This time there’d be no Batman or Superman.
The CW has been doing very well regarding their superhero television shows. Arrow and The Flash are both going strong and are some of the best superhero shows to date, with their crossover title Legends of Tomorrow coming next year. Not only that, Constantine just appeared on this week’s episode of Arrow, possibly hinting at him getting his own show again. But this begs an interesting question: with all of these superheroes appearing on the small screen from CW, what’s their next step?
Two words: Justice League.
The League on the Small Screen
Before you start losing your mind and calling me out saying that a project that big hasn’t been done on television before, I would kindly like to point out the plentiful animated runs they’ve had, as well as another that could be on the way. Not only that, the Justice League was used quite well in the show Smallville. The big difference here, however, is that both of these previous incarnations of the League have used the big, main characters such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The huge (and probably controversial) difference between these runs and what the CW could do is that there would be no Caped Crusader, Man of Steel, or Amazonian Princess.
How on Earth could you do a new Justice League without Bats or Supes?
The answer is simple. The CW doesn’t need these characters. They already have their own “versions” of these two comic behemoths by utilizing Green Arrow and Flash. Moreover, CW would definitely take the extra effort to differentiate themselves from the DC Extended Universe to avoid confusion amongst fans as well being able to take it in their own direction. As far as Wonder Woman’s inclusion, she wouldn’t get in either because of her upcoming role in Batman V. Superman as well as a previous television show that flopped. But again, she doesn’t need to be there. The powers and attributes of heroes on the CW universe are quite small in scale compared to what Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman can do on the big screen. Not only that, but the “trinity” has a fixation towards epic battles and storylines in space, and that’s just not something the CW can afford to do on a regular basis.
On another note, many times in DC canon characters like Superman and Martian Manhunter become so incredibly overpowered it just becomes ridiculous to watch. By not including characters like this, CW could avoid being broken and repetitive in favor of characters who would personal and physical challenges they need to overcome.
Who would be in it, then?
If somebody has the audacity to not have Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman in a new Justice League, who would you put in their places, then? Well, let’s take a look at some of the characters that the CW has been using in their shows. Captain Boomerang, Vibe, Damian Darhk, Captain Cold, Count Vertigo, etc. What do they all have in common? They’re not very popular comic book characters. They’re easily B or even C list people that are appearing in these shows. There’s no doubt that if CW creates a Justice League, they would utilize some of these lesser-known characters. Take a look at Legends of Tomorrow. Rip Hunter, White Canary, Heat Wave. Had it not been for this show, people would probably have never figured out who these characters were. Now that’s not to say that we wouldn’t see some familiar faces. We would definitely be seeing Green Arrow and The Flash. They’d probably utilize some other more known characters such as Hawkman and/or Hawkgirl (who are both scheduled to appear on Arrow). I would also vouch for the inclusion of John Constantine. Since his appearance on Arrow, he could easily become a mainstay in that universe and because CW wouldn’t have to negotiate with NBC about having him appear, he’s got a much better chance of getting in. It would also be interesting to see a known member of the Justice League Dark team up with members of a normal Justice League. And, God willing, perhaps even Supergirl could come to be a part of it.
How could it be done?
Take a look at Marvel with their TV shows. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist have all been scheduled to have at least a one season run. After introducing these characters, then Marvel is going to put them all together in a team-up show called The Defenders, based on the comic book of the same name. Who’s to say the CW couldn’t do the same? After all, they’ve more than established Green Arrow and Flash, as well as introducing other characters throughout various appearances on both of those shows. If they decide to set up the Justice League, they wouldn’t even have to give these characters their own shows. They could just include in an episode or two of a pre-existing show, and tie them in that way. Or they could do what the DCEU is doing and just jump right into the fray, and give background to the characters as the story progresses. It’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
CW Justice League
There is no doubt that a CW Justice League could work. It would also be interesting to see how they would handle it in comparison to how the DC films are going to. Personally, I wish they had just combined the CW universe and the DCEU so we could see our favorite Emerald Archer and Scarlet Speedster fighting along the side of Henry Cavill and Jason Momoa. Regardless, I have no doubt that CW could not only pull this off, but that they could also do it very well. I mean, they can only introduce so many new shows until they have to do something different. And how do you even top something on the scale of Legends of Tomorrow? Two words: Justice League.