The Comic Scene of 2016 in Review Pt. III (DC)

DC keeps it well stocked in the area of television with such shows as Arrow, Gotham, iZombie, The Flash and Supergirl. In fact, one may argue DC overstock as this year they premiered Legends of Tomorrow which ties in Arrow, The Flash & Supergirl. In addition, coming to the table last year was also Lucifer and The Preacher.

Arrow ended its fourth season this past May with over 2 million viewers on its final episode. Arrow would go on to debut its 5th season in the fall of 2016 with over 1.8 million viewers. Though not a huge drop, it is still noticeable. Arrow did have an intriguing run through 2016 with the debut of obscure DC characters like Ragman & The Calculator and other creations like Shadowspire and Demolition Team. Though numbers do not lie the show is dropping as only its main base is staying behind. Further in this is how the Complete Fourth Season box-set came to DVD & Blu-Ray in late August selling over 15,000 DVD copies and over 11,000 Blu-Ray copies for a total consumer spending of just $958, 732.

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The Flash on the other hand wrapped its second season this past May with over 3 million viewers on the season finale, to pick back in the fall of 2016 with over 3 million viewers on its season 3 debut as they kickoff with their own version of DC’s Flashpoint, nonetheless the numbers have been dropping since. One of the biggest draws of 2016 for Flash was the directorial debut in the series from filmmaker, comic book writer, commentator and fan boy Kevin Smith. Near the end of 2016 is our new speedster force Salvitar which has created countless internet memes, just go to Google or Facebook you don’t even have to try. On top of this is the ever growing collection of Barry screwing over the timeline memes. Whereas the somewhat soap-ish and somber Arrow is dwindling The Flash is chugging along fine. The Flash also did great when the Complete Season 2 box-set came to DVD & Blu-Ray. Unlike Arrow which only charted its first week of release, Flash Season 2 stayed charting for an entire month. By the end it had sold over 86,000 DVD & Blu-Ray copies combined, bring in over $2.9 million from consumer spending.

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iZombie the lesser known CW show based off of the comic of the same name from DC’s Vertigo also seems to be in a world of hurt. Its season two ended last April with 1.22 million viewers on its final episode. Although the CW renewed it for a third season back in March of last year, the show just premiered its third season this month of April, unlike the usual fall premiere of a show. The Complete Second Season came to DVD in July but failed to chart. However, iZombie finally available on Blu-Ray for both seasons as it was added to the Warner Archive Collection, a service putting previously unreleased catalogs of material to disc for consumer demand and made to order. Apparently, fan demand for it was huge. Lastly the show did manage to win a Leo Award, a British Columbia film and television industry since 1999 for Best Make-Up in a Dramatic Series.

Supergirl wrapped up its series debut season last May with over 6 million viewers on the season one finale. In 2016 they managed to bring us Bizarro and The Black Mercy, a throwback to the great Superman story For The Man Who Has Everything by critically acclaimed Alan Moore. They even managed to cross-over The Flash in an episode. Season 2 would premiere in the fall of 2016 bringing us her cousin to the show, Superman played by Tyler Hoechlin. The Supergirl series and the arrival of her cousin who plays a more traditional Superman in comparison to the one in the DCEU has caused a rift amongst fan throughout 2016 due to some backlash towards the Henry Cavill Superman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Interestingly enough, though the show debuted on CBS in 2015, in 2016 it made its way in home of CW along with their sibling shows of Arrow & The Flash. Nonetheless, Supergirl has proven to be a success as its main star Melissa Benoist won a Saturn Award for Breakthrough Performance of 2016 and went on to be nominated for several more. Meanwhile it managed to sell over 40,000 DVD + Blu-Ray copies for a total of more than $1.3 consumer spending. Not The Flash numbers, yet an improvement over Arrow.

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Next we come to Gotham, which seems to be a take it or leave it show for most. Like most shows, it season 2 came to an end in May with over 3.6 million viewers on its season finale. The second season was something of a fan service or tribute to villains with notables such as Dr. Hugo Strange & Mr. Freeze. Yet, season 3 premiered in the fall of 2016 and debuted with over 3.9 million viewers on its first episode. Not huge increases mind you, but an increase nonetheless mind you, which is usually not the case between season finales and season premieres among viewers. Season 3 seems to be still pulling in numerous rogues such as The Mad Hatter for example. The Complete Season 2 box-set came to DVD & Blu-Ray in August but did almost no better than Arrow, only selling a total combined 28,000 + units and bringing in over $928,000 in consumer spending.

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In January The CW premiered its superhero team-up crossover show known as Legends of Tomorrow, a spin-off featuring characters such as Firestorm, The Atom, Hawkman, Hawgirl, White Canary and more with even villains such as Captain Cold and Heatwave in a time-traveling adventure. It’s average viewer-ship was over 3 million. The pilot was lauded but overall people have been critical of the show, even die-hard fans of the other shows like Flash. Nonetheless, it got a renewal last March and premiered its second season last fall to 1.82 million viewers, just a 2% drop from the season 1 finale. The first season did come to DVD & Blu-Ray in late August but with abysmal sales of less than 18,000 units barely charting and raking in a little over $500k in consumer spending. Concept wise the show sounded and seemed exciting but may not be exactly paying off, or just a one-hit wonder kind of deal.

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Another premiere in January of 2016 was the show Lucifer on FOX, based off a character created by Neil Gaiman in Sandman who later got their own spin-off series on DC’s Veritgo imprint. The average viewership of the first season last year was over 7 million. Season 1 ended in April with over 3 million on the season finale. However, season 2 began in September with over 4 million, an 11% increase. The first season met with mixed reviews but is holding up better in its second season now.

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Finally, last May was the premiere of Garth Eniss’ & Steve Dillon’s creation under the Vertigo Imprint – Preacher, being broad-casted by AMC. It is based off of a truly beloved comic that opened to much love and acclaim from the critics. Before its season finale in July, the show was already renewed for second season in May. The viewer ratings dropped over its small 10 episode season of 2.38 million to 1.72 million by the finale, bringing its average viewer-ship to 1.6 million.

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As I mentioned before it seems DC is almost too overstocked on T.V. shows. The Flash and Supergirl seem to be in good hands, Gotham is raising no red flags. Arrow and iZombie are slowing down, Legends as I said earlier a possible one hit wonder. Meanwhile, shows like Lucifer and Preacher, too soon to say for sure but are off to a great start. Even if one or another gets axed DC has plenty to offer everyone it seems.

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