The Arrowverse has expanded so much in the last few years, it's almost hard to keep track of all the heroes from The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning. And that's not even counting the new Superman and Lois spin-off or the potential Green Arrow and the Canaries series! The one thing we can keep track of, however, is our favorite characters from each of these shows. We've compiled and ranked the definitive best 50 characters of the Arrowverse from villains like Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) to heroes like Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), and all those who fall in between like Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath).
This one might seem like an obscure pick, but even though he only appeared in a few episodes, Deadshot made a permanent mark on the Arrowverse. The push and pull rivalry between him and Diggle was fascinating to watch in action, and we've honestly never felt so conflicted about a character before. How could a guy fit for the Suicide Squad make us fall apart at the possibility of his death?
We're going to go ahead and say it: Anissa Pierce has the coolest powers of anyone on this list hands down. On top of some truly earth-shattering abilities, Anissa is confident, capable, and just impulsive enough to get herself into trouble sometimes. We wouldn't want her any other way.
Are you a fan of precious humans beings with eager attitudes and unbeatable resilience? Then we proudly present Jesse Wells -- aka Jesse Quick -- for your consideration. Every time she pays a visit to Central City, we find ourselves wishing she would just join Team Flash for good already. We need more of this previous cinnamon roll in our lives!
When you hear the name Lex Luthor, you think of some pretty powerhouse characters from film franchises, cartoons, and iconic comics. The Arrowverse's take on Lex is a mix of camp and cruelty, and while we absolutely want to punch him in the face six out of seven days of the week, doesn't that mean this incarnation of Lex has basically nailed it?
Luke Fox had a pretty massive legacy to live up to, but in the end, he's proven he's more than capable of filling his father's shoes. Kate may be the one out on the streets, but Luke has been saving Gotham every bit as much as "the guy in the chair." The only thing that could make us like this kid more is if we got to see him team up with Cisco, Felicity, Winn, and the rest of the Arrowverse's brain gang!
Yeah, this list has villains on it because duh. Malcolm Merlyn is a tough character to break down because one the one hand, he was an excellent baddie who was somehow both threatening and alluring at the same time. Just when you're ready to write him off as a ruthless mass murderer though, he shows you the obvious love he has for his children, and you're left confused about whether you love or hate this guy. However you feel about him though, he was definitely one of the best characters the Arrowverse ever created.
In a world populated by good guys that practically radiate sunshine and optimism, it's nice to look back and remember Gypsy as the kind of hero that was sarcastic, blunt, and yeah, violent as hell. We would have never believed she even had a soft side if not for the way Cisco brought it out in her so expertly. This girl was one of a kind, and we love her for it.
Whether he was skulking around the Glades, killing it on Team Arrow, or off on an epic, worldwide adventure, Roy Harper has been and always will be one of our faves. We got to watch his scrappy brawling skills and dubious morals transform before our eyes until he was an elite fighter whose selflessness made him the dictionary definition of a hero.
Over the course of three seasons, Brainy has somehow transformed from a hilariously clueless genius into a nuanced and incredibly self-aware character. Through his relationships with other characters on Supergirl, Brainy has gone through the kind of character development that makes good shows great.
When we first heard the Arrowverse was getting its own Clark Kent, we were a little worried that this new version of him would have some super sized shoes to fill. How silly of us! This wholesome, charismatic, downright adorable version Clark absolutely deserves his spin-off, and we're stoked about seeing him and Lois as parents!
If you could read our minds, we wouldn't have to tell you why J'onn J'onzz made this list, but since it's unlikely you're a martian manhunter, we'll spell it out for you. Whether he's running things at the DEO, taking on a multiverse Crisis, or just providing a shoulder for Kara and Alex to lean on, J'onn's mission has always been to champion the innocent and defend the oppressed, which is a message should resonate with you no matter what corner of the galaxy you hail from.
Constantine's journey into the Arrowverse has been a weird one, but he's a weird guy. It's kind of what we like most about him. On a show as silly as Legends of Tomorrow, it's not always easy to come off cool and composed, but Constantine somehow manages to make everything look debonair as hell. We'd learn black magic to just have a shot at hanging out with him!
There's something to be said for introducing a character with some serious flaws and then slowly but surely letting that character work through them. Ralph's character development on The Flash has been a thing of beauty, and now we can't imagine a better hero or friend for Barry and Team Flash.
Whoever came up with the idea of a gruff, time-traveling, heat-gun wielding romance novelist deserves an Emmy, a hug, and all the chocolate cake in the universe. A character like Mick Rory can only really exist on a wacky show like Legends, but we thank our lucky stars every day that he does.
This little WestAllen baby stole our hearts from the minute she walked on screen. She had Barry's puppy dog exuberance mixed with Iris' steadfast determination and sense of duty. She was the best of both of her parents, yet also the worst. She kept secrets, she tried to take on too much too fast, and she was reluctant to ask for her. All of these qualities, good and bad, just made her more lovable, not only to Barry and Iris but to each and every Arrowverse fan.
From intrepid photojournalist to media mogul to badass vigilante, James Olsen has gone on a journey during his days on Supergirl. He and Kara don't always agree on how best to go about saving National City, but when the chips are down, James has always been there to save the day.
If we had our way, half of this list would be reserved for all the different incarnations of Wells, but we knew we had to narrow it down, and Harry obviously made the cut. After the first Harrison Wells turned out to be such a baddie, we were so relieved to find out that the Wells from Earth 2 was one of the good guys! He and Cisco's hilarious rivalry was a thing of beauty, and Harry will always hold a special place in our hearts.
After Laurel Lance died, we weren't sure we'd ever accept another Black Canary into our hearts. Little did we know that Dinah Drake was on the way to take up the mantle and prove herself capable of honoring Laurel's legacy while still making her own mark. No matter which timeline she's is, she's one of the best saviors Star City has ever seen.
If you take a moment to look at where Wally West started and when he ended up, it's hard not to be impressed with the layers this kid developed over the years. We saw him grow from a boy into a man – and then ultimately into a Legend! There will always be an open spot on Team Flash (or on the Waverider for that matter) for Wally, when and if he wants!
Beth Kane, aka Alice, might be off her rocker, but we kind of love her for it. A lot of Arrowverse villains are predictable in their motives and methods, but you just can't ever pin down what Alice is going to do next, and there's something terrifying and yet refreshing about that. It's mad world these Arrowverse characters live in, and that madness is perfectly reflected in Alice.
Black Siren has a backbone of steel and her redemption arc was a thing of beauty to behold. Seeing her find her own sense of nobility made us realize she wasn't so very different from the Laurel Lance we lost after all. When push comes to shove, Black Siren will always be capable of crossing the line, but seeing her struggle with the good and bad sides of herself is something we could watch forever.
Thea Queen didn't always get the screen time she deserved, but she's still one of the best Arrowverse characters of all time. This is a girl who overcame the legacy of her father and the expectations of her mother to become one of the best heroes to ever fight on Team Arrow. Every time she was faced with the choice to take a dark path, Thea chose the high road and stayed true to what she knew was right. Thea Queen is an iconic and we dare you to say different.
If you ever need a pick me up, just remind yourself that somewhere out in the multiverse, Nia Nal exists. That should be enough to turn any bad day around. Even though Nia has faced her fair share of hatred, bigotry, and just plain stupid people, she's kept an open heart continued to dream of a better world. Even more impressive, she's dedicated both her masked and unmasked hours to making that dream a reality.
Mon-El's is, hands down, one of the most lovable characters Supergirl ever introduced. His time on Earth turned him from a selfish prince into a noble hero, and though that journey was sometimes hard to watch, it doesn't make us love him any less. It takes a strong person to stand next to Kara Danvers and not fade into the background, but Mon-El's big heart and steadfast loyalty made him shine just a bright as the girl who inspired those qualities to begin with.
We're going to go ahead and make the bold (but totally correct) statement that Slade was the best villain Arrow ever had. There are a lot of characters on this list that turned from villains into heroes, but Slade somehow made the opposite journey from friend into enemy just as fascinating to watch. The Arrowverse just wouldn't be what it is today without Slade.
Caitlin's optimism and compassion are two of her very best qualities, even if they sometimes get her into trouble. What really makes her shine though is her dual nature and the relationship that's developed between her and Killer Frost. Her cheery attitude should put her at odds with Frost's pragmatism and ruthlessness, but when mixed together, they make an unbeatable combo.
Every episode of Supergirl that doesn't have Winn Schott in it hurts a small piece of our hearts, but that's only because Winn made us all fall so deeply in love with him. From the jump, Supergirl established itself as a lighter, funnier take on the superhero genre, and Winn's quick wit and comedic relief were a huge part what made this show so great. And if another musical episode ever happens, we DEMAND he be brought back for it!
Cat Grant could have been written off as a Kara's demanding, harpy of a boss, but instead, Supergirl turned her into a feminist icon that we'd gladly die for. Her ambition, drive, and intelligence are only a few of the things we love about this woman. We firmly believe that Kara is the wonderful person she is today thanks to the example set be her impeccable mentor, Cat Grant.
Parents don't tend to last very long in the Arrowverse, but there's a reason the exception to that rule is Joe West. Not only is he an integral member of Team Flash, he's a papa bear that's full of love and acceptance for all his children. Plus, in a world full of metahumans and crazy Crises, Joe still manages to hold his own as a no-nonsense cop, and that's pretty freaking impressive.
When we first met Snart as a villain on The Flash, we never expected he'd turn into one the Arrowverse's best characters to date, but that's Captain Cold for you. You just never quite know what he's up to or how he'll take you by surprise! Even when that, unfortunately, means heroically sacrificing himself to save the world. We just love the perfect blend of good and evil mixed up in this guy!
Laurel had a noble streak to outshine all others, and her compassion in the face of deep loss made her one of the strongest women the Arrowverse has ever seen. Though her end was tragic, her sacrifice became a symbol to the people of Star City and all the heroes she fought the good fight with.
Are you still sobbing over Martin Stein's untimely death? Because we absolutely are, and we're pretty sure we'll never stop. Stein wasn't just a brilliant mind and a legend in his own right, he was a true friend and tender soul. And yeah, maybe we're holding out hope that Legends of Tomorrow will find a way to bring him back.
It's never –- NEVER –- going to be OK that Tommy was taken from us so brutally in the Season 1 finale of Arrow, but at least the series finale miraculously brought him back to life. Tommy Merlyn was exactly the kind of best friend a broody Oliver Queen needed – clever and undeniably witty but also surprisingly grounded and sincere. What a guy!
At first sight, Mary was a pampered party girl who could have been easily dismissed as a throwaway character, but boy when you take a second look does that opinion feels stupid. As a med student who pretends to party the night away so she can sneak into her secret free clinic and give healthcare to the underprivileged of her city, there were times where Mary out-heroed Batwoman herself, and honestly? We're here for it.
If there's one thing we want in this world more than anything else, it's to protect this sweet little baby at all costs. We could have never expected we'd fall so hopelessly in love with Nate Haywood when he was first brought on to the Legends team, but that's the sign of a truly great character. Every time Nate comes on screen, we just feel better about the world, and we can't tell if that's due to his adorable grin or his unshakeable conviction.
Ray Palmer is basically what would happen if the human equivalent of a golden retriever and a 10 PHDs had a baby. His genius-level intellect has gotten all our favorite characters out of a scrape a time or two, but it's his adorkable personality and ability to find the good in any situation that made us fall for him. It's physically impossible not to look at him and smile. Just try, we dare you.
Who would have thought that when we first met Killer Frost -- aka one of the deadliest villains out there -- she'd become such a softy? Sure, she's still got a bark that makes sure she rarely has to bite, but she's a true member of the Flash family and we wouldn't have it any other way. What's most rewarding about her character, however, is her bond with Caity, and how important their friendship has become. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to self-love, right?
We dare you to name another character who can pull off the kind of dichotomy that effortlessly exists within Alex Danvers. One minute she's tough as nails and the next she's incredibly vulnerable. She's a self-assured leader, and then she's a woman still trying to find herself in this crazy world. She's a hardened soldier who's also nurturing and tender with the people she loves. If everyone in this world tried just a little harder to be like Alex Danvers, we'd all live in a better place.
"The sidekick" has become such a staple of the superhero genre, that it almost feels stereotypical at this point, and maybe that's why John Diggle showed up in the pilot of Arrow to smash that stereotype to pieces. Not only was he the first person to join Team Arrow, he refused to compromise his morals or cross lines during a time when Oliver Queen was crossing them every night. Diggle has never been a sidekick, he's always been Oliver's equal, his partner, and his best friend. And yeah, we're dying to see a spin-off of him becoming the Green Lantern.
When The Flash first introduced Cisco Ramon, it only took us about 2 minutes to realize that this character would be a fan-favorite. Cisco has always had the biggest heart (and an even bigger brain), but though all the ups and the downs, he's maintained his sense of wonder and excitement to live in a world populated by superheroes. When you combine that with his killer sense of humor, Cisco is sometimes the only thing that can us through a bad day!
There was a moment during the creation of this ranking when Lena Luthor was number one on the list, and here's why: Never before have we seen such a perfect blend of heroism and darkness in a character, and never has it been played to such perfection as it has been with Lena. Villainous story arcs typically either make a character crazy or utterly unlikeable, but Lena's dark turn was always rooted in her will to do good and inability to understand when she'd strayed from that path. We love both the light and dark in her, and we believe she will always, always choose good in the end.
Kate Kane can walk into a room and change the whole vibe with a single look, and that's without the cape and wig. Even through her hardened exterior, it's always been apparent Kate has an incredible capacity for love, and every time we catch her in another vulnerable moment, we fall more in love. Oh yeah, and then there's that small matter of being THE FIRST LGBTQ SUPERHERO to lead a network TV show. Crushing it!
For a while, Black Lightning and its characters existed outside of the Arrowverse, but thanks to Crisis on Infinite Earths, we can now definitely list Jefferson Pierce as one of the best in the superhero business. Jefferson has broken a lot of boundaries in the superhero genre, but that's only one reason we adore this character. The others have to do with him being a sincerely wonderful human, who is a symbol of hope, strength, and perseverance to the entire world.
If you're looking for a role model, please look no further. Like many heroes in the Arrowverse, Iris has the kind of fortitude and persistence that we can only aspire to, but what really makes her special is her tenacious pursuit of truth. If Iris is on a mission, you just know she's going to complete it, no matter what obstacles stand in her way.
The phrase "strong female character" gets tossed around a lot these days, but we'll bet you didn't know that if you look it up in the dictionary, you'll find an actual photo of Sara Lance there. As one of the first (and best) LGBTQ characters in the Arrowverse, Sara paved the way for all the others who came after her and did it with an unbeatable sense of humor and a very particular set of skills. Plus, she totally has the best game of anyone else on this list!
It's hard not to compare every Arrowverse villain to Eobard Thawne – aka Harrison Wells – and find them lacking, but that's just what happens when you create a villain this perfect. We hate Thawne and his evil ways just as much as Barry, and yet every time he pops back up in the Arrowverse, we let out a whoop of joy. He's just too exciting and unpredictable, and Tom Cavanagh deserves all the awards for playing this character so perfectly.
What would the world be with Felicity Smoak? We hope we never have to find out! There has always been a light inside of Felicity that brightened every room she walked into, and the heroes of the Arrowverse need that more than you might expect. Her brains and quirky personality are the perfect combo, and to this day she remains one of the best characters the Arrowverse ever created.
Oh, Oliver Queen, the man who kicked off the entire Arrowverse. Though he's undoubtedly one of the darkest heroes of the Arrowverse, Oliver still managed to steal a special place in our hearts. For over a decade, he had to test his mettle against some of the most despicable circumstances you can put a character through, and yet each time he came out the other side, a little more battered, but holding his head high. It takes a special kind of courage to be Oliver Queen, and in the end, he got the happy ending he always deserved.
How can we possibly limit the many glowing virtues of the Paragon of Hope to one paragraph? Kara Danvers is inspirational for so many reasons, but her strength in times of adversity is really what makes her stand out from the rest. The things she's seen and been through, the betrayals she's weathered, and the heartbreaks she's endured – it would be enough to break even the strongest minds and hearts, but not Kara. She wakes up every morning still believing in the good of the world, and honestly, we need someone like that now more than ever.
There are so many characters on this list that could have taken this top slot, but ultimately, Barry Allen just felt right. Through all his heroic victories and terrible missteps, Barry has never lost his unflinching ability to do what's right, no matter the personal cost. What we love most about this character though, is how deeply he loves and looks after his friends, who really, have become his family at this point. It doesn't matter if they're a quick run to Star City away, or lost out in the multiverse, if someone he loves needs his help, he'll move heaven and earth to give it to them. If we had to pick one person on this list we'd want in our corner, no matter what, it would be Barry Allen.