Across six shows (yes, we’re counting Black Lightning now that it's in the crossover) the Arrowverse has given us some of TV’s best heroes. However, we all know none of those heroes would be anything without tech support back at their headquarters. Frankly, none of them even knew what to do until their smart friends showed up.
Whether it’s making suits and equipment, or hacking super difficult, top secret computer systems in the nick of time, the real MVPs of the Arrowverse are its geniuses. Time to put on our thinking caps with the 10 smartest characters in the Arrowverse! To make things more interesting, we left out Harrison Wells and all of his alternate versions because, honestly, they could be a whole list on their own.
10 PETER GAMBI
As Jefferson Pierce’s father figure and closest ally, Peter Gambi has been with Black Lightning through his whole journey. Gambi is the one who convinces Jeff to fully come out of retirement, supporting him with a new suit and intel on The 100, Tobias and the A.S.A.
We don’t know the extent of his tech knowledge but clearly he’s brilliant, as he customizes Jeff, Anissa and Jennifer’s suits to their powers, while also building some of the universe’s most cool toys. Since he’s also a former government agent, Gambi isn’t afraid to get in the fight, which makes him even more fascinating.
9 CAITLIN SNOW
Though Dr. Caitlin Snow’s specialty is as a bioengineer, she’s become The Flash and Arrowverse as a whole’s resident metahuman medical doctor. She takes care of Barry when he’s hurt, and consults on other characters when their injuries preclude them from seeing regular doctors.
Her medical and engineering expertise often lead to her figuring out how to defeat the rogue of the week by counteracting their abilities. Her intelligence combined with her Killer Frost personality gives her perspective that the other heroes will never have.
8 MARTIN STEIN
Nuclear physicist Martin Stein is an unlikely superhero but following Ronnie’s death, Stein is paired with Jax, and the two join the Legends as Firestorm. His knowledge of science history helps him understand how gadgets and weapons work, no matter what time period they land in.
However, his genius sometimes makes him egotistical and short-sighted, with him not seeing potential solutions, because he’s set in his ways. Of course, this changes during his time with Jax and through his travels, and his intelligence and experience is sorely missed on the Waverider.
7 LENA LUTHOR
Luthors are known for being geniuses, so it was no surprise to discover that Lena was just as smart as her infamous brother. Though it takes time to gain everyone's trust, Lena’s assistance during several close calls makes her part of the family.
Lena pursues experimenting with Harun-El to help good people develop powers, as well as to cure illnesses. Lena’s problems come because she’s usually so focused on her good intentions, she can’t foresee the possible consequences. We can’t imagine those qualities will change as she becomes increasingly bitter about Kara’s lies.
6 CURTIS HOLT
After four seasons, we didn’t think there’d be anyone who could match Felicity’s creativity and brilliance. Then we met the newest employee at Palmer Tech, Curtis Holt. His first big mission came when he helped the team rescue Ray from Damien Darhk.
From then on, he created a special chip so Felicity could walk again, and his T spheres, which became a critical piece of equipment for Team Arrow. Before he left town, he used his tech to save Dinah’s life, leading him to feel he could be using his skills to help people, not just be a vigilante.
5 WINN SCHOTT
When Kara reveals her secret to Winn, he doesn’t hesitate to accept her, deciding to use his intelligence to help her become the hero she wants. He also wants to distance himself from his father’s crimes.
Once he starts working with the DEO, he has no problem understanding alien technology, often finding ways to use it as weapons or protective equipment for the agents. He can hack anything, reprogram or diffuse bombs and takes great pride in the suits he builds for Kara, James and Alex. Even Brainy recognizes his genius, letting him take his place in the future.
4 RAY PALMER
Ray Palmer is introduced as a billionaire tech genius obsessed with building a powerful suit, so he can help others. While kidnapped by Damien Darhk, he perfects the A.T.O.M. suit’s shrinking capabilities, then joins the Legends.
His endless imagination coupled with Gideon’s ability to fabricate anything have led to him creating an anti-magic gun, rebuilding ancient magical totems, constantly enhancing the A.T.O.M. suit and making multiple costumes for the team. Though he’ll never be the strongest, his intellect makes him extremely powerful and dangerous.
3 FELICITY SMOAK
When we first meet Felicity Smoak she’s just an ordinary IT person at Queen Consolidated. It doesn’t take long for Walter and Oliver to realize how special her genius really is. She’s an instant asset to Oliver’s cause, falling in love from the moment he brings her a computer with bullet holes.
Throughout the series, it’s been well established that Felicity can do anything. Whether it’s hacking top secret government files, finding answers from destroyed DNA, fighting Nazi doppelgangers or stopping nuclear missiles, the entire Arrowverse would be lost without her.
2 CISCO RAMON
Considering all the tech he has come up with over the years, Cisco Ramon just might be the smartest person in the Arrowverse. He makes suits and equipment for Team Flash and Team Arrow, as well as helping design their bunkers. His brilliance is matched by his creativity, leading to ground-breaking inventions.
Though Barry Allen is the hero, it usually comes down to Cisco building something crazy at the last minute, so they can beat the bad guy. Even without his powers, we’re convinced that there’s nothing Cisco can’t dream up, then make a reality.
1 BRAINIAC 5
Being an AI from the future gives Brainy a jump on the competition. None of the humans in the Arrowverse can solve problems with the speed or efficiency that he can. This doesn’t mean he’s infallible, as his inability to understand human emotion often causes him to make miscalculations.
As we’ve gotten to see him evolve, we’ve gotten to know him better and see the person beneath the AI. He has feelings and emotions like anyone else. His confidence in his genius also allows him to bring a geeky swagger to his job, which makes his team never doubt him.