Unlike its competitor Marvel, DC Comics has elected to keep its superhero feature films isolated from its TV properties. The two mediums – big screen and small – exist in so-called separate universes and will not cross over with each other. That being the case, which do you like better, DC’s movies or its TV shows?
While it’s true that the characters and events in Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Daredevil’ or ‘Jessica Jones’ typically have little impact on its various Avengers blockbusters, all of these properties are supposed to exist in the same interconnected fictional universe, and the events of the movies weigh heavily upon and are referenced frequently in the TV shows. Movie characters (though usually only supporting players) may also make guest-spot appearances on TV.
That’s not the case with DC. Although ‘Arrow’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ and ‘Supergirl’ are all connected and cross-over with one another occasionally, none of them link to ‘Man of Steel’, ‘Batman v. Superman’, or the upcoming ‘Justice League’ and other cinematic spin-offs. Further, Fox’s ‘Gotham’ exists on its own, separate even from the other TV shows.
The Superman mentioned repeatedly in ‘Supergirl’ is not Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel. The young Bruce Wayne in ‘Gotham’ will not grow up to be Ben Affleck. This year’s ‘Batman v. Superman’ movie has an easter egg cameo from a new version of The Flash unrelated to the one Grant Gustin plays on the popular CW series. The management at DC has been very clear that they are not following the Marvel model in this respect, and want to keep a clear divide between movies and TV.
On the one hand, I think what Marvel is doing by connecting everything together is much more ambitious and, ultimately, satisfying. On the other hand, I’m kind of glad that DC’s TV shows are allowed to develop their own styles and attitudes, and aren’t burdened by the oppressively dark and brooding tone of the Zack Snyder movies. I really like that ‘The Flash’ and ‘Supergirl’ manage to be so light and sunny and just plain fun. Even ‘Gotham’, the angstiest of the TV shows, can get pretty goofy at times.
I’m a big fan of most of the DC TV series – less so for its movies (though I don’t hate them).
Where do you fall?