The Arrowverse has grown exponentially since its inception in 2012. What began as a show about a billionaire who returns home and dresses up as Robin Hood to save his city has now grown into a full-fledged TV universe. Arrow started it all, showcasing Oliver Queen's crusade against those who had failed his city. Season 2 then introduced a CSI by the name of Barry Allen to the mix. After a two-episode stint ended with Barry being struck by lightning the night a particle accelerator exploded, the Arrowverse had its first growth spurt. The Flash was born, and with it came endless possibilities.
With the introduction of Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, we now have four(!) shows that all share the same world. There are a number of similarities between the shows, probably due to the production team being very similar, but that isn't a bad thing — in fact, that just makes it easier to imagine inhabiting this universe and how you'd fit in. Wonder no longer, as here are the six steps to setting up as a hero in the Arrowverse.
Step One: Get Financial Backing
First things first, everybody needs some money behind them if they want to begin a superhero crusade. Oliver Queen is a billionaire and is able to commandeer an unused factory owned by his company to make his secret base. The money allows him to kit out his secret base with the best technology available to keep track of his enemies, and that is before Felicity comes in!
As every superhero knows, supplies are expensive, so Oliver's money allows him to keep a reserve of arrows or, at the very least, the materials to make them.
The same is true for the ATOM. Ray Palmer is another billionaire who, after being inspired by the Arrow to save his city, decides to use his scientific acumen to create a battle suit.
The Flash is slightly different; he works as a CSI for the Central City Police Department, but as Barry is head-hunted by STAR Labs, he has access to a vast range of equipment and intelligence. STAR Labs is a company with a massive profile in the Arrowverse, so even with the negative press after the particle accelerator explosion, they must have a decent amount of money.
Step Two: Assemble a Team
Behind every superhero is a good team: Oliver has Team Arrow, Barry has STAR Labs, the Legends of Tomorrow are a team and even Supergirl has her own support team. Much like professional athletes thank their backroom staff for their successes, the same is true for the Arrowverse.
Initially, Oliver started his crusade alone, but it quickly became evident that he needed someone else on his team. Enter: John Diggle. After a battle with Deadshot, Diggle is gravely wounded and in order to save his life, Oliver has to reveal what he has been up to at night. Later Oliver brings in Felicity Smoak full-time and from there Team Arrow has grown to include Roy Harper, Laurel Lance, Sara Lance and Thea Queen.
The team at STAR Labs provide Barry with similar support. Each member brings their own unique skill set to the table (more on that in a moment) but often, they are able to track Barry's movements and inform him of possible threats. STAR Labs does differ slightly to Team Arrow, however; whereas Oliver is the leader of Team Arrow, Barry is certainly not the leader of STAR Labs. Barry is learning about his abilities all the time and his support team are there every step of the way. Whether it is offering an encouraging speech or creating equipment to allow him to train his abilities, the team at STAR Labs will be there.
The time-traveling Legends of Tomorrow are a team of heroes and villains assembled by Time Master Rip Hunter in an attempt to save history. An immortal villain named Vandal Savage has taken over the world by Rip's time and the Legends are formed to stop him. Each member has their own part to play within the team, and they have to combine effectively to succeed. Rip was clever when he picked his legends as he chose to unite people who would work well together rather than just picking the most powerful people he could. For example, the reason why he selected Captain Cold and Heatwave was not so that he could change their villainous ways; he actually chose them because of their history together.
Supergirl actually has two teams: one is her own team of Jimmy Olsen and Winn, and the other is her team at the DEO. Usually, Kara will turn to Jimmy and Winn for more technical support — Winn does seem to be a tech genius after all — while she will turn to her sister and the DEO for tactical assistance. The DEO does have the added advantage of a certain last Martian to call upon as well.
Step Three: Know Your Stuff!
There aren't many superheroes who aren't really clever, and the same can be said for the Arrowverse. The heroes don't exclusively rely on their teams to do all of the thinking for them; they actually have a varied knowledge themselves. Oliver is a skilled archer (duh!) but his time on the island also taught him the skills to use a wide variety of weapons. These range from swords to guns, and he has had to use all of these skills since beginning his vigilante crusade. His early days living with Yao Fe taught him about a number of healing plants and herbs that can be used to make potions or anti-venom for various poisons. If you look at the initial set up for the Arrowcave, he clearly has some technical knowledge as well.
Barry Allen is not just the (third?) fastest man alive either; his day job as a CSI has given him a keen analytical mind and he also has a good scientific knowledge as well. There are frequent times when Barry, Caitlin and Cisco all get together and work on various gadgets or scientific theories that will help them battle Metahumans. Barry is not just standing on the outside letting all of the clever people think — he is one of the clever people.
The Legends all bring their own unique skills to the table. Martin Stein is another brilliant scientist (there seems to be a lot of them in the Arrowverse!) who is a part of Firestorm. His partner, Jax, is a skilled mechanic — so skilled, in fact, he is able to repair a time machine despite having never seen one until their journey began. Ray Palmer built his ATOM suit, which is evidence itself of his scientific prowess; he also happens to be a genius (see what I mean?).
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Step Four: A Good R&D Department Is A Must
As the series has evolved, Oliver Queen has utilized a wide variety of arrows. It isn't just conventional arrows either; his armory has expanded to include exploding arrows, injection arrows, grappling hook arrows and many more. We have yet to see a boxing glove arrow, but it must only be a matter of time!
His costume has undergone a number of changes as well. From his original Arrow costume to the new Green Arrow costume, Oliver has gained a wide range of enhancements to his suit (though if you ask me, the Arrow suit is much cooler!). He also has Felicity to assist with pretty much any computer-related task; she even totally remodels the Arrowcave when she joins full-time.
The Flash brought in a game-changing character when it comes to gadgets for battling Metahumans in Cisco Ramon. Not only does he have the habit of naming all of Barry's nemeses, he is also an integral part of helping Barry defeat them. It is Cisco who creates Captain Cold's Cold Gun that was initially designed to stop The Flash if he was to turn evil. He also builds a wide range of equipment to help with defeating particular Metahumans; an example of this is the earplugs he makes Barry for battling the Pied Piper. Cisco is also pretty handy with a sewing machine, and makes costumes for pretty much all of the Arrowverse heroes after his introduction.
Supergirl's R&D department is essentially Winn. During the pilot episode, Winn and Kara's montage shows them designing her suit. After a few trial runs, they eventually end up on the final design. Only one change is made to the suit and that is when Jimmy gives Kara a new cape, the blanket used to wrap Superman during his journey to Earth. The DEO are also on-hand to provide Kara with any tech she needs as well.
Step Five: Have Good Connections
It's always important as a superhero to have good connections. As useful as your team is, you need connections outside of that team to be a more efficient hero. Oliver's faithful bodyguard and companion, Diggle, is an example of this. Due to his time in the military, he has managed to get some connections to the higher-ups in the secret government organisation, ARGUS. His partner, Lyla Michaels, is a key player in ARGUS and Oliver will often utilize Diggle's connections to gain intel on various targets.
Due to his time away from Star City, Oliver also has his own connections. He is a captain in the Bratva, the Russian mafia, and has also worked for Amanda Waller for a period of time. After returning home, he used his Bratva connections a number of times to gain intelligence or assets. Season 5 will delve further into Oliver's connections to the Bratva as it has been confirmed that the flashbacks will take place in Russia.
The Flash has a slightly more complicated network for the heroes. As well as Iris working as a journalist (always a useful thing for a superhero team), Harrison Wells is actually from another Earth. This is of great use to Barry during his battle with Zoom, as Wells can give Barry information as to how Zoom operates. It is also extremely useful when they travel to Earth-2 as Wells has knowledge of the world and is able to get Barry and Cisco in to Earth-2's STAR Labs.
Supergirl's sister actually works for the DEO (and is apparently quite high up in it). Her connections there give her access to great deal of intelligence on extraterrestrial beings and the knowledge to defeat them. Kara's day job as Cat Grant's assistant also gives her a head start on any disasters unfolding in National City.
Step Six: Make Friends with the Police
This is possibly the most difficult step if you are starting a superhero crusade. At first, you will probably find that the police don't agree with your actions and think you are a threat to public safety. In Oliver Queen's case, they might have been right initially, as he killed many of his targets during the first season. But after resolving to change his ways and not kill, he eventually becomes friendly with Detective/Officer/Captain Lance. This is particularly evident when Lance publicly acknowledges Arrow as an upstanding citizen and friend of the police.
Barry Allen's foster father is Joe West, a high-ranking detective in the Central City Police. As a result of this, the Flash's relationship with the police is less fractious than that of the Arrow's, though he is not without his doubters. Eddie Thawne, Iris's boyfriend during season 1, is the biggest critic of the Flash, particularly after Barry attacks him during the crossover with Arrow. He creates an anti-Flash task force based on this and is constantly fighting against the Flash.
The Legends are a little bit more complicated as there are no police for them to befriend per se. Though Sara Lance has that obvious connection to her father, their paths do not cross all that regularly. Arguably though, as Rip Hunter is a Time Master (albeit a worse time-traveller than Barry Allen), he is a type of policeman, just one that deals with the space/time continuum.
Finally, I've mentioned Supergirl's connections to the DEO a few times, as a secret government organization (they are VERY useful it seems!), they will obviously have some sort of police connection or legal authority.
So there you have it, six easy steps to being a hero in the Arrowverse. Of course, these steps might not be as easy as initially advertised, but they do seem to be a recurring theme throughout all of the DCTV shows — not that that's a bad thing at all!
What do you think? Are you now prepared to begin your own superhero crusade? Are there any steps I've missed? Let me know in the comments!