The “Arrow” series finally comes to its natural peak as season seven loosely adapts Green Arrow’s iconic comic storyline “Super Max.” Once optioned for a movie and basically in development hell for years, “Arrow” realizes the narrative for a full season arc. After Oliver Queen is finally pushed in to a corner in season six he’s forced to out himself as the Arrow for all of Star city. In season seven he’s jailed in Maximum Security and forced to confront all of the criminals he’s put away since he arrived, prompting some tense unfolding of events.
“Supergirl” never really fit in on CBS, since the channel has almost always avoided genre fare since its renaissance in the early aughts. “Supergirl” finally found a great home at the CW network, avoiding being cancelled, and gets a chance to bloom and fit in with her fellow superheroes at the channel. For the second outing of the “Supergirl” series, the writers and producers are so much more devoted to bringing in new viewers. Not only did the network give a whole season marathon over the course of the summer before its debut, but season two finally introduces this iteration of Superman.
After the blast off debut that was “The Flash” Season One, a lot of fans and audiences were expecting an interesting follow up that would continue the saga of Barry Allen. Lo and behold, Season two of “The Flash” upped the ante by introducing new characters, a brand new horrifying villain, and the concept of the multiverse. If you thought no one could be more intimidating than reverse Flash, than the series introduces Zoom. Zoom is yet another speedster from the Universe who is dressed in black and looks very much like a demonic speedster. Voiced by Tony Todd, Zoom is an enigmatic figure with a secret identity that plans to take Barry’s speed for himself and has plans for the world. Barry realizes all too soon that Zoom is faster than he ever hopes to be, and he finds himself completely in over his head.
This is the season that finally broke the fans, prompting the loyal fan base for “Arrow” on reddit to turn a group devoted to the series in to a group about “Daredevil.” The CW and Warner are at a really tough crossroads with “Arrow,” where they somewhat seem hell bent on sticking with what doesn’t work with the series, while pulling back on what does. Yes, they reward fans by bringing back John Constantine from the hell of cancelled television to resolve his television storyline, but he’s on for only two episodes. When Oliver Queen and company find themselves battling the evil Damian Darhk who is all powerful thanks to a supernatural relic, the answer invariably pops up: “Why isn’t Constantine helping them?”
The series “Supergirl” is in a tricky dilemma from episode one. It’s been created by a network like CBS in America that doesn’t quite understand it. CBS has never really embraced the superhero boom of the aughts, and “Supergirl” pretty much was walking on egg shells from episode one. It’s a good bit of fortune it’s been ported over to the CW where it can live and breathe among other superhero fare like “The Flash” and “Arrow.” After swearing off Supergirl for many years, I decided to be a good little super fan boy and check out “Supergirl” and I’m glad that I did. It’s a pretty remarkable and loyal adaptation of the DC Comics character that is so much more Superman than Superman has been in the last sixteen years.
I admit as a former hater of the character that I’ve taken a real shine to “Supergirl” over the course of its first season, and that’s mainly due to Melissa Benoist. She’s the embodiment of Supergirl, from the girl next door appeal, the charisma, the glowing personality, and the sense of heroism. Let’s face it, Benoist is the definitive Supergirl; boy, she is such a doll. After being doused with red kryptonite, Supergirl underwent a transformation that involved alienating everyone and back stabbing certain people in her job. This also involves getting co-worker Siobhan fired. Anxious for revenge, her secret power is revealed after nearly dying and she discovers by her aunt that she is a part of a curse involving banshees.
The benefit of the “Arrow” and “The Flash” two night crossover, is that it emphasizes the contrast between both shows. While “The Flash” is a hit series, and a spin off of “Arrow,” it’s also much lighter, brighter, and action packed than “Arrow” which bases itself on a darker more revenge fueled storyline. Though the Greg Berlanti fueled shows have made it clear they’re one in the same and will crossover from time to time, the contrast between two shows in the crossovers is made perfectly clear in this event. It may allow audiences to ultimately decide which series they prefer, or if they want to stick with both. I’m choosing both, even though “The Flash” has won me over in a season while it took “Arrow” to win me over by the end of season two.
It’s great to see DC and Warner bros. finally giving The Flash his due after so many years in limbo. “The Flash” has always been a wonderful character from the DC universe that was way too science fiction based to ever become a respectable series or movie, so for years fans had nothing. Surely John Wesley Shippe’s “The Flash” was a solid adaptation, but beyond that, it was merely table scraps. “The Flash” fully realizes what an amazing character the titular speedster is and completely sets up nothing but storylines and sub-plots in the pilot, while also telling a great origin tale of how a scientist became the fastest man alive.