What Could Have Been: The CW’s Unproduced Arrowverse Shows by Jerry Whitworth
When Arrow made its television debut in 2012, no one knew it would explode into what became the Arrowverse (or the CWverse) with the Flash, Constantine, Vixen, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, Black Lightning, Batwoman, Stargirl, Superman & Lois, and Naomi (not to mention all the connections made through Crisis on Infinite Earths). However, with the establishment of HBO Max, it seems its time is quickly coming to an end as recent attempts to continue to grow the brand have mostly collapsed while the streaming service picked up Doom Patrol, Titans, Peacemaker, Green Lantern, Strange Adventures, Justice League Dark, Constantine, and an untitled Gotham PD project (as Netflix plays with Lucifer and Sandman). Before the CW gives up being the superhero channel to whatever form it will take next (undoubtedly featuring young, attractive people that make poor decisions), lets take a look at what shows almost joined the Arrowverse/CWverse but didn’t make it to television.
Posted in Comics
Tagged Arrow, Arrowverse, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Constantine, CWverse, DC Comics, flash, Jerry Whitworth, Legends of Tomorrow, Smallville, Stargirl, supergirl, Superman & Lois, The CW, The Flash
Make It So: The DC Cinematic Multiverse by Jerry Whitworth
With the announcement of Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 from DC Comics following in the footsteps of series such as Batman ’66, Wonder Woman ’77, Smallville: Season 11, and assorted Arrowverse comics, the stage is set to tell a comic book story in the DC cinematic multiverse. A lot of the groundwork for this kind of series has already been established in the Arrowverse thanks in no small part to its Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. Therein, the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline was adapted in a toned down version featuring characters from the 1990 Flash television series, Smallville, and the DC Extended Universe, to name a few, as several Earths were merged into one and cutoff from the rest of the greater multiverse. Lets take a look at what a DC cinematic multiverse comic book series could entail.
Human Target: The Unlikely Television Hero by Jerry Whitworth
With series like The Adventures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ characters were no strangers to television and often times proved to be culturally iconic. Beyond the trinity and their assorted supporting characters (Supergirl, Batwoman, etc), the likes of company heavyweights such as the Flash, Captain Marvel/Shazam, and Green Arrow made their marks across airwaves as well. But there were also some peculiar characters that made the transition and caught on with viewers. One such character was Swamp Thing, the star of two feature films, two live action television series, and an animated series with accompanying toyline. Undoubtedly, this development arose from the critical acclaim of Alan Moore’s run with the property and a likely desire to diversify from solely superheroes. But arguably a more interesting choice for adaptation was the Human Target.
Legends of Tomorrow: Where Are The DC Characters? by Jerry Whitworth
When DC’s Legends of Tomorrow debuted on the CW as a quasi-Justice League-lite series about time travel, the show tackled characters like Vandal Savage, Chronos, Manhawks, Ra’s al Ghul, Per Degaton, Jonah Hex, Justice Society of America, Legion of Doom, Captain Nazi, Grodd, and even B’wana Beast. However, with its fourth season, the series departed from being a superhero action/adventure to a much more comical series (which it had gradually moved toward) with a monster-of-the-week formula. Likely, this was in part an attempt to provide a reason for the character of John Constantine to become a cast member. While Batwoman is featuring Alice, Hush, Magpie, John Doe, Rifle, and Nocturna, Supergirl has Lex Luthor, Malefic, League of Ancients, Breathtaker, Rip Roar, and Mr. Mxyzptlk, Flash features Bloodwork, Pariah, Black Hole, Dr. Light, and Mirror Master, and Black Lightning stars the Outsiders, Gravedigger, and the nation of Markovia, Legends has adopted an evil-historical-figure-of-the-week again seemingly in service of Constantine. Even the upcoming Stargirl series has released a trailer with the Justice Society and Injustice Society and Green Arrow & the Canaries, which hasn’t formally been picked up yet, teased the Outsider clans. With little doubt, production of the now canceled Swamp Thing series likely tied the hands of Legends‘ writers in regards to what magic characters it could adapt (just as Stargirl gobbled up the JSA), there’s still a depth of characters the show has chosen to ignore. Lets take a look at them.
What Won’t Be in Crisis on Infinite Earths by Jerry Whitworth
With the Arrowverse’s upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the most ambitious crossover in television history continues to grow by leaps and bounds every day. The Arrowverse, which already touts Arrow, Flash (including the 1990 series), Constantine, Vixen, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, Black Lightning, Batwoman (which has hinted at being part of the Dark Knight film series), and Deathstroke as series making up its multiverse, will allegedly be adding Batman (which includes Legends of the Superheroes and the Batman ’66 series of comics), Wonder Woman (which has been connected to Batman in the comics), DC Animated Universe, Smallville, Birds of Prey (which has hinted at being part of Tim Burton’s Batman films), Superman Returns (which is considered a spiritual successor to the Richard Donner Superman films), Lucifer, and Titans (which has its own spin-off in Doom Patrol) to the mix. As an aside, if this seems difficult to keep up with, search “Tommy Westphall Universe” or “St. Elsewhere Universe,” which many of these shows are already linked up into, to really make your brain spin. That’s over five decades worth of DC Comics’ adaptations rolled into five hours of television aired across a span of two months. At this point, there may only be a handful of adaptations that won’t be mixed up into the event. Before we take a look at what likely won’t be included and why, it should be noted while the crossover appears to in some manner be incorporating the DC Animated Universe, we won’t include animated series (though, as noted, several animated shows are part of the Arrowverse already). If you wanted to learn more about DC’s animated products prior to the DCAU, check this out. Now, onto what won’t be part of Crisis on Infinite Earths!
The Outsiders are Coming to Black Lightning by Jerry Whitworth
In a recent interview with Newsarama, Black Lightning executive producer Salim Akil said that in the show’s second season, it will move towards assembling the Outsiders. Further, Akil mentioned the inclusion of Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) in the first season was a conscious effort toward this development. In the comics, when the Justice League refused to take action in a foreign country on Batman’s behalf, he left the group to work on his own with aid from Black Lightning. Therein, several more heroes emerged leading to the formation of the super team. Several members of the Outsiders have appeared thus far in the Arrowverse including Katana, Green Arrow, Arsenal, Indigo, Huntress, Dr. Light, and of course Black Lightning and his daughter Thunder. At this time, it’s unknown which Earth the Black Lightning series takes place upon as such won’t likely be known until the upcoming December five-part crossover that will introduce Batwoman. Further, with the upcoming Titans series dropping in the fall when DC Universe comes out of beta testing, it’s likely Nightwing, Starfire, Terra, Red Robin, and perhaps even Geo-Force (given Terra’s connection to the Titans) will be unavailable. Not to mention the likely upcoming Batwoman series which might embargo Batgirl/Orphan, Creeper, Owlman, and the Signal. Lets then see what heroes could show up to round out the team.
On Leather Wings: Batwoman Comes to TV by Jerry Whitworth
Two years ago, it was rumored Batwoman was coming to Supergirl. Such did not come to pass but next year, it’s expected the heroine will get her very own television series. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, it was announced Batwoman will be joining the Arrowverse as part of a five episode crossover event that will also place Black Lightning in that same multiverse. At this time, it’s unknown what Earth the character will be placed upon (Bruce Wayne was only just referenced by name on Arrow last season as Batman has been alluded to but not named on Supergirl) or if such a question will even be necessary (details of the event are, again, yet known which then does not rule out an adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths). However, just after Comic-Con came the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour where we learned Batman exists in the Arrowverse but is not scheduled to appear, Batwoman lives in Gotham City, and that a pilot is being filmed for the mid-season to determine if there will be a series (however, it was also stated none of the Arrowverse shows are in any danger of being canceled which likely means executives are high on the brand and thus its extension). Recently, it was announced Ruby Rose (xXx: Return of Xander Cage, John Wick: Chapter 2) will be playing the eponymous character. Working with virtually no details, lets take a look at the character and speculate upon what a Batwoman television series could entail.
DC Television Universe: SDCC 2018 by Jerry Whitworth
Starting out as an almost Batman Begins (2005) television series that instead featured a murderous Green Arrow, Arrow is going into its seventh season as spin-offs The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow enter their respective seasons five and four this fall on the CW Network (while animated spin-off Freedom Fighters: The Ray just debuted its second season online). The DC Television Universe, or Arrowverse, would incorporate Supergirl and Constantine as the former enters its fourth season and latter returned as an animated online series (City of Demons) and its eponymous protagonist has become a series regular for Legends‘ coming season (previously, Legends incorporated the ancestor of the animated series Vixen‘s eponymous protagonist). It was just learned at the latest San Diego Comic-Con International that the character Batwoman will get her own television series on the CW and she will be introduced in a five-part crossover event this December that will also incorporate the series Black Lightning (entering its second season) into the DCTVU. Two years ago, it was rumored Batwoman was sought for the second season of Supergirl but rumor also had it the idea was nixed due to Gotham on Fox (where Arrow writers have pushed for more Batman content since Gotham‘s emergence with occasional small victories). As Gotham enters its final season sometime next year with reportedly only ten episodes (which appears to fall three short of being eligible for syndication), it seems the time has come for the DCTVU to bring Gotham City to its viewers (while reportedly Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred will be getting his own television series on Epix and Dick Grayson is leading the Teen Titans on the DC Universe’s Titans series). Lets take a look at what characters are coming to the DCTVU shows this fall.
Posted in Comics
Tagged Arrow, Arrowverse, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Constantine, DC Television Universe, flash, Jerry Whitworth, Legends of Tomorrow, San Diego Comic-Con, SDCC, supergirl