SUPERHEROES OF STARLING CITY

Here is my post about superheroes. It does not discuss minorities, women, racial diversity, or any serious issues. It’s about superhero TV series’. I apologize for my shallowness, but I can’t get worked up about the larger cultural issues of super-heroism. So, in honor of this week’s Daily Prompt Discover challenge – Superhero …


All through the spring of this year, Garry and I were binge-watching DC comic book superhero shows. It started innocently enough, but developed into a full immersion. First, we dipped a toe in the waters and watched a single season of “The Flash.” We had three seasons of “Arrow” on Netflix, so we finished that. The next two seasons haven’t shown up, but I think we’ve probably had enough “Arrow.” For now.

Arrow-Ollie-3

Did I mention that we were already watching “Supergirl”? Not sure what city she is in, but obviously, it’s nearby. Not Gotham. Garry watches “Gotham” where baby Batman is learning to be super. It’s so confusing!

During the three Arrow seasons we watched, the show went from reasonably smart and witty, to All-Violence-All-the-Time. Oliver Queen, the not-very-secret superhero (who in Starling City doesn’t know he’s the Arrow?) seemed to be getting increasingly dumb. Maybe it’s all those explosions. Whatever.

Starling City 2

Ollie, or Oliver, aka The Arrow, wants nothing more than to protect his loved ones and what’s left of Starling City from (further) harm.

I grew up in New York which has a bad (undeserved) reputation as being particularly violent and crime-ridden. Then I lived for a decade in Jerusalem where, according to the news, terrorism rules. Then I came back to Boston where … well … y’know, there was Whitey Bulger and the Irish “mafia.” If you could take the dangers inherent in all the cities in which I’ve lived, added their crime rates together then multiplied by ten, you would not come close to the perils of living in Starling City for a week.

Those people should go live somewhere else. Between the crazed assassins roaming the streets with automatic weapons, biological onslaughts of epic proportions, and scientists with earthquake machines, At least a quarter of Starling City is leveled every episode. I’m surprised there’s any city left.

Arrow-1

Starling has been under continuous attack by evil overlords of every stripe. The League of Assassins. That weird Aussie who was Oliver’s friend on The Island, but took some drug and then hunted Oliver for killing someone he didn’t kill (someone else did it, but it’s complicated). Ollie’s mom was murdered. His father killed himself. His sister was murdered, but came back from the dead after Oliver agreed to become the new Demon Head of the League of Assassins (it’s very complicated). His girlfriend’s sister is currently dead, but I bet she’s coming back. She became an assassin, was briefly a superhero, and is now dead and buried, but on these shows? Who knows?

No one in this DC world stays dead, not even if you see their rotting corpse. Unless their contract with the network is finished, they WILL be back. Maybe with a different name as their own evil twin, but alive.

On the final show we watched last night, Ollie (the Arrow’s) friends are trying to rescue him (or escape?) from the secret, impregnable castle of the ultra-dangerous bad guys and Felicity (don’t worry about who’s who because it doesn’t really matter) said:

“I’ve watched a lot of movies, so I KNOW that there’s always a secret exit from the impregnable castle.” Wow, so that’s where she’s getting her information! I was wondering.

Arrow-Season-3-Poster

And finally, there’s Ollie, troubled by the feeling that he and “The League of Assassins” have a date with destiny, says: “I can’t escape feeling that everything in my life has led me here, to this place.”

Well, duh. Wherever you may be, everything led you there. Whether you are in the kitchen making a grilled cheese sandwich, or being inducted into the League of Assassins, everything led you to the current moment. True of everyone, everywhere because how else did you get there? Seriously?

Every character in these series has lost one or more people they love and is obsessed with revenge, which means destroying entire cities — or,  alternatively, trying to save the world. We’ve all suffered losses. I don’t know anyone who felt obliged to level a city because someone they cared about died.

You can get over this stuff without a high body count.

If you were contemplating a move to Starling City? In a word? Don’t.

20 thoughts on “SUPERHEROES OF STARLING CITY

  1. I skipped the last part of your post, as I’m only up to series 2 of Arrow (series 3 only just appeared on Amazon Prime streaming, it’s never been on Netflix unfortunately) 🙂

    I wasn’t a fan of series 1 of Gotham but series 2 had me completely hooked (I just finished watching it on Netflix). Switching to Marvel, have you seen Daredevil and Jessica Jones? Very good.

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    • Yes to Jessica, not yet to Daredevil. I’m hoping we get another season of Jessica. I think it was renewed. Also, the linked series Luke Cage (?) Is on Netflix this year, and Flash is still running. And my personal favorite is back — Lucifer. Which is good because I think they are going to run out of victims in MidSomer 🙂

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    • This is just fun stuff. I started getting “The New Yorker” and Garry is a total movie junkie, so he reads the reviews. He assures me that by the standards of the magazine, we are hideously lowbrow. It made me howl with laughter. But it’s true. The older I get, the more I don’t want dark, troubled heroes who spend entire series deep in depression. Although we do watch “Wallander” and there is NO ONE more depressed than he is, but we forgive him and the show because the scripts and the acting are just SO good. Still, after one of those shows, we need at least half a dozen murders in a small English village to make us feel better.

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  2. I love this! You are so honest! My husband and I love all of the comic book shows, but he is willing to accept all of the explosions and assassins. I struggle a bit. I usually announce out loud my disbelief. I LOVE all of those shows, but they do all hit that point where you are so right. How is the city still there???

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    • I don’t feel, you should pardon the expression, when talking about comic book superheroes and their TV show that I need to “pull my punches.” But seriously, the total wreckage of these home cities every show … like wow! How can they rebuild so FAST? How come they still have basic infrastructure? I know that WordPress thinks we should give some serious weight to the “impact” on our culture of these shows, but I can’t. The only way I can watch them is to utterly suspend my critical faculties. I don’t even TRY to make sense of them. There’s no portrayal (or attempt at portrayal) of any kind of reality. Turns out, if you don’t think, they are fine.

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  3. I am not into superheroes in films. I no longer even watch the TV, except for an english soap “East Enders”. I can no longer get involved. I find many film series in modern times, as more into antiheroes which appeals to my black side. You almost feel sorry for the serial murderer when they might catch him at the end, although he often returns again – a never ending story.

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    • We watch a lot of movies in particular, but murder mysteries have always been a mutual favorite. One of the best things about the British murder series’ we watch is that most of the victims deserve it. They are truly detestable characters and we like betting on who’s going to get axed next. Garry watches more than I do. I read more. We don’t feel obliged to do exactly the same things at the same time.

      A lot of the stuff we are watching are old BBC series that have only become available to us recently. Gives us a lot of stuff to catch up with. East Enders isn’t available here yet.

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