Sunday, May 11, 2014

Comics Invade TV

While X-Box, Netflix, and Playstation are developing comic book inspired content, the airwaves will not be without for the 2014-2015 television season.

Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds) will star in Constantine, “Master of the occult” and attuned to all things mystical, John Constantine is a demon hunter by profession and a disagreeable character by personality. The series starts when an old friend’s daughter, Liv (Lucy Griffiths) is kidnapped by a demon. The two team up to face the forces of darkness and straddle the line between hero and antihero. The series is produced by Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) and David S. Goyer (Batman Begins). Constantine is set to air 10 pm on Fridays on NBC this fall.

Constantine had a self titled movie in 2005, starring Keanu Reeves in the title role. John Constantine was created by Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) during his run on Swamp Thing. He was created out of a desire from the artists to draw a character who looked like singer-songwriter Sting. The character won his own series, Hellblazer, shortly after.

Gotham is a prequel to Batman. Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie of The OC) and Harvey Bullock (Daniel Logue) are investigating the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) is taking care of the newly orphaned Bruce Wayne (a young David Mazouz). Villians are also seen in their infancy. Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), Ivy (Clare Foley), and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) are all present on the promotional poster with teasers for The Joker. Jada Pinkett Smith will appear as Fish Mooney the crime lord and Zabryna Guevara will play Captain Sarah Essen, important to the Gotham PD mythos. Bullock’s partner, fan favorite Renee Montoya, is confirmed to be on the show. Gotham is coming to Fox soon.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was granted a second season. With that comes Agent Carter, a crime and espionage series set in the 1940s. Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, was first seen in Captain America working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Agent Carter was a “Marvel One Shot” packaged in with Iron Man 3. Carter was invited by Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) to co-head the newly minted S.H.I.E.L.D.. Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell will reprise their roles, and the show has involvement from the writers of the Captain America films: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas act as show runners. Agent Carter will debut along with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the fall on ABC.

iZombie will premiere on The CW by producers Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, 90210) and Diane Ruggiero (Veronica Mars). The characters names and stories have been changed. The zombie main character is Liv, portrayed by Rose McIver (Power Rangers:RPM, Once Upon a Time). Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill) will play her involved ex. Alexandra Krosney (Last Man Standing, Transformers Prime) as Peyton, David Anders (Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries) as Blaine, and Jenna Berman as Monica will also star. The series is loosely based on the source material. iZombie was published by Vertigo in 2010, by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. In the comics, Gwen Dylan is a “revenant”(zombie) and gravedigger who makes friends with a ghost from the 1960s, Ellie, and a were-terrier, Scott. The series was nominated for an Eisner.

Another new series, The Flash, will air on The CW this fall. Grant Gustin stars as The Flash (Barry Allen). Iris West (Candice Patton) will play a big role as well. Killer Frost, Professor Zoom, and Vibe “inspired” characters will also have notable roles in the series. Gustin first appeared as Allen/Flash in Arrow’s second season in “The Scientist” and “Three Ghosts”. The two shows are set in the same universe and share executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. The pilot was co-written with DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Justice League). Barry Allen ushered in the Silver Age of Comics when he took over the role of The Flash in Showcase #4 (1956) by Robert Kanigher, John Broome, and Carmine Infantino. Arrow, starting Steven Amell as Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), was renewed for a third season back in February. Green Arrow first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941 by Mort Weisinger and George Papp.

The Walking Dead on AMC will spin off with a series focusing on another corner of The Walking Dead universe. With a completely new location, and a new cast, the still untitled series will be produced by creator Robert Kirkman, Walking Dead’s Gale Anne Hurd, and Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun). Season five of The Walking Dead is scheduled to begin in October.

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