We've got a full complement of heros to discuss this week, so let's jump right in!
Small Screen Supes
Gotham 2x03: The Last Laugh
Barbara (who keeps getting crazier with each passing episode) and Jerome up their game/The Master’s plan by taking hostages at a fundraiser for Gotham’s children’s hospital. Jim and Bruce attempt to save the day, but Theo Galavan—who, yes, planned the whole thing—steps in, and stabs Jerome, killing him. Or … maybe not?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3x02: Purpose in the Machine
Fitz’s investigation into Simmons’ disappearance and the mysterious Kree stone, which turns out to be a portal, leads Coulson to enlist the aid of Professor Elliot Randolph (an Asgardian). His knowledge helps the team find a castle that secretly houses a machine to control the stone/portal, which they use to send a probe Fitz across the universe and perform a heart-pounding last-minute rescue of Simmons. (YAY!)
Meanwhile, May’s hiding out with her (awesome) father, until Hunter finds her and talks her into joining him on his quest to bring down Ward, who’s busy rebuilding Hydra with some questionable companions.
The Flash 2x01: The Man Who Saved Central City
When we left our heroes at the end of last season, The Nefarious Eobard Thawne/Dr. Wells was vanquished from existence thanks to the selflessness of Great Grandpa Eddie, but they were still left with an unruly wormhole (which you can steal for your new band’s name, you’re WELCOME) that morphed into a ravenous black hole over Central City. So how is Team Flash holding up?
-Ronnie is dead. Or at least he was sucked into another dimension, sacrificing himself while helping Barry close the black hole. Barry managed to save Dr. Stein but losing Ronnie has Barry determined to alienate himself from his found family and work ALONE. (Batman has the lockdown on Angsty Loner Superhero, Barry. Sorry.)
-Caitlyn has been recruited to work at Mercury Labs (and her hair is looking FAB), Cisco is working with Joe (LOVE!), designing equipment for the police to stop meta-humans, and Iris is still crushing it at the newspaper.
-We’re introduced to this season’s Big Bad - Zoom - by way of some poor bastard (dubbed Atom Smasher) recruited to kill Barry, unsuccessfully. Barry can’t stop him alone, and it’s when he finally reaches out to Caitlyn, and she helps him put his guilt aside, that Team Flash gets back together. (Props to Iris, because it was her idea to make Barry see how punishing himself for Ronnie’s - and Eddie’s - death wasn’t going to help anybody.)
-So maybe Wells wasn’t a total psychopath…? Because he left a video confession with his lawyer, and Henry Allen is FREE!
-The end brings us another speedster, Jay Garrick, to STAR Labs (who is paying the electric bill at this place? How are the lights still on??) in search of Barry. Turns out that the ravenous black hole is going to cause more problems for our friends than they imagined. (Amanda R.)
Arrow 4x01: Green Arrow
Oliver Queen has left Star City in the capable available hands of Diggle, Laurel, and Thea for a life of suburban bliss with Felicity. Unfortunately, when new threat arises, assassinating most of the city’s leadership, Oliver returns home. There are feelings! Diggle is still mad at Oliver! Oliver is sad his plans to propose to Felicity are on hold! Thea is enjoying smashing faces too much for Oliver’s comfort!
He gets a sweet new costume and drops a viral video to announce to Star City that he’s back, bitches, and he’s got a new name—The Green Arrow. This is supposed to indicate that he’s a creature of light now or something.
The new villain, Damien Darhk, is not impressed. He’s got magical powers of the life-sucking variety, which he almost uses to put an end to Oliver until Diggle shows up to save the day. Darhk also must have something over Captain Lance, because our favorite cop appears to be taking his orders. The episode ends with a flash forward to six months later where Oliver and The Flash stand over a fresh grave with a distraught Oliver vowing revenge. Whose grave is it? Tune in next time, darlings. (Amanda K.)
Hero of the Week: William May, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
There comes a time in every badass’s life when they lose focus. Thankfully, there’s always someone to give them the Real Talk they need to get out of the funk, and for Melinda May, that’s her father. Who, in addition to being super intelligent and aware, is also just plain adorable.
Villain of the Week: Theo Galavan/The Master, Gotham
There’s nothing more evil than a man who uses his nefarious plans to make himself look good, and trick those around him into believing he’s a hero. In Theo’s case, he’s even willing to kill those who do his dirty work, and—though they might totally deserve it, like Jerome—that’s a whole other level of villain.
Biff! Bam! Pow!
MY LITTLE FITZSIMMONS SHIPPING HEART.
Gifset via agentverbivore.tumblr.com.
Doctor Strange #1 by Jason Aaron, art by Chris Bachalo:
If you’re new to the weird and mysterious world of Dr. Strange and looking to learn more about him before the film comes out, this new series from Marvel is the best place to dive in headfirst. The Sorcerer Supreme and his history are introduced and a new mystery is set up in the series’ first issue. It might be different than your usual comic fare, but it’s definitely worth the read if you’re interested in the character. (Kelly)
Everyone's favorite alien tree and
raccoon raccoon-like sidekick, along with their motley crew of a space goddess, the Kree version of The Three Stooges, and a floppy-powered robot named Man-Tron, are up against a vicious space pirate. Sacrifices are made, tears were shed, and Groot remains one of my favorite Marvel books. Its humor and heart are hard to resist! (Amanda R.)
Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang:
This is a powerhouse team if I've ever seen one: Vaughan is currently ruling the comics universe on Saga, and Chiang just finished an incredible run drawing Wonder Woman. Now they bring us the story of four young girls - all with a paper route - whose lives collide in the wee hours after Halloween night, 1988. It's being described as War of the Worlds meets Stand By Me, and if that doesn't draw you in, I'm not sure what will! (Amanda R.)
Pick of the Week: Jughead #1 by Chip Zdarsky, art by Erica Henderson:
I always thought Jughead had the right idea; he didn't drive himself crazy bouncing back and forth between Betty and Veronica - NO. He was content to be the sidekick who was never out of reach from the nearest hamburger. Zdarsky's (Sex Criminals) Jughead is very much the same; so laid back you need to check if he has a pulse. This new series is super fun, and Henderson's (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) artistic style is perfect for his high-school antics. His first mission: stop the new principal's horrid cafeteria regime of soylent blocks. And there's also a Game of Thrones analogy/dream sequence that's pretty hilarious. (Amanda R.) Related: The Mary Sue interviewed Chip Zdarsky about writing Jughead.
As Seen in the Daily Planet
- Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) is in talks to write/direct The Flash movie.
- A new Justice League animated series is coming to Cartoon Network.
- Jesse Eisenberg isn't playing who you think he’s playing in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Miles Morales might have a part in the next Spider-Man movie.
- Joe Robert Cole is in talks to be the Black Panther screenwriter.
- Marvel has released a free prequel comic for Jessica Jones—see also: new trailers below—and posters for Jessica Jones and season two of Daredevil.
- Vox gave Kelly Sue DeConnick a farewell tribute at the end of her run on Captain Marvel, and she was interviewed on NPR about Bitch Planet.
- Speaking of: A limited hardcover edition of Bitch Planet Vol. 1 will be available on Local Comic Shop Day (Nov. 28).
- Pretty Deadly returns November 18.
- Marvel has updated plans for MCU Phase 3.
- While we're on the subject: Zoe Saldana has confirmed the return of Del Toro's "The Collector" in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
- Bryan Cranston wants to be a Marvel supervillain.
- A new Buffy comic is sending her back to high school.
- Wynn Everett (The Newsroom) will play Madam Masque in Agent Carter’s second season.
- New Bloom County collections will be released next summer 2016.
How glad are you to see Barry and Oliver back again? Are you as confused as I am about the end of Gotham/Jerome's "death"? Let's discuss below!