To many, as far as the quality of the content and the strength of its characters are concerned, the Arrowverse has been more successful than Warner Bros.’ DCEU. The CW’s expansive superhero franchise didn’t get to where it is without a few growing pains along way. Interestingly, some pains were inflicted by the very folks responsible for the source material the Arrowverse brings to the small screen. Fans need only recall the loss of the Suicide Squad in Arrow’s second season, which some contend set the series off course a bit, to see evidence of the ongoing push and pull. Apparently, there are, understandably, rules in need of following when it comes to the development of the shows.
As Arrowverse executives often remind curious fans, they’re merely “borrowing” DC characters. What one borrows can be effectively taken back upon the owner’s request. And borrowing is the very foundation upon which The CW franchise is built. However, it’s been known to not always act in everyone’s favor. The DCEU has claim of certain characters that the Arrowverse is not, or is no longer, allowed to feature. The list below notes 15 questionable restrictions regarding Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow.
15. THE SUICIDE SQUAD IS OFF-LIMITS
One of the Arrowverse’s more compelling storylines involves Task Force X. During Arrow’s sophomore season, Amanda Waller assembles a team of supervillains to carry out a deadly mission. Debuting the first live action Suicide Squad meant Arrow had a high bar to set. Fortunately, the series set it well. Unfortunately, the possibilities were halted; thus, the Squad didn’t get to live up to its fullest potential.
With the development of a theatrical Suicide Squad came news of Arrow’s having to ditch its own plans.
What’s odd is that as the show dismantled its version of the villainous team, another two years passed before these characters hit theaters. This is especially perplexing when we consider The Flash premiering days after the character’s announced to appear in the DCEU. If these decisions are made on a character-by-character basis, what makes some more eligible than others to feature in two franchises at once?
14. NAME-DROPPING BATMAN SEEMS FORBIDDEN
Batman is confirmed to exist on at least two Earths in the Arrowverse — Earth-1 and Supergirl’s Earth-38. The confirmations are never explicit, though. Superman having worked with a “brooding” vigilante and Oliver’s announcement that the title of Oracle is taken supplies plenty of implicit evidence. Yet, Batman himself has never been name-dropped, and, no, the recent Bruce Wayne nod doesn’t count.
With the debut of Superman in Supergirl’s second season premiere, confusion only doubled. Why is the Man of Steel allowed to feature in two different live action universes like The Flash? The general consensus posits the reasoning rests on money and/or legalities. Fox does own the television rights to the Dark Knight, after all. But, again, Bruce Wayne’s recent mention on Arrow leaves us collectively scratching our heads.
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