The DC TV shows may not share continuity with the DC Cinematic Universe, but it’s okay because another world is being built on the small screen. Last week, Arrow kicked off its third season, while The Flash began its freshman season. Both shows exist in the same world and are slowly building an epic mythology while maintaining unique tones. Arrow is the gritty, action-oriented show while The Flash is the program where you’ll find lightheartedness and plenty of superpower fare. To celebrate how closely they are connected, the executive producers have decided now is as good a time as any to throw the guy who runs fast and the guy who shoots arrows into an adventure. That’s right, an Arrow and The Flash crossover is coming!
The crossover is still weeks away, but there are enough exciting details to get any fans of the Scarlet Speedster and Emerald Archer excited, from which characters are involved to what prior history has been established. So let’s take a look at what we know so far about this superhero team-up.
When Do They Air?The Flash crossover will air on December 2 followed by the Arrow crossover on December 3. The two crossover episodes will take place over each show’s episode 8. The big event will kick off on a Tuesday with The Flash’s episode titled “Flash vs. Arrow,” and conclude the following day with Arrow’s episode titled “The Brave and the Bold.” We also know the latter episode's title comes from the superhero team-up books that DC Comics has published over the decades. Although the titles often featured Batman partnering with other heroes, several of the books hold significance for Barry and Oliver. One series focused on Green Arrow, while another starred Flash and Green Lantern.
Who Will Star?The crossover is expected to feature most, if not all, of each show’s main cast, although since each episode takes place in a different city, it’s possible that some Arrow characters might not appear in “Flash vs. Arrow” and vice-versa. Although no main villains for the episodes have been announced, Spartacus alum Nick Tarabay will appear in the Arrow half as Digger Harkness, better known as Captain Boomerang. Although a Flash villain in the comics, Harkness will debut in episode 7 of Arrow as a former A.R.G.U.S. operative. Harkness is expected to cross paths with his comic book nemesis at some point, and there always the possibility he’ll venture to Central City later in the season to join forces with the other Rogues. Boomerang is also a recurring member of the Suicide Squad in the comics, so if he does face the Scarlet Speedster again, it may be with the help of some fellow A.R.G.U.S. prisoners.
What Will The Crossovers Be About?The Arrow and The Flash crossover episodes should be interesting, considering they feature the team-up of two superhero teams, as well as multiple villains. As we noted on the last page, Captain Boomerang is expected to make an appearance, as will Ray Bivolo, another Flash villain. During the first episode, Oliver, Felicity and the gang will head to Central City to help with a murder case involving a boomerang. In the second episode, Oliver will track down the boomerang killer and Barry will work with Oliver to save the day, again. Two cases for two superheroes sounds like a pretty good way to spend an evening.
What’s The TV History Between The Characters?To put it simply, without Arrow, there is no Flash TV series. Last year, Barry Allen debuted on Arrow in the episodes “The Scientist” and ‘Three Ghosts.” After helping Team Arrow defeat Cyrus Gold and making Oliver a domino mask, Barry Allen returns to Central City. While at his lab, the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explodes, unleashing an energy wave across the city. If that wasn’t bad enough, Barry was struck by lightning soon after and knocked into a shelf of chemicals (which also happened to be floating). Glowing with energy, the unconscious Barry is changed forever, and this iconic event sets the stage for his spinoff series.
Although these two episodes are the main crossover, both shows have already interacted with each other a couple times. Oliver Queen cameoed in The Flash pilot giving Barry some hero advice, while Barry briefly appeared in the Arrow season 3 premiere, calling Oliver to set up their meeting. Felicity will head to Central City in The Flash episode 4 after hearing about Barry’s powers, and will help the S.T.A.R. Labs team stop Leonard Snart, a.k.a. Captain Cold. The Flash will also be visited by the Arrow villain William Tockman, a.k.a. Clock King, in episode 7. The last time we saw Tockman, he had been stealing money to pay for his sister’s medical treatment. If he thinks he’ll have an easier time stealing in Central City, he has another thing coming given the new crimson blur running around. This episode will also feature metahumans Girder and Blackout, so Tockman will likely cross paths with them during his crime spree.
What’s The Comic History Between The Two Characters?So far, TV Oliver and Barry are on good terms, Felicity love triangle aside. Barry helped Oliver out in Arrow season 2, and Oliver helped inspire Barry to embrace his heroic destiny. In the comics, the two maintain a decent relationship, though possibly not quite as amicable. In the comics, Barry Allen is best friends with Hal Jordan, one of the main Green Lanterns. Like Superman and Batman, Barry and Hal often team up together to fight villains and are best friends. Hal is also friends with Oliver Queen, and the two even started in a critically lauded series titled Green Lantern/Green Arrow in early 1970s. However, Barry and Oliver (pre-New 52, that is) are not as close. While they are both Justice Leaguers and have each others back while fighting villains, Barry is more conservative while Oliver has been a leftist since the late 1960s, which has led to disagreements between them here and there.
What Have We Seen So Far?Both shows had their season premiere last week, but there has been no set-up for the crossover yet. However, storyboards released by Marc Guggenheim give us a taste of what to expect. One features Flash running through a building that resembles the Queen Consolidated interior. Another shows the Scarlet Speedster holding one of Harkness’ boomerangs, possibly having caught in mid-flight seconds before. When you have super speed, projectile weapons are rarely an issue.
Not only will the crossover mix the tones of both shows (Arrow characters getting to loosen up, The Flash characters realizing the seriousness of what Team Arrow deals with), but according to executive producer Andrew Kresiberg, there will be big developments for both shows that will be revealed.
“We have one of the biggest surprises on ‘Arrow’ of all time on ‘The Flash’ episode. And both episodes are really important for Barry’s growth… There’s a line in there that I will spoil because every time Grant said it, [I cracked up]. He goes, ‘When I fight you, it is literally like you’re standing still.’ And what’s hilarious about it is the unbelievable joy with which Grant delivers that line,”
Oliver and the gang have had to deal with a lot during the last two seasons, so to say one of the biggest surprises will occur on The Flash is a bold statement. Whatever happens, it will be interested to see the gritty world of Arrow interact with the fantastical Flash world. Apart from people jacked up on Mirakuru, Oliver hasn’t faced anyone with special abilities before, so dealing with a speedster and possibly other superpowered individuals will be an ”enlightening” experience for him.