I know I’m a Nerd

CJ Reacts: Sherlock and Doctor Who at SDCC

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This is the time of year when I become very jealous of all the nerds who are fortunate enough to be attending San Diego Comic Con. I got just a taste of the Comic Con experience when I traveled to NYCC last year, and attending SDCC at least once is a bucket list item for me. I WILL do it someday. Hopefully that someday is sooner rather than later. As an introvert the crowds and lines are very intimidating to me, but I survived NYCC and it was actually one of the best weekends of my life, so I have high hopes that I would enjoy SDCC just as much.

Since I am not actually in San Diego, I – like many of my fellow nerds all across the country – am glued to the internet for any information, videos, annoucements, etc. coming out of SDCC. Yesterday we were given several videos from two of my favorite British programs.

Doctor Who

Last year the first trailer for Doctor Who season 8 – featuring the first actual footage of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor – was unveiled at Comic Con, but the BBC refused to release it to the rest of the public for what seemed like forever. There was a lot of fan backlash for that decision, and they must have learned their lesson because this year the trailer was released for everyone yesterday.

There’s a lot going on in that trailer, and it pretty much just makes me wish it were September already. Do we really have to wait that long? Why can’t it come back in August this year? There’s also a lot of speculation about who Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams is playing. Most centers around Missy A.K.A. The Master. Could she be a younger version of Missy? Time Lords age much slower than humans, so if she is indeed Missy, how long has The Master been in this regeneration? I guess we’ll find out.

Sherlock

As always, it seems like we’ve been waiting forever for a new episode of Sherlock (18 months is a very long time, and we still have five more months just until the Christmas special). Fortunately, yesterday some footage from the Christmas Special was released for fans.

The special is set in Victorian England, giving it a more classic Sherlock feel, and it’s set completely outside the world of Sherlock as we know it in this series. But I can’t wait to see what they do with it. And I’m really looking forward to it being a period piece – it’ll be a nice change of pace. However, I really can’t wait to see what the new season has in store for us.

Speaking of the new season, here is a video shared at Comic Con from Andrew Scott, Mark Gatiss, and Benedict Cumberbatch, all of whom could not make it to San Diego this year. It contains a teensy tease for the new season:

As fans know, the season finale ended with the reappearance of Moriarty. I had been thinking it may be just a red herring, and some other new villain was using his face to get to Sherlock. But could Scott’s last words into the screen be a hint that he is indeed coming back to the series? I have no idea how they would explain Moriarty being alive, but to be honest I don’t really care. I loved Scott as Moriarty and would love to see him back.

So there’s some of what I’ve gleaned from Day 1 of SDCC. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the weekend has in store for us.

CJ Reacts: Frank Castle Comes to Hell’s Kitchen

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Daredevil-JonBernthal
Photo courtesy AMC

I’m sure all Marvel fans – unless they were hiding under a rock yesterday – have heard the news of the first casting announcement for season 2 of the Netflix series Daredevil. Rumors had been circulating for a while that Frank Castle – a.k.a. the Punisher – would be finding his way to Hell’s Kitchen in season 2 of the series and yesterday those rumors were confirmed with the official announcement that Jon Bernthal had been cast in the iconic role.

“Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences … Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.” – Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, quoted in the official press release.

Bernthal is well known to The Walking Dead fans as Shane, Rick’s best friend/Laurie’s lover/psychopath and to be honest, he never would have even registered on my radar as a contender for The Punisher. I won’t lie – by the end of Shane’s time on The Walking Dead, I was ready for him to go. At first I had loved his character, but the further downhill he went, the more I was ready to say goodbye. This is in no way a reflection on Bernthal himself – I know he’s a great actor. I’ve seen him in many other things and have always been impressed with him. Or perhaps this is a reflection of his work – he was really good at making me hate Shane. If that was the goal, then kudos to him.

So if I had to come up with a list of possible candidates for Frank Castle, Bernthal probably wouldn’t have made the list. When I first heard the announcement, after my initial excitement over the confirmation of Punisher coming to Daredevil, I was a little skeptical about the choice. However, the more I think about it, the more excited I get. I think Bernthal has the look and the attitude to pull it off. I’m really optimistic that he will do a good job. I’m also curious to see what they do with the character. Will they show his origin story? And now that he’s confirmed for Daredevil season 2, will he pop up elsewhere in the MCU?

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read a lot of Punisher comics, the little I know about the character is from his appearance in other titles and the 2004 movie starring Thomas Jane. So maybe you actual Punisher fans will have a much stronger opinion on this than I do. So far Marvel has done pretty well casting their roles, so I’m inclined to be trusting. And at the very least, we all know he can play a gun-toting psychopath fairly well.

What do you think of the Punisher joining Daredevil and Bernthal’s casting? Let me know in the comments!

“I kept it secret to protect you!” A.K.A. The Worst Excuse Ever

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If you’ve read my blog at all in the last six months you may have noticed that I am a big fan of comic book shows. There are some that I love more than others (the fact that Gotham will outlive Constantine is a horrible injustice) but I give them all a chance, and usually love them.

The FlashTwo of my favorites at the moment happen to be The Flash and Arrow, and I’ve become quite a fan of iZombie in the past couple months as well. I love these three shows and wouldn’t think of missing an episode, but that doesn’t mean I love everything about them. In fact there’s one thing that all three had in common this season (aside from being based on comics) that I find incredibly frustrating – even more so with every show that uses this trope, which is common among this genre of television. I really, really hate the “I’m lying about [insert really big, possibly life-altering secret here] because it’s the only way to keep [insert unfortunate clueless character here] safe” plot device.

Lying about secret identities is expected in comic shows – a superhero needs to keep his real identity secret after all. However, I feel on each of these three shows this season, keeping whatever secret the main characters didn’t want to share was taken to the extreme – to the point where it became extremely frustrating to watch what was happening to the characters being kept in the dark. Also, in each case keeping the secret meant ultimately creating causing more harm to the person they were trying to protect than if they had just been honest in the first place. It’s one thing when keeping your secret is just a small part of the story, but when it becomes a major plot point, it’s starts to get annoying.

Note: The following discussion assumes the reader is up-to-date on all current episodes of Arrow, The Flash, and iZombie. There will be spoilers. If you are behind, you may want to catch up before reading. if you’re not concerned about spoilers, continue reading after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Summer Reading List

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Summer Reading2015In high school and college I always looked forward to summer because that was the time when I would finally have a chance to read whatever I wanted. Of course, I was a nerd and some of those choices would include reading things like The Iliad and The Odyssey, twice, completely voluntarily, but still. It was my time to read whatever I chose.

Now that I’m not in school I can pretty much read whatever I want whenever I want, but I still look forward to summer and creating a summer reading list. Even though summer is really not much different than the rest of the year for me, it’s still exciting to come up with a list of books and a reading goal for the next three months. Maybe I’m just a really BIG nerd. (But I know I’m not the only one!)

Each year, however, I inevitably fail at reading all the books on my summer reading list. Usually because I’ve added too many books to the list and it’s just not possible to read them all. Sometimes it’s because I’ve gotten distracted by new releases and other titles that aren’t on my list. Occasionally it’s because now that I can read whatever I want throughout the year, summer becomes a down time from reading; it’s the time to be outside, hang out with friends, go on vacation, etc. and reading isn’t as high on the to do list as it might normally be. Once in a while it’s because I’ve decided to be pretentious about my summer reading list and add books like Great Expectations, The Aeneid, and Anna Karenina (someday I’ll finish those last 200 pages, I swear). However, each year I still start off the summer with my list of books to read, and each year I endeavor to cross off as many as I can.

This year my summer reading list is really a collection of books that I’ve had sitting on my to-read pile for several months but for one reason or another haven’t had a chance to get to them (probably because other books have caught my attention in the meantime). The photo you see above is probably less than 1/10 of my actual to-read pile, which is a bookshelf right next to my bed that has grown to include several piles in front of it. For some reason my to-read pile seems to grow faster than I can read through the books, I just can’t understand why. Surely it has nothing to do with my inability to resist buying books…

What you see in the picture above doesn’t even encompass my entire summer reading list, as I’ve added one or two books to it, plus there are several books on my list that haven’t even been published yet. Ernest Cline’s second novel, Armada will be released in July on the same day as the eagerly anticipated Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I also really want to read Stephen King’s Finders Keepers, which just came out yesterday, but first I need to read Mr. Mercedes and that’s a slippery slope. One book leads to another leads to another … this is why my to read pile never gets shorter.

Summer Reading ListAs you can see on the left, my summer reading list for this year is rather varied. To Kill a Mockingbird has been on my reading list since the sequel was announced, but I haven’t taken time to read it yet. I know To Kill a Mockingbird is a favorite for a lot of people, but I wasn’t a fan when I was forced to read it in high school. I suspect my opinion may be different now, which is one of the reasons I’ve been wanting to read it. Also because I’m looking forward to Go Set a Watchman.

I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, so I’m sure it’s no surprise that’s the genre most heavily represented on this list. I’ve been reading a lot of book lists about science fiction novels everyone should read and have determined to catch up on some of these great novels that I haven’t read until now. This is why I have Foundation, Old Man’s War and Neuromancer on the list. Other classics I haven’t read yet but plan to as soon as possible include Dune, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451. (No comments about how I managed to obtain a Master’s in English without ever having read anything by George Orwell, please.)

Along with those, a friend recommended I try The Belgariad series so another friend lent me her copy which includes the first three novels of the series. I promised to give it a try, and since I’d like to return the book within a reasonable amount of time I put it onto my summer reading list. A third individual has been trying to get me to read the Throne of Glass books for months, so I finally picked up the first one and intend to start it soon. Blood and Iron is the first book in a new series by Jon Sprunk and is the July book for my book club (he’ll also be at that meeting to talk about and sign the second book, Storm and Steel, so I want to make sure I’ve read the first). I’ve enjoyed some of his other writing, so I look forward to this one. Mort, which I am currently reading, is on the list as part of my attempt to finally read through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I’m sure it will take some time to get through all 40-some novels, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

You can see A Madness of Angels in the photo at the top, but not on the list because I’ve already crossed that one off. (Yay, progess!) You can read my thoughts on the book in this post from earlier this week. The fact that Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning is still on the list and hasn’t been read yet makes me sad. I really need to get on that. I was so excited about this book coming out, but just haven’t had time to get it read yet.

Cleopatra and Living History are on there as an attempt to add some diversity to my reading. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I try once in a while. I decided that there needed to be at least a little represented on this reading list. I’ve been meaning to read Cleopatra since it was first published, but never got around to it. Living History is my attempt to learn a little more about Hillary Clinton before we get fully into election season.

The Night Manager and Orphan Train may be seemingly the most random books on the list. The Night Manager has also been on my list for a while, ever since the series starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston was first announced. I’ve never read any of John Le Carre’s books, so I have no idea what to expect. Orphan Train is just one that I’ve seen around the bookstore a lot and was curious about. Kingdom of Scars by Eoin Macken may not be a familiar title to many, partly because it can currently only be purchased in the U.S. as an e-book, but I’ve been wanting to read it ever since it was published in the UK.

Finally, I have to have some graphic novels on this list. I have been very slowly catching up on The Walking Dead, but never seem to actually get there (I’ve been “slowly” reading them ever since the series premiered). I would like to at least get ahead of the show before it comes back, but I think they’re still several volumes ahead of me. I’ve also been taking forever to read through the Sandman graphic novels. Not because I don’t love them (I do) but they are an expensive investment and I like to buy the graphic novels I’m reading. (It’s a quirk of mine.) Now that I have a bookstore discount again hopefully I’ll be able to pick up the pace a little. I only have a few of the original Sandman volumes left. Jupiter’s Legacy is one that has been featured as a “Buyer’s Pick” at our store for weeks now, and every time I’m in there I pick it up and look at it. I finally bought a copy the other day because I’m curious.

So there’s my summer reading plan as it stands right now. I guarantee books will be added, and some I probably won’t get to as others become more interesting to me. I already have a few in the back of my mind that I’m probably going to plan to read as well before the summer is out. There’s just so many books to read, and not enough hours in the day to read them.

What are you planning to read this summer? Share your lists in the comments! Maybe I’ll have to add some of them to mine.

CJ’s Bookshelf: May Reads

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Is it really June already?!? How is that even possible?

May was a busy month. I took a short road trip to Philadelphia with friends to see Neil Gaiman speak (one of the highlights of my life) and then another to New York City to see Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which was fantastic. Between that and my continuing comic book obsession, I didn’t get as many novels read this month as I had hoped. Plus, one took me longer to read than I had been expecting. I have since limited my comic book reading to right before bed, so that I am only reading 3-4 issues per day. Although, this month the titles were a little more varied than last month’s all-Daredevil reading.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

neverwhereThis was the May book for my book club, and I was really excited because after seeing Neil Gaiman in person I was really in the mood to read anything and everything by him. Neverwhere has always been one of my favorites, and I think I enjoy it a little more each time I read it. I just love the way Gaiman takes things that are completely normal, and twists them just a little but to create the World Below in this novel. If you’ve never read anything by Gaiman, this is a terrific place to start. I would also recommend you trying the audio book, which is read by Gaiman himself, and Gaiman is a fantastic reader. I could sit and listen to him speak or read anything for hours. Another option for those interested is the radio play BBC Radio did a couple years ago, starring James McAvoy as Richard Mayhew; it’s an excellent adaptation of the book.

I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster

I already wrote an entire post sharing my thoughts on this book, so I won’t say much more, other than to reiterate that I really love her writing. And ever since I finished this book I’ve been obsessed with the idea of learning Italian and traveling to Italy on my own. I’m definitely going to have to make this happen someday.

A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin

Madness of AngelsKate Griffin is one of multiple pen names used by Claire North (which is also a pen name I believe) who is the author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Touch, which I read back in February. I had loved those books so much that I was curious what her other novels were like. A Madness of Angels is an Urban Fantasy novel about a sorcerer who had been murdered, then is resurrected two years later, but he doesn’t come back alone. The book is kind of a mixture of The Dresden Files (back when Harry had one of the Fallen trapped in his head), Neverwhere and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. I have actually been curious about this book since it’s publication – I had been working in a different bookstore back then and would pass it on the shelf and kept thinking I’d read it someday. Now that day has come and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I really enjoyed this book- the story was interesting and her magic system was different from what I’ve read so far. I really liked how closely the magic was tied to the life of the city and how it was pulled from normal things. But on the other hand, it took me forever to get into the book (I almost put it down in favor of other books several times just in the first 30 pages) and then it never became a book that I couldn’t put down. I also never became as attached to the main character as I am to Harry Dresden. But Griffin’s writing style continues to fascinate me – she does really unique things with her writing. In this case, the way she switched from singular to plural pronouns. At first it frustrated me because it seemed random and I didn’t understand the reason, but once I found the pattern and the background I was fascinated by how well she integrated the concept.

Ms. Marvel

I really want to read the current Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel books, but decided to start with the 2066 run of Ms. Marvel for some added background. There were some parts that I really enjoyed, but there seemed to be a lot of dropped plot threads once Secret Invasion and Dark Reign took place and that frustrates me. I don’t know if I just missed something along the way, or if something happened in another title I wasn’t reading, but there are several things I was waiting for pay off on that never seemed to come. Plus the story seemed to jump around a lot, especially between Secret Invasion and Dark Reign.

Secret Invasion

secret invasionOne thing I had forgotten (and I think I might have mentioned this before) is how much comics are tied together. In the last couple years most of my graphic novel reading had been Sandman, Fables, The Walking Dead – all titles that stand alone in their old worlds and aren’t affected by events elsewhere. The Marvel Universe isn’t like that, and it’s taking me a while to readjust to this. Plus, since I’ve still only read fairly recent titles there’s a lot of back story to all the Marvel titles that I’m not yet familiar with. Reading Secret Invasion (and the follow-up Dark Reign) has helped me fill in some of the blanks during my Daredevil reading. At least now I know how Norman Osborne came to be in charge of his own version of the Avengers (and how Bullseye ended up wearing Hawkeye’s costume).

Original Sin

I came to the Original Sin tie-in for Daredevil and decided I would just read the entire story to help understand what was happening – plus I knew this was last summer’s big event in the Marvel Universe. It never ceases to amaze me in these comics now no one ever really trusts anyone else. They fight side by side when necessary, but they’re also very quick to believe the worst when it comes to that. Of course, characters like Nick Fury are hard to trust because he never tells anyone the whole story. I thought the story was interesting, and reading it finally helped me understood what led to Thor losing control of Mjolnir.

And there’s what I was reading in May. My current reads include (a few have been on the list for a while because they got displaced by other titles):

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Civil War (Marvel) by various writers and artists

And my upcoming reads include (Subject to change based on whim and mood):

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

If you’re interested in staying up-to-date on what books I’m reading you can also find me on Goodreads.

CBS’ Supergirl Pilot, Or, 101 Ways Not to Say Superman

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Supergirl

I may have already found my favorite new series for Fall 2015.

When I heard the Supergirl pilot had been leaked I was immediately intrigued. This is one of the new series I’m most excited about next fall, and I can’t wait to see what the show is like. I tried to be patient and respect the cast and crew by waiting (as I’ve done before for similar leaks of Game of Thrones, Teen Wolf and Doctor Who) but ultimately I couldn’t resist – I needed to know if the show was going to live up to my hopes. I justified my curiosity by promising to still watch the episode live when it premieres in November (that’s 6 months away! I’ll definitely need to refresh my memory by then) and encourage as many people as I can to give it a chance when it finally premieres.

A few weeks ago when the first trailer for Supergirl was released, there was a lot of positive feedback, but also a lot of criticism. I personally was very excited after the first trailer – I cannot wait to finally have a superhero show starring a female superhero. I think The Mary Sue argues my thoughts better than I could when it comes to the criticism and all the people who are comparing the original trailer to the Black Widow Saturday Night Live sketch. I honestly don’t understand why people think a female superhero can’t be the least bit girly. I love Black Widow; I love that she’s strong and independent and not girly – but that doesn’t mean that strong independent women should never be girly. I appreciate that Supergirl is a girl and occasionally acts like one. She freaks out about what to wear on dates, she gets a little tongue-tied when meeting her hot new co-worker for the first time. We all do that at some point, it doesn’t lessen who we are or diminish our strength. I’m hoping maybe Supergirl will be able to show us that you can be a girl and awesome at the same time.

But enough of that soap box. Let’s get to what you really want to know – what did I think of the pilot?

I am going to make this as spoiler-free as possible, because I don’t want to ruin it for the five people who haven’t downloaded and watched already. (By the way, if you’re waiting until fall to view it, I admire and respect your willpower.) I really enjoyed this episode, and it made me even more excited about the series. It’s definitely a pilot in that there’s a lot to introduce and set up, but I think they did a fairly good job of balancing things out (and I’ve definitely seen far worse pilots that have gone on to become great shows). Also, for those who hated the trailer (though I still don’t understand why) you may be relieved to know that most of those type of scenes were what you saw in the trailer. The rest of the episode has more substance to it.

I enjoyed Melissa Benoist as Kara. She may be a little dorky and awkward, but so am I. The fact that Kara is a bit of a dork, but is also a superhero made me love her even more because I can identify with her more human qualities. I also loved that while she’s beautiful, she looks like a normal girl, not an anorexic supermodel, the way so many female superheroes are depicted in comics. This is definitely someone younger girls can look up to and with whom older girls can empathize.

The supporting cast and characters were enjoyable as well. Kara’s best friend Winn seemed a little bit of cliche (the one time when I can see arguments about the series being rom-com-esque being valid) so I’m hoping to see more character development there. Calista Flockhart was terrific. She may have been one of my favorite aspects of the pilot. I also really liked Jimmy – I mean James – Olsen. I was worried they would immediately try to set up a a romance between Kara and James, but it wasn’t left that way at the end of the pilot and I appreciated that.

I was also really excited about the final scene. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but if they’ve done what I think they have, it could potentially be awesome (though I’m sure countless fanboys everywhere will immediately and vehemently disagree).

If I had one complaint about the episode it would be the extraordinary lengths they went to in dialogue not to say the word “Superman.” He is very much a presence throughout the episode, with glimpses of him in the beginning and frequent references made to Metropolis’ hero, but never once was he actually name-dropped. He was referred to as the Man of Steel, but never Superman. I don’t know if this was a decision, or if they just cannot say his name, but I would think if it was because of the films there would have been a lot more restrictions, such as the use of “Kal El” and “Man of Steel” and other direct references. But no, just Superman appears to be embargoed.

The frequent use of the emphasized “HIM” (which was literally emphasized every time, to make sure everyone knew to whom they were referring) or “my/your cousin” when it wasn’t really natural in conversation became a little distracting (to the point where I considered counting how many times it happened). The emphasis also made it feel like Kara was constantly being compared to her more famous cousin – as though she couldn’t exist independently from him. Hopefully this isn’t a trend that continues – I expect her journey will include breaking out from her cousin’s shadow.

Update: It was brought to my attention that “Superman” was used once in the beginning of the episode, so I went back and rewatched and indeed, during Kara’s monologue she states that her cousin had already revealed himself as Superman before she arrived on Earth. However, this just makes me more annoyed with how far out of their way they went to avoid using Superman throughout the rest of the episode. If they could use it once, why not again? Not that I expect them to use it all the time, but one or two more times would have made it a little less awkward. I mean, if I’m talking to a friend about their cousin I use their cousin’s name; I don’t say “your cousin” unless I have absolutely no other name by which to refer to them. And the frequent Him still makes it sound like they’re emphasizing his gender or putting him on a pedestal above Kara. While my statement that they never use Superman may be technically inaccurate, I stand by my opinion that the constant avoidance was distracting and irritating.

Overall I think this was a solid start for the series and I can’t wait for fall to see where it goes from here. It’s not perfect – there a few things to smooth out (namely that rom-com feel that so many are concerned about and for crying out loud, if you’re not going to say Superman, then at least find more natural ways around it!) but keep in mind, Greg Berlanti‘s other DC creations, The Flash and Arrow, each had their own bumps in the first season, so I’m going to remain optimistic. For those waiting until fall to see the pilot, I think it’ll be worth the wait (and I hope you agree when you see it). For those who are as impatient as I am, and enjoyed the pilot as much as I did – don’t forget to watch again in the fall. The show won’t last long without ratings to back it up.

If you have already seen it, what did you think? Let me know in the comments! (Try to avoid spoilers for those who are patiently waiting until fall!)

And for those few who haven’t even seen the trailer yet, here you go:

Building a Comic Book Universe

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avengersOne of the things you may have noticed while visiting this blog is that I love Superheroes. In just about any shape or size. I’ll watch any film or TV show about them, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to do a lot of comic book reading, I am currently working my way through quite a bit of Marvel’s back catalog via their Unlimited service (which I highly recommend if you’re interested in reading a lot of the older comics).

One of the things I love most about Marvel films is the joined Marvel Cinematic Universe. When I first started realizing it was happening, I was so excited about the originality of the idea. To take so many different franchises and combine them into one universe – it was unheard of, yet made so much sense. I loved watching the films and picking out all the Easter Egg-type references to the other characters and movies. It also amazed me how long Marvel must have been planning this in order for it to work.

The world building within the MCU is one of the reasons large team movies like The Avengers are able to work. The audience has already been introduced to most of the characters in their separate movies (except for Hawkeye and Black Widow; when is that happening Marvel?) so there isn’t a lot of time needed to explain who these people are and where they’re coming from. Under normal circumstances putting that many stars and that many characters together shouldn’t have worked so well, but it did.

This is also one of the reasons I’m so nervous about the DC Universe films. They’re attempting to build their Cinematic Universe the exact opposite way and throw as many characters as they can into Batman v Superman and see what happens; the cinematic version of throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Even Suicide Squad could benefit from having a few of those characters show up in other films before all coming together at once. That’s a lot of stories to explain in just a two-hour period. I have some definite concerns about how it’ll all balance out.

flash arrowHowever, while I have concerns about DC’s big screen universe, they’re small screen universe on the CW has been expanding and appears to be doing everything correctly. While the MCU is definitely winning at the Box Office (in my opinion) I think they could learn a thing or two from DC as far as television goes. Don’t get me wrong – I love Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, but I love them in a completely different way from the way I love The Flash and ArrowS.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, while good shows, don’t necessarily feel like comic book shows at all while The Flash and Arrow are terrific examples of a comic book show done right. With the introduction of Daredevil on Netflix, I think Marvel is finally starting to learn what makes a good comic book show, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the Netflix shows fit together, and how they interact within the larger MCU.

I love The Flash and Arrow, because they understand the concept of how building the stories separately makes it that much better when the heroes do come together. One of my favorite aspects of these shows is how connected they are – and I’m looking forward to seeing the overlap with Legends of Tomorrow next year as well. So often when a show is spun off from a series you can easily forget that they’re technically still a part of the same world. I think there was one three-way crossover between CSI, CSI:NY and CSI: Miami in the entire time they were all on the air together. That’s boring. I want to see these characters talking to each other once in a while, consulting on cases, etc.

The team behind CW’s DC Universe understands this. There’s frequent reference to each other, and frequent crossover, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. I also loved the episode of The Flash when Joe and Cisco went to Starling City. That rarely happens in other crossovers. In the CSI franchise, on CSI the Miami team would come to Vegas and then on the next episode of CSI: Miami, just Grissom would go to Miami. I’ve never seen any of the Chicago shows, but I suspect they have a much better understanding of the crossover than CSI did as well. When shows are from the same world, you want to see them interacting and living in that same world, not just going through the motions.

With the introduction of Legends of Tomorrow, they will probably be going in reverse and taking already existing characters to create a new show, but that’s okay. Because those characters have already been introduced individually elsewhere, so like Avengers the show will most likely be focused on te team coming together. I suspect we’ll be seeing even more groundwork laid for the show throughout next fall, before the series premieres midseason.

I haven’t heard anything yet about crossover potential for Supergirl and the CW DC shows, but since they’re all DC and produced by Greg Berlanti you have to consider the possibility (also, CBS and CW are owned by the same company). I think it would be fun to see Barry Allen show up in Supergirl, or vice versa. I’m also extremely disappointed we’ll never see that Arrow/Constantine crossover that was supposedly being discussed by producers and writers. I think Gotham should remain it’s own entity, however. Partly because I was extremely disappointed in that show and felt it didn’t live up to it’s potential. It’s probably the weakest of the DC properties on television, in my opinion.

If DC took it’s time and built their Cinematic Universe more like they’re building the television universe, I would be a lot more excited about their upcoming slate of movies.