Fans have often wondered since the day Arrowverse began if Batman exists in this vast comic-book universe. In the beginning, this question was often met with ridicule and laughter. At the social media forums and community threads, people would say that DC fans need to grow up and stop looking for Batman everywhere. There is a world beyond Dark Knight.
But then came Arrow season 3 which indicated that it is not just inspired from Batman lore, but its major villain Ra’s Al Ghul is actually Batman’s nemesis in DC comics. Fans said its because of show’s striking similarities with Batman’s story and Amell’s personal obsession with everything Batman that Ra’s Al Ghul has got so much screen time and space.
Everyone’s favorite masked vigilante from the CW network returned after a long break with The Arrow’s mid-season premiere. The Arrow saw himself stuck in the middle of a confrontation of crime lords and supervillains.
In the mid-season premiere of Arrow, we saw the Emerald Archer being led onto a site of a false crime by the mob boss Bertinelli(cousin of the Huntress and one of the remaining members of the crime family). At the start of the episode, we saw Cayden James (with the help of Black Siren and Dragon in order to dissuade any potential resistance from Bertinelli).
Of course being the proud mobster that he is, Bertinelli thought it better to lure Arrow into a trap and get him to take care of the opposing parties rather than giving up the docks. To get Arrow’s help (or rather to get his attention), Bertinelli set up a fake crime and showed up just as arrow did.
This is where things got interesting when Bertinelli came face to face with the protector of Star City, he teased the Emerald Archer by telling him that he should have a direct line of communication or some sort of arrow signal(a light in the sky).
Anybody who has ever watched a DC movie know what, or rather who, Bertinelli is referring to. The light in the sky is jab not only at the Battling Bowman but also at the caped crusader aka Batman.
This is not the only Batman reference that has been dropped in CW’s The Arrow over the past season. Earlier this season the Mayor of Starling City vis-à-vis Oliver himself took the stage in front of the general public and media to say this.
“Photos can be doctored. They could have put Bruce Wayne’s head on that body,” Oliver told the media. “Has Bruce Wayne left Gotham to hang out in Star City recently? No.”
This statement was given in conjunction to the events that occurred prior to it, a photo of the Green Arrow surfaced that clearly showed that Oliver Queen was under the mask and was hence the masked vigilante of Starling City.
Queen used clever misdirection and some apt timing of his comments to drive everyone away and make everyone believe how crazy the theory of him being a masked vigilante really is the thing while doing the misdirection part, Queen deliberately referenced Bruce Wayne. This comment was explained by Stephen Amell, here’s what he said:
“That was really funny; the original version of that script, which came out just before Comic-Con, was just Oliver referencing a famous name. I can’t even remember what the placeholder was; I think it might have been Justin Bieber. And I looked at it and thought to myself, ‘This is a cool opportunity.’ I talked to Greg Berlanti about it, and Greg said ‘I think it would behoove you to go straight to Geoff Johns and just simply ask. You’ll probably have better luck than I would”.
“So I was at the DC Comics party at Comic Con — Geoff and I were supposed to meet and chat quickly. I couldn’t track him down, but the next thing I knew, I ended up in a four-way conversation with Peter Roth, Diane Nelson, and Kevin Tsujihara all at the same time. I was like, ‘Guys! I have an idea. I think it would be fun, I think it would open the door to a lot of possibilities.”
Stephen Amell aka Oliver Queen confirmed later on that name-dropping Bruce Wayne has opened up possibilities of Batman’s appearance in Arrow. Here’s what he said:
“I’ve always thought that Bruce Wayne would be an interesting ally on the show, and an even more interesting villain to Oliver, which doesn’t mean that he’s the villain, it just means that they don’t like each other. I had this holy trinity of Warner Bros. Television and DC and Warner Bros. overall in front of me, and I pitched this idea, and I’ve got all my follow-up points, and Kevin Tsujihara just goes, ‘Yeah, sure.’ It’s like, ‘Really?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, that sounds fun. Do that.’ So we did it, and I didn’t actually believe that it would make it until I actually saw it in the locked cut.”
This conversation gives us way more insight and we realize that the Arrowverse is just flexing its muscles over what is possible.
But Arrow is not the only show in CW universe that has referenced Batman, it is the show where the mention was more direct as opposed to easter-eggs. For instance, Felicity is known as Overwatch as Oracle is supposedly taken already.
Stephen Amell has a massive liking for Batman and he has stated that fact many times in comic-book forums. He was once asked about his dream role on the big screen and he had this to say:
“I always get this question. I think all the superheroes are taken now. I’ll play The Riddler, okay? It’s a villain, but I like The Riddler.”
In Flash season 2, when the Scarlett Speedster aka The Flash goes to Earth-2 to fight Zoom, at his home’s speed-dial he found various names mentioned and one of the name was Bruce. In Flash season 3, Geoff John’s Flashpoint comic-book storyline was being adapted where Batman is an integral part of the entire plot. 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.”
Now keep reading as I have a crazy theory to propose, here we go.
With the confirmation of Hyrax coming to the arrowverse and the possible death of Green Arrow and now these comments by the Green Arrow in CW’s The Arrow it seems highly likely that the executives at CW and DC are planning for Bruce Wayne to take over the void after arrow suffers a gruesome death at the hands of Hyrax.
It doesn’t seem that unlikely, especially since The Battling Bowman on TV resembles a more disgruntled Batman from the comics than the Emerald Archer himself. Stephen Amell, as great as he is, makes a breathtaking vigilante but has no playboyish that is necessary for Oliver Queen.
If the Hyrax storyline ( Where the angels fear to tread Green Arrow #96-#100) does culminate in its entirety in the arrowverse then it will become abundantly clear that Bruce Wayne will be the one taking over as the resident vigilante of the arrowverse and perhaps even be being assisted by Supergirl and The Flash.