Almost all of our favorite superheroes are back on the small screen, and boy, did we miss them! Let's get to it.
Small Screen Supes
Gotham 3x03: Mad City: Look Into My Eyes
Just when you thought Gotham couldn’t get any crazier, we are introduced to Jervis Tetch, aka The Mad Hatter, a character who’s been part of Batman history for almost 70 years. Considering the subtitle for the season (Mad City), it’s safe to say The Mad Hatter is planning to stick around for a little more mischief (Johnny Depp, take note…This is how you play a hatter out of sorts.). He’s currently in Gotham looking for his sister, Alice, and seeks out Jim’s detective services to find her. Too bad Alice doesn’t want to be found, considering her wicked ability of turning people into strange zombie type creatures.
While our villains are running amok, our favorite avian opportunist decides a run for mayor is just what he needs to position himself in the aftermath of last season. He can’t do this without his handy-dandy sidekick, one Ed Nygma, so Penguin waddles over to Arkham Asylum and so shall it be written, so shall it be done.
What’s going on with upside down Bruce? He decides to try on Bruce v1, chopping his hair and visiting Selina for a date, where she faintly observes something is off but Gotham’s OG broody kid failed to inform her there’s a doppelgänger so it’s anyone’s guess where this is going.
Last but not least, in the never-ending insanity that we’ve come to know, we end the show with Lee stepping off a train just as Jim is getting freaky with his new squeeze. Sheesh, can’t he catch a break? (Christy)
The Flash 3x01: Flashpoint
When last we left our heroes at the end of season two Barry had made the worst choice of his entire life; he goes back in time to save his mother which changes EVERYTHING. We now find him trying to woo Iris (ok, it's super adorable, I'll give you that), spending way too much time with his parents than a man his age ever should, trying to ignore the fact that his beloved former stepdad is now a miserable drunk, and tracking down Kid Flash's encounters with The Rival, played by regular CW baddie Todd Lasance (Julian from The Vampire Diaries). He's got Reverse Flash penned up in Hunter Zolomon's old lair, in a clear box that prevents Thawne from using his powers. He keeps trying to warn Barry of the repercussions that have yet to be, but Barry has a tantrum and leaves.
Even though he's a villainous douchecanoe Thawne knows his science because Barry starts losing memories of his previous life. This finally makes him realize that he has to go back in time and let Reverse Flash kill his mother. Knowing he's going to lose both of his parents (again) he says a very emotional goodbye to the pair of them. Iris has figured out that she and Barry were something more to each other and he comes clean about adjusting the timeline, and Iris takes him to Wally's bachelor pad, introducing him as The Flash. They go to Cisco Ramon, the richest man in the world (basically like Tony Stark: rich, smart, hilarious, arrogant). They ask for help in taking down The Rival, and he's reluctant until Barry proves that he knew him in another universe by telling him how he bailed Dante out of gambling debts when he was a kid. (Ugh, Dante.)
Barry takes Reverse Flash back in time and even though we've seen it so many times it's SO rough watching him kill Nora in front of Barry. Barry is back in present day, at the West's home just after Henry's funeral. He doesn't understand Iris's absence. Apparently she and Joe haven't been on speaking terms for a while, so who knows what kind of Iris we're going to have now. Dang. And what about Kid Flash? Is he gone for good? Looks like The Rival isn't, as the unassuming citizen we saw in the speedster suit has now been tapped for greatness by an entity scratching the word "ALCHEMY" on his bedroom mirror. (Amanda R.)
Arrow 5x01: Legacy
We rejoin Team Arrow, five months after the finale, minus Diggle, and with Thea refusing to don her super suit. Thea is back to making excuses for Oliver’s absence at political events, and Felicity is back to saving the Green Arrow’s back via tech skillz. And in addition to villains, he’s now having to fend off upstart civilian caped crusaders, bent on “helping”. Felicity tries to convince an in-denial Oliver that his team isn’t coming back, and maybe he needs to start recruiting new members. Flashbacks have moved to Russia, where Oliver seems to have reunited with his pal, Anatoly, unwittingly joined a Russian fight club, and commences gang initiation. Without Lance, the SCPD has become so corrupt, that even Mayor Queen is calling them out over it. Lance is back in town, but heartbroken over a lost Donna (who’s back waitressing in Vegas) and off the wagon. He and Thea try to outdo eachother on the self-pity front. He doesn’t want to move on after Laurel, and Thea doesn’t want to be a vigilante anymore.
The new villain in town is Tobias Church and his crew, who quickly take over every gang in town, and start gunning for the Green Arrow. As the the city honors Laurel’s memory by unveiling a hideous statue by the waterfront, Church’s gang takes the opportunity to attack and kidnap the mayor, in an effort to lure out the Arrow. Oops. Lance and Thea team up to help Felicity and Curtis get Oliver rescued. Lance assembles a few cops that can be trusted to get the job done, and now Mayor Queen has a task force.
Oliver finally gets hit on the head with enough reminders that he needs to move on. Laurel made him promise that she wouldn’t be the last canary, and that they’d keep fighting. But Olly has decided that sparing lives didn’t save Laurel, so he’s back to being a killer, and Thea wants no part of it. Oliver finally gives into Felicity’s recruitment plans, and Curtis demands to join up. Yay! Oliver and Diggle have a skype heart-to-heart about assembling a new team, and moving on. Felicity definitely seems to be doing so - with a new man! (Kandis)
Luke Cage 1x03: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?
Luke is still reeling from Pop's death, and now he needs to find a way to keep the barbershop running before the bank takes notice. Luke lays blame firmly at the feet of Cottonmouth, parlay or no parlay, and manages to convince Chico to tell him everything he knows about Cottonmouth's operation.
Det. Misty Knight sees Luke as the common link between Cottonmouth and Pop since he worked at both places. We know it's just a coincidence, but she's determined to get to the bottom of Luke Cage (actually, one could say she already GOT to the bottom, if you catch my drift). She and her partner try to convince Chico to cooperate but he decides to trust Luke instead.
Luke hoodies up and rolls up to Crispus Attuck's Storehouse/Armory to clean out Cottonmouth dry. Immense strength and bullet-proof skin never looked so good, lemme tell ya! He mops the floor with all of Cottonmouth's henchmen and takes all of his cash. He brings Bobby Fish the $80k he needs to keep Pop's afloat.
Domingo, another crime lord, goes face to face with Cottonmouth, asking for the money back that he lost in the weapons sale. Cottonmouth laughs and Domingo declares war.
When news of the armory's hit gets back to him, Cottonmouth leans on the dirty cop he has in pocket, the very same cop who's Misty's partner, Det. Rafael Scarfe. (I KNEW there was something off about that cat! He always seemed to be playing the part of the beleaguered NYC cop just way too hard.) Scarfe gets Luke's name from Chico, KILLS HIM, and delivers him to Stokes. He also gives him Luke's name, and this results in Genghis Connie's getting hit with an RPG. It was BANANAS. (Amanda R.)
Hero of the Week: Curtis Holt, Arrow
Curtis has been working for the dwindling Team Arrow, but Ollie hasn't put a ring on it yet. After getting his ass kicked looking for a potential ally Curtis finally demands to be made official, and Ollie agrees. YAY, more Curtis! (Amanda R.)
Villain of the Week: Rafael Scarfe, Luke Cage
Y'ALL. Ok, I'm not going to say too much (even though there are spoilers in my recap above, obvs) because I don't want to spill the beans if you haven't watched episode 3. HOWEVER, I AM going to say that I approve of the one white guy in the entire cast turning out to be feckless and vile. There's no reason for his villainy other than feeling like life owes him more than he has, and that type of person is the WORST type of villain. Eff that guy. (Amanda R.)
Honorable mentions: Barry Allen, The Flash
Biff! Bam! Pow!
Girl Over Paris #4 by Gwenda Bond and Kate Leth, with art by Ming Doyle
If you haven't been following Glenda Bond's Cirque American series, you are seriously missing out. Circus mischief and magic run amok in this mystery series where fan girls self identify as Valentines and follow Jules across the world to see her walk the tight rope. In the final issue of the series, Jules is about to take her big walk over Paris, only to be knocked off course by an apparition who threatens the love of her life - and her livelihood. Can Jules outsmart him in time to save Remi, and herself? Beautiful art and beautiful writing; a satisfying conclusion that makes me want to read the series all over again. (Christy)
The Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, with art by Alex Puvilland
A few weeks ago, I met Scott Westerfeld (author of the Uglies series) and he shared that he is writing a graphic novel titled The Spill Zone. What he didn’t share was that it is available online in installments - for free - starting this week. Of course I dove right in.
The Spill Zone is set outside of New York, where a catastrophic and unexplained event has created a hazard zone full of unknown creatures and sites worthy of high priced fine-art photography - which is exactly how Addison, our teen protagonist charged with caring for her little sister after their parents die in the spill, monetizes the dangers within. In the first look, we get just enough of a glimpse to be curious (and a little terrified) of what might be inside. I have so many questions: what is the government hiding? Why did Addison’s sister develop selective mutism after the spill? How is Alex Puvilland’s art so freaking gorgeous and engaging? Coming back to this one weekly! (Christy)
Pick of the Week
Jessica Jones #1, by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Michael Gaydos
Someone has bailed Jessica Jones out of prison and so she's back at Alias Investigations, staying well out of the current Civil War taking place in the Marvel 'verse. Misty Knight comes knocking, looking for Jessica and Luke's kid. That encounter goes down about as well as can be expected. Carol Danvers has left several messages on Jessica's answering machine, and Jessica Drew even comes looking for her. She tries playing the "I'm a Mom Too, I Understand" card, but we all know that Jessica doesn't play well with others. She's distracted by a new potential client, a woman whose husband has potentially been replaced by someone else in his own body. Jess agrees to take the case, and she finally runs into Luke, who's pretty calm for a man who is looking for his missing daughter.
Bendis and Gaydos are a wonder team on this title and I'm so glad that they've taken it up again. Jessica Jones is the Louise Belcher of the Marvel Universe and she always shines the most when she's tackling her own demons. Go back and read Bendis's other volumes on Jones, and then hop on this continuation! (Amanda R.)
- Season 2 of Vixen starts next week!
- Supergirl's Superman is talking about his days in tights.
- DC Comics is reviving the Wildstorm imprint.
- The official title and poster for Wolverine 3 have been revealed: Logan.
- Also this week, we got our first official photo and release date for Netflix's Iron Fist.
- The Punisher series at Netflix has found some of its cast.
- Logan is rumored to introduce X-23 to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (NICE).
- Batwoman is getting her own DC title again!
- Riverdale to get a prequel comic before the show drops next year, which will then be a continuing series that ties in with the show!
- The original co-creator of Squirrel Girl is returning to the character for a special anniversary issue.
- The Luke Cage soundtrack is here! Get your first look at one of the official music videos below.
- YASSSSSSSSSSSSSS America Chavez is getting her own comic! That cover art by Jamie McKelvie is giving me LIFE.
- When The Defenders finally gather on Netflix, they'll be taking on Sigourney Weaver in a yet-unnamed role!
Netflix debuted a new Iron Fist trailer at NYCC:
Here's a glimpse of what's in store for The Flash in season 3:
What changes do you think "Flashpoint" made in the real timeline? And what do you think of that Iron Fist trailer? Let's dish in the comments!