Because of the popularity of the DC/CW TV shows, what started out as a show starring a Robin Hood knock-off has exploded into what we now call the Arrowverse. Many shows have come and gone in this universe and have given us many memorable scenes and characters to get attached to. As the shows continue, this universe continuously expands, adding more settings and characters for us fans to analyze at every corner.
Due to the shows being based off of characters from DC Comics, it goes without saying that we’ll be saying a lot of familiar faces as we watch. We’ll also see some original faces and some alterations on classic comic characters. For those people that have a deep history with characters from the Justice League, these shows are packed to the brim with easter eggs.
The only unfortunate thing about all of this is that the CW’s budget doesn’t allow faithful adaptations of classic characters. On top of that, there are some big characters from the comics introduced that aren’t anywhere near what made them so cool in the first place. Because of this, you might not even realize that some big DC characters have already made it into the Arrowverse.
All of the shows hold some kind of interesting additions to the Arrowverse, and we’re here to point out 15 DC characters you might not even realize were in it.
15. Constantine Drakon
Those that love the Green Arrow know that Constantine Drakon was a short man who just had the natural ability to kill anyone. Because of this, he decided that he was going to make a career out of it. I mean, it’s what he’s good at, so why not? This mercenary proved to be one of the best fighters in the DC Universe and one of the greatest foils to the Emerald Archer. It makes sense, then, that he would be brought into the show Arrow. Unfortunately, what we got doesn’t hold a candle to his presence in the comics.
Drakon first appeared in the pilot episode. Despite this, many people (myself included) didn’t realize that it was the actual Constantine Drakon. He was played by a regular decent-looking actor who was sharply dressed and knew how to fight. You could take one glance at him and never give it a second thought, because he doesn’t look anything like the character. Going forward, we’re glad that he isn’t in the show at this point. If he ever gets re-introduced, we would prefer the writers would give him a much needed makeover. The TV show version doesn’t hold anything that the comic version did.
For some reason, the writers of Arrow love taking amazing Green Arrow villains and making them watered down versions of themselves (save for Dark Archer and Deathstroke). Komodo is another prime example. This deadly archer played a huge part in Outsiders War where he worked as an assassin to kill the Green Arrow. Some shocking discoveries were made, revealing that Komodo was, in a way, Robert Queen’s adopted son. Queen trained Komodo because he liked that man better than Oliver. That sounds like something that would lend itself perfectly to a TV show, but nope. I guess DC didn’t want to make more money.
We did get Komodo, but he was only in one episode during season 3. After Sara Lance was killed, Team Arrow was wondering who her killer was and where they could find them. Conveniently, an archer assassin appeared in Star City at this time. Expecting this killer to be Sara’s killer, they found and caught him. He wasn’t the killer and just happened to be passing through. Oh yeah, and his name was Komodo and we’ve never seen him again since. Look, if they want to bring him into the fold later, I’m down. Just give him a better suit and more personality.
13. Atom Smasher
Here was another decision that blew my mind: when the writers of The Flash decided to introduce Atom Smasher. Atom Smasher was a character in the comics who had been a part of both the Justice League and Justice Society. He had the powers to alter his size and density, making him able to grow and be really hard to damage at the same time. He formed a great relationship with another Leaguer, Obsidian (who was introduced in Legends of Tomorrow) and got a sweet new costume.
Then came the first episode of season 2 of The Flash. While Central City was celebrating Flash Day, it was painfully interrupted by an Earth-2 villain by the name Atom Smasher. This guy just knew how to hit hard and take a hit at the same time. Get this, his only purpose in the episode was to introduce the audience to the concept of Zoom, the main villain of the season. After Barry defeats and lures Smasher to his own death, that’s it. No more Atom Smasher, and he will forever be remembered as a villain in the eyes of casual fans.
12. Doctor Light
This one might not come as a shock to you, due to it being a more central part of The Flash. Doctor Light was a character who was originally a pretty big Justice League villain. After his or her (depends which comic you read) plans continued to be ineffective, she was over time delegated smaller responsibilities. She eventually downgraded to a villain of the Teen Titans before taking on individual superheroes by herself. Because of this, she is the butt of a lot of jokes by other established villains who believe she could do better. Keeping that in mind, she got a bit of an upgrade in The Flash.
Doctor Light was introduced in The Flash as the Earth-2 counterpart of Linda Park, Barry Allen’s ex-girlfriend. Doctor Light didn’t have many interesting powers apart from shooting energy, and she was quickly defeated by our heroes. Instead, her presence served as a catalyst to get the Earth-1 Linda Park to disguise herself as a villain in order to lure out Zoom. It wasn’t much to note overall, but to be fair, Doctor Light isn’t exactly and A-list villain and never will be. It also created one of the most terrifying confrontation moments for Zoom.
In Arrow’s first season, there were a lot of comparisons to Batman. A big part of the reason was that the writers used Batman villains to tell their stories. One episode brought in Garfield Lynns, otherwise known as the Firefly. Firefly has been a prevalent villain of Batman’s, and played a big part in Arkham Origins and Arkham Knight. After being burned himself, he gained a psychotic need to set things on fire, especially old fire stations. After creating a jetpack and flamethrower for himself, Firefly became a serial arsonist in Gotham City.
How did Arrow adapt him? Well if Constantine Drakon and Komodo are anything to go by, we’re not in for anything special. Firefly was portrayed as just a man (none of the cool suit and equipment were present) who wanted to get revenge on his old firefighting team. The only similarity between the two versions of the character is that they set things on fire. This led Garfield to light up Oliver’s club, and this brought in the Green Arrow. When the two fought, Oliver offered help for Lynns, but he denied it and committed suicide via burning. Another cool comic villain that was poorly adapted and we’ll never see again.
KGBeast, if you’ll remember from our DC assassin list, is one of the greatest hired killers in the DC Universe. His equipment and skills both make him an extremely desired asset among the wealthiest and most corrupt people in the world. KGBeast was originally a Batman villain. Being a counterpart to the Dark Knight’s “no killing” rule, KGBeast was willing to kill whomever he felt was necessary and then some. As you might remember, he killed over 100 people in one swoop just to ensure that his target was dead.
Despite his fights with the Dark Knight, KGBeast has been a recurring character in Arrow, especially in the current season. Anatoly Knyazev is one of the most powerful members of the Bratva. After being captured and place on the boat, the Amazo, he and Oliver worked together to get out and would form a deep friendship as a result. While he lacks many of his personality traits that made him so terrifying in the comics (and is not the assassin that the source material portrays him), it would be a huge mistake to get on Anatoly’s bad side.
9. Ravager (Grant Wilson)
There have been multiple characters to take the name Ravager in DC history, but they all share a connection with Deathstroke. Because Deathstroke has been a fan-favorite villain of the Arrowverse, it makes sense that a character like Ravager would be introduced. Make no mistake, though, I am not talking about Isabel Rochev. She did fight alongside Slade’s army at the end of season 2 and was known as Ravager, but she was not that character in the comics. Instead, this entry goes to Grant Wilson, who had a one-shot appearance on Legends of Tomorrow.
When the Legends entered a post-apocalyptic Star City, many questions arose. Apparently, Slade Wilson’s son Grant had taken over and cut off the Green Arrow’s arm. With the help of Connor Hawke and a grizzled Oliver Queen, the Legends were able to take back Star City, but it was a brutal battle. However, instead of taking the name Ravager as he did in the comics, Grant simply went by the name Deathstroke. He also bore the same costume as his father, except the mask was gray instead of orange. Fun fact: in the comics, he was the oldest son of Deathstroke.
8. Professor Ivo
Professor Ivo has been one of the most brilliant villains of the Justice League and remains a constant thorn in their side. He was the one responsible for creating the robot Amazo who could adapt to and copy the powers of any superhero it came in contact with. Due to his fear of death, Ivo constantly sought to transcend humanity and make himself immortal. This led him to conduct some unethical experiments, which quickly put him on the radar of the League.
In Arrow, Ivo was introduced in the season 2 flashbacks, albeit under the name of Anthony Ivo. His ship (lovingly called the Amazo) was full of different prisoners whom he experimented on to complete a formula that would make people stronger. Like his comic book counterpart, Anthony Ivo was still fueled by the desire to transcend humanity and was willing to achieve that goal by any means necessary. Not only did he manage to kill Oliver’s love Shadow, but he also created the Mirakuru that Slade used in his war against Star City. Unlike many of the other characters introduced in Arrow, the differences in their adaptation of Professor Ivo actually work to the show’s benefit and complement rather than hinder the story progression.
7. Accelerated Man
I love how The Flash handles the Multiverse. Because of it, the show is constantly introducing new speedsters that run straight from the pages onto the small screen. We’ve already got Kid Flash, Jesse Quick, the Rival, and Savitar. The writers have also teased many other speedsters who exist in the show. Fortunately, in a recent episode, we got something a bit more impressive than a mere tease. We were taken to a shot of Gypsy on Earth-19 giving a mission to a man dressed in goggles and a face mask. After speaking, he speeds off in purple lightning.
This speedster is known as the Accelerated Man: the native speedster of Earth-19. He hasn’t had much history in the comics (and his only appearances are credited to books about the DC Multiverse), but I’ll be darned if his inclusion wasn’t awesome. What makes Accelerated Man so worthy of discussion on this list is that he has spawned a lot of theories. First of all, what is the deal with his purple lightning? Secondly, what is his story in the Arrowverse? Lastly, when do we get to see him on the show?
6. The Spectre
Jim Corrigan was a mere detective who was possessed by a spirit. Since then, he has been known by the name Spectre. This magical entity is one of the most powerful magic users in the DC world and has ties to John Constantine, Superman, and the Justice League Dark. He even served as a personal bodyguard for the Man of Steel during the Injustice comic book series. The Spectre is the Spirit of Vengeance sent out by an entity known as the Presence. Because of this, Jim Corrigan was granted the powers and wisdom of millions of years.
Keep in mind that Spectre hasn’t appeared in Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, or Legends. Jim Corrigan instead appeared on the canceled show Constantine. Since John Constantine has appeared alongside Oliver Queen, that show’s world is connected to the Arrowverse. Corrigan was a detective who worked with Constantine on a few cases. He didn’t have any ghostly powers yet, but another person had visions of Corrigan being possessed and surrounded by a green halo (something trademarked by the Spectre). Because of this, whether it has possessed Corrigan or not, the Spirit of Vengeance does exist in the Arrowverse, and the only sad part about it is that we probably won’t see it anytime soon.
5. Harley Quinn
When the Arrowverse started growing, it seemed that DC’s TV shows would be the ones to carry the torch. Batman V Superman was still a few years away and Marvel was dominating the box office. This allowed the writers to have big plans for the show and universe as a whole. One thing they did in Arrow was bring in the Suicide Squad. Originally composed of villains like Deadshot and Bronze Tiger, it wasn’t long before this aspect of the show was done away with. However, before it ended, we got one of the best teases in DC show history.
As the Suicide Squad was gearing up and getting ready to ship out, there was another inmate at ARGUS who wanted to join. After stating her desires, she then said that she was a doctor as we got a look at the back of her head. This was clearly Harley Quinn. While we never saw her face, it couldn’t have been more obvious. The actress that provided the voice for Quinn in the show has done voice work for the character in the past as well. If only the Suicide Squad movie never happened, then we might see Harley in the Arrowverse again.
The big question surrounding the Arrowverse is this: does Batman exist? While it has never been officially confirmed, all signs are pointing to yes, whether we’ll see an adaptation of the Caped Crusader or not. One of the pieces of evidence we have comes from season 4. Felicity is begging the rest of the team to give her a codename. After some teases from the writers (and a familiar paralysis), many fans speculated that she would become Oracle, making Green Arrow the CW’s version of Batman. However, this ended up not being the case, and Oliver gave her the nickname of Overwatch. After suggesting the name Oracle, Oliver grudgingly stated that the name “was taken.” Anyone who knows anything about DC knows that Oracle is the name of the computer genius, Barbara Gordon, who works with Batman and updates him on all things crime-related in Gotham. By confirming the existence of Oracle in the universe, it might be safe to assume that version of Batman, Robin, and the Joker also exist as well. Until it’s directly confirmed, we’re not going to be jumping to conclusions though.
The last Arrow villain on this list is Shrapnel. He’s not a big character, so it may take you a bit to effectively recognize him (if you know him at all). However, those people that watch the show aren’t going to have any idea who this character is in the comics. Shrapnel was a man who suffered an accident that turned him into a walking metal monster. This new body could fire pieces of metal like sharp projectiles, stabbing any hero that got too close. Shrapnel was also incredibly strong, which made it difficult for anyone to fight him without getting hurt.
Shrapnel was given a role in Arrow, but was about as far as you can get from the comics. Instead of being a metal monster, Shrapnel was instead a guy who was really good with explosives (at least the name still fits). After being apprehended and put into ARGUS, Shrapnel became a member of the Suicide Squad. Sadly (or thankfully), he got a bit nervous when the mission began and tried fleeing from Amanda Waller. Then the microchip in his head exploded, convincing the rest of the villains that she meant business.
2. Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
The legacy of Blue Beetle is an interesting one. The character was a part of a much older DC Universe. He had the powers of a unique scarab that was combined with some tech to turn him into a hero. Unfortunately, Kord was captured and killed after a while, and the scarab has since been passed down to a young boy. Still, there is a lot of love for Ted Kord and his footprint in the DC Universe.
Does it come as any surprise then, that he was originally set to appear in Arrow? As a matter of fact, Brandon Routh was originally going to play that character, but his role was changed to the Atom after it was announced that Blue Beetle and Booster Gold would be getting their own movie. That doesn’t mean that one can’t still find evidence of Kord’s existence. In the earlier seasons, there were flashbacks where Robert Queen had to attend parties hosted by Kord. Kord Industries is also a heavy business company that is often referenced in the show. I think it’s safe to say that old Teddy is alive in the Arrowverse, whether we’ll see him or not depends on the higher-ups.
1. Doctor Fate
One of the most powerful beings in DC history is the spirit Nabu, a powerful magician that resides in the Helmet of Fate. Anyone who wears the helmet is immediately taken over by Nabu to become Doctor Fate. This sorcerer has many magical capabilities, is able to travel across universes, and can beat just about anybody he faces. His home, the Tower of Fate, lies outside of any existing dimension and emits a large source of magical energy.
For some reason, the character has yet to be introduced in a big DC film. However, it is evident that he exists in Constantine. While not directly present in the show, there was a scene where a character was holding the Helmet of Fate. It’s not even a helmet that resembles Doctor Fate’s; it is the Helmet of Fate through and through. It’s unclear what the writers were planning by teasing the character, but he does exist in the Arrowverse. If you ask me, he would make a perfect addition to Legends of Tomorrow as an artifact that the members could use if they were really desperate. It would fit quite well with the current Spear of Destiny storyline.
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