Prequels and Building a Universe

To be honest this is more just thoughts on Smallville and concerns for Gotham.

Okay so I need to prefix this with a confession, I didn’t watch all of Smallville.
I mean I really liked the show, but it came out at an awkward time for me, I was just at the end of my teenage years and had my first computer, I was spending less time in the family room watching TV as a result.
I’ve always intended to go back and watch the entire thing, maybe that should be my next big TV show to binge on Netflix.

I basically watched the first three years of Smallville and various random episodes after that, now I enjoyed the show really I did but there was always a huge problem with the show for me, and if this is rectified later on in the series then forgive me but it was just tiresome to me how much of Superman’s rogues gallery appeared in the show.
I get it, for Superman fans the rogues are all familiar names and abilities, it gives you a whole host of bad guys to choose from so really you just pick a bad guy and make your story up from there, which is just a little lazy.
But to me, by establishing so many of Superman’s enemies so early in the show you essentially take the show out of sync with every possible continuity in the comics, now Clark met everyone in his childhood he can no longer meet a villain for the first time.
Additionally, making the Kryptonite the source of everyone’s power is also a weak move as far as I’m concerned, if everyone’s absorbed that much radiation from the Kryptonite that they’re mutating into meta humans, surely they should retain enough radiation to weaken Clark, but that’s not the important thing in this topic.
By the same measure, making Lex Luthor the best friend and antagonist of the show, he can no longer become Superman’s nemesis because he’s now seen first hand just what Clark is capable of, so when a grown up Clark Kent is bumbling around Lex already knows just how capable Clark is.
The same for Lois Lane, she’s established so any grown up meetings and secrets are harder to pass off.

Now the reason I am going on about Smallville is because Gotham is currently airing.
If you’re unaware, Gotham is essentially the story of Gotham City before Batman, with the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents being a recent event (ie: pilot episode material).
So far I have watched the pilot and we see a cat-woman like thief, a red headed girl named Ivy and a gentleman who gets a little bit murderous when called the Penguin.
Maybe Gotham is just throwing a few familiar names and faces at us to help us ease into the show, but I am just concerned that maybe they’re going to do the same as Smallville and have a decent volume of Batman’s enemies show up.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with cameo’s and nods to anything, but when we get what essentially amounts to a pre-origin story, I just dislike having too much of the soon to be thrown in our faces, granted Gotham is slightly different as it doesn’t deal with Batman directly, but it would just be nice if it could focus on Gangsters and hoodlums, with Gordon cleaning up the streets (or trying to) with one or two of Batman’s rogue’s being set up later.
The setting has great potential with a very film noir feel to it, but if it falls into the trap it just won’t work for me.
Additionally, a red headed girl named Ivy? Seriously, we all know Poison Ivy, eco-terrorist and occasional temptress, but her name is Pamela Isley, she adopts the moniker Ivy later on, maybe this is just a nod to our villain as she’s only listed for one episode so far, but I don’t hold my breath over it.

I do find it odd that a Gotham series was greenlit, with Nolan’s trilogy just ended and Dawn of Justice being promoted, Batman fans are everywhere in ever increasing numbers but those who loved Nolan’s films will find the show difficult to mesh with their trilogy, the show isn’t being made to fit into either film universe, so just seems a little out of place.
Now I could go off on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (big fan, btw), and I don’t think DC needs to do the same thing, but they are definitely doing the complete opposite, instead of building one unified universe telling interconnected stories, they’ve got three different universes (Arrow/Flash, Gotham and Dawn of Justice) which is great from a production standpoint as you don’t need to worry so much about continuity going across different shows, but when The Flash and Green Arrow show up in future films, it’ll start getting a little confusing for some folks.

As much as comic fans are used to reboots and different universes and versions of characters and situations, the TV and Film going public at large are not (Well, they are with the character of Batman, but that’s not the norm) and so a pre-origin story like Gotham, if they try to include too many rogue’s I just can’t see it going so well.
But I will watch the show and see where it’s going, it could turn out to be amazing, it’s just too early to tell yet.


I am Silent, part time programmer and full time narcissist, gamer, geek and man on a mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: