Tag Archives: the flash

TV Review: The Flash S1E14 Fallout

theflash_full_costumeAfter the nuclear explosion separates Ronnie and Dr. Stein, Barry and the team believe both men are safe. Barry gets some important information about time travel.

The Flash had one hell of an episode tonight as revelations, and foreshadowing were abound. Tonight was all kinds of awesome dealing with so many different bits here and there. This episode brought back some awesome which was missing in a few of the recent episodes.

How awesome? Lets take a bit of it at a time.

The Firestorm story moves along as the military pursues him, and he has to fight back with the Flash. The action is interesting, even though there’s some idiotic science thrown about. It’s a nice way to wrap up that thread, and we get to see a nice hint as to the DC Comics Firestorm outfit. The back and forth between Stein and Raymond is good, not great, but overall, this is the weakest part of the episode.

Stronger is Barry being brought into Detective West’s discovery that he travels through time as the Flash and has something to do with the death of his mother. The reaction is interesting, but the real excitement is Barry thinking he can change the past and save his mother. For DC Comic fans, could we be seeing an alternate history in the making? If DC were to dip into Flashpoint in television, my jaw would hit the floor.

General Eiling though elicits the biggest squeals in a reference he makes to Gorilla Grodd when torturing Stein. Even more exciting is the ending which sees the Reverse Flash confront Eiling, and we get our first solid look at Grodd. It’s an awesome ending, and sets up some potentially amazing coming episodes.

The episode bounces back from some weaker recent ones, and sets up what looks to be an amazing end of the season.

Overall rating: 8

Push Comics Forward – The Female Super-Scientist

j4p4n_Scientist_Woman_(comic_book_style)Recently the head honchos at BOOM! Studios put out the idea that comics needs to change and to not be stagnant as a medium.  Long since dominated by superhero stories, the medium has indeed made a number of changed in the past couple of decades and the change is noticeable in some regards.  Equally though, comics are somewhat of a niche when it comes to their perception in popular culture.  Although there is an increasing amount of female readers, the medium is slower to make the changes to draw in fans of all backgrounds, and especially at the big two publishers instead still focuses on mostly a collection of characters who are both white and male.  While the interest in push comics forward doesn’t necessarily lie solely with the big two publishers, change has to happen there as elsewhere in order for the medium to evolve.

Science in comics was a bit of an x-factor until the onset of the silver age.  Until that point, science was usually grossly misapplied in order to move along a plot.  Gross inaccuracies were made and aspects of scientific knowledge would be presented, leaving what was actually used of the science to be misappropriated and simplistic.  As the silver age started, the focus on science is what rescued comics from being a medium for children, and instead allowed the medium to mature.  The changes first came at DC, though with the generally more god-like powers of the characters, the science was not as pertinent.  Hawkman and Green Lantern became intergalactic police, the Atom used White Dwarf matter to give himself powers, and the Flash became a scientist that gained powers by a scientific accident.  While the science was there, it was not until Marvel arrived that it redefined science in comics.  Although still unreal, the science was still presented in a way that it could be real, at least in our imagination.  Instead of characters that were either given or born with their powers, the new wave of heroes earned it the hard way, by building it themselves.  Not every Marvel hero was a scientist, but there were a few – Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Hank Pym, and Reed Richards.  While this did push the envelope forward for comics as a medium, what was left behind were the women.  The female leads to these heroes were still sometimes heroes, but they fell back into the template of having powers given to them.  Sue Storm was a college dropout, and Janet van Dyne was just an girlfriend.  They even did better than Betty Ross, Pepper Potts and Mary Jane Watson, who were often relegated to secondary status as damsels in distress (though Sue Storm also performed this role despite being a power superhero.)

lego women scientistsWhile there are perhaps more men than women in science still as a profession, there is no real clear reason why.  Women at younger ages are as adept as their male counterparts, and the interest for science is equally there.  Some consider it to be a genderized problem, that the “old boys club” of science discourages women from entering its field in some cases, and that women are taught gender roles by society to be less focused on science as opposed to other ventures.  While there is debate on these assertions, it is true that women have no more or less natural inclination to science than men do.  So why can’t there be a female version of a super scientist?  There are of course some very intelligent women in comics.  The female version of the Hulk is an accomplished lawyer, and others have shown an ability to pursue more academic fields than what is traditionally typified by their genders, but there is still a gap in terms of the heroes, and who can do what.  Female characters can still be powerful, but it is unlikely that their minds are capable of giving them those powers.  In fact a large portion of female characters derive their powers from either magic or the supernatural.

What has been an interesting and worthwhile development in the cinematic versions of comics, is that the women characters are presented in a way which is a lot more progressive.  Jane Foster is an astrophysicist and in the previous round of Fantastic Four movies, Sue Storm was shown to a be a scientific genius in her own right.  This is because as the characters move to a more popular medium, they are forced into a more acceptable presentation of the role that women play, more so than just damsels in distress, but also as able thinkers on their own.  So why is there no female superscientific genius yet in comics?  This comes back to the inherent idea behind #pushcomicsforward, that there can and should be such female characters, because the medium simply has not caught up yet to the reality of the world.  There is even maybe not a need for as many as Marvel has, but a character that is at least adept at science, and who knows the periodic table from the kitchen table.  There is no reason not to, as such a character wouldn’t even have to carry a series, but they could still be there, guiding the scientific discussion to a place that is more realistic.

TV Review: The Flash S1E13 The Nuclear Man

theflash_full_costumeAfter Ronnie attacks a physicist, Barry and the team go after him. Joe enlists Cisco’s help in the reinvestigation of Nora Allen’s murder. Barry struggles with his relationship and his duties as The Flash.

The Flash had an interesting balance tonight with an underlying theme of relationships and moving on from them.

I thought the episode was going in one direction, a comedic one where Barry attempts to be a hero and go on a date at the same time, a rather predictable romantic comedy. In reality, the episode is something much different.

Yes, there’s a bit of the balance between Barry’s costumed life and personal life, but really the focus on the episode is Firestorm, as we learn more about his condition. The team hunts him down, eventually bringing him in, and figuring out there’s some massive issues they need to take care of. It’s not bad, but at the same time, the story doesn’t quite blow me away. I might have preferred the predictable romantic comedy instead.

The big thing though is the movement in the case of the murder of Barry’s mother, and Detective West finding some new evidence, and reveling a theory he has as to who might have committed it. That playing out should be rather interesting, and I definitely have my guesses as to how that’ll end up.

Not a bad episode, but in a series that’s been so solid, definitely one of the weaker ones.

Overall rating: 7.5

DC All Access Returns For Season 3!

New season. New co-host. Same awesome access! Yes, DC All Access is back, as Tiffany Smith is joined by her new co-host Jason Inman to bring you all the latest from DC Entertainment. This week, they talk to the cast of The Flash, starting with the main man himself, Grant Gustin. After that, Robbie Amell and Victor Garber give us the goods on Firestorm before things turn downright villainous with Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell and Tom Cavanagh. Then they head to Gotham to discuss the new Detective Comics storyline with artist and co-writer Francis Manapul, before wrapping up with a few words about Harley Quinn… and a chance to win a set of Harley Quinn action figures.

TV Review: The Flash S1E12 Crazy For You

theflash_full_costumeCaitlin brings Barry out to a karaoke bar, hoping they both meet someone new; Cisco thinks about Hartley’s dangerous proposition; Henry’s snooping gets him into trouble.

The Flash‘s returns to a solid footing with a great episode that mixes the personal with the super. We’ll take each bit at a time.

The weakest part of the episode is the Cisco/ Hartley segments where they go off to find what happened to Ronnie Raymond. Cisco lets Hartley out of his cell, and while there’s a twist at first, it eventually goes exactly as you’d expect. Cisco is pretty bright, and his willingness to let Hartley out is a bit too eager and quick.

The villain for the episode is ok. Basically a DC version of Nightcrawler, so if you’ve ever wanted to see The Flash vs. Nightcrawler, well here you go. The fx are pretty cool, and it’s nice to see another female villain with powers focused on. But it’s a forgettable character overall. What’s great as far villains is that ending, giving us our first teaser look at Grodd!

What’s really makes the episode is Barry and Caitlin deciding to go out and trying to have a normal life. The comedic moments are great and actor Grant Gustin, who was on Glee, belting out some songs is a solid use of his singing talent. It was actually pretty funny, and balanced out the super aspect of the show. It also made Caitlin a bit more likeable as a character, as she’s been a bit morose and cold so far in the show.

The episode had a nice balance overall and moves along the story of Firestorm and Grodd’s debut quite well. Not the best episode, but a really solid entry for the series.

Overall rating: 8

Nerd Block Features an item from The Flash this February

The February Classic Nerd Block has an item straight from Central City! That’s right, The Flash is in the block! This is exclusive to Nerd Block; there is two weeks left to subscribe! Don’t miss out!

Nerd Block Flash

 

 

 

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Review: The Flash #38

tf38covAlthough a popular enough character in his own right, the Flash never seems to get the big fireworks when it comes to attention surrounding the character.  There are never big relaunches of the character, bestselling authors are never brought in to give the character better recognition and marketing rarely focuses on the Scarlet Speedster. Some of this is duly earned, as the appeal of the character is just as much there as it is for some of the bigger names at DC, even if the Flash is able to hold down a monthly title quite consistently.  What this means is that many of the stories for the character tend to go unnoticed, with the present story arc being an obvious example.

There are two main stories going on in the story arc, as future Barry Allen has pushed the present Barry Allen into the speed force, expecting him never to return.  This leaves future Barry Allen in the present eager to undo all the mistakes that he knows happened in the future.  This is the more gripping side of the story, as the usual deontological outlook of most heroes is thrown aside as future Barry looks for the greatest good, even if that means a somewhat brutal version of cleaning up his own past.  The other half of the story has been somewhat stagnant, as the Flash that we know has been stuck in the Speed Force, a strange land populated by dinosaurs and robots.  While this has failed to grip as tightly, it picks up a lot of momentum here as it provides some background for the setting before the heroes head out into the thick of it. It ends up being a mix of something like the series Manifest Destiny but being explored by steampunk time travelers.  Although it is only touched on here, it has good potentially to match the other half of the story in the coming issues if handled correctly.

The series continues here to show that it should not be as disregarded as it on the company level, or even by the entire medium.  As the only speedster that can continuously hold down a monthly series, there has always been something special about the Flash, and while the science is often not that hard, there is at least something to it when philosophy is mixed with science.  This series deserves a look by anyone looking for something a little bit outside the box when it comes to their superheroes.

Story: Robert Venditti and Van Jensen Art: Brett Booth
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

TV Review: The Flash S1E11 The Sound and Fury

theflash_full_costumeAfter his encounter with The Rogues, Barry must face off against a new villain, Pied Piper.

The Flash‘s latest episode is a rather interesting one. It’s focus isn’t so much the Flash as it is Harrison Wells, focusing on his mysterious origin and background.

The episode introduces us to the Pied Piper, the latest villain to enter the DC television universe. He turns out to be a former colleague of Wells and the two had a falling out. He even warned Wells about how his experiment might go haywire, which it did, creating all the meta-humans.

All of that shows off not just Wells’ history, but we see him show off his speed powers, and there’s some revelations. Not just to us the viewer, but also some of the other characters who suspect something is up. And something is, as Wells has issues using his abilities, with them shorting out in a way.The episode is a pretty solid one adding to the world that is The Flash, and that’s always welcome. It also hints we should be expecting some movement in the whole Reverse Flash angle soon too. Can’t wait!

Overall rating: 7.75

TV Review: The Flash S1E10 Revenge of the Rogues

theflash_full_costumeAs Barry is struggling to train his speed in order to beat Reverse Flash, his old friend, Captain Cold, returns to Central City with the help of a new villain, Heat Wave.

The Flash ended its fall season with one hell of a reveal and setting up one hell of a rest of the season. Back, after a break that seemed too long, the series puts one of the Flash’s defining features front and center, his rogues. That is something the series really understands, some of the most interesting things about the Flash is his bad-guys, and in particular the Rogues themselves. We’ve got the beginning of that team here with Captain Cold and Heat Wave making their splash in Central City and a showdown with the Flash which officially introduces the scarlet speedster to the town.

All of that is really solid, especially the interaction between Captain Cold and Heat Wave. The Rogues have always had issues when it comes to leadership, and we see some of those seeds planted here. It makes me look forward to seeing the full line-up together which would be nerd delight.

What’s also nice is the Reverse Flash being in the picture, Barry has a long term adversary to prepare against. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also some more info about Firestorm in the episode, another fantastic addition to the DC television universe.

The only negative thing is the shields that are made for the police to fight Captain Cold. There’s a slit, and their legs are in the open…. really?

The ending between Barry and Joe West is fantastic, showing the charm of the characters and the actors. And of course, that ending!

Overall, the episode is the usual fun and entertaining, but we all know what we’re looking forward to, more Reverse Flash… and Gorilla Grodd!

Overall rating: 7.75

The Flash, Arrow, and Gotham Get New Seasons. Constantine in Doubt.

theflash_full_costumeJust before the Golden Globes, The CW confirmed it was renewing both The Flash and Arrow for new seasons. It’s not much of a shock considering both series have been juggernauts and a bright spot for the network.

Fox made it official that Gotham will also be getting a second season. The show based on Batman has had consistent and decent ratings making this not surprising at all.

The other comic turned television show Constantine isn’t looking as solid. NBC discussed the series’ future. The show has its Friday timeslot changed to an earlier 8pm from its 10pm time when the show returned from its winter break. That switch actually led to lower ratings and didn’t help.

NBC president Jennifer Salke at a TCA press tour said:

Still talking about [whether to renew the show]. We wish the show had done better live. It has a big viewership after [live airings] in all kinds of ways, and it has a younger audience. The live number is challenging. It hasn’t kind of come out of Grimm the way we wanted it to. We love the show. I think it’s fair to say we’re really still talking about it.

 

Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt added:

We got on the bandwagon of these shows based on comic books, and maybe there are too many of them. It’s a popular series of comics, but it’s not The Flash. It’s not Batman, so maybe it suffers a little bit there. But as Jen said, it’s a show we really liked. We love Matt Ryan, who is the star of it. I think we did right by the fans who didn’t like the film that was made of it, and I think the future is still up in the air on that show.

Not encouraging at all for fans of the show.

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