With San Diego just around the corner and announcements regarding programming running rampant, this week saw the release of two parts cast for the upcoming fall lineup on the CW. So let’s take a look at the latest DC casting.

Brandon RouthFirst up was the news that former big screen Superman, Brandon Routh would return to DC on Arrow, not as the Man of Steel but instead as Ray Palmer, the new owner of Queen Consolidated (a result of the fallout from last season’s Deathstroke storyline). This one is interesting as it brings Routh back into the DC ranks but also because they are bringing in another super hero alter ego. For those not familiar, Dr. Ray Palmer is the alter ego of The Atom, a man who can shrink to the size of an atom. Well, not really. That all depends on the creative team writing the character.

Almost a decade ago he became a major character at the centre of the Brad Meltzer-written Identity Crisis. In the story, Elongated Man’s wife is killed and some very uncomfortable truths about the Justice League come to light as Batman investigates. It was an interesting story and reminded me of the more serious undertones of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run or Alan Moore’s Watchmen. A story where the heroes are not always doing good things. It had a very cool premise but in the end, fizzled out.

In Arrow, we will most likely see a much younger version of the Palmer character and may or may not have him become the Atom on screen. I know everyone is thinking they will but I firmly believe if they do, they will follow the past 2 seasons model and have it near the end of the season if at all. It would be a nice add to the pantheon of DC characters on screen and one that is not “META HUMAN” in the universe created so far. There’s still more than enough possible storylines with the character even without him becoming a hero during the season.

I will say that regardless of his time on Arrow, I really hope there is the option to have Palmer move back and forth between Starling and Central City, making him available to The Flash series. The Atom is a great natural fit on that show and would make a lot of sense.

Robbie AmellSpeaking of The Flash, the other news was that Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow‘s Stephen Amell) will be appearing on the show in episode 3 as Ronnie Raymond. Raymond is another lesser known but still popular DC Comics character who is one half of the hero known as Firestorm.

Wha? One half you say? Yep, that’s right folks. For those who don’t know, Ronnie and another person bond together to form the hero Firestorm. In the past, Ronnie would merge with Martin Stein to form the hero but this has changed a few times over the years,  all the way up to the current New 52 version which combines him with his schoolmate Jason Rausch to become the nuclear man.

Firestorm is interesting in the DCU who’s abilities have increased over the years as new writers realize that like Green Lantern, his powers are quite limitless. He can transmute objects into other matter. He can even make Kryptonite if he needs to. Well, once he learns it’s molecular composition that is. Obviously, he fits into the world that Flash lives in as another strong science based hero.

There is no confirmation that he will actually turn into Firestorm but there is always a chance as they move toward the end of the season that he might. I’m not holding out hope for that yet as we still haven’t heard any casting for a Jason Rausch or Martin Stein for the series. The one thing that was revealed is that he is part of what went wrong at STAR Labs, possibly being directly involved in creating the chain reaction that caused Barry Allen to become the Flash in the first place.

Based on the pilot, this would be an excellent add to the cast as he would get to play well off Barry’s more responsible and uptight personality as Ronnie has more of a carefree rebel persona. Again, that’s only if they use that characterization. Let’s face facts, people like a little anti-hero sentiment once in awhile. That could really be put to good use with Amell in this role.

Once again, DC really seems to have things in order on the small screen with the majority of their new shows airing this fall. I really hope this trends toward some really great and fun TV for all of us this coming season.

After some really nice casting moves by Marvel for the upcoming Netflix offerings, DC seems to have come back with some nice counterpoints. The battle may currently be in Marvel’s favor at the multiplex’s right now but the cable battle seems to be clearly to DC’s advantage.

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!