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DC Comics Television: The Outset
When people think about comics, two names usually come to mind. Collectively referred to as “The Big Two,” MARVEL and DC Comics are the undisputed kings of the industry. While MARVEL has been delivering hit after hit at the box office with characters like Iron Man and Captain America, along with a host of properties set for the next few years including Doctor Strange and Black Panther, the small screen has seen DC take a powerful lead in similar fashion.
DC’s first hit on TV was CW’s “Arrow” and what many refer to as the “Arrowverse,” a gritty, realistic take on the Green Arrow character. The producers used Arrow’s success to secure a spin-off for DC’s Scarlet Speedster, Barry Allen, A.K.A. The Flash. Featuring a far lighter tone in Central City compared to Starling City, where Arrow takes place, a factor noted just this week as the two series finished off a two-part crossover “Flash vs. Arrow” from The Flash and “The Brave and The Bold,” from Arrow. Still, regardless of whether you’re Team Arrow or Team Flash events like this can be big for DC as they continue to push the envelope and their characters to the public, and it doesn’t stop there.
Gotham City is one of the most iconic places in Comics, as it serves as home to The Caped Crusader and crack squad of agents known as The Batman Family. Still, what was Gotham like before Bruce and the dawn of “costumed freaks?” What were things like before Batman was cleaning up crimes with the Hammers of Justice and organized crime was the biggest threat Gotham had to face? Well, that’s exactly what we find out in “Gotham” with detectives Jim Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock. The series looks at the formative years of Gordon as he fights the corruption that infests almost every aspect of Gotham as well as the lives of those who will one day become intricate parts of The Bat Mythos, such as Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin,) Renee Montoya, (Question II,) and a young Selina Kyle (Catwoman.) Though the show has somewhat struggled with fan approval, it will have a good amount of time to correct itself since being renewed for a season 2 on FOX.
Last, and possibly least, is the show “Constantine.” I say least because while the show is still on the air, the possibility of a season two is sketchy at best with the fans lobbying for people to help save a show that has been heavily praised for sticking close to the source material from the “Hellblazer” comic series. However, for whatever reason, the show seems stuck in Limbo as the show has stopped production at 13 episodes. The internet community has since taken to various social media outlets with the hashtag “Save Constantine” (#SaveConstantine) and have noted that even if the show isn’t watched on television on it’s usual time slot, watching it on various streaming sites such still helps support the show and is taken into account. While the show has not been officially cancelled it’s not a great outlook thus far.
Of course, there are other projects that have been talked about. CBS looks to be picking up it’s own DC property in “Supergirl,” and rumor has it TNT could be getting a live-action adaptation of “Teen Titans.” Golden Age hero Hourman could also make it to the CW in his own series. All of these characters making it to television is interesting to say the least, but not something uncommon to expect from DC,who regularly had several properties on TV as cartoons.
The DC Animated Universe (DCaU) brought an entire generation of kids grow up watching the adventures of DC’s best. “Superman: The Animated Series,” “Static Shock,” and “Justice League/Justice League: Unlimited” were cornerstones of many a childhood and introduced many peoples’ favorite heroes and heroines like Wally West (A.K.A. The Flash) in “Justice League,” Static from “Static Shock,” and Terry McGinnis from “Batman: Beyond.” Now it looks like DC wants to try recreating the success of the DCaU with their live-action series.
With all the projects DC has on air and on deck, one has to wonder what MARVEL has to counter their counterparts, and get their own slice of the television pie. Check back next week for a look at MARVEL and their small-screen plans in part two of this series.