Friday, 7 February 2020

Arrow-verse Strikes Multiple Targets

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Spotlight:

Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
Space…, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the Starship E___________________. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard hasn't been on the bridge of the Enterprise, or any starship, for the better part of two decades. Since leaving Starfleet in protest of policy, our, once, star trekking hero has been content to maintain his vineyard and produce wine under his family’s label. His golden years are suddenly disturbed by a mystery which, may, harken back to his days as a starship captain.

After having viewed the first two episodes, I have, so far, been treated to an exciting mystery. Like its online counterpart, Star Trek: Discovery, Picard isn’t as episodic as classic Star Trek series. Rather, it’s produced as one long novel with episodes as chapters. While I’ve found the new format to be tiresome on Discovery, it’s kept me interested to this point. I don't want to say too much about the show, but its runners have teased cameos from Data, Riker & Troi, and 7 of 9.

Fans can watch new episodes each Thursday, exclusively on CBS ALL ACCESS for $9.99 per month ($5.99 with commercials). Oh, and for those wanting more backstory, it can be found in the three-part comic book series Star Trek: Picard---Countdown.


Arrow-verse Strikes Multiple Targets: (SPOILERS AHEAD!)
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Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
On October 10, 2012 Oliver Queen found his way off of Lian Yu, and began his journey toward becoming Green Arrow. When Arrow premiered on the CW Network, showrunners, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, meant for it to be a quasi-realistic vigilante crime drama rather than a superhero show. That strategy lasted for one season.

Once The Flash spun off of Arrow, super powers, time travel, mysticism, and heroic teams became staples of both shows. Before long, Green Arrow was fighting alongside; Black Canary, The Atom, Mr. Terrific, and Speedy/Red Arrow; while The Flash teamed up with Kid Flash, Vibe, Killer Frost, Firestorm, and, later, Elongated Man.

As each show was forming a miniature Justice League of its own, Supergirl was forming alliances with Martian Manhunter, Valiant, and others over on CBS. Eventually, Supergirl jumped over to the CW in order to make annual crossovers easier. Once that happened, the franchise added Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, and Batgirl. They even retroactively included NBC’s Constantine after it had been off the air for three years.

The lone show, Arrow, had blossomed into an intertwined universe of its own. Although all the shows tell superhero stories, each has succeeded in maintaining its own tone. Arrow, Batgirl, and Black Lightning offer dark gritty tones while Flash, Supergirl, and Legends keep things light and, occasionally, comedic. In fact, Black Lightning was so dark, there was online debate as to whether it was part of the shared reality.

Ironically, the recent mega crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which removed all doubt that the tales are connected, saw the death of Green Arrow and the cancellation of his show. Fear not though, there's an upcoming spinoff featuring Green Arrow’s daughter on the way. And, now that Green Arrow's soul has adopted the mantle of The Specter, God's Spirit of Vengeance, there's every reason to believe Steven Amell will pop up from time to time.

Plus, fans are about to be treated to a Stargirl series, a Superman series, and a purportedly connected Green Lantern series over on HBO.

The televised DC Universe is the realization of one of my childhood fantasies. Seriously. I’d have loved to have seen Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman interact with other superheroes. Yet, back then we were lucky to see one comic book TV series per season, and even then they almost never fought super villains.

The televised story telling fans have been treated to within CW’s DC Universe is vastly superior to televised comic book fare of the past, which doesn't mean there's not room for growth. We know Batman has disappeared from Gotham, but we haven't seen, this universe’s, Robins or Nightwing. Plus, fans of Charmed & Legacies could easily be drawn to a, magic based, Dr. Fate series.

Future plans aside, what's being produced now is some quality comic book TV.
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