Wednesday Comments – Comic Book TV Pilot Updates With CW’s The Flash & iZombie, FOX’s Gotham, NBC’s Constantine & More

This week has been a pretty big one in terms of television shows adapted from comic books. First, The Flash pilot made it’s way into the wild. Then the pilot for Constantine did as well. And on Tuesday Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg began writing the pilot for Preacher in earnest.

Since it was just over five months ago that I offered up my thoughts on the various comic adaptations floating around during pilot season, I thought it would be a good time to revisit those concepts, check in on their progress and offer up some thoughts of my own.

Preacher

As noted earlier, Seth Rogen tweeted a pic of the writer’s board for the pilot episode of Preacher. It’s a good sign that the show is still making progress and hasn’t gotten buried under other projects.

Another thing that’s certainly keeping Preacher alive is that AMC needs another hit right about. Between shows with zero buzz (Turn, Halt and Catch Fire) one-season burn outs (Low Winter Sun) and milking shows final seasons (Breaking Bad and Mad Men) AMC can really only depend on The Walking Dead.

Given that Preacher has a built in fanbase and that Rogen and Goldberg are proven hitmakers (though only on the big screen) I believe this is as close as you’re going to get to a sure thing in terms of a series commitment from AMC.

My Take: I’m still working my way through the series in trades. It’s something that’s both ahead of it’s time and something that hasn’t aged well at all. Since I’m not the biggest fan of the source material, my excitement for this project is on par with anything else that’s an adaptation of a comic book; I’m glad two of my favorite mediums are playing nice together.

Hourman

No one’s said a single thing about Hourman since the initial announcement. Actually, that’s not true; in February someone from CW said they were still waiting on the script.

Given how convoluted the show synopsis was and how far it strayed from the source material, I’m not at all surprised that this one fell by the wayside. As I pointed out back in February, the prognosis was “not good” that this one was making it to series.

My Take: While it wasn’t going to be anything like any Hourman that I knew and loved, I was still going to give this show a chance. And the fact that they were taking so many liberties actually intrigued me. While I never expected it to go to series, I’m still slightly disappointed that it died on the vine.

iZombie

Speaking of taking liberties with the source material, iZombie made it to series and is quite a departure from the Vertigo book. Characters names and situations are different. In fact, the only thing that’s really consistent with the book is that both feature female characters who are undead, need to eat brains to remain normal and get the memories from the brains they eat.

My Take: I truly enjoyed Veronica Mars, so it will be fun to see Rob Thomas and Diane Rugero tackle another female protagonist. And as someone who likes procedurals, I’m ok with how this show seems to be shaping up.

The Flash

No one was surprised when The Flash was picked up for series. It was essentially a sure thing, especially given that it was a spin off of Arrow. The Flash was one of the shows that The CW couldn’t say enough good things about.

I’ve yet to watch the leaked pilot (call me old fashioned, but I prefer watching shows on an actual television) but I haven’t heard anything too harsh about it. In fact I think the only negative things I can recall hearing was that the costume wasn’t scarlet enough.

My Take: It bears repeating; two of the people behind this show were also producers of the Green Lantern movie.

DMZ

Not much news about DMZ has been released since February. But since Andre and Maria Jacquemeton have signed a deal with Warner Brothers, and DMZ would be a Warner production, I guess it’s safe to guess that it’s still moving forward. I imagine that we’ll hear more news on this around SDCC and NYCC.

My Take: The lack of news is slightly troubling, especially considering all of the other comic book buzz, but given that it’s on Syfy and not beholden to network series timetables, it may just be a work in progress.

Gotham

Along with The Flash, Gotham was the other sure bet to be on a schedule. The series commitment from FOX was a close to a guarantee as possible (though still not 100%; See Hieroglyph).

The cast is shaping up nicely with both Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie from two of my favorite cancelled shows (Terriers and Southland).

My Take: Gotham is both predictable and ballsy. It’s predictable in that it’s very much in the Smallville mold. But it’s ballsy in that the central figure in Batman mythos, Bruce Wayne will be very much a supporting character on the show.

Constantine

NBC decided to make Constantine a series, which seems a move made out of peer pressure as much as anything else. Out of the five networks, only CBS doesn’t have a single comic book adaptation on it’s schedule.

Constantine’s pilot has also leaked. Apparently it’s got easter eggs for fans of the DCU and it deviates a bit in terms of John’s past and motivations. But beyond that it remains pretty true to the comics.

My Take: I’ll admit to not hating the movie, so I’m clearly cool with liberties being taken. While I’ve sworn off The New 52 Constantine, I do have a soft spot in my heart for Hellblazer, so I’ll likely be tuning in for this show.

So out of these upcoming comic book adaptations, which are you most likely to check out? Which are you most excited about? Which are you dreading? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Well, it’s Wednesday, so be sure to pick up some fresh new comics from your local comic shop.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,