Thursday, January 5, 2017

Midseason Berlantiverse Review: Arrow

Arrow is, by and large, the best of DC CW TV.

iZombie doesn't count, that's from Vertigo.

When our season opens, Oliver Queen must put together a team of heroes, since he lost his last one to retirement. They include Mad Dog (a recent classic character), and Mister Terrific (a REALLY classic characters), Artemis (a recent favorite from Young Justice et al), and eventually Ragman (also classic).

....For inexplicable reasons, Mad Dog has become Hispanic and Mr. Terrific is gay and black -- and neither impact the plot or the writing, which is both a blessing and frustration. It's a blessing in that they aren't harping on identity politics; it's frustrating in that they changed the characters just to check box that they have characters who are gay, black, and Hispanic. It's just head scratching, but I guess it's generally inoffensive. It's just odd.

Our season-long killer this year is Prometheus, a DC villain who, in the comics, mimics the fighting style of anyone he chooses. Sort of the DC version of Taskmaster, only the DC version needs a magic helmet. (Spear and Magic Helmet? Heh. Magic Helmet....).  But the CW Prometheus is more of a mystery. Does he have this helmet? Not that I can tell. Can he mimic anyone? No clue. The only thing I know about him is that he sounds a lot like Michael Dorn. Which is interesting, because by Christmas, we've usually been introduced by the primary villain of the season. It's an interesting break in pattern.

Overall, I like what they're doing. The plot switches back and forth from the overarching storyline, to the villain of the week. It's nice and evenly paced.

I even like the flashbacks, mostly because we're off that freaking island already. God did I hate that island. By season three and four, I started hating the flashbacks, but I think the writers started to do the same -- they cut back on the flashbacks a lot in those seasons. Right now, I'm good with them.

It's nowhere near as dark and depressing as the last two seasons. And I'm happy with it.

My major problem with this season is ... they're still doing flashbacks.

Right now, they've cut down a lot on the angsty crap. If a problem is uncovered in one episode, it's usually resolved within one episode.  For the most part, their days of constantly harping on a lie, or a misunderstanding, or something else, seems to be long gone.

For example


The Christmas episode concluded with Prometheus setting up Green Arrow into killing a cop, mostly by dressing him up like Prometheus. The cop happens to be Felicity's boyfriend. She doesn't go after Oliver, or attack him, verbally or otherwise. She has a reasonable reaction. She just cries.


So, yeah. I'll take it.

If you haven't already, check out some of the books below.



  1. The current Mr. Terrific in comics(for over a decade) is black and straight. The gay bit in Arrow is meh, as they treat it matter of factly. Mad Dog being Hispanic is kinda weird to me, even current Mad Dog(found in Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye) has a white ultra conservative gun nut portrayal. Realistically, hockey fan means white. Hockey player really means white(possibly slavic/nordic). Forced diversity, but he's at least ok as an actor.

  2. I guess my problem is that Curtis doesn't really do anything most of the time except get hurt or whine. That, and he's basically male Felicity. He doesn't add a whole lot to the team.

    Otherwise this is easily the best Berlantiverse show this season.

  3. Yeah, like Alfred said, Mr. Terrific has been black since 1997.

    Actually... Prometheus was created to be the anti-Batman. His parents were a bonnie & clyde type gunned down police so their young son swore revenge on normal society. He was given the helmet to imitate fighting styles because he was made by Grant Morrison who had to Morrison up the idea instead of sticking with the anti-Batman thing. Given that Arrow is the Batman on TV at the moment (more so than Gotham) maybe the writers will stick with the premise and make Prometheus the anti-Oliver. Maybe a child of rich villains stuck on an island for 5 years... lol

    And iZombie is awesome!

    1. 1) Yes it is
      2) I remember the one from ... sigh.... Cry for Justice.


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