The Superman Question

I’ve long expressed my love for the DC universe that’s on the CW. I’ve talked about it on podcasts as well as here on this site. Sure, I like the movies but, tv is where my passion is. However, movies are where the money is at. I know that. I understand that. So I begrudgingly accept that movies will always take priority. If a movie wants a character, than tv doesn’t get them.


The universe that debuted on The CW[1] with Arrow in 2012 has grown into my favorite thing related to comic books. It has grown to 4 shows total[2] and obvisouly is a big deal at this point, or why would it keep expanding?

But that doesn’t mean the producers can do whatever they want (and I’m not really arguing that they should. Plans that they have had for Arrow and it’s spin-offs have more than once been changed due to the movies. Sometimes it’s characters not being allowed on the show at all, such as Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Other times it’s characters being written off the show such as Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Amanda Waller. But unlike the other characters, where movie plans are all they have, Deadshot and Amanda Waller will be in the 2016 movie The Suicide Squad (which looks fantastic for the record). I have heard rumors that the Black Canary was killed off of Arrow because of movie plans as well, but I have yet to see anything definitive on that. It has never sat right with me that the tv shows, which have been extremely successful, have been hindered by the movies. Espeically considering these are DC properties, which is known for it’s multiple versions of the same characters across multiple universes.

The big question for me has been The Flash. Many people, myself include, believe its’ the best show in the DCCW, but I have to admit I have wondered what would happen to the show if it’s still going on in 2018 when the movie by the same name comes out. Sure, there have been many versions of The Flash in the comics, but both the tv show and movie are using the most famous one, Barry Allen. Part of me thinks the show will be left alone. Part of me is worried they will do something radical to it and end the show for the movie.[3] So it’s possible for the two to co-exist. But it’s been hard for me to see so many great characters removed from the shows because of the movies.

So that finally brings me to my reason for writing this post. Recently, the first images of Superman on the show Supergirl have been released, even though at the same time Superman is appearing in the movies (Next we will see him in 2018’s Justice League). Now, I am really excited to see Superman on tv, as part of my favorite DC universe. It just doesn’t fit with the seemingly established rules of separating the characters , especially when the show went to great efforts to acknowledge Superman, but not show him in season 1.

I don’t really expect an answer, but the question boils down to this.

How do they decide which characters the public can understand as separate versions, and which characters are too confusing?

Likely, we will never have a satisfacotry answer. But it’s something I have been thinking about. What do you think? Are we going to see more characters on both the big and small screens? Or is Superman simply an exception?

The best way to reach me is on twitter.

  1. Supergirl’s first season was on CBS, but is moving to the CW with season 2.  ↩
  2. Five shows if you count Constantine which aired on NBC for one season, but has been confirmed to be in the same world.  ↩
  3. Its worth noting that when Superman Returns was released in theatres, Smallville was still going strong on tv. And one had nothing to do with the other. Also, Bruce Wayne appears in both the movies and on Gotham, but with Gotham being set during Bruce’s childhood, no one is going to confuse them.  ↩