Marvel may have established itself as the reigning king of the box office with its numerous blockbuster hits time and time again, but on #TV the story is quite different. Marvel currently only airs Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (on ABC) and Legion (on FX), and is up against nine different DC (and DC owned properties), including the established CW Arrowverse, Fox's Gotham and the shows under the Vertigo banner of DC Comics, including: AMC's Preacher, CW's iZombie and Fox's Lucifer.
Marvel has kept its focus on streaming sites (mainly #Netflix), producing a slew of critically acclaimed (bar one) hits, including: Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. While these shows have been the recipient of much love from audiences, the numbers still surprisingly suggest that DC is in the lead with regards to TV.
Much of this has to do with the fact that primetime shows often find homes on streaming sites. This means that Netflix's #Marvel properties have less views than the #Arrowverse shows simply because the combined number of people watching these shows on TV and streaming sites is greater than those watching Netflix originals.
Last year it was reported that DC earned up to a staggering billion dollars through its TV shows alone. Coupled with the fact that The Flash and Arrow were placed fourth and fifth respectively on the list of the most pirated shows in the world (which, let's face it, is a strong indicator of which shows have big audiences) only proves the popularity of these shows. It's important to mention that all of the Marvel shows were absent from the list, which is odd considering Daredevil's debut season was the second most pirated show when it launched in 2014.
To combat this wave of #DC dominance, Marvel has effectively started working on building a strong TV presence, bringing a host of new shows to primetime as well as streaming sites. DC, of course, (though in a limited amount) is also bringing in new TV shows. Below is a list of all the upcoming comicbook-based shows from Marvel and DC:
1. The Defenders
There's a very small chance we'll get a #Defenders show each year, or even once in two years, since Netflix has yet to properly manage its superhero schedule. This superhero team-up show, starring the titular protagonists of its Netflix Marvel universe — #JessicaJones, #LukeCage, #Daredevil and #IronFist — is sure to be a hell of a ride.
Premiering on August 20, the miniseries will see the heroes united for the first time on screen against Sigourney Weaver's Big Bad. It's unlikely that the series will adapt a comic book storyline since most of these shows have only drawn inspiration from the comics.
While much is not known about the show yet we do know that a number of important characters from all the four shows, including: Misty Knight, the Night Nurse, Colleen Wing, Patsy Walker and Elektra will be making appearances. Of all the projects on this list, this is easily the most anticipated, and is shaping up to be quite a special event for Marvel fans.
2. The Punisher
Jon Bernthall's enthralling performance in the sophomore season of Marvel's Daredevil did more than just gift the actor with a strong fan following, it gave him his own show. Bernthall's turn as the antihero Punisher a.k.a. Frank Castle was one of the highlights of the (otherwise somewhat average) season of Daredevil, and resulted in spin-off talks as soon as the second season hit the internet.
The show will revolve around Castle's brutish vigilante #Punisher, and is set to include Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Amber Rose Revah, Deborah Ann Woll (reprising her role as Karen Page from Daredevil), Daniel Webber and Jason R. Moore. The show has yet to announce a premiere date, though it has been stated that The Punisher will arrive this November.
The show will most likely explore the death of Frank's family and set him up against his former best friend Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), who will take up the villainous mantle of Jigsaw. It's going to be interesting to see what Marvel has in store for him this fall given that Castle's brand of justice isn't something that everyone (including perhaps Daredevil himself) will agree on.
#Inhumans is a superhero show based on Marvel comics that is set to debut on ABC September 29. Interestingly, the first two episodes of the ABC miniseries will premiere worldwide in IMAX theaters on September 1 before the series starts broadcasting weekly on the #Disney owned ABC.
The show, featuring an ensemble cast of: Anson Mount, Iwan Rheon, Serinda Swan, Eme Ikwuakor, Ellen Woglom, Sonya Balmores, Isabelle Cornish, Ken Leung, and Mike Moh, revolves around The Inhuman Royal family as they escape to Hawaii to save themselves (and the world). The fan reception to the first official picture (not to mention the trailer) so far has not been positive, but clearly ABC is expecting big things from its eight-part miniseries, which is expected to draw huge numbers in ratings.
4. The Gifted
By this time next year, Noah Hawley's Legion won't be the only X-Men show on the air, with #TheGifted set to air this fall. Starring Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, Natalie Alyn Lind, Sean Teale and Percy Hynes White, the action adventure show is about two parents (Moyer and Acker) who have to flee from their home with their family after they realize that their children having mutant powers could cause the government to take them away.
The notable mutants set to feature in the show include: Chung's Blink, Dumont's Polaris and Redford's Thunderbird. The Fox series' pilot will be helmed by none other than Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer. The first teaser for the Matt Nix-created show garnered over 31 million views in one day. The show is set to premiere Monday, October 2.
6. Cloak & Dagger
Freeform's most anticipated pilot for 2018 is no doubt the Marvel comic-based superhero show #CloakandDagger. Set in present-day Oregon, the show is about two teenagers from different backgrounds that form a romantic relationship as they acquire superpowers. Olivia Holt (Tandy) and Aubrey Joseph (Tyrone) are the two leads who must come to terms with their powers and feelings for each other. With a budget of $42 million, this 10-episode show will premiere on Freeform in 2018 .
7. New Warriors
Freeform is planning to release a 10 -episode, half-hour comedy based on the iconic New Warriors team, boasting the likes of Squirrel Girl, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Microbe, Debrii and Mister Immortal. New Warriors was conceived as a younger form of the Avengers in 1989.
Freeform's comedy is set to debut in 2018 and is in development by ABC Studios (who have also created all other Marvel entities on Netflix or TV). At this time no showrunner is attached to the project.
8. Marvel's Runaways
Created by Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) and Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl), this Marvel comic-based web series revolves around a group of teenagers (Alex Wilder, Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean, Gert Yorkes, Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez) that unite against their parents, who are the supervillain team known as The Pride.
The show has a large ensemble cast, including: Allegra Acosta, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, Rhenzy Feliz and Lyrica Okano. The series (set to premiere somewhere in 2018) will consist of 10 episodes and is Hulu's first foray into the world of superhero programming.
8. Black Lightning
Black Lightning is an upcoming superhero series set to debut in the 2017–18 season on The CW. Starring Cress Williams in the titular role of #BlackLightning, the series is about Jefferson Pierce a high school principal who was once the superhero Black Lightning, but hung up his cape after seeing the effect that it had on his family. Nine years later, he's forced to suit up as the villainous crime organization The One Hundred starts terrorizing the city.
The show, written and produced by husband and wife duo Salim and Mara Akil, originally pitched the project along with Greg Berlanti to Fox, but after the pilot was passed over, the show found a new home on The CW alongside Berlanti's Arrowverse. The show also stars China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams and Christine Adams. This series, unlike other DC superhero shows on the network, will not be part of the same universe, though Akil did imply that that could change in the future.
One of the most ambitious shows on this list, Krypton, is set to debut in 2018 on Syfy. Krypton is a prequel to the #DCEU's Man of Steel, and is set on Superman's home planet 200 years before the film. Developed by David S. Goyer and Damien Kindler, the show will be about #Superman's grandfather as he fights to redeem his family's honor and place in society after being ostracized.
The show, whose (leaked) trailer and storyline has drawn comparisons to Game of Thrones, is most likely going to be a hit or a miss for DC, given that the show's focus on royal families is not unlike that of the HBO series. It stars Cameron Cuffe, Rasmus Hardiker, Georgina Campbell, Ian McElhinney, Elliot Cowan, Ann Ogbomo and Aaron Pierre.
So far, WGN America's #Scalped is still in the pilot development phase, and a full series order has not been given, so it is possible the show never ends up hitting the air waves. Starring Twilight series' Alex Meraz , Gil Birmingham, Irene Bedard and Chaske Spencer, the series release states:
Scalped is a modern-day crime story set in the world of a Native American Indian reservation, and explores power, loyalty, and spirituality in a community led by the ambitious Chief Lincoln Red Crow, as he reckons with Dashiell Bad Horse who has returned home after years away from the reservation.
Series creator Doug Jones is executive producing the show along with Geoff Johns and Sterlin Harjo. The Vertigo comicbook on which the show is based was written by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra.
Another really big project for DC is their upcoming live-action #Titans project, set to air on DC's (yet to be announced) digital service. The series is being helmed by Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, Akiva Goldsman and Sarah Schechter, with the pilot written by the trio of Berlanti, Johns and Goldsman.
Thanks to the recent casting call (that hit the internet through The Hashtag Show), we now know that the live-action Titans is seemingly inspired from the heroes' origin stories that were released very early on. For example, Raven's arc is almost identical to the one used to introduce her to the team when she made her debut in 1980 and went up against her father (Trigon) in the comic's second volume, entitled "Terror of Trigon."
12. HBO's The Watchmen
It's no surprise that HBO is planning to adapt The Watchmen from DC Comics, given that rumors of the show's possible inception surfaced in 2015. At that time, the show was to be spearheaded by Zack Snyder, who directed the 2009 cult film. After the critical panning of Batman V Superman, the rumor mill had completely died down. That is, until June 20 when Hollywood Reporter reported that The Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof is in early talks to develop the show for the Warner Bros-owned channel.
A DC comic show on HBO will be a win for the comic book company since it's one of the most sought-after platforms to air shows. The Alan Moore comic holds a special place in the hearts of comicbook lovers, and it will be interesting to see Lindelof's take on it given the universal acclaim his most recent and final season of The Leftovers received.
So, comicbook fans, which of these series are you most excited about?