Smurfs Take

The annual team-up crossover event of the season is over and there is a lot to look at as Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl may have done the unthinkable. Here is Smurfs Take on the past three days of Elseworlds.

Arrowverse_Flash_Arrow_Supergirl_Batwoman_Elseworlds_DC_Comics-150x150 I love that this has become a thing every season. The Cross over event involving the different shows has been genius and something I look forward to every year now, like Doctor Who Christmas specials. The approach is always fun and gives us a different look at the characters and how they would interact with the rest of the world outside of their own show. Last years ambitious event of Earth X I really didn’t think there would be a way to top that. Involving every team for an epic faceoff with Nazis was mind blowing and the loss of a major character; this years is just three shows but may carry an even bigger impact.

The start of the tale has to be with Flash as Ollie and Barry trade lives leading to some great moments and just how the actors see there teammates. The relationship between the two has always been interesting with both having a very specific role to play. We got so many things out of this episode it was a geeks dream come true. Sure we get the Monitor, but that has been the big set up for the crossover; what we didn’t see was Ivo Labs and the introduction to a major Justice League villain. Professor Ivo also plays a bigger role in the comics with his androids and leads to the death of a character who is a member of team Flash. AMAZO was perfect and a character I didn’t expect to see the light of day and what better way to handle a power mad android then with the Man of Steel himself. This had to be one of the high points of the episode for me as we visit Smallville. I know there were hints at this but it doesn’t prepare you for the moment right down to the song from the old series. Definitely a fans delight loaded with Easter Eggs setting the stage for this Elseworlds story and so much more.  

worlds finestWith all the setup taken care of we move on to the meat of the story and we get the long awaited trip to Gotham. The argument of if the Batman is real is great, along with the mystery of his disappearance three years ago. I’m sure this will be something they explore in the Batwoman series along with the location of the rest of the Bat Family since it seems all of the villains have been locked away at Arkham. I found myself hunting for names on the cell doors as a possible hint of who we might see in her upcoming show. The shocker out of this is a character that I can only assume is Psycho-Pirate. How he ended up in Arkham is a mystery but there is no mistaking the mask. Batwoman was everything I had hoped for with a few elements of her from the comic coming through and a few traits of the Batman as well. What I wanted was a bigger story, or a longer one to get more interaction with the characters similar to last year. I understand the reasons and logic to keeping it all contained to a neat single episode, the main one teasing Batwoman. There was just so much potential I feel left on the table but in the end we do get our Worlds Finest moment between Supergirl and Batwoman. We get a brief moment of the John Wesley Ship Flash, who does make a passing comment about Diggle missing his ring. Lending stock to the fan theory he is John Stewart and a Green Lantern, very well played. But for Flash moments that’s about it as he gets sent away by the Monitor before the fight can really start. Is this the last we see of the John Wesley Ship Flash?

dc-crisis-on-infinite-earths-arrowverse           The Monitor. There really isn’t a easy way to describe him than as something else. A watcher with a god complex. When he showed up in the comics no one really knew what his deal was, till a few years later that is. DC has always been good at just slipping characters in then hit you with this huge story line and this one is the template for all the rest to follow. Crisis on Infinite Earths. What we got out of this Elseworlds three day event is one of the best set ups I can imagine. So many things have been put in place for this story to unfold over the rest of the season and into next years event. Even in Supergirl we get as close to the Superboy Prime character from the comics, the Monitor hinting at the Crisis coming, Psycho-Pirate, Ivo Labs. All of it have key roles in the story and have been masterfully laid out for us, they may not be able to make a movie but they are damn good at TV. If this is the Crisis that has been hinted at since the start of the Flash series it’s a little bit early. In the comics it does claim the lives of both Flash and Supergirl in colossal fashion. Leaving the all-important question; will we see a hero fall? This might not be that Crisis lets face it, DC likes to throw that word around a lot. There is the key component of the Anti-Monitor still to tackle, but the one thing for sure is DC has given us a lot to think about and keep the fan-boys guessing till next year.        


Doctor Who

One episode left and here is Smurfs Take on Season 11 of Doctor Who

Over the decades Doctor Who has been and meant many different things to me. Hero, champion, defender, inspiration, wit, the list is long lets face it. With every regeneration the Doctor being a mix of the same and something different from the last but always excited to see what happens next. I’m feeling all of that and more with the current regenerated Doctor having one episode left in Jodie Whittaker’s freshman season.Doctor-Who-s11

To be honest this first season has not been the best with more misses than hits. Everyone has been asking my thoughts and feels about the season, either I have deflected or avoided because I wanted to look at it as a whole picture.  The first episode is never a fair gauge or by any means the tone being set for the rest of the season. Thank god because I was not impressed with what felt like a rushed episode. I didn’t even have time to care about the loss of a character that was there specifically for some form emotional attachment and reaction. A monster that is best explained as the Tooth Fairy in a story that just felt unfinished and incomplete like the grand opening of a department store that isn’t really ready. I think that has been one the biggest plagues for this season; the writing. 

I have enjoyed the episodes being a little longer and in some of the episodes the time was well spent. But in many cases its not and Ghost Monument is a perfect example of time wasted, when we finally get to the TARDIS; the focus of the whole episode, it’s just glossed over. The interior is completely new! But because the writing was so bad and felt they had to explain everything to the viewer it took away from us experiencing the joy and excitement of the story. This is one of the common problems for most of the episodes, the need to explain instead of show. I understand with Sci-Fi there comes a certain level of political and social statement but if told well you don’t notice and it makes you think about the world around you. When the story is stopped to tell me what the point is out of fear I’m not getting the message is just bad writing. Not every episode needs to have a statement, there is such a thing as just a good story or, character building. But when you are really good you can have it all and not even see it till the end like Kerblam. We go to the planet Amazon and have our minds set to who the villain is just to get the curve ball at the end, the perfect balance and one of the better episodes of the season. Most of the episodes have left little to no time for the monster face off. All this build up trying to create suspense, and explain the meaning of every little detail is tiresome. There have been a few very cool monsters, some solid twists but the fact is we are still stuck on Earth and no soundtrack.

season 11 dr Jodie Whittaker’s take on the Doctor has been entertaining and fun; while fresh still has a great classic feel to it harking back to Baker and Davidson era right down to not flying the TARDIS well. I fear her Doctor however may suffer the same as Matt Smith’s did with the writing being more the problem than anything else. She is engaging and wonderful with every thought laid out for all to hear I just wish we had got more time with her and same goes for the companions. Sticking with more of the classic Who formula of multiple companions has been a hit and I feel we have hardly scratched the surface. Only getting a deep look into Yaz thanks to Arachnids in the UK and Demons of the Punjab. Gram and Ryan just stuck together most of the time to help bridge the gap between them that we see a resolution to at the end of It Takes You Away. Believable outcome? Who’s to say since these character are exactly the same since episode one. The one I would like to see more of is Graham, I can’t help but get a Jamie feel from him in every scene he is in. The comfort and ease with the Doctor, the questions at the right time and emotional range are fantastic. Yaz is just sort of angry most of the time and Ryan is scared and confused, I can only hope in the seasons to come they can expand their range a bit more.

The-DoctorI love the new opening credits and music, I love the Doctor and companions, and the new TARDIS is great but would like to see more of it. Was it a good season? To be honest I am left with a feeling of wanting. No soundtrack I am finding more and more annoying, creepy noises does not fill that hole. There wasn’t a dare to be great moment in my mind. Nothing stood out as the Doctor has arrived and I can only think of one Monster that I hope we see more of.  And while I can appreciate a new approach some stories should be better polished before hitting the air. I can only hope next season will be better as they start to find their stride. For now I will go with an alright season and one I can’t wait to put behind me and look forward to the last episode of the season and the Christmas Special.           

Smurfs Take

Caution…The article in front of you may contain spoilers…Reader discretion is advised

#TheFlash The Present

I didn’t like that Flash went the obvious choice on who Doctor Alchemy was a couple weeks ago, and had lost a little faith in the writing team when they have done such an amazing job of avoiding these pitfalls so far. Julian? Come on man, but to be fair it is a blend of two different stories from the comics and there is still a bit of a twist that has left me wondering about Savitar. I will save my theories on that for another time but I like how they pulled all the first half of the season together tonight and still filling my inner comic geek with glee.

We visit Earth Three, home to Jay who just so happens to be taking on the Trickster…Amazing! I have been wanting to see the two of them together on the screen and feel a little of the original show and I got my Christmas wish early. Say what you will about the old show but the episodes with Mark as the Trickster are gold and to see the two of them, however so brief facing off is fantastic. I am surprised Mark even has time to do an appearance with the Star Wars shooting schedule. Barry is there to get Jay’s help to go up against Savitar and some helpful fatherly insight as always. This did raise a few questions in my mind, I realize the Speed Force is all knowing and binding but Jay did know a lot more than I thought he should about Savitar. Have the two battled it out before? Jay claims the whole reason for the “God of Speed” showing up in the first place is because Barry poses a threat to him. Jay however is confident that the two of them can bring him down and that couldn’t be close to the truth because in the first run in while Barry goes after Doctor Alchemy and the Philosopher stone Jay gets his ass handed to him and just before Savitar is about to deliver the killing blow, after knowing Jay by name gets pulled back into his dimension. How is he tied to the stone? Why when the stone goes back in the box does Savitar get pulled back to the prison he is in? The prison that future Barry/Flash puts him in. Surprise? Not so much really, Barry taking off his mask in front of Julian yes. I know in the comics at some point the Flash’s identity is common knowledge and who knows if that will ever happen in the show but did he have to do in this situation. Almost as bad as a Batman movie. It’s during the conversation with Savitar that we get the cryptic prophesy as he pulls the, “I know your destiny card” on the team. “One shall betray you; One shall Fall; One shall suffer fate far worse than death.” Nice touch in my opinion but for a moment all I could see was a scene from SAW.

Hipster HR Wells is starting to jump on my last nerve! I also have a feeling his training of Walling is not going to end well, but the man does have a valid point. It’s better to train Wally so he’s more prepared than just having him run out there, and he is following the character rather closely from the comic with attitude and him wanting to just rush in. He does finally get his own suit and everyone agreeing that he should be called Kid Flash. Is it a perfect blend? Who’s to say and as the rest of the season moves along we might have an answer but for now, Wally is a speedster and has a chance to be faster than Barry…maybe some foreshadowing there. Cisco is finally better, still dealing with the grief of the loss of his brother but learned something after messing the time line up in the Invasion cross over.

My Take; I liked it, not bad but I did have an issue with how they got rid of the stone and sat there scratching my head. If it’s the direct link to Savitar and where ever Barry put him wouldn’t the very last place you would want to send it is the place directly linked to your power. I would be more concerned that sending it to the Speed Force you run the risk of his becoming stronger or taking control of it. Maybe I have read too many comics, but with all the Earths out there you can’t find one that’s nothing but water and no one living on it and let it sink. Jay’s parting words of focusing on the here and now has me worried along how he reacted to traveling to the future. What does he know? One of his mistakes coming back to haunt him? Has he run into Max Mercury and will he be the next speedster we see? Merry Christmas

Smurfs Take

Warning…The article in front of you may contain spoilers…reader discretion is advised

The Flash Invasion

The annual mass crossover event for the CW is underway after the kickoff with last night’s Super girl episode. It really didn’t have anything to do with the story line as Barry and Cisco showed up at the end of the episode to recruit her help. Leaving us all in the dark as to what is going on based on the ending of the last Flash. Will Super girl be a hit when she is added to the new crew? Is this going to be the better Justice League? It’s staged to be a JLA story for sure with the Alien threat looking rather like the White Martians.

Before we get into the episode there are some house cleaning matters in the world of Flash that carry into the story. Flash Point and its far-reaching effects are brought to the front, not only by Cisco and his constant whining and crap attitude. I understand that he lost his brother and there are so many different consequences to Barry adjusting the time line but this attitude Cisco is sporting goes way beyond reasonable. Every decision is questioned and scrutinized by him even when it has nothing to do with him and could be for someone else’s good, Wally being the prime example. The underlining contempt and tension is almost too much as the heroes are assembled with the only cold spot in the room is Cisco and not Killer Frost. There is also a voice recording from Barry himself 40 years in the future mentioning a war and not to trust him that was found on the Wave Runner.   

Most of the episode stands like a classic comic story as the hero’s band together and unite for the greater good. This may be the starts of the Justice League everyone has been waiting for and wants to see with its own Hall of Justice fresh off the Saturday morning cartoon. A little campy? Maybe, but I couldn’t have been happier with the nod and seeing it come to life in the show. Best moment must be the dog pile on Supergirl as a test of what the group is up against as she just floats in the air brushing off everyone’s attempt to do anything against her. It’s all cut short after Cisco discovers the recording and forces Barry to come clean about Flash Point to the rest of the team. Nothing like mistrust in a group when your facing down an invading alien force. The words of reason from the Legends of Tomorrow team about time travel and doing the right thing has great intentions and all given the mistakes they have made along the way but is almost a little late. It’s just overkill, we know Barry is sorry, it’s the dominating theme of the show so far and at this point I could have gone an episode without hearing about it or Barry beating himself up over the matter. Thank God for Ollie and putting everything into perspective and the other side of the coin and is the only one to think what they would do. Ollie puts it right out there and says he would go back and try and fix it, that he would do the exact same thing Barry did and would bet anyone else given the chance would do the exact same thing. It’s easy to judge and lay blame but every single one of them would try and Barry needs to stop beating himself up over it. With all the infighting the group leaves Ollie and Barry behind when taking on the big bad aliens who have kidnaped the President of the United States. The bait, as the team just walk in through the front door like a big target.

The first aliens for Earth Prime and they are not nice nor are they White Martians, they are called the Dominators and have visited the Earth before in 1951. Acting like they come in peace unless acted against, Supergirl saying they had a similar experience with them on Krypton leaving a lot of people dead. The Dominators were waiting and once in range took control of every one’s mind and sends them all after Flash and Arrow. Flash makes short work of Atom, and Firestorm while Supergirl takes a bit more work leaving Arrow everyone else. Just enough for Kid Flash to show and get taken out right away forcing Arrow to run around with an unconscious speedster on his back. The buildup for tomorrow night was fantastic and we have no idea what the aliens are up to and with the conclusion of tonight’s episode brings up more questions. My take? I liked it, Supergirl worked well and I love the chemistry between Barry and Ollie with the few side characters in for good measure and Heat Wave as comic relief.

Smurf Takes

The Flash: Flashpoint

There is the old adage, “If it works don’t fix it” and the last two seasons of the Flash have worked. They have worked so well in my opinion that it was the benchmark that I was holding all of the network shows to. The sophomore season of the Flash was almost flawless with story, plot and character developments as Earth 2 was introduced opening the door to a whole new Rogues gallery to pick from and the best part for me another Well’s. A character that we really don’t know but has been a great catalyst and antagonist all in one and not to mention the man in the Iron mask whose identity I did have correct (sort of). So when the season ended with Flash going back in time yet again to change all of it following the “Flashpoint” story line from the comics made me cringe. This is the story line that DC used to reset their comic universe creating the new 52 a few years ago. How would it effect, what I consider a great working chemistry and story? What are the consequences to such a desperate and drastic act of grief? If you had the power to do it….would you?

 Image result for the flash flashpoint The season three opener is life through the looking glass as we see a world of what if and playing catch up as everything that has been established over the two seasons is turned upside down. Barry has been in a world of pure bliss having both of his parents alive, someone else playing the role of the Flash, and still has his job with CCPD. The rest of his friends not doing as well but getting by with the exception of Cisco who is the wealthiest person in the world and the owner of his own tech company in what used to be S.T.A.R. Labs. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies for Barry, his actions have come at a price, not only does he have Reverse Flash locked up in a power dampening cell but is also starting to lose memories of how things use to be. What I really love about the moments between the two of them as Barry brought food to Thawne was how sure he was that Barry would release him and ask him to kill his mother. I was to see more of this Reverse Flash in season three, just how quickly he was able to flip everything on Barry and ask him who really was the villain in this scenario. Just how much Thawne hates Barry but out of a need for his own survival decides to help Barry at the end of the episode.

Image result for the flash flashpoint What I didn’t like was how the West family just fell apart without Barry being part of the family. Joe barely holding on to his job as a cop and some sort of angry with the world alcoholic. He doesn’t have a great relationship with Iris or Wally and it isn’t till the episode that we see a little of the Joe we know and love. We also get the slightest peek at how Wally would do as the Flash because here he is the one that was hit by lightning and Iris helps him fight crime. The other thing that bothered me, it doesn’t look like there was an explosion of Dark Matter at S.T.A.R. Lab’s that created the Meta Human issue. There is an evil speedster name Rival who knows about the Speed Force, something we only found out about just at the very end of last season. It’s this fight/team-up between Wall and Barry that leads to the fight at the end and Wally being mortally wounded, the only way to save him and Barry’s fading memories is to do what Thawne said; go back in time and put things the way they were supposed to be. How many times do we have to see Barry’s mother get killed?

Image result for the flash flashpoint Flashpoint and the New 52 for DC comics was a great story line pulling in new readers and giving us a facelift on the established hero’s. Is this story line too soon for the TV show? There are so many other ideas and places to go with the character and we will see how they spin this into the rest of the season. Reverse Flash’s has some rather cryptic words before he leaves, what have Barry’s actions done to the timeline? We don’t wait long for an answer with a mystery surrounding some drastic incident and what could have happened to the relationship between Joe and Iris to drive a wedge between them? Solid start for season three? With a watered down version of Flash Point sure. Where does it go from here is the better question now that Reverse Flash is free? If I am thinking this through correctly we get Eddie back because he wouldn’t have killed himself to stop Thawne’s plan in addition, we get the original Wells back because Reverse Flash isn’t stranded in the past thanks to Barry. Oh what a twisted little story it has become.