The CW’s world of superheroes is possibly about to get even bigger. Deadline broke the news that a superhero team-up series is being developed for a possible debut in the next TV season. The series is expected to star a number of characters that have already appeared in both preexisting CW shows: “Arrow’s” Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom) and Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/Canary on “Arrow”), as well as “The Flash’s” Victor Garber (Martin Stein, one-half of Firestorm) and Wentworth Miller (Leonard Snart/Captain Cold). Should the series move further along, the roster will expand by three “major DC Comics characters who have never appeared in a TV series.”
Considering just how many heroes have appeared in previous DC shows, like the long-lasting “Smallville,” it’s probably best to assume that Deadline means three major characters that have never appeared on “Arrow” or “Flash” before. With that caveat in play — and discounting most characters either known or likely to be in play in DC’s bustling movie and TV developmental slate — here are some of the likeliest candidates for inclusion on the CW series.
Booster Gold & Blue Beetle
“Arrow” and “The Flash” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg — who’s also working on the proposed spinoff series — has been attached to Booster Gold for years now, working on a pilot starring the character back in 2011. While plans for that show stalled, Kreisberg has indicated in past interviews that it’s possible the character could show up on “The Flash” — and given that show’s tone and heavy dive into time travel in recent episodes, Booster would presumably fit in just fine.
And when you talk about Booster Gold, it’s inevitable to mention Blue Beetle, Ted Kord edition. Kreisberg revealed last year at Comic-Con International in San Diego that there were plans for Ted Kord to be introduced on “Arrow,” before it was made known that DC had other plans for the character — resulting in changing gears and introducing Ray Palmer. Yet it’s been almost a year, and if DC’s stance has changed at all, seeing Blue & Gold on screen would be a long-awaited treat for superhero fans.
Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)
But if Ted Kord still isn’t available — there’s always the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, first introduced by DC Comics in 2006. The character has already appeared In multiple TV series, from “Smallville” to the animated “Young Justice,” and was once in development for a live-action show of his own — getting a chance to shine on an “Arrow”/”Flash” spinoff might be the natural next step.
Vixen has an advantage over almost every character on this list — she already is starring in a “Flash” and “Arrow” spinoff. Specifically, a short-form animated series set in the world of the live-action shows, announced last month at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, in the works from “Arrow” executive producer Marc Guggenheim for digital platform CW Seed. CBR News asked Guggenheim in January about the prospects of the character appearing in live action at some point: “We always say ‘never say never,” and if the character resonates with people, that would be wonderful.”
Green Lantern (John Stewart)
Online speculation ramped up recently that “Arrow” main cast member Diggle may be somehow revealed to be John Stewart, a long-standing Green Lantern who was featured in the “Justice League” animated series of the 2000s. That notion was dismissed by Guggenheim, who said DC had “other plans” for the character — but maybe the plans aren’t so far removed from the “Arrow”-verse? A Green Lantern would open up a whole new world for these shows, and it feels natural to give Stewart and Diggle a shared military past.
Martian Manunter is the most prominent Justice League standby that doesn’t appear to figure into DC’s big screen plans — and maybe that’s for a reason. It could be the character has been earmarked for TV, and as a constant figure in DC’s team books, a group series spinning out of “Flash” and “Arrow” seems to be a likely place — and if the shows have already had time travel and talking telepathic gorillas, aliens can’t be too far behind.
The characters announced so far for the spinoff series are a little male-heavy, so there hopefully will be more female heroes joining Caity Lotz’s character. Along with Vixen, Stargirl seems like a distinct possibility given her unique powers, youthful energy and the fact that she was created by DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, one of the “Flash” executive producers. Stargirl’s comic book companion S.T.R.I.P.E. could be a possibility as well — a mechanic in a robot suit teaming up with a teen girl superhero feels like a good fit for a show spinning out of the world of “The Flash.”
Mister Miracle has never appeared in live-action before, though a superhero escape artist is just about a perfect hook for a TV show. Like John Stewart, Mister Miracle would open up a whole new world of possibilities for the “Arrow”-verse — specifically, the many vibrant and unconventional characters from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics.
Ralph & Sue Dibny
It’s important to remember that the Deadline report said “characters,” not superheroes, so there’s no reason to necessarily believe all three — or any — of the unnamed additions to the potential spinoff will be superpowered. Ralph and Sue Dibny are two beloved figured in DC Comics, even if only the former is an actual “superhero” (Elongated Man). The husband-and-wife team are best remembered for working as a detective duo, and could be a delightful addition to a DC hero team-up series.
Many characters from the Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis/Kevin Maguire “Justice League International” era made it onto this list, but perhaps none may fit quite as well as Maxwell Lord, the ethically challenged businessman who helped form that team. While in some depictions he’s been an out an out villain, he’s more traditionally seen as a less-than-moral but generally well intended foil for a superhero team, which could add some worthwhile tension to the proposed spinoff. Amanda Waller, one of the other major non-superhero characters birthed in ’80s DC Comics, has made a major impact on “Arrrow” — it may be time for Maxwell Lord to do the same.
Like John Stewart, Hawkgirl was a core cast member of the 2000s “Justice League” animated series, meaning that the viewers who watched that show in their younger days are now right in the prime “Arrow” and “Flash” demographic. With both Egyptian mythological and Thanagarian (alien) roots, Hawkgirl would represent a very different type of character than seen so far on “Flash” and “Arrow” — plus she’s a badass with wings and a mace.
CBR’s Albert Ching & Brett White both contributed to this article.
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