Though some of us would like to forget some of the DCTV shows that preceded the Arrowverse, the creative teams behind The Flash, Arrow, Legends Of Tomorrow, and Supergirl celebrate the shows of the past. Shows like Smallville, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and The Flash (1990) may not age well, but they are an important part of the DCTV legacy, because they helped pave the way for the shows we enjoy today.
The CW reuses some of the actors from other #DCTV shows, and it's a great way to honor the previous generation. The best example of this is John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen on the original The Flash from 1990, and he has portrayed Henry Allen and Jay Garrick on The Flash. But what if the showrunners aren’t just honoring the shows that came before? What if the shows are all connected? Well, they might be, and it's all thanks to the multiverse.
Enter The Infinite Multiverse
#TheFlash Season 2 introduced us to the multiverse, and we have since explored multiple new worlds that have brought many new possibilities to the Arrowverse. This concept is widely used in DC Comics, but this is the first time it was done on a live-action superhero show (not counting #Smallville when they did the alternate Clark story).
The multiverse is so vast that us viewers won't see many of the worlds that exist. While it may sound a bit farfetched, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that other DCTV shows exists on other Earths — and if there's an infinite number of worlds in a multiverse, there would have to be one where, say, the events of Smallville happened, right?
Our first piece of evidence comes from The Flash, and their Jay Garrick, John Wesley Shipp.
The Flash (1990) Is Part Of The Arrowverse Multiverse
The CW's The Flash is the second incarnation of the character on television, with the first premiering 20 years prior on CBS. John Wesley Shipp was the first man to don the Scarlet Speedster's costume, and fans were delighted when he appeared as Henry Allen/Jay Garrick on The CW’s new show. At the time he was cast, fans just believed it was a nice nod to the original series; however, it soon became clear that the Arrowverse has a much stronger connection to The Flash (1990).
We first became aware of the connection during The Flash Season 2 Episode 13, when Barry traveled through time and saw visions of the multiverse. Apart from seeing Kara from Supergirl – which was on CBS at the time – Barry saw John Wesley Shipp’s version of Barry Allen from The Flash (1990).
Fans figured it was just a passing Easter egg, but once we learned more about Barry's Speed Force visions, and the fact that they are of things that exist in the multiverse (which we learned in later seasons), it became clear that The Flash (1990) took place on an alternate Earth.
The Flash (1990) being connected to the multiverse explains Mark Hamill as Trickster, Amanda Pays as Tina Mcgee, and John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen/Jay Garrick existing on The Flash. They are all part of the multiverse, and somewhere out there on one of the infinite Earths, The Flash (1990) exists – along with their original characters.
Have We Seen The Flash's (1990) Earth On The CW?
Some fans and sites speculated that John Wesley Shipp’s Jay Garrick is the older version of his character from The Flash (1990). This theory stemmed from an interview Shipp did with Comicbook.com, where Shipp talked about his inspiration for his role as Jay Garrick:
"I figured Jay is my version of Barry, 25 years later, essentially. So, I went back and I watched a couple of episodes of the 1990/91 version to kind of remind myself what I did."
Comicbook.com's article led to sites misquoting Shipp, and using the phrase: “I figured Jay is my version of Barry, 25 years later”. Shipp was talking about his inspiration for the character, rather than a direct link between the two. Barry Allen changing his name to Jay Garrick on Earth-3 doesn’t add up, but John Wesley Shipp being Barry Allen on an alternate Earth fits in with the Arrowverse’s concept of the multiverse.
The Flash (1990) being a part of the multiverse is a big deal, because it sets a unique precedent. If the actors from The Flash (1990) have doppelgängers in the Arrowverse, does this mean that other actors from other DCTV shows have doppelgängers as well? Well, it stands to reason that they do.
Past DCTV Stars Open The World To The Multiverse
Now that we explored the possibility that The Flash (1990) exists in the multiverse, it is possibly that other shows have as well. Following the same logic that The Flash (1990) characters have doppelgängers in the Arrowverse, then any other actor who was on a past DCTV show could be a doppelgänger as well – driven home by the point that most actors have appeared on 3 separate DCTV shows.
If we follow our established transitive property, then Supergirl has introduced the possibility that Smallville, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Supergirl (1984), and Wonder Woman (1975) all exist in the Arrowverse's multiverse. Here's a list of the actors/actresses who link their past DCTV roles to the Arrowmultiverse:
- Laura Vandervoort From Smallville
Laura Vandervoort played Kara Zor-El/Supergirl on Smallville, and was introduced as Indigo on Supergirl Season 1. Indigo is part of Brainiac’s family of villains, and was never featured on Smallville, but Brainiac was the main villain of Smallville Season 5.
- Helen Slater From Supergirl and Smallville (1984)
Helen Slater was the first woman to play a live-action of Kara Zor-El/Supergirl in the mostly forgotten 1984 film, Supergirl. On The CW’s Supergirl, Slater plays Eliza Danvers, who adopted Kara Zor-El and raised her as Kara Danvers. Slater also starred in Smallvile as Lara-El, Kal-El's birth mother from Krypton.
- Lynda Carter From Wonder Woman (1975) and Smallvile
Lynda Carter was the first and only woman to portray a live-action Wonder Woman, until Gal Gadot appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. On Supergirl, Carter plays President Olivia Marsdin, who was recently revealed to be an alien from the planet Durla. Lynda Carter also appeared on Smallville, and played Chloe Sullivan's mother, Moira Sullivan
- Terri Hatcher From Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Smallville
Terri Hatcher portrayed veteran reporter Lois Lane on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993. Hatcher was introduced on Supergirl Season 2 as Rhea, Queen of the Daxamites. Hatcher was the big bad of Supergirl Season 2, and gave an incredible performance as the ruthless tyrant of a dying civilization. Hatcher played Ella Lane on Smallville, the mother of Erica Durrance's Lois Lane.
- Dean Cain From Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Smallville
We have been introduced to 2 versions of Dean Cain in the multiverse, but his first appearance was on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, where he portrayed Clark Kent/Superman. Cain would pop up on Smallville several years later, as Curtis Knox, M.D., an immortal man who was an analog for the popular DC Comics character, Vandal Savage. On Supergirl, Dean Cain plays Jeremiah Danvers, the husband of Eliza Danvers, and the adoptive father of Kara Zor-El/Supergirl.
When each of these actresses (and Dean Cain) were cast in their roles on Supergirl, it seemed the show was creating synergy with the past DCTV shows. Because of what we know about The Flash and its connection to The Flash (1990), it’s logical that we are seeing alternate versions of characters from their original shows.
For the sake of fun, we can also include Superman Returns to the multiverse, because of Brandon Routh on Legends of Tomorrow (who made a reference to Kara looking like his cousin). iZombie is a bit of an unknown, because it is a concurrent show on The CW, but Rahul Kohil did make a recent appearance on Supergirl, which could connect him to the multiverse.
This theory isn’t watertight, but it would explain why so many actors/actresses have been cast in remakes of shows they once appeared on (with the exception of Lynda Carter). It’s worth noting that the multiverse doppelgangers mostly exist in the worlds that are tied to their original shows (Supergirl/Superman actors appear on Supergirl, and The Flash actors were on the 1990s The Flash), and therefore, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow don’t have repeat DCTV actors.
The argument has been made in the past that all DC properties exist in their own multiverse, but for the point of this theory, there was a tangible line that was followed. Whatever the case, the Arrowverse has given us some of the best DC Comic superheroes we have ever seen on TV, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Do you think the DCTV shows exist in The CW multiverse?
(Source: Comicbook.com, Poll Image Credit: DC Comics)