Comic Book TV: New Beginnings, Emotional Finales, and Everything In Between

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals several plot details for all of the featured shows, so make sure you are up to date with the latest seasons of each show before reading!

Every year, the start of the fall season brings the return of television shows, both new and old.  Some favorites among the CHC community are the Archie Comics-based Riverdale, the latest superhero show Batwoman, and other DC programs like Supergirl, The Flash, and the concluding Arrow.


Beginning its fourth season on The CW, Riverdale has seen its fair share of twists and turns, bringing with it plenty of controversies.  Inspired by Archie Comics, Riverdale uses the same characters and locations but takes great liberties in modernizing the original content for today’s television.  Instead of just being about a happy-go-lucky group of friends with relationships and high school gossip, Riverdale trades in normality for intense drama and mysteries about murders, mobsters, and cults, which surely cultivates a larger audience, including Upper School students.  After posting a 24-hour poll on Instagram asking which comic-book show was their favorite, there were fifteen responses recorded; four of those students said Riverdale was their top choice.


Discussing the show, Eliza Cohen (‘23) said, “I like Riverdale because it’s more serious but still really fictional and also it gives me a retro vibe.  I’m looking forward to this season because the seasons have been progressively getting more mysterious and dramatic and the last season ended with a cliffhanger.”  By the end of the finale last spring, Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Veronica (Camila Mendes) were shown in a flashforward scene with their friend Jughead (Cole Sprouse) missing for an unknown reason….  Though all is well so far in the first episodes of the fourth season, Jughead’s new prep school seems to be just as suspicious as the Farm, season three’s community group which turned out to be a cult and organ farm. Viewers will have to keep tuning in to see what will become of Riverdale and its residents this season.


Based on a different set of comics, Batwoman comes from the world of DC.  After her introduction in The CW’s “Elseworlds” crossover event in 2018, Batwoman (Ruby Rose) now has her own show.  Batwoman is making huge progress in the entertainment industry: no one has ever played the character before, making Ruby Rose the first, and the Kate Kane/Batwoman is openly lesbian, the first openly gay superhero to lead a TV show.  Delving into the origin of Kate, Batwoman reveals the details of her training to become part of the Crows, a top-notch security company that protects Gotham City in the absence of Batman, and her journey to become the new hero that the city needs.  


So far, Alice and the Wonderland Gang are poised to be the main villains of the season; adding to the complexity, Alice is actually Beth Kane, Kate’s long-lost twin sister who was presumed dead after a car accident that Batman failed to stop.  Alice is on a mission to get revenge on her father for forgetting her and wants to take over Gotham City for herself. The three episodes that have already aired take place before “Elseworlds,” where Kate was already a full-fledged vigilante. It has not been said when exactly the show will catch up with and surpass those events.  Though it is just beginning, it is certain that Batwoman is already an amazing show that is sure to bring more action, drama, and enjoyment.


Following a hard-hitting season filled with political and cultural themes reflecting America’s current political climate, Supergirl is continuing its streak of powerful plotlines with a story that is based on the ever-growing presence of technology in the lives of humans, and the balance between the two.  This is extremely evident in the appearance of Obisidian North, a tech industry that has put advanced augmented reality eye contacts in the hands of the people of National City, as well as Lena Luthor’s (Katie McGrath) latest project.  


After discovering that Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) was lying to her for years about her alter ego, Lena is attempting to create mind control devices that will rid humans of negative thoughts.  This invention will give the people the impulse to “do no harm” and protect others from the betrayal she endured. Though Lena claims that all is well for her friendship with Kara, there is sure to be plenty of turmoil and drama in the episodes to come.


The Flash is entering its sixth season and is zooming ahead, full-throttle, towards this year’s crossover, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”  Still struggling with losing their daughter from the future, Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen are shocked to learn that the Crisis is beginning on December 10, 2019, instead of in 2024 as they originally thought.  This Crisis brings along with it the disappearance of the Flash, so Barry is preparing his team of Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker), and Ralph Dibny/The Elongated Man (Hartley Sawyer) for a world without him.  


On top of this looming threat, Team Flash must also face the season’s new villain Ramsey Rosso (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a doctor with a terminal blood disease.  In his efforts to find a cure, Dr. Rosso injected himself with dark matter to make him a metahuman, just like Barry, Caitlin, and Ralph. As described in the show, Rosso uses his powers like a vampire, feeding on others’ blood and murdering them in order to sustain his own life, temporarily restoring his diseased cells with healthy cells.  Campbell Clay (‘22) shared that part of why he enjoys watching The Flash so much is because the show makes the events “seem like it could be a close to real life and they add science and explanation behind it.  Nothing just happens.” It will surely be exciting for fans to see how Rosso is defeated and discover what Barry’s fate will be after the Crisis occurs.


After eight seasons and a total of 170 episodes, Arrow will come to an end after the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event.  At the end of season seven, the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a powerful, all-seeing cosmic being, visited Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) to tell him that he will sacrifice his life and die in the Crisis.  To close out the series, the final season has focused on Oliver’s mission to help the Monitor prevent the Crisis, but it has also adopted an interesting storytelling technique, providing plenty of nostalgia for hardcore fans, like Berk Alptekin (‘21).  As Berk explained it, “The show has been revisiting all of the past events that have happened, such as Oliver coming home, the Undertaking, the Deathstroke gang, and most recently, Hong Kong” and the League of Assassins. He continued, “It seems to be wrapping up the show by going back to its roots, so I would expect to see more connections with Oliver’s past… meaning that the 6-7 episodes leading up to the Crisis will all be based off of the first seven seasons.”  


To really surprise the viewers, the latest episode, “Leap of Faith,” brought Future Team Arrow – Oliver’s children William Clayton (Ben Lewis) and Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) and John Diggle’s (David Ramsey) adoptive son Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones) – back in time from 2040 to 2019.  This shocking plot-twist will certainly add another element of intrigue to Arrow’s final season, like the dynamic between Oliver and John and their future children, who are now adults.  It will also be compelling to watch and discover how Future Team Arrow affects the Crisis. Will their arrival cause the event to begin?  Will they return to the future or stay to fight in the Crisis? Regardless, Arrow will surely end with a bang.  Reminiscing, Berk said, “Who knows, I may even cry at the end because this show means so much to me and the characters are truly exceptional.”


Be sure to tune in to The CW to see all of the exciting developments in your favorite shows! Riverdale airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c.  You can see Batwoman and Supergirl every Sunday at 8/7c and 9/8c, then watch The Flash and Arrow on Tuesday nights at 8/7c and 9/8.