Forget ‘Batman vs. Superman,’ ‘Arrow’ Is Now DC’s Signature Franchise

Stephen Amell will be back behind the mask for a third season of Arrow. Credit: The CW/DC Entertainment.

Once more Arrow has hit the mark for Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) . Yesterday, CW president Mark Pedowitz announced a third season for the show alongside reups for The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural, and Reign.

This can't be much of a surprise, can it? Not long ago, series co-creator Andrew Kreisberg told The Hollywood Reporter of plans to wrap season 2 with appearances by "great big villains, one after the  other." All signs were (and still are) pointing to a thrill ride of a cliffhanger this spring.

Building out the DC Universe
Importantly, the show has gained momentum while exploring the recesses of the DC Cinematic Universe, including a mini-origin for The Flash in episodes 8 and 9 of the current season. A spin-off pilot is in the works as of this writing and is expected to feature not only the scarlet speedster, but also one of his most dangerous adversaries.

Call it a foundation upon which other shows and movies can build. Here's just a partial list of characters lifted from DC Comics stories that have appeared on Arrow:

  • Amanda Waller (played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson)

  • Black Canary (played by Caity Lotz)

  • Bronze Tiger (played by Michael Jai White)

  • Brother Blood (played by Kevin Alejandro)

  • China White (played Kelly Hu)

  • Count Vertigo (played by Seth Gabel)

  • Deadshot (played by Michael Rowe)

  • Deathstroke (played by Manu Bennett)

  • Merlyn (played by John Barrowman)

  • Roy Harper (played by Colton Haynes)

  • The Huntress (played by Jessica De Gouw)

There's also David Ramsey's John Diggle, who proved to be so popular in season 1 that he made his first appearance in DC's "Green Arrow" comic book a few months back (issue #24). Don't be too surprised if Emily Bett Rickards, who plays computer genius Felicity Smoak, is next to appear in-panel.

Regardless, what's clear is that Arrow has become fans' de facto gateway to the DC Cinematic Universe. That, in turn, raises the bar not only for the current Arrow team working on the pilot for The Flash, but also for director Zach Snyder as he prepares to shoot the Man of Steel sequel, known to us as Batman vs. Superman. Not bad for a show that only a few months ago seemed doomed to be permanently overshadowed by Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How do you rate the current season of Arrow? How do you see the future of the franchise and sister shows such as The Flash? Leave a comment in the box below to let us know what you think, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Time Warner stock at current prices.

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Episode 14, "Time of Death," airs on Feb. 26. Sources: The CW/YouTube.

Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 10:10 AM, alexvidal22 wrote:

    Lol, one does not simply forget about a Superman and Batman film.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 10:51 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>Lol, one does not simply forget about a Superman and Batman film.

    No, but ask yourself if "Man of Steel" did anywhere near as much to build the DC Universe as "Arrow" has.

    That's not a knock on the film. Rather, I'm recognizing the reality that "Arrow" is now the live-action gateway DC has long lacked outside of the occasional Batman or Superman film.

    Thanks for writing and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 11:16 AM, georgethree33 wrote:

    Felicity Smoak was a DC character long before Arrow began broadcasting. This has been well documented.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 11:20 AM, BHGamer wrote:

    I really like Arrow, I've only seen the first season so far, but I thought it was really well done, and what I like to see in a hero, one that's not afraid to take the next step to end a bad guy. One without all the "rules" of a Batman. So I'm excited for season 2 to come out on Netflix so I can pick it back up.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 11:32 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    Thanks for the tip. (I hadn't read any stories in which she'd starred.)

    Here's a link for those interested in learning more:

    Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 1:30 PM, excelsior07 wrote:

    I wont pay a dime to see Superman/Batman

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 4:29 PM, RichardWMS wrote:

    It's hard to define chemistry but you know it's there when you see it. Everything in Arrow clicks--casting, writing, the interplay between the actors, it feels like a family, like folk you want to welcome into your home every week. DC has a rich history available to play with and the Arrow writers have done a splendid job of selecting characters and tweaking their histories in believable ways. Although they are very different I compare this series to the eternally popular NCIS. A talented combination of writers, cast and guest actors create a composite world of characters worth caring about and visiting each week. They may not get much respect from TV awards shows that prefer "hot", edgy fare like the Mad Men and Breaking Bads but I will spend time with Oliver, Diggle, Felicity, Jethro Gibbs, Ducky, and Abby any day.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 5:11 PM, Aldirick wrote:

    Consider this, a season on television is roughly 24 episodes. The show is 45 minutes long, with commercials stretching it to an hour. That is 24 hours of information, back story and character development given in small little packets. A movie can only be so long before people get bored, or they have to go use the bathroom.

    Okay, so you are saying they have done a great thing to introduce the DC universe, that universe was introduced through animation and live action long before this. The only difference we have here is a character with family issues and the inability to keep a girlfriend. They have focused on the Arrow relying on others, Diggle, Felicity, and now Roy. With what they have said, the ramp up on bad guys, will lead to a team of fighters, but will that drown out Arrow, or strengthen him?

    I think the bad guy for the day thing will get old eventually and the dhow will either change or fail, as all things must do. Personally if it was between Arrow and Agents, I choose Agents. I prefer a team that works together, even in uncomfortable times, than a guy who must always be in control.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 7:52 PM, derbyschafer wrote:

    I Love the Show a life long comic book geek and proud of it. Can say this has been impressive and an Excellent Show. And to be non bias I am definitely more of a Marvel than a DC. But am glued and even re-watch the episodes. I hope they bring the Flash back as the Flash in a few cross overs. Would be great to see if they could add an Amazon too and another Green character Lantern!! Keep it real and keep it going on this track and hopefully in Season Four or Five we get the Big Two as well !!!

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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