The Arrowverse Elseworlds crossover event will address Batman and Gotham City's history in The CW's DCTV universe when it airs this December. Both the Caped Crusader and his home turf have been either name-dropped or referenced several times in the Arrowverse already. Arrow nodded to Batman's existence in the season 7 episode "The Demon" just this past week, whereas Supergirl and The Flash have dropped lines about the troubled city Gotham and its equally unstable vigilante in their characters' conversations in seasons past. Question is, what's the deal with The Dark Knight in the Arrowverse, anyway?
Following the announcement this past summer that The CW is developing a Batwoman series and will introduce Ruby Rose as Kate Kane in Elseworlds, a number of fans speculated that Batman would also show up in this year's big Arrowverse crossover. Some people even theorized that Supernatural's Jensen Ackles is playing the Caped Crusader, after he was spotted on the Elseworlds set. However, the crossover's producers have since confirmed that Batman won't be appearing during the three-night event... though, that doesn't mean his absence won't be explained.
In an interview with EW, Arrowverse co-creator Marc Guggenheim explained that Gotham is "a dead city" and "practically a ghost town" during the Elseworlds crossover. Writer/producer Caroline Dries, who consulted on Elseworlds and is writing and producing the planned Batwoman TV series, further revealed that Batman has been missing from Gotham for at least three years, by the time the crossover begins:
“Our approach is: What does Gotham look like after the Batman has been gone for three years? So if you have the law and order, protector, and hope gone, what happens as a result? Some people are thriving in his absence because now they can start to do their own thing without the oversight. A lot of other people are suffering and they’re losing hope, and the city itself and infrastructure is falling apart. So it’s not a happy place. Our guys walk into a grimy, scary Gotham.”
Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), and Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) will make their way to Gotham during the middle hour of the three-part Elseworlds event (e.g. the Arrow episode) and cross paths with Batwoman, shortly after their arrival. According to Gustin, Oliver, Barry, and Kara aren't even certain if Batman is real or not when they first make their way to Gotham:
“Oliver is like, ‘He’s not real! They’ve made him up! It’s a hoax just to scare the citizens.’ Barry is flabbergasted by that and all he wants to do in Gotham is meet Batman. It’s a pretty funny scene."
While (arguably) the Arrowverse doesn't need Batman to explain Batwoman's existence, it seems the character is a real person in The CW's shared DCTV universe and could appear in the future, either on the Batwoman TV show or another series. It also sounds like Elseworlds sets the stage for Batwoman to really come into her own as a crime-fighter and become the hero that Gotham needs (not to mention, deserves), in the event that her solo series gets picked up for next year. At the same time, that would leave the door open for Batman to be referenced and even pop up on the Batwoman show every so often (similar to what Supergirl has done with Tyler Hoechlin's Superman). Either way, it's good to hear that fans will be getting some clarification on the Arrowverse's Batman, and very soon.
Elseworlds begins with The Flash on Sunday, December 9, then Arrow on Monday, December 10, and ends with Supergirl on Tuesday, December 11. All episodes air at 8pm.