Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shared Universes Across Media

Although brands often synergize in order to reach the widest audience, it is not often that those media exist in the same universe. For example, there have been many iterations of Avengers cartoons over the past few years, but none have actually been included in the actual canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although the characters are the same, their stories exist in completely different spaces; if something happens in a cartoon, it won't affect the events that occur in the movies.

However, there has been a recent call to consolidate the varies forms of media into one collective storyline and canon. The biggest industry to do this is the superhero industry. Two of the largest organizations to do this are Disney's Star Wars and the DC Television Universe. Back in the eighties, there were a number of Star Wars comics that were released by Marvel. Although they contained numerous adventures of Luke and the gang, they were never considered to be part of the actual Star Wars canon. Now, Marvel has decided to change that.

The company has decided to release a series of comic titles, including Darth Vader and Princess Leia, that tell the tale of what happened between the events of episodes IV and V. This is the official story and will be considered part of the official canon, even though they occur in a completely different medium than the films.

Likewise, DC Television is doing something similar. The group has received great critical acclaim for the shows Arrow and The Flash, which both air on the CW. Now, they have announced a cartoon titled Vixen, which will exist in the same universe as the live action shows. Both Flash and the Arrow will make an appearance in the show (in cartoon form) and will have the same exact story line as before.

I think this is a really cool way to integrate various forms of media with each other.

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