Lots of excitement in this week’s shows—including some really awesome ladies being really awesome—so let’s get to chatting!
Small Screen Supes
Supergirl 1x01: Pilot
The first episode of Supergirl kicked off like any good comic book should, introducing us to Kara Zor-El and her Devil Wears Prada life. Older than her cousin Kal-El, she was sent to Earth to be his protector, but Something Happened On the Way to the Planet and instead she arrived years after he had already taken up the cape.
We see a quick glimpse of her Earth parents, the Danvers, played by former Superman Dean Cain and former Supergirl Helen Slater. Yes, I cried nostalgia tears, shut up.
Now all grown up, Kara has decided to hide her powers, because Reasons. But when it’s up to her to save the day, she doesn’t hesitate, and discovers that she actually likes being a superhero. Unlike most shows where the new hero tries to lead a double life by lying to her friends, Kara proceeds to tell just about everyone she knows that she’s Superman’s cousin. If you make a drinking game for every time she says “cousin” on this show, you’d be hammered by the first commercial break.
Anyway, we get some good action and superpowers with a bad alien, hear a little General Zod foreshadowing, and find out that we’ll be seeing a lot of Aliens of the Week. AND there’s a surprise Big Bad at the end of the episode. Strong start to a super fun show. (Kelly)
Gotham 2x06: By Fire
Butch tries to convince Theo that Penguin’s finally driven him away, the proof being his missing hand. Theo and the Crazies (Tabs and Babs) seem to believe him, and even put a mallet on his stump. But when Butch goes looking for proof that Mama Penguin is still alive, Theo reveals that no one ever really believed him, and sets Tabs on him to break him yet again. He returns to Penguin with news, but we’ll just have to see if that news is good or bad.
After Selina and Bridgit rob a slave auction, Jim and Harvey go on a search for the young women, but not before Bridgit’s “brothers” find her … and she exacts her revenge on them with flame. Jim eventually catches up, but Bridgit does not go quietly, and nearly kills herself with her own flame-thrower. She ends up in some creepy hospital “for tests,” with others “like her.” We’ll definitely be seeing more from that place before too long.
Bruce and Alfred have an adorable sparring session, and Bruce joins Silver, Tho and Tabs for dinner, where Theo continues to ingratiate himself into little Master Bruce’s life. Oh, and Nygma and Kristen have a lovely dinner—and after-dinner delights—but things go a little awry when Ed reveals that he killed Tom Dougherty, and then accidentally kills Kristen.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3x05: 4,722 Hours
In a flashback episode, we finally learn what really happened to Jemma when she got sucked through the portal and why she so badly wants to return. Turns out, S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t the only agency to figure out what the thing did: in the early 2000s, NASA sent a group of astronauts and scientists through the portal to investigate. Three out of the four went crazy—caused by some unknown entity, or perhaps the planet itself—but one, Will Daniels, survived.
Will and Jemma use their brains to figure out how to survive on the planet and how they might get home, all the while growing closer together. (But whether the relationship is built on real affection, or is because they’re literally each other’s only option remains to be seen.)
Back at HQ, Simmons finishes telling Fitz the story, and instead of being peeved that Jemma (maybe) found another man—because he’s amazing—he shows her his own research and tells her they’ll get him back.
The Flash 2x04: The Fury of Firestorm
Team Flash is searching for a compatible match for Dr. Stein; he’ll die without one. Cisco and Caitlyn work their bio/tech magic and find two men whose DNA was affected by the particle accelerator’s meltdown: Henry Hewitt and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (Attack the Block’s Franz Drameh). Henry is a smarmy, rude, egomaniacal scientist. Jax is a kid who lost his football scholarship saving his teammate from the blast, and now works in an auto shop. (I got some very serious Smash Williams feelings from that scene, y’all.) Caitlyn rushes to recruit Henry, but Barry is more cautious, wanting to pick the right hero for the job, not the right DNA. Caitlyn steamrolls right over the rest of her team, but Henry can’t mesh with Dr. Stein (and does he ever have an adult-sized hissy fit about it, GEEZ). Caitlyn realizes her shortsightedness after Cisco digs up a sealed police record on Hewitt; turns out he has MAJOR anger management problems, so she pleas with Jax again, totally playing the My Superhero Husband Died Saving Central City-card. Jax and Caitlyn manage to escape RAGE-POWERED HENRY (AKA Tokamak), and return to STAR Labs just in time to mesh with/save Dr. Stein. Our new Firestorm kicks all kinds of ass.
Meanwhile Joe West has been called by Dr. McGee at Mercury Labs. There’s been a break-in and she’s PRETTY SURE she saw Harrison Wells make off with some high-tech booty. Joe and Iris are on the same page about Francine, and Iris agrees to meet her. It goes about as well as you’d expect; Iris tells Francine that she doesn’t wish her any harm but thanks-no thanks, she doesn’t want her around. It’s only later after Francine divulges to Joe that she’s dying that Iris begins to reconsider, except that Iris (being Iris West, Star Reporter) dug around a bit on her mom and found out that she has a BROTHER. Iris is furious and refuses to hear her mom’s explanation and OMG YOU GUYS - WALLY WEST! I can’t wait for Barry to get his new sidekick!
Patty Spivot continues to have our hearts this week, following up on reports of a man-shark metahuman...who just HAPPENS TO BE REAL. Well played, show. That King Shark cameo was pretty damn amazing. And Harrison Wells 2.0 saving the day? WHAT IS YOUR ENDGAME, WELLS 2.0? (Amanda R.)
Arrow 4x04: Beyond Redemption
Oliver announces to Team Arrow that he’s running for mayor. Also? He’s built them a super sweet new HQ underneath his campaign office! A potential complication might be Feral Sarah, who manages to escape the spot Laurel stashed her.
Captain Lance gets firmly smacked with the tragedy bat this week. He finds out Sarah is newly alive and newly crazy. When he goes to Damien Darhk for advice, the villain tells him, not unkindly, that the only way to help his daughter is to put a bullet through her brain.
To make matters worse, while Oliver investigates a dirty Star City PD unit (led by Liza Warner), he discovers Lance is in league with Darhk! Then, to top off a really bad day, Lance gets kidnapped by Liza her posse of dirty cops.
The gang tries to save him, but Liza manages to get the drop on Oliver. Lance gives her a speech on cop honor that is so moving she lets Oliver go and turns herself in. Before Lance can turn himself in as well, Oliver convinces him to go undercover, continuing his alliance with Darhk so they can get some insight in the shadowy man’s shadowy operations. (Amanda K.)
Hero of the Week: Kara Zor-El, Supergirl
Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a GIRL! Kara Zor-El is faster than a speeding bullet, etc. etc., but she’s also patient with her Devil-ish boss without being a complete doormat, has enough fashion sense to stay away from hot pants, and knows when to ask for help. Kara isn’t like the moody Superman we got in Man of Steel: she actually SMILES and gets out in the SUNSHINE. Mind-boggling for a superhero these days, right? (Kelly)
Honorable mention: Jemma Simmons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Jefferson Jackson, The Flash
Villain of the Week: King Shark, The Flash
Out of all the shows we recap in Superhero Sundays, The Flash seems to make a point of really remembering its comic book roots. (See: Grodd.) King Shark was another great example of this. I mean, really. He's a giant man shark. What's not to love?
THE GLORY HAS RETURNED. And in this moment, we are all Felicity.
Gifs via klarolineishot.
Biff! Bam! Pow!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, written by Ryan North and art by Erica Henderson
Thanks to Secret Wars, Squirrel Girl is back with her second #1 series launch this year, but don’t worry — everything is pretty much the same. Well, except for the new apartment, new costume, and new origin story. But still, same old eats nuts, kicks butts. Squirrel Girl and her best friend Nancy tackle a villain who takes them by surprise with the help of Squirrel Girl’s mom, Maureen. (Have I mentioned HOORAY for moms in comics?) (Kelly)
Power Up #4, written by Kate Leth and art by Matt Cummings
Our team of unlikely heroes aren’t any closer to finding out answers in the latest issue of Power Up from Boom! Studios. Our heroes are trying to balance their real lives with their new superhero lives, including angry husbands and laundry piling up. I originally picked up this comic book because of the superstrong mom on the team (hooray for moms in comics!), but it’s the magical, quirky Kevin that keeps me coming back each month. (Kelly)
Clean Room #1 by Gail Simone, art by Jon Davis-Hunt
We usually keep it light and fun on our Pull List, but Clean Room is taking it to a whole other level of SRS COMIC BUSINESS. Gail Simone's newest series gives us another signature (awesome, no-crap-taking) female protagonist; Journalist Chloe's fiancee committed suicide after devoting himself to
Scientology a self-help cult, and she's convinced that it had EVERYTHING to do with his death. She seeks a meeting with the Head Cultist in Charge, Astrid Mueller (also a failed paranormal novelist, snort), determined to expose her by finding out exactly what this Clean Room IS. Creepy and suspenseful, it's a promising start with a great hook! (Amanda R.)
Nightwing—you are so, SO hot, but so, so dumb. Dick Grayson gets a (much-deserved) verbal smackdown from Babs when he decides to
return from the dead CRASH Alysia and Jo's wedding preparations. He can't believe that she's moved on and gotten herself a HOT new man (Luke Fox, son of Lucius). Luke proves himself to be the better man by cutting Babs a break when she has to ditch him to sort out Grayson's ridiculousness, and did I mention ALYSIA AND JO GOT MARRIED? Awww. It was GREAT. #AlysiaAndJo4evs (Amanda R.)
As Seen in the Daily Planet
- Here’s a first look at Caitlyn Snow as Killer Frost.
- The Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice opening scene has been revealed, and there are rumors that Ben Affleck will direct a solo Batman movie.
- Comics Alliance has broken down the Jessica Jones trailer.
- Earlier this week, Marvel unveiled a new Iron Man book, International Iron-Man by Brian Michael Bendis, and a new Punisher book by Gotham Academy's Becky Cloonan, among others.
- Beyonce dressed as Storm at Ciara's superhero themed birthday party, and the Internet collectively said HELL YES.
- Here’s a first look at Suicide Squad's Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), who likely LOVES The Crow.
- Gotham has its Mr. Freeze.
- The Mary Sue chatted with the creative team behind Batgirl.
What a week!
Now, for that giveaway I mentioned earlier. Kelly attended a Ms. Marvel and Black Widow: Forever Red book signing event last week, and picked up an extra set of swag that she’s graciously offered to send to one of you!
The swag includes a postcard, bracelet, and two Black Widow stickers.
Leave a comment below telling us which comic superhero you’d like to see get her (or his) own YA book and we’ll pick a winner at random next Sunday. (U.S. only, please.) The giveaway is now closed.