With The Flash (as played by John Wesley Shipp) confirmed to guest star in DC Stargirl Season 2, here are 10 more Arrowverse stars who should…
The Flash has just aired its eighteenth episode of Season 6, “Pay the Piper” which, due to the coronavirus pandemic, is the penultimate episode of the season.
The episode featured the return of former Team Flash ally Hartley Rathaway/Pied Piper (Andy Mientus), who hadn’t been seen since season two until his recent appearance in “Grodd Friended Me”, episode thirteen of season six.
Villainous speedster Godspeed also made a comeback. Meanwhile, Iris tried to escape from the Mirrorverse prison she has been trapped in for weeks.
For such a momentous episode in the season, you may surprised to learn that it was the writer’s first professional TV writing credit.
Breaking away from the series’ traditional format of having writing pairs per episode, “Pay the Piper” was written solely by Jess Carson.
According to her Linkedin, Carson was hired on the writing staff in March 2020 after previously working in marketing.
In another coup for the young writer, Stargate SG1 veteran Amanda Tapping, who played Samantha Carter, directed the episode.
With Banana’s (Bret Michaels) elimination on April 22, only six masked celebrities remain in the running on The Masked Singer‘s third season.
Still competing for the Golden Mask Trophy are: Turtle, Kitty, Frog, Night Angel, Astronaut and Rhino.
While all six of them are talented in their own rights, there can only be one winner.
Let’s take a look at everyone’s chances of winning the show.
Fans have long speculated Turtle’s true identity as one-time teen heartthrob, Jesse McCartney. The clues are lining up to suggest this is the case.
Turtle, whoever is under the mask, happens to be the only surviving member of Group A. This is a testament to his vocal prowess.
Furthermore, he defeated Astronaut (his nearest rival in vocal ability/appeal) in a face-off, which shows he is definitely a contender to go all the way.
Courageous Nerd’s Prediction: Top 3
One of only two remaining female singers in the competition, Night Angel is believed to be vocalist/reality star Kandi Buruss.
To reach this point, Night Angel has bested half of Group C as well as three other members of the Super 9 – White Tiger, Kangaroo and Banana.
However, while she has a strong vocal, the judges and audience do not seem as attached to Night Angel compared to some of the other characters.
This, plus weaker performances in the more recent rounds could potentially be Night Angel’s downfall.
Courageous Nerd’s Prediction: 6th
Fan theories have placed former Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants pitcher turned musician Barry Zito as the man behind the Rhino mask.
If this is true, Zito would be the only top six contestant to have not had music as their original primary profession.
Rhino definitely has it in him to survive a couple more rounds. However, it seems that there are a few stronger contestants still in the running.
Courageous Nerd’s Prediction: 5th
Kitty’s powerful vocals and confusing clues have thrown fans all over the place in guessing who is behind the mask. Notable guesses have included actresses such as Emma Watson, Lucy Hale, Sarah Hyland and Vanessa Hudgens.
However, recent clues suggest that one-time America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho is Kitty’s true identity.
Assuming fans’ beliefs are correct, in that Evancho is hiding her natural operatic voice when performing as Kitty, the judges could be in for a major surprise.
Courageous Nerd’s Prediction: Top 3
Thus far, Astronaut has been somewhat of a dark horse in this competition. While the attention was focused elsewhere, he has snuck up from behind and proven himself as one of the best in the competition.
The vocal talent makes sense too, if the theories that country music star Hunter Hayes is the performer underneath the golden spacesuit are correct.
Overall, I think Astronaut may follow in the footsteps of Rabbit (Joey Fatone) and Leopard (Seal) – beloved acts who fall just short of making the final.
Courageous Nerd’s Prediction: 4th
Throughout the three seasons of The Masked Singer, few performers have been as diverse and well-rounded as Frog. This amphibian can both rap and dance for the judges and audience.
He is believed to be Bow Wow, with the growing amount of clues seeming to confirm that this is the case.
Unless something goes seriously wrong, there is a place with the Frog’s name on it in the final.
Courageous Nerd’s Prediction: Top 3
Note: I have the 12 books in four large books as three trilogies. As such, I am unable to pinpoint which book is which and will just say ‘early books’ or ‘late books’.
In The Saga of Darren Shan, we see the title character leave his human life behind and become a half-vampire quite early on. As we only get a fleeting glimpse into Darren’s human life, this is the end of the road for many characters in this portion of the story, due to their storyline having ended.
We all know what happened to Steve Leonard/Leonard, but what about the other family, friends and acquaintances in Darren’s life?
Below is the list of everyone that Darren left behind upon becoming Mr Crepsley’s assistant.
DERMOT & ANGELA SHAN – HIS PARENTS
In the short time we spend with this couple, we learn a few things about them. Dermot has large feet and multiple pen pals and Angela is a keen stamp collector.
They were obviously devestated by their son’s ‘death’ and eventually moved out of the family home where they had lived, a few years prior to Darren returning to it. Dermot also suffered a mild attack.
Although they do not appear after the early stories, expository dialogue from a neighbour named Bridget informs us of their ultimate fates.
Annie shan – his sister
Appearing as a young girl in the early books, Annie is one of the few people aware that Darren went to the Cirque du Freak and kept this secret from their parents. Likewise, she was aware of Madam Octa and how Steve actually got a poisoned bite.
Eight years after Darren’s ‘death’, Annie fell pregnant by Steve Leonard, Darren’s best friend who did not love her, simply being manipulative.
By her return appearance in the later books, she has a son – Darius – who was blooded by his father Steve as a half-vampaneze. Darren later re-bloods him as a half-vampire and they make the trek to Vampire Mountain.
TOMMY JONES – HIS FRIEND
Tommy Jones was the star goalkeeper of Darren’s school and one of his closest friends, alongside Steve Leonard and Alan Morris. Tommy primarily featured early on, competing for a ticket in order to attend the Cirque du Freak although he was unsuccessful.
Seemingly a minor, inconsequential character, Tommy made an appearance when Darren returned to his hometown in the later books, as a now famous goalkeeper returning for a football game.
Although he doesn’t tell him the full story, Tommy mentions some tidbits about Steve and Annie that help Darren later on.
He and Darren made plans to properly reunite, but this never came to pass, as he was murdered by Steve’s psychotic vampaneze henchmen R.V. and Morgan James.
ALAN MORRIS – His friend
Alan was the fourth member in Darren’s group of friends. He is responsible for setting the events of the series in motion, by bringing a flyer for the Cirque du Freak into school.
He later becomes a famous, leading scientist of the country where he lives (it is never specified) and helped create the first dragon. This is all mentioned through other characters’ dialogue.
MR DALTON – HIS TEACHER
Mr Dalton was Darren’s teacher and he served a very specific use during his time in the story. Remember, despite the sophisticated storytelling and plots, these books were technically for children and most probably would not know what a ‘freak show’ was.
Thus, it fell to Mr Dalton to explain to Darren, his classmates and indeed the audience about how cruel the shows really were and why one being active would be such a rare and unusual thing.
We also get an insight into his well-intentioned personality, as he tries to get the Cirque du Freak shut down, likely out of concern for the ‘freaks’ ‘ safety.
Years later, when Darren covertly observes his old school, he sees Mr Dalton still working there, as popular as ever.
Diclaimer: I am not any of the Blind Wave members nor am I affiliated with the channel in any way. Simply writing about content that I enjoy.
Blind Wave is a long-running YouTube channel with content that includes Reactions and Reviews to TV shows and Movies. They are also known for their lightsabre battles.
There are five members, going from left to right in the above picture: Eric, Shane, Rick, Calvin and Aaron. Prior to creating the channel, they had years of history with one another which translates into their content. You can tell these guys have known each other for a good while and genuinely get along.
My entry point was through their Flash reactions which are done by Eric and Aaron. More specifically, the fifth episode of season 5, when Iris West jumps off a building to save Barry.
I discovered their other reactions and videos – as well as the other three members – by simply browsing. Other shows they react to include Breaking Bad, Westworld, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and This Is Us.
Considering I basically stumbled onto the Blind Wave channel by accident, I am very glad that I did.
The whole group is very interactive with their fanbase whether it’s their ‘Mailbag’ series, Twitch livestreams or just talking on social media. In my own case, I once sent a DM on Instagram saying how much I enjoyed the channel. They replied, but I have no clue which one of the five it was.
If you are only familiar with Blind Wave through YouTube, you can also check them out on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Twitch.
Thanks again, Blind Wave, for the great content you produce and the generosity you show towards all Wave Riders.
Some of the unbelievable support that Courageous Nerd has received in its infancy.
So incredibly grateful!
Writers’ Spotlight is a feature in which the career of writers in different fields are analysed. We discuss their life, career and the impact they had on their projects.
SPOTLIGHT #4 – DARREN SHAN (Saga of DARREN SHAN, DEMONATA, ZOM-B…)
I would like to preface this edition of Writers’ Spotlight with a few points. Firstly, unlike the other posts, this edition focuses on an author rather than a Screenwriter. This is because Darren Shan is one of my all-time favourite writers, since 2008 when I first discovered one his books. Or rather, three of them as the first trilogy in the Saga of Darren Shan was condensed into one big novel.
Furthermore, I became an even bigger fan of Darren’s when I discovered some of the interesting parallels in our personal lives:
- We were both born in London during the month of July although in different years,
- Possess strong Irish heritage; Darren’s real surname is O’Shaughnessy and mine is O’Brien.
- Immigrated to the Green Isle around the same age — 6 and 7, respectively. Interestingly, Darren moved to Limerick, the ancestral home of my family.
- Both the oldest of two boys who has the same first initial as each of us
- Interest in writing, across different formats
Over the course of his prolific career, Darren’s imagination has created many different fantastical scenes and characters that allow readers to imagine or interpret them in their own way. Vivid imagery and first-person narrative in particular helped The Saga and The Demonata, in particular, come to life.
Considering Darren’s audience for these books were a YA (Young Adult) audience, the writing is still as smart and sophisticated as ‘adult’ books of the same genre though Darren does, in fact, write books for maturer readers under the name Darren Dash.
For me, my journey into the “Shandom” as Darren’s fanbase are known on Twitter, is intrinsically linked with two characters: the title character of the Saga who is named for Darren’s pseudonym and his unlikely mentor, the centuries old vampire Larten Crepsley. The strength and realism of these characters are what strapped me in for what has been an eleven year journey and counting. In the Saga alone, supporting characters such as Steve, Harkat, Vancha, Mr. Tall and Desmond Tiny also helped shape the world of these novels.
The relationship between Darren and Larten is one of, if not the outright strongest throughout the series. Their evolution from wary acquaintances to a true father-son bond is a genuinely beautiful development to see. Since the books were written in first-person, from Darren’s perspective, we saw his side primarily, Larten was later fleshed out in a prequel series – The Saga of Larten Crepsley, which was published between 2010 and 2012, comprising four books.
As alluded to earlier, the Saga is one of the reasons why I became interested in writing fiction though my preferred format is Screenwriting. The idea that one person could write all these different and interesting characters, with such contrasting perspectives and views was so fascinating to me. I started writing myself in 2009 – one year after reading the Saga for the first time. Coincidence? I think not!
As I suspect is the case for much of Darren’s audience, I transitioned to the darker Demonata books as I grew older. This series was unique for me in that it gave me my first ‘scare’, a rarity as anyone who knows me can tell you. I have sat through some of the scariest horror films without flinching.
In particular, I am referring to a brutal decapitation in the first book and the death of a beloved character in the sixth book. Anyone who has read the series should know what I am referring to, without spoiling it for those who have not.
The series also differed from the Saga. Indeed, it retained the first-person narrative that had been effectively employed but had three main protagonists: modern teen Grubitsch ‘Grubbs’ Grady, Kernel Fleck from the 1970s and Bec, a girl from ancient Ireland. Each was the narrator in alternate books so, for example, fans of Grubbs after the first book would have been surprised in the second when he does not appear, though some do return, although younger.
Overall, I would like to thank Darren for giving me and many others not only the opportunity to explore vivid and realistic worlds in our imaginations but also helping me and possibly others find their own passion for writing.
As a sidenote, I have had the pleasure of interacting with Darren on Twitter on a number of occasions on my personal account and he has always been lovely, answering some questions I have had about his novels. Truly, a gent.
That’ll do it for this Writers’ Spotlight. Make sure to look out for #5!