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Could BATMAN Ever Show Up on ARROW?

Warning: there is a major spoiler ahead for the latest episode of Arrow. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know what’s coming!

In the closing moments of Arrow‘s sixth season premiere, Oliver Queen was seemingly outed as the Green Arrow. Not only will this twist entail big changes for the hero, it also seems like it will rope in an even more famous masked vigilante from the DC world. In this newly released preview scene, Oliver attempts to explain away his exposure, mentioning Bruce Wayne by name in the process.

Now that’s a gamechanger. We’ve long suspected that Gotham City’s Dark Knight exists in the Arrowverse, but this is the first time to which Batman‘s alter ego has been directly referred. In 10 seasons, Smallville never had the same opportunity. But times change, and the creative team behind the Arrowverse have opened the door to some intriguing possibilities.

Who is Batman in the Arrowverse?

As it stands? We have no idea. Bruce Wayne could ostensibly be anywhere on his Batman evolution. Heck, he could still not even be Batman at all. At the moment, we only know that Bruce Wayne and Gotham City exist in this universe. Until now, Green Arrow has functioned as the Batman of the Arrowverse. In this world, we’ve never heard Batman mentioned directly by name, yet we’ve seen news reports about the Green Arrow in other cities. He clearly looms larger than any masked bat vigilante, making us certain Bruce Wayne’s alter ego isn’t even a potentiality yet.

However, that doesn’t mean the series can’t bring a version of Bruce’s Batman into the Arrowverse. In the ’90s, Bruce Wayne’s comic book counterpart tried to exist as an urban legend. Outside of Gotham City, very few people believed Batman existed. If the Arrowverse adopts a similar approach, it would let Green Arrow remain in the spotlight without Batman overshadowing his influence on the other heroes.

But Where Are Batman’s Villains? 

If Batman exists in this world, it stands to reason that his legendary rogues gallery is also in the Arrowverse. Within Arrow, we’ve already met Ra’s al Ghul and his daughters, as well as a few others. But the fact that we haven’t heard about the Joker, Riddler, Two-Face, or any of the other major villains may suggest that they are keeping a much lower profile in this universe. (We can’t imagine that the Joker’s attacks on Gotham wouldn’t be headline news from Central City to Star City.) Either this world’s Batman is ridiculously good at keeping his bad guys in check, or they simply aren’t active yet. But that doesn’t mean Oliver Queen couldn’t go after them if they are, either.

Do Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen Know Each Other?

Should Arrow ever get a chance to bring Bruce Wayne into the show it would be fairly easy to do. It stands to reason that the Wayne and Queen families would probably be familiar with each other as wealthy families about town, and we’re willing to bet that Bruce and Oliver would have met as children—and possibly even as teenagers, depending on their age. From the way Oliver threw Bruce’s name out there in the preview clip, we’re pretty sure that Bruce and Oliver are close enough in age—and that he has no idea about Bruce’s heroic alter ego—but there is a familiarity. It would be pretty hilarious if we ever got to see Batman’s reaction to that shout-out.

Which Hero Came First?

Within the comic book universe, Green Arrow was infamous for imitating Batman. That’s why he had an Arrow Cave, and Arrow Plane, and an Arrow Car. Kevin Smith even referenced that in a fan favorite moment from the “Quiver” storyline. For the Arrowverse, it’s widely been assumed that Oliver was the first costumed hero to emerge in the modern era. But what if it was Batman? It would be very amusing to discover that Oliver had consciously or unconsciously imitated his counterpart in Gotham City. However, that might undercut Green Arrow’s importance in this universe, so it would be important for the series to do something different.

The Poison Tomorrow

There have been many team-ups featuring Batman and the Green Arrow, but for this series, we think that the best storyline for any potential crossover would be “The Poison Tomorrow.” Within that story, Dennis O’Neil and artist Michael Netzer pit Batman and Green Arrow against each other before they inevitably join forces to find Poison Ivy. Green Arrow had a very personal stake in this tale because Black Canary was dying from Ivy’s latest plague. It was also one of the few stories that drew very stark contrasts between Green Arrow and Batman. Alternately, there is a way that this story could be told by keeping Batman off-screen (in keeping with the potential urban legend approach), and it could simply focus on Oliver’s side of the tale while indirectly alluding to Batman and Ivy.

Because there’s one huge barrier to getting Batman on Arrow

The Gotham Connection

Shortly after the Arrow clip premiered, the official twitter account for Fox’s Gotham weighed in with a response.

Therein lies the biggest obstacle in the way of a Green Arrow and Batman team-up. Fox has the TV rights to those characters, and a real crossover may not be possible until Gotham has come to a conclusion. Arrow and Gotham also take place in very different worlds that are clearly not in continuity with each other. It may be too much trouble to go for a full crossover story between the two shows, but we do have an alternate solution in mind. If Fox consents to let Batman make a guest spot on Arrow, then The CW should let Gotham introduce a younger Oliver Queen for a reciprocal appearance. We’d call that a win-win!

What do you want from the introduction of Bruce Wayne to the Arrowverse? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Images: The CW/Warner Bros/DC Comics

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