Arrowverse

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Arrowverse
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Promotional image for the 2016–17 television season
Created by
Original work Arrow
Print publications
Comics See below
Films and television
Television series
Web series
Animated series
Miscellaneous
Crossovers

The Arrowverse is a shared fictional universe that is centered on television series airing on The CW, developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Phil Klemmer, and Geoff Johns, based on characters appearing in publications by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the DC Universe in comic books or the cinematic DC Extended Universe, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters. The Arrowverse stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / Flash, Megalyn Echikunwoke as Mari Jiwe McCabe / Vixen, with an ensemble cast leading Legends of Tomorrow, including Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / White Canary, Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer / Atom, Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory / Heat Wave, with Victor Garber and Franz Drameh as Martin Stein & Jefferson "Jax" Jackson / Firestorm. Russell Tovey stars as Ray Terrill / The Ray.

The first television series was Arrow, based on the character Green Arrow, which debuted in October 2012, the universe was expanded with the series The Flash in October 2014, which is based on Barry Allen / Flash. The universe expanded further in August 2015 with the animated series Vixen on The CW Seed, and again with the live-action team up series Legends of Tomorrow in January 2016, the franchise has also crossed over with DC Comics television shows which air on other networks; Arrow crossed over with the short-lived NBC live-action series Constantine in the former's fourth season, while there have been multiple crossovers with the Supergirl TV series, primarily following its move from CBS to The CW. Two additional animated series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray and Constantine, will join the universe in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Many actors and characters have appeared across each of the series, with Wentworth Miller, John Barrowman and Katie Cassidy signing deals to become series regulars across Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow as Leonard Snart / Captain Cold, Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer and Laurel Lance / Black Canary / Black Siren, respectively.

Development[edit]

In January 2012, The CW ordered a pilot for Arrow, revolving around the character Green Arrow and developed by Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim.[1][2] Stephen Amell was cast in the titular role.[3] When developing the series, Guggenheim expressed that the creative team wanted to "chart [their] own course, [their] own destiny", and avoid any direct connections to the series Smallville, which featured its own Green Arrow (Justin Hartley).[4] In July 2013, it was announced that Berlanti, Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns would be creating a spin-off television series based on The Flash,[5] the character, played by actor Grant Gustin, was set to appear in three episodes of Arrow's second season, with the third acting as a backdoor pilot for the new series,[6] though a traditional pilot was eventually ordered instead.[7]

In January 2015, the CW announced that an animated web-series featuring the DC heroine Vixen would be debuting on CW Seed in late 2015 and be set in the same universe as both Arrow and The Flash.[8] Amell and Gustin reprise their respective roles in the series,[9] and the character of Vixen was expected to make a live-action appearance on The Flash and/or Arrow as well.[10] The next month, it was reported that another spin-off series, described as a superhero team-up show, was being discussed by The CW for a possible 2015–16 midseason release. Berlanti, Kreisberg, Guggenheim, and Sarah Schechter would executive produce the potential series, which would be headlined by several recurring characters from both Arrow and The Flash. That May, the CW officially confirmed DC's Legends of Tomorrow for a January 2016 premiere.[11][12] Pedowitz later stated, "There is no intention, at this point, to spin anything else off" to add to the universe,[13] though after Vixen was renewed for a second season he said that, "Hopefully, that character could actually spin itself out, if not, maybe join as one of the Legends" in Legends of Tomorrow.[14]

In August 2015, in a video about the production of Vixen's first season, Guggenheim referred to the series' shared universe as the "Arrowverse",[15] which Kreisberg confirmed was the name the producers use for it.[16] The universe has also been referred to by the media as the "Flarrowverse", "Berlanti-verse" and "DC TV-verse".[17][18][19] In October, additional Arrow showrunner Wendy Mericle revealed that the producers had begun having someone track all the characters and plots used by each series, in order to make sure everything lines up,[20] though The Flash executive producer Aaron Helbing noted in April 2016 that "sometimes the schedules don’t line up exactly...and that stuff is out of our control", such as when the Flash is shown using his abilities on Arrow that month, while not having them the same week on The Flash.[21]

In August 2016, the CW announced the animated web-series Freedom Fighters: The Ray for CW Seed, with the intent of the actor cast as Raymond "Ray" Terrill to appear in the live-action series, much like Mari McCabe / Vixen,[22] the following January, the animated web-series Constantine was announced, also for CW Seed. Matt Ryan was revealed to be reprising his role as John Constantine, after making a guest appearing in Arrow's fourth season, as well as in the short-lived live-action series.[23]

Main series[edit]

Series Season Episodes Originally aired Showrunner(s) Status
First aired Last aired
Live-action series
Arrow 1 23[24] October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15) Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim[25][26][27][28][29] Released
2 October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09) May 14, 2014 (2014-05-14)
3 October 8, 2014 (2014-10-08) May 13, 2015 (2015-05-13) Marc Guggenheim[30]
4 October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07) May 25, 2016 (2016-05-25) Wendy Mericle and Marc Guggenheim[31][32][33][34][35][24]
5 October 5, 2016 (2016-10-05) May 24, 2017 (2017-05-24)
6 October 12, 2017 (2017-10-12) TBA Airing
The Flash 1 23 October 7, 2014 (2014-10-07) May 19, 2015 (2015-05-19) Andrew Kreisberg[36] Released
2 October 6, 2015 (2015-10-06) May 24, 2016 (2016-05-24) Andrew Kreisberg,[37] Gabrielle Stanton,[38] and Aaron and Todd Helbing[39]
3 October 4, 2016 (2016-10-04) May 23, 2017 (2017-05-23) Todd and Aaron Helbing,[40] and Andrew Kreisberg[41]
4 TBA October 10, 2017 (2017-10-10) TBA Andrew Kreisberg[42] and Todd Helbing[43] Airing
Legends of Tomorrow 1 16 January 21, 2016 (2016-01-21) May 19, 2016 (2016-05-19) Phil Klemmer[44] and Chris Fedak[45] Released
2 17 October 13, 2016 (2016-10-13) April 4, 2017 (2017-04-04)
3 18[24] October 10, 2017 (2017-10-10) TBA TBA Airing
Animated series
Vixen 1 6 August 25, 2015 (2015-08-25) September 29, 2015 (2015-09-29) Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu[citation needed] Released
2 October 13, 2016 (2016-10-13) November 18, 2016 (2016-11-18)
Freedom Fighters: The Ray 1 TBD December 2017 (2017-12)[46] TBA Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim[47] Preparing for release
Constantine 1 5–6 2018 (2018)[48] TBA Greg Berlanti and David S. Goyer[49]

Arrow (2012–)[edit]

The series follows Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), billionaire playboy of Starling City, who spends five years shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Upon his return to Starling City, he is reunited with his mother, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), his sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), and his friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). The first season focuses on Oliver rekindling his relationships and spending his nights hunting down and sometimes killing wealthy criminals as a hooded vigilante, he uncovers a conspiracy to destroy "The Glades", a poorer section of the city that has become overridden with crime. John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade. Oliver also reconnects with ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is still angry over his role in her sister's presumed death and the fact that he was at the time cheating on her with said sister, the first season also features flashbacks to Oliver's time on the island, and how it changed him; this continues in subsequent seasons, with each season's worth of flashbacks corresponding roughly to a year.

In season two, Oliver has vowed to stop crime without killing criminals, and comes under attack from Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), a man from Oliver's time on the island who resurfaces with a vendetta against him. Oliver must also contend with outside forces attempting to take over Queen Consolidated, guilt from decisions he made in the past, and secrets harbored by his family and friends. Oliver grows to accept aspiring vigilante Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) as his protégé, and begins to receive assistance from Laurel's father, Officer Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Oliver also gains another ally; a mysterious woman in black, who is eventually revealed to be Laurel's sister, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who had survived her ordeal at sea years prior.

In season three, Arrow has become a public hero in Starling City following Slade Wilson's defeat. Queen Consolidated is sold to wealthy businessman, scientist, and aspiring hero Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). Oliver struggles to bring his family back together, an old enemy returns, and Oliver becomes embroiled into a conflict with Ra's al Ghul (Matthew Nable), after a rocky start, Laurel sets out to follow in Sara's footsteps as the Black Canary. John Diggle struggles with his new role as a family man, as Oliver no longer wants him in the field after the birth of John's daughter, while Felicity Smoak begins a new career as Vice President of Palmer Technologies (formerly Queen Consolidated).

In season four, Oliver takes on a refined persona as "Green Arrow", he and his allies fight against the terrorist organization H.I.V.E., headed by Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who plans to destroy Star City (formerly Starling City). John Diggle is concerned with finding H.I.V.E. and learning the reason for the murder of his brother, Andy. Thea joins the team under the alias "Speedy", but must learn to control herself while fighting, as she now has a blood-lust that may never be fully quenched as a side effect of the Lazarus Pit. Laurel struggles to bring Sara back after learning of Thea's resurrection from the Pit. Oliver decides to run for mayor, despite having found happiness with Felicity (now CEO of Palmer Technologies) and planning to propose to her, Oliver discovers that he is the biological father to a boy he unknowingly conceived ten years previously with a former girlfriend, Samantha Clayton (Anna Hopkins), whose discovery threatens to destabilize his relationship with Felicity, his life as the Green Arrow, and his mayoral campaign. Oliver ultimately discovers that Damien plans on detonating nuclear weapons and ruling a new world over the Earth's ashes; in flashbacks, Oliver returns to Lian Yu to infiltrate the organization known as Shadowspire on behalf of Amanda Waller, and has his first encounter with the mystical idol used by Darhk in the present-day narrative.

In season five, Oliver trains up young heroes Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), Mister Terrific (Echo Kellum), Artemis (Madison McLaughlin) and Ragman (Joe Dinicol) to join him in his war on crime following Laurel's death and Thea and Diggle's resignations, while he tries his best to balance his vigilantism with his new role as mayor. Oliver also faces the threat of a dark and shadowy enemy named Prometheus, who has a deep-rooted vendetta against him; in flashbacks, Oliver is living in Russia, where he joins the Bratva as part of an assassination ploy.

The Flash (2014–)[edit]

After witnessing his mother's mysterious murder and his father's wrongful conviction for the crime, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is taken in by Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and his daughter, Iris (Candice Patton). Allen becomes a brilliant but socially awkward crime scene investigator for the Central City Police Department, his obsession with his tragic past causes him to become an outcast among his peers; he investigates cold cases, paranormal occurrences, and cutting-edge scientific advancements that may shed light on his mother's murder. No one believes his description of the crime—that a ball of lightning with the face of a man invaded their home that night—and Allen is fiercely driven to vindicate himself and to clear his father's name. Fourteen years after his mother's death, an advanced particle accelerator at S.T.A.R. Labs malfunctions during its public unveiling, bathing the city center with a previously unknown form of radiation and creating a severe thunderstorm. Allen is struck by lightning from the storm and doused with chemicals in his lab. Awakening after a nine-month coma, he discovers he has the ability to move at superhuman speeds. Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), the disgraced designer of the failed particle accelerator, describes Barry's special nature as "metahuman"; Allen soon discovers that he is not the only one who was changed by the radiation. Allen vows to use his gifts to protect Central City from the escalating violence of metahuman criminals, he is aided by a few close friends and associates who guard his secrets, including S.T.A.R. Labs team members Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker).

Six months after the events of the first season, after a singularity event, the Flash is recognized as Central City's hero. Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), the Flash from Earth-Two, in a parallel universe, visits Barry and warns him another speedster named Zoom (voiced by Tony Todd) is trying to eliminate everyone connected to the Speed Force throughout the multiverse. Jay, and later Harrison Wells' Earth-Two counterpart, work to help Barry and his friends stop Zoom. Joe and Iris struggle with their shared painful past related to their family, especially after the arrival of Iris's brother Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), whom her mother Francine West (Vanessa A. Williams) gave birth to shortly after abandoning her family. Cisco initially begins having visions or "vibes" of other times, places, and dimensions upon touching certain objects, he is given the nickname Vibe, he later finds his metahuman powers can also be used to open portals to other worlds and create sonic vibrations. After Zoom kills Barry's father, the season concludes with Barry travelling back in time to save his mother's life from the Reverse-Flash.

After changing all of history, Barry inadvertently alters the entire timeline, resulting in 'Flashpoint' timeline, despite Barry's attempt to repair the damages he had caused, a new threat emerges from Flashpoint in the form of a powerful speedster, Savitar, who wishes to kill Barry and make him suffer, due to Barry's "Flashpoint" excursion inadvertently led to Savitar's birth and sufferings. This also gives Wally and Caitlin metahuman powers with Wally gaining speed and becomes Barry's partner known as Kid Flash and Caitlin becoming the villain Killer Frost, after Barry defeats Savitar, Barry goes to take Savitar's place into the speed force in order to balance it.

Vixen (2015–)[edit]

After her parents were killed in Africa by local corruption, Mari McCabe (Megalyn Echikunwoke) inherits her family's Tantu Totem, gaining the powers of animals, using them to fight as Vixen to stop threats like those that claimed her family.[50]

DC's Legends of Tomorrow (2016–)[edit]

When Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) murders his family, Time Master Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) goes rogue, deciding to bring him down with a team consisting of Ray Palmer (who has taken the mantle of "the Atom"), Sara Lance (who has become the hero White Canary), Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson "Jax" Jackson (Franz Drameh), who together become the hero Firestorm, Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee), Carter Hall/Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), and Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell).[51][52] However, the Time Masters actually backed Savage in his domination of the world in 2166, intending to repel a Thanagarian invasion. However, due to Snart's sacrifice, the Time Masters are destroyed. Savage attempts to rewrite history with a temporal explosion, but is killed by the team when he is rendered mortal by the same meteor he used for his scheme, with Savage dead, Kendra and Carter leave the team.

Following the demise of the Time Masters, Rip decides to take their place guarding history with Ray, Sara, Stein, Jax and Rory. However, they are warned by Rex Tyler (Patrick J. Adams) that they will die in 1942 New York City. They proceed to ignore the warning, resulting in Mick being put in stasis, Rip missing, and the rest of the team scattered in time. However, historian Nate Heywood (Nick Zano), aided by Oliver Queen, find Mick and the rest of the team. Sara replaces Rip as leader of the team, the pair rescues the rest of the team and proceed to locate the time criminals trying to alter history. Along the way, the team encounters the Justice Society of America, and following Tyler's death at the hands of the Reverse-Flash, Amaya Jiwe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), Mari McCabe's grandmother, joins the team to locate Tyler's killer. Heywood also joins the team, taking on the identity of Steel as he gains the power to turn to steel, the threat of the Legion of Doom begins to take shape as the season goes on, with the Reverse-Flash, Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn, and later Snart himself joining forces against the team and changing reality for their own nefarious purposes.

Freedom Fighters: The Ray[edit]

Centered on the character Raymond "Ray" Terrill (Russell Tovey) who is a reporter who gains light-based powers after being exposed to a genetic light bomb. Ray discovers the bomb in his investigation of a secret government project attempting to harness the power of light and weaponize it, the series was inspired by Grant Morrison's Multiversity.[22] Guggenheim noted there was "a very specific reason" the series was titled as it was, in order to introduce the Freedom Fighters and Earth-X, he continued, "Morrison came up with an idea we really responded to: The Freedom Fighters are made up of various minorities targeted by Nazis-women, gay men, Jews. We wanted to honor that idea, at the same time, it's an origin story about the Earth-1 iteration of The Ray."[53]

Earth-X is a world in the multiverse where the Nazis won World War II and the New Reichsmen rule over present day America.[54] There, the Ray is a member of the Freedom Fighters along with Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, and Red Tornado,[55] while Overgirl, an alternate version of Supergirl and alternate versions of Green Arrow and Flash make up members of the New Reichsmen.[55][53] Cisco Ramon / Vibe, Curtis Holt / Mister Terrific, and Mari McCabe / Vixen also make appearances.[53]

Constantine[edit]

John Constantine uses his skills as a demon hunter and master of the dark arts to protect the world from the supernatural terrors that threaten it.[48]

Matt Ryan reprises his role as John Constantine, after making a guest appearing in Arrow's fourth season, as well as in the short-lived live-action series; in January 2017, Pedowitz stated there were no plans "at this point in time" for Ryan to appear in any of the Arrowverse live-action series and noted there had yet to be discussions regarding if any other characters that appeared in the cancelled live-action series to appear in the web series, nor if this version of the character would "connect back to the live action storylines he's been a part of."[23] Berlanti, Schechter and David S. Goyer will serve as executive producers, with Goyer having been one of the creators of the live-action series, and Butch Lukic serves as producer. J.M. DeMatteis wrote the series, which will be directed by Dough Murphy.[48]

Web series[edit]

Blood Rush (2013)[edit]

On November 6, 2013, a six-episode series of shorts, titled Blood Rush, premiered alongside the broadcast of Arrow, as well as online, the series, which was presented by Bose, and features product placement for Bose products, was shot on location in Vancouver, similarly to the main show. The miniseries features Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes and Paul Blackthorne reprising their roles of Felicity Smoak, Roy Harper and Quentin Lance, respectively. The episodes set during the course of the second season of the television series, show Roy coming to Queen Consolidated to have a meeting with Oliver, as he is out, Felicity tells Roy to go wait in the lobby. As Roy leaves, Officer Lance calls Felicity, telling her that the blood sample the Starling City police found on the vigilante, which Felicity destroyed, has resurfaced. Felicity then calls Roy, using Oliver's voice encoder, asking him to break into the lab to retrieve the sample. Felicity guides Roy through the lab, where he is able to recover the sample, as Roy is leaving, doctors enter the room, seemingly trapping him. He notifies Felicity, who then hacks into the building's PA system, and issues an evacuation notice, giving Roy a chance to escape. Roy gets out of the room before it enters into lock down, and is able to avoid two guards with the help of Felicity and exit the lab. Roy returns to Queen Consolidated, and Felicity offers to mail the acquired sample for Roy as he goes in to meet with Oliver.[56]

Chronicles of Cisco (2016)[edit]

On April 19, 2016, a web series titled Chronicles of Cisco, premiered, the series, which was presented by AT&T, features Valdes and Britne Oldford reprising their roles as Cisco Ramon and Shawna Baez respectively. Set in the second season of the television series, the series sees Cisco attempting to make the Flash suit bulletproof and body-odor proof. While working on these, he receives a late-night Meta-Human Alert within S.T.A.R. Labs, and learns that Peek-a-Boo triggered the alert, she has come to S.T.A.R. Labs to make Cisco create a weapon for her, as he did for Golden Glider, Captain Cold, and Heatwave. When he does not cooperate, she shoots him. Cisco survives being shot, realizing that the orange soda he spilt on his shirt was the missing catalyst to his bulletproof formula. Cisco tries to bring Peek-a-Boo back to the pipeline, but she locks him in the cell instead. Cisco is then seen being woken up due to a call from Barry, he believes he dreamt the whole experience, until he finds the bullet that shot him on the ground.[57]

Comic books[edit]

Title Issue(s) Publication date(s) Writer(s) Artist(s)
First published Last published
Arrow Volume 1 7 October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) April 24, 2013 (2013-04-24) Andrew Kreisberg (#1–8) and Marc Guggenheim (#1–12, 0) Sergio Sandoval (#1–3, 5–6, 8, 10); Jorge Jimenez (#1 – 3); Mike Grell (#1–4, 6, 9–10)
Eric Nguyen (#4, 9); Julian Totino Tedesco (#4); Xermanico (#5–7, 10–11)
Omar Francia (#5, 8, 11); Pol C Gas (#6; 8); Victor Drujiniu (#6–8, 12)
Le Beau Underwood (#7, 9); Allan Jefferson (#7, 9–12); Juan Castro (#7–8, 12)
Victor Drujiniu (#8; 12); Pol C Gas (#8); Omar Francia (#8; 11); Jonas Trindade (#11–12)
Arrow Volume 2 6 May 22, 2013 (2013-05-22) October 23, 2013 (2013-10-23) Andrew Kreisberg (#1–8) and Marc Guggenheim (#1–12, 0) Sergio Sandoval (#1–3, 5–6, 8, 10); Jorge Jimenez (#1 – 3); Mike Grell (#1–4, 6, 9–10)
Eric Nguyen (#4, 9); Julian Totino Tedesco (#4); Xermanico (#5–7, 10–11)
Omar Francia (#5, 8, 11); Pol C Gas (#6; 8); Victor Drujiniu (#6–8, 12)
Le Beau Underwood (#7, 9); Allan Jefferson (#7, 9–12); Juan Castro (#7–8, 12)
Victor Drujiniu (#8; 12); Pol C Gas (#8); Omar Francia (#8; 11); Jonas Trindade (#11–12)
Arrow: Season 2.5 12 October 8, 2014 (2014-10-08) September 9, 2015 (2015-09-09) Marc Guggenheim (#1–12); Yuko Shimizu (#4); Keto Shimizu (#5) Joe Bennett (#1–5; 7–12); Jack Jadson (#2); Craig Yeung (#3–5; 7–12); Szymon Kudranski (#4–7)
The Flash: Season Zero 12 October 1, 2014 (2014-10-01) September 2, 2015 (2015-09-02) Andrew Kreisberg (#1–10); Katherine Walczak (#4); Brooke Eikmeier (#4)
Lauren Certo (#7–9); Kai Wu (#7–9); Phil Hester (#10); Ben Sokolowski (#11); Sterling Gates (#12)
Eric Gapstur and Phil Hester (#1–4; 6–11); Marcus To (#5; 10); Ibrahim Mustafa (#12)
Arrow: The Dark Archer[58] 12 January 13, 2016 (2016-01-13) June 15, 2016 (2016-06-15) John Barrowman; Carol Barrowman; Marc Guggenheim; Andrew Kreisberg Daniel Sampere

Novels[edit]

On February 23, 2016, Titan Books released Arrow: Vengeance, a tie-in novel by Oscar Balderrama and Lauren Certo, which is set before and during Arrow's second season, which details the origins of Slade Wilson, Isabel Rochev, and Sebastian Blood, and how they would all eventually meet and collaborate with each other to battle Oliver Queen/The Arrow as seen in the TV series. On November 29, 2016, Titan Books released Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen, a tie-in novel by Susan and Clay Griffith, which is set during The Flash's second season and Arrow's fourth season, which detailed that after he closed the temporal anomaly that nearly destroyed Central City, Barry an older version of himself, beaten, injured, and batter, but before he can speak, his doppelganger disappears. Barry then starts experiencing glitches in his powers, moments that leave him immobile and ghostly during missions. When a group of his worst villains, including Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, and Peek-a-Boo, decide to launch an assault on him, so Barry decides to seek help from his most trusted ally, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. The story continues in Arrow: A Generation of Vipers, by Susan and Clay Griffith, which was released by Titan Books on March 28, 2017, which detailed Team Flash and Team Arrow working together to eliminate the bizarre energy that threatens to kill the Flash. When their quest leads them to Markovia, they must get past an army of mercenaries and assassins to face the mysterious Count Wallenstein.

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

  • This table includes recurring, main characters, who have appeared in at least two series as a member of the principle ("main") cast for at least one of those.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the series, or that the character's presence in the series has not yet been announced.
  • An R indicates the actor had a recurring role in the series.
  • A G indicates the actor made a guest appearance in the series.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
Character Arrow The Flash Vixen Legends of Tomorrow Freedom Fighters: The Ray Constantine (animated)
Barry Allen
Flash
Grant GustinR [59] Grant Gustin[59] Grant GustinR V [9] Grant GustinG [60] Grant GustinG V [61]  
John Constantine[a] Matt RyanG [62]   Matt RyanG [63]   Matt RyanV [23]
Damien Darhk Neal McDonoughR [64] Neal McDonoughG [65]   Neal McDonough[66]  
John Diggle
Spartan
David Ramsey[67] David RamseyR [68]   David RamseyG [60]  
Gideon Amy PembertonG V [69] Morena BaccarinR V [70]   Amy PembertonV [71][b]  
Carter Hall
Hawkman
Falk HentschelG [73]   Falk Hentschel[74]  
Nate Heywood
Steel
Nick ZanoG [75]   Nick Zano[76]  
Curtis Holt
Mister Terrific
Echo Kellum[77]   G V [53]  
Jefferson "Jax" Jackson
Firestorm
  Franz DramehG [78] Franz DramehG V [79] Franz Drameh[80]  
Laurel Lance
Black Canary
Katie Cassidy[81] Katie CassidyG [82] Katie CassidyR V [83] Katie CassidyG [84]  
Laurel Lance
Black Siren
Katie Cassidy[85] Katie CassidyG [83]  
Quentin Lance Paul Blackthorne[86] Paul BlackthorneG [87]   Paul BlackthorneG [88]  
Sara Lance
White Canary
Caity LotzR [89] Caity LotzG [60]   Caity Lotz[90]  
Mari McCabe
Vixen
Megalyn EchikunwokeG [91]   Megalyn EchikunwokeV [92]   G V [53]  
Malcolm Merlyn
Dark Archer
John Barrowman[93] John BarrowmanG [94]   John BarrowmanR [95]  
Ray Palmer
Atom
Brandon RouthR [64] Brandon RouthG [64] Brandon RouthR V [79] Brandon Routh[96]  
Oliver Queen
Green Arrow
Stephen Amell[97] Stephen AmellR [98] Stephen AmellR V [9] Stephen AmellR [99] Stephen AmellG V [61]  
Thea Queen
Speedy
Willa Holland[100] Willa HollandG [60]  
Cisco Ramon
Vibe
Carlos ValdésR [101] Carlos Valdés[102] Carlos ValdésR V [103] Carlos ValdésG [60] Carlos ValdésG V [104]  
Mick Rory
Heat Wave
  Dominic PurcellR [105]   Dominic Purcell[96]  
Kendra Saunders
Hawkgirl
Ciara RenéeG [106] Ciara RenéeR [106]   Ciara Renée[107]  
Felicity Smoak
Overwatch
Emily Bett Rickards[108] Emily Bett RickardsR [109] Emily Bett RickardsR V [103] Emily Bett RickardsG [88]  
Leonard Snart
Captain Cold
  Wentworth MillerR [110]   Wentworth Miller[96]  
Caitlin Snow
Killer Frost
Danielle PanabakerR [101] Danielle Panabaker[111]   Danielle PanabakerG [60]  
Martin Stein
Firestorm
  Victor GarberR [112] Victor GarberG V [113] Victor Garber[96]  
Ray Terrill
The Ray
Russell ToveyG [114]   Russell ToveyG [114] Russell ToveyV [114]  
Eobard Thawne
Reverse-Flash
  Matt LetscherR [115]   Matt Letscher[95]  
Wally West
Kid Flash
  Keiynan Lonsdale[116]   Keiynan LonsdaleG[citation needed]  
  1. ^ Ryan previously appeared as the character in the NBC live-action series, Constantine. The Arrowverse version of the character is the same that had appeared in the NBC series.[62]
  2. ^ Pemberton has also physically appeared as the character in multiple episodes of Legends of Tomorrow.[72][66]

After Miller's exit as a series regular during Legend of Tomorrow's first season, it was revealed he signed a deal with Warner Bros. to become a series regular across any of the shows in the Arrowverse. The deal was initially focused on Miller and his character Leonard Snart appearing on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Berlanti stated that Miller's deal was "the first contract not applicable to just one show," adding "In success we hope to continue with other characters finding their way across all the shows."[117] Barrowman signed a similar deal to Miller in July 2016, allowing him to continue being a series regular on Arrow as well as The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow,[118] followed by Cassidy.[119]

Crossovers[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the series was not a part of the crossover event.
  • The number in parentheses next to the episode title indicates which part of the crossover it is.
Official crossover events
TV season Crossover title Episodes Ref(s)
Supergirl The Flash Arrow Legends of Tomorrow Freedom Fighters: The Ray
2014–15 "Flash vs. Arrow" Season 1, Episode 8
"Flash vs. Arrow" (1)
Season 3, Episode 8
"The Brave and the Bold" (2)
[109]
In Central City, a metahuman who uses people's emotions to rob banks turns the Flash against the Arrow. Then, in Starling City, the two heroes face off against Captain Boomerang.
2015–16 "Heroes Join Forces" Season 2, Episode 8
"Legends of Today" (1)
Season 4, Episode 8
"Legends of Yesterday" (2)
[a] [122][121]
The Flash and the Green Arrow team up to take on Vandal Savage, who is looking for Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall, the reincarnations of Hawkgirl and Hawkman.
"Worlds Finest" Season 1, Episode 18
"Worlds Finest"
[b] [123][124]
[125][126]
The Flash passes through an extradimensional breach while testing a tachyon accelerator, entering the universe of Supergirl and Superman.  He teams up with Supergirl in order to take down Livewire and Silver Banshee, after which Supergirl assists him in returning to his universe.
2016–17 "Invasion!" [c] Season 3, Episode 8
"Invasion!" (1)
Season 5, Episode 8
"Invasion!" (2)
Season 2, Episode 7
"Invasion!" (3)
[128][127][129]
The Flash brings Supergirl from another universe to help him, the Green Arrow, and the Legends of Tomorrow face off against a race of alien invaders called the Dominators.
"Duet" [d] Season 3, Episode 17
"Duet"
[130][131]
A musical crossover between The Flash and Supergirl, where the Flash and Supergirl face the Music Meister.
2017–18 "Crisis on Earth-X" Season 3, Episode 8
"Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1" (1)
Season 4, Episode 8
"Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3" (3)
Season 6, Episode 8
"Crisis on Earth-X, Part 2" (2)
Season 3, Episode 8
"Crisis on Earth-X, Part 4" (4)
[e] [132][133]
Barry Allen and Iris West's friends come to Central City to attend their wedding, only for the event to be disrupted by villains from Earth-X.
  1. ^ Though Legends of Tomorrow did not have an episode as part of the 2015–16 crossover, the Arrow and The Flash episodes from this event did set up a number of characters who star and recur in that series.[120][121]
  2. ^ While not officially part of the crossover, "Versus Zoom", the eighteenth episode of the second season of The Flash, featured Barry entering and exiting the breach to Earth-38 between two moments.
  3. ^ Though Supergirl does not have an episode as part of the 2016–17 crossover, the end of the Supergirl episode "Medusa", with Barry and Cisco recruiting her from her universe, is considered the beginning of the crossover, resulting in her appearing in the other series' episodes.[127]
  4. ^ The end of the Supergirl episode "Star-Crossed" began the musical crossover that primarily occurs during "Duet".[130]
  5. ^ Though Freedom Fighters: The Ray did not have an episode as part of the 2017–18 crossover, the series further explores The Ray, Earth-X, and other characters and concepts seen in "Crisis on Earth-X".[132][54][55][53]

Constantine (live-action)[edit]

By May 2015, Amell had had discussions with DC Entertainment about portraying Queen on NBC's Constantine, starring Matt Ryan; saying, "The reason that I was going to guest star on Constantine...was [Constantine's] an expert when it comes to the Lazarus Pit, which is now something that is a part of and will continue to be a part of Arrow." Amell stated that, even though Constantine was not renewed for a second season, a crossover "was and is still on the table".[134] Guggenheim revealed a desire to integrate John Constantine into the Arrowverse, saying, "A lot of the pieces are in place, except for that one final piece, which is what’s the fate of Constantine? That’s the tricky thing. But it comes up in the writers’ room constantly — we have a number of ideas, one idea that’s particularly exciting to me. We’re in a little bit of a wait-and-see mode";[135] in July 2015, Mericle added on the subject, "It's something we've been talking to DC about and it's just a question of some political things, but also [Ryan]'s schedule."[136]

In August 2015, it was confirmed that Ryan would appear in Arrow's fourth-season episode "Haunted" for a "one-time-only-deal". Guggenheim said, "This is something the fans were clamoring for," praising DC for being so "magnanimous and generous in giving us this one-time dispensation." Due to Arrow and Constantine sharing the same studio, the producers of Arrow were able to use Ryan's original outfits: "The trench coat, the tie, the shirt...the whole wardrobe is being taken out for [sic] storage and shipped up to Vancouver [where Arrow shoots]." John Badham, a director on Constantine, directed the episode that Constantine appears in.[137] Mericle confirmed that this version of Constantine would be the same character that had appeared in Constantine,[62] on filming the episode, Guggenheim referred to it as "a Constantine/Arrow crossover" and felt that "we got the chance to extend Matt Ryan’s run as Constantine by at least one more hour of television. I think you’ll see he fits very neatly into our universe, it never feels forced".[138] In August 2016, Berlanti spoke to why Constantine was not used more in Arrow or the other Arrowverse series after the positive reception to Ryan's performance, saying, "Constantine exists in a certain place in the DC world and universe" and that he felt DC was "internally examining what they want to do with that character next."[139] In January 2017, Constantine was revived as an animated web series, set to air on the CW Seed, with Ryan once again voicing the character;[23] in July 2017, Guggenheim indicated that "really good conversations" had taken place with Ryan to appear again in the Arrowverse,[140] and in October 2017, it was revealed that Ryan would appear in two episodes of the third season of Legends of Tomorrow, with the appearance taking place chronologically after "Haunted", revisiting the setting of Arrow's fourth season and the events following that season's final episode. Klemmer described the tone of the episodes as "The Exorcist meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".[63]

Supergirl[edit]

In November 2014, Berlanti expressed interest in his CBS series Supergirl existing in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash,[141] and in January 2015, The CW president Mark Pedowitz revealed that he was also open to a crossover between the series and networks. However, CBS president Nina Tassler stated that month that, "those two shows are on a different network. So I think we'll keep Supergirl to ourselves for awhile."[142] In August 2015, Tassler revealed that while there were no plans at the time to do story crossovers, the three series would have crossover promotions;[143] in January 2016, Tassler's successor Glenn Geller said "I have to be really careful what I say here" in regards to a potential Supergirl/Arrowverse crossover, so "Watch and wait and see what happens."[144]

In February 2016, it was announced that Gustin would appear on the Supergirl episode "Worlds Finest", with Berlanti and Kreisberg, also Supergirl executive producers, thanking "the fans and journalists who have kept asking for this to happen. It is our pleasure and hope to create an episode worthy of everyone’s enthusiasm and support."[145] In "Worlds Finest", Supergirl is established as being in an alternate universe where the Flash helps Kara fight the Silver Banshee and Livewire in exchange for her help in returning home,[146] the events of the episode intersect with the events of the eighteenth episode of The Flash season two, "Versus Zoom".[147] The crossover required "a lot more logistical trickery" than the usual Arrowverse crossovers due to Gustin filming The Flash in Vancouver alongside Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, while Supergirl is produced in Los Angeles.[148] The producers chose to use the Flash as the character to crossover, due to his ability to travel between various Earths, and because it was "a little more fun at first to bring the veteran from that show to the chemistry of a new show." Berlanti stated that "in a perfect world", the crossover would have featured both Gustin and Amell's Green Arrow, "but logistically that would have been a nightmare to try and do both shows. We had to facilitate one."[149] Gustin was optimistic that the crossover in 2016 would allow another crossover the following year with the rest of the Arrowverse shows.[147]

In May 2016, it was announced that Supergirl would move from CBS to The CW for its second season, as well as moving production from Los Angeles to Vancouver, where the CW Arrowverse series film,[150] the second season premiered on October 10, 2016.[151] It was also announced that Supergirl would appear on Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow during the 2016–17 season crossover episodes, though Guggenheim cautioned that "She is going to be coming over but we’re not going to do a full on Supergirl crossover".[152] Kreisberg also confirmed that, despite the series moving to The CW, the title character's universe would not be integrated into the Arrowverse,[153] the Earth the series inhabits is Earth-38 in the Arrowverse multiverse,[154] and has been informally referred to as "Earth-CBS" by Guggenheim, named for the network where Supergirl first aired.[127]

Marketing[edit]

In April 2015, to celebrate the season three finale of Arrow and season one finale of The Flash, The CW released a short promo titled "Superhero Fight Club",[155] the short features characters from Arrow and The Flash battling each other in a hero vs. villain showdown. Characters include The Arrow, Flash, Arsenal, Black Canary, Malcolm Merlyn, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Firestorm, Ra’s al Ghul, Reverse-Flash, and Atom in a cage match fight, with Black Canary and Arsenal vs. Malcolm Merlyn, Arrow vs. Ra's al Ghul, Flash vs. Captain Cold and Heat Wave, which is interrupted by Reverse-Flash, until Firestorm interrupts them, and the Atom appears at the end;[156] in September 2016, The CW released the promo "Superhero Fight Club 2.0" to promote the start of the 2016-17 season with the addition of Supergirl to their lineup, as well as their new mobile app, where the promo could exclusively be viewed initially. The new Superhero Fight Club sees Green Arrow, Flash, Atom, Firestorm, White Canary and Supergirl go up against a new fight simulator created by Cisco Ramon and Felicity Smoak, while John Diggle and Martian Manhunter observe. After defeating the simulator, Cisco releases Gorilla Grodd into the arena for the heroes to face.[157][158]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Series Season Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Viewers
(in millions)
Last aired Viewers
(in millions)
Average viewers
(in millions)
Rank 18–49 rating (rank)
Arrow 1 October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) 4.14[159] May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15) 2.77[160] 3.68 130[161] 1.2 (125)[162]
2 October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09) 2.74[163] May 14, 2014 (2014-05-14) 2.37[164] 3.28 128 (119)[165]
3 October 8, 2014 (2014-10-08) 2.83[166] May 13, 2015 (2015-05-13) 2.83[167] 3.52 135 1.3 (111)[168]
4 October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07) 2.67[169] May 25, 2016 (2016-05-25) 2.19[170] 2.90 145 1.1 (110)[171]
5 October 5, 2016 (2016-10-05) 1.87[172] May 24, 2017 (2017-05-24) 1.72[173] 2.21 147 0.8 (133)[174]
6 October 12, 2017 (2017-10-12) TBD TBA TBD TBD TBD TBD
The Flash 1 October 7, 2014 (2014-10-07) 4.83[175] May 19, 2015 (2015-05-19) 3.87[176] 4.62 118 1.7 (90)[168]
2 October 6, 2015 (2015-10-06) 3.58[177] May 24, 2016 (2016-05-24) 3.35[178] 4.25 112 1.7 (69)[171]
3 October 4, 2016 (2016-10-04) 3.17[179] May 23, 2017 (2017-05-23) 3.04[180] 3.50 120 1.4 (78)[174]
4 October 10, 2017 (2017-10-10) 2.84[181] TBA TBD TBD TBD TBD
Legends of Tomorrow 1 January 21, 2016 (2016-01-21) 3.21[182] May 19, 2016 (2016-05-19) 1.85[183] 3.16 135 1.2 (104)[171]
2 October 13, 2016 (2016-10-13) 1.82[184] April 4, 2017 (2017-04-04) 1.52[185] 2.57 141 0.9 (127)[174]
3 October 10, 2017 (2017-10-10) 1.71[181] TBA TBD TBD TBD TBD

Critical response[edit]

Series Season Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Arrow 1 86% (35 reviews)[186] 73 (25 reviews)[187]
2 100% (11 reviews)[188] N/A
3 100% (10 reviews)[189] N/A
4 100% (13 reviews)[190] N/A
5 100% (10 reviews)[191] N/A
6 83% (10 reviews)[192] N/A
The Flash 1 97% (58 reviews)[193] 73 (27 reviews)[194]
2 100% (20 reviews)[195] 81 (4 reviews)[196]
3 88% (17 reviews)[197] 80 (4 reviews)[198]
4 100% (11 reviews)[199] N/A
Legends of Tomorrow 1 58% (36 reviews)[200] 58 (22 reviews)[201]
2 77% (13 reviews)[202] N/A
3 100% (5 reviews)[203] N/A

Commentary[edit]

After the first Arrow/Flash crossover, Brian Lowry of Variety talked about the spin-off series and the crossover, applauding the producers for replicating the success of Arrow but with "a lighter tone" and "a hero with genuine super powers" in The Flash, and calling the crossover an appropriate moment for everyone concerned to take a short but well-deserved victory lap." Lowry also said that the crossover "does a nifty job of bringing the two series together, although probably not in a manner likely to boost the shared audience between them much more than already exists."[204] Meredith Borders at Birth.Movies.Death. called the crossover episodes "fun" and said positively that "too much happened that was unrelated to one show or the other – and that's a good thing. While the crossover episodes were definitely open to new viewers of either The Flash or Arrow (or both, presumably), with each episode wrapped up tidily by the end of its hour, plenty of show-specific plot stuff was advanced without spelling it out for newbies. New viewers to either show could follow along and have a good time, but veteran viewers were rewarded with major storyline motion."[205]

Following the release of the first trailer for Supergirl, Paul Tassi wrote for Forbes about why he felt that series should be kept separate from the Arrowverse: He called the moment in the Arrow third-season finale where Barry Allen appears briefly, but abruptly leaves since "Arrow needs to let its own characters solve its problems", a "weird moment" that shows "the cracks [that] form when it’s just two shows that have to work together on the regular." Tassi then noted the further complications of adding Supergirl, saying, "The more shows you have, the more heroes you introduce, the harder it is to keep explaining away why they’re not constantly around to help each other. Supergirl already has that problem built-in with Superman, who it seems will not be a regular fixture on the show, and I’m sure there will be many excuses as to why he’s too busy to help Supergirl fight her latest battle. Add in Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow mythology, and it’s probably too much to juggle....I think Supergirl deserves to launch without Arrow and The Flash on its shoulders, and be allowed to find itself before being assimilated into an existing universe."[206]

With the premiere of Legends of Tomorrow, ScreenRant's Alice Walker discussed how the series "has hurt Arrow and The Flash", noting that the latter required minimal setup when it was spun-off from the former and had an element of mystery surrounding its quality with "a "wait and see" attitude" from audiences, while Legends was instead met with much excitement long before its release leading to each piece of news concerning it being "publicized and met with fanfare – to the detriment of the other shows involved." Walker felt that audiences knowing which characters would appear in Legends, and how, took "the thrill out of the story" of the other series as such information spoiled some of their upcoming plot twists, including the resurrection of Sara Lance or the fact that Ray Palmer "could never really pose a threat to Oliver [Queen] and Felicity [Smoak]’s relationship, or run Palmer Technologies long term, since it was widely known that he would be a huge part of Legends." Additionally, the annual Arrow/The Flash crossover suffered from also trying to set up Legends, which was "too much to ask from the already crowded storylines and ended up feeling like an exercise in synchronicity, with producers planting more seeds than they could reap. The crossover event was no longer a fun way to contrast the two shows; it now had to serve the much larger purpose of setting up an entirely new world." Walker stated that the premiere of Legends "means that Arrow and The Flash can finally stop dedicating so much time and plot to laying the groundwork for the spin-off, and start focusing on the fundamentals of their own shows again."[207]

Multiverse[edit]

In October 2014, Johns explained that DC's approach to their films and television series would be different to Marvel Studios' cinematic universe, stating that their film universe and TV universes would be kept separate within a multiverse to allow "everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world."[208] The second season of The Flash began to explore this concept of the multiverse, by introducing Earth-2, which features doppelgängers of the inhabitants in the Arrowverse (or Earth-1);[209] in the episode "Welcome to Earth-2" of The Flash, glimpses of the multiverse are seen, including an image of Supergirl star Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and an image of John Wesley Shipp as the Flash from the 1990 television series, implying that those two television series exist on alternate Earths to the Arrowverse;[210][211] Supergirl was confirmed as an alternate Earth with The Flash crossover episode "Worlds Finest",[212] and is designated as Earth-38.[154] Freedom Fighters: The Ray is set on Earth-X.[54]

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