The Arrowverse is a vast television universe that ties together stories about extraordinary heroes, and The CW is the broadcast hub where most of the shows were launched and currently air. In 2013, Arrow sparked the creation of the small-screen realm. Since then, The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman, among others, have joined The CW’s lineup of DC Comics-based shows, all under the umbrella of Berlanti Productions. The collective fan base of the series is massive, and the critical acclaim is impressive, to say the least. But which shows garner the most praise?
The Arrowverse series ranked
Rotten Tomatoes gathers reviews and ratings from critics and audiences about media content. Then, they translate the data to provide viewers with recommendations about the content. The Tomatometer Score and Audience Score indicate the percentage of positive ratings from critics and consumers, respectively.
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event, which integrated Black Lighting into the narrative for the first time, there are seven shows in the Arrowverse, including titles that are currently airing and some that have ended. Each Arrowverse series boasts a Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is arguably the most trusted review-aggregation platform available. Here is how the Arrowverse series stack up against each other based on the ratings gathered by Rotten Tomatoes.
7. ‘Constantine’: 72% on the Tomatometer
The short-lived 2014 series, Constantine, was based on the DC Comics series Hellblazer. Although audiences appeared to like the show more than critics, the viewership was not high enough to keep the show on the air past season 1. Matt Ryan, who starred in the title role, made an appearance as John Constantine on Arrow before scoring a regular gig on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as the same character.
6. ‘Batwoman’: 78% on the Tomatometer
Batwoman premiered in 2019 with Ruby Rose in the lead role of real estate developer Kate Kane, who moonlights as the caped vigilante. The primary villain, Alice, exudes a sadistic personality that exasperates Batwoman and enthralls fans. Batwoman scored a large enough audience in season 1 to earn an early season 2 renewal.
5. ‘Arrow’: 85% on the Tomatometer
The CW launched the Arrowverse in 2012 with Arrow. Stephen Amell starred as Oliver Queen, a billionaire playboy who was marooned on an island for five years before returning home on a mission to save his city. David Ramsey co-starred as John Diggle, Oliver’s best friend and partner, while Emily Bett Rickards portrayed Felicity Smoak, the love of Oliver’s life. The series ended in 2020 after eight seasons and 170 episodes.
4. ‘Supergirl’: 87% on the Tomatometer
Supergirl premiered on CBS in 2015 before moving to The CW in the show’s second season. Melissa Benoist stars as Kara Zor-El, cousin of Kal-El, aka Superman. Like her cousin, the Kryptonian has a day-job as a reporter, while keeping her superhero identity a secret. She often partners with other extraterrestrial heroes, including Martian Manhunter and Dreamer, as well as human allies like her adoptive sister, Alex, who is a highly trained combat specialist.
3. ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’: 87% on the Tomatometer
Although DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl received the same 87% score on the Tomatometer, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow edges out its sister series to claim the number three spot due to its 72% audience score, compared to Supergirl’s lower audience score of 50%. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow follows a team of time travelers who use their extraordinary abilities to protect the timeline.
2. ‘The Flash’: 89% on the Tomatometer
The Flash premiered as a direct spinoff of Arrow in 2014, with Grant Gustin in the title role. Now in season 6, the show is still popular with both critics and fans. The story follows speedster Barry Allen, who was imbued with super speed after being struck by lightning. His friends and colleagues at STAR Labs have formed Team Flash to protect Central City and the world.
1. ‘Black Lightning’: 95% on the Tomatometer
Black Lightning claims the top spot with a whopping 95% on the Tomatometer. The plot revolves around Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning, a vigilante fighting for justice in his corner of the world. Cress Williams stars in the title role, with China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams as his daughters, who also discover that they have superpowers.
Although the show was not initially linked to the Arrowverse, the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths merged Black Lightning with the other shows, creating unlimited potential for future collaborations. The Arrowverse has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to fans and based on the trajectory of the franchise, there are many more stories waiting to be told.