The only constant in comic books is there is no consistency. Major characters like Superman have been killed and then brought back to life. Thor is now a woman. Original stories have been revamped.
Network television shows based on comic books are no different. Because there have been so many changes, here’s a capsule look at what has been going on that should help you keep your characters straight.
“Arrow,” 8 p.m. Wednesdays, CW Network (Channel 59.1): The end of last season left the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) without his support team. Both John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Thea Queen (Willa Holland) have given up their superhero ways and Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) was killed.
“We do look at this season as a bit of going back to our roots. And when we come into the season, Oliver will still be out there fighting crime on his own. He will also have taken up the mantle of the city’s mayor. So we’re going to be exploring both him as a hero, both in a very kind of traditional sense as the mayor, and also as the Green Arrow,” says Wendy Mericle, “Arrow” executive producer.
Help will come in the form of Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), a vigilante introduced in his own comic book in 1987. In the seventh episode, Vigilante will join the battle. The version joining the show will be the one created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1983 for “Teen Titans” annual No. 2.
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” 8 p.m. Thursdays, CW Network (Channel 59.1): The first season ended with Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) and Hawkgirl (Clara Renee) flying off into the sunset. The team had already lost Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), who sacrificed himself for the group.
Also, Rex Tyler (Patrick J. Adams), better known as Hourman, arrives to give the group a warning about getting back on the Waverider. The new season opens with the team traveling through time and Hourman nowhere to be seen.
“Flash,” 8 p.m. Tuesdays, CW Network (Channel 59.1): The season opener revealed the aftermath of the Flash (Grant Gustin) going back in time to stop the Reverse Flash (Rick Cosnett) from killing his mother. One change is the introduction of Kid Flash (Keiya Lonsdale) but the fate of that character is on hold. The first appearance of Kid Flash was in “The Flash” No. 110.
Executive producer Andy Kreisberg says, “ ‘The Flash’ picks up with Barry living in this new version of events and having to deal with both the benefits that that’s produced for him and also some of the costs.”
There has been one new supervillain added in The Rival (Todd Lasance), another character with super speed. The Rival was introduced in “Flash Comics” No. 104.
“Gotham,” 8 p.m. Mondays, Fox (Channel 26.1): Along with a large group of new villains, including Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel), potential Batman foe Poison Ivy gets an age upgrade as Maggie Geha takes over the role.
“In the spirit of ‘Suicide Squad’ of teaming up villains, putting them together, having them be a more powerful force by combining them is something that we are definitely doing in Season 3,” says Ken Woodruff, “Gotham” executive producer.
The character of Vicki Vale (Jamie Chung) has also been added. Her first appearance was in “Batman” No. 49 back in 1948.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” 10 p.m. Tuesdays, ABC (Channel 30.1): The two biggest changes are the addition of Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) and S.H.I.E.L.D. has a new leader known as the Director. Jason O’Mara is playing the new boss.
Ghost Rider has been in comics since 1972 when he first appeared in “Marvel Spotlight” No. 5.
“Lucifer,” 9 p.m. Mondays, FOX (Channel 26.1): Look for some mommy issues on the comic book series with Lucifer’s mother now in the mix. Tricia Helfer takes on the role.
“Supergirl,” 8 p.m. Mondays, CW Network (Channel 59.1): The season opener introduces two major characters.
“We ended last season with a mysterious pod crashing in National City. Obviously, the identity of the person in the pod is now confirmed as Mon-El. And, you know, in the premiere, a threat is going to arise that’s going to require Supergirl and Superman to team up,” says Kreisberg, who is executive producer of “Supergirl” as well as “Flash.”
The addition of Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) is huge because it looked as if that character would be off-limits because of the DC Comics movies.
Also look for Miss Martin, played by Fresno’s Sharon Leal, to join the show.