ByUsama Masood, writer at
Current Writer For Hire, Future Billionaire/Superhero. Find Me @TheWayneMansion
Usama Masood

CW's Arrowverse has a lot going for it. It features an exceptionally gifted cast, who've not only bent the boundaries of TV in general but also helped diversify their comic book counterparts.

If it weren't for CW's , we wouldn't have Suicide Squad (and no Harley Quinn). If it weren't for Flash, we wouldn't have an African-American female lead in the upcoming movie — courtesy of the "Keep Iris Black" movement that spun its way across the internet — landing actress Kiersey Clemons the role of Iris West. If It weren't for Supergirl, we wouldn't have our very own truer to his comic roots than the version or get to see Lynda Carter hint about her invisible jet on CW. And had it not been for Legends of Tomorrow, we never would have known how badly a show could suffer based solely on its choice of villain and its forced romances.

All in all, CW's Arrowverse has done a good deal for us. However, in all of its good lies a big question: Does the Arrowverse simply have too many people? Are they the cause of several ongoing (as well as previous) mistakes of the CW universe?

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'Arrow' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'Arrow' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

The show that spawned three other live-action shows and two web series ( and the upcoming The Ray) has done a brilliant job of setting up a cohesive universe. The show that started off with just , John Diggle and Felicity Smoak (by popular demand) knowing the Emerald Archer's identity, quickly made everyone (and I mean EVERYONE on the show) find out who the was.

From Mommy Moira, to Speedy, Speedy's boyfriend and the first sidekick Arsenal, Diggle's wife Lyla, girlfriends Sara, Laurel (Black Canary), Huntress, Laurel's dad Lance and literally everybody who wanted to know or could break into his lair. The fact that so many people knew wasn't that big of a problem (even though it totally goes against the code of ethics of comic books), but what bothers me is that such a large number of people would be in the Arrow Cave assisting and generally giving (bad) advice.

Soon, however, characters like Diggle (why let his fine "gunz" go to waste?) and everybody else decided they needed to "help" Green Arrow in the field, too. And thus began the decline of a perfectly feasible TV series.

'Arrow' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'Arrow' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

I'm not blaming all of Arrow's faults just on its people, but with so many characters, the show had to spend time introducing them and building their characters, which led to less time on stuff that actually mattered, such as the plot or the villain. Consequently, Arrow's fight sequences also became (to put it nicely) "bad." At the beginning of the show our mighty hero could beat up 10–15 people all by himself, and now it seemed as if he needed that many people to defeat a single robber.

The stunts themselves were painful to look at, and not in a good way. Green Arrow and crew would pretend to fight guys, making the customary "children acting like pirates" noises, and waving their arms in their air. Felicity would hack into every impossible looking thing, Oliver would pick whomever looked like he spent most time in gym and play around with him for the next half hour while would beat her stick on any movable object. Thea would be throwing people two times her weight around while Diggle would grunt and shoot people in their butts. The same, sad sequence would repeat on for 44 more episodes.

Now in its much improved fifth season, Arrow still hasn't shied away from introducing new characters (though it has benched some, like Thea), but its renewed focus on story and action had really made it seem like Arrow's got a grip on its people problem. Still, characters like Curtis really aren't helping matters and are a constant reminder of just how the show's past seasons struggled.

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'The Flash'

'The Flash' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'The Flash' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

When The Flash began it too seemed to have a handle on things. It consistently managed to outshine Arrow in its first two seasons, but this season its flaws came full circle. Proving that does seem to have a "Third Time is the Worst Time" equivalent to the famed sophomore slump, the show's third season has struggled to provide us with a refreshing story and a strong villain.

Like Arrow, its third season seems to be focused more on its sidekicks and supporting characters than the villain or story itself. Flash started with only a handful of people knowing his secret before making everyone aware of the truth. The delightfully fun world of Central City had attracted all of us into thinking that maybe the show wouldn't suffer from the same mistakes as Arrow did.

'The Flash' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'The Flash' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

Back when the announcement came that Jessie Quick and were to be introduced, many fans winced, remembering Arrow's fall from fame when it got carried away with its supporting characters. Come Season 3, our worst fears have been proven right. The Flash also seems to have no shame in recycling its material. We saw Barry get demotivated in the first two seasons before everyone individually gave him a pep talk and told him to man up.

The fact that the same kind of stuff is happening in Season 3 is just bizarre. Maybe the writers think that needs that many people to tell him he's great, or maybe they just like having a big cast, but the more people they put in each scene the more time is wasted when they each give their opinion.

That leads me to a burning question: How is Joe West so free that he can pop up to Star Labs whenever he wants, even if it's to give pep talks to anyone who'll listen? The Wests that were actually a great feature of the hero's freshmen season have been nothing but cringe worthy in the subsequent ones. Iris's role is better than before and despite being a love interest she isn't annoying at all, which is really hard for these CW superhero shows.

Wally West remains the most annoying person ever, and the writers decision to make him act like a kid all the time isn't making anyone like . Also, it would be great if Joe had anything new to say, but the same old "You can do it, Bar" speeches are getting old. For a hero that can travel to the future, it's pretty sad that our version is perfectly content with staying in the past.

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'Supergirl' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'Supergirl' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

Supergirl's latest season is a vast improvement over its former. Despite not having the great Cat Grant around, 's done the tough job of making the show interesting. Like Legends of Tomorrow, it stripped away all the things that were bringing it down: forced romances, love triangles, tame villains and poor fight sequences.

Unlike the rest of the shows, Supergirl doesn't really suffer from a clear case of the "Too Many People" Syndrome, but some of its recent decisions are paving way for that. Chris Wood's Mon-el has been a terrific addition to the show — he's funny and charming enough to make himself likable, but the fact that he's getting his own suit (which happens to be based on some of his recent comments) means that he too will be standing in the DEO office with and the Danver sisters, something that really isn't needed.

Another unwanted addition: Jimmy Olsen's . Jimmy Olsen suffered from being the worst written character on the show and neither his romance with Kara nor his story with Lucy managed to make him anything more than an irritating guy. This season the writers decided to make him a superhero (hey, it worked with Laurel) to make him appeal to the masses. Sadly all this has done so far is make fans dread his joining the team and bringing the breezy DEO scenes down with him.

While Supergirl seems to be much safer right now, one has to wonder who the writers will bring in Season 3 to sink the show. For all its improvement in Season 2, Supergirl has all the makings of a crowded third season.

'Legends Of Tomorrow'

'Legends of Tomorrow' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'Legends of Tomorrow' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

To say that suffered growing pains would be a gross understatement. Not only did the show have a weak villain, but there were major plot holes in the show's storyline. Even now in its much improved sophomore season, the show is still struggling because the writers are unsure what to do with the concept they created. Though they devised the idea of making several known characters from each show go on a time-traveling mission, they've thus far refused to actually make sense of all their time travel rules. All they wanted was for it to play havoc with the lives of their characters and history in general.


It seems that the Arrowverse just has way too many characters and the writers want to keep bringing more, especially since it's at that point in its life when it needs to stop making the same mistakes again and again. Perhaps it's the idea that they can choose any comic book character and bring it to life, but so far the biggest problem all four shows face is their inability to manage their character's stories with restraint.

Maybe they should take a leaf out of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones and thin out their herd, because right now it seems that CW's DC'verse has far more characters than it needs, and it frankly doesn't know what to do with half of them.

What Do YOU Think?


Does the Arrowverse Have A People Problem?


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