Superhero TV shows are the best they’ve ever been. There are so many that CW literally has its own DC Universe, called the Arrowverse, covering nearly all of the characters that the DCEU has yet to put on the big screen— and even some that they already have.
Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and now Black Lightning each explore the adventure and wonder of the DC Universe in their own ways. However, at the same time, balancing these shows can be incredibly difficult. Each has their own showrunners, as well as their own writing teams, casts, and crews, but they all have to know what’s going on with each of the other series, every step of the way.
Because of this, there are plot holes. Some can be easily dismissed or explained with a line of sci-fi jargon, some the producers just hope go unnoticed. Others are simply too big to ignore.
These are the ones that become running jokes among the fans, that get pointed out in articles. These plot holes are part of being a fan of anything, particularly a collective of TV shows with a fan-base this large. It’s just the way it goes.
Even still, some of these plot holes are glaringly obvious, which is why we will be pointing them out. For the purposes of this list, we’ll tackle any major plot holes from Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.
Here are the 15 Arrowverse Plot Holes That Are Too Big To Ignore.
15. Everyone Lectures Barry on Time Travel When the Legends Do It Every Week
This might be the most glaring, obvious plot hole in the entire Arrowverse. Since the consequences at the end of season one, since Barry first ran back in time, everyone has chastised him on the consequences of time travel.
The entire third season of The Flash was based around Barry screwing up the timeline and having to both attempt to fix it and learn to adjust to what had already been broken.
It wasn’t a huge deal to see the show focus on the questions regarding time travel until Legends of Tomorrow premiered. That’s a time travel show. They’re bouncing back and forth from the prehistoric past to the distant future from week to week.
14. Supergirl Tells James Only Superpowered People Can be Heroes
In the second season of Supergirl, James Olson is not content to be on the sidelines any more, not even content to take over running Catco, so he decides to become the vigilante Guardian so that he can make a real difference.
This causes a rift between Kara and James as she doesn’t believe in his methods and thinks that a regular human becoming a costumed hero is too much of a risk. She tells James that it is going to get him killed because he does not have the powers she has.
This is already a bit of a problem in a world where Green Arrow exists, but it’s an even bigger problem when Supergirl herself has already teamed up with him. The “Invasion” crossover had already happened at this point.
13. Oliver Shouldn’t Have Survived His Fall
This one just doesn’t make any sense. There’s no way around it and there’s no explanation for it. In the third season of Arrow, Oliver fights Ra’s Al Ghul and loses– badly.
He is run through with a sword and falls off a cliff to his apparent death. However, that’s not what ultimately happens. Instead, he awakens some time later after being revived by herbal tea. The most frustrating thing here is that this would have been a perfect time to work in the Lazarus Pit to actually bring Oliver back to life.
12. Time Wraiths
The Time Wraiths are a creepy but cool idea. They’re slightly scarier versions of Harry Potter’s Dementors. However, given how they work, based on the explanation provided in the show, they’re incredibly inconsistent.
The Time Wraiths go after Barry for breaking the timeline when he goes back a year to ask Harrison Welles/Eobard Thawne for help getting faster. However, why didn’t they go after him when he created the singularity going back in time in the first place?
Even more than that, once they’ve been established, why didn’t the Time Wraiths go after Barry once he’s shattered the timeline by creating Flashpoint— and then once he undoes Flashpoint as well?
11. The Yamashiro Family Should Have Been Wiped Out
The Yamashiro family plays a big role in Arrow. Tatsu healed Oliver after his near-fatal battle with Ra’s Al-Ghul and also takes on the mantle of Katana. In the present day, given the death of Maseo at her hand, Tatsu is the last surviving member of the family.
However, when the Legends find themselves in Feudal Japan, they encounter the founding ancestors of the family.
After the deaths that take place in that time-travel adventure, though, the family should logically be wiped out. If they didn’t go back in time, logically the family would have developed naturally and by interfering and getting involved, they should have inadvertently wiped out the entire family line.
10. Barry’s Inconsistent Powers
The biggest running problem with The Flash, even when it’s at its best, is the matter of Barry’s constantly fluctuating power level. Sometimes he’s fast enough to run through time and phase through walls, sometimes he’s not fast enough to stop a single villain.
Barry’s powers have developed to amazing heights at this point, he should never ever lose a fist fight. Given just how powerful he’s become, Barry often becomes far less powerful than he should be for the sake of a single narrative.
For example, there’s a dramatic face-off with King Shark in which the gang isn’t sure if Barry is going to be fast enough to run on water. However, he’s already gone back in time and has learned to phase through solid objects, so doing this should already be second nature to him by the time he actually learns to do it.
9. Wally Should Have Lost His Powers When Savitar Was Erased from Existence
From the moment that Wally was first introduced, everyone was wondering when he would get his powers and become Kid Flash. When he didn’t get his powers at the same time Jesse did, both the viewers and the character were obviously disappointed.
After that, it was clear that he should get powers sooner rather than later. Wally’s abilities were kicked off by the self-described speed god Savitar.
The problem is that at the end of the season, when Savitar was defeated, he was erased from existence. For the most part, that works, as the character mostly stayed in the background and didn’t always interact with things.
8. Why Didn’t Thea Discover the Arrow Cave Under Her Own Club?
Thea Queen had a rocky start on the show. Her abandonment issues stacked up so that she had developed a drug problem, and it was a jarring plot line that didn’t do much to service her character.
Thea became more and more interesting as she found her footing and by the time she took over the club— even if she was way too young to do that— it was way more interesting to see her as a self-actualized businesswoman who actually knew what she was doing.
The only problem is that this is all undercut by the fact that Thea doesn’t even discover that the Arrow Cave is literally underneath her own club. Not knowing that really hinders all those scenes of her running the club with authority and intelligence, because this is such a glaring thing that she couldn’t figure out right under her nose.
7. Oliver’s Past With Amanda Waller
The flashbacks in Arrow proved to be difficult from the very beginning. They’re so dependent on backstory that feeds into what’s happening in the present that they create gaps simply by ultimately existing.
Introducing Oliver’s past with Amanda Waller was a clear example of that. Diggle could have used any information Oliver had on Waller and his history with her from the very beginning.
Part of that is due to dramatic timing with the flashbacks and much of it is due to the fact that characters and plots are introduced long before they come into play in flashbacks, which makes it tough to balance. With Waller being such a major, ominous presence on the show, that became one of the more noticeable inconsistencies.
6. The Sun Should Weaken Bizarro
When Bizarro was created to face off against Supergirl, it’s established that her powers were the exact opposite of Kara’s in every single way. She had cold-vision and heat breath instead of the other way around.
When that’s explained so directly, though, that becomes a bigger issue. Kara’s powers come from the strength of Earth’s yellow sun, like her cousin.
They didn’t have powers on Krypton, but the radiation of the sun gives them incredible strength. From the way it’s described, Bizarro should have been weakened by the yellow sun and strengthened by the red sun of Krypton.
5. Why Didn’t Zoom Steal Jay Garrick’s Speed?
Zoom was one of the most intense villains fans have gotten the chance to see on The Flash. At times he felt more like a demonic presence than a human in a mask, thanks largely to the incredible voice performance by Tony Todd.
The big reveal of the season turned out to be that Jay Garrick had never actually been Jay Garrick, but had been Zoom the whole time. It was a great twist that affected the characters on a deep level, but it presented a problem.
Zoom’s whole arc had been based around stealing the powers of other speedsters. That’s how he became so powerful in the first place. If he had the real Jay Garrick imprisoned, why would he not have stolen Jay’s speed? That was his entire purpose, so it really doesn’t make any sense for him not to do it.
4. Why Wouldn’t Rip Hunter Kill Vandal Savage as a Baby?
Rip Hunter wouldn’t even need to kill an infant Vandal Savage for this to work, because killing a baby on a CW show would obviously be a bridge too far. However, there’s really no way around this point. Rip and the Legends have had access to virtually any point in the past and future.
Their goal is to stop Vandal Savage before he gains enough power to become unstoppable. It was the basic concept of the entire first season of the show. Savage kills Hunter’s family in the future, he’s trying to kill the latest incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl so that he can continue his immortal life.
Whenever the Legends find themselves fighting Savage, he’s just as powerful as he’s always been. So why wouldn’t they kill him long before he gains that power? Why not fight him before he actually becomes an immortal? Of course Rip did this and failed, but there’s no reason he couldn’t have simply gone back and killed him at an earlier point.
3. Why Were There Metahumans in Flashpoint?
After Barry changes the timeline so that his mother was never murdered, thus kicking off the Flashpoint reality, he returns to a different present in which he never became the Flash— but there are still just as many metahumans running around Central City. However, if the Particle Accelerator never exploded, turning Barry into the Flash, how is that possible?
This wouldn’t be too much of a problem, given that viewers only spend a single episode in that timeline. The first half of the third season, though, is about people who were metahumans in Flashpoint being given their powers back by Doctor Alchemy.
There’s so much focus on them that it’s hard not to think about the Particle Accelerator or how it would have worked. If they had just gotten their powers through other means, why are there so many of them in the same place?
2. Thawne’s Death
At the end of The Flash’s first season, Eddie Thawne makes the decision to make the ultimate sacrifice to kill himself to prevent Reverse Flash Eobard Thawne from ever being born.
It was a huge moment that in the years since has been shown to have virtually no impact at all. Thawne has appeared many times since this initial death, setting of Flashpoint and even joining the Legion of Doom for the second season of Legends of Tomorrow.
Given that he’s one of the Arrowverse’s strongest villains, people naturally want to see more of him, but every time he appears, Eddie’s death has less and less weight to it.
That’s not even mentioning the fact that Thawne’s death should logically have unmade everything as he kicked off Barry’s road to becoming The Flash in the first place. No wonder time ruptured itself when this happened.
1. Martian Manhunter’s Constantly Fluctuating Power Level
Like Barry, Martian Manhunter is incredibly powerful. Also like Barry, he’s incredibly less powerful than he should be at any given moment. There’s an argument among fans that J’onn is kept weaker in order to keep Supergirl relevant, which is silly.
There’s a difference between not being powerful and knowing when someone is powerful enough to handle themselves. J’onn respects Kara’s ability to do her job and only jumps in when he needs to.
In those moments, though, he sometimes goes up against enemies that really shouldn’t be that much of a threat to him. When he does drop his human form and shift into the Martian Manhunter, he should be operating at the full range of his power, which is huge. Instead, he mostly just gets in fist fight that don’t match up with his potential at all.
Can you think of any other huge plot holes in the Arrowverse? Let us know in the comments!
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