In the immortal words of Porky Pig, “That’s all folks.” After 11 mostly successful years, the Arrowverse came to an end last night with the final episode of The Flash airing on The CW. The CW, under Greg Berlanti, created an interconnected universe, something Zack Snyder and the theatrical division at Warner Bros. tried, but failed miserably.
For every Arrow and Flash on TV, there was a Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad in the movies. Before Marvel immersed fans in its multiverse, that concept was introduced on The Flash and carried out by the Arrowverse. Diversity and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community were also vital to the eight shows’ success.
The Arrowverse introduced us to comic-book-accurate characters such as Supergirl, Batwoman, Black Lightning, The Atom, Black Canary and even Gorilla Grodd. It was such an amazing run that the CW became known as the superhero network. Yes, the shows had CW-required love stories that made geeks cringe – looking at you “Oliticity” – but we still tuned in every week.
But now that James Gunn is rebooting the entire DC vision, let’s take a look at where all of the show ranked according to Rotten Tomatoes:
8. Cons♰antįne (2014-2015) RT Score: 72%
Constantine was an American occult detective series developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer for NBC. It starred Matt Ryan as the eponymous titular character. It was a short-lived series lasting only one season.
Fans’ love for the English exorcist and occult detective never waned and they were gifted with an appearance by Ryan on the fourth season of Arrow.
The Arrowverse franchise retconned Constantine as part of the same continuity. Ryan also returned as Constantine in the DC Animated Movie Universe and its animated spin-off series Constantine: City of Demons.
Ryan’s John Constantine became so popular that he would eventually join the cast of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow from season four to six.
7. Batwoman (2019-2022) RT Score: 83%
Three years after Batman mysteriously disappeared, Gotham is a city on the brink of hell, and it’s under the watch of Jacob Kane and his military-grade Crows Private Security, which now protects the city with omnipresent firepower and militia.
When the Alice in Wonderland gang targets the firm, Kane’s daughter Kate (Ruby Rose) returns home, deciding that if she wants to help her family and her city, she’ll have to become the one thing her father loathes, a dark knight vigilante.
With the help of her stepsister Mary and the crafty Luke Fox, the son of Wayne Enterprises’ tech-guru Lucius Fox, Kate continued the legacy of her missing cousin, Bruce Wayne. Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate soared through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman.
After a controversy, Rose left the series after the first season and was replaced by Javicia Leslie as a completely different character, Ryan Wilder. This show had some really interesting storylines (particularly Black Mask and Professor Pyg’s inclusions), but never really got out of the cave to reach its full potential.
And like Gotham, it always felt weird to have a Batman show without Batman.
6. Superman & Lois (2021-Present) RT Score: 86%
While only loosely connected to the Arrowverse, Superman and Lois did begin there. Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) was introduced as Kara’s cousin on Supergirl. The Man of Steel was never portrayed as very super in the series, always appearing vastly weaker than Kara. When the series would have its highly anticipated Arrowverse Crossover, Superman was portrayed even goofier.
That all changed when Superman & Lois hit the CW as its own series. The show followed the Boy in Blue back returning to Smallville with his wife Lois (Bitsie Tolluch) and their two teenage sons, Jonathan and Jordan.
5. Arrow RT Score: 86%
The daddy of the Arrowverse. Arrow started as a realistic TV answer to Christopher Nolan’s realistic take on Batman. Arrow told the story of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), a presumed-dead billionaire playboy who returned home to Starling City after five years stranded on a remote island in the Pacific, he hides the ways the experience has changed him.
As he reconnected with those closest to him, including his sister, Thea, Oliver appeared to be the same wealthy, carefree bachelor they’d always known. At night, flanked by his devoted friend, Diggle, Oliver became the arrow-firing vigilante that coined the phrase, “You have failed this city!”
Even with annoying Felicity (Emily Bett Richards), Arrow was an amazing piece of superhero storytelling. Without Arrow, none of the other shows would exist.
4. Supergirl (2015-2021) RT Score: 88%
Supergirl followed Kara Zor-El, the cousin of Superman, and one of the last survivors of the destroyed planet of Krypton, as she tries to find a way to balance living a normal life while also being a superhero.
Similar to Constantine, Supergirl wasn’t originally a part of the Arrowverse, as its first season aired on CBS. But toward the end of the first season, they linked it to this franchise using Grant Gustin’s Flash, while keeping it on a separate Earth.
The show was the antithesis of Arrow, keeping a lighter, more optimistic tone that was in keeping with the character. Melissa Benoist made a perfect character and also introduced us to Martian Manhunter and Querl Dox, otherwise known as Brainiac 5.
3. The Flash (2014-2023) RT Score: 89%
Speaking of the perfect embodiment of characters, Grant Gustin’s take on Barry Allen was flawless. This series, which just ended its run, followed forensic scientist Allen, who, after being struck by a lightning bolt from the Speed Force in his lab granted him super-speed powers.
The Flash was the second series in the Arrowverse introducing us to villains such as Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Savatar and of course, the Reverse Flash. The series managed to bring a little light into this dark franchise of the Arrowverse. Barry and Oliver’s team-ups were always worth the wait. Despite a slight dip in quality, The Flash is one of the most beloved, and longest-running (pun intended), series in the Arrowverse.
2. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016-2022) RT Score: 89%
Before the craziness of Doom Patrol, there was DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The series followed a group of unlikely heroes and villains recruited by Time Master Rip Hunter to stop the immortal Vandal Savage from destroying the timeline.
It was the most unexpected show in the Arrowverse and never took itself too seriously. Led by Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz) Legends featured an amazing cast of rotating characters that kept the action fun and many times goofy. It was as if Plasticman was the showrunner.
1. Black Lightning (2018-2021) RT Score: 92%
Once the Arrowverse introduced the idea of Metahumans in its universe, it was an easy decision to bring in Black Lightning. This series followed Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who decides it’s time to come out of retirement and suit back up and protect the city of Freeland from The 100, Freeland’s biggest criminal gang, led by Tobias Whale.
The series wasn’t originally meant to be part of the Arrowverse. That all changed “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event occurred. Black Lightning finally became an official member of the Arrowverse family.
So, it’s time to say goodbye to the Arrowverse. But not its characters. We will be counting on James Gunn to bring these heroes, as well as others to life in the new DC Verse.
The Geek is a working screenwriter, director and screenwriting instructor.