Judge Nerdd: The New Wave of Comic Book TV Shows

The comics-to-TV news has been fast and furious these past few weeks, with several pilots already being ordered to series for fall debuts. Superheroes are becoming just as prevalent on the small screen as they are on the big one, but do all of these shows look up to snuff and in-line with the current renaissance of super-media? It’s time to put these new shows square in the sights of Judge Nerdd.

Constantine (NBC)

The Gist

John Constantine is a chain-smoking, magic-wielding, occult-investigating, obscenity-spewing, sarcasm-laden Brit with a deeply-suppressed desire to help others and make the world better. He’s just going to see and deal with a lot of crazy, effed-up shit (cultists, demons, etc.) in order to make it that way.

He first appeared in an issue of Swamp Thing before getting his own series in the now-completed Vertigo (meaning not part of the normal DC Universe) title Hellblazer. He then joined regular continuity and is currently pissing everybody off in the ongoing series Constantine and Justice League: Dark.

Sentencing: Watch It

Mature magicky goodness.

This is easily the series I’m most excited for out of this new crop. Matt Ryan looks dead-on as Constantine, and the show’s budget seems capable of handling the multitude of differing special effects required to pull off a style like this. I’m prepared to love this foul-mouthed Englishman.

Gotham (FOX)

The Gist

Young Jim Gordon arrives in Gotham and becomes a beat cop/detective/whatever and finds himself in the midst of gang wars between organized crime families and eventually zany super-villains. Younger, non-costumed versions of current comic book regulars will appear in spades. Bruce Wayne (Bats) will be a troubled orphan. Selina Kyle (Catwoman) lives on the street as a burglar/pick-pocket. Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin) is a low-level mobster. Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy) is a crazed teen hippie/plantlady or something that spends her time in an asylum.

Sentencing: ???

Too busy to tell for sure.

As much as I don’t want to say it… this series looks like a major clusterfuck. Every comic character is younger by 20-some years and it looks like they’ll be introducing all the Bat-villains at some point. Does it seem a tad much to anyone else? And how do we have all the footage of all these characters already? This pilot episode appears stuff to the brim with unoriginal appearances that are desperately trying to bridge the gap between the show’s timeline and whatever future Batman world they’ve decided to set-up. (And we have no idea if it’s tied to the new Bat-Fleck cinematic universe or not.) I really just wanted this to be a police procedural about Jim Gordon that only rarely touched on the Bat-mythos that is to come. I didn’t want him living in it constantly. It looks as if even Fox doesn’t think this show can stand on its own with an assist from Batman, despite the fact that he’s ten-years old. I’d be cautious about this show, despite Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock. (Which should be badass.)

The Flash (CW)

The Gist

Spinning from the world of Arrow (which you should be watching in my humble opinion), the CW is leaping right into the fray with The Flash, starring the lanky, boyishly good-looking Grant Gustin as the quirkily excitable super-fanatic/speedster Barry Allen. Allen appeared as a forensic investigator in a few episodes of Arrow‘s second season. The end of those episodes saw Allen’s chemical-filled laboratory struck by lightning, recreating the Flash’s origin and putting the character in a coma.

Sentencing: Watch It

Super-crossovers commence!

I enjoy Arrow, despite its CW-ness and man-candy machinations. (Stephen Amell has his shirt off constantly and it makes me feel inferior and bad about all the Oreos I eat.) Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, The Flash. It’s intriguing to me, as it can easily pull off the type of TV crossover that used to be reserved for Law and Order (with one of its various subsidiaries) or Family Guy (Cleveland Show). The Flash and Green Arrow officially exist in the same universe and their shows are on the same network. The CW also has the type of marketing department that would drool over this kind of cross-promotion. They’ll do their very best to ensure its lengthy survival, but there could be super-fatigue when it comes to the CW’s offerings. Also, aside from Constantine, this is one of the few shows in this list that will necessitate super-powers shown on screen. What’s the point of having a Flash TV show if he’s not running all over at super speed and punching out super villains?

Agent Carter (ABC)

Agent Carter

The Gist

It’s easier if I just use Marvel’s official synopsis here.

It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life—Steve Rogers.

Sentencing: Give it a Shot… on the DVR.

Not a huge investment.

With only eight episodes in the season, Agent Carter is worth the look. A period spy series? I’m into it. Hayley Atwell was either a strong female co-star or an uninspiring variable in Captain America: The First Avenger, depending with whom you speak. (I’ve heard both opinions.) But are we really going to have her work her way through the office pool of loaded suitors who have to compare to freakin’ Steve Rogers? Let me resolve that plotline: they don’t compare. At all.

iZombie (CW)


The Gist

Liv is a normal girl. And an animated corpse. In order to look more like the former and less like the latter, she needs to eat a brain once a month. Thankfully, her medical education lets her work in a coroner’s office. But when she eats a brain, she also absorbs that brain’s memories, which certainly conflicts with the diminishing memories of her own. And if the show is anything like the comic (below), she’ll hang out with her pals: a 1960’s era ghost and a were-terrier. She’ll fight demonic entities, government agencies, vampires, and whatever else comes their way. All while trying to be a 20-something girl.

Sentencing: Watch It

Hot Zombie Action.

What else do you need to know? I’m all in. Until it gets too CW for me. Which lets be fair, out of the three (!!!) comic shows that will be on the network, iZombie has the most potential for angsty teen angst.

Nerdd Judgement rendered! I AM DA LAW!








And there you have it! A run-down of all the new comic properties coming to your TV! Which show are you most excited for? Agree or disagree with a sentencing? Let me know!