Posts Tagged Martin Stein

Superhero Weekly: Crisis on Earth-X

That was good.

crisis-on-earth-x

(Source: The CW)

I had my reservations regarding a second crossover for Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow  and the Legends of Tomorrow. The first one was particularly awkward as the real threat was pure CGI and just having the heroes facing each other appealed a lot more. It’s in the same vein that the new antagonist are not only flesh and bone, they’re also the doppelgangers from Earth-X.

Highs, Lows and Evil Twins:

  • I loved Kara’s participation here a lot more than in the previous crossover. Not only did she seemed to be featured prominently, she was central to the plot.
  • That being said… She does have to take the role the damsel in distress as she is the proverbial MacGuffin that the baddies are after. Once she’s free, it was back to her kickass self.
  • LOVED the fling between Sarah Lance and Alex Danvers. They should meet again while Alex is still single.
  • That Thunderclap move was amazing and straight out of the comics
  • Kara gets to utter the legendary line: “General, would you care to step outside?” YASSSS.
  • Why did we needed a scene with Nate Heywood/Steel holding or even catching Kara? The ground was softer than “steel” to catch her. Plus if Supergirl weights is off the charts as Superman is, Steel would’ve end up flattened as a pancake.
  • The surprise appearance of Winn as ruthless resistance leader General Schott was a little unexpected twist, albeit a short one.
  • Overgirl was a scary nemesis but that kiss with Fuhrer Oliver was just creepy AF. Also, notice how the name should’ve been Ubergirl but it was probably changed to prevent any association with certain private taxi service.
  • The Flash’s storyline acted as the prime motivation first as Barry and Iris are the ones to invite everyone onto Central City. However, it doesn’t stay that way and everyone does get a somewhat balanced spotlight.
  • I do think Killer Frost should have won that first encounter against Nazi Oliver since his hand and bow were frozen already. A simple flash bomb wouldn’t have been able to ignite (AND supposedly knocks her unconscious?). No, sorry. Frost had him dead to rights there. Yes, I am biased. No, I think had to put some lame ass way for him to get out of it just because.
  • Frost still got some really cool scenes, including using the ice-coaster again. Plus, mainly she got to play a freaking heroine!
  • Of course everyone ends up fighting their doppelganger. Understandable for Kara, but not necessarily for everyone else.
  • Green Arrow having a kryptonite arrow is a bit of subtle reinterpretation of Batman having a kryptonite ring in case Superman ever went rogue. However, does Oliver ALWAYS carry not one but several kryptonite arrows with him? I know he had some sort of thin layer to encapsulate the tip, but I still think Kara should have sensed/felt he was carrying it.
  • Tommy Merlyn appearing behind the mask of Prometheus-X was a throwback to the old theory that he was one of the suspects back in the day. That was really a personal gut-wrenching low blow for Ollie.
  • Congratulations to both Fuhrer Oliver and Nazi General Overgirl for officially being the most hated villain couple ever. No, actually the opposite of congratulations are in order.
  • Felicity facing down Fuhrer Oliver was really tense. You almost believed she was going to die then and there.
  • Red Tornado. Good look, but good looking CGI is still CGI. As much as the effort is appreciated, only Barry’s human face was saving that scene from being video game cutscene material.
  • The Legends of Tomorrow got some decent screen time at the end, but they also won the most touching story of it all. Professor Martin Stein, played by actor Victor Garber, after being so close to being human once more and almost rejoining his growing family was taken down by bullets. Hurt and unafraid, he performs two valiant acts: he saves the team and later in his deathbed, he takes the formula that separates him from Jackson. That was such a heroic way to go.
  • Jackson trying to say a eulogy for Stein was just heartbreaking.
  • The fighting was ok at best, and a little hokey if you look at it really close. Acrobatic flips just done for show, nazi soldiers missing by a mile or falling down too quick, etc. But the overall look and feel is quite solid if you don’t look too close. This might sound illogical, but crossovers are not about the battle, but about the once-in-a-lifetime encounters. There must be a battle, but it’s more background than foreground.
  • The plot was simple and not overly complicated. This worked better because of the quantity of side stories available. With the exception of Kara, most of the villains were believable. Melissa Benoist did try her best, you just will have a really hard time believing her adorable face is supposedly evil.
  • Snow/Frost got some great scenes there. Very balanced overall. I wasn’t that onboard for Barry/Iris and Felicity/Ollie at the end. Seemed way too last minute but I guess they wanted to end on a high.
  • Sarah Lance and Alex Danvers must meet again. They were just way too adorable. Alex doesn’t get to play awkward often but she was on point.
  • Barry lets Eobard Thawne go. Oliver just kills his enemy. Kara almost ends up Iron-Giant-fallout as she flies out Overgirl before she goes nova. All in all, their personal traits defined their victories. Barry is not willing to kill. Oliver doesn’t hesitate. Kara is willing to give up her life. So while Kara wins at everything and Barry would rather risk a draw, Oliver is a little too ruthless in my book.

That will do for now.

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Series Issues: The Flash 1×14 – Fallout

(Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)

(Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)

Spoilers in the rearview mirror might be closer than they appear

Alternate title: Fire walk with me

The episode picks up right after we left Firestorm going nuclear and the Flash running away from what seems to be a nuclear explosion. Contrary to what the title implies, there is no nuclear fallout. Somehow that has been absorbed and neutralized (?). The result is that we get Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) finally separated from Martin Stein (Victor Garber). By the way, I’m probably the last person to find out that Robbie is cousins with Stephen Amell aka Oliver Queen.

It’s a happy moment to finally see Caitlin reunited with Ronnie, and Ronnie with everyone at STAR labs. Stein is the only one left out, as he just wants to be reunited with his wife. Unfortunately, a new danger presents itself. General Wade Eiling wants Firestorm. When he manages to track Ronnie down while he’s reconnecting with Caitlin, Stein discovers they are still connected in some level and alerts Barry.

The Flash quickly makes work of Stein’s forces and then stops. For effect? Rookie move, Barry. The general produces some sort of nail bomb that is attracted to the kinetic energy of Barry’s powers. Ouch. Fortunately Caitlin manages to save them both. Poor Barry has to endure each needle/pin (they look like nails to me) taken out one by one.

Joe West shows Barry the images that Cisco and him have discovered at his old house (no Cherry in sight). Barry realizes that the only way he could have been there 15 years ago is that at some point in time he discovers the way to travel back in time. He shares this with Dr. Stein who tells him the obvious. Ok, the comic-book-obvious. If the Flash eventually becomes fast enough, he will be able to break through the time-space continuum. If I had a nickel for every time that I’ve seen someone warn against altering the time-space continuum… Anyhow, it’s up to Dr. Wells to explain the two possibilities of traveling back in time. Either the time traveler becomes part of history as if it was always meant to be or we get parallel universes.

Props to Cisco for describing these two with movie trivia: Terminator and Back To The Future.

Dr. Harrison Wells is not idle. He actually goes and talks to General Eiling because… well, there’s a reason somewhere but it seems the general has something on him. Wells eventually drugs Stein and turns him over to Eiling. The general proceeds to torture him, which is felt by Ronnie. Eventually they find a way to communicate. Hopefully that will heal. Stein manages to send a message back in a simpler, more obvious way – yes, it’s the old Morse code to the rescue. That reminds me, I really gotta learn Morse code one of these days.

The Flash races to the rescue bringing Ronnie along. Eventually Barry is incapacitated by a chemical gadget and force to run in circles to create a vacuum that can neutralize the weapon. Ronnie reunites with Stein and they willingly merge into Firestorm. This time Ronnie is at the helm and he makes the general’s forces eat their own weight in fireballs. We also discover they can now talk telepathically while merged. The general, however manages to stop Firestorm. Why? Because he has a thermal deto- Ok, ok, because he has some sort of ion thing that temporarily disables Firestorm’s mojo. Of course, it’s Barry to the rescue at the last second.

Watch on YouTube

So, where do we stand? Well, pesky Iris is going to turn into nosy reporter girl soon it seems, as she recognizes Ronnie’s face from a picture of Firestorm. Stein and Ronnie can now split at will as long as Ronnie puts on the device before they join. Barry is going to try and change history to save his mother.

But for General Eiling, the Reverse Flash has other plans. He whisks him away to a very familiar sewer. There he reveals to him that he’s Dr. Wells. But the general has bigger problems. A voice sounds in his head, an obvious inference to telepathy. Soon, the large shape of Grodd grabs him and drags him away into the dark.

Highs:

  • I already gave him props, but Cisco’s movie references explained the two possible natures of time better than anything else.
  • Harrison Wells finally appears in costume as the Reverse Flash. Has he managed to overcome the limitation of his powers that he exhibited in the past? Or is it perhaps that he has his bad days and his good days?
  • We finally get to see Grodd. And he seems to deal with General Eiling. The show has the good habit of doing the unexpected. One would expect General Eiling to remain a thorn on the whole gang at STAR Labs. Then again, it’s very possible that this is not the last we see of him.

Lows:

  • Iris West. I do want her to be brought on board with the secret. I really don’t want her becoming the nosy reporter that they all have to keep making awkward excuses around. Please don’t pull a Thea Queen and have her wait three seasons to find out.
  • Barry knocks over all the general’s men. Then he pauses in front of him, giving him time to go for a gadget. Firestorm does the same thing after he throws fireballs at everyone and then stops before lighting the general up. Ok, Firestorm may be new to this thing but Barry is the fastest man alive. He should have knocked Eiling down first.

(Source: The CW)

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Series Issues: The Flash 1×13 – The Nuclear Man

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Spoilers coming at you.

Alternate title: Barry can’t handle hot stuff

Finally DC’s Firestorm origin story is explored here in detail. Dr. Martin Stein was fused with Ronnie Raymond during the particle accelerator incident, but also involved was a thingamajig from project firestorm. Now Ronnie-Stein is trying to find out what happened to him and how he can get back home.

Props to Dr. Harrison Wells for defining home here. Home for Dr. Martin Stein is Clarissa, his wife. Home for Ronnie is Caitlin Snow. Dr. Stein is the driving mind, but he’s becoming unhinged by his situation both mentally and physically. He tries approaching a former colleague only to explode in flames in the process.

Things are going from mild to hot for Barry and Linda Park, the reporter. Unfortunately, Barry has to become Flash more than a few times during their encounters. We establish that Barry can’t handle spicy food. There’s more for him to handle later as things get hot and heavy the next date. With Firestorm on the loose he has to awkwardly break the mood. With both the ability to fire up and fly, Firestorm outmatches Flash but as he drops him from a great height, he’s cautious enough to catch him and break his fall into a car.

I actually like that Barry’s and Caitlin’s next approach is to grab Stein’s wife Clarissa and approach him when he’s cooled down. In a typical comic book showdown, they’d go into battle over a misunderstanding each other’s motives. This was a lot more logical approach.

After the usual “running some tests” approach, Dr. Wells concludes Ronnie-Stein is going to go nuclear and that their only choice is to kill the host. Caitlin has very short (too short!) one on one with Dr. Wells asking him – or telling him, more likely – to find a different solution in the time left.

Unknown to the rest of the team, Cisco has been recruited by Joe to help him uncover clues to Barry’s Mom murder. Cisco manages to find images captured in an old mirror. That show the alleged two speedsters in battle. A new blood pattern is detected falling onto the walls. Joe suspects this is Wells, but Cisco doesn’t want to hear it. Later on, Cisco actually gets back to Joe. The blood is from an adult Barry Allen. It would make sense that the future Flash got hurt in the battle with the Reverse Flash trying to protect his mother. This doesn’t exonerate Wells at all.

Meanwhile, Barry is trying to mend things with Linda who has asked Iris about him. That conversation went two different ways. From Iris point of view, she was asking Linda to give Barry some time to get over an unrequited love. But Linda figures pretty quick that Barry was hung over Iris, and tells him so over the phone. Iris gets a bit of a scolding from Barry, and surprisingly this conversation is pretty mild. Neither go nuclear. To be fair, Iris doesn’t really deserve the scolding but we’ll leave that to the internet forums to feud over. Things go even worse for Barry when the “police emergency” excuse he used is confirmed as false by Linda. So it’s up to Barry to end up showing up at Linda’s workplace and doing the wildest thing he can think of to get her to give him another chance.

Meanwhile, back at the secret room in STAR Labs, Dr. Wells is seen arming himself with a regular gun as Plan B. However they do come up with a late scheme involving a device that could potentially separate Firestorm into his two components. Firestorm has escaped to a remote location, hoping to kill himself without hurting anybody. With no time to lose, Caitlin insists on coming along with Barry to active the device. After zooming over there, Caitlin gets one more moment with Ronnie-Stein before she puts the device… which when armed looks very much like Firestorm’s insignia on his suit from the Comic Books.

It seems that Firestorm will go nuclear anyways and Flash has to zoom away with Caitlin as Ronnie-Stein explodes. In an undisclosed location somewhere, the explosion is detected and a General orders his forces to move.

Highs:

  • The Firestorm origin was handled really well. The drama of the two men’s past lives is the highlight here. The actual superhero persona is secondary.
  • That being said, I did appreciate the nudge to the original Comic Book suit look. We might still see that evolve. Perhaps as a containment suit of sorts?
  • Joe West is acting like a detective. He’s been closer to acting like one than Arrow’s Quentin Lance. Quentin Lance still is more of a detective than Gotham’s Jim Gordon. Jim Gordon has his work cut out for him to catch up with his Comic Book version.
  • You really empathize with Barry Gordon as he navigates the foreign waters of romanticizing Linda Park. That being said, he’s doing really, really good by just being himself.
  • Best line of the show belongs to Cisco, after Cherry makes eyes at Joe: “Dude, I won’t judge you.”

Lows:

  • I’m not sure if the showrunners are setting up Iris to become the jealous type or the idea is that Iris is now going to be pining for Barry. The whole one-sided crush in reverse is a bit too Friends-Rachel-&-Ross for me. I’m aware Iris West in the Comic Books becomes… Ok, on second thought that might be a too much of a spoiler? In the end, it doesn’t really need to be that way, right?

(Source: The CW)

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