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Time Warner Inc (TWX), The Walt Disney Company (DIS): Batman? Superman? Neither. DC Comics Names Its Most Important Character

In the race to get TV viewers to tune in to its comic book properties, Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) is turning to the fastest man alive.

Earlier this week, Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) unit DC Entertainment told reporters via conference call that the Flash would appear in season 2 of Arrow before spinning off into a new show dedicated the character. Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) also has plans for a live action film. Batman? Superman? Turns out the Flash is the glue that’s binding together the DC Cinematic Universe.

The Flash, otherwise known as “the fast man alive.’ Source: DC Comics.

“He’s obviously been a strong personal favorite of both [DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer] Geoff [Johns] and mine,” Newsarama quotes Arrow co-creator Andrew Kreisberg as saying. “So when Greg [Berlanti] approached us and said ‘Hey, what would you think if we did the Flash as a spin-off?’ all of us lit up!”

They aren’t the only ones. Here at Fool.com, we’ve debated the possibilities for the Flash. A live-action film might follow nicely behind 2015’s Batman-Superman team-up in Man of Steel 2.

Meanwhile, putting DC’s scarlet speedster on TV first would allow Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) to expand the DC Cinematic Universe while building brand equity for a character that hasn’t been on the small screen since 1990. Back then, actor John Wesley Shipp played the Flash and his alter-ego, police scientist Barry Allen. Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) says it’s in the process of searching for an actor to play the role in Arrow and the spin-off.

Expect DC’s new take on the Flash to be darker than the 1990 TV series. Source: The SF Site.

The news comes on the heels of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) previewing the entire first episode of its Avengers-themed TV spin-off, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., last month at San Diego Comic-Con. I’m expecting a ratings winner when the show begins airing Tuesday nights this fall.

DC’s advantage is that already has a hit in Arrow, and introducing the Flash via spin-off reduces the risk that the new show will bomb. If successful, it would be the third — or, if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also succeeds, the fourth — current comic book TV adaptation to play well with audiences. AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX)‘s  The Walking Dead rated highest among scripted shows airing during the 2012-2013 TV season.

Do DC’s plans signal more adaptations from Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), and others? Undoubtedly. Hollywood history says executives will push until audiences push back, which means the next prime-time TV idea is probably sitting on the shelves of your local comics shop right now.

The article Batman? Superman? Neither. DC Comics Names Its Most Important Character originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Tim Beyers.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney and Time Warner at the time of publication.

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