It’s time for more comic book TV! Longtime readers know John Constantine from his first appearance as an obnoxious Swamp Thing ally and/or as the star of his own mature-readers DC/Vertigo series that ran for 25 years before it was canceled and replaced by a more mainstream version ready-made for super-hero crossovers. Too many movie viewers first knew him as the focus of just another failed Keanu Reeves vehicle, whose high point was Tilda Swinton as a creepy angel. The new John in NBC’s Constantine is basically Dr. Strange on zero hours’ sleep wearing Harvey Bullock’s clothes. Regardless, the cunning yet selfish antihero has been handled by so many great writers over the decades, shown in so many states of mind operating in so many peculiar ways, that this pilot had no chance of pleasing all the people all of the time.
With Community, Revolution, and Almost Human cancelled, I’m finding myself with extra holes in my schedule for the fall 2014 TV season. Mind you, I’m not interested in watching three hours’ worth every night. Even two-hour TV time blocks make me a little edgy and take time away from other activities (e.g., MCC, sleeping). Apparently I’m in luck — four of the five broadcast networks are launching new fantasy/sci-fi series geared for anyone who’s not interested in crime-drama franchises. (The fifth network, CBS, boasts a lineup whose star rookies will be their third NCIS and their fourth CSI. Yes, really. Not making these up. At most, both should handily restock the internet’s dwindling supply of CBS punchlines.)
But what’s a guy like me to watch? Oh, decisions, decisions. The networks released previews this week for the following newcomers, a few of which are based on comic books from my collection: