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Superheroes on TV: Life in the Arrowverse 

Superheroes on TV: Life in the Arrowverse
© The CW

It’s a great time to be a superhero fan! By my count, there are 14 current series based on comics, and another 37 (potentially) on the way. These series spread across all manner of platforms, from big names on major networks; to rating behemoths on basic cable; streaming on Netflix or Playstation, and even premium cable networks have their hands in the comic pot. No matter what your preference (DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse), you’d be hard pressed to NOT find something in your genre of choice.

Here at TV Goodness, we’ll be taking a look at the state of Superheroes on TV week-to-week.

© The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

First up, Central City

Fake Harrison (I refuse to call him Harry like team Flash) is finally starting to grow on me. However, he’s not nearly as crafty as original Harrison Wells. As uncomfortable as the “change” makes me feel while watching, there’s something to be said for actor Tom Cavanagh to be able to make Earth-2 Wells feel as different as he does.

Without delving into the minutia of the DC comic multiverse, I’m excited that we’re finally going to see the much-hyped Earth-2! Whenever we are given an episode written by series creators (Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg), fans should know they are in for quite a treat. Teetering on the precipice with so much up in the air… Anything could go wrong! And when something inevitably does, what kind of ramifications are we going to see in present day Earth-1?

Barry’s getting slower, Jay’s getting sicker, Harrison Wells is talking out of both sides of his mouth, the Wests are struggling with their new addition, and Zoom’s momentum still seems unstoppable.

Speaking of momentum, what happened to Barry and Iris? After Barry saw the future in Wells’ secret room, did he just give up trying after learning that he and Iris eventually wed? Through no fault of Candice Patton, I feel like Iris is pulling farther and farther away from the character that was so liked in the first season. I keep waiting for things to get better, but there hasn’t been an upturn yet. She and Barry have lost all chemistry; even their friendship feels so meh now.

Despite the downturn in their relation/friendship, it’s refreshing to see that Barry and Joe are still as strong as ever EVEN WITH the additional of a grown child, Wally, that Joe and Iris knew nothing about. Come to The Flash for the fun and superhero campiness, stay for the depth of this father/son relationship and that Grant Gustin smile.

© The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

Meanwhile, in Star City…

Before we get to Roy being back, how did “A.W.O.L.” (January 27th’s episode) leave us with a dead Amanda Waller and no answers in the following week?! Is it just me, or are there just too many Big Bads on Arrow now? H.I.V.E., Shadowspire, and occasionally A.R.G.U.S. and Nyssa… This season is moving so fast, it’s getting hard to keep up.

The pace could be an unintended consequence of Arrow being the jumping off point for all of these connected worlds. First The Flash, then Constantine (despite the show now being defunct), and now Legends of Tomorrow and even Vixen — that’s a plethora of mythos that is being brought to life on our TV screens. Let’s not forget a The Flash/Supergirl, cross-network team-up is in the works, which makes the Arrowverse even more massive! If the execs at FOX come out and say that Gotham and Lucifer are also set in the same universe, would DC have some kind of TV monopoly?

While I am so glad this season has moved far, far away from Ra’s al Ghul, I feel like his absence left Nyssa in some sort of awkward character limbo. She’s not a friend, not quite a foe, yet she still appears now and again as if to say “you can’t get rid of me so easily.” Having moved away from a contentious League of Assassins, there’s something to be said for a good villain: Neal McDonough is a perfect Damien Darhk! As this season progresses, Arrow feels more like it did during its peak at season 2, where Manu Bennett had us captivated as Deathstroke.

Through ups, downs, and paralyzing wounds, Felicity Smoak is and seems to forever be, my favorite character on this show. With all the room in the DC Universe, is it completely foolish of me to keep wishing and hoping that Felicity is Oracle? I’ve loved her from the first time we met her in season 1; and I’ve (grudgingly) accepted (read: tolerated) Olicity because I just want her to be happy. She’s now got a nerd partner-in-crime in Curtis Holt, and I’m very excited to how far the writers take his character. Will we eventually get a Mr. Terrific?

A girl can dream.

© The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

And in a galaxy far, far away, or, you know, 1975…

Leave it to time travel to instantly make any show feel nerdier than it actually is. Certainly, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is still trying to find its legs, but it doesn’t quite feel like a superhero show. And despite the familiar faces, it certainly doesn’t feel like part of the Arrowverse. I do, however, have faith that Legends will hit its stride.

Two of my favorite DC characters appear here — Hawkgirl and Firestorm. Admittedly, Jason Rusch/Ronnie Raymond is my favorite combination Firestorm, but I am learning to love Jackson and Stein (it’s hard not to love Victor Garber!). As for Hawkgirl, she has wings and carries a mace (or, at least, I hope she will soon). Need I say more?

I’m actually a little bummed at Sara Lance’s White Canary. The feral look just doesn’t suit her, and that trip through the Lazarus pit pretty much erased all the progress Sara had made before she was killed. But her newfound brutality definitely has a place in this hodge-podge team.

It will take some time to separate these characters from their previous iterations on either The Flash or Arrow, but given time, I hope they can stand on their own. The team dynamic and cohesive feel aren’t there yet. It’s easy enough to like individuals, but I’m not sold on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow just yet.

That being said, it is definitely interesting to see another angle of the metahuman dynamic that makes The Flash so unique. With Legends, we’re introduced to some seriously powerful beings; which opens the door to even bigger villains, of which DC has plenty.

So how can you keep up with all of these crossovers? Luckily it’s easy with these three: same Bat time, same Bat place, 3 days in a row.
– Catch The Flash on The CW, Tuesdays at 8/7c.
– Watch Arrow on The CW, Wednesdays at 8/7c.
– Tune in to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on The CW, Thursdays at 8/7c.

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  1. MByerly

    In a throwaway line, Oliver mentioned that he would have liked to have given Felicity the code name, “Oracle,” but it had been taken already.

    LEGENDS is definitely problematic. It’s not grabbed me yet. The good guys are doing their thing, and he’s doing his, and only occasionally does the twain meet. There’s no sense that anything the idiot good guys who can’t keep their dang mouths closed about themselves to Savage will do any good in the grand scheme of things. All they are doing is trashing their own timelines.

    1. Jasmin

      Legends does seem scattered at the moment. Hopefully they can get it corrected (and FAST!), or else it will suffer the same fate as Constantine. Though, CW is far more forgiving in keeping shows around (just look at Reign, haha).

  2. Teri

    Welcome Jasmin!

    You can’t forget Cisco’s jokes and naming the bad guys on The Flash, definitely a staying point as well. haha I’m excited for Robbie Amell to be back when the Team travels to Earth 2.

    I love Arrow. But I couldn’t believe there was no mention of Amanda Waller being dead either! A bullet to the head and no one thinks about her again. Maybe it’ll come up and be discussed when A.R.G.U.S. needs a new leader? And they want Lyla? Who else are they going to get?

    I’m with you on Legends. It hasn’t hooked me yet. Funny you should mention Sara, I went from hating her when she first showed up on Arrow to really liking her and then she was killed and brought back. Now I’m just eh. I like all the characters individually, but together, I’m just not there yet. I know it’s only been a couple of episodes, so maybe I’m judging it too harshly too quickly. I’ll stick with it to see how it picks up and weaves into The Flash and Arrow.

    1. Jasmin

      Thanks, Teri! I have loved Cisco from the very beginning! I love that the show keeps a bit of that campy comic-book feel by him being the one to name the bad guys! And Arrow, I mean, it’s definitely been a roller coaster. I have so many questions about A.R.G.U.S. too, but I have a feeling I’m trying too hard to blend the show into the new Suicide Squad movie. I’ll give Legends the benefit of the doubt, ESPECIALLY since it took 9 full episodes to fall in love with Arrow during season 1. =)

      1. Teri

        Yeah, I just need to give Legends more of a chance. Too harsh, too quick. lol It may also be that everyone on Arrow and The Flash are so good together as a cast. The chemistry between most of the core team(s) is stellar. I could talk about this forever, just ask some of the others at TV Goodness. 🙂

        I look forward to reading your articles in the future!

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