Comic book universes have become popular in film and TV. Marvel and DC dominate the big screen. However, the CW’s Arrowverse is dominating the small screen. It features several DC Comics characters, including, Green Arrow, Flash, and Supergirl. It first started with Arrow, which debuted in 2012 and it has grown to include a vast number of popular series. In fact, the universe continues to expand, and it does not look like it will be stopping anytime soon. The Arrowverse also features numerous crossover episodes, and it is during these episodes that our favorite heroes team up to battle a common enemy. The various series all share certain plot elements, characters, and events. The Arrowverse is immensely popular. Many fans feel its better than the DC Extended Universe, and this world seems to just grow in its popularity.
It can be difficult to adapt a character from a comic book to TV. In fact, fans can be critical if they are not adapted correctly. Luckily, the Arrowverse has done an excellent job with certain characters. Some characters are faithful to their comic book counterpart. On the other hand, some characters were a total miss. In fact, fans complained about characters not being faithful, as they are nothing like the comic book version. The CW has taken certain characters in a different direction, but luckily that is not the case for each character. Many are very faithful to their comic counterparts, and it has fans smiling from where they sit. Here’s a look at 10 Characters In The Arrowverse That Aren’t Like Their Comic Book Counterpart (10 That Are).
20. BLACK CANARY LAUREL LANCE – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
The Black Canary in the comic books is very different from the TV version. In the early seasons, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) portrayed the character in Arrow. She had no superpowers and required special equipment to do the Canary Cry. However, she remained Oliver Queen’s love interest. In season 2, Sara Lance was the Black Canary before her sister took it over.
The Black Canary went through many changes that never happened in the comic book. In fact, the series even ended up writing off both characters, who had to later return as new characters altogether. Recently, the series introduced a more faithful comic book version, Dinah Drake. She’s a metahuman with the ability to do the Canary Cry.
19. FIRESTORM – LIKE THE COMIC
The Arrowverse Firestorm differs slightly from the comics. The character is pretty faithful but there are some changes. In the comics, Firestorm is a combination of the physicist Martin Stein and high school student Ronnie Raymond. In the Arrowverse, the character retains the witty banter between the two. This is an important element of the series. The character first appeared in The Flash before starring in Legends of Tomorrow.
However, in the Arrowverse Ronnie is also intelligent. He’s a S.T.A.R. Labs technician. However, Ronnie is written off and replaced by High School athlete Jefferson Jackson. Despite the slight change, the character is actually more faithful.
18. TALIA AL GHUL – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
Talia Al Ghul is the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul. Ra’s is the leader of the League of Assassins. In the comics, Talia and Ra’s appear in Batman titles. In Arrow, Talia is Oliver Queen’s teacher and trainer. However, unlike the comics, she has a different motive.
In the comics, she focuses on taking over the League of Assasins after her father’s passing. In the Arrowverse, she blames the Arrow for her father’s passing. She focuses on gaining revenge on the Arrow. In fact, she becomes obsessed with the idea and retires from the League of Assassins. This is a pretty drastic change from the comic books.
17. CAT GRANT – LIKE THE COMIC
In DC comics, Cat Grant is a long-running character. Initially, she was a supporting character in the Superman comics. She worked at the Daily Planet and dated Clark Kent. The character has gone through several changes as the comics continued, and eventually, she moved over to the Supergirl series.
The New 52 Cat Grant is similar to her TV counterpart. However, the TV version actually influenced the comic book version. In fact, the DC Rebirth counterpart is almost identical. She formerly worked at the Daily Planet but is now the CEO of CatCo. Obviously, both versions influenced each other.
16. VANDAL SAVAGE – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
Vandal Savage is one of the most heartless and ruthless villains in the DC universe. In the comics, the character has existed since the creation of mankind. Over the years he gained an immense wealth and builds an empire for himself. In the Arrowverse crossover event “Heroes Join Forces”, the superheroes team up to battle Vandal Savage.
However, the Arrowverse made some changes to the character, and some fans feel these changes had a negative effect. One major change is that he was born in the ancient era. He’s also obsessed with Hawkgirl, which is a big change. He’s still ruthless, however, he lacks some of the characters’ deeper traits.
15. HAWKMAN & HAWKGIRL – LIKE THE COMIC
The Arrowverse is always adding new characters and in some cases, they’ll make minor changes. For instance, they made a slight change to Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s origin story, both of who were central to the crossover event “Heroes Join Forces”. They then joined the ensemble cast of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
The characters remain faithful to their comic book counterparts. Their origin story is pretty much intact. They’re heroes in ancient Egypt and reincarnate, and the only major difference is the inclusion of Vandal Savage. He is the one who takes them both out and becomes obsessed with Hawkgirl.
14. CYBORG SUPERMAN – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
Cyborg Superman is a powerful supervillain in the DC comics, and is one of the few very real threats to Superman. He matches Superman’s power and strength. In the comics, his main target is Superman, as he holds the Man of Steel responsible for his wife’s death. However, the Arrowverse version is nothing like his counterpart.
In fact, they have nothing in common but the name. In Supergirl, Lilian Luthor creates Cyborg Superman. He’s basically her sidekick. He’s not nearly as powerful as Superman or Supergirl, and so the adaptation of this character left a lot to be desired.
13. HEAT WAVE – LIKE THE COMIC
In DC comics, Heat Wave first debuted as a villain. Later, he became a popular anti-hero. In the Arrowverse, Heat Wave’s origin story is kept intact. In both, he starts off as a criminal, and he often teams up with Captain Cold. In fact, he’s also a member of the Rogues and he usually does battle with The Flash.
In the Arrowverse, he turns over a new leaf and becomes one of The Legends and because of that he currently stars in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. He also keeps the rough and tough personality, and additionally, he’s still a criminal. His anti-hero persona sticks out amongst the good guys.
12. VIBE – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
In the Arrowverse, Cisco “Vibe” Ramon is one of the Flash’s most trusted friends. He’s a key member of Team Flash. In the series, he’s a S.T.A.R. Labs technician. In fact, he designs many of the suits and gadgets in the Arrowverse. He’s one of the most popular characters in the series. However, he’s drastically different from his comic book counterpart. In the comics, Cisco’s origin story is quite different.
He starts off as the leader of a street gang. Later, the comics improve and expanded his powers, and because of that, the comic book version has improved over the years. Regardless, the two versions have little in common.
11. VIXEN – LIKE THE COMIC
The Arrowverse expanded into an animated web series as well. The superhero Vixen appears in both the live action and animated aspects of the Arrowverse. She first appeared in the web series Vixen. Later, she appeared in Arrow and teamed up with the heroes. There have been some slight changes to the character, however, she remains faithful to her comic book counterpart.
Her motivations remain the same as she searches for her parents killer. However, the killer’s identity has been changed in the Arrowverse. Regardless, she’s still on a mission with the same goal, and thus remains faithful to the comics.
10. JOHN CONSTANTINE – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
Matt Ryan portrayed John Constantine in the NBC series Constantine. Critics praised the series but NBC canceled it after 13 episodes. However, Constantine showed up in the Arrowverse, appearing in season 4 of Arrow with a small but memorable role. Thankfully since it is a television show, there’s always the possibility of a return.
In the comics, however, the character lacks compassion; he has little regard for other people. The TV version retains certain aspects of that by making him sarcastic with people, but his harsh personality is toned down and he cares about others. That is probably the biggest difference between the show and the comic books for this character.
9. SUPERMAN – LIKE THE COMIC
Superman’s one of the most famous characters of all time. He’s one of DC’s flagship characters. The Arrowverse would feel incomplete without him. Superman’s origin story is well-known. He doesn’t need to have his own series. Superman appears in the Supergirl series.
He’s not the main character but is essential to the team. He serves as Supergirl’s inspiration and motivation. The CW Superman’s quite faithful to his counterpart. He’s still the ultimate superhero. Superman always does the right thing. He knows when to help Supergirl and when to leave her alone. The CW Superman lets his cousin be the star. He’s a highlight of the Arrowverse.
8. JAMES OLSEN – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
In the comics, Jimmy Olson is a nerdy photographer, who is very close friends with Clark Kent and Lois Lane. More often than not, he ended up being comic relief and a bumbling sidekick. On the big screen, he’s usually a nerd too. However, on the small screen, he’s a completely different character.
In Supergirl, Olson is nothing like his counterpart. He’s the opposite of a nerdy photographer. Additionally, he serves as Supergirl’s love interest. However, he is also a brave man who is a superhero in his own right. In fact, by the time season 2 rolls around, Jimmy is known as The Guardian, which is a massive change from who he was in the comic books.
7. CAPTAIN COLD – LIKE THE COMIC
Captain Cold and The Flash have fought many times, however, they’ve also fought alongside each other. Wentworth Miller portrays Captain Cold in the Arrowverse and he quickly became one of Flash’s most popular foes.
Later, Captain Cold becomes a hero and Flash’s ally, and with that came some popularity that ended up changing the character’s direction. In fact, he later joins DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Captain Cold is quite faithful to his counterpart, even with the very minute changes. He’s still sarcastic and banters with the rest of the team.
6. SPEEDY – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
In the Arrowverse, Thea Dearden Queen is Oliver Queen’s half-sister. She later takes up the mantle of Speedy. She becomes Arrow’s hot-tempered sidekick. She’s a major character in the Arrow series. She also appeared in several crossover events.
However, Oliver Queen doesn’t have a half-sister in the comics. In the show, Thea’s a combination of several well-known characters. Her name’s derived from the second Speedy in the comics, Mia Dearden. However, Mia’s not related to Queen. Additionally, Thea’s special habits are similar to the first Speedy Roy Harper. Additionally, her temperament’s often compared to Batman’s son Damien Wayne. Also, both have a family connection to Ra’s Al Ghul.
5. J’ONN J’ONZZ – LIKE THE COMIC
J’onn J’onzz is better known as The Martian Hunter, and he is one of the most powerful superheroes of all time. The character has appeared in different media platforms, and luckily his story on the Arrowverse is similar to the comic book version. J’onn is a central part of Supergirl, as he serves as her mentor and provides guidance.
His origin story is one of the most faithful in the Arrowverse. Much like the comic book version, he’s the last survivor of the Martian race. However, his alter ego Hank Henshaw is a series original. Regardless of that, however, he is one of the most faithfully adapted characters in the Arrowverse.
4. ATOM – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
In the comics, the Atom is a crucial member of the Justice League, and several different characters have taken up the mantle. Ray Palmer’s the best known Atom. However, the CW version has little in common with his comic book counterpart. In fact, early on the character is regarded as a cheap Iron Man rip off.
Additionally, Ray Palmer doesn’t develop the shrinking abilities until much later. Initially, the writers wanted to include the character Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) not Atom, and when that fell through they decided to just combine the two. This is part of the reason the character is so different from his counterpart.
3. SUPERGIRL – LIKE THE COMIC
Supergirl/Kara Danvers is one of the main characters of the Arrowverse, and Melissa Benoist portrays the character on the hit series Supergirl. The character is very similar to her comic book version. Although, there’s one small slight change. She’s no longer in Superman’s shadow, as now she has stolen the spotlight from the more famous Man of Steel.
Regardless, Supergirl’s one of the three most faithfully adapted characters. She’s powerful, independent and eager to prove her worth. She also retains her compassion and empathy. In the comics, she’s more of a sidekick to her cousin. However, the CW Supergirl isn’t a sidekick.
2. ARROW – NOT LIKE THE COMIC
Arrow is the first series in the Arrowverse. As a matter of fact, Arrow is one of the main characters along with the Flash and Supergirl. Stephen Amell portrays Arrow/Oliver Queen in the series. However, he’s different from his comic book counterpart. Critics consider the CW version to be much more similar to Batman.
However, the CW Arrow does share similarities with the 1987 “Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters” and the 2007’s Green Arrow: Year One. In the Arrowverse, Oliver Queen’s family plays a very big role, including the fact that even his half-sister becomes a superhero. In the comics, his family is rarely mentioned and this sister does not exist.
1. FLASH – LIKE THE COMIC
The Flash/Barry Allen is one of the main superheroes in CW’s Arrowverse, and he is played by Grant Gustin on the show The Flash. Luckily for fans, this Flash is very similar to his counterpart in the comics. The character’s origin story is faithful to the comics, as is his nerdy personality.
He also has the desire to constantly play with time, and on the show and in the comics, the running joke is that somehow Barry Allen is always late despite his superpowers. Despite the fact that many of the heroes and villains around him are different than the comics, he remains faithful.
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