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RTF Review: Tales From the DC MulTVerse #13

rtf-review-tales-from-the-dc-multverse-13

Tales From the DC MulTVerse is in full sing again, with the holidays behind us and the Arrowverse back in full force.  Well, at least the Arrowverse shows I cover. 

SUPERGIRL:

“Colonel Haley is upset after Supergirl responds to a distress call from a Navy ship that turned out to be a deadly alien attack. Colonel Haley reclaims the site as DEO territory and demands that Supergirl step aside. After Supergirl refuses to be told what to do, Haley refocuses her energy on finding out Supergirl’s true identity and begins to interrogate all DEO agents, including Alex. Meanwhile, Brainiac-5 tries to persuade Nia to embrace her superpowers but she misinterprets his motives.” (The CW)

I enjoy that Supergirl has taken a stance and been politically relevant with it’s storytelling this season.  However, their constant nods and innuendo that Trump is terrible and horrible are too obvious, to the point of beating people over the head with it.  In this episode, you don’t really get much of that at all and it is to the episodes benefit.  We get another tease of the Russian, aka “Red Daughter” Supergirl, battling tanks and missiles, testing her limits.  The visual effects were at their best. in this portion of the episode and these teases of the Red Daughter Supergirl, have me salivating over her eventual confrontation with Kara.  The bulk of the episode, focuses on the fallout of Supergirl rescuing Navy Seals from an alien attack.  As to the aliens motive for attack? They used to work with the government pre D.E.O. , and were tortured to be kept in line by their superiors.  Now they are free, targeting those that wronged them.  It really opens Kara’s eyes to the fact, division between humans and aliens, has existed long before Kara’s arrival.  The great thing about these aliens is that the way they move, makes them invisible to the naked human eye. Supergirl, being Kryptonian, is able to see and track their movements.  However, she is forbidden to work on the case by Colonel Haley, as she no longer works for the DEO.  So she takes matters into her own hands, working together with Martian Manhunter, who has started his own Private Investigation firm.  This is what I’ve wanted for this character for so long and seeing he and Kara do good old fashioned detective work, was great! They discover that Colonel Haley was a big part of that original government group, which tortured these aliens.  They realize that the DEO will be attacked and Supergirl arrives just in time to save Colonel Haley.  She uses her freeze breath to solidify the aliens into view, before taking them down.  It was a rare use of that power set and an exciting looking visual!

Despite Supergirl saving Colonel Haley, the DEO figurehead is determined to uncover Supergirl’s secret identity and use it as leverage, so Supergirl will return to the DEO and fall in line.  She decides to question every agent, using an alien species that can latch onto you and force the truth out of you.  After getting tipped off by Alex, Martian Manhunter and Alex devise a plan, to mind wipe Supergirl’s identity out of all the DEO agents who know it, including Alex.  At first Kara is utterly against it, but they make her realize, it’s the only way to keep her secret identity in tact.  What follows is the most emotional, heart wrenching scene any season of Supergirl has every produce.  In this quasi, not really goodbye, Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh really tug at the heart strings.  This sisterly relationship has been the heart and soul of this show since it’s inception.  I am invested in their bond and I absolutely believe the familial connection between the two.  This decision will change the show dynamic, for however long it lasts, but I’m certainly curious for more.

Supergirl is off to a solid start in it’s second half and starts Tales From the DC MulTVerse #13, in a great way!

Score: A-

ARROW:

“Oliver wants to get back to work and focus on his marriage, but Dinah wants him to track the new Green Arrow; Diggle and Lyla must answer to ARGUS about Diaz.” (The CW)

Thank God for Dinah, otherwise, this would have been an entire episode focused on Oliver and Felicity’s relationship.  Quite frankly, the mere thought of such a thing, I find nauseating.  Thankfully, this issue predominantly focuses  on Emiko Queen and her quest for justice, or is it more vengeance over her mothers death.  We learn that she and her mother felt abandoned by Robert Queen, and that while it is believed her mother died in a fire in the tenement where they were staying, she was actually assassinated, shot in the head. Emiko’s whole quest is out of revenge, whereas Oliver’s, was righting his father’s wrongs to the city.  When Emiko realized that the person who she thought killed her mother had an alibi, she realizes she’s been sent on a wild goose chase and accepts that she can’t continue this mission alone.  She begrudgingly accepts Wild Dog and Mr. Traffic’s help.  I like that Emiko’s “Team Arrow” only consists of two, sometime three people.  It’s a way of taking the show back to its season 1 roots.  I’ve felt that over the last few years, “Team Arrow”, has become too complex and over bloated.  Speaking of Rene, we see flash-forwards of him as the Mayor of the Glades.  However, he is very much a proponent of building up the Glades, and separating itself from Star City.  He seems to be a mayor bought and payed for by the group that built the wall between the Glades and Star City. Even worse, the group Rene is cavorting with, seem to be the same people that killed Felicity. Here’s hoping that episode set fully in the future, highlights what led Rene to this point.

Oliver finds out about his sister, after having Felicity analyze DNA of the new Green Arrow, found at a crime scene.  While his reaction is one of surprise, he’s certainly not shocked by this revelation.  We do see a confrontation between Oliver and his newly discovered sister, but no words are  truly spoken.  That’s a cliffhanger for next week.  In another development, Diggle and Lyla are forming a new Suicide Squad, with Ricardo Diaz as a team member.  This is to help them investigate the crime syndicate that has been eluding them, by using art as a legitimate cover for their activities.  It’s great to have the Suicide Squad back on Arrow and I haven’t read any spoilers, so I’m looking forward to see who makes it on the team.  However, I hate the fact that they had to change the name, due to WB’s ridiculous policy how certain characters can’t appear on both the big and small screen, at the same time.  Arrow returned to Tales From the DC MulTVerse, with the strongest mid-season premiere of the bunch.

Score: A

BLACK LIGHTNING:

“While on the run, Khalil and Jennifer start to plan a future. Jefferson needs a favor from Henderson.” (The CW)

For about half of this episode, I was worried it was going to be more of the same.  Jennifer and Khalil on the run, with the rest of the family looking for them.  It was heading that way, until they realize their best course of action is to return home.  When they return home, it doesn’t take long for Jefferson to forgive Khalil.  This shows what a magnanimous person Jefferson is and how much he believes his students are good.  Deep down, he knows everything Khalil did as Painkiller, was due to Tobias’ manipulations.  Jefferson even goes to Chief Inspector Henderson, and works out a deal for Khalil, where he would roll over on Tobias, in exchange for leniency.  However, during the police transfer, Tobias gets a hold of the location details and has Cutter intercept them and capture Khalil.  We see the aftermath of her actions and how she decimated all the law enforcement.  However, I was disappointed that we didn’t see any of the actual battle!  It could’ve been an awesome action scene.  When Khalil is brought in front of Tobias, he is berated, before Tobias put’s him in a choke hold, and rips out his metallic spinal implant, leaving him paralyzed once again.  To add insult to injury, Khalil is tossed in front of the church, eventually found by the pastor.  This type of ruthless violence, was a step to another level for Black Lightning.  For me, it was reminiscent of Vincent D’Onofrio on Daredevil.

Speaking of Tobias, his new protégé Todd Green, is able to unlock the A.S.A. briefcase, which Tobias has been trying to unlock since the end of last season.  What  they find is the original location, where the ASA has the “Green Light Babies” pods.  Moreover, they find the vitals and statistics on 4 super powered beings that are on the loose.  I’ve long held the opinion that Tobias would aim to build and control a super powered army to take down Black Lightning, thus gaining full control of Freeland.  With this ending, I think this is where we may be heading, which truly excites me.  The mid season premiere of Black Lightning indicates to me, that the show is ready to kick things up several notches.  If not for a couple of aspects that didn’t work for me, this could’ve been the best show of the week, for Tales From the DC MulTVerse.  As it stands, it was pretty darn good, ranking third for the week!

Score: B+

THE FLASH:

“During a battle with Cicada, Nora is severely injured; due to Cicada’s dampening powers, Nora’s speed healing isn’t working; Barry and Iris are scared for their daughter’s future; an enraged Flash confronts Cicada in a brutal battle.” (The CW)

This episode felt mostly like two fights with Cicada.  That’s not necessarily a negative.  The first fight went typically as most do, which means the team gets beat badly by Cicada.  This time, the member of team Flash that gets it the worst, is  Nora.  Cicada essentially breaks her back with one punch.  Due to his power dampening abilities, he paralyzes her and drastically lessens her healing ability.  Caitlin specifically tells Barry and Iris, that it will take quite a while for Nora to recover.  Yet, like clockwork prior to the end of the episode, she is miraculously healed.  Look, I get The Flash and his family are built on speed, but in this case, they should’ve taken their time.  Especially after Caitlin said it would take longer.  I don’t know, maybe make the healing take a full episode or two?  The interesting thing about this plot point, is that it enrages   Barry to a point I have never seen before.  As such, he enlists Caitlin to turn into Killer Frost, who remember, is immune to Cicada’s power dampening.  When Killer Frost, she is able to neutralize Cicada and she and The Flash double team Cicada to subdue him. Killer Frost entering the fray makes that second fight all the more exciting and unique.  If I’m being honest, that first fight, had a been there, dome that look and feel to it!  I think they would have beaten Cicada the second time, if not for Nora running to the scene after healing, stopping The Flash from beating Cicada to a bloody pulp.  The end of the episode shows Sherloque Wells discovering that someone else is involved in Nora’s time travel to the present.  When the realization that it’s Eobard Thawne occurs, I expect $#^+ to hit the proverbial fan.

There were some good moments in this episode but for me, it was the weakest of this week, for Tales From the DC MulTVerse.

Score: B

I’m so glad the Arrrowverse is back on TV. That’s the end of this weeks Tales From The DC MulTVerse.  If you want more DC talk, check out Tales From the DC Multiverse: The Podcast, where myself and Travis Hynes have reviewed 3 episodes of Season 5 of GOTHAM. https://talesfromthedcmultiverse.podbean.com/

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Adam Basciano

I'm a long time fan of superheroes. I love DC and really like Marvel. Will be contributing comic book review columns, to Revenge of The Fans.

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