I was so happy when the CW started the “Arrowverse” series. Since Smallville ended, there wasn’t any really good superhero TV series out there. Then came Arrow, followed by The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. While most of these series have brought out a variety of great story arcs (especially the crossover events) lately, the stories have gone stale. Instead of dark, superhero stories, we’re getting reality show drama.
Arrow started out as a dark vigilante, out for revenge. Now, he’s worried about his son being gay and his relationship with Felicity. The Flash had more of an upbeat storyline with Barry learning to use his power while fighting off the foes of Central City, including the start of The Rogues. However, those villains went on to become “sometime” heroes in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and the Rogues never really came together. The storylines have gone on to try and cover every “politically correct” drama, twists, and story arcs with a lot of “B” villains and heroes filling out the cast.
Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl are supposed to be about the individual heroes, yet they are really teams of heroes instead, so all those background stories and plot holes get lost in the main character’s story. Meanwhile, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (the actual superhero team show) is a time travel romp that lost it’s focus after the first season. It seems to be more about comedy relief than actual superhero storylines. If you want comedy, they should add Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and Guy Gardner into the mix. That would make it a better show.
The one bright spot in the CW’s shows has been the epic crossover events. The “Nazi-themed” Earth-X storyline was epic and the last one introduced Batwoman (who’ll be added to the mix with her own show next season). Unfortunately, they handled her with kid gloves. She barely saw any real action. She was mostly used for “Batman-esque” establishing shots with Batwoman standing atop a building, looking down on our heroes.
I realize that throughout this rant I haven’t mentioned Black Lightning. That’s because (a) I didn’t read a lot of his comics so I don’t really know the character or his villains; and (b) he’s not part of the Arrowverse. I grew up with “Black Vulcan” on Superfriends, and that’s a whole different character, so I don’t really watch his show. It might be more interesting if he was part of the Arrowverse, but DC and CW decided not to include him.
They keep bringing more drama and less action. We also get villains that many people, even avid comic book readers, don’t know for the main seasonal arc. I mean, Cicada? Seriously Team Flash? You haven’t even given us a proper Rogues storyline and you give us Cicada. At least Supergirl has gone the Legion route, since she played a big part in the future league, and they’ve handled it well, and I’m waiting to see Jon Cryer’s Lex Luthor. That should be fun.
The point of all this is that if you’re going to do a superhero TV show, then make it a damn superhero TV show. We want to see intrigue, action, and cliffhangers like we get when we read a comic book. I don’t mind the occasional love story (i.e. Cisco and Gypsy) but Barry and Iris dealing with their teenage daughter from the future is a bit much. Plus, the comedy is a bit overboard at times, especially on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. I’m getting tired of the pop culture references between Ray and Nathan in every single episode.
The Arrowverse is fading, and I hate that. Make it fresh again, like it was in the beginning. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience. It doesn’t matter how many “Crisis on Infinite Earths” events you do, it won’t save an entire season.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.