All hail the superhero! The comic book is having a renaissance, just not in the way you may think. Sure, Marvel and DC Comics and a multitude of other companies are still producing books, but superheroes are all the rage on not just the big screen, but on TV as well.
The Walking Dead, TV's top series in the coveted 18-49 demographic, is based on the Image series of the same name from Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. The CW is having wild success with Arrow and ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a strong player on DVR. Given the success of films like Avengers and Iron Man, it was only natural that TV would want a piece of the pie.
For the 2014-2015 season they've gotten quite a large piece.
Joining Arrow are DC Comics/Warner Bros. properties Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and iZombie, all finding places on networks including Fox, The CW and NBC. Fox's Gotham tells the story of a young Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) a detective with Gotham City Police Department who investigates the murders of Bruce Wayne's parents. It's a Gotham City origin story set in the world of Batman.
On The CW, The Flash is a spinoff of Arrow starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen. iZombie hails from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and is based on the Vertigo comic series of the same name. NBC, meanwhile, has Constantine starring Matt Ryan, which is based on the Hellblazer series of comics about demon hunter John Constantine. Keanu Reeves starred in a movie of the same name.
Marvel, who has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at ABC and Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist and a Defenders series in the works for Netflix, just added a new series to its roster: Marvel's Agent Carter. The new period drama set in the 1940s is a spinoff off of Captain America starring Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. Agent Carter finds Peggy working for the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), balancing administrative work with secret missions alongside Howard Stark and her life as a single woman having lost the love of her life, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).
Four of the five broadcast networks will have some sort of comic book-based TV series as part of its 2014-2015 roster.
That brings a record seven network shows based on comic books. Plus, AMC, the home of The Walking Dead, is working on a Preacher TV series from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
There's never been a better time to be a nerd.