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Batman? Superman? Neither. DC Comics Names Its Most Important Character

In the race to get TV viewers to tune in to its comic book properties, Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) is turning to the fastest man alive.

Earlier this week, Warner unit DC Entertainment told reporters via conference call that the Flash would appear in season 2 of Arrow before spinning off into a new show dedicated the character. Warner also has plans for a live action film. Batman? Superman? Turns out the Flash is the glue that's binding together the DC Cinematic Universe.

The Flash, otherwise known as "the fast man alive.' Source: DC Comics.

"He's obviously been a strong personal favorite of both [DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer] Geoff [Johns] and mine," Newsarama quotes Arrow co-creator Andrew Kreisberg as saying. "So when Greg [Berlanti] approached us and said 'Hey, what would you think if we did the Flash as a spin-off?' all of us lit up!"

They aren't the only ones. Here at Fool.com, we've debated the possibilities for the Flash. A live-action film might follow nicely behind 2015's Batman-Superman team-up in Man of Steel 2.

Meanwhile, putting DC's scarlet speedster on TV first would allow Warner to expand the DC Cinematic Universe while building brand equity for a character that hasn't been on the small screen since 1990. Back then, actor John Wesley Shipp played the Flash and his alter-ego, police scientist Barry Allen. Warner says it's in the process of searching for an actor to play the role in Arrow and the spin-off.

Expect DC's new take on the Flash to be darker than the 1990 TV series. Source: The SF Site.

The news comes on the heels of Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) previewing the entire first episode of its Avengers-themed TV spin-off, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., last month at San Diego Comic-Con. I'm expecting a ratings winner when the show begins airing Tuesday nights this fall.

DC's advantage is that already has a hit in Arrow, and introducing the Flash via spin-off reduces the risk that the new show will bomb. If successful, it would be the third -- or, if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also succeeds, the fourth -- current comic book TV adaptation to play well with audiences. AMC Networks' (NASDAQ: AMCX  ) The Walking Dead rated highest among scripted shows airing during the 2012-2013 TV season.

Do DC's plans signal more adaptations from Warner, Disney, and others? Undoubtedly. Hollywood history says executives will push until audiences push back, which means the next prime-time TV idea is probably sitting on the shelves of your local comics shop right now.

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Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 03, 2013, at 7:57 PM, colleran wrote:

    I have little interest in comic book heroes and certainly not TIme Warner or the others mentioned in this article. I do however love the breadth of coverage that the Motley Fool provides. Wonderful.

  • Report this Comment On August 03, 2013, at 8:25 PM, the0nlytruth wrote:

    Read the comic. But the tv show I didn't

    watch. I don't remember why but looking

    at the dvd the Flash as I remember was

    not some muscle bound hero.

  • Report this Comment On August 03, 2013, at 9:37 PM, conchapena wrote:

    no Batman, no superman? boy, I'm really old. I was a better match than LoisLane.

  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2013, at 6:56 PM, theringokid wrote:

    Cool. Im looking forwards to a revival of The Flash on TV. I loved the original all too short-lived 1990 TV series.

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Tim Beyers
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Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At Fool.com, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at timbeyers.me or send email to tbeyers@fool.com. For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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