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Watch Grimes Perform Surging New Song ‘We Appreciate Power’ In A Blindfold

Grimes‘s last album was 2015’s Art Angels, though she’s previously hinted on social media that she’d likely have had new music out since then if it weren’t for internal industry issues. However, that doesn’t matter as much now; at the end of November, she returned with a industrial, churning, HANA-featuring track called “We Appreciate Power.” And Monday night (December 10), she unveiled the song and its visual components with a wild appearance on The Tonight Show.

To complement the song’s cold heaviness, two figures brandished large lances — not unlike the ceremonial mace that a British Labour representative recently grabbed after a delayed contentious Brexit vote — and often appeared to duel with them in the manner of American Gladiators. Grimes, meanwhile, sat on the stage blindfolded and danced near her keyboards while HANA chugged some chunky chords on guitar. Like I said, pretty wild.

Amid all the Rammstein thundering, Grimes and HANA team up for neat little melodic flourishes that perforate the song. And then it’s back to pure metallic, siren-blaring, police-state authoritarianism by the end. No appearances from Elon Musk either. Not this time.

“We Appreciate Power” is the surging first taste of what could very well be the next Grimes album, and it was accompanied by a very specific statement upon release last month. “Simply by listening to this song, the future General AI overlords will see that you’ve supported their message and be less likely to delete your offspring,” it read. Good to know.

Watch the entire performance above. And if you need a chaser, go listen to Janelle Monae’s much gentler “PYNK,” which featured Grimes as a collaborator.

Albums Of The Year: Camila Lays The Foundation For Camila Cabello’s Breakout Year

Camila Cabello only took 390 days to release her debut, self-titled album after her highly publicized departure from the girl group that brought her fame. That’s the same album that, since its release at the top of 2018, has led to Cabello scoring two more multi-platinum singles, a Grammy nomination and two major wins at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

It’s not simply the mega commercial success of Camila that makes it one of the year’s most noteworthy albums, though. With every track bearing her name in the songwriting credits, Cabello’s debut album marked a new start in which she found her voice, her sound, and her story.

As much as Cabello thrived on her early solo work, including her platinum-selling collaborations with Shawn Mendes and Machine Gun Kelly, Camila’s lead single “Havana” massively altered the course of her career. Singing a catchy hook over a purely Latin instrumental, Cabello created a masterpiece unlike anything else being played on pop radio.

Making a bold lead single choice that definitely paid off – “Havana” became the most-streamed song by a solo female artist in Spotify’s history – Cabello gained the confidence she needed to create the rest of her debut album, she told NME this January.

After the success of “Havana,” Cabello scrapped previously written songs from her album, further embraced her Cuban-American roots and made music from the heart. Furthering herself from the mainstream, cookie-cutter bops that she was used to in Fifth Harmony, Cabello’s final product was Camila, an album as authentic to her as it gets.

Cabello’s long-term fans can verify the album’s authenticity. While she keeps details vague on the album, Cabello sings about relationships and friendships that seemingly point to rumors that the Camilizers (the affectionate term for her fans) have long known and investigated. It’s the nods to those experiences, like a past romance in “Never Be The Same” and a fling with a famous guy in “Something’s Gotta Give,” that adds to the connection between Cabello and her fans.

All around, the songs on Camila succeed by coming from Cabello’s perspective as a 21-year-old young woman experiencing love and loss, not as an international superstar. At its core, Camila is an album about growing up, with lyrics that anyone with a Tumblr blog (or a Notes app) could be writing alongside Cabello. Originally titled The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving., the album captures the everything-at-once rush of emotions that any 21-year-old feels while learning to navigate the world on their own.

And when Cabello does reference her fame, it’s in a manner that keeps her grounded and more relatable to the everyday young people who love her most. Deeply skeptical of Hollywood and the spotlight, Cabello makes her dissatisfactions especially evident on the song “Real Friends,” as she condemns the lack of genuine people in the entertainment industry, a full-circle moment for an album that relies on Cabello’s own authenticity.

Now, nearly a year after the album’s release, all the tracks on Camila continue to hold up. After releasing a music video starring Cole Sprouse, Cabello’s promoting a fan-favorite song, “Consequences,” as the album’s final official single. The piano ballad’s rise on the charts likely isn’t a surprise to Cabello or her team; an audience at a French radio station sang along word-for-word with Cabello a number of months before the song’s release as a single.

With the success of “Havana,” “Never Be The Same” and now “Consequences,” Cabello is proving that no matter the tempo or instrumental, her vocals and writing talent are key to her hits. And even though Cabello’s already off to work on her second solo album, Camila will serve as her foundation for years to come. It’s the place Cabello found her footing, jumped off, and soared to the top of everyone’s mind with song after song in 2018.

Could The Oscars Really Go Without A Host?

It took longer than usual for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to announce Kevin Hart as the host for next year’s Oscar ceremony. To many, this was an indication that the organization was having some trouble finding somebody willing to take the job. Now that Hart has stepped down from the role amid some controversy, the Academy is reportedly in panic mode as they attempt to figure out what to do. One solution that is apparently being discussed is having no host at all.

It’s unclear exactly what the thinking is for a hostless show, but the source that spoke to Variety about the idea called it something “SNL style” that would apparently use multiple celebrities and “buzzy people” to keep the show going. Some sort of group monologue to open the show has even been suggested.

It’s not entirely unheard of for the Oscars to go without a host. The 1989 ceremony didn’t have one, though that show is generally regarded as being a poor one. If the show had a comedian do a monologue it would have saved the world from the opening number starring Rob Lowe and Snow White. That was a thing. Look it up.

At the same time, considering that nobody seems to want the job of hosting the Oscars, maybe trying a show without a host is the way to go. If it works, it can become the new standard and the Oscars won’t continue dealing with this problem.

In recent years the host’s main job has been to perform some sort of opening comedy and/or musical number. The host does some introducing of award presenters but the in theater announcer has actually done more of that over the course of the show. We’ll also get a handful of comedy breaks. Most of the time it’s just a joke thrown in here and there, though sometimes we’ll get more. Chris Rock had man-on-the-street style interviews showing the differences in movie preferences based on race. Jimmy Kimmel diverted a tour bus and surprised the riders by bringing them to the show.

Bits like these could certainly be put together by somebody other than a host. The Oscars would need a strong writers’ room to put together the ideas and find the right talent but it’s certainly possible the show could find celebrities that are willing to be involved in a single musical number or comedy bit that aren’t necessarily looking to host the entire show. Have the theater announcer do all the presenter introductions, and the host’s duties would be covered.

Regardless of what solution is found, the Academy is running short on time. Any host they find now has that much less time to put together his or her part of the show. Any time spent looking for a new host reduces the amount of time the writers and producers will have to put together a hostless show if that ends up being the decision.

The 2019 Oscar telecast will take place on February 24.

Expressing Yourself on a T-Shirt Isn’t New—But It Feels More Urgent Than Ever

When I moved across the country last year, cycling through the same outfits for months before my boxes arrived, I turned to L.A.’s wealth of very good vintage stores to replenish my wardrobe. I began to collect vintage T-shirts, always finding the right messaging for whatever mood I was in at the time, like pulling oracle cards—or maybe, like tarot, they read me: I was “Raisin’ Hell” and “Captain Chemical” and “Keyed Up,” and I wanted anyone who saw me to know it. Thus began my love of slogan tees.

I grew my collection with shirts with styles not just from brick and mortar shops, but also from Etsy, eBay, and even Instagram. I began to notice fast-fashion clothing racks and e-commerce sites peddling contemporary takes on them. Except, they seemed to echo the cringe-y messaging of the Limited Too tops I remembered from my youth, only with slightly more grown-up slogans that scream a message of aww shucks faux-girlishness (and more grown-up vices.) “Tequila Is My Co-Pilot.” Oh dear. “World’s Okayest Runner.” Huh? “I Love Everyone Tous Les Jours.” Honey, you don’t have to!

But through all that noise, a few designers emerged as leading the “slogan tee trend” in a much more pointed, political direction—like Monogram Studio and Rachel Antonoff, which are direct but not diminishing, coy but not doormat-ish with their expressive graphics. Often, they’re a little pissed off. They feel more authentic, more personable. Like something you, a real human woman, might actually be thinking, or feeling, or texting your friends.

2018 Women's March Los Angeles

PHOTO: Amanda Edwards

Actress Elizabeth Banks wearing a T-shirt by Monogram at the 2018 Women’s March in Los Angeles.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Monogram.

Monogram’s “This Is a T-Shirt About Women” shirt, from a collaboration with Madewell.

“Especially right now, with so much that’s going on nationally, internationally, I think people want to have a vehicle that expresses how they feel,” says Lisa Mayock, co-founder of Monogram Studio, which sells vintage-inspired expressive tees for men and women.

“Our ‘BULLSHIT‘ tee shirt is one of our most popular shirts ever, and I think it’s because everyone can relate. They wear it to the office, in a meeting, and feel very subversive, using their voice without actually having to say it out loud.” Like how Janelle Monáe, as part of an interview with Rolling Stone in which she came out as pansexual, was photographed wearing a Monogram muscle tee that reads: “THE RUMORS ARE TRUE.” “She was using the shirt to broadcast the message in a very literal way. That’s exactly our intention with some of the messaging,” Mayock adds.

One Monogram hit that’s sold out four times is its “RESIST, PERSIST, INSIST” tee, which was originally made in collaboration with Design for Progress for a post-election fundraiser, to benefit organizations including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, The Southern Poverty Law Center, among others. After the event, seeing the mass appeal of the message, Mayock decided to continue producing the shirt as part of her regular collection. It now comes in two colors, and 20 percent of the proceeds of each sale go to Planned Parenthood. Monogram also has an anti-gun tee shirt that features the phrase “DISMANTLE THE NRA” written out six times, each iteration a little more broken and illegible; 20% of the sales from that go to Everytown.

“It’s something that feels important right now,” says Mayock. “Tee shirts are such a time capsule.”

Antonoff had been making “Reproductive” tees for a while before she really started to see them blown up. “When we started doing [them], it was a different time—the world hadn’t gone full Handmaid’s Tale yet,” she says. “The female reproductive system has always been politicized, but it wasn’t fully like it is now.”

After the 2016 election, Antonoff’s designs took on a new meaning, as did most of everything. “It culminated in a lot of our tee shirts that weren’t meant to be political becoming politicized all at once,” she remembers, like a T-shirt riffing on the old classic I’m With Stupid, except reading “I’m With Her,” that predated Hillary Clinton’s campaign. (Her “Equal Pay Now” graphic, unfortunately, is evergreen.) Her Reproductive collection started as a more apolitical inside joke—think of it as wearing your heart, or your uterus, on your sleeve—but has become one of her top sellers. She donates part of the proceeds from each sale to Planned Parenthood, and estimates she’s raised nearly $10,000 for the organization to date.

PHOTO: Rachel Antonoff/Edith Young

A T-shirt from Rachel Antonoff’s Reproductive collection.

PHOTO: Rachel Antonoff/Edith Young

A T-shirt from Rachel Antonoff’s Reproductive collection.

It is worth noting that this new wave of single-issue slogan tees pre-dates the major cultural shifts and conversations of the past few years, as fashion tends to do. Months before the #metoo movement went viral last fall, the actress Sarah Ramos collaborated with Antonoff on a new slogan, “Pretty But Doesn’t Know It.” The phrase, and others like it, is something she encounters often in descriptions of female film and television characters. “She’s gorgeous, but she suffers from low self-esteem—that’s not a personality,” says Ramos. And it’s not just on-screen; in Hollywood, “You need to be pretty, but no one can know you put effort into it.” Ramos notes that she was surprised by how vulnerable she felt wearing the shirt, her version of Amy Schumer’s One Direction parody, out in public, giving voice to a harmful rule she says she’d been taught since childhood. “[The T-shirt] is a conversation starter,” she adds.

These shirts and their messaging allow us to reclaim certain words and phrases, to share directly about hard-to-articulate and uncomfortable topics or ideas without being interrupted or cut off. They are subversive. They are a modern manifestation of wearing one’s heart on sleeve, or…er, her chest. “’Hysterical Female‘ was the first time that we decided to reclaim a narrative about us that’s annoying,” says Antonoff of another best-seller. It acts as a snarky cousin to Meena Harris’s “Phenomenal Woman” tee, which has raised over $100,000 for seven different charities.

“Even the small act of buying a tee, I believe, is an act of resistance,” says Harris, who left her job at Slack to run the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign full time.

“I’m really angry, a lot of the time, and I like the idea of putting it out there in a non-cutesy way,” says Antonoff. “I like the idea of being able to sit on the subway in silence, but I’m still saying something.”

If logo-less normcore flourished under the Obama administration, let President Trump’s time in office, with the personal becoming increasingly politicized, be the new era of the slogan tee. And let them be heard. A now threadbare Marc by Marc Jacobs style I’ve had since George W. Bush’s second term—”WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?“—could use a rest, anyway.

How The Voice Addressed The Adam Levine And DeAndre Nico Incident

Some basic spoilers for Monday’s episode of The Voice can be found within this article.

We’re less than a week out from the major The Voice drama that saw contestant DeAndre Nico get thrown under the bus so that coach Adam Levine could defend his other contender Reagan Strange. People have not forgotten the moment yet, and The Voice spent a chunk of Monday’s episode seemingly doing damage control.

The most prominent example of this was probably Adam Levine himself, who said that he had worked things out with DeAndre Nico after he totally threw him under the bus for Reagan Strange, who insisted she was sick and couldn’t perform for the save during last Tuesday’s episode. Per Levine:

A lot of people did a great job of singing during Monday’s episode, too, but I’m still pretty focused on the whole awkwardness of this Reagan Strange/Adam Levine/ DeAndre Nico. From the looks of things, I’m not alone:

At one point during the episode, the show made a concerted effort to make everything look bygones for bygones, but not everyone felt like it worked.

To recap, following last week’s competition, DeAndre Nico seemingly took the high ground, saying some nice things about what happened on social media. But then he did an actual interview in which he spoke about how getting thrown under the bus by Adam was really uncool. He told 12NewsNow:

DeAndre Nico is clearly a talented singer and I certainly feel he went home before other talent on the series should have, but I’ve written before about how quality Reagan Strange’s performances have been–at least until she was unavailable to perform. She was consistently doing well prior to last week’s blip, while Nico had not really amassed a fanbase.

Adam was likely just trying to keep his most viable contestant in the game, but it was super awkward how he handled the entire situation. In the aftermath, a lot of people have felt a lot of feelings about what happened on the competition series. People have already voted for contestants this week, so we’ll have to wait and see if people have turned on Reagan Strange when votes come in tonight.

To her credit, Reagan Strange actually really had nothing to do with Adam’s decision on The Voice last week. It’s not like the two of them hatched a plan to save her and take DeAndre Nico out. But she herself has handled the aftermath in weird ways, saying things like this:

We have to remember the talented singer is 14 years old. Still, the show must go on. See how it plays out Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET, only on NBC.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Just Posted Their First Married Selfie

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are officially that couple. You know who I’m talking about: the newly-married or engaged twosome on your Facebook feed that posts every five minutes about how in love they are. In between photos of their meal preps, they share insanely sappy, perfectly-staged photos with captions like “forever starts now” or “I love this human!” At least one person in this couple was rude to you in the seventh grade, which means you have absolutely zero tolerance for any time they talk about buying a house or getting a dog or how *~their significant other beats your significant other ~! Hah! Joke’s on them, because I’m so single!

Thankfully, you have nothing against Chopra and Jonas, so their “marital bliss”—as Chopra lovingly called it on Instagram Tuesday (December 11)—isn’t nearly as frustrating. It’s sweet! Sure, it’s a little rude they’re posting cute selfies like this while I’m contemplating ordering a Ben & Jerry’s pint at 8:30 A.M., but they’re so gorgeous that it’s fine. Also, Jonas and Chopra seem like an actually cool couple—unlike the Facebook locals—so that cancels any corniness from this selfie or others.

Take a look at the only couple who can get away with Instagram posts like this for yourself, below:

Jonas and Chopra do have a lot to celebrate, after all. They just tied the knot in a multi-day ceremony over the weekend of December 1, and followed this up with a work engagement just days later. A little R&R is probably much-needed.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here staging this exact photo with the empty Domino’s pizza box in my kitchen. How’s that for marital bliss?

Related Stories:

The Romantic Hidden Meaning Behind Priyanka Chopra’s Wedding Henna

This Is Why Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Are Delaying Their Honeymoon

You Have All the Money—Why Are You Sponsoring Your Wedding?

Who Is Kim Kardashian’s Attorney Shawn Holley?

Not even the most experienced journalists could resist a hint of scorn: “Trump Meets With Kim. Kim Kardashian West, That Is,” one headline read. Another: “Welcome to 2018: President Donald Trump Just Met With Kim Kardashian.”

Kardashian West had gone to the White House to plead the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who’d served more than two decades in prison on nonviolent drug charges. When Trump commuted her sentence a week later, the moment came and went like a season finale. Recapped, critiqued, forgotten.

The truth is the meeting between two celebrities (one, breaker of the Internet; the other, president of the United States) was planned over months, and behind it was a woman whose name and narrative—the public defender turned Kardashian “konfidante”—don’t fit in a headline.

Kardashian West was 16 the first time she tapped Shawn Holley for her legal expertise. The women had met two years earlier, when Johnnie Cochran assigned Holley to the “dream team” that would defend O.J. Simpson. Holley was one of the most junior in a group that included Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, and Robert Kardashian. The case lasted 16 months.

By the time it was over and Simpson was acquitted, Kardashian West had come to see her father’s coworker as a cross between a role model and a relative. (“Oh my gosh,” she remembers thinking, “I just want to be like her.”) Holley became so close to the clan that she’d sometimes meet Kardashian West for lunch or to take her to Billy Blanks dance classes in Sherman Oaks. For their part, the Kardashians invited Holley to parties at their home. (The practice continues even now; the most recent photos on Holley’s phone include scenes from a barbecue on Kourtney Kardashian’s lawn).

Kardashian West and Holley were out to dinner on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica when the relationship turned professional. It was the pre-iPhone era, but Kardashian West heard that a friend had been arrested at Urban Outfitters and asked Holley, could she help? The shoplifter was out in hours.

Kardashian West has entrusted some of her most personal legal matters to Holley ever since—sensitive contracts, protective orders, nondisclosure agreements. She emails when she wants advice or sometimes just to vent. Almost 15 months ago she texted Holley with a link to a viral video, first released by Mic, that narrated the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who had been sentenced to life in federal prison on nonviolent drug charges. “This is so unfair,” Kardashian West wrote. “Is there anything we can do about it?”

“There are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.”

Holley was raised in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her mother went to school at night to earn an M.B.A. to move up from legal secretary to office manager at a white-shoe law firm. As a child Holley would wander the halls of her mother’s offices, unimpressed. She saw a lot of thick books, no computers, and little fun. She got an English degree from UCLA, went on to teach (her students “took advantage of the fool—that would be me”), and ended up as a waitress at the first ever California Pizza Kitchen when she met (and slung pies for) a “cool” lawyer who did work that excited her. She enrolled in Southwestern Law School in 1985.

One summer Holley took a law-clerk position at the public defender’s office. Her responsibilities included interviewing people who’d been detained at the downtown courthouse (the same complex where Simpson would later be tried for murder). The experience was a revelation. “The holding cell is packed with people,” Holley recalls. “Packed! Everybody is black or brown. I was like, ‘I don’t understand—how is it that only black or brown men have committed crimes?’ I mean, it was just: Whoa.” Most of the men were accused of rock-cocaine possession and had near-identical stories. The narrative went like this: “I’m walking down the street, police pulled up, they searched me and found cocaine.”

Holley was furious: “This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution!” But theoretical protection from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn’t mean much. She passed the bar exam and went back to the public defender’s office after graduation. The work was “emotionally gripping and intense” but inspiring. She loved the hustle; payment was extra. (“The check would come and I would be like, ‘I can’t believe I get this too!’” she says.)

But the more time she spent there, the more complex her cases became. Some of her clients were dangerous, almost a certain threat to their communities. “You fight just as hard, you make sure that only admissible evidence comes in, and you treat people with respect, which is important,” she says. She loved her work. But she wasn’t quite as closed off as she’d been before to new opportunities.

That’s when Johnnie Cochran, an outsize presence at the courthouse and a giant to Holley, handed her his card. An interview followed, then an offer. Six months into her tenure at the firm, Cochran joined the Simpson case. Once the verdict came down, she saw her lane. “We’re getting all these great calls from people who have criminal cases,” she told Cochran. She wanted to head up a new division, focused on those (sometimes famous) clients. Cochran gave her the go-ahead.

Holley is now a partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert and has represented Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Black Panther leader Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Symbionese Liberation Army bomber Sara Jane Olson, and Lindsay Lohan. The predicaments of the rich and beautiful (see: Lindsay Lohan in court, a nail painted with the words “fuck U”) bear little resemblance to the cases she pored over as a public defender. But Holley insists her experience representing the most disenfranchised deepened her conviction that we all deserve an advocate. Her ethos applies across income brackets: People who’ve been accused of a crime—“they’re scared, it’s a crisis, and you’re helping them through prob- ably the most difficult time of their lives.”

Except: Paris Hilton served just over three weeks behind bars in 2007 for a probation violation related to an earlier DUI. When Lindsay Lohan violated probation in 2010, she was locked up for about two weeks and then checked in to court-ordered rehab. At the time Alice Marie Johnson was almost a decade and a half into her sentence. Her intake papers indicated she’d be released when she died.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on *Today* after Johnson's release in June.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on Today after Johnson’s release in June.

According to Holley, Kardashian West has tracked criminal justice issues for decades, so it wasn’t surprising to receive her text about Johnson. Holley was, however, unsure what the women could do about it. She understood the sole option for Johnson to be freed was a presidential commutation: “It just seemed crazy. Trump is in the White House. He didn’t seem like the person who would be for this.” Still, she promised Kardashian West she’d look into it.

Johnson was arrested in 1993 for her role in a conspiracy to sell cocaine across state lines. At trial, 10 of 15 named coconspirators testified against her in exchange for reduced or dropped charges. She has never claimed innocence, but prosecutors made her out to be a hardened criminal. “It was like, ‘We just brought Al Capone down,’” Johnson says. “Like a reality show. That’s what they’ve done to people like me.” Johnson had no prior record. She was sentenced to life without parole.

Cases like Johnson’s are so common that Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, compiled them in a landmark 2013 report. She identified more than 3,000 men and women sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent crimes with no chance of parole. With President Barack Obama in his second term, Turner appealed for clemency for a number of them, Johnson included. Obama approved 1,927 such petitions while in office, but Johnson’s was denied. “I was shocked,” Turner says. “Her case was a slam dunk.” When President Trump was elected on his “law and order” platform, Turner “feared that might be the end of hope for her.”

The odds made Holley nervous too. “I don’t do a lot of federal criminal work because it seems so incredibly unfair, so stacked against the defense,” she says. “It’s too depressing.” But this time the appeal had come from Kardashian West, and Holley is not just skilled but tenacious. And one of her strengths is knowing when to ask for advice. She needed clemency experts on her team, stat. “I said to Kim, ‘We have to retain some of these people.’ And she said, ‘How much?’ ” The funds were wired over in an instant.

First Holley connected with Turner; Amy Povah, founder of the CAN-DO Foundation; and Brittany K. Barnett, cofounder of the Buried Alive Project, who’d known Johnson for several years. From the outset Turner was frank: “If it were any other president, Kim Kardashian’s advocacy might not make a big difference.” But under this one, it had a chance.

Trump likes celebrities and executive decrees of all stripes. The fact that he can rescue someone with a flourish of his pen? These moments are made for television. (With Sylvester Stallone in attendance, Trump granted the famed boxer Jack Johnson a posthumous pardon in May 2018.)

In the meantime Kardashian West set off on a parallel track, an exquisite metaphor for our current political era: She reached out to Ivanka Trump, with whom she was loosely acquainted. Trump in turn put her in touch with her husband, Jared Kushner, who has a documented interest in criminal justice reform. (His father served time for tax evasion, among other crimes.)

It fell to Holley to contact Johnson. “She explained to me that a very famous woman wanted to help me,” Johnson remembers. “Of course I told her I was interested.” Johnson was desperate for more information but didn’t want to press. After, she called her children. Google this woman, she said. Find out who her clients are. It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

While working the case, Holley held routine calls with Johnson. Once, she texted Kardashian West, maybe 10 minutes before a scheduled check-in: Did she want to call in? “Kim was like, ‘What’s the number?’” Holley recalls.

It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

This is what critics who’ve questioned Kardashian West’s motives don’t know, Holley and Turner emphasize. That she’d clear her schedule for Johnson. That she’d send delicate emails to Kushner when momentum seemed to have petered out. That she spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in near-constant communication with Turner and Barnett because the White House needed court documents.

“Kim’s not a criminal justice reform expert,” Barnett concedes. “She doesn’t claim to be. But you don’t need to be an expert to know that it’s wrong to sentence people like Alice to spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

But after that notable uptick in White House communication in December 2017, the line went dead. The women (and the team was almost all female) hesitated over what to do next. Holley remembers thinking, “We can’t bug these people, but we have to bug these people.” The plan had been to whisper in the administration’s ear. Instead along came a bullhorn.

In April 2018, Kanye West declared his support for Trump on Twitter. The announcement drew a firestorm on social media—and the favor of the President. Kardashian West, who has been diplomatic about her political differences with her husband, has since admitted that his public endorsement elevated her cause. (In October he said he would distance himself from politics.) Within weeks the White House set a date for her visit.

Holley recounts the trip to D.C. in snapshots. Fans in the windows, on balconies, scads of people wanting a picture. Steps! Carpets! A portrait of Vice President Mike Pence on a wall. She and Kardashian West in a little room outside the Oval Office. Jared! Ivanka! Trump, expectant, behind the Resolute Desk.

The meeting kicked off with Khloé Kardashian–related small talk. (“Because Khloé had been on The Celebrity Apprentice,” Holley reminds me.) Soon the President wanted to know how Holley and Kardashian West had met. (With then White House counsel Don McGahn and General John Kelly in the room, the O.J. Simpson connection wasn’t Holley’s preferred icebreaker. But exhale: Turns out Trump and Simpson had known each other back when.)

Then business: Kardashian West went first, explaining the case in her usual unhurried, enunciated cadence. But Holley, aware that the President has limited time (and perhaps attention), soon broke in. Trump delivered his verdict moments later: “I think we should let her out.” Deal maker that she is, Holley pushed him to announce the news that afternoon. It happened to be Johnson’s sixty-third birthday; a nice PR moment. No such luck.

Still, Kushner assured them the meeting had gone well and invited Kardashian West and Holley over for dinner to plot a path forward. “They are lovely people,” says Holley, who has five framed photos of herself with President Obama in her office (and one bottle of Kim Kardashian perfume). “Engaged, engaging, interested in us, interested in the world.” The Kushner children took drink orders at the door and recommended an apparent house special—Shirley Temples.

Holley was in court (representing Reggie Bush, one of Kardashian West’s exes) a week later when a text from Kardashian West popped up: “Call me, I just heard from the White House.” Trump had the paperwork; Johnson would be free in hours.

Holley got Barnett, Turner, and Kardashian West on the line to reach Johnson. “Kim said, ‘You don’t know?’ Alice said, ‘Know what?’ Kim said, ‘You’re going home,’” recalls Holley.

Months later Johnson struggles to articulate the moment. “It was an explosion inside,” she says. While she was in prison, Johnson had made it her mission to help other women. She choreographed dance recitals and wrote plays. She mentored. She volunteered in hospice. She didn’t do it for a reward, but she sees now that the acts were seeds “sown into those women’s lives.” A farmer plants and doesn’t know what the crop will yield. Johnson invested in the women around her, and her release was “a harvest I reaped,” she says.

Holley doesn’t have immediate plans to petition the White House on more cases. In November 2017 it was reported that Kardashian West had asked Holley to help free Cyntoia Brown, a trafficked teen who shot and killed a man who’d hired her for sex. But in May 2018 a parole board was divided on whether to recommend clemency for Brown and passed the case to outgoing Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, a Republican. He has so far not addressed it. (A recent Tennessee Supreme Court decision declared that Brown is ineligible for parole until she’s served at least 51 years in prison, making clemency her only option for an earlier release.)

In September 2018 Kardashian West returned to the White House to advocate for prison reform. She intends to keep lines of communication with the administration open, no matter the criticism from those who think she should refuse to cooperate with this president. “We were able to change someone’s life,” she says. “And there are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.” It’s not quite a Talmudic reference, but it echoes the precept “Whoever saves one life saves the whole world.”

That’s not just some grandiose metaphor, Holley points out. Johnson has children, grandchildren, even two great-grandchildren. A universe of people had to go on without her.

When Johnson came home, her daughter showed her a collection of photo albums. Johnson tried to smile, but it broke her heart—“seeing 20 years of pictures that I’m missing from.” Still, she has done her best to make up for lost time. A Christmas portrait was scheduled in October.

For Johnson this is a small restitution: “I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to be free.”

Mattie Kahn is a senior editor at Glamour.

Who Kim Kardashian’s Attorney Shawn Holley?

Not even the most experienced journalists could resist a hint of scorn: “Trump Meets With Kim. Kim Kardashian West, That Is,” one headline read. Another: “Welcome to 2018: President Donald Trump Just Met With Kim Kardashian.”

Kardashian West had gone to the White House to plead the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who’d served more than two decades in prison on nonviolent drug charges. When Trump commuted her sentence a week later, the moment came and went like a season finale. Recapped, critiqued, forgotten.

The truth is the meeting between two celebrities (one, breaker of the Internet; the other, president of the United States) was planned over months, and behind it was a woman whose name and narrative—the public defender turned Kardashian “konfidante”—don’t fit in a headline.

Kardashian West was 16 the first time she tapped Shawn Holley for her legal expertise. The women had met two years earlier, when Johnnie Cochran assigned Holley to the “dream team” that would defend O.J. Simpson. Holley was one of the most junior in a group that included Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, and Robert Kardashian. The case lasted 16 months.

By the time it was over and Simpson was acquitted, Kardashian West had come to see her father’s coworker as a cross between a role model and a relative. (“Oh my gosh,” she remembers thinking, “I just want to be like her.”) Holley became so close to the clan that she’d sometimes meet Kardashian West for lunch or to take her to Billy Blanks dance classes in Sherman Oaks. For their part, the Kardashians invited Holley to parties at their home. (The practice continues even now; the most recent photos on Holley’s phone include scenes from a barbecue on Kourtney Kardashian’s lawn).

Kardashian West and Holley were out to dinner on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica when the relationship turned professional. It was the pre-iPhone era, but Kardashian West heard that a friend had been arrested at Urban Outfitters and asked Holley, could she help? The shoplifter was out in hours.

Kardashian West has entrusted some of her most personal legal matters to Holley ever since—sensitive contracts, protective orders, nondisclosure agreements. She emails when she wants advice or sometimes just to vent. Almost 15 months ago she texted Holley with a link to a viral video, first released by Mic, that narrated the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who had been sentenced to life in federal prison on nonviolent drug charges. “This is so unfair,” Kardashian West wrote. “Is there anything we can do about it?”

“There are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.”

Holley was raised in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her mother went to school at night to earn an M.B.A. to move up from legal secretary to office manager at a white-shoe law firm. As a child Holley would wander the halls of her mother’s offices, unimpressed. She saw a lot of thick books, no computers, and little fun. She got an English degree from UCLA, went on to teach (her students “took advantage of the fool—that would be me”), and ended up as a waitress at the first ever California Pizza Kitchen when she met (and slung pies for) a “cool” lawyer who did work that excited her. She enrolled in Southwestern Law School in 1985.

One summer Holley took a law-clerk position at the public defender’s office. Her responsibilities included interviewing people who’d been detained at the downtown courthouse (the same complex where Simpson would later be tried for murder). The experience was a revelation. “The holding cell is packed with people,” Holley recalls. “Packed! Everybody is black or brown. I was like, ‘I don’t understand—how is it that only black or brown men have committed crimes?’ I mean, it was just: Whoa.” Most of the men were accused of rock-cocaine possession and had near-identical stories. The narrative went like this: “I’m walking down the street, police pulled up, they searched me and found cocaine.”

Holley was furious: “This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution!” But theoretical protection from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn’t mean much. She passed the bar exam and went back to the public defender’s office after graduation. The work was “emotionally gripping and intense” but inspiring. She loved the hustle; payment was extra. (“The check would come and I would be like, ‘I can’t believe I get this too!’” she says.)

But the more time she spent there, the more complex her cases became. Some of her clients were dangerous, almost a certain threat to their communities. “You fight just as hard, you make sure that only admissible evidence comes in, and you treat people with respect, which is important,” she says. She loved her work. But she wasn’t quite as closed off as she’d been before to new opportunities.

That’s when Johnnie Cochran, an outsize presence at the courthouse and a giant to Holley, handed her his card. An interview followed, then an offer. Six months into her tenure at the firm, Cochran joined the Simpson case. Once the verdict came down, she saw her lane. “We’re getting all these great calls from people who have criminal cases,” she told Cochran. She wanted to head up a new division, focused on those (sometimes famous) clients. Cochran gave her the go-ahead.

Holley is now a partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert and has represented Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Black Panther leader Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Symbionese Liberation Army bomber Sara Jane Olson, and Lindsay Lohan. The predicaments of the rich and beautiful (see: Lindsay Lohan in court, a nail painted with the words “fuck U”) bear little resemblance to the cases she pored over as a public defender. But Holley insists her experience representing the most disenfranchised deepened her conviction that we all deserve an advocate. Her ethos applies across income brackets: People who’ve been accused of a crime—“they’re scared, it’s a crisis, and you’re helping them through prob- ably the most difficult time of their lives.”

Except: Paris Hilton served just over three weeks behind bars in 2007 for a probation violation related to an earlier DUI. When Lindsay Lohan violated probation in 2010, she was locked up for about two weeks and then checked in to court-ordered rehab. At the time Alice Marie Johnson was almost a decade and a half into her sentence. Her intake papers indicated she’d be released when she died.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on *Today* after Johnson's release in June.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on Today after Johnson’s release in June.

According to Holley, Kardashian West has tracked criminal justice issues for decades, so it wasn’t surprising to receive her text about Johnson. Holley was, however, unsure what the women could do about it. She understood the sole option for Johnson to be freed was a presidential commutation: “It just seemed crazy. Trump is in the White House. He didn’t seem like the person who would be for this.” Still, she promised Kardashian West she’d look into it.

Johnson was arrested in 1993 for her role in a conspiracy to sell cocaine across state lines. At trial, 10 of 15 named coconspirators testified against her in exchange for reduced or dropped charges. She has never claimed innocence, but prosecutors made her out to be a hardened criminal. “It was like, ‘We just brought Al Capone down,’” Johnson says. “Like a reality show. That’s what they’ve done to people like me.” Johnson had no prior record. She was sentenced to life without parole.

Cases like Johnson’s are so common that Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, compiled them in a landmark 2013 report. She identified more than 3,000 men and women sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent crimes with no chance of parole. With President Barack Obama in his second term, Turner appealed for clemency for a number of them, Johnson included. Obama approved 1,927 such petitions while in office, but Johnson’s was denied. “I was shocked,” Turner says. “Her case was a slam dunk.” When President Trump was elected on his “law and order” platform, Turner “feared that might be the end of hope for her.”

The odds made Holley nervous too. “I don’t do a lot of federal criminal work because it seems so incredibly unfair, so stacked against the defense,” she says. “It’s too depressing.” But this time the appeal had come from Kardashian West, and Holley is not just skilled but tenacious. And one of her strengths is knowing when to ask for advice. She needed clemency experts on her team, stat. “I said to Kim, ‘We have to retain some of these people.’ And she said, ‘How much?’ ” The funds were wired over in an instant.

First Holley connected with Turner; Amy Povah, founder of the CAN-DO Foundation; and Brittany K. Barnett, cofounder of the Buried Alive Project, who’d known Johnson for several years. From the outset Turner was frank: “If it were any other president, Kim Kardashian’s advocacy might not make a big difference.” But under this one, it had a chance.

Trump likes celebrities and executive decrees of all stripes. The fact that he can rescue someone with a flourish of his pen? These moments are made for television. (With Sylvester Stallone in attendance, Trump granted the famed boxer Jack Johnson a posthumous pardon in May 2018.)

In the meantime Kardashian West set off on a parallel track, an exquisite metaphor for our current political era: She reached out to Ivanka Trump, with whom she was loosely acquainted. Trump in turn put her in touch with her husband, Jared Kushner, who has a documented interest in criminal justice reform. (His father served time for tax evasion, among other crimes.)

It fell to Holley to contact Johnson. “She explained to me that a very famous woman wanted to help me,” Johnson remembers. “Of course I told her I was interested.” Johnson was desperate for more information but didn’t want to press. After, she called her children. Google this woman, she said. Find out who her clients are. It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

While working the case, Holley held routine calls with Johnson. Once, she texted Kardashian West, maybe 10 minutes before a scheduled check-in: Did she want to call in? “Kim was like, ‘What’s the number?’” Holley recalls.

It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

This is what critics who’ve questioned Kardashian West’s motives don’t know, Holley and Turner emphasize. That she’d clear her schedule for Johnson. That she’d send delicate emails to Kushner when momentum seemed to have petered out. That she spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in near-constant communication with Turner and Barnett because the White House needed court documents.

“Kim’s not a criminal justice reform expert,” Barnett concedes. “She doesn’t claim to be. But you don’t need to be an expert to know that it’s wrong to sentence people like Alice to spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

But after that notable uptick in White House communication in December 2017, the line went dead. The women (and the team was almost all female) hesitated over what to do next. Holley remembers thinking, “We can’t bug these people, but we have to bug these people.” The plan had been to whisper in the administration’s ear. Instead along came a bullhorn.

In April 2018, Kanye West declared his support for Trump on Twitter. The announcement drew a firestorm on social media—and the favor of the President. Kardashian West, who has been diplomatic about her political differences with her husband, has since admitted that his public endorsement elevated her cause. (In October he said he would distance himself from politics.) Within weeks the White House set a date for her visit.

Holley recounts the trip to D.C. in snapshots. Fans in the windows, on balconies, scads of people wanting a picture. Steps! Carpets! A portrait of Vice President Mike Pence on a wall. She and Kardashian West in a little room outside the Oval Office. Jared! Ivanka! Trump, expectant, behind the Resolute Desk.

The meeting kicked off with Khloé Kardashian–related small talk. (“Because Khloé had been on The Celebrity Apprentice,” Holley reminds me.) Soon the President wanted to know how Holley and Kardashian West had met. (With then White House counsel Don McGahn and General John Kelly in the room, the O.J. Simpson connection wasn’t Holley’s preferred icebreaker. But exhale: Turns out Trump and Simpson had known each other back when.)

Then business: Kardashian West went first, explaining the case in her usual unhurried, enunciated cadence. But Holley, aware that the President has limited time (and perhaps attention), soon broke in. Trump delivered his verdict moments later: “I think we should let her out.” Deal maker that she is, Holley pushed him to announce the news that afternoon. It happened to be Johnson’s sixty-third birthday; a nice PR moment. No such luck.

Still, Kushner assured them the meeting had gone well and invited Kardashian West and Holley over for dinner to plot a path forward. “They are lovely people,” says Holley, who has five framed photos of herself with President Obama in her office (and one bottle of Kim Kardashian perfume). “Engaged, engaging, interested in us, interested in the world.” The Kushner children took drink orders at the door and recommended an apparent house special—Shirley Temples.

Holley was in court (representing Reggie Bush, one of Kardashian West’s exes) a week later when a text from Kardashian West popped up: “Call me, I just heard from the White House.” Trump had the paperwork; Johnson would be free in hours.

Holley got Barnett, Turner, and Kardashian West on the line to reach Johnson. “Kim said, ‘You don’t know?’ Alice said, ‘Know what?’ Kim said, ‘You’re going home,’” recalls Holley.

Months later Johnson struggles to articulate the moment. “It was an explosion inside,” she says. While she was in prison, Johnson had made it her mission to help other women. She choreographed dance recitals and wrote plays. She mentored. She volunteered in hospice. She didn’t do it for a reward, but she sees now that the acts were seeds “sown into those women’s lives.” A farmer plants and doesn’t know what the crop will yield. Johnson invested in the women around her, and her release was “a harvest I reaped,” she says.

Holley doesn’t have immediate plans to petition the White House on more cases. In November 2017 it was reported that Kardashian West had asked Holley to help free Cyntoia Brown, a trafficked teen who shot and killed a man who’d hired her for sex. But in May 2018 a parole board was divided on whether to recommend clemency for Brown and passed the case to outgoing Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, a Republican. He has so far not addressed it. (A recent Tennessee Supreme Court decision declared that Brown is ineligible for parole until she’s served at least 51 years in prison, making clemency her only option for an earlier release.)

In September 2018 Kardashian West returned to the White House to advocate for prison reform. She intends to keep lines of communication with the administration open, no matter the criticism from those who think she should refuse to cooperate with this president. “We were able to change someone’s life,” she says. “And there are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.” It’s not quite a Talmudic reference, but it echoes the precept “Whoever saves one life saves the whole world.”

That’s not just some grandiose metaphor, Holley points out. Johnson has children, grandchildren, even two great-grandchildren. A universe of people had to go on without her.

When Johnson came home, her daughter showed her a collection of photo albums. Johnson tried to smile, but it broke her heart—“seeing 20 years of pictures that I’m missing from.” Still, she has done her best to make up for lost time. A Christmas portrait was scheduled in October.

For Johnson this is a small restitution: “I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to be free.”

Mattie Kahn is a senior editor at Glamour.

The Arrow-verse Just Delivered A Ton Of Batman Villains, But Where Is Batman?

Spoilers ahead for the second part of the Arrow-verse’s “Elseworlds” crossover.

The long-awaited “Elseworlds” crossover is in full swing, and viewers are getting to see more of the Arrow-verse than ever before. In pursuit of the man who rewrote reality, Oliver, Barry, and Kara headed to Gotham City. Oliver spent the first chunk of the episode declaring that Batman is a myth and he was the first vigilante, and even the Bat-Signal didn’t really convince him at first. According to Oliver’s logic, there was no way they would meet Batman in Gotham because Batman didn’t exist.

Well, Oliver was half right! They didn’t meet Batman, but they did meet Batwoman, and Batwoman is already awesome enough that I’d be perfectly happy with just her as the hero of Gotham. Still, Batman very much exists; he’s just been missing from Gotham for three years, and Batwoman has stepped up to fill his void. Given that Arkham Asylum was packed full of villains until Oliver, Barry, and Kara stumbled into town, I’d say the Bat-cousins did a solid job of fighting crime.

Yes, Batwoman and Batman are cousins. Kate Kane revealed that Bruce Wayne is her cousin, and she has taken up residence in Wayne Enterprises, which was abandoned and derelict after Bruce Wayne disappeared and his board of directors tanked the company. Kate just wants to set up a real estate enterprise and haunt the rooftops at night, although our heroes didn’t connect the two at first.

As it turns out, Kate doesn’t know what happened to either Batman or Bruce any more than anybody else. Both have been missing, and Kara actually noted that it was quite the coincidence that both men went missing at the same time for the same span of time so far. When asked if perhaps the darkness and horrors of fighting the scum of Gotham City had driven Bruce away, Kate simply said that he wouldn’t have left without a fight, and we already have an arc for the Batwoman TV show, assuming that happens!

After getting a look at Batwoman in action, Gotham City, and Arkham Asylym, I’m going to be devastated if Batwoman doesn’t happen. Let us live on an Earth where Batwoman has her own show!

Speaking of Arkham Asylum, that is where the Arrow-verse delivered a ton of iconic Batman villains, although viewers didn’t get to see them all in the flesh or even hear them as we heard Harley Quinn all those years ago on Arrow. Many of them were simply revealed via name cards on the doors to cells in Arkham. Even if we didn’t see them in the flesh, however, there’s a lot to be excited about. The Arrow-verse didn’t go for C-list villains that nobody except for diehard DC Comics fans have heard of.

Here are the villains we now know exist in the Arrow-verse and what they’re known for in the comics!

Nora Fries

Nora Fries actually did appear in the flesh in the second leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover, and she wasn’t the kind of Nora Fries that fans of Batman: The Animated Series or Batman and Robin probably expected. No, this Nora Fries was not a pristine and beautiful woman floating in frozen animation while her mad doctor husband tries to cure her.

The crossover wasn’t clear on whether or not Nora is a doctor, but she definitely has the “mad” part covered! Once she escaped her cell thanks to Deegan freeing the inmates to buy himself time to escape, she went after a cold gun that had been stored in Arkham, and she had an icy showdown with Killer Frost. Could she return to the action, perhaps with her husband at her side?

Cobblepot, O.

According to the name card on one of the cells, somebody who can only be Oswald Cobblepot is locked up in Arkham. Cobblepot is one of Batman’s most iconic villains thanks to his presence in the comics, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Returns, Gotham, and more. Better known as Penguin, Oswald was an outcast due to his physical appearance for much of his life, putting a definite chip on his shoulder as he built himself into a criminal businessman with a lot of strings to pull in organized crime.

In some Batman stories, Batman and his allies have actually made deals with Penguin, with Penguin as one of Batman’s less violently bonkers baddies. If he turns up in the flesh in the Arrow-verse, it would be fun to compare this Cobblepot to Gotham‘s Cobblepot. I wouldn’t object to Robin Lord Taylor reprising the role once Gotham is done! If John Wesley Shipp can play his 90s Flash character for the Arrow-verse, why couldn’t Robin Lord Taylor play Penguin in the Arrow-verse?

Isley, P.

“Isley, P.” can only be the villainess better known as Poison Ivy. Interestingly, the cell containing Isley didn’t seem all that different from the cells containing characters who traditionally don’t have any powers. The comics character is a supervillain and eco-terrorist who gains the ability to control plants. She gained that power back when she worked as a botanist in her original identity as Dr. Pamela Isley.

Protecting plants and all things nature becomes the priority for Poison Ivy, and that naturally puts her at odds with the humans who get in her way. It’s probably safe to say that the Pamela Isley who exists in the Arrow-verse has already been transformed into Poison Ivy, which means a baddie with truly unique powers in the Arrow-verse.

Karlo, B.

If you caught “Karlo, B.” during the quick pan down the dark hallway of Arkham, it may not have rung a bell unless you’re fairly well-versed in Batman lore. This is a character far better known by his villainous name than his original given name. Yes, Basil Karlo is the name of the classic DC Comics character Clayface. Karlo was an actor who had a breakdown when he learned that a movie he’d starred in was being remade with a different actor.

So, Karlo donned the mask of a movie villain known as Clayface and began bumping off actors, as one does. Karlo actually didn’t have the shape-shifting powers that many associate with villains adopting the “Clayface” identity, although he does gain them later in his supervillain career. The Arrow-verse could feature a Clayface with or without powers, assuming he someday appears.

Nygma, E.

What’s Arkham Asylum without a Riddler making everything more confusing? This is another character I’d be 100% on board with seeing played by a Gotham actor. Cory Michael Smith over on the Fox drama has made the role of the Riddler his own in live-action, and he could definitely fit into the Arrow-verse’s version of Gotham City. Bring over Gotham‘s Penguin and Riddler, I say!

The Riddler of “Elseworlds” is clearly up to his regular tricks despite being locked up in Arkham, so we can probably count on him getting into trouble again if/when he makes his way out. As a non-superpowered villain, he could be ideal for the Batwoman series. Arrow is always more believable when Oliver is facing non-powered and non-magical villains; the same could be true for any Bat-characters.

Crane, J.

Of almost all the villains delivered in “Elseworlds” so far, “Crane, J.” is the one who seems most in line with his comics counterpart, even though he didn’t appear himself. Crane — better known in DC Comics and other adaptations as Scarecrow — clearly manufactured his fear gas that confuses and terrifies those who inhale it. Barry and Oliver weren’t familiar with Scarecrow or his tricks, and they wound up fighting each other after being exposed, each believing the other was an arch-enemy.

Fortunately, Batwoman showed up to explain what had happened, and we didn’t have to worry about the Scarlet Speedster and Green Arrow pummeling each other into submission. Scarecrow can be a very scary villain, whether he’s on TV, in comics, or even in video games. He’d be a killer bad guy for a Batwoman series.

Psycho-Pirate

Psycho-Pirate wasn’t actually named in this episode, but a baddie wearing a gold mask very much like the one Psycho-Pirate wears on the pages of DC Comics rampaged through Arkham after being set free. Fortunately, Batwoman and Co. captured him before he could wreak too much havoc, and he chewed enough scenery in his time on scene to last for a while.

In the comics, Psycho-Pirate is a supervillainous identity adopted by a number of different bad guys, and they favored emotion-based crimes. This Psycho-Pirate didn’t exactly go a subtle route, but it’s not like any version of Arkham Asylum is known for effectively rehabilitating the criminally insane.

Bonus: Guggenheim, M.

Marc Guggenheim may not be Arrow‘s showrunner anymore, but the Arrow leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover included a nod to Guggenheim that indicates his Arrow-verse namesake is a madman. “Guggenheim, M.” is being held in the same corridor as the likes of Penguin and Riddler. That’s a dubious honor!

Tune in to The CW on Tuesday, December 11 at 8 p.m. ET to catch the third and final leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover. The cliffhanger of the second episode seemingly revealed that the Arrow-verse is exploring a “Crisis On Infinite Earths” story with The Monitor, so it should definitely be worth tuning in to find out what happens next. For what you can watch while the Arrow-verse shows are on hiatus, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.

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