Finally learning that bigger isn’t always better (see X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: The Last Stand), 20th Century Fox has moved away from the super-sized team film. With both Logan and Legion (FX’s new series based around the X-Men character of the same name), the X-Men universe is taking some interesting turns with a darker tone and smaller character-driven stories. Logan may not be as entertaining as Deadpool, but it definitely ranks as one of the better X-Men films (and easily the best of the Wolverine standalone movies).
Arrow gets a bit preachy with “Spectre of the Gun.” After a shooting in city hall that leaves multiple victims injured or dead, the show’s response isn’t for Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) to suit up and track down the killer but instead for Mayor to take a hard look at his position on guns and examine what the Mayor can do that Green Arrow cannot. For most of the episode the arguments in favor and against stricter gun laws are handled by Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) who go twelve rounds about guns in the hands of private citizens and whether or not they help or hurt the public good. Flashbacks this week aren’t from Ollie’s time in Russia but from Rene’s past where we learn more about events which led him to pick up a hockey mask and crystallized his view on guns. The usually opinionated Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), however, is cast in the role of Switzerland trying to keep the peace on a topic she believes can never be worked out.
Jason Todd isn’t know for making the hard choice when an easier path presents itself. At least he wasn’t before the recent Rebirth reboot. Now, things appear to be different. First, the reboot curbed most of his villainous murder history. No it focuses on the man actually thinking through hard decisions and responsibilities rather than shooting first and asking questions later.
“The Man Behind the Shield” offers some context to why Anton Ivanov (Zach McGowan) has gone to all the trouble to create the Watchdogs and hunt Inhumans. Although racist, it seems Ivanov’s real problem isn’t with aliens or Inhumans but with the man he deems responsible for beginning the entire series of events (questionable logic at best) beginning with stealing alien tech from Russia years ago – Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Far from a true zealot, the episode downplays the villain as the show ends the episode moving the LMD storyline in a new direction.
A prelude to the series next arc, Detective Comics #950 centers around Cassandra Cain. From her spying on the Gotham City Metropolitan Ballet’s prima ballerina Christine Montclair to taking down a gang of human traffickers, the entire issue is presented (and narrated) from the character’s point of view. We see her fear of her own training and nature, and her inability to tell those closest to her in on the thoughts and feelings bottled up inside. In many ways it’s a sad (even melancholy) standalone issue, but at the same time writer James Tynion IV and artist Marcio Takara create an unexpectedly quiet and beautiful character-driven issue that should be a must-read for any fans Cassandra.