Marvel may be outdoing DC on the big screen, but DC is taking the lead on TV, with an expanding and increasingly interesting cross-over universe. The Flash and Arrow take place in the same continuity, which leads to the big cross-over story, airing tonight and tomorrow. In further news, Greg Berlanti, Executive Producer of the in-production Supergirl series, told Entertainment Weekly that the show may be connected despite being on CBS, because CBS and The CW are basically sister networks, and have a more direct relationship than the CW has with Fox. (Which is why Gotham will not cross over into the CW/Arrow/Flash universe.)
Before we get to Supergirl, let’s talk about tonight’s crossover event. Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells us that the Arrow/Flash two-parter will “have one of the biggest surprises on Arrow of all time on The Flash episode.”
The first part, called “Flash vs. Arrow”, will have Oliver and his team heading to Central City to track a boomerang-using killer. While there, they get roped into helping the Flash tackle his own enemy—a meta-human who alters emotions, leading to conflict between the two heroes. In part two, called “The Brave and the Bold” (Does that sound familiar?) Oliver and Barry team up to find that elusive Boomerang villain.
Kreisberg maintains this crossover is not just a gimmick. It will be a strong story, with more to offer than just the novelty of seeing the heroes together. “The best special episodes—especially when you think back to “Once More, with Feeling” on Buffy—are not just gimmicks, they also really enhance the plot and the character arcs. This episode really does that.”
He adds, “So much of these two episodes are really examining the very different kinds of heroes that Barry and Oliver have become. Joe and Wells share this view that the Arrow is dangerous and unstable and not the kind of hero that Barry should be emulating. What’s interesting about these episodes is that they’re both validated in some ways, but Oliver actually really learns something through the course of these episodes.”
Another of Arrow’s executive producers, Marc Guggenheim, reveals that the introduction of the Flash into the Arrow universe has had an impact on Arrow’s creative direction. Despite the show’s original Nolan-esque “No super-powers” rule, he now feels super human characters can have a role in the world of Arrow. “What’s fun about episode 8 for Arrow is it proved to me, as a writer and a producer, “Hey, you know what? You can do metahumans on Arrow without feeling like the show is changing its tone too much’.”
The CW TV universe is always filling up with new comic characters. So far we’ve seen the likes of Ray Palmer (Atom), Ted Grant, (Wildcat), Roy Harper (Arsenal), Mark Shaw (Manhunter), the Huntress, and other heroes who have not yet gotten into costume, such as Laurel Lance’s Black Canary, and Robbie Amell’s Ronnie Raymond, AKA Firestorm. In a recent Flash episode, a half-dozen potential DC heroes were name-dropped, including the Elongated Man (A close ally of the Flash in the comics.) And let’s not forget the many villains who’ve popped up on Arrow, and the recent Flash villains, such as Weather Wizard and the barely-seen Professor Zoom. We’ve also gotten a tease about Gorilla Grodd.
Added to all this could be Supergirl. Executive Producer Greg Berlanti spoke about CBS’s planned superheroine drama and he hinted that Supergirl might be a part of the same world as Arrow and The Flash’. “The show will follow 24-year-old Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin, and with a twist that that could melt fanboy brains. It’s possible this Supergirl could enter the worlds of Arrow and The Flash.”
Whether a cross-channel event with Supergirl ever actually happens is still up-in-the-air. In the meantime, The Flash and Arrow crossover airs on TV tonight and tomorrow on The CW at 8 EST on the CW.