What is commonly referred on the shows as “The Arrowverse” began in 2012 with the premiere of the show “Arrow”. The show was centered around the character of Oliver Queen, a playboy who was lost in the North China Sea when his boat went down with him and his father on board. Five years later he returns home to Starling City, having survived on an island all this time, with a mission to cleanse his city of crime and corruption. This show went a season and a half as a standalone superhero show, with great ratings and a loyal audience at the time who were growing invested in the world of the Arrow and his friends.
Around the middle of the second season a character was introduced, Barry Allen, a forensic scientist from the another place called Central City, here to help on a certain case with the city’s police force. Many fans recognized these names as those of The Flash and his home town, which had a lot of people excited. Soon after, the first season of the television show “The Flash” premiered with the third season of “Arrow”. The two show’s crossed over at the mid-point of these seasons for a special two night event that blew the minds of fans. To see two characters from unique shows showing up in each other’s worlds and fighting bad guys together was awesome.
This was only the beginning as ABC was starting their own show of “Supergirl” at the same time, initially not connected, however. By the eighteenth episode of Supergirl season one, a crossover was allowed with The Flash, where he was able to literally, I kid you not, run so fast he accidentally ran between worlds into the world of Supergirl. This introduced the idea that there were infinite other worlds out there to pull characters from and that they could all interact with each other for amazing character moments.
From here the connected universe bloomed into a four night set of shows, leading to one of their most ambitious crossovers, “Crisis on Earth X”. It was essentially a full movie length crossover with four show’s worth of characters against a common threat. The audience got to see all their favorite characters interacting with each other, and it truly made the world feel alive, and seeing everything come together was just magical, akin to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Only the Arrowverse has been able to capture this on a television level, and they only continue to add characters and shows to their roster. The crossovers get better and better by the year, with next one’s promising the largest collection of characters yet. This last one even introduced Batwoman to the universe, opening the doors for some of the most well-known characters of DC to show up in this world. No network has managed this level of magic in their show’s worlds and how alive they feel makes them impossible to compare. It is a lot of work to truly catch up on this massive collection of connected shows, some of which are cartoons online, but oh my god is it satisfying to do. Good luck, and enjoy.