1,401 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2021-07-05 12:40:34)

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Been a while so here's a recap of my Arrowverse experience:

Batwoman - I thought the show handled a really tough situation really well.  I thought the Kate stuff was bungled a little bit, but it's nice that she didn't truly die in a plane crash essentially offscreen.  Ruby Rose is gone but Kate isn't.  I liked that she's okay.  And I guess they'll comingle the "what happened to Bruce" story with whatever Kate is doing.  I think that's fine, but with Bruce essentially showing up twice on the show already....what are the rules?  Can Bruce show up but not Batman?  Can Bruce only show up in images and in dreams but they can use "his" face on other characters?  Or are there no rules and Batman can show up?

The Flash - The show is fine.  I thought Ralph's write-out was weird and having Sue back is also weird.  I thought Cisco's exit was sweet but I feel like the show will really miss him.  I wish they'd moved Cisco to Legends at some point.  I feel like the cast feels distant, though.  I don't think Team Flash feels as close to each other, if that makes any sense.  It kinda feels like when Oliver put together a new Team Arrow and I didn't feel an attachment to any of them.  They were just guest stars in my head.  I don't know what the solution is.  The show has felt like it's been on fumes for such a long time.  I really don't know what I'd even do with it if I was hired as the showrunner.  I think it's too late to do anything.

Although maybe this...which I just thought of...Flash and the Canaries.  Maybe Bart Allen comes back and takes Barry to the future where he fights along Mia and the Canaries.  Essentially use Barry as an instrument to explore the stories they wanted to tell on Green Arrow and the Canaries.  It's not the same but it'd definitely mix things up.  And maybe use that as a way to tell the legacy of Barry and Oliver before the Arrowverse goes away.

Superman and Lois - I think the show is fantastic.  Really well done and compelling.  I wish it felt like part of the Arrowverse, even though part of it's appeal is that it doesn't.  I thought maybe the flashback episode would confirm some of the weird stuff with Clark and Lois' one kid becoming twins, but they didn't.  I know Diggle is showing up but I wonder if it should stay in its own universe now.

Legends of Tomorrow - This show is off the wall bonkers.  I also wish that show would feel more connected, but I kinda love that it just does its own thing.  The characters break the fourth wall, they do silly things, and the theme song at the beginning is insane.  The stuff with Gary being an alien doesn't work at all, but it's great that they just went for it.

All in all, I still think the universe has some life in it.  I'm excited for the other Diggle episodes, although from interviews, it doesn't sound like it's going to explore the Green Lantern stuff too much.  I hope that was a misdirect - it'd be a shame to have these episodes and not have it reach some sort of fun conclusion - even if it's too expensive to show him in costume.

Although I still want an anthology series before it dies.  Let's revisit characters, tell fun stories, introduce characters we'd never see otherwise.  Come on CW, make it happen.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I think the problem with THE FLASH in Season 7 is the same problem as S5 and S6: it's too slow. In Seasons 1 - 4, THE FLASH would complete in six episodes what other shows would take an entire season to do: powers were learned, secrets were revealed, identities were exposed, hidden agendas were unveilled. Season 5, however, had a new showrunner and THE FLASH spent an entire season with Barry being unable to stop one guy with a magic knife. Season 6 did something neat: it split the season into two arcs. However, the individual scripts were still extremely slow. Characters wander around; they hesitate from taking action, filibustering until a commercial break, then filibustering again until somebody gives somebody else a sappy emotional speech.

The writers are struggling to write for a speedster because a speedster demands that each episode have at least three situations that can only be solved with clever application of superspeed and the current team can come up with about ten situations per season. Superspeed is extremely hard to write and the one person who was quite good at it was also crazy abusive and rightly fired off the show and blacklisted from the industry.

I think THE FLASH needs a certain mad sci-fi inventiveness at the helm, but all the writers I can think of would not be considered by the CW or WB because they don't have any TV experience.

**

BATWOMAN is in a difficult position with its fans. After Ruby Rose quit the show, the fans cried for Wallis Day, but the showrunners felt that swapping Rose for Day would be visually nonsensical and instead found a new character to wear the Batwoman costume. A few episodes into Season 2, they decided that they would recast Rose's role after all but offer an explanation for why the face was different. But even after casting Wallis Day, BATWOMAN delayed and prevaricated: she was wearing a facial covering in a cameo and then absent for several episodes, then she was wearing a wooden mask, then she had her face restored but altered to look like Wallis Day instead of Ruby Rose, then she was possessed by Circe Sionis.

It reminded me a bit of what Slider_Quinn21 once said about HEROES where Bryan Fuller delayed until nearly the end of Season 1 before having Peter and Sylar fight and then it was just flashing lights with all the action off-camera -- a warning that there wasn't really much content there with two invincible beings fighting to a stalemate.

BATWOMAN delayed having Wallis Day play Kate Kane until the Season 2 finale -- and having seen Day play the role, I can see why. The story claims that Kate is the same person as Ruby Rose but with Wallis Day's face, but Day's performance is simply wrong. Day could be a great Kate Kane, but she can't play Ruby Rose's Kate Kane. Ruby Rose's Kate was distant, troubled, secretive, withdrawn. She was uncomfortable making eye contact with Mary. She was guarded with Luke, trusting him fully as an ally but hesitant to think of him as a friend and determined to make him subordinate when Luke considered himself her boss.

In contrast, Wallis Day's Kate Kane laughs with Luke and winks at him. She unreservedly hugs Mary and touches her face sweetly. She warmly shakes Ryan Wilder's hand. This is not Ruby Rose's Kate Kane. This is a much more tactile, friendly, open, trusting presence than Ruby was at her warmest.

I suspect that BATWOMAN's writers have never had a firm grasp on Ruby Rose's Kate Kane. As originally scripted, judging from the audition pages, Kate Kane was supposed to be a sophisticated socialite, a smooth-talking high society elite who felt she didn't belong anywhere but in the US Army which had rejected her. Rose auditioned for the role and ignored Kate's scripted sauveness, making Kate Kane an angry punk girl, a seething leather-clad rocker with two angry fists and a glowering scowl as her default expression. The BATWOMAN writers seemed content to write their Kate and let Rose interpret the scripts as she saw fit.

Wallis Day's Kate seems to be the originally scripted version of Kate without Ruby Rose rewriting her dialogue and reinterpreting the words, and I recognize this as a variation on the comic book version of Kate Kane. I do not recognize it as the Ruby Rose version of Kate Kane. And I think the BATWOMAN writers also do not recognize this version of Kate Kane, don't know what to do with this version of Kate Kane -- so they sent her away on some offscreen quest.

I don't know if Wallis Day will return. If Kate could be offscreen for half a season and then come back, then Wallis' version of Kate could work as Kate having changed after her travels. But Day recently retweeted a podcast titled, "How BATWOMAN Failed Kate Kane." This would indicate that Day is not contracted for Season 3, not happy that she isn't contracted for Season 3, and not concerned about upsetting BATWOMAN's writers and showrunner with her retweet because she doesn't believe there will ever be an offer for Season 3.

I'm sad about that. But the version of Kate Kane that Ruby Rose played is gone, has been since Rose left the show, and she can never come back. Wallis Day may have been a fan favourite, but when I saw her playing Ruby Rose's Kate Kane onscreen -- fairly or unfairly, she wasn't Ruby Rose's Kate Kane, she wasn't Wallis Day's Kate Kane. She was Ruby Rose's body double at best. It was the equivalent of body double Maria Stanton playing Wade in "Requiem"; it is an obvious mirage and utterly unconvincing.

Wallis Day auditioned to play Ryan Wilder. She was up for being the lead of BATWOMAN's second season and the writers could have brought her in as Kate Kane right away. They must have considered it. And it's clear to me why BATWOMAN's creators decided to bring in a new character instead and it's clear to me why they delayed having Day play Kate for as long as possible. They knew it wouldn't be the same.

I suspect that the situation with Bruce Wayne is that BATWOMAN's team can request clearance to use the character and their requests have been granted twice a season: once for CRISIS, once to use an imposter Bruce at the end of Season 1, once to wrap up the Hush arc and once for a dream sequence.

**

LEGENDS has been super-fun. SUPERMAN & LOIS is like a movie.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

I suspect that the situation with Bruce Wayne is that BATWOMAN's team can request clearance to use the character and their requests have been granted twice a season: once for CRISIS, once to use an imposter Bruce at the end of Season 1, once to wrap up the Hush arc and once for a dream sequence.

It's strange, though.  Because its obvious that Smallville had the full Bat Embargo.  They could use similar characters (Adam Knight, Andrea Rojas, etc.) but never even mention the genuine article.

Arrow seemed to be in a similar place.  I recently saw a supercut of all the Batman references in the Arrowverse, and they were all pretty vague until Batwoman showed up.  Most of the references were actually from Supergirl ("Clark's friend") but even then it was super vague.  Now they have Bruce Wayne cast but can't use him.  Titans gets to cast him and use him but only as Bruce Wayne and a stuntman out of focus can represent Batman.  Gotham got to use the whole gamut and even got to feature Bruce in costume briefly.

I just wonder what changed and how much.  I assume if the Arrowverse got the rights to use Batman, they would.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

There was a period where Geoff Johns, producer on the Arrowverse shows, was also DC's Chief Creative Officer and the head of the Warner Bros. division for DC films. You'll recall that on ARROW, the Suicide Squad and a teased Harley Quinn appearance were abruptly curtailed along with Deadshot's character. However, Johns was later promoted to running DC films in 2016 at which point ARROW's showrunner Marc Guggenheim directly contacted Johns and requested permission to use Deadshot in a Season 5 episode and Johns granted the request.

It's likely Johns who loosened the chains to allow more use of Batman properties. At this point, Johns has been dismissed from the DC film division due to the crash and burn of JUSTICE LEAGUE. However, he's still employed as a producer on individual shows and individual movies and likely still has a degree of influence to encourage letting BATWOMAN use Bruce Wayne -- although he no longer has the power to approve licensing requests.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

That makes sense.

I hope that the Diggle arc is going somewhere and not a big tease.  If he's going to be a Green Lantern, it's possible that Superman & Lois' budget would allow for that to happen.  Otherwise, I'm not entirely sure what Diggle would be doing in Smallville.  It seems like maybe the headaches are connected to not accepting the ring, and maybe he's finally on that path.  But we'll see.  It's a fun story and I'm sure they can tell it without blowing the budget on too much.  A practical suit and a glowing ring would probably work, but Superman and Supergirl might have better special effects to make it work since they already have flying characters.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Spoilers for Superman & Lois

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So the Diggle arc is so far a big tease.  It's nice to have John back, and its good that Ramsey is getting some work.  But most of these stories could be anyone.  Diggle showing up on Legends was an easter egg more than anything.  Him showing up on Batwoman was a cameo at best.  I think his story on Flash was good and it was nice to see him suit up again, but his guest spot on Superman and Lois was nothing.  He doesn't seem to be in any different place than he was after Flash.

Maybe the Supergirl appearance will tie everything together, but I don't know if we have any more information than we had before.  I was hoping the extra budget from Superman & Lois could allow them to do *something* but I guess not.

At this point, I assume we'll finish this year with just as much info as we had before the year started.  John found something.  He has to decide what to do.  Blah blah blah.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Golly! I'm actually behind SUPERMAN AND LOIS. I'm hoping to catch up at the end of this week.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Just watched SUPERMAN AND LOIS. I totally agree with Slider_Quinn21 that Diggle didn't add anything to the story nor did the story add anything to Diggle. David Ramsey is a bottomless well of warmth, charisma, humanity and decency and he makes a meal out of the morsel he's given, having Diggle remind John Henry Irons that he has a choice in whether or not to kill Superman and that it's a choice he can make in the moment, not at the outset.

Aside from that, this episode strikes me as a thinly veiled rebuke, repudiation and rejection of MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN and Zack Snyder's plans for the JUSTICE LEAGUE sequels. Lois declares that having an armoured human fight Superman or kill Superman is totally pointless; taking down one Kryptonian isn't going to matter if there's an army of superpowered beings planning to take over the Earth.

The possessed Superman hears Lois through the Steel armour's communications system and hesitates; rather than battling on just to win a fight and establish his superiority in combat, Superman pleads for John Henry Irons to kill him to save the world and John Henry Irons pleads for Superman to live and save his family. An enemy becomes an ally; an antagonist becomes a friend and nobody had to kill anyone.

In fact, killing anyone would have been self-defeating: killing a Zod-possessed Superman would have meant no more weapons against Tal-Rho. Killing Tal-Rho would have prevented Superman and John Henry and the Department of Defence from learning of his plans and assets around Earth. Force and violence aren't solutions in themselves; Superman and John Henry need to work together to learn how to solve the problem. This is what superheroes are for. SUPERMAN AND LOIS is wonderful.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Superman and Lois is wonderful.  The characters are likeable with real problems that are treated maturely.  It still doesn't feel like a part of the Arrowverse, maybe because of this.  I almost want them to confirm that the show isn't in the same universe, although the Diggle cameo sorta messes with that.

I liked the Flash finale.  I think Bart and Nora brought some interesting dynamics, and the (spoiler) cameo at the end to help Barry was cool.  I hear they're going to use the Flash as their big crossover next year, and I think that would help keep the show relevant.  I do think it needs to wrap up, though.  It's running out of steam, and I'd rather spin the show off as something else if the network wants to continue with Gustin and Patton.  See my Flash and the Canaries idea.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I liked the FLASH finale up to a point -- that point being when the Flash and the Reverse Flash and Godspeed began fighting with lightsabers.

...

I'm all for repurposing and drawing on other people's ideas for inspirations -- such as in one story where I copied Chris Chibnall's mystery cubes from the DOCTOR WHO story "The Power of Three" and presented the Doomsday Clocks, chronometers counting down to doomsday. But the image of people fighting with laser swords is so firmly, fundamentally identified with STAR WARS that I think it's absurd to try to co-opt it or present it in a way that isn't very obvious and clumsy in being a ripoff. SMALLVILLE often ran into similar problems in Seasons 8 : they would devote an episode to pastiching a movie and there were many in each season: SAW, RESIDENT EVIL, CLOVERFIELD, SAW again, THE MATRIX, SPARTACUS, THE HANGOVER -- but there was at least a shift into that specific genre: the horror-trap movie, the zombie film, found footage, cyberpunk, gladiator trials, bachelor parties.

When Barry and Thawne and Godspeed become Jedi Knights, it doesn't feel like a homage to a genre. It's simply lifting the iconography from some other work instead of having THE FLASH create its own. There was no rationale -- none -- for why Barry has previously thrown lightning but now holds it in a solidified form in his hands or why one end of the energy is harmful but the end of which Barry holds it is harmless.

Bart and Nora were fun, the show is still being written as a series of characters filibustering with whiny emotional issues until somebody gives them a sappy motivational speech. It's nice that unlike SLIDERS, THE FLASH bid farewell to mainstays Carlos Valdez and Tom Cavanagh but both are happy to return for a few episodes a season and that good relationship has been maintained. But it's clear to me that THE FLASH is simply existing to fill a timeslot at this stage.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

When Barry and Thawne and Godspeed become Jedi Knights, it doesn't feel like a homage to a genre. It's simply lifting the iconography from some other work instead of having THE FLASH create its own. There was no rationale -- none -- for why Barry has previously thrown lightning but now holds it in a solidified form in his hands or why one end of the energy is harmful but the end of which Barry holds it is harmless.

I had the same thought.  In fact, what was weird was that it seemed like Godspeed had harnessed a new power.  He brought out all this lightning and then harnessed it into what I thought was a spear.  And he'd use that spear to hurl at people - Barry's lightning but more controlled or more dangerous or more violent.

I thought it was supposed to be a sign that Godspeed was faster or stronger or whatever.

Then Barry just does it.  He doesn't struggle or talk it through with anyone.  He just does it.

I thought that was super weird.  So Barry has been able to do that the whole time and just didn't?  Was this some sort of power that all speedsters have that just no one has ever used?  But I did like the idea that Barry brought his nemesis to save his son from his son's nemesis.  I thought that was cool.

Overall, I thought this season was a huge mess.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I didn't think THE FLASH was a mess this year, but it also wasn't very successful. Following up on Season 6's unfinished arcs in three episodes (I think) was difficult for me; I couldn't remember who any of these people were. It was also laughably awkward to have Ralph make a final appearance with a bag over his head.

Then Season 7 launched into an intriguing arc: Barry having created new superhumans and the Speed Force manifesting as his mother -- except the characters all started referring to the new superhumans as Barry and Iris' children and this insistence on a familial bond was clumsy, awkward and unearned. But I understand that they were trying to get into the themes of family even though they did so with new characters who were effectively strangers.

The Speed Force as a threat -- that's a great idea, but hopelessly muddled by the bizarre need for these adults we'd never seen much of to address Barry and Iris as "Dad" and "Mom."

There was a bizarre two episodes where Barry was calling out to Iris and never hearing back from her because Candice Patton took two episodes off to see family and had to re-quarantine -- except the show did something clever by actually having Iris absent without Barry's knowledge. That was very clever and funny. Then we come to a finale where Godspeed is an attempt to have another speedster villain. But Thawne was terrifying as Barry's mentor who knew Barry better than Barry knew himself. Zoom was terrifying because of his sadism and cruelty and ability to plant himself on the team. Savitar was somewhat frightening in being "the future Flash."

But Godspeed was just a booming voice, a neat costume -- and ultimately not that frightening because Godspeed spent more time fighting other Godspeeds than menacing the team. It was great to see Nora and Bart. The casting for Bart Allen was superb. Making Bart the son of Barry Allen as opposed to a distant descendant was exactly the right change of simplicity that I would expect for a TV show.

Ultimately, Season 7, like everything since the middle of Season 4, lacks a certain craft and finesse. It's very well-intentioned, but the skill is not there. I didn't mind Season 7, but it was rather uninspired.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Well when I say it was a mess, it just didn't feel like it amounted to anything.  I know they're doing a "graphic novel" approach where they tell multiple small stories, but I don't know if I could tell you much about what the season represented.  What stories they were trying to tell.  What we learned about the characters.

They had an unfair start because the mirror arc had to be awkwardly resolved, both because I'm sure they didn't have the availability of the relevant actors but because there wasn't much story left.  But then they have that horrible CGI for Fuerza with an evil Speed Force but what did that really accomplish?  Then I thought the Godspeed storyline was just handled so awkwardly, especially as a villain that was teased two seasons ago?

I think, at the end of the day, I didn't care about Chester as much as Cisco.  I don't really care about some of the new characters, and as much as Ralph needed to go, they didn't replace him either.  It would've been nice to introduce another hero like Ralph from the deep bench of DC heroes.  Captain Atom?  Booster Gold?  Static?  I'm sure there are tons of people that they could've brought in, but maybe Covid killed that.

It wasn't bad.  I enjoyed watching each week, but I just don't know what they're accomplishing.  It feels like the middle years of Supernatural where the show just felt like it was spinning its wheels.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Yeah, I totally agree with you on FLASH. That said -- I really liked SUPERNATURAL even in the middle years. Yes, the show was in a holding pattern. But I would argue that SUPERNATURAL made Sam and Dean so vivid and distinct and their relationship so powerful that just spending more time with them was worth it. THE FLASH has not defined its characters and their relationships with nearly the same depth that SUPERNATURAL gave Sam and Dean. THE FLASH's relationships are extremely thin: someone has to do something obvious and immediate but hesitates and prevaricates until someone else offers a sappy motivational speech. In contrast, Sam and Dean have a complex relationship that existed long before the show even started.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I really enjoyed the new season of Legends, even though it keeps feeling less and less a part of the arrowverse.  We're starting to run out of characters that have ever appeared on any of the other shows, right?  With the Legends skipping crossovers and their characters usually only appearing in their own episode when they do, is Sara (now that John and Mick are gone) the only one who's ever actually appeared on an actual episode outside of any of the other Arrowverse shows?  Nate is a maybe, but I could see him only appearing in the Legends episode of any crossover.

Not that it's a big deal. The show is still fun in a crazy way, and it's still entertaining.  It's just weird that it seemingly makes no effort to be a part of the universe anymore.

Stargirl is still fun and I can't really tell the difference from the move to the CW.

Supergirl is fine.  I think it's good that it's ending this season - I think it's run out of gas like Flash or Arrow did.

***********

I'm enjoying Titans season 3, and I'm glad it's week to week.  One thing that's kind of weird....I'm curious how Barbara is commissioner.  The actress is 37 so I have to assume that Barbara is also about that age (and it fits with the flashbacks we've seen).  In the flashbacks, Barbara is committing crimes for the fun of it and certainly not a cop.  And that's before she's ever Batgirl.  Even if she has a truncated role as Batgirl, when did she ever have time to get the police experience to be *commissioner* of a city like Gotham?

I realize her dad had the job, but I figure even that would not be nearly enough to get someone with minimal experience as the commissioner of a major city, even if she's a super-genius and even if her dad was Jim Gordon.

Outside of the sight gag of saying "Commissioner Gordon" and then it being Barb, her role seems irrelevant to the plot so far.  I would've preferred if she was just a beat cop or a detective.  Her being commissioner by Terry McGinnis' time makes sense, but her being commissioner with no experience at 37 seems crazy even in this universe.

This has been my annual "SQ21 destroys a really small continuity error on Titans"

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

So we had the end of the Diggle arc across the shows.  Spoilers for all those episodes:

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So....what was that.  I get that David Ramsey was available, and it was easy to get a deal to get him on board.  But his character is essentially in the same place it was when Arrow ended.  Or maybe even a bit less clear. 

One episode was just one of Diggle's relatives so that one doesn't really count.  But the other episodes didn't accomplish much.  They established that Diggle is having headaches - I guess turning down the ring gave him headaches.  So he bounces from hero's city to hero's city trying to figure out these headaches and never did.  The Batwoman episode seemed like an intro.  The Flash episode moved the plot along a little but seemed more like a tease of things to come.  The Superman and Lois one was nothing.  I had hopes that, since Superman probably knows at least one Green Lantern, that might be where he talks about it.  And the budget is higher so they could maybe afford to do some Green Lantern CG.

And when nothing happened, I thought maybe they were saving it for Supergirl.  They have a) a bunch of characters that can fly and b) a bunch of characters that would probably know of the Green Lanterns.

And although we got Diggle explaining that he turned it down because he didn't want to leave his family, it ends with him deciding to do it?  All without really discussing it with anyone?

Maybe they aren't even allowed to say Green Lantern.  And maybe they're hoping that Diggle can appear on the Green Lantern show or something.  But, man, this was something I was excited about and I don't think they did much with it.  He wasn't bad, but I was just thinking they might spend more time with Diggle and moving his plot along.

1,417 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2021-10-28 07:36:36)

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I don't know if linking Batwoman even more to Batman is the smartest idea.  I get that it probably brings viewers, but I think it brings up so many more questions.  Are most of Batman's rogues gallery dead?  Did Batman kill them?  Is that why he left?  And, again, what's Bruce doing?  This is his mess.  It made some sense when his cousin was cleaning it up, but Bruce has no connection to Ryan.

Also, I get that putting Ryan as "Acting CEO" of Wayne makes some narrative sense, but I don't understand how that would even be allowed.  I assumed Wayne was either completely sold off or being run by someone else.  Ryan doesn't even have on paper experience, and I don't know if having her pretend to be a CEO even makes sense as a plan.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I apologize, I am so behind on the Arrowverse right now; I am three episodes behind on SUPERGIRL. I will catch up to BATWOMAN this weekend if working on Saturday for a Project doesn't get in the way.

*sigh* Really letting our community down here.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Hahaha it's all good.

I thought the Legends 100th episode was a lot of fun.

The Supergirl season is getting a lot of flack online because Kara's been sidelined.  I don't usually look into this stuff or care, but I clicked on some tweets.  I do think that Kara hasn't had a ton to do in the last few seasons.  No real love interest (I don't know the purpose of William), no real arc.  She lives through the enjoyment of others.  So I think that's true.  There was also a complaint that Kara is sidelined so that the men on the show get storylines.  I didn't understand that at all.  J'onn hasn't had a real storyline this year (not since his father's arc ended - not much with M'gann recently).  Brainy has some stuff with Nia, but he hasn't had an arc since he betrayed the group.  I agree that William is a fairly useless character, but he's barely a character.

So I don't get that.  I feel like Alex, Kelly, and Nia are the main characters on the show sometimes.

Stargirl has been good.  I don't think you can really notice the move from DC Universe to CW.  I like it, but I don't have much to say.

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I do miss the crossovers.  Not just the main one, but I miss the minor ones too.  Hopefully, post-pandemic, they can do minor ones.  It was fun when Felicity would show up on Flash or Cisco would show up on Arrow.  I think it'd be fun to have more stuff like that.  How would Luke react to working with Superman or Flash?  What would Jonathan and Jordan think about being on the Waverider?  I think putting Superman on Batwoman would be a little problematic, but I'd be interested in hearing about Clark's views on Bruce.

I don't know if they've moved beyond that stuff, but I currently find the Arrowverse universe more interesting than any individual show.  I'm looking forward to the Flash premiere crossover event.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

*sigh* I'm only on Episode 14 of SUPERGIRL this year. Still three behind. In terms of Kara getting sidelined -- she was sidelined for the first handful of Season 6 episodes, but there was no way around that, the actress was on maternity leave.

However...

I feel like COVID and Melissa Benoist's unavailability and this being the final season has hit the writing staff hard and they didn't cope well with a difficult situation. Zor-El's decision to combat climate change in one episode should have been a fascinating and twisted moral conundrum of the superfriends potentially having to fight the person trying to save the planet -- but the show backed off and had Zor-El say he was having a nervous breakdown and gave the nonsensical message that climate change is a top priority but to do anything about it would be going too far.

This is yet another situation where SUPERGIRL desperately wants to be relevant and confront real world situations and current events but wants to get in and out in one episode and get back to capes and tights next week and doesn't want to say too much of anything. Previous examples include the gun control episode where non lethal armanents are chosen over handguns except non lethal gear in SUPERGIRL's world tends to be much more reliable than on our planet. And that episode of ARROW which Slider_Quinn21 hilariously described "The one where Wild Dog gives up his child for adoption and declares himself an unfit father because he spilled a bowl of soup."

And yet, paradoxically -- Supergirl fighting a fifth dimensional imp for her final season isn't really doing it for me either because SUPERGIRL is a social justice show. That label may be viewed as an insult by those who have mercifully left us and gone to Parler, but I see it as a compliment. I'm a pretty social justice-invested person myself, so it's possible that SUPERGIRL really should have committed to Zor-El as a Season 6 antagonist (if not villain); Zor-El becomes a terrorist targeting all causes of climate change and the superfriends have to figure out whether to help him or stop him.

I quite enjoyed the episode where Supergirl has to fight both explosives and urban sprawl destroying low income housing. That was really strong, as was the return of Mxyzptlk. But then we get another social justice hour that was once again oddly artless with Kelly Olsen giving nonsensical monologues about how all her white friends have blindspots and aren't hearing her and aren't paying attention to her and laying out how white people need to respond to black outrage and black priorities. I don't disagree with anything that actress-turned-screenwriter Azie Tesfai says in her story, but I find it really clumsy for Tesfai to put her public service announcement into her own character's dialogue for Tesfai to deliver on camera.

There is a certain craft and skill to writing dialogue and Tesfai either doesn't understand it or does a very convincing impression of someone who doesn't. There is a stilted unnaturalness to Kelly's every conversation in the episode being her delivering a lecture on white privilege; there's no sense of an actual conversation or argument or any natural flow of human interaction or conflict; it's Kelly giving a lecture on white fragility. This dialogue would be terrific if delivered by Tesfai at a public speech or workshop on being more sensitive to people of colour.

These words would be perfect if performed in a one-woman show onstage. But when put in a TV conversation between characters, it exposes the artifice of TV conversations in the first place; it becomes a single person monologue that fumbles to give the other characters a reason to be in the season. It's important to address how white people ignore or fail to notice black concerns and crimes on blacks being ignored, but a TV episode needs to show it rather than have Tesfai write her character as describing it in dialogue; it's a visual medium, not an audio drama.

Lena being a magical witch is an odd choice for a character who has been previously defined as a methodical and at times ruthless scientist. It's a bit like handing Quinn a magic sword and having him fight a dragon; it's a very strange direction that doesn't tap into the character's strengths.

I think William is effective at representing the average National City person and that his role as an embedded reporter fulfills that role really well.

Anyway. I think that in all the struggle to try to figure out how to make SUPERGIRL episodes without getting anyone sick; to make episodes without extras; to make episodes of SUPERGIRL without Supergirl being available -- well, there seems to be less energy available for figuring out what these episodes are even about.

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Ruby Rose is now saying on social media that she was fired off BATWOMAN due to her injuries; that production refused to accommodate her need for recovery time after she broke her neck and had surgery to prevent paralysis. She was forced to wear the costume even though it was straining her neck, she was pressured into filming without having fully healed, she was characterized as lazy and irritable for being in pain.

I absolutely believe her. CW and before it, WB -- and TV and film in general -- have a shocking lack of concern for worker safety and unions struggle to keep their workers from dying on the job. SMALLVILLE's production refused to hire drivers for their lead actors; Tom Welling was driving an hour a day to set, working 18 hours, then expected to drive himself home. KJ Apa got in a car accident driving home from the set of RIVERDALE because the studio was too cheap to hire him a driver after a 16 hour day. This studio and these producers clearly have no qualms about pressuring their lead actors into unsafe work and think that their actors will tolerate anything to stay on a show on which they could conceivably retire (if they survive to the end of it).

I hope that Ruby Rose's characterizations of Caroline Dries, Peter Roth, Dougray Scott, Greg Berlanti and Camrus Johnson are due to misconstruing their actions or remarks. Peter Roth is no friend of ours; he fired John Rhys Davies off SLIDERS, although I've heard that Davies drunkenly insulted and verbally abused Roth's wife at a party and Roth may have been justified in not wanting John on any of his shows. Rose says Roth had her investigated to dig up reasons to justify firing her off BATWOMAN.

Rose says Dries wanted BATWOMAN to keep filming through the pandemic with no regard for safety; it's possible Dries merely wanted to film distant and distanced shots. Rose says Berlanti... actually, I'm not sure what she was saying about him. Rose says that Camrus Johnson had no sympathy for her despite her injuries; perhaps he spoke poorly or was reserved. Rose says that Dougray Scott abused female staffers and shouted at them; it's possible she saw him yelling to defend someone. I'm not calling her a liar, but it's only her perspective. We should believe her experiences but be cautious about her characterizations. Out of fairness to them, we shouldn't take her portrayals of these people as the absolute truth, but it's certainly possible that these people are all the sweatshop managers and abusers that Rose portrays them to be, especially after Andrew Kreisberg.

Andrew Kreisberg was fired off all Arrowverse shows for repeated, unrepentant sexual harassment. Berlanti claims that he didn't know Kreisberg was doing this, that no one reported it to him for a long time, that he was shocked when someone finally did, and that he started and complied fully with an investigation and saw to it that Kreisberg was suspended. Then fired. Then blacklisted. Berlanti also promised that he would never allow his employees to think of himself as distant and unreachable again.

Some have claimed Berlanti was fully aware of Kreisberg's behaviour but allowed it until it hit it was reported at which point Berlanti feigned ignorance while starting an official investigation. I hope that's not true.

Warner Bros. says Rose was fired for being unprofessional and crew members have described Rose as domineering, late, unrehearsed and unprepared -- but all that could be true and it would still be wrong to force her to wear a neck straining suit days after surgery or to not give her a leave of absence to recover from her procedure.

Superhero and teen shows since SMALLVILLE have had this attitude that the actors are responsible for their own safety and well-being; that it's not the studio's job to drive them to the set or to look after their health or to advocate for their safety; they would withhold a few thousand dollars rather than get KJ Apa a driver and if KJ Apa should die driving himself home, the studio has presumably insured for this eventuality and would come out slightly ahead. Ruby Rose could be the worst person in the world and it would still be wrong to treat her this way.

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ireactions wrote:

I feel like COVID and Melissa Benoist's unavailability and this being the final season has hit the writing staff hard and they didn't cope well with a difficult situation.

I think that's fair.  But at the same time, outside of those episodes, what is Kara's overall arc?  What does she learn?  What does she struggle with?  What does she want in life?  I feel like I could answer those questions better with most of the characters on the show before I could with Kara.  She does seem like she's just kinda there at times. 

Have we had any scenes with Kara in her apartment?  I feel like we're at Kelly and Alex's apartment a lot these days.  She got engaged and adopted a kid and went through some major character changes.  Kara hasn't done much of that.  And it doesn't have to all be about love interests and moving on in life.  Kara doesn't need a boyfriend to experience growth, but she does need something.  All she's done in the last couple episodes is switch to pants.

I think CW fans are a bit toxic, and I think a lot of their outrage has to do with (POTENTIAL SPOILER FROM THE SERIES FINALE) but when I think about it, Kara doesn't seem like the main character in Supergirl.

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Caught up with SUPERGIRL.

I'd agree that Kara, upon her return, isn't really the main character anymore. But... I don't think there's anything wrong with giving her an episode of focus but largely making the show about the superfriends and Kara as the core but not necessarily the lead anymore. It wouldn't be my personal choice, but I watch a lot of shows that branch out to an ensemble with only key episodes focused on the lead and it's as valid here as it is on BLINDSPOT or MOM or THE BIG BANG THEORY. That said, plenty of people dislike those shows for the shift in focus and it's reasonable to do so.

I am not up to speed on spoilers, but I assume that the finale will have Chris Wood return to play Mon-El and that he and Kara will be romantically restored. I'm guessing this will offend those who want Lena and Kara to be a couple. As fond as I am of Supercorp, I don't feel a show can ever allow fandom to dictate storytelling; if that's not where the showrunners want to take it and if they don't feel that making Kara bisexual is something they can do within their licensing agreement with DC Comics/Warner Bros. or something they can explore or portray with sufficient sensitivity or something they can introduce to the character at this stage -- well, it's their call and fans are free to dislike it and not watch it.

If SUPERGIRL were an original series as opposed to a pre-existing intellectual property, the creators might have more freedom, but making Kara Danvers bisexual undoubtedly opens a lot of bureaucratic difficulties that many showrunners might prefer to sidestep in favour of having an original character like Alex Danvers be a member of the LGBTQA community. Supergirl is ultimately a character owned by a regressive, repressive, conservative corporation.

I'd like to have seen Supercorp, but I never expected it before and I'm not counting on it now and I've accepted that as part of watching SUPERGIRL. Some fans haven't accepted it and I sympathize with that; it's just something I've had to do myself to appreciate the show for what it is rather than what I wish it would be.

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Yeah, I think it might make some sense, but I think the Alex and Kelly plot was both introduced and strongly leaned into to try and appeal to the LGBT angle.

It's hard to accuse Supergirl of being anything other than inclusive.  I'm sure there are more inclusive shows on TV, but it's pretty inclusive.

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I think the most opportune time for SUPERGIRL to have Kara realize she had romantic feelings for Lena would have been Season 5, and that time has unfortunately passed. The Season 5 arc would have gained a lot if Kara had felt compelled to reveal her identity to Lena for reasons she couldn't articulate. Then, as the season progressed, Kara could have recalled that Kryptonians don't really think of sexual orientation; people are assumed bisexual until told otherwise, something she never had a chance to grapple with as she was sent to Earth so young.

Perhaps in the midpoint of the arc, Kara would get ready to tell Lena that she had feelings for her -- only for Lena to reveal that she'd been plotting against Kara for all of Season 5 and reject her as a lover and as an ally. Kara would be crushed and defeated and forced to confront Lena again and tell her that despite Kara still being in love with her, Lena's alliance with Lex and any villainy would force Supergirl to treat her accordingly. Then Kara would be forced to withdraw her feelings, reject everything she'd once felt, only for Lena to come to her and switch sides.

Then, just before a defeated Lex sent Kara to the Phantom Zone, Lena would try to prevent it, endangering herself. Kara would protest and tell Lena to get to safety; Lena would say that she couldn't because she loves Kara too -- and Kara would be sent to the Phantom Zone before she could reply. Season 6 would have Lena desperate to find Kara; her worst fear would be finding Kara only for Kara to refuse to acknowledge her or face her or even look at her (to allow a stunt double to perform the scene with Katie McGrath), only for the hallucination to be defeated and for the real Kara to embrace her and reciprocate her feelings.

But the moment for this has unfortunately come and gone. At this point, a Kara/Lena romance wouldn't fit into the arc of Season 6 as anything more than an afterthought.

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I thought the Supergirl finale was....fine?

I thought all the returning faces were nice and showed some of growth of the show.  I also think any season 7 they would've done would've been much better than many of the last few seasons. 

I was also wondering about Batman in the Arrowverse.  The movies are going to have at least three Batmen (Affleck, Pattinson, and Keaton), so why can't there be another Batman on TV?  They've already connected the DCEU to the Arrowverse and cast Batman, so I don't know why they couldn't do it.  It would need to be its own thing, but I think a Batman show alongside Superman & Lois could rejuvenate the Arrowverse.  If they're going to do it, now's the time.

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I thought it was good. Not great, but very good. Some people are upset that Kara and Lena are just "gals being pals," as Den of Geek put it, but as I was watching it, I felt like maybe the true six season love story of SUPERGIRL has really been the love of two sisters, Kara and Alex.

Some odd choices with Lex and Lena this past year. Loved all the cameos. I was impressed at how Kara's happy ending wasn't finding a boyfriend but rather finding Supergirl.

More to say tomorrow.

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I ended up spoiling more than I thought so I'll put a tag up just in case:

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Yeah, I think it's totally fine that Kara didn't have any romantic subplot for most of the last few seasons, and I think it's fine that they didn't force something with Mon-El after he was gone for so long.  I think sometimes these shows focus too much on romantic subplots, and people don't have to be defined by their relationships.

I just think that a lot of her decision to reveal herself wasn't really built up.  It kinda felt like Seven and Chakotay - this is fine and maybe makes sense but when did this happen?  And in a season that started with Kara dealing with PTSD, having that wrapped up pretty quickly, and then having Kara face off in these "gauntlets", the idea that they never really set up "I'm going to reveal myself to the world" is a bit weird.  They had time and room for a plot like that.  I just felt like the last season was clunky, and Kara's development kinda suffered.

I also thought for a little bit that Mehcad Brooks didn't come back.  When Guardian showed up fully suited with an augmented voice, I wondered if that was going to be a workaround, but I was genuinely glad to see him.  And Winn.  And it was fun to see the "original superfriends" get a scene together because they've really come a long way.  I loved the scene with them and Barry when they learned about the multiverse.

I'm sad about the fact that, with no pandemic, we probably would've had more cameos.  Maybe a Kate Kane (either version I guess), probably a Clark and/or Lois, maybe some/all of the Justice League.  I know that they have to be able to deal with their own problems, but one of my favorite moments in Arrowverse history is when Oliver and Firestorm showed up to fight the Reverse Flash.  Why have a combined universe if they can't rely on each other for threats that are otherworldly?

But it was good and I'll miss Supergirl.

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Spoiler warning: Kara Danvers is Supergirl. Haha!




























I agree and disagree with the thought that Kara revealing her dual identity to the world was not set up earlier. But it's arguable that it was set up as early as the very first episode of SUPERGIRL.

One of the weaknesses of ARROW: for the first several episodes, Oliver had nobody to talk to, so we had that ridiculous monologue until Diggle joined the cast. THE FLASH avoided this by making sure that as of the first episode, Barry Allen had a full support staff. SUPERGIRL did the same.

However, THE FLASH and SUPERGIRL both created a new problem with the instant support staff: the secret identity seemed utterly pointless. Aside from Iris and Cat Grant, every regular cast member on THE FLASH and SUPERGIRL knew that Barry was the Flash and Kara was Supergirl.

In both shows, the Flash and Supergirl seem to be putting in excessive effort to maintain secret identities to shield the truth from exactly one person, and when that person found out, somebody else became the shielded party. Iris found out The Secret, so Patty Spivot became the person who wasn't in on The Secret for THE FLASH's second season. Then THE FLASH decided not to bother having any regular cast members who weren't on the team.

SUPERGIRL from Seasons 2 - 4 focused on hiding The Secret from Lena Luthor after Calista Flockhart left. In Season 5, Kara's secret was hidden from William and Andrea. And aside from one episode in Season 4 where Supergirl changed into Kara Danvers' identity to seem like a helpless civilian when hunted by one of Luthor's thugs, the secret identity has been pointless. Why does Kara Danvers need a day job as a journalist? The original 1938 ACTION COMICS had Superman becoming a journalist so that he could learn about all of society's problems. That has been totally unnecessary since the release of the iPhone 3G in 2008; Kara could get the news without having to actually work in the news.

Why does Kara hide her identity as Supergirl when 99.99 per cent of the people in her life already know it? Why does Kara need a day job? Her Supergirl exploits are affiliated with the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, a federal organization that would have to pay her a minimum of $65,000 a year -- not counting all the money should could earn by donating fluid and cell samples for biological research for medical treatments.

When Kara got fired from Catco in Season 2, she didn't have any trouble affording her luxuries and supplies and home, partially because the show ignored the financial issues but also because even without Catco, she was still a federal agent.

Kara Danvers' civilian life is with her co-workers, all of whom are superheroes. Kara has absolutely no hobbies, pursuits or interests that would be impeded by becoming a celebrity in both identities.

The secret identity made sense when Kara was a teenaged girl, but since the first episode of SUPERGIRL, the secret identity has been totally unnecessary. The show is fully aware that it's completely unneeded with Lena Luthor outraged that Kara would have one.

I would agree that Season 6 did not really have a lot of episodes where Kara was wondering why she even has two separate identites when everyone she hangs out with already knows. But this has been a glaring peculiarity since the first episode of SUPERGIRL.

Season 1 played it as a psychological deficiency: Kara is a deeply insecure girlchild, Kara is nervous and socially awkward and intimidated whereas Supergirl is an identity where she can be assertive and forthright. But starting with Season 2, there was really no reason for Kara to have a civilian life.

**

I wonder at what point the finale was filmed. Was it before vaccinations became available? There wasn't the sort of distancing that BATWOMAN's second season had where Ryan Wilder couldn't kiss her girlfriend, so everyone was probably quarantined for two weeks prior to filming. And it looks like Calista Flockhart filmed alone. The one shot of her and Kara sitting together is a body double with hair obscuring the face.

**

I was... put off by some of the choices with Lena and Lex this year. Making Lena a witch is, as I said, a baffling choice for a character written and characterized as a scientist.

Giving Lex a love story with Nyxly is another odd choice given how the character has been written as self-serving and unsentimental with every expression of love having been a manipulative lie. Lex might have wanted Nyxly's power, but there was absolutely no sense onscreen that they had or could have ever had any kind of emotional relationship, nor did Jon Cryer or the scripts do anything to make Lex's love for Nyxly seem real. SUPERGIRL has on two separate occasions presented Lex as loving Lena as a sister or loving Eve Tessmacher only to reveal it was a trick. Saying that Lex wrote love poems doesn't explain how or why a self-serving sociopath like Lex could have actual romantic feelings or why Nyxly would be the recipient of those feelings.

Lena being a witch and Lex being in love didn't work for me. The totems... were a silly MacGuffin of nothing and aside from being something to fight over, I had no investment in them at all. There was a lot of drama over Andrea Rojas and her morality and I didn't really see why anyone should be invested in that character; she was just Kara's civilian employer. I found all the time invested in these story elements rather puzzling and not worthwhile.

I was also puzzled again by how Lex Luthor in the series finale was a physical combatant firing ray beams at superheroes. Is that really an effective use of Lex the master planner? Lex the manipulator? Lex, the man who took over America from his prison cell by using white grievance against aliens and people of colour? Is that really making use of what makes Lex Luthor unique and distinct from the average thug?

Overall, I enjoyed Season 6, but it was flawed in many ways, some unavoidable and due to unforced errors. Season 6 is actually best understood as two separate seasons: a run of episodes with limited appearances from Melissa Benoist followed by a run of episodes where she's back full time.

The Benoist-lite episodes were extremely well done, especially with the return to Kara's teenaged years. The superfriends friendships were vibrant and charming. There was a terrific exploration of how this team functions around Supergirl by having Supergirl absent. The Kelly/Alex and Nia/Brainy romances were extremely strong and Lena had a fantastic arc in defining her place when surrounded by superheroes.

But Supergirl's return to SUPERGIRL was rather weak: a rushed shot of Kara and Alex hugging, a token episode of Kara's father being thrown out of the series. Nyxly was an effective antagonist in the Phantom Zone, but she had no real rapport with Kara once on Earth, no course in the enmity and Lex was so un-Lexlike in his characterization this year that it might have been better to not use him at all.

While the individual episodes after Kara's return were mostly strong, the core plot of pursuing totems that somehow ensure all the good in the world was a clumsy shift away from Supergirl's technology-defined reality and into fairy tale magic.

Thankfully, the character arcs were still effective admidst this framework. I really liked the use of William Dey as an imbedded journalist and his end was tragic. I was very pleased with Kelly and Alex adopting a child, a note which also touched on why Alex and Maggie Sawyer broke up in Season 3.

I think that the second half of Season 6 suffered for a variety of behind the scenes reasons. There was no specific sense, it seems, of precisely when Benoist would be back on the show. There was no clear sense of what filming could and couldn't be done at that point as the pandemic protocols were continuing to evolve. There was clearly a lot of thought put into character arcs but there seemed to be much less thought put into the villains, their plans, the threats they posed and their reasons for their actions -- which led to magic totems and Lex being in love for Reasons.

I would have liked a seventh season of Kara Danvers, Celebrity Superhero. I'm not entirely sure why SUPERGIRL is cancelled, but the reality of every TV series is that every year, costs go up with salary increases while ratings go down with viewer attrition. In addition, SUPERGIRL was budgeted (and the actors paid) with the show to air on CBS and with the expectation of a tax credit for Los Angeles filming that didn't come through. The budget was cut and the show relocated to the CW with Vancouver filming, but it's likely the actors were still getting their CBS-budgeted salaries and annual increases as part of their original contract.

SUPERGIRL performed really well for CW with 3 million viewers for the Season 2 premiere; even the most viewed episode of ARROW had about 4 million viewers. By Season 5, SUPERGIRL was at about 65 - 90 thousand viewers; about where ARROW was for its seventh season. I'm not sure live viewing figures mean anything, however, as CW shows seem to draw most of their revenue from sales to streaming services. But THE FLASH, ARROW and LEGENDS didn't start on a CBS financial model. SUPERGIRL did, and it's likely that Season 6 was the last because it had reached the point where its sales no longer justified the next round of CBS-contracted salary increases.

**

It's interesting how we have come to expect endings to TV shows. In contrast, shows up to the early 2000s were produced for indefinite renewal with conclusions / cancellations only known after the final episode had been filmed. It was rare for writers to know in advance and script accordingly. This was viewed as an unfortunate reality of how the TV business functioned.

But today, a conclusion is expected. A failure to provide one is viewed as mismanagement. If a show gets cancelled without an ending, studios and networks are called upon to order 1 - 2 more episodes to offer a finale. Shows without endings are not suited to streaming services. There was some chatter about how Netflix staff were upset and embarrassed at the bad publicity that came with cancelling LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST, THE SOCIETY, I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS, TEENAGED BOUNTY HUNTERS, GLOW, DAYBREAK, SANTA CLARITA DIET; for the TV show TRINKETS, they renewed it for Season 2 but advertised it as the final season to avoid such issues. The CW did the same for SUPERGIRL, renewing for Season 6 but stating in advance that it was the last season. It's a shame that the pandemic and Benoist's absence made it hard to plan better.

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THE FLASH: What has gone wrong? I was rewatching the FLASH pilot this morning and I've come to realize something: THE FLASH was fundamentally a show about transformative trauma, but that is no longer the case.

In the pilot, Central City has been traumatized by the particle accelerator explosion. Dr. Caitlin Snow has been traumatized by the death of Ronnie Raymond. Cisco has been traumatized by his prize invention blowing up and killing people. Barry Allen has been traumatized by the horrific and inexplicable murder of his mother with his innocent father jailed for the crime.

When Barry encounters the Weather Wizard, the Wizard kills a man and the sequence ends with Barry crawling out of an overturned car. Barry is reeling, spiraling, tells his foster guardian and police officer Joe what he's seen -- and Joe howls at him that he's delusional, that his father is a murderer, that there is no such thing as a superpower. He retraumatizes Barry.

Barry stumbles into STAR Labs and blames Dr. Wells for the metahuman crisis and the murder and Wells accepts all blame, but tells Barry he has no business getting involved in the situation or trying to save anyone or stop any threat whatsoever. "You're not a hero. You're just a young man who was struck by lighting." He tells Barry that he's nothing more than a trauma victim. Barry tries to run away from it.

It doesn't work: even at superspeed, he flashes back to the night he saw his father forced into the back of a police car in handcuffs. The night he found his mother's dead corpse, eyes staring vacantly at the ceiling. Then he flashes back to the present; his jacket has burst into flame from the friction of his speed. THE FLASH, at least for Seasons 1 - 2, was about trauma. About experiencing savage, violent, dangerous, threatening, disturbing and mind-breaking event which form crippling, self-destructive memories that might not ever fade. And about Barry trying to outrun them.

But even at superspeed, Barry can't escape them, so he goes to see the most damaged, disturbed, broken and traumatized human being in the Arrowverse; he goes to see Oliver Queen. Barry tells Oliver: Barry is scared, unskilled, just a random person struck by lightning. But Oliver tells Barry that he has something special, a desire to protect people and shield them, that his speed will allow him to guard others from harm.

"I don't think that bolt of lighting struck you," Oliver tells Barry. "I think it chose you."

Barry confronts the Weather Wizard again but this time with a suit to permit his speed and with a support team to advise him. He unravels the Weather Wizard's tornado and defeats him; this time, Joe is present to witness it. Joe apologizes for his outburst and pledges to help Barry locate any other criminal metahumans and to find the truth about the murder of Barry's mother; Joe will work through Barry's trauma with him.

In Season 1, Episode 12, "Crazy For You," the teaser shows a car accident with a husband and wife inside the car. Barry arrives, superspeeds the husband out. The husband turns back to the car which explodes. The husband screams for his wife -- only to find that she's standing right next to him; Barry got her out in the seconds it took for the man to turn his head.

I remember watching this scene and feeling deeply moved. I was watching it with a girlfriend who told me she found the scene bizarre; it had nothing to do with the Peek-a-Boo villain of the week and her teleportation, no relevance to the plot. Why was it there? Seeing it again now: it was about a potentially traumatic moment that Barry averted.

THE FLASH is a show about transformative trauma. Season 1: the traumatic murder of Barry's mother. Season 2: the trauma of Wells' betrayal. Season 3: the trauma of Barry's father being murdered and the Flashpoint timeline. Season 4: all of the S1 - S3 traumas collectively risking that all of Barry's progress and the life he's built since will be unraveled with his (wrongful) murder charges.

And then in Season 5: there was no trauma. Barry had recovered. Barry had his family. Barry had moved past the murder of both parents and giving him new traumatic episodes was too repetitive to keep doing. It's possible that once THE FLASH resolved its core theme, it should have ended.

Seasons 5 - 7 of THE FLASH are not about trauma. Seasons 5 - 7 of THE FLASH are not about transformative trauma. And Seasons 5 - 7 of THE FLASH are not about the wish to outrun trauma. This is why THE FLASH has lost its unique voice.

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I liked your analysis of Supergirl, and I really don't have anything to add.

I feel like the series struggled on what to do with Kara a lot, though.  We watched her as the main character for six years, and what did we really learn about her?  She's really nice?  Really loyal?  Really hopeful?

She likes karaoke?  And musicals?  And singing?  She's supposedly really good at journalism, but she doesn't seem all that interested in doing it most of the time and doesn't seem all that upset to be quitting it.  I think for the most part, the writers had more interest in writing about Alex and Nia than writing about Supergirl, and she just became a Deus Ex Machina in her own show.  And, honestly, I think the same can be said about J'onn, who hasn't really had any storylines since his father's arc ended.  I almost feel like Smallville's J'onn was more fleshed out.  And they struggled on what to do with Brainy too.

I think, as you said, Supergirl was a "social justice show" - and I think that sometimes meant having the characters be conduits for telling social justice stories and less about the characters being real people.  Alex's understanding about her sexuality and having a healthy relationship with Kelly.  Nia's struggles with her sense of identity and the world's acceptance of her as who she is.  And I think having a beautiful, heterosexual white woman at the center of the show wasn't all that interesting to the writers because there weren't that many stories to tell about her that they'd care about.    So she often took a back seat.

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I thought part one of the Armageddon 5-part premiere was really fun.  And Ray Palmer's appearance was really fun and exactly the kind of thing I love about the shared Arrowverse.

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Bah! I don't get to see it until tomorrow when it's streaming on Netflix!

Ray is back!? Eeeek! I love Brandon Routh. I'm the man I am today because of Brandon Routh. (I've been following his diet plan, don't make it weird.)

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Sorry if that was a spoiler.

He seems like a genuinely good guy, both on the show and in real life.  I was just thinking...there isn't really an episode of any of the shows that Ray has been on where he's had a "dark arc" is there?  It was a thousand years ago, but when he was originally on Arrow, I think he was a rival to Oliver but never really a villain.  And once he got to Legends, he was always just really nice, upbeat, and dependable.  That's pretty cool.

I wonder what would've happened in an alternate world where the CW ordered a "The Atom" show instead of Legends of Tomorrow (and I'm sorry that I keep writing out Legends out of existence when it's easily the most consistently good Arrowverse show going).  I think it would've been interesting to have Ray as the lead in a show and to see what they'd do with him.  What kind of team he'd put together, etc. 

I haven't thought about it much, but I'm now picturing a "Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne Batman and Robin" vibe.  Ray meets an angry orphaned young man who has a knack for science, and Ray has to soften his rough edges.

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Do we think Arrowverse Bruce is incapacitated/captured somehow, or is he watching all of this happen from the sidelines like Luke from The Last Jedi?  I'm curious as to what people think.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

No worries about the spoilers. I'm about to sit down with a bottle of red wine (okay, club soda) in my private home cineplex (alright, fine, it's my tablet on a lap desk on my bed) with surround sound (okay, it's bluetooth headphones) to watch FLASH and BATWOMAN. But I would like to say something about Kara:

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I feel like the series struggled on what to do with Kara a lot, though.  We watched her as the main character for six years, and what did we really learn about her? She's really nice?

I would say that Kara has an extremely detailed, well-considered, thoughtfully presented and calculatedly performed character. Her defining moment in the show -- well, there are two that immediately come to mind. The first is in Season 1's "Falling" when three schoolgirls are mocking a classmate for wearing a red cape and an S-shirt. "You look so stupid!" one of them snarls. "Everyone thinks so, that's why you don't have any friends."

Kara descends from the sky. "I wouldn't say that," Kara tells the cape-clad girl. "I think you look pretty awesome -- " and after X-raying the girl's backpack to read the name on her notebook, Kara adds, "Laura."

"You know Supergirl!?" the mean girl sputters.

"I'm friends with all the nice girls," Kara says, pats Laura on the shoulder and flies off.

The second is in Season 5, Episode 18 when Lena Luthor knocks on Kara's door and stands in the hallway awkwardly, Lena having recently betrayed Kara, tricked her into thinking they were still best friends, manipulated Kara into stealing for Lena, stolen stolen Kryptonian technology from Kara, sent Kara into the Phantom Zone, teamed up with Lex Luthor and stopped taking Kara's calls for deep and meaningful girltalk.

Lena, with a shaky voice and on the verge of tears, says "I have made a terrible mistake. I was hurt. I was so hurt. And I thought I could get rid of the hurt. But I was wrong. I know what I said and I know what I did, but I am... I am really hoping that you will believe me right now -- Lex is working with Leviathan, and they are going to use Obsidian to do something terrible. Using the system that I made with my project. I didn't know I was helping them, but I did. And now I want to help stop them, so please, okay? I want to help stop Lex and Leviathan."

Kara stares at Lena with suspicion. Exhaustion. Grief. And then resolve. And then Kara pulls a chair from the table and asks Lena to sit down.

Kara Danvers is not "really nice." Kara Danvers is superhumanly nice. Kara Danvers is nice to a degree that it could conceivably be some sort of mental illness.

This characterization does not necessarily lend itself to character arcs beyond giving Kara an anxiety disorder in Season 1 and a panic attack in a Season 3 episode. Kara Danvers being superhumanly nice to the point where her friendship with Lena didn't end in some GAME OF THRONES type bloodbath is something that is hard if not impossible to find in the real world. Did you read the Return of Sliders thread, did you see me blow a gasket on Transmodiar? Have you read my status updates where in a fit of rage, I told my favourite actress that I'd found someone else to be my favourite actress and replaced her? Kara Danvers would never do anything like that. It is not easy to be nice in this world.

I freely admit that this isn't a complicated character and that Kara isn't exactly Olivia Dunham from FRINGE or Wanda in WANDAVISION. But, I mean, entire religions have been founded around one character who was defined as "nice to the point of being superhumanly nice," so Kara Danvers is in rare company.

It's okay for a lead character to be very simple and straightforward. Not every character should be so simple and most characters who lead TV shows aren't, but surely in a world of Dexters and Ryan Wilders and Dr. Houses, there's room for a character as plainly defined as Kara Danvers. Kara Danvers isn't just "really nice." Kara Danvers is superhumanly nice, so nice that she's either a Mormon out to recruit or she's Supergirl.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Oh I totally agree.  I just don't know if that makes for a compelling main character, which is why I think they focused on the other characters a bit more.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

In my view, Kara Danvers having a very simple, straightforward, uncomplicated character meant that SUPERGIRL had a lot of range for a wide cast of characters and could incorporate a lot of identities and social justice themes into the show.

I'd consider that an asset, but I totally agree that the simplicity of Kara's character also made it impossible for SUPERGIRL to have only Kara carry the show or the season-long character arcs.

In contrast, Oliver Queen on ARROW was such a damaged, twisted, troubled story whose life was filled with such incident and trauma and grief and horror that he only ever needed one supporting character (and it didn't have to be anyone in particular, just someone he could talk to for expository purposes). Kara's character, however, could not have functioned without a large supporting cast.

Is Kara Danvers, being so simple, a boring character? I think there are plenty of people out there who consider Kara Danvers bland, uninteresting, flat and predictable. I think there are plenty of people who found Kara Danvers uplifting, inspiring, stirring, and that even if the character didn't have a lot of personal drama, the charisma of Melissa Benoist's performance made her a pleasure to have in the living room every week.

Certainly, regardless of where you fall on that scale, the Kara character was highly dependent on Melissa Benoist's performance to make a potentially dull personality into a warmly engaging onscreen presence. Kara Danvers was a total non-entity in a number of Season 4 episodes when Benoist was doing a musical and out of Vancouver. For those episodes, Kara was onscreen a lot but trapped in a lead-lined spacesuit with a helmet and Benoist filmed insert shots later of Kara's face under the helmet. Without Benoist to fully infuse the character with vulnerability and interest, there was no way to connect to the character.

A simple lead character can be handled poorly or well. I feel SUPERGIRL handled Kara's simplicity very well, but some shows don't.

SMALLVILLE's seventh season, for example, had a completely de-complicated version of the Clark Kent character: he wasn't in college studying to do anything, he had no parents onscreen anymore, he had no job beyond supposedly maintaining his farm, he had no ambitions for becoming a superhero, he wasn't actively looking for people to help, he wasn't actively looking for villains to stop. He wanted to do nothing but wake up on his farm next to Lana, harvest crops, milk cows and there was absoutely nothing there. The character seemed to drain energy from the stories when he appeared. The Season 7 Clark existed only to grant Tom Welling his contractually required screentime and Oliver and Lex became the de-facto lead characters. Thankfully, Season 8 gave Clark some actual goals again: to be come a journalist and to become a superhero.

I think Kara's lack of complexity was in SUPERGIRL's favour, but if handled poorly, it could have become a liability.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Do we think Arrowverse Bruce is incapacitated/captured somehow, or is he watching all of this happen from the sidelines like Luke from The Last Jedi?  I'm curious as to what people think.

At this point, BATWOMAN has had a CRISIS, multiple attacks on Gotham City, a mass escape from Arkham and the former Crows turning on the city. If Bruce Wayne didn't come back to help with any of those situations, it's not because he didn't care, it's not because he was embittered -- it's because he couldn't come back, he couldn't help. Whatever reason for Bruce's absence has to cover BATWOMAN not having the license to use the character, only a special dispensation for imposters and dream sequences.

I think Bruce must be incapacitated or trapped somehow. Batman has been absent before; during KNIGHTFALL, he was paralyzed and searching the world for a cure. During 52, Bruce had a nervous breakdown stemming from the death of Professor Arturo -- I mean, the death of Jason Todd -- and spent some time writing a lavishly elaborate SLIDERS fanfic -- I mean, he spent some time travelling the world with Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, revisiting the places where he'd learned all his skills to become Batman and building a post-trauma version of Batman.

During BATMAN AND ROBIN REBORN, Bruce was thought dead at Darkseid's hand; he had actually been sent backwards in history and was an Unstuck Man in a crazy, lunatic, bizarre, continuity and mind-bending story until he finally made it back to the present in THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE.

I think the show will hesitate to lay out a definitive reason for awhile longer because the longer Bruce is absent / withheld by the licensing department, the more severe the reasons must be for Bruce not coming back for every season's cataclysm. In Season 1, he might have been having a nervous breakdown. In Season 2, he might have had a nervous breakdown and suffering from arm and leg injuries and a heart condition. In Season 3, he might be dealing with a nervous breakdown and paralysis. In Season 4, he might be dealing with a nervous breakdown and paralysis and severe acid reflux.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

At this point, BATWOMAN has had a CRISIS, multiple attacks on Gotham City, a mass escape from Arkham and the former Crows turning on the city. If Bruce Wayne didn't come back to help with any of those situations, it's not because he didn't care, it's not because he was embittered -- it's because he couldn't come back, he couldn't help. Whatever reason for Bruce's absence has to cover BATWOMAN not having the license to use the character, only a special dispensation for imposters and dream sequences.

This has bothered me since Batwoman started, as you know, but if I were running the show, I would've gotten a meeting with the highest-up person at DC I could get a meeting with and I'd ask for a direct answer - will I ever get to use Bruce Wayne as Batman on my show?  If the answer is no, I kill off Batman.  Having his ghost around is too much.  I'd also have his villains die too.  Maybe a Superman-level villain wiped everyone out in some sort of battle royale and then Superman fixed it.  Or Kara.  Whoever.

Because having Batman just out there not doing anything is too big of a shadow.  I also wouldn't have set the show in Gotham but that's a different argument.

If there's a chance, I'm fine with running out the clock until they let Batman be on the show.  Putting Superman on Supergirl didn't hurt Supergirl, and I'm sure having occasional Batman visits would be fine for Batwoman.

I also think it's dumb that DC has three Batmen currently (Pattinson, Affleck, and Keaton) but thinks that one on TV would confuse people.

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

I think Armageddon has been really fun.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Armageddon Part 1 was okay! Nice to see Ray again. Not sure why he was in the story. Wondered where Joe was. Watching Part 2 tomorrow when it's on Netflix.

**

I have to say: I agree with Slider_Quinn21 that BATWOMAN might have worked best if Bruce Wayne had been killed off at the start -- and maybe they should have done that even if Warner Bros. said they might be willing to someday let BATWOMAN add Bruce to the cast. BATWOMAN should have said that Bruce died in some final confrontation with the Joker that killed them both, and that it happened a decade ago (although ARROW did refer to Bruce Wayne as though he were alive). Of course, if BATWOMAN ended up getting the license to use Bruce, they could reveal that Bruce survived his off camera death.

**

Warner Bros. has never given an official statement as to why they license some characters but not others or why they withdraw licenses, so we can only observe their actions and results and infer their intentions.

My sense is that Warner Bros. considers itself a film studio that creates Serious Cinema like Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. When it comes to television, they look at it the way Paramount Studios looks at STAR TREK novels: licensed merchandising tie-ins that keep the brand present and draw in some revenue, but Paramount's core TREK content is TV and the occasional movie and they don't want their licensees interfering with Paramount's primary interests.

Historically, Warner Bros. has looked down on anything that isn't film. In 1995, the comics changed Batman's costume slightly, giving up on the light gray look with light blue mask / boots / gloves / cape / trunks in favour of dark gray with navy blue on top and no trunks. The editor got The New York Times to do a story on the costume change and according to comics veteran Mark Waid, that editor was nearly fired because the article was considered interference with the ramp up to BATMAN FOREVER.

Warner Bros. takes the attitude that they want to control the primary, mainstream, general audience image of Batman and that image is to be whatever they present in their feature films. They are possessive, proprietary, controlling -- and they consider the Arrowverse shows to be outsiders.

The Arrowverse shows are funded and produced largely by Berlanti Productions, an outside studio that licenses Warner Bros. properties for television. The Arrowverse shows air on the CW, a venture between ViacomCBS and the Studios and Networks division of Warner Media; Warner Bros. does not consider the Arrowverse shows to be in-house.

They view the Arrowverse the way FOX looks at the comic book publisher IDW when IDW licensed the X-FILES brand only for their supposedly in-continuity X-FILES comics to be displaced by an actual X-FILES Season 10 on TV. The way Marvel Studios looks at the Sony AMAZING SPIDER-MAN movies starring Andrew Garfield or the FOX movies with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Warner Bros. considers Berlanti to be temporarily renting Warner Bros. characters whereas Warner Bros. owns them outright. And Warner Bros. doesn't want renters renovating too much or acting like they own the place and they prefer to only rent out what Warner Bros.' film division isn't using.

I find it unlikely that Berlanti Productions would have produced ARROW and SUPERGIRL if they had been able to access Batman and Superman.

That also seems to be the rationale for why ARROW had an off-camera voice cameo from Harley Quinn but ultimately couldn't use the character. And why ARROW introduced Deathstroke and the Suicide Squad only to see both concepts removed from the show because Deathstroke was marked for a Batman feature and Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn were reserved for the SUICIDE SQUAD film. And why Superman wasn't allowed to appear on camera in SUPERGIRL.

Even the HBO Max shows, which are big budget prestige television, have limited access to the Warner Bros. library. TITANS' first season could only show Batman if Batman were largely out of frame; the second season could show Bruce Wayne but only out of costume and played by an actor in his late 50s so that the 'mainstream' image of Batman would be whoever appeared in JUSTICE LEAGUE or THE BATMAN.

When Superman was allowed to appear on camera in Season 2 of SUPERGIRL, it was at a time when Warner Bros. had decided not to move ahead with a standalone MAN OF STEEL sequel and only feature Henry Cavill as part of BATMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE features. They didn't feel the need to control the mainstream image of Superman and ensure it was for their feature film for Superman because they weren't planning to make one. That's also why Berlanti was finally able to license Superman fully for SUPERMAN AND LOIS.

In addition, there was a period when Geoff Johns, a producer on the Arrowverse shows, had been promoted to Chief Creative Officer of Warner Bros.' DC films division. Arrowverse producers now had the option of contacting Johns directly and he signed off on Deadshot and Deathstroke returning to ARROW. However, after Johns' demotion, ARROW once again lost access to those characters.

In terms of Batman: unlike Superman, Warner Bros. has ongoing ambitions for Serious Cinema and they want people to associate Batman with their movies whether it's Affleck and Keaton in THE FLASH feature or Pattinson in the BATMAN movie. They are less than enthused about loaning out Batman to an outside licensee like Berlanti Productions; they want all attention on Batman going to Warner Bros. movies.

There's also the fact that BATWOMAN's creators are probably less than enthused about having Bruce Wayne appear and take control of a narrative that has been designed to make Ryan Wilder the star.

I don't really see 'sense' in Warner Bros.' attitude. I see controlling possessiveness. I think it was ridiculous that ARROW lost the Suicide Squad and Deadshot and Deathstroke. However, in BATWOMAN's case, it's possibly for the best; if Bruce Wayne showed up, it might not be Batwoman's show anymore. That said, it remains as clear as ever that BATWOMAN does not have the license to use Batman, Bruce Wayne, the Joker, the Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon or Catwoman. So instead, we get Hush, Magpie, the Cluemaster, the Spoiler, and various people with the Mad Hatter's hat, Catwoman's whip, Killer Croc's teeth, the Joker's acid flower, Mr. Freeze's cryogenic chemicals.

I assume that Ryan will eventually be menaced by the Red Hood's dirty socks, Alfred's mop, Commissioner Gordon's glasses, Tim Drake's boots and Dick Grayson's cotton candy machine from the circus. Warner Bros. isn't planning much with those.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Hunnh. BATWOMAN's seventh episode is its mid-season finale. Season 3 won't resume until January 12 and there are only six more episodes left in Season 3; BATWOMAN will only have 13 episodes this year. I guess that was to make the economics work considering its ratings and sales.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Yeah, I just saw that.  I'm having fun with Batwoman season 3, although the corporate stuff is really dumb to me.  I'm sure there are mid-20s CEOs of major tech companies, but I think the fact that Ryan or Kate or Marquis are CEO of Wayne Enterprises would be impossible.  Especially since we never saw Ryan or Kate do any work as CEO - Ryan would've been CEO for months without even knowing it.

I know TV likes to think that these big-salaried CEOs don't really do anything, but having an absentee CEO would destroy most companies.  Their work probably isn't worth what they're paid, but they're paid a lot of money for reasons.  They're also usually the chairman of the board of directors, and I'm sure they'd have something to say about hiring an ex-con with no experience in business as a CEO.  Even if there was a clause that gave Bruce Wayne that kind of authority in absentia, and even if Ryan/Kate were turning down a salary, I don't think it would fly.

I think if they'd made Luke the CEO, that might work.  But even then, I think he's too young and not present enough for that.  I think it's just another example of TV writers having no idea how the real world works smile

********

And I agree about Batman being too big for Batwoman.  I think even if he came back for a brief crossover only to go back in the shadows, it would be too much.  Whenever something big came up, we'd expect Batman to show back up.  I'll admit I've thought that about Supergirl a lot - when there's an extinction level event, shouldn't Superman at least show up as backup?

Now to be fair, since Ryan took over for Kate, the references and connections to Bruce have pretty much stopped.  The connections to *Batman* are bigger than ever, but I don't know if Bruce showing up makes a ton of narrative sense anymore.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I've been meaning to write on BATWOMAN for weeks, but I've been so busy with upscaling Season 1 of SLIDERS and the other thing, what is it, that thing I do during the day, that job, the day job, but really upscaling Season 1 of SLIDERS.

Slider_Quinn21 is quite correct to point out the absurdities of Ryan Wilder somehow running Wayne Enterprises on Kate's say-so; it's also ridiculous that Kate was running what was described as a multibillion dollar corporation. Wayne Enterprises would not be a family business for Bruce's cousin to take and then hand over to her stepsister's roommate; there would be a shareholders' board and a hiring process.

There's also the fact that across the first two seasons of BATWOMAN, Wayne Enterprises *never* seemed like an actual business and Wayne Tower *never* came off as a workplace of any kind. I was shocked to see Tom Lenk guest-starring as the Wayne Enterprises crisis communications worker. I had been under the impression that Wayne Enterprises was just a holding company for various patents and businesses at this point that had outsourced all its work to smaller firms since Bruce had left Gotham in a fit of something or other. I didn't think anyone did any actual work there and figured that while Kate had access to the executive floors of Wayne Tower, the rest of it had probably been rented out as office space to other businesses.

Also, if we accept -- and you may not -- that superheroes are written and watched or read by predominantly left-of-center creators and viewers, then there has never been a more unfashionable time for a superhero to own or run a multinational corporation. In my head canon (and no one else's), Bruce Wayne would not run a multinational corporation. Bruce Wayne would run a not-for-profit foundation; Bruce's wealth would have come from his father having invented various small medical patents in surgical technologies and real estate investments.

The writers of BATWOMAN are obviously left-of-center creators, and they have deliberately left Wayne Enterprises vague and undefined. It's partially because Wayne Enterprises doesn't really matter except as a thin justification for how Batwoman can afford all her hardware; it's primarily because the writers don't really want to show their heroic lead character running a corporation of any kind but felt compelled to maintain that part of the mythos.

What exactly does Wayne Enterprises buy or sell or offer?

Also, what business was Queen Consolidated in, exactly? And what does STAR Labs do any more after the particle accelerator explosion? Of all the fictional 'businesses' in the Arrowverse, the only recurring ones that have ever really made sense are the dating app Upswipz, the CC Jitters coffee shop, the Big Belly Burger fast food chain and Palmertech (which at least had a self-explanatory name).

**

I find it interesting that BATWOMAN has accepted that it can't do what it set out to do in telling Kate Kane's story; BATWOMAN has become BATS OF GOTHAM: THE NEXT GENERATION, creating a second generation Batwoman, a second generation Joker, a second generation Poison Ivy and I assume that any day now, we'll get a second generation King Tut and a second generation Marsha Queen of Diamonds. It's all about the fragments and pieces left after Batman departed and... it's not the original plan and I'd have been baffled to watch the Season 1 premiere of BATWOMAN followed by the Season 3 premiere of BATWOMAN. BATWOMAN has become as alien to its starting point as SLIDERS. However, its heart is in the right place and the writers are making the best of a very strange turn on an unmapped road.

**

Caroline Dries, showrunner, worked on SMALLVILLE for many years. One of the more baffling things about SMALLVILLE: the way the manipulative, evil Lionel Luthor had a sudden redemption arc in Season 4/5 that made little sense where Clark briefly inhabited his body and suddenly, he was a good guy, trusted by Clark and treated like a father figure, welcomed at the Kents Thanksgiving dinner, etc..

Something similar but better has happened with Alice joining the team; BATWOMAN has a crazy but oddly sensible contrivance with Renee Montoya forcing the Bat-team to help her track down the villains' artifacts and making Alice help. But Dries also does a great job of showing how Alice is not accepted as a member of the team and will turn on them if it suits her; she's a ticking time bomb that still blows up when the gang least expects it.

**

I love Ryan Wilder, but with the mid-season finale of BATWOMAN, I have to ask if she is quite possibly the *worst* superhero to ever feature in the Arrowverse. She was handed the mantle of Batwoman by the original; she was given full control of Wayne Enterprises; she was given a personal physician; she was given a tech genius as her IT support; she was given a home; she was given billions in financial resources; she was given the Batcave; she was given the Batmobile. Seven episodes in, she has somehow managed to alienate her doctor and sign the rest away.

I find this highly relatable; if I were a superhero, I'd probably screw up in much the same way. I'm not knocking Ryan, but I do cringe for her self-esteem this year.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

There's also the fact that across the first two seasons of BATWOMAN, Wayne Enterprises *never* seemed like an actual business and Wayne Tower *never* came off as a workplace of any kind. I was shocked to see Tom Lenk guest-starring as the Wayne Enterprises crisis communications worker. I had been under the impression that Wayne Enterprises was just a holding company for various patents and businesses at this point that had outsourced all its work to smaller firms since Bruce had left Gotham in a fit of something or other. I didn't think anyone did any actual work there and figured that while Kate had access to the executive floors of Wayne Tower, the rest of it had probably been rented out as office space to other businesses.

I could be wrong, but wasn't it stated explicitly that Wayne Tower was abandoned, either in the crossover that introduced Batwoman or the pilot?  I feel like the introduction to Luke was him dealing with homeless people living in the tower?

And you're right about the way the Arrowverse treats jobs.  All the Arrowverse major players all live like they're upper class but rarely do any actual work.  Oliver was unemployed for most of the show but lives in a gigantic loft.  Barry was a cop and Iris essentially had a blog, and they had a huge luxury apartment.  The only Arrowverse characters I can think of as actually struggling were Rene and Roy.

And while I do think some of it is political, anti-corporation stuff, I once read an article about how most movies/TV shows struggle with real-life jobs because writers haven't really had real-life jobs.  Most of the jobs that people have are the ones that feel the most like writing.  Like architect - where you spend a lot of time coming up with a pitch, make your pitch, and then you get to build this super big thing at the end.  It's writing a script, pitching it, and then producing it.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

The Flash: Armageddon is... I guess it's alright.








I thought it was clever and weird for Joe to be absent in the premiere and declared dead in the next episode with Barry having no memory of Joe's death, much like the viewer. It's an interesting piece of writing that puts the viewer directly in Barry's perspective of confusion and disorientation. The cliffhanger of some version of Eobard Thawne or Harrison Wells marrying Iris is another moment of baffling bizarreness.

It reminded me of last season where Barry was calling out to Iris and Iris wasn't responding or seen on camera and the actress was obviously not on set, and then a later episode revealed that Iris had been in the Speed Force and in hiding and had genuinely been as absent in-story as the actress in the real world situation.

That said, I can't really say I'm that gripped by these first three episodes. The first episode was a bunch of nice scenes with Brandon Routh in the mix for no real reason. The second episode was some scenes of Barry abruptly behaving strangely for reasons unknown and the special guest star this time was Chyler Leigh on a screen and not really that necessary to the story either. The third episode is mostly Grant Gustin and Cress Williams in a mostly isolated and empty set talking which is fine and with Williams used better than Routh or Leigh in their episodes.

It's fine and given that pandemic protocols are still in effect for the leads and featured guest-stars, I can see why they're doing a series of special guest star episodes with all the featured guest-stars being actors who aren't currently working on any other ARROWVERSE show. And I can see why they're not calling these episodes with special guest stars a 'crossover' but still declaring it an 'event.' It's what they can do.

It's fine.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I thought the same thing, but then the "wedding?" scene had everyone together.  So maybe they could do it?  Or maybe they had to wait so they filmed some of the minor stuff first?  I don't know.

I also feel like something as big as "taking away Flash's powers" should've been a bigger group, right?  If Barry has insisted that he's a danger...wouldn't it be good to have backup?  I'm talking more in-universe than "it's a TV show, they can't have everyone back" kind of way.  It also seems a bit odd because...how would the Injustice Protocol even work if Barry wasn't 100% cooperative?  Barry did most of the work and then Black Lightning shot him - and it didn't even work.  Was there someone designated to do the science stuff if Barry wasn't there?  And again...it didn't work.

And as far as set dressing, I wish they'd done more to make the Justice League headquarters not look like a mostly empty warehouse.  It just isn't a great looking set, and it should be.

I do feel like episode 3 was a filler episode.  I'm intrigued by the future stuff, and we haven't seen most of the villains show up yet (and half the heroes have barely said anything or said nothing).  I also wonder if we'll get some sort of scene with Ryan and Barry since....I don't think there's any indication that they know each other.  She would obviously know him, but he shouldn't have any idea who she is.

1,448 (edited by ireactions 2021-12-03 21:48:06)

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I thought the same thing, but then the "wedding?" scene had everyone together.  So maybe they could do it?

As I understand it, scenes like the wedding are possible, but they require a lot of money and scheduling to make them possible.

It seems to me that despite vaccination, any regular cast and guest-stars who would be in the same space would need to be kept within a pod for the minimum two weeks and tested daily. Daily life for them would have to stay within their pods during filming and production would have to cover the costs and handle the scheduling for that.

Yes, vaccination makes COVID survivable and less transmissible, but Grant Gustin getting infected with no symptoms would still take him out of filming for two weeks and throw off THE FLASH's schedule and airdates. Even within his vaccine-reduced window of being infectious, he could get Javicia Leslie infected and her self-isolation would delay BATWOMAN.

Outside the ARROWVERSE, Michael Rosenbaum was double-vaccinated and caught COVID at a convention. While his life was never in jeopardy, he was very sick for two weeks and needed another two weeks to regain his full health; that happening to Gustin and Leslie could destroy the shooting schedule for THE FLASH and BATWOMAN.

To prevent this, there is a lot of expense, time-tabling and staffing needed for each actor whether a guest-star or a regular. And production can only do it for so many actors before it becomes logistically impossible and unaffordable. Scheduling Javicia Leslie for ARMAGEDDON was apparently a minor miracle as her BATWOMAN pod and protocols and ARMAGEDDON's schedule could be synced. Tyler Hoechlin and Caity Lotz couldn't be scheduled for ARMAGEDDON because their protocol schedules conflicted.

And even once they get all the actors together safely, so much of the schedule has been taken up by the COVID prevention that they may only have a day or two to actually film the scenes, and they may not be able to do any complex fight choreography in keeping the onset headcount limited to what they can afford in the production crew pods.

If I get sick, it would be unpleasant and inconvenient for me, but I could do my job from home and/or my organization could manage in my temporary absence. If Grant Gustin gets sick, then the entire mini-corporation that's THE FLASH TV production comes to a stop.

Admittedly, this is the same production company that had RIVERDALE's series-lead KJ Apa driving 45 minutes to get home after a 14 hour shoot during which he fell asleep behind the wheel and drove into a streetlight.

**

THE FLASH and BATWOMAN have had some crowd scenes. It is likely that there's a specific pod of extras in a modest number who pose and move for specific shots that are then duplicated and altered through computer modelling to fill a space. Or they're wearing blue or green masks removed in post. However, in some cases, the crowd is achieved practically by booking a troupe of extras, hiring them duration of production instead of as day players, and keeping them isolated within that pod until the season finale is filmed. This expense could be why BATWOMAN is only getting 13 episodes this year.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Spoilers for Armageddon Part 4:















While I enjoyed the episode, I have to say -- I don't really understand why Eobard Thawne needed to (a) get STAR Labs shut down (b) kill Joe (c) impersonate Barry and go on a rampage (d) trick Barry into getting rid of most of his speed. I mean, his end-goal was to go back in time and remove Barry from the timeline and take over Barry's life from birth to death -- so why did he need to do all this other stuff in a timeline he was removing?

I don't get it and I'm sure someone can explain it to me, but I was at a loss. That said, I enjoyed the episode a lot and really liked Barry turning Damien Darkh from an enemy into an ally. It was great to see Tom Cavanagh back. Great performance. Great scripting of the individual scenes. I just didn't get the underlying story. It didn't make logical sense to me. It made emotional sense, though -- that the Reverse Flash's greatest ambition was always to become the Flash.

**

I am really late to TITANS in Season 3. I watched the first episode of Season 3 and... I mean, it's a good script, but I am really opposed to what this story and series is doing. First is that the death of Jason Todd, Robin, and the way Batman handles it afterwards -- that should really be a Batman-centric story; instead, TITANS has to awkwardly showing Batman in the costume because their license only allows Bruce Wayne, so Dick Grayson ends up having to carry the bulk of the story in this episode.

The second issue I have with TITANS' premiere is portraying Bruce Wayne as a sick old man who needs to recruit teenaged girls and boys to join him in his need for violent retribution on criminals. His pathetic, needy whisper to Dick Grayson, saying, "You want to be Robin again?" -- it's clear this version of Bruce Wayne is a junkie; his drug of choice is (usually non-lethal) physical assault, only acceptable because he assaults murderers.

I think that this is a story that would be fine to do with the Midnighter, a Batman analogue from the Wildstorm comics. Or with Moon Knight, a Marvel character whose creators were inspired by Batman. Or other street level characters. You can do this story with the Punisher. The Fixer. Night Thrasher. The Black Fox. Shadowhawk. The Shadow. Nighthawk. Kick-Ass. But I don't feel that it is right to do this story with Bruce Wayne or with Batman.

While Batman has been wonderfully versatile, I really feel that Batman is a children's character and ultimately, he should be a life-affirming, comforting hero. He should assure us that our grief and loss will not define us; that instead, we will be defined by how we survive our hardships. To present Bruce Wayne a sick, needy addict is, to me, wrong. And it's part of why, for me, TITANS is just wrong. I am not saying you can't tell a superhero story like this -- I just don't feel that these stories should be told with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

To me, having Bruce Wayne exposed as a junkie who walks out on Gotham City is like having Professor Arturo getting shot and blown up after getting his brain sucked out, or having Quinn abandon Wade and his mother to Kromagg imprisonment and torment.

(Bruce killing the Joker, to me, is not unjustifiable.)

To be fair, there may be more to this story, but it's clear to me that TITANS is trying to remove Bruce Wayne from the series and avoid showing Batman because they don't have the license for it.

Also to be fair, I love BATWOMAN and BATWOMAN implies that Bruce Wayne walked out on Gotham, but BATWOMAN has also implied that Bruce didn't abandon Gotham as much as he's been unable to return.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I thought it was really cool to see Barry in the Reverse Flash suit.  I thought the Flash suit looked really weird on Tom Cavanaugh, but not as weird as it looked on Stephen Amell.

******

Yeah, I don't like the Titans Batman.  I also thought it was weird that Dick didn't consider being Batman.  It was also weird that he abandoned the Batcave and Wayne Manor so easily.

Did you understand how the police department started working for Scarecrow?  I know Gordon got arrested, but then all of the sudden, the cops were all evil.  I don't remember how that was part of the plan.  I read recaps and still couldn't figure out what I missed.

1,451 (edited by ireactions 2021-12-10 17:28:44)

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Well, if Crane had access to the Oracle surveillance, he could have blackmailed or otherwise corrupted every police officer, offering them incentives or threatening them into compliance.

Spoilers for TITANS

























Well, it turns out there is a bit more to Bruce's story. I watched a bit more last night and episode 5 of Season 3 reveals that Bruce told Jason he didn't want him to be Robin any more and that Jason didn't need to be Robin to be Bruce Wayne's son, Bruce Wayne's family and a part of Bruce Wayne's heart. Which makes it unclear: if Bruce valued Jason more than he valued Robin -- why was Bruce instantly recruiting new Robins the second Jason was buried? Saying "I can't do this alone" and asking Dick, "Do you want to be Robin again?" like an addict desperate for his next fix?

TITANS has often played the game of misrepresenting Batman and Bruce Wayne and then removing their deliberate misrepresentation later. Season 1 presents Batman as a demonic, terrifying force; it's dismissed as a dream and when Bruce shows up in person in Season 2, he's presented as Season 3 Professor Arturo. He's Temporal Flux. He's comforting, knowledgeable, pleasant presence who encourages people do their best. He's Dad.

Season 3 implies that Bruce didn't care about Jason beyond Jason being Robin; then Episode 5 shows that Bruce loved Jason, not Robin.

I assume that there will be an explanation and, of course, I should have realized that DC was never going to stand behind any portrayal of Bruce as a junkie in this fashion, even in an HBO Max TV show where Bruce is just an occasional guest star.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Oh geez, I'm so sorry.  I thought you'd finished the season and dropped two spoilers on you sad

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Oh geez, I'm so sorry.  I thought you'd finished the season and dropped two spoilers on you sad






























Oh, don't worry about it. I've decided that I will never again be upset if someone accidentally spoils a story for me. Stories should be written to be effective whether spoiled or not. Also, I wasn't really that invested in TITANS. I was just half-watching it while doing data entry work. It's not a big deal.

There is no real explanation for why Bruce went from not wanting Jason to be Robin to actively searching for a new Robin within a day of Jason's death, and I think we just have to take it as Bruce being really upset over Jason's death and trying to keep going in the only way he knew how. And that's fine. However...

TITANS: Season 3 is an adaptation of A DEATH IN THE FAMILY (Jason Todd's death in 1988) and the 2005 comic book storyline UNDER THE RED HOOD. Neither are particularly effective as a season of TITANS. Both are Batman stories. TITANS isn't allowed to use Batman. As a result, Dick Grayson seems to take over all the functions that should really be Batman's. 

Batman should be the one trying to figure out why Jason was suddenly so interested in chemistry and neurological effects. Batman should be the one to realize that Jason had been compromised by the Scarecrow. Batman should be the one setting a trap for the Red Hood. Batman is the one who actually has a relationship with Jason Todd and the Scarecrow. Instead, TITANS has Bruce being completely oblivious to Jason selling him out to the Scarecrow. It's rather insulting to Batman, a character defined by absurd hypercompetence. But Batman has to be written as incompetent so that he never has to appear on camera in costume.

TITANS also nonsensically has these supposed superheroes -- and Batman -- letting Jason Todd go free after he murdered numerous innocent people. In the UNDER THE RED HOOD storyline and Jason Todd's subsequent adventures, Jason was not a villain as much as an anti-hero. Jason took over Gotham's drug trade, but specifically to control it, executing any drug dealer who sold drugs to children or operated near any schools. Jason was not targeting innocent victims, only violent criminals. He was a lethal vigilante, but he was not a danger to anyone who wasn't a violent criminal. Jason believed that he could be a better crimefighter than Batman this way and effectively became a rival to Batman and Dick -- as opposed to an enemy.

But TITANS' Red Hood, however, is effectively a serial killer who is allowed to go free. TITANS also seems to forget that Dick Grayson broke out of jail last season and is a convicted felon (who somehow ended up sentenced within days of his crime) and is a wanted fugitive, so this is something of a recurring problem for this show.

Anyway. I'm sure lots of people enjoy TITANS. It's an exercise in dour grimdark misery with people who are considered above the bounds of common human morality because they are elite and powerful. There's a market for a brutalist, somewhat amoral approach to superheroes.

It's just not really what I'd like from a TV show about Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne -- but that's fine too. My vision of Bruce Wayne is Christian Bale's relentlessly positive lunatic from the Nolan movies or the operatic protector of the night from the 90s animated series and Grant Morrison's Renaissance Man vision in the BATMAN INC comic and Paul Dini's brilliant detective in DETECTIVE COMICS. My vision of Dick Grayson is the joyfully upbeat (and somewhat bland) hero of Chuck Dixon's NIGHTWING (and Peter Tomasi also did a great job of writing him in NIGHTWING too!).

TITANS' vision of Bruce and Dick in no way diminishes or damages my preferred renditions of these characters. But... I will go watch STARGIRL Season 2 now. STARGIRL Season 1 was what I wanted out of a superhero show and I'm sure Season 2 will be very good also.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

In other news, Berlanti Productions continues its quest to do Batman shows despite not having any access to the Batman license, now launching a SON OF BATMAN series called GOTHAM KNIGHTS.

https://www.cbr.com/gotham-knights-tv-s … er-the-cw/

I assume that we'll soon get AUNT HARRIET: A LIFE IN CRIME ALLEY. And then ACE, a series focused on the Bat-Hound. Then HAROLD: BAT MECHANIC. Then DORMBAT, a series about Bruce Wayne's college roommate. Followed by GLASSWINGS, about the window washers who clean all of Wayne's skyscrapers.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I assume this won't be in the Arrowverse, at least not Earth Prime/One?

I like Titans, but I don't think it's the show it should be.  I saw a lot of complaints about how it was way too Batman focused in season three (despite the fact that Batman himself is barely in it).  The Titans are in Batman's city working out of Batman's headquarters fighting a Batman villain and a Batman ally.  The other Titans are barely in it.

I might've done something different.  If they wanted to do Red Hood, I would've made that a separate storyline.  I would've had the season start the way it did, with the Titans as a well-oiled machine.  Popular with the public and effective as a team.  Bruce shows up in San Francisco and talks to Dick.  There's a huge issue in Metropolis and the Justice League sent him to get help.  Dick eagerly volunteers, but Bruce doesn't want him.  He wants Connor.  Bruce tries to write it off ("I'm not even sure I'll be a help here") but a seed has been planted.  The Justice League needed help, and they didn't even consider Nightwing.

Same thing happens with Jason - Bruce is gone (now on the Watchtower instead of a plane) and Dick tries to take down the Joker and gets killed.  Manipulated by Scarecrow.  Becomes Red Hood.  Here, either Bruce can ask Dick to handle the situation or Dick can just take it upon himself.  But he goes alone.  If he's allowed to wear the Batsuit, I'd have Dick try to be Batman first.  But the suit is too bulky and not built for him.  He tries to make it work, but both Scarecrow and Jason know it's not the real Batman so Dick reluctantly goes back to Nightwing.  He's failed again.

Meanwhile, the Titans team are down their leader (Dick) and their biggest gun (Connor).  And Raven still isn't back.  They're struggling to take down villains they easily defeated weeks earlier.  And now TRADITIONAL TEEN TITANS VILLAIN has shown up.  Starfire deals with her sister.  Gar learns to change into other animals.  Raven figures out how to save Donna.  Hawk and Dove do stuff and Hawk is killed to raise the stakes since he has to go be Jack Reacher.  Whatever character development needs to happen since I'm unfamiliar with the Teen Titans.  They learn to be a team on their own.

Dick works with Barbara to take down Scarecrow and "save" Red Hood.  Dick proves himself, and Connor shows up to invite him on a Justice League mission.  He really impressed the team by what he was able to do by himself.  Dick says no and goes back to the Titans.  They work together (maybe Red Hood joins to redeem himself) to defeat TRADITIONAL TEEN TITANS VILLAIN, but someone (Starfire?) has emerged as the leader of the team.  They're more effective and more powerful than they were before.

Dick is impressed with the team and happily allows the new leader to stay.  He's more confident in himself, and he's just happy to be back with the team.

So what I feel we've accomplished here is:

- Dick gets to deal with his Batman issues.  Does he want to be Batman?  Does he want to be bigger than the Titans?  Can he handle things on his own like Bruce did?
- I've removed Connor from the equation because he's too powerful to be on this team.
- I let the Titans fight their own villain and do their own thing away from Dick or Batman.
- I've let Dick choose to be on a team, even if he's not the leader.  He thrived as Nightwing, not as Batman.  He knows who he is and where he wants to be.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Personally, I think the entire TITANS concept is unworkable - at least for me. The entire cast was assembled by grabbing a bunch of available copyrights, not by identifying characters who fit together well.

Teen Heroes: The TEEN TITANS comic book made sense: it was about the adventures of teen sidekicks. It's about what Robin, Kid-Flash and Aqualad got up to when Batman, The Flash and Aquaman weren't around. It made sense to, over time, add newer or more recent incarnations of sidekick characters: Wonder Girl (whose continuity is odd), Speedy (Roy Harper, Green Arrow's sidekick), Beast Boy (from Doom Patrol) -- and to add a few teen characters who didn't have a parent book of their own (Starfire and Cyborg) so that the TEEN TITANS book would have control of a few cast members.

Adult Titans? However, by the late 90s, the characters outside the control of the TEEN TITANS banner were no longer teens. The BATMAN office had changed Dick into an adult. The FLASH office had changed Kid Flash into the Flash. The WONDER WOMAN office had made Wonder Girl into an adult Donna Tory. The GREEN ARROW office had changed Speedy into the adult Arsenal. The AQUAMAN office had changed Aqualad into the adult Tempest. There were five different editorial teams handing the Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and Aquaman characters and fairly or unfairly, these teams weren't concerned with the TEEN TITANS brand.

Indistinct Titans: The TEEN TITANS office tried to deal with this by changing the title to TITANS which became a title about former teen superheroes who were still superheroes but no longer teens and and were now a team defined by how they all used to be teenagers and were now adults -- which is not a particularly unique trait. The concept was confused and confusing. There was nothing that made the TITANS distinct from any other assembly of adult superheroes. TITANS became the title aimed at people who used to buy TEEN TITANS.

Young Justice: DC later introduced the YOUNG JUSTICE concept which was a support group of sidekick characters Robin (Tim Drake), Impulse (Bart Allen), Superboy (Connor Kent), Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) and some original characters who weren't controlled by a parent book (Arrowette, L'il Lobo, Empress) etc.. YOUNG JUSTICE was more TEEN TITANS than TITANS had been for years.

Teen Titans and Titans: Eventually, DC had a TEEN TITANS book with most of the YOUNG JUSTICE lineup and retired the YOUNG JUSTICE brand, and had a separate TITANS book for the former-teen-now-adult team and presented the adult TITANS as a sort of eternal college reunion. In recent years, the YOUNG JUSTICE branding has made a comeback with Tim, Bart, Connor, Cassie and others while TEEN TITANS has Robin (Damian Wayne), Kid-Flash (Wallace West, the cousin of Wally), Aqualad (Jackson Hyde), Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven.

It can be mentally draining to keep all of this comic book stuff straight.

A Suggestion: In my view, if DC must publish a TITANS book staring the adult Titans, their best best is to make it a second NIGHTWING title, NIGHTWING AND THE TITANS, where Dick has lots of adventures with superpowered characters and as a counterpoint to the primary NIGHTWING title where he's a street level superhero. The series would be about how Nightwing knows everyone in the DC Universe. TITANS would become NIGHTWING TEAM-UP.

Getting back to TV:

Unheroic Superheroes: TITANS is a deeply confused show. It is a show about a team of former teen superheroes who are deeply traumatized by their past and moving on from their careers as superheroes by... forming a superhero team. (!?!?) It's about a superhero team who repeatedly encounter troubled young women being hunted by dark forces and heroically... plan to abandon them and only fail to do so due to unexpected circumstances. (?!?!) The show is largely focused these so-called superheroes fighting grudge matches in fight scenes during which they wear superhero costumes. (Season 3 seems to recognize this and have more heroics.)

A Mismatched Cast: The characters include a clone of Superman, an alien princess with superpowers escaping her people, a child of some primordial force of evil from the dawn of time, a troubled police detective who used to be a superhero, and a superhero couple who are looking to stop superheroing. Three seasons in and I'm not sure why these characters are in the same show or on the same team; why is Detective Dick Grayson the right character to help Raven and her dark magic powers? Why is a metahuman changeling in the same show as an alien princess? Why are characters who aren't enriched by their proximity put into the same series?

The explanation is that TITANS is a dumping ground for copyrights that the studio doesn't believe can sustain a show independently.

Separate Shows in One: Starfire should be in her own STARFIRE show, but I guess Berlanti and Warner Bros. and HBO Max don't think that show would have an audience. Superboy should be a guest-star in SUPERMAN AND LOIS, but he's not needed because Clark has two actual children for Superboy stories. Dick Grayson should should be in his own NIGHTWING show, but the studio and streamer would prefer to bundle all these copyrights under the TITANS banner.

Crippled: UNDER THE RED HOOD is a Batman story, not a TITANS story, and trying to tell it on TITANS is like trying to sail across the Atlantic with a Jeep. TITANS simply doesn't have the right tools to tell that story. TITANS clearly does not have the Batman license, only Bruce Wayne. It's absurd for TITANS to claim that Iain Glen and Curran Walters were running around Gotham City fighting crime during the first two seasons of TITANS when TITANS can never, ever, ever show Batman and Robin together.

Nightwing's Show: For the most part, TITANS has tried to be a NIGHTWING show and then added all these subplots that feel like discards from the hypothetical SUPERBOY and STARFIRE TV shows and the actual SUPERMAN AND LOIS TV show. There is absolutely no sense of what the Titans represent as a team. The Justice League is an assembly of analogues to mythological figures. The Avengers are deeply dysfunctional human beings who are also demi-gods. The Fantastic Four are a science fiction family. The Sliders are misfits lost in the multiverse.

No Team: The Titans are... a gang of miserable, unhappy, self-destructive, unheroic people who don't get along and constantly betray each other and inexplicably insist on living together while loathing their superhero careers while nonsensically insisting on wearing superhero costumes to fight people they don't like (while rarely fighting crime).

Dick Grayson: I think they should have just done a NIGHTWING show, had Dick fighting crime alone in the first season and possibly without the fantasy elements. I don't know if Dick is a character who really benefits from fighting eldritch gods or dating alien princesses (although he has). I know for sure that he doesn't benefit from being put into stories that were ultimately meant for Bruce Wayne.

Indistinct: I don't know what TITANS is. I don't think TITANS knows what it is. I would have preferred either having a NIGHTWING show or a TEEN TITANS show that actually featured teen characters.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

Indistinct: I don't know what TITANS is. I don't think TITANS knows what it is. I would have preferred either having a NIGHTWING show or a TEEN TITANS show that actually featured teen characters.

Yeah, that's sorta what I was trying to do with my pitch.  Make a Nightwing show that gives the writers the Batman stuff they want (taking more elements of Dick's time as Batman), and allow them to make a Titans show without all that baggage.  Making a BATMAN WITHOUT BATMAN show and dragging all these characters that don't belong and giving them nothing to do is what caused problems.

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

Armageddon was fine?  Episode 5 didn't really feel like the same arc, and was a bit of a letdown after Episode 4, which I think felt like more of a conclusion.

But they used the whole Arrowverse family (minus Superman & Lois) which is something that I've been asking for.  So A++

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I will catch up with Armageddon tomorrow.

**

With TITANS -- I just don't think the concept works unless they are actually the TEEN Titans. Maybe you could have Nightwing be an adult and everyone else is a teen.

And with trying to adapt BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD but find some reason for Batman to not be in BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD and slot Dick Grayson into Batman's role -- I just can't wrap my head around why someone would do something so counterintuitive and convoluted and pointless. Dick Grayson needs to be featured in stories designed to explore Dick Grayson, not stories that were written for Bruce Wayne. The Scarecrow is Bruce's villain. Jason Todd is Bruce's former sidekick. The Red Hood is Bruce's anti-hero antagonist. Dick Grayson has his own villains and his own stories and any story where Dick has to deal with baggage left behind by Bruce is a story that actually requires the ability to show the Batsuit and Bruce Wayne wearing it, something TITANS cannot seem to do.

**

There is this one Dick Grayson versus Jason Todd story that I really, really like, but nobody else does. It's called BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1-3, written and illustrated by Tony Daniel. After the events of FINAL CRISIS, Batman is believed dead. Gotham City goes insane as Black Mask, the Penguin and every supervillain with a gimmick starts gunning to be the biggest crime boss in town. Nightwing is reeling from Bruce's death and when asked if he'll assume the mantle, he refuses. No one could ever replace Bruce.

Tim Drake (Robin) and Nightwing start investigating who the worst threat is in Gotham's criminals gone mad -- only to find that a new player is simply shooting them to death. A savage thug wearing Batman's costume and wielding two automatic pistols bursts onto the scene. "I am Batman," says the newcomer and Robin and Nightwing immediately recognize him. It's Jason Todd. Dick refuses to put on the Batsuit and Tim, outraged, puts it on and confronts Jason.

Jason is deranged, savage, almost feral -- shattered with grief at Bruce's death and enraged that Bruce's non-lethal tactics left the city in this state should Batman ever die. Jason almost kills Tim and starts gunning for Dick. Dick pursues Jason and manages to box him in; Jason says that Dick knows Dick is no match for Jason; that's why Dick never even tried to be Batman. Everyone knows that Dick doesn't have what it takes to succeed Bruce or clean up his mess. Only Jason Todd does. It's what Bruce would want.

Dick plays Jason a video recording. It's a message that Bruce recorded to be played for Jason in the event of Bruce's death. Bruce, in the video, apologizes to Jason. He says he never realized or understood how broken Jason was until after Jason's 'death,' that Jason never the gifts needed for a superhero, only the rage needed for a fighter. Bruce says it is his fault that Jason is the way he is; Bruce says that this message being played means that he died. His dying wish would be for Jason to go to Dick, Alfred, Tim and let them help him; get him into psychiatric care, heal his fractured mind --

Jason flies into a rage that his mentor didn't see him as a contender to the mantle but a charity case. His fight with Dick sees him plunge off a train, refusing Dick's outstretched hand. Jason falls into the Gotham Bay, supposedly dead (haha, yeah right) and Nightwing watches Jason disappear, thinking of all the turning points in Jason's life and Dick's, how Jason could have reached out to any one of them and changed his path. But maybe, Dick thinks, there are times when he's seen his path in front of him and realized it has always been where he's going -- like now, where every battle and test has made Dick realize the truth of he who is and who he must become. He is Batman.

Absolutely nobody who has ever written or commented on BATTLE FOR THE COWL seems to like it, calling it total filler between FINAL CRISIS and the relaunched BATMAN AND ROBIN where Dick Grayson is Batman and Damian Wayne is Robin. Every reviewer has remarked that the comics could have simply gone straight from FINAL CRISIS to Dick Grayson's BATMAN AND ROBIN without any explanation; that it was perfectly self-evident that Dick would be the new Batman. Reviewers also remarked that BATTLE FOR THE COWL has Dick repeatedly refuse to be Batman only to fail to save Jason and then inexplicably put on the Batman costume in issue 3 for no stated reason.

I love it.

BATMAN #687 is "Battle for the Cowl: A Battle Within" by Judd Winick. In this issue, set after BATTLE FOR THE COWL #3, the criminals of Gotham keep getting defeated by non-lethal weaponry fired from the Batmobile, but the driver never shows himself. It's revealed that Dick is driving the Batmobile but still in his Nightwing costume. We flash to Bruce's private funeral with the Justice League present and Dick giving a eulogy, declaring that Batman lives. Batman's legend doesn't end. Batman will continue.

We see Dick Grayson in the Batcave, unable to adapt to the workspace, to Bruce's tools, Bruce's space, Bruce's world. And unwilling to wear the costume. Alfred asks Dick why he won't put on the uniform. Dick says he doesn't think he can be Bruce. "Then what the hell are you doing here?" Alfred asks.

Dick and Alfred decide to set up a new Batcave under the offices of the Wayne Foundation in the heart of Gotham City. "This will be me," says Dick. Dick says that he won't try to be Bruce; he will be his own version of Batman, he will make the mask his own in his way and with his own methods. Alfred promises that he won't do it alone and that nothing would make Damian happier. The issue ends with the Scarecrow mounting a gas attack on Gotham City only for Dick to show up to stop him, finally in the Batman costume. I loved this issue too. Reviewers found it repetitive with BATTLE FOR THE COWL having covered the same ground.

Winick wrote another four issues of BATMAN after this: "Long Shadows" in which Two Face notices that 'Batman' has been caught on camera. Bounding through the air acrobatically instead of carrying heavy loads of muscle on his frame. And smiling. Two Face hires a teleporting wizard (ah, comics) to track the location that the original Batman considers home -- to the Batcave under Wayne Manor (without knowing where he actually is). Dick (as Batman) goes to investigate and is savagely beaten by Two Face, with Two Face screaming that Dick is an impostor.

Batman doesn't smile. Batman doesn't do circus style flips. "Batman's gone!" Two Face shrieks. "So who the hell are you!?" Two Face demands to know where the real Batman is -- dead? Insane? Injured? But Dick manages to outmaneuver Two Face, get the drop on him, incapacitate him and Dick declares, "I'm not like you, Harvey. I'm not split down the middle like your coin. I can *change*." Two Face, beaten and about to fall unconscious, mutters, "It is you" before passing out.

Reviewers also really hated this storyline for being trite and simplistic. I adore it.

Of course, none of these are TITANS stories and all of them actually need to actually show Batman.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Anyone watching Peacemaker?  I think it's fantastic.

***********

I think Legends has been really good.  I really thought they were going to have Sarah become the new guardian of the timeline.  I think there would've been some poetry in that, but I guess I forgot about Ava.

Thawne's existance is so confusing.  How many of them are there, and why do they sometimes have different faces?

Batwoman is fine.  Superman and Lois has been solid so far.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

PEACEMAKER wasn't really on my radar! I am also not up to speed with STARGIRL, SUPERMAN AND LOIS and I only got to episode 7 of this year's LEGENDS. Will catch up next weekend!

I have been watching BATWOMAN and very pleased... although I will, of course, perpetually feel a longing for these stories to feature Kate Kane (whether Ruby Rose or Wallis Day) instead of Ryan Wilder. But the writers have made the best of what they have and Javicia Leslie is terrific.

The only thing that doesn't quiet work for me -- while Ryan and Sophie have great chemistry, it's unsettling to me that Ryan has been given Kate's suit, Kate's team, Kate's apartment, Kate's company and now Kate's girlfriend which brings me back to thinking this would all make more sense if it were Kate in these stories; if they had simply recast Kate with Wallis Day in the Season 2 premiere and played out the original script but kept Kate in-costume, shown her unmasked briefly with a shot of Ruby Rose from Season 1 (they still had the use of her image despite Rose's departure) -- and then had her severely burned to explain why the tattoos are gone when Wallis Day takes over and why her face is a little different after reconstruction.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Yeah they even have Wallis Day as Kate Kane.  But I agree that Javicia Leslie is good. 

The CEO stuff still bothers me.  If Wayne had three CEOs in a year (Kate, Ryan, and Marquis), all with no experience and all crazy young, the company would collapse.  I get that it's TV, but they clearly don't have any idea what a CEO is or what they do.  I think they should've just said "owner"

***********

Peacemaker is really fun and funny.  I'm really liking it.  I didn't think it was going to work after Suicide Squad (I thought Cena was good but that the character couldn't support a show), but it absolutely works.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I last heard that Wallis Day was filming a movie in Tunisia and hasn't been anywhere near Vancouver in months. Narratively -- I think it makes sense to let Javicia truly be the lead of BATWOMAN for Season 3.

But looking back now -- I think that the writers probably could have transitioned from Rub Rose to Wallis Day in a Season 2 premiere.

They kept using Ruby Rose's photograph throughout Season 2. Since they had the rights to her image even if they didn't have Rose herself, they did have a way of transitioning from Rose to Wallis Day, but it would have been *extremely* difficult.

They could have rewritten the original Season 1 finale into a Season 2 premiere.

2.1- "The Death of Kate Kane"
Opening scene: 'Bruce Wayne'/Hush gets the Kryptonite bullet for Alice. He doesn't encounter Kate because Kate hasn't taken off the Batsuit or gone to Wayne Tower in weeks: she is relentlessly hunting the Arkham escapees.

When we see Batwoman, she's in full costume, masked, played by Kelli Victoria Scarangello (Ruby Rose's stunt double).

https://i.ibb.co/nknYX8D/bat.jpg

Kate doesn't speak without using the Batwoman voice changer and she refuses to take off the mask: she has buried herself in the Batwoman persona due to her grief over her father's betrayal of Batwoman.

When Jacob Kane calls Kate, she picks up but won't speak. Jacob says he knows she's angry at his public decision to hunt Batwoman down but says he's doing his job. Batwoman doesn't answer.

Batwoman is tracking down another Arkham escapee, but when the Crow agents try to arrest her, the escapee gets away. Batwoman is furious . Luke, Mary and Julia urge her to come back to the batcave, take off the costume and address the situation with her father, reveal her identity -- and Batwoman refuses, growling in her vocoder-deepened voice that the problem isn't Kate Kane and Jacob Kane. The problem is the Crows and the Crows are going down tonight.

At this point, Alice delivers the Kryptonite bullet to Jacob in her personal revolver of choice, remarking that Batwoman is their shared enemy.

Batwoman sets a trap for all the Arkham escapees, luring them with false messages saying that there is a stockpile of weapons in an old warehouse that they could use to rule the city. She leaks the messages to the Crows, lets the Crows and the escapees fight it out and batlines Jacob out of the fight.

She snarls at Jacob: who the hell does he think he is to come after her? She notes that below them, the Crows are losing against the escapees. Jacob spits that Batwoman lured his men into a trap; she's responsible for every Crow who dies below. We see Sophie in mortal peril below.

Batwoman triggers a flood of thickening foam that encases and immobilizes everyone on the ground floor, Crow and criminal alike.

She tells Jacob that the Crows are useless, the police are inadequate, Batman is gone: there's only Batwoman and the incompetent Jacob Kane. Jacob strikes Batwoman. Batwoman tries to defend herself but pulls her punches.

Jacob remarks that she seems to be a little soft today and Batwoman breaks his nose. She recoils, horrified and what she's done to her father.  She tries to batline away, Jacob tackles her and her grappling hook punctures a gas line. She throws Jacob off, Jacob draws his standard sidearm, Batwoman throws off his aim and the shot triggers an gas fire.

Jacob descends to ground level to try to dig his people out of the hardened foam before the fire hits them. Batwoman sets off another chemical charge to desolidify the foam so that everyone can escape. But Jacob doesn't leave, pursuing Batwoman deeper into the burning building. They fight in the flames, Batwoman beats him down. From the floor, Jacob pulls out the revolver with the Kryptonite bullet and shoots to kill. Batwoman collapses. Jacob peels off her mask.

CUT TO: A shot of Ruby Rose unmasked, lying on the ground of the warehouse. This is unused footage from some previous episode I don't remember when Kate was unmasked and unconscious and in the suit. But surely it exists.

Jacob is horrified. Backs away several steps in shock and denial. It can't be Kate. It has to be a trick. "It can't be -- " he says. But then we stay on Jacob's face and hear Kate say, "Dad," in a reused audio clip from... again, I don't remember. But surely it exists.

Jacob turns to the warehouse exit, runs away from Kate and screaming that he needs help. Moving farther away from her, hoping his cries will be heard. Then he turns back towards Kate, starts to close the distance from them as she bleeds out. Jacob babbles that he's sorry  --

But then a portion of the ceiling collapses between him and Kate. Jacob rushes forward anyway, but then arms grab him behind -- it's Sophie. He tries to fight her off but she drags him out of the burning warehouse and Kate just before the building is consumed in flame with Kate Kane inside.

2.2 - "Burial"
Kate's body is missing, never recovered from the wreckage. The city erupts into chaos without Batwoman and Jacob is forced to join the bat-team of Luke, Mary, Julia and Parker to contain the situation. They gather at Kate's funeral and Jacob begs God to forgive him.

However, at the end, we find out that a False Face Society member was trapped in the warehouse too; he dug Kate out; the Kryptonite bullet was partially deflected by Kate's lead-lined wrist-gauntlet, going through her body and missing any vital organs. She survived and was brought to Black Mask and is unrecongizably scarred and now played by Wallis Day.

2.3 - "Batwoman Reborn"
The city is attacked and Batwoman reappears to save the day -- but it's a Batwoman with a damaged costume and barely any of the red wig. Batwoman returns to the Batcave, surprising Julia, Mary and Luke. Julia says the real Batwomanis dead and fights this supposed-impostor, but recognizes that this Batwoman has the same fighting style as Kate Kane.

She unmasks and it's Wallis Day, whom the characters recognize as Kate. She looks a little different and all the tattoos are gone. All her skin has regrown new and shifted a little. They question her and she has all of Kate's memories up to the fire. Kate says she doesn't remember how she was healed from her injuries or why her face isn't quite the same.

We later learn that Black Mask healed her body and has programmed a sleeper personality into Kate's mind to be triggered at the right point in his plan for revenge against Batwoman and Gotham City.

2.4 - "Unworthy"
'Bruce Wayne' returns and accuses Kate of being an impostor with poor plastic surgery trying to steal the Wayne fortune. He has her ousted from Wayne Enterprises. He then tells Kate he knows she's the real Kate, but that she was a failure as a superhero in every way and that she is unworthy to be Batwoman.

He shuts her out of the cave; he files for damages against Kate for mishandling his company and triggers a clause in her contract which will drive her to bankruptcy in having to repay all of Wayne Enterprise's costs. Kate is shattered. All she has left is her damaged, burnt, ragged Batwoman suit.

2.5 - "Deficient"
A destitute and homeless Kate tries to keep fighting crime on a budget of $15 a week, wearing an increasingly worn Batwoman costume without any of her gadgets. Due to her injuries and missing memories, Kate is unable to summon her former drive for combat or aptitude for danger. She realizes she no longer has the skill to be Batwoman. Kate is nearly killed and then Jacob Kane saves her.

2.6 - "Prodigal"
Kate confronts her father, blaming him for destroying Batwoman. She has lost everything: she has even lost her face and her voice. Jacob says that he was wrong to hunt down Batwoman. Jacob says that he hated Batwoman because he didn't have the full story; he does now and he's proud of his daughter. Any father would be. Anyone would be proud for Kate to carry their mantle and name.

Kate regroups and realizes that the Wayne who disowned her and threw her out cannot be the real Bruce Wayne.

2.7 - "Unmasked"
Kate realizes that Hush is impersonating Wayne as part of a twisted mindgame from Alice. She defeats him and reclaims the right to wear the suit (and for Wallis Day to wear it after Ruby Rose). For the first time, Wallis Day suits up in full as Batwoman.

This way, we don't just slot Wallis into Ruby Rose's costume and pretend there's no difference. Instead, the Wallis-version of Kate has to go through six episodes of hell before she gets to wear it.

Episodes 8 - 16 have Kate continuing to crime crime and investigate her mysterious recovery. At times, she is haunted by images of a duplicate Kate (with her new face) mocking her, telling her she's not good enough. She also reveals to the public that due to a motorcycle accident, she's had to have reconstructive surgery and was misreported as deceased.

We resume the stories that we would have with the Rose-version of Kate. And in episode 17, Black Mask triggers the sleeper programming and 'replaces' Kate with the Cersei Sionis personality, the mocking shadow in her psyche who now becomes the dominant personality.

And in episode 18, Mary and Luke find a way to restore the full Kate personality and we go from there into Season 3.

**

That said, I really like Season 2 of BATWOMAN as it aired and Ryan Wilder is wonderful. And I don't find fault with the show for refusing to recast Ruby Rose in this manner and only being able to ease into it later and ultimately deciding to have Ryan be the star going forward.

It was an impossible situation and they handled it really well. The fact that they didn't handle it as I would have is not a valid criticism.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Peacemaker was AWESOME, and I can't believe they pulled off (SPOILERS).  James Gunn needs to do more stuff.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

BATWOMAN had a good third season... so good that I wish they had stuck with the original character somehow. I wish they hadn't hired a notoriously flaky, unreliable, argumentative, volatile performer who had never done a long-term TV job to be the star of BATWOMAN. I love Javicia Leslie, but it's irksome that Leslie's Ryan Wilder has Kate's company, Kate's team, Kate's superhero codename, and now Kate's primary love interest, Sophie. If Ryan is so functionally similar to Kate Kane, why not just do it with Kate Kane? But I concede that the show would probably be just as awkward if all of Kate's supporting cast and surroundings were removed as well.

BATWOMAN has not been renewed for a fourth season yet.

LEGENDS had a good seventh season of comedy hijinks and a bizarre yet compelling choice in having Matt Ryan play a character who isn't Constantine. The gang's adventures through history were great fun and the show also ended its seventh season on a cliffhanger with no renewal announced as of yet.

I sure hope this doesn't blow up in their faces.

I am not caught up on STARGIRL or SUPERMAN AND LOIS or THE FLASH.

ireactions wrote:

I stopped reading comics awhile ago because spending $4 - 9 on a single 20 page comic book was economically unsound and superheroes were all over Netflix. However, I bought subscriptions to Marvel Unlimited and the new DC Universe Infinite apps because two $60 annual fees to Marvel and DC each is effectively $10 a month. Marvel Unlimited has a lot of gaps in its older material and new titles are added three months after they've gone on sale, but if you're working your way through their library from 2000 onward, it's a good deal.

Just make sure to read at least 15 individual DC issues and 15 individual Marvel issues and you'll have read the number of comics you could have bought individually in print for the same cost and you'll have gotten your money's worth.

I am not sure if DC Universe Infinite is as good a deal. They only add new titles six months after initial release -- which is fine for me since I'm still reading 2016 DC comic books. I don't know how complete their library is. However, Scott Snyder's entire run of BATMAN would cost me a lot more than $60 and it's all here, so that alone has justified at least a one year subscription for me.

I stayed home with a migraine today, but in the afternoon, I read the DARK NIGHT: METAL Batman crossover. Maybe it's this severe-then-mild headache, but I couldn't understand what was going on. I moved onto reading the FOREVER EVIL JUSTICE LEAGUE crossover and that I understood just fine, but I confess that a storyline of evil versions of the JLA attacking Earth is not exactly the most intellectually challenging even if the characterization is strong and there's a neat arc of Lex Luthor renouncing Evil to fight the eviler JLA.

I also note: DC Infinite's reading lists are good. Marvel Unlimited's app is kind of a mess in arranging all the separate issues of a crossover into the correct reading order. The SECRET EMPIRE / Captain America's history is rewritten to make him a Nazi storyline, for example, was missing entire sequences of comics in the supposed reading list and I had to turn to Wikipedia, Amazon and various fan sites to figure out what to read and in what order. In contrast, DC Infinite had all the issues of DARK NIGHT: METAL and FOREVER EVIL in the queue, listed in order -- so I can't say that DARK NIGHT: METAL was confusing because I missed some tie-in or ancillary issue.

I have to say, reading Lex Luthor inspired to join the JLA is kind of an emotional boost and makes me really keen to go to bed early and get back to work tomorrow. This is why I like superheroes.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I liked Batwoman, but the corporate stuff drove me crazy.  I'm not even that business savvy, but it just felt like a writers' room that has no idea how the corporate world works.  I don't think the season even has to change that much if the Wayne CEO storyline isn't that big of a deal.  The Wayne building was abandoned at some point, and there's a serial killer that's regularly there.  Have Marquis take over the building some other way.  It was just really weird to me.

Flash has been a lot more fun this year.  After thinking it needed to wrap up, maybe it's good that it was renewed.  I think the new blood has helped.

Superman & Lois is still strong, but is it on Earth 1?  I know Diggle showed up, but that's been the only indication that it's even in the Arrowverse (let alone Earth 1).  There was a recent episode where Superman was away, and they kept showing news clips of accidents going unhandled and no other heroes responding.  Where's Kara?  Where's any of the Justice League?  Obviously, I'd love to see more connections, but considering the timeline also seems really off, maybe it's best for it to just be it's own world.  Pllus, the Diggle episode didn't even feel connected to the other Diggle episodes.

I loved the Legends season.  I'll be sad if it doesn't come back, but I feel like they'd find a way to wrap up the characters in other shows.  I hope (SPOILER), who showed up in the finale, stays in the universe either way.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

LEGENDS cancelled on a cliffhanger with all the characters imprisoned. BATWOMAN cancelled with all the characters happy but a new threat rising from the ashes of the Season 3 villains.

*sigh* I'll have to get more into this tomorrow, I am too tired today.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

It seems to me that the longevity of lower-rated CW shows like LEGENDS and RIVERDALE was not due to ratings, but due to sales to streaming services where the audience was much higher and recouped any expense from the studio and network. This is why BATWOMAN got renewed for Season 3 so early into the 2021 Season 2.

However, the CW has apparently never been 'profitable'; the studios (Warner Bros. and ViacomCBS which own the CW) made money, but the broadcaster was only breaking even at best. The problem: the majority of the audience watching CW's shows don't watch them on the CW broadcaster. They watch them on streaming services; the CW itself is not a success, but their content has been successful. However, that content is mostly from WB.

At this point, Warner Bros. and Paramount are seeking to sell the CW off, effectively selling off their low-coverage TV broadcaster as Paramount wishes to focus on its Paramount Plus streaming service while Warner Bros. has turned its attention to HBOMax.

With the impending sale, the CW is no longer in a position to renew lower-rated shows as deficit financing where they lose money up front but see a lot more down the line for the parent company and the parent company happy to cover the broadcaster's losses. The CW is about to have a totally different parent company that would not see any of the future profits from an eighth season of LEGENDS or a fourth season of BATWOMAN.

Both shows likely filmed their finales not realizing that their broadcaster was being prepared to be sold off.

THE FLASH will finish out its run. SUPERMAN AND LOIS has an HBOMax deal. STARGIRL is likely fine. NAOMI is on the bubble. But unfortunately, the Arrowverse era is coming to a close for CW-aired, low-budget, low-rated, surviving-through-streaming superhero shows. And sadly, when economics turn against the continued survival of a show, the show will often be denied the chance for a proper finale and conclusion.

I'm sorry that LEGENDS and BATWOMAN are cancelled, but... I have somewhat mixed feelings about the demise of both. I guess I would say: I don't feel LEGENDS suffers too much for a cancellation despite the cliffhanger; the LEGENDS cliffhangers have never been a big deal and I don't feel worried about the characters. I know they will be fine.

And BATWOMAN... it's been a very peculiar journey and it has been confusing to love Kate Kane only for Kate Kane to suddenly disappear from the show and it was further confusing to welcome a new Kate Kane back only for her to leave again and it was confusing that Ryan Wilder, while wonderful, came aboard and promptly assumed Kate's company and Kate's team and Kate's girlfriend which leaves me confused as to why they didn't keep Kate 2.0 if they were just going to tell Kate's stories with Ryan.

I admit that while I am sad not to get more of Ryan and Luke and Mary and Alice... a part of me is a bit relieved that it's over even though I liked the show.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

BATWOMAN. *sigh* While I enjoyed the show and objectively, the writing, performances and production were strong, I became deeply uncomfortable with the show after Season 1. The show didn't do anything wrong, I just couldn't adjust my expectations accordingly to what the show had to do to fill more episodes. I liked the Ryan Wilder episodes. Seasons 2 - 3 were very good. But no matter how much I enjoyed Seasons 2 - 3, I was always wondering when Kate would come back. Those who sat through Seasons 3 - 5 of SLIDERS waiting for Arturo / Wade / Quinn will understand.

I wish that Season 2 had kept Kate Kane (Wallis Day) after her return. I would have loved to see Season 3 try to jump the narrative hurdle of having two Batwomans. But, not unfairly, the writers decided that it didn't make sense to have two versions of the same character.

There's also the fact that the writers were hesitant to keep Kate Kane on the show because they were grimly waiting for Ruby Rose to accuse their production team of abusive working conditions. They knew she was angry. They knew she'd be coming after them eventually.

I can see why production elected to give Kate Kane a good sendoff and write Day out; they were urgently trying to clear away Kate's onscreen legacy and wish her well and get her offscreen before Ruby Rose struck at which point Kate Kane's continued presence would make it impossible to get past Ruby Rose declaring that she hated the BATWOMAN TV show and everyone on it. That effectively, Kate Kane hated BATWOMAN and everyone involved in it.

Whether or not Rose's accusations are true (and I believe them up to a point and am unsure after that point), Ruby Rose turning against the show would have forced Wallis Day to either defend the show or validate the claims; to either turn against her own show or call a fellow performer a liar. This would have been untenable and production elected to avoid it by writing Day out fast.

Day was displeased; she thought Kate Kane would be present in Season 3 as a regular. She was apparently informed that it was a possibility; she was irritated that she wasn't told upfront that she was only going to be a Season 2 guest star.

In the end -- I always felt this uncomfortable distance from Seasons 2 - 3 of BATWOMAN no matter how much I adored it. Each week, I'd love the story but keep wondering how this week's episode would have played out with Kate instead of Ryan. I never regained my full comfort level with the show.

And I think it's simply because short-haired, angry lesbians with a chip on their shoulder and a resting scowl - -that's a sort of character I personally relate to a lot. Another Kate Kane-esque character I like is Elodie on the Netflix show TRINKETS, a troubled, grimfaced lady (played by Briana Hildebrand of Negasonic Teenage Warhead fame from DEADPOOL).

Season 2 did a good job of mining the discomfort of Kate's exit for drama. Season 3 did a good job of declaring that Ryan was the star of the show now and that Kate was not forgotten but was doing something else now. I don't criticize the show for making difficult choices in an impossible situation.

And also: I would have also been uncomfortable with Wallis Day taking over as Kate Kane, about as much as Ryan Wilder taking over Kate's role. Wallis Day, while bearing a superficial likeness to Ruby Rose, is not at all similar in style. Wallis Day accepts and employs the male gaze for her benefit, dressing like a pinup girl and posing if she has to. Wallis Day doesn't create a distant isolation from others like Ruby Rose.

Day's version of Kate Kane (or any character played by Day, really) is a tactile, humourous, winking, friendly presence. Wallis Day's Kate Kane was never going to have the original Kate Kane's disgruntled demeanor or her seething rage or her withdrawn bearing. Wallis Day's Kate was going to be 'nice' like Supergirl, and lacking in most of Rose's angst and torment. I would not have recognized this version of Kate Kane as the original character.

The truth is, the only thing that would have made me fully comfortable with Seasons 2 - 3 of BATWOMAN would be Ruby Rose playing Kate Kane and that was unfortunately not on the table after Season 1.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

That's interesting about the CW.  I think I'd heard (maybe here) that the CW wasn't profitable, but that makes sense.

I was thinking about it, and I think the Arrowverse should've ended with Crisis.  Go out with a huge multi-show crossover.  I know it wouldn't have been fair to some of the shows, but I think it would've felt right, especially for Oliver and Barry.

But where do we go from here?  As you said, I bet next season of the Flash will be its last.  I hope it can be a swan song for the whole Arrowverse.  I'd love to see the original Flash cast back, I'd love to see Stephen Amell return, and I'd love for them to find a way to wrap up Legends.  Maybe even Batwoman.  Stargirl is already on a different Earth, and Superman and Lois might as well be on another Earth.

I know it would cheapen the Flash's final season, but their best episodes have all been similarly Arrowverse-level arcs.  I'd love for the season to be less about Barry dealing with insecurities or Team Flash's side adventures and just a fun playground for the Arrowverse before it runs off into the distance.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I think it is very possible that THE FLASH's ninth and final season will be an anthology across the Arrowverse. Is it probable? I can't say that. But here's why it's possible: Grant Gustin is tired.  All the actors are rotating in and out of the show so that they don't have to work as much for Season 8. Seven seasons of a TV show has left them weary. Filming under pandemic protocols with isolation and segmenting has been soul crushing.

Grant Gustin is going to work even less for Season 9 because he's so worn out. Jesse L. Martin will also be reducing his commitment from rotating series regular to recurring guest-star for Season 9. Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker will probably stay in the rotation. Everyone is exhausted, pandemic protocols are tiring, and Grant Gustin is noticeably low energy onscreen in Season 8.

I wouldn't say his acting has become the equivalent of Jerry O'Connell in Season 4, but I'd say it's closer to Jerry O'Connell in "Eggheads" where Jerry is working hard but clearly spent, possibly due to "Eggheads" having taken up all of his strength with the sports matches.

With the actors tired and working less, it would make sense to bring in the BATWOMAN and LEGENDS and ARROW cast members to fill in the gaps that result when FLASH actors are absent.

With this approach, Diggle's arc could be completed with Barry helping Diggle settle... whatever was going on with him.

The future Canaries could be wrapped up with Chester visting the future to help Mia Smoak save William and cement Mia, Dinah and Black Siren as a team.

Caitlin and a guest-starring Cisco could visit Gotham to help dispatch whatever monster emerged at the end of Season 4 and help Kate Kane and Ryan Wilder agree to both be Batwoman.

The original Harrison Wells could help the Legends escape from the time prison.

It would be great.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

That would be absolutely great.  I'm in.  Make it happen.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Step one.

https://i.ibb.co/cCmDWkN/petition.jpg

Steps two to 13,405 are unfortunately not mine to take.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Hey, that will do! smile

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

NAOMI has been cancelled on the CW, that's another DC property ending on a cliffhanger like LEGENDS (a hard cliffhanger) and BATWOMAN (a soft cliffhanger). NAOMI wasn't in the Arrowverse, though, so I'd been waiting for it to finish so I could watch it all in a few days.

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO was also cancelled despite having yet to finish airing its fourth season (already filmed). CHARMED has been cancelled with four episodes still left to air. Both shows were from CBS (although WB had a partial production role for ROSWELL). I think, very simply, the CW wasn't earning enough money from these shows as their audiences were primarily streamers which makes money for WB and CBS but not for the CW itself -- which is an issue when WB and CBS are seeking to sell the CW, likely to Nexstar. CW can't keep airing shows that earn money for former owners but not itself and its future owners.

Some accounts claim that the studios (WB, CBS and Berlanti) wouldn't renew but that CW wanted to; it's likely that CW would have sought reduced broadcast licensing fees for final seasons of NAOMI, BATWOMAN, ROSWELL and CHARMED to keep the live broadcast viewers they had (even though it's likely a small number). The CW doesn't really have fans; it's the Arrowverse and CHARMED and ROSWELL that have fans. They wouldn't have wanted to alienate whatever audience they had. But the licensing fees for these shows were probably already low.

It's hard to make the economics work when the CW was a perpetual loss leader for the WB-CBS parent company that's now selling it off.

Creatively and financially, I think the best bet is for THE FLASH Season 9 to offer one extra episode to each of the cancelled ARROWVERSE shows and NAOMI that guest-stars a FLASH character.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I was also waiting until it was finished with season one to watch Naomi.  I guess I probably won't now.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

And from the world of comics, a late report: Tim Drake (the third Robin) came out as bisexual last year. Homophobic fans (like Kyle) hit the ceiling, shrieking that a straight character had been bent into homosexuality due to pandering. Tim Drake's creator, veteran superhero writer Chuck Dixon, is an low-key homophobe who has never said anything overtly homophobic but made coded declarations, saying that comic books should never teach children about "alternative" lifestyles. He expressed his contempt for Tim Drake being bisexual. I have noted it; now I'm going to ignore that and observe that the stories Chuck Dixon wrote for Tim Drake are actually a pretty consistent portrayal of Tim's closeted bisexuality (albeit unintentionally).

Dixon wrote the ROBIN title for 100 issues. Tim is written as a 15 year old whose genius-level technical and deductive skills have convinced Batman to make Tim his intern, to let him be Robin. Dixon did a great job on this book, balancing Robin's globe-trotting high adventure against mundane teen drama. Robin at night had to deal with death cults and genetic bombs and supervillains holding the city ransom; Tim Drake at school faced school shootings, teen pregnancies, and had to pretend he didn't know anything about hand to hand combat.

Dixon also dealt with sexuality in an extremely appropriate way for a comic book series about a teenager that I read as a teenager. Tim's first girlfriend, Ariana, invited Tim over to her house while her guardians were out; Ariana then stripped and kissed Tim. Tim stopped her and told her that he wasn't ready for this; that they weren't ready for this -- at which point the adults in Ariana's life suddenly came home early and were furious -- with Tim.

Tim was oblivious to female interest, sexually cautious and Tim Drake was an excellent role model for young boys experiencing sexual desire and in need of practicing sexual safety. Later, one of Tim's next girlfriends got pregnant from a previous boyfriend (not Tim), a very appropriate story for young boys who needed to know that careless sex could have consequences. This was what young, male readers needed to read.

However, re-reading Dixon's run now -- I don't find Tim's complete lack of sexual desire to be plausible when scripting a heterosexual 15 year old boy, even a bright and sweet young man like Tim Drake. I find that Tim's resistance to having sex with women is not believable; he doesn't struggle with it, he doesn't want to but refuse -- he simply says no as though he is internally opposed to sex with his wonderful girlfriend.

On this re-read, Tim comes off as sexually undecided; he isn't sure what he wants out of a romantic relationship and sex with beautiful, age appropriate women is something from which he reflexively, instinctively and immediately retreats. Like he has more to think about first.

It comes off as Tim being closeted, Tim not ready to confront that he is attracted to women AND men, Tim not willing to commit to the identity of being a heterosexual boy because he is on some level aware that he is isn't a heterosexual boy.

Was that Dixon's intention? Absolutely not. But authorial intent falls away in favour of the story on its own and lots of heterosexual parents are surprised when their kids are gay or bisexual. Dixon's writing was didactic; he wrote Tim reacting to the prospect of teen sex the way Dixon would want his own children to react. And the way DC would want Tim to react.

DC in the 90s was never going to let their teenaged Robin have sex before graduating from college, possibly not even before finishing grad school, and Tim was unlikely to ever finish high school for the duration of his floating timeline. Dixon never really had much choice in writing Tim's sex life; Tim in the 90s wasn't going to have one.

I imagine a more 'realistic' version of a heterosexual Tim telling Ariana that he doesn't want to just hook up while she's got an empty house; he'd like to plan a nicer date, maybe rent a room in a bed and breakfast; he'd like to get more romance into it than just the two being willing and having a home to themselves for a few hours. I imagine this 'realistically' heterosexual version of Tim telling Ariana that he wants to hold off just a little because he has a few books on female anatomy he'd like to finish reading so that he can perform as well as he can for what is likely to be an awkward first time.

It is absurd to think that Tim is heterosexual, 15 years old, and flat out unwilling to have sex with his very enthusiastic girlfriend because... his writer takes the view is sex is wrong and doesn't become right until some unspecified, undefined point. Dixon didn't do anything wrong in writing Tim this way; Tim is a superhero character, a fantasy vision of teenaged hypercomptence and morality. Tim is a well-written character and the fact that he's a little unbelievable isn't a problem in the unbelievable world of DC Comics.

But Dixon's version of Tim comes off as a closeted teenaged boy who avoids sex because he isn't ready to examine the fact that he desires sex with more than one gender. And this is quite an impressive unintentional achievement from an unrepentant homophobe.