Superhero fans have never had it so good. With more comic book shows and films to choose from than ever before, it seems like we'll never run out of geeky episodes to binge... that is, until the dreaded season breaks hit.
Like a boxing-glove arrow to the face, dedicated fans who keep up with the likes of Arrow are left all a-quiver when a current season ends, unsure of what to do next with their free time. Fortunately, we're here to help, so join us as we count down 10 shows available to watch when The CW's flagship show, Arrow, is off the air.
#Daredevil may explore darker territory, unrestricted by network regulations, but you'd have to be blind to not see how Marvel's flagship show shares plenty in common with Arrow. Both star stubborn vigilantes who protect their cities from violence, despite a lack of real superpowers, and both feel the weight of responsibility on their shoulders when it all comes crashing down.
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2. The 100
At first glance, this story of a dystopian earth where juvenile delinquents are forced to survive without adults doesn't seem particularly similar to Arrow (well, aside from that time Felicity killed thousands with a nuclear bomb). Yet these two shows are arguably the grittiest that The CW have to offer; both raise the stakes with genuinely deadly situations which leave the future of the entire cast in question.
Arrow fans will immediately spot that Malcolm Merlyn is the star of this #DoctorWho spin-off, but the comparisons don't just end with John Barrowman's involvement. #Torchwood followed the exploits of a secret group who used their hacking and fighting abilities to protect the world long before Oliver was first stranded on that island, and both shows have broken boundaries with their compelling portrayal of LGBT characters.
4. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Arrow has made a concerted effort to move away from the supernatural following a dismal response to the magical shenanigans of Damien Darhk in Season 4, but the influence of #Buffy The Vampire Slayer can still be felt throughout Arrow and its many spin-offs. From the team banter to the overarching threat of each season's big bad, Oliver Queen is more similar to the Chosen One than you think.
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Long before Oliver took that fateful journey on the Queen's Gambit, Clark Kent was up to all sorts in #Smallville, negotiating the emergence of his powers with the kind of teen angst that The CW has since become famous for. Despite its somewhat cheesy tone, Smallville paved the way for Arrow, even providing fans with a fairly successful version of Green Arrow, who was played by Justin Hartley before Stephen Amell took on the role.
6. Justice League Unlimited
While fans remain divided over the DCEU movies, comic book lovers have enjoyed DC's animated shows for years now, many of which provide a perfect jumping off point for Arrowheads the world over. While Batman: The Animated Series is easily the best of the lineup, #JusticeLeague Unlimited features a wider cast, including the Emerald Archer himself in a number of standout episodes.
Despite only lasting for one season, #Constantine developed a dedicated fan base who petitioned for the show to return to our screens. While this hasn't materialized yet, the Hellblazer's guest appearance on Arrow and his upcoming animated series set in the #Arrowverse prove that the chain-smoking spellcaster deserves another chance for old and new fans alike.
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Long before the Arrowverse placed powerful women such as Supergirl, Laurel Lance and White Canary to the fore, filmmaker JJ Abrams made a star out of Jennifer Garner with the spy series #Alias, which features the same kind of thrilling action sequences that fans of Arrow tune in for on a weekly basis. Keep your eyes peeled for a younger version of Arrowverse regular Victor Garber in a key role.
A zombie show might not sound like something that Arrow fans would particularly enjoy, but the comic book origins of The CW's #iZombie lend the story a lighthearted tone that's more reminiscent of the DCTV lineup than one would expect, despite the fact that the show's hero must eat brains to survive.
While most superhero shows draw upon decades of comic book stories that star established characters, #Heroes bucked the trend with a focus on new creations forced to hide their abilities from the government, fighting big bads who could rival the power of even Damien Darhk.
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Unsurprisingly, most #Arrowverse fans are already aware of The Flash, Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, so none of these shows made the list. Honestly though, if you don't watch any of these shows already, then how the hell did you even begin to figure out that game-changing four-way crossover!? If that's the case, then I'm sorry, but you have failed this Arrowverse.