The CW’s Arrowverse quartet of superhero shows has brought many of DC’s lesser known heroes into the mainstream. Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl have built up an extremely loyal fanbase that analyzes every storyline of every series. While most of those have been well received, there are always some that make no sense. Even more baffling are the fans who continue to defend these choices, despite their obvious flaws. Unfailingly loyal fans are no surprise in the nerd world, but most comic book readers can also admit when their favorite stories have taken a wrong turn.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about a character being written out because an actor is leaving or working on another project. While always sad, those decisions can’t be avoided. We’re also not including the plots that are so awful, everyone universally agrees they’re terrible. For example, "Flashpoint", which led to the unfortunate Savitar debacle -- that story failed on every level. These are the storylines that producers thought would somehow improve a character or show and did neither. Oliver accidentally killing Billy Malone comes to mind. However, for some reason fans still support them. These are the bad Arrowverse decisions that fans inexplicably defend.
15 HAWKGIRL AS THE FOCUS OF LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
When The CW announced it was adding a third series to its superhero lineup and it would feature a collection of heroes and villains that were already viewer favorites, fans were very interested in the final product. Their excitement was further piqued when it was revealed that the team would include Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl and Carter Hall/Hawkman, with Vandal Savage as the big bad.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the first season of Legends of Tomorrow wasn’t the homerun everyone was expecting.
Even more disappointing was the characterization of Hawkgirl, who came off weak. Despite all evidence to the contrary, there are still fans who want to see the character get a redemptive return, where she might finally be the hero audiences know from the comics and cartoons.
14 MULTIPLE BREAKUPS OF TEAM ARROW
As good as Arrow is, it does have a tendency to get repetitive. Oliver and Felicity breaking up, John and Oliver fighting about Oliver’s methods and Oliver blaming himself for everything. One tune that they like to play a lot is Team Arrow breaking up. It’s something that started in season one when it was just Oliver, Diggle and Felicity, and has continued through every iteration of the team.
Most recently, Oliver made the mistake of spying on Rene, Dinah and Curtis. Despite the fact that Rene did actually turn Oliver in to the feds, the three left and formed their own team. This has led to constant awkward interactions and weakened their characters. However, there are some fans who like the spotlight this puts on the new team members. The real problem with this is that we all know, like every other time, everyone will end up reuniting.
13 INTRODUCING LENA LUTHOR
Supergirl has basically been telling a gender swapped Superman story, even fighting some of the Man of Steel’s famous rogues. For the most part, this has worked and brought a new look to Superman’s world. The one misstep has been the introduction of Lena Luthor. While the audience expected a villain, she actually became Kara’s best friend.
Though Katie McGrath is doing the best she can with the material she’s given, Lena is actually a bit of a wet blanket.
She’s uninteresting and seems foolish for being a genius who hasn’t figured out Kara is Supergirl. There are fans who like Lena, because they like that Kara has a life away from the DEO and while this is a solid reason to keep her around, she needs to be more important to the story.
12 RIP STARTS THE TIME BUREAU
Rip Hunter was introduced as a charming, resourceful time traveler working for the Time Masters. In season two, he disappears and is brainwashed into being evil. During this time, Sara takes over as Captain of the Waverider. Once he returns to the team as his old self, he finds he has no place on the ship and leaves to form the Time Bureau.
The agency takes over fixing time and he takes the Waverider away from the Legends, then later uses them to get to Mallus. The introduction of Jes Macallan as Sara’s possible love interest, agent Ava Sharpe and Adam Tsekhman as the hapless Gary are fun additions to the cast. Unfortunately, the Time Bureau has done nothing but further drive a wedge between Rip and the team, while offering no real value to the story.
11 JAMES AS GUARDIAN
Historically, Jimmy Olsen is Clark Kent’s best friend and a photographer at the Daily Planet, who gets a lot of Superman photos. On Supergirl, he was still Clark’s best friend, but he also knew his secret. After spending half his life on the sidelines watching Superman and Supergirl save the day, he decides it’s time for him to do something and becomes the vigilante Guardian.
The problem is by the time James became a full-fledged crime fighter, his character had become synonymous with the background.
Guest star Cat Grant had more of a story than him. Fans still love James, though most of that is because of his comic history, so there are plenty of viewers who enjoy watching him as Guardian. However, James needs to undergo a drastic character change to become central to the show in any way at all.
10 DESTROYING THE LEAGUE OF ASSASSINS
In season two, Arrow took another page from Batman’s book and brought in the League of Assassins. At first it was just Nyssa al Ghul and the rest of the League, but in season three we met Ra’s al Ghul and got a closer look at the inner workings of Nanda Parbat. When Oliver defeated Malcolm Merlyn, Nyssa took over and dissolved the League.
From her weird point of view of ending her father’s twisted influence, this made sense. For developing Malcolm and Nyssa’s characters, it was a terrible choice. They’ve both been floundering ever since. Even when "Flashpoint" gave producers the chance to right the ship, they didn’t bring it back. Yes, there are fans who hated season three and are thrilled the League is gone, but it would be an interesting device to use across the entire franchise as occasional enemies/allies.
9 NO ONE IMPORTANT DIES IN LIAN YU EXPLOSION
Season five was without a doubt Arrow’s best year since its first, and everything came to a head in a fantastic finale with a spectacular cliffhanger. Oliver can only watch in horror while everyone he loves is trapped on Lian Yu as the whole island explodes. For fans, the summer was spent contemplating the odds of the entire cast’s fate. It was a very stressful time.
Then finally in the premiere, we discover through a series a flashbacks that the only person who died was William’s mother Samantha. Really!?
She was the most expendable person on the island. Of course, viewers are happy their favorites didn’t die, but the outcome stretched the definition of unbelievable. It’s just completely implausible that in an explosion that big one person died and one ended up in a coma.
8 OLIVER AND FELICITY HIJACK BARRY AND IRIS’ CEREMONY
The two most important couples in the Arrowverse are The Flash’s Barry and Iris and Arrow’s Oliver and Felicity. While Barry and Iris are destined to be together because the comic books say they must, Oliver and Felicity were a couple that came from the TV series and grew out of Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards’ chemistry.
When it was announced that Barry and Iris would finally have their wedding in the annual crossover, the audience couldn’t wait. After defeating the Earth-X nazis, the duo had an impromptu ceremony by the lake, officiated by John. At the last second, Oliver and Felicity decided it was time to make it legal and also got married. While many fans loved the romance of the two pairs having a joint wedding, it also robbed Arrow fans of the lead up to a big flashy event. Seriously, Oliver’s son wasn’t even there.
7 GIVING CECILE POWERS
Poor Joe West lives in a world where he is surrounded by geniuses and metahumans. Over the years, he’s learned to accept all the craziness and find his place in it. Devoting his life to being a dad and protecting Central City didn’t leave him time to date. However, he found love again with DA Cecile Horton.
Recently, they found out that they’re expecting and a curious side effect has seen her develop the power to read minds.
This ability has come in very handy for Team Flash, as she helped get Barry away from evil Warden Wolfe. However, it’s kind of sad for Joe, as he now has no place to go where he can get away from the weird stuff that plagues his life.
6 THE ELONGATED MAN
It’s interesting anytime a new hero is introduced into the Arrowverse. When it was announced that The Elongated Man would be coming to The Flash, fans were excited to see how he would fit in with the STAR Labs crew. The answer is poorly.
Since the minute he showed up, Ralph Dibny has taken the top spot as the franchise’s most annoying character. Frankly, those mid-episode Microsoft commercials aren't helping matters at all. There’s just nothing likeable about him, but there are always traditionalists who are happy when deep cut characters show up on the TV shows. Sadly, Ralph proves that producers don’t always know what to do with these lesser known heroes. They shouldn’t get too attached though, as it seems like Ralph is on The Thinker’s hit list.
5 THE NEW BLACK CANARY
Losing Laurel was a huge blow for Team Arrow. Even after putting a new team together, Oliver was still reluctant to find someone to replace her, but then they met Dinah. She was a former Central City police officer who was given sonic scream powers by the particle accelerator. It took some convincing, but she decided to start over in Star City and join the team.
While die-hard viewers were resistant to another Black Canary, they did eventually warm up to her, although her recent actions have made her less of a hero and more of a rebellious teenager.
Dinah is great at fighting crime, though she’s less good at teamwork. She has taken fans on an up and down journey, once writers find a balance for her, she will really click with everyone.
4 GETTING RID OF FIRESTORM
The "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover was billed as the biggest one yet, and it delivered on that hype. Nazi doppelgangers of our favorite heroes came to Earth 1 to kidnap Kara and take over. With a story this serious, there were bound to be consequences. Unfortunately, one of those was the death of Martin Stein.
The beloved half of Firestorm was shot, then died on the Waverider with his partner Jax next to him. Jax was devastated by the loss of his other half and to make matters worse he also lost his powers. No one is really happy about this, but the absence of Firestorm does make room on the ship for new heroes like Citizen Cold, Constantine and Kid Flash to show up. When Ronnie died, Martin had to find a new partner, couldn’t Jax have undergone a similar search.
3 BRINGING BLACK SIREN TO ARROW
The death of Laurel Lance was a major blow to Arrow. Laurel was an original cast member and is Oliver’s true love in the comics. All season viewers knew someone was going to die, but as the victim list was narrowed down, no one really thought the show would kill off an important character like Laurel.
Fans were of course outraged, since Katie Cassidy was so popular as Black Canary -- there was a lot of rage tweeting and angry blogs.
Cassidy did eventually return to the franchise as her evil doppelganger Black Siren on The Flash. The actress was once again made a series regular on Arrow, but she’s not really Laurel and has nothing to do but occasionally attack the team and maybe bond with Quentin. As great as Cassidy is, there was no need to bring Black Siren to Star City.
2 MON-EL RETURNS WITH THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
After a lot of failed attempts, Kara finally found a stable relationship with Daxam refugee Mon-El. Unfortunately, the only way she could defeat his crazy, power hungry mother was to put lead into the atmosphere, which was also poisonous to Mon-El. He made it off the planet, went through a portal and was gone for seven years, during which he established the Legion of Super-Heroes and got married.
Mon-El returned with the Legion when their ship crashed in National City on the way back to the right time. He was accompanied by his wife Imra/Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5. Usually, it’s fun to see the Legion pop up in various Superman or Supergirl stories, but this time it has pretty much been a drain on the plot. It’s time for the entire Legion to head back to the future.
1 OLIVER AND FELICITY’S FIRST BREAK UP
Since the minute they met, Oliver and Felicity have been headed for coupledom. Through other partners and constant death threats, they finally found a way to each other in the season three finale. The beginning of season four had them figuring out how to balance their vigilante life with the real world.
In the end, it wasn’t a villain that came between them -- it was Oliver’s penchant for lying rather than confiding in Felicity.
Fans who hated Olicity were thrilled to see the duo break up and even hoped it would lead to Felicity’s departure. However, it quickly became obvious that the two could never truly be happy with anyone else and they finally got married during the "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover. With the series in season six, let’s hope they stay together for good this time and hopefully get a happy ending.