This afternoon Deadline posted an announcement that came out of left field: Ciara Renee has been cast in the new "The Flash" / "Arrow" spinoff series as Hawkgirl.
This is the newer, Kendra Saunders version of the character, not the Thanagarian Hawkgirl you may know from the 2000s "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited" series. Still. Hawkgirl. The casting announcement includes this description of the character:
In the new series, Saunders is a young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries. When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself, along with wings that grow out of her back, earning her the moniker Hawkgirl.
I'm loving this announcement for multiple reasons -- I've always liked the Hawkman and Hawkgirl characters. A cool design, an interesting backstory (whether the Thanagarian or reincarnated versions), and with Hawkgirl in particular, a strong female character who's grown beyond her role as Hawkman's sidekick. Hawkman wasn't ever a necessary part of Hawkgirl's story on the Justice League cartoons, and I'm guessing it won't be here, either. Adding another female superhero to the ranks of characters that your casual fan knows is always a good thing.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter broke news yesterday evening that Arthur Darvill, best known to most geeks as Rory from "Doctor Who," is joining the cast of the new spinoff series as Rip Hunter. Hunter is a time traveler, going from timeline to timeline in an attempt to find his own original timeline. This opens up all sorts of storytelling possibilities, and now that time travel has been breached on "The Flash," who knows where/when this could go? I liked Darvill both on "Doctor Who" and on "Broadchurch" -- with both Alex Kingston and John Barrowman on "Arrow," having another "Who" alum aboard is a good thing.
I don't know much about Rip Hunter except that he's been a part of DC Comics since 1959, and that he has a time vessel that lets him go from place to place and time to time. It's not shaped like a Police Box, but you get the idea. Kinda TARDIS-y. He's been a part of "multiverse" storylines, helping more mainstream heroes out from time to time, but otherwise has been more of a loner.
If his Time Bubble thing is going to be doing a lot of time traveling to dangerous eras, I'd recommend like, windows or something. Those wire cages aren't great at keeping lava people out.
Hawkgirl and Rip Hunter will be joining an already eclectic group of heroes and villains, including Atom, Captain Cold, Firestorm, Heatwave, and (possibly) Black Canary. Showrunners have also said there will be three heroes among the regulars who have never been seen in live action before. I'm as excited for this series as I am for upcoming seasons of "The Flash" and "Arrow" and the new series "Supergirl" and "Titans" on TNT...it's a good time to be a geek.