Sagas in Panels #7

Jeff Hargarten

The comic book world’s television counterparts shared some big reveals these past few days.

NBC’s “Constantine” has a lead in British actor Matt Ryan (gamers might know his voice from Assassin’s Creed) and a photo of Ryan as John Constantine just surfaced. He actually looks like the protagonist of Alan Moore’s “Hellblazer” series about an occult detective the creator modeled after Sting. Unlike the 2005 Americanized Keanu Reeves film, this show appears to be pulling directly from the acclaimed source material. It’s exciting stuff, and could be some pretty dark fare if NBC’s other show, “Hannibal,” is an indicator of how far the studio is willing to explore some disturbing subject matter.

At FOX, “Southland” star Ben McKenzie was cast as James Gordon in its upcoming “Gotham” series, which also just had a banner released along with some storyline details. The show, aside from focusing on Gotham City’s cops like the “Gotham Central” comic series, will depict the origins of many Batman villains, including Catwoman and the Penguin. David Mazouz was also cast  as a young Bruce Wayne. Some have questioned the necessity of this show due to the recent Nolan films and the upcoming “Batman/Superman” movie. It’s also unclear whether it will be tied into the expanding D.C. character universe on WB’s “Arrow” due to cross-network complications. But the casting choices have thus far seemed solid.

The biggest news of the past week was the unveiling of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) in costume for the WB’s upcoming “Arrow” spin-off, “The Flash.” The costume has largely received praise across the Internet. More exciting to comic book fans is Geoff Johns’ association with the show, since he was the creative force behind some of the best “Flash” stories of the modern era.

When “The Flash” spinoff was announced months ago, there was enough skepticism to go around. Gustin, while popular as Barry Allen on “Arrow” is untested as a lead, there were concerns the bright red suit would look silly and that the show would depart from the darker, more grounded tone of its parent show to focus more on superpowers and sci-fi. We’ll have to wait for the pilot, which is already in production, to be sure how it all turns out. But there are plenty of reasons to look forward to a show based on the Flash. Here are some lists of the best Flash stories from the comics, for the uninitiated:

The Top 10 Stories of The Flash

The Greatest Flash (Barry Allen) Stories Ever Told!

The Greatest Wally West Stories Ever Told!

The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told

DC Comics Database: The Flash

Other entries in this series
Sagas in Panels #1: Best in the pages, on the screen
Sagas in Panels #2: Sorting the unified universes
Sagas in Panels #3: Understanding retcons, reboots, relaunches and multiverses
Sagas in Panels #4: Unveiling Guardians of the Galaxy
Sagas in Panels #5: Comparing digital comic subscriptions
Sagas in Panels #6: Touring the DCAU