Comic book fans are currently living in a golden age of blockbusters, award-winning television shows, and turncoat Captain Americas (still sore about that last one). There's a problem, however. One of the largest universes in existence is teetering on the edge of total ruin. If the title wasn't obvious enough, I'm referring to CW's Arrowverse. This includes Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, The Flash, and now Supergirl. This franchise has eight full seasons collectively, spanning over five years of story, assuming you don't count the time-travel from Legends. As cool as this 'verse may have been up to this point, I for one am worried that the CW is about to exceed its limits.
Just to warn you all, I'm going to be discussing pretty massive spoilers from the last seasons of all four shows, so if you aren't caught up (especially with Flash) then I would recommend you stay away from this article.
That being said, let's get started. I'm going to deal with issues from all four shows, starting with:
This show should have been killed off after season three, but I suppose there are enough Olicity supporters to keep it alive. The dialogue from the first season onward has been amateur, and the storylines keep getting more and more desperate. Fortunately, the solid cast and rich characters have keep the show alive. And even though they have used many a Batman rogue, the casting of characters like Ra's al Ghul has been fantastic. However, with an never-ending backstory (I mean, it was cool in season one, but...can we just move on?) , and one of the worst romances in television history, how much longer can the show keep interest? season four angered many fans due to the lackluster plot and forced romance. It didn't help that once they finally made Black Canary a likable character the writers killed her off. This all being said, there are some promising things in the works, including a "Bratva" story arc and a return to a more "Arrow-esque" feel. Will that and a new big bad be enough to save the series? I am not so sure that it can.
There was always talk of Supergirl being in the same spatial plane as the Arrowverse, and Greg Berlanti and co. did not disappoint when CBS and the CW merged for the Flash/Supergirl spin-off. Once again, we are graced with near-perfect casting, with Melissa Benoist leading as Kara Danvers and David Harewood playing J'onn J'onzz: the Martian Manhunter. The problem here lies with the writing, yet again. The show's pilot was fantastic, but the rest of the series lacked. Perhaps it was because of the lesser known villains, or the ensemble cast, but it just didn't catch with audiences as well as its CW counterparts. Hopefully, the transition to the CW will help ratings, as well as make crossovers easier. There is also great hope in the appearance of Superman which should prove interesting. My hope is that they will not over-use him, but let him do more than just showing up to offer cousinly wisdom or something. The problem with this show is that it's something of a wildcard. It has great characters, but will it sell? And is it enough to help carry on the Arrowverse?
Legends of Tomorrow:
This is sort of my guilty passion. It's not a spectacular show, and yet I love every minute of it. Solid writing, an amazing, albeit nerfed villain, and fun characters made this one of the most enjoyable shows of 2015/2016 for me. I also am a huge Arthur Darvill fan, so that didn't hurt. The Legends have a really awesome premise: a group of heroes go around time and space saving the universe. It's like Doctor Who but with winged Egyptians and pyromaniacs. Realistically though, no one really cares. Other than to have a "Justice League" in the Arrowverse, this show served almost no purpose whatsoever than to show us more Canary and Captain Cold. There is a set-up for the JSA (Justice Society of America) , but in the long run, what good does that do? Where does the team go after Savage? Ultimately, how does this show contribute to the CW multiverse?
I'm going to level with you, I love Flash. Like...it's one of my favorite shows on television. Amazing acting, great characters, and storylines that will warp your mind. Sure, there may be seven versions of himself at his mother's death, but it sure looks cool! Overall, The Flash is that fun, bright show that I want in a superhero program. Though people die like crazy over there...Fortunately Barry can time travel, right? In fact, that's the problem with the show.
Yes, this sounds amazing. But please read this next tweet.
No. Just...no. For those not familiar with Flashpoint, Barry Allen is tricked by the Reverse Flash to go back in time and save Nora Allen. This changes the timeline completely, causing things like an Atlantean/Themysciran world war, a gun-toting Batman (Thomas Wayne), and a powerless Flash. It's one of the most powerful stories in DC canon, and a tweet like this only destroys the hope that they will remain faithful to the source material. Yes, I appreciate a show that makes its own name, but Flashpoint will likely be so different from the original that it will be almost unrecognizable to the original. And if Arrow somehow takes the place of Batman, then it will only confirm one of the largest complaints with Arrow. The Flash is a fantastic show, but have they bitten off more than they can chew?
All in all, the CW has done a good job creating a multiverse with real characters and impressive villains. Every time I see Oliver draw a bow, or the lightening in Barry's eyes, or watch the Waverider take off I get chills. I love this multiverse, and I want to see it succeed. I want to see Flashpoint. I want to see the four-way crossover. I want to see Felicity die (sorry, Olicity fans). But, I'm worried about the future of the Arrowverse. The Flash has carried the 'verse so far, but will it be able to withstand a loose adaption of Flashpoint? Will Legends or Supergirl keep interest? Can Arrow find better writers and ditch forced romance? Honestly, I don't think any of these can be answered with yes. Of course, I would love to be proven wrong, but I think it's time for a reality check: The Arrowverse is on shaky ground, and its days may be numbered. Hopefully this fall will prove me wrong, and we can all have a big laugh about it.
Until that date arrives, let me know what you think about the Arrowverse, whether that be what you expect, or your reasons for disagreeing with me. Even better would be to write your own article about it!