The Arrowverse may have started with just the Green Arrow on a mission to save his city, but in the five years since The CW launched their massive superhero universe, it has expanded to include dozens of characters that fans know and love from the comics. From out-there favorites like Gorilla Grodd and King Shark, to entire super-teams, the Arrowverse continues to grow and expand into new corners of the world of DC Comics.
Central City is now a town full of speedsters, with The Flash (Grant Gustin) joined by Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale), Jessie Quick (Violett Beane), Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher), and even a Flash from another world. National City has seen Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) joined by Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), Martian Manhunter (David Harewood), Miss Martian (Sharon Leal), and the Guardian (Mehcad Brooks). Star City is quivering with archers, from the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) himself to Speedy (Willa Holland), Arsenal (Colton Haynes), Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Huntress (Jessica De Gouw), and the Al Ghul family – and let’s not forget Oliver’s slew of super-helpers: Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), Overwatch (Emily Bett Rickards), Spartan (David Ramsey) and Mr Terrific (Echo Kellum).
There are so many superheroes in this shared universe that an entire team broke off to go gallivanting through time, meeting the JSA, picking up new members, and turning Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) into heroes.
But what about the major DC characters who aren’t the big bads or members of the core teams? Even Arrowverse fans may not have realized how many other big name characters are part of the CW world, whether they have only appeared briefly, or have just been mentioned in passing. How many of these 15 did you know were sharing a universe with Oliver and company?
Brainiac is one of Superman’s best-known foes, a techno-organic AI who miniaturized and bottled the city of Kandor. While he himself hasn’t shown up in the Arrowverse quite yet, he can be assumed to be part of it, courtesy of the appearance of Indigo (Laura Vandervoort). Another hugely intelligent and synthetic life form, Indigo appeared on Supergirl, where she attempted to destroy humanity. Her appearance on the series was a far cry from her comic history as the young, naive, and sweet AI who loses her memories and joins the superhero community.
What both characters have in common, however, is their origin as part of the Brainiac legacy. Indigo is also known as Brainiac 8, having been created by an earlier version of Brainiac as something of a Trojan horse. So although Brainiac himself hasn’t shown up in the Supergirl universe quite yet, the existence of Brainiac 8 proves that he is a part of that world – as are all the predecessors to Indigo.
In the comics, Komodo is one of the many enemies of the Green Arrow, an archer and former protege of Robert Queen. In the books, this foe actually kills Robert and frames Oliver for the murder of the Queen Industries CEO. The two clashed several more times before Komodo was eventually killed by Emiko. In the series, Komodo (Matt Ward) had only a brief appearance, as an assassin for hire from Quebec.
He came to Star City to fulfill a contract, and managed to leave alive, although he came up against Oliver and his team when Komodo was suspected of killing Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). Although his costume is fairly similar to that of his comic counterpart, not much was made of Komodo during his freak-of-the-week episode, and he hasn’t been mentioned since. However, as he fled the city alive, it’s always possible that Komodo could return to Star City, and Arrow, in the future.
13. Blue Beetle
Ted Kord, aka the second Blue Beetle, is a brilliant inventor who uses his gadgets (along with some physical training) to fight crime in Hub City. The student of the original Blue Beetle, Ted Kord goes on to carry the mantle in his own right, and to become yet another DC billionaire moonlighting as a costumed hero. In the Arrowverse, Ted Kord exists as a wealthy businessman and the CEO of Kord Industries – a rival to Queen Industries (now Palmertech). Kord has been referenced several times in Arrow, including when Robert and Moira Queen attended one of his fundraisers, and for a while, it seemed as though Blue Beetle would be coming to the show in all his azure glory. Brandon Routh was even lined up to play Kord.
However, there were some issues with the usage rights (presumably due to the Blue Beetle movie in development), and Routh ended up playing a different billionaire inventor with a tech company – the Atom.
12. Constantine Drakon
Another ruthless assassin, Constantine Drakon is a regular foe of the Green Arrow in the comics. He has taken on, and bested, not only the Emerald Archer, but Connor Hawke, Speedy, and Arsenal as well. Drakon is a formidable martial artist and a widely feared villain, even by other criminals. At one point, he teamed up with Deathstroke to battle the Arrow family, and although the JLA managed to prevent them killing Ollie’s loved ones, they were still unable to capture the assassin, who remains at large.
In the series, meanwhile, Constantine Drakon (Darren Shahlavi) only appeared for a single episode, and he was taken down by The Hood in a single fight. In the pilot episode, Drakon was Adam Hunt’s (Brian Markinson) bodyguard, and while he was still a skilled martial artist, Drakon was killed by Oliver in relatively short order – and was nowhere near the kind of worthy adversary that he is in the books.
11. Felix Faust
This villainous magician has roamed the Earth for centuries, honing his black arts, using anyone he must in order to increase his power and his lifespan. Faust has sold his soul to the devil, and was an early opponent of the Justice League of America in the comics. He was also an enemy of Constantine, and appeared in the series of the same name – and that show occupies an interesting place within the Arrowverse.
Although Constantine was originally a separate entity altogether, airing on a different network until its cancellation (NBC), Matt Ryan’s magic-wielding hero has since appeared in Arrow. This means that all of the various characters that live in the Constantine universe are also part of the Arrowverse – including Felix Faust (Mark Margolis), Pandora, Swamp Thing, and Doctor Fate. Technically, Faust was killed in Constantine, but given that death is hardly a barrier to a reappearance in this world, it’s still possible that he could pop up again… maybe in league with Damien Darkh (Neal McDonough) and the Legion of Doom.
In the comics, Oracle becomes the codename of Barbara Gordon after she is paralyzed by the Joker. No longer able to take to the streets and fight crime as Batgirl, Barbara doesn’t let it phase her (for long), but learns to use her photographic memory and computer skills to fight crime from her wheelchair.
This story arc was paralleled in Arrow when Felicity Smoak was paralyzed by one of Oliver Queen’s enemies. As a character who had long helped and directed Team Arrow from behind a computer monitor, fans theorized that she would be taking on the codename Oracle – speculation fueled by an episode about Felicity titled “Oracle”. However, the episode was later re-titled “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”, and her code name became “Overwatch”. Oracle does exist within the Arrowverse, however, as Oliver revealed when he said (of Felicity’s new code name) “was gonna go with Oracle, but it’s taken”. We haven’t met her yet, but if the show should ever explore Gotham, Oracle will be there.
9. Carol Ferris
A major character within the Green Lantern mythology in the comics, Carol Ferris is the owner of Ferris Air, the company that employed Hal Jordon as a test pilot. She later became a hero (and occasional villain) in her own right as Star Sapphire, thanks to her acquisition of a Star Sapphire gem. Carol hasn’t appeared directly in the Arrowverse yet, but she definitely exists there, and in Central City.
Her company, Ferris Air (called Ferris Aircraft before her father left and allowed Carol to take over) has popped up on multiple billboards in episodes of both Arrow and The Flash, and a Ferris Air jet was targeted by Edward Fyers on Lian Yu. In addition, the now-closed Ferris Air testing facility has showed up more than once in The Flash, as the test track where Barry first explored his powers, and where Team Flash brought their captured metahumans for transport to the ARGUS prison.
8. Connor Hawke
In the comics, Connor Hawke is the illegitimate son of Oliver Queen, who later took up the mantle of the Green Arrow when his father ‘died’. A marital artist as much as an archer, Connor is a self-possessed and capable hero. He has also appeared in the Arrowverse in both Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow episodes. In Legends of Tomorrow, when the team travels to an alternate 2046, they meet an adult Connor (Joseph David-Jones) in Star City, where he’s acting as the new Green Arrow after Deathstroke cut off Oliver Queen’s arm and the hero subsequently went missing.
Unlike in the comics, Connor is not the son of Oliver Queen, however, he is the son of John Diggle. He changed his name to Connor Hawke after his father died, when he felt that he was no longer worthy to use his father’s name. He has also appeared as a baby in the main timeline, the infant son of John Diggle (who originally had a daughter, before Flash created Flashpoint and changed things).
As has already been mentioned, John Constantine, magician, occult detective, con-man, and leader of the Justice League Dark, already exists in the Arrowverse. Played by Matt Ryan, he made the crossover after his own show was canceled on NBC following its first season. Since then, Constantine was revealed to be a part of the Arrowverse when he appeared in one of Oliver’s flashbacks on Lian Yu. Since then, he has reappeared in the series to help restore Sara Lance’s soul when she was brought back from the dead, and then to send Oliver to meet with Esrin Fortuna (Gabriella Wright) to learn how he can defeat Damien Darkh and his magic. Constantine has also been mentioned as being ‘in Hell’ at another point in time, revealing that the two remain in contact.
Some have even speculated that Constantine could join the revolving crew of the Waverider in a future season of Legends of Tomorrow, although this is still very much a rumor.
6. Wonder Woman (& The JLA)
The entire Justice League of America has made a cameo in the Arrowverse, although this was only spotted by the most eagle-eyed of fans. In The Flash episode “Welcome to Earth-2”, Barry finds himself in an alternate universe, a move that added the DC multiverse to the CW’s canon. The episode itself is chock full of Easter Eggs and nods to the comics, including references to multiple characters that don’t make an appearance on Earth-1, where the series spend most of their time. The Justice League of America make one particularly interesting appearance on this Earth – on the speed dial of the Allen phone.
When Barry heads home and learns that his mother had called while he was out, he reaches for the phone to call her back, and the audience sees a list of names on speed-dial: Bruce, Hal, and Diana. These, of course, refer to Bruce Wayne (Batman), Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman). While this is primarily an Easter Egg, it’s still Wonder Woman’s one and only appearance in the Arrowverse so far.
5. Black Adam
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson may be the one bringing Black Adam to life on the big screen in the DCEU, but the character has also made an appearance in the Arrowverse – in the tie-in comic books, that is. Khem-Adam appears in the comic series Arrow Season 2.5, in a story arc tied in to the Arrowverse version of the Suicide Squad. Khem-Adam was the leader of Onslaught, an extremist group seeking to bring people back to the so-called ‘old gods’. When Onslaught kidnapped a group of girls, intending to murder them on live TV, the Suicide Squad was called in to stop him.
The group broke into his hideout to rescue the kidnapped girls, and Bronze Tiger took on Khem-Adam one on one, in a fight that took Bronze Tiger’s life. Khem-Adam was then taken down by Nyssa Al Ghul, and brought before Ra’s to face judgement. Although Black Adam hasn’t appeared in the TV series yet, it’s always possible that he will pop up, especially with this connection to Nanda Parbat and the Al Ghul clan.
The King of Atlantis and underwater member of the Justice League, Aquaman, does seem to exist in the Arrowverse, although the references to him are minimal. Atlantis itself is mentioned in The Flash episode “Welcome to Earth-2”, as a well-known city where Barry’s parents are vacationing. This isn’t a mention of Aquaman by name, however, and while it’s unlikely that a world would have Atlantis without its most famous inhabitant, that is still possible.
The second mention of Aquaman actually comes from The Flash’s pilot episode. In a deleted scene, Joe (Jesse L Martin) is talking to Barry about his search for metahumans, telling Barry that he needs to give up on hunting them down. Two particular superhumans are mentioned in this conversation; one is “a man who can bend steel”, and the other is “a man who can talk to fish”, that Barry investigated in Amnesty Bay. The first of these guys is, of course, Superman (who now exists in the Arrowverse), and the second is a clear reference to Aquaman.
3. Green Lantern
In addition to Carol Ferris, Hal Jordan himself has appeared on the show (as well as getting a few mentions along the way). Not only does Jordan presumably exist because Ferris Air does, but he’s already gone missing – a missing test pilot is the reason given for the closure of the Ferris Air testing facility, which is what allows Barry and his friends to use it. On top of that, a billboard image posted by Marc Guggenheim bore the phrase “in brightest day, in blackest night“, and something that looks suspiciously like a Green Lantern power battery popped up in a scene between Oliver and Talia Al Ghul (Lexa Doig) only this season.
As for Hal’s actual appearance? In a scene where Oliver and Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) are at a bar in Central City, a man in a green jacket walks past them. It’s a split second, but eagle-eyed fans noticed that the jacket had a military patch on one shoulder, and a name patch reading “Jordan“. Yup, the Green Lantern walked past the Green Arrow in a bar, and fans are still waiting for him to reappear on the show.
2. Harley Quinn
The Joker’s gal, and a deranged criminal in her own right, Harleen Quinzel was once a psychiatrist working at Arkham Asylum. There, the Joker manipulated her, twisting her mind and making her fall madly (literally) in love with him. Since then, Harley has become a fan-favorite character, having made her big-screen debut in last year’s Suicide Squad (played by Margot Robbie).
Another live-action version of the character appeared in the Arrowverse, however, although only in a brief cameo. Harley pops up in the ARGUS holding cells on the show, where the audience sees the back of her head (with signature blonde pigtails), and hears her high pitched voice. When John Diggle and Amanda Waller are arguing outside her cell, she calls out “Do you cuties need some counseling? I’m a trained therapist”. The character never made it onto this universe’s version of the Suicide Squad, however, potentially because of rights-sharing issues (many of the other characters that cross over from Arrow to Suicide Squad were spectacularly killed off before the movie was released).
One of the biggest names in the DC universe, everybody knows who the Dark Knight is: Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy who takes to the streets of Gotham in a cape and cowl to fight crime. While the Caped Crusader hasn’t appeared in all his bat-like glory in the Arrowverse, he is definitely a part of it.
In The Flash, when Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is checking his newspaper from the future, there is a small headline at the bottom of the page that reads “Wayne Tech/Queen Inc. Merger Complete” – a reference to the biggest division of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce’s company. Later, in Legends of Tomorrow, one of Rip Hunter’s (Arthur Darvill) speeches includes a reference to both Superman and Batman, when he says “I’ve seen men of steel die and dark knights fall”, an absolutely unmissable Batman shoutout. Given that Harley Quinn and Oracle are also part of the Arrowverse, it’s clear that Batman is busy doing his own vigilante work in Gotham, and the characters have simply not gotten around to visiting that city quite yet.
What other major DC characters exist in the Arrowverse? Let us know in the comments.