The CW network has given us big time superheroes for prime time entertainment. The Arrow, Super Girl, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow have, for years, been doing what a lot of superhero movies have failed to do lately – provide cheesy, oddball entertainment that is not looked down upon by one section of the audience and defended by the rest.
Compared to the DCEU vs. MCU fan war, The CW’s monopoly over the small screen superhero genre is definitive and unanimous. CW has managed to bring together DC’s popular comic-book characters under one roof and created an intriguing universe comprising of 4 TV shows – Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl which CW bought the rights of from CBS network.
Every year CW hosts an annual crossover event where major characters from these shows come together and their stories converge at a particular time and setting. The good guys join forces to take on a larger enemy which can’t be defeated by Team Flash, Team Arrow or Legends alone.
For instance, the first time the threat came from Dominators, an alien species hell-bent on the destruction of meta-humans. This time the action took place on Earth-X where Nazis won the World War and are now plotting to conquer other Earths. Once again all the heroes came together and defeated their own evil doppelgangers.
CW is a hugely successful network and the place for all the DC fans to see their beloved superheroes. But the same cannot be said about the DCEU. Maybe we are being too harsh on it but it has certainly failed to meet gigantic expectations it aroused at the first place. Wonder Woman is the only saving grace of DCEU which set the box office on fire and is now the highest grossing DCEU movie ever poised to enter Billion dollar club.
The DC Extended Universe has failed to pick a right tone that balances between realism and insanity to entice the audiences for years. It still struggles when it comes to balancing the dark, gritty storylines with lightness and humor it so sorely lacked until Justice League and Wonder Woman were released.
Snyder’s vision turned DCEU into a masterpiece but left its fans extremely polarized. If further DC movies go down the same road as Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, then the DC Films would be in big, big, big trouble. They need to readjust, adapt and overcome.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe, on the other hand, knows what it is. It does not take its entire universe seriously and spoon feeds the plotline to the viewers leaving nothing to the imagination. It may be an archaic and obsolete mode of storytelling but it has worked wonders for the Marvel Studios.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the world’s most profitable franchise. They have ventured into the dark and gritty that the DCEU has mastered in but every time they do they fail miserably. The overlying and underlying criticism that always hovers above the MCU is evident – too much humor, too less relatability.
But the Arrowverse has been crystal clear on its objectives and obligations from the very beginning. It is not too light. It is not too dark. It is neither a Sith. Nor is it a Jedi. It is a major departure from DC comic-book universe which is replete with dark storylines and brooding characters. So what is it?
It is pure entertainment, cheesy, over the top, bloodless, not too gory PG 13 garden variety entertainment. It has been like this since its inception in The CW’s network and the eventually shared universe of superheroes.
Over the years, the Arrowverse – the term for The CW’s superhero universe, has given us several comic book moments. It is these moments that diehard fans look forward to in many of the shows’ episodes. It is time to add one more fanboy moment to the Arrowverse. And it is so insane you won’t even believe what’s coming.
The Flash is The CW’s most prized possession. The show is a heavy CGI laden roller coaster. Although the show’s emo Barry Allen does not bode well with some, it is overall a good show with decent enough ratings to be called a TRP monster. The show has attracted lot of eyeballs as Flash is one of the most beloved DC character. He is like Spiderman of DC in terms of fans craze for him.
Season 4 of The Flash has put Barry in the crosshairs of The Thinker – a super intelligent villain and the most formidable foe Barry has ever faced. The Thinker, realizing it can never outrun or outgun Barry Allen in a head-on fight, decided to outsmart Flash.
Fans are terming the battle as The Fastest Man Alive vs The Fastest Mind Alive. The show has explained his backstory and guess what he was also caught in particle accelerator explosion and since then became super intelligent meta-human who intend to solve everything wrong with the humanity.
He has help from his wife who is a brilliant scientist herself. She is actually “The Mechanic” who is another DC villain. She will be the right-hand person of “The Thinker”. Her character has been described as “the truest of true believers who’ll stop at nothing to help him implement his plan to fix humanity”.
The Thinker transferred his mind with the help of his wife from his dying body into a more suitable, stronger one. But the lifeless husk that was his old body was put to better use. He is 20 steps ahead of Team Flash and has shown them how pathetic their little plans are. They may have worked on Reverse Flash, Zoom or Savitar but Thinker is cut from different cloth.
He knows every move of Barry and he is ready to hit him where it hurts the most. Guess what, in the mid-season finale, Barry Allen is framed for a crime he did not commit just like his father as the dead body lies on the house floor with the murder weapon lodged in him containing his fingerprints. And who pulled this off? The Thinker duh..
As Barry decides to make a run for it to escape the cops, he realizes doing so he would become a fugitive and jeopardize his marriage with Iris West. He decides to let the police handcuff him. And thus begins the iconic Trial of the Flash storyline.
The CW has released the official synopsis for the episode:
“The Trial of The Flash”
“BARRY FIGHTS FOR HIS LIFE — As Barry’s (Grant Gustin) trial for the murder of Clifford DeVoe begins, Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) must decide how far they are willing to go to keep Barry out of prison. Philip Chipera directed the episode written by Lauren Certo & Kristen Kim (#410). Original airdate 1/16/2018.”
The Trial of the Flash is one of the most well-known storylines of The Scarlett Speedster. Although the arc involved the murder of Reverse Flash instead of the Thinker, it will nevertheless be exciting to watch the next episode. It was pretty much expected as it was hinted when Barry went into the speedforce but this is how it will arrive was least anticipated by fans.
The Flash Season 4 returns on January 16 at 8 P.M on The CW.