Too Many Heroes?

It started with Smallville.

I watched every episode of all ten seasons and when the show ended in 2011 I needed another superhero to fill the void it had left in my TV schedule.

Luckily, The CW, the same channel that had aired Smallville, came up with that void filler in the form of Arrow which began in 2012. I wasn’t overly keen on this replacement at first because I liked my superheroes with, well, superpowers and the Green Arrow, just like Batman, had none. But I gave it a try and, while it was never going to be Smallville, I found it entertaining enough to watch every week.

I was more excited when I heard about The Flash, an Arrow spin-off which premiered in 2014. Yey, a superhero with superpowers! It became the Smallville replacement I wanted, complete with “freaks of the week” that Clark Kent used to battle in Smallville. Only, Barry Allen called them metahumans instead. I loved it and wasn’t surprised when it became The CW’s top rated show.

I was happy: I had Arrow and The Flash to keep the geek in me satisfied, not once but twice a week. Then came another entry in what would come to be known as the Arrowverse, Legends of Tomorrow. The second spin-off boasted an ensemble of less known DC superheroes, including The Atom which is played by Brandon Routh who I was delighted to see don another supersuit. He, of course, had played Superman in Superman Returns. That made it three superhero series. Still manageable.

In 2014, Fox premiered the Batman prequel series, Gotham. I have already mentioned that I am not a big fan of non-superpowered superheroes and Gotham was not a part of the Arrowverse but I tuned in for the first few episodes anyway. However, I could not keep up; my TV schedule was just too heavy! Or so I thought.

CBS succeeded where Fox had failed in convincing me to add another superhero in my weekly TV diet when it introduced Supergirl to the small screen. Superman is my favourite superhero but a Superman TV series was never going to happen (because of rights and other issues that the powers that be like to get themselves entangled in). And so Supergirl was the next best thing. I just had to watch it. I did and I wasn’t disappointed, especially when the great Superman himself appeared in a few episodes. The geek in me rose to another level.

But that’s not the end of the story. CW introduced yet another superhero this year in the form of Black Lightning. I was intrigued, even though I knew next to nothing about this particular hero and the producers had stated that it was not part of the Arrowverse (though teasing that it might be in the future). I watched the first episode, not expecting much. The show had a more serious, more adult and darker tone than the other CW superhero shows but I have stuck with it. Thank goodness for catch-up TV, that’s all I can say.

Krypton, a Superman prequel series, premiered on SyFy on 21 March 2018. Despite its connection to my favourite superhero, I was not tempted to watch it. I do not have the time for another show. You can have too much of a good thing. And I have not even mentioned Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Agent Carter, Daredevil, SHIELD and many others.

The TV ratings might be telling the TV channels, “More! More! More!”. But I say, “Enough already.”