It appears as if the CW is about to make another big mistake that will have long lasting negative repercussions for comics fans long after it fails. The CW has mined the vast archive of DC comics heroes and has come up with one that they feel can be the worthy successor to the wildly popular Smallville, which is in its final season. Raven. Check out the story here. If you are wondering who Raven is, she is the goth, attitude-filled, emo, demon-daughter, sorceress that helped found the New Teen Titans. While she is a radically entertaining character in her own right, the main reason she works so well is as a foil and a commentary on the other members of her team. She didn’t do well in the solo comics she was in, and she is completely untested as a solo hero. In addition, fans will be completely turned off by the fact that her entire teenage years were spent with the Teen Titans, and a show focusing on Raven alone will be completely out of sync with anything recognizable from the comics. In short, this will be a darker, more emo version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB/CW has pulled this kind of crap before. Anyone remember the Birds of Prey series? Well, that suffered from a lack of good storytelling. This suffers from a lot more right off the bat.
So who would make a worthy comic-turned-TV-show successor to Smallville? Here are my suggestions:
5) The Graysons: CW had this idea a while back but scrapped it. It would chronicle a very young Dick Grayson and his circus family before he became Robin the Boy Wonder. The potential here is great and it is a completely unplumbed area of the DC universe, so no continuity problems to turn fans off. Add to this the circus setting and you could have a winner.
4) Aquaman: Check out itunes. They made a pilot, and it was good. Aquaman has been in Smallville numerous times and the fans have affinity for the undersea crusader. The ocean setting would be great and unexplored TV fare, so I say go with it.
3) Wonder Woman: Let’s face it, she needs it. She is the most recognizable feminine hero there is, but she suffers from lack of relatabilityy and that she has had no big screen success. I don’t really think she is that interesting, but I didn’t think Buffy was either until I gave her a few seasons. Wonder Woman could easily sustain a few seasons of TV, and in the process, breathe some life into a dying franchise.
2) Y the Last Man: Wildly popular series about a genetic holocaust that kills every single male human. Except one. Social commentary, wrapped in non-stop action and a dose of racial tension, would have this made-for-tv series hot out of the oven.
1) Starman: Your father was one of the most respected heroes of yesteryear. But what happens when the mantle is passed to you and you don’t want it? The Cusak-esque postmodern, junk shop owner, who has conversations with his dead brother every year is fascinating to read, let a lone watch. This story, ultimately about fate and free-will, fathers and sons, and what really makes a superhero would really shine as a weekly show.
If they don’t happen, which they won’t, don’t blame me for the CW’s Raven being the reason we don’t get more Smallvilles in the future.