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The Arrowverse is Setting Up a Queerer Future for Its Characters

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Oct. 30 episode of The Flash, "News Flash." 

The Arrowverse shows are all linked together, through their actors and creative teams, but Arrow and Flash in particular have always been two peas in a pod. Case in point: Both shows' current seasons are showing how the legacy of their titular heroes affect their children.

On The Flash, Barry and Iris West-Allen's daughter Nora is adjusting to living in the present with her family after having lived her life without her dad in the picture. Meanwhile, Arrow has eschewed its flashbacks in favor of flashforwards detailing how Oliver's adult son William eventually comes into his own as the new Green Arrow.

It also just happens that both Nora and William are queer. In last week's Arrow, a flashforward with William saw him mention that his ex-boyfriend believed William had issues to work out. (He's not wrong, since William is headed to the island where his mother was killed.) This week's Flash has Nora commenting on the villain of the week's attractiveness, and later flirting with her, something it ironically takes Barry a bit too long to really pick up on.

Despite how far apart they may be on the Arrowverse timeline, this is definitive for both characters, especially William, since his flashforwards will continue until Arrow's eventual end. With the children of the DCTV's two golden geese confirmed queer, the overall message seems to be clear: The Arrowverse's future is going to be much more queer than how it started out.

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The Arrowverse has never shied away from exploring sexuality and featuring LGBT characters. The second season of Arrow began things with then-Black Canary Sara Lance coming out as bisexual and having a relationship with Nyssa al Ghul. As more shows have been added to the universe, more queer characters have joined; Mr. Terrific was added onto Arrow with its fourth season, Supergirl's Alex Danvers came out of the closet in Season 2, and though Black Lightning  isn't an arrowverse show, it has had Anissa Pierce be openly gay since the first episode. Last year's crossover Crisis on Earth-X featured a plethora of queer heroes in its cast, all of them getting a chance to shine as the heroes fought against Nazi invaders from another dimension.

As The CW's superhero enterprise has grown, it's also become much more queer, and is the right kind of change this universe needs. Everyone loves superheroes, but the progress to get everyone of every stripe properly represented through superheroes hasn't been as fast as it should be. A recent study from GLAAD revealed a record level of queer rep on broadcast TV, with 8.8% of primetime TV shows currently featuring queer broadcast regulars. One of the shows singled out in particular was Supergirl, which recently added TV's first trans hero with Nicole Maines playing Nia Nal, aka Dreamer.

Mr. Terrific on Arrow

The Arrowverse isn't the only one getting eyeballs on queer heroes -- Cartoon NEtwork's animated Steven Universe made great leaps earlier this year with its wedding, and Legend of Korra is still remembered for the final minute of its finale -- but it's arguably working the hardest, with queer leads in Sara Lance and Anissa Pierce headlining respectively Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning, and Anissa in particular being the first queer hero of color to co-headline a show.

With time travel and alternate universes now being so commonplace now in the Arrowverse, it seems all but a given that eventually Nora and the older William will show up side by side to meet the heroes who paved the way for them, including future Batwoman Ruby Rose. The way things are going, there'll likely soon be a crossover event comprised of mostly queer superheroes on TV, and that's a future that'll be worth seeing.

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