So … How About Them DC Shows?

Nightmare was going to be the villain of Doctor Strange but Marvel Studios predicted it’d be too on the nose for reality.

So let’s dive right back into fantasy! Since my last entry was thoroughly Marvel-centric, this week’s topic will be DC-focused. Except when I write about about other things. I still insist I have a topic.

One of my favorite bits about Legends of Tomorrow season two is how much the team isn’t a well oiled machine. It’s not that they’re terribly incompetent; it’s just that they’re still not used to working with each other. Not only does this prevent the team of superpowered specialists from seeming automatically unbeatable, it allows for more humor & dynamic character interactions.

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All of Heatwave’s dialogue in the cliche-ridden “Shogun” was solid fried gold! (“League of Assassins, class of ’09,” was the the only memorable competition.) Wouldn’t atomizing a real life political figure, Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, be the sort of time crime the Legends are supposed to avert?

The one where the literal T-Virus from Resident Evil is unleashed upon the American Civil War is much better than Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, a genuine movie that I’ve had the misfortune of seeing. Aw, Heatwave proposed to Haircut! Naturally it didn’t work out because nobody’s cooler than Captain Cold. Not even Damien Darhk decked out in Miami Vice duds demanding to be paid for cocaine with Imperial Roman relics. Before Ray Gun rebuilds his armor, I’d like to see Atom be stuck at tiny size so Heatwave has to carry him in his pocket & throw him at evildoers.

Apparently that mystery henchman on (Green) Arrow was a new character named Scimitar, which explains why he never wielded one.

The CatCo stuff is generally my least favorite bits of Supergirl, & now it seems like even the writers can’t be bothered pretending to care about it. With Cat going on sabbatical & Winn ditching it for an official DEO paycheck, it’s getting more superfluous. James Olsen’s new responsibility as Cat’s successor seemed like it’d open up new vistas for him, but he’s already so disinterested in running a media empire that he wants to play vigilante instead. James becoming Guardian (in an ugly suit that doesn’t have any blue or gold in it, that was spoiled weeks ago by the showrunners) is odd because they already introduced Jim Harper, a guy that was Guardian in the comics. Winn was right about this being a terrible idea. Why isn’t Olsen The Giant Turtle Man instead? James getting a different goofy Silver Age power each week would be amazing!

Supposedly the official ship name for Maggie Sawyer & Alex Danvers is Sanvers? That’s not nearly as metal as MAGLEX! I realized that Snapper Carr feels off because he’s more like Maggie Sawyer’s absent odd couple police partner & Jack Kirby lookalike, Dan Turpin. Maggie could also be improved if she had her blonde buzzcut from the comics. (Is it weird that I’m generally okay with racebending so long as their original hairstyles carry over?)

Cadmus being connected to the Luthors was expected, but making the head of Cadmus Lena’s mommy was unfortunate. Lex “not appearing in this program” Luthor is most impressive when he’s fully self-made. When he inherits his business from his dad (like Smallville & BVS:DOJ) & his genius from his mom, it’s an easy shortcut to explain him that also makes him even more similar to Batman. Ditto Lena. How much more interesting would it be if Cadmus didn’t want to spring an attack at the gala because it was legitimutantly terrified of Lena Luthor herself?  Will she be the character everyone presumes is shady due to her relation to villains yet nobly sacrifices themselves in the seaon finale since Winn was spared that fate? The maternal reveal is going to feel more lackluster once it’s confirmed that Lena has been won over by the magic of Kara’s friendship like all her former quasi-antagonists last season.  Maybe it’s just the Maglex vibe bleeding into everything or her being introduced like Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane, but now it definitely feels like lonely Lena is hitting on Kara.

STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR SECRET IDENTITIES IN FRONT OF CO-WORKERS! This is my biggest gripe of the episode. I know they do it a bit on The Flash too, but usually they can duck into an alcove or be far enough away that others won’t overhear them clearly. Here Kara & Mon-El (in Jimmy Olsen cosplay) are almost shouting around cubicles on a floor of reporters. This only makes sense if everyone around them is deaf. If only they moved the staging of unsubtle dialogue to someplace where bystanders weren’t, they could save on extras as well as credulity.

Cadmus’s plan to make humans hate aliens more by giving a gang (an Intergang?) alien weapons was sketchy. The crooks never claim to be aliens nor have gotten the weapons  from them. The hamfisted Second Amendment debate that was tacked onto it then quickly abandoned didn’t do the episode any favors. That anti-gravity brass accordion would actually be revolutionary for transportation & construction. Was Cadmus having a dumb plan that hinges on kneejerk xenophobia intentional to show that they’re villains? I want to give them the show the benefit of the doubt, but it’s also the same program that undermines its own message of tolerance by only making aliens that can pass for human sympathetic & heroic. The DEO doesn’t feel that much better than Cadmus. The four-way “Invasion!” crossover (whose Entertainment Weekly  photo shoot is made of pure joy) is being advertised as Heroes vs. Aliens, conveniently ignoring that Supergirl is both.

Supergirl tells Mon-El it was wrong to force him into her mold, continues to do as little different from Superman as possible.

The cinema was kind enough to play the new Wonder Woman trailer for me. It still looks great! Between her mask & super-mustard gas, it seems like Elena Anaya could be Golden Age foe Dr. Poison. She was ostensibly Japanese in the comics as her last name was Maru & the book was Allied propaganda. Since Wonder Woman’s debut has been pushed back from WWII to WWI where the Japanese was allied with the Entente forces & the Germans were at the forefront of chemical warfare, this change makes a degree of historical sense. It’s still whitewashing, however, because it seems like all adaptations must be problematic in some way or another. (Theoretically they could’ve still cast a Japanese actress for Dr. Poison in a WWI setting & justified her historical outlier status as part of writing her as a three dimensional foe instead of stereotypical Yellow Peril, but I’m wagering the studio wanted to channel that effort into not screwing up Wonder Woman.)

So Young Justice season 3 is evolving from long-festering fever dream to cartoon that will really happen. I liked the first two seasons, but I’d still rather have Spectacular Spider-Man season 3. (I actually dreamt that it happened but the show became Australian.) With any luck this season will finally lay out Vandal Savage’s convoluted master plan so we can learn whether it was brilliant or a huge waste of all our time. Hopefully it won’t be a Netflix exclusive series as I am the sole remaining holdout.

If you have a Jake’s Wayback Burger nearby, do your tastebuds a favor & get the The Stay Puft Slime Milkshake! It’s brimming with yummy marshmallows & kiwi-lime sauce! It’s part of a promotion for the new Ghostbusters on DVD, so it do not delay as it will probably be departing the mortal coil very soon.

Jessica Chastain to be (third) Painkiller Jane because it rhymes. The Avegelyne movie might be on again as well. (These are also not DC tidbits.)

The Wages of Cinema made a playlist just for my guest appearances! Listen at your leisure!

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