So what’s next? Well, it’s probably a safe bet that with three series in development right now (those two plus The Flash at The CW), DC will rest on their laurels for a bit (no Arrow-related pun intended) and see how these pan out before moving forward.
But what really struck is is the different approaches being taken by each of the series announced so far; Arrow is a gritty revenge drama; Gotham is a police procedural with a twist; Constantine is a supernatural show in the vein of Grimm. And of course The Flash is pretty standard superhero fare. So—if they were going to keep announcing stuff in the near future, one would assume they’d be going for different genres, different tones. What could keep our interest and not feel like a show bound and determined to force one of their others off the air? We’ve got a few ideas.
Here’s a war story for you, and something with a tie to Arrow, to boot, since Diggle has a history with DC’s elite group of fighter pilots.
While you’ve had a number of military shows come and go in recent years, the connection to DC’s heroes and established properties could help bolster this—and frankly, the politics of a war show right now aren’t quite as dubious as they were when there was a sudden spate of them about halfway through the Iraq conflict, when the staunchly anti-war crowd were unlikely to tune in.
Meanwhile, you’ve got a fairly decent template in the short-lived New 52 series for a first season; it put powers to use, but only in a way that serviced the overall military intelligence/special operations nature of the story.
Honestly, this might be a result of the fact that the Breaking Bad finale got me thinking about some of my favorite finales—and favorite shows—of all time, and Cheers comes near the top of both lists. But I could see a lot of fun to be mined from taking Bibbo’s bar and setting something there.
You’ve got not only everyday people living in the world of superheroes, but the lowest rung of schlubs, living in the same city as Superman, the idol of millions and the superhero that all the other superheroes are inspired by.
Also, frankly, there’s such a vast, untapped library of characters from the ’80s and ’90s in Metropolis who have gone totally unmined in TV and movies because until Man of Steel, every version of Superman that made it to the small or big screen was basically inspired by the Bronze Age. A series that played in Metropolis could see Jimmy Olsen used as a supporting character, bring back Chloe Sullivan, maybe even bring in oddball heroes and supporting players like Gangbuster and the Underworlders.
Yeah, the more I talk about that one, the more I think it would probably be better if it were…
Basically, everything you see above, except with even more oddball material and a hint of the supernatural. Something to tie into Constantine, maybe, if that show were to turn out to be a hit? Not a bad idea, but it would have to be done just right or else it would last even less time than the comics did.
This series has fallen into development hell at Syfy, as far as we can tell—which is something that seems to happen a lot. Remember that before The Sixth Gun got produced as a pilot at NBC, it was bought up and then abandoned by Syfy.
Booster Gold has a lot going for it, and the only thing really going against it would be the special effects budget needed to make the time-travel element work; not just the technical aspect of time travel but the fact that each episode or story arc would need to be set in a believably different time period or timeline.
We’re still hoping to see it come to fruition, and including it here because for all intents and purposes, it seems like a full-on restart would be needed to make Booster Gold a reality.
At a time when Game of Thrones is smashing ratings expectations, selling merchandise, helping to catapult George R. R. Martin’s books back onto the bestseller lists and setting new standards for cable TV, there isn’t really another show like it on TV.
Want to make one? Why not Warlord? It ran for more than a decade at DC Comics and has a compelling lead character, a great fantasy setting and the ability to toggle back and forth between Skartaris and the “real world,” a la Once Upon a Time. There’s huge potential in it, and unlike something like Conan, there’s almost no expectations built into it by brand recognition from anybody outside of comics.
Plus, the visual of the barbarian king with his big-ass Dirty Harry revolver is always a great one.
And, at the end of the day, you’ve got a great overarching story created by creator Mike Grell, with a beginning, middle and an end. That could prove useful if the show gets picked up beyond a first season.