Top 7 DC Comics Live Action TV Series
With news this week that The Flash, Constantine, Gotham, and iZombie will all be sharing the small-screen this year, we thought it would be a great time to look back at DC Comics’ history on the boob tube. From the black and white adventures of Superman to the Starling City Vigilante, Green Arrow, DC has had a rich history on TV that’s only going to increase in the future. So join us as we countdown the Top 7 shows past and present from them!
7. The Flash – This show tends to be forgotten when speaking of DC’s history on television, and it’s easy to understand why. It only ran for one season and wasn’t that popular. The first half of the season didn’t even include any villains typical of the Flash’s rogues gallery. That said, the overall show, while it lasted, was extremely enjoyable. Their workaround for superspeed was clever and nice to watch, and John Wesley Snipp made for a charismatic and fun lead.
6. The Adventures of Superman – The original! Airing in the 1950s, this show helped establish comic books on television. Running for 6 seasons, it starred George Reeves as Clark Kent/Superman, who had a playful personality both with his supporting cast and the audience. While the show wasn’t heavy on all your Superman elements, it made for a good watch. Fun stories and superheroics!
5. Wonder Woman – There was a time, a good time for some, where DC Comics and shows had a camp factor to them. One of the shows to come out of that was Wonder Woman. It introduced some fun and iconic elements to the character such as her spin to transform move, something we need to see more of. It also featured one of my personal favorite theme songs from a comic book TV show. Lynda Carter remains a fantastic Wonder Woman.
4. Smallville – This is a rough show to judge. For as much as it gets right, it can get an equal number of things wrong. Even with that batting average, being the longest-running show on this list means it did get a lot right. Focusing on Superman’s early years, Smallville expanded his origins and history more than any comic, TV show, or movie, before or after it. At the core was Tom Welling’s Clark Kent, who did remarkably well in the show, and luckily enough for us didn’t really age like a normal person. A great supporting cast with standouts like Erica Durance’s Lois Lane, Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor, and Allision Mack’s Chloe Sullivan, the latter became so popular she was later introduced into the comics. Not only that, but unlike previous Superman TV shows, it included popular Superman villains like General Zod, Brainiac, Doomsday, and Darkseid.
3. Batman – We mentioned before that DC had its campy-phase. If there was a jumpstart for that phase it had to be this show. Campy, hammy, cheesy, fun, fantastic, timeless, this show was something special. It felt like a comic book come to life, and part of that was the big punctuation during fight scenes with BAMs! WHAMs! POWs! and the like. Then there was the earnest Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as his trusty ward, Dick Grayson/Robin. Then a parade of famous and infamous Bat-villains from The Joker to Egghead made their appearance. And who could forget the Batrope walk with random appearances from all manners of celebrities.
2. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman – Let’s get this out of the way, the show falls off the rails near the end, but when it was good, it was really good. With less of a focus on the superheroics of Superman, and more on the lives and dynamic of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, it made for a much more grounded and story-driven comic book show. But it wouldn’t work without the chemistry of its two leads. Dean Cain does a good job as Clark Kent, but the real highlight is Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. Still one of, if not the best, portrayal of the character from an actress. Some fun stories, a great supporting cast and even some zany adventures makes this a show to watch.
1. Arrow – This show is just wrapping up its sophomore season so this may be a bit premature, but as it stands now it is the best DC Comics show (if not comic book show) to air on TV to date. Its brisk pacing, its love of the source material, its willingness to bring in characters big and small, its core trio of Oliver Queen, John Diggle and Felicity Smoak, amazing villains, its multiple timeline storytelling– this show has it all and more. If you aren’t watching, now would be the time to check it out!