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 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 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. … 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).

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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

Spoilers for Episode 18 of the Flash


So what are they doing with Diggle?  I've generally been an Arrowverse apologist, but the Diggle storyline is really bothering me.

As we all know, they've dropped hints that Diggle might actually be John Stewart, the famous Green Lantern.  From his family name to people asking him about his ring, there were seeds planted for a while that Diggle had a greater destiny.  Then, in the Arrow finale, Diggle finds a glowing green...something.  And it felt like a good end to the character.  Whether they're allowed to use Green Lantern on the CW or not, they pretty much said it.

Then Diggle came back - he was essentially the crossover for this year with all the covid restrictions.  He bounced around from show to show with his little box...and nothing really happened.  He had headaches and claimed to have turned down some sort of great opportunity, and now he wants another shot.  It all still pointed to a Green Lantern ring, and they're just delaying until they get some sort of permission.

Then Diggle shows up again, unexpectedly, talking to Thawne.  And Thawne helps him open the box with promises of cosmic adventures.  And...'s something else entirely?  And now that arc is over?  And now Diggle can teach young people about justice in his own non-Green Lantern spinoff?  What is this?

I get that David Ramsey is going to be in some spinoff, and the Green Lantern thing can't be hanging over him forever.  But it's pretty annoying to be teased with something for *years* for it to be written off like this.  Don't want to make him a Green Lantern?  Can't make him a green Lantern?

Fine, whatever.  But why not just have him reject it for good, on screen, with the same reasoning.  I don't want to leave my family to be an intergalactic cop.  Refer him to someone else - bring back Rene or Cisco or Wally.  Let them do it.  Make it vague if you have to, but don't just swap out the story.  Finish it.  Otherwise, what's the point?

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SUPERMAN AND LOIS is confirmed to not be set in the Arrowverse but a parallel Earth. … -revealed/

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

ireactions wrote:

SUPERMAN AND LOIS is confirmed to not be set in the Arrowverse but a parallel Earth. … -revealed/

I was just coming to say that.  It's weird, but I guess the Diggle is an alternate Diggle.  I wondered why they didn't mention anything about the box/ring in his first appearance on Superman & Lois, but it makes sense.  It also makes things so much easier on the show for him to be the only superhero in town.  Just like with Stargirl, it just needs to be separate for them to tell the kinds of stories they want.  If Kara was around (or even Team Flash), then I don't know if the Ally situation is as scary.  It needs to be Clark and his limited friends on their own for it to work.

Superman & Lois has also just never felt like a part of the Arrowverse.  And the timeline doesn't work either.


I think Flash's finale was...fine?  No spoilers, but I really don't think the "forces" storyline works.  And Thawne feels like less a big bad and more just a nuisance at this point.  I love Cavanaugh and that role, but I'm just tired of it.

The Flash has always had a villain problem.  I don't really have a solution, either.

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

Haven’t watched the Flash finale, but I read there was a hint of the villain Cobalt Blue.  That was an awful storyline featuring Barry’s long lost twin brother he never knew existed

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I am hoping to catch up with THE FLASH in the next few days. But it's funny. In Seasons 1 - 2, Eobard Thawne was the nightmare who haunted Barry's life. By Season 5, Thawne had become the mildly psychotic uncle whom you could expect to pop up at various points throughout the year, regularly dropping by for bizarre conversations tinged with malice and malevolence that would inevitably end in (a) a draw and (b) a promise to be back in 6 - 8 months. And Barry at this point isn't afraid of Thawne as much as resigned to Thawne passing in and out of his life a couple times a year.


Was Cobalt Blue pre or post Wally West in the 80s and 90s? I regret I'm not actually very familiar with the comic  book Barry, only Wally West.


SUPERMAN AND LOIS was meant to be in the Arrowverse. A crossover with BATWOMAN was mandated by the studio and network (with BATWOMAN showrunner Caroline Dries learning she was being ordered to do one in the press). The pilot script for S&L had Clark having a difficult time connecting with his sons because he remembered his pre-CRISIS life where he only had one son and Jonathan was a baby. Melissa Benoist's photo was supposed to be on Clark's desk in the Daily Planet. They were trying to see if they could have her at Martha Kent's funeral.

But then the pandemic hit. The BATWOMAN crossover was cancelled. Melissa Benoist couldn't guest-star on SUPERMAN AND LOIS as a featured player or even in a cameo, so rather than draw attention to it, they removed the prop photo. SUPERMAN AND LOIS also couldn't use the SUPERGIRL Fortress set, so they made their own and theirs was more expensive and looked nothing like the Supergirl version.

SUPERMAN AND LOIS, operating on a lengthier production schedule (and a bigger budget) than the other Arrowverse shows, couldn't sync up its storylines with SUPERGIRL, THE FLASH, BATWOMAN or LEGENDS. The writers had no idea what was going on with Diggle (but it sounds like no writer did). Then SUPERGIRL announced it was on its last season; SUPERMAN AND LOIS would never be able to do a crossover with SUPERGIRL even if pandemic restrictions eased.

By Season 2, THE FLASH was sure to be ending next year, BATWOMAN and LEGENDS were either cancelled this year or next year, pandemic restrictions were less strict but still restrictive for actors, and SUPERMAN AND LOIS couldn't tie into its now concluded parent show, SUPERGIRL. The Armageddon crossover on FLASH was so narrowly scheduled  that S&L couldn't connect. S&L had had minimal connection to LEGENDS and had no connection to the second-generation BATWOMAN lead.

There was no worthwhile reason to crossover with any of these shows, especially with all the risks to the actors and the strain of scheduling them to alleviate risks.

SUPERMAN AND LOIS had, purely through circumstance rather than decision, drifted away from the Arrowverse. So, as they reached the end of Season 2, they accepted it and declared that the other shows were in a parallel universe. They played the hand that COVID dealt them.

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

I am as caught up with THE FLASH as I can be. The Season 8 finale isn't on Netflix until tomorrow for me.

I guess... the episodes are okay. They're trying to give Grant Gustin less to do, so the supporting cast is coming to the forefront. It's weird that Season 7 was all about Barry and Iris nonsensically addressing the grown adults who were the "Forces" as their children and accepting them and loving them; now the Forces are villains and none of them have costumes.

When Thawne returned at the end of Episode 19, Barry had a bleak, resigned look on his face like he was once again facing down that annoying uncle who keeps showing up at family dinners and it'll be up to Barry to steal his car keys so he can't drive drunk and to lock him in a bedroom to sleep it off before he starts a fight. Thawne is just that obnoxious relative with whom Barry has developed a grim acceptance in knowing he'll never truly be rid of him while noting that this relative is too inept and clumsy to ever do any more damage at this point.

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

TemporalFlux wrote:

Haven’t watched the Flash finale, but I read there was a hint of the villain Cobalt Blue.  That was an awful storyline featuring Barry’s long lost twin brother he never knew existed

It was just a vague reference to the color blue.  I'm sure they could go any direction they want, but I'm assuming it would be Cobalt Blue.

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

I finished the finale. It was okay. We've seen it all before: a faceoff with Thawne, increased powers, another victory, Barry's present and future family gathering. At this point, they could just mix and match Season 7 footage with Season 8 and the drama would be about as impactful.

I looked up Cobalt Blue. The character was apparently created during the Wally West era by FLASH visionary writer Mark Waid and debuted during the Wally era in a storyline called "Chain Lightning". I somehow missed this block of issues back in the 90s. I should read it on the DC Infinite app and see if TF is right that it's awful. Mark Waid is a genius, but Waid left the title a year after "Chain Lightning" due to what he described as burnout, so it wouldn't surprise me if "Chain Lightning" is where it started to go downhill.

It's interesting. Waid loved writing THE FLASH because he was a very impatient person and identified with the character. But eight years after he started, Waid said that he had become a more patient person and could no longer write the Flash.

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

Then Diggle shows up again, unexpectedly, talking to Thawne.  And Thawne helps him open the box with promises of cosmic adventures.  And...'s something else entirely?  And now that arc is over?  And now Diggle can teach young people about justice in his own non-Green Lantern spinoff?  What is this?

I thought I saw the Green Lantern emblem in the glow of the box that Diggle threw. I thought the point was that Diggle had decided to reject the GL ring because it would take him away from his wife and children.

Apparently, the script for this was written at a time when THE FLASH had no Season 9 renewal, so the showrunner decided to end the Diggle arc as he'd learned that it wouldn't continue on SUPERMAN AND LOIS (different universe) and that BATWOMAN and LEGENDS were also facing a risk of cancellation (that became confirmed).

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

So, the CW was just sold to Nexstar for zero dollars: … llars-al1/

In the deal, Nexstar instead assumed $100 million in debt.  The channel apparently hasn’t been doing as well as it appeared.

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

I would say that CW has done extremely well for Berlanti Productions and for Warner Bros., propping up content that Berlanti and WB have sold to international broadcasters, to streaming services, all of which greatly enriched BerlantiP and WB while the CW was only seeing money from commercials during their broadcasts. Since CW was a joint venture between WB and CBS, WB was inclined to keep it going by managing its debt and covering its operating costs -- except WB now has HBO Max that it owns outright, at which point CW became a less attractive location for WB programming.

I've read that Nexstar's primary interest in CW is not their content and licensing deals or anything to do with WB's DC properties. They want the broadcasting infrastructure: the networks and channels across every state. Their goal is to sell mid-range priced air time to political parties, thinktanks, support teams and publicity/propaganda organizations for American elections. They want to be a platform that can be rented to anyone who has the money and interest in trying to get themselves or someone else elected to any and every political office in the United States.

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

ireactions wrote:

I thought I saw the Green Lantern emblem in the glow of the box that Diggle threw. I thought the point was that Diggle had decided to reject the GL ring because it would take him away from his wife and children.

I rewatched and I don't see the logo.  Either way, if the intention was that it was ring and Diggle just rejected it, that's an okay explanation.  I figured they were making the box something else (whatever Bleed Mandrakk is that Thawne references) as some sort of Season 9 tease.

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

You're right. The logo isn't there.

I just thought I saw it because the top bar read to me as the lantern emblem. Maybe that was the intention without having to pay any licensing fee to WB for GL. But you are correct that the logo is not present.

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

Ha, I looked pretty hard.  I think you're right that they have a bar and a circle, but maybe it was a rights thing.  I wish they were able to be a bit more direct about it, but I can accept the subtext of it definitely being a Green Lantern ring that he was able to turn down.

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

It's interesting: the CW executive team says they warned the showrunners on THE FLASH, BATWOMAN and LEGENDS: 2022 could potentially be their final seasons. The CW told all the shows that series finales were strongly advised. In response, THE FLASH wrapped up Diggle's plot (and, I guess, decided not to license the GL logo?). BATWOMAN had a finale to their season but had less a cliffhanger ending and more a teaser for Season 4; if there were no Season 4, fans could, in rewatches, stop watching a couple minutes early. But LEGENDS went for a full-blown cliffhanger and after the cancellation, showrunner Keto Shimizu apologized, saying it wasn't the CW's fault and that she'd been given advance warning, took a gamble and it didn't work out.


In a podcast recorded before LEGENDS' cancellation, Michael Rosenbaum interviewed Caity Lotz. She said that the first two seasons of LEGENDS were filmed with the showrunners in Los Angeles and the production team in Vancouver having no creative control over the show, forced to follow whatever direction came out of LA even when it was at odds with the on-site situation. This apparently led to rampant overwork for the actors and Lotz, while not naming names, said that several actors were keen to quit.

This explains why LEGENDS lost Rip, Hawkgirl and Hawkman. It is also likely why a lot of LEGENDS' scripts didn't seem to be properly edited; whenever filming issues arose, there was no on-set writer to amend the issues. Lotz says that only with Season 3 did LEGENDS have an on-set producer with authority to make creative changes in response to production issues.

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I figured they were making the box something else (whatever Bleed Mandrakk is that Thawne references) as some sort of Season 9 tease.

I haven’t really bern watching any of these since Crisis, but The Bleed is the area between parallel realities (kind of like the area outside of a sliding tunnel on Sliders).  In DC Comics, the Bleed is primarily red, and that’s what created the red skies during Crisis (as reality was collapsing)

Mandrakk would then likely refer to this:

The Monitors being primarily connected to the multiverse and all areas in between (such as The Bleed).

Given Mandrakk’s connection to the Dark Multiverse, the mention could also relate to the appearance of Red Death that’s been teased on CW’s Flash.

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

"The Bleed," interestingly, didn't originate in a DC comic, but in Wildstorm's 1998 STORMWATCH, followed by THE AUTHORITY. It was described as the space between dimensions. Wildstorm was originally an imprint under Image Comics run by Jim Lee and THE AUTHORITY was a spin-off/sequel/rebranding of the mature (but still heroic) superhero title STORMWATCH and became even more mature but still heroic.

When I say "mature" superhero, I don't mean like THE BOYS; THE AUTHORITY had the superheroes trying to remove the US from Iraq and Afghanistan, disarm North Korea, end third world slave labour, etc. The Authority superhero team used the Bleed as a means of instantaneous teleportation. The Bleed was represented in a red colour, same as the red skies of 1985.

Calling the interdimensional space "the bleed" was a joke from (disgraced) writer Warren Ellis. In print, the "bleed" is when you have artwork that is printed to the very edge of the page. It's necessary to have the art be physically larger than the dimensions of the page so that the paper can be cut with a margin of error and the image is still printed to the edge. "Bleed" is the extra part of the page/image that you can cut.

In a comic book context, the bleed is literally the space outside the pages. (The space between the panels is called the gutter.) "The Bleed" was also used as a source of infinite power to fuel machines in the WILDCATS series.

In 1999, Wildstorm founder Jim Lee moved his company out of Image and sold it lock, stock and barrel to DC Comics. DC kept Wildstorm going for a time as a separate comic book imprint apart from DC continuity, albeit with some crossover issues where Wildstorm's Mr. Majestic met Superman in 2005. These issues of SUPERMAN with Majestic established that the Bleed was (now) part of the DC Universe with the DC Earth as Earth One and the Wildstorm Earth as Earth-50.

In 2008, the FINAL CRISIS comic said that the red skies of CRISIS had been the Bleed collapsing into the DC Universe, retroactively making the 1985 CRISIS the first appearance of the Bleed after all.

Despite this integration, Wildstorm began experiencing severe editorial interference from DC's executive team: issues of THE AUTHORITY with real-world politicians were re-edited to remove public figures, DC slashed Wildstorm's budgets madly and pulped and cancelled various serieses that DC deemed too mature.

The most shocking casualty: THE BOYS. THE BOYS comic book debuted under the Wildstorm imprint (but in its own continuity). After a few issues, DC higher ups were horrified by the Homelander being a twisted inversion of Superman and refused to publish it. DC released THE BOYS back to its creator, Garth Ennis, who took the series to Dynamite for the remainder of its time on the stands.

In another massive screwup, Wildstorm attempted a high profile relaunch of all of its superhero properties with superstar writer Grant Morrison writing new runs of THE AUTHORITY and WILDCATS -- but inexplicably, DC pulled Morrison off his Wildstorm assignments after he had only finished two issues of AUTHORITY and one issue of WILDCATS, leaving both incomplete. Wildstorm still published the other titles (GEN 13, MIDNIGHTER) -- but the lower profile titles had no support from the absent flagship titles. It was as though Marvel had somehow failed to release the CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR movie but released the Thor internet short where he gets a roommate.

Wildstorm attempted another relaunch with the WORLD's END event where the superheroes fail to stop a global nuclear crisis and are now superheroes in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. At this point, most of the readership had given up on Wildstorm and DC shut the imprint down in 2011.

In 2011, DC also relaunched all of the DC superhero titles and Wildstorm characters were now shown to be part of DC's new continuity, its characters retroactively folded into DC's entire history. This included the Bleed concept.

Anyway. In a TV context, it might not make sense to call the Bleed by the same name. It might make more sense as the space outside the narrative of the TV show. It might be "The Commercial" or "The Credits" or "Dead Air."

I imagine it'll still be called the Bleed.

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

TemporalFlux wrote:
Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I figured they were making the box something else (whatever Bleed Mandrakk is that Thawne references) as some sort of Season 9 tease.

I haven’t really bern watching any of these since Crisis, but The Bleed is the area between parallel realities (kind of like the area outside of a sliding tunnel on Sliders).  In DC Comics, the Bleed is primarily red, and that’s what created the red skies during Crisis (as reality was collapsing)

Mandrakk would then likely refer to this:

The Monitors being primarily connected to the multiverse and all areas in between (such as The Bleed).

Given Mandrakk’s connection to the Dark Multiverse, the mention could also relate to the appearance of Red Death that’s been teased on CW’s Flash.

I knew you guys wouldn't let me down big_smile

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

Sick at home today, turned on Season 2 of STARGIRL and... couldn't follow what was going on at all. Who are these people? What are they talking about? What are their powers and codenames?

I realized, despite adoring Season 1, I had somehow forgotten all of it. But that's okay. STARGIRL is a great show and I'm happy to start at Season 1 again.

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

Season 9 of THE FLASH will be 13 episodes and be the final year for the show and the Arrowverse as a whole: … 235190162/

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

I hope they get a way to put a bow on the Arrowverse.  If it just kinda ends, I'd be a little sad.

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

And it sounds like HBO Max is getting dismantled.  I wonder what that means for Peacemaker (although Gunn says it's fine), Titans, Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, and other DC shows on the site.

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

I am cautiously optimistic that HBO Max will flourish and thrive under WB-Discovery. I am wary of the people involved; I don't like how the WB-Discovery team led by David Zaslav seems to consist entirely of white men -- but for the moment, they say that they intend to maintain and extend HBO Max's scripted series programming with increased investment even as they move it to the Discovery streaming platform (technologically). … n-hbo-max/

Zaslav says that WB-Discovery won't release films just to make a fiscal quarter or until they are ready; this is the exact reverse of the WB regime that rushed JUSTICE LEAGUE to theatres with incomplete effects. … 235085520/

I feel nervousness towards Zaslav. I have heard that in terms of business, he is a slash and burn artist and a potential micromanager. He could be like David Peckinpah but sober. I've also heard that he is gregarious and charming, as friendly as Cleavant Derricks and Jerry O'Connell after a pot of coffee. That could be true or it could be Zaslav's PR team talking.

But at the end of the day, he wants to make money. He wants WB-Discovery to make money with DC properties and he is saying in the press that he believes WB-Discovery will make money if WB-Discovery fosters an environment where DC properties are managed by a Kevin Feige equivalent that can actually produce, film and release Superman and other DC movies that are successful and profitable.

However, his vision of profitability may involve massive layoffs, dismissing creative voices, prioritizing Caucasian male-driven projects, ending successful licensing deals with Berlanti Productions, reducing HBO Max to nothing, cancelling SUPERMAN AND LOIS, cancelling STARGIRL, etc.. That's what many worried fans are speculating. I hope that isn't the case. Zaslav says that WB-Discovery needs to exploit their DC intellectual property rather than be the studio that owns Superman and can't seem to produce any Superman movies.

I don't know if he'll be an improvement on the previous regime of Kevin Tsujihara (who handled JUSTICE LEAGUE) and Walter Hamada (who handled/didn't handle Ezra Miller). It is possible that Zaslav will see that treating creatives and characters well is profitable and it's his job to make WB profitable.

Tom Rothman is the FOX executive responsible for the disastrous X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (actual title), but in the years since, he facilitated the Marvel-consulted Spider-Man moves and launched INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE into cinematic history. Robert Greenblatt is the FOX executive who repeatedly cancelled SLIDERS and pushed for SLIDERS to bring in a male gaze designed character like Maggie Beckett, but he also saved NBC's CHUCK for a third, fourth and fifth season. Zaslav could be great. He could also be bad for DC... but DC was already in a lousy place with its films.