Small Screen Heroes: Eight New Superhero Shows Coming to TV Soon
Comic book giants DC and Marvel take their battle for superhero supremacy to the small screen. The two companies are rolling out four new television series apiece starting this fall. Here is the low down on each of them.
The world's fastest man will be making his way to your television screen in a...well, flash. The CW's "Flash" keeps in the tradition of other CW superhero shows "Arrow" and "Smallville" by portraying a younger incarnation of its main character and telling his origin story. Flash, whose real name is Barry Allen, originally teamed up with Oliver Queen in "Arrow." He will be played by 24-year-old Grant Gustin in the new series. Initial reviews of the pilot are promising, with audiences and critics calling it exciting, astounding and satisfying beyond expectation.
Matt Ryan plays John Constantine, a sorcerer and exorcist who uses his knowledge of the dark arts to hunt demons and protect the world from supernatural threats. Ryan describes his character as a "working class anti-hero." He has no special powers save for his dark wit and wry sense of humor. "Constantine" starts airing Oct. 24 on NBC.
"Gotham" is centered on the origin stories of the titular city's famous cops and villains — not Bruce Wayne. Though a young Bruce Wayne will appear in the story, it focuses more heavily on the young Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). The Penguin, Catwoman and other villains will have their backstories told as well. Critics believe the premise of a Batman series with virtually no Batman is a risky proposition but could pay off in the end. Decide for yourself when "Gotham" premieres on FOX in Fall 2014.
Captain America's "best gal" Peggy Carter becomes a hero in her own right in "Marvel's Agent Carter." The series takes place after the events in "Captain America: The First Avenger" and follows Peggy as she balances performing routine tasks at the Strategic Scientific Reserve with running secret missions for Howard Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. "Agent Carter's" eight-episode season starts in January 2015.
The 2003 film starring Ben Affleck left fans wanting more, and Marvel is finally answering the call. This series about the popular disabled superhero begins filming in July 2014, and it is expected to air some time in 2015. Drew Goddard, the director and co-writer of "Cabin in the Woods," has created the 13-episode series and it will star British actor Charlie Cox as the titular lawyer turned superhero. "Daredevil" will be the first of the Marvel-Netflix universe series.
"Jessica Jones" is the second of the four television series included in Marvel's landmark deal with Netflix. One of the lesser-known but most intriguing characters in the Marvel universe, Jones is an orphaned young woman who possesses super-human abilities she cannot always control. She is relatively new, having only been a presence for the last 10 years, but has become a fan favorite. She is the love interest of Luke Cage and an occasional ally of the Avengers. This series will be headed up by "Twilight" screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg.
"Iron Fist" is a skilled martial artist who uses chi power, the substance described by several schools of Eastern philosophy as "life force energy," to fight crime. Writer Kaare Kyle Andrews lays the groundwork for the upcoming television show in a brand new comic book series that takes Iron Fist on what he describes as "a bloody, revenge-fueled martial arts epic." "Iron Fist" will join "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones," and "Luke Cage" in a four-series interconnected universe that will eventually culminate in a miniseries starring all four heroes called "The Defenders."
"Luke Cage" is expected to go into production well after "Daredevil" and is the fourth and final series included in Marvel's live-action collaboration with Netflix. Known as the "Hero for Hire," Cage did hard time for possession of illegal narcotics. In exchange for early parole, Cage submits to biological experimentation while in prison. He emerges with impenetrable skin and superhuman strength. The series is not yet cast, but actors Idris Elba, Boris Kodjoe, Terry Crews and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are reportedly being considered for the role of Cage.
Fans of either comic book house have plenty to look forward to with the introduction of these new television series. They bring some popular book favorites to a new medium and to a potentially new audience. The big screen is not the only place big things are happening. Stay tuned to see these heroes on a small screen near you.