When we last left Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) he had ruined the entire timeline by saving his mother from the Reverse Flash. Cue the black out and gasps of fear.
Year, The Flash had really left us hanging there. If like me you had seen the Flashpoint Paradox animated movie, you were probably picturing something apocalyptic. Of course the TV version had to stay rather grounded in a reality familiar to the viewers so unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of other members of the Justice League. Instead what we got was a reality in which Irish West and Detective Joe West did not know Barry. This got rid of the whole brother/sister weirdness, but in this version of events Barry has been stalking Iris for a few months until he finally gets the nerve to ask her out. Ow, and he steals her purse to pretend she had dropped it. Did the director have to make Barry so disturbing?
Later we find out that Wally West is this timeline’s version of the Flash. Cue the Kid Flash jokes. Even stranger is that Cisco is a billionaire. I preferred him being a crime boss. It’s strange though that we had no Wells in this version of events. And Caitlin Snow is doing… something not as helpful as before. I mean she’s still a scientist, but it’s a different profession than before — something to do with eyes.
Wally Wests rival is called The Rival… because he has no rival. Did the writers really think that through? I know, he’s a villain who was created in 1949 (Thank you, Wikipedia), but that doesn’t mean they have to keep the name. He also has by far the worst speedster suit. I like the colours, but the mask is just so odd.
I think the most surprising that is embodied by a quote from Reverse Flash: “Who’s the villain now, Flash?”
After saving his mother from Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash), Barry locks him up in an unbreakable cell. This added with Barry’s stalking really does make Barry look every inch the villain. He’s manufactured a whole reality to be as he always dreamed at the expense of everyone else’s happiness. Wally may have a better relationship with his sister and Cisco is stinking rich, but Detective West is an alcoholic who cares very little about his job. And there is the matter about Central City being rampaged by the Rival, a villain who ‘Kid’ Flash can’t seem to catch.
The ending the show is bit odd. Most everything seems to be back in its original state, but when Barry reunites with Wally and Joe he asks about Iris, and Joe seems very offended. My immediate reaction is ‘Is Iris dead? Estranged?’ I guess all will be clarified in Episode 2.
Overall I highly enjoyed this episode. I was afraid they would play out the strange alternate reality for the rest of the season. I do have a feeling though that if Iris is dead Barry will spend a long time trying to right whatever he and Reverse Flash screwed up.
Supergirl SEASON ONE EPISODE 8 – “HOSTILE TAKEOVER”
My initial reaction to Supergirl was met with much scepticism. I wasn’t happy that Kara seemed too ‘cute’. It felt at the time that the trailer was for a young audience. But with comic book characters, perception is everything. No writer can please everyone, and you never should. Supergirl is a dialogue of identity. It is much better than Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ because as a TV show it has a longer course. The serial writing of the screenplay allows Kara to have much more subtle nuance. She builds up as a character much more slowly because as a female superhero, she analysed much more differently than Henry Cavill’s Superman was.
Life as a woman is never easy, and Melissa Benoist reflects much of what her ‘Glee’ character tried to as well. Supergirl can’t sing her problems away, but neither can she punch all of them.
I wrote what I perceived to be a good impression of the original trailer, which is here in this article. I though to myself: what would I do if I was Supergirl?
But it’s a hard question to understand and from Cat’s perspective, from her lens, I thought it was a very shaky was of explaining ‘feminism’. Feminism is always complex to argue about because some people don’t realise it is just another conversation about equality. Cat Grant has been through so many things to become ‘The Queen of all Media” so when she named Kara “Supergirl” instead of “Superwoman” she knew that it would sell. She has faith in Supergirl and in Kara because both of them are always there for her, even when she fails to see the hero through Kara’s dumb glasses.
Cat made a dialogue about White Male Privilege. It is a concept I have lived with all my life, both as a black woman, an African, and as a Brit. I will never understand why America doesn’t understand the need for free health care. In London, where I live it is an undisputed Human Right.
You can’t prove a concept out of context, but we all know that racism, sexism, and all discrimination exists. You don’t have to be a reporter like Jimmy Olson, or an alien like Kara or ‘The Martian Manhunter’ (who of course hates this horrid name!)
Discrimination is everywhere. It’s in ‘manga’, it’s in ‘comic books’, it’s in the NEWS. And it is there plainly to see but it is hard to DEFINE because everyone has a different angle on the term.
When I was applying for my Year in Industry I studied the minute expressions of everyone’s face.
I can’t help that. I can’t turn it off. I’m a part time blogger, part time programmer, and a Full Time writer. If it isn’t in the script, if it isn’t in the screenplay I can’t define it.
I can’t find the class, the object, the syntax. I can’t compose the song.
What is a superpower? Are you Team Batman, or Team Flash, or Team Wonder Woman? Who will win? Deadpool or Deathstroke?
I don’t have an off button, and I never will.
So what did you think about this episode? How did you feel when Kara was faced with the horrid notion of having to kill her own kin? And most importantly, what is YOUR superpower?
Anyone who is anyone has seen, or at least heard of CBS’s “Supergirl” TV show which will arrive this Autumn. When I first heard that the former “Glee” star, Melissa Benoist would be playing the titular Supergirl, I had high hopes. She managed to portray a vulnerable, yet strong character, Marley Rose, who suffered from an eating disorder and low self-esteem. Jokingly, I also thought perhaps Supergirl could also break out into song. Stranger things have happened.
But then I finally saw the trailer and I was so very disappointed. I am not well-versed in Supergirl’s story. Truth be told, the entire House of El put me off, including Supergirl’s alternate reality version, Power Girl, made popular by her infamous “boob window” which sparks many debates. They are just too powerful, and generally my definition of Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu like characters. But that’s not to say they can’t be revamped a bit. I quite enjoyed “Man of Steel” and the problems Superman had to face to protect Earth from Zod, being as he was the only other Kryptonian he knew.
But back to Supergirl. If you haven’t already seen the aforementioned trailer, here it is below:
The trailer starts in the most cliched way imaginable. An origin tale. Kara’s origin is pretty much the same as Superman’s, and she too was shipped off to earth in a space pod before the eventual destruction of Krypton. Why didn’t her parents build a larger pod for all three of them to escape? I guess we’ll never know.
Years later and Kara is living a “normal” life as the assistant to a CEO of a media company. It’s all a bit “The Devil Wears Prada”, accentuated by Kara doing the long walk through the city to get coffee for her boss. The dull grey on her surroundings really makes her pink pencil skirt pop and it is my firm belief that this is just one of the subtle ways the trailer goes about reminding the audience that this show is a show for girls, about a girl. The very first problem we are introduced to is boy trouble, with a colleague asking Kara on a date. Later in the trailer, he wonders why she doesn’t seem all that into him and asks if she is gay. If I had been in her position I would have told him to hold up just a minute. I can’t abide by guys who think that the only reason a woman isn’t interested in them is if they are gay. Kara should have set him straight. It’s perfectly fine for the show to raise this sort of social issue, but only if the culprit is going to be called out on their bullsh*t and corrected. But Kara politely tells him that she isn’t gay, as if she has no right to be offended by the question.
Then there are just basic plot points like the plane crash. Why was this plane headed towards the city? In the even of an emergency, the pilots would have been directed towards the nearest river or something. It shouldn’t be circling the city. Could you imagine the calamities?
Another issue here is the infantilisation of Supergirl. Just the name on it’s own riles me up. Whilst in the comics she appears to be younger than Superman, it has been mentioned that she left Krypton as a child, but not as a baby, and she is in fact the older cousin. In regards to the TV, Kara does bring up that she believes that Supergirl should be called “Superwoman”, and I have to commend her for that. This however does not stop her from flying around in a red skirt, as opposed to a full body jump suit, or even trousers just in general. I don’t want to slut shame a fellow woman but the short skirt is reminscent of school skirts, which brings me back to the infantilisation part. Another problem I have is that when Kara does address the “Superwoman” title, her boss tells her that she thinks “Supergirl” is a great name and that if she doesn’t like it, then she is the one with the problem. A friend of mine described this as “internalised misogyny”. Men are often celebrated for their masculinity and are often encouraged into “manhood”. Women have a very different problem, where femininity is infantilised, and as the article by Allen O’Brien I’ve linked states is “a phenomenon in which which our society systemically equates femininity with things like vulnerability, submission, uncertainty, and childhood.”
Even the music sounds like it is for a cliched rom-com. Compare it to the trailers of male superheroes like Green Lantern and Flash and you will see what I mean. Green Lantern has a far more epic soundtrack, “Entrapment” by Groove Addicts. Of course I don’t expect the soundtrack to a TV show to be anywhere as awesome as Guardians of the Galaxy, but even the Flash–which followed a similar extended trailer structure to Supergirl– had a far more epic tone. He was shown kicking serious ass for more than just the final moments of the trailer. He had far humbler beginnings, whereas honestly, Kara had far longer to hone her superpower skills.
Even towards the end of the trailer when she is standing up to the head of the operations for the extra-normal division and kicking ass, the music sounds cheesy, singing “this is my fight…”, as though we need confirmation that Supergirl is powerful. It plays off of the rom-com, coming of age vibe, as though she is a teenager emerging from her chrysalis. In my opinion it is another subtle way of infantilising her. When they tried to shut her down, preventing her from helping them, Supergirl basically went off in a sulk and cried. She cried. There’s nothing wrong with tears, dear, but you’re a Kryptonian. They couldn’t have stopped if they tried. The tone was all wrong. She should have been outraged. The angst was not needed. It was very “Mean Girls”. They wouldn’t let her sit at the popular table.
So the summation of my opinion of the Supergirl trailer is that it is a false empowerment of female superheroes. I have every intention to watch the pilot episode and keep up with the news in the hopes that Kara Zor-El grows as a character, but I have little hope that she will.