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Three cool pieces of news

September 28, 2014
So, who the hell is this guy?

So, who the hell is this guy?

I know I don’t post anywhere near as many news stories on Fantastic Television as I would like to so, with three significant pieces of genre TV news I figured now was a good time to make up for that.

The first is actually more of an opinion piece on my part than an actual news story, per se. For those who gave up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last year (and I honestly can’t fault anyone for doing so) you may want to give the show a second chance. The season two first episode aired last Tuesday on ABC and it was pretty impressive. How impressive I hear you ask? (In my overactive imagination.) Well, how about the episode starting during the Second World War with Agent Carter and the Howling Commandos? We then jump to modern times seeing the state of the new and not-so-improved S.H.I.E.L.D. which is now under director Coulson. As if rebuilding the organization and fighting Hydra and other threats wasn’t enough, there is now a US general named Talbot who is intent on bringing them down as well. He also isn’t afraid to go on national TV to deliver his message. Oh yeah, then there is this new Hydra operative named Carl Creed whose name I couldn’t quite place until I used the Ipod to refresh my memory that he is better known as the Absorbing Man. For those unfamiliar with that name, he is a major player villain in the Marvel universe. There is no shortage of action mixed in with some equally awesome character development. Don’t worry about what you may have missed as the episode is very much a new pilot for the series and they do a good job of catching you up throughout the episode. If you’ve seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier you know a good percentage of what you need to anyway. The show definitely had more of the feel of the Marvel movie franchise to it so, give it a look. Hopefully, the rest of this season will continue to do so.

The second piece of news is that SyFy announced the renewal of Defiance for a third season. Surprisingly, at least to me, is that they also renewed Dominion for a second season as well so, I guess we haven’t exceeded the apocalypse genre TV series limit yet. Actually, I really shouldn’t comment here as my sister got me to start going through The Leftovers recently. Getting back to Defiance, I haven’t said a great deal about this show because it had a somewhat slow start. I stuck with it because it’s done by the same producer who gave us Farscape also which took awhile to get rolling. However, the second season of the series really started taking off around the third episode and really picked up steam towards the end. Season two ended with some seriously game changing events so, I’m really looking forward to what will happen with season three. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, season one is available on DVD and season two is on Hulu.

Finally, it was announced, actually it was more like people figured out, that Firestorm is likely to make an appearance in The Flash. Firestorm, the nuclear man, was the one comic that along with the New Teen Titans got me back into reading DC comics from an exclusively Marvel diet. Oh yeah, that reminds me that TNT has commissioned a pilot for a live action Teen Titans series in case anybody missed that. OK, so this really is a three news story post after all. Getting back to Firestorm, there was a brief period starting in 1975 where DC did something called the DC Explosion to try and increase their market sales. This resulted in a number of new characters being created, one of which was Firestorm. In 1978 this was followed by what is now called the DC Implosion where they decided that the plan wasn’t paying off and cancelled a bunch of titles. Firestorm would ultimately return in 1982 for a much longer run. On a purely personality level, I like to think of Firestorm as DC’s version of Spiderman in that you have a teenager who relishes the super powers he has recently acquired. If I recall correctly the first scene we get in one of the two first issues is him flying through the air screaming “Yahoo!”. The comic tended to be on the lighter side of superheroing with a reasonable amount of humor. On the power level the character is completely different than Spiderman. Firestorm, at least the first two versions that I read, can see matter at the atomic level and can freely rearrange it at will making him a sort of super alchemist. Except for organic matter that is, he can only effect inorganic matter. I’m actually kind of curious to see just how he gets incorporated into The Flash for a couple of reasons. First, based purely upon the tone of Arrow here, the character is a little too bright and cheery for that series. I’m guessing the tone of The Flash is going to be a little less dark based on this character’s inclusion. The second, and bigger problem, is part of Firestorm’s powers. The Arrow writers seem to put a lot of thought into how their super powered being work with a definite emphasis on believability. Firestorm’s powers aren’t so much the problem as they are pretty well defined but, what I neglected to mention above is his origin. He isn’t really just Ronnie Raymond. He was created as the result of an experimental reactor accident where the scientist Martin Stein tried to shield Ronnie with his body. The explosion fused the two of them into Firestorm so, the two of them actually fuse together (fusion, get it?) to form Firestorm. Ronnie actually controls Firestorm, for the most part, while Stein is sort of an on-board adviser. It is written a lot cooler than I’m probably describing here but, the whole merging of two people was something that none of the series’ regular writers ever really explained that well so they did the classic comic book thing of never really going into any detail on it. I gather that the newest version of the character (DC recently restarted their universe for like the zillionth time with an event called the new 52) doesn’t actually do the whole fusion thing so, I’m going to hazard a guess that The Flash writers will skip that whole aspect of the character as well given their focus on plausibility. The short version of all this is that it gives me yet another reason to look forward to CW’s new superhero series..

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