On the eve of the third annual CW crossover event, it’s worth taking stock of just how much the fictional universe has grown.
But even if there are more superheroes than ever on the CW, there’s still some heavy hitters and fan favorites yet to be seen. Here are 11 characters that deserve the primetime treatment.
11. Booster Gold
A fan favorite despite minimal mainstream attention, Booster Gold has only been in live-action once, on Smallville, for one episode. That’s criminal for a character this fun. DC head Geoff Johns allegedly has huge plans for Michael Carter of the 25th century, one that includes a movie, but why not get him somewhere on The Flash to up his profile?
Supergirl is doing exceptional work in its depiction of Alex (Chyler Leigh) embracing her queer identity. But, Alex’s path doesn’t include the superhero life, unlike tons of great LGBTQ heroes in comics — such as Midnighter! Originally from WildStorm, before that company folded into DC, Midnighter and his husband Apollo are queer analogs to Batman and Superman.
While Apollo would also be welcome in the Arrowverse, Midnighter seems especially tailored for the generally functional Arrowverse. He’d be a welcome addition on Arrow, staring down Oliver Queen, or on Supergirl, as an anti-hero standing up against the Girl of Steel.
9. Swamp Thing
Back in the ‘90s, nature’s boogeyman (created in 1971 by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson) had his own live-action TV series. It wasn’t good, despite lasting three seasons.
But, the character still has legs thanks to the legendary Alan Moore’s run in the ‘80s with heavy hitters like Brian K. Vaughn (Saga, Ex Machina) and Grant Morrison following. Alec Holland could be a strong supernatural horror presence in the Arrowverse in the way his pal John Constantine (Matt Ryan) couldn’t.
8. Maxie Zeus
There have been varying interpretations of Maxie Zeus, but the gist is that he’s a criminal with delusions, believing he’s the actual Zeus despite inhabiting a universe of Amazons and New Gods. Mostly an enemy of Batman, Maxie Zeus could be a great recurring villain on The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow as a nuisance who becomes more dangerous the more he’s underestimated.
7. Mister Mxyzptlk
An imp from the fifth dimension, Mister Mxyzptlk (also just Mxy) has been a thorn in Superman’s side since his debut in Superman #30 in 1944. An anti-hero prankster who made Superman question his own purpose during the Golden Age, Mxy could be a great foil for Supergirl when Kara needs a reminder of what she’s capable of as a hero.
Another supernatural character, Deadman (created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino in 1967) is a former trapeze artist murdered during a performance and given a chance at justice by the Hindu god Rama Kushna, the Goddess of Nanda Parbat.
With a storied history in DC, Deadman’s profile increased around Blackest Night and into the New 52, joining Constantine, Zatanna, and others to form the Justice League Dark. Like Swamp Thing, Deadman could be influential in expanding the DC TV universe even further, into the dark and spooky corners the shows have yet to properly venture.
5. Red Hood
With Batman absent in the Arrowverse, getting a character like Jason Todd as Red Hood would require a lot of continuity gymnastics. Still, the visceral thrill of the reckless Red Hood squaring off against the Green Arrow or White Canary (Caity Lotz) is too good to dismiss outright. While removing Jason Todd’s history as Robin is like losing a major chunk of what makes Todd tick, it certainly wouldn’t be the worst reinvention done on DC TV.
4. Green Lantern Corps.
It wasn’t long ago when fans speculated whether or not Diggle (David Ramsey) was John Stewart, one of Earth’s Green Lanterns. That ended up not being the case as Diggle created his own identity, Spartan. But it still wouldn’t be a stretch if Diggle, out of the blue, told the team, “Oh, BTW, my full name is John Stewart Diggle.”
And Diggle aside, Green Lantern has been cursed since the 2011 bomb starring Ryan Reynolds. If the Green Lanterns will be a part of Zack Snyder’s cinematic universe someday, the Green Lantern mythos could use a proper fresh start somewhere, and there’s no better place than the flexible Arrowverse to do so.
3. Power Girl
Earth-2’s Kara Zor-El adopted a different identity in Power Girl when she became stranded in the main DC Universe. A little older and more level-headed than her younger Earth-1 counterpart, Power Girl has been a fan-favorite and could do wonders interacting with Melissa Benoist’s energetic and clumsy Kara Zor-El on Supergirl, or as a way to get Benoist back in the main Arrowverse without the need of a wormhole.
Initially a Milestone character, Static became a nostalgic favorite with his mid-2000s DC animated series Static Shock, which was set in the same continuity as Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League. A popular superhero of color with youthful energy, Static is still underutilized in all DC media and is sought after by many DC faithful. Putting him on primetime TV just feels like a guaranteed winning move.
The fact that this hasn’t happened yet is nonsense, and never mind Gotham. The Arrowverse is chock full of references to Batman now — including this week’s Supergirl — that at this point, Batman should be an inevitability. If Superman can fit nicely onto the small screen, so can Batman, because no character should be too big for this universe.
Even if fans might be sick of Batman oversaturation, consider who he’d open the doors for: Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman (whose lover is on Supergirl), Robin, Batwing, maybe even Duke Thomas. And if Batman could meet Superman on TV, then Wonder Woman shouldn’t be far away either. Imagine Trinity as a TV series. And imagine what the crossover would look like.
The DC TV crossover, “Invasion!” begins November 28 on Supergirl.