Comics On TV

Say Hello to the New Faces of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl

Kirk Acevedo, Odette Annable, Adrian Pasdar, and Neil Sandilands are just a few of the new cast members invading the Berlantiverse this year.

by | October 12, 2017 | Comments

The new season of The CW’s superhero shows – colloquially known as “The Berlantiverse” in honor of executive producer Greg Berlanti – has finally arrived and with it a number of new characters from the endless library of DC Comics characters. Since the first season of Arrow, Belanti and fellow EPs Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg have delighted themselves, and fans, with their deep pulls from the DC library, and with each year, the additions become more and more surprising for fans of obscure DC characters.

Let’s take a look at some of the new these new faces who will have a major impact on Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow this season.


Supergirl: Morgan Edge

Adrian Pasdar on Supergirl; Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (The CW; DC Comics)

In the third season premiere of Supergirl, Morgan Edge (Adrian Pasdar) first appears as a construction tycoon who aided National City in rebuilding after the Daxamite attack. But his seeming altruism was immediately questioned by Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) and James Olson (Mehcad Brooks). In retaliation for CatCo’s critical view of his role in town, he threatened to buy the company. The move, had it been successful, would’ve brought Edge closer to his comic book counterpart.

Created by Jack Kirby in the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133, Edge was the president of the Galaxy Broadcast System and owner of Metropolis TV station WGBS. In his first appearance, he was tied to Metropolis crime organization known as Intergang (itself tied to perennial DC bad guy Darkseid), but it was soon revealed he was merely a crook posing as Edge.

He eventually bought the Daily Planet and transferred Clark Kent to WGBS, where he became on on-air reporter and news anchor. Though often critical of Superman, Edge was friendly with Kent and other members of the WGBS news team; rarely appearing as more than a modern corporate version of Perry White.

Following the 1985 reboot of DC’s mainstream universe, Edge remerged as a true antagonist making a deal with Darkseid’s lacky DeSaad and building up a new version of Intergang. He was eventually exposed by Cat Grant and Clark Kent, but reappeared every so often to create trouble for Superman and his friends. One of his last jobs before DC rebooted their universe again in 2011 was as an anti-Kryptonian media pundit. He also funded the Superman Revenge Squad, a move the Pasdar version will no doubt make as his conflict with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) becomes personal.


Supergirl: Reign

Supergirl comic; Odette Anabele on CW's Supergirl (DC Comics; Bettina Strauss/The CW)

But Edge wasn’t the only antagonist introduced in this week’s episode. Odette Annable’s seemingly innocent single mother has a surprise in store for herself and everyone in National City: She’s the Kryptonian worldkiller known as Reign.

A relatively new addition to the cannon, she first appeared in 2012’s Supergirl (Vol. 6) #5. Aided by three other worldkillers – humanoid bioweapons designed by Kara’s father Zor-El – she confronted Supergirl in the remains of Argo City demanding answers about her creation. Having no knowledge to share, Supergirl fought her to a standstill; both in Argo City and on Earth. With the worldkillers close to defeat, Reign withdrew from the planet while warning Kara that her group were not the only worldkillers in the galaxy.

It is unclear if the show’s version of Reign will also be the product of Zor-El’s work or part of that strange Kryptonian cult we saw at the end of season 2. What is clear is that she shares her comic book counterpart’s lack of understanding about herself. Based on her few scenes in the season 3 premiere, Reign isn’t even aware that she’s Kryptonian.


The Flash: The Thinker

Neil Sandilands; All-Flash comics (Andrew Toth/Getty Images; DC Comics)

Responding to criticism, the producers of The Flash chose to move away from speedsters as Barry’s (Grant Gustin) major opponent in season 4. Instead of the Black Flash or another member of the Thawne family, Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) and his supreme intelligence presents The Flash with a new challenge: strategizing instead of outrunning.

DeVoe first appeared in 1943’s All-Flash #12 – Flash fact: There was never an actual The Flash #1 until 1987 – wherein we learned he was a district attorney who turned to alcohol and eventually providing alibis for the Keystone City mob. He eventually used his great intelligence to become the leader of the mob, adopting “The Thinker” as his moniker, before being stopped by Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash.

The two would become arch-rivals with DeVoe turning to science to outsmart Garrick. One of DeVoe’s most important devices was his Thinking-Cap, which allowed him to project his mental energies. After making Keystone City and its inhabitants disappear for decades with the Thinking-Cap, it eventually gave him cancer. In an odd twist, Garrick offered to help find a cure, but DeVoe chose to die instead.

In the modern DC Universe, The Thinker is an unnamed inmate at Belle Reve prison. His incredible intelligence forces his body to prematurely age and is willing to offer his services to anyone who can provide him with a new body immune to aging.

Beyond the visual similarities to the current Thinker, it remains to be seen how much of the character’s comic book past will inform Sandilands’s version of DeVoe. It is possible they both share an intention to fix everything The Thinker sees wrong with humanity. But whatever his plan, it’s clear he needs Barry Allen in circulation to do accomplish it.


Arrow: Richard Dragon

Richard Dragon comic; Kirk Acevedo in 2016 (DC Comics; Dave Mangels/Getty Images)

While Barry faces the brain of DeVoe on The Flash, Arrow’s Ollie (Stephen Amell) will be pitted against the brawn of Ricardo Diaz Jr. (Kirk Acevedo), the Berlantiverse version of DC Comics’ favorite martial arts instructor Richard Dragon. Intended to cash in on the kung-fu movie craze at the time, the character debuted in Denny O’Neil’s 1974 novel Dragon’s Fists. O’Neil brought him to comics in the pages of the fabulously named Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter series for DC. Across the novel and the series, Dragon fought alongside eventual Bronze Tiger Ben Turner for an organization known as G.O.O.D. and trained the assassin known as Lady Shiva. After the series ended, Dragon became a supporting character in O’Neil’s 1980s series The Question and appeared in other titles whenever a character needed to learn martial arts. Shiva eventually enticed him to join the competitive fighting circuit even as he tried to atone for previous sins.

The New 52 version of the character more closely resembles his Arrow counterpart. Debuting in Green Arrow (Vol. 5) #23, Richard Diaz Jr. was the son of a Seattle crime boss Oliver and Diggle defeated sometime in the past. Wanting back what his father lost, Diaz trained under a man named Richard Dragon, eventually killing him and taking the name as his own. Returning to Seattle, he began to unite the disparate crime elements in the city.

Considering Diaz stole the name from another Richard Dragon, it leaves one to wonder if the other version of the character may show up on Arrow at some point. Executive producer Marc Guggenheim has made no secret of his love for O’Neil’s Question and the original Richard Dragon was a big part of that book. If he shows up, maybe he can teach Oliver and thing or two about fighting Diaz. Maybe he’ll even bring The Question with him.


Legends of Tomorrow: Isis

ISIS, JoAnna Cameron, 1975; Justice Society of America: Black Adam and Isis (Courtesy Everett Collection; DC Comics)

But not all the new additions are aligned with comic book–style evil. Though she’s yet to appear, there will be a new Legend aboard the Waverider this year: Zari Adrianna Tomaz. According to early descriptions of the character, she is a hacker from 2046 with plenty of anger toward the Legends’ management of time. When Zari debuts on Legends of Tomorrow, it will be something of a homecoming, as the character she was loosely based on began in that medium.

Created by Lou Scheimer, Norm Prescott, and Richard Rosenbloom for the mid-1970s television series The Shazam!/Isis Hour, Andrea Thomas (JoAnna Cameron) was also known as The Mighty Isis, whose half-hour adventures shared a timeslot with DC’s Captain Marvel; a character whose copyright situation is so strange, he’s mainly known as Shazam these days. She also appeared in a licensed comic book published by DC Comics at the time.

While The Mighty Isis disappeared from television screens, DC created their own Isis during 2006’s weekly series 52. In honor of the television character, she was named Adrianna Tomaz, but had a very different life from the one Andrea Thomas enjoyed. Tomaz was introduced as an Egyptian refugee bought by Intergang as a gift for the ruler of Kanhdaq, Captain Marvel’s archfoe Black Adam. Finding the notion of enslaving a woman intolerable, he punished the Intergang representatives and freed Tomaz. She immediately began to criticize his governing of Kanhdaq.

But instead of punishing her, he listened and began to change his outlook on the world. Recognizing her as a possible reincarnation of Egyptian Pharoah Hatshepsut, he convinced Captain Marvel to confer on her the powers of Isis. The pair began to alleviate some of the suffering they encountered in the Middle East and eventually fell in love.

Unfortunately, such relationships are hard to maintain in superhero worlds. Isis would suffer a tragic death and two difficult resurrections before the entire DC Universe rebooted in 2011. Following the reboot, she was spotted as a protestor-turned-resistance fighter in a US-controlled Kanhdaq.

It remains to be seen if Zari will eventually exhibit any of Isis’s powers. In fact, it is somewhat surprising a character so closely related to Shazam! would not be held in reserve for the upcoming feature film, but even without the powers of Isis, Zari still shares the Tomaz penchant for calling out injustice and striving to correct them. Or at least, that’s what publicity surrounding the character would have us believe.

Of course, these are only a handful of characters you can expect to see debut this year in the Berlantiverse. In the weeks and months ahead, fan favorites like Ralph Dibny and obscure villains like Kilg%re will get their moment to shine as the each of the four shows continue to adapt these wonderful DC Comics characters. Maybe one of them will even become your new favorite.

Tag Cloud

2016 talk show Musicals Kids & Family The CW 2015 golden globes aliens streaming TNT DC streaming service Emmys USA binge crossover Nat Geo dramedy 24 frames VH1 Dark Horse Comics Polls and Games Super Bowl Marathons Trophy Talk TV CBS All Access Fantasy Trivia green book Western adventure Christmas Creative Arts Emmys Pop APB FOX X-Men cooking television BET Pirates Ellie Kemper E3 Star Wars Paramount Reality Competition Masterpiece Character Guide Bravo Nominations CNN ratings FXX Paramount Network science fiction Disney TruTV Superheroe Lifetime comiccon TCM Apple Action finale Certified Fresh New York Comic Con crime Netflix Spring TV Sundance Now E! what to watch technology discovery social media historical drama DirecTV Infographic Sneak Peek Fall TV BBC America OWN See It Skip It Winners serial killer Martial Arts Summer YA Trailer Biopics SundanceTV Photos DC Universe period drama TLC biography VICE Rocky spy thriller cults sitcom Showtime political drama BBC Acorn TV crime drama Amazon DC Comics dceu Disney Channel justice league National Geographic Music Sundance Quiz TBS American Society of Cinematographers Ovation GLAAD SXSW zombie award winner diversity TV Land composers YouTube Red Cosplay Warner Bros. Grammys Britbox CMT spider-man police drama Interview A&E Countdown Ghostbusters Crackle supernatural Cartoon Network Sony Pictures President festivals psycho mutant CW Seed transformers Logo Drama Set visit Election First Look vampires Year in Review CBS 007 Awards Writers Guild of America war cops Musical Animation Horror TCA 2017 Holidays Shondaland singing competition Tomatazos Star Trek dc 2019 Awards Tour IFC Films Esquire Food Network Box Office Walt Disney Pictures sports cinemax Song of Ice and Fire History Chilling Adventures of Sabrina docudrama Rock NBC comic Universal Lucasfilm Mystery Comedy AMC zombies travel FX PBS 2018 Reality HBO Spike Opinion cats blaxploitation Fox News Syfy IFC SDCC NYCC GoT WGN Mary Poppins Returns Teen Tumblr Starz Shudder San Diego Comic-Con Hulu Lionsgate harry potter Epix Best and Worst Country hist robots Mary poppins ABC Family Red Carpet jamie lee curtis medical drama boxoffice Comics on TV ESPN TCA Winter TV MTV Freeform anime Schedule doctor who MSNBC The Arrangement GIFs 21st Century Fox politics Columbia Pictures Superheroes Oscars Adult Swim Mary Tyler Moore TIFF unscripted 20th Century Fox El Rey Premiere Dates thriller 45 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Nickelodeon romance ITV Toys Watching Series YouTube Premium Thanksgiving Valentine's Day Marvel Calendar Sci-Fi Pixar Mindy Kaling Podcast Comedy Central ABC LGBTQ USA Network PaleyFest Comic Book crime thriller based on movie Extras 2017 RT History Video Games Rom-Com