As strange as it may sound you can thank Adam West and Bill Dozier for the Flash and Arrow TV shows. Now obviously that’s an oversimplification of everything, but a small kernel of that is real. As I’ve mentioned before my dad would tape the 60’s Batman TV show for me on VHS, why I’m not sure because I was still in small clothes at the time. But when I would watch the show I would take it incredibly seriously, sure Robin got eaten by a giant purple clam but I thought he was in danger. That show was also my introduction to comic books, and also how I found out that the Batman TV show was not supposed to be taken seriously. And eventually everybody started to hate the classic TV show years after its inception.
I do not hate the show, how could I. its so ridiculous that most of the time it’s making fun of itself anyways. But that was the first big splash “Superhero” show not counting the superman and batman serials back in the 30’s. But today comic book fans are spoiled with all the content that’s thrown in there faces every day. From things like Powers on the PlayStation Network, Daredevil on Netflix and Agents of shield on ABC, and that’s only in an episodic form we are buried in comic media. But just like that saying that everybody has heard, quality over quantity. Thankfully most of these shows are top notch in the content they deliver. (most of them…I’m looking at you “Gotham”)
People often mention how weird it is that we are getting an Ant-Man movie. But even more mysterious in my eyes is the fact that Green Arrow became and interesting and dark character that I would enjoy learning more about every week. Ant-Man is going to be a two and a half hour movie, I’ve already watched more Arrow then ill ever see of Ant-Man, now that’s not to say that I don’t think these characters can be interesting, of course not. Almost every comic book character has a reason for existing, I’m just saying I’m surprised the mass market of non-comic fans have been so interested in these characters that I’ve followed most of my life.
In many ways, an episodic formula is the best way to tell comic book characters story. There are so many twists and turns in comics that it’s easier to break things up and have a season-long arc. Everybody and their mother is going to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron when it releases but that is going to be an overall finite tight story that any moviegoer will understand with small Easter eggs for people like me and you who obsessively watch agents of shield. While as in the Flash every week a new tidbit of information is revealed about the reverse flash, movies can’t lay plot details at the end of every hour, they need to have paid off in the third act and then leave hints for what’s next two years down the road.
Obviously I’m narrowing down my focus, video games, Movies, and even books have jumped on the comic book bandwagon. But hearing about a comic book adaptation that will take 13 or 24 episodes to finish excites me. There is so much stuff you can fit in all that time. I’m sure in many executives eyes the movies are much more important than the TV show counterparts, but fans are beginning to disagree. When the news of a second Flash broke, the internet lost its freaking mind. A few weeks into the much beloved Flash TV show people anointed Grant Gustin as the definitive Flash, and, to be honest, it’s easy to see why, that guy is the definition of likable. And I’m Sure Ezra Miller will portray a very interesting and different Flash. But it just goes to show you that fans take these TV shows just as seriously as the movies and if you aren’t doing it for the fans then whats the point.
Comic books adapted to television (or whatever you consider Netflix.) are a growing and already vibrant way to watch these characters that most people already know and love evolve into something more. Classic shows like 60’s Batman, 90’s Flash, and even that weird live action spider-man show, have paved a way for the more in-depth look at what most fans want out of their comic book shows. Let’s be honest for many people Green Arrow wasn’t all that intriguing before Stephen Amell put on the hood. And things like Agents of Shield shine a light on the all-seeing eye of the Marvel cinematic universe. We have come a long way in how the society views comic books, and it only shows how much content is out there and will how it will grow. The next question is when does the bubble burst.