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From DC to TV: Finding the Next CW Superhero 

Photo Credit: The CW

There’s been a lot of news lately about comic book properties coming to the small screen. Marvel is rolling out Jessica Who and a new version of The Incredible Hulk while DC is following suit with a show featuring fan favorite Booster Gold on SyFy. Now there’s news that a Green Arrow show is in the works. While fans (such as myself) are not happy that Justin Hartley apparently has no ties to this new Green Arrow show, there is no denying that Smallville’s departure from the airwaves has left a hole in the CW lineup that needs to be filled. Here’s a look at five current DC comics I think could make the leap from the page to the TV screen.JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The Lowdown:
When DC did their big overhaul in September one of the new series to spawn out from it was Justice League Dark about a group of heroes handling problems too magical or supernatural for the regular Justice League to handle. The group includes Zatanna (a character we’ve seen come to life on Smallville), John Constantine (who Keanu Reeves played in the film Constantine), Deadman (a character that is actually being pitched for his own series on the CW by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke), a character who can bend reality named Shade, a mystic named Madame Xanadu (no relation to the hilariously awful Olivia Newton John movie), and a new character named Mindwarp.

Why it would work:
A relatively young cast of characters fits in the demographic of CW, not to mention it fills the void of the DC ensemble piece that has been missing since Smallville went off the air. With characters like Zatanna and John Constantine already somewhat introduced to the public, this would be a great bridge into the larger expanded DC universe and may not scare off people who don’t want to watch “just another super hero show”. Plus, with its dark and mystical plots it could easily be paired up with Supernatural on Friday nights.

BLUE BEETLE

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The Lowdown:
We got a glimpse of Blue Beetle in the final season of Smallville and there had been rumors that a Blue Beetle show was in the works (test footage of the CGI was even leaked to the internet). Jaime Reyes is a teenage high school nerd (not unlike Spider-Man/Peter Parker) who finds an ancient scarab that bonds with him and turns him into the Blue Beetle. While the scarab’s intentions are to do harm, Jaime must learn to control this new power and become a hero (think Edward Furlong retraining the Terminator in T2).

Why it would work:
This is as close to the Smallville formula as you can get. A kid in high school coming to grips with his newfound powers…what’s not to love? Throw in the fact that you’d have a young and diverse cast and some great series mythology involving the scarab and it would feel like Smallville never left. The only downside would be that the effects would get costly and knowing CW, they aren’t afraid to throw out CGI that looks like it was done in Microsoft Paint. Still, they did a great job bringing the bug to life in Smallville so maybe there is still hope.

VOODOO

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The Lowdown:
VooWho? Voodoo is a DC character that isn’t familiar to many but has been thrust a little more into the limelight since the DC New 52 initiative. She’s a sexy young girl who also happens to be a shape-shifter creature that has come to Earth to gather information about all the met humans (re: superheroes) in the DC world and bring them back to her people but before she can finish her mission, she’s betrayed by her own race, not to mention being the number one most wanted fugitive in the DC Universe whose name isn’t The Joker.

Why it would work:
If any character was custom made to be Friday night’s Supernatural partner-in-crime, this is it. It pretty much fills out everything on the check list. Sexy young lead? Check. Big overall series mythology with the ability to have monster of the week episodes? Check. Annoying current pop soundtrack? Probably. All kidding aside, if this hasn’t been pitched or at least brought up in a meeting to become a show I’d be shocked.

SWAMP THING

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The Lowdown:
While there have been many different version of the character, the current series focuses on Alec Holland, a scientist that once was turned into the creature Swamp Thing and has all of his memories but has returned to his human form. Alec can summon the power of the green, which is basically a life line to all living things on the planet. With this power he has to fight off the Rot…the black force of death that threatens to destroy all life on Earth.

Why it would work:
It’s not the most conventional pick for this list, but I think it could be a great show. The angst of Alec coming to grips with his “past life” as a monster could easily be a source of inner conflict for the character. The Rot force could be like how Darkseid took over people in Season 10 of Smallville and provide a freak of the week format while also dealing with the overall mythology. It might be kind of a weird, hard sell to audiences but if it turned out anything like Scott Snyder’s current run on the series it could be all time great.

NIGHTWING

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The Lowdown:
It’s rough being Robin. You’re constantly overshadowed by Batman and you get absolutely no respect. Dick Grayson decided to leave the Robin lifestyle behind and take up the mantle of Nightwing in the city of Bludhaven, Gotham’s sister city. Now that he’s his own man and protects his own city he’s more of an equal to Batman and their relationship is more of a friend to friend one rather than a father to son one.

Why it would work:
Honestly, how could it not work? While the character of Batman is off limits in the TV world (a choice I understand, but don’t necessarily agree with) there’s no rules about Dick Grayson and his alter ego. You cast an unknown twenty-something CW pretty boy as Dick and a hot little starlet as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and you could have some of that angsty relationship drama that is a staple of the CW brand, not to mention you could have the comic book elements for the fanboys and plenty of freak of the week villains to last you multiple seasons. You don’t even need to see Batman but you can sure as hell reference him and Dick’s time as Robin. Just focus on Dick trying to become his own man and dealing with not only his grief at the loss of his family but truly having to find himself away from Bruce/Batman. The psyche of Dick Grayson is one that has never truly been explored and this show could easily become a huge hit in the absence of Smallville.

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