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DC Does What Marvel Won't With "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D"

Source: DC Entertainment.

While Marvel and Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) struggle with hardcore fans' desire to see more superheroics in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., DC Entertainment and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) have upgraded their plans for the Flash.

According to, DC Entertainment and the CW now plan a stand-alone pilot for a show starring Glee actor Grant Gustin in the title role. He was to be introduced in episodes 8 and 9 of Arrow as Central City police investigator Barry Allen and then reemerge as the Flash in episode 20, a backdoor pilot to a potential spinoff series.

Gustin's first two appearances in Arrow as Allen remain on the books. But his first appearance as the Flash will come in the pilot, a decision CW executives made after seeing cuts of him in action in Arrow. Both appearances were "very well received", Deadline reports. For his part, Arrow star Stephen Amell took to his Facebook News Feed to celebrate the news 

The CW's decision to fund a stand-alone Flash pilot comes at an interesting time for both Disney and Warner. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has taken lumps for not being more like Marvel's The Avengers, which partly inspired and informed the show. Viewership has fallen with each successive episode even as the show remains a hit with men aged 18-49. 
Arrow, meanwhile, is nailing the bull's-eye by introducing new characters with strong ties to the DC Comics universe, including Black Canary, Brother Blood, China White, and the Bronze Tiger. The latest episode, "Keep Your Enemies Closer," featured the assassin Deadshot and ranks as season two's most-watched. Arrow creators Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg seem bent on giving us as much comic book goodness as we can handle.
A Flash pilot could also hasten development of the DC Cinematic Universe and get us closer to seeing key characters such as Wonder Woman on the big screen. And of course, the more characters there are, the more likely it is we'll see a team-up film (i.e., The Justice League) following 2015's sequel to Man of Steel, which DC has taken to calling Batman vs. Superman. DC fans and Time Warner investors can only hope.
Do you agree? Or would you rather have seen the Flash emerge as a more direct spinoff of Arrow? Leave a comment below to let us know where you stand.

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Read/Post Comments (29) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 11:53 PM, cubsblue23 wrote:

    How does Arrow stand up to SHIELD in the ratings? The SHIELD comic was never about superheroes. The show, like all Marvel Studios is staying fairly close to source material while Arrow is all over the place with Green Arrow himself being more like Batman. The DC universe is a mess and we saw where Amazon ended up after the pilot. Flash will either end up as a guy who can jog really fast or who has a jetpack that propels him because WB has proven they cannot handle super powers at all. At least SHIELD shows them occasionally.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 12:18 AM, mutantlexi wrote:

    Just curious, did you miss the big announcement for Marvel's big Netflix deal which is getting us Power Man, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Jewel, all culminating in a Defenders (tho, still baffled why they're using the Defenders titles and not Heroes for Hire) miniseries?

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 1:25 AM, InvisibleZombie wrote:

    Marvel's entry into the world of TV and films hasn't been a flawlessly-executed plan. it's had as many bumps along the way as DC. It found it's groove and is doing good. DC doesn't need to try and replicate a "formula" that doesn't exist and can't be done exactly the same way.

    Actually I hoped that Smallville was going to launch things off for TV, but I have no idea why that seemed to just end, until Arrow. And Green lantern while I like him came out of nowhere and was so poorly handled. Guess we'll see, crossing my fingers for some good shows/films.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 5:43 AM, carl6747 wrote:

    I also thought you had spin off potential from Smallville. Your Arrow is a little darker. If Ditta Von Teese was a little younger would have made a great Wonder Woman, at least from the body type like Linda Carter. Most women you try as WW will be compared to ms Carter. Remember WW is woman let her roar not an athlete; let your other female heroes be athletes Stay away from political issues and most importantly environmental issues. Shawn Johnson might make a good batgirl, since she is cute rather see her more than less any heroine will do rather than a villain. Since you have my email address if you want other suggestion contact me. I liked Smallville, Arrow and Beauty and the Beast. Since they are fantasy have more leeway than NCIS of CSI

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 7:43 AM, xbimpyx wrote:

    I hope you do know that the show is called AGENTS OF SHIELD, not AVENGERS or NEW AVENGERS =____=… this whole article is pointless. The show is about an organization that deals with the following Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. Superheroes are not a major component of SHIELD unless it needs to deal with a threat so big like the secret wars. Thor, Ironman, and Hulk are friends and allies, not agents!

    Also, stop jumping on the gun about the show. It just started with only 8 episodes. Arrow wasn't great either with its 1st season, having a lot more teenage romance melodrama. Let AOS reveal the entire first season instead of bashing each episode as if you know what the future for AOS is. There's plenty of things that can happen and will happen, mainly with Skye's dead mother, the superhuman list called Index, and Project Centipede along with Agent Sitwell, who plays a big role in Captain America 2.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 7:45 AM, xbimpyx wrote:

    Also for superheroes, in 2015 on Nextflix three Marvel superheroes get their own show. It's been news for a while...

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 7:47 AM, xbimpyx wrote:

    one last thing. Flash was already in Smallville, which wasn't a big deal 5 something years ago. Green Arrow was more impressive.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:35 AM, Kayttt2000 wrote:

    I wonder why the Rothschild's constantly referenced the Motley Fool in year 2000 during my MK Ultra use on the Yahoo Stock Market message boards..

    Motley Fool makes me think of Motley Crew..hmm

    Interesting definition for Motley Crew...

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:52 AM, Badger521 wrote:

    Neither show wholly embraces the "Superpower" aspect of their respective comic universes. Though Marvel at least acknowledges that it exists. DC apparently just has an Archer that has no clue that Superman, the Green Lantern, or Wonder Woman are on the planet. I am interested to see how they handle the Flash. If done right, THAT could be a real winner. Somehow, I just don't trust the CW though. I imagine it will be entertaining, but ultimately dumbed down.

    The main difference between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow is the acting. While I thoroughly enjoy watching Arrow... the acting is no where near on par with Clark Gregg and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. For me, these two shows can't even be compared. It's like putting LeBron up against a 12 year old with a decent jumper.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 9:53 AM, Nerdageddon wrote:

    S.H.I.E.L.D. was always going to lose some viewers who had the lofty expectations that this would be like the movie and that Tony Stark would be appearing weekly. It isn't that, and it shouldn't be that. It is a vehicle to continue the universe on a lower key level while the movies, which people pay for, will be the big hitters. I enjoy the show, but maybe that is because I accept it for what it is. I also grew up watching 80's television so it reminds me of shows like A-Team, Knight Rider, & Incredible Hulk. Sure the show has issues that could be addressed, but every show from The Walking Dead to NCIS has issues.

    I love Arrow. To me it is the best "superhero" show on television. The way they handle Deadshot is one the best ways I've seen a TV show grow a villain. Also the use of flashbacks is great, and I can't wait for when Slade debuts as Deathstroke because it has been a season & half of building towards his true debut. If the CW handles The Flash the same way they handled Arrow then I will be all in for this series. I also hope they build on both and we get more DC universe series. I for one would love a Teen Titans series that I believe would fit the CW demo.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:26 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    'Morning everyone,

    First, thanks for the comments.

    Second, can I make clear that I enjoy both shows? They're alike in that they expand the cinematic versions of each comic book universe, which is great for me as a fan and as an investor in Disney and Time Warner.

    The difference is that Arrow is all about the superheroes and Agents of SHIELD is all about the humans who interact with the superheroes. Different but equally valid perspectives, I think.

    FWIW and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:31 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>How does Arrow stand up to SHIELD in the ratings?

    Agents of SHIELD is the top rated show among men 18-49 and pulls in between 6-7 mil viewers weekly. Arrow has seen its viewership rise as season 2 goes on, and now draws about 3 mil per episode.

    You can bet Disney and Warner are happy about both performances. SHIELD has given ABC a long-missing Tuesday night winner, while Arrow has helped push overall viewership at the CW up by about 9%, I believe.

    FWIW and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:34 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>Just curious, did you miss the big announcement for Marvel's big Netflix deal which is getting us Power Man, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Jewel, all culminating in a Defenders (tho, still baffled why they're using the Defenders titles and not Heroes for Hire) miniseries?

    Nope. Wrote about it three times! Links below:

    Hope that helps and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:40 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >> Let AOS reveal the entire first season instead of bashing each episode as if you know what the future for AOS is.

    Easy now. I'm not bashing anything:

    I would, however, disagree that the superheroes don't factor into SHIELD. The very organization exists to handle threats that traditional agencies can't -- the sort of stuff found in a super-powered world.

    Put another way: In the comics, Tony Stark is at one point named Director of SHIELD.

    Thanks for the comments and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:42 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    Well put, sir.

    Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:46 AM, mrcarlg200 wrote:

    First to xbimpyx that wasn't The Flash on Smallville 5 years ago, it was Impulse. Impulse was the grandson of The Flash and had the same powers as his grandfather Barry Allen. He traveled back in time which is why they both exist in the same time period.

    The idea of a Flash TV series sounds great as long as they don't do what was done in their prior attempt. Since they're using Barry Allen they should stick to his story line in the comics alone and not use parts of Wally West's Flash to make up the plots. At some point in the series they should introduce the speed force since that's where all the DC speedsters get their powers from. In the case of the Flash's Rogues Gallery they shouldn't skimp on using costumes. I know they don't like using them in the TV shows but in this case if they don't they'll look like punks with fancy gadgets. Also if you're going to use Professor Zoom at some point, don't use him in vain like the other series did.

    If they do everything right with this attempt at a series then perhaps we can hope to see them include Jay Garrack the original Flash, Kid Flash, and Impulse somewhere in the future.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:56 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    Don't forget Professor Zoom. Introducing the Speed Force would give us the Reverse Flash as well, right? I'd be disappointed otherwise.

    Since you know the character, doesn't this description seem like a set-up to introduce Mirror Master in the pilot?

    "On Arrow, Barry Allen (Gustin) is a Central City assistant police forensics investigator who arrives in Starling to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past."

    FWIW and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 11:26 AM, dctuff60 wrote:

    though i maybe alittle older, i always thought tv was susposed to be fun. some people have way to much time on their hand and live in a glass house, pebbles can take them down. enjoy or change the channel. i like the show can't wait for luke cage power man.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 12:13 PM, Kruptis wrote:

    CW is just keep going to keep doing spin-offs, but fail to do the spins-off that are needed. We'll never get a Manhunter. they've pretty much said during 'Smallville' years, that 'Batman'(even early when Bruce was traveling/training) is no go and they don't have writer in my opinion to attempt Wonder Woman. Yeah we are getting all character introductions, but I don't think they considered impact of the show(actors) will have movie protrayal if any of these characters are used again.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 12:40 PM, fanboyartist420 wrote:

    as Dave Chapelle would say, " Marvel is F****N' UP!!!!!" ( give us what the fans WANT...not what YOU WANT)

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 12:53 PM, unckendo wrote:

    If they want to do a DC superheroes movie they should base it on the Panic in the Sky crossover (not the original Superman TV series titled version).

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 1:18 PM, TheBeast22 wrote:

    face it, it's all about JL and The Avengers. It seems that CW wants to do, in one TV season, the same thing Marvel did over years and with 5 films. Big mistake for a number of reasons: (1) You won't get big name movie actors doing TV shows, so you'll have a bunch of lousy 2nd rate actors that won't do well on the big screen (the guy who plays Arrow is Ed Wood-level bad.) (2) Bad TV shows lead to poor movie sales, and even if it's a great, popular TV show, the movie can still bomb. (3) It's an all-in risky strategy which will either succeed, or guarantee that there will never be another JL film. In the case of the Avengers, Marvel had a number of films leading up to it, one of which was the Hulk, which was not so good. It didn't matter in the Avengers because the Hulk movie was off in its own corner. All the DC heroes are going to be introduced in this entangled TV mess that, unlike the Hulk film, can't be ignored. (4) There won't be as big a budget for fx for a TV show, so the heroes will look lame on TV. Will viewers go to a movie based on a promise of better fx?

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 1:31 PM, TheBeast22 wrote:

    Let me present a better game plan. First, build the diversity Marvel lacks in its films. Do a good Wonder Woman movie, it's long overdue. Do a good Green Lantern movie with John Stewart - it's time for an African-American superhero to have his own feature film (and no, Blade doesn't count). Second, take the talent that does the fantastic job on the DC animated films and put them in charge. Third, kill that DC Hour thing especially Go Teen Titans on Saturday am; with GL and SW gone it's just teaching future moviegoers that DC superheroes suck. Fourth, kill Batfleck in the next movie. Seriously. Batman's death could be the event that sparks the formation of the JL. The JL might even form initially to take Supes down after he's (apparently) killed Bats.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 2:41 PM, BrandX wrote:

    You don't need a single superhero to make SHIELD good--just use the other elements of the Marvel universe, like mentioning Hydra, AIM...or do an Atlantean episode without Namor, make it a show about a company polluting the ocean, (Hollywood loves environmentalism) how cool would it be to see a blue skinned guy with a bubble of water around his head?

    Or go to the Savage Land...Find a Moloid/Tyranoid and go underground...Find someone in Tibet that was lost from Kun Lun...Have a case that leads the agents to Latvaria where they see robot sentries walking the perfect streets...Why doesn't anyone wear a Shield uniform--ever? They had an episode with a strike force that just looked like SWAT. The show takes itself too seriously.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 2:55 PM, danee wrote:

    I loved Smallville and really like Agents of Shield even though I'm not a male 18 to 49. I never really did get into Arrow. Something about it threw me off in the first couple episodes and I've steered clear ever since. Waiting patiently to see what they do with Flash. Hopefully it can fill the hole in my DVR schedule ;)

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 6:59 PM, InvisibleZombie wrote:

    What threw me off about "Arrow" at first was that he wasn't simply green Arrow, though I'm used to them shying away from the protaganist's actual names and costumes. Second, those dad-burned CW ads ran for MONTHS before and after the premiere with Det. Lance calling him 'Robin Hood'. Nice way to confuse new viewers. It's like they go out of their way to disassociate the show with the original hero and comics!

    It does look like things are changing however. But they really NEED to get over this hump of heroes and heroes with super-powers co-existing. Just make it so. We accepted super-powers since George Reeves flew, trust me, we CAN handle it!

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 9:17 AM, Iris wrote:

    We had a "Flash" show years ago (complete with Mark Hammil). It was well done but cancelled after one season.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 11:40 AM, takeoutdog wrote:

    Any super hero with arrows is seriously outdated. Wont even watch the show the idea is so bad, the flash is way better BUT it cannot be cheesy and or will fail. The problem is who sponsors the project. Marvel? DC? = fail. They are sell outs and commercial and use bits and pieces of all their other char to make new char which is not original. You must go to the source to get that idea and they take ideas from others and change it, mess it up but because they block independents from bookstores they grew and work with studios now. Good thing RADIC is coming from Underground Studios (independent). I know the artist and its industry leading work and it comes from originality and not another artist`s blatant ideas. He said he will release in the summer next year. I am curious to see how much noise his story makes when studios are blowing millions and mediocre ideas and characters and beef it up with CGI with loads of unrealistic mistakes that would not be or happen (even in the created worlds). That happens when the creator is too far from the finished film and not controlling ultimate creative decisions.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 2:14 PM, misterfrost wrote:

    The only thing that matters is that they keep a strong continuity between the two. I'm not sure how the movieverse and TVverse will interplay with DC's plans..But in Marvels defense they've done pretty well at keeping both in sync..they just need to introduce some lower tier characters from the copmics, bring in some Hydra and AIM ties and qwuit writing plots for 5th graders and it would pick up.. I don't watch Arrow but have been keeping up with Shield..may check out Flash if it gets enough buzz..Been waiting 45 years for these characters to be given the proper respect and treated seriously..just keep it up..

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