The highlight for me for Daredevil Season 2 was the new vision of The Punisher. We had up till then 3 big screen versions of the deranged vigilante but none seemed to really connect with audiences. Many claimed they had softened up the character too much to reach a broad audience. For me when I heard him utter “You hit them they get back up. I hit them and they stay down.” I knew they had found the right tone for the character. It was no surprise Frank Castle would end up with his own Netflix series. We’ve seen a few teaser trailers but today the full length trailer hit the internet. It’s exactly what I wanted from a Punisher show. The Metallica music gets the tone perfect. What do you think?
It’s no secret that Deadpool emerged as one of last years biggest movies, showing that an R rated superhero movie can work and paved the way for the phenomenal Logan. And now that Deadpool 2 is well into production, fans are slathering to get any info they can on the Merc With The Mouth’s follow outing.
Today, Ryan Reynolds tweeted out an eerily familiar picture, featuring our first look at Zazie Beetz as mutant ass-kicker and sometime Deadpool love interest Domino.
From Marvel.com – “Domino is a mutant with the ability to subliminally and psionically initiate random telekinetic acts that affect probability in her favor by making improbable (but not impossible) things to occur within her line of sight, thus causing her to have “good luck” and her opponents to have “bad luck.” This phenomenon can be anything from an enemy’s equipment failure to hitting just the right switch with a stray shot to shut down an overloading nuclear reactor.”
A few weeks ago (I got busy) I rounded up a crew and we sat down to discuss not only the new Netflix series GLOW but also the recently released Spider-Man Homecoming. Joining me is Doug from The Last Horrorcast, Noah from Hero Unabridged, Michael from The Awesome 80’s Podcast, and Mike Patterson of being Mike fame. There is a spoilery section but we denote it in the show so feel free to listen without worry.
Music provided by The Fantastic Plastics.
We love ourselves some movies around here but we also love us some video games. Below are trailers just released for some new games coming out of E3 2017. Here is what we’re excited for. What are you excited for?
Last time we talked, we looked at the recently-wrapped Superman Reborn storyline and what it meant for the ever-evolving post-Rebirth DC Universe. Now that the Batman/Flash crossover The Button has wrapped, now that even more things have changed, it’s time to do it again. I’m going to discuss and build on some of the theories and threads I mentioned in that first piece, so if you haven’t read it, give it a peek. And once again, be prepared, because spoilers are coming for The Button, but also for other stories across the DC Universe.
So That Just Happened
Let’s look at exactly where we are, shall we? In The Button, Professor Zoom attacked Batman in the Batcave, ultimately dying in a spark of blue. Batman and the Flash then used the Flash’s cosmic treadmill to try to trace the mysterious radiation signature on the blood-spattered button Bruce found in DC Universe Rebirth #1. Eventually, the two landed in the Flashpoint universe, where Bruce Wayne got to meet that world’s Batman, his father Thomas Wayne. That universe vanished, seemingly destroyed. Zoom — who can only ever be “mostly” dead because time travel — continued on his race to find those behind the power of the button. He was wiped out again, by still more blue flame, and Bruce and Barry were rescued from the timestream by the timely (get it?) intervention of Jay Garrick, who was only there for moments before the flame got him too. The button itself, judging by the epilogue, seems to have been retrieved by Dr. Manhattan, whom Geoff Johns has told us has a particular interest in Superman. He’ll be telling that story in the recently-announced Doomsday Clock event.
But that’s the Reader’s Digest version of The Button, there’s an awful lot to unpack here. What is it all saying? What does it mean? And how does it play into the DC Universe going forward?
The Manhattan Project
First of all, let’s talk about the Dr. Manhattan connection. Although the fingerprints of Watchmen were all over this story (right down to the first chapter, Batman #21, mimicking Dave Gibbons’s famous nine-panel grid in the artwork), it gave us precious little in the way of revelation. We still don’t know exactly why the button wound up in the Batcave, and although Zoom claimed to know who was responsible, his eradication at the end of the story will make it difficult for Barry and Bruce to interrogate him. In fact, as far as a direct link to Dr. Manhattan goes, the clues can be boiled down to one word: “They.”
Zoom claims to know who is responsible for what’s happening to the universe and, in his own words, “They’ve never faced someone like me!” Granted, it’s becoming more acceptable to use “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun these days (something that makes the English teacher in me shudder — I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a gender-neutral pronoun, just that I wish there was another word that didn’t dilute the meaning of the word “they”), but it’s hard to imagine that’s what Zoom meant. If he’s seen Dr. Manhattan, especially if the latter is walking around without his bikini bottoms again, it’s fairly clear that he’s male, and I doubt Zoom is the sort to walk up and ask him his preferred pronouns before engaging him in battle. If he hasn’t seen Manhattan, his claim to know who’s responsible becomes much more specious. All of this is to say that this one word may support something I suggested last time: whatever is happening, it doesn’t look like Dr. Manhattan is the sole person responsible.
Next up, let’s talk about Jay Garrick. Much like Wally West did in the original Rebirth special, he appears and helps save the day. Unlike Wally, Jay doesn’t stick around. The question, however, is why did he vanish? He disappeared in a nimbus of blue flame, much like Pandora did in the first special, much like the Flashpoint universe did earlier in this story (more on that later). But it’s very hard to imagine that means he’s dead. DC has teased the return of the Justice Society really hard here, not only with Jay but with another appearance by Johnny Thunder in chapter one of The Button. Would they have brought him back just to wipe him out?
Barry recognizes the circumstances of Jay’s appearance as being similar to Wally’s, and when Wally appeared, he needed his emotional connection to Barry to re-ground him in reality. It doesn’t work for Jay. Barry even says that he doesn’t seem to be Jay’s “lightning rod.” Who then, would it be? Who else has a strong enough emotional connection to Jay Garrick to return him to reality?
The immediate and most obvious answer is his wife, Joan. She hasn’t been seen in Rebirth, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t in the DC Universe somewhere: alone, sad, possibly confused by a gaping hole in her life. But Wally West’s lightning rod wasn’t his wife, Linda Park. Who else could anchor Jay? Besides Barry, his best friend has historically been original Green Lantern Alan Scott, but Alan is MIA along with the rest of the Justice Society. All of Jay’s contemporaries are missing.
Everyone except for Johnny Thunder. Johnny, who in Rebirth #1, seemed to imply that he was responsible for people forgetting the Justice Society. Johnny, who in Flash #21 screams at the skies, consumed with guilt. Johnny, who is currently locked away in a nursing home, with everyone assuming he’s a raving old man. In fact, why don’t we take this a step further? What if Johnny is, unwittingly, one of the people who helped Dr. Manhattan remake the universe? He certainly wouldn’t have done it intentionally, but he was never the brightest bulb to begin with. The only reason he was in the JSA is because he commanded a Genie with Mxyzptlk-level reality-warping power. Could he have been tricked into using his Thunderbolt’s power to change the timeline? Or could he have done it independently of what was going on with Dr. Manhattan, and could Manhattan have simply taken advantage of Johnny’s mistake to further his own goals?
Lost and Found
Let’s take a moment to do a little census here. A lot of fan-favorite characters were missing at the launch of the New 52 universe. Some of them have returned: Wally West, of course, but also Stephanie Brown, Donna Troy, Cassandra Cain, Ted Kord, and probably several others I’m forgetting at the moment. Others, like the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Ray Palmer Atom, were there for the New 52 launch but have gone notably missing since then. Still others have been taken away on-panel. Doomsday, Prophecy, and Tim Drake have all been “removed” from action, and we know they’re in the clutches of Mr. Oz. Of those still unaccounted for, the Justice Society has been particularly notable in its absence. And with its absence came the absence of other characters derived from the JSA: Alan Scott’s children Jade and Obsidian, for example. If the JSA returns, can they follow suit?
And there’s one other big one that needs to be mentioned. After he was “Reborn,” Superman needed to give the readers a rundown of what his history was in this world where the older, married Superman merged with his younger New 52 counterpart. Action Comics gave us two issues where he asked his little robotic buddy Kelex (and who wouldn’t want a Kelex as their own personal assistant?) to go over his past with him. It was kind of odd, in a meta way, for Superman to essentially ask the robot to read him his diary, but it worked. The big questions were answered: Jonathan and Martha Kent are both dead in this continuity, Superman never had a relationship with Wonder Woman. He did fight and was killed by Doomsday…
…but that’s where it gets odd.
As we all know, after Superman’s death he was replaced by four different people claiming the name. John Henry Irons, Steel, is part of the cast of Superwoman these days. The Eradicator and the Cyborg Superman are both in the Superman books right now in villain roles. The fourth? Connor Kent? Superboy? Nowhere to be found, even in the history that Kelex relates to us. Superman himself notes, as he listens to his own history, that something doesn’t feel quite right. Is Conner going to be lost to the void, or is DC planning to give him his own Wally West moment, bringing him back in triumph? If, as Geoff Johns promises, Rebirth is about restoring hope and legacy to the DCU, wouldn’t Doomsday Clock be a hell of a place for Connor to come back?
Of course, Jonathan Kent the second is Superboy now, but I’d be fine with changing Connor’s name and moving him into sort of a Nightwing-type role in the Superman family. Superteen? Superkid? Ugh, those are terrible. Superguy? Sequel? Okay, maybe we have to look beyond the letter “S” for a new name.
I hear “Valor” is available.
The Dark Knight Redacted?
Anyway, let’s talk about what this story has done to Batman. Back in Flashpoint, when Barry Allen was (he thought) restoring the timeline he had damaged, Thomas Wayne gave him a letter to deliver to Bruce. It was one of the high points of that story and created a grand emotional link for Bruce to his past. In The Button, that link was made even stronger as Bruce had to face a version of his father who chose the same path he did, that of the Batman. Thomas’s Batman was darker and harsher than Bruce’s (not surprising, as Flashpoint was a darker and harsher world), and as Bruce leaves, Thomas asks him to give up being Batman, to put this life behind him, because no father would ever choose a life like that for his child. As the story ends, we have a very pointed moment where the Bat-signal blazes across the sky of Gotham, and Bruce ignores it.
What does this mean?
Well, it doesn’t mean that Bruce is hanging up the cowl, let’s start there. There have been plenty of post-Button stories solicited already where he’s still Batman. (Heck, Batman #23 came out on the same day as The Button ended). There are also two other strikes against this notion of Bruce giving up. First, they did that story just two years ago with James Gordon taking over as Batman (not to mention the countless times in the past when Dick Grayson, Jean-Paul Valley, etc. have worn the cowl). Second, Rebirth has been all about bringing DC’s heroes back to their purest, classic form. Does anyone really think that means shelving Bruce Wayne? Certainly not for any length of time.
So what does it mean?
For that, let’s take a step back and look, once again, at the apparent meta-message of Rebirth Geoff Johns (I’m assigning this thesis to him, as he seems to be the architect of the story and is the author of both DC Universe Rebirth #1 and the upcoming Doomsday Clock) seems to be arguing that the darkness that has infected the DCU started not with Flashpoint, but could be traced back to Watchmen. Last time, I argued that this is only partially true, and that there are other culprits as well, but I didn’t mention one of the bigger ones, as it didn’t appear to be relevant at the time. Now it does. I’m talking, of course, about The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller’s magnum opus was a masterpiece of the form, like Watchmen. Also like Watchmen, people took entirely the wrong message from the story and, for years, turned the mainstream Batman progressively darker, gloomier, and more brooding than ever.
Perhaps part of the purpose of The Button — that part of it, at least — is to do specifically for Batman what the larger Rebirth story is doing for the rest of the DCU. I’m not saying that we should go back to the days when Batman was cutting ribbons at supermarket openings or encountering aliens with huge insect heads on the main street of Gotham, but there has to be a middle ground. For much of the Bronze Age, in fact, we lived in that middle ground. Go back and read some of those great Dennis O’Neil/Neal Adams Batman stories. You’ll see a character who lives in the darkness, but carries a spark of light within him, a Batman who was not above making a joke. (Indeed, in the years since The Dark Knight Returns pretty much any time Batman has displayed a sense of humor, it’s come as a total shock to whoever he was talking to at the time.)
Bruce Wayne, we know, will never quit. Not forever, anyway. But that doesn’t mean he has to live a life totally devoid of joy. Tim Drake (who himself was thinking of hanging up the cape to go to college when he was abducted) was often living proof of that. Maybe that’s another reason he, as Mr. Oz put it, had to be “taken off the table.”
It’s a long way until November, guys, and there are plenty of things that could happen between now and then that could cause me to adjust these thoughts (I’m looking at you, The Lazarus Contract). But for now, at least, I think I’ve tackled all the big concepts, and we’ve got an awful lot to chew on while we wait for the next course.
With Spiderman: Homecoming due out in just a few months, and with the wall crawler already well established in the MCU, Sony is riding high on the hype machine. And never one to let the momentum die, Sony announces a major casting decision in their Spider-verse.
Tom Hardy has officially jumped ship from the DC universe (Bane – The Dark Knight Rises) to join the Marvel world as fan favorite Eddie Brock, better known as Venom.
The movie will be a stand alone and may not feature Spiderman at all. Nothing is known plot wise about the movie, but we do know that Venom will be directed by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.
Hopefully Fleischer will bring the same amount of charm, fun and action to Venom that he did to Zombieland.
Eddie Brock/Venom was previously played by Topher Grace in the critically and fan panned Spiderman 3, directed by Sam Raimi.
It’s been awhile since we visited the trailer park so let’s get into it.
This week it’s just Bryan and Doug. (Scott’s busy working on a secret clown related fanfic.) They manage to keep things together long enough to discuss a couple ghost movies; The Haunting and The Changeling [spoilers from 56:41-1:13:27].
I grabbed my co-hosts from Challenged and we sat down to talk about this season of The Walking Dead. One of us loved this season, one of us hated this season, and one of us was indifferent. Things also take a weird turn as this was the second podcast we recorded this night and were already well into our stock of alcohol at this point. It gets weird.
Music provided by The Fantastic Plastics. Catch them this summer at Warped Tour.
The first trailer for Thor Ragnarok was just released. I love it. I feel like it’s taking a cue from the Guardians Of The Galaxy with the flashy retro font and colors along with the music but I don’t care. I still love it. Plus we’re pretty much here on Planet Hulk. Can’t wait to see them battle it out. And Cate Blanchett looks amazing as Hela. We see that Loki will be ringside for the battle of Thor and Hulk. But what is not shown is what role Doctor Strange will play in the film. What do you think of the trailer? Are you excited?
I am once again joined by Sometimes Co-Host Mike and Michael from the Awesome 80s Podcast as we’re breaking down our Top 5 Animated Batman Movies! Some claim to have the best list of everyone, some made their list just before we started.
After all that we chat about Wrestlemania 33. Is it really Undertaker’s final match? And the guys give their reactions to the new trailer for Stephen King’s IT.
In usual podcast chaos Sometimes Co-Host Mike and I knock equipment around and my cat seems to ring its bell a lot which I did not noticed while recording. We aim for high quality here!
Music provided by The Fantastic Plastics. Catch them this summer at Warped Tour.
According to Variety Joss Whedon is in talks to jump over to DC and direct a standalone Batgirl movie. So what does stand alone mean? I don’t know as in the same article they say that it will be part of DC’s extended cinematic universe. Who knows.
Usually I’m annoyed by news that so and so is “in talks” but I think this would be pretty big so wanted to comment on it. What do you all think about Joss Whedon joining DC in bringing her to the big screen?
Of course Whedon has worked with them before trying to get a Wonder Woman movie off the ground. He really wanted to set it during WWII and DC told him that a period piece Wonder Woman movie wouldn’t work and scrapped it. My how times have changed.
Read the article for yourself:
With the Rebirth era of DC Comics approaching its first anniversary, recent issues of Superman and Action Comics seem to have reset the playing field. This seemed like a good time to discuss the new status quo for Superman, how it reflects the greater DC Universe, and some wild speculation as to what’s really happening in the larger Rebirth mystery. Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Superman Reborn story arc, as well as other stories across the DC Universe.
A Reborn Man of Steel
As promised, the four-part Superman Reborn storyline has answered some major questions. We know now that the false Clark Kent was, in reality, Mr. Mxyzptlk, having recently escaped the clutches of the enigmatic Mr. Oz. We also know what Mr. Oz meant in DC Universe Rebirth #1 when he told the Pre-Flashpoint Superman that neither he nor the New 52 Superman were what he thought. In fact, they and their respective Lois Lanes were two halves of the same whole, split in Superman Red/Superman Blue fashion. Now the halves have been rejoined, and all is well in Metropolis. Except, of course, for the new question raised here: who split them and why? Not to mention, of course, how this impacts the rest of the DCU.
Action Comics #976 reveals that not only the characters, but also their respective histories have been merged. Presumably, this means that when they return to the Daily Planet they’ll encounter a Perry White who remembers attending their wedding, a Metropolis that knows all too well the destruction of Doomsday, and a Supergirl who once again recognizes her cousin in this man. But what about some of the elements that are harder to reconcile? Wonder Woman has already moved past her romance with Superman, but will those characters still remember it? Will the Teen Titans have memories of their former teammate, the time-tossed Superboy cloned from Lois and Clark’s son? And what about Martha Kent? In the Post-Flashpoint New 52 Universe she was dead; in the DCU that existed prior to Flashpoint she was still alive. If Clark goes back to the family farm now, will she be waiting for him?
Not all of these questions can simply be handwaved away, but more and more it’s feeling like this is by design. DC has been attacking discrepancies head-on in books like the Superman titles or Wonder Woman. Diana has learned that she’s been manipulated for years, sent to a false Paradise Island whenever she attempted to return home, and as a result her entire history is suspect (Wonder Woman #11). In another huge contradiction, the original Wally West has returned. Rather than attempting to eliminate the New 52 Wally West, a solution was found to keep them both. And all of this, of course, seems to connect back to the central mystery revealed in the first DC Rebirth issue: someone has “stolen” ten years of time from the DC Universe, and as a result, everything is off-kilter. Now, the Rebirth story appears to be accelerating. Superman Reborn was the first part of that. The next part, the Batman/Flash crossover “The Button,” begins in April.
Put a Little Love In Your Heart
After the two Superman families merged, Mr. Oz ponders, “That family has done the impossible. Proven that true love really can conquer all… Is it over? Or is there more?” The question here seems to be if “love” truly can repair the damage done to the DC Universe when whoever did whatever it was they did. I would argue that this is already happening, both literally within the DCU and in a more metafictional way. Rebirth has largely been about restoring the lost sense of hope and love to the DC Universe. DC Universe Rebirth #1 began with the return of Wally West, a character who literally uses his love for others as the anchor to keep him in reality. Immediately the romances between Aquaman and Mera, Green Arrow and Black Canary, and Barry Allen and Iris West were all pushed to the forefront of those respective books. We’ve also seen Batman working with his “family” in a much closer, less secretive way, even revealing his identity to his cousin, Batwoman (in Detective Comics #934. She already knew, it turned out, but the moment it creates between the two of them is both funny and inspiring.) That’s not all, though: he’s taking an active role in the rehabilitation of several criminals and killers: Clayface, Killer Frost, and Lobo (the former in Detective Comics, the latter two in Justice League of America). He refused to believe it when Catwoman was convicted of murdering hundreds of people and finally, after decades of dancing around it, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle professed their love for one another (Batman #15).
Love – or at least mutual admiration – is also in the air in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. If you thought Batman was a mensch for trying to rehab three bad guys, the Green Lantern Corps has actually partnered up with the entire Sinestro Corps, trying to turn the yellow Lanterns into partners in policing the universe. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan has told Kyle Rayner that he sees Kyle as the greatest Lantern of all, just before Kyle dropped his New 52 Status Quo as the White Lantern and rejoined the Green Lantern Corps (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17). Oh, and did I mention all of this is set against the search for Saint Walker and the restoration of the Blue Lantern Corps – the DCU’s embodiment of hope?
It can’t be a coincidence that all this is happening now. One of the most consistent and justifiable criticisms of the New 52 era was that the world had grown too dark. A pre-merger Superman even pointed this out when comparing notes with Nightwing, declaring the villains of this world to be far grimmer than the ones he remembers (Nightwing #9).
Who’s Watching the Watchmen?
This, of course, leads us back to the biggest question of Rebirth: who, exactly, is responsible for the 10 missing years of the DC Universe? For the first year of the storyline, the evidence has overwhelmingly pointed in the direction of the characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen invading the DCU. Both the Rebirth special and Superman Reborn ended with knowing glances towards the planet Mars, which played a large part in that story. Also in the special, Batman found the Comedian’s blood-stained smiley face button embedded in the wall of the Batcave. The Titans even located their new headquarters in New York because Omen received a psychic impression of the word “Manhattan” (Titans #6).
Then there’s the mysterious Mr. Oz, he whom the comic book media has declared to be Watchmen’s Ozymandias. He’s been watching Superman for some time, he seems to know who’s really behind everything, and he’s taken some major players “off the table.” Red Robin, for instance, was captured early on in Rebirth (Detective Comics #940, specifically), leaving Batman and the others to believe he’s dead. Why Red Robin? Because he somehow was helping other people make connections that Mr. Oz didn’t want made.
This is where I think the wheels start to fall off the Ozymandias theory. Ozymandias was, of course, the smartest man in his world, but that was a world where only one person had super powers, and it wasn’t him. I can believe Ozymandias would be able to imprison Tim Drake. I can even believe he could think of a way to contain an ultra-powerful tank like Doomsday (as in Action Comics #962). But how could a man with no powers capture a fifth-dimensional imp like Mr. Mxyzptlk?
(Yes, I know that this is a comic book, and therefore some nonsense technobabble ass-pull is always a possibility, but I’m building towards a point here, so bear with me.)
This feeds a nagging doubt I’ve had for a while regarding Watchmen and its involvement in Rebirth. It feels… well… too easy. Too well-constructed, especially for a story that is ostensibly only approaching the halfway point. And it doesn’t exactly work, in my opinion, with DC’s meta-message here. The Rebirth special was, in many ways, DC’s mea culpa. Through the characters, writer Geoff Johns basically told the reader that DC understood where things went wrong and that this is the story that’s going to fix it. However, by capping this special with the reveal of the button, Johns essentially seemed to make the statement that DC’s problems weren’t recent (true), that the roots of the darkness Superman would later comment on go back well before Flashpoint (also true), and that in a way, you can trace it all back to when Watchmen changed the comic book landscape in 1987.
Sort of true.
The thing about Watchmen is that it was the book that proved to countless people comics could tell deeper, more sophisticated stories. But like any success in entertainment, it spawned a wealth of imitators. It never should have become the template for other comics that it did, but it’s not the fault of Watchmen itself that so many subsequent writers treated it as such.
So the notion that the meta-message of Rebirth is “It’s all Watchmen’s fault” has three problems:
- It’s only partially and indirectly responsible, if at all.
- I think Geoff Johns is far too good a writer to cast that aspersion in such a simplistic way.
- Even from a business standpoint, it’s hard to picture DC devoting two years of publishing towards denigrating their best-selling graphic novel of all time.
All of this is to say that, while the Watchmen characters are almost certainly involved in the rebirth mystery, I’m almost equally certain that things are more layered than “Dr. Manhattan messed with the world.”
We’re about to get into some wild and almost totally unsupportable theories here, friends, so buckle up. The last major element we haven’t discussed yet is the DC Multiverse, which is still following the rules established in Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity and was central to the most recent pre-Reborn storyline in Superman. That multiverse contains 52 worlds and a hell of a lot of metatextual commentary, including a world where the former Charlton characters are more like their Watchmen counterparts. (Watchmen, for the three people who didn’t know it, began as a pitch to DC utilizing the recently-acquired Charlton Comics superheroes. Alan Moore reworked them into original characters at DC’s request.) One may wonder if it’s those characters from The Multiversity: Pax Americana– and not Dr. Manhattan and company – responsible for the missing decade. However, I think we can throw that out as it doesn’t account for the presence of Watchmen’s most iconic image: the smiley face button.
There’s an aspect of Multiversity, though, that has rarely been brushed upon since. The DC Multiverse has 52 worlds, that’s true, but it’s also true that there is more than one multiverse, each with its own Orrery of Worlds. In fact, DC even announced stories from the “other” multiverses would be told in a series of yet-unproduced original graphic novels by Grant Morrison.
Here’s how, metatextually, DC can have its cake and eat it too. Let’s say the Watchmen Earth is in one of those other multiverses where the worlds (as in “our” multiverse) are to some degree or another derivative of each other. If – in the real world – it’s Watchmen’s influence that tainted everything that came after, what if in-story the true threat comes from a Watchmen derivative world that drew on the original world in the wrong way, just like so many writers did?
Or, in simpler terms, if Watchmen is its multiverse’s Earth-1, what if the real bad guys of Rebirth are from their multiverse’s Earth-3?
It’s just a theory, of course, and probably completely wrong, but it’s awfully nice to be pondering and analyzing DC Comics again, and to a degree that hasn’t been possible for years. And if nothing else, we can look forward to “The Button” next month in the hopes that the clues it gives us will keep us going into Rebirth Year Two.
The new Spider-Man Homecoming Trailer is here and is full of Vulture goodness. Michael Keaton seems to be on deck to become one of my favorite villains in the MCU. Which is really no surprise. Looks like we’re going to get a lot of action. I can’t wait for July 7th!
So from the title, you might surmise how well this article is going to go. Please do not judge too quickly though. We promise we will try our very best to be objective and cover it as fairly as possible. We good? OK.
From the screeching, hormonally charged, twittering brains with bank accounts behind the show-crushing beast that was and most assuredly will be again Ollicity, comes the inevitable response to hiring two former Glee castmates as your leads.
What? We said we would TRY to be objective. Not our fault that it didn’t take. Alright, fine. Come back. We’ll try to salvage this. Admittedly, we didn’t come into this with the most open of minds so maybe we’re not giving it a fair shake. Let’s try again and break this down to the good and bad.
Well where to start? The only place one should start with a musical: the singing. There is no doubt that the cast members of these shows are very talented musically, and they get to show off exactly what they can do with this episode.
While everyone who sang did a genuinely good job, the stand out for us was John Barrowman, normally playing Malcolm Merlyn in the Arrowverse, but this time playing club owner Cutter Moran. He didn’t have a lot to do, but he took what little he had and made the very best of it. Unsurprising really from such an amazing stage performer as he is. In a scene whose random and awful lyrics caused us to physically look away, his voice actually brought us back with eyebrows raised. Not damn bad, Captain Harkness. Not damn bad at all.
Jesse L. Martin nailed his part as well. Another great stage presence, the man can sing. We saw some of in last year’s Earth 2 episode, but he doesn’t get enough to do we didn’t feel for reasons we will come back to later.
Kara, Barry, Cisco and even Winn: They all sounded terrific and it was nice that they got to show off their great singing abilities. Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) does a beautiful rendition of Moon River right at the start and even though we knew she could sing, it was still a pleasant surprise to hear how well.
The Barry/Kara song at just over the halfway mark (the title we’re withholding for the sake of the reveal) did start to win us over, despite everything that came before it. Rao help us, the two have brilliant chemistry and you can’t help but love them together.
Darren Criss, this crossover’s villain Music Meister was a lot of fun to watch. Again, he didn’t have a huge amount of stuff to do as they tried to get in as much as they could, but the guy has charisma and charm oozing out of his little boyish face. He won us over fairly quickly in his introduction on Supergirl. His few minutes of screentime on that show actually had us anticipating what was to come.
There’s an action sequence here with Martian Manhunter teaming up with Wally and Vibe, and it is on par with the fun and excitement of the Flash’s usual action scenes. That was another great moment from the episode.
Now let’s get to it.
The biggest obstacle that this episode faces is time. It has 45 minutes to pull off a musical, as well as tie up subplots from both The Flash and Supergirl, and boy can you feel the time crunch. They have Kara and Barry play it off a few times with the meta joke that “wow, everything is so much easier in musicals”. Luckily, we were able to unstick our eyes after they rolled so hard up into their sockets, otherwise we’d have had to start the episode over.
So beyond skipping what should have been a longer, more complicated conflict, we got too easy resolutions for the sake of moving the plot along. If the resolution is so simplistic, it begs the question of why even bother? Individual shows’ subplots is why, but still.
What needed to be done, and once again wasn’t, is it being a true crossover. We had exactly 2 minutes of the plot discussed at the tail end of Supergirl, same as it was with the Invasion crossover last fall. Musicals take time to get everything explained, broken and fixed again. This is going to sound hypocritical after everything that’s come before it, but there needed to be more time for more songs. And the one thing this didn’t have was time. Were they to have stretched it out fully across both shows, we would still spend two hours cringing, yes, but the story would be a lot stronger than it was. It wouldn’t feel so hastily duct taped together.
If crossovers are going to be a consistent thing in the Arrowverse, (YES PLEASE) they have to let Supergirl come out to play for the whole recess. Her being on another universe isn’t excuse enough to hinder that relationship, especially now with Cisco’s doohickey.
The other bit, the one we’ll close with, was the writing. All the actors that they have hired in the Arrowverse are exceptional. If the actors don’t have long careers in the stage/fim business like Victor Garbor, Jesse L Martin, and John Barrowman, they have proven their abilities on these shows. They can act. We’ve seen it. But watching them try to choke back some of the dialogue from this episode made them look like amateur dinner theater workers.
We noticed it specifically with a few of David Harewood’s
(Supergirl’s Martian Manhunter) lines. He gets through them, same with the others, but it pulled us out of the moment with how clunky it was. Also, don’t get us started on the jokes. You want to? OK, fine. At one point Supergirl said, “My sister says I put the Kara in Karaoke.”
We literally almost closed the laptop and walked away at that. It was early in the episode though, and we thought of your faces, your sweet reviewless faces, and we knew we had to press on. So we did and what was our reward?
Honestly, we can’t tell you. Partially due to not giving away the ending of the episode, but mostly due to we don’t genuinely know what happened. Nothing is really explained, it simply transpired for the sake of transpiring. They knew they wanted to sing, but they didn’t know how to make that fit into a cohesive, solidly written story. It was like the ending of a Stephen Moffat Doctor Who episode: aggravatingly underwhelming.
Look, there are a lot of good moments in the episode. It was a fun little one shot stuck in the middle, but they once again did not utilize Supergirl’s hour to help flesh out their crossovers and the time crunch really cripples them from making a solid story. Perhaps though, given the rush job they did with the script, that’s for the better.
Our final analysis of this crossover is the same as our analysis of BvS’s handling of the Death of Superman: Everyone has been wanting it for so long, and yeah, that was not the best way to handle it, but hey, it’s out of the way now and we can move on to bigger and better things.
Supergirl returns Monday March 27th and The Flash Tuesday March 28th.
Well, here you go. In addition to our regular episode this week, enjoy an hour or so of Doug and Bryan nerding out over Logan.(Scott makes an appearance at the end.) Be warned that this is VERY heavy on the spoilers.
Time again to check out some trailers from upcoming movies we’re excited to check out.
I’m always up for some Edgar Wright. I was sad when he departed Ant Man but it looks like he put his time after that to good use with Baby Driver. Lots of car porn for those that enjoy such things and a star studded cast like Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm. I can’t wait to check it out.
This one seems to focus a little more on her origin than the WWI setting that the film will be mostly taking place in. I’m curious what origin they are going with in this version.
It’s being called the female John Wick with I guess it has good reason as it’s directed by the same guy and the action seems pretty similar. Charlize Theron gets all actiony while being backed up by Toby Jones, John Goodman, and James McAvoy. Based on the Oni Press comic The Coldest City. Looks like a lot of fun.
While Logan is being hailed as one of the best Comic Book movies of all time (after the abysmal X-Men Origins and The Wolverine), it seems that our hopes of getting Hugh Jackman as Wolverine one more time to pair with Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool is D.O.A. However, that simply wont stop Mr. Pool from taking another swipe at the Australian actor.
Paired with Logan, Fox drops one of the best teaser trailers ever right into our collective laps to hype up the Deadpool sequel that begins shooting May 1st in Vancouver, Canada. The trailer is rife with in jokes, meta humor and even gag straight out of Marvel’s long time rival, DC Comics. Plus, there’s even something for the ladies! (Or the guys, we don’t judge!)
Check out the teaser below. Deadpool 2 is slated for sometime in 2018.
I still love me some cartoons. I’m sure people walking into my house as I’m sitting there in my gym shorts I use as pajamas, eating a bowl of cereal, and watching my cartoons are amused at why a 37 year old man would watch cartoons. Hey, I still love the characters and the story telling is top notch. Doesn’t matter to me that it’s animated. But it’s time for some Good News/Bad News.
The first trailer for the new Duck Tales series for Disney XD is out. And it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Most important is we get to hear David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck for the first time. And I gotta say I love it. Perfect casting.
The newest TMNT cg animated show looks like it’s winding down with season 5 only to be replaced with an old school 2d animated version. I’ve been a big fan of the show when it launched and I thought did a great job of incorporation of TMNT lore while also doing some things to make it all fresh again. I’m bummed they are leaving this incarnation behind. My guess would be the voice cast will be getting too expensive after the 5th season so it’s off for another reboot rather than shelling out (hehe see what I did there) for voice actors like Seth Green and Sean Astin to reprise their roles in future seasons. Who knows. Guess we’ll wait and see what the new show holds.
We’ve been getting lots of really good trailers for upcoming movies that I am super excited for. At the top of that list is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. I had no idea who the Guardians even were even though I have been reading comics since I was young. The space adventures just never excited me. But the first trailer for the first movie caught me. I was excited to see what would probably be just an okay movie. Was I wrong. I LOVED the first movie. It’s probably my favorite out of the Marvel films. I always tell people leaving the theater I felt like I did the first time I watched Star Wars.
Now with Vol. 2 coming my excitement is hardly containable. Add to this already great cast Kurt Russell then guess what? I’m predicting a 5 time watch at the theater alone. In this new trailer we get to see more of the colorful world we’ll be venturing into this time around and we get the confirmation that Kurt Russell is in fact Peter’s father. May can’t come soon enough.