I’ve been a fan of the Arrowverse, a DC Comics live adaption-shared superhero universe show on the CW, since literally day one. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t something I expected to consume my life. But it absolutely did. I’ve watched, in part or in whole, every series that was in this self-contained Multiverse, full of crossovers. I have many fond memories of it and memories that I’m not so fond of. Now that the Arrowverse has ended with the final episode of The Flash, I feel it’s time to take a look back at what they did right, what they did wrong, and what the true legacy of this line of shows is. Both positive…and negative.
NOTE: Superman & Lois will be mentioned here, but it’s technically not part of the main Arrowverse (for reasons I’ll get to…). Same with Stargirl and Naomi. And I didn’t watch Gotham Knights because…well…if you know, you know. So, shall we get started?
Positive Legacy #1 – Giving Other Characters Their Due
This is easily one of the biggest positives and shows just how bold the Arrowverse was willing to be, easily in its prime. You have to remember that Arrow came a few years after the end of Smallville, which remains the longest-running superhero show ever, spanning 10 seasons. When it ended…many wondered if anything could try and replace it. Sure enough, on October 10th, 2012, a show about a man named Oliver Queen took to the airways, and history was about to be made.
But WHY was this such a big swing? Simply put, Green Arrow has never been a “big character” outside of the comics and a few cartoons. As many have pointed out…he’s basically the DC Comics version of Robin Hood, for better and for worse. Previously, all live-action shows that had been successful for DC Comics had focused on the DC Trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. All other attempts, like the CBS Flash series, the short-lived Birds of Prey show, and more, just…never worked. So for them to go for the “not-Batman but similar” character of Oliver Queen was a big swing. Plus, they were doing a much darker version of the character than you’d seen in comics and the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. Would people respond to that?
Yes! Yes, they did, and this opened the door for many other characters who were either “low tier” in the DC Comics universe or relatively unheard of to make the jump to the silver screen and make a splash. One such example is Vibe, AKA Cisco Ramon. In the comics, Vibe was pretty much a stereotype and a hated character, and all attempts to make him noteworthy in more modern versions, like in the New 52, didn’t last. But in The Flash? Cisco/Vibe became one of the best characters on the show, and fans were so sad that he left eventually.
Or how about Black Lightning? Cress Williams brought that character to new heights with the four seasons he had and showed a different side to the Arrowverse that many fans adored. I honestly thought that Season 1 and 3 of that show was some of the best that the entire line of shows had to offer.
The more you look at how this universe expanded, you see how more characters were given the spotlight in a beautiful way. The Atom, Captain Cold, Batwoman (Kate Kane), Supergirl, Vixen, Martian Manhunter, etc. All these characters, and more, got their chance to shine, all because they took a shot (pun intended) on an archer that only some people were really familiar with.
Sure, not EVERYTHING worked, as I’ll note in a bit, but when it hit, it was great, and we should be grateful that we got to see so many characters on screen over these past 11 years.
Negative Legacy #1 – Behind-The-Scenes Drama
Before I start this one, I want to note that I’ll be addressing the MANY issues that the Arrowverse had during its 11-year run, and there are many. So don’t just think I’m talking about the drama featuring the two ladies above. There was always more than that. Starting with…
Andrew Kreisberg. For those who have been here since the beginning, you’ll know that Andrew Kreisberg was the co-creator of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. In essence, he was one of the key components that made this universe happen. He was one of the architects…but he was also a big jerk who abused his power.
During the #MeToo movement, many people came forward to blast Andrew Kreisberg for his behavior. That included nearly 20 people from the DC Comics shows he helped make. Thankfully, Warner Bros would fire him, and the universe went on without him. But one has to wonder how much longer he would’ve stayed if not for that movement.
Then there’s the casting of Candice Patton as Iris West. When it was revealed that the “fiery red-headed reporter” of DC Comics fame would be African-American, many people lost it, and not in a good way. But it wasn’t just fans who were harsh to Candice. There were people associated with The Flash in the behind-the-scenes way that treated her poorly. That included some of the official social media people behind Twitter and Instagram accounts that refused to follow the actress, and she called them out on that.
As for Emily Bett Rickards, fans initially loved her character, Felicity Smoak. But as time went on, things got much darker, and suddenly there was a lot of HATE for her. So much hate that the term “Olicity” almost became a swear word in the community to some. That’s not a good thing, and the fans are partially to blame for taking the TV show so seriously.
But remember, “fan” is short for “fanatic” for a reason.
The irony of this is that while all of this was bad for the Arrowverse, this STILL doesn’t detail all that happened behind the scenes. Colton Haynes, the actor behind Roy Harper, left the universe due to mental health issues. Other actors had things they had to apologize for; one was even FIRED for past comments and briefly recast before being written off the show…and there’s STILL more that we’ll talk about later.
So yeah, it wasn’t always sunny in Arrowverse-Delphia. But…there were things that made it better than certain other properties…
Positive Legacy #2 – LGBTQ+ Representation
Let’s be blunt here. If we’re going to talk about ONE THING that the Arrowverse has done better than any property out there in a collective sense…it’s being honest, fair, and truthful to the LGBTQ+ community. Even now, 11 years after the show started, the world is still dealing with its “feelings” about this community, and many properties still refuse to either have LGBTQ+ characters or show them in a prominent way. But in this universe? They were fine with having them in every major show on every level of character.
In contrast, when you look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they struggled FOREVER to out one of their characters and even got grief when one of their first openly gay characters was just a random dude that had no name in Avengers Endgame. Can you honestly name five LGBTQ+ characters in the MCU? We had to look it up, and the list is very small, and many of them don’t get to “show” their orientation in ways that are meaningful because of their movie setting…or were prominent characters at all, such as America Chavez’s moms.
But in the Arrowverse? They made that a focal point for several of the characters pictured above, and that’s not even all the characters who were confirmed to be LGBTQ+.
Easily one of the best examples of meaningful LGBTQ+ storylines in this universe was with Sara Lance. She’s Bi and has been with both men and women over the course of her tenure. But it wasn’t until she met Ava Sharpe that things truly changed for her. Through Legends of Tomorrow, we got one of the most beautiful and realistic stories of love and romance that eventually resulted in their marriage and Sara being pregnant with their child. But it wasn’t an easy road. They had ups and downs, questions about whether they could (or should) try a long-term relationship, etc. You LOVED to see them together, and it was beautiful. The only crime (as I’ll later note) was we didn’t get to see them be parents…because they would’ve been epic moms.
Or how about John Constantine? We got to see him in all his LGBTQ+ glory on multiple shows, and it was awesome. Then, there’s Batwoman, which was the first superhero series to be headlined by a lesbian character. Keeping with setting standards, Supergirl had the first Transgender superhero via Dreamer, which was played by actual Transgender actress, and activist, Nicole Maines. Who…I got to meet recently!
Want to know the highlight of my day at @SupermanCele? Meeting #Dreamer! She walked Artist Alley, took pictures with anyone who wanted them, and I gave her one of my books!
— Todd Black – Fro Hermit, Comic Writer (@Guardians_Comic) June 10, 2023
Add to that characters like Spooner (who was Asexual), The Ray, Thunder, XS, and more, and you get a menagerie of representation that is beautiful to behold, and they never simply “exposed them and let things move on,” it was often a core part of their identities and lives, and you saw that play out on screen.
Many franchises, Super Hero related or not, could learn from what these shows did.
Negative Legacy #2 – Getting Tricky With The Lore
Look, no matter what superhero property you’re talking about, and matter whether it’s DC Comics, Marvel, or another publisher, someone is going to screw with the lore you know to make things fit into the story they’re trying to tell. At times…? That’s perfectly fine, and there are many cases in this universe where messing with the lore a little helped things. Like making Oliver Queen a more brooding character with a darker attire and persona, making The Atom more like Iron Man to make him seem like a threat in a fight, and giving new backstories to heroes and villains to make them more fleshed out than they are in the comics, etc.
HOWEVER! At times, this totally backfired on them, such as with Laurel Lance. Katie Cassidy did a good job as the main Laurel Lance in the early seasons of the show, but fans weren’t amused when she finally suited up and…didn’t have powers…was in a rather weird outfit, and only got her “Canary Cry” because of Vibe. Then, after she died (controversially), they did everything in their power to bring OTHER Black Carnies to life, and it was…really confusing.
Sometimes, the universe would mess with the lore and plots we knew to try and fit things into their “vision” or mold. Like in The Flash when Robbie Raymond sacrificed his life to stop a singularity from destroying the world…and then in Flash Season 8, he came back as Deathstorm after an incredibly convoluted explanation…and it was really stupid. They also did that with Cobalt Blue in the final season of The Flash, and it was…just as stupid.
Other times, it was bringing in classic DC Comics characters and trying to make them “more grounded” or “not grounded enough,” and it backfired on them. Remember Firefly from Season 1 of Arrow? Of course, you don’t! Because it was stupid. Or in Supergirl Season 1, where they did everything they could to try and make Supergirl feel “separate” from Superman…and they just kept making threats that Superman would totally come and help with…but he didn’t. It was weird.
That doesn’t touch upon the times when the lore dictated that certain things “had to go down a certain way” despite it not making sense. Like Kate Kane giving Wayne Enterprises to Ryan Wilder…instead of someone she actually knew, like Luke Fox or her actual sister.
Arguably the biggest “faux pas” with the lore…was Superman & Lois. For two seasons, fans kept wondering why other characters from the universe didn’t help Clark in his time of need, including his literal cousin. Then, in the Season 2 finale, we find out that this WASN’T the Superman & Lois that we knew from Supergirl and beyond. It was another universe…with the same-looking versions and a VERY similar plotline of how things went down at points…but none of the other characters were there. Say what now? Oh, but DIGGLE was there and with Argus…but it wasn’t “our Diggle.” It still doesn’t make sense, and yet the showrunners kept this knowledge from fans for years! And don’t forget, at the end of a certain crossover, they made it clear that Lois & Clark went from one child to two, so the breadcrumbs were there…and yet they jumped to another universe for reasons that fans are still trying to understand.
Part of this can be blamed on the expansiveness that the universe took. But other times, it was just the writing teams trying too hard or not trying hard enough. A theme that would hurt many shows by the end of their runs.
Positive Legacy #3 – The Crossover Events
For the record, I intentionally made that picture full-size because I wanted you to see everyone in it. And that wasn’t even everyone in that crossover!
While the Arrowverse may have started out with just Arrow, over the early years of its life, it did everything it could to expand. That worked in its favor as it gave an expansive universe of heroes, villains, and characters to pull from and feel “connected.” Yes, they didn’t constantly ask one another for help, mainly for plot and length reasons, but at times, they made sure to mention that they had friends (“Super Friends,” even) on speed dial should they need an extra hand. All of this culminated in the thing that every fan looked forward to each season: the crossovers.
Starting with “Arrow Vs. Flash,” we got to see the various CW properties connect with one another, and it was glorious more times than not. Then, once Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and more popped up, the crossovers got bigger, more impactful, and even helped launch new series like Batwoman. The biggest of them all was Crisis On Infinite Earths, and it was undoubtedly the boldest and biggest crossover property in history. TV or movie. Before or since!
Sure, not EVERYTHING was great in that crossover, and the final episode was…mixed in reception, but the intent was there, and it set a tone for everything that was to come, including making the “Earth-Prime” universe that brought Supergirl, Black Lightning, and the main shows into one fold and timeline to have fun in.
The irony is that after this crossover, things fell apart. Arrow ended, the pandemic hindered or ruined future seasons, and the only “crossovers” we honestly got paled in comparison to what we had before.
But for those core years, those six main crossovers (I don’t count Armageddon), we had something that nothing could touch, not even the MCU at points. And many, MANY fans argue that Crisis On Infinite Earths was better than Avengers Endgame in many ways…and I can see their point of view.
Negative Legacy #3 – OC’s Vs. OG’s
OH YEAH!!! Anyone who saw the last few years of The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and certain other shows knows exactly what I’m talking about here. There’s a big reason why many feel the Arrowverse has gone “out with a whimper,” and that’s because in the final seasons of various shows, the showrunners decided it would be “best” to ditch the ACTUAL DC Comics characters and input either completely new OC’s, or their takes on lesser-known characters, and then focus on THEM versus…you know…the main characters?
Believe it or not, I’m NOT going to start with the later seasons of The Flash because that deserves a LONG rant. But instead, I’ll start with Legends of Tomorrow. When that show started, every character on its team was a part of the DC Comics lore (yes, even White Canary, though obviously not the same version/character.) That was the appeal. It was the “B-Team” coming in to save everything. And it was awesome (after some Season 1 bumps.) But over time…the DC Comics characters got phased out, and OC-style characters got phased in. Now, at times, this wasn’t bad, like with Ava Sharpe. But the more the seasons that came and went, the more that the OC characters got put in over the originals, and then the originals left.
By the time we got to the final season…there were only 1-2 DC Comics mainstays left…and that was pretty bad. Just as bad, they threw away some of the DC Comics characters for ones that were…just plain horrible. I’m looking at you, Gary Green!!! Seriously, that guy was THE WORST, and they kept him over The Atom, Heatwave, and JOHN FREAKING CONSTANTINE!!! They even replaced their version of a DC Comics character (Zari/Isis) with a “new timeline OC version,”…and it was terrible. And they did that with John, too, and it was just as bad! Then, in the end, the showrunners tried to bank on the DC Comics lore by bringing in Booster Gold to tease one last season, and it didn’t work. They got canceled without getting a proper ending…which fans were VERY furious about. More on that later.
Then, there was Batwoman, and this one is complicated; I won’t lie about this, but I know many fans felt this way both before and after events unfolded. When Ruby Rose backed out after one season (due to various reasons that are still debated today), the people behind the show had a choice. Recast Kate Kane, or make a new Batwoman. They chose the latter…and in many people’s minds, it was a big mistake.
The first reason it was a mistake was that there were PLENTY of big-name actresses who came forward to say they would be Kate Kane. And Arrow had already shown you can do a “recast” for a key character (see: Sara Lance), so it fits your needs. But instead, they made an entirely original character and then ditched NUMEROUS plotlines and characters all so they could make Ryan Wilder “feel like a true Batwoman.”
That really sucked because Season 1 had some big moments and plotlines that really could help make Season 2 and beyond great…and they were ditched. Not to mention, they DID recast Kate Kane…only to ditch her after a terrible breakup speech and reason for her “future absence.” To make things worse, they came up with a weird set of reasons for Ryan to have connections to characters like Alice and Sophie, and then made up “new versions of old characters” to try and add to her “Batwoman Legacy.” Except she didn’t have one. She’s had one appearance in the comics after her debut (to my knowledge), and nothing has picked up after that. And her show got canceled too.
To be clear, this is NOT an insult to Javicia Leslie. She did well with the material she had. But the material just wasn’t good.
But the biggest failure in the “OG vs. OC” argument is The Flash in its last few seasons. Under the not-so-watchful eye of showrunner Eric Wallace, the show slowly turned into something…well, bad. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, it became clear that Wallace was more focused on his OC characters like Allegra and his “modified” versions of DC characters like Mark and Chuck than focusing on Barry Allen and Iris West.
Don’t believe me? In an interview about the final season, he noted that he had to cut out an arc that would focus SOLELY on Chuck and Allegra (who had a terrible relationship that very few liked) defeating a bad guy on their own. Also, he said that he “regretted” the fact that he had to focus on Barry and Iris during the last season. A showrunner said that. You can read that for yourself.
But even worse than that was…Cecile. Wallace was so obsessed with this character that he slowly morphed her into one of the most powerful metahumans in the world for no real reason. She was able to beat a speedster that THE FLASH couldn’t beat on his own, and she did it with ease in the series finale. Not to mention, they made her a hypocrite, obnoxious, and a terrible mom by WILLINGLY letting her partner Joe take their young daughter away to the countryside (to be away from the danger of Central City) and only come visit them on the weekends…AND SHE WAS HAPPY ABOUT THAT! Then, when she saw the price it would take on her in the future (don’t ask), she was easily convinced that “it was fine” and said that she had “virtue” for doing things this way. A) that’s not how it works. B) Just stop.
And don’t get me started on the character of Khione, who was an OC of Wallace’s that went from a “science experiment” to a GOD…for no clear or logical reason. They killed a character to bring Khione to life, gave her no real storyline outside of “I’m all-knowing and keep getting powers,” and then she “ascends” to the next plane of existence in the finale…leaving behind a “reborn” version of the character she killed…for real.
If you look at the final 13 episodes of The Flash, Barry Allen doesn’t even suit up in at LEAST five of them. I kept track. Others noted that he didn’t BEAT a single villain in the ENTIRE final season. Furthermore, Grant Gustin (Barry Allen) and Candice Patton had to FIGHT to get certain epilogue scenes featuring them with their newly born child Nora, including the ending scene that finished the whole series! When your leads are fighting to get screentime IN THE FINALE?!?! That’s bad.
Oh, and yes, many people weren’t happy that Felicity Smoak got to be with Oliver Queen over Laurel Lance. That’s a debate that will be forevermore in the fanbase.
So why were the OCs more important than the OGs? Money. As I would learn, the creators of the shows can make money off the characters they make. So people like Wallace were making more money by focusing on characters like Allegra, Khione, Gary Green, Zari 2.0, and more…instead of using the true DC Comics characters. Greed, it corrupts everything.
Positive Legacy #4 – The Fights
When it comes to superhero properties, regardless of whether it’s movies, TV shows, or animated series, fights are always something that will come into play at one point or another. And the Arrowverse absolutely brought it when it came to fight scenes more times than not. Arrow set the standard with grounded but impactful fights that were incredible to watch and sometimes shocking to behold. Like in Season 3, when Oliver was stabbed in a fight with Ra’s Al Ghul and kicked off a cliff. Then, when The Flash came in, they found fun ways to do “Speed Fights,” and that became a staple of the franchise.
When you throw in Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, and beyond, the fights kept getting more interesting (most of the time), and you couldn’t wait to see the final clashes with villains and whatever else came up.
This was another reason the crossovers were so great was that we got to see these big spectacular fights featuring the casts coming together and creating unique moments that we wouldn’t see in their own series.
In fact, they were so good that sometimes fans felt the shows deserved Emmys for their fights (especially Arrow), and the CW even did “Superhero Fight Club” to highlight the fun action you could see on their shows.
Seriously, how cool was that? And sadly, we’re not going to see that anymore.
Negative Legacy #4 – Teases That Never Came True
Here’s another sore spot for fans. When you’re doing a universe for so long, you can’t help but wonder who’s going to show up next and what storyline they’ll do next. At times, these shows made big teases for what was coming and followed through on it. Such as with Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was teased a whole YEAR ahead of time. But then there were ones that didn’t come true, like with a certain man known as Diggle.
To be fair, yes, Diggle was an OC. But as I already noted, sometimes OCs can be great, and he totally was. He even suited up to become Spartan in the show, but fans had bigger plans for him. They felt he could be the Green Lantern of the Arrowverse. The showrunners kept teasing this could happen, even making his stepfather a man with the last name of Stewart. Get it? John Diggle is actually…John Stewart? Sure enough, the series finale of Arrow had Diggle finding a Green Lantern ring. So what happened after that? NOTHING!!!
They teased us for over a year, having David Ramsay crossover with every Arrowverse show and Superman & Lois to highlight his “journey to understanding the ring.” But nothing came of it. In The Flash, he literally threw it away because he “rejected the power” and “what it would mean for him.” It was terrible, and fans were crushed that something they had hoped for was dashed like that. It was insulting, plain and simple.
A smaller tease that was also annoying was Ted Kord. The second Blue Beetle of the comics had NUMEROUS name drops in multiple series, yet never showed up. Either bring him in or stop dropping his name, ok?
Oh, and let’s not bring up the “Justice League” they finally formed after COIE…which we only saw in part one other time thanks to Armageddon…, and it was terrible. Also, Armageddon technically didn’t happen because of timeline shenanigans…which made it a tease for a crossover…that didn’t exist? Yeah, it was weird.
But this “teasing” even went to its main characters like Barry Allen. Showrunner Eric Wallace teased that the final seasons of the show would highlight Barry Allen being the “hero that would become a legend and get his own museum.” Except, that didn’t happen. As noted, he didn’t defeat a single bad guy in his final season. Not to mention, he kept making mistakes that betrayed the lessons learned in seasons before Wallace came around. For example, he specifically noted before that he didn’t want to “be like Oliver” in terms of “embracing darkness” and using negative emotions to push his team forward. Yet in the “Forces” storyline, he did exactly that and then didn’t understand why it didn’t work!
We get that sometimes teases are needed to “entice” higher-ups to keep things going. But when you’re dangling a carrot in front of the fans, you REALLY need to let them get that carrot eventually.
Positive Legacy #5 – Chemistry
I feel compelled to talk about this one, given what happened in Flash Season 9 and other series. Because one thing that can’t be ignored is that when the casting was done well and the storytelling was great, the chemistry with these actors and characters was off the charts. The best examples can be found, ironically, with The Flash.
While they did make fans wait for it, getting Barry and Iris together as a couple and then married was a beautiful thing. By the time we reached their final seasons, you could see how well these two worked together to convey the love that they had for one another…character-wise, I mean. That’s actually part of the reason fans rallied against what Wallace did in later seasons because he kept Barry and Iris apart (for stupid reasons and convoluted story logic). But when they were together, it was magic.
Or how about the chemistry between Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin, and Melissa Benoist? These three were the “Arrowverse Trinity,” and they had a way of working together that made the crossovers special. They even brought Oliver back to life (kind of) for the final Flash season just so Oliver and Barry could have a proper goodbye, and it was worth it (and the best episode of the final season).
Speaking of Arrow, the chemistry with Amell and David Ramsay was amazing and was the bedrock of the show throughout many of its seasons. Or how about Jesse L. Martin as Joe West? He worked so well with Grant, Candice, and others to the point that when he spoke? You KNEW you had to list.
Oh, and don’t forget the Legends of Tomorrow! When they were in peak form, they were the best kind of dysfunctional family that you loved to watch work.
It’s going to be hard thinking of all these characters in the past tense because when they worked…they were great.
Negative Legacy #5 – Inconsistent Seasons and Bad Finales
There’s no beating around this bush, is there? Because why not end this breakdown…by talking about the end times and what led to them?
Look, no matter what show you’re talking about; there are ALWAYS going to be bad seasons. It’s actually inevitable. A season will slip and not be as good as the rest. But one thing the Arrowverse sadly did more times than not was have more inconsistent (or just plain bad) seasons than needed…and then end their series on bad terms.
I’ll start with Arrow. Most fans agree that Seasons 1 & 2 were among the best or the best. When you get to 3 & 4…it gets rougher. Season 5 was a bounceback…but then Season 6 fell flat on its face, hard. Thankfully, Seasons 7 & 8 fixed most of the problems and ended everything on a positive note. Arrow is, by and large, the best series finale of the set. It ended things on a meaningful note and showed that Oliver Queen’s journey wasn’t in vain. Sadly…the others can’t say that.
The Flash had terrible seasons under the reign of Eric Wallace, as noted, and the series finale didn’t help things and arguably made certain things more confusing (see: Cecile and Khione). Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman didn’t even GET a finale because they were canceled, which many fans hated. Not to mention, those shows (especially Legends) last few seasons weren’t great either for multiple reasons. Such as ditching John Constantine (because of a TV show that never materialized,) turning Sara Lance into an alien clone (don’t ask), and the completely forced relationship of Ryan and Sophie (seriously…don’t ask).
Sure, Black Lightning only really had one “mediocre” season, but the finale was infinitely confusing because they knew it was a series finale, acted like it was a series finale, and had the “big bad” go down…only for another to emerge and deliver the last line. It was really weird.
But the one that many fans arguably hate more than the others is Supergirl. It had a rough start, and many fans (including myself) dropped off for a time after things got really cringe. It did get better, though, some issues aside, but the series finale was another headscratcher. Yes, they did cap things off well enough, including having a wedding to end the show, but they also had Kara expose her identity to the world…which directly contradicted an entire arc she went through in the previous season…and then left fans to wonder if it actually worked out.
There’s a difference between “ending on a positive note” and “leaving fans to wonder what happens after this particular ending.”
And that doesn’t even talk about the “failed shows” that were just outside the Arrowverse, like Naomi (which only lasted one season) and now Gotham Knights (which many fans agree shouldn’t exist.) Stargirl was at times good but also tripped over its own feet more times than not, IMO.
As we’ve seen with non-hero shows, a bad ending can ruin everything that comes before it. Right Game of Thrones fans?
Epilogue: What Is The Legacy Of The Arrowverse?
I’ve written 5500 words about this universe, which hopefully shows you just how passionate I am about this line of shows. But as I’ve also shown, the legacy of the Arrowvere is more complicated than simply saying it was “good or bad.”
These shows were a beacon of light to many fans and a staple to DC Comics lovers for over a decade! Through them, we got to see legendary storylines brought to live-action alongside beloved characters. Not to mention, elevate characters to new standings! The DC Comics universe is better because it has existed for so long.
But you can’t deny that both on-screen and off-screen, there were issues. Some small, some huge, some nearly catastrophic, and some others that are truly a “matter of opinion.”
Given the current TV landscape and how networks are changing how they produce shows, their length, their cost, etc., the true legacy of this mini-universe, nay, MULTIVERSE…might just be that it got to do so much for so long that it’ll never be topped simply because networks won’t try to afford it. Even the MCU can’t match what the Arrowverse did in terms of TV properties.
At its peak, it was one of the most beautiful things around, and it created numerous memories for people, including myself. I’m not lying when I saw shows like Arrow and The Flash that got me into writing comic books (and writing 62 scripts for a Shazam TV series that I still totally want to make!), and I’m sure it had a similar effect on other people.
It’s totally fair to look at the bad parts and feel that it should’ve gone out on a better note. But it’s also fair to look at the positive and go, “We were lucky to have this be good for so long and enjoy it so much.”