With "Arrow," the DC Universe Is Taking a Bad Turn

The CW hit Arrow is about to take a darker turn. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-creator Andrew Kreisberg said the next series of episodes -- which kick off on Feb. 26 -- will feature "great big villains, one after the other." Smart move, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

He isn't the only one who thinks so. Arrow is finding a fan base by regularly exploring new areas of the DC universe. Recent introductions include the beginnings of the government-sanctioned villain team known as the Suicide Squad, and Spartacus' Katrina Law as the assassin Nyssa al Ghul. Still to come is the return of the Huntress and the all-woman team known as the Birds of Prey.

Each wrinkle adds to the drama on Arrow while increasing the odds that Stephen Amell's hero will need help. Which, in turn, increases the odds we'll see Kreisberg and co-creators Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti use the show to introduce new heroes and villains. Think of it as a staging area for Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) to test the veracity of new live-action DC projects,Tim says.

There's plenty to like about the strategy. Consider the buzz for The Flash, a forthcoming pilot spun out of the two highest-rated episodes of Arrow's second season. Actor Grant Gustin is to play DC's scarlet speedster, and initial reports suggest he'll face some tough foes right out the gate. Precisely what fans and Time Warner investors should want from the show -- and from Arrow, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe Warner's efforts to develop the TV side of the DC Cinematic Universe will pay off at the box office? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

Stephen Amell stars in Arrow, which returns from a brief break on Feb. 26. Credit: The CW/Warner Bros.

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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 February 09, 2014, at 5:22 PM, moffitflemming wrote:

    The real bad turn is the headline. From the headline it looks like you don't like the show's direction!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 6:13 PM, venom1000000 wrote:

    I agree...the headline is a bit misleading.... Love the show, and I'm looking forward to The Flash...this season has been hitting it out of the park with every show....Keep up the good work!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 6:27 PM, criksuz wrote:

    Would love to see Stephen Amell join cast of characters on the big screen as well as the small screen. Keep up THAT continuity. :)

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 8:26 PM, phreejak wrote:

    You had to know that this particular headline would be misleading and not very clever. Something more along the lines of "With Arrow, the DC Universe is Taking a Good Turn from Being Bad". At least it would get the point across instead of you sounding like a mark.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 8:39 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @phreejak,

    >>Something more along the lines of "With Arrow, the DC Universe is Taking a Good Turn from Being Bad".

    Thanks for writing but, are you *sure* you want to call this a better headline? Because, if so, you're at least implying that Arrow was bad and might be getting better. Perhaps that's what you meant.

    Regardless, I'm all for constructive criticism so if anyone else has a better headline for me I'd love to read it and document for next time.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 8:53 PM, RVLADY wrote:

    I do not like Arrow at all. We do not live in a comic book world. The way they change his looks all time is stupid! The actor is a very good looking man & deserves a better roll then Arrow!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 9:25 PM, mac2j wrote:

    The show has continued to improve throughout its run - it's probably the best thing DC has going right now.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 9:47 PM, maineiacle wrote:

    Well, I guess I can start watching the two seasons that I've downloaded now. Initially I found the show boring for the specific reason they are now adding real villains and heroes. It was just another show about a guy that shoots arrows fighting corporations and petty thieves. Reading they have had so many good characters on makes me want to catch up. Super heroes NEED super villains

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 9:58 PM, Bigfuzzy666 wrote:

    How much does Marvel pay you folks to take a hot steaming dump on DC every chance you get?

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 10:17 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @Bigfuzzy666,

    >>How much does Marvel pay you folks to take a hot steaming dump on DC every chance you get?

    <Buzzer sounds.> Wrong.

    Look, I'm all for constructive criticism, but this fails every test. Mostly because it's just flat wrong. I've been writing glowingly not only about "Arrow" but also efforts with "The Flash". Find this weekend's piece here:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/08/the-flash-s...

    Now is criticism of DC and Warner sometimes warranted? You bet, and I think the same is true of Marvel. Two more recent examples where I criticized different areas of each company's strategy:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/01/how-foxs-go...

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/05/07/marvels-hug...

    Sorry to go off on a rant, but I couldn't let that one stand.

    Thanks for reading and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 12:14 AM, rojo wrote:

    To the person who wrote "we don't live in a comic book world". No kidding. I watch TV to escape reality, and be entertained.

    How about a headline of "Best Abs On TV!!"

    Tim... nice job with Arrow. Only getting better with each show. I'm a fan.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 12:45 AM, mikey10rules wrote:

    I am 34 years old and been a Green Arrow fan since i was 6 and i believe they are doing a great job with the show it is dark and moving along very well. I do find it more intresting than Agents of shield and i enjoy bot marvel and D.C comics .

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 12:51 AM, IloveLinux wrote:

    Deathstroke is coming along. Caity Lotz as Black Canary. She's pretty but not very believable. Batman would have been great or Lady Shiva. I know they want to stay away from superpowered characters but Dr. Fate is so cool. Arrow shows what can be done with decent writing.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 2:56 AM, MaxStyx wrote:

    I think ARROW is increasingly getting better...and worse. I love the show's save-the- city themes and the lovely portrayal of the-then CEO of Queen Consolidated Black African Brit Walter Steele (Colin Salmon)---Moira's (Susanna Thompson) new husband---as the well-respected morally upright business man who stands by Moira, and even encourages her to become mayor.

    However, he is no super hero, and neither is John Diggle (David Ramsey)---the supposed bodyguard of ARROW and secret partner protecting the city. Unfortunately, I am getting that old 1960s feeling that racism is alive and well on ARROW, especially when a black is portrayed ad nauseam as a subservient character to the white male lead. And even when he is "brought" into the fold of secrecy, he still has no super powers. Oh, yeah, and when he is giving some super powers or skill, white male show writers have him Michael Jai White aka "Bronze Tiger" (Ben Turner) leave or end up in a prison cell.

    If they want to have a good show they can continue in this same manner. but if they want a GREAT SHOW, they need to borrow the word from Fool.com---RESPECT. This site asks us to be respectful with our comments, but the show ARROW yet DISRESPECTS and yet again AD NAUSEAM portrays black American, Latino, and Asian males as criminals or subservient to white males on the show.

    Little boys of Asian, black American, Latino, and Native-American Indian descent are watching ARROW....and supporting the show. Nevertheless, they race is being negligently or intentionally portrayed is the worst manner. It is rude, racially insulting, and creating great hate for white people in all three communities, in fact in every nonwhite community in America and throughout the world.

    This is the 21st century, and there is no excuse for this continued racist practice of portraying nonwhite American men and women as racially inferior to the white characters on the show. Yes, it is understood that the male lead is a white male character, but if the show is going to inject other superheroes then the show's creators, SHOULD BE RESPECTFUL OF THE NONWHITE RACES (fans) watching ARROW.

    And if they are not, then all nonwhite men and men of America in school and in the professional world should make it their personal decision in life to immediately stop watching the TV ARROW; refuse to buy any ARROW comics, and in fact boycott any and everything that bears the ARROW name, indefinitely.

    Furthermore, black American, Asian American, and Latino American actors and actresses should boycott the show if the white writers continuously portray nonwhite American people as villains and subservient roles on the show ARROW.

    And let us not forget, that RACE, always plays a part in multiracial American TV shows, especially when you racially invade and occupy a nation that never belonged to you.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 5:40 AM, camtidwell wrote:

    I am not against having a Black or Asian superhero. However, Arrow is this show Super Hero and he should not be competing with other Super Heroes on the side of good. Everyone on the show cannot have super powers. Even the supporting cast with enhanced power ae not as good as Arrow. This is a TV show, not a quota situation.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 8:08 AM, jyebrown wrote:

    I've loved the show from the beginning and it has only gotten better. I do feel the story line involving "The Flash" could go on a little bit more as I enjoyed seeing his character on the show. Adding more DC superheros and super villains to the show is a great idea, i'm rooting for DC to have a great movie on the big screen that's equal to what Marvel puts out. My favorite superheros are mostly from the DC Universe. Great job on Arrow guys keep it up. Now let me comment on @MaxStyx; I can feel what you're saying regarding the multiracial issues with this show and most shows on tv for that matter, without people like you mentioning this situations like this will never change. Hopefully, one day in the not-to-distant future we will have an African american/asian American/Latino American superhero on tv that white america will tune in to watch. Keep that conversation alive MaxStyx!

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 8:12 AM, Slyackles wrote:

    The headline this guy used is what got me reading this article. And Maxstyx, look up the character Onyx. She's part of the Green Arrow universe. I'm waiting on that character myself.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 11:53 AM, Paddlinpals wrote:

    I really do not see this as a bad idea. I think is going to build viewers and get people interested in the DC Universe, which has suffered from too many diverging story lines over the last 30 odd years. All the Batman lines and movies, Smallville (although great), and the Superman franchise have done nothing to provide any continuity ala Marvel. Most younger viewers are going to be meeting and learning about some of these characters for the first time and fans have been waiting for the return of the Birds of Prey for years The biggest way that this could all go wrong would be if the story lines created here and in any potential spin offs are ignored or overwritten in the movies AND if the actors from TV do not appear in the films.

    The other thing is, if you are going to develop a Justice League film, it can't be all Superman and Batman, so the audience has to know who Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and the rest are or they won't care enough to go see it and unlike the Avengers, it would be impractical to do so many "origins" films, so develop them on TV.

    PS I agree that Flash, after two episodes on Arrow, may not quite be developed enough to stand on his own. Maybe a couple more team ups would help sure it up.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 7:44 AM, Aldirick wrote:

    DC is taking the series in a very different path than the comic book. In the comics, Green Arrow is the counter balance to the other heroes, the one who tells them they are going towards an edge and need to rethink what they are doing. This Arrow, he is nothing like that, he has killed, he has sat back and watched a city crumble around him while he sought to finish his singular mission.

    Also, the use of bigger bad guys, yes they demand back up and more people to help him stop them, but it also takes away from the main character. Case in point, who is the main character in the novel 'War and Peace'? There are so many characters it is hard to tell who the main character is. Black Canary is back, a former lover before the ship wreck, so you can count her in on helping. Huntress, she has a bone to pick with Oliver, and not in a good way either, and he himself may want to even scores as well.

    If nothing else, they are trying to see how edgy they can make the show before the people who follow the comic complain. This is not a story like Smallville where the back ground is fluid, this is the creation mythos and progression of the character that is cataloged in the comics. Yes they do reboot and retell those stories, but this one may have stepped over the line one too many times for the comic book fans that like a solid detailed history.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 8:40 AM, Hoser003 wrote:

    I do not think Warner Bro./DC's efforts in T.V. will translate to better box office for their cinematic portrayals. There are a couple of reasons why.

    1) Fans of the show will not necessarily flock to see a movie adaptation of the same character if it is NOT the same actor/actress in the same world. In fact, the opposite could happen. Fans of the show may NOT see the film because its not the same cast.

    2) You run into the same problem that Marvel is having with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that is that what happens in the show happens in the movies, so how do you keep the show AND the movie(s) enter-twined and entertaining without painting them into a corner by pigeon-holing them into what has been done in the other.

    3)Not all actors/actresses are able to carry a movie franchise. Just because an actor/actress has had, or currently has, a successful TV show, doesn't mean they can carry a movie franchise. Any actor/actress that has worked in both TV and Movies will tell you that the two styles of filming are extremely different.

    4)Sallville and Superman Returns. Smallville, while it had its ups and downs for seasons, still ran for 10 seasons and ended on a pretty high note series wise. Superman returns did not profit from Smallvilles success at all. Why? Because the large amount of the TV show fan base are also comic book fans and they would see a movie regardless. While there is a percent of show fans that no nothing about the comics and don't care too, they are not going to go see a movie about the same character that has no connection to the show they know. The fans of Smallville that were Superman fans were going to see any Superman movie that was released. The fans of Smallville that were only fans of Smallville didn't care about seeing a completely different version of their show's characters.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 9:54 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Great comments, everyone. I'll weigh in with further thoughts later today.

    Thanks much and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2014, at 9:46 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @Paddlinpals,

    Thanks for writing.

    >>I really do not see this as a bad idea.

    My apologies if the headline made it seem as if I think the darker turn is somehow going to be bad for the story. To the contrary; I see the direction the writers are taking as excellent for the development of the character and the DC Cinematic Universe.

    >>PS I agree that Flash, after two episodes on Arrow, may not quite be developed enough to stand on his own. Maybe a couple more team ups would help sure it up.

    You could be right. It's certainly fair to say that the writers have thus far only teased The Flash. And yet, given how they've done with Arrow, I'm willing to suspend disbelief here.

    Also: I think the strategy helps break the awful cycle of reinvention that seems to plague all comics-themed TV and movies. Do we really need a Flash origin story in the pilot when we have a version of it in Arrow? Use the pilot to begin developing the hero as we get to see more of Barry Allen.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2014, at 9:55 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @Aldirick,

    Thanks for writing.

    >>This Arrow, he is nothing like that, he has killed, he has sat back and watched a city crumble around him while he sought to finish his singular mission.

    And it cost him, dearly, which is why he's such a different character in season 2. To me, that's good writing and character development.

    >>... this one may have stepped over the line one too many times for the comic book fans that like a solid detailed history.

    Hm. Well, as one longtime reader of the Green Arrow comics -- one of my most joyous moments as a young collector was picking up the mini-series from the 1980s, and then watching Mike Grell turn the Longbow Hunters into an ongoing series -- I'll say I don't think the creators have stepped over the line at all.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2014, at 10:03 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @Hoser003,

    >>You run into the same problem that Marvel is having with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that is that what happens in the show happens in the movies, so how do you keep the show AND the movie(s) enter-twined and entertaining without painting them into a corner by pigeon-holing them into what has been done in the other.

    Good point, and this may be a bigger issue for Warner than for Marvel and Disney. Why? Warner is a studio that licenses IP from DC and then develops it. Marvel Studios is a distinct entity that controls the entire lifecycle when it comes to developing IP.

    Also: Marvel has a master committee of executives from the comics, studio, and TV divisions who coordinate and check in to ensure to no one is planning a story that would materially harm or alter the efforts of writers in another division.

    >>Smallville and Superman Returns. Smallville, while it had its ups and downs for seasons, still ran for 10 seasons and ended on a pretty high note series wise. Superman returns did not profit from Smallville's success at all. Why? Because the large amount of the TV show fan base are also comic book fans and they would see a movie regardless.

    OK, but it's also more complicated than that. Remember that "Smallville" wasn't "Superman" because DC and Warner were embroiled in a rights dispute with the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman's creators. Those suits have now ended, so Warner is free to start treating onscreen Superman as similar to the one we all know from the comics.

    Lesson: legals spats and rights holders can sometimes get in the way of continuity and crisp storytelling.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

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