Welcome to the weekly Super Hero Comic Book TV Power Rankings! In which every week I discuss and rank the weeks Superhero TV shows. This means shows like Flash, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Constantine and Gotham. Sorry Walking Dead fans but there are no Super Power elements in your show. Please feel free to comment and yell at me for what I did wrong or how off base I was with my rankings. I’ll see you in the comments
Also please note that this week was the mid-season finale of pretty much every Super Hero show except for Constantine. I will probably end up doing a specific Constantine write up in place of the Power Rankings. I know Powers is still coming but with no clear start date I am kind of left hanging in the wind. Agent Carter is also coming soon but until I have more than two shows to write about, this will be the end of Power Rankings until the schedule starts back up.
TLDR: I will be doing separate write ups for shows like Constantine and Powers but until there’s more shows back on the air the Power Ranking Format will be on Hiatus
Warning: Here be Spoilers
Arrow does what a lot of shows on this list can’t really do, which is make events feel special. Not just because a specific revelation is important or a character dies off, but because the show has actual history which is well earned and the viewers have been following these characters for three seasons that span multiple years. We are invested in what happens to Ollie and Diggle and Felicity and yes, even Laurel.
Ra’s al Ghul is tired of waiting for the Arrow to provide Sara’s killer and gives him 48 hours to find out who did it before they start taking innocent lives. So conveniently the their friends over at Central City finally get the DNA off the arrows that they needed since episode 1. What we find is that the DNA is a match to Ollies. Madness! Clearly Ollie didn’t commit these murders but the DNA is a match so that really only points to the only person living with Ollie’s DNA match, Thea Queen. Bu-Bu-BUT Thea was in Corto Maltese! I hear you yell. We find out that she had visited the city with her real father Malcolm Merlyn the day before Sara was killed. Bu-Bu-BUT Thea would never do that! I know! Which is why finding out that Thea was basically under hypnotic suggestion to kill Sara under her father’s orders makes sense. Is it the most satisfying answer in the world? No, its basically the Roy Harper cop out but it’s over and done and now we can move on. What does make it pretty great however, is the way Malcolm sells it when confronted. He was playing chess with people’s lives and no one even knew the game was being played. He hypnotizes Thea to kill Sara, which leaves him essentially in the clear murder-wise at least. He knows Olliver won’t turn his sister in and that his only real option is to take the blame and hope to beat Ra’s in one on one combat which would elimnate all living blood oaths including the one on Malcolm’s head. Even if he tells the truth about Malcolm Ra’s will want the actual killer executed. Slow Clap to Mr. Malcolm.
What follows is Olliver getting his affairs in order before he goes to fight to the death on a moutain top. He gets the basic ra-ra Go Arrow Go speech and we are all confident that he’s going to save the day and be a hero. That’s where expectations run full force and breaks it’s face into the wall that is reality. Ollie makes the climb, takes his shirt off and chooses his weapon. This is where we find that Ra’s al Ghul is no one to F@#k with. He proceeds to wipe the floor with Oliver and makes it look easy. That’s ok because Ollie is the hero and he will fight back and Go Arrow Go! Well he rallies a little bit but the Demons Head has been around for a long time and stabs Ollie through the chest and kicks him off a mountaintop…. Yup. Our mid season finale ends with the death of the main character. That’s pretty hardcore no matter which way you slice it. With that being said however there are two very important factors to consider. 1. This is a TV show with a lot left in the tank and 2. This is comic book territory through and through. Not only that, but we are dealing with a character in Ra’s al Ghul who epitomizes resurrection plots. Needless to say I am not worried. And on some level that kind of stinks. Sure I was surprised to see Arrow killed off like that but I know at the end of the day it’s all gonna be fine. What really matters at this point is how we get there.
Arrow legitimately shocks with it’s mid-season finale and we will have some interesting ground to cover when the show starts back up.
Agents of SHIELD
What They Become
There is almost nothing this mid-season finale does wrong. All season so far, there has been build up with the obelisk and Hydra and Skye’s father and Ward. This week all of this came to a head in an extremely satisfying and shocking way. I know thats hyperbolic of me to say but hear me out. The episode ends with the realization that the obelisk isn’t an obelisk at all. It’s a container for the Terrigen crystals. What these crystals do, is unlock the potential of a very select group of people and turn them into something more than human. What Agents of SHIELD actually did, ladies and gentlemen, is introduce the Inhumans to the MCU. That is a huge deal. Kevin Feige, told us that Agents was going to be important to the larger story being told by the Marvel Universe and we all kind of rolled our eyes and politely nodded our heads. The whole Hydra reveal in season 1 made some of us nervous because it felt like all this show was going to be was a dvd extra to the actual important events happening in the films. Well credit where credit is due I suppose, because this show just became mandatory viewing for those who feel like they need to know everything happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With all that gushing out of the way, let me get into the episode itself. The past few episodes have all felt like a part of on single episode. This is basically part 4 or 5 and it all came to a head here. Skye finally met her father and it went about as poorly as you could expect it to. Evil possessed Mac was still alive roaming the underground city (NOT Attilan btw). We actually start to feel kind of bad for Ward at this point. For as evil as he is, he definitely cares for Skye and she doesn’t make her disdain more clear by putting three slugs into him the very first chance she gets. Coulson and Skye’s father basically duel for parenting rights and the show mercifully cuts down on it’s core cast with the death of Tripp. It’s not that I don’t like the actor or even the character. It’s just that he along with a few other characters had basically nothing to do except for be a body in the background and I would rather them kill him for a cheap emotional scene than waste the viewers or the actor, B.J. Britt’s time.
The episode ends with both Skye and Raina becoming exposed to the Terrigen Crystal which turns into mist and them undergoing a transformation inside a cocoon.. What we see next is Skye showing some possible super powers concerning either earthquakes or even stone, and while we don’t get a full frontal, Raina looks to be a bit more beastly than she was before the exposure. All of which leads to a scene where we find out that there are more crystals around and definitely more Inhumans. Basically It’s the NIGHTBREED show that I’ve been secretly wanting my whole life.
Agent’s of SHIELD just became must watch TV for MCU fans and introducing the Inhumans adds a whole mess of possibilities.
The Man in the Yellow Suit
It’s Christmas time in Central city which always leads to two things. Egg nog and awkward “way too meaningful” gifts from a guy who’s “just a friend”. Guess which one Barry does?
There has got to be someone on this show who eventually tells Barry that Iris is not as clueless as he think she is and just is too nice to tell Barry “Thanks but no thanks.” Homeboy got her, a replica of her grandmother’s wedding band. If Barry Allen existed in another show as just a side character we would all be thinking the same thing… creepy stalker guy. Hell even Eddie, who by all accounts is a great guy, mentions that Barry’s gift is a little weird. Sorry Barry I’m team Eddie no matter what happens in the near future.
With his weekly creep moment out of the way we are allowed to enjoy what is otherwise a very cool episode. The “Yellow Streak” has surfaced and is running around being all awesome and snapping necks at superfast speed. Joe in a rare moment of weakness tells Barry that he has known about the Yellow Streak because he threatened Joe’s family if he looked any deeper into Barry’s father’s case. Bad form Joe, but it’s Christmas so I love you and never change.
The Yellow Streak has been stealing from Mercury labs which is a cute throwback to Jay Garrick the OG Flash in the comics. Dr. Wells is helping with the case for obvious reasons but it appears that he and Dr. Tina McGee have some sort of rivalry involving SCIENCE! So eventually they design a trap that involved a force field that can hold the Yellow Streak. They succeed in trapping him in a very cool scene which kind of blends the two different worlds of the Flash together. The science crew of Cisco, Caitlin and Dr. Wells. The Flash Taskforce with Joe West, and Eddie Thawne and the “Devil Himself” Reverse Flash. A very tense conversation follows but the field is failing which gives Reverse Flash enough time to escape only to pull Wells back into the shield with him and beat the everliving sh!t out of him. Seriously, this was far more graphic than I was expecting for a CW show that is one or two life lessons away from becoming a spiritual successor to Full House.
Barry makes the save as he faces off with Reverse Flash for the second time this episode. The first time didn’t work out so well for him and the second time goes even worse. Barry gets whipped six ways from Sunday and is pretty much finished until a timely save from Ronnie Raymond aka Firestorm? Oh yeah that Firestorm plot that was shoehorned into this episode where Caitlin meets Ronnie who screams and runs away after his face lights on fire. Then she lets Cisco meet Ronnie and they get the same reaction. Apparently Ronnie survived, which we found out a few episodes ago but he doesn’t seem to have any memory as to who he is except for vague feelings. For some reason Cisco and Caitlin decide not to bring this up to anyone during the whole Reverse Flash fiasco and then Ronnie shows up last minute to make a save for seemingly no reason. He doesn’t know who Barry is. If it were Caitlin in danger I could kind of see it, but he just shows up randomly and then flies away with a “don’t try and find me”. So the day is saved… Sort of. The Reverse Flash is still out there and Ronnie is off being a homeless man with fire for a face.
By the way Barry told Iris how he felt and she looks TOTALLY NON SHOCKED ABOUT IT. Which confirms that Iris is basically a huge B-word. He gets it out there though which is honestly refreshing. Now I don’t have to see Creepy Allen show up once a week and maybe he can be upfront about some things in the future. We also find out that Harrison Wells is EVIL. Well I mean MORE EVIL THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT. As he sort of reveals himself to be Reverse Flash as he busts out his trusty Flash ring that holds his costume. He says something creepy in Reverse Flash voice and we are all sorts of confused. So either there is some time travel F*ckary going on or Reverse Flash is MUCH faster than we originally thought and is able to occupy two spaces at the same time. And also his suit adds like 25 lbs of muscle to that small frame of Wells.
The mid season finale gave us a great look at one of the best rogues in the history of The Flash. Sadly it is held back by some nonsensical Firestorm garbage.
The Saint of Last Resorts
This weeks brings us probably the strongest episode of the show yet. A Feast of Friends had the “Constantine is a bastard” moment but this week takes his best trait and marries it with the the other strong elements of the show.
Anne Marie, an old friend/flame of John, calls him for help. She knew him from the Newcastle job and from before that. As per usual John can only work with one person from his personal trio and this week Chas gets the call. Normally this is a pain and shows lazy writing, but for once the show has something for the left out character. Zed’s father is looking for her and is trying to lure her out with his “children”. It looks as if Zed comes from some sort of cult background and her “family” is trying to get her back. So while Constantine is playing around in Mexico, Zed is off in the magic house avoiding crazy people Home Alone style. It’s fun, it’s moves her character along. No complaints.
On John’s end we find out that a demon is off stealing babies from a convent. Anne Marie has fled to Mexico and become a nun to “repent” for her sins and the ill-fated New Castle job. The impetus for the baby snatching is rather boring. Demons are targeting one specific family for a curse? Maybe? Honestly either they didn’t explain it well enough or it wasn’t interesting in the first place. Thankfully the events around the core plot are much more interesting. Anne Marie still pretty much hates John but she is desperate enough to ask him for help. They eventually find out the demon is working for ANOTHER demon and John stops the lackey demon with another demon. Who and which? I honestly couldn’t tell you either. Which is a problem, like a big problem. Shows like Buffy who had a new demon every week took time to explain who and what these things are with library books and sage British sounding advice. Constantine throws out a throw away line here and there but by game time, to the viewer it is “Fang lady” and “Pans Labrynth guy”. I guess this is a nit pick but I’ve seen it done better elsewhere.
This episode has a ton of cool visual stuff going on as well. The Magic House that is at has some real nasty things behind it’s doors. There is a tree that has fruit made of human skin which prompts the whole tree to weep blood. Even the monsters are inspired. Sure one looks like the scary thing from Pan’s Labrynth but it still looks scary.
The Saint of Last Resorts is the shows first two parter which may end up explaining some of my gripes in the second episode but all in all it uses it’s time well. Zed eventually gets caught by her persuers and is off to meet her father. John and Anne Marie find themselves trapped in a tunnel with the eyeless licker demon thing, and he has no idea how to stop it. Anne Marie repeats what John told her earlier, that they must do everything they can to save the innocent. So trapped in a sewer with two babies and a baby eating demon. She does the only thing she can. Shooting John and leaving him to hold off the monster. John actually looks impressed with her after she shoots him, which works so well with his character and we have to wait a week to see how it all plays out.
Constantine put out it’s best episode yet with this part one of two series.
Current Power Rankings
Agents of SHIELD (1) Previously (3)
Arrow (2) Previously (1 tied)
Constantine (3) Previously (4)
Flash (4) Previously (1 tied)