With The Flash having wrapped up its ninth and final season, the era of the Arrowverse is officially over at DC. This shared TV universe certainly had an impressive run. What began as a relatively dark and grounded take on the DCU in the early seasons of Arrow rapidly expanded to include speedsters, Kryptonians, time travelers and the DC multiverse itself. There were few corners of the DC Comics library the Arrowverse didn’t touch in the end.
That being said, there are some holes the Arrowverse was never able to fill. Some of the biggest and most recognizable DC heroes never made a proper appearance in these shows, despite (in many cases) plenty of teases and offhand references. As we bid farewell to the Arrowverse, let’s look back at the characters who never got their chance to shine on The CW.
The Biggest DC Characters Who Never Appeared In the Arrowverse
For years, it was an open question as to whether the Arrowverse actually had a Batman. The later seasons of Arrow finally settled that debate, but it wasn’t until 2018’s “Elseworlds” crossover that we actually took a trip to Gotham City and met its new protector, Ruby Rose’s Batwoman.
But even with Batwoman getting her own spinoff series the following year, the Arrowverse never gave us a proper, in-costume Batman appearance. The Dark Knight only ever appeared in cameo form via flashbacks, with Batwoman dealing heavily with the ongoing mystery of Bruce Wayne’s disappearance. Technically, the series cast its Bruce Wayne when Warren Christie signed on to play the villain Hush disguised as Bruce, but Christie never returned to play Bruce himself.
The closest the Arrowverse got to a true Batman appearance came in 2019’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover. One episode sees Kate Kane travel to an alternate universe where Kevin Conroy plays a brooding, corrupted Bruce loosely inspired by the graphic novel Kingdom Come. But as for the Arrowverse’s own Batman, he’ll forever remain MIA.
Given her massive popularity on the big screen these days, we’re almost surprised that Wonder Woman hasn’t been added to the Arrowverse. Unfortunately, it’s precisely because of Gal Gadot’s DCEU Wonder Woman that the Arrowverse has never been allowed to use the character. Diana and her fellow Amazons were referenced in various shows, including as a speed dial entry on Earth-2 Barry’s phone and, most notably, when the Legends of Tomorrow sent Helen of Troy to live on Themyscira.
Like Wonder Woman, Aquaman’s big screen success ensured he was always off-limits in the Arrowverse. The most we’ve ever gotten is various allusions to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. For instance, Carlos Valdes’ Cisco Ramon spent some time there in The Flash: Season 7 while working on a device to access the Mirror Dimension. On Earth-2, relations between Atlantis and the surface world are so rosy that Barry even bought his parents tickets to visit.
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Both Arrow and The Flash have paid homage to Green Lantern Hal Jordan at various times. Usually this occurs in the form of cameos for Ferris Aircraft (the company where Hal works as a test pilot) or his home of Coast City. However, one episode featured a Coast City bar with Hal’s father Martin Jordan’s flight jacket on display. We suspect that Hal is currently off-world training to become the universe’s greatest Green Lantern, though if so, he’ll arrive too late to put in a TV appearance.
Green Lantern (John Stewart)
While a Hal Jordan appearance was probably never in the cards for the Arrowverse (given DC’s ongoing attempts to revive the Green Lantern franchise on the big and small screens), we came agonizingly close to seeing the John Stewart version of Green Lantern. Arrow eventually confirmed a long-running fan theory that David Ramsey’s John Diggle is actually named John Diggle Stewart. Arrow’s final episode, meanwhile, shows John recovering a glowing green artifact that was presumably a Green Lantern ring.
However, the Arrowverse never fully paid off on that tease. Diggle would return the following year in a series of guest appearances across the various Arrowverse shows, culminating in a scene where he confronts Tom Cavanagh’s Eobard Thawne for help in opening the box. The box ends up being a red herring, with Diggle making a choice to focus on his family rather than embracing the power being offered. Showrunner Eric Wallace revealed that this abrupt end to the Green Lantern storyline was at least partly motivated by the fact that The Flash was expected to end with Season 8. Though we imagine the recently announced Lanterns TV series played its own part in preventing Diggle from becoming a Lantern.
The enemy of Shazam and the ruler of the Middle Eastern nation of Kahndaq would have been a natural inclusion given how often the various Arrowverse shows have teased his debut. Kahndaq is frequently mentioned on Arrow, with that country being the source of everything from valuable diamonds to stolen bio-weapons. Kahndaq even served as the setting for several chapters of the Arrow Season 2.5 comic. But in the end, Black Adam remained out of sight.
No DC character has been so frequently teased and hinted towards in the Arrowverse without ever actually appearing. Barely an Arrow or Flash episode goes by without Ted Kord’s company Kord Industries being name-dropped, usually with villains attempting to steal some valuable scientific device or another. One would think Ted would want to do something about all the rampant theft, but he never bothered to put in an appearance. Nor did we meet the younger Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, who is instead making his cinematic debut in the Blue Beetle movie.
As revealed way back at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Brandon Routh was originally eyed to play Ted Kord before Arrow: Season 3 was reworked to include Ray Palmer instead. As it is, the Arrowverse Ray Palmer shares as much in common with Ted Kord as he does the comic book incarnation of Ray. Perhaps introducing Blue Beetle would have been redundant.
Once Arrow: Season 4 opened the door to magic in the Arrowverse and reintroduced Matt Ryan’s John Constantine, we suspect many DC fans began eagerly anticipating the debut of the all-powerful Doctor Fate. He would have been a logical choice of guest star on Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow, given that NBC’s Constantine series teased the Helmet of Fate. But ultimately, the Arrowverse was always vague about whether the Constantine series is part of the canon or if Ryan was simply playing a different version of Constantine. Whatever the case, we never met Doctor Fate in this universe.
Oracle is the codename taken by Barbara Gordon after she was shot and paralyzed by the Joker, as she transitioned from costumed superhero to the Bat-family’s resident computer genius. Felicity Smoak serves a similar role for Team Arrow, and even went through a similar ordeal or paralysis and recovery as Barbara in the comics. One Arrow episode featured Felicity actually contemplated taking the name Oracle, though she opted for Overwatch after realizing her first choice was taken.
This essentially confirms that Barbara Gordon exists in the Arrowverse and made the transition from serving as Batgirl to becoming Oracle. But we never got to meet her. Instead, a different version of Babs appeared in the third season of Titans, played by Savannah Welch.
The Question is a character Arrow fans were practically begging to see for years. His home town of Hub City has often been name-dropped and even directly appeared in various episodes. Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim previously noted a strong desire to include Vic Sage and his faceless alter ego, but he also revealed that WB has been preventing his inclusion. Sadly, those restrictions were never lifted before Arrow ended its eight-season run.
With Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon more or less confirmed to exist in the Arrowverse, it’s pretty much a given that there’s a Dick Grayson as well. But the most we ever got on the Robin/Nightwing front is a handful of references to Bludhaven, the city where Dick moves after breaking ties with Batman.
Not that a Dick Grayson apparance was ever very likely, considering that Brenton Thwaites played the character in all four seasons of HBO Max’s Titans. A Flash/Titans crossover might have been fun, but the most we ever got on that front was a multiverse cameo of the Titans in “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Meanwhile, Titans: Season 4 had its own brief crossover with Stargirl, another branch of the live-action DC multiverse.
Despite Batwoman largely being set in Gotham City, the series only introduced a handful of Batman’s iconic villains over the course of three seasons. That includes the aforementioned Hush, along with Alex Morf’s Victor Zsasz and Peter Outerbridge’s Black Mask. “Elseworlds” also featured cameos of supervillain equipment like Scarecrow’s fear toxin and Bane’s The Dark Knight Rises-style mask. Tara Strong also briefly voiced Harley Quinn in a Season 2 episode of Arrow. But for the most part, Batman’s biggest rogues were as hard to find as the Caped Crusader himself.
That includes the Joker. Batwoman featured several nods to the Clown Prince of Crime, eventually revealing that Batman snapped and killed his greatest nemesis before disappearing. That’s a flashback we would have sorely loved to see. Instead, Batwoman introduced its own version of the Joker in Season 3, played by Nick Creegan. That Joker is Marquis Jet, the half-brother of Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder.
The Endless are among the most powerful cosmic beings in the DC multiverse. We assume they exist in the Arrowverse, even if they’re never directly referenced in any of the shows. One Arrow episode features a flashback of a younger Felicity decked out in full Goth mode. Her black hair, black tank top and ankh medallion all strongly hearken back to Death as she’s portrayed in Sandman and its various spinoffs. This seems to be an intentional visual homage.
“Elseworlds” also adapts some elements of the first Sandman graphic novel with its focus on Jeremy Davies’ Dr. John Deegan and the reality-altering Book of Destiny, but there’s no mention made of the book’s owner or his other siblings. Fortunately, there’s always Netflix’s The Sandman series, which is set to get a second round of episodes.
For more on the end of the Arrowverse, check out our full breakdown to The Flash: Season 9’s convoluted ending.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.