This has definitely been a week of thinking about how women are depicted in the superhero genre. I’ve been listening to a kind of weird audio book about the creator of Wonder Woman (more on that tomorrow) and it got me pondering on this phrase –
“Like a Girl” is traditionally used as an insult – but I’ve seen some great geek art lately that turns that idea on it’s head. I thought the DC TV “girls” deserved their own version, and I couldn’t find one. So made my own.
Probably the only time I’ll contribute to Fan Art Friday – but I wanted to share.
Long live the nerdgirls.
Oliver Queen Steps Up (Um, Literally): The Arrow Finale
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a little too obsessed with Arrow, and yet I’m also really aware of the shows flaws. One of the things that has frustrated me over the past four seasons is how rarely the hero of the show, Oliver Queen, gets to actually act like a hero. I know they’re trying to show character growth and all that, but it’s been a painful ride at times. The the last few episodes of the show, and the season finale that aired this week finally started to fix that.
In fact (with the help of a couple of pep talks) it was Oliver who kept everyone going when it looked like they might actually have come to the end of the world. First as himself (in the image above) giving a major pep talk to the scared citizens and second in his Green Arrow guise leading those citizens in a major attack, magically fueled by hope, on the season’s big bad.
And while I was sad to see Oliver’s brother-in-arms John Diggle (I love Digg!) taking off in a cloud of pain and doubt at the end of the ep, this exchange between them was one of my favorite of the episode:
Oliver – “John, I have never done this without you. You’re the one that keeps me in line.”
John- “Oliver, I don’t know if you’ve been watching lately, but it’s been the other way around man.”
Five Quick Thoughts (Hah!) on The Flash Finale
- Really great to see John Wesley Shipp leave the show as a version of The Flash. He’s been a great Henry Allen, and it’s a great nod to his past role as The Flash.
- Loved that it showed Caitlin actually still being shaken up from being held hostage by Zoom – but that she was able to work through it to help the team. Superhero shows don’t always do a good job of showing emotional consequences.
- Harrison Wells finally calling Cisco by his first name as he too rode off into the sunset. It was a nice little moment.
- Hope super-angsty Barry doesn’t last too long, but I will be really fascinated to see how his last second major timeline alteration shakes out.
- Um, if The Flash and Arrow exist in the same universe – and Oliver’s battling nukes in Star City and Barry’s trying to save all of existence in Central City, don’t you think these boys would coordinate, just a bit?
Supergirl moves to the CW
First of all let me just say that I’m so happy that someone renewed this show for a second season. Yes this show isn’t perfect (among other things it’s unnecessarily heavy handed with it’s “girl power” sometimes) but this spunky, geeky heroine deserves a second season.
I also hope the move to the CW will help the show – CBS kind of treated it like a poor stepchild, and I hope that’s something a network used to shepherding superhero shows will put an end to. In addition, as this article from the Washington Post stated “It’s time to get a little geekier.” Without the pressure to appeal to CBS’s more traditional mainstream viewers, I hope Supergirl can fully embrace nerdy, superhero-y, goodness.
The Flash has the Force
This week’s episode of The Flash was a little weird – and considering this is a show that regularly features giant gorillas and sharkmen, that’s saying something.
In an attempt to give Barry back his lost superpowers they essentially hit him with another bolt of lighting (his father, needless to say, is less than thrilled with this plan.) This bolt of lighting sent Barry into a….
Well, I’m not really sure.
The short version is that apparently his superpower – speed – is some kind of “force.” (Yeah, the Star Wars parallels were rampant this week) This force proceeded to talk to him in the guise of various loved ones, including a tear inducing childhood book reading with his dead mother.
It kind of reminded me of an episode of Lost in which we take a break from the mind bending fantasy-action plot to let the character have a mind bending existential dilemma. It’s weird, and makes absolutely no logical sense, and yet has emotional resonance. And well, kudos to Grant Gustin for pulling it off.
On The Flash this week Caitlin Snow and her Earth-2 (and comic book) alter-ego Killer Frost finally met. Killer Frost’s malicious amusement at the situation vs. Caitlin’s confused horror was pretty entertaining. As was Caitlin’s reaction when she found out her evil doppelganger was going to double-cross her – Hey, Caitlin, did we mention she’s your EVIL doppelganger?
These two were presented as the good & evil sides of the same coin – smart, ambitious, and as a previous episode revealed, in love with the same man. Only two things seemed to be truly different 1) Killer Frost got superpowers as a result of the particle accelerator explosion & 2) Killer Frost had decided to use those superpowers for evil. And I would say that even the first difference doesn’t really count – Caitlin’s life was also radically altered by a similar explosion.
This small moment suggested that it wasn’t the circumstances that made these two characters what they were, good or evil – it was their choices. The theme of “choices make the hero” was reinforced by the episode’s other plot line – Barry, even without superpowers, risking his life to save another person.
I love the idea that what makes a person a “hero” isn’t their circumstances, but what they choose to do with them. Also, kudos to Danielle Panabaker for playing two great characters in one episode.
Supergirl Update: As if in response to my parting shot last week apparently there was a article in Variety this week that gave further hope to the idea that Supergirl will most likely be renewed. But, you know, I want the official word – and if it came with a little fanfare and a little less “this show didn’t quite do what we wanted it to do” that would be ideal.
The Flash has a hostage crisis, again
At our house we love The Flash – it’s sincere and dramatic without being dark. We love Cisco’s geek references and ability to speak for the fans, Joe West’s best-father-on-tv mojo, brilliant and sweet Caitlin, and of course, Barry the slightly nerdy everyman superhero.
And I loved this week’s episode – except for two things. When the bad guy is there – just standing around – and you have weapons that might allow you to capture him or at least scare him off – why not use them??? Is this a “we made a deal” honor thing – because that really doesn’t fly. He’s a mass murdering, kidnapper bad guy – take him down! And the second thing – did we really need two “Oh no! He took someone we like” moments in the same show? I’m worn out on superhero hostage crises and two in one episode felt a bit lazy.
Supergirl’s Great Finale
I got to watch Supergirl and Martian Manhunter save the world and kick Kryptonian bad guy butt – who needs some gloomy movie? We’ve kinda got the Justice League right here, and it’s awesome. Oh and one more thing….
C’MON CBS RENEW SUPERGIRL ALREADY!!!!
Have a great Saturday!