Posts Tagged J’onn J’onzz

Superhero Weekly: Far From The Tree and Luck Be A Lady

Spoilers will get darker since it’s a new season.

Every series has to evolve past its first year. However, the darker they get the more you yearn for some lightness. This is one of the reasons I feel I had to get Arrow out of this mix. It doesn’t feel like I was having fun watching it anymore. Both Supergirl and The Flash go for a breather this week.

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(Source: The CW)

Highs, Lows and Father Figures:

  • Maggie and Alex’s wedding preparations continue. Here’s where that spoiler warning at the top of the post becomes important. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read any further.
  • Maggie’s rocky relationship with her father is explored. It is interesting to see that her dad is not a caricature. He’s survived his own trials as a latino gaining respect from other people as a Sheriff.
  • It did seem that as a person who had to overcome bigotry against himself, he’d have some empathy for Maggie. He kind of does, but then it backfires as he believes Maggie could have decided not to be a lesbian to avoid the strife, which is backwards thinking. It’s actually grown up for a show about superheroes and aliens to give us an imperfect parent that will not be understanding and will not stick around. Less ideal but more realistic.
  • Alex wanting kids and Maggie not being on board is the beginning of the end. As revealed in Entertainment Weekly, Floriana Lima is pursuing other projects and is exiting the show.
  • This doesn’t negate the exercise of showing a lesbian relationship in a more realistic light in a show that is not based on reality. The show has been kinder to them than other shows. It has lasted far beyond a single season, and it has matured and grounded Alex and Maggie’s characters. I hope for a heartfelt goodbye, because they deserve it.
  • The mission to Mars seemed to be the lighter side of this week’s episode, but the overtones of surviving prosecution really went deeper than I expected.
  • J’onn’s father, M’yrnn J’onzz was played by Carl Lumbly. His performance as a war survivor who has endured torture really shone on screen.
  • When his father can’t recognize him, J’onn has to hear that his father would not believe his son survived the war by escaping Mars. That was heart wrenching.
  • Kara takes a backseat (don’t worry she gets to drive later) in this story to J’onn and M’yrnn’s getting acquainted again. Just for their performance as father and son war survivors, it was worth going back to Mars.
  • The battle for the staff is an afterthought, although I totally see a super-villain taking that staff later in the season to defeat Kara.

Meanwhile, back at STAR Labs…

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(Source: The CW)

Highs, Lows and Hazard:

  • Harry Wells comes back from Earth Two with a breakup cube for Wally. That was really harsh. I guess they couldn’t get Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) for this episode.
  • This episode was all about bad luck and comical situations in which the characters overact and go over the top. We get Becky Sharpe aka Hazard (Sugar Lyn Beard) doing an almost endearing/annoying version of a luck-based meta causing havoc all over town.
  • I didn’t like the whole Iris overreaction thing. I know it’s played for laughs when she just decides to force Barry and herself to get married regardless of the bad luck juju. It’s just that woman-must-get-married stereotype that I can’t quite stand.
  • I did like having Tom Cavanagh back in the show as the grumpy Harry Wells reconnects – eventually – with Cisco. Plus he does come up with the last minute Hail Mary solution to nab Hazard as the odds go against the entire team Flash in the last minute.
  • No Caitlin Snow moments or Killer Frost peeks. That’s a low in case you didn’t know.
  • It’s sad to see Wally West go. Actor Keiynan Lonsdale did good work in becoming Kid Flash, but I am kind of frustrated that he didn’t even get half an arc of a story. That being said, it has grown stagnant. Kid Flash only got to save the day once in a blue moon and became the sidekick in distress a little too many times. He might be back for a spell now and then.
  • So now the team knows more about what we know already. Twelve new metas created by Barry’s Speed Force re-entry. Harry Wells does good in realizing the connections. I kinda see where The Thinker (the guy in the Tron-like chair) and Harry Wells might be engaging in a chess game soon. I just don’t see the motivation of this new nemesis against Barry.

Yes, I said I was doing this biweekly and suddenly I’m back on the weekly train. Hope that’s not a bother. Just keeping myself writing. Only way to be a writer, I hear.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly: Supergirl’s brilliant Luthors and Arrow preaches in Spectre of the Gun

Double-crossing spoilers lie ahead.

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(Source: The CW)

Supergirl hasn’t had an amazing episode in a while until this week’s Luthors. The show made a masterful move by introducing Lena Luthor this season, as well as her scheming mother, Lillian – who happens to be the head of Cadmus. In this episode, both characters take over the screen with a vengeance.

Lillian’s trial goes as well as you might expect. Lena tries to keep a distance from her mother even she requests a visit. That is, until Kara convinces Lena to go see her. Meanwhile we get flashbacks to Lena as a child meeting the rest of Luthor family and playing chess with Lex himself. Lillian reveals Lena IS a Luthor, one that patriarch Leonel Luthor fathered with someone other than Lillian. When Metallo himself is put on the stand, it turns out he has his kryptonite powers again and frees Lillian from her detainment. Supergirl shows up, but Metallo blasts a crane so that she has to choose between saving the lives of the crowd or let them get away.

The Guardian makes an appearance as Metallo frees/kidnaps Lena from jail. Jimmy is hurt (as he well should be), but he’s even more hurt by Kara still trusting Lena. We get a rare glance of the history between Kal-El and Lex when Jimmy explains Superman would still believe Lex’s innocence even when confronted by evidence. Lena has become Kara’s blindspot. There’s security footage of Lena taking out synthetic kryptonite from L-Corp. Of course this cements Lena’s image of another guilty Luthor in the eyes of everyone but Kara. Yes, it will turn out to be altered.

We get to see a very reluctant Lena in conversation with Lillian as she takes the trio to one of Lex’s hidden weapons cache. What they don’t know is that Metallo is about to go nuclear. Also joining them is… Cyborg Superman (sorry the name makes me cringe). The actual weapons vault can only be opened with Luthor’s DNA. Since we now know Lena IS a Luthor that makes her the key. Of course this sounds more like the reason why Lena has been brought along, but Lillian insists she can still have a place at Cadmus.

Battle time soon ensues as Supergirl dashes into battle. In typical Kara fashion, she’s trying to do several things at once – let Lena know she’s on her side and try to convince Metallo to stop using his powers. When that proves useless, she’s trapped by Metallo. In a last minute Han Solo fashion, Martian Manhunter manages to intervene. Kara, J’onn and Lena take off while Henshaw and Lillian somehow managed to escape the Metallo explosion as well.

I’ll save my comments on the finale and cliffhangers for the Highs/Lows. Also, no new episode for The Flash this week.

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(Source: The CW)

 

Arrow finally got political this week. Well, kinda. Sorta. A gunman enters city hall and shoots up the offices, killing seven people, injuring twenty-four. District Attorney Adrian Chase is shot. This opens a debate on gun control because nobody has ever- wait a second here.

Guns have been featured in the show before. Spartan (Diggle) uses a gun. Wild Dog uses two. The military uses guns. All of Damien’s baddies were paramilitary. Vigilante literally uses guns as well. There’s been a lot more guns in the show since its inception. So, why now? Because for some reason Arrow chose this angle. And somehow, I do want to commend them for the intention more than the execution.

Rene gets a lot of highlights in this episode, as the flashbacks are all about his family life in his pre-Wild Dog days. I found myself feeling some empathy for the guy although I mostly dislike him. Also, dishonourably discharged and packing. That never gets addressed again, but he gets to be assistant to Quentin. I share Thea’s disbelief at that decision. Also, Thea’s back.

I’ve become numb to Oliver’s mayoral speeches. More to the point, the show tiptoes around major issues. Notice how Oliver mentions abortion at some point but neglects to offer an opinion while talking to the councilwoman. But boy, did I love Quentin Lance in his one moment as he tells the Mayor to try and try again.

In the end, the councilwoman Pollard agrees to something called the Firearms Freedom Act that both protect freedoms and rights perfectly and- Wait, that’s not the way it should end, right? To tell you the truth, that’s an all too perfect solution. Starting with the name, which is a complete nod to politics nowadays, we never get to find out what’s supposed to be. Is it a gun registry? Then call it what it is. And if you have figured something else, something revolutionary, then we really need to know.

Highs/Lows/Checkmate

  • That Lena Luthor scene at the end. She’s dressed in full black and contemplating a chessboard, reminiscing of the games she used to play with Lex – and win. She moves a piece. This is a wonderfully ambiguous setting in which we’re left to wonder if Lena just played everyone.
  • I know some people are really going for the Kara-Lena angle, and to be honest that final scene seemed to be going somewhere. But on a different subject, anybody else think Kara is this close to revealing her identity to Lena? Or perhaps Lena has figured it out already?
  • Alex introducing Maggie as her significant other to the rest of the team. I honestly thought they’d knew already. J’onn’s response was perfect. “Of course I knew, I’m psychic.” When Alex asks him why didn’t he say anything before he replies, “it wasn’t for me to say.”
  • We get a little scene between Eve Tessmacher and Kara, although it’s all a setup to show how Mon-El is still in love with Kara.
  • Lillian finds Lex’s thingamajig that is obviously a McGuffin for another episode.
  • And we once more address Kara and Mon-El, because it has been so damn transparent that the show wants to these characters to hook up. It still feels forced. We seem to have gone through every romance trope in the book. Can we step this up from a teenage dramedy? Apparently not. Can we at least have Mon-El mature further?
  • Apparently we get a respite. Mr. Mxyzptlk has just entered Kara’s world. Cue the music, things are about to get crazy. Couldn’t you at least give him the hat? Add the hat next time. This looks like the perfect segue to a musical episode.
  • I think I’ve said all that needed to be said about Arrow’s gun control episode, but it bears repeating: there has been shootings long before in this show and with nastier consequences.
  • And please, Rene’s access to guns is obviously illegal. This falls completely out of gun control. So is Spartan’s access to guns for that matter. And yes, Vigilante has a point when he says he’s just like Green Arrow with a more efficient weapon.
  • Curtis and Rene’s discussion of the AR-15 was really naive, and I guess it illustrates some of the public’s ignorance about what is the most popular gun in the US. At least Dinah set that record straight.
  • Quentin Lance still gets the more mature lines of every episode. Try and try again.
  • The whole point was to find some common ground that would guarantee safety without trespassing the second amendment. That common ground, that brilliant piece of legislature that was accepted (albeit reluctantly) was never shared with the audience. Too bad, because even if it ended being up a gun registry, it would’ve been nice to know.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly: Supergirl’s Martian Chronicles, Flash’s Untouchable and Arrow’s Bratva

Spoilers might ran amuck.

supergirl-s2e11-martian

(Source: The CW)

Supergirl should never play poker. The show seems to have easy to spot tells of what it intends to do next. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t felt forced. Yes, I do love the Martian characters, silly names and all. However, the show seems to want to put behind the fact that J’onn literally kept M’gann in a cell for several episodes. Since she’s been freed, J’onn now keeps tabs on her by literally spying on her. Doesn’t it sound a bit creepy?

When M’gann is wary of J’onn’s stalking, we’re led to believe that she doesn’t want him to get caught in the crossfire when the White Martians come to take her. The more natural reaction would be she’s afraid he’ll make her a prisoner again. I mean, I don’t remember Kara, Alex or anybody in the DEO telling J’onn to let M’gann go.

The episode becomes one of those who-do-you-trust games in which the baddies have infiltrated the base. Wynn was given a few moments, both as his bad self and as his groggy witty self when rescued. It was all in good tense fun, but once the masks fall and the CGI fights start, you’re just waiting on it all to end.

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(Source: The CW)

 

The Flash goes for a baddie of the week with Untouchable. The meta-human can destroy everything he touches, and when it comes to a human being that means a pretty mean infection. He’s another creation of Doctor Alchemy, which means Julian gets a bit of a guilt trip.

On the plus side, Kid Flash gets to stretch his muscles as Barry tries to coach him so he can figure out how to phase through solid objects. On the minus side, it’s time for Iris to be protected again which means she eventually becomes infected by the- wait, I just realize this criminal never got a nickname from Cisco or H.R. What gives?

At least we get a little bit of a Killer Frost moment as Caitlin Snow must use her powers to stop the infection from killing Iris. I am not sure why Caitlin’s powers have this detriment of changing her personality. While Barry is a hero and Wally is fast becoming popular as Kid Flash, Caitlin has to suppress hers (yes, I know I say this EVERY WEEK) although she could be such an asset to the team if she mastered them.

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(Source: The CW)

Team Arrow travels to Russia. Actually, I could literally just leave it at that. Oliver reunites with Anatoly, who starts by punching him for his betrayal. They’re all there because Diggle’s nemesis, Walker, is going to sell a nuke to Markovian territorists.

I’m not going to care much for the overall plot, but there were some subplots that still carried some weight. We get to see Felicity going over the line, obviously back into hacktivist territory and even resorting to blackmail. We see Diggle losing control and torturing one of Walker’s men to death but stops short of killing Walker himself. Ragman, aka Rory, contains a nuclear explosion but his rags stop working. No more Ragman?

And of course, a minor issue of reporter Susan Williams recognizing Ollie on a Bratva photo and the Green Arrow being sighted at the same time that he was in Russia. All to make Susan suspect that they’re the same person. Still, there wasn’t any bangs in this week’s show. It felt all a bit flat.

Highs/Lows/BarenakedLadiesGreatestHits

  • M’Gann should show a little more than no resentment towards J’onn keeping her on a cell for a number of episodes. She’s not a damsel in distress.
  • I don’t know why we have to insist on making the White Martians an entirely evil race. M’Gann even calls her own race the monsters in an exchange with her former mate. Didn’t we learn anything from Krypton and Daxam?
  • No Guardian in this episode! I even enjoyed Wynn’s witticisms again.
  • The show has been playing coy over Mon-El and Kara’s possible relationship for no freaking reason. It’s as subtle as a brick. And now Mon-El moves on after being rejected by Kara while we are left with very palpable feeling that Kara has feelings toward him. Which she didn’t, until for some reason she did.
  • Are we going to have Kara pining over Mon-El now? Is this the whole Ross and Rachel reversal thing where now Mon-El doesn’t know Kara is actually into him? Feels a little too sitcom for me, and yes I know the show is essentially a superhero sitcom.
  • There was so much lipservice paid to the Barenaked Ladies (oh yeah, I caught that one week reference) that I half expected the band to make a cameo. Actually I dreaded it because I thought it was going to be one of those awkward scenes were the cast watches as the band plays in honor of Supergirl or something. Luckily they didn’t go this route.
  • Is Iris West going to be a damsel in distress the entire season? Have her have some agency or take her fate in her own hands or save herself for a change.
  • Yay for at least give us a little ice with Caitlin Snow getting to use her powers. Nay on the whole Killer Frost personality that comes with them. Why exactly does Cait become evil when using her powers? Nobody else that gain meta-powers has this affliction. Okey, perhaps Julian but it comes from Savitar.
  • Kid Flash would have been cooler if he had adopted a name of his own, not an obvious sidekick name. That being said, Wally seems to finally start catching up to Barry and Barry learns he has to improve as a mentor (mainly because H.R. is next to useless).
  • I dig Felicity going back to her hacktivist roots. I’d be willing to risk that story into a standalone spinoff.
  • Diggle going dark but turning away in time not to kill Walker sounds like too little too late. Sorry, I think he should’ve killed him so he doesn’t go after him, or after his family, ever again.
  • Talia Al Ghul training Oliver felt revisited. He’s been trained by everyone at this point. I guess we’re in the last stages of him becoming the Hood, but it feels recycled and old. Can they just travel to Nanda Parbat, or would that be conflicting with the already established timeline?
  • Rory is no longer Ragman? After containing a nuclear explosion? It feels so unfair for this character which was underused and underpowered to leave the team this way.
  • Quentin Lance returns. Seems he still has some demons left to exorcize. Is Rene really the best person you could think of to help him do that, Oliver?
  • A little bit of mediocre week all around, or am I getting jaded with Greg Berlanti’s properties? I don’t know, I just don’t think any of the shows had any spark this week.

That will do for now.

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