Some Thoughts about the cancellation of Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow

When Arrow debuted back in 2012, I was excited, but also had some doubts. I ended up really enjoying the show, and, over time the “Arrowverse” that it spawned. That world has grown and shrunk over time, and given us some fantastic, and some less than great, moments. Between COVID, rising costs, and other factors, the Arrowverse seems to be shrinking again. Over the past week, they announced the cancellation of Batwoman after three seasons and Legends of Tomorrow after their seventh.

At the moment, that leaves Flash and Superman and Lois as the only confirmed Arrowverse shows still running, with no official word about Stargirl. They have, however, announced some casting news for the next season, so it seems likely Stargirl will return at least once more. Of course, you can also debate if Stargirl counts as an Arrowverse show, since it seems to be set on its own world, but that’s another story.

Batwoman had some ups and downs over the course of its run on the CW. The character first appeared in the Arrowverse (and live action, for that matter) during the Elseworlds Crossover, and then went on to her own show. Fans were surprised at the end of season one when Ruby Rose, who played the lead role, left the series. I had some worries about how they’d handle that, but season two with Javica Leslie as Ryan Wilder/Batwoman 2.0 delightfully surprised me on many fronts. The third season was possibly not their strongest outing, with too much going on at once. It was an enjoyable show, and I would have liked to see more of it. They ended on a note that could have worked for a series finale, with a hint of “the adventure continues.”

Legends of Tomorrow had a longer history, with seven seasons behind it. The very nature of the show changed several times, and almost the entire cast turned over. In the final few seasons, it was a fun action comedy, with some very self-aware moments and good character development. They also did a great job of representation, with a diverse cast of characters from many different backgrounds and orientations. While it was an ensemble show, the arguably lead character was bi, which you almost never see. The season ended on a cliffhanger, bringing in Donald Faison, best known for the movie Clueless and the long-running sitcom Scrubs, as Booster Gold. Booster has been around in the comics since 1986, and had one previous live action appearance on Smallville. I’m going to miss the humor and the characters on this series, and I’d really like it if they at least gave us a special of some kind to resolve the situation they ended the series with.

I guess we’ll see what the future holds for any of those characters, the actors, and the Arrowverse itself. The CW network has changed corporate owners, and there are rumors that is going to bring about the end of this shared universe. The characters and shows may migrate to HBOMax, where a lot of DC properties are. They may disappear, or have characters guest star in special events. As of this writing, there’s a comic book series called Earth Prime that shows more adventures of the characters from the Arrowverse. Hopefully, their adventures can continue in this format if nothing else.