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Are 'Gotham' and other comic book TV shows just a fad?

The cast of the upcoming FOX series 'Gotham'
The cast of the upcoming FOX series 'Gotham'
Credit: FOX

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Comic book adaptations have been dominating the box office this year. "Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America,” for example, are the top grossing films of 2014 so far. But can action heroes capture audiences on the small screen? editor Abraham Riesman says there's a simple explanation for the recent trend of comic books on television.

"If you got a cash cow, you milk it wherever you can," he says. "And that means television is being colonized by the people in Spandex. It really runs the gamut from truly fantastic to utter garbage." 

Two new shows that run the spectrum this fall are "Gotham" on Fox and "The Flash" on CW

Riesman is optimistic about "The Flash" 

"In this television incarnation, he's kind of a teen Andrew Garfield-y type. It's not high art — we have yet to have our superhero version of 'The Wire' — but it is really fun. It is colorful. It's fast-paced. To be honest, 'The Flash' franchise is so filled with delightful, weird villains that that's what I'm looking forward to — not to sound like too much of a geek, but seeing the rogues gallery pop up. You've got guys like Mirror Master, Weather Wizard..." 

Riesman isn't sold on Fox's "Gotham"

"I'm kind of sick of origin stories. Especially with something like Batman. Anybody who has been vaguely sentient and conscious for the past 20 years... knows the basics of the Batman-mythos. But, you know what makes this different is that 'Gotham' is going to be a Batman story without Batman and the focus is on cop who will later become Commissioner Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie. So it's an origin story, but really it's just kind of an excuse to milk franchise characters." 

Fox's "Gotham" premieres on September 22 while The Flash debuts on October 7 on The CW. 

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