Ever since Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment started building shared superhero universes on TV and in the movies, fans have wondered about crossover possibilities. While there may be rules and boundaries, they don’t always seem hard and fast. The original Green Lantern can’t be on “Legends of Tomorrow” because there’s going to be a “Green Lantern Corps” movie in 2020; but Superman will be on “Supergirl” this fall and in “Justice League” next fall. No big-name Bat-characters will guest-star on “Arrow,” but the movies and TV can each have their own Flashes (and Flash supporting casts).
Nevertheless, the team-up itch must be scratched. David Mazouz, who plays “Gotham’s” young Bruce Wayne, wants the show to acknowledge teenaged Clark Kent; and flush with cinematic success, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc are rumored to be coming to “Gotham.”
It’s not just the headliners. Minor characters have a good bit of flexibility too. Anatoli “KGBeast” Knyazev appeared in flashbacks in Season 2 of “Arrow” before jumping to the big screen in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” With “Arrow” going back to Russia for the upcoming season’s flashbacks, we might see Anatoli on TV again.
Indeed, in light of what we’ve learned about DC’s film and TV universes, the idea of “media-jumping” doesn’t seem all that unusual. Because it involves putting another actor in the role, it can foster a sense of competition, or even controversy. Fans already compare Ezra Miller to Grant Gustin, and wonder about Stephen Amell playing Green Arrow on the big screen.
For purposes of this post, though, I’m assuming that these characters can be interpreted differently (most likely by different actors) in the other medium. It is a multiverse, after all. Also, to simplify things somewhat, I’m limiting the two media realms to TV’s “Arrowverse” and “Gotham-verse” and the cinematic DC Films universe of “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman,” “Suicide Squad,” etc.
Therefore, in the spirit of fan-friendly speculation, here — in no particular order — are 10 (or so) DC comics characters who are primarily associated with the current crop of DC movies, but who I’d like to see to jump (at least temporarily) to the small screen. We’ll tackle the other direction soon enough.
10. GREEN LANTERN
Given how this post opened, this is hardly a surprise; but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t work. Whether fueled by Oan energy or Starheart magic, Green Lantern is too important for any DC universe to ignore completely. (Besides, after five years, I hope we as a society have moved past the Ryan Reynolds movie.) Nevertheless, if Hal Jordan and John Stewart are movie-only, then put Alan Scott on “Legends of Tomorrow,” Katma Tui on “Supergirl,” Guy Gardner on “Arrow,” or Kyle Rayner on “The Flash.” With thousands of Green Lanterns in the universe, surely one of them will wind up on The CW.
9. CAPTAIN MARVEL
The Rock has been talking about how his “Shazam!” movie relates to the rest of the DC Films universe, but it too is still a few years off. That’s plenty of time for DC’s TV folks to put together a Marvel Family television appearance. As with Green Lantern, if Captain Marvel (or Shazam, I suppose) is deemed movie-only, I wouldn’t mind seeing Mary Marvel — who as far as I know has yet to be part of the movie — on “Supergirl” or “The Flash.” I like Captain Marvel Jr., but you kind of need to explain the whole Shazam-thing before you introduce him.
Although Kryptonians, Daxamites, and Martians all share a lot of the same powers with the Marvel Family, the Marvels have that distinctive kids’ perspective. Even on “Supergirl” that would make Billy or Mary stand out. A Marvel would also give the “Legends” team a definite power-level boost; and comparing and contrasting lightning-style energies would be a natural for “The Flash.” As for “Arrow,” I think a lot of us want to see Oliver exasperated by some genuine youthful exuberance.
8. LOIS LANE
Naturally Lois would have allies and rivals on “Supergirl,” teaming up again with Jimmy Olsen and (probably) sparring with Cat Grant. Still, the Daily Planet’s star reporter could also plug into a “Legends” storyline, providing exposition, commentary and a take-charge attitude. Who wouldn’t want Lois and White Canary to share a scene? Otherwise she could spend a few episodes mentoring Iris West or Linda Park for an episode or two, or investigating Star City’s new mayor.
7. LANA LANG
It’s an understatement to say that Lana has had many roles over the years. In the Superboy stories, she was a junior version of Lois, getting into trouble while trying to uncover the Boy of Steel’s secrets. She then grew up into Clark’s co-anchor on the WGBS Evening News. The 1986 revamp recast her as Clark’s best friend, in on the secret and always available for emotional support. Eventually she married Pete Ross, and when he sought elective office Lana went with him all the way to the White House. She’s been a mom, Supergirl’s mentor, and LexCorp’s CEO. Most recently, Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder made her into a butt-kicking engineer who fell for John Henry Irons; and she plays a pretty central role in the new “Superwoman” series.
Since all we saw of the most recent Movie Lana were a few glimpses in “Man of Steel,” just about any of these would be good for a TV appearance. (Okay, maybe the “Superwoman” thing would be a bit complicated.) However, I’m kind of curious to see how “Supergirl” would handle her old alter ego of Insect Queen. Yes, I’m still a bit bummed that “Smallville” never did that to its Lana. It could come out unexpectedly during an otherwise humdrum visit to National City; or she could just go all-out and fight the Bug-Eyed Bandit.
6. SILAS STONE
Victor Stone’s dad is a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who saved his son’s life by building his mechanical parts. (In the DC Films universe he apparently used a Mother Box to get things just right.) That knowledge of cybernetics would certainly come in handy at Palmer Tech, whether it’s helping Mister Terrific or tweaking the ATOM suit. In the early “New Teen Titans” comics, Silas was also responsible for building Titans Tower on an island in New York’s East River. It was something of a peace offering for Victor and his new friends, because Silas realized he hadn’t been the best dad. (He did it in time for issue #3, too, which always struck me as an unrealistically fast job even for comic book science.) I wouldn’t mind pairing Silas with other parent/mentor types like Martin Stein, Quentin Lance or even Cat Grant. Still, drama aside, the whole Titans Tower project more than qualifies Silas to revamp the Arrowcave or a S.T.A.R. facility.
5. EMIL HAMILTON AND/OR JENET KLYBURN
Because the Arrowverse can always use even more scientists, allow me to recommend Professor Emil Hamilton and Doctor Jenet Klyburn. Hamilton was an inventor screwed over by Lex Luthor who later became one of Superman’s most dependable allies (and then he went bad again, but we don’t like to talk about that). Klyburn was another longtime S.T.A.R. scientist who also worked frequently with Superman, as well as the usual gang of big DC brains.
Richard Schiff played Hamilton in “Man of Steel,” while Jena Malone played Klyburn — and not Barbara Gordon, as many had speculated — in the extended Ultimate Edition cut of “Batman v Superman.” Of course, on TV “Ham” and/or Dr. Klyburn could perform any number of science-y tasks, but I’d like one or both of them to head up the new National City branch of everyone’s favorite research facility. According to Barry Allen, Supergirl’s Earth doesn’t have a S.T.A.R. Labs. Here’s hoping it just doesn’t have one yet.
4. MERCY GRAVES
Another “Batman v Superman” alum, Mercy (sadly) didn’t get to do much, other than look sexily menacing, before being blown up at that Congressional hearing. Lex Luthor’s bodyguard deserves better, which is why she needs an extended TV subplot. Specifically, she needs to be Lex’s representative in his bid to control S.T.A.R. Labs (which he actually tried to do back in the late ’80s), Palmer Tech or Maxwell Lord’s company. Of course, the ironic thing is that Max was essentially “Supergirl’s” xenophobic Luthor-figure for much of the show’s first season; but now that he’s seen the light it’s time for the real thing to make a move. (Lena Luthor will try to make LexCorp more benign on “Supergirl” this fall, but who knows how long that will last.)
3. STEVE TREVOR
We’ll find out next summer whether Chris Pine’s Steve survives the “Wonder Woman” movie; but unless he gets ahold of some Infinity Formula (wrong franchise) it doesn’t look good for his making it to 2017. Regardless, there’s no reason a TV version of Steve couldn’t take its cue from the New 52 and put him in a leadership role at ARGUS. If Jimmy Olsen can name-drop Superman on “Supergirl,” certainly Steve Trevor could mention how he too was stranded on an island for a little while. I’m guessing his experience was better than Oliver’s.
At some point “Legends of Tomorrow” is going to visit Atlantis, and who do you think they’ll want to meet? (Sorry, Vulko.) After decades as a dependable supporting character, in the past few years Mera has become one of DC’s highest-profile female superheroes. Naturally she’s going to be in the “Aquaman” movie, where she’ll probably have to be amped up even more to keep pace with Jason Momoa’s shiny, spiky, tattoo-y Sea King. It would be nice for the Legends, Supergirl or even Green Arrow and Speedy to team up with a relatively sedate TV version of the character. She could be all haughty and regal for the first couple of acts and then administer a hard-water beatdown.
This is kind of a cheat, since Katana was on “Arrow” before the character became a movie star. I liked her fine in “Suicide Squad,” but on TV I thought she made a good foil for Oliver and it would be nice if she could come back. Besides, if the Arrowverse can’t have a Suicide Squad, maybe it can have some Outsiders. An early “Flash” episode gave us the TV version of Simon Stagg, which means Metamorpho’s still a possibility; and that means the team’s only lacking a Black Lightning, Geo-Force and Halo. That sounds like a long way to go, but I bet “Flash” and “Arrow” could introduce four superheroes in no time.
Come back tomorrow for the TV-to-movies roster!
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