The results are in, and Batman V Superman is even darker than Man of Steel- which is ironic for a movie with the word ‘dawn’ in the title. If that’s your poison, then you’re in luck. Zack Snyder’s newest super outing gives you nearly three hours of bleak grimness to throw back.
But if you like your DC heroes with a better balance of dark serious business and fun, camp, and romance, I have great news: You have a lot of The Flash and Arrow to watch.
For the past few years, the CW’s ‘Arrowverse’ has taken a fun soap opera approaching to superheroes and vigilantes. While Agents of SHIELD is handicapped by its C-list cast being beholden to larger properties, DC took a rather novel approach and made Arrow and Flash the A-Listers of their own separate universe. There is no Batman and Superman: The speedster and the archer are their world’s finest.
As a result, they’ve been able to build a fun world that is an amalgamation of some of Batman’s underused adversaries, and the wider world of goofy DC stuff. Arrow is typically knee-deep in League of Assassin ninjas and grim guys that hate Arrow for origin related reasons, while the Flash is spending its weeks running against guys with guns that shoot cold and a guy named The Turtle. What I’m saying is you’re going to get a nice balance: if Arrow wallowing in brooding pathos is starting to wear on you, you can always switch over to Flash, because Flash is going to be defeating a giant man shark by running fast. What I’m saying is that the angsty bat guy gets balanced by the optimistic super guy. Why is this such a hard concept?
Both shows have cranked out a small army of fun supporting characters and villains (many of whom have lines and purpose, which DC on the big screen seems to still be trying to figure out). Sara Lance, Slade Wilson, Vixen, and Patty Spivot have all shipped their way into the Tumblr blog that’s inside the heart of every fan.
Neither show is perfect, but for the most part the episodes range from ‘that was fun!’down to ‘this was great to have on while I was cleaning,’ and for four seasons worth of two shows and a third time traveling spin off fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, that ain’t bad.
If you’re interested in dipping a toe in the pool, the episodes of Arrow that will get you the most abs and salmon ladder climbing for your buck are: League of Assassins, The Odyssey, Deathstoke and City of Blood. Want to try Flash on for size? Check out Grodd Lives, Going Rogue, Tricksters (featuring Mark Hamill!), and Out of Time.