After years of superhero films dominating the box office, this Autumn sees the Hero craze dominate TV, with 6 series coming to our screens. In a new in-depth piece for Variety covering the rise of Superheroic TV, both Marvel and DC have made interesting comments for and against tying TV and the big screen together.

Unsurprisingly given their massive success with it so far in Cinemas, Marvel are all for the shared cinematic universe. Maurissa Tancharoen, executive producer on Agents of SHIELD, points to the unity of vision behind having all of Marvel's live-action properties linked lending a weight to every properties actions, whether they're on the Big or Small screen:

The fact that it is one universe means that when something occurs on our show or a character makes a turn, it ripples through the entire universe, which gives it much more weight. It adds the seal of approval of all those other cinematic franchises.


But at the same time, Tancharoen highlights that such connections also offering a curse as much as they offer blessings - pointing to the fact that Agents of SHIELD's first season struggled to find itself before being allowed to build on The Winter Soldier's shocking revelations about Hydra. As long as Marvel's movies are making the money they do, TV projects like SHIELD and Agent Carter will ultimately always be beholden to the ongoing arcs of the films.

DC on the other hand, arguably performing much better on Television than they are at the Box Office thanks to the critical and public success of Arrow, argue that standing alone makes much more sense for them, with Geoff Johns adding that:

We want to give freedom to creators… so that they can take their passion [and make] the best show, the best film, the best game without having to tie it into other things. Yes, it's got to be adapted and expanded, whether it goes from TV to comics or comics to film, but the DNA of it is always true.


It's an understandable approach for DC. Unlike Marvel, they don't have as wide a Movie universe to build up on (yet - after all Batman V. Superman will kick off a lot of their crossover ideas when it releases in 2016), and realistically, with DC's slew of properties on TV being spread over multiple networks - The Flash and Arrow on The CW, Gotham on Fox, and Constantine on NBC - any meaningful collaborations and crossovers would largely be impossible. But as Johns notes, the lack of the need to tie into the ongoing bigger picture gives them a lot more freedom to play around each individual property, and allow for each show to offer their own interpretation on DC's vast stable of Characters - see how, for example, Arrow will be offering its own take on Ra's Al Ghul, different from the Nolanverse Batman villain played by Liam Neeson.


It's very interesting to see each companies approach to the idea of a Shared live-action universe - and it'll be even more interesting to see how it all plays out over the Fall. As comic book fans, it's perhaps ourselves who stand to gain from having all these awesome shows on air.

Read more from Variety's insightful article at the link below.


You're reading Toybox, io9's new blog for all things pop culture. From merchandise to awesome fan creations, TV recaps and critical commentary on the hot topics of the day, you can find it all here!