When you look at network television, comic book shows have brought with them mixed results. While Marvel continues with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter was cancelled and Marvel’s Most Wanted passed on leaving AoS as Marvel’s lone representation on network TV outside of Netflix, which has the Defenders including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Meanwhile, DC has been thriving on the CW with Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, with Supergirl joining them from CBS on the network. DC also has two prequel TV shows to their signature heroes in Batman and Superman with Gotham on Fox and Krypton, a pilot for SyFy.
What other DC heroes can be represented on TV? While I propose might be something that a cable network particularly Spike, Fox, FX, FXX, Freeform, The CW (if they want to inch one step closer to be rebranded DC TV) or MTV as viable destinations since the larger networks might be iffy. Streaming destinations could include CBS online (to be featured alongside the new Star Trek series), Amazon Video, or Hulu.
Here’s my list.
We’ve been mostly been exposed to current and past time periods of superheroes like Smallville, which followed Clark Kent’s (Tom Welling) journey to Superman and Gotham, which doesn’t put Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), the future Batman, front and center as it focuses more on Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie). We haven’t seen much of a post Bruce Wayne Batman world aside from the animated Batman Beyond and the failed live action Birds of Prey.
I propose a series dedicated on Bruce’s successor with flashbacks to training to see how Gotham has evolved after Bruce Wayne. I can see this as a vehicle for Dick Grayson, the former Robin and current Nightwing or Terry McGinnis, who became Bruce’s successor as the new Batman in Batman Beyond.
The development of the villains from Gotham has served well as a template on how the series can be successful to contrast to Batman’s influence and the characters around him.
The title for the Green Lantern spans multiple different people worthy for the ring. The most popular of those who donned the ring are Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Other prominent Green Lanterns include Alan Scott, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and the new 52 ones in Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.
I’m surprised the lack of representation of the Green Lantern in live action aside from the failed Ryan Reynolds 2011 film and future plans to be introduced in the DC Cinematic Universe. The only TV representation comes in the form of the 1970s Legends of the Superheroes, a 1997 pilot for Justice League of America with Guy Gardner, and the Alan Scott appearances on Smallville. Allusions on The Flash don’t count.
Guess you get sort of forgotten about and lost in the shuffle when most of the attention goes to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Personally, I think we’re due for a TV show with whomever they want to represent. I think it would be primed for Simon and/or Jessica to emerge in the DC TV universe.
If Flash can have a presence in DCU and DC TV universes and introducing Superman as a regular character on Supergirl is any indication, then I think it’s about time to give Wonder Woman another shot.
Despite the failed 2011 pilot on NBC and the more successful 1970s ABC show, Wonder Woman should make a return to live action TV. I think given CBS, NBC and ABC’s current attitudes to superhero TV shows, I consider cable, CW and Fox be the perfect place for her. I put cable on the forefront, because a network like Lifetime, OWN, and Oxygen can benefit in tapping generations of female (and male) comic fans for the feminist icon.
The show spawned two successful animated shows and numerous other animated appearances would be primed real estate for a live action adaptation. There was a TNT adaptation in the works in 2015, but it was shelved in January. The tentative name for the show was Titans or Blackbirds. Chances are the show will likely feature the most popular Titans in Robin, Starfire, and Raven. I’m hoping to see Beast Boy and Cyborg to be included as well like the animated series.
The decision to move forward with the show might predicate on the success of Legends of Tomorrow since it was announced for renewal for a second season. It will be a matter of time before the Titans get their live action shot.
While Booster Gold is featured on the animated shows, there hasn’t been much of a presence in live action. The character did appear in the final season of Smallville and there was a TV show tentatively developed for SyFy, but never panned out.
I think it’s about time to see Michael Jon Carter modernized for TV. I don’t think we should necessarily settle for just Legends of Tomorrow. When you think about his premise as a time traveler and his origins in a similar vein of Greatest American Hero, you have the makings of a great character on TV. I can see him existing in a world similar to Mystery Men where there is a world of heroes and he’s trying to stand out, coming to his own while never taking himself too seriously.
This character could definitely be a vehicle for a Bruce Campbell or Patrick Warburton, who are known for their sarcastic and self-aware nature. I would like to see him realized for film as well, but whether or not it happens remains to be seen.
What DC hero would you like on TV?