DC Comics series offer strong start to Fall TV season

Grant Gustin as The Flash

Gotham is now two episodes past its pilot, with the premiere for Season Three of Arrow this week along with the pilot for The Flash.  There’s one more DCU series–Constantine–coming later this month.  We’ve seen the first entries of the DC Comics universe on TV for the Fall 2014 season, so how did the first of the season openers fare?

We had low expectations for Gotham.  A series in Gotham with all the Bat-villains and Jim Gordon, but no Batman?  Whose idea was that?  Yet, tight writing and a story that proceeds at a fast pace coupled with a superb supporting cast of characters and actors behind the roles really make this a series we’re looking forward to each week.  That “boy scout” lead role for cop Jim Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie, must be a thankless job, and far less fun to play than all those villains, including the best reason to watch Gotham in Gordon’s partner Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue.  We reviewed the pilot earlier here at borg.com and we’re still happy with the direction of the series.

Routh on Arrow as Ray Palmer

If the season opener is any indication of the course of Season Three of CW’s Arrow, then consistency is the theme for this series.  We know these characters well now, and the actors all solidly fit in the shoes of our heroes, from Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen to David Ramsey as John Diggle, to Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and Paul Blackthorne as Captain Lance, Arrow is a proven commodity.

Mix up Diggle’s role in Oliver’s team?  Taunt us with a relationship between Oliver and Felicity?  Kill off a major series hero?  The writers are sure going to keep us on our toes this year.

The highlight of all the DCU series so far is the introduction of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer–the man who would be The Atom.  It’s not lost on anyone watching that we are seeing the former big screen Superman face off with the Green Arrow right before our eyes.  As we saw with the NBC series Chuck, Routh is one of the best actors to pop in for guest starring roles.  Let’s just not take too much time before we see him transform into The Atom.  Please?

Which leaves the more youth oriented series The Flash as more of the “new kid” on the block.  We had really high expectations for this one.  After all, the original series The Flash set the standard for all post-The Incredible Hulk era TV superhero series.  The pilot didn’t altogether disappoint, but it also didn’t dazzle us as we expected.  It may be one of those series you need to ease into.


The pluses of The Flash are many.  It’s fresh and fun, and a bit like The Adventures of Lois and Clark in its lighthearted spin on the superhero world versus the dark gritty bent all the other superhero shows have taken.  Grant Gustin is clearly having fun and his character Barry Allen is conveying the unabashed glee of having superhero powers that any real person would likely feel.  And look at the supporting cast.  Original Barry Allen, actor John Wesley Shipp, is right there playing the new Allen’s father.  And it’s like Law and Order never left us, with Detective Ed Green back in action, now named Detective Joe West, played by the awesome Jesse L. Martin.

We also can’t get enough of the crossovers between Arrow and The Flash.  If we can’t have a Justice League movie, this is the next best thing.  If only someone would have the guts to introduce Hawkman to this world.  We’d even be happy with the New 52 version.

So that leaves us waiting to see what Constantine will have to offer.  For that, we must wait until October 24.  For Gotham, Arrow, and The Flash?  So far, so good.

C.J. Bunce

One comment

  1. Mr. Bunce summarizes very nicely the plots of these two freshman TV series. Yes, Gotham continues to receive good ratings and viewer acceptance. Thanks for these reviews!

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