DC’s savage domination of the boob tube continued this week with the costume reveals for two of their upcoming shows! Yes. DC has 2 prime time projects in the pipes. Actually, shit. They have 3. CONSTANTINE on NBC. GOTHAM on Fox. And the FLASH on the CW (Which, is the home to another outstanding DC property. Check out Matt Delight’s in Defense of ARROW article, in case you need a new television addiction. Way to step it up, DC. Way.. to.. step.. it up..
Lets start with the show that I’m the most interested in, CONSTANTINE. Based on the DC/Vertigo comic HELLBLAZER, John Constantine is a piss pot of a con man who lies and boozes his way through a world full of secret magic and paranormal adversaries with his unique brand of sleaze and swagger. With the potential to be a police procedural meets supernatural thrill ride, CONSTANTINE is another major network attempt at a very unreliable genre. (See the DRESDEN FILES)
So far, CONSTANTINE has a few elements working in it’s favor. One of the most important being that it is directed by Neil Marshall, the man responsible for three movies that sit very comfortably in my all time top 100. THE DESCENT, DOG SOLDIERS and DOOMSDAY. If these movies are any reflection on what the tone for CONSTANTINE will be, we are definitely in store for a dark and more accurate representation of the original Hellblazer comic book. They’ve also hired a relatively unknown welsh actor by the name of Matt Ryan who looks and sounds like he walked right out of the comic. This, combined with the unlikable loveability of Constantine, the popularity of magic meets reality story lines, the huge fan base of the comic, the underground popularity of the 2005 Keanu Reeves film and DC’s renewed dedication to the live action accuracy of their properties, CONSTANTINE could prove to be the show we’ve all been waiting for. Plus, Zatanna. PLEASE. Give me Zatanna.
Next up is the CW’s FLASH. Freshly spun off from ARROW, FLASH will follow Barry Allen as he attempts to protect Central City with his newly discovered speedsters powers, as well as solve crimes as a brilliant young forensic scientist. Played by Grant Gustin (GLEE) Barry Allen first appeared in a few episodes of ARROW, before returning home and receiving his flash powers. Not much is known about the plot of the show, but it seems like it will most likely fall into the ‘I have to learn how to balance by powers, with my responsibilities to my job, while using my connections on the police department to help me stay up to speed on all the bad things that are happening in my city’ premise.
When I first heard about THE FLASH television show, I was excited to see DC expanding their universe after the success of ARROW. And then with those two shows existing on the same network, the cross over potential seemed endless. With rumors of Nightwing and Harley Quinn making appearances on ARROW, DC seemed to be making a television sandbox universe where everyone of their flagship heroes and villains could appear and interact with each other. There’s even potential for their television characters to make an appearance in their costumed super party BATMAN VS SUPERMAN movie. Unlike Marvel, DC seems to have full possession of all of their intellectual properties and can dish them out as they seem fit. But, with GOTHAM and CONSTANTINE appearing on different networks, I can’t help but feel like DC may be selling their intellectual souls in a quest to catch up with Marvel’s recent live action success? Lets not forget DC’s recent failed attempt to get a WONDER WOMAN television show picked up.
Regardless, CONSTANTINE, ARROW, THE FLASH and GOTHAM are all set to appear on your televisions in 2014, all boasting that their shows will feature many recognizable names and faces from the entire DC universe. Even with their characters broken up across different networks, DC is set to successfully plant their flag in the ass of prime time television.