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

One thing I didn’t realize, Allegra was created by Eric Wallace in Titans vol 2 #28:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1620/8083/products/AUG100134_grande.jpg

So that would explain why she was given a regular part.  Creators naturally have favor for characters they made, but it didn’t hurt that Wallace was likely getting an extra fee every time he used the character in Flash.

DC Warner has been good about paying those creator fees.  Jim Starlin even noted that his fee for the appearance of KGBeast in Batman v Superman was more than he got for Thanos.  What makes that even more amusing is that you couldn’t even recognize the KGBeast in that appearance; you had to know his civilian name and put two and two together.

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From a creative standpoint, it's also likely that the Allegra character allowed Wallace a lot more freedom. There are ultimately going to be restrictions on what a TV adaptation is licensed to do with Barry Allen, Iris West, Wally West, Caitlin Snow, Eobard Thawne, etc., whereas DC isn't going to take issue with "Allegra" because barely anyone knows who she is.

Not that Eric Wallace seemed to do very much anyway with anyone. *sigh*

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Yeah.  Again, I know what I would've done with the season, either if I wanted to wrap up the Arrowverse or just the Flash.  Maybe my idea wouldn't have worked that well either, but at least it would've been something.  This season wasn't really about anything, even if you look at it the way Wallace does (as a couple different graphic novels).

Wallace talked about how he needed all 13 episodes to properly wrap up Barry's story.  I think he could've easily done everything he did in season 9 in 6 episodes.  The premiere, one episode for the Red Death, the Oliver episode, and three episodes for a finale.  I'd probably do an entire episode getting Eddie from "who is this guy?" to Cobalt Blue, the episode where Barry goes back and deals with Thawne, and the finale.

That's really all they needed.  So Wallace either needed to tell a bigger story (so there's less wasting time) or spent more time on the rest of the Arrowverse.

That all being said, I think the Flash was still an overall success.  It never got great after season one, but it was watchable all the way through.

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Spoilers from Superman & Lois

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So at the end of the latest episode, Kyle comes to the farm to confront Clark, and Clark ends up having to reveal his identity so he can woosh off and save the day.

...has that really never happened to him?  I would imagine it would happen all the time with other parents at school, commitments at work, or other situations where Clark is one on one with someone who refuses to leave.  I would think Clark would be more prepared for that because I would think most people wouldn't take "we have to deal with this later" as an excuse.

I would think Clark would be able to superspeed and "vulcan neck pinch" someone or something.

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I'm not sure. Generally, most stories where Clark has to leave to become Superman are set in cities. In LOIS AND CLARK, Clark would claim to have to check his mail or return an overdue VHS to a rental or pick up dry cleaning or make an appointment and just flee the scene, diving around a corner or down some stairs or into an elevator or whatnot. Clark is usually in a city. It's unusual for Clark to be cornered at a remote location where he can't urgently charge off to go around or down some structure.

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It is amusing that Wallace now wants others to do what he wouldn’t do himself:

https://bamsmackpow.com/2023/06/03/the- … -and-lois/

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I assume Wallace understands that he may have screwed things up.  I think either he was caught off guard by the end of the Arrowverse or found himself unable to do anything about it.  Again, it's not his responsibility to close up the entire Arrowverse, but I wish he would've said those things if that was the case.  "Look, all I could do was wrap up Barry's story" plays differently than "I would've done X and Y but I only had 13 episode and I needed to use all 13 of those to finish Barry's story."

Because as we all saw, Wallace wasted so many of those episodes.

It's probably unfair to judge him based on the fact that season 9 was the last season of the Arrowverse.  If, say, Batwoman had been the last season of the Arrowverse, it probably wouldn't have been able to do much better.  Legends was probably the most equipped for many reasons.

But I still think Wallace could've done a much better job.

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It's baffling to me how Wallace chose to use his resources. Two episodes of Javicia Leslie: she spends them not playing Ryan Wilder except in two scenes. Reduced availability of Grant Gustin: he's wasted in standalones and is absent for half of the series finale arc instead of filming the series finale earlier when Gustin was in fuller availability. Full use of Danielle Panabaker: she spends the season playing a character who isn't Frost and isn't Caitlin. Multiple episodes with limited availability for Grant Gustin: Wallace claims there wasn't enough space to do Arrowverse finale stories and hopes SUPERMAN AND LOIS will do it instead.

I don't get it. I liked the finale, though, having all the speedster villains.

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And I think it was annoying they couldn't get Carlos Valdes back.  I get that actors get busy and I'm sure traveling around the country to shoot a scene isn't fun, but that should've been a priority (just like it was a major priority to get Michael Rosenbaum back for Smallville).  Cisco was a major player in the series and arguably its most beloved character.  The show clearly dipped when he left.  An even if he'd shown up on a video chat, that would've been better than literally nothing.  Unless there's something behind the scenes that no one has talked about, Valdes was happy to come back.  If he couldn't make it back for the finale, plan something earlier.  The finale was four episodes long so I assume they filmed for four weeks.

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Superman & Lois has been renewed for a ten-episode season four.

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I will have some thoughts on the potential budget cut tomorrow.

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

I read that the actor that plays General Lane has already been told he's not coming back.  If the budget cuts are severe enough, I don't know if it really benefits the show to come back.  I'd almost rather bring it back for a "special event" - a small handful of episodes that would finish the story.  Maybe the "Superman" effects are really easy to do now for cheap, but the show has been really good in terms of making Superman look and feel real.  If they're going to scale that back that it looks cheap, I'd almost rather it not come back at all.

Maybe they can do 10 episodes that still look good.  I hope so.

If not, here's how I'd pitch it in the writers room:

IDEA ONE - Kandor.  I'd bring the whole family (no Lana, no Lana's family, no other cast) into the bottle city of Kandor.  I don't know if it'd be cheaper to film on an alien-looking set, but Clark wouldn't have any powers and they could explore some of Clark's Krypton side.  Let them out in the finale to wrap up the Smallville storylines, but you'd reduce the cast and take superpowers out of it.

IDEA TWO - Clark is permanently depowered.  Maybe use gold kryptonite.  Maybe use Mister Mxyzptlk.  Make something up.  Doesn't really matter.  Take away his powers (and I guess Jordan loses his powers too) and essentially make this Clark's retirement story.  Jordan has to deal with the fact that he's back to being a normal teenager again (and maybe Jonthan enjoys it a little too much) and Clark has to deal with the fact that he's not Superman anymore.  You could have the main villain of the story be just the concept of aging and not beiing able to do what you used to do.  Maybe the town struggles and Clark has to watch Smallville slowly weaken away too.  Maybe there's a bully in town and Clark can no longer defend himself or his family the way he once did.  Maybe they can save up some budget for a big finale where Clark finds a way to return his powers and uses it on Jordan so he can be the next Superman.  Or maybe they both get their powers back and Jordan gets to be Superboy.  Either way, it would just be a normal family drama for most of the season so that should save most of the CGI budget.

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Well, the actors playing Lana, Kyle, Sarah, John Henry, and Chrissy have all been axed as regulars as well.  So maybe we're going to spend a season in Kandor!

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I've seen situations like this before.

CHUCK, a peculiar blend of JAMES BOND and THE IT CROWD, had a serious budget cut for its fourth and fifth seasons. The show lost one cast member and the JAMES BOND style action was reduced in favour of IT CROWD sitcom antics and significantly less action. Characters spent episodes running around their underground bunker base or inside the set of the big box electronics store.

BLINDSPOT, a high action procedural featuring Jaimie Alexander (Sif from THOR) fighting crime, had a serious budget cut for its fifth and final season of 11 episodes. The show lost a cast member. The regular hand-to-hand combat scenes with Jaimie Alexander were lost. Eight of the 11 episodes had no location shooting and few guest stars and were filmed in an enclosed studio space (a bunker, a basement) or the FBI office.

However, both CHUCK and BLINDSPOT saved so much money on bottle episodes that the series finales were lavish productions filled with returning guest stars, exorbitant stunts, extensive location filming, extended action sequences, and where the episodes leading up to the finale felt like low budget web series tie-ins, the series finales themselves felt like big budget feature films.

In both cases, CHUCK and BLINDSPOT elected to keep as much of the cast as they could afford and accepted a loss of scale, special effects, action and location filming. It looks like SUPERMAN AND LOIS has made the opposite choice and chosen to maintain production value (special effects) at the expense of its cast. There seems to be some chance of the departing regulars staying on as guest-stars. However, given the costliness of SUPERMAN AND LOIS' special effects, it's likely that the visuals will also be taking a downgrade.

We might see something like that with SUPERMAN AND LOIS: the season premiere two parter featuring the usual Smallville cast only for Clark, Lois, Jonathan, Jordan and Lex to be shunted into the Phantom Zone or the city of Kandor or wherever requires few guest-stars and limited location filming. Then they escape at the end of Episode 8 and the two part series finale features the full cast and all the savings of Episodes 3 - 8 being put into the series finale.

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Well if the plan is to have a low-key season 4 devoid of CG, that's not really the way to set it up!

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

I haven't watched SUPERMAN AND LOIS' third season yet. I've been too tired to watch something that I want to enjoy with full attention, so I put on the fourth season of TITANS while doing various chores. It's a baffling series to me, using a grab bag of leftover copyrights after other licensors took Batman, Superman and the rest.

It's still up to its old habits of overpromising and underdelivering: it teases an appearance from Superman but they don't have the license, so we just get a note; Bruce Wayne corresponds via unheard phone calls; Lex Luthor is only permitted a brief appearance. Season 3 wasted a year trying to tell the story of BATMAN: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY and BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD without using Batman and Season 4 seems to nod at this bizarre trait before going into a story that, despite its flaws, actually pertains to the Titans.

The story this year seems to have an inciting antagonist and then it sparks very separate plotlines for all the characters as each episode splits them up for something else. I continue to be unsure as to how these arcs are thematically linked by anything more than moody lighting and severe cinematography and high-stress performances. I would say that for the previous three seasons too.

The series continues to emphasize bombast and moody visual spectacle for superhumans. TITANS' protagonists spend most of their time fighting their grudge matches and enmities with old enemies and very little time protecting innocents and saving people. There seems to be some congitive dissonance where Nightwing and Tim Drake kill at least one henchman in the heat of combat but Nightwing later declares that the Titans don't kill.

In previous seasons, the Titans killed various people in combat and were eager to abandon people in trouble and also let Jason Todd murder various victims and wander off freely. Raven has a lot of lines and some lip service to helping people, but for the most part, these superheroes do nothing heroic. Season 3 continues with more of the same and seems to think that these depressed, dour people have won the audience's loyalty.

I really don't get it. I don't understand why all these characters are in the show, and TITANS is using a grimdark aesthetic to make the shallow and thin seem deep and complicated. The show is well-cast, visually compelling, technically proficient and not exactly terrible, but I don't know why anyone would make a superhero show where they're never really heroes or why they would do it with the TEEN TITANS copyright. But it's inoffensive while I'm refilling Sodastream bottles and folding socks and doing other such tasks.

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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Spoilers from Superman & Lois

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So at the end of the latest episode, Kyle comes to the farm to confront Clark, and Clark ends up having to reveal his identity so he can woosh off and save the day.

...has that really never happened to him?  I would imagine it would happen all the time with other parents at school, commitments at work, or other situations where Clark is one on one with someone who refuses to leave.  I would think Clark would be more prepared for that because I would think most people wouldn't take "we have to deal with this later" as an excuse.

I would think Clark would be able to superspeed and "vulcan neck pinch" someone or something.

Sorry for the long delay. I didn't have time to give SUPERMAN AND LOIS my full attention until the past week when I was stuck at home with COVID.

I have to say, this situation did not make a lot of sense visually. Clark could have refused to talk to Kyle, gone back into the house, supersped out the back, run a few miles, and then flown into the sky.

There was really no reason for Clark to use his superstrength and superspeed in front of Kyle. This was a bit forced.

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

Yeah I thought it was bizarre and something Clark should be more prepared for.

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

A bit of a tangent: James Bamford, who directed many, many, many episodes of ARROW and established the overall visual style of the show (heightened, exaggerated superhero fantasy) directed a movie called AIR FORCE ONE DOWN. This is a very silly yet incredibly self-serious direct to streaming film about Secret Service Agent Allison Miles (played by Katherine McNamara who was Oliver's daughter Mia on ARROW) who has to defend the President of the United States (Ian Bohen) when Air Force One is hijacked and Allison and the president have to parachute into hostile territory.

Bamford is an amazing TV director who seems be working on a maybe $5 million budget and Bamford capably makes it look like a $10 million movie, filmed in Bulgaria, using stock footage and greenscreen backgrounds to create the feeling of Washington, DC and TV quality sets to show a somewhat spartan but adequate Air Force One interior.

Bamford added a real sense of myth and legend and a larger than life quality to ARROW, and AIR FORCE ONE DOWN attempts to do the same with sweeping shots of the White House, of Air Force One, of the president's motorcade... while keeping shots angled to avoid having to show too many cars or extras, and with a booming orchestral based score to convey reverence and importance to America's political landmarks. This style, applied to superhero costumes and combat, seemed joyfully fantastic; applied to US fixtures, it seems... awkwardly jingoistic.

There's a crisp efficiency to this movie as character names are established in onscreen text. There's a lot of silliness that seems fine on ARROW but absurd in a more 'realistic' situation such as the absurd ease with which terrorists infiltrate Air Force One.

But I am mostly watching for the combat, to watch Katherine McNamara's Allison Miles dodge, punch, kick, roll, leap, dive and beat the hell out of angry men in all the ways I wished we could have seen her do on that GREEN ARROW AND THE CANARIES series that didn't get picked up. There is a terrifying savagery to McNamara's action sequences where she tears apart villains in a way that the CW would never have been willing to broadcast.

There's an insane sequence where Miles alone guns down what has to be 40 soldiers as she storms through an enemy base and conveniently, no one ever comes at her from behind while her back is turned, all in an attempt at one prolonged tracking shot with cuts masked by morphing or strobing lights or McNamara's hair whipping past the camera.

Also interestingly, Bamford insists on letting Miles get injured and slowed, whereas ARROW's superheroes could take blow after blow and never miss a step. Bamford making McNamara's character endure injury and pain adds a sense of peril for Miles that Mia Smoak never had.

If you ever wonder what the ARROW house style of direction would look like on a non DC property, AIR FORCE ONE DOWN is probably it. It's comes off as a ridiculously self-important B-movie... but still kind of fun.