With the weather even colder this week, DC TV warms us up! Below are recaps of Superman & Lois second season premiere as well as the mid-season returns of Legends Of Tomorrow & Batwoman. Naomi also premiered on The CW, but it is set in a different universe ala Stargirl. Lots of assorted SPOILERS are below. Who know how many of these Beeboverse reviews are on the horizon with The CW being put up for sale? Peacemaker also began on HBO Max, but I won’t review it until it wraps. How spot on is my custom of his squadmate?
Superman & Lois ended up being a much better series than I expected. It’s struck a chord with the public too, yet is oddly a topic that’s yet to become popular with my readership. Its visuals show you can have moody Snyder style & still deliver mature characterization. (Is the desaturated palatte a means of concealing its visual effects?) Will its second season more firmly establish ties to the other shows set on Prime Earth? Or will they simplify things by retroactively declaring it was set in another universe all along? “What Lies Beaneath” was a much more lowkey return than anticipated.
The DOD’s new chief, Lt. Mitch Anderson, is miffed that Superman rescued a North Korean nuclear submarine & returned it to its homeland. It’s great to see a Superman who loves humanity so much he’ll save everyone regardless of national ties. It eschews Frank Miller’s mischaracterization that he’s a lapdog of the American government from the massively overrated The Dark Knight Returns as well as all the stories where he becomes a murderous tyrant. (The part in Young Justice: Outsiders where he abides by the UN ban on Justice Leaguers helping during natural disasters is also aggravating.) Superman dropped “the American way” from his slogan in the comics as it’s superfluous for an international & intergalactic superhero. He still loves his adopted homeland, but now when he saves people across the globe he won’t be expressly promoting US imperialism. (He also controversially renounced his US citizenship so Clark Kent doesn’t get taxed twice.)
Since Superman didn’t think to retain intellectual property rights over his family crest, he has no control how the public uses it. Local Smallville businesses market it. Much like the action figure of John Cryer’s Lex Luthor, you can’t purchase these Superman figurines & bobbleheads. The DOD’s metahuman academy (where Jefferson Pierce isn’t employed) put it on its graduates’ uniforms to make them The Supermen Of America. Will they be more or less generic than the obscure team I had to look up?
It’s made clear that this Lois Lane is unrelated to Natalie Irons. The characters overcompensate by instantly cutting off communication between the two. So their arc will most likely result in them forming a surrogate mother-daughter bond. Lois not being able to comfort Natalie brings up the childhood trauma of her own mother leaving her family. Now that Jenna Dewan is finally reprising Lucy Lane, will they revive her Superwoman arc cancelled from Supergirl? We’ll have to wait to see if they address Lucy being confined to the DEO desert base for years.
The arrival of Natalie unnerves Lois so much that she sublimates it by lashing out. Bitsie Tulloch may be a wisp next to Tyler Hoechlin, but Clark is as afraid of his wife’s ire as I am of my cat’s. Not only does she reject all of The Smallville Gazette’s writer applicants (Why doesn’t she just hire her husband?), she cockblocks Jon. (Why’d his girlfriend change from Tegan Wickhem to Candice Pergande?) “The boys are only fifteen!” she screams at Clark. This is helpfully repeated since the teen cast does not look fifteen.
Clark has The Talk with his sons & makes them promise to always respect whomever their partner is. Jordan & Sarah don’t seem like they’ll be together for much longer. Since Jon Kent is now bisexual in the comics, will one of the Kent boys (Jordan is arguably the show’s version of Jon) be bisexual on TV too? Or are they less likely after the comics team got death threats from people who didn’t read beyond headlines?
The final scene cleverly reveals the earthquake was caused by Doomsday punching his way out from beneath Smallville. After being adapted to Smallville, BVSDOJ, Krypton, & assorted cartoons, Doomsday just doesn’t seem that thrilling anymore. I’m pretty confident they’re not going to hew close to “The Death Of Superman,” which further undermines his usage. He still seems like a humongous threat to introduce this early & not one that’d be a fair fight against half the titular characters. The writers will supposedly be subverting expectations, so will Doomsday turn out to be an ally like “Captain Luthor?” Every day they don’t announce Alexandra Daddario & Kate Easton as supervillainesses is another day wasted!
Can we get a Post-Crisis do-over on Red Kryptonite so that it causes bizarre transformations rather than just making Kryptonians say mean things? (It could’ve netted an episode of SuperCorp transformed.) Clark Kent diffuses bombs by disco dancing! Put this in S&L so he can save the day by embarrassing his family. The creatures of Centaurworld can launch tiny duplicates of themselves out of their hooves just like Superman! When’s that power getting featured?
I hate the comics of Brian Michael Bendis. Will Ava DuVernay make Naomi good in spite of the source material like Jessica Jones? Given his penchant for decompression, it’s fitting they’re stretching a series that’s only six issues so far into thirteen episodes. I found the series premiere … boring. The cast was enthusiastic though. Not everything has to appeal to me, so I think I’ll just sit this one out.
I haven’t checked in with Leg-Ends Of Tomorrow since its hundredth episode, so I have a jumble of thoughts on intervening episodes before the latest. Zari’s phantom house is keen! Gary is a proud sub! Ain’t no party like a Zari party since The Bullet Blondes use aerial silks during their speakeasy dance number to ensare Hoover-bot & reveal they’re not sisters! Sara is always turned on by Ava.
A news-vendor blasts Sara with a shotgun for impersonating a Canadian! Prime Earth’s Edison Labs were in NYC instead of Menlo Park? They killed Thomas Edison too! Those bastards! Ava & Gary blinking out & in of existence is another frustrating existence of time travel logistics being inconsistent. Astra has an anti-tiger rock Spooner would like to purchase.
I love how they lampshade Matt Ryan getting a new role by having everyone insist Dr. Gwyn Davies resembles former Legends whom aren’t Constantine. (Constantine constantly cosplays as Columbo.) He’s still billed as a “special guest star” on every episode & doesn’t appear until episode five. Gwyn’s mantra is “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Zari had to explain to Gwyn that talking through his shell-shock could be therapeutic. “Deus Ex Latrine” is apt given Bishop’s exit from the evil Waverider in the last scene.
“Paranoid Android” was a great example of everyone in the cast & crew being in perfect comedy synch to make an action hero & cartoon PSA spoof. Mean Gideon programmed the robo-Legends to think the Real McCoys are the robots out to destroy the twentieth century & history itself. Here’s The REAL Legends’ motto! I love aggro the whole crew is. So this is what Westworld would be if it weren’t a pretentious slog!
Since robo-Sara & robo-Nate wore their supersuits, I’m disappointed robo-Zari didn’t wear hers from “Crisis On Earth-X!” Seriously, bring back that outfit! Why doesn’t robo-Nate wear his finned helmet either?
Misunderstood Gideon couldn’t replicate Nate’s Steel power,so it gave him extra swole arms that were modeled off John Cena’s. It does make me wonder how robo-Gary can consume entire people without Necrian physiology. I appreciate robo-Zari selling out robo-Sara to become even smarter. Destiny Restoring Devices are just cancer rays.
It’s pointed out Ryan Wilder could’ve easily had Marquis Jet arrested, but she insists that he’s family & not responsible for his brain injury. Covering for a murderer is a lot of nepotism for a brother she’s only known for a week. Kate didn’t give Alice this much leeway & they lived together for thirteen years. Jada stymieing her efforts would’ve put Ryan in a better position. If Marquis truly isn’t responsible for his actions, Arkham would still be the best option for him. Any sympathetic parallels the show is trying to do with real life mental illness is undermined by how utterly homicidal his actions are. Even if he’s not actively murdering, his control over Wayne Towers prevents her from accessing her Bat-gear to thwart other crimes.
One of the best scenes in Batman: Year One is when Batman crashes a dinner party to tell Gotham’s one- percenter crimesters that they can no longer exploit the city. I expected Ryan would go even further with supporting underprivileged Gothamites. She wasn’t using Wayne Enterprises to get ex-cons jobs to prevent them from becoming henchmen or rehabilitate Arkham with reputable resources to reduce recidivism. She’s just hypocritically complicit in hushing up her new rich familiy’s crimes. She’s become a Status Quo Warrior.
As a fun Charlie’s Angels action homage occurs, fellow partycrasher Mary tells Marquis his sister is Batwoman. Marquis literally explains to Ryan that he is to her as Joker was to Batman just in case it went over audiences’ heads. Before a hesitant Ryan can use the desiccating anti-Ivy serum to neutralize Mary, Ryan throws it into Marquis to keep him from killing Luke. This puts Marquis into a coma like freezing him would’ve, though surely he’ll just wake up looking more Joker-y. (His Mardi Gras jester look was spiffty & retained its own personality, so hopefully they don’t ditch it.) Mary is upset Ryan still thought Marquis was a bigger threat rather than glad she wasn’t dosed. Meanwhile remorseful Renee Montoya revives the original Poison Ivy with a fairy tale kiss. (Neither version has poisonous lips?)
Dr. Caitlin Snow needs to have a talk with Dr. Mary Hamilton about being railroaded into supervillainy. Dr. Pamela Isley was motivated to rescue the biosphere from the ravages of the anthropocene era. Mary is just mad her friends aren’t paying attention to her. She wallows in room service instead of fighting for the planet. So her transformation reverts her to being as shallow as the seemed to be in the pilot when she was introduced as an Instagram influencer. Now that she & Alice aren’t opposites, I worry their dynamic will flatten. That’s a lot of character assassination to circuitously get to the original Poison Ivy.
Renee’s secret was that she had already secretly confiscated Joker’s joy buzzer (Would Marquis be cured if he got zapped again under comic book science?) & was using its “absence” to indefinitely blackmail Ryan & Alice. This was in service of finding where Batman had stashed her ex-girlfriend (beneath the Batcave). So far it doesn’t look like Renee had anything to do with Mary becoming the new Poison Ivy, however, so she lucked out rather than masterminding Pam’s recovery. What about Penguin’s umbrella, Clayface’s mud (They could adapt one of the Mud Pack instead of inventing a new legacy foe), & Catwoman’s whip? Did they get retrieved offscreen or did the writers just forget them?
Pam’s outfit is inspired by the Arkham video games. (That design never made sense to me. If she’s comfortable walking around in just leaf panties, why doesn’t she just grow a leaf bra instead of covering up with an asylum shirt?) Compared to Mary’s costume, it looks low effort. If they weren’t going to glue fake leaves to a bodice for the traditional look, couldn’t they have integrated a leaf pattern throughout her maroon pleather more elegantly?
The actress who played Enchantress on LOT was also Imani on Batwoman. Does that mean Imani is the Beeboverse’s June Moon?
This alliterative & SEO unfriendly headline may be confusing to those who still insist on calling The CW’s interconnected DC TV programs the “Arrowverse.” Get with the times, folks! It’s the Beeboverse now! It’s grown beyond just Arrow. Do they call the MCU the Ironmanverse as well? (Somebody probably calls the DC movie equivalent the Manofsteelverse.) The Flash is more intrinsic to the shared universe since the whole timeline was changed by the Reverse-Flash before the events of Arrow’s series premiere.
Moira Queen was previously the Borg Queen.
I’m still confused why Arrow never used Cheshire. She’s not even on Titans.
The potential Justice U series is about Diggle training a new generation of superheroes. Will it tie into the DOD’s academy? I still think Black Lightning ought to be involved in metahuman education.