Tagged: Flash

Dennis O’Neil: Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!

Well, I guess I was wrong and I guess I’ll take whatever heat there is, unless I can think of somebody else to blame. We refer to last week’s column in which I predicted that the CW televised enterprises, Flash and Arrow, were about to commit Crossover: that is, begin a story in one show and end it in the other. I jumped to a conclusion. What the programs in question really committed was Guest Star; each hero appeared in the other’s venue but the problems to be solved and the adventures to be had and the bad guys to be vanquished were unrelated.

And while we’re on the subject of bad guys… unless I suffered a fairly significant mental glitch somewhere between eight and nine last Tuesday, the Flash and company perpetrated a melodramatist’s sin by catching the villain off-stage and thus depriving we eager onlookers of what would naturally be the story’s (exciting) climax. We hear that the evil dude is at large and then there’s a brief scene in which he’s behind bars and then on to other concerns. I’ve been guilty of giving the antagonist short shrift in a story or two, mainly because I was more interested in other elements of the narrative so, being guilty of the same sin myself, I am throwing no stones. But this sort of thing is questionable technique and maybe we should all avoid it in the future.

Okay, that’s a quibble and on the bright side, the Flash-Arrow guest stunt put Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Arrow’s the charming and comely Felicity Smoak, on my screen twice in one week and that buys forgiveness (and yes, dammit, I know she’s young enough to be my great-grandchild.)

(Regarding Felicity: If she were canonized, would she be holy Smoak? Something for the show’s writers to consider and then immediately forget about.)

Word is that last night’s “winter finale” Arrow episode will feature a Batman baddie and if true this won’t be the first time Arrow’s people have rummaged in the DC Comics line. Are they trying to build a video franchise, as the company’s long-time arch rival, Marvel, is doing successfully in the world of movies? Motivate us watchers to tune into a DC show and not just another adventure of a super guy? That would be a tricky accomplishment, I think, and they’re probably not attempting it. No, they’re probably doing what the rest of us are doing, using what’s available to them and hoping that it works. Making it up as they go along. Okay by me. That’s what we and our various ancestors have been doing for about five million years and counting and, what the hey, it’s gotten us this far.

Dennis O’Neil: Crossovers – And That Ostrander Bozo!

Before we get into this week’s topic, if we ever do… Who does this Ostrander bozo think he is? In a recent Facebook post, he told the world that he was about to start preparing a holiday meal. He was preparing to do this only about a month after undergoing bypass surgery.

Well. It so happens that some 12 years ago I had some bypass action and a month later, was I cooking up a feast? You kidding me? A month later I was mostly lying around catching up on my sloth. Wasn’t in the kitchen, wasn’t taking out the recyclables, wasn’t down here in the office tapping at the keyboard. Nope. Just sprawled on the couch, being torpid.

But Ostrander is being a chef and doing a weekly column and for all I know, writing comic books and for all I know, swimming the Hellespont. I have to admit, I’m a little hurt. I guess I expected better from a fellow midwesterner.

Spoiler alert: completely different subject.

Which is this week’s crossover event. Not in your newest comic book. Crossovers in comics have become so common that they hardly qualify as worthy of notice, however much marketing departments might wish it were otherwise. But crossovers between television programs remain still relatively rare.

Before we soldier on, a bit of clarification: a crossover is not a mere appearance of the lead character from one venue in another lead character’s venue – Batman popping up in an issue of Superman, for example. That’s a guest appearance. A crossover happens when a story is begun in one place and ended in another. Lex Luthor blows up Gotham City in Detective Comics and Superman pastes it back together in Action Comics. As noted, pretty ordinary in panel art but not elsewhere. But not unheard of. A few weeks ago, some evil stuff was done in an episode of the venerable Law and Order SVU and the story wrapped in Chicago PD and if memory serves – and won’t that be the day! – an oldie, Homicide: Life on the Street, once did a similar stunt with the Law and Order franchise.

Now, the crossover trope has, in a way, come full circle. Characters who started life in comics are doing comics-type crossovers on television. On Tuesday, if my TV listing is accurate, Arrow and some compadres will visit the Flash and on Wednesday the Flash will operate on Arrow’s turf.

I leave it to the brainier among you to mine this programming for significance. I will allow myself only this with which to close: I think that our television brethren know, really know, how to do superhero material in their medium. It’s been a bit of a learning curve as they encountered and solved the narrative problems we comics guys have been bumping into for decades. The comics-begotten shows are all honorable entertainments and one of them, Gotham, is, I think, more than that.

The only question left to ask is, does John Ostrander agree? Or is he too busy building a garage?

The Point Radio: ARROW – Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Thrives?

This new season of ARROW promises a major thrill ride for characters on the show and fans as well. We talk to the creators and cast who reveal a few secrets on what’s to come (i.e. Black Canary dead or ??). Plus comedian Adam Ferrara is in the driver’s seat for another season of TOP GEAR and he shares with us just how deep his passion for cars really runs.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

John Ostrander: TV Week Geek

Once upon a time, when I was a boy, TV consisted of the three networks, one independent channel, and before long, one “education” channel. (“They actually had TV when you were a boy, Uncle John?” Yes. Quiet, you.) Every fall, each of the networks took a week to trot out their new and returning shows and they each took turns. And, if memory serves, that pretty much was it for the season.

If you were into superhero comics (and I was despite my mother), there were damn slim pickings. There was The Adventures of Superman, of course, and that was played pretty straight albeit it was considered a children’s show. Later on, there was the Batman series that was fun and interesting to me at start but got old real fast. Something along the superhero lines was Zorro. I loved that show. Guy Williams was my Zorro. Dressed all in black, masked, fighting injustice – yeah, I’d group him in with the superheroes.

But that was essentially it.

Not so today. Comics rule the cinema and they are taking over the small screen. Never so much as in the coming year and I thought I’d survey the new and returning shows and see what attracts my eye.


Mike Gold: Television Is The New Comic Book

GothamAs comics and popular culture fans we’ve got a hell of a year ahead of us, and this time it’s in front of our friendly neighborhood teevee sets.

As you know, Arrow and Agents of SHIELD were picked up for their third and second seasons, respectively. DC has no less than three new shows on three different networks: The Flash on the CW, Constantine on NBC, and Gotham on Fox.

The pilots to Flash and Constantine have appeared courtesy of the usual suspects – except this time, I strongly believe The Flash pilot was leaked by Warners or the CW (note: the last time I paid attention, Warner Bros owned only about 45% of the CW) and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the same was true about Constantine… which, by the way, was leaked right after we all had our chance to go nuts over The Flash. Hmmmm.

Both pilots were worthy of attention. The Flash was better than I suspected; the supporting cast is excellent and I’m very happy to see John Wesley Shipp playing Barry Allen’s dad. Whereas the Constantine pilot features a female lead who will not be the female lead of the actual ongoing series (and that’s too bad), I’ll give them serious points for showing us Doctor Fate’s helmet. A policeman named Jim Corrigan, a.k.a. The Spectre, should show up sometime around Thanksgiving.

The pilot I’d most like to see is Gotham. Everything I’ve heard, read and been told has my Bat-sense tingling, and the few people I know who have seen it are quite positive about the series: each one said he or she thought it was superior to the other two pilots.

The new Daredevil mini-series is already being shot out here in New York; location shooting includes the real Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The subsequent four Marvel Studios mini-series in The Defenders quintet (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist preceding The Defenders team-up) will follow.

But here’s the bird’s eye lowdown on the next television season (and, yes, I’m taking the broader view of “season” as that term is no longer relevant in its original form). We will have Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, and Agents of SHIELD plus an Agent Carter mini-series presumably in the middle of SHIELD’s season, all on broadcast television. And we’ll have The Defenders quintet on Netflix.

That’s 11 shows. Being a fan of Community and Doctor Who, I have no problem with 12 episode seasons. Looking at cable originals, I think writing a dozen episodes per season results in better television.

Getting back to my admittedly vague point, I can’t name 11 comic book-based ongoing prime time television series prior to Arrow. Superman (several versions), Smallville, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, The Hulk, The Flash, Birds of Prey… I’m sure I’m missing one or two, but I said I couldn’t name 11, and I can’t.

Of course we’ve got all these cool Marvel Studios movies, and Warner Bros is at least trying to follow their lead with their Justice League movie run-up. I despair only for Fantastic Four mach 2 and any future iteration of Spider-Man mach2.

I’ve liked what I’ve seen thus far. To be honest, I’ve liked these shows more than I’ve enjoyed their published DC and Marvel counterparts in recent months. For the first time in the 100-year history of superheroes on film and digital, it’s the comic books that now have to catch up.