Karen's Pull List
Karen’s Pull List: Series 01, Issue 10 – CW/DC “Invasion!” Crossover One-Shot
It was a big week for Superheroes on the CW, so I decided to do a special “One-Shot” for all the Aliens vs. Superheroes stories. Enjoy!
Supergirl 2×08 – Medusa & Invasion! (Part 1)
Rating: 8 Servings of Glazed Carrots
- The Mother of all Viruses
Mon-El sees the real Hank Henshaw in National City Misfit bar, and luckily for him – follows him outside. Hank aka Cyborg Superman had just planted a timed device inside the establishment that goes off and kills all the aliens inside while Mon-El is fighting in the alley with Hank. When he returns, the humans inform him of what happened while he was gone, and he runs to the DEO to let them know.
They quickly and smartly quarantine him, which he hates, but it’s really the only decision they can make in the moment. Since Mrs. Danvers is in town for Thanksgiving, they call her in to help figure out what might be going on. Mon-El shows signs that he’s also sick from the virus while having a heart-to-heart with Kara, and when he’s being examined, Eliza finds out that the virus was Kryptonian in origin.
Kara heads to the Fortress of solitude, where Hank used her blood to break in, and after disabling Kelex, discovers that her father created Medusa to protect Kryptonians against aliens. *Side note, after a discussion with my “The Fandom Zone” co-host, Charles Skaggs, we decided that when Lillian Luthor synthesized it, she modified it so it wouldn’t harm humans – as they would’ve been affected otherwise.*
Eliza and Alex work to find a cure, and find out that CADMUS will need a special component only available through L-Corp to disperse the virus. They continue to find an antedote, and Kara & J’onn take off to confront Lillian and her seemingly reconnected daughter, Lena. There’s a fight between the two of them and CS, but in the scuffle, the virus is expelled. Lo and behold… Lena has double crossed her mother, and called the police to put the cherry on top of her comeuppance.
- Coming Clean… or Not
I really hate the “I’ve got a secret that will screw up our relationship” trope, and in this episode, they were all over the place. Some of them were revealed, but the majority of them are still big-time deceptions. I’ll run through them, and caveat – some of them aren’t major arc secrets, but just things that were outed in this episode.
Revealed: Alex. She didn’t even have to announce it, Eliza sussed it out for herself because not only had Alex felt different for most of her life, but she’d been talking about Maggie as her new obsession. It was a warm exchange between mother and daughter, and a nice way for them to draw closer together.
Revealed: Lana isn’t her mother’s favorite child, and it’s because she’s adopted, her father’s favorite, and she’s simply not Lex. When she learns of her mother’s plan to kill all aliens, she pretends to cozy up to her in order to curry favor, and then goes turncoat – who can blame her?
Revealed: J’onn has to let Kara know that he’s becoming a White Martian because of his tranfusion from M’gann. He’s cured soon thereafter, but it’s actually an asset when he has to fight the Cyborg Superman version of Hank Henshaw.
Kept: James as The Guardian. He and Winn wanted to come clean, but they were subverted rather heavily by Alex at Thanksgiving dinner. Then a wormhole partially opened by Cisco and Barry during the meal completely shut them down.
Kept: Mon-El’s attraction to Kara. Although he kisses her during his illness-induced fever, he’s too scared to admit he remembers once he’s cured. He continues to deny his feelings when she asks him directly – and as we know, this always works out. *eyeroll*
Kept: Mon-El’s real identity. There are people searching for him, and it’s another clue to his past. He’s definitely not the Prince’s bodyguard – there’s way more to that story.
Kept: As far as we know, the girls don’t let Eliza know that they’ve actually seen Jeremiah at CADMUS. Again, that’ll work out well I’m sure. *sarcasm*
- Wormholes… Wormholes Everywhere
The jumping off point to the crossover started with Cisco and Barry trying to open portals into Kara’s Earth (Earth-38) throughout the episode, and finally succeeding at the end. Kara is overjoyed, and doesn’t hesitate to go with them to help fight the Dominators.
The Flash 3×08 – Invasion! (Part 2)
Rating: 9 Familiar Looking Buildings
- Team-Up Target Practice
The triumverate (Ollie, Barry, and Kara) meet and discuss training the team to fight against the formidable aliens. They have to be able to go all-out, so Kara is cool with being used as a target dummy. Turns out the Dominators don’t have much in common with Supergirl, and it’s a good thing since our heroes don’t do very well against her.
- Odd Comfort Zone
Professor Stein and Jax pull Barry and Oliver aside and finally talk about the message they found in the hidden compartment aboard the Waverider. Not the most fortuitous timing as they’ve just voted Barry leader, as the message says not to trust himself (Barry) after he’s created Flashpoint. The four of them decide not to tell everyone else since they have enough on their plate, but nosey Cisco finds the recording in the trailer and lets the secret fly to the entire crew. Shenanigans are called – and for the most part, they decide to continue as-is since the aliens are the most immediate threat.
Later on, Flash is looking at the future newspaper in the Braille room with Ollie and points out that the byline has changed from Iris West-Allen to another name. Oliver comforts him, which is not his usual role, although he’s been there for Barry in the past. They seem to have a Big-brother/Little-brother relationship, and it’s solidified over the last three years. It’s been lovely to see, but always a little weird and jarring when Arrow shows his soft side.
- Out of Their Minds
Firestorm, Heatwave, White Canary, Speedy, Spartan, The Atom, and Supergirl went off in search of The Dominators’ hideout to find the President – only to be lured into a mind-controlling trap. When they return to home base, they have a showdown with Flash, Arrow, Tech Support (Cisco & Felicity), with an assist from Wally in his burgeoning role as Kid Flash.
Arrow and the rest hold them off while Barry guides Kara back to the Dominators’ device, where he tricks her into destroying it – thereby freeing them from it’s thrall. Our heroes have gotten their first lesson in how powerful their new foe can be, and that they won’t be easy to defeat.
Arrow 5×08 – Invasion! (Part 3)
Rating: 8 Awesome Looking Dominator Guns
- No Flashbacks, Yet ALL THE FLASHBACKS!
At the very end of The Flash, Oliver, Thea, Diggle, Ray, and Sara are all abducted and taken aboard a Dominator vessel. The aliens discard the mind control angle, and decide to go all matrix on them. They’re put in stasis and have a shared hallucination that takes them to a Star City where none of the past five years events happened. Oliver, his father, or Sara never got on the Queen’s Gambit, he was never shipwrecked, his mother was never killed, he didn’t become the Hood/Vigilante/Arrow, Laurel not only stayed alive, she’s just about to tie the knot with our Mr. Queen, but things still seem just a little off.
Each person sharing the collective dream has flashes of the ‘real’ timeline whenever they see a building branded “Smoak Technologies.” Oliver snaps out of it first, realizing nothing around him is real. He tries to convince each of the five in turn that they need to find a way out – even though things are lovely in their forced paradise.
Diggle has become The Arrow with Felicity as his backup. She’s engaged to Ray, who’s bidding to purchase Queen Industries. Robert Queen, about to become Mayor, wants to pass the CEO position down to Oliver who politely declines, leaving the company up for grabs between Ray or Walter Steele.
Ollie is acting weird to his hallucination-induced friends and family, but he continues to make excuses while he tries to gather the five people that are trapped along with him on the alien ship. They slowly but surely come around and snap out of their stupor, just in time to have a showdown with their enemies – also hallucinations, but able to hurt them nonetheless. Diggle leaves with a slight injury, but they make it back with help from a portal in the Smoak building.
- Of Course She’s Whiny, Even in Her Dreams
It looks like Thea is going to be a holdout until the hallucination fight begins. She wants to stay in the dream because losing her parents again would be too much for her to bear. I almost yelled at my television because who would do that? I mean, not only would it be imaginary, but at some point you’re gonna die! The Dominators really have no use for you after a certain amount of time, and Oliver knows this. Odds are, he’s just gonna pull Thea out of that pod once he’s stepped through the portal, right?
Well, we don’t need to worry about it, because she decides that Oliver is her family now, and she’ll leave along with the others. BECAUSE OF COURSE. *sigh*
- Head to Head Battles
Some of the best fight scenes ever take place in this 100th episode of Arrow. Watching the good guys battle the big-bads was great – even though we didn’t get the return of Manu Bennett as Deathstroke. This time he just wore his mask and fought silently, but we got Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn in all of their maddening glory.
We also got another fight scene between the Queenlettes (I just can’t find a good nickname for those guys) and Cyber-Woman, aka Laura Washington. I believe she was supposed to be modeled on an existing DC character called Cyborgirl (real name LeTonya Charles). They had to get some stolen technology from her in order to use the pilfered Dominators’ technology, so… two wrongs make a right I guess?
There’s also a short gunfight inside the alien ship once the fiercesome five break free and steal a pretty awesome gun off the wall of a corridor. SFX was really good here. I watched it frame by frame in order to get a screenshot (the pic is here) of the gun, and it truly looked seamless.
They find an escape ship and get out, and before there can be another battle, the Waverider appears and yanks them out of harm’s reach.
Some great parts of this episode:
A wink to Colin Donnell’s gig on ‘Chicago Med’
“Tommy’s new job as a doctor in Chicago” *wink*
I’ve come up with a new Arrow drinking game. Whenever Ollie says: “Give us a minute?” in order to talk to someone in private, take a drink.
Legends OT 2×07 Invasion! (Part 4)
Rating: 9 Flasks
- Yay! Time Travel! Oh Wait… Did I Say That Out Loud?
Oh, Cisco… What a short memory you have. Didn’t you JUST say how much you hate time-travel? How you lost your best friend over it? That the consequences from changing something were unconscionable? *sigh* He might think you’re not doing the same thing, but without even knowing it, you can change the future by just making one tiny change – and boy did Cisco find that out.
When they figure out that the Dominators appeared in 1951, he and Felicity are giddy with glee at the thought of jumping on the Waverider with Nate to go back in time. They realize that the surge in metahuman activity (see JSA) was the reason they were there at that point in time, but they only watch as the aliens leave and then just try to grab a straggler who’s almost left behind.
Turns out that if they hadn’t gone back to talk to a Dominator in order to find out what their goal is they ended up saving one, and that one Dominator led his people to undertake a second invasion in order to get rid of the Earth’s metahumans.
- We Don’t Need no Stinkin’ Martyrs
The condition for saving Earth – the Dominators insist – is to surrender Barry Allen. He altered the timeline, which is the impetus for their anger towards Earth’s metahumans. As Flash says his final goodbyes before he turns himself over, Oliver starts the ball rolling when he refuses to allow his defection. He starts the pep-talk and everybody chimes in – including Mick, who includes Barry in his “gang.”
As they convince Barry to stay and fight, the Dominators show their true colors. They were going to wipe out the metahumans all along, Barry as an offering or not. They’re about to drop a metabomb on Central City, but the Waverider, with its newly seen tractor beam pulls it into a tenuous hovering position. Firestorm flies into place and starts to transmute it into an inert mass while the rest of the team fights below and uses Barry and Kara to plant pain devices on the Dominators.
Another amazingly coreographed fight scene on the rooftop between most of the heroes and the nameless Dominators, while we see the colored streaks speed through the streets placing the tiny devices on all of the aliens they can find.
Firestorm turns the bomb into liquid form, which I loved because TRANSMUTATION! They need to pull that power out more often. Kara and Barry give the signal, and Cisco & Felicity activate the weapons that drive the Dominators back to their ships, and thus ends the fighting and danger on Earth.
The new President gives a press conference thanking and commending the heroes for saving the world from the baddies, and a party begins.
- I Guess I’ll Keep Her
Professor Stein continues to have headaches – carried over from previous episodes. It manifests in finding out that the woman he’s been seeing in the flashes is a daughter he never had before. She’s an MIT graduate with her PhD in nanotechology – which just so happens to be super helpful with the issues they’re facing in this crossover.
Caitlin seems to know Lily Stein, but Martin confesses that he doesn’t, and that she’s not a product of Flashpoint, but of an aberration he caused when he interacted with himself in the 1980s. He also tells her that when he goes back to travelling, he’ll put things back as they were, which means erasing her from history.
When Firestorm is transmuting the bomb, Stein gives Jax motivation to try harder by telling him about Lily, and that people like her are why it’s so important to save the world. He ultimately decides to let things stay the way they are but asks Jax not to tell the team (oh yay. another secret), and Jax doesn’t look 100% on-board for that. We’ll have to see where this one goes.
Some great parts of this episode:
During the party:
“Hey skirt, call me” – Mick Rory/Heat Wave
“You know what’s funny? She really looks like my cousin.” – Ray Palmer/The Atom