The Arrowverse is a version of the DC Comics world that has a lot of inarguable strengths. Its earnest, hopeful outlook is in stark contrast to where the current DC film universe began. Each show brings something unique to the table; Arrow is the darker, grittier street-level series, The Flash embraces the super science and wide eyed wonder of its comic book roots, Supergirl tells classic superhero tales with a 21st century feminist twist, and Legends of Tomorrow deftly answers what a 12 year old LSD enthusiast would do if given creative control of Doctor Who.
The multi-series crossovers – like this year's “Crisis on Earth-X” – feel more like the popular event comics of the ‘90s and ‘00s than the cinematic team ups of The Avengers and Justice League, with a looser, more creatively fluid vibe.
Another unmistakable commonality between all these shows – they are brimming with very pretty people. A combination of the CW’s long-established tradition of stocking its shows with the most attractive people possible coupled with the need to cast people who can credibly wear superhero costumes has created a perfect storm of hotness. Of course, looks aren’t everything, and some of the Arrowverse’s most attractive thrive on their considerable personalities, senses of humor, and generous hearts. But mostly the hotness.
These are the 16 Most Attractive Arrowverse Characters.
16 Lena Luthor
It couldn’t have been easy growing up in the Luthor family. Lena's (Katie McGrath) father, Lionel Luthor, was, by all accounts, a scoundrel. Her mother, Lillian, turned out to be the homicidal director of Project Cadmus. But the real albatross around Lena's neck was, of course, her dear brother, Superman’s greatest foe, Lex Luthor. The Arrowverse version of Lex has been in prison for an unspecified amount of time, and the public embarrassment has certainly taken a toll on Lena.
And yet she’s trying her best to make amends. Attempting to utilize her family’s fortune for benevolent purposes for a change, Lena immediately befriended Kara when she came to Star City, and has proved more than once that her intentions really are pure, which is quite an achievement for a Luthor.
15 Alex Danvers
Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) is remarkable. The adoptive sister of Kara Zor-El, Alex had to put lots of her own ambitions and interests on the back burner in order to protect the young alien girl her family took in. She may have resented that on some level, but she’s grown up to be Kara’s fiercest protector and the most indispensable person in the life of Supergirl. She couldn’t possibly love her sister more.
Alex’s journey toward understanding and embracing her burgeoning sexuality has made her not only a fan favorite character, but the subject of one of the most thoughtful, generous coming out stories in all of mainstream fiction. Her relationship with Maggie Sawyer may not have endured, but her personal journey is still one of Supergirl’s defining strengths.
14 Wally West
To a generation of comic book readers, Wally West is The Flash. From 1986 until 2009, Barry Allen was dead, and his sidekick took on the mantle and, in the eyes of many fans, surpassed his predecessor. That probably wasn’t going to work for the CW’s version of the Scarlet Speedster, which focuses on a Barry Allen who's just getting his start, but fans were still hopeful Wally would figure in somehow eventually.
They got their wish in season 2, as Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) debuted as Iris’ long-lost brother. He doesn’t share a lot with his comic book counterpart, but he’s an incredibly likable character in his own right. Kind, sensitive, and loyal to his family and friends, Wally was an instantly great addition to the team, and his emergence as Kid Flash has given Barry one of his most valuable allies.
13 Dinah Drake
For most of Arrow’s run, it had a Black Canary problem it just couldn’t seem to crack. When Katie Cassidy was cast as Dinah Laurel Lance, the Black Canary of the comics, it seemed unlikely Arrow would turn into the sort of show that would eventually feature teams of superheroes, or any costumed vigilantes beyond Oliver himself.
Sara Lance’s turn as The Canary was well received, but was decidedly different from the traditional version of the character. Cassidy would do a serviceable enough job of portraying Black Canary in the later seasons before being killed off.
The closest the show has gotten so far to the spirit of the original character has been Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy). Introduced in season 5, she’s a metahuman who can shatter walls with her siren scream. She’s tough, cool, and embodies the best aspects of her comic book counterpart.
12 Leonard Snart
Sometimes it’s good to be bad – just ask Captain Cold. Portrayed by Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller, Leonard Snart is easily the most beloved villain in the Arrowverse. The actor somehow strikes a perfect balance between genuine menace and hammy scenery-chewing, stealing virtually every second he’s onscreen.
Debuting early in the first season of The Flash, Snart was popular enough that he was selected to star in the spinoff Legends of Tomorrow, where he became an unlikely hero traversing all of time and space with a group of weirdos and losers selected by Rip Hunter for their relative insignificance.
Miller has suggested his stint in the upcoming four-show crossover “Crisis On Earth-X” will be his swan song as Snart. If true, the Arrowverse will never be quite the same again.
11 Thea Queen
It can be hard to remember where Thea Queen (Willa Holland) began at this point. Oliver’s hard partying, drug-abusing little sister initially seemed ported in from some other CW soap opera. But she eventually became a crucial component of the show, first through her relationship with Roy Harper, and eventually as Speedy, a fully fledged member of Team Arrow. She’s also the last actual family Oliver has left, and the siblings tend to lean on each other in times of hardship – which is most of the time on Arrow.
Thea is sometimes underserved by the series – and disappeared for large chunks of its fifth season due to contractual issues with Willa Holland – but when Arrow is firing on all cylinders, Thea is generally in the mix, standing up for herself and helping her big brother in any way she can.
10 Oliver Queen
The Arrowverse’s hotness template found its genesis in one man - the statuesque Oliver Queen. Embodied with a smoldering intensity by Stephen Amell, that charisma was one of the few things that kept Arrow afloat in its early, murky days, when it was still trying to figure out what kind of show it wanted to be.
Initially conceived of as the dark, Batman Begins-influenced version of the character from Arrow’s first season, Oliver would undergo a surprising evolution as the show continually morph from a gritty street-level drama into a world where magic and time travel were daily realities.
Oliver has matured from a man who trusted essentially no one into the leader of a small army of vigilante allies, some of whom he considers to be family at this point. His relationship with Felicity Smoak is the major driver of shipper passions with the show’s fandom, and his salmon ladder workouts are the stuff of legend at this point.
9 Caitlin Snow
There’s nothing hotter than a magnificent brain – it’s an added bonus that such a brain resides inside someone who looks like Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker). A brilliant bioengineering expert, Caitlin fills several roles for Team Flash; she’s the resident medic, a valuable strategist, and an incredibly capable scientist. She is, in many ways, the beating heart of the team.
Much more level headed than Cisco, Caitlin is usually the most reliable member of the team… unless she’s being possessed by her alter ego, the icy villain Killer Frost. Due to Barry’s meddling with the timeline in “Flashpoint,” Caitlin has a sort of Jekyll and Hyde relationship with Killer Frost, constantly in fear of losing control and hurting those close to her.
Caitlin wears her heart on her sleeve, often to her own personal detriment, but she couldn’t live her life any other way.
8 Ray Palmer
Alongside the debut of The Flash, Ray Palmer’s arrival in season three of Arrow was a signal that the Arrowverse expansion was going to be embrace the sort of wide-eyed wonder that was the signature of a lot of DC Comics stories but that had largely been absent from the dark, edgy tale of Oliver Queen.
Blessed with a gigantic brain and the looks of, well, Superman, Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer was an instant hit, so much so that when it was announced there would be a third Arrowverse series, Legends of Tomorrow, it was a no brainer that Ray would be one of its stars.
It’s on Legends where Ray’s appeal is most obvious. The boyish, nerdish glee he exudes at the team’s time travel adventures is impossible not to share. He’s maybe the one member of the Waverider who experiences time travel the way real people would: with awe and glee.
7 Sara Lance
Nobody has had quite the sort of roller coaster ride through the Arrowverse that Sara Lance has endured. After miraculously surviving the boat crash that stranded Oliver Queen on Lian Yu, Sara spent some time on the hellish island before she was swept away and indoctrinated into the League of Assassins.
She returned to Star City as The Canary, balancing the romantic interests of both Oliver and Nyssa Al Ghul. After being murdered by an unaware Thea Queen, she was resurrected by a Lazarus Pit and soon after boarded the Waverider on Legends of Tomorrow as the White Canary.
Sara has found her niche as a time traveler, leading the rag tag Legends through timey wimey adventures, romancing some of history’s giants along the way. She’s become something akin to Doctor Who’s Captain Jack Harkness – a role played by Arrow’s own John Barrowman – the sexy adventurer who makes the very most of time travel.
6 Cisco Ramon
What’s more attractive than a sense of humor? Cisco Ramon could have so easily been the sort of snarky, too-cool-for-school sidekick that has infected a lot of modern movies and TV shows. And while he’s a pop culture scholar and the closest the Arrowverse comes to fourth wall breaking at times, Cisco’s also impossible to hate.
Essentially born as The Flash’s version of Felicity, Cisco has become a great character in his own right. His manic energy has helped propel the series’ weaker moments, and he’s a key ingredient to the show’s most winning, joyous benchmarks. He somehow manages to be an endlessly charming dork in a completely different way from Barry, and he’s the show’s secret weapon when things either get too dour or start flying off the rails of comic book zaniness.
5 Felicity Smoak
Felicity Smoak was never intended to be a building block of the Arrowverse, or even a major character on Arrow. But Emily Bett Rickards’ brief appearance early in the show’s run showcased her dynamic chemistry with Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen, and the producers were smart enough to realize Team Arrow need both some levity and a female presence.
It’s hard to imagine the Arrowverse without Felicity at this point. The beautiful, brilliant, endlessly awkward Overwatch is the shared DNA between several of the shows, logging frequent guest appearances on The Flash and getting regular name drops on Legends of Tomorrow.
The on again/off again relationship between Oliver and Felicity has been the chief romantic thrust of the Arrowverse, in some ways mirroring the shows’ constant tension between telling fun, bigger than life comic book stories and darker, more soap opera influenced fare. None of that happens without Felicity at its center.
4 Barry Allen
The Arrowverse technically began with Oliver Queen returning to Star City to carry out his father’s dark mission to save the city, but what we currently think of as the television corner of the DC universe kicked off with a refreshingly earnest young crime lab specialist from Central City.
From his very first appearance on Arrow, Barry Allen was a revelation. In an era when both film and television were dominated by costumed heroes who felt burdened by their status as heroes, here was someone who felt genuine excitement at the prospect of using superpowers to help others. The fact that he could overcome his considerable childhood trauma to be a beacon of hope made him all the more compelling.
Despite some bumps in the road along the way – namely the entirety of The Flash’s third season – Barry’s earnest do-gooder spirit always wins out. There's a reason he’s the smiling face of the Arrowverse.
3 John Diggle
It’s difficult to imagine Team Arrow functioning for very long without John Diggle (David Ramsay). Oliver’s first ally when he returned to Star City, Diggle evolved from something akin to a musclebound Alfred Pennyworth into Oliver’s most trusted comrade and the team’s conscience. He’s always there to temper Oliver’s bouts with darkness and self-doubt, even when he’s struggling with his own demons.
A devoted father to little John Jr. - or little Sara, depending on how much Barry has screwed with the timeline lately – Diggle’s relationship with his wife Lyla is perhaps the healthiest, least soapy romance in the Arrowverse.
Diggle’s still a little uneasy with all of this superpower business – his reaction to meeting the Flash for the first time is maybe the single funniest moment in the Arrowverse - but he’s the most consistent character in this corner of the DC universe: dependable, level-headed, and with arms the size of tree trunks.
2 Jefferson Jackson
Jefferson Jackson is a sterling example of the Arrowverse improvising on the fly. The superhero Firestorm has had a few combinations of characters over the years. The internal component is usually Dr. Martin Stein, played by Victor Garber. The other half is traditionally Ronnie Raymond, who was played by Robbie Amell on The Flash, and who perished in that show’s first season finale. Jason Rusch is another occasional Firestorm host, but The Flash had already used him in an earlier storyline that made his future inclusion seem unlikely.
Enter Jefferson, or “Jax” to his friends. Jax and Stein made something of an odd couple, the stuffy, brilliant scientist, and the working class but gifted kid clashing in the obvious ways before eventually becoming the closest of friends. With the news that Garber will be leaving Legends of Tomorrow this season, Jax will soon be the senior member of the Firestorm matrix. He’s more than capable of bearing that mantle.
1 Kara Danvers
Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) is so much more than a pretty face – though she does have a very pretty face. The last daughter of Krypton leads a double life similar to the one taken on by her more famous cousin, Superman; she works as a reporter at CatCo by day, and defends National City as Supergirl when needed.
Kara’s personality is endlessly endearing. She’s one of the most powerful beings on the planet, yet her problems are incredibly relatable. She worries about fitting in at work, about making her family proud, about her romantic victories and failures. She almost always approaches every one of those issues with an earnest intention to do the right thing. Her zeal for pot stickers and ice cream is infectious, as is her embrace of her role as a hero.
Kara may be an alien, but she represents the best aspects of humanity.
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