6 More Potential Shows for the Arrow-Verse
Word hit the Internet this week that not only will the superhero Vixen be joining the same TV universe as Arrow and The Flash, but that producers are considering the Atom for their next spin-off. Clearly the people at Warner Bros. can recognize success, and they want to bank as much as possible on their winning superhero formula. Marvel is building a shared superhero universe in the movies, so it looks like DC is going to do the same on TV.
I’m all for it! I love both Arrow and The Flash, and I would love to see more heroes jump to the small screen. I think I’m even more excited for the potential of a small screen Justice League than I am for whatever big screen version that Warner Bros. is trying to develop.
Beyond Arrow, The Flash and the new Vixen cartoon, there’s also talk that upcoming shows about Supergirl and the Teen Titans will be part of the same universe (or at least there were, stupid CBS!). Clearly DC shows no sign of slowing down. But what other shows can they produce?
This is one of my favorite List of Six games, and I invite all of you to join me in coming up with some great ideas. What other superheroes could get shows to tie into the Arrow-Verse? The only rules are that they must fit the aesthetic of the Arrow-Verse, so super-powers are OK, but keep things grounded and gritty. And they can’t be Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman, because the universe is still partially a terrible place, and those characters are apparently only going to appear in the movies.
So join me after the jump to see my ideas. And join me in the comments to share some of your own!
6. Suicide Squad
If you’re ever going to do a spin-off from Arrow, then you’ve got to do Suicide Squad – despite any conflicts with the upcoming movie. The Suicide Squad episode of Arrow was pretty great, and the Suicide Squad episode of Justice League Unlimited was one of that show’s very best. They’re a great concept, and an even greater premise for television: deadly super-villains are promised time off of their prison sentences if they go on black ops missions for the government. Imagine a new Mission Impossible starring guys like the Joker, and main characters are set to die at almost any moment.
Obviously there will be a lot of overlap with the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, but a TV show spin-off would be a few years away, so all the movie would do is provide extra incentive to see such a show. The producers could re-use villains like Deadshot, Deathstroke, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang and the Clock King for their Suicide Squad spin-off, and if you really wanted to get some more mileage out of the show, toss in John Diggle and his wife. Who knows if they’ll still be necessary to Arrow a few years down the line. Then bring in new villains like Catman and Scandal and you’ve got a quality team of super-villains on your hands!
So, yes, what I really want to see is a Secret Six the TV show, but I’m willing to let them call it ‘Suicide Squad’.
There have been a handful of different Manhunters over the years, but the only one I’m interested in is Kate Spencer. A few years ago, Kate had a critically acclaimed comic where she juggled her responsibilities as an attorney with that of a superhero and a single mom. She didn’t have any powers or abilities, just fighting skill and determination. That’s all well and good, but it’s the solid supporting cast and premise that I’m most interested in. A superhero/single mom/attorney? That’s television gold!
If only the character of Manhunter wasn’t so boring…Maybe instead of Kate Spencer (who I think has already been name-dropped on Arrow), they could do a spin-off starring Laurel Lance when she becomes Black Canary. She’s an attorney. Just give her a kid in season 4 somehow and spin her off into her own Black Canary TV show. Boom! Solved!
4. Wonder Twins Cartoon
It is way past time the Wonder Twins returned to prominence. Why hasn’t the nostalgia wagon hit these two hard? I’m still eagerly awaiting their arrival to the New 52, but why wait? If cartoons are an option for the Arrow-Verse, then fire up a Wonder Twins cartoon! They’re two badass teen-agers with super-powers; isn’t that the basis for 90 percent of cartoons anyway? One can turn into any animal, one can turn into ice or water golems; they’re freakin’ awesome! Do you remember that time the Wonder Twins appeared on Smallville? It was great! They’re viable characters, and if you’re really looking to branch out and try to reach some other demographics, the Wonder Twins are a solid, entertaining bet.
If different versions of the Flash can appear both on TV and in the movies, then Cyborg can do the same thing! And it would be worth it if it means we get a show that doesn’t star another white male (despite my #1 entry on this list). Unfortunately, Cyborg is pretty much just a Million Dollar Man kind of character, but I’m sure today’s creative TV writers could come up with some better ideas. One idea would be to push today’s over-reliance on modern day technology. Back when he was first invented in the early 1980s, Cyborg was just about being half-robot. But today? We’ve got cell phones, tablets, wifi, computers, instant coffee makers; Cyborg could be a human interface for all of these things and more…while still being half-robot.
Show-wise, the producers could easily follow the athlete-turned cyborg angle. Victor Stone could be a pro football player who gets into a horrible accident and comes through the other side with cybernetic parts. Obviously he can’t play ball anymore, and that could be a huge personal conflict for him. He’s no longer a superstar, no longer in the spotlight, at least not until he starts using his new abilities to fight crime.
Plus just imagine all the fun they could have coming up with a new ‘whooshooshooshooshoosh’ kind of sound for when he uses his bionic abilities!
Even though she’s going to appear on Constantine in the near future, which isn’t connected to the Arrow-Verse, I think Zatanna would be a pretty awesome addition to The CW’s superhero lineup. Sexy, sassy, and gifted with the power of magic, Zatanna is a powerhouse of a character with a solid TV premise: she’s a practicing stage magician! People still love stage magicians, right? At the very least, they’re still very much a thing, and it would make for a solid premise. Zatanna has to worry about booking her next show, maintaining her crew, and is constantly living in the shadow of her famous magician father. Her story is custom-made for TV.
Or maybe go in the opposite route and make Zatanna one of those popular street magicians. Her dad could still be a popular Las Vegas stage magician, and Zatanna is the upstart daughter who starts using the family’s magical abilities to become the next Criss Angel. Then on top of that, she finds out she’s got a duty to save the world from magical evils. Sounds like quality TV to me!
1. Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle was on my list for characters who I wanted to see guest star on Arrow, and I still think he’s the best idea possible! But I’m not talking about the more modern, futuristic Jaime Reyes Beetle, because that live action show never flew. Instead, picture Ted Kord as a young, geeky inventor who is inspired by the likes of the Starling City Arrow and the Central City Flash to become a crime-fighter himself. He could invent the costume, the gadgets, the airship; the whole shebang. He would be funny, charming, smart, and just the right level of geeky.
Granted, that also kind of describes both Barry Allen and Ray Palmer in the Arrow-Verse, but I’m sure the writers could find a new angle for Ted Kord.
Basically he’d be a self-made superhero, one who relies on neat gadgets and gizmos in his glory-seeking war on crime. He wouldn’t be driven by the darkness of Oliver Queen, the pain of Firestorm or the responsibility of the Flash. He’d just be a guy who wants to have a lot of fun as a superhero. That sounds like a solid show to me.
Of course, technically, Ted Kord has already been name-dropped on Arrow. He was hosting a charity dinner for Oliver’s parents. But the Blue Beetle could just as easily be Ted Kord Jr., if necessary.
And, also of course, I’d be perfectly happy if the writers took my idea and just had him guest star on Arrow from time to time. Make it happen, CW! I’m giving you this one for free!
Those are some of my ideas, what about yours? What other DC superheroes do you think could appear in the Arrow-Verse and maybe get their own TV shows? Or maybe another cartoon like the upcoming Vixen? Let us know in the comments!