The Flash CW

This was a big week for the small-screen spandex set. Three separate comic book series (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Flash, Arrow) wrapped for a long winter hiatus, and each mid-season finale dropped a bombshell with mass quantities of comic book significance. As well they should. TV superheroes shouldn’t be relegated to the small-fry stuff that characterized Agents in its early episodes (drawing on weighty comic lore like stuff left over from Iron Man 3, stuff left over from The Avengers and a little-known, little-cared for mutant named Scorch). Bigger is better, and comic staples like the Inhumans, The Reverse Flash and the Lazarus Pits are size XXXXXXL. But long are the days when you could make whatever Smallvilles or Blade: The Series and not worry about the larger ramifications. None of what we saw this week exists in a vacuum; even the CW’s output exists in the context of DC having two separate live-action expanded universes coexisting at the same time. So let’s examine how this week’s winter finales might effect the superhero films of tomorrow.



Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Battery The zombie apocalypse has left America a wasteland of the undead with pockets of mankind struggling to survive. Two former baseball players forced by the situation to become fast friends travel the country looking for supplies and safety, but their different personalities and views on the situation lead to dramas far removed from the flesh-eating varieties. Zombies have been ubiquitous in the horror genre for years now with three out of every five horror films focusing on them as their monster of choice. (I totally made that up, but it feels right.) The vast majority of them are pretty damn terrible, but once in a while a real gem comes along, and one of the best is this American indie that dares find the humanity in a story about the inhuman. It feels like a drama, but a lack of flesh-chewing scenes doesn’t mean it’s devoid of horror as the reality these men find themselves in is a terrifying one. Writer/director Jeremy Gardner (who also plays one of the two leads) is a refreshingly smart new voice in genre film-making. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, making of, outtakes, featurette, trailer]


Arrow Promo Poster

There’s a promotional poster for Arrow, The CW’s new sleek and broody reimagining of DC’s Green Arrow comic, that looks a lot like the one for the first season of Smallville. Naturally, emblazoned across both posters, there are dramatic, single-word show titles that allude to a superhero universe. More importantly (and more prominently), though, both feature a lone, shirtless, young man with chiseled, next-level ab muscles—something that is clearly supposed to hint at the pathos underpinning these shows. Dubious (aka brilliant) marketing strategies aside, Arrow is a lucidly composed action-adventure series that, in its premiere, never comes off cheesy despite the fact that it’s ostensibly about a guy who skulks around a dark city with a bow and arrow—which, somehow seems stranger than wearing a bat costume. If its first episode and promotional poster are any indication, the show has the potential to be as big of a success for the increasingly teen soap opera driven CW as ten-season wonder Smallville.

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published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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