As Marvel and DC pull their superheroes off rival networks, it's time The CW and Netflix looked elsewhere for tomorrow's heroes

Who needs DC and Marvel when you've got a wealth of characters and content in Image Comics and Dark Horse Comic


                            As Marvel and DC pull their superheroes off rival networks, it's time The CW and Netflix looked elsewhere for tomorrow's heroes

The CW has an enviable stable of superhero hit shows on its network, and was one of the first to tie up major DC universe characters together through the sheer amount of amazing superhero crossovers on their shows.

'Arrow' was the first superhero show which started it all for CW, and since then, there have been a whopping 11 seasons of DC superhero series that have aired on the network so far.

But it looks like CW's run with superhero iterations may have hit a roadblock, given that Disney and DC Comics have either started or plan to start their own streaming networks to exclusively stream shows set in their respective universes.

While CW still has a multi-year contract with DC for previous seasons of superhero shows like 'Arrow' and 'The Flash', all the latest seasons and new releases will air exclusively on the DC Universe site.

Ruby Rose as Batgirl in a crossover episode of 'Arrow' (2012) Source: IMDB
Ruby Rose as Batgirl in a crossover episode of 'Arrow' (2012) Source: IMDB

Hopefully, CW will see sense and look toward other comic book franchises like Dark Horse and Image Comics, which, while not being as famous as DC or Marvel, have created and released noteworthy graphic novel property like 'Hellboy', 'Alien,' 'Deadly Class' and 'Spawn'.

Most of CW's superhero shows tend to be family friendly, while Dark Horse and Image Comics are known for their raunchier anti-heroes and more flamboyant drawing style, and this may turn out to be a concern for CW as they will have to find a way translate them well for their network.

CW will also have to keep in mind the budgetary concerns over mounting these franchises as TV series, as till now they have leaned towards a more "realistic" superhero shows which require lesserinvestment in CGI.

Michael Jai White as 'Spawn' in Spawn (1997) Source: IMDB
Michael Jai White as 'Spawn' in Spawn (1997) Source: IMDB

Image Comics was the forerunner of all the gory and weird cult comics we see on display today. Characters like The Maxx (which aired on MTV in the early 90s due to not being child-friendly), and Spawn (where the movie bombed but the animated series was well received) had set the benchmark for complex comic book series.

While Superman was still drawn wearing his underwear outside his tights, Spawn had a living suit which was made from necroplasma (a green undead substance with a mind of its own) in the fiery bowels of hell. 

Dark Horse comics have given readers some amazing stories as well, and which in turn have led to live-action comic classics like 'Alien' and 'Hellboy.' The number of live adaptations that can be made from the Dark Horse franchises is staggering.

We have yet to see a live-action version of 'Grendel', another gory yet surreal comic from the franchise.

David Harbour as Hellboy in 'Hellboy' (2019) Source: IMDB
David Harbour as Hellboy in 'Hellboy' (2019) Source: IMDB

However, as mentioned before, CW will have to consider a more child/TV friendly iteration if they ever think of converting any of the Image Comics or Dark Horse graphic novels to a series.

Given the circumstances, the network will have to walk a fine line charting the future course of action as their options will be limited because of the content of these comics and teh demographic of their target audience.

CW had a good run with superhero shows so far, and let's hope that CW would at least consider airing these would-be shows as late shows instead of daytime TV, otherwise CW may see itself in a real pickle this time, as there's only so many times you can watch the reruns of 'The Arrow' and the 'Flash.'