Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow have all brought interesting characters from the DC Universe onto the small screen for the last several years. Many DC characters appear in recurring roles throughout the Arrowverse, wherein they feature in ongoing stories. Still, there are several others who only surface in fleeting roles that, in hindsight, are rather insignificant. In many respects, it seems fair to refer to such characters as taking part in cameo appearances. To clarify, cameo in this regard refers to characters who appear once or twice and seemingly have little to no affect on their respective show’s overarching narrative. Taking this into account, appearances from a character such as Superman have transcended qualification as cameos. This is due to his own story continuously expanding. Moreover, the Man of Steel’s actions directly affect Supergirl, presumably both her and the show itself.
The following list, then, will center on notable characters who make cameos, true cameos, in the Arrowverse. These heroes or villains are either solely in place as fan service, or were never utilized to their full potential in whichever show they featured on. In addition, each of the cameo characters will be ranked on the list from least to most compelling. With regards to what counts as compelling, how the character is used in the Arrowverse serves as a major factor. Of equal importance is the character’s overall renown, and what it meant for a character of a certain caliber to receive the small screen and/or live-action treatment. Here are 26 character cameos in the Arrowverse, ranked.
26 CONSTANTINE DRAKON
Constantine Drakon serves as the earliest cameo character in the Arrowverse, appearing in Arrow’s pilot. Interestingly, it’s also the character’s sole appearance in the franchise. By episode’s end, Drakon dies by the Hood’s hand. Drakon does not perish without putting up a good fight, however, which makes his early demise all the more disappointing.
Considered amongst the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, Constantine Drakon should have been able to hold his own against Oliver Queen. This holds especially true considering their meeting takes place early in the vigilante’s crimefighting career. Perhaps some things simply aren’t meant to be, though. Nevertheless, it would have been incredible to see how his prowess as an assassin may have benefited later seasons of Arrow.
25 SIMON STAGG
Simon Stagg is another of the Arrowverse’s earlier cameo characters. He debuts in the second episode of The Flash’s pilot season, and is depicted as the CEO of Stagg Industries. Akin to his role in the comics, Stagg’s company serves as a powerful force in the advancement of science. Unfortunately, very little of it actually gets screen time.
In the comics, and other media, Simon Stagg is most notably known for inadvertently transforming Rex Mason into Metamorpho. Since Stagg’s only appearance in the Arrowverse ended in his death at the hands of the Reverse-Flash, it seems Metamorpho won’t debut in any of The CW’s superhero series anytime soon.
24 CYRUS GOLD
For some reason, The CW’s superhero shows continue to give Cyrus Gold, aka Solomon Grundy, the short end of the stick. Many may recall that a version of him once appeared on Smallville, complete with little more than a mere glimpse at the back of his head. During Arrow Season 2, Cyrus Gold receives slightly more screen time. However, his role is hardly of any significance.
As one of the few people able to withstand the Mirakuru injection, Gold serves as the Arrowverse’s first real foray into science fiction. Consequently, Gold’s unexplainable abilities help introduce Barry Allen. Yet, countless other DC characters could have served a similar purpose. With this and Gold’s death in mind, this cameo for a character of his caliber feels wasted.
23 ATOM SMASHER
Atom Smasher’s first and only appearance in the Arrowverse remains one of the more disappointing character cameos. The villain debuts during the premiere episode of The Flash’s sophomore effort, and dies by episode’s end. During his brief time on the show, Atom Smasher plays hitman, after being sent to Earth-1 by Zoom to kill the Scarlet Speedster.
At the very least, some of Atom Smasher’s more intriguing powers are shown on-screen. For instance, his ability to expand in size is put to good use. Still, it’s too bad he gets killed off so quickly. Since this version of the character originates from Earth-2, maybe The Flash will one day explore Atom Smasher’s whereabouts on Earth-1.
22 THE RIVAL
Edward Clariss, aka The Rival, gets a brief story arc early in The Flash’s third season. In the Flashpoint timeline, The Rival is considered a formidable foe of Wally West’s Flash. Once the Flashpoint timeline comes to an end, Clariss once more becomes The Rival in a new timeline. The Rival seems an interesting enough villain; however, he lacks depth. This is true of the character both during Flashpoint and post-Flashpoint.
Because he receives more attention than average villain-of-the-week foes, as he appears in two consecutive episodes, The Rival’s lack of character development is pretty disappointing. In fact, he appears to be little more than cannon fodder to service Doctor Alchemy’s grand scheme of serving Savitar.
21 T.O. MORROW
In the DC Universe, T.O. Morrow is an incredible scientist, who primarily focuses his efforts on building towards the future, hence his choice of name. He succeeds in many respects, advancing technology in his own right. However, T.O. Morrow doesn’t always put his inventions to the most noble of uses. Of course, his best known creation is Red Tornado, an android he designs for the U.S. military in Supergirl’s pilot season.
Morrow’s characterization on Supergirl essentially portrays him as a mad scientist. He lacks any significant character depth, and dies by the end of the episode. It’s a shame, especially since the scientist also creates other androids in the DC Universe, such as Tomorrow Woman.
20 ROBERT QUEEN'S ARROW (EARTH-2)
Robert Queen as the Arrow of Earth-2 is more heard about than seen. While Barry and Cisco venture to Earth-2 during The Flash’s second season, they hear tale of Earth-2’s hood-wearing vigilante being unmasked. It’s a small touch, but a fascinating one that harkens back to Thomas Wayne being Flashpoint’s Batman, instead of Bruce. As such, Robert on Earth-2 survives Lian Yu, then later returns home to clean up his city and honor his son.
The most unfortunate facet of this particular tease is that the Arrowverse has yet to do anything with it. Oliver may not even know of his father’s Earth-2 doppelgänger. Hopefully, one day Robert Queen’s Arrow will be seen in action, though it seems unlikely.
Rudy Jones being infected by an alien parasite, and subsequently turning into Parasite arguably counts as one of Supergirl’s better villain-of-the-week storylines. While Jones dies at the end of the episode in which he first appears, Season 2’s “Changing,” he’s cleverly put to use elsewhere.
Several episodes after “Changing,” Parasite makes somewhat of a comeback during Supergirl’s Valentine’s Day episode, “Mr. and Mrs. Mxyzptlk.” However, Parasite himself does not wreak havoc across National City this time. Mr. Mxyzptlk magically unleashes a version of the villain, so that he can prove himself the perfect partner for Supergirl. Since other Earths, alternate realities, and magic are all prevalent in the Arrowverse, it’s a wonder Parasite hasn’t remerged in some fashion.
Eliza Harmon/Trajectory appears late in The Flash’s second season, serving as another villainous Speedster for Team Flash to combat. She brings more to the table than that, however. As a Speedster who gains her powers artificially via Velocity 9, Trajectory’s death offers the first clue to Team Flash’s better understanding Zoom’s incredible speed.
The comic incarnation of Trajectory also gains her speed artificially, after taking part in Lex Luthor’s Everyman Project. Trajectory in the comics is not villainous, though; in fact, she aspires to join the Teen Titans. While Trajectory’s brief time on The Flash does advance the show's narrative, her fleeting involvement remains somewhat dissatisfying.
17 RED TORNADO
Red Tornado has, thus far, only made two appearances in the Arrowverse. During Supergirl’s first season, T.O. Morrow and the United States military pit the android against the Girl of Steel. Red Tornado briefly takes on The Flash and The Ray in the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover event, wherein the android is owned and operated by Earth-X’s Regime.
He’s compelling whenever appearing on-screen, and remains one of DC’s more famous android characters. However, it can be argued that the Arrowverse doesn’t quite do Red Tornado justice. In the comics, Red Tornado often develops into a heroic figure, one that eventually finds himself in the Justice League’s ranks. For now, it appears the Arrowverse’s Red Tornado will undergo no such hero's journey.
Draaga is one of the more compelling character cameos, as his debut reveals Warworld’s existence in the Arrowverse. His brief appearance during Supergirl’s second season also raises questions about Superman’s Arrowverse mythos. In the comics and cartoon adaptations, Draaga is depicted as a gladiatorial champion on Warworld, whose title is stripped away by the Man of Steel. If a similar fate befell Draaga in the Arrowverse and serves as reason for his inhabitance on Earth, such a story has yet to be told.
Nonetheless, the Arrowverse’s Draaga, while predominantly brute force, merits some level of applause. Because he’s one of the few non-Kryptonian characters capable of defeating Supergirl without Kryptonite, Draaga deserves another chance at spotlight on the small screen.
15 FREEDOM FIGHTERS
The Freedom Fighters, a superhero team tasked with combating evil on Earth-X, have received a well-deserved resurgence of late. In addition to debuting in the Arrowverse, the Freedom Fighters recently joined DC Rebirth in a limited series.
Understandably, the team doesn’t receive much attention during “Crisis on Earth-X.” As such, the version of the Freedom Fighters featured on TV is rather condensed. For instance, while Uncle Sam is historically a central member, he goes without mention in the Arrowverse. Other Freedom Fighter-centric adventures, which occur in CW Seed’s Freedom Fighters: The Ray, also lack heavy focus on the team itself. Regardless, it’s a cameo worth acknowledging. Who would’ve thought DC’s Freedom Fighters would ever receive the live-action treatment?
14 BLACK MERCY
The Black Mercy parasite makes its Arrowverse debut during Supergirl’s Season 1 episode, “For the Girl Who Has Everything.” Similar to how it affects Superman in comics and cartoons, when the Black Mercy latches on to Supergirl, she’s thrust into a hallucinative state. During this period of time, Supergirl believes she’s back on Krypton, safe and sound with her family.
This cameo acts as more than a nice homage to classic Superman tales. In Season 2’s “Luthors,” another of the parasites is seen tucked away in Lex Luthor’s secret vault, the same vault where Lex’s exosuit first appears. Perhaps similar to Lex’s suit in Supergirl Season 3, the Black Mercy will eventually make a triumphant return.
13 TRIGGER TWINS
The Trigger Twins themselves do not actually appear in the Arrowverse. However, Oliver and Barry are depicted as a version of the bank robbing duo during “Elseworlds.” In pre-Crisis continuity, the Trigger Twins are two brothers, Walt and Wayne, who serve as law enforcement for a community in the Wild West. They return post-Crisis, during Jean-Paul Valley’s run as Batman. Instead of crimefighting, Tad and Tom Trigger are bank robbers.
Evidently, the post-Crisis iteration is the one adapted for the Trigger Twins’ brief Arrowverse stint. In the grand scheme of things, the pair’s translation to the small screen is of no import. But it serves as a clever way of further bridging the gap that often exists between Barry and Oliver.
12 JOE WILSON
Slade Wilson mentions his son Joe a handful of times throughout Arrow. Yet, Joe Wilson doesn’t officially debut until the show’s sixth run. After following the same path as his father for a time by joining the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Joe eventually adopts the name Kane Wolfman and founds a criminal organization.
An adept mercenary and lethal combatant like his father, Joe proves a force to be reckoned with. This is further evidenced when the character reappears in “Elseworlds,” dressed in Deathstroke garb, and easily dispatching ARGUS field agents. Joe’s whereabouts in the Arrowverse’s regular Earth-1 continuity remain unknown. But, hopefully, he and his father will someday return.
11 MUSIC MEISTER
Music Meister, played by Darren Criss, is cast as the big bad of “Duet,” The Flash’s and Supergirl’s musical crossover. During the limited time in which he spends in the Arrowverse, Music Meister seems infinitely more powerful than the character from which he is derived, who debuts in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
He’s so powerful that many fans speculate he may be an imp, similar to Mr. Mxyzptlk. In addition to singing and dancing, Music Meister can steal superpowers, enchant the likes of The Flash and Supergirl, and pull off impressive disappearing acts. If “Duet” remains Music Meister’s only Arrowverse appearance, it’s doubtful to be frowned upon. After all, he’s the perfect cameo character. Too much of him could diminish the magic.
10 MR. MXYZPTLK
Mr. Mxyzptlk is inarguably one of the Arrowverse’s most powerful characters. He proves this during the only episode in which he features, Supergirl’s “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk.” A fifth dimensional imp, Mxyzptlk’s powers seem endless. Nearly anything he conjures in his mind can come to pass. He’s conjured Parasite to attack National City, given himself the Man of Steel’s abilities, and more.
There does exist one weakness for the imp, though. By tricking him into saying his name backwards, Mxyzptlk can be driven away. He hasn’t been seen since the Season 2 episode in question. Similar to Music Meister, Mxyzptlk represents the perfect cameo character. But his returning and facing off against Supergirl once more also seems worthy of another one-off storyline.
9 NORA FRIES
Victor Fries’ wife, Nora, makes her Arrowverse debut during Arrow’s episode of the “Elseworlds” crossover. She’s seen tucked away in Arkham Asylum, desperately looking for her husband’s Freeze Gun. Whether she wants it to defend herself or use it for purposes of cryogenics isn’t made explicitly clear. What does appear overtly obvious, however, is that Nora has undergone experimentation by Arkham’s Dr. John Deegan.
Whether or not this will receive exploration in Batwoman’s potential solo series remains to be seen. For now, though, Nora couldn’t have been a better cameo character for the Arrowverse’s recent crossover event. Her appearance makes Mr. Freeze’s status in the Arrowverse as a supervillain readily apparent, further expanding Batman’s mythos in this small screen universe.
Solovar first appears in The Flash’s third run, serving as the main villain across two episodes, “Attack on Gorilla City” and “Attack on Central City.” In many respects, he initially seems more threatening Gorilla Grodd. Ruling Gorilla City with an iron fist, Solovar is willing to publicly execute anyone who contests his claim to power.
After battling Team Flash and losing his crown to Grodd, Solovar regains his power by storyline’s end. How Gorilla City has fared since the Gorillas returned to Earth-2 has yet to receive exploration. Still, it’s an incredible arc to see depicted in live-action. Grodd as a recurring character is awesome, but Solovar adds something special to the mix. Hopefully, Team Flash will eventually cross his path again.
7 PSYCHO PIRATE
Psycho Pirate features for approximately 90 seconds in parts two and three of “Elseworlds.” Yet, to a degree, his presence hangs over the event at large, especially in hindsight. The gold mask-wearing individual isn’t just another far gone patient at Arkham Asylum. His appearance is one of the most dynamic teases for the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover in 2019.
In the end, will he serve a purpose in the Arrowverse similar to his comic book counterpart? That will likely remain unclear for some time. However, as a cameo character, he certainly gets the job done in “Elseworlds.” By popping in for a few brief scenes and quoting Crisis on Infinite Earths’ tagline, Psycho Pirate instantly stands out amongst other Arrowverse cameos.
6 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Legends of Tomorrow’s pilot season concludes with a Justice Society of America tease, when Hourman arrives to warn of an impending threat. The show’s second run doesn’t waste much time in paying the tease off. Early in Season 2, the JSA debuts in its entirety. Even the team’s classic Brownstone headquarters makes an appearance. Unfortunately, the JSA and its various members don’t stick around for long.
Throughout Legends Season 2, each JSA member pops up at least once, lending assistance to the Legends as needed. Vixen is the only one to join the Legends for an extensive period. The JSA’s limited screen time feels particularly upsetting because they are only depicted as a team in one episode.
In the comics, Anthony Ivo creates Amazo, an android capable of copying the abilities of any superpowered being he comes across. Since Ivo both debuts and dies in flashbacks from Arrow’s second season, the possibility of Amazo featuring in the Arrowverse seemed slim. While alternate universes could solve such an issue, the franchise didn’t need to rely on that conceit. Courtesy of an altered reality on Earth-1, Amazo arrives during “Elseworlds.”
As expected, the android comes online and immediately causes trouble for the heroes. Amazo copies the abilities of Supergirl, Superman, The Flash, and Green Arrow, but is eventually defeated thanks to smart thinking and sublime teamwork. Perhaps finally seeing Amazo in live-action makes up for this possibly being his last Arrowverse appearance.
4 JONAH HEX
Jonah Hex makes his official Arrowverse debut in Legends of Tomorrow’s first season, once the team goes back in time to hide out in the Old West. Since then, it’s become somewhat of a tradition that he features in some manner each season. During Season 2’s “Outlaw Country,” Hex helps the Legends sort out an aberration in time. Season 3’s finale sees the famed bounty hunter return once more.
While it would be nice to see the Arrowverse’s Jonah Hex explored in more depth, he seems to fit perfectly as a cameo character who drops by once a year. Pulling Hex too far out of the Wild West, or leaving the Legends there too long runs the risk of a good thing overstaying its welcome.
3 GENERAL ZOD
Zod’s first and only appearance on Supergirl takes place near the tail end of Season 2. However, it’s not actually General Zod who appears. While under the thrall of Silver Kryptonite, Superman hallucinates that he’s fighting Zod. Meanwhile, he is actually in the heat of battle with Supergirl.
Since Season 2, the General has only recieved mention on one occasion. Apparently, the Man of Steel will kill General Zod. Yet, he’ll be resurrected in time to fight the Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century. It seems none of these events will ever play out on Supergirl. Therefore, General Zod may be one cameo that’s likely to remain as such for the foreseeable future.
2 EARTH-90 BARRY ALLEN
It was a treat to learn that John Wesley Shipp would return to the Arrowverse, donning his Flash suit from the 1990s television series. It’s yet another treat to see him in action, again. Dubbed The Flash of Earth-90, Shipp’s Barry Allen appears several times throughout the “Elseworlds” crossover. In many respects, he seems to adopt the role of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
With the latter sentiment in mind, many fans are wondering if he will be the Speedster that’s sacrificed during The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event in 2019. Regardless of what’s next in store for Earth-90 Barry, this particular cameo undoubtedly ranks among the Arrowverse’s best to date.
1 HARLEY QUINN
Sadly, Harley Quinn in the Arrowverse will be remembered as the incredible story that could’ve been. During Arrow’s sophomore effort, the show’s creatives intended to expand the Suicide Squad storyline and integrate Harley into the series. As the story goes, Warner Bros.’ plans for a live-action Suicide Squad film shattered the Squad’s Arrowverse potential, and made live-action Harley a DCEU exclusive.
Yet, the character remains arguably the best cameo in the Arrowverse. Sure, this is primarily due to her unfortunately never becoming a full character. The surprise of her appearance and the relatively subtle way in which she is teased warrants praise, though. To some degree, the Harley cameo unintentionally set quite the high bar.