State of the Superhero Nation

Posted: October 9, 2014 by Micah in Randomnicity
Tags: , , , ,

Hey Internet, so welcome to the party and a very special Thursday in which we take a look at the State of the Union!! No not the American Union because that is SUPER depressing and if there’s one thing this website excels at it’s ignoring hot button political issues entirely and instead making jokes about Amanda Seyfried’s lack of talent. No no no, this is way better (and less impact full) this is….

The State of the Super Hero Union
TV  Show Edition

The big floating asterisk here is that the comic book show I am most excited about (Constantine) doesn’t come out till the end of October (as NBC continues to stand firmly against the wishes of its viewers) but the rest of the party is here and partying hard so like the wise Chinese philosopher once said: “Party with the partyers you have, not the partyers you want to party with. Also: grains of rice.”

So let’s start with the new guys and then get into the returners.

The Flash:

A spin-off of CW’s Arrow, The Flash focuses on Barry Allen and his newfound super speed powers of fastness. There’s only been one episode of this so it’s dangerous to jump to judgments and yet here I am hopping on a trampoline with rocket fueled shoes ready to jump off!!! The Flash got off to a fairly strong start, Barry Allen is likeable in sort of a dorky way, and the cast  of characters around him serves pretty well. The GLARING exception to that is the sort of Tech assistant person who is PHENOMINALLY annoying. Everything  he says, he says with this crazy weird, creeper smile that practically splits his face in half but never touches his stone, dead, soulless, putty covered eye holes. He is very annoying. Always. Forever.


Run away from the Lab Tech!! Run away faster.

I did genuinely enjoy the episode on the whole though, though it did fall victim to the classic Flash problem of the final solution to the flashes problems being “run REALLY fast” and then when that didn’t work the alternate answer being “No for real though run even super faster than that fast that you’re running fast with.” Aside from Barry being very well played by Grant Gustin, Tom Cavanaugh turns in a genuinely great performance as Harrison Wells. On the whole it was a great first episode though and assuming the show can mix in some alternative problem solving (run fast perhaps occasionally being mixed with… eat fast… or something) it could be a pretty solid show.


The pre-Batman, Batman show Gotham is actually three episodes into its first season and thus far it has been good… though decidedly not great. The big problem haunting Gotham is that it lacks a compelling main character. Jim Gordon (the main character… mostly) continually comes off as a stiff rigid mostly emotionless guy and while that’s fine for a side character playing of Batman it makes for a bad main character. You don’t really root for Jim Gordon so much as you do just sort of not care. The fringe characters on the show are far more interesting but you can’t cheer for the Penguin cause he’s sort of nasty and horrible and gross and terrible (and not in a Joker sort of way where it’s entertaining) , and while Catwoman has been entertaining thus far she lacks the necessary punch and screen time to drag the show along. Gotham is a collection of interesting side dishes but it lacks any sort of main entrée. It’s a box of cracker-jacks without a toy, a charming musical number filled with chorus members but lacking a lead singer, it is (at its heart) a Batman show, without Batman. It’s not by any means a bad show, but before it can take the leap to being genuinely good it’s gonna need to find it’s missing ingredient. The show needs something to revolve around and until that happens (be it with Batman, or the Joker) it’s just gonna be interesting stars spinning in space.

Gotham, all of the party, none of the food... that makes less sense then I was hoping it would.

Gotham, all of the party, none of the food… that makes less sense then I was hoping it would.

Okay so now on to the returning shows!

Agents of Shield: Season 2

We’re a couple episodes into Season 2 of AoS and I’m excited to see that it continues to do pretty well for itself. A majority of Season 1 was (to put it politely) sucky. Really sucky. It didn’t have a very interesting central thru line and it’s villains were amorphous and uninteresting. But, thanks to the events of Captain America 2 and the (spoiler incoming) return of Hydra, Agents of Shield got about a million times better. All the sudden there was turmoil within the cast and actual character development happening and the last five or six episodes of the show were absolutely awesome. Season 2 has picked up pretty much right where Season 1 left off, interesting characters, some cool changes to the Fitz/Wallace duo and the nice reversal of Shield to sort of “scrappy underdog” continues to play very nicely. On the whole AoS is headed for a great direction in Season 2 and we’ll see what happens going forward with the new storyline.

Arrow Season 3

Arrow Season 3 just started last night and it is still by far the best super hero thing happening on TV. Arrow struggled in Season 1… a lot. It struggled with a tired love triangle, a couple annoying characters and a sadly inflated view of how interesting its main characters inner narrating was. Season 2 though took a huge step forward in SO many ways. The surrounding cast became a lot more interesting, the main character became more decisive, the horrible annoying terrible sister character was still there but nothing is perfect. Season 3 kicked off with a great episode focusing around Felicity Smoak (one of the shows strongest characters) and Oliver (who lost his fortune in Season 2) and really continued pushing the story forward, helped in no small part by a BIG cliffhanger ending that will no doubt be a focus for everything going forward. Arrow continues getting better and Season 3 shows very real signs of building on that formula. Obviously, there’s always a chance it will fall back into its old season 1 problem but I am honestly excited every time a new episode of this show comes out.

Arrow,  cause we needed something to heal the wounds of Smallville. While, ironically taking pictures that look a lot like Smallville's.

Arrow, cause we needed something to heal the wounds of Smallville. While, ironically taking pictures that look a lot like Smallville’s.

So there you have it sports fans, it’s a legitimately good time to be a comic book fan! 2 great shows, one good looking show, and one show that is a step or two away from being good. I’ll take it. Now we just need to wait for Constantine!!

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