As reported here at MajorSpoilers.com, The CW renewed several shows over the weekend, including the two based on DC Comics characters, The Flash and Arrow.

We also heard that the crossover between the two shows will become a yearly event, much like the “Crisis on … Earths” stories were between the JLA and the JSA back in the day. There’s an animated show to be based in the Arrow-verse on the horizon as well, focusing on Vixen, the animal-powered heroine in the DCU.

Also, the debut of Agent Carter on ABC attracted 6.9 million viewers, coming in ahead of the last episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s viewers, which totaled 5.3 million.

What this all leads to is that the “unified universes” on comic book-related shows/movies is a trend we’ll continue to see as we move forward in 2015.

SUPERGIRL, TEEN TITANS AND KRYPTON

As I’ve mentioned in the past, CBS’s Supergirl will also take place in the Arrow-verse, leading to speculation that a cross-network crossover could happen.

No word has come out whether Teen Titans or Krypton will also take place there, but given what’s happening in the other DC-related shows, it’s certainly possible.

This is all intriguing to me because DC has come out with their own version of the Arrow-verse, with Arrow: Season 2.5 and The Flash: Season Zero comics appearing first digitally, then in print format.

Like Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, could DC be building an Arrow-verse line of comics as well? We’ll see!

Still, from all that’s been officially announced, the Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film will first NOT be split into two, and will NOT be tied in to the TV Arrow-verse. At least, not yet.

MARVEL TAKES ANOTHER PATH

DC Comics, Marvel, Arrow, The CW, ABC, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, The Flash, Ultimate Universe, Captain America, Avengers, Batman, SupermanThere’s been no word yet about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agent Carter on ABC. That network will likely not release any word about renewals until March at the earliest. Still, since Disney owns ABC, it’s likely they’ll want to keep those two programs on the air for a variety of reasons.

First, they’re based on properties Disney already owns. It’s a lot less expensive to use something that’s yours already than to seek out and pay someone else to make a show.

Second, and this is one way Marvel differs from DC, aspects of the Marvel movies are being set up in these shows. Also, films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier have impacted S.H.I.E.L.D., for instance.

That same television show is laying the groundwork for The Inhumans film coming in the next couple of years. Is that necessary? Based on the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy, no. But doing that could help S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ratings, which haven’t been all that “marvelous,” if you catch my drift.

Marvel also has several animated shows on the Disney XD cable channel that are linked together, including Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Avengers Assemble. Although they’re somewhat based on the Avengers feature film and have something of the same tone of the movie, they’re not taking place in the same continuity. Marvel has generated several comics based on these shows come out in the past several years, but they are in no way related to the shows or the films.

So it depends just what is related to what as far as TV and films go.

THE ULTIMATE CROSSOVER

Of course, all this universe building makes me wonder if the ultimate crossover could one day take place.

What if Agent Colson found himself in Starling City? Or if the Flash time-travelled into the past to meet Sharon Carter? Maybe Vixen could bump into the Ultimate Spider-Man. Could be fun!

I admit it – I was a big fan of the various Superman/Spider-Man or Batman/Hulk team-ups as well as the Amalgam Universe. I realize this kind of thing wouldn’t happen often, but it would be a treasure if or when it did.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

In days past, should there be a show based on a comics character, it would be completely unrelated to any other programs featuring superheroes, even those from the same company.

So, why is all this taking place? Why construct universes with multiple heroes in them from the same organization?

The CW’s Arrow got its highest ratings ever during the episode when it crossed over with The Flash. That certainly contributed to the early decisions to renew both shows.

On some levels, all this makes me smile. It used to be that super-characters were verboten on TV or films. After all, they were children’s fare. No serious adult would even consider going to see a film or watch a show based on them.

Now, it’s a different story. You walk into a store, nearly any shop from Wal-Mart to a local mom-and-pop place, and you could very likely see something with a comics character’s symbol on it. I see bunches of T-shirts with Marvel or DC logos on them all the time now at Wal-Mart. Such things were incomprehensible not that long ago.

I wish I could say that all this was spilling over into comics’ sales. The good news is that the last three years were ones of growth for the comics industry while the three before that were times of decline. So we’re moving in the right direction.

And that’s a really good thing! Maybe if more TV shows or films continue to be based on comics superheroes, it will encourage more former or new readers to make that trip back to the local comics shop. And that’s ALWAYS a great thing!

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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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1 Comment

  1. Alisha
    January 12, 2015 at 10:49 am — Reply

    “Of course, all this universe building makes me wonder if the ultimate crossover could one day take place.”

    They could always use Access, the character with the power to jump between DC and Marvel and eventually keeper of the Amalgam universe.

    Since his only appearance in a non Marvel/DC crossover was in an issue of DC’s monthly Green Lantern, it would be fitting if he were first introduced in an episode of Flash as a suspected metahuman. It would be plausible that his powers were activated in the same event that created the metahumans of The Flash (they did say that the explosion ripped a whole in reality). It could be that both that explosion and something in the MCU started the universes to slowly bleed together, but it isn’t until things get bad (such as characters from the two settings suddenly appearing in the other) that anyone starts to notice and Access has to jump into action to keep the two worlds from merging into one (instead of becoming Amalgam, maybe the two universes would be destroyed if they merged).

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