Does Wonder Girl Mean Arrowverse Fans Will Get Wonder Woman?

With the news that The CW is developing a new series based on DC's Wonder Girl, the question becomes, will the Arrowverse finally get a Wonder Woman? At the outset, it appeared as though the Green Arrow was the first superhero in The CW's shared superhero universe. Later, though, fans learned that Batman, Superman, and Black Lightning (at least) had been active for years, as had the Martian Manhunter.It appeared for a long time as though properties with active, successful film franchises were less likely to show up in the Arrowverse, with members of the Suicide Squad killed off, no Wonder Woman or Aquaman anywhere to be seen, and no ties to the Shazam! mythology for Tala Ashe's Isis-inspired character on DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

Recent comments have thrown a lot of what we thought we know into question, though. Warner Bros.'s Walter Hamada, who is making most of the heavy-lifting decisions for DC on the film and TV side, has embraced a take on the multiverse that means all of the company's decades' worth of movies, TV series, and comics all exist in the same infinite space, and can potentially feed into one another as the story dictates.

One big question mark for fans hoping that Yara Flor might mean the debut of a Wonder Woman in the Arrowverse is whether or not her character will exist on Earth-Prime at all. Greg Berlanti, the super-producer behind the Arrowverse, has his hands on Wonder Girl, but he also produces a number of DC shows that rarely or never tie directly into the central Arrowverse continuity. Doom Patrol and Stargirl made brief "red sky" cameos in last year's "Crisis on Infinite Earths," but their worlds in the reconstituted multiverse are cut off from the heroes of Earth-Prime, who populate The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Black Lightning, and the upcoming Superman & Lois.

The success of Stargirl, plus an aesthetic that would mesh well with the concept art shared by Joelle Jones in the Wonder Woman announcement, might indicate that Wonder Girl will take place on the new Earth-2, which would mean that even if there is a Wonder Woman introduced, she woudl be unlikely to come face to face with The Flash and Black Lightning anytime soon.

On the other hand, the philosophy that the Wonder Girl announcement seems to suggest -- that Berlanti is putting his weight behind the show, but allowing a showrunner to make a show that's more representative of her own community than a white man might do -- is reminiscent of how he tackled the Black Lightning launch. The writers and producers behind that series steered clear of definitively answering the quesiton of whether or not their show existed on a world in the Arrowverse right up until just before "Crisis on Infinite Earths," when they announced that Jefferson Pierce would join the crossover. After the crossover, Supergirl and Black Lightning's separate Earths were merged with Earth-1 to make Earth-Prime, a world with a shared history, where the three worlds and their heroes have long coexisted.

This might suggest that, like Black Lightning, the exact nature of Wonder Girl's involvement in the existing shows will be left up to the showrunner, meaning that we won't know until she has something to say on the matter.

There is some evidence that the Amazons exist in the Arrowverse already; in the third season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, the team helped Helen of Troy escape Man's World and go to Themyscira. In the season finale that year, she showed up to help them battle Malice while wearing Amazonian armor. There was no specific reference to Wonder Woman, though, and the character did not show up in "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Neither did Aquaman, although Atlantis has been similarly referred to but not seen -- in that case, on The Flash.

One case against the possibility of Wonder Woman showing up? As time goes on, it gets increasingly harder to shoehorn characters with a long backstory into the Arrowverse. After "Crisis," for instance, Cisco Ramon made up a timeline of events in the new history, going back as far as the debuts of Superman and Black Lightning decades ago. The timeline had no mention of the Amazons, suggesting that if they do exist, they hadn't yet sent an emissary out to Man's World. But the idea of Wonder Girl implicitly suggests that there is a Wonder Woman.

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If a Wonder Woman does show up, don't expect her to be a main character. Like early Superman appearances, she would likely be a special guest -- or perhaps they would play her more like Batman on Batwoman and just have her absent altogether, but referred to. In the case of the princess of the Amazons, one could make the reasonable argument that she had to ascend to queen and that pulled her away from the outside world.

In terms of casting, that's a wild card, too. Given Berlanti's history of casting people like John Wesley Shipp, Helen Slater, and others in supporting roles in the Arrowverse shows, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume the show might find a role for Lynda Carter or Adrianne Palicki, who played Diana in the failed 2011 pilot. With the exception of John Wesley Shipp, though, legacy casting like this has not been used for major characters. Supergirl's Superman, for instance, turned out to be Tyler Hoechlin, rather than using someone with existing Man of Steel bona fides.