DC Vs Marvel: Who Is Winning The Superhero TV War?

10. DC's Early Superhero TV Shows: From Batman To Smallville

DC characters have been on the small screen for decades. As far back as the 1950's George Reeves featured as the man of steel in the popular Adventures Of Superman. But DC's most famous live-action TV series is the wildly camp but loveable Batman that saw Adam West and Burt Ward take on Batman and Robin for 120 episodes over three seasons. With memorable performances from Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman and Cesar Romero as the Joker, the Batman series was a major part of superhero TV history, even if was closer to the awful Batman And Robin movie in tone then Christopher Nolan's dark and dramatic Dark Knight trilogy. The 1970's followed with Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, another iconic DC character that ran on television for three years. While the 1980's was a bit of a wilderness for comic-based superheroes on TV, it came back in force in the 1990's with the first major attempt at a TV adaptation of The Flash, starring John Wesley Shipp as the speedster and Mark Hamill as the villainous Trickster. Both actors found roles in the new series of The Flash, Shipp as Barry's father and Hamill as the same character. But while this series ran for a single season, it was Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman that proved massively popular. It's villains were absolutely rubbish, but it was the chemistry between Dean Cain's Clark Kent and Teri Hatcher's Lois Lane that everyone tuned in for. Superman proved the inspiration again for another popular DC TV adaptation: Smallville. Focusing on early years of Clark Kent, it brought in many iconic heroes, from Hawkman to Green Arrow into its mythos as it ran for a full decade, one of the longest runs for a cult TV show at the time. Before the current phase of superhero TV shows, if you were to ask anyone what the biggest or most popular superhero TV shows of all time were, the chances are the 60's Batman, 70's Wonder Woman, 90's Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the 2000's Smallville would be high on that list.
Contributor
Contributor

A writer for Whatculture since May 2013, I also write for TheRichest.com and am the TV editor and writer for Thedigitalfix.com . I wrote two plays for the Greater Manchester Horror Fringe in 2013, the first an adaption of Simon Clark's 'Swallowing A Dirty Seed' and my own original sci-fi horror play 'Centurion', which had an 8/10* review from Starburst magazine! (http://www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/eventsupcoming-genre-events/6960-event-review-centurion) I also wrote an episode for online comedy series Supermarket Matters in 2012. I aim to achieve my goal for writing for television (and get my novels published) but in the meantime I'll continue to write about those TV shows I love! Follow me on Twitter @BazGreenland and like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BazGreenlandWriter

Discussion