You can't go a year anymore without at least one Marvel or DC comic book being turned into a TV series -- but 2018 is going to be a particularly fruitful year for these.
Besides a number of in-development projects that could pop at any time, there are a number of new shows (and a pair of those irregularly-scheduled Netflix shows) that will be beaming into your living rooms soon, and ComicBook.com felt like now is as good a time as any to give you the who/what/when/where on what's what in 2018.
In addition to Marvel and DC, there are new players joining the fray, too; creator-owned projects like The Boys and Deadly Class are in post-production now, along with power players like Fox's X-Men-related properties and the Riverdale spinoff Sabrina coming along have changed the comics-TV landscape a bit.
So what's coming soon to a small screen near you?
From showrunner Salim Akil, The CW will introduce a new DC superhero show that is not (at least for the time being) explicitly tied into the multiverse that houses Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
The series centers on Jefferson Pierce, a school principal and retired superhero, formerly known as Black Lightning, who is drawn out of retirement when gang violence begins to threaten his neighborhood, his students, and his two teenage daughters.
“I kind of liken it to Battlestar Galactica,” series star Cress Williams told ComicBook.com during the CW network upfront presentation. “I’m a huge fan of that show, and I got a lot of friends to get into it because I’m like, it doesn’t matter if you like sci-fi or not. It’s a great drama. People who weren’t really a fan of the genre love that show. That’s our show: we’re a family drama, rooted in real life, with super powers on top of it. We haven’t seen that. Of course, our skin tone, we haven’t seen a lot of that, either, but it’s rooted in real life, and it’s really a family drama at the heart of it.”
Black Lightning will premiere on January 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following the midseason premiere of The Flash.
In case your view of superheroes had not been suitably reduced by things like Watchmen and Kick-Ass, Amazon is bringing audiences The Boys, an adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's beloved creator-owned series.
The comic, which began at WildStorm but eventually moved on to Dynamite Entertainment, centers on "Wee Hughie," a regular guy who is recruited to work for a shadowy quasi-governmental organization that hunts superhumans after the love of his life is brutally killed before his eyes during a superhero battle.
According to the official synopsis, the series (from executive producer Eric Kripke) will depict a world in which superheroes embrace the “darker side of their massive celebrity and fame.”
This is the second time in less than a year that one of Robertson's creator-owned comics has come to TV; earlier this month, Syfy premiered Happy!, based on a miniseries by Robertson and legendary comics writer Grant Morrison.
“We wanted to make sure we got Happy right,” Morrison explained of translating it to screen. “There was a lot of talk about, ‘how are we going to do this? Is it going to be a two-dimensional, flat rendering like some of the earlier, mid-period Disneys?’…They took Darick’s character and tweaked it just enough and it looks great.”
The Boys has no specific release date yet.
Cloak & Dagger
Joe Pokaski has created a new series for Freeform that will bring yet another creation of Bill Mantlo (most famous for creating Rocket Raccoon at Marvel and writing the Invasion! crossover at DC) to the screen in Cloak & Dagger.
The series stars Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt in the title roles, and expands Marvel's domain to another network, along with their hit animated series on Disney XD, their "Marvel Knights"-style programming at Netflix, and their more straightforward superhero fare on ABC.
You can check out the official synopsis below.
This exciting new series is an adaptation of the beloved Marvel characters aimed squarely at young adults. This live-action interracial romance follows Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart—but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.
No specific release date has yet been announced for Cloak & Dagger.
Set in Krypton's past, Syfy's upcoming series from executive producer Cameron Welsh centers on Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), Superman's grandfather, during his young and wild years, decades before Krypton's destruction.
Something (Brainiac? Doomsday? Both have been name-dropped) is threatening Krypton's past, and Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) steps in to help safeguard the present by making certain Krypton remains safe until such time as Jor-El and Lara can have their child and guarantee Earth's present.
“It’s less about any specifics that are within [World of Krypton by John Byrne and Mike Mignola], but more about the richness of the world,” Welsh told ComicBook.com. “What I loved about that book was how well-drawn that world was, how developed it was. The depth and the complexity of that world, I think, is what we’re striving to achieve.”
Krypton will premiere on Syfy on M
After turning Archie Comics's decades-long love triangle into a soapy, sexy, violent hit, Riverdale executiver producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is bringing one of his best-selling comics works to Netflix in the form of Sabrina.
Inspired by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, one of the comics in Archie's horror line, Sacasa's new series is set up with a two-year commitment at Netflix after a short development period during which the show was expected to end up at The CW.
Sabrina seemed like a perfect fit for the genre-heavy CW, which boasts a total of six comic book TV shows (and more to come) as well as Supernatural, arguably the network's most recognizable original series. One roadblock, though, may have been the hardcore horror elements that appear in the comics on which the series is set to be based. If showrunner Roberto-Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie's chief creative officer and the writer of both the comics and the series pilot, were determined to retain that level of gore and frights, it may not fit into a younger-skewing network at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Netflix is an obvious spot for a show like this to go; the streaming giant get new, weekly episodes of Riverdale in a number of markets that The CW does not serve, and the show has proven to be a powerhouse for both Netflix and The CW.
There is no official release date yet or Sabrina, although it is expected to launch its first ten-episode season in 2018.
The first live-action project announced for the upcoming and as-yet-untitled DC Entertainment-branded streaming app, Titans is a contemporary take on Teen Titans, seen through the eyes of executive producer Geoff Johns, who wrote one of the best-selling and best-reviewed runs on the comic in decades.
Little is known about the project outside of its official description, which reads, “Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven and many others. Titans is a dramatic, live-action adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book teams ever.”
The series stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Teagan Croft as Raven, Anna Diop as Starfire, Minka Kelly as Dove, Alan Ritchson as Hawk, and more.
There is no firm date yet for the release of the DC streaming app, although when Warner Bros. Television announced the launch of Titans they billed it as a 2018 project.
After years of demanding it, fans have got what they wanted: The Young Justice animated series will return in 2018, joining Titans as the two initial offerings on DC's branded app.
In Young Justice: Outsiders, the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in an animated world of super-powers, Super-Villains and super secrets. In the highly anticipated new season, the team faces its greatest challenge yet as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy. Equally praised by critics and viewers for its impressive visuals and rich storytelling, Young Justice reached more than 25 million unique viewers in each of its two seasons on Cartoon Network. This passionate fan support set the stage for the new third season.
Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!, Justice League Action) is executive producer of Young Justice. Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday) and Greg Weisman (Star Wars Rebels, Gargoyles) are producers of the series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Emmy Award winner Phil Bourassa (Young Justice, Justice League Dark, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract) serves as the series’ art director.
Honorable mention: 'Luke Cage' and 'Jessica Jones'
Sure, both Luke Cage and Jessica Jones have already been available to stream on Netflix for some time, but given the irregular scheduling of the streaming giant, and the roadblocks to each show's season 2 given the title characters appearing on The Defenders, it almost feels like the very first time.
Jessica Jones will launch its second season on March 8, 2018.
There is no official date for Luke Cage Season 2 yet.