Come this fall, the show that kicked off the Arrowverse, Arrow will head into its seventh season. Over the years, Greg Berlanti vastly expanded The CW's DC Comics Universe, which currently includes three other shows -- The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. While these shows differ from one another in various ways, there's something that defines all of them: the ensemble cast. Despite shows like Flash, Supergirl and Arrow supposedly being centered around the titular heroes, they all include a large supporting cast that often plays an important role. The tendency of the Arrowverse shows to center around teams, rather than individual superheroes is a point that has been criticized and discussed ad nauseam.
But whether you enjoy the vast cast of characters these shows have, or would much rather prefer to see the story focus more on the actual heroes, it's hard to deny that some of these supporting characters are getting way too much spotlight -- sometimes even at the cost of other supporting characters, as well as the main character. Surely, there was a moment when you thought to yourself "dang, I wish so-and-so would get more screen time" and conversely "if only they'd stop shoving this character down our throats". We know we've been there. In fact, it prompted us to make a list of Arrowverse characters that deserve to get more spotlight and those who really should step aside every now and again. Check out our list below and share your own in the comments.
20 NEEDS TO GET OUT: DAMIEN DARHK
Damien Darhk made his Arrowverse debut in the fourth season of Arrow, also known as the season when everything went downhill -- it went downhill. Anyway, Darhk didn’t quite fit into the grounded-in-reality Arrow, so Legends of Tomorrow accepted him on board.
Together with Malcolm Merlyn and Eobard Thawne, Darhk formed the Legion of Doom, which was the main antagonist of season two. Darhk was also one of the villains of season three, at the end of which he died... again. It’s not that we hate Darhk or anything, but perhaps three seasons of his villainy are more than enough. It’s time to give someone else a chance, like his daughter for example.
19 DESERVES IT: ZARI TOMAZ
In season three, the Legends recruited Zari Tomaz, wielder of the Air Totem from the year 2042. Zari’s been part of the team for an entire season yet the most Zari-centered episode we got, aside from her introduction in episode three, was the hilarious Groundhog Day-inspired “Here I Go Again”. And that’s a damn shame because Zari is an interesting and funny character.
We say, season four needs to have some quality Zari episodes. Give her an actual character arc, like Amaya had in season three. There’s a lot of untapped potential here and we’re hoping to see Zari front and center more often in season four.
18 NEEDS TO GET OUT: BLACK SIREN
After putting the beloved character of Dinah Laurel Lance through the wringer and running her to the point of no return, Arrow decided to kill her off and bring her Earth-2 doppelgänger aboard as somewhat of a consolation prize.
Introduced in season five, the Earth-2 Laurel Lance, who goes by Black Siren, got a fair share of screen-time in season six. However, fans have already given up hope that Arrow can make Laurel into a decent character. So, instead of wasting time on Black Siren, the show would be better off shifting some of its focus to Dinah Drake, the current Black Canary.
17 DESERVES IT: SARA LANCE
Now, here’s the one member of the Lance family we just can’t get enough of. Sara Lance is not only one of the best Arrowverse heroes, she’s one of the most awesome heroes currently both on the small and the big screen. Legends of Tomorrow’s become a much more interesting show since Sara took over as the captain of the Waverider and team leader.
We absolutely love having the White Canary at the center of the attention because she makes even the most mundane things look awesome. Here’s hoping Sara Lance continues being the backbone of Legends of Tomorrow for years to come.
16 NEEDS TO GET OUT: JOHN DIGGLE
John Diggle has been part of Arrow since the very beginning. Over the course of six seasons the writers did a solid job flashing out this original character created for the purposes of the show. His relationship with Oliver has evolved in so many ways over the seasons and hit a particularly rough patch in season six.
But, perhaps it’s time for John Diggle to take a step back and let someone else have the spotlight. For example, Roy Harper who’s coming back as series regular in season seven. We’re not arguing for Diggle to leave the show altogether, but don’t put him in absurd character arcs, like in season six, just for the sake of forced character development.
15 DESERVES IT: OLIVER QUEEN
Yes, believe it or not, that’s Oliver Queen’s name and picture. After all, he is the main character of the show, so it’s only natural for him to be in the spotlight. The Arrowverse shows have a weird fascination with teams, rather than individual heroes. This works for Legends of Tomorrow, for obvious reasons, but shouldn’t be a rule for the other three shows.
This whole thing started with Oliver Queen embarking on a quest to rid Star City of the people who have failed it. However, the writers seem to have lost sight of what the show was supposed to be. Having well-developed supporting characters is important but giving the main character time to shine on his own is imperative.
14 NEEDS TO GET OUT: RENE RAMIREZ
Arrow’s B-team just doesn’t live up to the Original Team Arrow and it’s time to face the truth, it never will. Take Rene Ramirez for example, the writers are clearly trying to make us care about this character by giving him a tragic backstory. However, at the same time they make him do some random stupid stuff that makes us want to rage quit the show (not to say that Rene is the only reason to do so).
With Roy Harper coming back and Oliver hinting at the return to the basics in the second half of season six, we’re hoping the writers lay off Rene for a while.
13 DESERVES IT: ROY HARPER
In season six, Roy Harper returned for a short arc, after which he and Thea left town with Nyssa. This marked Willa Holland’s exit from the show, so when it was announced that Colton Haynes is coming back as a series regular in season seven we were all a bit confused. And truth be told, we still are.
We still don’t know how the writers plan to bring Roy back, given his storyline with Thea. But there’s a lot about Roy’s life in Bloodhaven that we don’t know, which could come into play now. In any case, after being gone for so long, Roy Harper deserves lots of screen-time come next season. And with Diggle and Oliver at odds, there's room for Roy.
12 NEEDS TO GET OUT: NATE HEYWOOD
Legends of Tomorrow is an excellent example of how to do an ensemble show right. For the most part, the writers on Legends of Tomorrow are very good at balancing the main group of characters and giving each hero enough time to have their story told.
Nate Haywood joined the Waverider crew in season two and right off the bat he became an integral member of the team. He’s had plenty of episodes revolving around his personal issues, his relationship with Amaya, his grandfather Commander Steel, and we’ve gotten to know him pretty well. While we think he’s great, maybe it’s time for others to get some exposure.
11 DESERVES IT: WINN SCHOTT
The news of Jeremy Jordan going from series regular to recurring for Supergirl’s season four hit us pretty hard. Watching Winn say goodbye to the team before taking off into the future reduced many to tears. Winn Schott has been part of Kara’s world from day one of the show and he’s always been a fan-favorite. It will be weird, to say the least, not having him around.
Winn’s departure came after a season that largely neglected him, so it’s not all that surprising that Jeremy Jordan decided to look for work elsewhere. Winn Schott deserved to have a much bigger role in season three and still deserves to have a greater role on the show, but it doesn’t seem like that will be happening.
10 NEEDS TO GET OUT: FELICITY SMOAK
And so, we come to a character that went from being a fan-favorite to being the most strongly disliked -- Felicity Smoak. A lot of Arrow fans blame Felicity for the show’s fall from grace. But, while there is some truth to that, we all know that Felicity is just a minor nuisance in the grand scheme of things. But, at least the writers are actively working on fixing the Felicity problem.
Season six was a vast improvement on season five when it comes to Felicity and Olicity. However, we’re hoping the show continues to work on this and in season seven we get a story more focused on the Green Arrow, rather than his supporting cast, including Felicity.
9 DESERVES IT: KARA DANVERS
Season three seems to be a hurdle the Arrowverse shows always struggle with. Arrow’s downfall began with the League of Assassins and Olicity in season three. The Flash lost its way in season three as well, when Savitar entered the picture. Legends of Tomorrow somwhow dodged the bullet, but Supergirl’s third season was surprisingly underwhelming.
The plot just kind of went on without giving the characters, including Kara, any agency and development. Come fall, Supergirl really needs to focus on Kara and fix the mess season three left in its wake. Give us back the upbeat, positive, and cheerful Kara who is a true symbol of hope even in the face of impossible odds. It's a crazy world out here and we could all use some hope.
8 NEEDS TO GET OUT: LENA LUTHOR
Since her introduction in season two, Lena Luthor’s become an integral part of Supergirl. The third season placed a lot of emphasis on Lena and her relationships with Kara, Supergirl, James, Sam, her mother Lillian, and most of all her own darker side. Lena was at the center of Supergirl’s third season more so than other supporting characters like Alex, Winn and J’onn.
There’s nothing wrong with giving supporting characters the spotlight but since so much of season three was about Lena’s shenanigans, it would only be fair to give the same treatment to someone like J’onn or even James in season four. Since James revealed himself as the Guardian, there's definitely material to work with.
7 DESERVES IT: JAMES OLSEN
While we’re on the subject of Mr. James Olsen, we’ve got a lot more to say about the CEO of CatCo. No character on Supergirl has been as grossly mishandled as James Olsen. Ever since the get-go it’s been obvious that the writers are struggling to find a suitable role for James. The most exposure he’s gotten was in season two when he donned on the Guardian costume.
In season three, James was noticeably absent for majority of the time, only appearing when the plot demanded it so. Up until the very end when he came out as Guardian, James was almost unnoticeable. With the set-up from the season three finale, there’s potential (and hopefully) intent for James to have a significant character arc in season four.
6 NEEDS TO GET OUT: RALPH DIBNY
Season four of The Flash introduced yet another superhero and a member of Team Flash. Portrayed by Hartley Sawyer, the DC Comics hero known as Elongated Man joined the Arrowverse. The Thinker had a personal interest in Ralph Dibny, so Dibny immediately became a central character of a number of season four episodes.
As a result, other supporting characters like Cisco and Caitlin got sidelined, which rubbed too many fans the wrong way. But, since this was Ralph’s debut season we’re willing to let this slide. That being said, we hope the writers balance the supporting cast much better the following season.
5 DESERVES IT: CAITLIN SNOW
The Flash having difficulties with its female characters is nothing new. However, you’d expect the show to get better by the time it reaches its fourth season. Unfortunately, Dr. Caitlin Snow was dealt the worst hand in season four.
With the writers pushing Iris to take charge of everything, Caitlin ended up getting stripped of lines and duties that would normally go to her. The idea to give Caitlin a side story with Amunet Black sounds good on paper, but the execution was horrendous. No matter what the show decides to do with the Killer Frost storyline, we’re hoping we get to see more of the Caitlin we know and love from those first two seasons of the show.
4 NEEDS TO GET OUT: JOE WEST
Joe West is not only a father to Iris, Wally, Barry, and now Jenna, he’s the father figure to the entire Team Flash. He’s the dad of the show. Joe is supportive, protective and loving -- all things a good father should be, and we love him for it. We have absolutely no doubt that Joe will be a great father to his newborn daughter.
But, in light of these developments, it would make sense for both Joe and Cecile to take a less active role on Team Flash. After all, raising a kid is no walk in the park. We’re not saying the couple should leave the show, just let them have some time with the baby while Team Flash handles the crime-fighting.
3 DESERVES IT: J'ONN J'ONZZ
Someone needs to call up the writers on Supergirl and ask them whether they’re aware of the fact that they have freakin’ Martian Manhunter on their show, because sometimes it seems like they completely forget about the guy.
In season three, J’onn J’onzz mostly dealt with his father's fast-progressing illness, which was and endearing storyline. However, we really wish he had more of a role to play as Martian Manhunter. The season finale saw J’onn leaving the DEO to follow his father’s teachings. So, the chances of J'onn getting the spotlight in season four are slim, but we're still hopeful. David Harewood is a great actor and Supergirl needs to give J'onn a proper chance.
2 NEEDS TO GET OUT: IRIS WEST
Here is a controversial topic: Iris West. While one group of fans loved the season four Iris, others just didn’t buy into her baffling 'character development'. To be fair, there wasn’t much development involved. More like an abrupt 180 degree turn.
Season four felt like a belated over-correction that only made everything worse. Iris getting her spotlight resulted in other supporting characters as well as Barry himself getting sidelined. The show was very intent on proving that Iris deserves to be leader of Team Flash, that she has this amazing skillset she's never used before because… reasons. But, it felt forced. An entire season was wasted on a poor character arc for a character that deserved better. We hope this doesn’t carry on to season five.
1 DESERVES IT: BARRY ALLEN
Barry Allen is the Flash. He is the main character. His name is in the title for crying out loud. When you pick up a Flash comic book, you expect and get a story centered around the Flash. So, why is it that the show often forgets who it should focus on? The ever-growing and changing supporting cast sometimes tends to overshadow Barry.
While it’s important to have well-developed supporting characters, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of the main character. The season four Barry went from crazytown to overly optimistic in matter of seconds, had little to no agency, and wandered around aimlessly most of the time. Season five needs to put Barry front and center again, because we tune in to see the Flash.