/// How Many DC Comics Shows Are We Getting in the Next Couple of Years, Anyway?
There will be X-Men and Avengers constituents galore on the movie screens this summer, but there's only one Flash (well, actually there are at least four Flashes if you want to get technical about it). Production starts next week on the upcoming CW drama, but the model for the character's debut is remarkably similar to Marvel's big-screen success with the Kevin Feige -orchestrated “cinematic universe” movies, which are all semi-sequels to each other. Like Marvel's Iron Man, the CW's Arrow was a character expected to achieve modest success for a company busily trying to monetize what were perceived as more valuable assets (DC's Superman and Marvel's Incredible Hulk, respectively). But, like Iron Man, Arrow has seriously overperformed, and now the CW is looking more and more like a vital pipeline into the treasure chest of DC Comics assets that have mostly lain fallow as Marvel's movies have dominated summer after summer. The network, after all, had years of success with its soapy Superman drama, Smallville, and Arrow is now the CW's second-most-watched show behind The Vampire Diaries (its first season finished ahead of the CW's other flagship show, Supernatural). The show also does markedly well with men on a network that attracts mainly young women—the demo split is roughly 50/50 and the composition of the series reflects this, with power plays between female characters and costumed superheroics in equal measure.