The Flash Midseason Review

Out of all the TV show based on DC Comics characters, the Flash was the most anticipated and most hyped of all with all the interviews and trailers for the CW. It was the first time we had a Flash TV series since 1990. When the pilot premiered, it was a ratings success and it successfully lived up to the hype. Unlike Smallville, the Flash was not ashamed to be a comic book TV series. It was created by Greg Berlanti, who also co-created its sister show Arrow. The Flash was a spinoff from Arrow when Barry Allen made his appearance or two in last season. Both of these shows are set in the same universe and it wasn’t before long that we get crossovers.

Immediately Barry Allen got his costume, but the Flash name didn’t come until a few episodes later. So in contrast to Smallville where Clark didn’t fly and wear the suit until its series finale, Barry got his almost from the start. After what happened with Smallville, viewers have no patience for something that may take too long to pay off. That’s why Smallville was notorious for stalling and continuing, not progressing and evolving.

Barry Allen is the main character of the series and is a police scientist. His mother was killed by man in the yellow suit aka Reverse Flash when he was young. His father, Henry, ends up being framed and goes to jail for it. Raising Barry is detective Joe West and Barry lives with them, along with Joe’s daughter Iris. Barry and Iris are like brother and sister and this is where there was no romantic chemistry between them. Eventually Iris ended falling for detective Eddie Thawne, who is Joe’s partner out in the field. Supporting Barry and his cause are future Vibe Cisqo Ramon, future Killer Frost Caitlin Snow, and the mysterious Dr. Harrison Wells.

At first, Harrison Wells may be a made-for-TV character but I found out that he could be based on the Dr. Wells from the Superfriends cartoons where there is the basic idea of him time travel. He could also be based on author HG Wells. A lot of people think he’s either the Reverse Flash from the future, Rip Hunter, or one of the Monitors. Every episode ends with something happening involving Dr. Wells. The midseason finale saw him put a device on the yellow suit causing people to believe he’s the Reverse Flash, but I think it’s too obvious.

The Flash put out some impressive portrayals of the Rogues such as Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Multiplex, Captain Boomerang, Gorilla Grodd, along with several DC heroes such as Firestorm Ronnie Raymond, who is Caitlin’s fiance. This causes Caitlin to prevent anything happening to Barry after what happened to Ronnie.  I had hoped that we see interactions between Ronnie Raymond and his future stepmother, Felicity Smoak.

The crossovers between The Flash and Arrow have already happened since the pilot episode and would occur with frequent appearances by Oliver and Felicity. Diggle also made his debut on the Flash TV show and has shown genuine reactions to Flash’s powers.  The first part of the crossover saw Flash Vs. Arrow where Barry was under the influence and fighting Arrow, who is trying to subdue him. The second part of the crossover occurred in Arrow, where Flash’s team sees how things are in Starling City and causes them to take things more serious. The crossovers between the two shows are a success and would open doors for more crossovers down the line.

The midseason finale sees the Man In The Yellow Suit making his presence known and has shown to be a threat to Barry and his friends, especially Iris. He pummeled Dr. Wells and didn’t lay a finger on Eddie Thawne, but he is more than a match for Barry. The portrayal of the Reverse Flash is very excellent and this put tints of black on the yellow suit. They vibrated his face so that no one knows who he is.

The Flash is a success for the CW and I predict a renewal for the second season. I’m enjoying this series the most.

Gotham Midseason Review

Gotham is a prequel series that takes place before the time of Batman. It focused on James Gordon before he is Commissioner. He is the main character and star of the show. Gordon is in Gotham to fight the corruption in the city and his main target is crime boss Carmine Falcone. He is partnered with a bad cop named Harvey Bullock. The two men are at odds over methods and philosophical and moral differences. Nothing was swaying Gordon from his crusade to right the city’s wrongs. The main case he’s trying to solve is the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne leaving young Bruce Wayne an orphan. The twist here is that the murder was witnessed by future Catwoman Selina Kyle, who is also a teenager and is a street thief who steals.

The show focuses on the characters before they become their iconic villainous selves from the comics such as Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Victor Szasz, Hush, and Black Mash. Out of these villains, Penguin is getting the focus and is getting critical praise from viewers and critics alike. We see the Penguin rising through the ranks of the underworld ruled by Carmine Falcone and why Penguin will be among Batman’s top villains right up there with the Joker. We even got to see Penguin’s mother whom Penguin takes after.

There is a character that’s made for television and her name is Fish Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett Smith. She works for Falcone and already is making an impression on her allies and foes alike with her baseball bat and ruthlessness, especially the Penguin. Problem here is that the focus is on her rather than the iconic villains, but her fate may be sealed the minute she tried to take the Penguin out. She also wants to overthrow Falcone and is trying to gain allies to strike at him from all points. Speaking of Falcone, I like this version more than the one from Batman Begins and he’s more intimidating as well. Falcone shows why he is the crime boss and someone not to be messed with.

Since the pilot episode, there wasn’t much done with Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle until several episodes later towards the mid-season finale when they were the target of assassins sent by either Falcone or Mooney. The bond between Bruce and Selina at Wayne Manor and the streets of Gotham foreshadowed by they may be a couple or not from the comics. We also have an Alfred Pennyworth that’s hands-on such as fighting the assassins and raising young Bruce after being an orphan. This Alfred is likely based on the Earth One graphic novels where he had a military background in addition to his thespian background.

There were other characters in the show such as Sarah Essen, Renee Montoya, and Barbara Keane, who is Gordon’s fiance. It’s revealed that Barbara and Renee had a lesbian relationship prior to her engagement to Gordon. Unfortunately, Barbara was the weak link of the show as it relates to a damsel-in-distress problem that’s similar to Lana Lang, Dinah Laurel Lance, and Iris West. One point saw her leaving Gotham then came back to reason with Falcone and then a few episodes later, she leaves Gordon again.

Gotham is a cop show with Gordon and Bullock solving cases together through different ways. They started out as not getting along until they do so eventually until a new player comes in the form of District Attorney Harvey Dent, who has become an ally to Gordon and his crusade for the Waynes. Dent is displaying characteristics of Two-Face such as flipping a coin and having a dual personality disorder. It may now be between the three of Gordon, Bullock, and Dent. Basically the first half of the season ended with Gordon being reassiigned to guard Arksham Asylum where he will meet Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who also plays a role in raising young Bruce in the comics.

When the series started, I’ve said that it felt like a Batman movie without a Batman and it may be a good thing as we can focus on other characters and the roles they will play in the Batman legend. This show had great buzz and great ratings as I predict a renewal for the second season.

Arrow – The Climb review

The show has just reached its midseason finale where Oliver Queen has an ultimatum from Ra’s Al Ghul and his daughter, Nyssa – solve the murder of Sarah Lance or the citizens of Starling City die. As Oliver and his team were investigating Sarah’s death, they did a twist where they had us believe that Oliver did it. But Oliver knows too well that is was Malcolm Merlyn who set him up and they investigated further where they learned that Malcolm and Thea took a flight to Starling City the day before Sarah’s death. This causes Oliver to confront Thea about Malcolm as himself and Arrow and as both personas, Oliver learns the truth about Thea’s time in Corto Maltese. I find it hard to believe Thea can go toe-to-toe with Arrow.

In confronting Malcolm, Oliver sees the video where Thea was the one who killed Sarah but under the influence of the drugs that Malcolm gave her. This is going to cause complications for everyone as I can see a confrontation between Dinah Laurel and Thea down the line. It could change the relationship between Roy and Thea as well.

We got to see another side of Nyssa in how obedient she is to her father Ra’s and the Japanese guy from the flashbacks is also in the League of Assassins as well because of the death of his wife, Tatsu, which I hope is not true. Yeah, we’ve seen Tatsu fight China White where she was bloodied and kidnapped. But I was hoping Katana would appear in the present day to join Team Arrow.

They revealed the true reasons why Ray Palmer bought Queen Consolidated as he’s building a prototype suit that will allow him to shrink and we get to find out what ATOM stands for. Felicity seems to be the bridge between all three heroes – Arrow, Flash, and Atom. Love Felicity’s reaction to her role with the heroes.

Dinah Laurel was planning to celebrate Christmas with her father until she gets a surprise visit from her mother, Dinah Drake, who knew immediately that Dinah Laurel was hiding something until she had learned the truth about Sarah’s death. Dinah Laurel vowed to her mother that she will make those responsible for Sarah’s death pay and Dinah Drake agreed. This is why I see a confrontation between Dinah Laurel and Thea happening in the second half of the season. The Lances were fine in this episode. Both Dinah Drake and Thea now of Sarah’s death and Detective Lance is the only one who hasn’t found out yet.

Throughout the episode, we see Oliver climb the mountain while it’s snowy until the last 5 minutes of the episode where we have he and Ra’s Al Ghul fight with swords. It is here that they gave us a shock ending where Ra’s defeats and kills Oliver and sends him falling down much the same way Sarah fell to her death. Basically, the first half of the season started with Sarah’s death and ends with Oliver’s death.

It was an okay midseason finale as I expected more. Compared to the Flash’s season finale, the Flash’s was better. I look forward to Team Arrow operating without Oliver. In both midseason finales, the Flash and Arrow were defeated by Reverse-Flash and Ra’s Al Ghul.

The Flash – The Man In The Yellow Suit review

The midseason finale has Barry and his friends celebrating Christmas altogether while we see the live-action debuts of the Reverse-Flash and Firestorm Ronnie Raymond. The Reverse-Flash is portrayed as the true villain threat to Barry because he is faster than Barry and has defeated him not once, but twice. If anything this puts Reverse-Flash as the top Flash villain while Captain Cold would be second. They kept the Reverse-Flash a mystery with the vibrations over his face so that we don’t know who he is and the mystery worked to his advantage. Obviously, Reverse-Flash is a lot bigger than Barry physically. The yellow suit looked awesome with a taint of black and ends up looking better than Barry’s suit, which needs an upgrade badly considering he looks like Daredevil.

They had the soap opera triangle between Barry, Iris, and Eddie where Barry learns that Iris is moving in with Eddie. Barry tries to reveal his true feelings for Iris, but it’s basically too little, too late as she already made her decision. This is will cause both Barry and Iris to grow further and further apart. Quite frankly, there was no romantic chemistry between them due to the fact that they had them live together when Barry was little. Someone in DC must not be a fan of the Barry/ Iris relationship. Glad that they got that out of the way.

In addition to the storyline with the Reverse-Flash, the other storyline saw Caitlin seeing Ronnie Raymond for the first time since the particle accelerator accident. Just as Caitlin was ready to move on, in comes Ronnie Raymond with new fire powers on his head and hands. I hope they don’t have him be like the Human Torch. I like seeing him be involved in the climax with Barry and Reverse-Flash as we could see the seeds of Barry teaming up with other heroes besides Arrow. The way Ronnie flew was awesome. I expect Ronnie to join Team Flash down the line. Barry is going to need all the help he can get against the rogues.

Couple of revelations were that Cisqo discovers that there was another speedster the night Barry’s mother was killed and Harrison Wells revealing to have the yellow suit, along with the Flash ring and tachyon device. I think it’s too obvious to think that Wells is Reverse-Flash as I expect more curve balls being thrown at us. I think there may be 2 Reverse-Flashes out there with one being Wells and the other being either future Eddie Thawne or Eobard Thawne. Notice the Reverse-Flash didn’t kill Eddie. I think Harrison Wells is either the Superfriends version or Hunter Zolomon or a combination of both. As for Cisqo’s revelation, it’s clear that the red streak was obviously future Barry who was trying to stop the Reverse-Flash. I hope they show this in the season finale.

How nice to see Amanda Pays reprise her role as Dr. Tina McGhee, but a different version from the one in the original Flash series. She works for Mercury Labs and is a foil to Dr. Harrison Wells. I hope we haven’t seen the last of her as she could become part of Team Flash again.

An epic season finale with a little bit of everything we wanted and more. It’s a great way to cap off the first half of the season as we look forward to the show returning in January 20.

Son of Batman review

Son of Batman takes place in the same continuity as both Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: War, meaning that the Batman in this film is the same Batman as in the other two films. It’s based on the comics story called Batman and Son, where they introduced his son named Damian Wayne whose mother is Talia Al Ghul and grandfather is Ra’s Al Ghul. Damian is an arrogant and vengeful prodigy trained in every skill possible that he has the potential to surpass his father. The Damian in the animated film is much more enjoyable than the Damian from the comics.

The film starts with Ra’s Al Ghul overseeing the training of the League of Assassins as he’s joined by Talia, Damian, and Ra’s son named Dusan, who along with the other ninjas get killed by the mercenaries led by Deathstroke Slade Wilson. Slade was trained by Ra’s until Ra’s saw something in Batman that caused Slade to either leave or be banished from the temple. Ra’s is apparently dead and this has Batman surprised about Talia’s lack of mourning for her father. The meeting between father and son show the awkwardness between Bruce and Damian as this open up a new dimension for Batman in raising a child. I like Damian’s line about wanting to drive the Batmobile and Batman won’t let him.

While Damian’s meeting with his father was awkward, his meeting with Nightwing was violent as Nightwing stopped Damian from killing a former member of the League of Assassins. We never saw the fight between Damian and Nightwing, but we saw the result with Damian being bound, gagged, and embarrassed by the defeat. This didn’t sit well with Batman who tries to discipline Damian in many ways possible. Batman got Damian to become Robin much to Nightwing’s dismay.

Son of Batman has many cool and humorous moments as well as great fight sequences. Out of the Batman films, I’m enjoying this one along with Year One and Gotham Knights. It’s a high keeper for Batman fans. I want to see an animated series based on this starring Damian Wayne. Yes, I said starring as he can carry a TV series without his legendary father.

JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time review

I had the fortune of taking advantage of Wal-Mart’s promotional DVD sales where the DVD’s would sell between $1.96-$14.96. Luckily the DVD’s I about were between $1.96-$3.96. Among the lowest priced DVD’s were Man of Steel 2-Disc Edition, Justice League: War, Son of Batman, and JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time. While I already reviewed the first two movies, this is about reviewing JLA Adventures. Originally this was exclusive to Target until it became a nationwide release.

This cartoon is inspired by the Superfriends with a plot where Lex Luthor leads the Legion of Doom to go back in time to prevent Superman from being born thus affecting the birth of the Justice League. There was a paradox involved with Lex Luthor as he was frozen for a thousand years thanks to Karate Kid and Dawnstar whom we see the film’s viewpoints from. They are in the similar roles of Apache Chief and Samurai. The real main villain isn’t Lex Luthor, it’s the Time Trapper himself who can manipulate space-time continuum as well as opening up time portals and vortexes. He’s up there with Darkseid, Brainiac, and Doomsday when it comes to global threats.

I like how Superman is portrayed in this film as he’s the absolute leader of the Justice League as well as he should be and I feel that DC Comics has swayed from what made Superman great in the first place after 75 years. They need to go back to him being the leader of the Justice League again because I don’t see Batman’s leadership inspiring confidence the way Superman’s does. I hope this would be a new cartoon series after the cancellation of Young Justice.

The film is 53 minutes long in widescreen and comes with 2 episodes of the Superfriends involving time. It also comes with a trailer or two. I wish the film would have more time like the others. A  good keeper for Justice League fans.

Living For The Future

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