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Comic Book TV Shows Fall 2016 Preview

by  in Lists, TV Comment
Comic Book TV Shows Fall 2016 Preview

Now that September is here, we’re on the cusp of a comic book bonanza. From “Gotham” to “Luke Cage” to “The Walking Dead,” comic book adaptations will virtually take over television by the end of the month, and there’s a whole lot to look forward to for every manner of fan. Pre-Batman “Gotham” and all its monsters not your bag? Try “Arrow,” which plans to bring Season 5 back to the show’s street-level beginnings. More of a Marvel fan? Give “Luke Cage,” Netflix’s latest street-level superhero, a whirl. Looking for something a bit more mystical? You’re in luck! Ghost Rider is roaring onto “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in Season 4.

Needless to say, there will be a lot of choices for comic book fans when shows return for their 2016-2017 season. Considering that, CBR has gone through ten — yes, ten! — of these shows to break down the biggest events of the fall.

11. Gotham

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Monsters and Owls and doppelgangers, oh my! If you thought “Gotham” Season 2 was crazy, just wait until Season 3 kicks off on September 19. This fall, Jim Gordon will drop his iconic job as a cop and go full bounty hunter — which may very well work out for Gotham, considering that Hugo Strange’s monster menagerie has been loosed upon the city. Naturally, a Bruce Wayne doppelganger was spotted among those monsters before the episode faded to black, and the Bruce Wayne we’ve come to know and love will definitely be meeting him when the show returns. (Will the real Bruce Wayne please stand up?)

Strange’s creations won’t be the only returning villains. Fish Mooney is officially back from the dead, and she’s leading the monstrous charge, as it were. Poison Ivy is also getting a serious makeover, in that she’ll age on up and be played by an entirely new actress.

What’s more, the show will introduce the Court of the Owls, a staple of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s recent “Batman” run. Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, Talon and the Tweedle brothers will also be putting in appearances.

10. Lucifer

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Make way, boys — Mommy’s home! When “Lucifer” Season 2 premieres on September 19, Lucifer Morningstar may just find himself grounded when his mother debuts on the show. Played by “Battlestar Galactica” star Tricia Helfer, the Mother of Angels — who, by the way, is also God’s ex-wife — “is fearless and has a strong conviction for who she is and what she deserves”… and she doesn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with her son Lucifer when it comes to humanity. This likely spells trouble for humankind, Lucifer’s favorite of all God’s creations.

Helfer won’t be the show’s only new addition to Lucifer’s growing family. “The Sopranos” star Michael Imperioli will appear in a recurring role as Uriel, the brother of Lucifer and Amenadiel. “Buffy the Vampire” star Charisma Carpenter has also joined as former Playboy Playmate Jamie Lee Adrienne, who was previously married to a major Hollywood action star, though it’s unclear what kind of role her character will play in the upcoming sophomore season.

9. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

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Calling all agents! “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” hits ABC in a new timeslot at 10 pm EST on September 20, and it will get a darker new direction with its new time. Thanks to Lincoln’s death last season, Daisy will be ruthless and distant when Season 4 picks up, but she won’t be alone. Robbie Reyes — Ghost Rider himself — will roar onto the show alongside his brother Gabe, a new (and as-yet-unnamed) Director whose Marvel roots go back to the 1940s, Holden Radcliffe’s Life Model Decoy AIDA, an anti-Inhuman politician and a “haunting” character named Lucy.

In addition to putting a new spin on Ghost Rider’s origin, the show will merge its magic with its science. After all, in the Season 3 finale, Radcliffe created AIDA, his sentient LMD; as CBR has previously explored, the name “AIDA” comes with its own set of implications, as it’s a callback to Mark Gruenwald, Bob Hall and Paul Ryan’s “Squadron Supreme” miniseries from 1985.

What’s more, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 4 will shake up the team’s dynamics (again). With Daisy on the run and a new Director in place, Coulson will team with Mack to search for their wayward teammate, while Fitz works with Radcliffe and Simmons cozies up to the Director. In other words, fans will encounter a whole different S.H.I.E.L.D. when the show returns next week.

8. Marvel’s Luke Cage

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Sweet Christmas! Almost a year after his debut on “Jessica Jones,” Luke Cage will headline his own Netflix series starting September 30. Unlike his fellow Defenders, however, Luke will be based in Harlem, where he will become a reluctant hero — but he won’t be alone. Simone Missick’s Misty Knight will join him as a cop with “a very strong moral compass who is absolutely dedicated to protecting her community.” Misty will also have a partner of her own: Frank Whaley’s Detective Rafael Scarfe, who — in Marvel comics — was Misty’s hard-nosed NYPD partner and frequent ally of Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

As he did in “Jessica Jones,” Luke will also get a little help from Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple. According to star Mike Colter, she plays a “very significant” role in “Luke Cage” and will help him out in his time of need. What’s more, Claire’s mom will get in on the action; played by Sonia Braga, Soledad Temple will be a recurring character.

“Luke Cage” sets up several new villains, including Alfre Woodard’s Mariah Dillard, “a powerful woman in local politics who will have an impact on Luke Cage’s life.” This name reveal may indicate Woodard is playing an adaptation of Black Mariah, who is a frequent antagonist for both Luke and Iron Fist in the comics as both a professional criminal and a drug dealer. She’ll work with Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali), described as “a Harlem nightclub owner” who will “become an unexpected foe in Luke’s life when Stokes’ criminal activities threaten Luke’s world.” They’ll be joined by Theo Rossi’s Shades, a “smooth and manipulative, street smart and controlling” character. What’s more, some set photos have spied Erik LaRay Harvey in what appears to be a Diamondback costume.

Executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker has compared the series to “The Wire” and recently revealed the titles for each Season 1 episode, all of which are named after songs by hip-hop duo Gang Starr. These titles won’t be the only aspect of the show influenced by hip-hop; Colter has discussed the unique musicality of the series, and recording artists Method Man and ASAP Ferg appeared in a special featurette to discuss the impact that music has on “Luke Cage” as a show. The setting will be just as important; in addition to calling the show “a love song” to Harlem, Coker has described the area as “a character on this show.”

Though released after “Daredevil” Season 2, “Luke Cage” Season 1 takes place during the same timeframe — but, just like “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones,” it will also use flashbacks.

7. The Flash

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When “The Flash” kicks off on October 4, “Flashpoint” will officially arrive. The storyline has been the talk of the summer, but — while the show will spend some time exploring the alternate timeline Barry created when he saved his mother from certain death — it won’t last forever. Until then, however, Barry will encounter a bizarre new world where the status quo is almost completely different.

In Barry’s brave new world, Cisco will be the head of his own tech company, and — though he’ll retain his trademark snark — the loyal and loveable sidekick we’ve come to know and love will be no more. Barry’s relationship with the Wests will all but disappear; they’ll be too busy dealing with their own problems, as both West children will be keeping secrets from their father Joe — including the fact that Wally has become Kid Flash, a speedster hero in his own right. He will also keep a close eye on Reverse Flash, in that he has his arch nemesis locked in a cage. What’s worse, however, is that Barry’s time travel adventure will leave some things “broken forever.” But hey, at least his parents are alive, right?

A new host of villains will also be awaiting Barry when “The Flash” Season 3 starts out. Both Savitar and Dr. Alchemy will pose season-long threats to Barry, with the Rival stopping by in the premiere for an unknown length of time. That’s all to say nothing of the Rogues, who will gain a few new members this fall, including Mirror Master, a gender-bent Top and Magenta. Longtime Rogue Captain Cold will also make his death-defying return this season.

Besides Flashpoint and a handful of new baddies, “The Flash” Season 3 will include some other fun events, including a trip to Gorilla City, the arrival of Tom Felton’s Julian Dorn, the return of stars Tom Cavanagh (Harrison Wells) and Violett Beane (Jesse Quick) and a musical crossover with “Supergirl.”

6. Arrow

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Out with the old, in with the new! When “Arrow” returns on October 5, Oliver’s team will be nigh unrecognizable after the departure of Thea “Speedy” Queen, John “Spartan” Diggle, Laurel “Black Canary” Lance and Quentin Lance. That being the case, Green Arrow will need a little help when Season 5 debuts, but fear not — his hands will be more than full with up and coming vigilantes this fall.

Wild Dog, Adrian Chase, Artemis and Mister Terrific will join Team Arrow when the show returns, while “Jessica Jones” star Wil Traval appears as Human Target and “Blindspot” alum Joe Dinicol plays the mystical vigilante Ragman, though it’s unclear how long the latter two will stick around. The show will also get another little taste of Coast City when “The Tomorrow People’s” Carly Pope arrives to play reporter Susan Williams, who — in the comics — is the Green Lantern’s sister-in-law.

Though Oliver appears to be reluctant to take on new apprentices, he’s going to need them when the mysterious villain Prometheus comes to town. He’ll also encounter Chad Coleman’s Tobias Church, “an imposing gangster looking to unite the various criminal enterprises in Star City under his own singular command.” Additionally, he’ll have to deal with Malcolm Merlyn, as John Barrowman has signed a contract to appear across all of The CW’s DCTV shows. Cody Rhodes, the former WWE star known as Stardust whose feud with Stephen Amell culminated in tag-team match at SummerSlam, will also appear in the third episode of Season 5 — and it’s a good bet that, regardless of who Rhodes will play, he’ll go head-to-head with Green Arrow. Dolph Lundgren and David Meunier have also joined up for Season 5, playing Kovar and Russian crime boss Ishmael Gregor respectively.

Felicity will certainly be around when the show returns, but she won’t be romantically involved with Oliver. “They’re both in crisis mode,” explained executive producer Wendy Mericle. “Oliver’s got two really big jobs, and [Felicity] is spinning out about Havenrock. Until they’ve gotten some clarity for themselves, there’s not much room for the relationship side of things.”

And don’t count out Laurel Lance. Her death will have a lasting impact on “Arrow” Season 5, and she’ll even get her own memorial in Star City. Oh, and Katie Cassidy — who played Laurel from the very beginning — has signed a deal just like Barrowman’s, meaning she can appear across all of The CW’s DCTV shows.

5. Supergirl

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman — it’s really, really him! When “Supergirl” Season 2 rolls around on October 10, the Man of Steel himself will pay his cousin Kara a visit in National City. “Teen Wolf” star Tyler Hoechlin will take on the mantle of the Big Blue Boy Scout opposite Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl as the show shifts from CBS to The CW for its sophomore season.

He won’t be the only new face in National City. Metallo will follow him, while Lynda Carter’s President Olivia Marsdin, Miss Martian, Mon-El, Lena Luthor, Maggie Sawyer and Snapper Carr put appearances. Though she hasn’t been cast yet, the Doctor — “the diabolical female leader of Project Cadmus who uses her surgical skills to implant prisoners with alien technology” — is also scheduled to show up. Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant will return as well, though she will be bumped from a series regular to a recurring guest star now that the show has switched networks from CBS to The CW.

Even as Kara juggles these new characters, the threat of Cadmus Labs and the mystery around Jeremiah Danvers’ disappearance will loom large over Season 2. “It’s going to remain more of an evil, specter-y thing that’s out there, but it’s definitely something that we’re going to pursue,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg shared. “You know, Cadmus has such a rich history in the comics and the animated shows. There’s so much there to mine. It’ll definitely be part of Season 2.” In fact, Cadmus will target both Superman and Supergirl, which will trigger a chain of events.

Kara will also have to deal with the mysterious pod that showed up at the tail end of the Season 1 finale. Played by “The Vampire Diaries” star Chris Wood, Mon-El — the pod’s passenger — will pose as both a friend and a foe to the resident Girl of Steel. Martian Manhunter will also struggle with a new alien and fellow Martian: Miss Martian, who will “open the flood gates” for J’onn J’onzz.

As if her upcoming sophomore season weren’t exciting enough, “Arrow” co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim has revealed that Supergirl will be the thread that connects “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” in the big four show crossover that will air on The CW this fall.

4. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

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When “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” returns for Season 2 on October 13, the Waverider — and the show — will take off in a new direction. According to executive producer Phil Klemmer, the show was rebuilt “piece by piece” during Season 1 and will adopt a clear purpose in Season 2 — and what better way to kick that off than with the Justice Society of America?

You may remember Patrick J. Adams’ Hourman, who showed up in the Season 1 finale just in time to introduce the JSA. When Season 2 premieres, Commander Steel, Vixen, Stargirl, Doctor Mid-Nite and Obsidian (both versions of him!) will join him. Jonah Hex — who appeared in a Season 1 episode — will stop by for a visit, though it’s unclear how long he’ll be on the show at this time. “Arrow” star Stephen Amell will also reprise his role as Oliver Queen in the season premiere. The team will also stop by 1942 and meet up with famed scientist Albert Einstein, only to learn he is “a snarky, brusque skirt-chaser.”

A superhero team as powerful as the JSA needs an antagonist that could pack just as big a punch. Enter the Legion of Doom. Despite his death in Season 1, Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold will join forces with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) to combat the combined power of the Legends and the JSA. It’s also worth pointing out that Miller, Barrowman and Letscher have all signed deals that allows them to appear across all four of The CW’s DCTV shows, which means the Legion may be able to move in between these shows.

“For Season 2 of ‘Legends,’ we decided that the perfect antagonist for TV’s first-ever team of super heroes would be TV’s first-ever team of super-villains, recruited from the ranks of ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’s’ deadliest adversaries,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained.

3. The Walking Dead

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Unless you haven’t been online for the past few months, you’ve probably heard about the Cliffhanger Heard ‘Round the World. Here’s a quick refresher: Rick Grimes’ motley crew was captured by Negan, who selected one of our heroes to die — only for the show to cut to black before the character’s identity was revealed. Obviously, any details about Season 7 have been kept tightly under wraps, so much so that the show filmed multiple death sequences in order to mask the truth, but a few tidbits have eked out here and there. We’re about to get into some seriously spoilery territory here, so — if you’re looking to go into Season 7 clean — now’s your chance to look away.

RELATED: Who Did Negan Kill? Our “Walking Dead” Season 7 Death Pool

We know at least one character is safe when the show returns to AMC on October 23: Abraham. Michael Cudlitz, who plays the character, let slip that he will interact with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan — something that never happened in the comics, as Abraham had died before Negan darkened their doorstep. Rick is also safe, per Robert Kirkman’s admission at Comic-Con International in San Diego this year. Additionally, director Greg Nicotero mentioned “deaths” — yes, multiple! — when speaking about the Season 7 premiere, which means more than one character may bite the dust before the credits roll.

To make up for said deaths, the show will introduce several new characters, including Ezekiel and his pet tiger Shiva, who will help Rick go up against Negan and the Saviors. The show will add Naomi, “a grandmotherly type”; Jennie, “a sunny-side-up kinda teenager”; and Brion, an “educated, poker-faced leader.” Morgan, Tom Payne (Jesus), Austin Amelio (Dwight) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory) have all also been promoted to season regulars for Season 7.

So far as Negan goes, Morgan promises that his character will indeed swear in Season 7, in homage to the source material. “We push it as far as what I can and can’t say,” Morgan shared. He also hopes to make Negan even scarier throughout the upcoming season.

Season 7 will also expand “The Walking Dead’s” world. “There’s all new worlds that we’re going to meet,” Nicotero teased. “The main thing about Season 7 is establishing that the world isn’t what everybody thinks it is, the world out there.”

2. Justice League Action

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“Justice League Action,” Cartoon Network’s new animated DC series, will hit television sometime this fall and it already boasts an impressive cast. Kevin Conroy, known for voicing the title role in “Batman: The Animated Series,” will reprise his role as the Dark Knight, while “Star Wars” alum Mark Hamill lends his talents the Joker once again; James Woods has also been confirmed as Lex Luthor, with Diedrich Bader playing Booster Gold. The show has also tapped Patton Oswalt to play Space Cabbie and Hannibal Buress will voice Mr. Terrific. They’ll be joined by Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Zatanna, Shazam, Flash, Blue Beetle, Plastic Man and plenty more. In all, Season 1 will boast a staggering 150 characters.

“It’s not ‘Teen Titans Go,'” Conroy said of the show. “It’s definitely a Justice League action show. It’s got all the action and the drama of a ‘Justice League’ episode. But those characters — all those characters, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman — there’s always that sort of temptation to tweak them a little bit.”

“Justice League Action” follows Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman as they “lead the DC Comics Super Heroes against their most infamous foes in adventures packed with relentless thrills, fun and action. No need to wait for the good stuff to start, each eleven-minute episode jumps in with lightning-paced action and heroics. Whether defending the Earth, facing invaders from space, or battling the bizarre forces of magic, the always-rotating team of Justice League heroes, are up to any challenge.

1. But Wait — There’s More!

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If these ten shows aren’t enough for you, just wait until mid-season. “iZombie” will return for its third season, while “Preacher” moves into its second. “Riverdale,” The CW’s dark twist on Archie Comics’ canon of characters, will make its debut; the same goes for “Powerless,” a new DC Comics comedy that explores the life of an average woman as she copes with living in a world filled with superheroes.

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