The Arrowverse is home to some of the scariest villains in DC history. Ruthless killers like the Reverse-Flash and Vandal Savage haunt our heroes throughout time itself, making for some of the most bombastic superhero battles. Others, like Dark Archer and Prometheus, are solely there just to taunt the various characters we’ve gotten to know over the past few years. While these characters weren’t very popular before the Arrowverse launched, now everyone and their cousin knows who obscure villains like Captain Cold and Savitar are. As such, there are plenty of fans who’ve taken the time to create memes about them. That said, some of the “artists” could be those who are feeling a little disillusioned with the CW’s interpretation of these characters and storylines.
That being said, when your show or characters have become popular enough to generate several memes on the Internet, that’s a good sign that people are tuning in regularly and these villains left some sort of impression whether good or bad. With all of the memes surrounding the baddest villains in the Arrowverse, though, it can be difficult to find the best of the best. Thankfully, we’ve already done that for you as we explore 15 Arrowverse villain memes.
15. THAT EYEPATCH ISN’T JUST FOR SHOW
When memes first became popular, one of the biggest ones started because of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In that game, many soldiers throughout the world would state how they once did a particular activity until they took an arrow to the knee. It was said so often that the Internet, naturally, picked it up and used it wherever applicable.
Likewise, the same can be said for poor Slade Wilson. Before his time on Lian Yu, he had a few friends like Oliver Queen and Billy Wintergreen. Unfortunately, things changed when he was exposed to the Mirakuru, and Oliver had to put him down. However, when Ollie put that arrow through Slade’s eye, it wasn’t enough to kill the skilled fighter and he came back, albeit with no friends.
14. THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
Say what you will about Arrow season four, but there’s no denying that Neal McDonough had a heck of a time playing Damien Darhk. With no big source material to draw from, McDonough was allowed to be as charismatic as he chose, and it wasn’t hard to tell that he loved being the bad guy.
Throughout the season, Oliver was campaigning to be the mayor of Star City, which Darhk would try and stop at every turn. He would crash parties, send murderous drones after the public, and even bring in his army of soldiers. Needless to say, Darhk was never getting an invite from Oliver Queen to any of his campaign events. However, Darhk is one of those people that never needs an invitation and just shows up anyway.
13. IT’S NOT PAIN
In the intro for Arrow, Oliver makes reference to going through “five years of Hell.” It’s there that he ended up as a subject of torture, seeing as he wasn’t alone on the island. The first person to ever do some serious damage the former playboy was the partner of Slade Wilson, who wore a costume that was strikingly similar to the Deathstroke from the comics.
He was known for sticking a sword through Oliver’s torso, which looked extremely painful. That said, Oliver is pretty tough, and there’s a likely chance that it just tickled him so badly that he couldn’t help but scream for the mercenary to stop. It puts things in a much different perspective when you realize that Oliver has been tortured several times in the show.
12. THEY’LL GO FOR PLAN B
If there’s one thing the Flash is known for, it’s having his loved ones killed by the main villain in each season. The first season was about his mother’s death at the hands of the Reverse Flash, which spawned the events that caused him to become the Scarlet Speedster. The second season ended with Zoom killing his dad, which lead to him screwing with the timeline and creating Flashpoint.
When Savitar showed up, Barry might’ve been a little relieved. After all, he was out of parents that could be targeted. Unfortunately, it seems that villains will constantly have a plan B because Savitar’s entire purpose was to go after and kill Iris West. After all, if you can’t go for Barry Allen’s parents, you have to target the next best thing.
11. THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN CONNECTED
This meme is no more than a pun, but it’s the context that makes it a bit funnier. If you know the real names of both Deadpool and Deathstroke, you’ll notice that they’re quite similar. Deadpool is Wade Wilson and Deathstroke is Slade Wilson. As you might expect, this wasn’t on accident.
DC was first to the punch in creating their skilled mercenary with Deathstroke, but Marvel wanted a shot as well. They took the opportunity to essentially parody Deathstroke the Terminator by having a mercenary who broke the fourth wall and was a troublemaker more than a ruthless killer. With that in mind, it is nice to know that Slade managed to figure out a way to swim through the Deadpool itself. Yeah, that was a bad comment.
10. WHEN YOU SAY IT LIKE THAT…
The Reverse-Flash is a man named Eobard Thawne from the future who runs fast enough to travel through time. After a while, he learned when Barry Allen was born and tried to destroy his life for good. On top of that, he also orchestrated the Legion of Doom to try and obtain the Spear of Destiny so that he could literally rewrite reality.
However, when you compare that to the things Barry Allen has done, it’s not as different. Several times, he has gone through the timeline for his own personal reasons and ended up making the entire world worse off. Once he learned not to mess with the timeline at the end of season one, he still managed to go back and save his mom, thus changing the entire universe itself. As a result, Cisco’s brother ended up dying, Caitlin became Killer Frost, and Savitar was born.
9. LET THE STORM RAGE ON
There are a few ice-based villains in the Arrowverse, all of whom have essentially the same abilities. They all have different forms of shooting ice and being generally cold-hearted people. Between them, the most popular one is Wentworth Miller’s portrayal of Captain Cold. Being some sort of suave anti-hero type of character, it’s easy to see why audiences are enamored with him more than Killer Frost.
When addressing this meme, there’s not a whole lot to say. The entire picture is fairly self explanatory. Captain Cold is a villain who has a cold gun and shoots ice. Before that, he already wore a snow jacket, so the cold clearly never bothered him in the first place. He enjoys having an ice gun and loved blasting innocent people with it.
8. WHAT HAPPENED, YOU WUSS?
Malcolm Merlyn is one of the most powerful characters in the Arrowverse. Not only did he orchestrate a series of events that led to the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit and Oliver’s time on Lian Yu, but he was one of the best fighters of the League of Assassins. What was even more impressive is that he made a deal with Oliver to eventually become the new Ra’s al Ghul and take over the League for good.
Yet, things got a little different when it came time for him to work with Team Arrow. Not only did he seem like a shadow of his former self, but he also managed to take orders from Felicity Smoak, the IT and tech guru for the team. This is a guy who has murdered people just because he enjoys it and leads a team of murderous assassins. Yet, he’ll let the IT girl tell him what to do.
7. NOT A CHANCE
Barry Allen knows all too well the dangers of facing the Reverse-Flash. Not only did this evil speedster shape his entire life, but he always managed to be faster. No matter how speedy the Scarlet Speedster became, the Man in Yellow was always three steps ahead of him. The only way they managed to beat him was by killing off one of his ancestors.
It came as a bit of a shock, then, that Reverse-Flash would be returning to the Arrowverse in Legends of Tomorrow as the leader of the Legion of Doom. The only reason Barry was able to fight him off was because he had super speed, but the Legends all moved regularly. By all rights, they should’ve been killed within the blink of an eye.
6. THAT’S ONE WAY TO GO ABOUT IT
Malcolm Merlyn has had a complicated history in the Arrowverse. He started out as the big bad for season one of Arrow, but things got a bit different from there. It was presumed that Oliver killed him in the season finale, but he later returned for season two to drop the bomb that he was actually Thea’s father as opposed to Robert Queen.
Needless to say, every time it seems like Malcolm bites the dust, it’s all just a ruse. A few episodes later, you can guarantee that he’ll be back. As of right now, he “supposedly” died on an explosion during the season five finale of Arrow, but a body was never shown. The actor has left the show for a while, but if he decides to come back, there’s no doubt that the writers would have no trouble throwing him back into the mix.
5. GREATEST SAVAGE OF ALL TIME
Vandal Savage is one of the most terrifying and brilliant people in the entire DC Universe. He has been known to war with the entire Justice League on several occasions. He was even the leader of The Light in the Young Justice cartoon, serving as the source of a lot of conflict for both the League and the sidekicks.
Moving forward to Legends of Tomorrow, a lot of people were disappointed. The character wasn’t quite as threatening as fans had remembered him, and the actor’s performance wasn’t all that great either. That said, Vandal Savage was known for doing one thing above all else, and it wasn’t killing. On the contrary, he was the best at being a straight up savage to the entire Legends team.
4. SLIGHT DIFFERENCE
During The Force Awakens, many people knew it was only a matter of time before C3PO showed up to annoy the living daylights out of the main characters. When he re-appeared, he met up with Han Solo again and stated that he probably didn’t recognize him because of his new and mysterious “red arm.”
We’d imagine a similar thing happening when Savitar revealed to Barry Allen who he was under that metal suit. The scar and the red arm might’ve thrown the audience for a loop, but it’s a good thing that he actually announced who he was! On a side note, the reveal that a future version of Barry Allen was the “God of Speed” was such an easy plot twist that most people saw it coming from one hundred miles away.
3. LIGHT SIDE, DARHK SIDE
If you looked at Damien Darhk and wondered where in the world you’ve seen him before, you might be surprised to go to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get your answer. In Captain America: The First Avenger, Cap put together a team of people to work with him on various missions. They were known as the Howling Commandos. One of them was played by Neal McDonough.
Several times in comic book film history, there are actors who play heroes in one continuity and villains in another. We’d wager that if Barry were to visit some sort of different Earth, he would find a version of Damien Darhk who ended up working for the United States military and ended up fighting side by side with the patriotic super soldier known as Captain America.
2. EVEN THEY’RE TELLING YOU
If there’s one thing that is easy to make fun of in the Arrowverse, it would be that Barry Allen has constantly changed the timeline for his own personal gain. The kicker is when you realize that many people in his life have warned him not to alter it or the ramifications could be catastrophic. After all, his future self warned him not to change the timeline at the end of season one and allow his mom to die.
It gets even worse when you remember that even the villains of The Flash have warned Barry not to screw with the timeline. Despite all of these warnings from literally everyone in Central City and the Speed Force, Barry still manages to put on that red suit and parade through the timeline just to make sure that he gets a shot at happiness.
1. TWO FOR ONE SPECIAL
Vandal Savage, no matter how poorly portrayed he was, always managed to be a few steps ahead of the Legends. When they went to intercept him, he was already prepared with a host of soldiers at his side as well as his own combat prowess. Several times, he managed to capture members of the team and hold them hostage just to get a shot at bringing them down.
Things get a little bit different for Savage, though, when he’s preparing for Firestorm’s arrival. If he were pretending to be some sort of waiter at a fine dining establishment, it would be difficult to know whether to set up one place or two. We suppose that it would depend on whether Jax or Martin was hungrier, and how eating works when they’re combined.
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