DC Comics and Warner Bros. TV have really established a strong brand on the television screen, with freshman shows Gotham and The Flash both securing full season orders, while Arrow has held strong in its third season - especially when crossing over with The Flash.
The winter break for all three series has been hard on fans who have been more wrapped up than ever in what Barry Allen, Oliver Queen, Jim Gordon and Lil' Batman (along with their colorful casts of supporting characters) are fighting for. So, as DC's lineup of show's return to the airwaves, we have a preview of what will be coming on the second halves of their respective seasons.
It goes without saying: MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!
The Flash Season 1.5 Preview
According to TV Line's Spoiler drop, here's what we can expect on upcoming episodes of The Flash:
"The Rogues" - a.k.a. the colorful villains of Flash comic books who eventually banded together as a sort of crook union - will continue to be established on the show. Wentworth Miller's "Captain Cold" will return with help from his sister, the manipulative "Golden Glider," with additional muscle coming from Cold's elemental opposite, "Heatwave," who will ironically enough be played by Dominic Purcell, Miller's onscreen brother from the show Prison Break.
We will also get an onscreen version of The Piped Piper, as well as Star Wars star Mark Hamill once again playing The Trickster - a DC Comics villain whom he played in the '90s Flash TV series. In short: Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will be plenty busy - and there's still The Reverse Flash lurking in the wings.
S.T.A.R. Labs Drama & Time Travel
The S.T.A.R. Labs team will have their own drama to work through: Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) will be dealing with Ronnie Raymond's transformation into Firestorm, while Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) will have sibling rivalry to deal with when his charming older brother comes to town - just as Golden Glider is setting her sights on Cisco.
Finally, we know from producers that the first elements of speed force time-travel events will soon appear in the show - as will villain (and escaped lab pet) Gorilla Grodd.
Arrow Season 3.5 Preview
Following Oliver Queen's apparent death at the hands of Ra's al Ghul in the midseason 3 finale, the impact of that loss will radiate throughout Starling City (via TV Line). Diggle (David Ramsey) will get emotional; Laurel (Kate Cassidy) will have to suit up as the new Black Canary; and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) will have to get closer to both Thea (Willa Holland) and Laurel - presumably to defend the city while Ollie is MIA.
Allies & Enemies Return
In addition to the main question of Oliver's life status, we will see some allies return to the 'Team Arrow' fold. Black Canary I, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) will be returning (presumably in flashback or dream sequence or something of the like), as will Canary's sidekick, Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus), who may still be looking for payback for her slain mentor.
In the wings, Brandon Routh's Ray Palmer inches closer to engineering his A.T.O.M. suit.
On the villain side of things, actor Vinnie Jones (Snatch) will be portraying DC Comics gangster Brick - but some old (bad) faces will resurface as well.
Those baddies include Vertigo (Peter Stormare), The Suicide Squad, and (three cheers) Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Manu Bennett). The mystery of Diggle's brother's death (as contracted by the mysterious H.I.V.E. organization) will also be revisited.
Gotham Season 1.5 Preview
As was clear in last's night's midseason premiere episode, the action of Gotham has moved to the iconic Arkham Asylum, where Jim Gordon is in career purgatory after challenging one too many of the city's connected criminals and/or corrupt officials. While at the Asylum, Gordon will get closer to one Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin), a character with important comic book connections to young Bruce Wayne (she was a surrogate mother figure for him - and a close confidant of Batman).
Meanwhile, Gotham's organized crime cold war continues to heat up, with pack leaders Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), Sal Marone (David Zayas) and Don Falcone (John Doman) all circling one another - while The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is likely trying to outdo them all. As we were told by the showrunners during New York Comic Con 2014, Eddie Nygma (future Riddler) is also going to gain more prominence on the show.
On a somewhat disappointing note, it seems that the main thrust of Gotham will continue to be saddled with an (over-)abundance of side-stories.
Barbara (Erin Richards) will go 'full Laurel' as she battles with addiction (and finding no love between two genders); we'll probe Alfred's (Sean Pertwee) past; while Lil' Batman (David Mazouz) and Lil' Catwoman (Carmen Bicondova) continue their odd and flirty friendship - which we didn't care for, but apparently a lot of fans like.
Silver lining: We could be getting a fun Robin Easter egg (pun) when The Flying Graysons get an origin story.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8pm on Fox.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
Arrow airs at 8pm Wednesdays on The CW.