Beginning with Arrow in 2012, The CW has been forging a small-screen DC Universe to rival — or even surpass — the DC Extended Universe currently suffering its birth pangs on the silver screen. While the DCEU kicked off with Man of Steel and continued in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been controversial at best, the Arrowverse… okay, it’s had its ups and downs as well. But it’s also become a mega-hit for The CW, with Arrow spinning off both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. This season Supergirl jumps networks from CBS and joins the fold as well, setting up a massive four-way crossover that should blow fans’ minds. Where will the Arrowverse go from here? The possibilities are endless… but we’ve got a few suggestions.
There are so many great DC characters that would fit well into the style and tone of the Arrowverse, many of whom have never been given their due in live-action. We’re hoping the DCEU will right the ship with Justice League and embrace some of the fun and even silliness that the Arrowverse often brings to the table, but either way we’re looking forward to seeing where The CW takes us in years to come. Here are 15 Ways The Arrowverse Could Expand.
15. Use Superman well
After teasing fans with lots of fleeting glimpses and back-of-head shots, Kara Zor-El’s famous Kryptonian cousin Kal-El will be stepping fully into the sunlight in season two of Supergirl. With the show making the leap from CBS and officially joining the Arrowverse, actor Tyler Hoechlin is strapping on the big red ‘S’ as Superman, a role that promises to offer some unique challenges. For one thing, Superman is a hard character to get right, and an easy one to get wrong — witness the controversy over how Zack Snyder has handled the Man of Steel on the big screen.
Furthermore, Hoechlin needs to embody all the qualities that define the Last Son of Krypton, while also not overshadowing Supergirl on her own show. It also remains to be seen how Supergirl will fit into the established Arrowverse. Will the two realities merge or remain distinct? And if the latter, what would it be like for Superman to visit Arrow and Flash‘s world…where nobody knows who the hell he is? We haven’t really had a defining Superman performance since Christopher Reeve. Whatever is in store for viewers this season, Hoechlin and the Supergirl writers have got their work cut out for them.
14. Booster Gold
A washed-up former athlete from the future, Michael Jon Carter was working a crappy janitorial gig at at Gotham City museum when he decided to steal several artifacts, including a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring and Brainiac 5’s force-field belt. Using a Time Sphere, he traveled back to our time in hopes of finding fame and fortune as a superhero. Fan-favorite Booster Gold has been a rumored likely contender for an Arrowverse appearance for ages now. Partly because Arrowverse head honcho Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg developed a Booster project for Syfy a few years back, so he clearly has a fondness for the character.
In the comics, Legends of Tomorrow’s Rip Hunter is actually Booster’s son, and the CW series has tangentially hinted at that possibility. Booster would be a natural fit on that series, but he could also be fun mixing it up with the Flash’s crew — no strangers to time travel — or even just annoying the snot out of Oliver and Team Arrow. However, a Booster appearance in the Arrowverse may be a longshot right now, as X-Men: First Class writer Zack Stentz is currently writing a Booster Gold movie, with Berlanti possibly in line to direct. Frankly, we’d rather see Booster mingling with the Arrowverse crowd that trying to make a solo go, but we’ll see.
13. Legion of Super-Heroes
Speaking of visitors from the future, both The Flash and Supergirl have been teasing the 31st-century superteam Legion of Super-Heroes since last year. We saw a Legion flight ring — a nifty gizmo that grants the power of flight to all their members — during Barry’s trips back and forth from Earth-2. And Supergirl spotted one such ring in during her visit to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Inspired by the heroic legends of the modern age, the Legion was founded to protect their own century, recruiting members from dozens of different alien worlds.
It’s pretty clear the Legion is coming to the Arrowverse in one form or another. They traditionally have strong ties to Superman, and time travel has obviously become a staple of the CW’s shared superheroic continuity. Furthermore, the Legion’s Mon-El is confirmed for season 2 of Supergirl, to be played by actor Chris Wood. Finally, it was recently announced that this season’s big four-way crossover between Arrow, Flash, Legends, and Supergirl will involve the alien Dominators, inspired by the 1980s Invasion! storyline. So now the Arrowverse has time travel, aliens, Legion flight rings, and a character who has actually been a member of the Legion over the years. Is there really any doubt that the Legion itself is on the horizon?
12. Blue Beetle
Arrow’s teched-up take on Ray Palmer/The Atom was originally intended to be Ted Kord/Blue Beetle, a story turn they were hinting at as early as the first season. However, DC nixed the plan and suggested they use Ray Palmer instead. However, there is another Blue Beetle that would fit nicely into the Arrowverse: Jaime Reyes, first introduced in 2006’s Infinite Crisis #3. Unlike Kord’s Batman-esque Beetle, Jaime is a more science fictional take: a teenager from El Paso who is bonded to an alien artifact known as a Scarab, capable of sheathing him in powerful battle armor and making him into a serious threat. Unfortunately, in the comics the Scarab was actually a device seeded by the world-conquering aliens known as The Reach, a secret that soon put Jaime at odds with the very source of his powers.
Jaime would be a perfect fit on The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, or even Supergirl. And the upcoming Dominators storyline would be a great chance to introduce him. His origins could be retconned so that the Scarab is a Dominator weapon instead, and he could be an unwitting threat hurled against the heroes — one in need of their help to break his programming and then become an ally. He’d be especially interesting to have in the mix if they ever introduce the Green Lantern Corps…(see below).
11. Other Magical Characters
Last season Arrow introduced magic into the mix — to mixed results. It was worth it if only for the excuse to see Matthew Ryan don the trenchcoat again and resurrect his pitch-perfect John Constantine after NBC exorcised his show from their lineup. But the gritty, street-level antics of Arrow never really felt like a natural mix for wizards and witchcraft. Still, now that Pandora’s box has been opened, so to speak, it’s an excuse to bring in more characters from DC’s supernatural side. And there are plenty to choose from.
Swamp Thing’s mythology is ripe with possibilities, but the mostly urban settings of the shows might make him difficult to get in the mix. Boston Brand/Deadman is another ideal candidate. He’s got a wry sense of humor, his acrobatic background could make for some interesting fight sequences, and his body-jumping abilities would create all manner of fun storytelling and acting possibilities. However, our top pick? Zatanna. It’d be great to see her butting heads with a returning Constantine, and she could definitely have some sexual tension with Oliver — he has traditionally had a thing for girls in fishnets.
10. More Constantine
Speaking of the Hellblazer himself, it’d be a damn shame if the Arrowverse had seen the last of John Constantine. While we might eventually see the character on the big screen again, Ryan is great fun in the role, and clearly has a ball bringing the cocky British troublemaker to life. One of Arrow’s at-this-point-tiresome flashback sequences established that Oliver and John have known each other for a while now, so there’s always an excuse for Team Arrow to give him a call if they face another supernatural threat. But why stop there? How much fun would be be up against a straight arrow (ahem) like Barry Allen? Imagine what sort of trouble he could get into if he had access to, say, Rip Hunter’s time ship from Legends of Tomorrow. Hell, we’d love for him to show up on Supergirl for the disapproving glances from Kal-El alone…
Of course, our dream goal would be for The CW to stage a full-scale Constantine resurrection to fill out the fifth night of their weekly superhero block, but that’s probably a tall order. Still, with most of the Arrowverse shows exploring more science fictional concepts, we’d love to have an ongoing Justice League Dark-style show to explore the mystical corners of the DC Universe. We can Dream, can’t we?
9. Doom Patrol
Now that superpowers are a well-established part of the Arrowverse, the cult-hit Doom Patrol might fit right in. Sort of DC’s answer to the mutant X-Men, the Doom Patrol was formed by an eccentric wheelchair-bound intellectual who is kind of a dick. Doctor Niles Caulder assembles a group of metahumans whose “powers” have basically made their lives miserable for various reasons.
Elasti-Girl can grow or shrink her body, but she can’t initially control those changes. Former test pilot Negative Man can release a shadowy energy form he can control, but if he stays out of his body too long, he’ll die. Robotman is a living human brain encased in a sturdy robot body, but utterly cut off from any physical sensations. The team roster has expanded and changed many times over the years, but these guys are always depressing. But they’re also kind of awesome.
It’d be interesting to see if The Doom Patrol could out-brood Oliver on Arrow. They’d also be a fascinating counterpoint to the brightness and levity of the Flash crew. They’d make for an ideal team-up with the Legends of Tomorrow crew. And Supergirl? Well, that’d certainly be… interesting.
8. The Question
The Question would be such a natural fit for the style and tone of Arrow that we can only presume rights issues have kept him from showing his (lack of) face so far. Created by Steve Ditko for the now-defunct Charlton Comics, he was eventually folded into the DC Universe after DC bought the rights to the Charlton stable of characters. Vic Sage is a crusading journalist who fights crime as the faceless vigilante known as The Question. Well, he has a face– it’s just concealed under a handy layer of artificial skin, resulting in a thoroughly creepy effect. If you thought getting your ass handed to you by Christian Bale in a bat costume was daunting, just imagine yourself in a dark alley with a guy with no face. That’s some straight-up horror movie nonsense right there.
There have been several interesting character tweaks to The Question over the years. Ditko’s original version was steeped in Objectivist ideology (think Ayn Rand. Or BioShock), and once he made the leap to DC he adopted a more Zen-like approach. In Justice League Unlimited, he’s a conspiracy theorist regarded as a paranoid madman by many of his fellow heroes. (A take that’s a bit reminiscent of Watchmen’s Rorschach, who was inspired by The Question when DC wouldn’t let Moore use/kill off the Charlton heroes.) The Question has been a pliable character over the years — only appropriate for somebody without a face. Either way, he’d be fascinating to get into the mix on Arrow.
7. Elongated Man
Good old Elongated Man. Often overshadowed by Plastic Man — how embarrassing is that sentence? — the “stretchable sleuth” Ralph Dibny can actually be a really interesting character when used well, even in spite of his thoroughly silly power set. Thanks to an extract harvested from a South American plant, Dibny can stretch, contort, and, yes, elongate his body just like Marvel’s Mister Fantastic on his best day. And just as the head of the Fantastic Four balances his goofy powers with his keen scientific mind, Dibny is one of the best detectives in the DC universe. The best Elongated Man stories play with that odd dichotomy, as well as with his love of a good mystery and his relationship with his wife and partner in sleuthing, Sue. (Until she came to a bad end in Identity Crisis.)
We know Dibny exists in the Arrowverse, or did at one point, and he may already be powered up — in the Flash episode “Power Outage” he was listed among the names of those “killed” by the particle accelerator explosion that also created the Flash. Of course, it could just remain a fun little Easter egg and nothing more, but Elongated Man has often teamed up with Flash in the comics, so it’d be a shame if he never turned up. Especially since storylines such as Identity Crisis or James Robinson’s Starman run have shown how to do him right. Speaking of which…
In a perfect world, somebody would just greenlight a full series adaptation of James Robinson’s wonderful Starman series, but we’d be pretty over the moon for an Arrowverse appearance too. Created by Robinson and Tony Harris, Jack Knight is the son of the now-retired Golden Age hero Starman. Jack has little interest in such heroics until his older brother David — who has taken up the Starman mantle — is killed. Jack reluctantly embraces his father’s legacy, but is determined to forge his own path… one that’s a little more “leather and aviator goggles” and less “spandex and capes.”
As Starman, Jack wields a cosmic staff that allows him to fly and can manipulate energy and gravity. His inexperience is part of his charm, and he has neither a love for, nor deep knowledge of, this whole superhero game. Much of his arc involves his interactions with his father and the legacy of Starman, something that might be hard to pull off in the Arrowverse. However, Legends of Tomorrow will be introducing the Justice Society this season, as well as the related character Stargirl, so we’ll keep holding out hope for an appearance by Jack at some point.
5. The Titans
While we’re talking legacy, how cool would it be to see some form of the Titans — Teen or otherwise — turn up in the Arrowverse? The Titans were originally formed by sidekicks of heroes such as Batman, the Flash, and Green Arrow. While Batman is still at best a vague possibility in the Arrowverse, Flash and Arrow obviously are canon, as are their Titans-helming partners, Roy Harper (Speedy/Red Arrow) and Kid Flash (Wally West). Without staples like Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing, Starfire, or Cyborg currently existing in Arrowverse canon, it’d be difficult to fully bring the team to life, but if nothing else, a team-up between Roy and Wally could provide lots of fan service and tips of the hat.
It would be especially great to see some sort of proto-Titans in the Arrowverse since the series TNT was developing fell apart. DC mastermind Geoff Johns has since hinted that there are still plans in motion for the Titans, but fans of their heyday run under Marv Wolfman and George Perez would love to see the team get their live-action due… and we’re not holding our breath for a movie in the DC Extended Universe.
4. The Outsiders
If the Titans would prove troublesome for an Arrowverse inclusion, one more likely possibility is The Outsiders. Originally formed by Batman as a sort of covert ops team, the Outsiders lineup has traditionally included heroes like Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Geo-Force, and Katana. Devoted Arrowverse fans will recognize one of those names, as Katana/Tatsu has played an important recurring role in past seasons of Arrow. We saw her fully immersed in her new persona last season, and there’s no reason she couldn’t return– maybe leading her own team of Outsiders? Or perhaps Oliver could take the Batman role and call on Katana to form the Outsiders as his own under-the-table team for the missions he doesn’t want Diggle, Felicity, and the rest to know about. Given the trust issues he’s had with his Team Arrow cohorts, it wouldn’t be out of character.
The Outsiders would also be an excuse to bring Black Lightning into the Arrowverse. He’s a great character, and one we’ve never seen in live action before. And in fact, Arrowverse producer Greg Berlanti is actually pitching a Black Lightning series to networks as of last month. Of course, there’s no guarantees it would land on The CW. But if the show does end up on the network, or even if it proves to be a non-starter, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Black Lightning visit Star City or Central City. If he’s working with Katana? So much the better.
3. Nightwing… or even Batman
Now we’re into the serious long-shots. DC has long been very protective of the Dark Knight and the characters closely related to him, so the Arrowverse producers have often said that the possibility of Bats appearing on their shows is incredibly slim. Still, Supergirl actually gets Superman this season, so is it possible that the DC overlords realize that there might be value in giving the Arrowverse a little more leeway? The Arrowverse has used plenty of Batman villains over the years. We’ve established that Harley Quinn exists in the Arrowverse. If there’s a Harley, there must be a Joker, and if there’s a Joker… well, you know.
Still, there’s a middle ground the Arrowverse could explore without actually having to go full Bat. There have been rumors over the years about a Dick Grayson/Nightwing appearance, and while they’ve never come to fruition, there’s no compelling reason why they couldn’t. While Dick does seem to exist in the big-screen DCEU continuity, Zack Snyder and friends don’t seem to be in any great hurry to put him in play. Why not let Dick team up with Ollie or Barry? In the process, you could establish Batman’s existence in the Arrowverse — perhaps as a hotly debated urban legend — and bring a fan-favorite character to life. Since Flash is playing with the time-altering Flashpoint storyline this year, the producers could even retcon Batman and the whole gang into the timeline, to explain why he’s never been directly addressed.
2. Green Lantern
The presence of Kryptonians and the coming threat of the Dominators means the Arrowverse is expanding its scope well beyond the Earth (or Earths). And with Earth’s heroes facing a galactic-level threat like the Dominators, it sure would be handy to consult an expert in such things. Like, maybe some kind of space cop? We need a Green Lantern. We need Hal Jordan.
The greatest Green Lantern ever to be recruited from Earth, Hal Jordan also has a long history of friendship with Oliver Queen in the comics. Fans have been itching to see him show up in the Arrowverse, and the show has teased his existence several times — from references to Ferris Aircraft and visits to Coast City, to a brief glimpse of him in the season 4 premiere. The Arrowverse has now proven it can handle flashy (ahem) superpowers on a budget, so GL’s emerald ring constructs aren’t beyond what Berlanti and company can accomplish. The Invasion! storyline would be a perfect chance to introduce Hal into the continuity and satisfy many fans.
This is probably still a hell of a long shot, since Green Lantern is slated for a big-screen introduction into the DC Extended Universe at some point, and Warner Bros. has proven a bit hinky about allowing characters to exist in both movieland and TV land. Then again, both the dual Flashes and now Superman on Supergirl prove that those rules might be loosening. Dare we hope that glow on the horizon is Green Lantern’s light?
1. Fully Embrace the Multiverse
The Arrowverse has already established the existence of the multiverse — countless different realities. During Barry’s travels between those universes, the shows have referenced DC properties that came before, including the Flash series in the ’90s. The implication is that those earlier shows could possibly be canon within the Arrowverse. But what if they took that concept to the next level? What if they established that all DC shows and movies over the years — all of them — exist alongside the “reality” of the Arrowverse and the big-screen DCEU films?
It’s a virtual impossibility that we’d ever get Henry Cavill’s Superman or Ben Affleck’s Batman slumming in the Arrowverse. But what about new Flash Ezra Miller? He and Grant Gustin have been cheerleaders for letting the Flashes meet. Take it further: if all the shows are multiversal canon, then Tom Welling’s Smallville Superman is out there somewhere. Even further: why not an animated crossover with the iconic “Diniverse” animated series? The sky is the limit… and lots of these folks can fly.
Of course, all of that is super unlikely… but why not? The notion of the multiverse is a defining part of DC mythology, something the Arrowverse is embracing with enthusiasm. It’s a perfect fit for DC– if they were ever crazy enough to do it. Personally, we’d just like to imagine Barry glimpsing a world where Christopher Reeve’s Superman is still keeping Metropolis safe. As is Tom Welling’s Superman. And Dean Cain’s. And on and on and on…