Review: Crisis on Earth X (TV crossover)
When watching any of the CW DC comics shows you have to keep in mind the network that they are on. The writers are targeting a single market, and alienating others. People who have been fans of the comics and these characters for years (myself included) will often cringe at some of the decisions made by the writers. Children that should be able to watch a comic book show just simply can’t because they are all too adult oriented. And if you’ve got a political view that isn’t what the writers want to push, then you’ll be dissatisfied as well. These are shows aimed at millennials, and I’m not using that in a negative term towards that generation. I get a network wanting to appeal to a certain audience, but as a man who went to school for learning how to gain an audience, I know it isn’t a wise decision to exclude any others. If I were making a show I’d want it to reach as many people as possible (especially the long time fans and the next generation of youth). Sadly, this isn’t the case with Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.
Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I follow and watch these shows each week. Do I do it because they are great? No. But there is a small element that gives me hope I will eventually see what I know the DC comics shows could be. After this crossover it could go either way.
Stay with me a moment while I explain. When Supergirl was in its freshman season it was lacking a budget, but the stories were told well. Then it was moved to the CW, and it became something entirely different. It got rid of good characters and changed the sexuality of another. It went from focusing on Kara Zor-El of Krypton to focusing on love lives. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was done right, but the problem is none of the dialogue in the relationships is realistic, and the scenarios feel forced if not acted out.
I preface with that because that is EXACTLY what we got in this crossover. Now, I’m not entirely hating because there were good things about it. For example: The Nazi Earth storyline, the death of beloved character Martin Stein, the return of Red Tornado, Barry and Iris finally getting married, and some pretty fun action scenes to watch with all the shows’ characters coming together in a Justice League B-Team sort of way.
But that is about it. The rest is riddled with plot holes that make no sense, corny moments, ridiculous relationship moments, and a forced political message. Let’s skip the corny moments because they can be forgiven, and talk about the plot holes…
Plot hole 1, 2, and 3: If Nazis won World War II and ruled another Earth, then why is the sky Red there? It’s still Earth right? And to add to that history would have been entirely changed. There’s a good chance that Oliver Queen wouldn’t even exist. Even IF that was possible how would he have become the Fuhrer? Is he a descendant of some high ranking German officer? That wouldn’t make sense either considering his family’s legacy. Not to mention that all existing character dopplegangers should have looked much different, whether it be facial hair, lipstick or whatever. Something would be different.
Plot hole 4: The Nazis have a wave rider. Why wouldn’t they use it to travel back in time on Earth One and change things? Instead they use it to attack civilians running in panic. It’s instead portrayed as less a doomsday weapon that Overgirl was.
Plot hole 5: Overgirl or Nazi Supergirl exploding also made no sense. The yellow sun powers her and Supergirl. Why would flying close to it irradiate her heart and cause her to be dying? Is this a lost plotline from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace? Even that movie had less plot holes.
Plot hole 6: How did this Nazi army do anything to stay in power. It seems that they aren’t very loyal to taking commands. When their Fuhrer says, “Kill them,” multiple times, they just march forward. They have automatic weapons in their hands. All they had to do to listen to orders was to aim and fire. Sure, there would have been some bullet proof people or those who could avoid the barrage of projectiles, but the Nazis would have at least tried. And they would have succeeded in killing a few. Instead we get a group fist fight with little to no guns being used, but lots of superpowers.
Plot hole 7: If Earth One is the Ray’s real home and Earth X is Citizen Cold’s real home, then why would Cold stay on One, and Ray return to X? Relationship aside, this makes no sense whatsoever.
Plot hole 8: Why is Thawne on Earth X? And to top it off, why is he even taking orders? He could easily kill evil Oliver, and outrun Supergirl to other worlds. This just seems stupid.
Plot hole 9, 10 & 11: These are less plot holes and more of unanswered issues, but who was the girl holding the drinks at the wedding? She acted like she knew Barry and is obviously someone from the future, but who? This doesn’t fit in a crossover episode, but should have been in a Flash episode. We have no answer at the conclusion of this arc though and are left wondering. Red Tornado’s return was much better than he appeared before, but are him and Metallo now dead? They both exploded as if they were just henchmen, and I’m still left wanting more of both for Supergirl or whatever show they fit in. Martin Stein’s death leaves another unanswered thing in his wake. Will Jax be useless from now on? My guess is that Stein’s daughter will be able to bond with Jax because of genetic code, and I’d be fine with that. There is a down side to this… it will become yet another relationship to watch on these shows.
That takes us to the relationship part of all of this… Straight or gay it doesn’t matter… the way they were written in felt forced and didn’t make anyone care at all for them. In fact, the only relationship that anyone should care about in this crossover is disrespected.
Relationship 1: Nazi Oliver and Nazi Supergirl – I actually enjoyed this one. It was as much a shock as it was to see Tommy Merlin appear as Prometheus, and it was executed quite well. The only down side is that this chemistry feels off for a so called dictator and a goddess of another world. It weakens their status and while they can and should love each other no matter how evil, it is something that would be done in private, not in public.
Relationship 2: Alex and White Canary – Let’s take the whiniest indecisive character (Alex) and focus more on her fake love life. They spent a season of Supergirl making me hate this character and it wasn’t because she was gay, but because her love life didn’t seem authentic. Everything with her and Maggie was forced from bad dialogue to interactions. So it’s not a surprise when it carries over to hear, and even the characters feel funny about it in the show. Then they put her with White Canary, who at this point must have every STD in the history of mankind. How many women has she slept with throughout history and NOT affected the time line? It’s been way too many to count or make sense. This was my final straw for both these characters, especially Alex. They need to kill her off already because she brings nothing to the show. White Canary is fine when she is acting like a leader, but how disrespectful can you be at a friend’s wedding rehearsal to just ignore the bride and groom because you want a one night stand? ugh.
Relationship 3: Barry and Iris – Poor Barry and Iris. This is one relationship I really care about. I want to see them together, and when they get their chance at a wedding it is all about everyone else and not them (including the point where they get married finally). Thankfully they had their moment, but the writers royally screwed them in the process. It’s a slap in the face to the actors and characters.
Relationship 4: Oliver and Felicity – WTF?! Any respect I had for Felicity is gone after that crap she pulled. Some best friends you are if you can’t even respect their wedding. But no… instead of Green Arrow and Black Canary we get Ollicity… a forced and unsteady relationship that just shows why many marriages end up in divorce. They have no respect for what should matter (the wedding of their friends).
Relationship 5: The Ray and Citizen Cold – I get that the Ray is a gay character. I get that the actor playing Captain Cold is gay as well. What I don’t get is why we had to see this portrayed so forcibly. Put all the sexuality aside and it really doesn’t make sense. Two people in love supposedly, but the one is in prison camp. The other finally shows up to help out? How long did that take? Then they kiss, and there is a drastic change in the mannerisms of Citizen Cold. He goes from being cool and badass to almost acted out like he’s prancing around and smiling all the time. I mean they quite literally stereotyped him right there and changed the character mid scene. Then the end comes and they just decide that they aren’t going to be together on the same Earth? WTF?
This brings me to my final point. The CW is trying very hard to get across a few political messages. Whether you love or hate what is going on in the world, the last place I want to see politics is on a show I want to see. Television is supposed to be a relief from the corruption and political bullcrap that is our current real society. The constant push to make comments like “Make America Aryan again” just doesn’t bring anything to the show. And the primary focus to be on relationships that seem way more forced than natural (gay or straight) comes off as more a message than anything else.
Extra questions I’m left with are “Where is the Hall of Justice introduced in last season’s crossover Invasion?” and “If this world was such a threat then why didn’t they recruit Martian Manhunter and Superman into it, not to mention the rest of the Time Bureau?”
We will see how the rest of the individual shows work out when I do my review at the end of the seasons, but for this crossover it is one you can easily skip. I’ll give it 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that really comes down to a good concept and cool characters being screwed by poor writing and nonsense.
What did you think of Crisis on Earth X? I’d love to hear if I’m the only one who felt this way or you agree.
Review: DC on TV Fall 2016
I feel like I have to review all of these shows in one article, as they co-exist in the same universe. Notice I kept Gotham separate, because it’s its own entity. This will cover the first half of Supergirl Season 2, The Flash Season 3, Arrow Season 5, & Legends of Tomorrow Season 2. This brings everything up to the winter finales of these shows, so I’ll review the latter halves later. There will be spoilers, so if you’d like my full review without those, then scroll down to the last paragraph of each section to get my ratings.
SUPERGIRL SEASON 2 PART 1:
Kara / Supergirl is easily the strong point of this show. Her and Martian Manhunter are what really makes it fun to watch.
Sadly Cat Grant has left for at least a little while, but she’s been replaced with a decent interpretation of Snapper Carr. He adds a little more to the dynamic.
Miss Tessmacher and The President (played by Lynda Carter) were fun little throw backs to the Superman and Wonder Woman movies and show. Plus we got a little Batman reference in there as well.
Superman was a very pleasant addition, and though I didn’t feel the actor quite had the look down, we ended up with arguably the best interpretation of Superman for the fans. He was a cross between Chris Reeve and Tom Welling’s portrayals in their best moments. Hopefully he’ll return for more.
Miss Martian and Mon-El are welcome additions though they are likeable to the point of making me wonder who they are going to turn bad or kill first. Still each scene is done well with these two, and their origin stories are pretty close to the comic versions.
Scorch, Roulette, and Parasite were done very well with the latter two easily being the highlights. Even though Parasite’s history was altered, I can’t tell you how excited I was to see a good version of him on screen. Of course then they killed him off, so that’s a bit upsetting.
Jimmy /Guardian & Wynn – having James take on the role of Guardian was initially upsetting to me. After it played out a bit I realized that he’s better off in this role. Let’s face it… this isn’t the Jimmy Olsen we know and love. He fits in the Guardian shoes better. Wynn works well as a compliment here, so all I’d like to say is I hope they add some color to his outfit to reflect the comic counterpart well. I am eager to see how Supergirl will take the news of these two working behind her back.
Lena Luthor – Something makes me want to believe her, but the Luthor name just has me skeptical. Lena’s presence feels a bit off. I think Lillian plays a better fitted role as the director of Cadmus, and that should be the focus… not redeeming the company’s name by Lena.
Speaking of Cadmus… we were given two great comic book villains that came off quite differently. Metallo was perfect in every way, but Cyborg Superman was downright stupid. First off…. it was stupid to call himself that because he isn’t Superman at all, nor does he have any connection to him in this universe. Secondly he’s more of a Cyborg Martian at this point than anything else. I know this is me being nitpicky, but the actor playing Superman could have easily done this as the real Cyborg Superman and it’d have been much better. OR they could have turned Mon-El into him. Instead we were left with a pretty lame take on the character.
And finally we get to the part that makes me cringe. When Maggie Sawyer stepped onto the scene I was excited. I love her in the comics. Her sexual preference doesn’t feel forced in the comic pages, and it really doesn’t here either. My problem isn’t with Maggie. It’s with Alex Danvers. Her coming out wasn’t handled well at all. Instead we got 5 episodes of her realizing she was gay, having very uncomfortable dialogue (it would have been uncomfortable were she straight too), and a drawn out forced plot line that fell short. What does this mean? It means the writers saw an opportunity to introduce a gay character, but didn’t take time to flesh out the scenes. Instead of a natural flow we get a very forced, and very bad dialogued few scenes that are almost unwatchable. I’m glad she’s found her true feelings, but the constant focus on this is too much. It should only be a minor side thing, and not a primary focus. This is SUPERGIRL after all.
Despite the villains being high points, and the appearance of Superman, this season has so far been bad. I feel as though they didn’t take time to develop anything, and are just throwing characters and situations in without giving the viewer time to understand or adjust to what’s going on. So far this season gets 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. Let’s hope when it returns on January 16th they get their heads on straight and deliver some really fun and good writing.
THE FLASH SEASON 3 PART 1
The Flash (Barry Allen) is struggling this season with his decisions to alter the past. By creating Flashpoint, he managed to really screw things up for everyone. What I don’t understand is everyone being pissed at him, but we will get into that down bottom during the crossover event. Grant Gustin continues to shine in the role.
Iris & Joe – Sometimes feel out of place, but they are necessary over all. I love their presence here, so while it isn’t always written well, they make up for it in their delivery and support of Barry.
Jay Garrick / Flash, Wally West / Kid Flash, and Jesse Quick in no way feel like they are overshadowing Barry. They work well as compliments to him. To me however, I want to constantly see Jay Garrick. John Wesley Shipp is the flash I grew up with and the cameo of “his” earth’s Trickster (Mark Hamill) was really fun to see. He’s playing Jay the way he played Barry back in the day, so for fans of the old series this is a very pleasing thing to see. I can’t get enough Jay Garrick in this show.
The Rival, Magenta, Top, Reverse Flash, and Alchemy were good villains for an episode or two. Though the Rival’s costume reminded me of Bale’s Batman, I still liked the villain he played. My favorites so far are Mirror Master and Shade. The first of those two should really have had some closer costume to his comic book one, but I’m glad to have finally see him debut. Although Shade was a bit underwhelming, he was always a character I liked, so performance didn’t matter because the threat was there.
Killer Frost and Vibe – are now direct results of Barry’s altering of the timeline. I love the slow shift of Kaitlyn into her evil half, but am a little upset at how much of a dick Cisco has become. I understand him being upset at his brother’s death, but he was the comic relief on the show, and now we’ve barely got that. It leaves us with a very serious season, that is great for story, but brings the tone too close to that of Arrow (which is meant to be that way).
Savitar is finally an interesting villain, but he looks like a Transformer. I’m not sure why only Barry can see him, but perhaps its the speed his molecules vibrate at that makes this possible. Will we find out if he really is a god like he says? Time will tell.
Overall this season has become too dark. It’s not bad at all and the additions were done well on the hero and villain side. Flashpoint was touched upon in a way that worked nicely, but I hope we get some more lighthearted moments back for the second half of the season in January. I give Season 3 part 1 a 4 out of 5 sCrypt rating.
ARROW SEASON 5 PART 1
Let’s start with Green Arrow, Diggle, Felicity, and Speedy. These staples in the series remain the way they have been with not much change to them. From acting to character arcs I find them at times annoying, but overall enjoyable. It is Quentin Lance that bothers me. Grow up, man. I get it. You’re heart broken and on multiple levels, but the city can use you and that is a way to distract you from it. The drunk issue is a real issue, but we can move on from that. Plus how much longer is Oliver going to be able to have dual roles of Mayor and Green Arrow? When does he sleep? Oh, and Thea just decides during Invasion that she’s in? WTF? You’ll fight aliens, but not save your city? Seems like they just wanted to throw her in there. (Still it was nice to see her back in action).
The new team is a mess. Wild Dog is nothing but a thug who doesn’t care for the rules. How many times does this guy have to screw up? Mr. Terrific needs to be more like his comic counterpart. Instead, he feels like he’s just shoved in there to be another character. Don’t get me wrong… I love what they are doing with Curtis, but as Mr. Terrific I don’t buy it. Artemis? Well who didn’t see that coming? I only wish they’d have used Sportsmaster (since he’s her dad) instead of Prometheus for her betrayal twist. Finally Ragman. While I love that he’s on the team, I also hate it. It’s almost like he could do it all himself because of his powers. Why wouldn’t he have been more of a help during Invasion? There’s just many plot holes with these characters because we were bombarded with them all at once.
Adrian Chase / Vigilante – is not quite like the comic version, and to be honest, I’m not sure I like him either. So far he’s just someone who kills anybody in his way. I mean he tried to murder team Arrow even though he knew they were doing the right thing. The guy is a nutcase that makes all gun owners look bad.
On another note, Christopher Chance aka Human Target, was awesome! He was used perfectly, and with no fanfare. I hope we see him again at some point.
Anatoli is the KG Beast in the comics. He’s less of that and more of a mob boss here. This is neither a good nor a bad thing, as the actor does well.
If anything, the awesome cameo from Dolph Lundgren should have been in the KG Beast role. I was waiting for him to whip out some Rocky 4 lines, but for a role on TV, I have to admit, this was some of Dolph’s best acting so far.
Tobias Church was an intimidating villain who seemed to be too easy a pickoff when Prometheus was done with him, but the latter character gives me mixed feelings. I don’t like the costume or the rehashed feel of this season, but I love that it all ties back to season 1 here.
Black Canary is back!? Is this a result of Flashpoint somehow or the time travel in the Invasion episode? Who knows? But I really don’t care! I Love that Laurel is back, and she better stay that way.
All in all this season is shaping up to be mediocre. It’s better than the last season, but feels rushed at points. I am eager to see where it all leads, and for the first time in the history of the show I want to know how it will affect everything. I feel like there is way more on the line, other than crazy villain trying to destroy a city. It’s a breath of fresh air in most places, while still stale in others. Arrow Season 5 Part 1 gets 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW SEASON 2 PART 1
Firestorm finally has an interesting turmoil plot point where Stein is dealing with the existence of a daughter that initially wasn’t there.
Atom is all over the place. First he’s Iron Man, then he’s a brief Captain Cold replacement, then he’s got a suit again, but there is hope… He mentioned that he needs to update the suit, so maybe we will be getting a more Atom appropriate costume soon.
White Canary must have every STD ever known because she just sleeps with every woman she meets in history, instead of focusing on her being the new leader of the team.
Heatwave is perfect the way he is, and always has been the stronger point of this show.
Both newcomers Vixen and Citizen Steel have been given interesting stories and their substance hashed out well. If anything I enjoy this show for these two the most.
Rip Hunter just up and left? WTF? And to top it off now he seems to be just a movie producer? It makes little sense at this point, but hopefully we get some resolution as to why he left in the first place, and why he has no recollection as a time master.
The Justice Society of America was placed well with decent representations of Commander Steel, Stargirl, Obsidian, Dr. Midnight, and Hourman. Likewise was the utilization and return of Jonah Hex done well.
Damien Dahrk and the Reverse Flash are interesting villains in this. With Dark Archer/Malcom Merlyn coming on board, it’s bound to be not just a legenday hero team up, but also a villain team up. Throw in Captain Cold, and have Rory betray the team, and we’ll have a Legion of Doom that will be way better than the heroes they are facing.
Captain Nazi Baron Krieger and Quentin Turnbull were nice comic book cameo villains. The zombies and historical figures were a welcome addition too, but I sometimes feel like this show only has to do with time travel so that they can throw stuff like that in there. It’s called subpar writing, something DC struggles with recently.
In all I am enjoying Legends much more this season than the previous one. It’s a little more developed. While it shines in some areas, it’s still lackluster in others. I think with the Legion coming on that it will become much more interesting the rest of the season. I’ll give Season 2 Part 1 of Legends Of Tomorrow 3 out of 5 sCrypt logos.
The 4 part crossover “Invasion”
I wanted to include this as a separate entity because it really remains a standalone miniseries without affecting much of the main shows’ content.
Invasion was a lot of fun. Supergirl’s episode was really only a stepping stone. Arrow’s 100th episode was filled with cameos. Flash’s episode was filled with everyone hating on Barry. And Legends’ episode was downright kick ass.
I have to address two major problems with this whole thing. 1) They are not the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, that’s the Avengers, but even if that wasn’t an already taken tagline, they still aren’t. A true crossover of this scale would have brought Superman & Martian Manhunter to fight against the Dominators.
The Dominator storyline was actually a bit interesting, and the CGI was good in most parts. My second complaint isn’t with that though. It’s with time travel. Everyone is blaming Barry for everything, yet these idiots in Legends are traveling through time every week and killing countless people in history. How is their tampering not having ramifications? Even Vibe said he felt guilty realizing he changed the past a little. But this whole future Barry sending a message back to blame himself is BS. If anyone’s to blame for screwing up the timeline while trying to protect it, it’s the Legends. Every. Single. One of Them.
It was a kickass team up though, and I think handled better in the future (pun intended), that they can get rid of the problems I had with it. On a side note that doesn’t affect my rating. Don’t they all look like a bunch of cosplayers above? Just saying. 🙂
Invasion gets 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. So what did you think of the 4 shows and the crossover? Chime in with your comments below.
What’s in The Works
As always, we are extremely busy with multiple projects, so here is a quick update.
Our fourth graphic novel has officially started production. We are hard at work gathering artists, storyboarding and putting finishing tweaks on some of the dialogue for “Souls 4 Supper: Ghostly Hauntings.” If you are or know anyone who is an artist that may be interested in working on some great ghost stories, please contact us immediately. Slots are filling up quickly, but there are still vacancies. This is great exposure for any dedicated artist, or for an artist who is looking to do something unique and awesome. – firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also working on the next novel in the Flesh and Leftovers series entitled “Devil’s Dessert.” This time, Gordon Lightcap and his team are up against an ancient war between heaven and hell. The angels and demons have chosen Earth as their battleground, so while an apocalypse is upon humanity, the balance of order and chaos teeters on the free will of the people. Will earth give in to the darkness or the light?
In the works, but still waiting for copyright finalities is the first story in the “M.U.T.S. Files.” This will be a free release online that will involve origin stories of the members of our favorite covert op team MUTS. Artist Kelly Swann will be the first to illustrate a few scenes from the story to make it appealing to the eye as well. Again, if you are an artist or know anyone interested in a project like this, let me know.
Finally, in the early stages of negotiation is a crossover event between sCrypt Comics and Earthbound comics. Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but the wheels are in motion, and both sides have expressed interest. More news on this to come.
On a charitable note, sales were decent for the month of November, so I am writing a check this week for a third of the profits from sales for last month. This check will be donated to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief fund.
As always, I am trying to get my stories into hollywood and many other outlets so that someone will pick them up, or at least fund us for larger projects. The world of sCrypt comics as well as my novels has no limits, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed, and if you know a connection of sorts, please send them our way.
You, the fans, are the best that there is, so keep supporting us! Thank you again,
Rick Pipito (sCrypt Comics co-founder)