Before I dive into this, I just want to say that I love The Flash. It’s one of the best superhero shows on television. But there’s something that’s been creeping into the Arrowverse for a while, and with the launch of Legends of Tomorrow this week it’s really starting to seem to be this way. It’s starting to feel like the Arrowverse is just getting the table scraps from the DC Cinematic Universe in what they are allowed to do on the shows.
The most recent example of this is the mid-season premiere of Arrow from Wednesday night where Felicity is going to be in a wheelchair for a while. The producers tell THR that she won’t be Oracle as that character is off the table:
“To echo my co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim, Oracle is still off the table. It was really never our intention to go that direction. We wanted to throw Felicity some big curve balls this season. And this seemed like an interesting way to go. We want to explore what her place is going to be on the team and her relationship with Oliver. It was less about trying to honor Oracle, which is obviously a great comic book character, and more about trying to playing the reality of this situation for her.”
This is just the latest in a line of characters to be taken “off the table”, most likely because it’s very possible Barbara Gordon will appear in Batman V Superman in a wheelchair. Fans know that at one point Nightwing was a possibility for a mention in Arrow, but that went off the table. And they even had Harley Quinn in a past season with the Suicide Squad, but due to the movie she’s now off the table.
It’s a big side effect of DC wanting to keep the movie and TV universes separate, and it’s something Marvel has an advantage over them with. Even with Hawkman and Hawkgirl in the show, it’s hard for me to get really excited for Legends of Tomorrow as it just looks like DC’s Table Scraps: The Series. It’s like all the minor characters DC doesn’t intend to use in the movies right away are on one show.
For hardcore DC fans this does open the door for things like the JSA to be realized on the small screen as DC Films seems focused on the Justice League for the time being. But for more casual fans, it’s only going to be a matter of time before they start wondering why the Arrowverse seems to exist in its own little bubble away from the greater DC Universe most know.