OpinionTVTV Review

DCTV: Aliens, Time Travel, and Angst

We’re just a few days off from the big DCTV Crossover, and man, it was enough to fulfill most nerd dreams. However, as awesome as it was, it deserves a little scrutiny.

First and foremost, I highly suggest everyone catch up on The Flash, at least. While this is a crossover for four different series, the plot threads in The Flash are a big deal, and may need to be caught up on before jumping into this.

The crossover supposedly starts with CW newcomer Supergirl, but while I heartily encourage all of you to watch the series, Supergirl doesn’t contribute much to the crossover save for a small bit. You’re better off refreshing your memory on how Barry and Kara met, back in Supergirl season one episode 18, ‘World’s Finest.’

CW invasion4
This looks like a job for Supergirl!

But yeah, The Flash is where the meat of the story really starts. A ship crashes into Central City to introduce the big bad of this four(ish)-parter: the Dominators. Barry very quickly realizes that he’s in over his head and starts recruiting; a quick jog over to Star City nets him the assistance of Team Arrow, a well placed message gets a hold of the time travelling crew of the Waverider, and a jaunt through the vibrational barriers nets Barry the assistance of Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl. Introductions are made, super-friendship is forged, and the action kicks off properly. Go on and watch it if you haven’t yet, it’s a lot of fun.

invasion1 The Flash

What I noticed about the crossover though, though I can’t quite say yet if this is a good thing, is that each part of the crossover distinctly feels like a part of their respective series. I’ll admit I was expecting a four part TV movie, but I’m not exactly disappointed. The Flash part pretty much banks on the problems Barry’s caused, but I’ll avoid getting into that much because spoilers. The Arrow bit runs us through a history of the series (flashbacking much, but it’s legitimately part of the plot, don’t worry) and has our heroes having a bit of introspection as is par for the course for Arrow.

Legends of Tomorrow has our heroes doing some time travel (addressing some problems from The Flash, and causing a couple more headaches in the plot) and can I just say how cool it is to see Vixen in the flesh? The animated webseries was great and all, but it is SO cool to see Vixen in live action. But anyway.

The wrap-up was a little anticlimactic and plothole-y for me, but given time and budget constraints, I could give it a pass. I really don’t know what it takes to achieve something of this scale across four shows; as far as I can remember, this is the first time I’ve seen something like this, and for the most part, I’m pretty satisfied.

Also, that Easter Egg. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen it, feel free to geek out about it with me in the comments below.

invasion2 Legends of Tomorrow
Steel, Vixen, and Heatwave of the Legends. It’s really nice to see less popular names on screen.

The crossover kinda suffers from bad writing, though. The dialogue can get hella bad, and the plot threads from the respective TV series feel kind of shoehorned; Supergirl thankfully escaped that trap, but it got kind of tedious on the other three shows, and I felt like this was time they could have better spent on dealing with the main problem. The angst got so thick at times that I had to stop myself from yelling at the screen ‘YES I GET IT YOU HAVE PROBLEMS PROCESSING YOUR FEELINGS GET OVER IT, YOU’RE BEING INVADED BY ALIENS’ because it got really, really tiring.

Also, I know Arrow‘s Ray Palmer tends to banter, but wow, that one liner during the fight. I nearly missed the rest of the action sequence because of all the facepalming.

By the way, for those comic fans who’ve read the older DC books, the overall plot of this might seem familiar; the conflict, the main villain, all definitely feel like Keith Giffen’s Invasion!, the 30-plus story title crossover DC pulled way back in the late 80’s. (The episodes are all titled ‘Invasion!‘ after all, but I personally didn’t make the connection until the last episode. Hehe.)

Small bit of trivia for you all, but this story’s what pretty much introduced the idea of the ‘metagene’ into DC Comics as an explanation for why some people get superpowers. As far as I’m concerned, they managed to condense it pretty well for the small screen. Also for the discerning eye, is it just me or do the Dominators even look like the old Todd McFarlane drawings?

Overall, while DCTV Invasion didn’t quite meet my expectations, it was still great fun, and hopefully sets the bar for future crossovers. It’s not quite on par with the DCAU’s Justice League of America, but not bad for a first foray into a massive team-up story. While the limitations of the format kind of bugged me, it’s not a bad attempt. It’s a step up from the Legends crossover from last season, and I’m definitely looking forward to future stories.

invasion3 CW Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow
It really bugs me that they’re slightly not balanced for the team shot.


Bitten by a radioactive ponkan, Orange now pretends he knows how to internet. Contributor and person who does the picture things for WAG.

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