Tag Archives: Melissa Benoist

iReview | BATWOMAN – “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Part 2

Facing impending doom and mourning the loss of one of their own, our heroes are introduced to the concept of the “paragons” among them. Seven heroes from across the multiverse that may be able to stop the “crisis” that’s consuming their world!

The searches for the heroic “paragons” begins as Part 2 of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover continues in Episode 9, Season 1 of Batwoman. For the latest character to inherit the cape and cowl of Gotham City’s Dark Knight, Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) is out of her natural element when it comes to battling Shadow Beings and traversing the multiverse. The able street fighter is more equipped to the trenches of darkened allies and the perilously high rooftops of her city. With The Batman missing in action, Kate has moved into her cousin Bruce Wayne’s inner sanctum and with the help of Lucas Fox (Camrus Johnson) appropriated his alter ego.

The Flash — “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three” — Image Number: FLA609d_0382b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Audiences are now very familiar with Kate Kane’s Batwoman, especially after her significantly splashy induction into the “Arrowverse” in last year’s “Elseworlds” crossover. That storyline effectively set-up the existence of Gotham City on Earth-1 as well as confirmed the presence of “The Batman” (which had been considered an urban myth), though Oliver Queen’s Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) is adamant — he is the first vigilante hero to take on the fight for justice. Debatable, perhaps, but Batwoman has proven she is a force all of her own to be reckoned with, though Kate is not comfortable with their presently cosmic predicament.

Though they may have been dealt a serious blow with the sacrifice of Oliver Queen at the conclusion of Part 1 (see Supergirl S5/E9), The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) reveals the existence throughout the multiverse of “Seven Paragons” — heroes that best embody the virtues of heroism. Borrowing a Waverider time-ship from an alternate-earth (Erath-74 to be precise) that comes packed with its own Mick Rory (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow castmate Dominic Purcell) our team learns that among them are 2 of the 7 paragons: Supergirl, Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) is the “Paragon of Hope” and White Canary, Sara Lance  (Caity Lotz) is the “Paragon of Destiny”.

Her fellow Legend Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is not at all surprised, but when The Monitor reveals that a missing paragon, “The Bat of the Future” supposedly The Batman of the “future-tense” Earth-99, Bruce Wayne may need to be indoctrinated into their cause, the revelation of the billionaire industrialist’s alter ego does trip Palmer’s fancy — Kate insists that they all keep that secret close and among themselves. Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) are intrigued to hunt down the next paragon, a Kryptonian — the “Paragon of Truth”. During the mission ops gathering, Harbinger (recurring Arrow guest star Audrey Marie Anderson) begins to stumble.

Spoiler Alert!

This is important because it establishes a significant plot point that is part of the “Crisis” canon. In the original 12-issue maxi-series by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez Lyla is corrupted by one of the Anti-Monitor’s shadow agents and slays The Monitor; this does not come as a surprise to him — he admits he had foreseen and anticipated her betrayal. As Part 2 opens up, Lyla reveals to Sara that she hasn’t told her husband John Diggle (David Ramsey) about Oliver’s sacrifice, even as Oliver’s daughter Mia and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) attempt to resurrect the Green Arrow by dunking his body into a Lazarus Pit. 

With the help of Legend magi John Constantine (Matt Ryan) they are able to find a working pit on Earth-18 and thinking that it’s a good idea drop, Oliver’s body in there — the predictable consequence unleashes a soulless and angry Green Arrow that nearly takes down his daughter Mia (Katherine McNamara). During this exercise, Batwoman and Supergirl travel to Earth-99 hoping to persuade Batman to help them save the multiverse, but there instead they find a crippled and battle-hardened Bruce Wayne (guest star Kevin Conroy) who warns them both, there is no hope and that it may be best to let the multiverse just die!

Iris West-Allan (Candice Patton) has joined Lois and Clark on their pursuit of the Superman that is the proper paragon, and warns the super-couple that Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) is determined to destroy all the Supermen of every earth! Lex is using the Book of Destiny to alter their fate, and after meeting with a powerless Clark Kent (Smallville’s Tom Welling) that rightly puts Lex in his place, they stumble upon an alternate earth’s Clark Kent, the Editor of the Daily Planet, who has a bit of gray in his temple and sadly has suffered his share of loss. The trio successfully recruits this Superman (Brandon Routh in a super-suit tailored after Kingdom Come) to help them, but Lex has other plans!

Batwoman — “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two” — Image Number: BWN108b_0224.jpg — Pictured: Brandon Routh as Superman — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Manipulating the ancient prophecies inside the Book of Destiny, Lex turns Superman against Superman! As the two take the skies above Metropolis in a showdown of might, the two intrepid reporters, Lois and Iris are left to contend with Lex’s mess. Knocking him unconscious they are able to wrestle the Book of Destiny and figure out how to free Superman (Routh) from its magical grip! Eventually, they all return to the Waverider orbiting Earth-1 and bring with them the “Paragon of Truth” and perhaps a means closer to defeating the Anti-Monitor. Unfortunately, Kate and Kara are not as successful in their mission to bring the “Bat of the Future” on board.

More comfortable fighting mobs of underworld criminals in the back alleys of Gotham, the city’s latest caped avenger finds herself in the middle of a cosmic quest and out of her depths, in Part 2 of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event.

Still More Spoiler Alert!

Meanwhile, Ray has appeared to have succeeded in putting together his “Paragon Detector” but when he fires it up, he is disappointed with the results. The device instead of seeking outwards places the next paragon within the Waverider. In a stunning turn, the Monitor reveals that Kate and Kara were indeed successful in their mission to locate the next paragon and names Batwoman the “Paragon of Courage”! Along with the Superman of Earth-96, the heroes have now assembled four of the paragons in order to help save the multiverse, but even as they come closet to achieving their goal, stepping out from the shadows is the real villain of the story!

Using the Harbinger as a conduit to keep tabs on his adversary, The Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) sets in motion his own plan to thwart the heroes and bring about the destruction of the multiverse, leaving in its wake an anti-matter universe at his disposal!

Still not comfortable with a role in this cosmic odyssey or the fact that now she has been tasked with carrying the mantle of a paragon, Kate confides in Kara her concerns. In true form, Kara informs the newer heroine that her place among them is properly earned and that as the Batwoman, she has demonstrated her courage and worthiness. Supergirl then hands her a picture, a souvenir she took from Bruce Manor of Earth-99 — it is a picture of that earth’s Kate and her twin sister in happier, hopeful times. Kate doesn’t reveal to the Maid of Might that she has taken a souvenir of her own — Bruce Wayne’s piece of kryptonite which he used to kill the Superman of Earth-99.

What’s the Endgame?

Part 2 of our crossover epic, is perhaps a little tougher to get through than its previous installment, and certainly a lot clunkier to navigate than Part 3, The Flash episode rounding out the first arc of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline. The “middle story” in an extended piece is often difficult because it relies on setting more details up that gets our protagonists over the hump and closer toward their resolution. This episode of “Crisis” relied on the Batwoman writing team and showrunners to deliver a very complex piece of the puzzle, while also integrating various cameos and featured roles that were dependent on carrying a certain amount of emotion.

The inclusion of Kevin Conroy, the voice behind the Emmy® Award-Winning Batman: The Animated Series as the hopelessly fatigued and bitter Bruce Wayne was a particularly genius move and allowed for the episode’s star, Ruby Rose to really heft her weight even though she is still new to the “Arrowverse” of characters. It was also important to place her alongside Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl and solidifying the obvious chemistry the two actors share, giving the audience an opportunity to admire the “World’s Finest” team-up potential the two put on full display. For fans, the most significant moment still was the appearance of Tom Welling’s Clark Kent giving Smallville fans a nostalgic nod.

Overall, this episode feels narratively choppy and lacks cohesion, especially with the 3 separate missions going on, but it’s well character-driven and amply showcases Ruby Rose. As potentially the “new kid on the block” her Batwoman comes out on top and demonstrates sizable chemistry when paired with Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl — this will bode well as the “Crisis” comes to a conclusion. No doubt giving the writing staff opportunity for “World’s Finest” crossovers between Supergirl and Batwoman.

Batwoman | “Crisis of Infinite Earths” Part 2 | Episode 9, Season 1 | Directed by Laura Belsey and Written by Don Whitehead & Holly Henderson | Original Airdate: 12/9/2019

Batwoman airs Sunday Nights @ 8pm EST on The CW and returns with new episodes in 2020.

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ICYMI | The Latest ELSEWORLDS Image Revealed!

On the latest image released from The CW’s upcoming “Elseworlds” crossover event, the prime time Trinity are front and center…with a little help from a friend.

With only weeks until the highly anticipated “Elseworlds” crossover takes over The CW’s primetime landscape, the folks behind the DC series have shared another image, this one putting the network’s “trinity” of leads front and center and joined by one of the surprise guest stars that have been announced will be part of this year’s event. Supergirl Melissa Benoist, Arrow star Stephen Amell (cast as the Scarlet Speedster) and The Flash lead Grant Gustin in the archer’s hood, stand at the ready alongside John Wesley Shipp wearing a redo of his “Flash” suit from 1990.

The image mirrors the behind-the-scene still that was released several works ago which revealed guest star Shipp suited up as The Flash when he starred in the CBS 1990 series. Many fans attribute that series with reigniting the genre fandom as superheroes began to take a more mainstream take in popular culture largely due to the success of director Tim Burton’s Batman. There’s still plenty about this season’s “Elseworlds” story arc that is still much of a mystery including the introduction of Ruby Rose as Gotham City’s own Batwoman and the return of Superman.

What is being promised is a more streamlined storyline that puts the focus squarely on the Arrowverse primetime leads, the “trinity” of characters so to speak. In the past the crossover had ballooned to include the casts of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which would often bring the total number of the ensemble to well over 25 heroes taking on that week’s threat of the week. Last year’s “Crisis on Earth-X” truly reached a  blockbuster level of production. This year the series’ show-runners decided to scale it down if just a bit, but the stakes are just as high as ever!

Towing The Line

Entertainment Weekly had the honor of releasing the first “official” image from one of the upcoming crossover episodes that reveals the lead stars all front and center, joined by guest star Shipp. Though much of the storyline is still a secret — and cudos to the production staff for keeping it hidden from fans — the “Elseworlds” storyline as often illustrated in the comics presents adventures in “alternate realities”. With Oliver (Amell) and Barry (Gustin) obviously swapping roles, and the intrusion of DC Comics world-watching Monitor also part of the arc, the multiverse may be facing a new crisis.

The primetime trinity assembles with the help of a Flash from the past in the latest image reveal from the upcoming “Elseworlds” crossover event featured in Entertainment Weekly [ew.com].
Our three heroes strike a familiar pose preparing to take on whatever challenge “Elseworlds” presents. The 3-part event will take them out of their usual haunts as they all converge on Gotham City joining forces with Batwoman and even getting some help from the Man of Steel.

The series stars have noted that though the script has been toned down to just 3-parts, the scope of the story is bigger than ever! The crossover event’s production scheduled also afforded the team the luxury to coincide with the series hiatus, closing out the first half of most of the primetime line-up. The shows will take a break returning in January, with the exception of DC’s Legends which will return to wrap-up its season in April; it’s Monday night time slot will be temporarily taken over by Black Lightning moving over from its usual time on Tuesday night following The Flash.

On The Set | ELSEWORLDS New Dynamic Duo

Behind the scenes of The CW epic crossover event hits a fever pitch when a supergirl reveals a caped crusader that is braver and bolder than anything fans have seen!

As if this week couldn’t get anymore exciting for fans of The CW hit shows The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl with the revelations that the cast of this season’s epic CW crossover event “Elseworlds” added recurring guest star John Wesley Shipp into the mix wearing a very familiar costume suggesting a “Flash” from the past will be suiting-up for the adventure, Supergirl headliner Melissa Benoist took to social networking to introduce what looks a braver and bolder pairing, guest star Ruby Rose in fall Batwoman gear!

Though the audience has known since it was announced late this summer at San Diego Comic-Con that the DC TV trinity would be heading out of the comfort zones of their respective home turfs and visiting neighboring Gotham City to introduce the newest caped wonder, little else has been exposed of the “Elseworlds” theme surrounding this year’s event. Along with the pics of John Wesley Shipp apparently in his classic 1990 Flash suit, fans have also glimpsed Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin wearing each other’s battle fatigues, and a black-clad Superman!

The anticipation surrounding this year’s crossover has never been more exciting, and given that it appears to have scaled down the story arc by excluding the crew from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and perhaps even avoided working in the cast of the newest series Black Lightning it appears the showrunners are taking this opportunity to introduce through the proverbial “backdoor” the continuing adventures of Batwoman especially since FOX announced this would be the final season for their Batman prequel Gotham.

Check out the image of this World’s Finest pairing from behind the scenes here:

This Season | The CW 3-Night Event Crossover Goes Batty!

The CW is promising to raise the capes promoting its 3-Night DCTV crossover event bringing together the most iconic characters! Just follow the signal!

The Arrowverse is about to get much bigger this season! When our DCTV heroes return from their summer hiatus to reclaim The CW primetime, they’re going to be bustling with all kinds of new adversaries and challenges to face! On The Flash after facing off against The Thinker, Barry and Iris (Grant Gustin and Candice Patton) will have to deal with the mysterious arrival of their daughter — from the future! On Arrow Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) finds himself in prison, and on Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) there’s a doppelgänger loose!

Although many of the details surfacing about the upcoming series appear to suggest that this season the stakes have never been higher, Arrow is entering into uncharted territory with its Seventh Season. After one of the most perilous attacks on his family and friends, the Green Arrow has had to fend off against attacks from all sides, but even Oliver (Amell) couldn’t escape the feds and at the conclusion of last season, our hero found himself incarcerated for his activities as Star City’s hooded vigilante, so how will the Arrow fair against the Bat?

The CW DCTV crossover events have become the most highly anticipated spectacles of the year, and every season the writing team has found themselves delivering on bigger, blockbuster storylines. The first big crossover event featured an “Invasion!” the second a “Crisis on Earth-X” and now it looks like our heroes will be heading into uncharted territory when the find themselves in Gotham City. The epic 3-night event will introduce Batwoman, the costumed alter-ego of Kate Kane who has been cast by Ruby Rose.

Arrow Crossover
Credit: The CW

Caped Crusaders

This season’s 3-night event begins on Sunday, Dec 9 with The Flash on a special date and time, and continues on Monday, Dec 10 on Arrow and will conclude on Supergirl also airing on a special date and time, Tuesday, Dec 11. Noticeably missing from the line-up the additional CW DCTV shows DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning. The team series will be experiencing several shake-ups when it returns in the fall, including a shuffling of its roster which will now include the demonologist John Constantine (Matt Ryan).

As to how the story will unfold when the three titular heroes venture into the underworld of Gotham City, is still under speculation. The stomping grounds of DC Comics’ Dark Knight Detective have been mentioned in relation to their relevance in the Arrowverse on several occasions, including Bruce Wayne, though this will be the first time that characters connected to Batman will be appearing inline with The CW series. Gotham which is now entering into its fifth and final season on FOX has not necessarily suggested to exist inside the same continuity.

Whether Ruby Rose will be following suit (similarly to how Grant Gustin spun out of Arrow into headlining The Flash) and reprise the role of Batwoman in her own series is still being negotiated by the network, but the expectation is that Batwoman will be joining the line-up as a mid-season replacement. The actress has received mixed reactions to her casting as the openly gay character; Ruby Rose is herself part of the LGBTQ community, and among only a handful of actors working in Hollywood who identify as “gay”. Regardless she will undoubtedly slip beautifully into the role.

Among the heroes and guest stars that have been confirmed to join the cast and properly welcome Rose into the primetime family are Tyler Hoechlin who will be reprising his role as the Man of Steel, Superman first introduced on Supergirl. It has also been reported that Lois Lane will also be appearing in the crossover, though the actress to play the part has yet to be cast.

ICYMY | Crisis on Earth-X

While we sit and wait for December to roll around, the current Blu-ray releases of the latest releases of Arrow | The Complete Sixth Season and The Flash | The Complete Fourth Season feature all four-parts of the epic crossover “Crisis on Earth-X” from last season. The four-night event traversed all-four of The CW primetime series and featured the largest gathering yet of costumed heroes on television. The year will certainly prove to be something special. As to whether the additional series DC’s Legends or Black Lightning will connect is yet to be seen.

The CW DCTV primetime takeover debuts in October.

Tomorrow NITE ON :: THE FLASH It Gets Musical!

SUPERGIRL and THE FLASH are about to get symphonic when this dynamic duo take on an enemy that gleefully has them all singing a new tune!

It was inevitable! When you have a cast as talented as the individuals appearing on The CW action series Supergirl and it’s companion show The Flash and starring two former members of the Glee you was only a matter of time before Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin would find themselves soft shoeing their way into primetime!

On this week’s episodes of the DC Comics based series (produced by Greg Berlanti) the Maid of Might and the Scarlet Speedster come face-to-face with an old friend turned new fiend, when their one-time Glee co-star Darren Criss steps onto the seen as the villain Music Meister — a middling musician who casts a spell on the dynamic duo rendering them…musical!

The Flash — “Duet” —  Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Melissa Benoist as Kara — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW –© 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sure the episode is stunt, but no less a treat for fans who have loved all these actors during their time on the hit musical that aired on FOX. Also in the mix will be several melodically inclined players including Jesse L. Martin and Victor Garber both actors with extensive ties to Broadway. Carlos Valdes who plays the ever-dependable Cisco “Vibe” Ramon, is also a stage veteran.

So before we cast judgements let’s take a minute to sit back and relax and take in the fun. After all in a year that saw Hollywood re-connect with musicals, practically hailing La La Land the best movie of the year”, Benoist and Gustin don’t have to surprise their audience with their ivory pipes and slick footing — we know they’re talented!

 

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.

supergirl-survivors-review-kara-danvers

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)