To say the least, 2016 has been a massive year for DC Entertainment. Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe is in full swing with the release of two major films. The company’s television worlds grew bigger than ever before. The animation world continues to be heavily exploited with new movies and shows, while we have some new developments in the gaming realm.
In the first installment of our annual reflection, we will be looking at all the major news, rumors, announcements and SPOILERS surrounding DC Entertainment’s television shows.
2016 is the biggest year yet for The CW’s DC television shows, starting with Arrow, which spawned the shared multiverse. This year, following his defeat of Damien Darhk, Oliver Queen balances his life as the Green Arrow with serving as the mayor of Star City. After the dissolution of Team Arrow last season, Oliver formed a new group, composed of Mister Terrific, Wild Dog, Artemis and Ragman. Other DC Comics characters who have debuted this season are Human Target, Vigilante, and (soon) Talia al Ghul. The main villain of this season is Prometheus, a mysterious foe who is connected to someone murdered by Oliver back in season one. This year has also seen the 100th episode of Arrow, which served as a love letter to the entire series.
Next, we have The Flash. After defeating Zoom, Barry Allen goes back in time to prevent his mother from dying. This, of course, kicked off the show’s adaptation of “Flashpoint.” Barry eventually resets the timeline, but some things are still different. Cisco’s brother is dead, Caitlin has (killer) frost powers, Arrow‘s Diggle has a son instead of a daughter, and aliens have come to Earth to destroy the metahumans. Good going, Barry. This season of The Flash has featured Dr. Alchemy, Savitar, The Rival, Mirror Master, and more DC characters. Meanwhile, Wally finally receives his powers, while the real Jay Garrick steps up.
Now, on to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The team has finally wiped out Vandal Savage for good, but not before the death of Captain Cold. Hawkgirl and Hawkman also left the team to begin a new life. In season two, the Legends meet the Justice Society of America and a new Vixen, while also reuniting with Jonah Hex. Plus, the group encounters the Legion of Doom, a team of supervillains comprised of some of the Arrowverse’s biggest villains so far.
Following a first season on CBS and a crossover with The Flash, Supergirl has moved over to The CW for a second season. In our second year at National City, we’ve met a lot of new DC characters, including Miss Martian, Metallo, Maggie Sawyer, Snapper Carr, Roulette, Lena Luthor, and Mon-El. Superman himself has finally appeared in the flesh, while one of his classic villains, Mr. Mxyzptlk, will pop up later this season.
With all four shows on The CW, this year’s crossover event was easily the best one yet. Adapting the “Invasion!” comic book arc, the story revolves around the Dominators coming to Earth to wipe out the metahuman race. Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and the Legends all team up to face this extraterrestrial force. And needless to say, this was an awesome crossover.
Next, we’re moving on to Fox’s DC shows. Batman prequel series Gotham returned for a third season this year, as Jim Gordon continues his crusade against Hugo Strange. Meanwhile, Ivy Pepper is reborn as a 19 year old woman, as she draws closer to her poisonous destiny. (See what I did there?) This year, we meet new characters such as Mad Hatter, Vicki Vale’s aunt, and Selina Kyle’s mother.
Fox’s other current DC/Vertigo show is Lucifer. After premiering during midseason, the show was renewed for a second season for the fall. The show has proven to be a surprise hit with ratings, which lead to Fox picking up a full season order. New characters this season include Ella Lopez and Lucifer’s mother, Charlotte.
But wait, there’s more! Fox has also picked up a pilot for Black Lightning, a new series starring the DC Comics character of the same name. Husband-wife duo Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil are collaborating with DC TV maestro Greg Berlanti on the project. Berlanti later explained that Black Lightning is mostly the Akils’ baby, and he’s there to help them ease into the superhero television genre. Expect more updates on this next year.
Early next year, NBC will premiere Powerless as part of its midseason schedule. The DC Comics workplace comedy stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk, and Ron Funches. Despite losing its creator/showrunner, the series is on track to premiere on February 2nd at 8:30 PM EST.
Also returning to the midseason schedule is The CW’s iZombie. The Vertigo adaptation will return for a third season, which will consist of 13 episodes. The new season will premiere on April 4th, 2017.
Meanwhile, AMC got into the comic book TV game again this year with Preacher, an adaptation of the beloved Vertigo series. The show ran for ten episodes this year, with the network renewing it for a 13-episode season for next year.
Moving on… SyFy is finally moving forward with its Krypton pilot, which explores the planet’s history before its infamous destruction. Actor Cameron Cuffe stars as Seg-El, the grandfather of Kal-El/Superman. Other characters include Val-El, Daron Vex, and Primus Alura Zod. No word on a premiere date, but if SyFy orders to series, expect it to premiere sometime next year.
And now, some quick updates on other in-development DC/Vertigo shows. WGN America formally ordered a pilot for Scalped this past spring. Michael Green was hired as showrunner for FX’s Y: The Last Man adaptation. TNT has formally passed on the Titans pilot. And earlier this year, DC Comics registered a new trademark called Pennyworth, which some suggest could be a new TV show. However, nothing on this has been mentioned since.
As you can see, 2016 was a big year for DC Entertainment’s television property. The CW’s Arrowverse has grown bigger than ever before, while the non-CW projects have also continued to take shape.
Check back tomorrow for the third and final installment of our 2016 recap, which delves into DC’s animation and video game projects of the year.