With Arrow ending in 2020 and The CW set to introduce more shows into the Arrowverse in the near future, now is about as good a time as any to evaluate how the shows currently airing have fared so far. Many shows have been added to the docket since Arrow's premiere, but which among them is the best the franchise has to offer?
As it stands right now, I believe I have the answers. The following is a ranking of each Arrowverse show from good to great with a breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses. As a note, it should be said that this ranking looks at the current state of each show, and it's completely possible this list could look silly years after each show's conclusion.
Batwoman stars Ruby Rose as Kate Kane as she tries keep Gotham together while her cousin Bruce is M.I.A. Gotham is in a bad spot, but little by little Kate has begun to whip it into shape and give its citizens comfort with each and every take down. She does all this while navigating a complicated family dynamic, and managing the dual life needed to be both Batwoman and Kate Kane.
In its early episodes Batwoman has tip-toed around the biggest villains of Gotham City, but is slowly spreading its wings as it continues. Batman fans may be disappointed by the lack of the Dark Knight in the show, and that the story thus far focuses first and foremost on Kate and her family drama more so than Gotham City and its villains.
Batwoman is lowest on the ranking list, but it should be noted this is mostly because it's so new. Fans have only had half a season to judge, and "Crisis On Infinite Earths" may have flipped this season on its head with a sizable post-Crisis twist. The positive is that this show leans on the hand to hand combat that made Arrow so enjoyable, and the tone is generally the same. It's a promising start, but I'd like to see more before I feel comfortable giving this Arrow-verse show a higher ranking.
The world is a dangerous place, and Jefferson Pierce continues to keep at least one chunk of it safer in Black Lightning. The series actually wasn't officially connected to the Arrowverse until "Crisis On Infinite Earths" when Black Lightning and Freeland became part of Earth Prime. Prior to that, there were efforts to keep the worlds separate so that Black Lightning could build its own world without having to worry about catering to the other hero shows.
The end result became an Arrowverse series that has its own voice, and tonally, feels far removed from the rest of the Arrowverse. Black Lightning is heavy on the action and drama, and overall, a great series to binge for those that haven't made the jump yet.
My biggest con is that Black Lightning has separated itself from the Arrowverse for so long, I fear there may be some growing pains now that Freeland is part of Earth-Prime. More power to it if The CW pulls it off now, as it'd be great to see the influence Black Lightning has on the rest of the Arrowverse. Plus, I'd love to see what happens if Barry Allen hits Jefferson with one of his lightning bolts while he's using his powers.
Melissa Benoist stars in Supergirl, which follows Kara Danvers in her efforts to protect National City from some of the most intense world-destroying events on a semi-regular basis. Supergirl is one of the strongest characters in the Arrow-verse, so obviously it takes a lot to really challenge her character. Even so, the rest of these characters should be grateful all the mega powerful foes somehow end up in her town and not theirs.
Supergirl can go a little heavy on the CGI, which is never ideal with the budget of an average show on The CW. The result can sometimes make the whole show look a bit cheesy, and personally takes me out of the adventure at times.
Still, the characters on Supergirl are "super" likable, and Jon Cryer's Lex Luthor has been killing it as of late. Supergirl took a big step up in my book with the recent twist with his character becoming a "good guy", and I can only imagine Supergirl will continue to trend upward in quality when her cousin's show (Superman & Lois) kicks off.
Legends Of Tomorrow
DC's Legends Of Tomorrow follows a ragtag group of heroes as they save the world across time. The Arrow-verse show started out with a largely serious premise, but after Season 1 decided to shift directions and err more on the side of comedy and bizarre story lines. For those needing an example, Season 1 followed the team pursuing well known DC villain and immortal Vandal Savage, and the most recent villain from Legends to appear in the Arrow-verse was a 90s toy turned viking God named Beebo.
Things have gotten weird on Legends of Tomorrow, but honestly, many would agree it's for the better. The Arrowverse is definitely capable of taking itself too seriously, so this show definitely finds ways to capitalize on that and work in some very ridiculous story lines to keep things light. The cast also allows for a rotating cast of DC characters to hop in and out of the group, which has helped keep the show fresh and new as time goes on.
Legends of Tomorrow is one of the better shows the Arrow-verse has to offer, but one has to make it through Season 1 first. It's far from the show's best, but does contain some important information about the Legends as a whole and introduces some important characters and dynamics that become relevant down the stretch. Soldier through that, and be rewarded with some would say is the best show to come out of this group post-Arrow.
Is it any surprise that the first spinoff to Arrow is also the highest rated on the list? Both fandoms will debate back and forth on what is the better show, but in truth comparing The Flash to Arrow is like comparing apples to oranges. The Flash often tries to skew as positive as possible in its story lines, and features about as many Metas as any of the other shows in the Arrowverse.
The Flash is largely more positive-leaning than Arrow or other superhero shows, which has set it apart for years. It also has a great cast, and quite possibly the best one-off episodes of any show in the Arrow-verse so it's rare the show feels stale season to season.
If The Flash is guilty of one thing, it can be cheesy at times. That's not a crime any Arrowverse show can say it hasn't committed, and I can argue the cheese works a bit better because of its uplifting slant. In my opinion, The Flash is the gold standard of the Arrow-verse, and the must-see show out of all the bunch.
Agree? Disagree? List all comments regarding the selections as well as your own personal ranking in the comments below. Also, be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for more on what's happening in the world of television and movies.