Comic book characters will be flooding your televisions this fall in all shapes, genders and timelines. While series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. get fans’ imaginations going crazy over what Marvel movie cameos may or may not be happening, you'll never be seeing Zack Snyder’s Batman saving anyone on The CW’s Arrow. DC has no interest in that kind of crossover appeal.
DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns feels that trying to create a connected multimedia universe is too limiting. “We want to give freedom to creators,” Johns told Variety, “so that they can take their passion and [and make] the best show, the best film, the best game without having to tie it into other things.” It’s odd that this can almost be considered progressive thinking in a post-Avengers world, where everything from Star Wars to Ghostbusters is putting the Marvel model atop several phases of pedestals.
According to Johns, the reason why a show like Arrow succeeds is because the characters remain tethered to their origins and remain unaltered. “Yes, it’s got to be adapted and expanded,” he continued, “whether it goes from TV to comics or comics to film, but the DNA of it is always true.” It doesn’t need to rely on what’s happening in theaters in order to tell its story, which I'm behind 100%
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s presence in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. offered some neat moments and turned it into a better series by the end of the first season, the first two-thirds felt like a long waiting room visit with people I didn't care about. ABC presumably won’t have to worry about the same problem with the upcoming Agent Carter, which stars Haley Atwell as her Captain America character Peggy Carter working with Howard Stark in the mid-1940s. That story has already been told, so while some Captain America: The First Avenger characters may appear, the series isn’t hinging on a movie release for its plot points to pop.
Now, Arrow and the upcoming CW series The Flash will do some character crossovers of their own, but that’s entirely an in-network decision. If Gotham turns into a hit for Fox, I wouldn’t be surprised if they figured out a way to spin that off almost immediately as well. Just don’t expect to find an aging Ben McKenzie making his way to Justice League in the future.
Do you guys respect DC’s motivations to allow for more creativity within their company – regardless of what said creativity inevitably puts out there – or would you rather they go with one big linked-up universe?