Hot off the news that FOX has picked up Gotham, a Batman prequel focusing on young Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon before he became the police commissioner, comes the news that we’ll be seeing a lot of comic inspired shows next season! So many show sin fact that we’ll be splitting this article into multiple parts.
Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC)
Spinning directly out of Captain America: The First Avenger and the Agent Carter short film, Hayley Atwell returns to the role in a action series that takes place in the 1940s and recounts the origin of SHIELD. As we reported on earlier (SEE: TV News: Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter), Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have been tapped as showrunners, with Steve McFeely, Christopher Marcus, and Jeph Loeb executive producing. ABC’s official description: The story is set in 1946 and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers.
It should be really interesting to see how they shape the series moving forward. There are other heroes and villains from the 40s that could be interesting to see (the original robotic Human Torch or Namor for example). I wonder if they’ll tie the series into Agents of SHIELD at all. Peggy Carter stops a bad guy and finds a powerful weapon, then in the future that weapon is stolen from SHIELD and Agent Coulson’s team must find it. (possible spoiler for Captain America: The Winter Soldier). It would also be pretty cool to see the seeds of HYDRA planted in SHIELD from the beginning. Also, it’d be great to see folks like Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough), Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi), and the Howling Commandos again. Plus, could we see a young Nick Fury in action? Sure, Sam Jackson wasn’t born until 1948, but in the comics Nick Fury is nearly a century old and uses the Infinity Formula to slow his aging and stay strong. Would be cool to see this element of Fury added into the mix along with seeing him rise the ranks from Agent of SHIELD to Director of the spy agency.
The Flash (The CW)
Lets change pace from Marvel Comics to DC Comics for a moment as DC is bringing one of their big guns to the small screen. Justice League member and speedster Barry Allen, the Flash, is spinning directly out of DC’s other successful CW series Arrow. Barry, as portrayed by Grant Gustin, was established in a couple episodes of Arrow as a young CSI who has a keen interest in meta crimes. The CW’s official description: The Flash focuses on scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who’s given powers that transform him into the Fastest Man Alive.
On one hand I’m surprised they cast Barry so young, I always picture him as being at least in his thirties. But on the other hand it makes sense to cast him young and let Gustin grow into the role. This could also differentiate the series from a possible Flash film series, where they can make him a bit older. I’d love to see them cross villains over between The Flash and Arrow, and it could lead to a lot of other possible DC spinoffs (Green Lantern? Wonder Woman?). In addition to Gustin, the cast includes Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker, Rick Cosnett, Candice Patton, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, and John Wesley Shipp, the Flash of the 90s television series.
Three heroes. Three networks. Constantine is an anti-hero from DC Comic’s dark (and magical) corner of their universe. Forget the Keanu Reeves movie, because Matt Ryan is the striking image of a young John Constantine. Maybe they will also get the rest right. The show is executive produced by David Goyer (Writer of Nolan’s Batman flicks) and directed by Neil Marshall (who helmed such movies as The Descent and Doomsday). The Wiki description of the DC Comic character: Constantine is a working-class magician, occult detective, and con man stationed in London. He is known for his endless cynicism, deadpan snarking, ruthless cunning, and constant chain smoking, but is also a passionate humanist driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in his life.
This show needs to be dark, gritty, and with a touch of noir. A mix between Angel and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Constantine is one of those heroes that is at his best when he is beat down and on the edge of his sanity. NBC, please do not sugar coat the series or try to make it appeal to kiddies. And I hope I’m not asking too much when I say that I need Zatanna to be part of the cast; fishnets, top hat, and all. (It might be cool to also see characters like the Swamp Thing. Just saying.)
In Part 2 we will be looking at some more Comics that are being turned into television series in the 2014 – 2015 season. Which of these three shows are you excited about?