Tag: the flash (Page 1 of 4)

13 Ways 'The Flash' is Wasting Iris West

13 Ways ‘The Flash’ is Wasting Iris West

In just three seasons of The Flash, the characters have been through a lot of changes. I’m always impressed when a TV show doesn’t drag out a story. That means the writers’ imaginations are primed and they have a lot more stories to tell. Barry matured and tapped into the Speed Force; Cisco became Vibe; Caitlin is on her way to being (Not) Killer Frost; and we’ve had no less than four versions of Harrison Wells. Heck, even Joe reconciled with his ex-wife, gained a son and started dating again.

But one character hasn’t had much going on and it’s really working my last nerve. Iris West. Iris has had little to do since the first season for no good reason. She’s become set dressing, a prop, an exposition-spouter and an earpiece for other characters. Sure, she’s Barry’s love interest and general damsel in distress but… ugh! In the first season, Iris West was a firebrand, a go-getter blogger who was out to change the world. Somewhere in Season 2 she devolved into a superficial character who lost her unique voice. Her lines are nearly interchangeable with anyone else’s on Team Flash.

The Flash is missing out by putting Iris in the corner. Here are 13 ways The Flash is wasting Iris West.

#13 And the award goes to…

Candice Patton is a talented actress who isn’t chewing enough scenery on The Flash. During the few times Iris has bared her soul, Patton was up for the challenge. She portrays Iris deftly, hitting all the right notes of a character in a superhero TV series that’s almost a soap opera. She’s gutsy, but vulnerable; supportive, but protective; discerning, but blinded by love. When Team Flash visited Earth 2, Patton played a tougher, sexier version of Iris who was a lot of fun to watch. She’s also funny when she needs to be, surprising us with her subtle comedy.

However, Patton can only play so many shades of “concerned.” Iris is concerned about every one all the time… and that’s about it. Patton should be given more to do, more to say, so that she can flex her well-honed acting skills. She previously guest-starred on EntourageGrey’s Anatomy and Heroes, so she’s got TV drama down pat. She should be speechifying all over that set.

#12 Is this thing on?

Iris West doesn’t say a lot that has much value. What she says is usually just an echo of what someone else has said. Or, the writers use Iris like a Greek chorus, giving her lines that repeat what the audience is thinking or feeling. Mostly she’s there to be a sounding board; her lines are just prompts for Barry or Joe or Wally to say what’s on his mind.

Iris should be a three-dimensional, fully fleshed-out character, who can start conversations that have nothing to do with being concerned about someone’s rash actions or “how they’re doing.” (I think there should be a drinking game, actually, that has you take a drink every time Iris asks someone how they’re doing. Drunk in 20 minutes, flat!) If you don’t believe me, take this test: The next time Team Flash is gathered in the control room at S.T.A.R. Labs, pretend Iris isn’t there. Imagine what would happen if she didn’t speak at all. If you don’t think the outcome of the scene would be changed if she had remained silent, then we’re on the same page.

#11 Where my girls at?

You can tell The Flash is written almost exclusively by men because when it comes to bromance (Barry and Cisco; Joe and Barry; H.R. and Cisco) they know how to bring the feels. When was the last time, however, we witnessed a heartfelt expression between Iris and… there are no female BFFs on The Flash! C’mon!

Greg Berlanti — co-creator and executive producer — is doing a better job over on Supergirl, with great conversations between Kara and Alex, who are sisters. But the ladies of Central City have no one to hang with. I want to see some GNOs (girls night out, for the uninitiated) with Iris and Caitlin. Maybe even that cutie D.A. Cecile could toss one back with our girls. I’d love to see even a little female bonding that reveals more about these women. On The Flash, women are by and large villainous guest-stars. If they are do-gooders, they don’t stick around long. (See ya, Jesse!) Iris and Caitlin have a lot to talk about and I, for one, want to see that happen.

#10 We. Are. Fam-i-ly.

If Iris had more to do, we would get to know her family a little bit better. The Flash’s extended family has many a meal in Joe’s dining room, but rarely have we seen just Joe, Iris and Wally hanging out. Family is an important theme on The Flash, but the only blood relatives — the West family — are almost never alone in a room together. The characters are falling into a rut, where they serve only one or two purposes. Iris could be the catalyst to show us new sides of Joe and Wally, as well as herself. Plus, more West family get-togethers means that theme of family is emphasized all the more.

Wally West, Barry Allen (The Flash) and Iris West

Wally West, Barry Allen (The Flash) and Iris West

#9 You don’t bring me flowers anymore.

I know Barry is the fastest man alive, but can he please manage to spend more than a blink of an eye with his live-in love? The only time Barry and Iris see each other is at S.T.A.R. Labs, holidays or in bed. Perhaps the writers are just juggling too many characters to let us see more of Iris and Barry doing couple-y things, like cooking dinner or walking home from work or grabbing a coffee at CC Jitters (remember that place?). I almost don’t believe they’re really a couple because they went from “unrequited love” to “shacked up” in lightning speed.

I know I’m repeating myself (it is my blog, after all) but here, again, is another opportunity for the characters to do something other than stand around S.T.A.R. Labs talking about how concerned they are. Even an affectionate line or two is enough to make their romantic relationship more believable, while showing us more facets of their personalities.

#8 Princes need not apply.

The damsel-in-distress story trope gets old quick, especially when Iris is supposed to be a smart woman who can take care of herself. Recently I pitched this very story, the one you’re reading, to an editor. He said the point is moot because now Iris has her own storyline. Oh, dear editor, I beg to differ. [SPOILERS] Just because Savatar is out to kill Iris, and everyone’s trying to save her, does not mean she has her own storyline. It’s really still Barry’s storyline. HE has to save HER. Savatar is HIS enemy. She’s just the trophy Barry will win or lose.

Now, some of you are saying that Iris has been more active since Barry saw the future because she knows she has to live every minute to the fullest. True, she has been more active. But she still hasn’t created her own story. She is not the engine driving this story. Here’s another test: Imagine Cisco or Caitlin or Joe or anyone getting killed by Savatar in the future. Would the story be any different? Well, there might be less kissing, but that’s about it. [/SPOILERS]

#7 Tomorrow’s news today.

Iris is an investigative reporter who, until the last couple of episodes, hasn’t done much investigating. In the first season of The Flash, Iris was fighting for good stories and space on the front page. We saw her at work much more often than the last couple of seasons. We’re starting to see a little more of Iris at work, thankfully, but she’s still a character on the sidelines.

Iris could be helping Team Flash so much more than she does. As a reporter, she could be asking questions and digging up information that her cohorts can’t. No one’s going to wonder why a nosy reporter is asking a bunch of questions. If Barry started grilling someone, however, they would wonder why the forensic scientist is all up in their business. Instead of relying on Iris, Team Flash generally just uses the city’s security cameras or censors or some kind of Cisco-science to find metas and criminals. That gets old too! Put Iris to work!

#6 Always the bridesmaid…

A TV series is a short-lived thing for a reason. Writers can only come up with so many scenarios before the audience tunes out. In the case of a superhero show, like Arrow, eventually everyone is in on the identity of the superhero and/or everyone has a power or a persona. The Flash is definitely heading in that direction. First, there was just Barry as The Flash.  Then Cisco became Vibe. Now Caitlin is turning into Killer Frost, and Wally is Kid Flash. (I’m not counting Joe and H.R. because they’re a generation older and not part of the core team.) What about Iris?

Iris is the only main member of Team Flash who is powerless. She hasn’t picked up any cool mutations, no matter how many times something has exploded at S.T.A.R. Labs. It’s even been a topic of discussion among the characters, with Barry assuring her she is still an integral part of the team. Bah! Since various superhero TV shows have co-opted powers and personas for a variety of characters, to mix things up, let’s give Iris the powers and persona of DC’s Raquel Ervin, a.k.a. Rocket, who was a sidekick and wore a belt that gave her all kinds of powers. That could easily fit into The Flash’s continuity. Then Iris could be going toe to toe with some of these bad metas and aliens, and helping Team Flash in the field.

Iris West and Barry Allen

Iris West and Barry Allen

#5 Love means never having to say you’re sorry…

…which is so boring. I hate to get all needy here, but everything is about Barry Barry Barry. Iris supports him unconditionally. She’s always rooting for him, watching him race off to save the world. He’s traveled to other Earths and even lived in a completely different timeline. Meanwhile, Iris is just hanging out in Central City.

I’m not a jealous person, but I know a lot of women who resent their husbands for having jobs that require a lot of travel or long hours at the office. Generally, these women are resentful because they have their own needs that aren’t being met. They didn’t get married just to hang out at home alone, y’know? I would love to see Iris demand more of Barry’s time. I would love to see Iris put her foot down, or at least try, when Barry leaves her at dinner to stop a bank robbery, or something. Wouldn’t their relationship be more plausible, and less nauseating, if there was some conflict? For the first time, in “Untouchable,” Iris told Barry that sometimes she feels like he’s saving everyone but her. Preach, sister! Of course, Barry agreed with her and they kissed and everything was peachy, because those two never have any conflict. I want more!

#4 Reap what you sow.

I mentioned earlier that TV writers have a heck of a challenge. They have to keep a lot of storylines on deck in order to keep the audience interested and the ratings up. TV writers have to fill 23 episodes per season, with a very fast turnaround time and a tight budget. The Flash is The CW’s top show, in terms of ratings, so the pressure is on them to keep producing great stories.

If Iris had a fuller character, and more to do, the writers would have more stories to tell. Sure, the show is about The Flash, but there are plenty of B storylines floating around for the other characters. Why not give Iris something more? She could stumble onto some kind of criminal conspiracy through the course of her work. She could face challenges at the newspaper because she tries to balance her career and her time on Team Flash. The writers could even introduce (ugh, I hate this idea, but it’s a possibility) another love interest. Arrow has mined quite a few scenes out of various love triangles over the years. Giving Iris more to do would help the writers fill up their storyboards with great ideas.

#3 Crisscross applesauce.

Crossover episodes are a fan’s dream come true, because you get to see your favorite superheroes team up, banter, fight, kiss, whatever. Recently The CW had a massive crossover week that had the casts from SupergirlThe FlashArrow and Legends of Tomorrow visiting each other. “Invasion!” was fantastic fun, even if it wasn’t perfect.

I would love to see Iris visit National City, where Kara Danvers, a.k.a. Supergirl, is a cub reporter. There’s no reason the two of them couldn’t team up to investigate a story. Sure, Kara kind of has a female partner in her sister, Alex, but the duo of Kara and Iris would be a completely different dynamic. That would be a blast to watch!

#2 I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.

Maybe you don’t know this, but The CW has several original animated series on their website and their app called CW Seed. An animated series about Vixen is very popular right now, and one about Constantine is on its way. These web-only cartoons are a great way for fans to get to know their favorite superheroes a little better, and to see them do things that live-action TV budgets don’t allow, like flying and breathing underwater.

Iris is the kind of character that would be perfect to star in her own animated series. She’s a reporter, so episodes could focus on all kinds of crime, maybe even with a revolving door of DC Comics villains. Her character could be the keystone in a great cartoon, giving DC a cheaper way to serve up lots of their comic book characters.

Candice Patton as Iris West

Candice Patton as Iris West

#1 Here me roar.

The Arrowverse has taken a lot of heat for treating their female characters badly. Supergirl has gone a long way toward promoting strong, smart role models for girls, while depicting realistic characters. Even Legends of Tomorrow is getting better at letting female characters thrive in key roles, like having Sara Lance as the captain of the Waverider. But The Flash isn’t doing such a hot job. When female characters are introduced, they’re generally bad guys or appendages of a male character. Caitlin Snow has a rich story happening right now, and Jesse Quick found her own path, but Iris is left to stand around looking beautiful.

Iris is a front-and-center character, so there’s no reason she can’t be a feminist role model. Instead of parading around in the latest fashions and the highest heels (seriously, how does she walk in those spikes?) she could be leading the charge on a mission, or winning a Pulitzer, or like I said above, getting some powers and kicking some butt. If the writers don’t give Iris more of a purpose and something better to do than just supporting Barry all the time, there’s really very little reason for her to exist.

#GiveIrisMore

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DC Movies Timeline

DC movies are being released as fast as lightning (remind you of anyone?) to compete with Marvel’s jam-packed roster of superhero movies. Sometimes, like in 2016, we are even treated to two DC movies.

I recently created a Marvel movie timeline to help newbies get acquainted with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Here, I’m creating a similar DC movies timeline for the DCMU (DC Movie Universe). I’ll cover what movie is released when, which superheroes are starring in which movies, which ones you can skip, and which DC movies are must-see.

The DC movies that are covered in this timeline are part of Warner Bros. attempt to connect various DC movies into one universe. Man of Steel, therefore, is the first movie on the timeline. (Marvel has been doing this successfully for years. Warner Bros. has yet to figure out how to make great movies, while still keeping them connected.)

I will add to this DC movies movie timeline as movies are released, or as more information becomes available.

Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel / Warner Bros. Pictures

Man of Steel is the first movie in the new-ish DC movies timeline. Man of Steel is the origin story of Superman. This movie goes a little deeper than previous movies into what might have happened on Krypton that lead to Kal-El (Superman) being shipped out to Earth. Man of Steel also veered away from the Superman of the comics in a very important way. More on that later.

Man of Steel was a huge disappointment. I’m a big Superman fan, so I was psyched for this “re-imagining.” Man of Steel seemed like it was going to be more grounded than previous Superman movies, a la Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy of movies. Unfortunately, there were two movies happening in Man of Steel. There was a goofy movie, with a soft Lois Lane and softer military generals. Then there was a darker movie, about Clark Kent trying to find his way when he’s stuck between two planets. He’s also stuck between the need to save people, and his father’s fervent desire for him to stay hidden. Neither of these mini-movies worked very well.

Man of Steel spends way too much time building up to Clark Kent becoming Superman. We really didn’t need so much time spent on Krypton. It’s pretty boring, Russell Crowe’s performance aside. Then there’s too much time spent on Clark’s relationship with his father, played effectively by Kevin Costner. (He does farm boy real well.) Get to Superman being awesome, already!

The biggest plot point that fans took umbrage with occurs at the end of Man of Steel. (SPOILERS HERE!) At the end of the movie, when Superman is fighting General Zod, it seems like he can’t be beaten. Finally, Superman snaps his neck, killing Zod. That is a HUGE difference between Zack Snyder’s Superman and the Superman of the comic books. Droves of fans cried out against it, and rightly so. Superman doesn’t kill his enemies. Ever.

In addition to finding a better ending, I wish Man of Steel would have been more linear. There were clearly too many cooks, including Chris Nolan. You just cannot treat Superman like you can treat Batman. You can’t make a “dark” movie about Superman, because that just isn’t his nature, not like Batman. The studio, Zack Snyder (director) and Chris Nolan all had very different ideas of how Man of Steel should be made. The result is a mess.

Henry Cavill makes a fantastic Superman. He brings much-needed gravitas to a character that is made fun of a lot for being a goody-goody. You can see his inner struggle writ plainly on his face. And while Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe deliver good performances, I can’t say the same for the very talented Amy Adams. She’s a terrific actress, but she is much too soft to play Lois Lane. I don’t know if Zack Snyder was sending her in the wrong direction, or if she just naturally can’t find the steel in her spine. Regardless, her breathy voice and puppy eyes just don’t work as hardened reporter Lois Lane.

According to Box Office Mojo, Man of Steel made $291 million in domestic grosses. Is that a lot? No. Not when you compare it to, say, The Dark Knight, which brought in $535 million. Man of Steel’s box office total was considered a disappointment. Man of Steel fought middlin’ reviews, which was one of the reasons fans didn’t flock to the theaters. It received a 55% at Rotten Tomatoes, which is just shy of being rated Fresh.

Do I need to see any movies before this one? No. It’s the beginning of the timeline.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

BATMAN v SUPERMAN

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sees Batman go after Superman for his part in the destruction of Metropolis, during his fight with Zod. A friend of mine watched it then said, “Batman’s an a–hole. He should have just called him up and said, ‘Hey, what are you up to?'” I argued that Batman didn’t care what Superman was up to; he was out to save his planet, no matter what.

Batman v Superman had some problems. According to some fans and critics, it had a lot of problems. Lots of fans didn’t like how Lex Luthor was portrayed as crazy as, say, the Joker. Fans also didn’t like how Superman and Batman were portrayed, saying they were too different from their comic book versions. I, however, really liked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. (I, especially, like the soundtrack.) Yes, there were some scenes that bothered me, mostly involving Lois Lane or Lex Luthor. But, overall, I really enjoyed how the movie takes time to build up to the main event. You can read my full review on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Here, I’ll say that I’ve watched it several times since it came out, and I enjoy it more each time. I especially love finding new Justice League and Wonder Woman Easter Eggs (speech about Zeus, anyone?). And, the desert and warehouse fight scenes with Batman are fantastic.

To my surprise, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was more maligned by critics than Man of Steel. It earned only a 27% (ouch!) at Rotten TomatoesBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice managed to pull in $330 million at the box office, which is more than Man of Steel earned. (Interesting fact: Batman v Superman earned $542 million in foreign markets.)

Do I need to see any movies before this one? No, but seeing Man of Steel before you see Batman v Superman will make some plot points clearer. You’ll still be able to catch on, if you skip Man of Steel, but it helps.

Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad was meant to be a fun aside, a summertime movie that flew under the radar. Thanks to disappointing box office returns for Batman v Superman, however, Suicide Squad took on much more attention and pressure than it was meant to.

Suicide Squad / Warner Bros.

Suicide Squad is about a group of incarcerated criminals, who are released by super-secret government agent Amanda Waller. Her vision is to create a band of nutty brothers, who are so bad, they’re good. Plus, she figures if they get killed, no biggie. Each of them has a tiny bomb implanted in their head. That way, if they don’t follow the rules, they’re blown to bits. It’s kind of a hardcore leash.

I know plenty of fans who like Suicide Squad better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I think they like it better simply because it has more laughs. That’s it. The story — what there is of it — is horrible. There’s no build-up, just pay-offs. And those are predictable.

The movie spends entire music videos introducing each character. Really, a title slate for each one would have been fine. Or, how about Waller just running down their rap sheet, quick-like.

The time wasted on introductions could have been spent building the team and the story. I wanted to see the Suicide Squad take on some petty criminals here and there, learning their moves, gelling as a team, then taking on a boss. However, Suicide Squad wastes a ton of time in the lead-up, and then sends them into the boss battle. Except, the boss battle is so. Damn. Long. And in the meantime, we get a couple of exposition dumps that are shoe-horned in.

Speaking of the boss battle, the identity of the boss is supposed to be a twist, a surprise. (SPOILERS!) How can we feel betrayed by one of Waller’s chosen nutjobs, when we haven’t even had time to get to know her? Again, we needed to see her fighting alongside her fellow Suicide Squad team members. That way, we’re invested when she splits. (END SPOILERS)


www.shopdcentertainment.com

There are too many deaths. What I mean is, too many times a character dies and then — gotcha! They’re back. Once, is clever. More than that? They lose all meaning. Those gotcha moments are the result of lazy movie-making. Make a choice and stick with it! Or don’t kill the character at all.

Plus, there are just far too many characters. There are so many characters, that when one of them gets a moment, like Katana, it seems completely out of place. We are given no reason to care about any of them, except Deadshot and Harley Quinn (most likely because Will Smith and Margot Robbie, respectively, made sure they got enough screen time). So, when something happens to a character, it’s like, meh.

And don’t get me started on the Joker. He should have been used much more sparingly. Jared Leto isn’t starring in the same movie as everyone else. His storyline could be completely removed, to great effect. Or, even better, his story could have been part of the overall story. Instead, it runs parallel and just gets confusing.

What’s frustrating is that there is a good movie hiding in Suicide Squad. But writer/director David Ayer needed a tighter storyline, a better focus, fewer characters, and more fight scenes (with different villains).

Suicide Squad got beaten up by the critics, only racking up 26% on the Tomatometer. And while Suicide Squad remained at the top of the August box office, it still only brought in $282 million to date.

Do I need to see any movies before this one? No. In fact, skip this one.

Wonder Woman (2017)

Gail Gadot as Wonder Woman in 'Batman v Superman' / Warner Bros.

Wonder Woman is highly anticipated for a couple of reasons. First, Gal Gadot, as Wonder Woman, was the best part of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She was true to the comic books, fighting like the warrior she is. Second, Wonder Woman is helmed by — wait for it — a woman! Female directors are few and far between in Hollywood. Female directors of superhero movies are unheard of. Director Patty Jenkins’ previous work includes Monster and AMC’s The Killing. Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine (the Star Trek films), Connie Nielsen (Fox’s The Following), Robin Wright (Netflix’s House of Cards), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films), Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In), Ewen Bremner (Snowpiercer) and Saïd Taghmaoui (American Hustle).

Wonder Woman is an origin story. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers, and her true destiny.

Wonder Woman is scheduled for release on June 2, 2017.

Justice League (2017)

 

The first look at the #JusticeLeague, straight from #SDCC2016 in Hall H.

A photo posted by @justiceleague on

 

We can only guess at what Justice League will be about, at this point. Details are thin on the ground. We know who’s starring in it: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Joker, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and Commissioner Gordon, to name a few.

Warner Bros. was nice enough to show some footage at the San Diego Comic-Con. (I don’t like the rock music that accompanies the footage. More dramatic music, or subtle music, would have been better.)

 

Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, posted this intriguing image of his costume to his Instagram account. Bizarro?

 

 

#Superman

A photo posted by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on

Aquaman (2018)

 

This ain’t CGI. #iamtheking aloha Ali’i

A photo posted by Jason Momoa (@prideofgypsies) on

 

So far, the cast of Aquaman includes Jason Momoa, as Arthur Curry (Aquaman); Amber Heard as his wife, Mera; Michael Kenneth Williams, as Black Manta (rumored); and Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko.

The Flash (2018)

 

“The flash” is confirmed to begin filming in January 2017. #theflash

A photo posted by Ezra Miller⚡️ (@ezrator) on

 

There was a bit of an uproar from fans, and from Arrow actor Stephen Amell, when Warner Bros. cast Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash.

Unlike Marvel, DC doesn’t dovetail their movie and TV properties. Therefore, the TV series (ArrowThe FlashSupergirl) have nothing to do — and do not share cast members — with the movie versions of their worlds. The casting announcement came the day after the TV series premiere of The Flash, starring Grant Gustin, on the CW. Many felt it was poor form for Warner Bros. to draw the focus away from the fantastic performance of Grant Gustin, and the high ratings of the TV series’ premiere.

Personally, I love Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller hasn’t won me over. Granted (see what I did there?), Miller hasn’t had much screen time yet. Also, I like the TV show’s suit much better.

Justice League, Part Two (2019)

Untitled Batman Reboot (TBA)

Before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came out, there was only speculation about a stand-alone Batman movie, starring Ben Affleck in the titular role. Affleck proved himself worthy of his own movie. As Batman, not only does he turn in a solid performance, he manages to create a different character than Christian Bale and Michael Keaton, who were beloved in the role.

Cyborg (TBA)

 

#BORGLIFE #VictorStone #Cyborg #JusticeLeague

A video posted by Ray Fisher (@rehsifyar) on

 

Starring Ray Fisher.

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A breakdown of the DC movies timeline, beginning with Man of Steel.

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?

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