Overall I think the movement of superheroes from the comic shop to the television has been a good one, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that’s made the transition is necessarily that good.
I have noticed a variance in quality, which I think happens for three reasons. The first is that the line that separates a series about superheroes from a soap opera that happens to have superheroes is a thin line; a rubicon that I believe the CW’s Arrow crossed long ago.
While on the other end of the spectrum, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stumbled a bit during its first season, mainly because it wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be, but as the producers embraced more of the Marvel Universe–cinematic and comics–it found its footing (though the ratings haven’t consistently reflected the change in direction, creatively) in the second.
Another comic-based series was NBC’s Constantine which was recently cancelled, though another Vertigo property, Lucifer, is coming soon to Fox.
Looking at the trailer for Lucifer, I expect it to go the way of Constantine, which is to say that it will for a moment burn bright, then gradually fade away.
The second reason is that the series looks so different than the comic–I understand that much will be lost in translation, though if I weren’t told that the trailer above is for Lucifer, I might not have any idea of its purpose. What also doesn’t help is that the pilot is directed by Len Wiseman, who helmed a few of the Underworld movies, among others. He handles large action set pieces pretty well, though it’s the stuff that happens between (you know, the rest of the movie) that seems to give him difficulties.
Third, and most importantly, is that I am getting the sneaking suspicion that they’re going to gut anything that made the comic worth reading, and keep only the most superficial elements. Having read it, it reminded me stylistically of Casablanca, with demons, angels and monsters, as opposed to the individuals that would populate a story that revolved around World War II.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I’m not expecting all that much–which is often when a show or movie surprises–though I wouldn’t put money on it in this instance.