The Arrowverse has been a present part of popular culture for nearly seven years. Formed in that relatively brief span of time is a vast universe of characters, worlds, and intriguing events. Curiously, all of the above begins prior to the events of Arrow’s arrival in 2012.
In fact, the Arrowverse as we know it, in terms of its own chronology, dates back several thousand years. The following list delineates the franchise’s most pivotal moments in chronological order. It’s worth noting, of course, that not every little detail will garner a mention.
25 HAWKS AND VANDAL IN ANCIENT EGYPT (CIRCA 1700 BCE)
It seems the Arrowverse’s first instance of “the impossible,” as Barry would deem it, is traceable to Ancient Egypt, when Chay-Ara, Khufu, and Hath-Set are exposed to a strange meteor shower element.
Their exposure essentially turns them into the reincarnating immortals, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Vandal Savage, respectively. Unfortunately, this bit of Arrowverse history has remained on the sidelines since the end of Legends of Tomorrow’s pilot season.
24 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA FORMED (EARLY 1940S)
Similar to its place in the DC Universe, and comics at-large, the Justice Society of America is the Arrowverse’s first team of superheroes. Founded by meta-humans in the early 1940s, the JSA worked in secret with the US government on covert operations.
Though they proved a well-oiled machine, their rise to fame influenced the arrival of the Dominators in the 1950s, as the aliens worried whether Earth’s access to superpowers would threaten the universe.
23 KRYPTON'S DESTRUCTION
As far as dates are concerned, it’s difficult to discern when exactly in the Arrowverse Krypton’s destruction occurs.
Yet, given how other events unfold, such as Kara's arriving on Earth-38 during Clark’s tenure as Superman, it seems safe to presume Krypton exploded after the Justice Society of America had been formed in the early 1940s.
22 SUPERMAN AND BATMAN BECOME HEROES (EARLY 2000S)
With regards to Superman, this counts for Earth-38 only as neither Superman nor Supergirl are present on Earth-1. Considering legends of the Batman persist on Earth-1, despite his multi-year absence, it seems both versions of the vigilante rise to prominence around the same period.
Thus, as Oliver Queen laments in “Elseworlds,” Batman is likely the Arrowverse’s first modern vigilante.
21 KARA'S POD CRASH LANDS ON EARTH (2003)
Since the Arrowverse takes place in time relative to our own, it’s clear Kara becomes Supergirl in 2015 when the show premieres. During the preceding 12 years, she lived on Earth-38 amongst regular folk, keeping her power usage to a minimum, whilst Superman performed Kryptonian heroics.
Therefore, her pod must have exited the Phantom Zone and entered Earth-38’s atmosphere sometime in 2003.
20 THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT SINKS (2007)
In 2007, the Queen’s Gambit left what was then known as Starling City, heading for China. Aboard it were a single crew member, Robert and Oliver Queen, and Sara Lance.
Upon the Gambit’s being sunk several hours after its departure, only the latter two people would survive. As Sara aptly states in the “Invasion” crossover, it’s hard to believe this whole thing started with just them. It’s impressive, really. Out of a singular moment, the sabotaging of a yacht, came an expansive universe.
19 THE HOOD ARRIVES IN STARLING CITY (2012)
Following his staged rescue on Lian Yu in the South China Sea, Oliver Queen returns home with one goal--to save his city. With a hood and bow in hand to honor his mentor, Yao Fei, Oliver adopts the mantle of The Hood and begins exacting vigilante justice on Starling City’s most corrupt businessmen.
Who could have guessed his actions, extreme as they may be, would eventually inspire Barry Allen to become a hero in his own right?
18 BARRY IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING (2014)
After taking a trip to Starling City during Arrow’s sophomore season, Barry returns to Central City and is soon struck by lightning. Against even more odds, said lightning also gives him superpowers. Thus, The Flash is born.
Inarguably, Barry’s transformation into the Scarlet Speedster represents one of the Arrowverse’s most pivotal moments. Barry introduces sci-fi elements to the world of Arrow, making way for the advent of Supergirl, the Legends, and more.
17 KARA BECOMES SUPERGIRL (2015)
To save her sister’s life, Kara risks exposing herself as a Kryptonian. Her incredible feat of heroism, thwarting a plane crash, results in her being deemed National City’s new savior, Supergirl. Though it happens on Earth-38, Kara’s embracing her power opens the Arrowverse to spectacular possibilities.
Notably, Kryptonians are thrown into the mix; so, too, are all manner of other aliens. Moreover, DC’s fascinating cosmic universe is now being explored on The CW shows, thanks in part to Supergirl’s debut.
16 MULTIVERSE DISCOVERED (2015)
When Eddie Thawne kills himself in The Flash’s Season 1 finale to prevent Eobard Thawne’s birth, a black hole opens in reality. As time tries to correct the dissonance between present and future events, a bridge to other universes forms.
RELATED: 10 Alternate DC Earths the Arrowverse Crisis Needs to Introduce (And 10 That Can Stay In the Comics)
This bridge ushers in what is now known as the Multiverse, in which a reportedly infinite number of Earths exist beyond the one originally established on Arrow.
15 CONSTANTINE INTRODUCES MAGIC (2015)
Chronologically, it can be argued the meteor that granted powers to the Hawks and Vandal Savage brought magic to the Arrowverse. However, magic usage itself doesn't appear until Arrow’s fourth season. The advent of John Constantine and Damien Darhk serves as proof positive, prior to the Hawks’ debut, that the dark arts do indeed exist.
Constantine’s arrival is more integral to this discussion, though, considering his magical prowess and revelation about the Lazarus Pit resurrects Sara Lance.
14 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW FORM (2016)
Rip Hunter visits 2016 to form a team of heroes that will accompany him in combating an impossible threat: Vandal Savage. Rip’s recruits are primarily heroes who were sidelined on Arrow or The Flash, making them rather insignificant.
Consequently, they’re perfect cannon fodder for a potentially lost cause. The Legends have since become far more. In truth, this team of misfits will likely go down as one of the Arrowverse’s finest contributions to pop culture.
13 SUPERGIRL MEETS THE FLASH (2016)
During Supergirl’s pilot season, The Flash finds himself stranded on another Earth, which Cisco later discovers is Earth-38. This meeting of heroes is important for many reasons, chief among them being that it offers Supergirl a gateway into the Arrowverse.
Furthermore, it masterfully sets up Barry’s idea to seek help from a powerful alien when the Dominators attack Earth-1 several months later.
12 BATMAN DISAPPEARS ON EARTH-1 (2016)
According to Kate Kane, by late 2018, Batman’s been missing for three years. Whether or not the same is true for Earth-38’s Batman remains to be seen. Why he vanished also remains a mystery, though Kate posits Gotham’s corruptness may have gotten to be too much for even the Dark Knight.
Since Ra’s al Ghul died one year prior to Batman’s vanishing, it’s possible the two events are related. Yet, truthfully, this is one Arrowverse conundrum unlikely to ever be solved.
11 FLASHPOINT (2016)
At the end of The Flash Season 2, following the murder of Henry Allen, Barry returns to the future to save his mother from Reverse-Flash. It’s a bold move with dire consequences that ripple throughout the Arrowverse, though it does so on a fairly small scale.
Notable changes in the post-“Flashpoint” timeline include the death of Cisco’s brother, and Diggle’s having a son instead of a daughter. This event also bears responsibility for the Dominators’ invasion of Earth-1.
10 THE DOMINATORS INVADE (2016)
Due to “Flashpoint,” the Dominators believe the universe may be threatened by meta-humans. In an effort to mitigate said threat, the alien race invades Earth.
Their plan? To launch a weapon that will destroy all meta-human life on the planet. Interestingly, the invasion is salient for another key reason, as well. This event brings together all of the Arrowverse’s heroes for the first time.
9 CRISIS ON EARTH-X (2017)
“Crisis on Earth-X” marks a pivotal moment in Arrowverse history for several reasons. First, the Nazi-ruled Earth-X enters the picture, bringing with it the Freedom Fighters. More of Supergirl’s world is embedded into the Arrowverse’s nexus, particularly as Alex meets the rest of the gang.
Yet, the debut of Nora Allen, Barry and Iris’ daughter, represents the most significant event to come out of this invasion. Depending on how The Flash’s fifth season concludes, Nora’s introduction could set the stage for much of the Arrowverse’s future.
8 ARGO CITY DISCOVERED (2018)
Late in Supergirl’s third season, Supergirl and Mon-El incidentally discover the last vestige of Krypton, Argo City. Prior to Krypton’s explosion, Kara’s father, Zor-El, designed a way to protect Argo City from the blast.
However, Kara and Clark were still sent to Earth in case Zor-El’s efforts failed. Evidently, his plan worked, Argo City thrives and so much so that Superman and Lois Lane leave home for a time to live there.
7 GREEN ARROW UNMASKED (2018)
The tail end of Arrow’s sixth run sees the Green Arrow’s hood and domino mask removed. Shortly thereafter, Oliver Queen begins serving his assigned prison sentence at Slabside.
He doesn’t remain incarcerated for long, but this compelling plot thread, specifically his unmasking, marks a turning point for the Arrowverse. Currently, Oliver is the franchise’s only hero whose identity is publicly known.
6 LOIS AND CLARK ARE EXPECTING A CHILD (2018)
It isn’t made clear how far along she is, but, during “Elseworlds,” Lois reveals she is with child. This constitutes a fascinating turning point for the Arrowverse, as the potential introduction of a young Jonathan Kent means roads are being paved for the franchise’s future.
With other children of Arrowverse heroes either visiting from the future or appearing in flashbacks, might something similar be in the cards for Superman’s firstborn?
5 THE MONITOR ARRIVES (2018)
The events of “Elseworlds” kick off courtesy of The Monitor’s meddling with reality across multiple universes. His reasoning seems simple enough. A dangerous threat will soon arrive. To help him combat this mysterious threat, which is likely the Anti-Monitor, The Monitor aims to recruit the best of heroes.
Based on his secretive deal with Oliver, it appears Earth-1’s heroes, presumably in addition to Earth-38’s, will provide The Monitor with exactly what he requires.
4 KATE KANE BECOMES BATWOMAN (2018)
With Batman being out of commission for three years, Gotham sunk deeper into the abyss of corruption and organized crime. Now there’s a new Bat-vigilante in town to hopefully usher in a new day for the squalor-filled metropolis, Batwoman.
Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin, has adopted the mantle of Gotham’s protector. As evidenced by her combat prowess in “Elseworlds,” she's gotten off to a solid start.
3 FELICITY AND OLIVER ARE EXPECTING A CHILD (2019)
As of writing, Felicity has recently learned she’s expecting a child. If the show’s Season 7 flash-forwards are anything to go by, she and Oliver will soon welcome a baby girl into the family.
In 2040, the young woman goes by Mia Smoak. However, since it’s difficult to discern whether the future will change after “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” perhaps an analysis of the Arrowverse’s possible futures should be set aside.
2 CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (2019)
In some form or fashion, the Arrowverse will adapt the seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths for television. What this means for the franchise’s future isn’t presently clear.
However, many of the key players from the comics are in place, such as The Flash, Supergirl, The Monitor, and Psycho Pirate. Curiously, it could be the confidential deal between The Monitor and Oliver Queen that truly shakes things up.
1 THE FLASH VANISHES (2024?)
Since The Flash’s start, the groundwork has been laid for the Speedster’s 2024 disappearance. However, considering Nora Allen’s attempts to alter her father’s fate and the Crisis on Infinite Earths 2019 adaptation, it’s possible Barry will not go missing in 2024. Who knows? He may not vanish at all.