Monday, May 25, 2015

Supergirl Pilot - DC Comics

Update: after discussing the pilot, my son pointed out that "Supergirl" is based on the "Silver Age" Supergirl (updated though).  There have been a few "Supergirls" in the DC Universe over time, the current one in the "New 52" Universe reboot of 4 years ago is quite different (more powerful than Superman, much more independent and headstrong).  The "silver age" Supergirl is more subdued, much like Clark Kent in the same era Superman comics.

Supergirl (Silver Age) - Superman's Cousin from Krypton

Supergirl (Matrix) - "plastic" being who takes the role of Supergirl and is friend of Lex Luthor

Merge of "Matrix" and civilian Linda Lee Danvers

Back to the cousin of Superman from Krypton.  She has much more attitude than the Silver Age one.

(End of Update)

As you may expect, I quite liked Supergirl as well, though only the pilot is available right now.

From the stills, the actress (Melissa Benoist ) looks older than I imagine Supergirl, but she hits the character right on the head on the show.  I did expect her to be "blonder" though (Slater, in 1984 movie, and Laura Vandervoort were both very blond in character.
Image result for helen slater

Image result for dean cain supermanIt was great to see Kara's parents Helen Slater and Dean Cain, who played Supergirl in the 1984 movie and Superman in "Lois and Clark, respectively).  Hopefully in the series we can see more of this period (a la Smallville).  Even if there is only a peek, it was a nice gesture to the video history of the character.

The new characterization of Jimmy Olsen is nice - an good update from the naive redhead of other iterations.  This also provides an easy link to Superman, either the character or the mythos, as needed to fill in gaps in the Supergirl storylines.

I also like the "sister' of Kara (and I'm certainly OK that the TV series didn't name Kara "Linda Lee Danvers" as in the comic book).  The sister is a strong character and is placed in the "anti-alien" corps of the gov't, which puts them against each other on occassion, and gives a logical flow to finding out what's going on in the world that requires a Supergirl - provides a proxy for the team that Arrow and Flash have behind them.  I almost wish that Kara was portrayed a little younger and the roomate of the sister (or even at home) as they could explore the evolution of her powers and adaptation to earth.  Unlike Superman, she was a young teen when leaving, she probably has memories, friends, experiences from Krypton that she misses, and Earth might be a little more primitive than she likes.

Though I like it, I'm not convinced that Supergirl can have a long tenure as a TV series.  Gotham, Shield and Agent Carter are all basically detective stories with a little comic book universe thrown in.  As the characters are unpowered, the stories are easier to write - they have difficulty dealing with any perp with powers, and often have stories related to mobsters, kidnappers and the like.

Flash, like Smallville, concentrates on the learning curve (season 1 for Flash, Smallville for 10 years) and thus there is not a need to find ever-more-powerful villains each week to test the hero.

Supergirl, in the pilot, fought phantom-zone escapees - very powerful foes for a newbie.  Even though there were many who escaped, it can't be a weekly "round-em up" series as it would get old very fast, and would require intervention from S-Man, which I assume they want to avoid except for special circumstances.

I'm hoping the pilot was a proof of concept, and the actual storyline starts earlier, with adapting to earth, choice of foster parents etc., though they may do this in flashbacks kinda' like Arrow on the island to cover this period.

The Flash - DC Comics - TV Series - Season 1 finale

I really liked the first season of "The Flash", and the finale had lots of stuff jammed into it.


I quite liked the "Golden Age Flash" helmet being spun into the TV Flash Universe.  When you start playing with time and dimensional travel, it opens up some interesting possibilities.

I hadn't followed that DC was putting out a series with Hawkgirl in it, and that the character made an appearance in the Flash finale, until I looked up the actress' name which appeared in the credits.  I had assumed the name belonged to the "Barry's Mother" character.  In the big wormhole stealing the city scene, we do see several recurring characters looking up (Captain Cold, the police chief, and a very striking actress I couldn't place, which is Hawkgirl - Clara Renee).

I did choose to ignore some of the inconsistencies that come with dealing with superpowers in a "realistic" setting.  For example, if you can run at superspeed, you can take everyone out of a burning building in seconds - much faster than you can ask your mentor though the radio for help (one of the last few episodes - I watched the last 3 or 4 in a row).  Also, if you spin your arms to create a vacuum, doesn't that affect the breathing of everyone in the room?

Image result for eddie thawneThe big payoff, with Eddie Thawne killing himself to stop Reverse Flash from killing Barry (and everyone else).  Nice tie-in with the time travel, but it likely wouldn't have worked out so cleanly.  If Eddie kills himself, his descendent line disappears - true, and as he doesn't have any children in the show, that would mean his direct descendent - the Reverse Flash would not be born.  However, if Reverse Flash didn't exist, he wouldn't have gone back to kill Barry as a child, and this entire timeline would be erased, not just the "current" killing of the team - remember, this is an alternate timeline already, caused by the killing of Barry's mother, and thus causing Reverse Flash to orchestrate the creation of the Flash in order to have a speedster to allow him to go back home (to his century).  The "real" timeline would be the one that created the Flash without the intervention (back in time) of the Reverse Flash.  Thus, killing RF would dissolve the entire series, and all events from "That Night" of Barry's mom's murder to the present (and future).

I did like seeing the "other supers" in the last few episodes - Arrow (of course) along with Firestorm.  Not sure if I'm forgetting something, but he seemed to be pretty together - I though he was having difficult controlling his powers - seemed to tie up with a wedding pretty quickly.  It wasn't a bad rendition of the character though (to be fair, I don't know or care much about Firestorm - he looked cool, but I hadn't read much beyond some JLA or something where he appeared).

I'm assuming Flash gets picked up for a second season.  It is going to be difficult to run this character long-term.  The character development, and learning your powers, was a great 1st season, however, if he's able to stop a wormhole on his own, he kinda' enters a new level - might be harder to find villains and situations for a more "up" powered character.