10 DC Heroes That Deserved Better

The Arrowverse brought an entire shared universe of DC heroes onto television screens for audiences in a way that the film side of the franchise never quite achieved. Starting in 2012 with Arrow and soon set to wrap up with The Flash’s final season in May 2023, The Arrowverse adapted many fan-favorite characters including Green Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Black Lightning. The series also excelled with bringing in heroes for supporting roles like Dreamer, The Atom, Vixen, Brainiac-5, and Speedy, just to name a few.

Yet for all the great adaptations of DC heroes, there were a few the Arrowverse dropped the ball on. Whether from scheduling conflicts with actors, moving the series in a different direction, or writing themselves into a corner with a hero there are ten cases where the Arrowverse let the hero down. Here are the 10 biggest heroes the Arrowverse fumbled with.

10 Doctor Light

Doctor Light
Warner Bros. Television

Doctor Light was featured twice on The Flash, both times as a villain. While there was a villain version of Doctor Light, both Flash versions are spins on the heroic incarnation of Kimiyo Hoshi. The first version is revealed to be the Earth 2 counterpart of Linda Park who was a girlfriend of Barry Allen at the time. The second version was following the new timeline created by Crisis on Infinite Earths and was Kimiyo Hoshi, but instead of being a scientist hero, she is an assassin.

To make matters worse, Kimiyo Hoshi is a major part of the comic storyline Crisis on Infinite Earths, but instead of making her part of that event series, she is saved for after and made into a villain. There was a place for her in the event, as they could have swapped her out for Ryan Choi.

9 Huntress

Arrow: The Huntress Returns for Season 2
Warner Bros. Television

Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress was one of the first major DC heroes brought into the Arrowverse. She appeared in season one of Arrow as an ally and love interest for Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. Huntress departed in season one and while she would make a guest appearance in season two the character was never seen or heard from again.

It was a shame as Jessica De Gouw captured the intensity of the character and has great chemistry with star Stephen Amell and would have made for a natural member of Team Arrow in the later season.

8 Gypsy

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Gypsy was reworked drastically from her DC Comics counterpart, here imagined as a bounty hunter from a parallel universe in the multiverse with powers similar to that of Cisco Ramone aka Vibe. The two begin a relationship and even try making it work long distance, but they break up.

Had that been the end it might have been okay, but the character is killed off-screen and used to motivate Cisco. What is even more frustrating is that she was killed shortly before the events Crisis on Infinite Earths and the character would have been a vital part of the crossover event.

7 Jesse Quick

Jesse Quick in The Flash
Warner Bros. Television

Jesse Quick was introduced in season two of The Flash as the daughter of Harry Wells and both hailed from Earth 2. Jesse eventually got superpowers and became an apprentice of Barry Allen’s Flash and was a recurring character on the show in seasons three and four as a protector of both Earth 2 and Earth 3 when Jarry Garrick was missing.

Jesse sadly felt underutilized as part of Team Flash and was then killed off-screen in the build-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths. Jessie Quick actress Violet Beane was the star of the series God Friended Me which may have affected her schedule from reprising her role in the crossover event, but even following the event in the rewritten universe, the character is still dead. This was a poor decision for one of The Flash’s first sidekicks and also one of the longest-lasting heroes in the Arrowverse.

6 Hawkman

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Hawkman was first introduced in the crossover event between Arrow and The Flash in an attempt to build up to Legends of Tomorrow. Hawkman was with the team for two episodes before being killed off and then revealed as having been turned into a villain in the final episodes of season one.

While he did return to the side of the heroes, season one of Legends of Tomorrow ended with Hawkman leaving the team and would only appear one more time in the 100th episode of Legends of Tomorrow. Hawkman is one of the earliest heroes in the history of DC Comics and his arrival felt like a big deal, while his departure was a defeat.

5 Black Canary

Black Canary
Warner Bros. Television

Many heroes in the Arrowverse took on the mantle of Black Canary, but the one that was the most underutilized was Laurel Lance. Laurel Lance certainly got the shaft from the writers, as her journey into taking on the mantle of Black Canary from her sister Sara Lance was one of the most inspiring. While Arrow dropped the idea of Laurel and Oliver being long-term romantic partners from the comics, it kept Black Canary as an important member of his team.

Related: Arrowverse: 7 Villains Who Deserved a Longer Character Arc

Yet Laurel was killed off in season four, and while star Katie Cassidy would play Laurel’s Earth 2 evil counterpart Black Siren for later seasons of Arrow it felt like a poor substitution for the original character. To make matters worse, Laurel is not revived in the rebooted timeline that Oliver makes following Crisis on Infinite Earth.

4 Miss Martian

Miss Martian
Warner Bros. Television

Miss Martian is a relatively new character in the comics, first introduced in 2006. She gained popularity due to her inclusion in the hit animated series Young Justice. Miss Martian made the leap to live-action on Supergirl, but in a drastically different form. Instead of being Martian Manhunters’ niece, she is a separate Martian so the writers can make them love interest which certainly feels off. On top of that the series used her in a couple of episodes but for the most part forgot about her and wasted a fan-favorite character by giving her little to do.

3 Hawkgirl

Warner Bros. Television

Hawkgirl seemed poised to be a major aspect of the Arrowverse in the beginning. The character was name-dropped back in season one of The Flash as part of the heroes’ future, and she was a central character in a crossover event between The Flash and Arrow before being spun off into one of the leads in Legends of Tomorrow.

Yet the series never found anything interesting to do with her, despite trying to pair her up with the Atom. The character was written out of Legends of Tomorrow after season one and was never seen or heard from again including in the epic crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths. Hawkgirl is a popular fan-favorite character and the Arrowverse sadly never knew how to use her.

2 Ragman

Warner Bros. Television

Ragman was introduced in season five of Arrow, originally as a threat to the team before quickly becoming an ally. A man with ancient magical wrappings for a suit, Ragman added a new type of muscle for Team Arrow and his alter ego Rory Regan was a calm level-headed teammate to contrast with some of the other members of the team.

Related: 5 Biggest Impacts The Arrowverse Had on DC

Yet Ragman was too powerful for the street-level crimes of Team Arrow, and he was sadly written out of the series. Instead of moving the character over to Legends of Tomorrow or even The Flash, Ragman faded into the background of the universe.

1 Kid Flash

First Look at Kid Flash in The Flash Season 3
Warner Bros. Television

Without a doubt, the character that sadly got the short end of the stick in the Arrowverse was Wally West aka Kid Flash. Wally West is one of the most important characters in DC Comics as he became The Flash following the death of Barry Allen and for an entire generation of heroes he was The Flash.

The Arrowverse did a good job planting the seeds for the character, bringing him in slowly and having him gradually become a member of Team Flash. Even when he got powers he was a major part of the series, but the series could never move the spotlight from Barry Allen and struggled to find a place for Wally West.

Wally West eventually left and joined the Legends of Tomorrow, but even there the writers struggled to find a place for him, and only lasted one season. Wally West had plenty of potential and star Keiynan Lonsdale brought everything to the character giving him many of the trademark qualities fans would want from Wally West. Yet the character sadly was one of many that the Arrowverse never quiet found a place for. Hopefully, the final season of The Flash will be able to do the hero some justice.