With a new year on the horizon and the holidays upon us, it’s a good time to take a look back at 2014 to remember and remark upon a few of its key DC Entertainment moments. Some of these moments played out on the comic book page or the screen, others were real-life happenings that shaped what we’ll be reading and seeing over the years ahead. If you’re a DC Comics fan or just an entertainment fan in general, they all mattered. It’s been a great year full of both ups and downs, but these are the big ones. These are our DCComics.com “Ten Moments that Mattered” for 2014.
Is there any other publisher with more shows on TV than DC right now? Has there ever been another publisher with more primetime shows than DC? I’m not sure I can think of one.
While fans will have to wait another year to see the DC Universe expand to the big screen, it’s all but dominating the small screen. But strange as it feels to say it now, that wasn’t the case six months ago. It’s been a relatively recent turn, and if you’re looking for the moment it started, you probably want to look at the 2014 upfronts.
DC Entertainment had already had considerable success with Arrow. However, Oliver Queen was about to get some company. Four new DC TV shows were greenlit, by three different networks. Arrow would be getting a super-powered spinoff on The CW with The Flash, who also picked up Rob Thomas’s Vertigo adaptation, iZombie. Fox announced the highly anticipated Batman prequel, Gotham. While NBC greenlit Constantine, executive produced by David S. Goyer.
Combined it adds up to a total of five network series for DC Entertainment, something that’s more or less unprecedented (and that’s to say nothing about the success of the animated Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network). Further still, each show is markedly different. Arrow and The Flash may share a universe, but the shows focus on two different types of super heroics and are tonally very different. Gotham mashes up colorful characters and larger than life motivations with the street-level grit of procedural police work. Constantine is firmly in the supernatural horror milieu and surprisingly may be the most comic book faithful of the batch (if you don’t agree, chances are you’re either unfamiliar with early Hellblazer or you haven’t watched it past the first few episodes). While the yet-to-debut iZombie is in a genre of its own—it’s a quirky mystery-horror-humor mashup. What it means is that now you don’t even need to show skeptics a comic book to prove that they aren’t all the same. But more importantly, it means that no matter where your sensibilities lie, there’s probably a DC TV series for you.
And if not, well maybe there soon will be. This year, news also broke that CBS had given a series commitment to a Supergirl series produced by the Arrow and Flash team, which hit the trades along with plenty of cable development news. While not all of these shows will come to fruition, and even for the ones that do, there’s no guarantee of success, it’s fair to say that DC characters have found a second home on television, a medium that also thrives on continuity. Will fans eventually discuss Arrow and Gotham storylines with the sort of reverence they may give The Dark Knight Returns or Blackest Night? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for certain… We’ll be watching.
Be sure to check DCComics.com again tomorrow for another moment that mattered in 2014.