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

FOX The Academy Rocky Trophy Talk Western natural history 2018 Sundance TV laika crime thriller Marvel Studios Women's History Month Marvel Television mockumentary richard e. Grant universal monsters talk show Avengers Lifetime Musicals canceled TV shows Cartoon Network Super Bowl news SXSW Awards spy thriller 45 TCA 2017 sequels TCA romantic comedy TLC Song of Ice and Fire The CW Alien halloween tv Nickelodeon spinoff stoner Film Festival movies teaser festivals Pop Masterpiece VH1 documentary Hallmark Amazon Studios chucky zero dark thirty french PaleyFest asian-american remakes CBS sag awards emmy awards Disney Plus Netflix Christmas movies Lionsgate A&E Lifetime Christmas movies Nat Geo Pirates Adult Swim Crunchyroll cancelled TV shows Columbia Pictures Disney+ Disney Plus south america YA The Walking Dead Year in Review Comics on TV deadpool football Family Toys Superheroe medical drama halloween Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 4/20 diversity TV renewals Holiday game of thrones theme song nbcuniversal Travel Channel TruTV 2015 ITV singing competition hispanic Nominations Countdown Schedule Britbox Sneak Peek 20th Century Fox Warner Bros. concert Pixar Classic Film Television Academy Superheroes social media CMT toy story television Heroines Hulu cancelled zombies dceu Baby Yoda Cosplay Reality Competition harry potter italian true crime films vampires Vudu USA obituary Podcast Peacock The Arrangement tv talk Awards Tour cars HBO twilight japanese quibi Lucasfilm Action Marvel SDCC space Music CNN WGN Mary Tyler Moore streaming series Chernobyl 2020 Mary poppins Tumblr Rocketman dragons based on movie Dark Horse Comics cinemax comiccon MCU YouTube indie indiana jones award winner Pride Month foreign cancelled TV series Discovery Channel DirecTV Set visit worst war Spectrum Originals supernatural reviews Rock 71st Emmy Awards Endgame travel Sony Pictures festival sitcom Turner Classic Movies facebook IFC Films game show 72 Emmy Awards romance NYCC Apple TV Plus kids toronto Fox Searchlight Grammys 2019 Quiz Logo cartoon Country Star Trek Amazon Prime Horror Creative Arts Emmys Tarantino Spike mission: impossible ratings Writers Guild of America 007 Turner Christmas Syfy psycho History Pop TV Netflix Tomatazos Premiere Dates revenge Shudder Mary Poppins Returns GoT 99% Amazon Prime Video Character Guide Black Mirror anime criterion TIFF renewed TV shows Mudbound Funimation President CBS All Access NBC rotten movies we love National Geographic Amazon elevated horror Election Marathons TNT BAFTA crossover Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt E! OWN Trailer adventure screen actors guild boxoffice BET Awards book TV Land Holidays miniseries RT21 sequel Starz 2017 scary movies Oscars Pet Sematary ID police drama critics cults San Diego Comic-Con LGBT Black History Month nfl GLAAD MTV Paramount Network spanish language child's play joker Sundance period drama robots Fox News archives green book Hear Us Out Star Wars cops HBO Go all-time stop motion screenings psychological thriller Drama Biopics cats Sci-Fi latino animated Valentine's Day crime movie Comic Book casting X-Men cooking PlayStation Stephen King sports IFC rotten scorecard Certified Fresh Tubi werewolf Apple Emmy Nominations Mystery Interview video Sundance Now Disney Channel FXX free movies Trivia science fiction Best and Worst Kids & Family Anna Paquin Infographic Rom-Com finale blaxploitation TCA Winter 2020 First Reviews Shondaland Fall TV Brie Larson 21st Century Fox DC Comics docudrama rt archives Bravo thriller 2016 Watching Series reboot australia unscripted classics christmas movies crime drama slashers Showtime Mindy Kaling American Society of Cinematographers Comedy Freeform Epix dark ghosts E3 First Look Comedy Central Disney streaming service Red Carpet HBO Max Fantasy OneApp The Witch what to watch TCA Awards Captain marvel versus Arrowverse Winners boxing composers DC streaming service A24 FX BBC political drama USA Network Box Office Elton John VOD Winter TV SundanceTV Summer Reality Cannes blockbuster FX on Hulu james bond Musical Food Network a nightmare on elm street New York Comic Con Film golden globes satire YouTube Premium Esquire Disney comedies YouTube Red Acorn TV jamie lee curtis Animation Ghostbusters die hard Martial Arts WarnerMedia 24 frames Television Critics Association dogs CW Seed Ellie Kemper name the review APB venice transformers El Rey comic books VICE TCM directors worst movies Hallmark Christmas movies hist BBC One Ovation DGA TV batman biography Calendar fresh Apple TV+ nature dc spain spanish Photos historical drama Paramount BBC America TBS AMC Video Games Extras Spring TV witnail breaking bad technology Thanksgiving video on demand strong female leads Walt Disney Pictures aliens DC Universe fast and furious See It Skip It PBS RT History Opinion ABC Family hollywood cancelled television adaptation Binge Guide spider-man Universal BET dramedy comic mutant children's TV justice league documentaries best canceled Teen serial killer doctor who superhero The Purge discovery anthology politics Emmys parents Polls and Games zombie MSNBC disaster franchise ABC independent comics binge black stand-up comedy LGBTQ ESPN GIFs Academy Awards Crackle