Tag: arrow (Page 1 of 3)

Arrow -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as The Arrow -- Photo: JSquared Photography/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

‘Arrow’ Needs to Fix These Things STAT

Although Arrow remains one of The CW’s highest-rated shows, a few significant changes would strengthen the show’s plots and characterizations. The DC Comics series has changed significantly since its debut in 2012. Arrow has strayed so far from its original premise — Oliver Queen’s origin story as the Green Arrow — that much of the show just isn’t working anymore.

Arrow, now entering its fifth season on the CW this fall, could recapture its superhero magic with just a few changes.

Drop the Flashbacks

Pictured (L-R): Karl Yune as Maseo and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Pictured (L-R): Karl Yune as Maseo and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

In Arrow’s first season, flashback scenes to Oliver’s time on the island served two purposes. First, those scenes let viewers in on what had happened to Oliver Queen after he was shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Second, the flashbacks underscored current storylines, filling in blanks for viewers, while leaving Oliver’s friends and family in the dark.

However, the flashbacks have outlived their usefulness. The flashbacks in Season 4 showed Oliver and island slave Taiana teaming up to defeat Baron Reiter. The flashbacks may have explained the origin of Damien Darhk’s mystical idol, but was that even necessary? One scene with Damien drawing on the idol’s powers would have been enough to show the audience everything they needed to know. The entire flashback throughline could be lifted from Season 4 with no damage to the season as a whole.

Furthermore, the time that’s wasted on flashbacks could be spent fleshing out secondary characters. Curtis Holt, Felicity’s genius employee, is a fantastic addition to the regular cast. He’s what Felicity used to be to Arrow, a comedy break with heart. Spending more time on Curtis, and how he invents his devices, would go a long way toward cementing him as one of Team Arrow. Wasted flashback time could have been spent on the friendship between Nyssa and Thea, or exploring Darhk’s intentions, which seemed to come from nowhere.

While the flashbacks served an important purpose at the outset of Arrow, they’re no longer necessary to keep the show moving. In fact, they just interrupt the main storyline.

Make the Green Arrow Unique Again

Pictured: Stephen Amell as Green Arrow -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

Pictured: Stephen Amell as Green Arrow — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

In the first two seasons of Arrow, Oliver was the superhero with a secret. Nothing creates conflict like the main character keeping a secret from everyone around him. Soon enough, however, nearly every character on the show was in on his secret.

Once Diggle, Felicity, Laurel, Roy and Thea knew Oliver Queen was the Arrow, everyone became a superhero. Certainly, Oliver was still a better fighter than the others, but within a season, the characters became nearly indistinguishable. The Green Arrow, as he’s now known, is no longer a unique character at the center of the show. Now that every character can fight, and every character spouts nearly the same lines, Arrow has become almost boring. The characters are interchangeable in almost every scene.

Making each character unique again, while maintaining their training and history, would be a challenge. But gradually, over several episodes, Oliver could regain his importance while giving secondary characters other jobs to do. The time that’s wasted on flashbacks could be spent building lives outside of the lair for the team members, leaving Oliver to be the incredible Green Arrow fans are craving.

Along those lines, characters need to stop having the same old argument about who should be risking their lives. That argument, which has happened between every possible combination of characters on Arrow, is tired and unconvincing. At this point, Oliver should let people risk their lives, or Arrow should find something else for those people to do.

Felicity and Oliver Should Move On

Pictured (L-R): Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

Pictured (L-R): Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

Saying that “Olicity” — the relationship between Oliver and Felicity — was a terrible idea isn’t popular on the Internet. Legions of ‘shippers adore seeing Oliver and Felicity as a couple. But time and again, TV shows have proven that getting two characters together is a terrible decision. In this case, getting Oliver and Felicity together was an even worse decision than usual.

First, holding two characters apart who are attracted to each other creates instant tension, instant conflict, and enduring viewer interest. It’s the classic “will they or won’t they” scenario. As soon as the couple comes together, that conflict and interest is over. Zero conflict equals a boring story. So having Felicity and Oliver in a happy relationship was boring.

Second, not only is Olicity boring, but also Oliver and Felicity aren’t suited to each other at all. Seeing them together was more like seeing a big brother and little sister together; it never worked well. Felicity’s cock-eyed optimism and high I.Q. made her a beloved character. Plus, a small dose of Felicity goes a long way. Seeing almost too little of her in an episode made the audience crave more of her. Once she became Oliver’s girlfriend, not only was she too much on screen, but also her optimism got sucked into the black hole that is Oliver’s brooding personality. Both of them devolved into weep soapy opera characters.

Matching Oliver with Laurel would have been a much better idea. They come across as equals. And Stephen Amell, as Oliver, and Katie Cassidy, as Laurel, had truckloads more chemistry than Amell and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity. Oliver needs a mate who understands his darkness, and goes there with him. Having Felicity shine her bright light on him just made both of them gray.

Arrow used to be an action-packed superhero show. The fourth season was a mess of sappy characters and boring flashbacks. A few important changes could make Arrow, and Oliver Queen, super again.

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DC's Legends of Tomorrow Landscape Poster

What is the ‘Justice Society of America?’

What is going on with the CW’s super heroes and the Justice Society of America?

SPOILERS FOR DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW AND THE FLASH FINALES

If you watched DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, as I did, you were treated to a who’s who of minor DC Comics characters: Firestorm, Jonah Hex, even Sergeant Rock showed up for a minute (and was killed!).

But one moment that probably meant absolutely nothing for most people, and was a disappointment to most comic fans, was at the very end of the season finale, when we were assured that a beloved DC icon would show up.

And it was Rex Tyler, Hourman.

Hourman is a minor DC Comics character who has a special serum that, when injected, gives him powers for 60 minutes. So, if nothing else, he has to wrap things up pretty quickly. Now, I wasn’t that interested in Hourman, frankly. I’m sure that this will change soon, but if you’re at a comic book convention, you’re never going to see a cosplay Hourman.

 

 

 

But there were a couple of interesting things about Hourman. For instance — and this doesn’t happen much on the CW — he was wearing, basically, his costume from the comics  and he name-checked the “JSA,” the Justice Society of America. Now, even if you don’t know the name, you probably know the Justice League of America: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Martian Manhunter, and maybe a few other lessor heroes. But the Justice Society of America is, as far as I can tell, Geoff Johns super hero team, and I think they might be assembling them on the CW.

Who the hell is Geoff Johns?

He used to be Superman director Richard Donner’s assistant. He started writing comics— including the Justice Society of America— and is now one of the creative directors in charge of the DC Universe, including films, TV and comics. So he actually wrote the pilot of The Flash TV series and consults on the show with Greg Berlanti, who created Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and Supergirl.

Geoff Johns used to write a JSA series with David Goyer, who wrote all the Dark Knight movies, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Hell, Goyer wrote the made-for-TV Nick Fury movie with David Hasselhoff! Anyway, my point is that there are a lot of power players in the current DC Universe who love the Justice Society of America. I don’t know if they’re working toward a made-for-TV movie or what, but I think something is happening.

By the way, I agree with Media Medusa’s evisceration of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for the most part, even though I still like the show. I thought the most interesting part of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was the broad strokes. For instance, the show was so dumb that I didn’t see its clever moments coming up, like Heat Wave turning out to be Chronos. But DC’s Legends of Tomorrow might be the only show I’ve ever seen where the studio interference, the broad strokes, turned out to be the best part.

There were a lot of fun moments on the show, but also a lot of missed opportunities.

Like, when Hawkgirl and the Atom were trapped in the ‘50s for over a year, I would have liked to have seen them have an adventure! And I love Captain Cold, but, man, the character choices made by the actor playing him are weird, weird, weird. And it seems like Heat Wave is taking acting lessons from him.

 


Rip Hunter, Captain Cold and Heat Wave on ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

 

Anyway, Hourman shows up (it’s the guy from Suits) and I was thinking, oh, well, Hourman. Who knows? Maybe they’ll make it interesting. I certainly wasn’t a big Ant-Man fan and that movie was great. You never know what they’re going to do with second-tier characters.

But then, something else interesting happened.

If you watch The Flash, you know that they’ve been ruining the good name of one of my favorite characters of all time — Jay Garrick, the golden age Flash — by making him the bad guy, Zoom. At the end of the season, it came out that Zoom wasn’t Jay Garrick, and that Jay had been his prisoner all season. And then, Jay came out in full-on Flash costume and ran off to parts unknown on Earth 2! Jay Garrick, golden age Flash!

 


The Flash and Zoom

 

My Justice Society of America radar suddenly went bonkers. That’s two members of the Justice Society of America showing up in two different CW season finales! Now, I know that the CW is trying hard not to be “The Super Hero Network,” but let’s face it, they have a lot of super hero shows that are doing well for them.

(This doesn’t have to do with anything, but that golden age Flash outfit didn’t do John Wesley Shipp any favors. He’s in really great shape and that thing draped on him like he was hiding a beer gut. I hope that they work on that before the Justice Society of America tele-movie.)

Let’s talk about who the Justice Society of America are.

The Justice Society of America were the FIRST super hero team, and have literally been around since 1940, beating the Fantastic Four and Avengers into existence by more than 20 years. (Wonder Woman was introduced in one of their books!)

Obviously, with any super hero team that has been around for any length of time, there are going to be a lot of different iterations. So, basically, we have a lot of choices who could be on the Justice Society of America.

  • Two obvious choices are Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who were both on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Jay Garrick Flash is sitting around the Justice round table in Issue #1;  he was on The Flash.
  • Hourman (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) has been in a lot of different iterations.
  • Black Canary (who is currently dead on Arrow, as have been so many super heroes so many times before her) is a founding member of the Justice Society of America as Dinah Drake, who I think is related to current Black Canary, Dinah Lance. (Remember Silk Spectre from Watchmen? Her and her mother were very Black Canary-esque.)
  • And Michael Holt, the other computer genius on Arrow, is Mr. Terrific, a fun member of the new Justice Society of America.

There are others I can think of, but the point is that it would not be difficult to build a reasonably decent Justice Society of America from the current CW roster. And you know who would be perfect for the Justice Society of America as a guest star? Supergirl. The JSA are all about hope.

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Why does the JSA matter?

Well, it’s probably because I’m old and care about such things. But the thing that DC does better than Marvel is the idea of Legacy. Why does Batman train Robin? Because Batman is going to die someday and he’ll need someone to take over his legacy. I can count four different guys who have been Green Lantern without even thinking hard about it, and at least five different speedsters in the Flash family.

The Justice Society of America are the originals, the wise parents who give counsel and, when necessary, kick the asses of young people. If Matlock was a super hero, he would be in the JSA. One of my favorite characters in history is Wildcat from the Justice Society of America, a.k.a. Ted Grant, who trained just about every good fighter in the DC Universe, up to and including Batman. There was a Ted Grant on Arrow who never quite worked, but Wildcat Ted Grant, who is much older, could be his dad or something. Legacy!

I’m a little worried that Greg Berlanti is going to explode if he takes on any more responsibilities.

It’s time for him to find his David Greenwalt, a trusted confederate who can take over a show (Greenwalt took over Angel for Joss Whedon, to mixed reviews). I think that Arrow is really good, but is showing some signs that the mastermind isn’t really keeping his eye on the ball, like this season’s flashback story. If anything lifts right out, it’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. But I still think that they kind find something good in that show because, again, there were some great moments. And they have some amazing actors, like Victor Garber, who deserves better.

So who knows if there’s even room for another show? And this is all guesswork on my part. It just seems strange to me that they would take the final moments of the season finales of two CW shows to introduce two different Justice Society of America characters. It probably means something.

Who are the Justice Society of America?

Find a cosplay store online

The Cosplay Store Online That Will Surprise You

Whether you’re into cosplay or planning a one-time costume for Halloween, a cosplay store online will have all the costume pieces and props to help your character come to life.

See also: Custom Geek Gear for All Ages at Tomboy Togs

Amazon

Sexy Harley Quinn

Amazon is my favorite online store for, well, everything. Whether I need paper clips, cereal, iPhone accessories or a (gasp!) book, Amazon is always my first choice. Their website is adept at making relevant suggestions while I’m shopping. Their prices usually beat everyone. And even their app is very easy to use.

It may surprise you to find out what a great cosplay store online Amazon is.  The costume selection is wide-ranging, from TV and movie characters (Maleficent is pictured) to classic witches and devils. They offer costumes for every age and size, at very reasonable prices. As always, the suggested items are helpful, especially when you can see what other folks have bought to complete their costumes. All this help makes cosplay very easy.

 

HerUniverse.com

Doctor Who everyday cosplay

HerUniverse.com is a new online store with all kinds of cosplay-type apparel and costumes for women. You can find sci fi and fantasy garb that’s actually flattering. (Flattering fangirl apparel is difficult to find. Those traditional, boxy t-shirts are really meant for men, with no seams to allow for curves.) The website is user-friendly, with plenty of white space to keep things clear and big pictures to show you the apparel. HerUniverse.com is the vision of Ashley Eckstein (pictured in a Star Trek tunic), actress and voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Araca Group, a leading theatrical and brand management company. I’m sure after attending plenty of cons to promote The Clone Wars, Ashley figured out there was a market for good-looking costumes and props for cosplay, and fangirls everywhere.

DressLily.com

Cosplay Wig

One day while I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I spotted a tiny little DressLily.com ad. The ad caught my eye because it featured girls in these fantastic wigs. See, I’ve been thinking about doing the mermaid hair thing. These wigs look just like what I want my hair to look like. So, I might end up buying a wig from this cosplay store online (which also has cool regular clothes) and save myself the hassle. Check out what they have to offer for everyday cosplay, as well as these gorgeous wigs for men and women.

SuperHeroStuff.com

Wonder Woman Boots

This website’s slogan is “where heroes shop.” They should amend that to include villains, too. You can find pretty much any cape, vest, jacket, sword, gun or shield you need to complete your cosplay costume. I love the new character hoodies. Just zip up and you’re transformed into Wolverine (complete with claws) or Loki (pictured, complete with horns), or several other characters. SuperHeroStuff.com can be confusing because the website has a lot of menus, big fonts and bright colors. Use the search box for the most efficient way of finding your costume piece. Also, they frequently send coupons to their newsletter subscribers, so sign up for discounts

Entertaiment Earth

Daredevil cowl

Entertainment Earth has been around since close to the dawn of the Internet. The company has fantastic customer service. You can find merch on their website either by the type of product, a general theme, a genre, a specific character or a specific franchise. Entertainment Earth is another cosplay store online that might surprise you. Their costume selection isn’t as broad as some of the other websites, but they have a nice selection of props or cosplay pieces, including the Groot mask pictured here.

WBShop.com

Hogwarts Robe

It may seem strange to include a studio-specific website on this list, but how could I leave it off when Warner Bros. owns some of the best franchises out there? Particularly, I visit their Harry Potter section. I love all things Harry Potter, and around Halloween, WBShop.com has deals on robes, wands, hats and other props, like the Spectrespecs that Luna wears (pictured). Merch from other franchises is for sale, including pretty much every DC property ( like Arrow), Lord of the RingsLooney Tunes and plenty of other great props and apparel from movies and TV, perfect for cosplay.

Other Sites

If you’re looking for something homemade or more specific than these websites offer, ebay and Etsy are the places to look. I’m not crafty, so Etsy is usually where I shop when I want something unique and cool. Etsy is somewhat easier on the eyes than ebay, but the latter website certainly has a reputation for offering a huge marketplace.

These online cosplay stores have everything you need for everyday cosplay or contest-worthy costumes.


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