Flash On Point; Arrow Misses Mark

Agents of SHIELD didn’t bother showing up this week, so I can focus on spoiling the DC shows for you. (I will get around to marathonning Luke Cage eventually.) First off, everybody watch Superhero Fight Club 2.0  right now! If you’re not caught up yet on TV, zoom to the end for plenty of  NYCC photos! Maybe let the page load a bit longer than usual if you’ve a slow connection.

The F-Lash’s season three premiere hit the ground running. Naturally Reverse-Flash was the MVP. TV “Flashpoint” was less of a sprawling kill-happy cover of Age of Apocalypse than its comic book inspiration. This is probably a good thing! No longer does Nora Allen being alive retroactively transform the entire DC universe into an ultraviolent Hellscape! Its focus was more manageable & it didn’t overstay its welcome. I was surprised we only spent one episode in the alternate timeline, but I guess the season finale could always be “Return To Flashpoint!” Aside from Joe being drunk & Barry getting Wally seriously hurt, the original timeline seems pretty chill without a deluge of metahuman crooks. So Grodd damn it, Barry! It looks like “fixing” this Flashpoint was less traumatic than creating the New 52, so that’s another point in CW’s favor. But why would their be any ramifications at all? Can we finally stop fixating on fridging the F-Lash’s mom now?

This Flashpoint theoretically should be the original timeline before Reverse-Flash changed it by ruing Barry’s childhood. So originally Wally West was going to become the Flash before & independently of Barry getting empowered by the STAR Labs particle accelerator meltdown of 2020? So if Wally is the genuine original Flash, why doesn’t Reverse Flash have a vendetta against him? Wouldn’t Barry be the Kid-Flash in the uncorrupted timeline? Why didn’t Reverse-Flash glom onto Wally in a bid to return to the future?

Kidnapping ophthalmologist Caitlin was cute. (Wait, how did Barry’s parents being alive make her not a biomedical scientist?) Where was Harrison Wells & Tess Morgan? The Rival’s costume was much better than his comic outfit (we had evil “Jay Garrick” already). “Speed has always been my problem” is not something you say to someone you’re trying to woo. Barry didn’t forget he was the F-Lash while wearing the costume like the commercials led me to believe. They robbed us of that comedy gold!

(Green) Arrow season five’s premiere didn’t hit the bullseye. This was a rare episode where I was less bored with the flashbacks than the present plot. With their ranged weapons & parkour skills, it doesn’t seem like avoiding the laser tripwire bombs would be a big problem for Speedy & Ollie on the catwalk. Wouldn’t the Mayor not being rescued at the same time tip off the hostages, criminals,  & cops that he’s Green Arrow?

Oliver regressing into murder is a retread that I wish the show would’ve moved past by now. Where is your character development, sir? (Ditto alcoholic Quentin.) It would be compelling if they contrasted Oliver’s super liberal policies with his willingness to murder lawbreakers to make it easier, but they didn’t because TV Ollie only has the politically neutral stance of “crime & police corruption are bad.” (He also wasted a lot of tax money on a giant bronze statue of his dead ex that could’ve gone towards The Glades.) Of course he let Anarky live since he’s the best foe they’ve borrowed from Batman lately instead of a nameless underling. And Wild Dog took an arrow to the knee like Roy for having the effrontery to lend a hand.  So far Prometheus seems like a combination of Merlyn & Deathstroke, so also not thrilling. At least we saw the debuts of bomb-defusing & parachute arrows.

Although her reasons are sound, boo to Thea quitting being Speedy! Speedy is the best! She has the the most dynamic & consistent character arc. She beat her addictions to both drugs & murder. Why isn’t this season all about Thea conquering the salmon ladder weekly while her half-brother learns about balancing city budgets? More Speedy & less Oliver brooding! Long live Thea Queen!

This season on Gotham, the Mad Hatter will be performing the Purple Man’s Kilgrave’s greatest hits! At least he’s ripping off something good. The Mad Hatter even got Gordon to almost put himself out of our misery until his sister, Alice Tetch, miraculously intervened. GRODD DAMN IT, ALICE! WE COULD’VE HAD IT ALL! In gratitude for saving his life twice, Gordon hands Alice over to the GCPD for a bounty. Our hero, ladies & gents!

So when is this show planning on building Gordon back up into the noble cop he’s known as? At this point it looks like the city has irrevocably broken him, but not in a way that makes focusing on him enjoyable. Never mind New Girl; how do we get a Gotham/Brooklyn Nine-Nine crossover where Rosa Diaz kicks the shit out of Gordon?

On Sunday, I was invited to WPU’s Bagels & Books as an author alumni. I hope to be able to share some updates on the Lethe Press edition of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose very soon.

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I went to New York Comic Con on Thursday so that’s why this is kind of late. The important thing is that I am now the proud owner of Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe! signed by Ryan North & Erica Henderson! If the next collection is named “Call Your Squirrel Friend,” you’ll know who poisoned their minds via their auditory canals. Chris Claremont told me some days he wishes he hadn’t rescued the X-Men franchise. Art Adams wants to do more Monkeyman & O’Brien at an indeterminate point in the future but feels this shouldn’t be a problem since he plans to live forever.

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Hasbro revealed some more Marvel Legends at a Wednesday preview event. I’d prefer it if it was X-Factor or red armor Shatterstar. Old Man Logan may be the least exciting Wolverine variant they could’ve offered. I guess he’s to synergize with the current comics (that will probably have a brand new status quo by the time it’s available) & the Logan movie where Hugh Jackman still doesn’t wear a masked costume or fight Omega Red, but X-23 as Wolverine would’ve been more exciting. I wish Shocker’s quilting wasn’t just painted on.  Why they tease us with a stellar Marvel Universe Death’s Head 1 then make ML Death’s Head 2? Hasbro did not actually have these on display on Thursday, so I wasted a lot of time hunting for their booth that didn’t exist. They weren’t even at the Marvel Comics booth! I had my heart set on harassing Hasbro employees until they agreed to make Marvel Legends of Sauron, Silver Samurai, Multiple Man, Squirrel Girl, & Titania!

Now here’s some pretty costumes from the Wonder Woman movie:

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Next week will probably have additional NYCC coverage, including the days I was not present. I’ll also be reviewing the season premieres of Supergirl & Legends of Tomorrow. Leg-Ends of Tomorrow airs Thursday, so don’t expect the next entry before Friday.

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