“Photos can be doctored. They could have put Bruce Wayne’s head on that body.”– Oliver Queen
Oliver Queen excited fans all over the world with these words. As the Arrowverse continues to expand their roster of superheroes, will they introduce one of DC’s most iconic characters? Ultimately, the answer is no. There are no plans for the Dark Knight to join Arrow, and that is okay. At this point, you may be ready to scream “blasphemy” and move on, but please hear me out. Here are a few reasons why it is okay for Batman to stay out of Star City.
Batman Villains? Check!
Batman’s rogue gallery has already made multiple appearances on Arrow. Minor characters such as Firefly and the Huntress were already established when Oliver began his superhero career. Purists may argue that it isn’t the same because the back stories were changed to better suit the small screen or tone of the Arrowverse. However, this doesn’t change the fact that they are better known to Batman fans.
Major Batman villains also appear on Arrow. Even though many will argue that season 3 is where the show lost its footing, it still brought fans Ra’s al Ghul. From the Batman Animated Series to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, al Ghul will almost always be associated with Batman over Arrow. Fans have seen Batman defeat him multiple times. It is, frankly, more interesting to watch a different team take on the Dragon’s Head.
Batman Heroes? Check!
There are multiple similarities between the Emerald Archer and the Dark Knight. Team Arrow has a hideout named the Arrowcave, whereas Batman has the Batcave. Additionally, both heroes are strong (and lack superpowers), have an array of technological gadgets, and consistently outwit their enemies. Their alter egos are also similar, as they are wealthy and popular with the ladies.
The similarities don’t stop there. Both men have similar sidekicks. Batman has taken many young men, such as Tim Drake and Jason Todd under his wing, training them to fight alongside him. Oliver Queen has done the same thing in the Arrowverse. His first sidekick, Roy Harper, starts out idolizing the Green Arrow, leading Oliver to train and support him as Arsenal. Arsenal and Robin may not be carbon copies of each other, but their similarities would weigh down the Arrowverse.
Then, there’s Felicity Smoak and Oracle. In Batman’s universe, Oracle is Barbara Gordon. Barbara starts her superhero career as Batgirl, but after the Joker paralyzes her from the waist down in The Killing Joke, she becomes Oracle. The Oracle is a hacker and informant who works with Batman in the same way that Felicity does on Arrow. The similarities between the two increased when Damien Dahrk paralyzed Felicity, confining her to a wheelchair. The team wanted to call her Oracle, but the name was already in use, proving that Batman’s influence is already all over Arrow.
Making Room for DC TV’s Big Three
Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are DC universe’s big three. Sometimes known as the “Trinity,” they typically assume the leadership roles, and, in the big stories, they often have some of the most important parts to play. Between multiple movies and TV shows, Batman and his peers have had plenty of time in the spotlight. Now, it is time to focus on other characters. The “Arrowverse Trinity” have plenty of rich stories to draw from. It would be hard to tell most of their iconic storylines with Batman in a supporting role.
Yes, it would be fun if Batman appeared, but his character is not necessary. This is demonstrated by the use of Superman in the first two seasons of Supergirl. In the first season, the Man of Steel is referenced in almost every episode, yet rarely appears. It is just plain fun when Kara receives e-mail advice. Then, fans rejoiced when news broke that Superman would appear in a limited role in the series in season 2. However, that is all that it was … a brief appearance. Superman admitted that Kara did not need him, as she was already well on her way. Aside from a few cool battles, Superman was not needed to progress the story. The same would be true for Batman if he appeared on Arrow.
The Easter Eggs Are Fun!
Arrow is full of Batman Easter eggs, with each episode referencing Gotham City or The Dark Knight in some way. Some of these references are subtle. For example, Arrow has referenced Bludhaven, the town Nightwing protects, multiple times. Others are a little more obvious but equally fun. A personal favorite is this scene from season 2 of Arrow. Even though she is credited as “Deranged Squad Female,” she is clearly a reference to Harley Quinn, complete with a vocal cameo by the character’s primary voice actress, Tara Strong.
The producers of Arrow have worked hard to create a universe that stands on its own. As a gift to comic book fans, they include references to Batman and other members of the DC universe. The fun would be lost if everything that was referenced became real on the show; the subtlety is part of the experience.
Would it be fun if Batman appeared on Arrow? Absolutely! Is his character needed? Absolutely not. Enjoy the references and jokes and give Arrow it’s due. The characters have established their universe. Let’s enjoy them while they’re here.