Earlier this year, I wrote about the future of Superhero TV, and the way things were about to change. Now that the new TV seasons are about to start, it’s time to look at everything again, and figure out exactly what is going on with this genre. We had originally planned to post about this a few months ago, but better late than never.
Currently Airing TV Shows:
First, we will look at all of the currently airing shows, and explain where they are, and the way the latest season has set them up for the future.
The season 5 finale left a massive cliffhanger twist that suggests Oliver’s whole team is dead. It would be a very bold, and strange, move to actually do that, and I’m just not convinced that the creators choose to go that route. Either way, Arrow just came off of some of the most interesting episodes of the series. Next season, regardless of what happens with the team, the show will need to learn how to survive without the flashbacks they have used for the last five years, now that those have caught up to the series premiere. Arrow deserves credit for being the pioneer of Superhero television that we know today, but I’m not sure how much longer the show will be around if it struggles with this transition.
Even with Arrow having such an unexpected cliffhanger, The Flash left us with the most questions of the ‘Arrowverse’ shows. Arrow could still carry on, even if Oliver loses everyone he cares about, although it would make it hard. The Flash can’t exist with Barry in a Speedforce Prison. The big question in The Flash won’t be if Barry escapes, it will be how or when. Being in a connected universe makes it difficult, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of future story, with flashbacks to relay the time that passed while Barry was gone. I think we’ll see The Flash officially take over as the main show for the ‘Arrowverse’, while Arrow takes on more of a secondary role moving forward.
Legends of Tomorrow:
Legends of Tomorrow didn’t leave a massive cliffhanger like the other shows, but the show just naturally left a lot of questions to be answered. After stopping the Legion of Doom from completely changing the world, the team seems to be in a good place, but it’s uncertain who might be on that team. There have been numerous speculations about secondary and tertiary characters from Arrow and The Flash potentially joining the Legends, which I definitely think is possible. It will be very interesting to see what they do with this show next season. I could see the Legends playing a huge role in saving Oliver’s team at the last minute or working with Team Flash to find a way to save Barry from the Speedforce.
Supergirl is in an interesting place. They have had the opportunity to build out their world, and make it very unique and incredible, but they are also able to cross over to the rest of the ‘Arrowverse’ due to being able to cross dimensions. I think that they need to find a way to connect more in the coming season. I was hoping for some sort of event that would cause Supergirl’s universe to combine with the world the rest of the team is in. It doesn’t seem like that is possible at this point, and Supergirl still needs to deal with Cadmus, and this new Kryptonian threat that could be causing problems. It’s possible that they choose, instead, to separate the show even more.
Gotham will be returning for its fourth season in late September, and I have heard that Season 3 was better than the previous seasons. I have not actually watched the latest season yet, but I will definitely catch up on it as soon as it is available on Netflix. The main thing that I think holds Gotham back is the fact that it doesn’t exist in a connected universe, like most of the shows on TV right now. The Batman connections certainly help the show to succeed, but I’m not sure how many more seasons they can last before people realize that Bruce Wayne won’t actually be Batman in the show.
Agents of SHIELD:
Coulson and the team spent the last season dealing with otherworldly things. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what they choose to focus on. In the past, they focused on tying themselves closely to the movies, by often dealing with the aftermath of the events we saw on the big screen. While that was interesting to watch, they just had their best season. They accomplished that by having three contained, but connected, story arcs for the season. Whatever they choose to do moving forward, I’m excited to see how the team handles their future challenges.
It’s been over a year since we had the spectacular season 2 of Daredevil, and we aren’t going to get new Daredevil until 2018. Marvel really struck gold with their Netflix partnership, and have already picked up a spin-off following Punisher. All of that means that Daredevil season 3 will be highly anticipated. The upcoming “Defenders” miniseries will hopefully hold us over a bit, but the second we get any concrete release dates, trailers, or anything else for season 3 of Daredevil, will be a huge moment for Marvel and Netflix.
If we thought it’s been long since Daredevil, we haven’t seen Jessica Jones in a year and a half, and we will be waiting until 2018 for more. While their opening season wasn’t as highly praised as Daredevil, I actually liked it more than Daredevil’s first season. My guess is that Jessica Jones will take a main role in the fight during The Defenders and that it will lead to a lot of excitement for season 2. I’m not sure if that will come before or after Daredevil season 3, but I’ll be very excited as soon as we hear anything new.
With arguably the strongest opening season of the Marvel Netflix shows, it will be very interesting to see where Luke Cage goes next. It appears that he will be out of prison, one way or another, in time for the Defenders. Moving forward, he has a lot of potential, especially with potential Jessica Jones or Iron Fist crossovers moving forward. The calendar says that we’ll also be getting new Luke Cage in 2018, which means that Netflix and Marvel are going to be very busy in the next year and a half.
The majority of people reviewing Iron Fist totally trashed the show. I get it, Netflix had done so well with the other shows to that point. Iron Fist was not as bad as people made it out to be, though. The complaints people lodged seem to mostly revolve around weird or predictable stories, strange dialogue, and characters that were hard to connect to. I personally believe they can overcome these things by putting more focus on their writing, and by focusing on the Hand, and the Iron Fist mythology. I hope that Danny Rand is able to turn some heads during the Defenders enough to at least get a second season out of the show. A Luke Cage crossover would go a long way too.
Legion was a show that looked absolutely incredible based on the previews. I personally couldn’t get past episode 2. It was just hard to get into it, and I wasn’t sure where the story was going. I was actually convinced that the show would be canceled early and that it would be the beginning of Fox’ decline with the X-Men franchise, ultimately leading to its return to Marvel. I was wrong. It did well and is confirmed for a new season starting sometime in 2018. Like Gotham, I will have to catch up on this show before the new season begins. I’m excited to see what connections, if any, are included in the new X-Men TV show we will be seeing later this year.
Future TV Shows:
This weekend we’ll finally get the meetup we’ve been waiting for. Marvel and Netflix put together a plan a few years ago which is finally coming to fruition. Just like the Avengers in 2012, this will be an incredible culmination of stories and characters that we have watched over the years. All of the trailers have made me incredibly excited to see how this miniseries will turn out, and you can bet that I’ll have some in depth thoughts about it sometime this weekend.
Since the resurgence of on-screen Superhero media in the last 10 years, we have seen a lot of things. We haven’t really seen a “villain” be the main focus, or at least we haven’t seen it done well. Suicide Squad tried but fell short in the end. The closest thing we’ve actually seen is Deadpool, and he’s not a true villain, even if he might not be a true hero either. With that being said, many villains in the MCU have definitely outperformed expectations. The best example of that is The Punisher in Season 2 of Daredevil. The Punisher will have to succeed without much help from the other Netflix shows, because all of those characters are busy on The Defenders, but don’t be surprized if this show gets amazing reviews anyway.
ABC is taking a new risk with this one. They are hoping that they can also have success with multiple superhero shows on the same network at the same time. I will personally be watching the premiere of this in IMAX theaters, but I am excited to see how it transitions to a regular release schedule later in the fall. Inhumans is confirmed to follow Black Bolt and the Inhuman “First Family”, and it appears to take place in modern times. I am very excited to see if Inhumans connects to Agents of Shield in any way.
Cloak & Dagger, New Warriors, and Runaways:
Coming midseason (Early 2018), these shows will try to cut into the younger audience. Right now, DC (via The CW) has a hold on the teenage audience of superhero TV watchers, and these shows will be Marvel’s attempt to try to diversify that. Cloak & Dagger, and New Warriors will be on the “teen-friendly” network, Freeform, while Runaways will appear on Hulu. Cloak & Dagger and Runaways will also focus on teenage main characters, while New Warriors will focus on people transitioning from teenage years to adulthood. These shows also have the potential to change or expand the way this genre works. So far we don’t know much about these new shows, outside of some casting choices, I’ll be here to inform you of everything happening in these shows as they are released.
This show will air on Fox, and it will follow two young mutants and their family. The show is set in a version of the future where mutants are hunted down. After their powers are revealed, the protagonists’ father abandons the government, and the family searches for a group of mutants to help ensure their safety. I personally wonder if there are going to be any connections to Logan or the upcoming X-Men movie.
A Change in Power:
While Marvel does have more shows on air than DC currently (it’s a tie if you split Legion from the MCU shows), most of Marvel’s shows are on Netflix and released all at once. DC, on the other hand, gets to run 5 shows through the whole course of a season. Marvel, though, has 6 new shows on the way, 4 of which will be weekly shows. Marvel already receives much more praise than DC for their movies, and it seems like they are aiming to take that crown on Television as well.
Connections to Movies:
Marvel has been very clear that all of their shows are a part of the MCU, but outside of short cameos or vague references, there aren’t crossovers in their shows. On the other side, DC actually has different actors playing the same characters, at the same time. DC has introduced the “Multiverse” in The Flash, so it’s realistic to think that Gotham exists in one of those universes, and another one could contain the connected movie franchise, there could also be a universe where the Powerless crew lives and works.
Either way, the chances of DC ever actually connecting their TV shows and movies seem minuscule at best. In some ways that could be good, as it will allow the shows to grow and be their own. Going back to Marvel, there will also be the question of if, or when, the TV characters will show up in the movies. This could lead to more theories and interest in both the movies and the shows, or it could cause confusion and drama. Only time will tell.
Success and Failure:
Maybe I’m a bad judge of these shows. I’ve stuck through the existing shows when many people have stopped watching. I’ve loved certain parts of some of those shows that are often called the worst parts. I can explain those things by saying I am just a big fan, though. But, I messed up…
I had a hard time staying focused on Legion and found it hard to appreciate the story, so I stopped watching it. Meanwhile, I stuck to Powerless, and I loved it. If you asked me which show would last longer, I may not have actually guessed Powerless, but I would have hoped for it. I wonder whether my opinion of these new shows will be closer to the rest of the world this time. Regardless of that, though, I will bring you information on each of these shows as new seasons are released in the coming months.
What I Am Excited For:
Is it bad to say everything? I kind of want to say everything. Rather than digging more into each of these shows again, I’ll just give you my list of the new shows in order of how excited I am for it: Punisher, The Defenders, Inhumans, Cloak & Dagger, Runaways, The Gifted, and New Warriors. I’m ready to be proven wrong, and I’m ready to be right. Either way, you’ll be getting my opinion on each of these shows every week…
Next Season’s Recaps!
Finally, I am excited to introduce the new method we will be adopting for weekly recaps next season. Each show will have it’s own post, which we will update weekly. The weekly updates will briefly cover the episodes, but we may go into more detail if something major happens. At the end of the season, we will do an overall recap and review of the season. This will, of course, focus on the shows running weekly. This is still an evolving concept, so we will have more details as these shows start to come out.
Thank you all so much for reading. Please let me know what you think about the state of Superhero TV. Do you have any predictions for the upcoming shows? Are you excited about anything I didn’t mention? Do you think I’m completely wrong for not liking Legion right away? I want to know!