All the Times the Arrowverse Has Referenced Gotham
As part of the announcement, which was made by Arrow star Stephen Amell, a piece of key art was shared with the audience that featured Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Amell), Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), and Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) standing in a burning Gotham City, a version of the Batsignal modified to reflect Batwoman displayed in the sky behind them.
It's exciting news for fans who have long wanted someone from the Batfamily to appear in the Arrowverse, but the addition of Gotham City makes good on a number of hints, teases, and references to the iconic DC Comics location that have appeared in the various Arrowverse shows over the years. You see, elements of Batman -- be it nods to the Caped Crusader directly or locations central to his universe -- have been staple references in the Arrowverse since Arrow first premiered in 2012 including one big name drop in the series' sixth season.
While fans hoped that the references would eventually lead to an appearance by the Dark Knight himself, we'll gladly take the introduction of Kate Kane (and if you aren't familiar with Batwoman you can check out our handy primer here). However, we have awhile to wait. Arrow just had its season finale this week, DC's Legends of Tomorrow has been on hiatus for a few weeks, The Flash closes its season Tuesday and Supergirl only has a few weeks left. To help make the wait a little easier, here are all of the major references to Gotham City (and other elements of Batman's world) in the Arrowverse.
Moving back to Gotham
Supergirl's second season saw the expansion of the Arrowverse in more way than one. While Supergirl lives on Earth-38 and not Earth-1 like the rest of her heroic friends, the series introduced Superman/Clark Kent when he came to help Kara deal with a terrorist attack during "The Adventures of Supergirl." That same episode also contained a reference to Gotham City, one of two specific ones in the Arrowverse. Superman protects a family from a drone strike and the father declares that they're moving back to Gotham City, presumably because it's safer than things have turned out to be in National City.prevnext
Bruce Wayne of Gotham
The second specific reference to Gotham City came in the second episode of Arrow's sixth season, "Tribute". After a photo of Star City's then-mayor Oliver Queen as Green Arrow was leaked to the police prompting Oliver to attempt damage control via press conference. During the conference, Oliver says the photo had to have been photoshopped and makes his point by noting that it could just as easily have been Bruce Wayne's face placed onto the body of the Green Arrow.
Oliver then goes on to note that Bruce Wayne lives in Gotham, marking the first time that both Bruce Wayne and Gotham have been confirmed on Earth-1.prevnext
Wayne Tech/Queen Inc. merger
Arrow may be the first out loud reference, but Bruce Wayne is also mentioned, at least in print, during The Flash's pilot episode. When Harrison Wells (Eobard Thawne in disguise) went into his secret room at STAR Labs and pulled up the future edition of The Central City Citizen, sharp-eyed fans noticed the headline in the lower left corner: "Wayne Tech/Queen Inc Merger Complete."
A lot of things have changed in the Arrowverse since that headline first appeared, namely Queen Consolidated being taken over by Palmer Technologies, so the future may have changed, but that headline alone indicated Wayne's existence. It will be interesting to see if this future headline has any inluence on Batwoman's first appearance.prevnext
Earth-2 Speed Dial
Speaking of The Flash, there's another reference to Bruce Wayne on that show, though not on Earth-1. In season two of The Flash Barry, Cisco, and Earth-2's Harrison Wells head over to the parallel world as part of a plan to save Wells' daughter, Jesse, from Zoom. Earth-2 is like Earth-1, but the lives of Barry's Earth-2's counterpart is very different. As Barry quickly discovers both of his parents are alive and he's married to Iris -- who is a detective in this reality, not a journalist. Barry, in disguise as his Eart-2 self, even goes to what is the home he shares with Iris. The phone in his living room has some interesting names on the speed dial. In addition to nods to Joe West, Barry's parents, Earth-2's counterpart to the deceased Eddie are some names familiar to DC Comics fans -- Diana, Hal, and Bruce.prevnext
Viewers already recognize that Arrow is heavy on the Batman mythos references, but there are some smaller detail nods as well and one of those is Bludhaven. While Gotham took some time to be directly referenced outside of Supergirl, Bludhaven has been a setting for Arrow in the past. The city appears to be fairly close to Star City, as it's depicted as being on a direct train line. The show has also visually made reference to the city that is Dick Grayson's territory, with Deadshot staying at The Bludhaven Apt. when hired by China White to kill Malcolm Merlyn.prevnext
The Flash Signal
While Bruce Wayne the man exists on Earth-1, his heroic counterpart might just be the stuff of comic books. In 'The Man Who Saved Central City,' Cisco has the idea to use something he called "the Flash Signal" to shine into the sky and lure Atom Smasher out. The signal literally looks just like the familiar Bat Signal, only with The Flash's trademark lightning bolt instead of a bat. When asked where the idea came from, Cisco said he'd gotten it from a comic book. At the time fans thought it might be a hint that a Batman-like character is the stuff of fiction on Earth-1. With Batwoman coming, we're wondering if maybe she's the stuff of legend that inspired the comic book that inspired the Flash Signal instead.prevnext
Most of the references to Gotham City and the world of Batman are fairly indirect, as you've seen thus far, and most of them are more references to elements of the mythos -- the Suicide Squad on Arrow complete with a nod to Harley Quinn, Felicity's codename of "Overwatch" instead of "Oracle" on Arrow, Rip Hunter noting that he's seen "men of steel die and dark knights fall" on Legends of Tomorrow. The most direct of these side references, though, is on Supergirl.
When James decides to suit up as the vigilante Guardian he doens't tell his friends right away. When news of this new Guardian figure breaks, Kara doesn't have the best opinion of the vigilante. In "The Darkest Place," Kara tells her friends about a crazy vigilante that her cousin, Superman, worked with.
"My cousin worked with a vigilante once," she said. "Tons of gadgets, lots of demons. Vigilantes are nuts."
She doesn't explicitly state where Superman worked with this "nuts" vigilante, but the gadgets and demons seems like a direct hint at Batman and, probably, Superman paying a visit to Gotham City.
Did we catch all the major references? Is there one that we considered minor that you think deserved to be on this list? Let us know your thoughts about this and Batwoman joining the Arrowverse in the comments below!prev