Last week, the Arrowverse finished the latest season with a bang, as the season finales for Supergirl, Flash and Arrow all aired. How do their seasons, along with Legends of Tomorrow, rank against each other?
The 2016-17 television series was a big one for the Arrowverse – the collection of four DC Comics-based TV shows that air on the CW. We had a giant crossover featuring characters from all four shows. We had a musical team-up. New DC Comics characters were introduced. And lots of things got blown up but good!
The four shows each definitely had some uneven seasons, with some great episodes evening out with some really bad ones. Which show had the best season? Well, let’s start with the show that I felt had the worst.
4 – The Flash Season 3
My man Joe reviewed every episode of the third season, and man, I give him a lot of credit for keeping up with it the whole way through. While the season had a few fun spots, for me, the good was outweighed by the bad, which included a mopey Barry Allen who kept swearing to learn from his own mistakes only to repeatedly make the same ones. As a fan of the first season – which was as lighthearted and fun as the DC Cinematic Universe is grim – the angst was out of place in Central City. Throw in yet another speedster villain, whose sole purpose ultimately is to teach Barry a lesson about himself and the show felt like it was running on empty by the end.
With the season finale putting almost everything right, I can only hope the showrunners course correct next season and bring back the light, fun superhero adventure that people grew to love in its first season.
Attack on Gorilla City / Attack on Central City – A two-part story dealing with the return of Gorilla Grodd. Yes, any appearance of a giant, telepathic gorilla will ALWAYS be considered a highlight.
Duet – The Supergirl team comes along for the second part of a musical crossover that also saw Barry propose to Iris.
3 – Supergirl Season 2
The sophomore effort for the Maid of Might improved on the show’s first season, moving from CBS to the CW to ease into officially being a part of the Arrowverse, but the second season was uneven and had a weak Big Bad for the season, which was little more than a retread from the first season’s Kryptonians. While the Daxamites are an established commodity for longtime readers of DC Comic books, having them follow the Kryptonians never really felt like the show was raising the stakes.
Kara Danvers’ love life continued to be a mess, as she moved on from James Olsen (who became the Guardian because he… felt left out, or something) to the Daxamite prince Mon-El, but the relationship never really clicked for me. Let’s just hold off with Kara’s love life next season, before she ends up dating someone even worse, like Comet.
Adventures of Supergirl / Last Children of Krypton – Supergirl ranks above The Flash for one reason: Tyler Hoechlin’s performance as Clark Kent / Superman. The first two episodes of the season kicked off with a visit from the Man of Steel, and it showed a Superman the way he was supposed to be portrayed.
Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk – The Imp from the Fifth Dimension shows up in National City to make Kara Danvers his bride. Mon-El did not take kindly to this.
2 – Arrow Season 5
After a couple seasons that fell well below the highs that Arrow hit in its first two seasons, the fifth season was a return to the show’s roots – grounded in the problems of Star City and Oliver Queens’s efforts to save his city. A new twist was thrown in, with Oliver being mayor and working both sides of the law until the season’s Big Bad, Prometheus, turns the city against the Green Arrow. Revealing Prometheus’ identity as Adrian Chase while also having Chase’s comic book alter ego of Vigilante also running around should keep something interesting around for next season, which will not feature the show’s patented flashbacks.
Arrow also probably had the strongest season finale of all the shows, with Oliver defeating Chase but ultimately watching Chase shoot himself. Chase had rigged the island where Oliver’s friends were with bombs set to explode if he died, so fans are left wondering what will happen to Felicity, Curtis, Rene, Quentin and Thea until next season kicks off.
Invasion! – Arrow’s portion of the four-show crossover also served as the series’ 100th episode. The alien Dominators captured Oliver and puts him in a dream state where his parents and Laurel are alive and he never became the Green Arrow.
Underneath – Oliver and Felicity get to work through some of their issues when they get trapped in the bunker after an EMP is set off.
1 – Legends of Tomorrow Season 2
After a highly disappointing first season that tried hard but failed to have a series spanning all the history of DC Comics, the series’ second effort was such a distinct turn around that it’s hard to believe it was the same show. The 17-episode season put the new team of Legends – without Captain Rip Hunter – against the Reverse Flash, Malcolm Merlyn and Damian Darhk, as Reverse Flash tried to find a way to keep the Speed Force from erasing his presence as a time paradox.
The changes from season 1 to season 2 made all the difference, as the team of heroes was allowed to come into its own without the leadership of Rip Hunter, who spent most of season 1 bemoaning how inept his team was. Also, taking the Hawks out of the equation helped, too, as there was only so much back-and-forth I could take with Hawkman trying to convince Hawkgirl that they were meant to be. The new make-up of the show was great and it quickly became the show I looked forward to every week. The second season was great for people who were new to DC’s history while also giving little Easter eggs every episode to established fans. As the team ended up in a really messed-up timeline to end the season, the show’s third year should be a lot of fun, too.
The Justice Society of America – The comic book world’s first superteam gets some love as the group joins the Legends to take down Nazis in Paris.
Abomination – Zombies and slavery during the Civil War, which one was the abomination? Not the zombies.
Raiders of the Lost Art / Fellowship of the Spear – The Legends end up influencing both George Lucas and JRR Tolkein throughout these episodes. So ridiculous but so much fun.