The CW Doesn’t Need The Batman

Dark Knight News’ Chris Foti wrote a splendid piece last week detailing why the CW needs the Batman. He mentioned the similarities between Bruce Wayne and Arrow’s Oliver Queen, the benefits of at least mentioning him, and since they brought in Superman, why not bring in DC’s other big gun? A great read and a convincing selling point.

I however, disagree.

The CW doesn’t need Batman. Would we like to see him on the network? Of course, we would. The more Batman, the better. However, it isn’t needed and I don’t see a reason to bring him in. Below, I share my arguments.

Enough Heroes Already

Arrow. The Flash. Legends of Tomorrow. Supergirl. Black Lightning. Where in the world could Batman fit into this schedule? There is enough going on in the DC on TV universe that there just isn’t room for the Dark Knight. He’s the most popular hero and would require one hell of a story to do the character justice. There are enough heroes already, and the CW is thriving on them alone. Given that producer Greg Berlanti is juggling 4 hour-long shows (with a fifth on the way), how could anyone devote the time, and story, to this massive character that would serve him well? But, they did it with Superman.

Superman Did It

I haven’t watched Supergirl. I am well aware of the show’s first season name-dropping Clark Kent. Then in season two, that well-known character made appearances on the show. There’s no beating around the bush here. Superman was on the CW. Full suit. Full superhero. Classic Man of Steel. The character has also had a history of being on television, via George Reeves in the 1950s, Dean Cain in the 1990s, and Tom Welling (as Clark Kent) in the 2000s. Comics’ first mega superhero has made the transition to screen before, so why can’t his ally? It’s simple: he’s not as popular as Batman. I’m sorry, Superfans, it’s the truth. Box office results have proven that the Dark Knight is solely DC’s (and perhaps all superheroes) #1 star. Fans love everything Batman, and turn up for him in ways they never have for Superman. To put the Man of Steel on the small screen works well, and pleases the target crowd that are tuning in to these shows on the CW. There’s a reason Supergirl flew from CBS (major network) to CW (smaller network). Granted, he was limited to just 2 episodes, he fit in well in the Supergirl universe and could/should show up in future installments. Sadly, Batman can’t squeeze into the CW suit.

Batman is Too Big

Batman is big screen. There’s no way around it. Sure, he entered the public zeitgeist on television in the 1960s. Bruce Wayne is also on FOX these days in Gotham. Completely different situations. Batman was done cheap and as a comedy. Gotham is more about the city, with Bruce Wayne’s aging into the man he’ll become.

“But wait, isn’t that the same as Smallville?”

No. Smallville was ALL about Clark growing up in the town. Gotham is about the shaping of the city with Bruce wedged in here and there.

Back to Batman. Look at the impact of 1989’s Batman, The Dark Knight trilogy, and anytime Ben Affleck is mentioned. People have come to expect something big and spectacular with Batman (the #1 superhero). Warner Bros. are willing to spend more money, in turn making more money, on giving him the biggest stage possible. Sorry CW, you’re just too small.

Conclusion

To wrap this up, I have no issue with the CW’s DC shows. I’m a fan! I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Batman/Bruce Wayne show up somehow. I’d welcome it!

It’s just not going to happen, and the CW is just fine without him.

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Ryan Lower

A lifelong fan of the Dark Knight, Ryan Lower grew up far from Gotham in Indiana but has planted roots in Chicago. A writer for a T.V. station, he also enjoys brooding at home in his own batcave, devouring Batman comics, shows and movies.