The deep lore of the DC Universe has never been more thoroughly explored in live-action than it was on The CW's Arrowverse of interconnected series. Still, as the years grind on, it becomes harder to ignore certain omissions. Certainly there's Wonder Woman (although she was referenced in a cheeky way on DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Aquaman, and Green Lantern -- but maybe the most obvious missing piece of the whole puzzle was a modern super-team that would be the contemporary equivalent of the Justice Society of America, who fans got to meet briefly during the second season of Legends of Tomorrow.
Yes, there are the Legends themselves, but they are less The Avengers and more the X-Men -- they're outcasts in a lot of ways. But following the events of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, there's another team ready to face whatever challenges the multiverse throws at them.
Spoilers ahead for the conclusion of "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
In the final hour of the Crisis, with the multiverse reconstituted and some major changes made to the way things look going forward, several of the most powerful and respected heroes in the Arrowverse have joined forces to establish their version of the Justice League -- something hinted at when an ad for the series beckoned fans to "Join the League." They don't use the name -- yet? -- but it's clear what the intent is here.
The team is composed of Superman, Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, White Canary, Batwoman, and Black Lightning. This means that each of the five current shows (as well as the planned Superman and Lois show, if it goes forward) has a representative in the League, and Green Arrow and the Canaries, which is set in the future, doesn't have a character on the team but does have White Canary, who is both a time-traveler and a Canary, to connect them.
While Superman, The Martian Manhunter, The Flash, and numerous other major Arrowverse characters have a long history with the Justice League in the comics, The CW has thus far been unable to use the name, likely due to entanglements related to the movie. The Justice League is regularly referenced on DC Universe's Titans and Doom Patrol, but more as a cultural touchstone rather than as characters we might see in the flesh.
So what -- if anything -- changed? Well, assuming we ever actually hear the Arrowverse heroes calling themselves a "League," it could be a few things.2comments
First of all, the failure of the Justice League movie and the slow process of rebuilding DC's cinematic universe likely means that the theatrical part of Warner Bros. doesn't have any use for the name anytime soon. Yeah, there's a persistent movement to release Zack Snyder's directors' cut of Justice League, but even if that were to happen it would not change the trajectory of the DC Films universe (which at this point is actually a multiverse, since movies like Joker clearly don't take place in the same universe as Shazam! and Man of Steel).
The post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" Arrowverse resumes next week with new episodes of Batwoman, Supergirl, and Arrow.