The Geeks Have Inherited the Earth
It is not a bad time to be a geek. Turn on the television, walk into a theater or any bookstore and you will see superhero genre fiction everywhere. In a country with a diverse past such as ours we get to look at these spandex clad do-gooders as sort of a moral center, a flexible mythology that we can read ourselves into. We do not have the luxury of the previous generation’s cowboys and war heroes. Our heroes are a little less based in reality but still follow the same archetypes. We may not be Superman, but we can certainly look up to what he stands for. With these creations populating our young consciousness it was natural for them to become a popular television trope. What surprises me is how terrible most television iterations have been. I know shows like ‘Lois and Clark’, ‘Smallville’ and ‘Arrow’ have their rabid fans and far be it from me to question another persons tastes, but they just don’t do it for me.
We Deserve Better
While Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ didn’t quite make the grade in the first two thirds of their season it made up for it in the end. DC properties on the other hand have been dreadful, uber pretty people snoozing through scripts in ridiculous outfits. If you are going to wear spandex in front of millions of people you better own that sucker or else you are just a boring actor in a silly getup. This is especially disappointing as you look at DC’s animation offerings which have been particularly strong like Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Batman: Under the Red Hood and Justice League: Doom, solid writing, risk taking and high quality productions all around.
Hope for the Future
WARNING: The following trailers are for prime time television, but are a little dark. Consider them PG-13 for our regular readership.
DC seems to have received the message with a couple of their new shows. First up with have Gotham, set in the Batman universe it follows a pre-Commissioner James Gordon. If the writers don’t fall into the Star Wars prequel trap of inserting too many circumstances and characters that occur later into the timeline then this show could be fun.
Next is Constantine. I’ll forgive people if they aren’t familiar with the character, he isn’t your typical ‘underwear on the outside’ protagonist we are used to. Originally appearing as a minor character in the Alan Moore’s 80s incarnation of Swamp Thing he eventually gained his own title ‘Hellblazer’. There was a 2005 film starring Keanu Reeves that was decent, but didn’t quite capture all the nuances of the character in the short running time. Constantine is a chain smoking, smarmy occult detective with some fairly questionable motivations. I’m not sure how deep NBC is going to go with the character, but the trailer shows no fear in directly using religious symbolism, which I think is great news and means they won’t shy away from some of the more uncomfortable aspects of who the character is.
…and the Rest
Let’s hope the writing is as good as the trailers tease. There are more shows coming, the ‘Arrow’ spin-off ‘Flash’, another season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and a slew of Marvel shows on Netflix that will tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Like I said in the beginning, not a bad time to be a fan and I hope we continue to get great, mature content for the foreseeable future.