In September, our attention turns from the multiplex to the small screen. But while Luke Cage’s tale of reluctant heroism is made possible by a partnership between Marvel and Netflix, it’s not the only property based on some stunning corporate synergy. To wit: Arrow and its spinoffs. The TV miniverse is a joint product of DC Comics (which created the comics the shows are based on), Warner Bros. Television (which coproduces and distributes the shows), the CW (which airs the shows), and CBS (which owns half of the CW). In today’s landscape of media conglomerates and vertical integration, everything we watch on TV (or play on consoles or see in theaters) is the product of more partnerships than we can even keep track of—but that’s not going to stop us from trying.

This article appears in the September 2016 issue.

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The Surprising Partnerships that Rule Pop Culture