The CW has had some success with TV versions of Green Arrow and the Flash on, well, Arrow and The Flash, also known as the shows my wife rolls her eyes at when I say I’m going to sit down and watch one. Now, this season Arrow introduced Ray Palmer, also known as the Atom, and while he so far is more of an Iron Man than a guy who can shrink, the guy’s gotten a lot of screentime and Brandon Routh has been a welcome and charismatic addition to the series. Given how The Flash began life as an Arrow spin-off, would it be safe to assume The Atom is next? Eh, not quite.
Instead, the CW is looking to do a superhero team show, and this leads me to wonder…will it be a version of the Justice League?
Here’s what little we know so far, since the potential show is only in the developmental stages right now. Four cast members have been announced, those being Routh, Victor Garber (Professor Martin Stein, Firestorm), Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold), and Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/first Black Canary). So, a 50-50 split from Arrow and The Flash. There will also be, apparently, two to three new heroes who haven’t been seen on TV before.
Now, each of these characters raises certain questions. Lotz’s character was killed off at the start of the season on Arrow. I mean, they buried her and everything. Bringing her back may be a bit tricky, though in Oliver Queen’s backstory, this isn’t even the first time Sara Lance was assumed to be dead. Now, the upside is Lotz is a hell of a lot more of an interesting Black Canary than Katie Cassady’s Laurel Lance, so anything that brings her back is a good thing.
Miller’s Cold, on the other hand, is a villain, and a darn good one over on The Flash, as the founding member and leader of the classic “Rogues gallery” that opposed Barry Allen at every turn. What reason he would have to even be a good guy is up for grabs, though his in-show backstory says he has disappeared from Central City for long periods of time between perfectly-planned crimes. He has to go somewhere and do something, so, maybe he moonlights as a good guy.
Garber’s Stein as Firestorm raises its own issues. As in the source material, Firestorm is a composite being, and Stein isn’t the physical face of Firestorm, only the advising voice in his head. Robbie Amell, Arrow star Stephen Amell’s cousin, was Ronnie Raymond, the other half and the one whose face gets to be seen when the two merge. Amell was not mentioned in the announcement, so presumably he is also included, or else they’re recasting Ronnie Raymond.
One solution to these inconsistencies is to set the show in the past. Both Arrow and The Flash have made use of flashback as a storytelling device, and showing a pre-Captain Cold Miller, a pre-dead Canary Lotz, and a pre-merged Stein Garber could be a way around these potential problems. But then we get to Routh’s Ray Palmer, who only just donned the Atom armor on Arrow this past week.
But hold on, what do these characters all have in common? All of them, Cold included, have been members of the Justice League, Cold most recently after the “Forever Evil” event.
And still, there’s the promise of new-to-TV characters. Who might that be? Assuming they are not counting Smallville, that could mean someone other than Supergirl, John Constantine, the various denizens of Gotham, or the announced Teen Titans line-up. I also assume they would not include anyone currently up for the big screen Batsoup (sorry, Aquaman). Who’s left? Martian Manhunter? Hawkman? Hawkgirl? Adam Strange? Gypsy or Vixen, even though Vixen is getting a cartoon? Swamp Thing? The Red Tornado?
The answer may depend on which team identity they end up using. And that’s assuming the show gets made.