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Supergirl 4.9 – Elseworlds (part three)

Just as part two of the crossover showed us the Batwoman show that we might get, part three showed us the Superman show that we never will. I enjoyed Tyler Hoechlin as Superman the couple of times I’ve seen him. Here, he gets to play two Men of Steel, as Dr. Destiny rewrites reality once again to give himself Superman’s powers, and a spiffy black costume.

Hoechlin has a fabulous and believable chemistry with Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane, and I was absolutely loving their too-short time together. It won’t be continued onscreen in Supergirl any time soon, because Lois and Clark are actually leaving Earth to get married and live in the alien world of Argo City! Here’s to the show we didn’t get, because there was a decade of adventures behind them that must have been fun to see. There’ll never be a Lois as terrific as Teri Hatcher, I say, but Tulloch was wonderful, and I hope she gets the chance to play Lois again one day.

As for the rest of the story, my son and I both feel that they really led with their strongest hand. Part one of the story was by far the wildest and weirdest. By the end, the alternate reality business had lost almost all of its charm for me, though our kid certainly liked the scrap between the two Supermen, and he marveled aloud that Superman and Lois are getting married.

I’m most disappointed that John Wesley Shipp’s Flash from his old CBS show had such a minimal part in the adventure. They tossed him out of the narrative in part two and never resolved it. The Monitor wrecked his world, for some reason, and left behind the corpses of a lot of costumed heroes, for some reason, but did that mean an entire reality was wiped out, or just that planet’s Justice League? If we’re honest, the Monitor didn’t make any sense at all anyway… not that he ever did in the funnybooks in the first place. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was a dopey and unnecessary story in 1986. I can’t swear that I’m looking forward to the TV version next year all that much.

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Arrow 7.9 – Elseworlds (part two)

Had some maddening issues getting to watch part two of this story. The Flash played just fine in Google Chrome, but Arrow insisted that I had an ad blocker active when I didn’t, so I had to play it in Internet Explorer, which wouldn’t let me skip ahead afterward to get a screencap or two… maybe I can just get an old-fashioned VHS screener or something. Those never gave me problems…

Anyway, the second part of this story principally serves as an introduction to Kate Kane, who’s not-so-secretly Batwoman, and who is played by Ruby Rose. I wish Rose and the producers the best of luck in launching this show, but I am a little disappointed by the visual choices they’ve made for Gotham City. Our heroes learn that Gotham’s basically a complete hole of a town, and that there used to be an urban legend called Batman keeping the streets safe-ish, but the Batman vanished three years ago, around the same time that billionaire super-industrialist Bruce Wayne went missing.

Kate’s got an explanation, or as much as one as she’s willing to give to the infamous vigilante Green Arrow before telling him to get lost: after Batman left, the city fell further and further apart, and Bruce lost his will to keep fighting to make the city better. Interestingly, Kara lets slip that there’s a Bruce Wayne on her Earth as well, sort of best frenemies with her cousin.

But things sadly move to Arkham Asylum, and it’s so unoriginal and uninventive. Granted, the front atrium of the building becomes the center stage for Diggle (David Ramsey) to have a simply amazing brawl with about a dozen Arkham inmates. But the asylum is the same, dreary, dilapidated, moldy, bare-mattress building that comics and video games have been crapping into existence for three decades and just once I’d like somebody to depict it as a state-of-the-art facility based on an actual 21st Century psychiatric institution. Maybe Bruce Wayne could have spent some of his trillions fixing the Arkham plumbing and its decades-old flickering fluorescent bulbs instead of on more Bat-toys if he really wanted to do something to help the city.

There’s a nice wink at the ’60s Batman in the form of a Shakespeare bust in Kate Kane’s office. I wish the Batwoman show well, and I hope it doesn’t suffer too long from the Dark Knight-shaped hole in its floor.

Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter

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