Love in the Arrowverse
Long time devotees will recall that I love the DC shows that appear on the CW, collectively known as the Arrow-verse. Aside from a dour third season of the Flash, all four shows have really knocked it out of the park lately. The creative vigor of Greg Berlanti’s team made for a delightful crossover this year. It’s not that all of the crossovers are great (though last year’s in particular made some spectacular television). No, the squeeing fan girl inside my heart got to jump with joy for a different reason this year. The shows include a number of gay and queer characters, and by letting them all intermingle, this year made for the gayest crossover ever.
Staring from the top of the first part, Sara Lance, captain of the Legends of Tomorrow and Alex Danvers, Supergirl’s sister, hook up immediately (It wouldn’t be a wedding episode without a one night stand of sorts). Finally in the last part, Wentworth Miller and Russell Tovey portray a couple resisting Nazi control from inside a detainment center. Here I will also point out that Greg Berlanti is gay, which may be a reason why there is so much queer representation on the show. Support creators of different genders, races, religions and lifestyles. Representation matters!
On the surface, two little same-sex romances may not seem like very much to the larger television culture. But the Arrow-verse has always featured a fair number of characters that come from the LGBT community. (We’re still waiting for a trans or non-binary character on TV, but if anyone can do it, Berlanti can.) Behind the scenes, out actors Wentworth Miller, Colton Haynes and Victor Garber all had starring or recurring roles. Police Captain Singh and Mr. Terrific are both married to men. Alex discovers her orientation in a relationship with out lesbian and all-around badass Maggie Sawyer. Sara asserts that she loves both men and women, and her queer sexuality is important to the character. Sara gets her assassin training because she is lover to both Oliver Queen and Nyssa Al-Ghul. This fact was established in Season 1 of Arrow, making Sara the first queer Big Two (that’s DC and Marvel for the uninitiated) character to appear on a TV show or movie.
It was very gratifying to see multiple gay characters carrying on their relationships like they’re completely normal on a mainstream show. So get behind your gay creators, and people of color creators, and feminine creators that often get the short end of the stick in the world of superheroes. Everyone deserves to see themselves in their favorite fiction from time to time.