By Rebecca Torchia
Ever since the age of vampires invading pop culture gave way to superheroes, Marvel Comics has seemingly dominated the film industry. Its main rival, DC Entertainment, made a few attempts at movies, but DC was relatively quiet following a shortcoming of success.
But DC has come back in a big way, and this fall, three DC live-action television shows are airing on two channels. Marvel, meanwhile, has only one live-action show,“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which was created following the blockbuster movie “The Avengers.”
“Gotham,” on Fox, is based on the characters and events published in the Batman comics. It is not, however, a show about Batman. The crime drama instead focuses on the rise of James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), of the Gotham City police department, and the origins of several Batman villains.
The show takes place when Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is still a young boy and Gordon is a detective for the city of Gotham. While Wayne does play a role, the general focus of the show is Gordon and the super villains.
The series, which premiered on Sept. 22, received mostly favorable reviews from critics. But some students at this university weren’t pleased with the show.
“It’s disappointing,” junior history major Chris Leyh said. “It had potential but it hasn’t quite met its potential.”
According to Leyh, the show only throws out glimpses of well-known villains, who then go undeveloped. Gordon most often chases after petty criminals and villains.
There’s still a chance for the show to improve, Leyh said.
“If they make [the Penguin] the crime boss he’s supposed to be, during the series, it would get better,” he said.
One of DC’s lesser-known characters, the Green Arrow, has found success on prime time. “Arrow,” now in its third season, follows Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), a young billionaire who assumes the secret identity of Green Arrow by night, after he returns home from spending five years on an island.
“It displays the hero’s natural skill and ability, not a superpower,” said sophomore architecture major Sarah Tyson.
The show mixes Queen’s work as a vigilante in Starling City with flashbacks to his days on the island Lian Yu. The timelines are filled with unexpected plot twists that constantly surprise viewers as they enjoy the present and put together pieces from the past.
The series began its third season Oct. 8.
“The Flash” is based on the life of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), also known as Flash, because of his superpower. He gained the ability to run hundreds of miles per hour after he was struck by lightning in a supernatural storm.
The DC production is actually a spin-off of “Arrow,” which briefly introduced Allen as a character in season two before his freak accident.
Both shows are produced by Greg Berlanti and, because of Allen’s introduction through “Arrow,” they are strongly intertwined. Queen even made an appearance on the series premiere of “The Flash.”
“I hope the story crosses over with Arrow’s story, where, to understand one of them, you have to watch both of them,” sophomore criminology major Kolin Briber said.
The series premiered Oct. 7.
It looks as though DC isn’t quite out for the count yet. While Marvel may currently have the upper hand in movies, DC has found (and is now dominating) its own market in television.
It looks as though this entertainment company has finally found success. While it may not be cinematic, it will certainly let the world know that Marvel isn’t the only company out there with super entertainment.