Arrowverse creator explains why superhero shows are so popular

Green Arrow DCEU

It’s been years since the age of superheroes took both cinema and television by storm, but even now, they’re pushing forward stronger than ever, garnering acclaim from critics and establishing loyal fanbases to sing their praises for many more years to come. Given all the dynamics at play, it would almost be impossible to pinpoint what exactly gave rise to this overwhelming success, but Arrowverse creator Greg Berlanti, arguably one of the major contributors to this new scene, might have a compelling idea.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Berlanti broke down why he thinks superhero shows have grown so much in popularity over the past decade, comparing their effect to the Western serials of yore.

“People want heroes again — sort of like the old Westerns — where you know who the good guys are and you know who the bad guys are. They are very aspirational. And technology has really caught up on both television and film in giving us the capacity to render these characters,” he said.

The executive producer on shows such as Arrow and Supergirl also talked about his infamously thrashed Green Lantern film and how the development of a new series for HBO Max is bringing everything around in an ironically satisfying way.

“We’re actually working on a Green Lantern series for HBO Max, so it’s come full circle. The movie did introduce me more to the folks at DC, which led to Arrow. So while it was heartbreaking on the film side, it ultimately led to wonderful things on the television side.”

While superhero television shows are indeed on the rise, especially following the emergence of numerous competing streaming platforms, the same could hardly be said about The CW’s Arrowverse, with many thinking that it has long overstayed its welcome. Fortunately for Berlanti, the creative will be able to continue his streak with all the projects that are currently in the works for HBO Max.

About the author


Jonathan Wright

Jonathan is a religious consumer of movies, TV shows, video games, and speculative fiction. And when he isn't doing that, he likes to write about them. He can get particularly worked up when talking about 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'A Song of Ice and Fire' or any work of high fantasy, come to think of it.