Let’s Talk Arrowverse – It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Spinoff!

The Arrowverse is coming back in full force now. This week Batwoman and Black Lightning were joined by newcomer Superman & Lois, and in just a couple days The Flash will return as well! We got a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.


  • Ryan’s self-righteous attitude this episode bugged me a lot. She’s not wrong to object to the Crows beating a prisoner for information or running down an art thief with an SUV, but it reeks of hypocrisy given Ryan was willing to starve that prisoner for information, and kicked that art thief off of fifteen-foot-high scaffolding (sure, he ended up being fine, but a fall like that could easily have broken his neck).
  • After so many stories that emphasized the Joker having no known name or other identity, I don’t know how to feel about this show leaning into the Jack Napier thing from 1989.
  • It was weird seeing Alice acting like a (mostly) normal person at the bar. Though, how’s she able to do that? Isn’t she a well-known local supervillain?

Black Lightning:

  • Jefferson, you dreamed about the man who killed your father, and who recently threatened to destroy everything you love, showing up in your house, taking away your family, and attacking you. I really don’t think you need an analysty to tell you what that dream meant.
  • It’s good to see underground cage fights are embracing Covid restrictions. Watching bare-knuckle beatdowns over Zoom is much healthier.
  • Tobias is doing that thing where he goes, “Sure, I could kill my archenemy, but it’s so much more satisfying to start small, jeopardize his job and his personal relationships, and slowly work up to that.” Lot of Arrowverse heroes seem to bring that out in their enemies.
  • So, that wedding. I’m sure it had plenty of setup the last couple seasons, but it was amusing how they managed to top the Olicity wedding for most rushed and no-frills ceremony.

Superman & Lois:

  • When this series was first announced, I was worried it would have a hard time distinguishing itself from Supergirl, given both heroes have basically the same costume, the exact same powers, largely the same origins, same day job, and even a lot of the same villains. Well, that concern was entirely unfounded!
  • With its wide aspect ratio and drench-everything-in-shadow-and-grey cinematography, this series looks like nothing else in the Arrowverse. The drabness could get wearying after a while, but I do like how there are moments where contrast with the dim aesthetic makes certain colors really pop.
  • Moreso than any of the other shows, this is really leaning into being a character drama first, with superheroics almost entirely on the sidelines. Small town family drama isn’t normally my television of choice, but we’ll see how things pan out once the heavy exposition of the pilot is over with.
  • Despite the somber tone, the show is refreshingly aware that Superman himself should be a bright, optimistic, and friendly character, and Tyler Hoechlin absolutely sells it. He gave just the perfect delivery of, “Thanks, my mom made it for me.”
  • I also like that such wildly divergent tones and styles can exist in the same shared universe. It’s fun to imagine these down-to-earth, small town ennui scenes happening in the same world where a giant Beebo can terrorize a city.
  • There are no direct references to other Arrowverse shows, but (like a lot of people) I suspect that “Captain Luthor” is an alternate universe version of Lex, another refugee from Crisis destroying the multiverse. Who knows, he may end up being a villainous take on Alexander Luthor from the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic.
  • Crisis is also used to alter various bits of Supergirl continuity that would have gotten in the way on this show: Clark and Lois got together and had kids much earlier, Morgan Edge and General Lane are recast, and the latter is much friendlier than in his Supergirl appearances (though he could always turn out to be a villain by season’s end, who knows).

Coming Attractions:

  • As mentioned, The Flash is returning this coming week. Given that Batwoman and Black Lightning are always pretty dark and heavy shows, and given Superman & Lois was a double-dose injection of somberness, I’m really looking forward to seeing a guy in a bright red suit use nonsense science to beat up talking gorillas.
  • Speaking of delightful nonsense, we’ve finally gotten a premiere date for Legends of Tomorrow Season 6! It will be returning to our television screens on Sunday, May 2nd. So just (just?) two months away!

Question of the Week: If you had to choose a song to represent an Arrowverse character, what tunes would you pick for each of ‘em?