Part 1 — Supergirl: “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One” (December 8, 2019)
Part 2 — Batwoman: “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two” (December 9, 2019)
Part 3 — The Flash: “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three” (December 10, 2019)
Part 4 — Arrow: “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four” (January 14, 2020)
Part 5 — DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five” (January 14, 2020)
to mention a fair amount of preliminary/build-up over the current season, in Flash
and Arrow and presumably (I haven’t been watching it or Arrow), Supergirl.
particularly cool thing that the showrunners have done is that the events start
in the shows in “real time” — that is, the Flash episode premiering
on December 9, 2019 is taking place on “show calendar time” of December
CROSS-OVERS AND EVENTS: THEY’RE ESTABLISHED THINGS. “Cross-over events”
combine two of comic books — and, somewhat more recently (I think)
where characters from one title/”universe”/publisher visit another’s
— sometimes within the same publishing company, sometimes cross-publisher,
like when Marvel’s Punisher came to Riverdale in 1994, or DC/Marvel’s AMALGAM
these are within an existing title, sometimes a separate title, e.g. Batman and
the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniseries.
some overlap with the notion of team-ups (and “Vs”s), like Superman
and Batman, Flash and Green Lantern, JLA/Avengers, etc., and also with
“cameos” — guest appearances, like Don Rickles in two issues of Jimmy
Olsen during the 1970’s (part of Jack Kirby’s great Fourth World/New Gods
run). See “15
Unlikely Comic Book Crossovers (That Actually Happened)” at Newsarama.
Dynamite Comics has lots of great cross-over comics. ‘Nuff said!)
for more crossover listings and info, feel free — after you are done with this
scroll — hop over to
typically refers to a big plot with lots of action, sub-plot, interaction,
reveals, and whatnot. Some events are strictly within a title or (main)
character, e.g., “Death of Superman,” Spider-Man Clone Conspiracy.
Others span lots of titles, characters, and even times and universes/realities,
e.g. Marvel’s Civil War and House of M, and, well, DC’s various
TV DOES CROSS-OVERS AND EVENTS, TOO. TV, increasingly, is doing this.
Back in 1967, the Batman and Green Hornet TV shows had a
cross-over episode (“A Piece of the Action”). A decade before that, I
Love Lucy had a “Lucy and Superman” “Lucy
and Superman” episode.
Flavorwire (“10 Great TV Crossover Episodes”) I just learned
the St, Elsewhere cross-overs included a visit to Cheers
(“…Turns out that Norm is Dr. Auschlander’s former accountant and Carla
gave birth to her last child in the St. Elsewhere hospital…”). Homicide:
Life on the Streets crossed over with Law & Order.
DC DOES CRISES. For DC Comics, “Crises” and other events often do
“housecleaning” — condensing multiple “universes,” in
particular, multiple versions of characters. That’s what DC did in their first
Crisis, Crisis on Infinite Earths by
Marv Wolfman and George Perez, in the mid-1980’s. (I believe I still have all my
original copies of the mini-series and the tie-in issues.)
did this, too, in one of their (over)big events.) This doesn’t, IMHO, always
work well; it feels to me like we go from clear, well-delineated parallel
realities with the opportunity for world-hopping visits to one world with often-arbitrary
who’s left’s and/or multiples, e.g., ya got both Peter Parker AND Miles
Morales. (Yes, I know, that’s Marvel, not DC.)
problem is, the simplification never lasts long. But that’s another article/rant.
INFINITE CAMEOS? NOT A CRISIS. DC-on-WB began to give us an inkling/sowed the seeds early on in
this Flash series, with the Gideon computer room periodically showing
Early Edition-class “future headlines” of Flash dying in the Crisis.
then, warming my fan heart, a season or so later IIRC, an episode opening with
the simple caption, “Earth-2” (or something like that).
we’ve been teased with multi-verse cross-overs and changing Gideon headlines
and Monitor pop-up appearances for well over a year now.
per this year’s Arrowverse cross-over event is battling the Anti-Monitor
and (hopefully) preventing the collapse/death/whatever of the multiverse (the
“infinite Earths”), the really fun part is the lengths the showrunners
and network have gone to bring in/back characters from past episodes and other
shows, and the actors who have played them, or had other roles.
example, Black Lightning, whose eponymous WB series was not necessarily part of
“the Arrowverse” (although, given we’ve got a multiverse, that’s
easily finessed, I assume).
as with last year’s intro of Batwoman, we are getting an, ahem, harbinger of
upcoming shows, with Stargirl. (Harbinger is an established Crisis character,
hence my “ahem.”)
notably, Kevin Conroy, best known as the voice of Batman in the animated Batman
Beyond (and other animated shows), showing up as Bruce Wayne. Lots of people
are excited about this.
Routh will have two roles: as Legend’s Ray Palmer/The Atom, and also as
(one of the) Clark Kent/Superman’s (men).
other CK/S is being played by one of the Smallville alums: Tom Welling.
Burt Ward, who played Robin to Adam West’s Batman, playing… “Burt Ward
MY CROSS-OVER/CAMEO SUGGESTIONS AND HOPES THAT I DOUBT WILL BE
already an impressive list and effort.
y’know, particularly given the multiverse aspects of this event, why stop
there? Here’s my suggestions, which, granted, it’s likely too late to be done,
for a few more, perhaps done as a quick-cut montage or two (using the same
logic that let the pirates in the Pirates of Penzance movie overflow
into a production of HMS Pinafore):
Batman Legoverse. I consider the Batman LEGO movie the best Batman movie
to date, and tied with Into the Spider-Verse for best superhero/comic
Not provably connected to the DC multiverse, but it’s on the same TV network,
which should be equivalent in terms of connectivity.
Penn & Teller’s Fool Us: Masters of Illusion. The first because it
would be great to see P&T do some super magic, the second because it’s
hosted by Dean Cain (who was Superman in The Adventures of Lois and Clark,
and Supergirl’s dad in the current Supergirl show).
o Burden of Truth. Since the protagonist is played by Kristen Kreuk, who was Lana Lang on Smallville.
o Nancy Drew (for detecting) and Katy Keene (can work with Black Lightning’s spy/tailor/costumer Gambi)
o And if they could shim in from DC’s own streamingverse, the Titans (Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing, Donna Troy/Wonder Girl, Garth/Aqualad, Gar Logan/Beast Boy, Kory/Starfire, Hawk’n’Dove, Jason Todd/Robin, Conner/Superboy, Rachel/Raven, Rose & Jericho, Krypto), and The Doom Patrol.
o Lorelei and Rory Gilmore
o The Buffy and Scooby-Doo gangs.
o And oh yeah, that’s right — the good guys from Gotham.
TO KNOW MORE BEFORE (OR AFTER) THE FUN STARTS? There is, unsurprisingly, no
shortage of (other) articles and videos for this fast-approaching TV cross-over
event, ranging from “helpful stuff to know from comics history and these
shows” to character and plot analyses of the trailers and other publicity.
Here’s a few:
For a man known for his exquisite paintings, this is quite possibly his single most famous piece… the artist’s “Mona Lisa”… the enigmatic, beloved, and often imitated “Egyptian Queen” herself, a haunting image that legions of admirers have returned to time and time again…
(2) FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS
MAY 4. Free Comic Book Day is just around the corner, and Marvel is ready
Free Comic Book Day 2019 is the perfect chance to dive deep into the Marvel Universe with new stories and exciting adventures alongside some of Marvel’s most acclaimed creators – and this year, Marvel is bringing you the biggest and boldest stories yet!
In FCBD Avengers #1, industry superstars Jason Aaron and Stefano Caselli spin in all-new tale for Marvel’s main Avengers series, while Savage Avengers, from Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato, creates one of the most dynamic, and deadly versions of the Avengers ever!
In FCBD Spider-Man #1, creators Tom Taylor, Saladin Ahmed, and Cory Smith take the superstar heroes of the Spider-Verse in a shocking new direction, with a story that will build to one of Marvel’s most fantastic and epic tales! Meanwhile, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman remind us that “everyone is a target” by bringing absolute terror to the pages of this year’s FCBD with a prelude to Absolute Carnage – the most fearsome event in the Marvel Universe!
Both FCBD Avengers #1 and FCBD Spider-Man #1 are available in comic stores everywhere on May 4th. In addition to the comic, select retailers will receive FREE Avengers promo buttons highlighting the dynamic and stunning cover art from FCBD Avengers #1 by Ed McGuinness, available while supplies last!
…While Winters and Jameson’s characters already know the cause of the apocalypse, such a search combined with a detective story is contained in Tom Sweterlitsch’s The Gone World. His detective is Shannon Moss, an investigator with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) who, in order to solve the 1997 murder of the entire family of a Navy SEAL, travels through time to find an answer. But what Moss and other time travelers discover, however, is that the earth will face complete destruction in several centuries. What becomes gradually worse is that with each trip into the future, the date of earth’s destruction moves closer in time until in 1997, that destruction has become imminent. Moss must solve the murders while also solving the problem of the encroaching apocalypse.
…But Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will continue – with new instalments of Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy already confirmed; and a new configuration of The Avengers almost a certainty.
If you somehow end up in the directors’ chair, how should you prepare? Here are 11 key lessons from the people who made the originals.
This article does not contain spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, but will discuss plot details from the preceding films.
1) Start out on a TV show
All three directors of The Avengers made their names in TV. Joss Whedon created Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly; while the Russo brothers worked on cult comedies Community and Arrested Development.
Those experiences were invaluable when it came to wrangling a cast of more than 20 characters, “because they are all ensemble shows,” says Joe Russo.
“Those were shows that had to be executed in 21 minutes, they had to be funny, and they had to have a plot. And sometimes, like in an episode of Community, you’d have 30 speaking parts – so that’s an exercise that certainly trained you in trying to contain as many characters as we do in two hours.”
“We’re drawn to multiple points of view and group dynamics, because we grew up in a very large Italian-American family,” adds Anthony, “so we’ve always loved working with ensembles.”
…So now we come back to the issue of querying. In the publishing world, we’re eager to read stories with the #OwnVoices label—this means that these stories are written about marginalized people by a person who shares that marginalization. Because of the choices I made, I do specify that one of my characters is queer, but I do not claim that it is an #OwnVoices story.
This week, though, I got an email reply to one of my queries in a day. Here’s what it said:
Are you gay, like your character?”
And then his email signature.
I had actually never been asked that before, and I didn’t know how to respond. My queer characters are two preteens from the turn of the century in Ireland, so our experiences are definitely not the same. But the timespan from writing the first line of my book I’m querying to now has been a full 15 months, and I am ready to get out of the querying trenches. So instead of ignoring him, or telling him to go fly a kite, like I probably should have, I answered, taking a chance that he’d understand. I told him I was bisexual, and so was someone else in my life whom I really loved, and that seeing more LGBTQ+ characters in media, I believe would have really helped both of us growing up. I was honest about being married to a man. I told him that I’d had a sensitivity reader, an openly gay man, go though certain passages to make sure I wasn’t being unintentionally insensitive. Everything else I kept guarded, because I didn’t really want to recount my entire queer resume, nor answer for the choices I made almost a decade ago.
He responded in about an hour:
“Thanks for the clarification. Publishing culture is in such a PC time right now, so I really think this should be #ownvoices. Hope another agent feels differently.
His email signature again.
Cue up that existential crisis.
I’m very fortunate in that I have access to an incredible group of querying and agented authors to talk me through it, queer friends to be angry for me, and a book that I’m genuinely proud of. My first thought was in gratitude for these things: if this was going to happen to anyone, I figured, it might as well have happened to me. But then I realized: if the publishing world is policing my #ownvocies story (even though I don’t claim that label) they’re policing others, too.
There are many of us who walk the line between orientation, races, nationalities, religions, cultures, and more. You wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell just by looking at their (perfect!) website photos and reading a bio. I like #OwnVoices stories, and I pride myself on reading them and promoting them, but what if an unintended consequence of this label is stopping genuine stories from being read? Are unrepresented authors really supposed to parade around our pain just for the sake of getting published?
How did you move between theater, music, and writing?
For a long time I thought that I had to choose one. I even had people in my life say to me, you have to choose a direction. But after a while, I realized that they were all the same thing. They were all different modes of telling a story. I always felt a little jealous that visual artists could choose the tool, pencil, pastel, water color, oils, ink, etc, to draw their picture. But it struck me at some point in my thirties that a song, a comic, a play, a movie, a novel, a libretto are also tools. And whichever one you use to tell your story colors the way that it’s told.
Why do you find writing more satisfactory than the other things you have done?
Writing is more satisfying because it’s the spark that can billow out into any other art form. It’s the big bang….
The nurses attending to an 88-year-old hospice patient regarded her request as her last wish: she wanted to watch the third episode of the current season of “Game of Thrones,” on Sunday, and maybe even meet a character from the show.
Claire Walton’s caretakers at HopeHealth in Providence tapped their network to make contact with members of the cast, who sent thoughtful greetings and best wishes to the lifelong Rhode Island resident.
[…] A total of 10 actors, including Liam Cunningham, who plays a lead character, Ser Davos, sent along good tidings, according to a spokeswoman for HopeHealth, Victoria Vichroski.
(8) PETER MAYHEW OBIT.
Actor Peter Mayhew, who gained fame playing Chewbacca in Star Wars movies, died April 30 at the age of 74. Jason Joiner of
Joiner Archive paid tribute —
…Peter loved playing Chewbacca as he could put away his shyness and become a roaring Wookiee when he needed to be. Meeting fans and especially the children that were into Star Wars and seeing the magic in their eyes when they got to meet Peter was something that drove him to attend public events and Comic Cons across the globe, which he continued to do up until last week. As time went on Peter was finding it harder to take on the filming commitments of Chewbacca and even though you could never replace Peter he saw Chewie live on in the way that actor Ian Whyte played the character as Peter’s Stunt Double in The Force Awakens. Ian cared about how Peter portrayed Chewie and understood that Chewie was Peter and so he watched him and learned to become Peter as Chewie. Peter felt that the character was safe for future generations of Star Wars fans with Ian’s insight and care. At 74 Peter lived to a great age for someone of his stature and this was down to the people that loved and helped him so much day to day as he grew older. Peter married his wife Angie in 1999 and from that time Peter has had a partner in life that he could share his amazing adventures and travel with. Later on Katie and Ryan, his children, also helped to enable Peter to keep on the road and attend the events he so loved to visit. In 2016 Peter set up The Peter Mayhew Foundation, a non-profit organisation devoted to the alleviation of disease, pain, suffering and the financial toll brought on by lives traumatic events. By providing its available resources directly to deserving children and adults in need, the foundation assist numerous charitable organisations in order to promote and boost their effectiveness and provide support where needed. On a personal note Peter was a wonderful and kind hearted friend.
(9) MARK GREYLAND OBIT. Mark
Greyland, son of Marion Zimmer Bradley, died unexpectedly on May 1 reports
Diana Paxson. He was a well-regarded artist who specialized in computer-generated fractal designs. He
made news in 2014 when he corroborated his sister Moira’s account of their
abuse by Bradley and her husband Walter Breen in an
interview published by Starfire Studio.
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY
May 2, 2008 — Iron Man premiered on this day
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born May 2, 1890 — E. E. “Doc” Smith. Best known for the Lensman and Skylark series. I note that multiple sources say he is called the father of space opera. Is he indeed that? Another author I know I’ve read but would be hard pressed to say exactly what I’ve read of. (Died 1965.)
Born May 2, 1921 — Satyajit Ray. His Professor Trilokeshwar Shonku stories , throughly throughly Hindi, is based on a character created by Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger. You can find most of his fiction translated into English in Exploits of Professor Shonku: The Diary of a Space Traveller and Other Stories (Satyajit Ray and Gopa Majumdar). (Died 1992)
Born May 2, 1924 — Theodore Bikel. He was on Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s fourth season in order to play the foster parent to Worf in the “Family” episode, as CPO Sergey Rozhenko, ret.. That and playing Lenonn in Babylon 5: In the Beginning are the roles I want to note. Well there is one minor other role he did — he voiced Aragon in a certain The Return of the King. (Died 2015.)
Born May 2, 1925 — John Neville. I’ve mentioned before that Kage considered Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to be one of her favourite films and John Neville was one of the reasons that she did so. You can read her review here. Among his other genre roles, Neville had a prominent recurring role in The X-Files as The Well Manicured Man. And he showed up playing Sir Isaac Newton on The Next Generation in the “Descent” episode. (Died 2011.)
Born May 2, 1946 — Leslie S. Klinger, 73. He is a noted literary editor and annotator of classic genre fiction. He is the editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, a three-volume edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes fiction with extensive annotations, and an introduction by John le Carré. I’d also like to single out him for his The Annotated Sandman, Vol. 1, The New Annotated Frankenstein and The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft.
Born May 2, 1972 — Dwayne Johnson, 47. Ok I wasn’t going to include him until stumbled across the the fact that he’d been on Star Trek: Voyager as The Champion in the “Tsunkatse” episode. Who saw him there? Of course, it’s not his only genre role as he was the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns, played Agent 23 in Get Smart, voiced Captain Charles T. Baker In Planet 51, was the tooth fairy in, errr, the Tooth Fairy, was Hank Parsons in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, was Roadblock in G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Anyone watch these?), was a very buff Hercules in Hercules, voiced Maui in Moana, was Dr. Smolder Bravestone in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (not on my bucket list) and was one of the Executive Producers of Shazam! which gets a Huh from me.
The jawbone of a little-known form of ancient human has been discovered in western China. Scientists say these people lived as long as 150,000 years ago, and they were part of a group called Denisovans.
The Denisovans are a mystery. Up until now, their only remains — a few bone fragments and teeth — came from a cave called Denisova in Siberia.
In 2010, scientists concluded from those fragments and their DNA that Denisovans were slightly different from us — Homo sapiens — and slightly different from Neanderthals, but that they lived contemporaneously. In short, they were a third kind of human.
What those researchers didn’t know in 2010 was that 30 years earlier, a Tibetan monk had found part of a jawbone in a cave on the Tibetan Plateau, home of the Himalayas. He gave it to the Sixth Living Buddha, a holy man there, who passed it on to scientists. They started studying the piece of bone nine years ago. Now they say that it, too, is Denisovan.
…So apparently, some early Denisovans lived on the Tibetan Plateau a long time ago; the jaw is 160,000 years old. They developed the low-oxygen trait, and then at some point passed it on to humans.
…Co-author Jean Jacques Hublin, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said finding evidence of an ancient – or archaic – species of human living at such high elevations was a surprise.
“When we deal with ‘archaic hominins’ – Neanderthals, Denisovans, early forms of Homo sapiens – it’s clear that these hominins were limited in their capabilities to dwell in extreme environments.
“If you look at the situation in Europe, we have a lot of Neanderthal sites and people have been studying these sites for a century-and-a-half now.
“The highest sites we have are at 2,000m altitude. There are not many, and they are clearly sites where these Neanderthals used to go in summer, probably for special hunts. But otherwise, we don’t have these types of sites.”
…But the most popular baby name associated with “Game of Thrones” appears to be Arya. It’s not clear how much the show has to do with that; variations of Arya have been around long before the book came out (in India, Indonesia and Iran, for example). But Arya did not break into the top 1,000 names in the U.S. until 2010, and instances of the name before then appear to be mostly for boys. Since 2010, Arya has steadily risen in popularity to 135th place, with 2,156 babies born in 2017 taking the name.
…Also cropping up on birth certificates is Daenerys, which is less popular than Khaleesi despite the fact that it is that character’s given name. The year 2017 also saw the arrival of 20 Sansas, 11 Cerseis, 55 Tyrions and 23 Theons in the United States. Pet parents are joining the trend, too, with dogs named “Jorah Mormutt,” Asha and Tyrion, and cats called Lady and Drogo.
In 1926, the yearbook of the Swedish Tourism Association described the village of Älvdalen as “a community with a dark insular spirit” where locals were “shadowed by distrust and unease”. It was there in 1668 that the Swedish witch-hunts began, resulting in the execution of 19 girls and one man suspected of occult practices.
Today, Älvdalen, in the west of Sweden, still has its own language, Elfdalian, which has been traced back to Old Norse, the tongue of the Vikings….
When Burt Ward landed the role of Robin, the Boy Wonder, on Batman back in 1965, he beat out more than 1100 other actors who’d tried out for the part. But as far as the producers were concerned, Ward, just being himself, was the Boy Wonder….
(19) OBSEQUIES. For no
particular reason, this might be a good week to remember Saturday Night Live’s sketch “Superman’s Funeral.”
Jimmy Olsen (Rob Schneider) greets superheroes and super villains from DC and Marvel come to mourn Superman at his funeral. But obscure hero Black Lightning (Sinbad) is turned away when no one recognizes him. [Season 18, 1992]
Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Mlex, Chip
Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and
Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]