It was one of the most surprising and exciting moments in Tuesday night's Arrow final season premiere. During the opening sequence on Lian Yu it was Batman's cowl instead of Deathstroke's mask that was impaled on the beach. It was the first clue for fans that the episode would take place not on Earth-1 but on another reality, but it was also perhaps the most direct reference to Batman in the Arrowverse that isn't on The CW's latest series, Batwoman. Fans went wild over the reveal and now Arrow executive producer Beth Schwartz is addressing that stunning reveal.
Speaking with TV Line, Schwartz didn't confirm any specific details about why the mask was on Lian Yu. Instead, she seemed to confirm that the whole thing was just a fun Easter Egg -- but fans are definitely allowed to speculate all they want about the details of how it got there.
"Thank god for Batwoman," Schwartz said. "Now that they're in our universe we're able to get away with a lot more things Batman-related."
The absence of Batman or even direct references to him has been something of a point of contention for fans of The CW's shared DC Comics-inspired universe of television shows. There have been little hints and nods over the years across all shows (we counted 11 back in 2017, a number that has since grown) but the Arrowverse has never really had the blessing to full-on reference the Dark Knight until Batwoman joined the Arrowverse, first in a special appearance during last season's "Elseworlds" crossover and then with the Batwoman series.
On Batwoman, however, despite not being a character that viewers see and interact with Batman has a significant role. It's his absence that ultimately leads Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) to put on the Batsuit and take to the night and even beyond Batwoman, we'll be getting more Batman moments in the Arrowverse this season, particularly in "Crisis on Infinite Earths". While we may not see hero himself, we will encounter Bruce Wayne. Famed Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy is set to appear in the event as an older Bruce Wayne.
Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" kicks off on Sunday, December 8 on Supergirl, runs through a Monday episode of Batwoman and that Tuesday's episode of The Flash. That will be the midseason cliffhanger, as the shows go on hiatus for the holidays and return on January 14 to finish out the event with the midseason premiere of Arrow and a "special episode" of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which launches as a midseason series this year and so will not have an episode on the air before the "Crisis".