From the moment Warner Bros. announced the DC Extended Universe as a separate movie franchise with no connection to its CW Arrowverse superhero series, a Jets vs Sharks style rivalry seemed to erupt among the universes. For the unfamiliar, which seems unlikely if you’re reading this, the Arrowverse includes The CW series Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. It all started with Arrow and grew from there, with the heroes coming together for an annual crossover event. Before the movies were a thing, this was the closest we had to a Justice League. They even got a Hall of Justice in the last one.
The real problems came when movie producers decided to include characters from the TV shows in the films. Supporting characters and villains were suddenly killed off so they could show up on the big screen. However, nothing quite compared to the uproar that came when Ezra Miller was cast as Barry Allen/The Flash instead of the familiar and well-liked Grant Gustin. All these changes and differences led to an Internet war between the two universe’s die hard fans. And of course, the only way the Internet knows how to settle a war is with memes.
15. TV IS MORE FUN
Anyone who watches both the DCEU and the Arrowverse knows there is one glaring difference between the two. The TV shows are just more fun. Yes, there are emotional stakes and main characters die, but there’s still a lot of laughter. Every series has at least one comic relief character and when they get together to team up in crossovers, they’re usually just non-stop action occasionally broken up by in jokes.
The DCEU can be difficult to get through at times, everyone is so tortured through the first three movies. It wasn’t until Wonder Woman that things started to lighten up and that still featured notable deaths. All the trailers for Justice League make it seem like producers have gotten the hint and are letting the heroes have some fun, but until it hits theaters, the TV shows will be more fun and enjoyable to watch.
14. AQUAMAN STEALS FELICITY
It’s no secret that Jason Momoa is a heartthrob. From Stargate: Atlantis to Game of Thrones, anytime he shows up on screen women swoon. He’s known to be enthusiastically charming at conventions. Casting him as Arthur Curry/Aquaman was the DCEU’s smartest and boldest choice. From the pilot episode of Arrow, fans have been talking about Stephen Amell’s good looks and abs. He was shirtless a lot in season one. In the show there’s a joke where the press calls him Mayor Handsome.
The relationship between Oliver and Felicity has been a bumpy road, with other suitors along the way. Unfortunately, for Oliver the one person who can rival him in charm and appeal is Momoa. Even Felicity can’t say no to Aquaman.
13. ARROW IS BATMAN
Has Arrow borrowed heavily from Batman mythology over the years? Yes. It’s not a secret. He’s a billionaire, playboy who returned to his corrupt city after years away and became a vigilante, targeting the rich and powerful. Producers and cast have openly discussed the influence of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.
Since it premiered two years before Gotham, it even used some of Batman’s rogues for Oliver to battle. He has tangled with Deathstroke, Deadshot and Ra’s al Ghul. The similarities were so obvious during the first two seasons, it became a running joke among fans. Though Oliver Queen has a lot of Bruce Wayne personality traits, it seems very harsh to call him a discount Batman. It’s not like he constantly talks about his dead parents. Oh, wait.
12. SUPERMAN MEETS SUPERGIRL
The TV version of Supergirl has always relied heavily on Superman’s backstory for her origins. She came to Earth after the destruction of Krypton and often speaks to her dead mother through a holographic AI program. Kara is a mild mannered reporter, who hides her heroic life under a nerdy exterior, right down to the trademark glasses. It’s been a long running joke that wearing glasses does not really hide a secret identity.
When Batman vs. Superman was set to be released, Jimmy Kimmel featured a comedy sketch with Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, with it being very easy to figure out who they really were. Here Cavill’s Clark meet Melissa Benoist’s Kara and they have a hilarious conversation about the familiarity of their civilian looks. Something fans have been laughing about for years.
11. COMMISSIONER GORDON ASKS ABOUT BLACK CANARY
Though he’s new to the DCEU, J.K. Simmons has already made waves with his workout photos and appearance in Justice League trailers. As Commissioner Jim Gordon he plays a big role in Batman’s story and could become more important once Batgirl shows up. Simmons’ intimidating presence is comically used here to question Oliver about Arrow’s tendency to kill off Black Canaries.
First came Sara Lance, who is alive on Legends of Tomorrow now, then there was her sister Laurel, who was killed by Damien Darhk. Of course, the most recent Black Canary, Dinah was one of the victims of the Lian Yu bombing and spent the summer as one of the possible deaths. Fans have complained about Arrow’s treatment of Black Canary since season one, so this hilariously plays right into those ideas.
10. EVERYONE BROODS IN DC
One major argument between DCEU and Arrowverse fans is that the TV shows are more upbeat, while DC films are more serious, and all the characters stand around brooding. It’s true that aesthetically DC movies seem to look darker, but that mostly comes from Batman only fighting crime at night. There’s also the joke that Batman never smiles. Yes, these are all traits shared by Oliver Queen, the Arrowverse’s version of Batman.
Oliver talks about his obligation to Star City the same way Batman talks about Gotham. Though we haven’t really met Aquaman yet, so far it’s clear from the trailers that he’s tortured by something and obviously takes himself seriously. It’s just proof that Batman’s influence over the entire franchise extends well beyond the movies and leads to DC being a universe full of brooding, sad heroes.
9. BACK IN A FLASH
Grant Gustin is not the only major Arrowverse hero left out of the DCEU. As of right now it appears Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, an important member of the Justice League is not joining the rest of the team. Once again fans cried foul. It wasn’t just the omission of The CW’s Amell, it was the seeming dismissal of Queen altogether.
On the surface it makes sense, as TV’s Oliver has borrowed heavily from Batman (something we’ll discuss later), and the movies already have a capable Bruce Wayne. However, fans were also upset with producers not seeing the full influence of the TV universe. Here all of that is poked fun of as Barry beats Oliver to a part in the movie, before Oliver even has a chance to respond. It’s reminiscent of how Barry often catches criminals before Oliver can draw his first arrow.
8. EMO FLASH
Season three aside, the TV Flash is a very optimistic, upbeat guy. He loves his job at the crime lab, has fun saving the day with his friends at STAR Labs and is devoted to his family, always making time for them. Add in his friendships with fellow superheroes and he’s got a nice life. Though he carries a heavy burden, he doesn’t carry it alone. However, from the first trailer Justice League made it clear that movie Flash would be a completely different character.
He decides to join the others because as he tells Batman “he needs friends.” He’s much less confident in his powers than the rest of the team and seems so surprised by everything happening around him. It seems only fitting that the Internet has fun with the idea that lovable, happy Barry will suddenly become an emo teenager.
7. DEATHSTROKE GETS A MOVIE
When it was announced that DC was finally going all in on a movie universe, characters started dropping dead and disappearing in the Arrowverse. Deadshot, Amanda Waller and Captain Boomerang were suddenly never heard from again. Most notably Deathstroke was sent to the ARGUS prison and didn’t appear again until the recent season five finale.
Sometime during his Arrow hiatus, it was announced that Joe Manganiello would play Deathstroke as the main villain in Batman’s standalone movie. This was an especially rough slap in the face, as it was his appearance on Arrow that renewed interest in the character. Now, with The Batman plans up in the air, the show can bring back Slade Wilson. However, the clear case of character poaching still hurts.
6. OLIVER DOESN’T LIKE THE MOVIE FLASH
It’s no surprise to longtime Arrowverse fans that both Oliver and his portrayer Stephen Amell are very loyal to their friends. When Ezra Miller was cast as the DCEU’s Barry Allen, Grant Gustin had a much more amicable, supportive reaction than his sometime co-star. Amell’s first reaction was to stand up for his friend and say he thinks Gustin should be in the movies. However, he did make it clear that having all these films in theaters only serves to help everyone.
It’s important to note that these were first impressions from when the announcements originally came out. With time and distance, everyone has probably come to some much more mature conclusions. Of course, fans took it step further and decided that Oliver’s signature “you have failed this city” was the real reaction they wanted.
5. CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS
Even with all the talk about how Marvel’s TV shows and movies live in one big universe they actually don’t cross paths that often. When DC said that the Arrowverse and movies were not in any way connected, fans immediately went on the defensive, wondering why they couldn’t see the familiar heroes they knew interacting with the new movie versions.
With The Flash increasingly exploring the multiverse, a new idea has popped up among fans. Maybe these stories take place on separate Earths and could combine in a huge Crisis type event. Just the suggestion of a crossover is all it takes for ready made posters to show up on the Internet. While there’s nothing fancy about this photo, it gives fans a glimpse at something they’re probably dreaming about..
4. THREE DIFFERENT FLASHES
John Wesley Shipp is not just The Flash’s elder statesman speedster Jay Garrick, he’s also the first TV Flash, having played Barry Allen in the 1990 TV series The Flash. With all this controversy swirling around about there being two different Barrys, everyone forgot there was another one. To be completely honest, this is a made up controversy, since there have been several superheroes played by different actors over the years.
Yes, it’s unusual to have them doing it at the same time, but it’s time for everyone to stop making this such a big thing. It’s not fair to either actor. As a more experienced actor with plenty of credits on his resume Shipp had an extremely adult reaction to the idea of a new Flash. He simply states “The Speed Force is big enough for all of us.” That’s a very Jay thing to say.
3. OLIVER WANTS TO BE IN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE
Other than Batman, Green Arrow is the only major non-powered hero. Throughout the comics and cartoons, his job has always been to keep the superheroes in check. Coincidentally, he often does the same thing during the big crossover events, even having a hard time adjusting to meeting Supergirl. That’s a voice the Justice League definitely needs.
Though Stephen Amell has made it clear he would like to play Oliver in the DCEU, he hasn’t made it into a giant thing. It’s more the fans who keep losing their minds over the perceived snub. Plus, no one really knows for sure who’s in the movie until it comes out. Even with Amell’s clear thinking, the Internet still found a way to have him beg the man in charge for a part in the movie.
2. BLACK LIGHTNING AND AQUAMAN
Yes, Black Lightning is not part of the Arrowverse…yet. Producers made the same claim about Supergirl and she now regularly crosses over with the rest of the heroes. If we’re being honest, it’s probably only a matter of time before Jefferson Pierce is fighting alongside Barry and Oliver.
What makes this meme so fun is the idea of two of DC’s coolest heroes just chilling the way real friends do. These are also two of their respective universes newest characters, so putting them together makes sense. We all totally want to be a fly on the wall between a Black Lightning/Aquaman phone call. What else did they talk about? Did they talk trash about other heroes and villains? We need to know and need this to be a real thing.
1. BARRY IS LEFT OUT
A lot has been made about Grant Gustin not being The Flash in the DCEU (and we’ll talk about it more very soon). The casting of Ezra Miller as Barry Allen sent shockwaves through the DC Universe. Comic book fans have had four years to fall in love with Gustin’s portrayal of Barry. Needless to say, some weren’t happy.
When a photo of Gustin in costume between scenes surfaced, it made its way around the Internet in various ridiculous forms. This particular meme really highlights the sadness of Gustin reviving a character and making fans fall in love with him again, only to be left out of the big screen team up. It’s just like being chosen last on the playground or being cut out of the group selfie.
Which of these memes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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