DC on TV: New Characters for the New Season

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Last week certainly was a big one for DC Comics. Not only did we get a goodly amount of news surrounding Justice League and the upcoming DC Films projects (see our write-up on that here), but we also got a number of announcements with regard to the DC television outings.

Certainly, most of the attention seems to be focused on the CW shows, as there are quite a few of them (you watch them all, right?). And with the addition of Supergirl to the lineup, CW now has a Cape Day every day except Friday. Now, Variety reports that the CW and Hulu are done, and the network is making a sizeable deal with Netflix. It’s a deal that would mean series would be available for the on-demand service less than two weeks after the end of the season.

This means that the only way you’re going to see CW shows will be live on the network, online via CWTV.com, or streaming through Netflix. Estimates put the deal’s dollar value close to over a billion-plus dollars over a five-year span.

Speaking of seasons, the premiere dates for the shows are as follows:

  • Gotham — Monday, September 19 at 8/7c
  • The Flash — Tuesday, October 4th at 8/7c
  • Arrow — Wednesday, October 5th at 8/7c
  • Supergirl — Monday, October 10th at 8/7c
  • Legends of Tomorrow — Thursday, October 13th at 8/7c
GOTHAM

Despite a split fan base, the show continues to enjoy the blessing of Fox, so we’ll get another season of a show most of our Rogues Gallery crew abandoned. Several new characters are being added to the show for the new season: Vale, Falcone, and Isley (could be the name of a law firm…).

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James Carpinello is joining the show as Mario Falcone, the son of mob boss Carmine Falcone. It will be a recurring role that sees the younger Falcone complicate James Gordon’s relationship with Dr. Leslie Thompkins. He’s said to have rejected the Falcone crime organization, being kind and trustworthy, making him the “black sheep” of the crime family.

The Gotham Gazette — not the Gotham Chronicle, which has its own web site — will get a new hire in the form of Valerie Vale, the aunt of photojournalist Vicki Vale, played by Kim Basinger in Tim Burton’s Batman. Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time‘s Mulan) will play the part. Vale will be investigating the goings-on at the Indian Hill facility.

Which is where all sorts of wild and crazy experimentin’ is going on, including something to do with young Ivy “Pamela” Pepper. That something is going to have the effect of making Ivy older, and the part’s been recast. 28-year-old Maggie Geha replaces Clare Foley after Ivy’s encounter with a monster prematurely ages her to 19, and now we’ll have a grown-up Ivy (at least phyically) interested in Bruce Wayne, who’s still 15.

Not creepy at all, right?

Indian Hill will, of course, figure into at least the beginning of the season. And the Gotham Chronicle web site (which is produced by the show) features an article that teases Bane as one of the inmates who have escaped:

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The figure in the foreground certainly has a passing resemblance to the version Tom Hardy played in The Dark Knight Rises, but would the show be daring (some would say crazy) enough to do that? Bruno Heller and his team seem to be pulling out all the stops to deliver a complete Batman show — except for the Batman, of course —  with all of the villains arriving before Bruce Wayne even escapes puberty…

Robin Lord Taylor teases a more ruthless Penguin for season three, telling reporters, “Oswald will try to be the most powerful man he can be. He learned so much in Season 2. Now he has the means and knowledge, he knows what it is to be the king of Gotham and how difficult it is. On the death of his mother, Nygma told him, ‘You’re free to do whatever you want now. To love someone is to be weak, vulnerable.’ Now he can be as ruthless as he wants. I think he will take that advice.”

The show will also parallel the current election year. Cory Michael Smith says, “Gotham, like many superhero stories, is a parallel of today’s society, of what happens every day, and in the third season, in the fall, when the United States will stand preparing to face one of the most important presidential elections in their history, even Gotham will address in parallel the issue.”

Does that mean political intrigue involving Penguin and the resurrected Fish Mooney? Certainly there will be sparks flying in the first couple of episodes, at least. According to ComicBook.com, actor Drew Powell (Butch Gilzean) posted this photo on Twitter:

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Although we can’t find the original tweet (looks like it may have been deleted), this photo would indicate the titles for the first two episodes of the season.

 

SUPERGIRL

Headshot_LyndaCarterPolitics may also pop up during the second season of Supergirl, as Lynda Carter has been confirmed to be joining the show as the President of the United States. This was rumored as far back as April, along with speculation as to Carter’s involvement in the Wonder Woman solo film (she’s not, sadly, due to her cabaret singing tour).

Producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg wanted to include Carter in the first season, but the schedules never lined up for it to happen. It’s a recurring role, not a one-off like Matt Ryan’s appearance as John Constantine on Arrow.

Berlanti and Company continue the tradition of casting legacy actors from previous superhero shows, and Carter is no stranger to the CW, having played Chloe Sullivan’s mother, Moira, on Smallville.

Start speculating now as to her character’s name. It’s bound to be a wink and a nod to her former life as Diana Prince. And some are already wondering if she’ll drop into any other universe besides Earth-3 (or -4?).

 

THE FLASH

Speaking of multiple Earths…

But before you assume that means a re-hash of what’s gone before, there’s this:

As we saw at the end of season two, John Wesley Shipp has been given the role of Jay Garrick of Earth-3, and in a brilliant modern callback to the 1991 series, he’s The Flash again. Will he be part of the Justice Society teased in the season finale of Legends of Tomorrow? (More on that in a bit.)

With regard to The Flash, Shipp tells Entertainment Weekly, “Yes. I’ve been given permission to say that yes, they have all kinds of exciting and interesting plans for me, that are interesting not only in the context of the storyline, but they continue to spin out, which will be very challenging for me as an actor. That’s all I’m allowed to say about that. But yes, I will be back next season.”

Barry’s trip through time to save his mother will affect… well, everything, probably. As detailed in the five-issue comic series Flashpoint, later adapted into the animated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Barry’s rescue of his mother creates an alternate timeline that’s much darker, more violent, and leaving Barry to figure out that it was his tampering that caused it all.

By the way, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has already said he’d be up for playing Thomas Wayne as Batman for the Flashpoint story…

But since it’s unlikely any version of Batman will appear — yet — we’re likely to see Barry getting an assist from the time travelers, the Justice Society, and Green Arrow. And “Flashpoint” could also help set up a different Supergirl show as well as help reset Arrow so it’s not so much the morose grimdark soapy mess it was in season four…

This arc will likely culminate in the four-series crossover episodes planned for December (episode 8 for all of them?). Entertainment Weekly even speculated that this could be setting up a CW version of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

EW is also where producer Kreisberg teased an appearance by Caitlin Snow’s mother, the subject of conversation between Snow and her doppelganger, Killer Frost, during Caitlin’s captivity on Earth-2. “We haven’t met Caitlin’s mother yet, so we got a little talk between the two women, which is something that will probably play out in season 3,” he says.

But what about the other shows? How will Barry’s tampering affect those stories?

 

ARROW

Stephen Amell seems to be of the opinion that his show won’t be affected that much, telling ComicBook.com he’s ready to get back to basics: “I do know that we’ve done a lot of work on Arrow to introduce the other shows, for lack of a better term, and now that that’s all done, we’re focused on doing the things that we do well for Season 5.”

Which implies that the flagship series in the “Flarrowverse” (or would it now be the “SuperFlarrowLegeVerse”?) will be concentrating on more street-level shenanigans like we got in the first season. Says Amell, “Arrow is at its best when we’re dealing with problems in Star City. We’re not a time-travel show, we’re not a multi-Earth show, though obviously [we do that] with crossovers and stuff like that. We’re Arrow, we deal with Star City, and I feel like we’ll be better off focusing on that.”

Whatever they end up doing with season five, they’ve got their work cut out for them when it comes to winning back some fans’ goodwill. The season ended with a divided audience, with many feeling that the show has lost its way in sacrificing Laurel Lance/Black Canary on the altar of #Olicity. So much so that the reddit thread (r/Arrow) dedicated to the show flipped to a discussion of Marvel’s Daredevil in protest.

Speaking of… Producer Marc Guggenheim posted this concept art on Twitter. Looks like Laurel’s going to get a monument instead of a resurrection.

But what about that Black Canary impersonator? You know, the one who dressed up as BC and tried to kill Damien and Ruve Dhark?

Madison McLaughlin, who plays Evelyn Sharp, will return to the series in a recurring role beginning in 502, and this time she’ll play the masked archer Artemis. Yes, that Artemis. Green Arrow’s protege in Young Justice, the animated series that has a fan base as vocal and as loyal as Browncoats. (By the way, Greg Weisman says to keep binge-watching on Netflix and buy the DVDs…)

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McLaughlin’s Artemis won’t be the only new vigilante on the streets of Star City, either. Rick Gonzalez (Mr. Robot) joins the cast as “Wild Dog” Jack Wheeler, a reckless former college athlete and veteran known for a liberal use of machine guns. Created by Max Allan Collins and artist Terry Beatty, Wild Dog debuted in 1987. Taking up a submachine gun and electric gloves, Wheeler took on crime-fighting after losing friends to a terrorist bombing and his girlfriend to the Chicago mob.

Beatty, who currently draws the Sunday edition of The Phantom newspaper strip among various projects, tells us, “From what little I know, it seems he will be someone other than our Jack Wheeler, but I’m sure it will be fun to see the character realized on screen, whatever the changes they make from the original comics.

Also coming on board to fill Laurel Lance’s shoes: new district attorney Adrian Chase, played by Josh Segarra. Chase, who realizes that not all of his work fighting crime can be done in a courtroom by day, also takes on the role of The Vigilante, who first appeared in New Teen Titans in 1983. Note that this is not the cowboy version seen in the animated Justice League.

This Vigilante takes up the cause following the murder of his family, but there’s no word yet if the show will follow the source material.

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Laurel’s father, Lance (Paul Blackthorne), isn’t on the Star City PD anymore, but since he’s still a regular, perhaps we’ll see him follow his comic book history and become a private detective. In the meantime, Tyler Ritter has been cast as Detective Malone

And in this corner… a new villain played by The Walking Dead alumnus Chad Coleman. Tobias Church, according to IGN, is “an imposing gangster looking to unite the various criminal enterprises in Star City under his own singular command.” Reports have it that the character, who isn’t in the comic books, was partially inspired by Idris Elba’s Stringer character on The Wire. He’s tough and smart, a predator, and he’ll be Green Arrow’s main adversary in season five.

With that plan, expect the city to burn. Again.

 

And if you’re wondering how Katie Cassidy is faring post-Arrow

Many are speculating this could be for the Injustice 2 video game, but no details as of yet…

 

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

The end of the season left us with a defeated Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) and the departure of both Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), along with the death(?) of Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) and the appearance of Hourman (Patrick J. Adams) in the finale.

Hourman’s announcement that he’s from the Justice Society opens up a new realm of possibilities for the second season, and Brandon Routh teased more about the JSA: “Well I can’t tell you everything, but I think there’s going to be some nice fun changes. You know we’re not chasing Savage, so we may not have the, you know, the pressure every episode, so we’ll have a little more time to breath, have fun, have more camaraderie, and a few new cast members possibly. We have presence of the JSA coming in. Patrick Adams appears and tells us about this group that we have no idea about and that’s kind of the teaser we leave off, and we’ll discover that in season 2, apparently.”

Joining the team will be a new Vixen, played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers (The Originals). This Vixen will be Amaya Jiwe, the grandmother of Mari McCabe (Megalyn Echikunwoke), the Vixen introduced in the animated short series on CW Seed. Jiwe will also get her animal-infused powers from the Tantu Totem used by McCabe.

Echikunwoke played the character in a live-action appearance on Arrow and will voice the character for a second season of the animated shorts, but schedule issues prevented her from joining Legends of Tomorrow.

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Adding to the Justice Society complement, Nick Zano joins the cast as Dr. Nate Heywood, the grandson of original JSA member Commander Steel. Producers have not confirmed whether Zano’s character will become Citizen Steel as he does in the comic books, but it’s likely, given the nature of the show.

We might also have some insight into these characters from the casting descriptions found on TVLine:

  • A male in his late-20s to mid-30s is being sought to play a guy who grew up in the shadow of his World War II hero grandfather and has used a Han Solo-like facade to conceal his insecurity — until, that is, the development of super powers enables him to love up to his family legacy.
  • “The female member of an elite paramilitary team living in the 1940s. An African-American, she is scrutinized in her time for both her gender and race and thus has worked twice as hard to be a perfect soldier. That said, she blames herself for — and aims to avenge — the death of a team member for whom she had repressed feelings.”

These undoubtedly match Heywood and Jiwe.

And will we see John Wesley Shipp as the Flash of the Justice Society? Given that Jay Garrick is a founding member, and given that Garrick went back to his own Earth before Barry mucked about with his own history, it’s very possible that Shipp will turn up on Legends as well.

He told IGN, “The thing that’s exciting for me about this is Henry Allen had a limited shelf-life; a very important shelf-life. I’m so happy I had those raw, emotional experiences, but it was coming to a close, and it was pretty linear what his role in the show was. Now suddenly, Jay Garrick is wide open. Like you suggest, if they’re going to have a Justice Society, well that’s got to include Jay Garrick, and also my role in The Flash. This is actor speculation, by the way; this isn’t anything that I’ve been told. The only thing that I’ve been told is there is so much more that we can do with you – meaning me, John Wesley – than we could before. Andrew and Greg both said, ‘We can’t to start writing it.’”

Now all they need is a DC Comics show on Friday…

 

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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