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DC is trying to get its connected comic-book universe off the ground on the big-screen with Superman/Batman serving as a sequel to Man of Steel but all the 'second tier' superheroes (apparently everyone not named Clark or Bruce) are still having their origins unfold on The CW, the latest of which is Arrow, which could be followed by a series focusing on The Flash. Marvel's rival has really come a long way since Smallville. Oh yeah, that was The WB. Arrow's Marc Guggenheim shared some insights on The Flash's presence in the Arrow universe, but before we get to that, there've been some notable casting and character updates for Arrow.
According to TVLine, The Killing Season 3 standout Bex Taylor-Klaus will be in two Arrow episodes (3 and 4) playing Sin. A 'street urchin' from the DCU has a connection with Colton Haynes' aspiring Red Arrow Roy Harper and is also befriended by the mysterious new heroine Black Canary.
Black Canary coming to Star(ling) City was announced during Arrow's Comic-Con panel (as was Kevin Alejandro's Brother Blood and Michael Jai White's Bronze Tiger) but the identity of the actress portraying the non-(Dinah) Laurel Lance version of Arrow's ally was kept a secret. For a short time anyway, TVGuide revealed that this first iteration of the character (similar to the way that the first Deathstroke we saw wasn't Slade Wilson and/or Yao Fei was the first Green Arrow) will be played by Caity Lotz. Unlike the Flash, Black Canary is a perfect addition to Arrow and I'm try intrigued with how they plan to tell the hero's origin.
And the additions don't end there with Guggenheim tweet-teasing the possible arrival of Metamorpho. Metamorpho, aka Rex Mason, was an Indiana Jones-like adventurer who was forever altered by an encounter with a radioactive Egyptian artifact. Yep. Fits right into the real Starling City the show has created, especially since the mutation leaves him unable to assume human form. Finally, another superhero connection has surfaced with GreenArrowTV announcing that Jean Loring will be the one defending Moira Queen during her upcoming legal battles. Those familiar with the DCU, know that Loring is the the ex-wife of Ray Palmer aka The Atom meaning that yet another crime-fighter with superhuman abilities could be on the way to Arrow. That makes... a lot. When will Wonder Woman show up?
Going back to the intro, if you can't tell, I'm not super-impressed with the way that Detective Comics and Warner Bros. have handled the live-action adaptations of their properties, particularly when it comes to planning out the entire universe. And I say all this as a big fan of Arrow but I can understand why the bow-wielding Batman rip-off (sorry, it's true, I mean his HQ is the Arrow-cave) had his origins told on the small screen. When it comes to The Flash, however, it's a completely different story since he's definitely a top-tier superhero and easily the most accessible for the masses after The Bat and Superman. Not to mention the fact that introducing powers seems counter to Arrow's 'gritty and realistic' approach to world building.
Arrow co-creator Marc Guggenheim recently addressed that very issue (and let slip several other Flash details) while discussing the character addition with Hitfix and, oddly enough, he brought up Marvel's film universe to help assuage any fears about the possible tonal problems. He said, "Arrow is like Iron Man where The Flash will be The Hulk. And just as The Hulk coming out did not change the tone of the Iron Man movies, The Flash will not change the tone of Arrow." I see where he's going but the circumstances aren't analogous for me. Marvel was careful with the first Iron Man movie to instill a light (and flexible) tone, not to mention unrealistic tech, that allowed for the easy entrance of a gamma ray created monster as well as superhuman serums and Norse Gods.
Guggenheim continues the connection stressing that "the Marvel movies demonstrate that each piece of a universe can have its own feel. Thor is consistent with the tone of Thor while Captain America is consistent with the tone of Captain America's character. Arrow's tone will remain consistent much in the same way, and we are looking forward to expanding our canvass a bit." Well, the canvass is certainly being expanded for Season 2 (more on that in a flash, sorry) but I'm worried that the finished composition will be an unpleasant mishmash. Barry Allen (aka The Flash) will appear in three episodes in Arrow upcoming season with Andrew Kreisberg, Guggenheim's show running partner and co-creator, writing all of them. At least they are taking the introduction seriously and it's kind of cool that there will be concurrent shows with lots of potential to crossover. Guggenheim added,
Honestly, I'm just excited to help be a part of expanding the DC Universe. I think one of the big thing that appeals to me about comics in general is the idea of the shared universe. It's a lot of fun to be able to do that in television, and growing up one of the things I enjoyed was the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman and the way those two shows would interact with each other. We're at least a season away from Arrow interacting with The Flash, but the potential for that is really exciting for me.
The geek in me can't help but still be excited even with all my trepidations. Now we can all look forward to seeing what handsome young actor who looks good shirtless will be cast to play The Flash.
Arrow returns for Season 2 on Wednesday, October 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.