I’ve had a Nightwing animated series set in my head for YEARS now that pretty much takes Chuck Dixon’s run as a foundation mixing in stories and elements From Seeley’s run, then adding little small bits from other writers like Higgins, and from there adding in my own stuff. The series would also build Nightwing’s rogues gallery since he really only has Blockbuster and taking some inspiration from Beware the Batman in that sense cuz the only good thing about that show was the lesser known villains being made cool, formidable, and entertaining.
The show I’ve been quietly agitating for at least since Legends of Tomorrow provided an excellent name for it is an anthology/tryout series, where lower-budget costumes and virtual sets (to keep the costs from skyrocketing) give us stories running from one to six episodes for characters that haven’t been given the spotlight in a while or new characters. I think of it as a win/win situation, where we have a decent chance of seeing almost any character in a leading role, while DC Entertainment gets rapid feedback on which characters might be interesting enough to the audience to become a regular on an existing show or a lead on a new show. It’d also be entirely possible to just do an occasional nostalgia-driven show, like taking any of the TV Crisis on Infinite Earths cameos and giving the characters a full episode to catch up with how things have changed.
The problem, of course, would be the aforementioned budget. You need to keep everything cheap enough so that the production isn’t sinking tons of money into a costume that’s never going to be used again and it’d need to hire actors who are willing to take a very short commitment, but also be potentially available for ongoing work.
That sounds a bit like First Issue Special, a 70s comic series that gave us Travis “Warlord” Morgan, and that probably wouldn’t be a bad title for what you describe. A year ago I would’ve said that it’d be a great 13-episode summer show on The CW, or a recurring 8-episode feature here on DC Universe, in both cases as something I’d keep my eye on. These days it’d probably be headed toward HBO Max, and I reserve any comment on that.
I have several ideas I would like to share. Several I have shared in the past. So here goes:
The City Beat- think “Powerless” but set in the city room of the Daily Planet. You’ve got Perry White who has no concept of an inside voice, Jimmy Olsen with his secret crush on Lois Lane, Lois who tries to outdo everyone else and has a subconscious resentment of her sister who she feels is her parents favorite. And Clark Kent, who never seems to be around when aliens attack or supervillains act up. There would be several other characters, mainly reporters, though other heroes would make cameos every now and then.
Gotham Beat- About a police precinct and the cops who work in it in the worst part of Gotham City sand how they have to deal with Joker gas, alligator men from the sewers, freeze rays and the urban myth of a Batman.
The Neighbors- about the people who live in the apartment building next to the Justice league HQ and how they deal with the fallout of supervillain attacks and or just the everyday of living in the same neighborhood as superheroes. A lady will be too timid to order fish at the butcher shop because Aquaman is on line behind her. A hot blonde is certain she sees a bat shadow looking in her window some nights. Or the block parties where all the men vie for Wonder Woman’s attention.
Mercy- about a young woman fresh out of business school and working in Metropolis, her mother is always trying to set her up with a doctor, her roommate is always late on the rent and her boss, Lex Luthor, is trying to kill Superman and take over the world.
Roomies- A young woman moves to the big city and answers an add to share a spacious two bedroom apartment with Diana Prince, Dinah Lance, Helena Bertinelli or Kara Danvers. She’ll write her mother letters mainly telling her that she believes her roommate might be a prostitute due to the boots she wears. She will mistake the killers who come to the apartment are her roommates dates and mistake real superheroes for cosplayers.
Cat- Selina Kyle has just arrived in Gotham City after having running away at the age of thirteen. As she scouts out the city and gets the lay of the land we see flashbacks to her past, her single mother murdered when Selina was ten, how Selina lived on the streets of Gotham running with a gang of kids stealing. Until they stole from the wrong man and most were killed. Selina stowed away aboard a ship carrying a circus to Europe and lived with the circus for years learning from acrobats, contortionists and aerialists. We also see how she became an infamous art and jewel thief in Europe until forced to flee to the States. In Gotham she will form an alliance with Eddie Nigma, a small time hustler but a computer genius who helps her pick out her targets and bypass their security. She keeps hearing stories about a Bat stalking the city, but ignores them as she must avoid the Penguin, Falcone Family and anyone else who would force her to work for them or kill her as she has a contract on her head from Europe.
Mage- Zatanna is a famous stage magician, but also a powerful sorceress. Something has gone wrong and beings from another dimension are entering our world. Working with Constantine, Fate, Circe, Phantom Stranger, Swamp Thing and others she must protect the Earth from all sorts of dark beings.
Q- The Question is that faceless man you seek out when you are beyond desperate. he is your last hope when you or someone you care about is victim of a dark deed that escapes the notice of the regular heroes. His world is dark, grim and gritty and he sees the worst of humanity, and once finding innocence will protect it with his life.
Oracle- is the internet callsign for an information broker who only deals with superheroes, Law enforcement agencies or the media if she feels it will do the most good. Telling them the secrets criminals and corrupt businesses don’t want getting out. In the meantime she acts as a dispatcher and operations coordinator for the Bat Family, directing Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, Robin, Batgirl (Cassandra Caine), Spoiler, Batwoman and Batman to where they need to be.
Those are some ideas for now. Probably have more later.
Your idea for Zatanna (Mage) could be merged with mine pretty easily, I think, to make a real corker of a show. Those “beings from another dimension” could easily be an effect (intended or otherwise) from Zatara’s curses.
And I think that your Question show would work quite well in live action. In fact, it’s actually the first show idea I’ve seen (including those actually announced and/or being produced) that might just draw me to HBO Max, if they did it there and set it in the DCEU. The Q title is also a great idea – intriguing, at the very least.
This is the best idea!
I’d love to see a limited series that tackles 52.
I think my name gives away my answer for this one…
While yes, it would go through the whole Under the Red Hood story motion to start the series off, but once that happens we could get Roy Harper and Starfire, and while we have already seen them on screen, we could also get an on screen Artemis and Bizarro, which I think would be neat. Maybe even another Talia Al Ghul… maybe even Tim Drake… I think it would give some characters either another appearance and some first time ones. Yes, I know that Red Hood has been gaining more content over the last couple of years (and us fans want more), but if there can be multiple versions of Batman, Dick Grayson, and The Joker, then why not the other Robins? Think about it.
Also, live action Batman Beyond would be cool too.
I agree! The Arrowverse really needs a magic show. My vote would be for Zatanna but DC has so many great magic characters they could use.
I have a few that I think would be interesting
- A Batman series that adapts Batman’s comic from the post crisis continuity. Each season is a major Batman story line. It would go something like this.
Season 1: Batman Year One mixed in with stories from Legends of the Dark knight and The Man Who Laughs, Season 2: Long Halloween and Dark Victory Mixed Together, Season 3: 70’s Batman Stories mixed with Robin and Batgirl Year One, Season 4: 1st half is Dick leaving to become Nightwing, 2nd half is Jason becoming Robin, Season 5: The Cult, Season 6: 1st half is Killing Joke and Death in the Family Mixed Together, 2nd half is solo stories and concluded with A Lonely Place of Dying, Season 7: Robin and Batman solo stories with Azrael introduced, Season 8: Hush, Season 9: Knightfall Saga, Season 10: No Man’s Land.
Animal Man-A meta show in the same vain as Doom Patrol, but pokes fun at filmmaking and studio’s, Maybe can be animated to be more true to the book and add to Morrisons metatextual themes.
Green Lantern/Green Arrow-A more modern take on what Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams did in the 70’s given a modern day flavor with current issues.
Sound like a good idea. They’d get to play with everyone and see what sticks.
Batman Beyond would be awesome.
What a wonderful set up for a show! I love the Adam Strange part as well.
A Swamp Thing Spin-Off starring Blue Devil. Picking up where the Swamp Thing finale left off, would feature Dan Cassidy on the road being drawn to strange and supernatural occurrences (a homage to his old “weirdness magnet” element of his original series) with Phantom Stranger popping up to help guide and advise him as he helped people in trouble.
Yep. And Showcase, before that, which launched Barry Allen as the Flash, the Justice League, and plenty of ideas that (relatively speaking) flopped, but are still great to have around. And I 100% agree that Warlord would be a great fit for something like this.
These are great! I especially love the ideas for comedies. Would you have the characters in these shows figure stuff out as it went on, or would the plot be more along the lines of “The Office,” where the “mundane” world was exciting enough for them?
I always thought a “history” show might be interesting in which a team of scholars investigate various artifacts and architectural structures and during the investigation we learn many facts about the state of the current DC universe. Time travel may be used but i think it might be more interesting if it is more of a procedural. It also gives us a chance to see some of DC’s historical characters such as Golden Gladiator or Viking Prince.
A House of Mystery anthology where the host (Cain?) would tell us stories of unusual events that happened to people. Some of the events happened in this world and some may have happened on other worlds in the multiverse. They should be incidents that happened on the side so to speak. They do not involve major players in the DCU and may or may not have future consequences.
Science Police a special unit of geniuses working for STAR Labs or the government to take on mad scientists and techno terrorists.
Life on a space station that serves both as a way station for heroes and others traveling on to other worlds and occasionally as a first line of defense against alien invasions. More of a lighthearted comedic tone. Could feature some of DC’s more science fiction oriented characters like Space Cabby, Star Hawkins or Star Rovers in recurring or guest star roles.
Thank you. And to answer your question, in “The City Beat”, which would be like “Powerless” I would not want the characters to be completely clueless. They just wouldn’t know where to look. Case in point Jimmy Olsen would go to Clark Kent every time he suspected someone new of being Superman. But we might have Lois Lane discover the truth as a season one closer. Now “Gotham Beat” (I should change the name) will be like “The Office” a camera crew spending a year in a Gotham City police precinct. These guys never actually meet Batman, only come upon crime scenes after he is done.
The reason I prefer animated is that television never seems to truly capture the right spirit. I have seen too many great ideas for DC shows converted into teen or young adult dramas.