It was great to see a colorful ensemble of villains, and the fact that they start out as a group definitely makes them stand out from the pack more. Even though I feel like it’d take less time to read this opening arc than to watch an episode of the show, there seemed to be a little more development packed in than usual. Not only were the villains fleshed out w/ Bliss’ brief but effective origin and a couple circus members deciding to go against him, but we also got some solid emotional work on Flash’s end w/ his hallucination of his mother. While some of the effects might’ve been a little much for the show’s budget at the time (or even now), it still would’ve been great to see this group get brought to life. It might be a little late to introduce new particle accelerator metas this late into the game, but I still think this group could work as a “villain of the week” in an upcoming episode
On another note, while I initially thought that the circus metas were all original characters, after doing a bit of research, it seems that Bliss does have some interesting comic roots. He appeared in a couple issues of 1995’s Starman also as a circus/freak show owner, but was in incubus in reality. This Bliss fed off of emotions instead of controlling them, but it’s not really that big a difference
My first instinct was to speculate that this could actually be the first time Felicity encounters Brie Larvan and just didn’t know it at the time, but between the “nemesis” having what looks to be red hair and Felicity’s contradicting claim of never having had a nemesis before here, that seems to rule her out. Given that she knows Felicity’s middle name, I’d wager she’s supposed to be someone who knows Felicity well – maybe someone from her MIT days who saw her hacktivism as a crime? (which I guess it technically was)
I was definitely disappointed when I realized this fact, as I had been reading these issues like they took place in between episodes of the show – basically showing what Team Flash was up to outside of Tuesdays. While I do wish that a little more care had been taken to make sure everything fit w/in the continuity of the show, I also can’t say this fact came all that close to ruining the comic for me. I can still enjoy it as a sort of Earth-1.5 story – something where things are mostly the same as the show, but different enough that it can’t quite fit in the same timeline. Since there seems to only be partial coordination between the show’s writers and projects like this, I guess I can’t be too surprised that there are some notable discrepancies between the two
On a purely aesthetic level, Hester’s work definitely stands out more. The unique linework makes everything more stylized, and while that might not be perfect for replicating a TV show, it does the art more memorable and easier to recognize. While To’s artwork isn’t quite as distinctive, I did really appreciate the way it was more authentic to the live-action look. That said, given how these issues are considered to be out of continuity anyway, I’d say I preferred Hester overall.
I’ve already talked about this a little in another post, but you can definitely count me in w/ all the others against this move. Part of me does understand the thinking behind it, but not nearly enough to approve of it. The fact is, the Arrowverse name has just been a fixture for too long for me to think of this universe as being called anything else. It’s kind of a similar situation to the DCEU – while that’s never been the universe’s official name, it’s resonated w/ enough fans to stick despite efforts to officially name the continuity “Worlds of DC.” Besides, even though Oliver Queen is dead, this whole world started from Arrow, so it still makes sense honor that legacy by keeping the name intact. While I’m obviously very much against the change, I’m also confident that it won’t stick w/ fans at all and the CW will be back to calling it the Arrowverse soon enough