So last weekend had this little superhero movie. Guy in a cape, guy dressed up like a bat, two-and-a-half hours of general suck, maybe you heard of it? Our dear TK, on the way to aneurysm city, called it a “boring … hopeless, hapless grind.” Batman and Superman teaming up can be (and in the comics has been) a lot of things, but it shouldn’t be boring, and it definitely shouldn’t be a grind. Even if they’re slugging it out while arguing over vastly differing viewpoints about fighting crime and the nature of man, god damn it, it should be fun. And for all that, Zack Snyder and the Warner Brothers movie folks are intentionally or willfully blind to this, maybe they should turn on their television, because their siblings over at Warner Brothers TV just showed them how to do it.
Last night saw TV’s the Flash guest appearing on TV’s Supergirl. and in all the ways Batman v Superman
Large Intestine Full of Feces Colon Dawn of Justice gave us nothing, last night’s Supergirl gave us exactly what we wanted. To be sure, this was no less a combination of fan service and marketing gimmick than its big-brother movie. In fact, when CBS announced that it was picking up Supergirl last fall, the TV execs were quick to make it very clear that this was as much a different TV universe as it was a different TV network. But the fans want what they want, nature abhors a corporate synergy vacuum, and The Flash has already established that the DC television universe follows the comics’ multiverse structure.
But this is where writer/producer Greg Berlanti and his team differ from Snyder and his helper monkeys. Snyder seemed content shoehorning his characters together, stripping them of the most fundamental aspects of their being, shrouding them in darkness, and pocketing our money. Berlanti’s team, meanwhile, stuck to the story they’ve been telling on Supergirl, and brought the Flash in at a moment when he could serve a legitimate character purpose. And then they sat down and asked what you might want to actually see in a meet up between the Flash and the Woman of Steel? You don’t really want to see conflict or fighting. And you definitely don’t want to see BS romance. You maybe want to see them have some discussions about their roles as superheroes. You probably want to see the two team up and use their powers to compliment each other. And you definitely want to see them race.
And that’s what we got. Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl) and Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash) have both been great on their respective shows, and here they played off each others’ strengths wonderfully, such that I almost want to see both shows permanently merged into a singular Worlds Finest. Zack Snyder has shown himself incapable or uninterested in anything other than snarls and rain and fights. What he fails to realize is that sometimes you just want to see super breath and hand generated wind cyclones or whatever the hell the Flash does. Sometimes you want to see two superheroes race. Sometimes you just want to see Supergirl giggle at how quickly the Flash was able to get a cone of ice cream. Yes, that is kind of stupid and silly (like both shows). But, like both shows, it’s also totally fun. And “fun” is something that Zack Snyder apparently wouldn’t know if it came up and bit him in his self-serious ass.