The Arrowverse now has its own version of DC’s famous Trinity – but they’re very different to the comics, with Batwoman and Wonder Girl!
The Arrowverse is finally assembling its own version of DC’s Trinity – with Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman in Superman & Lois, Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder in Batwoman, and the imminent introduction of a Wonder Girl show. When Arrow launched in 2012, nobody could have imagined it would become the foundation for an entire Multiverse of superhero TV shows. And yet the Arrowverse has become DCTV’s greatest success story, with an ever-expanding slate.
At first Warner Bros. remained focused on the DCEU, and the Arrowverse frequently had to drop plans for characters when the studio considered bringing them to the big screen. The shared universe frequently had to make do with second-string superheroes from the comics and less well-established brands, but ironically this proved to be something of a strength. Rather than focus on the DC’s so-called “Trinity” of key heroes – Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman – the Arrowverse instead developed characters like the Atom, the Martian Manhunter, the Elongated Man, and Killer Frost. Still, little by little the Arrowverse has been allowed to incorporate some of the bigger names, a sign of the franchise’s increasing significance in the eyes of DC and Warner Bros.
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The recently-announced Wonder Girl series now means the Arrowverse has its own version of the Trinity. The upcoming Superman and Lois series means Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman is about to take center-stage, as the Man of Steel deals with a life that has been drastically changed by the events of “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Then there’s a whole new Batwoman, a former drug dealer named Ryan Wilder who has dedicated herself to cleaning up Gotham. And the Arrowverse Trinity is rounded out by the new Wonder Girl, Yara Flor, daughter an Amazonian Warrior and a Brazilian River God. Yara Flor is due to make her comic book debut in January 2021 as the future Wonder Woman.
The Arrowverse Trinity highlights just how creative the Arrowverse has become. In the past, that creativity seemed to be mostly forced, with Warner Bros. fearing brands would be tarnished if characters appeared on both the big and small screens simultaneously. The studio seems to have relaxed on that point of late, as demonstrated by the fact Superman is now starring in his own series, but the Arrowverse is continuing to be just as bold. Yara Flor won’t even appear in the comics until 2021, and yet Greg Berlanti and The CW have signed off her own show. Javicia Leslie is playing a whole new version of Batwoman, created for the Arrowverse, and who the comics are incorporating after the fact.
No doubt this approach will prove divisive among some parts of the fandom. There’s always a strong push for adaptations to honor the source material as much as possible, and the Arrowverse is choosing to eschew that approach. And yet, in doing so The CW is giving an opportunity for a new wave of heroes to make their mark on popular culture. The Arrowverse has become more refreshingly diverse than the comics themselves, with its Trinity including a Black bisexual Batwoman and a Latina superheroine. In doing so, it is becoming more than just a comic book adaptation, standing as a powerful and successful franchise in its own right. It will be fascinating to see what the future has in store for the Arrowverse and its Trinity.
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