Category Archives: DC comics TV

Red Tornado, is that you?

  
So this is different. 

This fall’s “Supergirl” TV series is introducing several comic book characters, including the at-times enigmatic android Red Tornado.

That’s him above, as seen in a photo released this week. 

I dunno. I’m more accustomed to the way the character – at least the Silver Age version – looks.

  
I’m missing the yellow arrow. But I guess we’ll see.

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New: Diggle’s suit for ‘Arrow’

  
Just released by the CW, a look at the helmet that Diggle, part of Team Arrow from “Arrow,” will wear this season.

The helmet makes me think of Magneto. And it looks like it would get knocked off easily.

There’s a danger in trying to turn a character created for a TV series into a comic hero.

Of course it worked for Harley Quinn, created for the Batman animated series.  

‘Arrow,’ ‘Flash’ and world-building

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I’ve noted here before that the geeks have inherited the earth. When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, we prized Famous Monsters and Marvel Comics but were looked down upon by adults for our reading materials; were happy with those lame Marvel superheroes TV cartoons that were very limited animation versions of classic comic books; and thrilled at the random superhero who made his way to TV or movies, even though most of the time the live-action versions weren’t very good.

Now, in any given week, I can watch “Agent Carter” – really good limited series that finished its run a few weeks ago; hope it comes back – “Agents of SHIELD,” a show that’s found its way, and most particularly “Arrow” and “The Flash,” two CW series from the same producers who have taken two characters who might have peaked in the Silver Age and made them intriguing and fun.

Through “Arrow’s” three seasons and “Flash’s” half-completed first season, they’ve introduced so many great comic-book characters – Ray Palmer/Atom, Black Canary – two of them! – and so many bad guys, including Ra’s al Ghul and Gorilla Grodd. Grodd, for Grodd’s sake!

“Arrow” has always done well when its made its Green Arrow character a substitute for Batman –  in the comics, the character originally was a Batman copy. Arrow in “Arrow” has just been asked to succeed Ra’s as the leader of the League of Assassins. It’s an offer that Ra’s made to Batman and it only heightened their conflict over the decades.

Meanwhile, “Flash” has just introduced Grodd. Yes, a telepathic, hyper-intelligent gorilla from a race of telepathic, hyper-intelligent gorillas. “Flash” is much more fanciful than “Arrow” anyway, but the introduction of Grodd takes the series even more into the realm of comic-book sci-fi than it already was.

And, in the process of all this, “Arrow” and “Flash” began building the world in which these shows live.

There’s a lot that’s been said about universe-building in Marvel’s movie and TV universes, but Warner Bros/DC is doing this on TV about as well as it can be done, not just with “Flash” and “Arrow” but with their next plans.

CBS – CW’s sister network – will air a “Supergirl” series this fall and we’ve been told it will share a universe with “Arrow” and “The Flash.” I guess we’ll see if that means cross-network cross-overs. It’s rare but it’s happened before.

Potentially more exciting are CW’s apparent plans to spin off some characters introduced on “The Flash” and “Arrow” into their own series. Plans to have Atom and Firestorm and at least some version of Canary and other characters sharing a weekly series not only sounds like a small-screen “Justice League” or “Brave and the Bold,” but is so damn fun.

We’ll see how all this plays out, of course. The CW shows are doing well but “Supergirl” could tank. Will Superman be the 800-pound gorilla (sorry Grodd) absent from the room, like Iron Man was when “Agents of SHIELD” debuted?

Can too many heroes – or superhero shows – spoil the soup?

The faces of Supergirl

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Supergirl is a character with a history in comics that’s too confusing, too often retconned, to go into here. Suffice it to say that there’s been a surprising number of versions of Superman’s cousin in both comics, movies and TV.

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So it’s kind of fun to look at the live-action treatments of the character, especially with the new CBS series featuring Melissa Benoist coming this fall.

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Of course, Helen Slater was the physical embodiment of the character in the 1984 movie. Awful movie, but Slater looked perfect. Cute and wholesome.

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Then there’s the “Smallville” version, with Lara Vandervoort playing Clark’s cousin in a few 2010 episodes.

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Benoist looks like she’ll be modeled after the cute and wholesome Supergirl rather than the bare-midriff Kryptonian sex bomb that’s been seen in the comics at times. And that’s okay.

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