Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Before They Were Heroes: Arrowverse

As of the Legends finale last week, the Arrowverse has officially closed down for the year (also a new "Arrowverse" series, Stargirl, started last month, but that's a story for another time). The pandemic meant that some seasons got cut short, but there are worse things--Also we got the news of the surprise departure of Ruby Rose as Batwoman. In honor of the finales, I wanted to spotlight some of the leading actors and actresses and movies they were in before they were superheroes. My wife and I love picking up obscure appearances of our favorite actors appearing in “older” shows (like “Abed Nadir” appearing in Gilmore Girls). So I’m going to start with the main stars from the Arrowverse shows.

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow) - Heartland
Before he was the playboy Oliver Queen, Stephen Amell appeared repeatedly on one of my wife’s favorite cheesy Canadian cowboy shows. Since Stephen Amell is Canadian I wasn’t too surprised that he showed up there, but it was kind of funny to see him show up when my wife was watching this show over maternity leave.

Matt Ryan (Constantine) - Criminal Minds
While Constantine was a short-lived series, he keeps popping up in the Arrowverse, first on Arrow and now consistently on Legends of Tomorrow. I never got to his appearance in Criminal Minds when I watched it with my roommates years ago, but I do remember the show and its intrigue. Kind of makes me want to go back and watch the show again (add that one to my watchlist). Side note: he also appeared in an episode of Torchwood, an adult Doctor Who spin-off.

Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash) and Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl) - Glee
I’ve only watched a handful of episodes of Glee (it’s been perpetually on my Netlfix queue). They do have good music though. I’ve never seen the episodes with Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist’s characters, but having seen their Arrowverse musical crossover, I’m not surprised that they were on Glee for a while.

Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom) - Gilmore Girls
He was only a throwaway character back in the first season of Gilmore Girls, but he later became multiple superheroes in the Arrowverse. I remember his scene vividly, even though I had to jog my memory on his role, because I thought it was so cringey how these college boys talked up these high school sophomore girls.

Cress Williams (Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning) - Hart of Dixie
He’s appeared in a couple shows that my wife likes, but he had such a long-standing role on Hart of Dixie (he also appeared Grey’s Anatomy) that I chose this one. If I recall correctly he was the long-standing mayor in the small town. It was such a different role than what I’m used to in Black Lightning that it was cool to see the contrast.

Ruby Rose (Kate Kane/Batwoman) - Pitch Perfect 3
My wife and I were recently watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy. When we got to the third movie, I realized I recognized one of the singers of Evermoist. It was Batwoman! That’s the one that actually inspired this post. I didn’t realize she was a singer before making that connection (although I couldn’t actually confirm whether it’s her singing or not). -- Unrelated: I'm curious how things will go with them recasting her character for next season.

What other Arrowverse stars come to mind for you? I knew I couldn’t include everyone so I tried to hit the highlights.

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