So it seems that DC has come up with a very interesting strategy to combat their arch-rival Marvel’s silver screen dominance. While they do have serious long-term plans to build their own cinematic universe, starting with Batman v. Superman, DC is apparently going to take over prime time television. In addition to the very popular Arrow series, this fall will see the debut of no less than 3 DC property-based TV shows (The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine). And apparently, that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
In the last couple weeks alone numerous sites (including this one) have reported a cornucopia of DC characters who are apparently getting their own shows. Everyone from Nightwing and the no-longer-Teen Titans to Supergirl and even Lucifer are rumored to be getting the “Arrow treatment.” That’s a whole lot of DC! Now, I’m not here to say that’s a bad thing (by no means). In fact I am here to “pile on” as it were by suggesting a few DC characters that I think would make great television shows.
1. Black Lightning
Created in 1977, Jefferson Pearce a/k/a Black Lightning was one of the first African-American superheroes to appear in his own monthly series. Gifted with the ability to control and channel large amounts of electricity, BL’s story is just begging to be turned into a television show. From rising from the mean streets of Metropolis’ “Suicide Slum” to become an Olympic gold medalist, to coming back home to raise his family (including his soon-to-be super-powered daughters Thunder and Lightning) as the principal of his old school. This would be a perfect vehicle for the CW, and there’s no shortage of talented young black actors who could pull this off. Add in the fact that out of the literal plethora of DC-based shows on or coming-to television, only one of them features an African-American superhero in a prominent role (here’s looking at you Cyborg). Hopefully the “powers that be” in charge of producing these shows will do the right thing and give Black Lightning his own show.
Now before I start listing reasons why the lovely Zatanna Zatara deserves her own TV show, I should probably point out that there is a small chance we could see her on the upcoming Constantine show as the two were romantically involved in the comics as well as both being members of the Justice League Dark (a/k/a the JL that protects Earth from supernatural and paranormal threats). If that happens, you can quietly disregard anything that you read from here on out. That being said, there are plenty of reasons to give Lady Zee her own show (those fishnet stockings for example). Created in 1964, Zatanna was introduced as the daughter of Golden Age hero Zatara. Being born members of the mysterious homo magi race, the Zataras were gifted with an affinity for supernatural powers (you know, magic). Zatanna uses her mystical powers to fight evil-doers and to enhance her cover as a stage magician, and has been described as Sabrina the Teenage Witch crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s appeared frequently in animated shows such as Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice as well as the hit live-action Superman origin series Smallville. Isn’t it about time that the backwards-talking beauty got to be the star of her own show?
3. Red Hood
Now to clear things up, in case there’s any confusion, I am referring to the gun-toting Red Hood persona assumed by former Robin Jason Todd, not the fashion-challenged villain that later became the Joker. For those of you not up to speed on your Batman stories (shame on you), Jason Todd was the second young man to assume the mantle of Robin after Dick Grayson’s ascension to Nightwing. Unfortunately for young Jason, his time in the red and green tights was brief as he was brutally murdered by the Joker in the critically-acclaimed graphic novel Batman: A Death in the Family. Resurrected years later, J.T. returned to Gotham in the guise of the Red Hood and attempted to avenge his death. Unlike his former mentor, Batman, the Hood has no aversion to using firearms and no problem killing villains. In fact his motto is “let the punishment fit the crime.” Sounds like the perfect character to get his own TV show if you ask me. Aside from the promise of an ultra-violent orchestra of gunfire and bloodshed that a Red Hood show is guaranteed to be (think Deadpool meets the Punisher), the character is also extremely popular right now. Also, much like the Flash, Jason could easily be introduced in the Arrow series since he’s been known to run with Roy Harper in the comics. Personally, I can’t think of many DC characters whose show would be more of a guaranteed hit than the Red Hood.
4. Guy Gardner
Now there are no less than 3 ways that a TV show could be based on everyone’s favorite hot-headed ring-slinger. 1. they could use Guy as a way of rebooting the Green Lantern mythos after the disappointing 2011 feature film starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Guy is not as casually known as other Lanterns like Hal Jordan and John Stewart (made famous by the Justice League cartoon series), and therefore could easily hold down a regular television while priming audiences for the eventual Green Lantern reboot movie. 2. They could build a show around Guy’s time away from the Green Lantern Corps, either as the half-Vuldarian “Warrior” or as the yellow ring-wielding member of Justice League International (in which we could see Ice as a love interest). A JLI show would be another good way of introducing lesser known characters like Booster Gold, Fire & Ice, and Blue Beetle to non-comic-reading viewers. 3. They could do a TV series about Gardner’s recent takeover of the Red Lantern Corps. With #3 being my personal favorite idea, as long as I get to see Guy on screen in all of his obnoxious, foul-mouthed, short-tempered glory; I don’t care which version they use.
Yep that’s right, I am ending this article with the “Main Man” himself; Lobo. A quick history lesson for any of you who missed the Last Czarnian’s meteoric rise in popularity in the 90s (shame!), Lobo was originally created as an intergalactic villain in the 1980s. After seeing violent antiheroes such as the Punisher and Wolverine gain prominence over at Marvel Comics, DC decided to repackage Lobo as an over-the-top bounty hunter with a penchant for destruction. Combining tongue-in-cheek humor with ultra-violence, Lobo paved the way for guys like Deadpool and the Savage Dragon. Stan Lee has even stated that Lobo is his all-time favorite DC character (mighty praise indeed). Now in order for a Lobo TV show to work, it would probably be best for it to appear on a premium cable channel like HBO or Showtime, where they wouldn’t have to censor the massive amounts of bedlam and bloodshed that should be readily apparent in every episode. I don’t know about you guys, but I know I’d watch a show about a bloodthirsty, super strong, space biker hunting down and brutally murdering random “bastiches” religiously.
Well there’s my list, let me know if you love it or hate it in the comments below and don’t forget to share it with your friends. Feel free to throw me some likes on Facebook or Twitter (and show some love for UTF as well). Until we meet again, may the Dork Side be with you.