The Best Shows In The Arrowverse

List Rules
Vote up the series with the best stories and characters from DC Comics and The CW.

Counting for a large part of The CW's fall programming, the CW superhero shows that make up the "Arrowverse" offer something for everybody. The best CW Arrowverse shows don't just shine during crossover events but are solid watches throughout the season. The complete Arrowverse spans eighteen shows across three networks and over 50 years. The titular Arrow, which premiered on The CW in 2012, gained a big enough audience to bring more new DC Comics shows and web series to The CW and CW Seed. Starring Stephen Amell from The CW's earlier series The Vampire Diaries as the billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, Arrow seemed to break the code for superhero TV shows that thrived.

The tendrils of the Arrowverse kept spreading and snagged Matt Ryan, who had portrayed Constantine on a one-season NBC series, as a guest star on Arrow and later Legends of Tomorrow, where he was finally cast as a series regular. But the multiverse is always expanding and John Wesley Shipp cemented the 1990 CBS series of The Flash in the Arrowverse beyond the glimpses of the multiverse in a 2016 episode by appearing as the Earth-90 Barry Allen in 2018. Even Supergirl started on CBS before moving to The CW for its second season and slowly becoming part of the Arrowverse.

With the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event, even more shows were brought tangentially into the Multiverse, including not only Smallville but Lucifer and the 1966 Batman. Although they may not be part of the regular roster of CW DC shows, like the official New 52 Multiverse, their expanse influences the ongoing shows. The "Crisis" event even wrapped the Tim Burton Batman film (Earth-89) and the 2006 film Superman Returns (Earth-96), the 2011 Green Lantern (Earth 12), into the event, as well as Kevin Conroy, who voiced Batman in multiple animated series, was seen on Earth-99. Even the DC Extended Universe films were included as Ezra Miller reprised his role as Barry Allen.

From 2019's Batwoman to all the other DC Comics shows on The CW, each show contributes their own feel and characters to the Arrowverse. Vote up the shows that are the best part of The CW DC Multiverse.


  • Arrow
    Photo: Arrow / The CW
    1,787 VOTES

    Developed to exist on its own, outside of any reference to the recently-ended Smallville (which had its own Green Arrow character), Arrow quickly became the highest rated CW show in five years, ending its eighth and final season shortly after the end of its final crossover event.

    Place in the Arrowverse Multiverse: Earth Prime, formerly Earth-1 pre-"Crisis" event.

    • Actors: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum, Rick Gonzalez
    • Premiered: October 10, 2012
  • The Flash
    Photo: The Flash / CW
    1,846 VOTES

    The first spin-off after Arrow, introduced in what was supposed to be a back-door pilot (a regular pilot was ordered in addition), had the most watched and highest rated series premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009.

    Place in the Arrowverse Multiverse: Earth Prime, formerly Earth-1 pre-Crisis event.

    • Actors: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet, Kayla Compton
    • Premiered: October 7, 2014
  • The mid-season debut of Legends of Tomorrow added a fresh layer of complication to the Arrowverse, and showrunners soon needed to track characters and plots across the multiple series. By season two Legends became part of the yearly crossover event - though not all characters participate in each year's crossover.

    Place in the Arrowverse Multiverse: Earth Prime, formerly Earth-1 pre-"Crisis" event.

    • Actors: Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Caity Lotz, Nick Zano, Maisie Richardson-Sellers
    • Premiered: January 21, 2016
  • Superman & Lois
    Photo: Superman & Lois
    739 VOTES

    Although audiences last saw Clark and Lois' son Jonathan as an infant escaping Argo during the Crisis event, the years pass quickly when needed in the Arrowverse and both Jonathan and his brother Jordan are now teenagers. At the premiere, it was unclear how this show fit in with the others - especially once the planned cross-over between Superman & Lois and Batwoman was postponed and multiple Arrowverse shows ended - but the multiverse has many mysteries and just as many possible solutions. 

    In the finale of season 2, Lois's father tells his grandsons "And even though we only have your father on this planet, thank God that we do, because he’s the finest of any Earth.” This helps finally cement Superman & Lois outside of the greater known Arrowverse.

    Place in the Arrowverse Multiverse: An unknown earth outside of the greater Arrowverse.

    • Actors: Tyler Hoechlin, Bitsie Tulloch, Alexander Garfin, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Erik Valdez
    • Premiered: February 23, 2021