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DC Comics news: "The Flash", Kevin Smith's '66 crossover, and Batman's TV slate

TV's latest DC superhero!

Full costume for The CW's "The Flash" series revealed!

The pilot for the spin-off of The CW's successful DC Comics adaptation "Arrow" is filming for a shot at being picked up in late 2014 or early 2015. The series will star Grant Gustin as police investigator Barry Allen who is transformed into a super-fast hero via a freak science accident; the character recently appeared in the second season of "Arrow". A head shot of the mask was previously revealed, but today media outlets from Newsarama to even the New York Post got a scoop of the full suit. Another shot of the suit, with more light, has since emerged on Facebook.

The costume was designed by three time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, who also designs the costumes on "Arrow". Unlike the leads for both "Smallville" and "Arrow", who seemed to desperately hide the fact that they were costumed superheroes, "The Flash" embraces these roots. Could this be due to the fact that DC Entertainment's chief creative officer Geoff Johns is a well known Flash writer? Although the network has yet to officially order a full season of "The Flash", it's historic success with TV shows based around DC Comics characters (it's two for three with only "Birds of Prey" from 2002 being the dud) suggests it is extremely probable.

In additional news for the pilot, Patrick Sabongui ("Fringe", "Almost Human") has been cast as Central City police captain David Singh. He's a fairly recent comic book creation who has become a regular supporting cast member in the "New 52" version of the character from 2011.

DiDio & Giffen reunite for a Jack Kirby franchise reboot!

DC Comics have canceled several series lately, and naturally that means new launches are on the horizon. Among them is a revival of "Infinity Man and the Forever People", written by Keith Giffen and DC Comics' co-publisher Dan DiDio, with artwork by Scott Koblish and Giffen. This is the same creative team behind "O.M.A.C.", one of the initial (and unsuccessful) original launches of the "New 52" era from fall 2011. This relaunch is set to debut in June.

Much like "O.M.A.C.", these characters were originally created by Jack Kirby during his "Fourth World" era with DC Comics which gave birth to characters such as Darkseid and the cast of New Genesis in the 1970's. Debuting in "The Forever People #1" in 1971, the series followed five young "new gods" from the planet New Genesis who attempt to fight Darkseid and have the sorts of wild adventures that old white guys in the 1970's imagined teenagers had. With names like "Beautiful Dreamer", "Big Bear", "Mark Moonrider", "Serifan", and "Vykin", the most notable element is the fact that all five of these characters would call out a catch phrase and merge into one gestalt hero, named "Infinity Man". Incredibly, such a key detail would later become famous from Japanese "sentai" shows as well as American imitations in the 90's (such as "Captain Planet and the Planeteers"), but this predated all of that.

Even among Jack Kirby's "New Gods" characters, this group are quite unknown. Their most notable adaptation in another media was showing up in an episode of the first season of Cartoon Networks' "Young Justice". Apparently, characters such as Donna Troy or Cassandra Cain are considered too toxic to work in 2014, but a franchise which hasn't seen its' own series since 1988 and was originally based around Jack Kirby's vision of what hippies in space would be like is more relevant. In a market where even "Superman" comics struggle for sales, it will be interesting to see how well this flies or fades.

Kevin Smith organizes DC Comics/Dynamite Comics crossover of "Batman '66" and "Green Hornet"!

Well known film director, producer, writer, and all around comic book fan Kevin Smith marks his first return to DC Comics since 2010, when the last issue of "Batman: the Widening Gyre" shipped. Best known for "Clerks", he began writing comic books themselves after the success of "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy" in the late 90's. His most notable runs were on "Daredevil" in 1999 as well as a fifteen issue run on "Green Arrow" which put the character on the map for the first time in years. Since then he's gone back to DC Comics for some "Batman" mini-series over the years, and has since found work writing "Green Hornet" and "The Bionic Man" for Dynamite Comics.

He returns to DC Comics to write a twelve issue digital-first series called "Batman '66 meets the Green Hornet", alongside co-writer Ralph Garman and iconic artist Ty Templeton. This will run concurrently with the usual "Batman '66" digital comic written by Jeff Parker which dabbles in the adventures set in the universe of the 1966 TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. As the title states, this story draws inspiration from the famous (at least to fans) 1966 crossover episodes between "Batman" and "Green Hornet", which starred Van Williams as the titular masked hero and a young Bruce Lee as the kinetic Kato. Unlike the intentionally campy "Batman", "Green Hornet" was attempting to play things straight, but aside for interest in the amazing martial arts skills of Bruce Lee, it was fading in the ratings. A last ditch effort to aid the series was to have the pair have a brief cameo in "The Spell of Tut" as well as to actually meet, fight, and ultimately unite with the dynamic duo in the "Batman" episodes "A Piece of the Action" and "Batman's Satisfaction", which aired in 1967. The villain of the piece was Colonel Gumm, a pink themed counterfeiter played by Roger C. Cormel. Both Smith and Garman want to use Gumm again, but as DC Comics don't have the rights to Cormel's likeness, the villain will be "disfigure[d]" and will be promoted to "General Gumm".

The comic debuts digitally on May 21st, and will ultimately be reprinted in paper form later on in the year. After decades of legal wrangling between Warner Brothers and Fox, a DVD release of the original 1966 "Batman" show will be released later this year.

Batman rises on Fox and falls from Cartoon Network!

"Gotham", the DC Comics based TV show set to air on Fox in 2014-2015, is moving along swimmingly after it got a full season order from the network. Fox's official website has revealed the show's logo as well as a press release about the show's focus and cast of stars. It merely confirms what it already known; it stars Ben McKenzie as the young cop James Gordon as he seeks to investigate the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne in a corrupt city ruled by gangsters and oddball criminals.

Meanwhile, Cartoon Network has announced their programming slate for 2014-2015 which reveals that "Teen Titans GO!" will return for a second season, while the CGI animated "Beware the Batman" is still absent from the network without being officially confirmed as canceled. The show debuted in July 2013 and earned solid, but average, ratings before being yanked in October. Since then, DC Comics' tie in comic was canceled and a blu-ray release of the first half of the show's season included two episodes which had yet to air; some fifteen episodes remain on the shelf. There is also no word on the future of the entire "DC Nation" block, which after the cancellation of "Young Justice" and "Green Lantern: the Animated Series" seems to be a shell of itself.

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