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March 2, 2010

A Little TV Talk


The marrying of comics and mass media continues, and right now, it's a good time to be a comics fan, it seems. It's obvious in movies, of course, that comics are being mined for their storylines and characters. But the television world is getting more and more into the act. For a decade now, that's included Smallville, and a few years ago came the introduction of Heroes. Then there was the growth of the cable cartoon series (Justice League and X-Men and Spider-Man, to name just a few shows that weren't just for kids; add to that list the current Iron Man and Brave and the Bold series). The Human Target might not be too familiar to noncomics readers, but those who do read them will find him a known commodity. And there are a couple more comics-related projects coming to TV in the year ahead. Then there is the big splash made by sci-fi shows recently. Battlestar Galactica on the Syfy Channel begat many interesting things...and let's not forget Lost on ABC. These shows ostensibly have nothing to do with comics, it's true, but they speak a larger movement in our culture about how the "geek" community is influencing a larger and larger segment of the population. And these things all tend to overlap.

I'm particularly interested in what ABC has been doing the past year, with both FlashForward and V. Again, neither one is directly related to comics, but here's where you see some of the overlap: FlashForward was cocreated by Dark Knight and Batman Begins scribe David S. Goyer (who is also going to be writing the next Superman movie), and V, when it returns to TV this spring, will have bestselling writer Gregg Hurwitz (known to comics fans for his work on Vengeance of Moon Knight and his Wolverine and Punisher work) attached. Incidentally, I asked Gregg to drop a few hints about what's upcoming, and while he couldn't say much, he did say this: "It's gonna be fast and fun. We're working hard to make sure there are cool twists and surprises, and there will be plenty of jaw-dropping moments when we come back on the air March 30."

By the way, if you enjoyed the appearance of the Justice Society of America on Smallville a few weeks ago, I hope you also caught the JSA on Brave and the Bold last Friday. There's no shortage of these comics-related events going on in TV right now. It's broader than just having a comic character headline a show. It's that longtime comics readers are all over the place, working on shows of all types. If you think this is a good thing (and I really hope you do!), I hope you'll join me in supporting these shows.