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DC Comics news: Wally West returns and TV updates for "Gotham" and "Constantine"

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The latest in fleet footed DC Comics news from January 11th - 13th, 2014!

Wally West returns to DC Comics in April!

Debuting as the sidekick Kid-Flash in "The Flash #110" in 1959, Barry Allen's cousin Wally West gained similar speed powers as his mentor and would become a founding member of the "Teen Titans" team in 1964. At the end of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in 1986, West made comic book history by becoming the first sidekick of a superhero to take over the mantle of his mentor. He would serve as DC Comics' main Flash for over twenty years, and current chief creative officer Geoff Jones became well known for writing his series. He stepped aside a bit when Barry Allen was revived in "The Flash: Rebirth" in 2009-2010 and would eventually be erased from reality in 2011's "Flashpoint", which gave birth to the "New 52" universe. Despite having legions of fans as well as being one of few major superheroes to marry a woman of color (his wife, reporter Linda Park, is an Asian-American), DC brass insisted on keeping Barry front and center in virtually every effort aside for the Cartoon Network "Young Justice" animated series, which ended last spring.

However, 2014 will apparently be the year where DC Comics' editorial board will bow to the wishes of fans and return some beloved characters to their universe. Former Batgirl Stephanie Brown will return in the weekly "Batman Eternal" series coming up, and in an article for USA Today, it was revealed that Wally West would be reintroduced in "The Flash Annual #3" in April. The annual will be written by the new creative team for "The Flash", writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen and artist Brett Booth, who take over from Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato as of issue thirty. This is in addition to the character getting his own TV show on The CW this fall after a successful spin off of the second season of "Arrow". Considering how much of DC Comics' news seems to be depressing, one hopes that this will bring some much needed optimism to the comic book line and its' fans.

"Gotham" trucks on at Fox and "Constantine" gets pilot order at NBC!

Back in September, it was announced two more DC Comics adaptations were coming to network television; "Gotham" starring a young James Gordon at Fox and "Constantine" featuring the former star of "Hellblazer" at NBC. The last update about either was back in December, when it was confirmed that Bruce Wayne would appear in "Gotham" as a child, fresh off the murder of his parents.

Deadline has confirmed the previous statements about "Gotham" - that it stars a younger James Gordon and a twelve year old Bruce Wayne - but that it will also feature younger versions of other iconic Batman villains. Riddler, Catwoman, and the Penguin will also appear in the series as the show will reveal, "how they get to become what they are as Gotham is teetering on the edge". Usual "pre-Batman" depictions of Gotham City showed it as a city ruled by mobsters and those they bribed in government, and to that degree the Penguin - a.k.a. disgraced blue blood Oswald Cobblepot - makes sense. Selina Kyle is a thief who should be roughly Wayne's age, and Riddler will be a wild card. Interestingly, there seems to be no attempt to imitate the 1989 "Batman" film by linking the Joker to organized crime as well. The "operatic soap with a larger than life quality" is being run by Bruno Heller ("The Mentalist") with a pilot directed by Danny Cannon. Fox did air a previous DC Comics related show, "Human Target" for two seasons in recent history, so their choice to leap on a Batman related show was a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, NBC has decided to order a pilot for "Constantine" after all. Based on the supernatural detective John Constantine (formerly the star of "Hellblazer" before joining the "New 52" properly), the series will be run by "The Mentalist" producer Daniel Cerone and writer David Goyer. It is worth a mention that a pilot order is not the same as a full series order; back in 2011, NBC ordered a pilot for a "Wonder Woman" TV show produced by David E. Kelley which starred Adrianne Palicki which filmed but was ultimately dropped. Pilots for TV shows which don't get picked up happen all the time, but those of comic book adaptations tend to get more attention. Considering comic book related shows are working well for ABC, The CW, Fox, and even AMC, it does stand to reason that NBC would want a piece of that pie.

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