Superheroes are on television as much as they are in the cinema now, with new seasons of shows based on both Marvel and DC properties right around the corner. There are a lot of hopes and expectations on them to keep up the momentum of the previous series (The Flash, Agents of Shield) or to make up for past mistakes. (Arrow.)
Speaking of Arrow, the dynamic of the show seems to be continuing to change from where it started. To begin with, Oliver Queen was Batman in archers clothing, it was all dark, grit and death dealing. Oliver was a murderer who started a one man crusade against the criminals of his city. Cut to a few seasons later and Oliver has renamed himself the Arrow, he had stopped killing people and he was in a totally unnecessary romance with Felicity Smoak.
Surprise! I wasn’t a huge fan of Season 3, especially when I was watching far superior shows by comparison on different days of the week. It felt lacking, the villain didn’t have the same threat that Slade did from the series before, it peaked far too early and was just lacking though out the whole second half of the season. The ending felt a bit too tame for me too, I was never a big fan of the Oliver and Felcity pairing and the drive off into the sunset ending felt pointless when you know there was more to come.
Early pictures of the 4th season seems to escalate the show in all respects; new costume, new name and new lair. I’m dubious as to how the show will continue with the events of the later parts of season 3, the dynamic should have changed more than the show has let on, anyone with half a brain should know who to look at if another dude with hood and bow ever shows up, but somehow I feel that little reveal might get swept under the rug come season 4.
Oliver started just being known as the Vigilante or the Hood, it was as if the show was easing its audience into the series, like it was scared to show a hero to the general public that wasn’t Batman. Eventually he renamed himself as the Arrow, and other things started to change, the city was to be renamed from Starling to Star and Oliver Stopped killing people. It was if the runners wanted to ease the fans into a false sense of security, making them think Batman, and then slowly easing the rug from under them and changing the character one iota at a time. The latest change comes in Oliver yet again renaming himself as The Green Arrow.
As the Green Arrow is continuing to move away from the grim character he started out as, his costume is changing too, moving away from the dark thing he wore in the first couple of seasons and looks more like something Hawkeye has been wearing in the marvel cinematic universe. I poke fun, but I’ve not had any real problem with CW’s interpretation of the Green Arrow, but at the same time the show seems to have gotten darker and darker with Oliver as the series have gone on and it might be refreshing to see the character lighten up at least a little.
In a way, I am the most hopeful for the next season of Arrow. It went from being so great in season 2 to leaving such a bitter taste in my mouth at the end of previous season that I really hope it can step away from the thumb twiddling and go back to having a solid arc for the whole run and not just when it suits the airing schedule.
Conversely, Season 2 of The Flash has a lot to live up to. The Flash just got better and better as it went, dealing with some incredibly complex ideas to drop on the average none comic book audience that must make up a good potion of the shows viewership. A time travel story right off the bat? It’s crazy, and that cliffhanger ending. As much as I liked Netflix’s Daredevil, I think Flash might have been the best superhero show to air last season.
So far, details on series 2 are sketchy. Iris West is supposedly taking up the role of leader, the on and off again thing between her and Barry was pretty tiresome in the initial season and I hope they sweep it under the rug entirely for at least for this year. It also seems that Iris’ nephew; Wally West (a.k.a. Kid Flash) might be making an appearance. I’m not fan of kid sidekicks in general, especially in things with a more serious tone. But if they do as well (or better) as they did with Roy Harper’s character arc in Arrow, then I’ll be satisfied.
The thing that intrigues me the most is that they’re already seeming to be doing a multiverse story, which after the risks they took with the initial run doesn’t surprise me at all. It does make me excited to see what they do with it all, and all the alternate really versions of characters they could play with as a result. I only hope they trust their audience to understand the whole thing, as American television has a tendency to not to do.
The final piece of the CW’s new run of shows is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow; an anthology series of 15 one hour episodes, telling the stories of the characters already introduced in Arrow and Flash plucked from their own timelines to do battle across time with even more Ex-Doctor Who cast members.
I don’t know what to feel about this series, as it has the same primary cast as both of the other shows, it makes me curious as to whether the crossovers may become less frequent in the main shows and also that CW might not be confident enough to start a show with one of their other heroes introduced thus far. I mean why not Diet Iron Man (Atom) or Slade (because that would be too amazing?). Although maybe this is that and Oliver and Barry will just be taking a back seat to the rest of the cast assembled here.
It’s either that or Warner are putting the reigns on the CW because they’re worried about it affecting the success of their upcoming DC shared universe.
I’m just speculating there though, either way, I continue to look forward to CW’s television interpretations of these characters than whatever dark and depressing stuff Warner are putting out in cinema’s but that’s my problem. But you can trust I’ll be on here talking about all of them. (He says with a grimace.)