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Arrowverse enthusiasts aren’t best pleased about the latest developments

It seems like DC is allergic to sticking to a single story world.

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It’s been a tough year for Arrowverse fans. After the cancellation of Batwoman and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in April and May , there were only two shows left in the superhero television universe. Now, some upsetting developments in Superman & Lois second season seem to indicate Grant Gustin’s The Flash will be the last man standing on Earth-Prime.

Despite being initially marketed as a spin-off to one of the Arrowverse’s most popular shows, Supergirl, Superman & Lois is now cutting ties with what was once largely seen as DC’s most well-established crossover universe. During its season two finale, which aired on Tuesday, one single line of dialogue from Sam Lane, Lois’ father, confirmed Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman is not from the same universe as his cousin Kara.

As Sam Lane mentioned other leagues of superheroes he has seen across the multiverse, he also stated Superman is the only one in the show’s universe, which immediately casts aside any connections he might have had with Arrowverse crusaders Barry Allen, Ryan Wilder or Sara Lance.

“So after tonight’s finale of #SupermanAndLois, #TheFlash is the ONLY remaining series in the Arrowverse that’s considered “canon” (using that term very loosely). It’s just so upsetting, building up a whole universe just to cancel shows and keep them apart. I have no words rn,” one upset fan shared on Twitter.

It seems like DC can’t hold a multi-installment universe to save its life. Years of creators and producers building each individual Arrowverse show and carefully working on major crossover events have gone down the drain after recent cancellations and the confirmation Superman stands alone on a different Earth.

The Arrowverse was once a force to be reckoned with, which has left some fans feeling justifiably nostalgic. “I miss those days when these shows are still on and connected,” one person wrote.

Superman & Lois not being set on Earth-Prime raises all kinds of questions and headaches, considering the different cameos from characters previously established in the Arrowverse. Series showrunner Todd Helbing has justified it as characters, – like John Diggle, for example, who was seen in the season two finale talking about Oliver Queen (aka Arrow), – being simply separate iterations of the Arrowverse characters people know and love.

“If you think about it, John Henry started on a separate planet, they had their own version of Kal-El, it’s very much that. So the Arrowverse is on Earth-Prime, we’re on a different Earth. I’m not sure what number that is yet. So Diggle’s history…he’s John Diggle but his history is not exactly the John Diggle’s history that was in Arrow, and that holds true for every character.”

This isn’t sitting right with some Arrowverse aficionados, who see it as a quick fix. “Unless season one and season two are on different earths literally none of it makes sense. Truly FUCK OFF,” one Twitter user ranted. “Rewriting history this late in the game creates plot holes, but more than that, it hurts so many loyal fans,” another shared.

One major point of friction between the people behind this decision and Arrowverse fans is that some feel like Superman & Lois was initially riding on the coattails of a universe that already had an established fandom and viewing that the new Clark Kent and Lois Lane show could make use of. Now, that the Arrowverse is slowly dying, fans believe, Superman & Lois wants nothing to do with it.

“My thing is, if y’all wanted to make a show without arrowverse connections, don’t try to piggyback off the arrowverse popularity,” one fan started, arguing “they took what they wanted and now want to try to distance themselves.”

The dismantling of the Arrowverse might very well be connected with behind-the-scenes business moves between Warner Bros. Discovery and The CW, which could impact the network’s rights to DC Comics’ intellectual property.

Regardless of the general upset, this newfound independence will allow Superman & Lois to breach out creatively. Taking into account that the show’s style and tone were manifestly different from the rest of the Arrowverse from the get go, this separation isn’t too surprising. It was clear Helbing and the rest of the crew behind Superman & Lois had a very different vision for their series.

“I think it maybe turned out to be the best decision for the show. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have people show up at some point. It’s comic book show, right? But I think for the best version of the show, it needs to have it stand on its own legs and be on its own Earth.” 

Helbing for Den Of Geek

Season three of Superman & Lois has already been confirmed and is expected to come out in 2023.

Francisca Tinoco
About the author

Francisca Tinoco

Francisca is a pop culture enthusiast and film expert. Her Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences from Nova University in Portugal and Master's Degree in Film Studies from Oxford Brookes University in the UK have allowed her to combine her love for writing with her love for the movies. She's a freelance writer and content creator, working in both the English and Portuguese languages for various platforms, including WGTC.