Television and Comics: The New Frontier
With the recent success and popularity of comic adaptations of The Walking Dead, Arrow, and Agents of SHIELD, network television has doubled down on bringing the panels to the small screen for some nightly viewing. Coming soon, here are some of titles viewers should be expecting to see soon.
As Adrienne Athanas first reported, this series, which has been in development since Captain America: The First Avenger and hinted at with the Agent Carter One-Shot, will follow the harrowing missions of one of the first SHIELD agents long before the creation of the Avengers. Like Agents of SHIELD, this series will have canonical implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will also be interesting to see any crossover with AoS moving into its second season.
Hayley Atwell will reprise her role as Agent Carter here, as she’s also joined by a revolving door of former Phase one cast members including Dominic Cooper, returning to the role of Howard Stark. The series is expected to fill the gap between Agents of SHIELD’s first and second seasons.
According to Deadline, the series will revolve around Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver) as she finds herself turned into a zombie. There is a wrinkle in this horror story, if she’s devoured someone’s brain, she can maintain the appearance of a live human. Another twist, however, is that as she consumes people’s brains, she acquires their last thoughts. Working as a med-student in a coroner’s office, she’s comes in close contact with plenty to munch on without hurting anyone. However, because of the often grisly deaths of the cadavers coming her way, she will have to solve “homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head.”
Many story elements have been changed in this adaptation, changing the main character’s name from Gwen to Olivia and the inclusion of characters such as male lead Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) whose role as a homicide detective will bring him within close proximity of Liv throughout the series. Additionally, the comics saw a grave-digging Gwen hang out with ghosts and were-creatures, whereas at Liv’s side will be her best (very human) friend here will be Peyton, played by Alexandra Krosney (Last Man Standing, Transformers Prime). Blaine, the antagonist will be played by David Anders (The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time), a rich kid, turned drug dealer. The series is expected to debut sometime midseason.
The Flash will be the origin and adventures of Barry Allen, a crime scene investigator, who decides to become a vigilante after a traumatic accident gives him super speed. Unlike Arrow, this series will feature more meta-powered adversaries for the hero, challenging him intellectually and physically.
Grant Gustin, formerly from yet another CW series, 90210, will play the role of Barry Allen. Jesse L. Martin will play a Detective West (full name as yet unavailable) the surrogate father of Iris West, to be portrayed by Candice Patton. This is especially interesting news considering both actors are African-American, whereas their original iterations have usually been of Caucasian descent. This may be a mirroring move by parent company, Warner Bros., as it was recently teased that the New 52 version of Wally West, Iris’ nephew, is Black.
The series is expected to debut this fall.
Hailed as the origin of James Gordon, the future commissioner of Gotham’s Police Department, the series also is a staging ground of sorts for the audience to see the backgrounds of several other fan favorite characters. Going without saying, a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) will appear, but alongside him so too is a young Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), Oswald Copperpot (Robin Taylor), and Ivy (Clare Foley). Though many young villains are potentially appearing throughout this series’ run, Gordon’s work would seem to concentrate more on mob crime rather than super crime.
Ben McKenzie will lead the series as Detective James Gordon along with Donal Logue, who will play Detective Harvey Bullock. Erin Richards will be the main love interest for McKenzie, portraying Barbara Kean, Gordon’s eventual ex-wife in the comics. The main villain will be a character named Fish Mooney being played here by Jada Pinkett Smith. This series seems to playing the long game and seems to be operating in its own continuity, so expect some canonical changes. Gotham will also be coming this fall.
A more faithful adaptation than the 2005 Keanu Reeves film, the series follows the title character in his fight against demonic threats. John Constantine will now be played by Welshman Matt Ryan, previously heard as the voice of Edward Kenway in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Though knowledgeable in the occult, he has already turned his back on fighting for any altruistic notions, until he meets Liv (a different one), the daughter of a close friend, who has been targeted for a fate worse than death. Played by Lucy Griffiths, Liv will play as a wide-eyed contrast to the seasoned Constantine as they travel the country to find just who has it out for his young compatriot.
Though the premiere date is not yet set, it is expected to air sometime this winter.
Winter is Coming
While, Gotham, The Flash, and Agent Carter are all going to be getting assured looks from the viewing audience, Constantine and iZombie will probably have the most interesting situations of the shows listed above considering the audience’s sheer lack of knowledge of the source material. Though some will be familiar with the Constantine movie, fans of it might actually be taken aback by the series considering how much it strayed from comic. iZombie, though it will be taking certain liberties with the plot, will be inserting itself into a network that’s trying to bank on young adult market. With the Gothic elements the show will incorporate, there may be plenty of potential here from the Vertigo title.
DC Comics properties make up the majority of comic shows, with more down the line with a Seth Rogen led Preacher series in the works. Marvel, though, will be bringing its franchises further down the line. Earlier this year, Netflix announced a House of Cards-like partnership with Marvel, announcing the development of five different titles: four individual series for Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist; and Defenders, a team-up series bringing those respective characters together. Looks like viewers will be passing over yet another Law and Order marathon.