MCU created history when it debunked the myth that a superhero universe can’t be commercially viable. It put in serious efforts, invested massive sums of money, brought the best Hollywood talent to play comic-book characters and set a precedent for other studios like Fox and Sony to follow suit.
But something even more daring was attempted by DC as it crafted an intriguing universe bringing major DC comic-book characters like Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Captain Hunter etc. and launched a serious of TV shows which hosts an annual Crossover event where they come together to fight a larger enemy.
Disney commands massive resources which allowed them to expand without thinking about budgetary constraints but DC had limited budgets but they still managed to create Arrowverse which is the most amazing TV property that Marvel will find it difficult to compete with.
The Arrowverse has a way of doing things that any other show has yet to successfully replicate. They have the panache, the over the top cheesy attitude and weirdly engaging plot devices that make their superhero shows nothing short of comic book fairy tales.
The pace and plot both adhere to a certain code – to never keep it real. The Arrowverse has been doing things this way and has been able to pull off the impossible only because they make the audience believe that it is a TV show and not some real drama. Something the Marvel TV shows fail to understand just yet.
Marvel’s Netflix shows have had a recent decline in popularity. Their shows adhere to a strict code of keeping it real, a stark difference from the Arrowverse’s version of doing things. But the decline in fame and popularity is not because the Marvel shows relying on realism instead its over-reliance on cheesiness.
Netflix failed to realize that if they don’t get both of theirs amount right then they the two elements will never mix. Like oil and water, the show’s plot never really coincided with the pace. The result was a total blunder.
It is because they recently tried to do something that completely defied their own code. Marvel’s Defenders was a touch of both worlds – It had realistic elements and over the top scenes.
Marvel’s Defenders is still considered one of the worst comic book productions in recent TV history. So if Marvel went back on itself with the Defenders, then is it the only thing that was the reason for its downfall? Not necessarily.
The Netflix shows, as we said, rely on realism to further their storylines. But realism can only work for so long. At one point of time, reality will catch up to the fans and the harder you try and stretch the episodes to make them even more lifelike, the harder it gets for the fans to watch it.
At some point in time, the show must make fans realize that it is what it is – A TV show and nothing else. Until Marvel realizes its mistake, it’s doomed to its ever-shrinking popularity. It’s a wonder really. The movies do so well, but the Marvel TV shows suffer an ice fate.
The Arrowverse has excelled in this regard. Fans have always been reminded that each show of the Arrowverse is a show and not a freaking documentary on vigilantes. It is this approach to things that had made them into TV’s premium primetime TRP juggernaut. The CW has immensely benefitted from the Arrowverse.
The Arrowverse is home to a plethora of DC superheroes. It is home to the Green Arrow, Super Girl, The Flash and Super Girl. There are also several fan-favorite cast members that we won’t care to mention here. The superheroes are the face of The CW’s shared universe.
But the recent news was abuzz that a major character has chances of joining the Arrowverse in one of its shows and it was none other than Batman. It’s not such an unrealistic idea as there have been many references to the iconic DC character. Fans believed at one point of time that Ben Affleck may come into the Arrowverse for a cameo.
In fact, Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen in The Arrow name dropped Bruce Wayne (Batman’s alter ego) in one of the Season 6 episodes. CW’s Arrow has made the maximum efforts of convincing studio executives to bring Batman for a guest appearance or a brief stint. Stephen Amell personally is a huge fan of Batman and has expressed his wish to play Batman villain “Riddler” many times on various platforms.
In many ways, Arrow is inspired by Batman comics as one of the show’s villains was Ra’s Ahl Ghul who is a Batman foe in comics. So many times the show has hinted at Batman, for instance, Felicity is given a code name “Overwatch” as Oracle is supposedly taken.
The Batman has been previously mentioned in The Flash, Super Girl and Legends of Tomorrow as well. In Flash season 2, when Barry Allen goes to Earth-2 to fight evil speedster Zoom, at his home’s speed-dial we see various names and one of the name is Bruce. In the Legends of Tomorrow, Captain Hunter says “I have seen Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall.” In Supergirl, Kara said, “My cousin worked with a vigilante once – tons of gadgets, lots of demons.”
In Flash season 1, we saw the 2024 newspaper which contains the news piece that Wayne Tech has completed a mega merger with Queen Consolidated. In Flash Season 4, Episode 2 titled ‘Mixed Signals’ Cisco added control screen for Barry’s new suit which had ‘Babel Protocol’ among the new features. Guess what, in the animated movie “Justice League: Doom” there was a mention of ‘Babel Protocol’ created by Batman as he does not trust his fellow Justice League members which led its humiliating defeat at the hands of Ra’s Ahl Ghul in the comics and Savage in the movie.
Remember all the talk of realism and cheesiness we rambled on? That could be the exact reason the Batman could never be a part of The CW shows. Batman is a character that is as grounded as one can get. Arrow-verse is not a home for a superhero that banks on such elements.
Sadly, the Batman could never be a part of the Arrowverse because of one good reason – the Arrow-verse is just not real enough.
The Arrowverse Showrunner Marc Guggenheim adds an interesting take on the subject:
No, I love a good Easter egg and I love doing the occasional name drop. You know, we name-dropped Hal Jordan at the beginning of Season 3, but it’s really just fun for us. I think in the Arrowverse we have our own Justice League, and the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman … these are all characters that are either spoken for on the movie side and/or other shows. There’s a Bruce Wayne on Gotham.”
Guggenheim’s comments come at a time when another fan favorite DC character Deathstroke was recently made to slide off the Arrowverse due to meddling from the Warner Bros. Studios.
Could the studio be responsible for the Batman’s restriction into joining the mainstream Arrowverse or is it that the Arrowverse has no room for such an iconic character?