Culture & Literature
EW The Ultimate Guide to Arrowverse

EW The Ultimate Guide to Arrowverse

EW The Ultimate Guide to Arrowverse

The CW's superhero shows ("Arrow," "The Flash," "Supergirl," "The Legends of Tomorrow," and soon, "Batwoman") enrapture in a way that cannot be denied. Now, this special edition takes a deep look at these shows and their annual crossover event: "Crisis on Infinite Earths." If need be, start by consulting our crossover cheat sheet to go deep into previous crossover events and prepare for the latest reunion. The epic five-hour television event is sure to be a tear-jerker, as the show that began it all, Arrow, airs its final few episodes. Reconsider just how the Arrowverse saved the TV superhero. Hear straight from the cast: Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin, Melissa Benoist, Ruby Rose, and the cast of the Legends. And, finally, welcome Batwoman! Even go behind the scenes with some great candid photos of the heroic cast goofing off. Let this special edition be your perfect Arrowverse companion and memento as you get ready to say goodbye to a legend.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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$20.81(Incl. tax)

in this issue

6 min.
heroes united

THERE WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE AN ARROWVERSE. Seriously, it wasn’t planned. “A lot of people like to think we did,” says Arrowverse architect Greg Berlanti. “Each step was a surprise.” When Arrow, the shared universe’s namesake that stars Stephen Amell as the Green Arrow, premiered on the CW in 2012, the producers were repeatedly asked if they would introduce other heroes with superpowers. “The answers to all those questions were, ‘No, no and no,’” says Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim. “None of those interviews have aged particularly well.” He’s not wrong, because in the past eight years the CW has become the home of six DC Comics shows that exist in the same TV universe and intersect (at a minimum) on a yearly basis: Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of…

2 min.
who’s who on infinite earths

Jefferson Pierce BLACK LIGHTNING CRESS WILLIAMS The high school teacher and electricity powered vigilante protects the fictional city of Freeland, alongside his two daughters—and hasn’t shown up in a CW cross-over yet, despite starring on the same network. Their reasoning? Different Earth. His time is finally here. Jay Garrick/Barry P. Allen THE FLASH/CRIMSON COMET JOHN WESLEY SHIPP Earth-3’s version of the Flash has regularly helped Barry on Earth-1. Earth-90’s iteration is the last known survivor of his world after the Monitor’s destruction. Shipp has also portrayed Earth-1’s Henry Allen—and the Flash in the 1990s show. Kal-El and Lois Lane CLARK KENT/SUPERMAN TYLER HOECHLIN AND ELIZABETH TULLOCH Earth-38’s Man of Steel keeps in contact with his cousin Kara Zor-El. During the Elseworld’s crisis, he met both Earth-1’s Arrow and the Flash—and after the disaster was over, he went back to propose to…

3 min.
greg berlanti the super producer

THE DC COMICS EVENT CRISIS ON Infinite Earths means a lot to producer Greg Berlanti. Originally published from 1985 to 1986, Crisis is one of the most iconic and game-changing comic-book stories ever told. Written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by George Pérez, the 12-issue epic followed DC heroes on a mad dash to save the multiverse from imminent destruction at the hands of the Anti-Monitor. In doing so it forever changed the DC Universe (“Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the universe will never be the same”). When it launched, Crisis was mainly an attempt by DC to clean up its very complicated continuity. For Berlanti, though, it was something more: It was his introduction to the wider DC pantheon, beyond just the Flash, his favorite superhero, because in those…

2 min.
your crossover cheat sheet

Heroes Join Forces Speedster Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and archery enthusiast Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) spent a fair amount of time commuting between Queen’s then Starling City and Allen’s Central City; Allen’s first cameo on Arrow even predated the onset of his metahuman powers. During their first official crossover, the two heroes helped defeat villains in both cities and still found time to sharpen their skills by training together. In 2015’s “Heroes Join Forces,” they encountered the reincarnated Hawkgirl and Hawkman, setting up a plotline for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Invasion! BARRY ACCIDENTALLY LANDED ON PARALLEL Earth-38, where Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) makes her home, in Supergirl’s season 1. That neatly set up Barry to introduce her to the rest of the team when an entire race of aliens called the Dominators invaded…

3 min.
will lightning strike again?

BLACK LIGHTNING IS UNLIKE ANY of the CW’s other caped shows—and not just because of its predominantly black cast. On The Flash the Scarlet Speedster protects the multi verse from evildoers, and on Supergirl the Girl of Steel fends off extraterrestrial threats. But on Black Lightning—overseen by Arrowverse chief Greg Berlanti—the superhero is more concerned with mortal-world problems. “The conflict here is not necessarily saving the world or battling aliens,” Cress Williams, who stars as the electricity-powered title character, told EW in 2018. “It really is looking at real-life problems in an actual city, in an actual neighborhood and trying to conquer those problems—i.e., drugs and corruption, gun violence, police violence and just oppression that happens below the poverty line.” While it’s likely Black Lightning has remained outside of the Arrowverse for…

7 min.
unbroken arrow

STEPHEN AMELL IS DREADING THE EIGHTH AND FINAL SEASON OF Arrow, though you wouldn’t know it on this sunny July day in Los Angeles. Wearing Green Arrow’s new suit, the CW star seems perfectly at ease as he strikes heroic pose after heroic pose on a dimly lit stage. But once he’s traded heavy verdant leather for a T-shirt, jeans and baseball cap, his guard drops and the vulnerability starts to creep in as he contemplates Arrow’s last 10 episodes, which begin production in three days. “I’m very emotional and melancholy, but it’s time,” Amell says as he takes a sip from a pint of Guinness. “I’m 38 years old, and I got this job when I was 30. I’d never had a job for more than a year. The…