Comics Weeks in Review – 2 for 1 special!

Well because of… things, I ended up without internet for two weeks.  But now I’m back! (not from outer space) and as thanks for your patience, I’m giving everybody a special 2 for 1 deal!  While I’ll have to keep these brief to get them all in, most of them were lighter episodes that did

the Flash

(2.06) Enter Zoom

Well… we get a downright wacky episode, that ends on shockingly somber note.


Which is weird because, I know this hasn’t been seen before, but it feels like it has.  Even though evil!Flash didn’t harm Barry like this and then parade him around town, doesn’t part of you sort of feel like he did?  I may have to go back and rewatch some of S1 to say for certain.

Otherwise this is our confirmation that something really is off about Zoom, he seems far more like a literal monster than just an empowered human.  Is his suit an effect or is that just how he is now?  This is one time my level of comic book knowledge is really leaving me in the dark and… it’s kind of fun.

All in all… the humor usually worked and I liked how the characters developed this episode, particularly nu!Wells.  The sudden shift & terror also worked at first, even if it lessened a bit as the scene wore on.  Final grade… B-.

(2.07) Gorilla Warfare

Positives: Grodd! (apes make everything better)  Henry Allen!  Tom Cavanagh really layering his performance.

Negatives: Yeah, I know they couldn’t have kept Barry paralyzed for a whole season, but could they at least have stretched it out over 3 episodes?  Grodd’s returned… let’s put our heroes in a position of weakness, let them fight to the top and solve the problem in a way that doesn’t involve the Flash & his speed.  Heck I would have really been impressed had they gone for a full reversal route and left Barry in the wheelchair, talking nu!Wells through his performance as evil!Wells.

It’s also starting to wear on me the recent use of “believe in yourself” spate of character arcs which seems to be in almost every superhero show of late, but keeps coming up in Flash.  I thought Harry’s scene with his son, explaining the social stigma he had to go through as a presumed murderer was the best part of the episode… if it wasn’t phrased in such a “because you’re so great” manner and more of a “don’t do it alone, draw what you can from friends/etc.”  This is probably where things might have worked better had the characters been more religious (like Daredevil) even though the use of such in a lot of stories can end up just as empty.  This is probably where Superman would fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way because such occupies that sweet spot of “you can’t do it all – but you can’t do nothing either.”

Objectively this episode gets a C average grade, but for my disappointments, it’s personally a C-.


(2.06) Max Wager

One of our lovely commentors, Paladinteacher, put for a theory that Liv’s brain cooking each weak may hold some connection to the personality in question.  Interesting, so follow along as we test this!  This week: a gambler brain with an oyster dish.

. . . Yeah now is when I should confess that I don’t know much about food other than what makes tummy happy and what makes tummy upset.  So by all means!  If you get the connection, please leave it in the comments.

Otherwise this episode was a first in that we don’t just have a B-plot continuity, but a CotW (Case of the Week) A-plot continuity too!  I didn’t care much about it, but the characters make it fun to watch.  I also like that the personality changes to Liv were a bit more subtle this time around. (well… eventually, the first post-meal scene is always a little anvil-like with “she’s got a new personality!”)

Again, I’ve been fairly indifferent to Blaine (I care more about his mute sidekick to be honest) but hey, if this episode didn’t get me a bit invested with him.  I especially like his subtle plan of feeding his grandpa to Dad in order to literally make his father feel what his grandfather went through.  And then I had to laugh as, ONCE AGAIN, Major just happens to screw with Blaine’s plan unintentionally.  I love that it’s practically a running gag, but nobody notes that it’s one.  I would like for the show to firmly establish whether Blaine & Major can be reinfected again or not.

The mob boss – good actor, good scenes, just with everything else going on it’s almost a plot-line overload.  Not that I mind, just with everything going on (like ZOMBIES) it’s hard to care or stay invested.  Along with still keeping Liv & Major as a believable couple, I’m going to give this episode a B+ mostly because having watched it and the next episode back to back, some details blurred together an A ranked episodes should stick in your mind.

(2.07) Abra Cadaver

The dish for this episode was… some kind of gravy?  Stew?  I’m not sure, somebody tell me if they can figure it out.

I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for “mystery around magic” episodes (yeah, I liked the Supernatural one too).  That Liv’s brain this week happened to be way into Goth-like stuff, and Liv happened to be the ultimate Goth at the moment (she’s undead!) lead to what I found to be endless meta humor as well as giving the actress an excuse to chew scenery.

Plus we got to see more of Babineaux, both good (knows his 3-card monte, has a way with the ladies) and bad (still lets others rile him up).  I was sad about the subplot with Liv & Blaine fooling him as I’m ready for him to join the fold of the know already and get our zombie-hunter team going!

Poor Ravi.  You are my new personal hero.  That is all.

All in all… I’d put this at about another B+ (almost an A-, but there wasn’t much really pushing things forward).


(1.03) Fight or Flight

I didn’t hate this episode, but boy did it annoy me.

For one thing I just could not take the threat seriously when JUST the previous episode we saw her push around a large tanker but now she has trouble when punching a guy just wearing a suit?   Comic fans accept a lot to enjoy their media but that’s asking a lot.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve believed for awhile that Superman’s weaknesses should expand somewhat, that if he’s powered by sunlight and weakened by kryptonite, then radiation as a rule should affect him in various ways, so I don’t mind Supergirl having trouble with SCIENCE! rays hitting her.  Though it is questionable why in the world getting hit in the chest almost kills her, but hitting her palm causes no adverse effects.

I did like her thinking tactically, but facepalmed at the “lead glove” when there’s plenty of different ways that could have gone but keeping it action-oriented and entertaining.

Don’t even get me started on Maxwell Lord.  Oh not in general, I don’t even mind the dad from Twilight playing him.  Just like I said with Ray Palmer, 1) it’s officially crossed into annoying for TWO DC shows to feature an Iron Man knock off.  If I wanted to watch Iron Man, I would go watch Iron Man, not these imitators.  2) If you’re REALLY dead set on having a Tony Stark-esque character in there, then at least use DC characters ACTUALLY LIKE THAT (Mr. Terrific or Ted Kord just off the top of my head).  It would be like if DC said, “We need to name & use a character who uses his family & personal wealth to fight crime after his parents were tragically murdered,” looked around, and then decided to call the aforementioned person, “Barry Allen.”  Hopefully TV viewers can see just how… annoying that is.

What bugged me most of all is that the moment of texting with Clark Kent towards the end of the episode was perfect.  PERFECT.

And then the episode continued.  With a scene that pretty much repeated the texting scene that we just had.  The text was so well done it almost made up for all the earlier annoyances but then they had to go and overplay the emotion.

Now normally when I grade around here, I grade on the show’s curve.  An A+ means “the best” of that show, while F- is the worse with the C’s being about the show’s average episode.  Again, compared to the best and worst of the show – compared to other show’s, one A+ may be far worse than another A+.  So I’m not giving this episode an F yet, but putting it down as a C-.  Later episodes may raise the bar so high this becomes the low point of the show which is… not bad (better than some other “worst”s out there) but still not as good as we’ve seen it be.

(1.04) Livewire

(yes yes, I know there was a production/airing order change here because of real world events, let’s just ignore those)

MEANWHILE, this episode was an absolute delight.  We got original supergirl returning to be mom to new supergirl.  Cat Grant turns around and shows herself as being just a bit human despite all the… rough edges.  Fairly realistic family interactions for thanksgiving, and somebody just give poor Wynn a hug.  More importantly, we got more layers added onto the plot with the revelation that Dean Cain tangled with the DEO on something – and hasn’t come back!

If I had any complaints about it, it would be the line about “voting for Hillary” which badly dates the show (rule 1: NOTHING will date anything faster than politics – that’s why political cartoons are such useful snapshots of moments in the past) but otherwise, a pretty good episode.  Heck I even really appreciate that the “magic fix of the week” whipped up by the DEO failed and Supergirl had to improvise.  A very nice touch.

Final grade, A+.

Legends of Tomorrow

Jan 21st… I’m almost starting to dread the weekends because that’s 2 more days I have to wait before more shows!