his "career" as Superman as a success and is "retired" - without necessarily having to give up his powers in some big act of bravery to save the world.  He gave Smallville a decade.  He gave Metropolis a decade.  And then he passes the torch to someone else.  I like the idea of adapting the Eric Summers method and giving his powers to an Oliver Queen whose body has broken down and still wants to do good.

Do I feel cheated that we *still* never got to see Tom Welling in the suit?  On some level, yes.  But Tom, in interviews, essentially said that the scene they wrote was the one scene he couldn't turn down.  Which implies, at least to me, that Tom was going to turn down any offer that included him going in the suit.  Giving up his powers, as ireactions said, allowed Tom to play Clark the same way Tom looks now.  And, again, I think it's a really happy ending for Clark.  If he was still Superman, we would know that the Brandon Routh Superman's fate could still belong to Clark.

The way it is now, Lois and Clark are probably going to live a quiet life on the farm.  Until the multiverse explodes.

We got a 4-minute coda to Smallville.  I would've been happy with a 30-second one.  I feel like we won.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

It's possible that Lois and Clark adopted. It's also possible that time runs differently in different dimensions which "As Time Goes By" and "The Guardian" established and which should naturally apply to the Arrowverse BECAUSE.

I don't think Earth-167 is gone for good; CRISIS opens with the TITANS universe being destroyed and the second episode had BLACK LIGHTNING's universe erased as well. Except TITANS and BLACK LIGHTNING are still producing new episodes, so one would think that CRISIS Part 5 will restore them all.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Oh yeah, in fact, I've heard a rumor that Robert Wuhl filmed additional material - so there's a decent chance that we get to see all the "cameo" Earths restored.  So maybe we'll see Clark and Lois again.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I’ve heard a lot of weird rumours, some likely, some from the desperate. There are SMALLVILLE fans insisting Welling will be back because Marc Guggenheim said there was a scene with three Supermen — which appears at this writing to be the scene with Brandon Routh playing Superman and Ray interacting with Tyler Hoechlin. There are SMALLVILLE fans insisting that Welling’s voice has been in the trailers delivering lines that, in the aired episodes, were spoken by Grant Gustin. That said, I imagine that a quick shot of Welling and Durance seeing red skies fade could easily have been done during Welling’s one day of filming.

I think having the older Barry sacrifice himself in our Barry’s place works from a plotting standpoint, but it feels awkward because the older Barry first appeared in ELSEWORLDS but had no arc or relationships with the regular cast, so his sacrifice doesn’t hold weight unless you were a big fan of the 1990s FLASH. It also highlights another problem: the Monitor killed all the heroes on Earth-90 and all the civilians in his effort to ‘test’ heroes — but CRISIS has presented this genocidal character as a hero. Hopefully, CRISIS can patch this by restoring Earth-90 if not the John Wesley Shipp version of Barry.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The Flash's Audience has had 90's Flash represented in the new show as Barry's dad and has appeared as several variations of Flash over the series, so probably the biggest hero they could kill, outside of Arrow that wasn't needed for continuing arrowverse tv adventures.

Plus he has been on the show since episode #1.

I mean elongated man nor kid flash would of done anything, maybe Joe West could of reappeared to sacrifice his life but he isn't a meta human

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

BTW, there's a fan theory that Smallville Clark is wearing a Blue Kryptonite watch.  He is, indeed, wearing a watch with a blue face so it's not impossible.  It could possibly be explained that Clark wears the Kryptonite watch when he's at home (or when there's not a Superman-level event) in case people think he's Superman.

Not sure if that makes anyone feel better, but it's a nice theory.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Spoilers for Part 4 of Crisis.  I didn't get to watch Part 5 yet so only Part 4.

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Ezra Miller on the CW???  Whoa, that's pretty huge for them.  I actually read the story on that, and it sorta explains why the whole scene doesn't make any sense.  Apparently the whole crossover was done.  Shot, edited, in the can.  And that's when WB called and asked if they wanted Ezra for the crossover.  So that's why his scene both doesn't make any sense in the narrative (the rest of the scenes they visit are memories of the group becoming a team - not other versions of each other) and doesn't make sense in terms of what's happening.  Because it was legit just thrown in.

And it was kinda bizarre.  This is a movie star - a legit movie star - showing up in character on a CW show.  I'm not sure if the budget for the Flash's entire run would equal the budget of just Ezra Miller's scenes in Justice League, but it was really cool.  This was essentially a major league player going down to Little League to hang out with that team and play around for a few minutes. I love that WB allowed it (and from what I understand of the story, made it happen).

The scene itself was weird too, though.  The whole fuzziness of being in the speed force combined with the surreal aspect of the crossover itself was just so odd.  I almost didn't believe what I was seeing.

And the fact that they kept it a surprise.  That was really cool.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

SPOILERS for all of Crisis now:

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I'm not sure how I feel about the crossover as a whole.  On one hand, I think what they pulled off was extraordinary.  On the other, I'm a little underwhelmed.  This was essentially the Avengers: Endgame of the Arrowverse, and I don't know if we got the same level of emotional closure that we got from Endgame.  I think part of the fact is that they went for such a shocker moment at the end of Part 1 with Oliver dying.  But they never really undid it - Oliver still died at that moment, and he only part-way came back.  Killing him twice sorta robbed us of any true connection to him dying.  I think he needed to be a paragon, and he truly needed to sacrifice himself.  As it stands now, Oliver died offscreen.

And I think some of the beats they hit just came off wrong.  I understood that the last scene was essentially the leads of all the shows (including the proposed Superman show), but having Black Lightning at the funeral (but no one from Team Arrow) felt weird.  But if it was just the leads of all the shows, why was J'onn there?  I understand that Arrow will have its own goodbye to Oliver, but it was just odd how they came to that group.

But they hit a lot of home runs in this too.  I liked the trip through Oliver's memory in the Speed Force.  I wondered for months why Legends was the finale (and not Arrow) but they truly gave the leads to all the shows a front seat for each of their episodes, and I think Sara did a great job carrying the final hour.  I liked the camaraderie between the characters (with Kate and Kara becoming instant friends).  I liked the tongue-in-cheek nature of all the crossover talk.  I think the intro of Earth-Prime was handled well and will allow for more teamwork and less roping in of Kara and her team.  And, of course, I thought all the cameos were really fun.  I still love that they made the Smallville stuff work.  That makes the crossover a win no matter what else happened.

I did find it odd (but not necessarily bad) that they didn't show any other new worlds except for the active/future shows.  It made me wonder if the Smallville universe or the Batman 89 universe were destroyed.  I wonder if the Flash TV Flash is back.  It would've been nice to have a longer montage where they showed some of the key figures living normal lives, but that might've been cut in editing.

All in all, I think it worked.  I think the hardest thing is how they handled the Flash.  "Flash disappears in Crisis" has been around since day one of the Flash.  Day one.  And for them to have such a cheap bait-and-switch with zero ramifications for the show or anything is....borderline unforgivable?  I'm not saying that I wanted Barry to die, but I think he sorta needed to for the Flash as a series to work.  It reminded me of Harry Potter - I didn't want Harry to die, but I felt like the whole series was pointed in that direction.  And when he didn't, it just felt wrong and cheap.  I think TF had the best idea - kill Barry off heroically and have Grant Gustin play someone like Bart.  It would inject some new life into the series as they team would have to deal with a new Flash, Grant would get to play a new character.  Even Iris would get to live on in a different role.

But to have five years of "Crisis is coming!  Barry is going to die" and then not even really get close to that....I mean what was Iris' article even about?  "Flash disappeared in a crisis but it was some other flash that no one knew.  Don't worry about it."

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

There's a lot in CRISIS that I liked and overall, I thought it was good, but it definitely had its flaws and as Temporal Flux and Slider_Quinn21 have both observed, it didn't make good use of the supporting cast outside of Lena in Part 1. Tom Cavanagh had no idea what to do with the Pariah character; I'd argue that Stephen Amell was just as hapless playing the Spectre: Oliver was defined by his aggression and obsessive drive towards justice and the Spectre-incarnation was just Amell being vaguely mysterious.

The Death of the Flash: While I do think that substituting John Wesley Shipp's Flash-90 for Grant Gustin worked from a plotting standpoint, it didn't work from an emotional standpoint. While some argued that we saw Shipp die in Gustin's place and that Shipp had been on THE FLASH since the first episode, Shipp only played the Barry of Earth-90 for a few scenes in ELSEWORLDS and ultimately never rebuilt his connection to the audience, so it came off as a dramatic cheat rather than the death of a friend from nearly three decades past returning to sacrifice himself.

The writers did cover branching away from the originally teased CRISIS, however, by having Nora Allen's visit to the past alter the timeline last year. But the real reason -- after notorious sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was fired off running the Arrowverse, the remaining staff were no longer willing to use his material or continue his plans or do anything that would give him credit or entitle him to payment. As a result, they threw out all of his plans for SUPERGIRL's third season and threw out his plans for CRISIS as well, whatever they were.

Ezra Miller: I don't know that the DCEU Flash appearing in the Speed Force to Barry made less sense than… anything else in the heightened, exaggerated reality of a superhero TV series where meaning and symbolism will trump sense and reason. I thought it made sense that with the multiverse destroyed but remnants left in the Speed Force, there was an echo of the Flash from the DCEU universe with Miller's Barry being confused and unable to interpret the CW version of the Speed Force as his own.

I also liked how the cinematography juxtaposed the two Flash costumes: Ezra Miller's costume is highly technological and a little unpolished and worn down; Grant Gustin's costume is a runner's bodysuit -- and probably less heavy for an actor to wear on the long shoots of a TV schedule throughout multiple seasons.

Restoration: I think it's safe to assume that all the Earths we saw destroyed in previous episodes were restored and that the worlds of the Tim Burton and Adam West versions of Batman are doing just fine along with BIRDS OF PREY and SMALLVILLE; the clips of TITANS, DOOM PATROL, STARGIRL, GREEN LANTERN were to promote upcoming shows. I also feel confident that the Spectre restored Earth-90 even if Shipp's Barry remains dead. And the shot of Brandon Routh's Superman flying by with yellow back in his emblem would suggest that the Spectre not only restored the world of the 1979 SUPERMAN, he also undid the murders of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, making Routh's Clark change his S-shield back to what it was.

Farewells: I didn't mind that Team Arrow wasn't present for Oliver's farewell because it didn't seem to me that Supergirl and Barry were having a funeral for Oliver. Instead, they were saying good-bye to the Green Arrow / the Arrow / the Hood while honouring the legacy of Green Arrow. In contrast, Team Arrow would say good-bye to Oliver as a friend and leader on their own show. But I can see why it felt awkward and there were, as always, a number of awkward aspects to CRISIS.

I didn't feel that CRISIS had Oliver dying twice; in my view, he died in Part 1 of the CRISIS and his reappearances afterwards were as an echo, not as a resurrected character. But I understand that most won't see that distinction.

Fight Scenes: Budget has always been a problem for these crossovers and I felt the fight scenes with the shadow creatures of the Anti-Monitor reflected this badly; the actors are clearly flailing at empty air and there is no sense as to why these insubstantial attackers who seem to be less-than-solid can be defeated by being struck with Kate's staff or Diggle's bullets. The fourth episode also shows where CRISIS is trying to set aside some money for the finale by having the surviving heroes wander around a wrecked Time Master base at the Vanishing Point that's scattered rubble on an interior set.

Inclusion Without Purpose: There's also an insistence on including elements that have no space to breathe. Brandon Routh's Superman has a terrific entrance as he battles Tyler Hoechlin -- but then, having introduced him, Superman does little to nothing in the story; his only significant contributions afterwards are to describe what his black S-shield means; then he's erased by Lex Luthor.

The SMALLVILLE sequence is also an inclusion that doesn't serve much narrative purpose; it isn't used as collateral damage, it doesn't tell us anything about the Anti-Monitor. It's simply a fan-pleasing moment, but unlike Routh's Superman, SMALLVILLE's return is merely one scene whereas Routh's role is teased as having a significance that it ultimately doesn't. Even the use of BIRDS OF PREY and BATMAN (1966 and 1989) served as collateral damage.

Inclusion Without Reasoning: All these elements also raise questions that CRISIS declines to fully address: specifically, why does Lex Luthor look like Jon Cryer on one Earth but like Michael Rosenbaum in another? SMALLVILLE's Clark notes that Cryer's Luthor is clearly not the Lex he knows. Why does Barry look like Grant Gustin on one Earth but Ezra Miller on another and John Wesley Shipp on another? And why does Superman look like Tyler Hoechlin on at least two Earths but look like Brandon Routh on another, and why does the Superman played by Routh look like Ray Palmer? 

The differences are observed but not explained; Ray and Kara note that Superman looks like a "jacked" Ray and it's something the characters would wonder about and question -- but the only explanation is Oliver's voiceover in Part 5 reflecting upon the infinite variations of the multiverse. One longs for the Monitor to remark that each parallel universe incorporates and echoes previous versions but in strange reflections.

Enjoyability: Ultimately, CRISIS is a five part arc that's designed entirely for the enjoyment of each moment rather than logic or reason or any grand purpose as the sum of all the parts. Its purpose is to show these different characters bouncing off each other and using their powers together without worrying too much about making sure all the pieces fit together.

CRISIS is more concerned with making sure they are present, and this is conveyed rather definitively with the end where SUPERGIRL and BLACK LIGHTNING are now on the same Earth as ARROW, THE FLASH, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, the upcoming SUPERMAN AND LOIS (it's been ordered to series) and the in-development GREEN ARROW AND THE CANARIES (which will, if ordered, feature Mia Smoak as the lead).

The Merging: It's interesting: I originally thought the merging would happen with FLASHPOINT years ago and there were even some teaser-test scenes filmed with the cast of SUPERGIRL, ARROW, FLASH and LEGENDS together -- but it was ultimately decided to keep SUPERGIRL separate to explore aliens on Earth, a subject that the other shows didn't get into. But at this point, LEGENDS has shown a human run Time Bureau, metahumans on THE FLASH have become commonplace, ARROW has gotten into time travel, and ELSEWORLDS showed so much spark between Kate Kane and Kara Danvers that CRISIS paired them together and has now dispensed with Kate and Kara being in separate universes.

It'll certainly make it easier for them to explore their friendship now that they're on the same Earth -- although it does make the mass evacuation of Earth-38 to Earth-1 rather unnecessary now that Oliver restored everyone except himself and the Flash of Earth-90.

Ultimately, I liked it, but the annual crossover is always a large story and it doesn't surprise me that with so many balls in the air, things get dropped. I felt it was okay to drop a few things.