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The Good & Bad of The Season of Superheroes, Channel Surfing Full Page Bleed

Written by  Published August 31, 2014 03:34
There was a time when television was filled to the brim with superhero TV shows! From Superman, to Wonder Woman to Incredible Hulk to Batman, and even original superhero TV shows like The Greatest American Hero and the Six Million Dollar Man...it seemed like supers ruled the airwaves. Then...they all went away. For a decade and a half or so it seemed capes were banned from TV (with the exception of a few Superman series spattered here and there). Well, that has definitely changed. With the success of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or at least the first episode) and the steady ratings of CW’s Arrow, it seems almost EVERY network has at least one superhero show debuting or returning and once again comics are going to rule television.

 

Is there a lot to be excited about? Or will people get tired of the superhero thing at Barry Allen-like speed with this aggressive barrage?

Well, this week I will weigh the good with the bad with each show and see what we have to look forward to for the return of superhero TV!

 

Agent_CarterAgent Carter

Starring: Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Domenic Cooper as Howard Stark, Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa, Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson

Air Date: Sometime in January 2015

Network: ABC

Continuing where the Marvel One-Shot on the Iron Man 3 DVD left off, Peggy Carter begins working undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Howard Stark and at the same time setting the stage for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But how will the revelations of Captain America: Winter Soldier impact things? Is this show really about the rise of Hydra?

Good: Marvel has a really huge opportunity with this show! Agent Carter needs to be used as a tool to expand the Cinematic Universe by giving it a history. Marvel Comics has so many classic characters that would work perfectly in this series. What about having Peggy meet Namor and the citizens of Atlantis? She could even begin a romance with the Sub-Mariner. How about an appearance by the All-Winners Squad? I would go even further as to introducing Ka-Zar and Shanna in the Savage Land, or even Werewolf By Night. Nobody ever said these characters need to be in the modern Marvel Universe!

And then there’s Hydra. Marvel has the chance to sow the seeds that lead to the events of The Winter Soldier and the second half of last season’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It seems impossible that a Nazi group covertly controlled a super spy group for decades without anyone finding out. Now Marvel gets to make it possible. I really do hope the show does well and gives the right amount of nostalgia for Marvel fans.

Also, there’s a rumour that Edwin Jarvis will appear on the show as Howard Stark’s butler. I’m already in love.

Bad: The biggest fear is that the show will share the same mistakes as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and not hit fans with a knockout episode every time out. It will definitely have a similar budget as S.H.I.E.L.D., so maybe it’s up to the audience to give it a chance and not expect a Captain America movie every week.

And will people gravitate towards a character like Peggy? She sure paid her dues in Captain America: The First Avenger, but it's not like she is an Avenger or anything. Howard Stark will probably be seen as the highlight of the show, and with Domenic Cooper being an up and coming movie star, I doubt he will be in every episode. Hayley Atwell may not be enough to keep peoples interest. We will have to see.

Anticipation Factor: Medium

 

NUP_163641_4176.JPGConstantine

Starring: Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Harold Parrineu as Manny, Charles Halford as Chas Chandler, Angélica Celaya as Zed Martin, Lucy Griffiths as Liv Aberdeen (pilot episode only), Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnite

Air Date: October 24, 2014

Network: NBC

 

Based on the Vertigo comic Hellblazer, as well as the current DC Comics series (and the Keanu Reeves movie not so much), John Constantine investigates the unexplained and the occult using witchcraft and sorcery. The rough-around-the-edges, trench coat wearing Brit will guard the Earth from the demonic forces of evil... all the while trying desperately to maintain his own humanity.

Good: Constantine is an absolutely perfect premise for a TV show. It mixes detective drama with fantasy, horror and sci-fi. Like shows like X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it promises to be a good hour of TV every week. And fans of Hellblazer and the New 52 comic will gravitate to the show and at least give it a shot.

I would love to see some DC Comics characters appear like Etrigan and Zatanna (maybe even Frankenstein?), but we can’t be too sure how much of the DCU the show can dip into just yet, or even if they WANT to. At least we have Papa Midnite.

Bad: Well, I can tell you I’ve already had the chance to see the pilot episode (nevermind HOW, I have my connections!), and I have to say that it’s unfortunately not very good.

Matt Ryan gives an adequate and faithful performance as Constantine (he blows Keanu out of the water...that’s not saying much), but it’s the show itself that lacks the oomph. And the SFX are bad. Really bad. It looks more like a fan film than a licensed production. I’m actually surprised the only thing they changed from the pilot was the “female companion”, Lucy Griffiths. She wasn’t even the problem (she’s not too hard on the eyes either)!

I also wish it was on AMC or HBO or one of those cable channels. Constantine needs to be throwing out f-bombs and chain smoking (because of network regulations, he can’t smoke in the show), and the show needs to be a lot scarier. It feels watered down. A lot.

I’m not saying the show doesn’t have potential, it really does and I wish it well, but judging from what I’ve seen....I can’t see the show lasting very long. BUT I said that about Arrow two years ago and look how wrong I was.

Anticipation Factor: A bit low

 

GOTHAM: (L-R) Robin Lord Taylor, Jada Pinkett Smith, guest star Cory Michael Smith, guest star Clare Foley, Donal Logue, Ben McKenzie, Camren Bicondova, David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOXGotham

Starring: Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Taylor Lord as Oswald Cobblepot, Zabryna Guevara as Sarah Essen, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Clare Foley as Ivy Pepper, David Zayas as Salvatore Maroni, John Doman as Carmine Falcone

Air Date: September 22, 2014

Network: Fox

Focusing on the origins of the characters from the Batman comic books, Gotham will center on the time frame between when Bruce Wayne’s parents are gunned down in the alley and when he dons the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight Detective. James Gordon is a young, upstart police lieutenant, Oswald Cobblepot is an up-and-coming gangster, Selina Kyle is a young street urchin. The streets of Gotham were always dangerous, and now we will see how it molded a young bold billionaire to become one of the world’s finest heroes.

Good: Batman is back on TV! Well, sort of. Like Smallville, the show is more about HOW Bruce becomes Batman. The casting choices seem ideal, and the show seems to have that dark tone that Batman fans are used to. Speaking of Batman fans? WE WILL WATCH THIS. There’s no question. Ratings will do well, guaranteed. As long as the show keeps the legions of Bat-fans happy, that is.

Comic book adaptations are perfect for television. There has been so many awesome Batman tales told over the years, that they could be dipping into the rich Batman mythos for stories and origins for many, many seasons to come. Hopefully they can jump a few years every season or so, so we get to see Bruce and the other characters adequately develop into the characters we all know they will become at a good pace.

 

Bad: The show could very easily push the core audience away. Already the show seems to tell its own story about how these characters were developed and it will definitely conflict with most of the Batman mythos. Pinkett’s Fish Mooney being a character made specifically for the show is the biggest concern. We really want to see characters we know and recognize. There’s enough of them.

Those Bat-fans I was talking about? They can be just as harmful to the show. Gotham has to hit the ground running to appease the geek community. Did you think fans were too harsh on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? That will be NOTHING compared to the backlash if Gotham isn’t awesome right from the get-go.

If it’s boring or campy, there will be blood, my friends. Gotham NEEDS to be excellent. Every single episode needs to be on point. No pressure or anything.

Anticipation Factor: Reasonably High

 

maxresdefaultThe Flash

Starring: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash, Candice Patton as Iris West, Rick Cosnett as Edwin Thawne/Professor Zoom/ Reverse Flash, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon/ Vibe, John Wesley Shipp (YES, the ORIGINAL TV Flash!!!) as Henry Allen, Robbie Amell as Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm

Air Date: October 7, 2014

Network: CW Spinning off from CW’s hit show, Arrow, Barry Allen returns to Central City and after a lab accident, becomes the scarlet speedster, The Flash! Allen uses his new speed powers to find his mother’s true killer and exonerate his father, who is jailed for her murder. But it’s the dawning of a new age, as other metahumans begin appearing at an uncanny rate. Will they become heroes and aid Barry or a gallery of rogues?

Good: This show looks to be the sleeper hit of the season! Not holding back from the super powers like Arrow did at first, Flash is going to have lots of characters from the DC Universe, and really going to have a great true to the comics feel and lots of easter eggs for fans!

For those that missed Grant Gustin’s guest run on Arrow, he plays Barry Allen with a lot of enthusiasm and reminds me a lot more of Wally West than Barry (Wally was always MY Flash). He probably won’t be taking his shirt off every two seconds like Stephen Amell, but Gustin’s charm will definitely be enough to win everyone over.

With Flash’s huge villain roster and great cast, there is no excuse as to why this show won’t work, especially with that crossover fan loyalty from Arrow. The CW is building an awesome DCU shared universe, one that will rival even the films.

 

Bad: Grant Gustin could not be appealing enough to carry the show. After all, he brings a dorky, “Peter Parker”-ish nature to the character, whereas most of the CW audience...let’s face it...are teenage girls.

I can’t name one CW show starring a nerdy, boy- next door type! It starring a guy from Arrow just may not be enough to gain interest of a fickle Millennial audience.

Also, the show has a chance to fall into the camp territory. It’s a fine line, and unlike Arrow or even Smallville, this is a straight-up superhero show! Too many tight costumes, wacky villains and dorky one-liners and this show could end up exactly where the LAST Flash series did.... a two-disk DVD box set in the bargain bin.

Anticipation Factor: High

 

And now let’s look at the comic book shows that are returning for another season!

Season 3 Key Art [www.imagesplitter.net](1)Arrow – Season 3

Starring: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Arrow, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Colton Haynes as Roy Harper/Arsenal, Manu Bennett as Deathstroke, John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn

Return Date: October 8, 2014

Network: CW

Oliver Queen and his allies are still reeling from the assault on Starling City by Deathstroke, but there’s no rest for the weary as a new threat arises in the form of Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Also, Thea Queen has accepted that she is Malcolm Merlyn’s daughter, will she also embrace the ways of the dark archer and betray her brother?

Good:  This show rocked in its second season. The folks behind the show have decided to embrace the DCU fully and added so many familiar characters to the show including Black Canary, the Suicide Squad and Barry Allen. We even got to see a Harley Quinn easter egg!

This season promises more guests with Brandon Routh as The Atom and just announced, Rila Fukushima as Katana.

Stephen Amell has also grown into the role of Ollie as well. Sure, it would be great if he grew out a goatee and was more of an outspoken liberal...but beggars can’t be choosers. And this is the new generation’s Green Arrow. And he has glistening abs.

He is wearing a proper mask now...so there’s that.

 

Bad: Bringing in The League of Assassins is a good thing, but how far will they go with this storyline without a certain caped crusader being mentioned? Let’s face it, Ra’s is a Batman badguy, he always will be. A slight mention of Bruce Wayne would suffice, but is the show even allowed to do that?!

The show could always ride off the rails in its third season. Like Gotham, if producers decide to distance themselves from the source material, we could have a disaster on our hands in the eyes of the fans. And having Amell shirtless for half of every episode won’t do the trick!

I think the folks behind Arrow have the hang of things at this point, but there’s always a chance that we’ll get the last couple of seasons of Smallville all over again.

Anticipation Factor: Quite high...quite high indeed.

 

TWD_S5_Greetings980x551Walking Dead – Season 5

Starring: Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Steven Yuen as Glenn, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Green, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Emily Kinney as Beth Green, Chad Coleman as Tyreese, Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha

Return Date: October 12, 2014

Network: AMC Rick and his crew must escape The Terminus where they are being held captive. But who are these people that run this camp? What do they want? And what happened to the other half of the group? And once they escape...will they get to Washington? It’s the zombie apocalypse and the only thing more dangerous than the zombies, are the survivors!

Good: What’s not to love about this show?! They ended Season 4 in an exciting way, with Rick, Michonne and Darryl meeting back up with the group and ready to fight back! Season 5 is sure to have lots of thrills in store!

The show has a simple premise, but what has kept it so popular is its character development and unexpected twists. As long as they continue with that path, we will have many more seasons of zombie surviving mayhem!

Keep calm and aim for the head!

 

Bad: Walking Dead isn’t always zombie guts and crazy twists. The show has a tendency of being boring at times. Sometimes for a few episodes. Fans may eventually get tired of the pauses and move on.

It’s been a fun run, but after five seasons, where do the writers go next? The Washington idea is a good one, and will change the scenery a little bit, but the zombie apocalypse scenario may have ran its course.

Anticipation Factor: VERY High

 

xdhllkhq81giwcvlrv0fAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Starring: Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Agent Ward, Chloe Bennett as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Simmons

Return Date: September 23, 2014

Network: ABC

After the revelation that Hydra has compromised S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Coulson and his team must resurrect the agency from the ashes and continue defending the world from superhuman threats. But after everything that has happened, is there anyone to trust anymore? And will the world accept this new S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Good: This show is an interesting experiment for Marvel. Can a show without superheroes based on superhero comics actually work? Well, it’s worked pretty well, even with dismal ratings for most of Season 1.

The truth is the show improved considerately, that by the end of the season it was pretty much MUST WATCH TV for Marvel fans. With ties to Thor: Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier, EVERYONE was glued to this show.

And the characters got more interesting too. What was that blue alien whose blood saved Coulson and Skye? Is Ward really all that bad?! Will Fitz JUST TELL Simmons how he feels about her!?

I literally can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

Bad: Well, we could end up with the middle of Season 1 all over again. Boring episodes, no ties to Marvel movies and mediocre special FX could plague Season 2 and stick a knife in the coffin of the show.

Let’s not forget THESE are all reasons why we were not sure if there would BE a second season. Fans are fickle, and if a show...even one with the Marvel logo attached is just not good...they won’t watch!

Also, word of mouth may not be enough. No matter how many people say “you should watch this show”, some people will just rather watch something else.

Until Robert Downey Jr. himself pays a visit to the show, people just may not want to spend the time with Coulson and the gang!

Anticipation Factor: Really High

 

That’s all for now, Bleeder Nation! See you next time!

Dave Michaels

With his unique brand of humour mixed with die-hard passion and knowledge for all things comic books, Dave Michaels puts his weekly spin on the pop culture like only he can. Each “episode” of Full Page Bleed provides fun, wacky commentary, interviews, recommendations of Dave’s favourite comics, and whatever else his “evil genius” can conjure up. What are you reading THIS for?! Read some FPB RIGHT NOW and PREPARE to BLEED COMICS! FPB is Here...

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