When Arrow first premiered on The CW, it was presentend as a grounded and gritty take on the superhero formula. The series looked to feel as authentic as possible, aiming to illustrate how a hooded man with a bow and arrows could save an entire city from crime and corruption. However, it wasn’t long before the series introduced much more fantastical elements to its mythos. It started with the arrival of Barry Allen and superpowers, and it veritably snowballed into a full-fledged DC Universe filled with aliens, time-travel and alternate realities. Now, with The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, The CW has a shared universe 0f television shows.
However, with so many characters, storylines and crossovers taking place, there can sometimes be issues that arise. The superhero medium is one that is peppered with staples that can work in the comics, but less so when it comes to live-action television. In its infancy, the Arrowverse seemed careful about such things — but less so now. Today, CBR vibes from one Arrowverse series to the other to list 18 things that actually make little sense in the superhero universe, things that fans choose to completely ignore and accept as part of the various shows’ realities.
18. GREEN ARROW’S MASK DOESN’T HIDE ANYTHING
Back in the first season of Arrow, the hooded vigilante wore nothing but paint to hide his identity. But, knowing full well that he would be recognizable to some people, he stuck to the shadows, keeping people at arm’s length and talking to them while looking away. He was never facing people completely, so as to make sure his identity was kept secret in a believable manner.
But when the Green Arrow started donning an actual mask, a mask that hid the same portion of his face than the paint did, he started acting like he was utterly unrecognizable. But the truth of the matter is, literally anyone can tell that this is Oliver Queen under the mask, especially after being accused of being the vigilante so many times. He even went for a full close-up on television and yet no one was able to put two and two together.
17. THE FLASH ALWAYS NEEDS HELP TO DEFEAT HIS ENEMIES
On The Flash, the scarlet speedster has gone up against many foes, each more dangerous and devious than the last. As soon as metahumans started appearing in Central City, the Flash was there to stop them. The only problem is that Barry can’t ever seem to be able to defeat them on his own. Whenever Flash faces someone with overwhelming abilities, he turns to his comms to ask how he can win.
This dependent need on Cisco and the rest of the S.T.A.R. Labs team to dispose of even the most basic metahumans actually takes away from Barry as a character, who is supposed to be an expert scientist. And yet, whenever he puts his Flash suit on, Barry forgets about his background and can’t seem to figure out how to defeat any of his enemies until someone tells him how.
16. THE LEGENDS ALWAYS SCREW EVERYTHING UP
The Legends of Tomorrow were assembled by Rip Hunter under false pretenses. However, the team decided to stick together to do the job that they were approached to do in the first place. The only problem is that whenever the Legends embark on a new mission, they always seem to be screwing everything up, to the point that the timeline would be better off without them intervening at all.
In fact, much of the series’ third season has been about the Legends fixing a mess that they created in the first place. On top of that, they have rivals in Rip’s new Time Bureau, filled with agents who are more than qualified to do what the Legends can’t. The Legends of Tomorrow, wherever or whenever they find themselves, are dangerous and there is no reason for them to actually run around the time-stream unchecked.
15. SUPERMAN NEVER SHOWS UP (BUT HE COULD)
One of the main original ideas behind Supergirl was that the character should rightfully be able to stand on her own, apart from her powerful cousin, Superman. For the better part of the series’ first season, Superman had convenient excuses to not be around. But then, Tyler Hoechlin was cast in the role, and the character made a few sporadic appearances as the Arrowverse’s Superman.
But, realistically, in a world where National City is constantly under threat from supervillains and invaders, Superman would show up a whole lot more often, especially when the dangers are threatening the Earth itself, or Kara’s life. No amount of excuses would keep Superman away from saving the world, and the fact that he rarely shows up is just another thing fans go along with.
14. GREEN ARROW USED TO BE A MUCH BETTER FIGHTER
In the first two seasons of Arrow, Oliver Queen was a force to be reckoned with. As the Arrow, he was an unstoppable fighting machine that could take on entire gangs and armies, barely breaking a sweat. It was a testament to his ability, and the source of much of the series’ most iconic fight scenes. But as the cast of superheroes grew, Oliver’s abilities were lessened.
It seems like the Green Arrow’s fighting prowess had be to scaled back to justify bringing in more superheroes on his team. Many times now, Oliver’s life was in danger or the character was attacked when before, he would have easily disposed of his opponents. Now however, there needs to be a reason for the rest of Team Arrow to get involved in the fights, and that means that Green Arrow is less of a formidable fighter than he used to be.
13. BARRY ALWAYS LETS HIS ADVERSARIES RUN AWAY
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. A new villain shows up to terrorize the citizens of Central City. The Flash shows up in the nick of time to save people, and the villain manages to knock Barry off his feet, for a quick second. When Barry gets back up, the villain is gone – he or she has run away. Now without an opponent, Barry accepts that the fight is over for the time being.
But Barry simply shouldn’t have to. Technically, he is the fastest man alive, and anyone who disappears around a street corner could easily be found. Barry would literally only have to spend one second of real time to cover an entire city block in superspeed mode to find his newest enemy and stop him or her before they could ever hurt anyone else.
12. MARTIAN MANHUNTER IS ALWAYS KEPT ON THE SIDELINES
On Supergirl, it wasn’t long before Hank Henshaw was revealed to secretly be the Martian Manhunter. The character has proven to be a formidable ally in dire situations, but he just isn’t used as often as he should be. Many times over, J’onn will stay behind at the DEO to run point while Supergirl goes out in the field, when he could easily be at her side, offering back up and quite a bit of extra firepower.
Martian Manhunter’s superpowers could more often than not turn the tide of battle, and it would make the most sense to have him out in the field whenever a new threat manifests over National City. And yet, J’onn is just satisfied to stay inside the DEO, ordering his troops around. Of course, the character can’t always be featured for budgetary reasons, but he could still be used more as a true powerhouse.
11. THE LEGENDS HAVE A DANGEROUS CRIMINAL IN THEIR RANKS
Mick Rory, aka Heatwave, was introduced on The Flash as a supervillain, a dangerous member of Captain Cold’s rogues. His inclusion as part of the Legends roster drew some questions, but Rip Hunter convinced them otherwise. Besides, Captain Cold was there to keep Rory in check. However, when Cold sacrificed himself, Rory still stuck around as part of the team.
Many times over, the character has proven that he isn’t exactly trustworthy, and he has proven to be reckless and dangerous. His judgment isn’t the best and he can antagonize pretty much anyone. And yet, somehow, the Legends still treat him as one of their own. More than that in fact, he gets invited to weddings, where he mingles with the rest of the Arrowverse superheroes, many of whom he previously tried to kill.
10. HOW DOES TEAM ARROW HAVE ANY MONEY LEFT?
When Oliver Queen started his crusade, he was a billionaire. Like Bruce Wayne, he had unlimited funds to fuel his quest for justice. However, the character ran into a bit of a snag, and he lost his company to Ray Palmer. Now Ray would eventually give the company to Felicity Smoak, meaning that, for a time, Felicity would technically be the one funding Team Arrow.
However, Felicity’s run as head of Palmer Technologies hasn’t been the success she would have hoped. Currently, she started her own company with Curtis Holt, meaning that funds must be running real low when it comes to Team Arrow. Surely Oliver can’t pay for all of his fancy equipment and a top of the line headquarters on a Mayor’s salary? So how does the team stay afloat?
9. HOW IS S.T.A.R. LABS STILL RUNNING?
S.T.A.R. Labs is the reason so many metahumans were created in Central City. After the initial explosion, the facility was more or less shut down, and reduced to a city-wide pariah of sorts. The building itself is massive, and it was never actually properly fixed, as evidenced by the damage that can be seen on the outside of the structure.
Eobard Thawne, as Harrison Wells, bequeathed the company to Barry Allen, but that doesn’t exactly explain how they manage to keep the lights on. This is a particle accelerator in the middle of an American city, one that is turned on every so often. Surely these type of experiments would garner some sort of governmental oversight, and it’s unlikely that a team of three scientists could make this entire place run.
8. SUPERGIRL’S COSTUME IS BULLETPROOF?
Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket ship that contained the Kryptonian fabrics that would comprise his superhero outfit. Since it originates from the same place he does, it is just as durable as he is. However, this isn’t the case for Kara Danvers, who didn’t get a suit in her own rocket ship. When she decides to become Supergirl, it’s up to Winn Schott to design her an outfit like Superman’s.
Supergirl’s outfit, much like her, is bulletproof. It does not take damage when she is attacked by all manner of energies and explosions, and yet it was created here on Earth. She may have a Kryptonian cape that is as strong as her, but the rest of her outfit is man-made. What material did Winn use to create this super-strong, super-durable outfit, and why isn’t it used to outfit every DEO soldier?
7. THE RULES OF TIME-TRAVEL ALWAYS CHANGE
Back in the first season of The Flash, the series established a set of rules when it introduced the concept of time-travel. We learned that time was malleable, but that there were forces to keep it in check. The Speed Force was somehow sentient, and there were also Time Wraiths to protect it. If something changed in the past, it would affect the future.
And yet, the more we learned about time-travel in Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, the less rules there seemed to be. In fact, the Legends are always messing with time, and there are never any Time Wraiths after them. Eobard Thawne, who was erased from reality after the death of his ancestor, was somehow able to come back. At every turn, it seems like the rules of time-travel change, and viewers are asked to go along with it, and not ask too many questions.
6. WHERE DOES TEAM ARROW GET ALL OF THEIR GEAR?
When a new season of Arrow starts, some characters get new duds, and new weapons. Admittedly, most of these costumes, as well as those in Flash and Legends, look quite similar in design, meaning that all Arrowverse characters might share the same tailor. So who is this mysterious tailor? Cisco’s name is sometimes thrown around for an upgrade, but surely he isn’t the one who creates all of these costumes.
And this isn’t mentioning all of the fancy arrows Oliver has in his quiver, or the various guns, bullets and miscellaneous weapons that can be found in the Arrow’s bunker. Who supplies them with such advanced weaponry? Is it thanks to Diggle’s connection with A.R.G.U.S.? If so, then someone is bound to notice all the inventory that is going missing at an alarming rate.
5. TEAM FLASH IMPRISONS METAHUMANS
Ever since The Flash began, Barry and his friends started locking up various metahumans in specially designed cells inside S.T.A.R. Labs. These super-powered individuals were detained without due process, in clear violation of their rights because Team Flash deemed them too dangerous for regular prison. While they are not entirely wrong in wanting to keep these villains in check, they are not exactly right either.
Creating their own metahuman prison was borderline devious, considering it sounds like something the Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller would do. On top of that, viewers were never exactly clear on how these prisoners were fed, or how they could take care of their most basic needs of bathroom privileges. These prisoners would want out, and no one could blame them for looking to escape.
4. STAR CITY BELIEVES ROY WAS ARROW FOR 3 YEARS
In the middle of the third season of Arrow, Oliver Queen was under quite a bit of heat. His identity as the hooded vigilante was seemingly outed, and it resulted in Roy Harper taking the fall for his former mentor. Roy took the blame, making an entire city believe that he was the Arrow for the past two and half years. While this is surely a noble act, it doesn’t make much sense.
Now, fans and viewers are expected to believe that the people of Star City are under the impression that the Arrow and the Green Arrow were two different people. The heroic deeds accomplished by the Arrow in his first two years are therefore forgotten, chalked up to somebody else who is believed dead by the general public. Somehow, this makes the six-year run of Arrow less impactful, at least in the eyes of the public.
3. CISCO CAN CREATE ANY SCIENTIFIC DEVICE IN A DAY
Over the course of four seasons on The Flash, Barry and his team have found themselves going up against some very powerful villains and metahumans. To fight them off sometimes meant needing a new piece of equipment to give the Flash and his allies an edge in their fight. To that end, Cisco Ramone would always step up, ready to build literally anything in under a day.
Whatever Team Flash needs, Cisco can create. A weather rod? Easy peasy. A neural device that prevents one from being mind-controlled? Check. A gun that can shoot an infinite amount of liquid gold? Double check. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. On The Flash, Cisco is not only a certified genius who can build any type of weapon, he has all the material in the world to do so. By now, the man really should get a Nobel prize.
2. SUPERGIRL DOESN’T HIDE HER IDENTITY IN THE DEO
When she first joined the DEO, Supergirl’s secret identity as Kara Danvers was a close-kept secret, and with very good reason. To her and Superman, their secret identity is of the utmost importance. On top of that, the DEO is a secret government agency, keeping files and tabs on people, and they could always be subject to infiltration, as we have previously seen.
This makes it all the more baffling to realize that, at some point, Kara Danvers stopped showing up as Supergirl in the DEO. By now, there isn’t an agent on the DEO payroll who doesn’t know that Kara is Supergirl, meaning that any supervillain could easily find out Supergirl’s not-so-super-secret identity. To make matters worse, any villain worth their salt could make the connection between her and Clark Kent.
1. THE LEGENDS CALL THEMSELVES LEGENDS
In order to save his family and stop Vandal Savage, Rip Hunter assembled a team of nobodies that meant little to nothing to the timeline. He involved them under false pretenses, telling them that they would eventually become veritable legends in the future. Eventually, the team found out that Rip was lying, but they stuck around with their mission, and with Rip’s false idea.
For some reason, Sara Lance and the rest of her team started referring to themselves as “legends.” What’s worse, that is actually the name of their team, meaning that their friends in Star City and Central City also refer to them as “The Legends” whenever talking about them. The simple fact that the team calls itself Legends is self-righteous, especially when any other time-related team name could have worked.