The big TV networks just finished announcing what their schedules would look like for the upcoming year - a lot of shows were cancelled, and a lot of new ones were picked up. The weird thing is that - amongst the new shows - a lot of them are adaptations of comic books or comic book characters. Like, way more than ever before - with at least five major ones(not including renewals of shows like Arrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and cable shows in the work like AMC's Preacher).

Even more bizarrely, a lot of them look like they might actually be good. It's a weird, weird time to be a comic book nerd.

 

Gotham

A Guide to All of the Comic Book Shows Premiering This Year

Network: FOX

Premise: The guy from The O.C. is pre-mustache Jim Gordon, the once-and-future Commissioner - and a fresh-faced detective in Gotham. Partnered with the grizzled and morally-gray Harvey Bullock, Gordon gets on the scene right about the time Thomas and Martha Wayne are gunned down in an alleyway, sending Gotham over the edge and beginning a wave of crime that threatens to swallow the city whole.

Will It Be Any Good?: Well, the weird thing is that we all know where this is going for the next few years - and we know Jim Gordon will absolutely and completely fail in his goal to rid the city of crime. We know things will only get worse, more criminals will take to the streets, and one day li'l Bruce Wayne will need to dress up like a bat in order to set things right. C'mon, Ryan from The O.C.

 The showrunner is Bruno Heller, who also did HBO's Rome (which - although tragically cut short at 2 seasons - is one of the best things HBO ever did, and is a pretty clear precursor to Game of Thrones), so that's a good sign.

 

 

Constantine

A Guide to All of the Comic Book Shows Premiering This Year

Network: NBC

Premise: Based on the comic Hellblazer, the fine folks behind this show try to make you forget about that Keanu Reeves movie version (which was fine, but Keanu Reeves' lack of blonde hair and a British accent were pretty disheartening) and the fact that Castiel's look on Supernatural is lifted wholesale from Hellblazer. John Constantine is a former demon hunter who gets pulled back into the occult when the daughter of an old friend finds herself in danger.

Will It Be Any Good?: Well, just based on the look of things in general so far, it seems like the creators are more or less dedicated to trying to do Constantine right. Still have no word on his chain-smoking habit, but we'll see. Matt Ryan seems like a good fit for Constantine, and it's got Harold Perrineau with giant angel wings and not screaming "WAAAAAAAAAAAALT!", so that's something too. It's from the creative minds of Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. Daniel Cerone was the showrunner of Dexter's second (and probably best) season, so that's good. David S. Goyer is the non-Nolan involved in Nolan's Batman films and co-wrote Man of Steel, so let's focus on Daniel Cerone, who will be more actively involved anyhow.

The only issue seems to be that they're trying to do Constantine on network TV, and on the network that famously almost bought The Walking Dead, but wanted to know if they could do it without the zombies.

 

 

Agent Carter

A Guide to All of the Comic Book Shows Premiering This Year

Network: ABC

Premise: Picking up at 1946, Peggy Carter is stuck doing administrative work in light of peacetime thanks to the casual sexism of the 1940s. She gets back in the spy game by engaging in top secret missions for Howard Stark, all while mourning the loss of the love of her life, Steve Rogers.

Will It Be Any Good?: This is another example where we kind of know everything that's going to happen - we know what happens to Peggy (thanks to The Winter Soldier) and we know what happens to SHIELD (thank to The Winter Soldier). Still, Peggy Carter's a very fun character - and the short film Marvel made starring her was pretty fantastic. There's no solid info about Howard Stark or Dum Dum Dugan (or anyone from The Howling Commandos) being regulars on the show, which is a bummer.

 

The Flash

  A Guide to All of the Comic Book Shows Premiering This Year

Network: The CW

Premise: It's a direct spin-off of CW's other DC show, Arrow - Barry Allen's a crime scene investigator from Central City who spent a couple episodes laying down some exposition in Arrow's hood (EH? EHHH?). Then an explosion messes stuff up back home and he's struck by lightning and gets doused in chemicals - which leaves him with super speed. And, unlike a lot of comic book shows, this one is straight up going for the goofy costume. Hats off.

Will It Be Any Good?: The show comes from the same creative minds behind Arrow, so it'll likely have a lot in common with that show (at least tonally). If you like Arrow, good news! If you don't like Arrow, uh, sorry. The nice thing about the show will be its ability to easily cross-over with Arrow, adding to the connected-universe feel that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been hogging for the past year.

 

iZombie

A Guide to All of the Comic Book Shows Premiering This Year

Network: The CW

Premise: There's a zombie, a ghost, and a were-terrier, who are all buds. The show will primarily follow Gwen (the zombie, or "revenant") who can mostly pass for a normal living person, except she needs to eat a brain once a month to stop herself from going full undead walker.

Will It Be Any Good?: If there's one thing the entertainment world needs, it's more zombie-related properties, right? Well, actually, this could be fun - it's not the grimdark misery of The Walking Dead - it's a much more light-hearted, fun take on the genre. Plus, it's being run by Rob Thomas (not that one) and Diane Ruggiero, who you may know from their work on Veronica Mars and Party Down, two of the best shows of the past decade. If nothing else, their presence here promises that this show will be very good and get terrible ratings and get cancelled before its time.