Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Informant wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The Flash premiere:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Informant wrote:

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

The Arrow premiere was... problematic.

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

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

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

Where I stand right now:

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

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

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

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

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