Monday, January 17, 2022

The Problem with Armageddon

When it was announced that Flash would premiere with a five-episode crossover, I was excited. Especially once they announced Black Lightning and Batwoman would be appearing. And Mia Queen! In a COVID world, the idea of doing a crossover across one show instead of the current five was a great idea. That being said, I was underwhelmed and confused by the crossover. It felt disjointed in many ways, which left me disappointed.

My first and biggest grievance with the Armageddon crossover event was the timeline. Or rather, timelines. We ended up with three different timelines by the end of the fifth episode and it wasn’t clear how they all worked together. First, we have the timeline where Despero has come from 2031 to stop Barry from causing Armageddon. In this timeline Joe is dead and only Barry knows he’s supposed to be alive (how does he retain that memory when everyone else’s memories changed with the timeline?). Second, we have the 2031 that Despero came from… but in this timeline Barry is the Reverse-Flash and Team Flash has no memory of him being a good guy. So how is this Barry’s future if it’s another timeline entirely? And finally we have the restored timeline with Joe alive and Thawne fading away. That timeline I have no issue with. 

Was that confusing enough to follow? 

Welcome to how I’ve been processing the crossover.

Second complaint: Batwoman, Sentinel, and Ryan Choi were vastly underutilized. I’ve enjoyed Ryan Wilder as Batwoman, in many ways more than I liked Kate. So to see how she’d be brought together with the other heroes was exciting, since none of our other heroes know Wilder’s Batwoman. But instead, we had her in the future already friends with the alternate Team Flash. I suppose that’s fine and Barry can bring that information back to the present day for future crossovers. So despite Alex, Wilder, and Ryan appearing in this crossover… not much happened. Also, what was with changing Ryan Choi’s whole personality in this future?

Speaking of Ryan Choi’s playboy personality, I really didn’t care about Part 4’s subplots. Maybe these plots will surface as a result of the Reverse-Flashpoint bleeding through into the new timeline, like Flashpoint’s memories arising during Season 3 of The Flash. But for now, I really don’t see the point of Allegra and Chuck’s story, Batwoman’s potential pregnancy, and Ryan Choi’s player side. But I guess we’ll see what the rest of Season 8 brings us.

Now with any of my “problem” posts, I like to be fair and mention what I did like. For this crossover, what I really enjoyed was the returning characters. We didn’t get any colossal battles like we did in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but we had some small scale team ups. Which I kind of like better. It reminds me of back when Cisco and Joe teamed up with Laurel and Quentin. Or when Oliver and Ronnie/Stein helped Barry against Reverse-Flash. Or Barry and Kara’s musical episode. These smaller scale crossovers mean more to me, as it reinforces the universe of shows we’re enjoying. They were all combined in Earth-Prime for a reason after all. So one or two returning/crossover characters per episode was basically perfect. 

Besides Atom, Black Lightning, and Green Arrow 2.0 returning, I’m glad they brought Mia back for another reason. Her show, Green Arrow and the Canaries, was never picked up, leaving the fate of her brother unknown. Now it looks like they’re going to use the other shows to fill in those gaps, starting with her appearance in Armageddon. Just like how Legends finished off the loose ends from Constantine, I’m excited to see where Mia’s story will take her next. Superman & Lois? Clark’s other incarnations (Tom Welling, Christopher Reeves, etc.) have time-traveled. Or maybe more Flash or Legends? I guess we’ll see what the rest of this season brings.

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