Get Up to Speed on 'The Flash' and DC's Other New TV Shows

The Flash Poster Cropped - P 2014
The CW

With new series based on DC Entertainment's The Flash, John Constantine and Batman just weeks away from launching — in addition to the third season of the CW's Arrow — newcomers might be wondering how best to prepare for this onslaught of televisual superheroics. Thankfully, DC's Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has come up with a reading list that might do the trick.

In this clip from the weekly DC All Access web series, Johns offers some choice comic book cuts to act as appetizers for the new shows. Some of those choices include his own work — his 2009 series The Flash: Rebirth offers "inspiration for Barry [Allen]'s backstory," he says, while the 2012 Batman: Earth One graphic novel he created with artist Gary Frank is singled out for its treatment of Harvey Bullock (played by Donal Logue on Fox's Gotham) — but he also goes for less obvious choices, such as 1987's Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, which he likens to the seminal Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and the original John Constantine: Hellblazer series from the same period.

"We're really building the DC universe across everything we can," Johns says, pointing to the upcoming appearances of Katana and The Atom in future Arrow episodes and Firestorm's debut in The Flash. He also teases "a really exciting announcement about another character that's going to appear in Constantine later this year." Perhaps an announcement connected to a certain helmet that showed up in the trailer?

Watch Johns explain his choices — and list some other recommended reading — below.