WARNING: This article may contain spoilers for The Flash and other Arrowverse series
The Arrowverse was undoubtedly one of the most solid serial realities of recent years, the undisputed protagonist on television while Marvel was living its great epic in the cinema. If on the big screen the DC Comics characters, with a few exceptions, have not had great luck in recent years, the situation is very different for the serial universe, where the Arrowverse has brought some of the main characters of the famous label onto the scene. of comics, managing to build a rich and multifaceted narrative universe, capable of taking on a large collective dimension. It all started in 2012 with the launch of Arrow, then from there the various spin-offs like The Flash e Legends of Tomorrow and gradually all the other series that we have seen in recent times have arrived.
Following the success of Arrow e you The Flash, the Arrowverse has expanded, resulting in great ones as well crossover, which testified to the ambition of the project. At a certain point, however, something began to go wrong and that great narrative universe gradually faded away crumbled, losing pieces and no longer being able to find the right way. Fundamental to the treatment of heroes on television, the Arrowverse is today almost exclusively a thing of the past and, with the end of The Flash arrived a short time ago, and now also close in Italy, it is legitimate to reason about the state of this universe which, according to many, died precisely with the end of the series on the scarlet sprinter. But is it really so?
The collapse of the Arrowverse
The vertical collapse of the Arrowverse began a few years ago now, more or less since 2020, a year that constitutes a huge caesura for several reasons, above all clearly the pandemic. For DC superheroes, however, 2020 is above all the year of the end of Arrow, the first series was part of the universe and also the first to close its doors, after a long and mostly successful journey. Although he had now lost a lot of verve, the series on the emerald archer had its worthy conclusion, but in hindsight it was the only one to enjoy this treatment in the Arrowverse.
A year later, in 2021two other series have arrived at their destination: Black Lightning, which to tell the truth had little resonance and represents the first major failure of the Arrowverse, e Supergirl, which, on the other hand, was quite successful, but its ending seems far from accomplished. Even worse it went to Legends of Tomorrow, which didn’t even have an ending when it was canceled in 2022. In the same year they also came to an end Batwoman e Stargirl, two very problematic series and now is also the time for The Flash to reach the end of its run.
After the end of Arrow in 2020, five Arrowverse series closed their story in two years and none of them had an adequate conclusion. Also, every new project feared, as the sequel to Arrow starring Mia Queen, was shelved. With the ending of The Flash, therefore, the curtain also falls on the last series of the serial universe, which however, in hindsight, had already been dying for quite a while.
The Death of the Arrowverse from The Flash to Superman & Lois
In a sense the end of The Flash represents the death of the Arrowverse because there are no more series left in the narrative universe, however, if we analyze the situation well, another detail gave the final blow to the DC Comics collective: the exclusion of Superman & Lois from its continuity. In theory, in fact, the series about the man of steel and his family would have remained standing, but this one, while all the other series of the Arrowverse closed, continued to develop on a different narrative line, thus showing the will to want to set aside the continuity principal.
The death of the Arrowverse, in fact, was sanctioned when that one disappeared planning which has always marked the work of the CW. take out Superman & Lois, the only series that went on, is the symptom of how there was no longer any development space for the Arrowverse and, in fact, the end of The Flash it’s more like one consequence of his death, not the cause.
The serial universe born with Arrow was long dead and the ending of The Flash it was more of a post-mortem consecration, the definitive closure of a project that marked important pages in the recent history of seriality. Certified, therefore, the death of the Arrowverse remains a question: How did this scenario come about?
Chronicle of a death
Actually, the reasons that led to the end of the Arrowverse are different. As a first cause, certainly the decline Of Arrow e The Flash, the two important pillars of the universe, has played its part. In the last few years of their life, the two series have experienced various difficulties, which however are physiological of long and substantially developed narratives always around the same canvas. The decline of Arrow e The Flash it is therefore understandable and was largely predictable and here the second reason, the more structural one, for the death of the Arrowverse comes into question.
The big problem for the DC universe has been failure replacement generational. It was pretty obvious that Arrow e The Flash suffered as the seasons progressed, but in the plans their place was to be taken by other productions, which instead failed miserably. Supergirl e Legends of Tomorrow they didn’t do badly, even if their ending was accompanied by a great sense of incompleteness, but whoever disappointed a lot is Batwoman, which had all the potential to become the flagship series of the Arrowverse, and instead has experienced far too many difficulties. Superfluous, however, to talk about Black Lightning e Stargirl, series with obvious problems, both in terms of premises and implementation, which have never made inroads with the public.
This lack of generational change, therefore, represents the main cause of the death of the Arrowverse, then combined with other causes, such as the aforementioned pandemic, which has clearly accentuated the crisis of CW productions. In the space of just two years, therefore, one of the most interesting serial projects of the last decade has taken place, which is literally collapsed on himself. Today there is nothing left, except Superman & Lois, which continues its journey on its own, and the ending of The Flash, which is essentially the certification of the Arrowverse’s demise and a chance to roll out a well-deserved one obituary. It was certainly not the end that this great project would have deserved, but in spite of everything the role played in the serial panorama and in the superhero narrative by the Arrowverse remains important.