So many heroes, so little time - let's get to it!
Small Screen Supes
Supergirl 2x04: Survivors
J’onn is still reeling from the discovery of another Green Martian on Earth, but M’gann M’orzz isn’t interested in getting to know him. Kara is being standoffish herself to Mon-El, the new arrival from Daxam who is still testing and learning his powers.
Mon-El is instructed to stay at the DEO while he’s undergoing testing, for his own safety. But being cooped up gets to him, and he convinces Winn to go out on a night on the town. They end up in a bar fight and reprimanded by the DEO.
Meanwhile, Maggie Sawyer calls in Alex Danvers to investigate an alien homicide. They discover an underground alien fight club, run by a woman who calls herself Roulette. Alex is shocked to see M’gann voluntarily fighting inside.
J’onn confronts her, and is kidnapped by the fight club’s hired muscle and forced into the ring against M’gann himself. He refuses to fight and she refuses to kill him. Kara, who turned to Lena Luthor for help to find the hidden arena, arrives in time to stop the alien sent in to kill the both of them.
J’onn tells M’gann to keep as much privacy as she needs, and reminds her that he’ll be there for her if she needs him. After he leaves, M’gann reveals her true form: a White Martian. (Kelly)
Gotham 3x07: Mad City: Red Queen
Jervis Tetch buys a powerful psychotropic agent from a strange guy, and kills him on the way to get his sister’s body. He mixes the compound with Alice’s blood, then turns up back at the hospital and draws Jim into his clutches. He doses Jim, and Jim’s hallucinations start with an elevator trip with Barbara. That’s followed by visions of a masked Bruce, wartime with Penguin, a family with Lee, and a car trip with his father. The visions help him realize that he’s not living up to his potential, and he returns to the GCPD.
Edward and Isabella spend the entire night together, and Ed returns to a worried Penguin with love in his heart. Oswald is stricken, and goes to visit Isabella to suss her out. He reveals that Ed was in Arkham, and makes slightly threatening gestures toward her.
At the Founder’s Day party, Oswald meets Katherine, a member of the masked group behind Bruce’s kidnapping, etc. Tetch shows up, and nearly forces all there to drink some of Alice’s blood, but Captain Barnes and the GCPB show up in the nick of time. Tetch is delighted to find that Barnes has been affected by Alice’s blood.
Isabella shows up to dinner with Ed, and reveals that she knows all about his sordid past. But she’s OK with it, because she’s in love. Oswald walks in as they’re smooching, and shuffles out even more broken hearted. (Mandy)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x06: The Good Samaritan
“Back in the day,” the scientists at Momentum Labs create a machine that creates matter from nothing. Eli’s skeptical, but the Bauers shut him down. When Eli presses, Lucy reveals that her husband is trying to create matter himself, to become a god.
In the present day, May arrives at the labs to try and find Lucy, Eli and the book, but they’ve already gone. Soon after, Mace makes an unannounced visit to Coulson and team, looking for Daisy and Robbie. While they’re hiding, Robbie finally reveals his secret to Gabe; the change happened the night Gabe lost the use of his legs thanks to a gang hit (hired by Joe Bauer) … and the night Robbie died. After the shooting, Robbie made a deal with the universe, and Gabe was saved by a mysterious good samaritan—a.k.a. the previous Ghost Rider—who passed his “gift” on to Robbie.
Meanwhile, Mace gives Simmons a new assignment, but doesn’t tell her much about what it is and forces her into a hood before she leaves. She disappears for the rest of the episode; Fitz is appropriately concerned.
Fitz tracks Lucy and Eli to an old power plant. Mace OKs the team, with Robbie and Daisy, to put an end to Lucy’s plan. While Robbie delays Lucy, Coulson finds Eli. Turns out, Eli’s the mastermind behind the whole thing, and he killed Lucy and the other scientists to get the power for himself. And before S.H.I.E.L.D. can stop him, Eli turns on the machine and exits able to create matter from (seemingly) nothing. (Mandy)
The Flash 3x05: Monster
Grumpy Cisco just might be my favorite Cisco. Rooming with Barry while he apartment-hunts, and having to put up with a SUPER chatty and cheery Wells has our Cisco looking like a total sour puss. He's convinced that something isn't quite right with Wells 3.0, and he's not wrong - turns out he's more of an Ideas Guy than an actual scientist, but he pleads his case toTeam Flash and they let him stick around.
The Monster of the Week is GODZILLA. Ok, not really, but it definitely is Godzilla's distant cousin. Julian Albert isn't making life easy for Barry at work, so Barry strokes his ego a bit and asks to follow him so that he can learn from him (and track NoZilla). All of this after Albert tattled to their boss about Barry's long list of (minor) infractions. Wow, Julian. You REALLY don't care if people like you. NoZilla turns out to be a giant hologram created by a lonely, bullied teen, and Flash saves him from being shot by an overenthusiastic Albert. Joe West gives the kid the Dad Treatment (Life gets better, You have to take responsibility for your actions, etc) and takes him into custody.
Our B-plot is decidedly more interesting this week; Caitlyn seeks out her estranged mother to help her understand her frosty new powers. Frosty is also the word I would use to describe the atmosphere when Caitlyn and her mom are in the same room together. Yikes. Even though Dr. Tannhauser (Mama Snow) is pretty disappointing at first as a parent, when an overeager young scientist demands that Caitlyn stick around to be a guinea pig (I mean THAT sort of came out of nowhere, right?), she steps in and takes care of business. She tells Caitlyn that if she keeps using her powers it's going to be impossible for her to remain "normal" much longer. Bring on Killer Frost 2.0! (Amanda R.)
Arrow 5x05: Human Target
Church tortures Rene while Oliver and the new recruits try to beat his whereabouts out of half the bad guys in town. With tech help from Felicity, Oliver is eventually able to rescue Rene, but Church gets away. Rene is forced to admit that they were able to torture the Green Arrow’s identity out of him, and now Church is gunning for the mayor. Diggle spends the hour trying to suss out what Rene remembers from the time he was held by Church, and he provides one of his patented Diggle pep talks.
Mayor Queen is working on getting enough votes for an affordable housing ordinance and Zzzzz. Felicity’s meh new boyfriend has been promoted to the task force, and she pretends that, even though it’s awkward, Oliver totally knows she’s seeing boring Billy. Oliver tries to win over the reporter that’s been doing negative stories on his administration, and ends up getting her number. A+ politics, Ollie. The Russian flashbacks finally achieve a little payoff, when the Star City reporter gets ahold of a photo of Oliver in Russia five years ago, when he was supposed to be stranded on a deserted island.
Oliver blackmails a corrupt councilman into voting for his ordinance, and as he and Thea are leaving, they’re ambushed by Church’s masked assassin. Oliver is shot multiple times. Lance and Thea give a press conference to announce his death, while Oliver watches from the lair. Diggle’s friend, the Human Target, pulled off the fake-out. (Apparently, spending the day as Oliver, scoring the reporter’s number, and meeting Felicity’s new boyfriend.) Later, Oliver swings by Felicity’s balcony to have a heart-to-heart about why she didn’t tell him about her new man. She doesn’t really have a good answer. But the next day, they throw the shippers a bone, and stare into each other’s eyes agreeing they just want the other to be happy.
Mayor Queen gives a press conference to apologize for faking his own death, but it means he gets to brag about taking down Church and his gang, and he passed his housing ordinance. Prometheus, who already warned Church twice not to try to kill the Green Arrow, ambushes his prison transport, and gets rid of Church once and for all. (Kandis)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 2x04: Abominations
The Legends are headed to the height of the US Civil War and the “wiser” half of Firestorm begins the journey by trying to stop Jax from going. Jax responds with reminding him there is no period in history that is safe for a black person. ZING. It’s enough to face slavery and racism but zombies? That’s right, Zombies, thanks to an infected time pirate running rampant through the Civil War era. Due to the unexpected death of Henry Scott, a historically-based slave who spied on the South for the Union Army, the Confederates win the war. Not good.
While Sara and Nate meet with General Grant, Jax assumes Henry’s identity and gets a first hand look at slavery. When Jax gets caught and subsequently chained up, Vixen shows up to free him and the other slaves on the plantation, watching it burn to the ground. “You’ve just witnessed the very worst of humanity,” Martin shares with Jax as they process the psychological connection they share.
All is well after Nate accesses the power of steel to save himself while blowing the zombie soldiers to smithereens. Jax-as-Henry finally gets his moment this season by bringing General Grant the information needed to turn the war back in favor of the Union. Back on the ship, Martin and Ray hang back as Mick develops zombie symptoms. After narrowly escaping his wrath, Mick and Ray share a moment at the end where Captain Cold’s Cold Gun is passed down to the currently powerless Ray. Aw. (Christy)
Luke Cage 1x07: Manifest
Cottonmouth manages to avoid being charged (WHAT) and walks out of the police precinct a free man, but not before Misty Knight has a chance to tell him ALL about himself. (Can we all agree that Mahershala Ali has the best laugh of any villain ever?) Captain Betty Audrey has been asked to step down in the wake of this shit-show, and Misty now finds herself under the supervision of Inspector Priscilla Ridley who's already suspicious about Misty's links with Luke.
Shades. Oh Shades. I had my doubts about you but you are a MASTER player at The Game. After Cottonmouth has a tantrum at the club about wanting to kill Luke despite Diamondback telling him not to, Shades sidesteps his way into Mariah's living room. He reminds her that she's powerless...but that she doesn't need to be.
Through flashbacks we learn that Young Cornell just wanted to play piano. He was good, very good, and his Uncle Pete wanted him to audition for music schools. Young Mariah has her nose firmly planted in her school books, and how she responds to Uncle Pete's jokes tells us everything we need to know about why she can't stand him. Mama Mabel is running things in Harlem, and she has NO QUALMS about pruning off the finger of some young upstart who disobeyed her by getting involved in the crack trade. She decides it's time for Cornell to learn how to be a man and sends him out back to deal with the situation. Cornell returns with bloodied fingers, in shock, and sits down at his piano. Later on we learn that Uncle Pete is in cahoots with the Puerto Ricans, and Mabel has Cornell kill him in the backyard, Mariah watching on with satisfaction. DAMN.
Claire is trying to convince Luke not to run, but now that Shades has told Cottonmouth who Luke really is he's worried that the police are going to come for him. Claire doesn't want to hear it (Claire is the best, y'all), and tells him to put his big boy pants on and stop running.
Mariah's reputation has been besmirched by Cottonmouth's arrest; she's asked to step down from her position and she is FURIOUS. She goes to see her cousin, who has zero pity for her and lets all of his resentment come to the surface: she got sent away to a fancy school while he was forced to learn the family business. When she reminds him that she was sent away to keep her AWAY from Creepy Uncle Pete, Cornell comes back with, "You liked it, you asked for it". I don't feel the least bit bad for him when she shoves his hateful ass out of the window, but I do cringe when she proceeds to beat him to death with a mic stand. BLACK MARIAH IS BORN. Shades walks out of the shadows and embraces her.
Claire and Luke are walking through the park when we see Diamondback (!) put Luke in his crosshairs. Not even Claire is going to be able to save Luke from the Judas gun! (Amanda R.)
Hero of the Week: Julian Albert, The Flash
It took almost killing a teenager to bring Julian a dose of humility, but I have a feeling that our favorite Slytherin will be on Team Flash before the season has finished. He let Barry buy him a drink - this is HUGE. (Amanda R.)
Honorable mention: Barry Allen/The Flash, Firestorm/Legends of Tomorrow, Claire/Luke Cage
Villain of the Week: Hernan "Shades" Alvarez, Luke Cage
Shades, true story: I regularly mock you for wearing sunglasses indoors. That look is SO 1987. But you proved yourself to be a master of moving chess pieces around the board, and now Mariah is right where you - and Diamondback - want her, and so is Cottonmouth (RIP). (Amanda R.)
Honorable mention: M'gann M'oizz/Supergirl, Black Mariah/Luke Cage
Biff! Bam! Pow!
This section of SS has been a barren desert lately, but John Diggle has come to SLAY our thirst.
Shade, The Changing Girl #2 by Cecil Castellucci, with art by Marley Zarcone
The teen years are alien enough without having to actually inhabit an alien body. Shade, an otherworldly being, is stuck in the body of previously comatose mean-girl Megan, where Shade must navigate human relationships from the perspective of madness. Oh, I forgot to mention…Shade came to this planet with one magical item: the vest of madness. Issue 2 explores her first day back at school, where she’s feared and assumed to want to shake the status quo that formed in her absence. Combining the ability to see things differently with the lens of madness creates an interesting take on the world and I am SO here for it. (Christy)
Catwoman: Election Night #1 by Meredith Finch/Mark Russell, with art by Shane Davis, Igor Vitorino & Michelle Delecki /Ben Caldwell & Mark Morales
In case you hadn’t noticed, when DC Rebirthed the universe, Catwoman (and Prez) went missing. DC’s well-timed Election Night comic provides a perfect comeback for both. Told in two separate (but intersecting) stories, we see Selina and Beth engaging in the political system in their own way quintessential ways. Taking Catwoman back to her group home days, we see Selina face some nasty bullies in Miss Kitty’s Home for Wayward Girls, one who is now running against Penguin in a bid to make Gotham great again. Catwoman’s engagement in the Election Night story parallels much of what we see on TV every day, providing your weekly fill of satire. On the flip side, teen Prez, Beth Russo, faces a bunch of underlings mansplaining “vagina stuff” and the senate shooting down (literally) gun legislation. Beth gets the best of the man-dominated world in the end, which will make you want to fist bump the first teenage president. (Christy)
Foolkiller #1 by Max Bemis, with art by Dalibor Talajic
I have an equal affinity for songwriters turned comic writers and for the offbeat titles in imprints like Marvel Now. Foolkiller is an old timer brought current by the likes of Max Bemis and if you’re a fan of the antihero with a parental advisory sticker, this one is definitely for you. Greg Salinger, aka the Foolkiller, is a psychiatrist by day and vigilante by night, using the knowledge he gains in his therapeutic sessions to suss out the worst of the worst (the fools). Not exactly ethical but as someone who associates with Deadpool, how can we expect anything different? (Christy)
Pick of the Week: Josie and the Pussycats #2 by Marguerite Bennett & Cameron Deordio, art by Audrey Mok
The Pussycats are playing their first gig, and sure, the bar is shady as hell but the crowd is totally into it! They even manage to trick our girls into signing a contract making them their new house band. The only way to settle this? A drag race, OBVIOUSLY. This series continues to be fun and sharp with the right mix of nostalgia and modernity. (Amanda R.)
Penguin, Catwoman, and Prez promise to distract us from November 8th in a special release of Catwoman: Election Night.
Harley Quinn Smith is guest-starring in her father's episode of Supergirl.
Some Legends stop by to lend Vixen a hand in the latest episode.
Lots of Defenders-related news: Misty Knight AND Karen Page will both be in the series! You can catch a glimpse of them meeting for the first time here. And Jessica Jones is getting her own Funko POP!
Penny Dreadful will continue, but in comic form. (As an avid Buffy fan who never wanted it to end, I can assure you that comic continuations can be a GREAT thing.)
The new Lego Batman trailer dropp-ZOMG COMMISSIONER BARBARA GORDON!
Sorry, Batman but The Amazons win for Most Squee-Inducing Trailer this week:
Who has seen Doctor Strange already? How many times have you watched the Wonder Woman trailer? What is the deal with Prometheus? Does anyone keep getting him confused with Dr. Alchemy?? (Damned hooded villains!) Come convo with us in the comments!