There was a time when we were lucky to just have one comic-book show on television at a time. These days, though, we have an embarrassment of riches, and it’s worth taking a moment to call all of it out. No matter what version of comic-book TV you like, there’s something for you.
If you like your shows super serious and full of costumes, there’s the finale of Titans this Friday. While the season has had its ups and downs, the final arc of the season has Dick Grayson taking on the mantle of Nightwing and the Titans having a final showdown with Deathstroke that promises to be satisfying and lethal. Where else can you see the Ravager and Nightwing in comic-accurate costumes fighting Slade Wilson?
If it’s complex storytelling you’re after, though, HBO has Watchmen. The show is moving into its final third, and it’s coming out better than any of us (save Alan Moore himself) could’ve hoped. Rather than acting as a simple continuation of the show we know, Watchmen is telling its own story in that world. It continues the themes of the comic and re-imagines certain elements without ever stepping on the comic itself. The show is packed with great performances, stunning visuals, and wild twists.
Whether it’s when you find out where Adrian Veidt really has been living, Hooded Justice’s true identity, or what Laurie Blake has been keeping in that briefcase, the show has tons of memorable moments and they’re all delivered with perfect tone.
The most ambitious crossover event in history
CW’s take on DC has its detractors, but the network has done an incredible job of bringing comic books to life on a secondary-network budget. We have fun, watchable versions of Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Batwoman, the Atom, Superman, and more. And now after seven years of hard work by the network, we’re being rewarded for sticking around. Marvel can say that Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame is the most ambitious crossover event in history, but I only saw one Spider-Man in those movies.
The upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths event, slated to start on December 8, has three Supermen. It has Burt Ward and Kevin Conroy, two of the elder statesmen of the Batman universe. It has the Monitor and the Harbinger.
In comic books, it’s easy to do crossovers. Any artist can draw just about any character. On TV, it’s unheard of. Sure, you might get an easter-egg reference here and there, or a crossover character, but what the Arrowverse is doing is unprecedented. Even if none of these characters is perfect, it’s huge to see them all in the same place in an adaptation of one of the most infamous crossovers in comic-book history.
In a month
All of this is going down in the next 30 days. 3 weeks of Watchmen, less than 2 weeks until Crisis, and 1 week of Titans. When it comes to comic books on TV, DC is controlling the board right now, and the board is looking awesome. None of this even speaks to the far-out future, where we’re getting a Superman TV show, a second season of Doom Patrol, a third of Titans, Pennyworth season 2, a Green Lantern show, and more.
There’s so much DC TV right now that it’s hard to stay caught up. But it’s fun to try.