There's never a shortage of mysteries in The CW's Arrowverse. Generally, that's what each season of the network's DC Comics-inspired superhero shows are predicated on: a foe is up to something, the good guys have to figure out what it is, who is behind it, and how to stop it.
While some seasons that basic mystery is more complicated than in others -- we're specifically thinking about Team Flash trying to figure out how to stop The Thinker this season -- one thing that is always consistent is that there are other big surprises and reveals adjacent to the main plot that fans don't see coming right away. This season, Supergirl has the identity of the third Worldkiller, Legends of Tomorrow has all things connected to Mallus, and The Flash has the Mystery Girl. The Mystery Girl's identity in particular is one that has fans speculating quite a bit, so much so that series executive producer Todd Helbing even had to weigh in on it, noting that fans haven't completely figured things out.
Of course, this got us to thinking about some of the other big reveals on the Arrowverse that have taken fans by surprise over the years, so we've collected here seven of the biggest reveals yet. It's by no means a comprehensive list, so if you've got a surprising Arrowverse reveal that we didn't mention, be sure to let us know in the comments.
This reveal gets a place on the list simply because it took two seasons to happen. First appearing during Season 5, Vigilante appeared like the big bad for Arrow that year only for the character to vanish once Prometheus began to emerge as a terrifying threat to Team Arrow. The villain switch left many fans wondering what had become of Vigilante only for the character to reappear in Season 6. This season, Vigilante was unmasked to reveal that the villain was really Vincent Sobel (Johann Urb), the previously believed dead former partner of Dinah Drake/Black Canary (Juliana Harkavy). Unfortunately, though he was slowly revealed to be more of an anti-hero than a villain, Vigilante's run was ended for real when Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) killed him on Cayden James' (Michael Emerson) order.
In Season 3 of The Flash, Alchemy appeared to briefly be the seasonal villain, but it turned out that the villain with the unusually creepy beaked mask and hood was truly just an acolyte of the real evil -- Savitar. Of course, that didn't mean Alchemy was harmless. After all, he was pushing metas who had their powers stripped in Flashpoint towards their super-powered selves but the real shocker was when Alchemy was revealed to be none other than CSI and eventual Team Flash member Julian Albert (Tom Felton.)
Fortunately, Julian wasn't really evil. He was instead being manipulated by Savitar and later helped the team take the wicked speedster down.
Season 2 saw Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) dealing with the vicious and relentless speedster, Zoom. Unlike the sinister Reverse-Flash in Season 1, Zoom's very look was unsettling, with an all-black costume and mask with a webbed mouth. However, the truly unsettling part came when the identity of Zoom was revealed as Hunter Zolomon (Teddy Sears,) who had presented himself as an ally by the name of Jay Garrick. Instead, Zolomon was a serial killer who liked to steal speed from other speedsters and was in particular after Barry because only stealing Barry's speed could save Zolomon from dying from side effects of a speedster serum.
In the debut season of Legends of Tomorrow, the Time Master's terrifying Chronos seemed unstoppable as he hunted down the Legends. However, it eventually was revealed that the temporal bounty hunter had a familiar face underneath his metal mask. Who was Chronos? Turns out he was a brainwashed Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell). The Time Masters had turned him into Chronos to hunt down the Legends. Fortunately the team captured him and reformed him, bringing back into the fold.
Remember a few slides ago when we mentioned that Zoom had masqueraded as Jay Garrick? Well, that leads us to this big reveal. When Zoom was revealed to be the serial killer Hunter Zolomon, we also discovered that the mysterious man in the mask who was being imprisoned by Zoom on Earth-2 was the REAL Jay Garrick, Earth-3's The Flash. And if that wasn't a shock enough, Jay Garrick looked exactly like Henry Allen (they were both played by John Wesley Shipp,) Barry's father who had just been killed by Zoom.
During the Arrowverse crossover "Crisis on Earth-X" came one of the biggest surprises of the entire Arrowverse. The only one of the Earth-X Nazi invaders captured after they attacked Barry and Iris' (Candice Patton) wedding, Earth-X's Prometheus was brought back to STAR Labs where he was locked up in the pipeline and unmasked to reveal that his identity? Earth-X's Tommy Merlyn (Collin O'Donnell).
The reveal was shocking for fans and devastating for Oliver. The "real" Tommy Merlyn of Earth-1 had been Oliver's best friend who died at the end of Arrow's first season. If that wasn't difficult enough, seeing a version of his dead best friend, the fact that this Tommy was a Nazi made things even worse.
While not an unmasking per se, the reveal of the genuine big bad this season was a big surprise to many viewers. All season, Arrow had set up Cayden James (Michael Emerson) to be the villain, bent on a larger plan to destroy Oliver Queen and Star City because he believed Green Arrow had killed his son. However, it turned out that Cayden himself was being manipulated by another villain: Ricardo Diaz. After Cayden James was arrested, Diaz murdered him and revealed to have manipulated Cayden the entire time just to get to where he could overthrow Star City for his own purposes.
Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 8/7c. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c. Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c. Supergirl is on hiatus and will return in April.
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