Comic Week 3/25/16

Well now the way things fell, we had 1 week with Supergirl and nothing else, then this past week everything except Legends of Tomorrow.  You’re killing me, networks!  So this review you get 2 supergirls, 1 flash and 1 zombie.

Supergirl 1.16 – Falling

Oh Red Kryptonite… you are always around when we need a new wacky story with Superman.  Well of late (definitely on Smallville, I don’t remember if it was done earlier) red K has been made more of a drug to Superman, making him the equivalent of drunk or “morally reversed” rather than just a giant ant (yes, that happened).

And yes though I do have an appreciation of silver age silliness, in general I do prefer the new standard of red K harming Supes on a metaphysical level while green K harms him on a physical level.

Oh and did you ever watch the third Superman movie?  Ok that was pretty much this episode except they went the extra mile to make the altering Kryptonite red instead of green.  Well that an Martian Manhunter beat the evil out of Supergirl instead of her civilian identity which I’m a little disappointed in and a little thrilled with.  (I admit, I never understood whether that moment in Supes3 was supposed to be literal or metaphorical, but I always did like it and thought Christopher Reeves played the divergent parts superbly.)

So yeah, top shelf episode all around with the actors all knocking it out of the park and the show actually going that extra mile to remember ALL continuity here instead of just selective bits of it.  (Though I would have loved for Maxwell Lord to snark, “Gee right about now a red tornado would be nice wouldn’t it?”)

If I had any complaint, it would be from a meta perspective.  While everything about the episode works within the continuity and the world built, it runs afoul of the real world.  If anything I would have pushed the “Supergirl falls” story further back into another season, because by then the audience has grown more attached to the good Supergirl so her bad self is more of a shock (though I’m so much of a guy I couldn’t really tell much difference in her outfits).  It’s not just Supergirl either, even Supernatural had an episode in its first season where Sam was mind raped into an evil version and it had as little shock then too (especially compared to his soulless arc 5 years later in S6).  That’s one thing we writers have to remember: that we can get so into our characters’ minds that the “they’re different!” plot feels fresher to us than the audience who spends less time experiencing our story.  The audience always needs longer to reach the point the author started at (ok there are rare exceptions) so writers should almost always wait longer before pulling out the personality switch plot.

Other than that aside… I’d say this episode is a A+ with the closing shot of Supergirl and Cat on the rooftop lounge giving the episode that ‘+’ in the grade.

Supergirl 1.17 – Manhunter

Ah and here we have CONTINUITY REVELRY!(TM) where the audience gets to catch up and learn a lot of plot with some characters, or vice versa. (For comparison, the Flash?  In season 1 episode #17 was the one where we learn Reverse Flash went back in time and stole Dr Wells’ identity (like confirmed and how).  So with this episode we find out the moment J’onn ran into papa Danvers and took Hank Henshaw’s identity.  I had been predicting that the incident which altered Henshaw into the cyborg superman (or perhaps “virtual villain” would be more appropriate) would be the thing that “kills” him and J’onn taking him over.  Nope, apparently it was just an old fashioned cliff dive (though that could lean original!Hank into transforming).  The way this incident was all talked about I half expected to see some plot where the team thinks its hunting J’onn but turns out it’s a white Martian and they fight or something.  Instead we get just a regular… “we gonna kill this guy!” “I don’t think we should!” “Well f– you!” “No f– you!” “We fight!”

So we definitely confirm now that humans can nullify the powers of at least martians (which is probably how they can keep J’onn and the white martian in their cages) though you have to wonder how.  How does one test if they have stopped a telepath? It would be like a blind man trying to figure out if they made a light that was bright enough to blind normal people.

Oh well, it’s comics and this episode was a nice bit of character study all around.  Heck, even though evil assistant lady was a bit of whiny brat, I still found myself pitying her just a little (and not just because I want Winn to win).

Largest complaint is J’onn’s near attempt at mind altering at the end.  1) If you want to prove a point to the bigot, maybe letting him go would be best.  It would at least give him reason to doubt his assumptions instead of confirming them.  2) Am I the only one that realizes how… horrific mind alteration should be?  If your memory is changed, if your mind is changed, does that not change who you are?  Yet earlier we had the other sister prevent J’onn from killing a white martian.  Is this really better?  I know I would rather die (even a painful death) being who I am than having my very being mucked about with.  Eh, we can all talk about this more in the comments.

Stuff with Lucy was ok though I am somewhat disappointed.  Because famously Lois Lane was always in love in Superman while ambivalent about Clark Kent so it seemed like a great opportunity for her sister to flip it and be ambivalent (if not hostile) to Supergirl while best friends or whatever with Kara.  I would have even tolerated the James Olsen triangle with them had they taken that thread with Lane and ran with it.  It’s at least interesting having her now be in charge of the DEO and I’m curious where they go with that in the future.

I give it all an A.  Good stuff all around, continuity revealed, but nothing stand out enough to push it that extra + (no matter how good Kara’s interview with Cat was).

the Flash 1.16 – Trajectory

Ok I’ll admit, I don’t follow much promo material or behind the scenes stuff, I like to take shows and stuff as they come, so when I first saw trailers for this episode, I thought it would be the debut of Harrison Wells’ daughter as Jesse Quick.  Instead we get a one shot character that debuted during the 52 story arc.

Eh, ok.  The story itself was competent and the actress for the female speedster was cute enough but nothing much to write about this time.  Didn’t really buy the “Barry needs to learn how to jump!” character arc as we haven’t see much need for that in his battles.

It is interesting in that in this episode we get parallels to the two supergirl shows above.  Like in “falling” we have a city that begins to question its hero and like in “manhunter” we have the characters uncovering & learning something very important (that somehow Jay Garrick is Zoom).

I give it all… B-.  Iris and her struggle at the paper worked as a view of the city coming to grips with a hero that seemingly has turned on it (something Supergirl tried for with the little girl in costume, but ultimately lacked) but then that took away from the drug-addict, multiple-personalities villain. And the drama between Harrison Wells and his daughter.  The episode ended up a little overstuffed and could have been trimmed to focus on more important bits.

iZombie 2.15 – He Blinded Me… with Science!

Oh iZombie… I’ve missed you.

First up in our “does the food relate to the MotW” we have Liv… cooking up a soup in a beaker.  Yes that is so obvious even I got it.

Next up in our iZ-SPN drinking game, the girl bothering Drake at the club just recently played Molly in SPN’s S10 episode, “Ask Jeeves.”

Otherwise what is there to say other than, “a week is 7 damn days too long!”  What minute on screen WASN’T a major revelation?

  • Blaine definitely a zombie and… may be not for much longer.  Will the show keep him around or is he rotating off?  And will the show kill him for good or go with another route?  In the comic there was more to the world than just zombies (like vampires) so will Ravi’s cure transform Blaine into one of those “other” things?
  • Rita should now definitely become a zombie (oh wait, she slept with Major post cure so it seems like she was set to turn at any time – excluding safe sex outs).  Will she intersect one of the existing plots or run off to a new thread?  It seems most logical for her to team up with Liv and offer insider info on Evil Co in exchange for brains, but if Blaine is dying, could she take over his business?  If she’s learned anything from her father she should know how to run it.
  • Drake is out of the picture!  Love the parallels here.  Last episode we closed with Liv attacking a girl that had slept with Major, so this episode we have Major attacking a guy that had slept with Liv.  Even if not deliberate it’s hilarious.
  • Of course now with Drake out the FBI & cops are going to be even more interested in following up the strange going-ons of Seattle.  With Major already under suspicion, it seems like the law is set to hit him like a train.
  • And Babineaux inches still closer to fully realizing the truth.
  • Even the Mystery of the Week ended up tying tightly into the arc with the brain helping on the cure and (again) giving Liv a major plot revelation.

I’m tempted to give this an A+ but that would be my biases running away with me.  Grading this show (so far) on its own would put this at about… B+ because the only major character revelation we had was with Evil CEO and even that bit was questionable.  Can’t wait for the next episode.

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