Nerd Homework: Arrow-Verse Catch Up (Minus Arrow)

On Saturday, Juli’s daughter celebrated her first birthday, and I sat around catching up with old friends, and when one asked what I was watching these days, I responded by saying I was chasing my truly epic dive into Supernatural with catching up on the Arrow-verse, except not Arrow.

Chrissy laughed at that, “I love that you’ll do things for your blog that are inconvenient but you draw the line at catching up on Arrow because of your principles.” (Those principles, by the way are Arrow kind of sucks. Except Diggle. We like Diggle.)

There is by the way, nothing inconvenient about catching up on the other three Arrow-verse shows this season as Legends Of Tomorrow remains the best show on TV that no one is watching (and also the queerest), Supergirl did some damn revolutionary social commentary while still being fun, and The Flash managed to be the kind of sweet family drama it should have been all along while also recapturing the silly silver age fun that gave the first season it’s goodness.

Let’s start with those rascally Legends. Sara and the gang on the Waverider are hunting magical creatures and John Constantine is leading the charge. Constantine is a character I have some trouble with. I actually love him in a team setting, or when he pops up to tell other characters to back off because this is mystical and they’re in over their heads, but I’ve never fully bought into him solo. Matt Ryan is awesome, playing him and him getting crossed over here I think bodes well especially as The Crisis looms, and worlds will be consolidated. (I am speaking of course, of Dick Grayson popping up other places.) (Obviously.) (I JUST WANT KARA AND DICK TO TALK IN CIRCLES AROUND EACH OTHER, AND NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY KNOW WHO THE OTHER IS I DON’T THINK THAT’S TOO MUCH TO ASK BERLANTI!) Meanwhile, Nate and Ray’s bromance is so strong it can excorcise demons, Ava and Sara appear to be endgame, Zari’s been erased from the timeline and Mick’s writing career is going splendidly. Also, “Legends of To-Meow-Meow” is a truly wonderful episode of TV, where Zari is a cat. Also, this season has like so many musical numbers. This show is so goddamned weird, and wonderful and special and GAY AS FUCK.

Supergirl, offered an incredible breath of fresh air with a theme that I couldn’t have anticipated them doing particularly well. Taking on Xenophobia and immigration with aliens as a metaphor was a huge risk and my God it paid off. I eventually came around on Brainiac 5. (Though WINN! How I miss him) Nia Nal, the first transgender superhero on TV was a wonder, and Nicole Maine is wonderfully adorable. Alex and James and J’onn are steady centers for the show but remain a tad bit cyphery these days, and the woman at the top, Melissa Benoit remains stunningly stunningly good as Kara Danvers/Zor-El, and this year, as Red Daughter as well. And this season’s villains, Manchester Black, Ben Lockwood AKA Agent Liberty and Lex Frigging Luthor made the whole enterprise even better. Lockwood was played by Sam Witwer, who I’m having kind of a moment with right now. (Might even circle back to Being Human which I remember quite a bit.) He was tragic, terrifying and a lot of fun. But oh boy did the season belong to the big cheese.

Lex Luthor is probably the greatest supervillain of all, or at least the most well known. And John Cryer brought him, his particular brand of ego maniacal malice and obsession to life flawlessly.

Then there’s The Flash. The Flash is probably the most frustrating of any of the Arrow-verse shows, the beginning of the spin off experiment with a really killer first season and fantastic cast, that just kind of fell apart after that. Season 5 does some strong work to bring things back. Nora Allen, Iris and Barry’s daughter from the future is a welcome presence and the mystery behind  her motives to travel back is an intriguing season long mystery. The Big Bad, Cicada is less compelling. He’s a serial killer that goes after metas! Revolutionary, I know. At least he’s not a speedster. But I was overall just sucked in here.

I really wanted to push to complete the season because next season we get Crisis On Infinite Earths, while I doubt this will reach the epic scales of the actual comic, I’m looking forward to how things move. With this being Arrow’s final season there’s a lot of possibility on the table and I am genuinely considering getting caught up there. (We’ll see…)

So, yeah, that’s that. As for what’s next for Nerd Homework? I think I’m going to dive deeper into My Hero Academia. I started it with Aless a few weeks ago and I’d like to get caught up, and it’s been a minute since “Watch More Anime” dipped in. (Supernatural really dominated this year’s nerd homework.)

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