Elseworlds: 16 Things That Only Real DC Fans Noticed In The Arrowverse Crossover

After months of hype, this year’s Arrowverse crossover, “Elseworlds,” has come and gone. Many fans were pleased with the event because it offered a compelling story that will likely be the opening chapter to a more significant saga (DC has already announced that next year’s crossover will be titled “Crisis On Infinite Earths”). Additionally, many fans had the opportunity to geek out at a number of references, easter eggs and cameos. This crossover managed to strike a balance between providing fan service and telling an enjoyable story. “Elseworlds” officially introduced viewers to Batwoman and featured the Arrowverse debut of Gotham City. As a result, the writers packed these scenes full of nods to Batman and confirmed the Caped Crusader’s presence in the Arrowverse. The scenes in Gotham also referenced various members of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery.

Plus, the crossover had the heroes visit Smallville, which gave fans many nostalgic moments. “Elseworlds” also hinted at "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and almost recreated one of the original event’s most famous moments. As if that wasn’t enough, the crossover also included a throwback to The Flash series from the '90s, which had previously only received subtle connections to its successor. Here, “Elseworlds” was all but subtle as the star of the show, John Wesley Shipp, reprised his role. All in all, there are plenty of Easter eggs and cameos you may have missed upon an initial viewing of “Elseworlds.” Hopefully, after reading a list naming several of them, you can spot them the next time you watch this crossover.



This easter egg is a two-for-one special. First, early in the crossover, the Flash and other heroes travel to Ivo Labs. Here, the writers were likely referencing Professor Ivo, one of DC’s classic mad scientists. Ivo has created a number of notable androids, including Tomorrow Woman, Red Volcano and A.M.A.Z.O.

The latter received a share of the spotlight in “Elseworlds,” as it fought the heroes on multiple occasions. First, it took the combined might of Supergirl, Superman, the Flash, and Green Arrow to stop Ivo’s powerful creation. A.M.A.Z.O. appeared later in the crossover and it was easily defeated by Brainiac 5 the second time around.


Before the crossover even started, its stars teased “Elseworlds” would somehow include Smallville, a show that ran from 2001-2011. For years, fans have been hoping for some connection between the show, which also aired on the CW, and the Arrowverse. This wish was granted in a variety of ways when Kara Danvers, Barry Allen and Oliver Queen visited the titular town.

Some fans may have recognized the same location from the show, including the Kents’ house and the classic red pickup truck. But most viewers picked up on a brief inclusion of Smallville’s theme song, “Save Me” by Remy Zero. Few moments from the crossover hit fans with such a strong wave of nostalgia.


Arkham Elseworlds

Using Gotham City as one of the settings in “Elseworlds” would have been a crime if the writers didn’t include a visit to Arkham Asylum. Thankfully, the event spent a substantial amount of time at one of the most famous “hospitals” in comic book history. The Arrowverse’s heroes have to fight many of the villainous patients and this scene paved the way for many of the crossover’s references to Batman.

Arkham Asylum has been a fixture of the DC Universe since 1974, when it debuted in Batman #258. Since then, it’s been a revolving door for most of the Dark Knight’s villains. Various writers have capitalized on the storytelling potential within the asylum’s walls, so we hope the Arrowverse will revisit the location someday.


It wouldn’t have made sense if this year’s Arrowverse crossover had the Riddler or the Penguin pop up on the screen but fans can surely appreciate the subtle recognition of these classic villains. When “Elseworlds” takes the heroes to Arkham Asylum, the viewer gets to see several cell doors, which had a few notable names on them.

If the viewer looked closely, they could see the doors for rooms holding, among others, “P. Ives,” “E. Nigma”and “O. Cobblepot.” As a result, it seems that the Penguin, the Riddler and Poison Ivy exist in the Arrowverse. Now, more than ever, fans are holding out hope that, one day, these villains will show up on-screen.


With the writers unable to use Batman himself, they had to get clever in their attempts to satisfy the fans’ demands for confirmation of the Dark Knight’s existence in the Arrowverse. One of the most clever ways “Elseworlds” met this goal came in the form of Nora Fries, who is most known for her role in “Heart of Ice," a legendary episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

In this crossover, Batman fans likely connected the dots between Nora and her husband, Victor, also known as Mr. Freeze. But, to make sure fans made the association, the writers had Nora use Victor’s cold gun during a fight scene in Arkham Asylum.



Most of the references to Batman in “Elseworlds” were subtle hints. However, some of these easter eggs were more apparent. Beyond the appearance of Nora Fries, the utilization of the Scarecrow’s gas was easy to pick up on.

Oliver Queen inadvertently broke some vials containing Jonathan Crane’s "fear gas." Batman fans likely made the connection to the Scarecrow, who is one of the most famous members of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery. Exposure to the gas made Oliver and Barry Allen experience hallucinations, which the Caped Crusader has endured countless times. The gas made Oliver and Barry see their archrivals (respectively, Malcolm Merlyn and Eobard Thawne.)



Malcolm Merlyn is one of the Arrowverse’s most persistent villains. Before this crossover, he’d been in 67 episodes of Arrow, one episode of The Flash and six episodes of Legends of Tomorrow. The writers brought the Dark Archer back for “Elseworlds” and gave him two appearances in the three-part event.

First, Malcolm appeared when Oliver Queen was exposed to Jonathan Crane’s fear gas. In this scene, Malcolm seemingly fought Oliver, though the villain’s presence was only a hallucination. Still, seeing these two enemies renew their rivalry made many Arrow fans feel nostalgic. Later, the Dark Archer showed up as a police officer in Central City.


The stinger for “Elseworlds” made it seem like the ‘90s Flash would play an important role in the crossover. While John Wesley Shipp reprised his role as the Scarlet Speedster, he took a backseat to the Arrowverse’s heroes. Still, Earth-90’s Flash did provide fans with one particularly satisfying, if not exciting, reference.

When Shipp’s Barry Allen meets his present-day allies, he recognizes John Diggle. Many fans have hypothesized that Diggle will eventually become John Stewart, one of the most notable Green Lanterns of all time. When Barry sees John, he notices that the A.R.G.U.S. agent doesn’t have a ring on, which could be a reference to this fan theory.


Batman continues to be an elusive figure in the Arrowverse. “Elseworlds" included many hints of the Dark Knight’s presence but he has never appeared alongside Grant Gustin’s Flash or the other heroes. However, the crossover did introduce Batwoman, Bruce Wayne’s cousin.

Batwoman quickly forged an alliance with Supergirl, who made a reference to the “World’s Finest.” This nickname has often been used to describe the pairing of the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel. Could Supergirl and Batwoman be the Arrowverse’ s iteration of this iconic pair? Given that Kate Kane could be getting her own show in the future, that just might be the case.


Many fans may not have realized that, when one of the reality rewrites caused Barry Allen and Oliver Queen to dress like bandits, their new costumes had a connection to the comics. Oliver and Barry find themselves on the wrong side of the law as the Trigger Twins. This duo has a history that dates back to DC’s western-themed comics from the '50s.

Walter and Wayne Trigger debuted in All-Star Western #58 and the series went on to cover the adventures of these twin brothers. The Trigger Twins had a successful run that lasted ten years but they gradually faded into obscurity. A new duo debuted in the ‘90s but it didn’t find genuine staying power.


"Arrow's" Ricardo Diaz

Arrow fans definitely recognized Ricardo “Dragon” Diaz when he showed up in “Elseworlds”, as he briefly appears as a police officer in Central City. Given that he hadn’t previously appeared in the other shows, the cameo may not have been particularly notable to some fans. But Ricardo has been the “big bad” in Arrow for more than an entire season.

Ricardo emerged as the main villain near the end of season six and he’s been the primary antagonist for most of the seventh season. His rivalry with Oliver has become particularly bitter, so it was a little surprising to see him receive such a small role in the crossover.


Supergirl James Olsen

Supergirl, and her supporting cast, arguably received the short end of the stick in this crossover. The story focused on Barry Allen and Oliver Queen, which pushed Kara Danvers to the background. That being said, viewers did get to see some cameos from the Girl of Steel’s allies.

Most notably, James Olsen gets some of the spotlight when Barry and Oliver visit a bar in order to find Cisco. There, they bump into James, who has been rewritten as a mustachioed bouncer, of sorts, under Cisco’s employ. While James’ screen time in “Elseworlds” was fairly limited, he certainly rocked that mustache.


Gary Legends Elseworlds

The absence of Legends of Tomorrow in this year’s crossover disappointed many fans. Seeing how Mick Rory rewritten in a new reality could have been delightful. Alas, the Legends didn’t participate in “Elseworlds.” But, briefly, one character did find his way into the event.

In the same scene with James Olsen’s cameo, Legends fans recognized good old Gary, a source of comedic relief in the show. In the third chapter of the crossover, Gary is the bartender who talks to Barry and Oliver. While many fans hoped to see the Legends themselves, Gary’s cameo at least acknowledged the team’s presence in the Arrowverse. Hopefully, the Legends will play a bigger part in next year’s crossover.


Overgirl in Crisis on Earth-X

“Elseworlds” gave fans many references and easter eggs. Some were obvious and others were hard to spot. For example, in a “blink and you’ll miss it moment, as John Deegan/evil Superman rewrites reality, he changes the symbols that embellish Central City’s S.T.A.R. Labs facility. First, they become the Superman symbol. Then, for a split-second, they turn to something else: the symbols associated with the evil heroes in last year’s crossover, “Crisis on Earth-X.”

In that event, villainous versions of the Arrowverse heroes invaded the primary Earth and fOUGHT with their counterparts. In “Elseworlds,” by showing that logo, the writers subtly tipped their caps to this story’s predecessor.


Flash crisis newspaper

As the Flash and Supergirl race against time and the Earth’s gravitational pull, some fans may have felt a sense of déjà vu. The faster Barry Allen runs, it’s increasingly clear that the effort is taking a heavy toll on the speedster. Reddish patches of energy begin to eat away at his face but he perseveres.

In Crisis on Infinite Earths, a similar scene played out. There, the effort was too great for Barry and he seemingly merged with the Speed Force. For years, The Flash has hinted that Barry will vanish in a crisis. “Elseworlds” allowed him to survive but he might not be so lucky next time.


Psycho Pirate

During an all-out brawl at Arkham Asylum, one inmate dons a golden mask that looks awfully familiar. The prisoner would appear again in the closing seconds of the crossover, where he delivered a chilling line: “worlds will live, worlds will die and the universe will never be the same.”

Many DC fans picked up on this reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths -- it was the tagline for the one of the most famous events in comic book history. The inmate is clearly the Psycho Pirate, who played an important role in the original version of this influential story. As a result, he’ll likely be one of the main characters in next year’s crossover.

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