All posts by JC Alvarez

Writer | Producer | Personality. Pop-Cultural Agent. Music | Entertainment & Genre Enthusiast. I knew comics were cool before primetime. The voice of "Out Loud & Live! with JC Alvarez" on Internet Radio. Visit www.thefanzite.com for more!

DC Comics MIDNIGHTER AND APOLLO :: Go To Hell?!

They are the most out-loud and proud avengers ready to save the day! Midnighter and Apollo continue their stellar run in the latest 6-issue miniseries from DC Comics.

Love transcends all barriers even those guarding the gates of hell! Especially in the case of superpower couple Midnighter and Apollo. The macro-mighted, swift-kicking crimefighter has had his work cut out for him ever since reconciling with his more powerful than the rising son super beau, but after taking on a deadly demon Apollo is struck down and his soul is sent into the afterlife. The latest issue of the 6-issue arc in Midnighter and Apollo #3 written by Steve Orlando with are by Fernando Blanco continues the adventures of two of DC Comics most popular and out-spoken characters.

Ever since the vigilante Mignighter struck out on his own (see the recently wrapped solo title Midnighter also by Orlando) he hasn’t been having the best go of single-hood that you’d imagine or expect from a cat who’s packing a heck of a six-pack and an even more charming roguish attitude. Admittedly, by end of that series’ run, and a couple of pretty harrowing knock-down drag-out fights, including several capers that had him teaming up with none other than Dick Grayson aka Nightwing. Obviously you can’t keep a good man down — though many have tried — and the dark finally saw the light as Apollo returned!

Now this dynamic duo (the comparisons between Batman and Superman aren’t going unnoticed) are back together again, fighting crime and winning hearts as the DC Universe’s most out-loud and proud gay super heroes.

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It appeared that the two heroes had struck the most perfect of balances. Apollo has come to terms with the Midnighter’s penchant for kicking bad guy ass. For someone has powerful as Apollo, whose powers would rival those of perhaps the Man of Steel’s, killing is not an option. Where the Midnighter prefers to strike down his enemies with his own brand of justice, he understands and never underestimates Apollo’s restraint. Grateful that the two, after several break-ups are now rallying to make their way as a couple, trouble is still looming darkly round every corner for these two. Though that’s just another day and night for this pair.

After confronting the archdemon Mawzir Apollo is fatally and ends up in hell at the mercy of the Neron. Desperate to bring his lover back from the precipice of despair, Midnighter learns that the only way he can avenge Apollo’s “death” is by using an ancient weapon an eldritch rifle called the Ace of Winchester. Midnighter learns about the weapon from his colleague the magician Gregorio de la Vega, El Extraño and one-time “New Guardian” a remnant of the Millennium event. Gregorio tells Midnighter he needs to use this weapon to destroy Mawzir and also casts a spell that will help get Midnighter into hell so that he can rescue Apollo.

When I spoke with Orlando about the direction that this latest adventure would be taking for these tier characters, he promised that there would be some very colorful supporting players waiting in the wings that would enhance the story. Given the obscure nature of the hero Extraño who made his debut in the Millennium crossover event published by DC Comics in 1988, the inclusion of this hero also harks to the imprints current company-wide “Rebirth” initiative that is looking to reestablish many of the legacy elements that may have gotten retconned recently.

Apollo faces his own obstacles while held prisoner in hell challenging Neron to a game of his own devising that tempts the hero with doubt — presenting Apollo with an inevitable future hopelessly paved with blood, death and murder — or an eternity as part of a corrupted menagerie. Apollo ever hopeful plays Neron’s game even though the demon continues to plague him with doubts, demonstrating to the “false god” just how vulnerable he really is and how unworthy of a happy ending he is, unaware that Midnighter is on his way to release him from captivity.

Though the nature of the story is magnificently opulent and wrapped up in the sci-fi/fantasy elements of the Midnighter and Apollo format, it is at its base the truest of all heroic adventures where two lovers face the most dangerous of opposition to emerge complete at the other end. That the story is centered on the tale of these two male archetypes is even more compelling and easily the most contemporary. Good on Steve Orlando for giving these heroes a place to carry on their adventures and even better on DC Comics for championing their tale.

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Midnighter and Apollo may only have a six-issue run to unravel this epic, but in the end it will make all the difference especially entering into a particularly uncertain time after the recent election. Many are feeling scared and disenfranchised by what they expect may be some unforeseeable obstructions to basic civil rights and concerns in the structure that the government may be taking given the unpredictable energy of the incoming administration. Fortunately there are heroes out there fighting for us!

No matter how dark it might get in the shadows, we’ve got an avenger prepared to fight for us, and he’s got the brightest light to guide him by. This is why Midnighter and Apollo is a must-read!

Visit The Fanzite for a special look at the upcoming Midnighter and Apollo #4 on sale next week!

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The Best of DC Comics 2016!

With a year that’s seen the end of “the new”, the rattling a “convergence” and the sudden return to “rebirth” DC COMICS announces its “Best of 2016” with an unprecedented number of titles on sale in their digital library!

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It’s been a banner year for DC Comics and to prove it the publishing giant has just announced its picks of the “Best of 2016” with an incredible up to 60% off on some great digital downloads available through their eBooks Store. Among the collected volumes on sale, stories of incredible magnitude and others more intimately driven character portrayals made the least, a very potent look at some of the “Women of DC” in the year of the 75th Anniversary of the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman.

Earth Shattering Events! This year was marked by the close of the significantly radical reboot “The New 52” that relaunched many of the imprint’s titles and redesigned its major players including a sizable overhaul of their personal histories. The chief storyline appearing in Justice League: The Darkseid War concluded by capitalizing on the epic confrontation between two of the multiverse’s most powerful adversaries and the Justice League was caught in the middle of it all.

Comics great Geoff Johns also concluded his run on the series that reinvigorated the pantheon of heroes for contemporary readers. Justice League Vol 7: The Darkseid War by Johns and Jason Fabok was the most anticipated event of the year and tied-up many of the loose ends dangling ever since the group was brought together by Darkseid. After the events of the “Forever Evil” arc, readers were bracing themselves for the arrival on Earth-0 of the Anti-Monitor, but even this classic villain was reimagined inline with the new continuity.

“The Darkseid War” brought these two powerhouses together for one final confrontation with the highest stakes hanging in the balance. “The Darkseid War” also shook up the Justice League line-up with the appearance of Mister Miracle and Jessica Cruz, the new Power Ring finally taking her place alongside the Earth’s Greatest Heroes. As a sidebar to the events in this series arc, also available at a reduced price Justice League: The Darkseid War – Power of the Gods the companion piece collects all six issues in the mini-series.

What happens when a god falls? New Gods walk the earth and with Darkseid’s final fate still yet to be determined his power shifts among the members of the league. This is Batman, Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Shazam! and Lex Luthor like we’ve never seen them before! Written by various artists including Peter J. Tomasi and Rob Williams “The Darkseid War – Power of the Gods” beautifully sets the pace for the final act in this cosmic tale! These are the stories you’d expect from DC Comics with heroes as mighty as the Justice League.

Enter Rebirth! Given the impact of “The New 52” and the multiverse-moving delivery of “Convergence” which brought back many classic favorites, many questions followed and the revelations inside Superman: Lois and Clark by Dan Jurgens reveal the stunning truth of the existence of the pre-New 52 power couple here on earth! Little could they have imagined the hand that fate would soon be dealing them when a titan falls, and Superman is called upon once again to take to the skies! Superman: Lois and Clark is must-reading leading into “Rebirth”.

Another amazing story arc that leads right into the current “Rebirth” is Titans Hunt by Dan Abnett which reexamines the missing origins of DC Comics favorite sidekicks the Teen Titans! All grown-up the one-time members of this group of champions, learns that 10 years of their lives have been eradicated and most significantly one among them has been missing ever since the multiverse rewrote itself, but why and who’s behind it! Titans Hunt the eight-issue mini-series is captured in one volume and opens the gate to the next big adventure!

And this is just a rattling of some of the titles awaiting fans! Full volumes featuring Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash and more are awaiting for you to add them to your digital library! Goto the DC Comics digital store now by clicking here! The sale ends on Jan. 3, 2017.

 

DC Comics JUSTICE LEAGUE vs. SUICIDE SQUAD #1

The hottest teams in comics are about to class against a common enemy bent on either the annihilation of everything that is or dedicated to saving the world!

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They’ve been branded the “worst heroes” on the block but the Suicide Squad continues to gain momentum and increase their popularity especially after the release of their first high stakes blockbuster feature this past summer. The recent retooling of this group of expendables which include among their ranks Harley Quinn (right now the most wanted character in comics), the marksman Deadshot, Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang has moved them center stage, not only guaranteeing them a hit comic series, but a sequel film and headlining franchises of their own!

Surely the big guns including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash can glean some credibility from all the attention these bad-asses are getting (especially after making some film cameos). It’s no wonder that DC Comics has decided on correlating the timing of this very special team-up Justice League vs. Suicide Squad with the release of the “Extended Cut” of the film on Blu-ray and Digital HD. The six-issue weekly series helmed by Joshua Williamson with art from a team of the business’ biggest names launched this week.

Most recently the Batman assembled his own group of malcontents in effort to extract the Psycho Pirate from the dangerous grip of his arch enemy Bane in the “I Am Suicide” arc that was published in the bi-weekly Batman title. That storyline planted the Dark Knight right in the crosshairs of Amanda Waller, the lead administrator in charge of the covert organization Task Force X. Batman and Waller have always had a sensitively tender spot for one another, but it appears that the Caped Crusader is not in-line with her subversive use of known felons as fodder.

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The team-up to end all team-ups! DC Comics two most popular team books league up to take on a common foe in JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #1.

When the story began in last week’s Suicide Squad #8 (by Rob Williams with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Francesco Mattina) the prelude introduced a longtime comic book favorite that has experienced a resurgence thanks to the popularity of The Flash television series on The CW. Caitlin Snow, the Killer Frost was seen joining the residents of Belle Reve and by extension, the Suicide Squad. Other iterations of the character have crept into the current DC Comics mythology but this iteration of the character is heading for bigger and brighter tomorrows.

In the release of this week’s JLvSS #1 Batman exposes to the league Waller’s pet project and the potential threat that the Suicide Squad presents. Series writer Joshua Williamson (who is also commandeering the current highly successful run of The Flash) said about the team-up event: “My goal with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad was to give readers a crossover that felt like a big blockbuster summer movie, but also a lot of strong character moments between two teams that should not and will not get along.” Inspired by the bombastic sensibility of the big screen, fans can expect the action to match their expectations.

The initial arc will reintroduce into the Post-Rebirth continuity a modern-day classic villain that everyone has always loved to hate. Maxwell Lord returns and appears to be constituting a lethal force of baddies for himself, with one goal: take down Amanda Waller! If what you’re looking for is an all-out action brawl, then you’ve come to the right place! Justice League vs. Suicide Squad the 6-issue series takes off Dec. 21st and will dominate into the first month of 2017 with additional crossover stories appearing in Justice League #12 and #13 and Suicide Squad #9 with an epilogue to appear in Suicide Squad #10.

 

iReview :: SUPERGIRL #204 – “Survivors”

The Maid of Might finds herself in an underground arena fighting for her life before a high-stakes audience!

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One of the greatest tricks introduced into the genre-show has been the element of a mythology. It started with daytime soap operas which pioneered the idea of serialized and extending storylines, and was perfected with the advent of perhaps the most popular television series in the line, a little known primetime behemoth called The X-Files. Chris Carter’s exploration of the supernatural and paranormal against the backdrop of an investigational drama incited by conspiracy, led to a string of similar inspired genre shows.

With the DC TV Universe continuing to expand into primetime and dominating the 8 o’clock hour on The CW, the series creators have capitalized on more than 75 years of already established mythology published in the pages of DC Comics. With the move of Supergirl now siting alongside the other Berlanti Productions based on the DC Comics characters all on the same network, a pattern is beginning to emerge to establish a synchronous narrative that weaves a tapestry and is based on a long established legacy.

Supergirl starring Melissa Benoist as the Maid of Might is among the best examples of how that legacy is leading to a very innovative story that is evolving beautifully and continues to surprise. The fourth episode of the show’s sophomore season entitled “Survivors” is picking things up very easily from the initial thread introduced at the top of the season which is examining the presence of aliens on earth. Kara teamed-up with her famous cousin, and the world’s greatest hero Superman (played by guest-star Taylor Hoechlin) in the season’s opener.

The threat of CADMUS a scientific think tank dedicated to containing and controlling the alien presence on Earth is at the epicenter of the xenophobia that is coming to light since Supergirl made her identity public and chose a similar path inspired by Superman to protect National City from any danger. Since then National City has become a hub of sorts for all interstellar despots and refugees, some hide in plain site while others in the shadows, others still have been discovered to frequent a dive bar tended to by Ms. Martian (new series regular Sharon Leal).

J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) is intrigued by the discovery of the last living daughter of Mars and he confronts M’gann (or “Megan”) about her existence on Earth and how she escaped the genocide inflicted on their planet by the White Martian. Experiencing survivors remorse M’gann rejects J’onn’s offer to mentally bond. Instead we learn that Ms. Martian is actually taking part in an underground fight club run by the elite criminal mastermind Veronica Sinclair (guest-star Dichen Lachman) calling herself Roulette.

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Supergirl — “Survivors” — Pictured: Dichen Lachman as Roulette – Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

To appeal to the insatiable interest of the socially elite in National City, Roulette is running high-stakes gladiatorial combats pitting extra-terrestrials against one another for the pleasure of her wealthy audience. When someone dies in Roulette’s arena, the loser is discarded like yesterday’s trash. Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) of the NCPD has been collaborating with DEO agent Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) and when a body turns up the two go undercover to learn more about Roulette’s cage fights.

J’onn is disappointed to learn that under the name of Ms. Martian M’gann has been competing as one of Roulette’s star attractions, and when the two find themselves facing each other death, J’onn refuses to kill M’gann. The two are confronted by the arena’s greatest combatant Draaga (played by John De Santis) and the two are joined by Supergirl, who learns about the alien’s weakness from Mon-El (new series regular Chris Wood) the refugee from Daxam, a sister world to Krypton that shared the planet’s fate.

Now on Earth, Mon-El is learning to fit in. Kara decides to take on the responsibility of mentoring Mon-El, especially since it will in some way fulfill her original destiny to protect her cousin Kal-El, who grow up without her guidance to become Superman. The two agree that the time to put aside the differences of their people and learn to depend on each other since they both have so much in common. Mon-El is grateful for Kara’s help and looks forward to proving himself as capable a hero as Supergirl.

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The episode capitalizes on how comfortable and familiar the characters are becoming with one another and scores very high to continue to establish its unique brand against the tapestry of its predecessors. The complexities of a world, a culture that is coming to terms with its place in a universal community that accepts there are visitors here from other planets, is moving into the spotlight on Supergirl. The series growing cast of supporting players, including Maggie Sawyer and Mon-El are also well crafted additions that easily expand on the character drama.

At the conclusion of the episode J’onn visits M’gann and apologizes for having come on so strong and hopes that the two, the last of their kind, can become close friends. M’gann agrees that she is also open to a fresh start. After J’onn leaves, M’gann reveals her true origins — that she is in fact not a Green Martian like J’onn, but a White Martian — the treacherous species that exacted a genocide on J’onn’s people! This plot twist will undoubtedly develop over the course of the season, and may or may not lead to the revelatory moment that makes Ms. Martian a hero in her own right.

“Survivors” is told from the perspectives of Mon-El and M’gann — both are outsiders trying to fit in and learn to survive any way that they can. By comparison their paramours Supergirl and J’onn are proving that they have a purpose, as the last of their kind, they stand as heroes and examples of the best hope for a cooperative between Earth and its interstellar kindred.

Supergirl • Episode #204 — “Survivors” directed by James Bamford and James Marshall written by Paula Yoo & Eric Carrosco. (Original Airdate: October 31, 2016)

iReview :: THE FLASH Episode #302 — “Paradox”

The new season of “The Flash” continues as Barry learns first hand the consequences of playing with time…

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The Flashpoint was only the beginning of Barry Allen’s problems! After fixing the timeline, effectively returning the Reverse-Flash to the night of Nora Allen’s murder, this time not interfering, but allowing the psychopath to carry out his mission, it would appear that The Flash had solved all his problems. Or did he? It would seem that the consequences from “Flashpoint” carried over into the second episode of The Flash Season 3 in “Paradox”.

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) may have traveled back in time one too many times, as is evidenced by the alternate timeline that is created after his last “flashpoint” — the most drastic alteration yet — did not entirely set itself right, but Eobard Thawne/The Reverse-Flash (Matt Letcher) did warn him after all. When the Flash returns to the present, events aren’t exactly the way he left them. At first Barry assumes everything is just like he left it except for “Team Flash” which has fallen apart.

Most evident is the rift among the West family. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton) aren’t speaking to one another, not since she learned that her father had kept the secret that her mother was alive from her. At STAR Labs Cisco (Calos Valdes) is battling with his own issues over the loss of his brother Dante who dies in a car accident. Back at the CCPD Barry learns he shares his crime lab with a new workmate, the adversarial Julian Albert (Tom Felton).

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The Flash — “Paradox” — Pictured: Tom Felton as Julian Albert — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Looking to some help to figure things out Barry races to Star City to confide in close friend and confident Felicity Smoak (guest star Emily Bett Rickards). Going over the details, it isn’t long before the two discover that Barry’s “flashpoint” has also had effects as far reaching as Wednesday night on The CW. Particularly they learn that John Diggle (David Ramsey) no longer has a daughter, but a son named John.

Among some additional aberrations there is the arrival of a new threat, a villain calling himself Alchemy that haunts the memories of Edward Clariss (guest star Todd Lasance) who fought the Flash in the “flashpoint” reality as the speedster The Rival. Clariss seeks out the origins of the haunting visions that lead him to Alchemy’s underground cult. Alchemy seduces the man with power turning him that alternate reality speedster!

While Barry attempts to steady his “new” reality and bring his friends close together again, a mystery surrounds Central City as epidermal husks are appearing around the city. When Barry and Joe arrive on the latest crime scene, Barry is able to steal a sample right from under Julian’s nose to bring back to STAR Labs for investigation. Barry also corrals the group and persuades them all to come to dinner at his house.

Dinner doesn’t entirely go as well as Barry anticipates, and before he can open up to the group about all their troubles, The Flash is called into action when The Rival attacks! When the two speedsters meet, Clariss reveals he remembers the alternate timeline and holds The Flash responsible for taking everything away from him challenging him to a fight to the finish. The speedsters race all through Central City, under the watchful eye of a mystery man.

It isn’t long before Iris starts to put things together and confronts Barry, but before he has time to bring her up to speed (so to speak) The Flash makes off and runs headlong into a time-tunnel. Suddenly an arm whips up behind him and tosses him out of the time stream sending Barry tumbling onto the pavement. Catching his breath, he realizes he’s been prevented from making another change to the continuity by none other than Jay Garrick/The Flash (John Wesley Shipp).

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The Flashes of Two Earths unite as Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) attempts to school Barry (Grant Gustin) on the choices he’s making with his speed force.

The two speedsters, the Flashes of two Earths, find themselves visiting a diner in 1998 (in a wink to both Shipp and The Flash’s executive producer Greg Berlanti, an episode of the WB classic drama Dawson’s Creek is playing on a television in the eatery). Jay cautions Barry about altering the time-line, using the speed force so irresponsibly will undoubtedly have serious repercussions not only for Barry but for everyone in his life. He tells Barry, they are not gods, they are regular men with extraordinary powers, and have a choice about what kind of hero they are going to be.

  • This is certainly a moment that the television audience has been eagerly anticipating ever since the launch of the series. Seeing the two Flashes interacting guarantees the significance and importance of the “legacy” aspect of these characters. After all Barry Allen, the “Silver Age” Flash is considering responsible for inspiring the Modern Age of comics. The relationship between these heroes is a valuable story that is just beginning to get explored on The Flash and will play an important role going forward in the evolution of this series.
  • Series producers pulled quite a whammy on fans when they decided to cast John Wesley Shipp in the role of Jay Garrick, especially when many anticipated that when Shipp was to appear on the series when it premiered in 2014, he was going to be playing the original Scarlet Speedster.
  • One of the greatest achievements of The Flash is the brilliant casting that occurred right from the beginning of the show’s run; the chemistry between the actors at the center of this magnificently impossible universe, creates a narrative that fans are thrilled to tune into.

Barry decides to come clean with Team Flash, and tells them all the truth about “Flashpoint” and he is not proud of but has to live with the consequences of what he’s done, and trusts that they will forgive him. Soon The Flash finds himself confronting The Rival again, only this time the villain has brought Alchemy to the fight. He fires a blast against The Flash using a stone — the Philosopher’s Stone — of which Alchemy uses to derive his super powers.

Realizing that The Flash is in danger, Team Flash pull it together and Cisco as “Vibe” rushes to his friend side to even out the odds. With the help his friend, The Flash is able to stop The Rival, but Alchemy — Doctor Alchemy — escapes. Unfortunately for Clariss, the captured villain meets with Alchemy’s disappointment and is crushed by a powerfully packed arm of metal thus concluding the “Flashpoint / Paradox” arc introducing the third season of The Flash.

In truth it would have most probably served the producers well had The Flash Season 3 kicked things off with a 2-hour back-to-back episode that featured both the premiere “Flashpoint” paired with “Paradox”. It certainly would have given the audience their bang for the buck. Between the two, “Paradox” is the stronger part of this clear Act II to “Flashpoint”. The episode also features some of the best performances from the ensemble.

Properly concluding The Rival’s arc and more effectively introducing Alchemy as this season’s big bad, “Paradox” revs the drama for a new season, and guarantees that there will be action for sure. The appearance of the “real” Jay Garrick into The Flash world is also wonderfully gratifying especially since the “original” speedster made a quick in-and-out at the end of Season Two leaving audiences wondering if we were going to see these two Flashes teaming up.

The moments between Barry and Iris continue to inspire and reveal more about how deeply tied the destiny of these two friends turned lovers is, and watching the evolution through the performances by Gustin and Patton is truly exquisite. With all the changes expected this season, the biggest surprise may be the revelation that Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) may have developed a frosty disposition!

The Flash Episode #302 — “Paradox” directed by Ralph Hemecker and written by Aaron Helbing  and Todd Helbing (Original Airdate: October 11, 2016)

iReview :: Supergirl Episode #201 “The Adventures of Supergirl”

The Girl of Steel returns with a new season on a new network and proves she’s had the might all along to play in the big league!

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It’s no surprise that CBS just didn’t know what to make of the superhero genre. It had a chance in the 90s to break the mold of primetime television and introduced into its mainstream line-up The Flash which starred John Wesley Shipp. Following the theatrical blockbuster Batman in tone and texture, the series would only last a single season, but it left an indelible impact on its audience. Cut to a generation later and The Flash returned, spinning out of the Arrow on The CW it reignited an entirely new fandom and fascination with the superhero genre.

CBS wanted to get in on the action and requested that the production team that created both Arrow and The Flash give them their own DC Comics adaptation for primetime. That series was Supergirl which borrowed heavily from the standard set by The Flash including a lead actor,  Melissa Benoist, that won an audience appearing on the FOX musical comedy Glee. The rest — as they say — is history, and in this case — history repeating itself. It appeared that CBS truly didn’t know what to make of the series (befuddled perhaps by the genre) and cast it off.

Cast off after one season, just like it had The Flash in 1990, CBS released Supergirl from the confines of mainstream network television and give the series a new home. In a move that surprised no one, the series was added onto the already DC Comics heavy-ladened line-up on The CW, back on its regular Monday night time slot (competing against another DC Comics television series FOX’s Gotham) — and the fit couldn’t be any more perfect!

The series production itself has also been moved to Vancouver, shooting on the same sound stages as the rest of the DC TV shows produced by Greg Berlanti and his production team. It all makes perfect sense and it shows! The premiere episode of Supergirl even takes its title from the successful relaunch of the comic from the  The episode entitled “The Adventures of Supergirl” even goes the distance to expand the universe of Kara Zor-El by teaming her up with her famous cousin Superman/Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) for the first time!

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One of the series first promo pictures revealing series lead Melissa Benoist alongside her cousin Superman played by guest star Tyler Hoechlin who will open the new season on its new network The CW.

Having successfully navigated the curve of embracing her super powers, Kara now struggles to balance her life as both National City’s defender Supergirl, and her earthly alter-ego Kara Danvers.  With the help of her famous red caped cousin who flies in just in time to help land a space plane with engine trouble, the two uncover a dangerous plot to kill Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) Lex Luthor’s adopted sister who is now running the company while Lex rots in prison. The mastermind has unleashed the mercenary John Corben (guest star Frederick Schmidt) to do his dirty work.

Meanwhile the D.E.O. has another mystery on their hands when a Kryptonian space craft crashes in National City and a young man (Chris Wood) from Krypton is found unconscious inside!

This first episode truly re-inaugurates the entire season! Almost immediately the tone feels very different, and although the series has ditched its LA sets for Vancouver, it still has a vibrancy that sets it uniquely and wonderfully alongside the rest of The CW/DC TV line-up. With a teleplay by Jessica Queller and directed by Glen Winter (who also worked on Smallville) this first episode of Supergirl feels like a brand new show — perhaps the show that fans were waiting for all along. Benoist is far more comfortable in her characters skin and skin-tight suit, but the heart of her hero is the most powerful aspect that shines right through.

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Faster than a speeding bullet Supergirl immediately won an audience based on following the formula that made The Flash such a hit which always includes “Heroics, Heart and Humor” to make for interesting storytelling.

When it was announced that Berlanti Productions had been commissioned to produce another superhero series based on a DC Comics character for CBS, Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg has said they never flinched! Everyone agreed that the time had come for a female character to move into the lead — that heroine would be “Supergirl”. The cousin of arguably the most famous hero in the world is a genuine favorite among fans, and has been for a long time, and especially after the Silver Age version of the character sacrifices herself to save the multiverse during the epic Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Supergirl appeared as a supporting character on the highly successful television series Smallville which chronicled the ascension of Clark Kent into the Man of Steel. The resonance and appeal of the Last of Daughter of Krypton has always been apparent. Supergirl the series premiered to great anticipation on CBS and mirrored the adoration that comic book fans always had for the Girl of Steel. The creatives behind the show kept faith to the style of storytelling established with its CW counterparts and chronicled adventures taken right from the comic books.

Perhaps that’s why the action adventure series didn’t rate very high with the CBS audience which is married to its CSI investigations and court room style dramas. Now that Supergirl has landed on The CW and aligns with a weeklong of primetime leads based on the DC Comics heroes the show feels revitalized — showing its true muscle! Immediately the show runners went to work on one of the most spectacular stunts to open the new season: the return to television of Kara’s famous cousin Superman!

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Supergirl — “The Adventures Of Supergirl” — Pictured (L-R) Tyler Hoechlin as Clark and Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Proving once and for all the the cinematic and television properties are their own entities, and that there’s more than enough room in this multiverse for everybody. Adding Tyler Hoechlin to the guest star line-up as the Man of Steel was an exceptional; one that paid off as brilliantly as the crossover episode from Season One that brought Grant Gustin over into National City as his CW counterpart The Flash! Supergirl is such a huge part of a great comic book legacy, it should be no surprise to the viewer that attention is being paid to keeping the show as connected to the source as possible — and it’s paying off!

The supporting cast are also very much more relaxed into this new world. Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) is now working full-time at the D.E.O. alongside Kara’s sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) under the tutelage of J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) protecting the planet from foreign incursions on all fronts. We learn right away that Superman and J’onn have met before, and have a tenuous relationship especially because the organization harbors the very element that can stop both Superman and Supergirl in their tracks, but they are able to work side by side for the greater good, and what’s that — an hour of super powered action!

Supergirl is right where she is supposed to be and we now believe that this girl can fly!