Superheroes and TV: From Animated to Live Action

In my first post for superhero week, I listed the animated shows that started my fascination with superheroes as a child. Here’s a refresher:

Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)

X-Men (1992-1997)

The Tick (1994–1997)

Spider-Man (1994-1998)

Superman (1996-2000)

Batman Beyond (1999–2001)

X-Men: Evolution (2000–2003)

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003)

Static Shock (2000–2004)

The Powerpuff Girls (1998–2005)

Justice League (2001–2006)

Since then, many more animated shows have appeared so that a new generation of children could fall in love with superheroes like I did. I still continue to watch some of these shows even as an adult with the most recent one being Young Justice.

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Yet, animation wasn’t the only form that superhero shows have been in. Live action superhero shows were and are just as popular too such as the 1966 Batman  show with Adam West and 1975’s Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter. Funny enough, even though those two shows were popular and constantly referenced today, both characters haven’t had  modern version of their shows since. There have been some attempts with Wonder Woman with the closest being David E. Kelley’s version in 2011 but that was scrapped by the network after viewing the rough version of the pilot episode (Thank god for that. The rough pilot is on the internet somewhere so you can judge for yourself). Superman never seems to have an issue with live action shows with 1952’s The Adventures of Superman, 1993’s Lois and Clark and most recently 2001’s Smallville which had a 10 year run.

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After the end of Smallville in 2011, there were discussions on what the next superhero show will be about. There was talk of a Batman version of Smallville which would’ve focused on Bruce Wayne before he became Batman. There was a suggestion of having a show based on Greg Rucka’s Gotham Central where it was focused on the Gotham Police Department with guest appearances of Batman’s enemies and quite possibly the Bat himself. How about a spin off series with Smallville’s Green Arrow with Justin Hartley donning the suit again? So many ideas but finally they settled on one…

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Arrow was the grittier version of comic book hero, Green Arrow, with Stephen Amell strutting the green hood and arrows. the show has some elements of the superhero but has strayed in some aspects as well with the major one being that he’s know as “The Hood” or “Arrow” but not Green Arrow. the show is really popular and the first episode brought CW huge ratings that haven’t seen in a while.

You’re probably saying, “All of these shows are based on DC heroes.”

Why yes, they are. The one and only Marvel hero who’s had a live action show that I’m personally aware of is The Incredible Hulk with Lou Ferrigno which ran from 1978 to 1982. But don’t fret! This fall a new live action show is starting that has so many people exciting including myself. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.L.D. is about the organization of the same name who’s members include Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson in The Avengers movie. The show is set in the same world and takes place after the events of the movie. Agent Coulson who (***Spoiler***) dies in the film will be a permanent fixture in the show (don’t ask how but I’m sure they’ll explain) and it’s being written by Joss Whedon himself along with his brother, Jed Whedon, and his sister-in-law, Maurissa Tancharoen. I’m SO excited for this one.

Have a superhero show whether animated or live action that you really loved?

Have one that you plan on watching?

Or maybe you know a show that you think needs to be featured on here or given some recognition?

A. A. Omer

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