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Arrowverse Order: The Complete Episode Timeline

arrowverse banner image with a collection of superheroes and text that says The Arrowverse Timeline

What started as a small, gritty realization of one of DC’s minor characters, the Green Arrow, has turned into a huge television universe. This is the Arrowverse episode viewing order (as well as a few books and comics), putting it all together.

What’s on the Arrowverse Timeline?

Welcome to our unofficial Arrowverse timeline, which assembles all of the media comprising the DCTV universe that started with Arrow on the CW. This is just one of our DC Comics timelines. This timeline includes media from the following:

  • Arrow: The CW show following Oliver Queen as Green Arrow as he defends Star City.
  • The Flash: The CW show following Barry Allen who gains super speed and becomes the Flash, defending his home town of Central City.
  • Legends of Tomorrow (LoT): A time-travel adventure on the CW, featuring multiple characters.
  • Vixen: An animated adventure found exclusively online. It features the character Vixen, a woman from Detroit with a magic totem that allows her to gain the abilities of any animal.
  • Constantine: A show that originally debuted on NBC, but ended after one season. The show was adopted into the Arrowverse timeline when the main character appeared on a season 4 episode of Arrow.
  • Tie-in comics/books: Several shows have tie-in comics and a few books that flesh out the characters/stories.
  • Supergirl: Though Supergirl exists in an alternate dimension from the Arrowverse, the Flash does possess the ability to travel the multiverse, therefore making it possible to meet Supergirl in her own dimension. Additionally, this show eventually merged with the main Arrowverse timeline.
  • Black Lightning: This show started as its own thing, not part of Arrowverse continuity, but that changed with the Crisis on Infinite Earths event that brought these timelines, including Black Lightning, together.
  • Batwoman: The show that started with a backdoor pilot in the 2018 crossover, Batwoman eventually received her own series in 2019.
  • Superman & Lois: A show that explores the dynamic of Superman and Lois as parents of teenage twins. Taking place after the Crisis on Infinite Earth’s crossover (hence explaining some of the continuity problems).

Please note that Stargirl is not part of the Arrowverse and is therefore not included here, even though it is a CW show. This may change in the future as more crossovers open doors to new possibilities.

Arrowverse Timeline Table

First, take a look through this table of the complete episode order, as well as some of the Arrowverse novels and comics, all laid out in a definitive order together.

Then continue reading for a complete breakdown of how everything fits together. Also don’t forget to look at all of our other DC timeline.

Note: if you click any of the links below and end up buying something, a very small percentage of that will go to my Netflix fund, and it costs nothing extra for you. Much appreciated!

The Arrowverse Seasons in Order

There’s so much in the Arrowverse timeline, that it can be difficult to keep everything straight. Thankfully most of the shows tend to come out in chronological order, and so it’s more a matter of keeping all the shows straight, and which seasons go with which.

Here is a basic breakdown of the different seasons and how they related to each other:

  • Year 1: Arrow (Season 1)
  • Year 2: Arrow (Season 2)
  • Year 3: Arrow (Season 3), The Flash (Season 1), Constantine (Season 1)
  • Year 4: Arrow (Season 4), The Flash (Season 2), Supergirl (Season 1)
  • Year 4.5: Legends of Tomorrow (Season 1)
  • Year 5: Arrow (Season 5), The Flash (Season 3), Supergirl (Season 2), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 2)
  • Year 6: Arrow (Season 6), The Flash (Season 4), Supergirl (Season 3), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 3), Black Lightning (Season 1)
  • Year 7: Arrow (Season 7), The Flash (Season 5), Supergirl (Season 4), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 4), first 3 episodes of Batwoman, Black Lightning (Season 2)
  • Year 8: Arrow (Season 8), The Flash (Season 6), Supergirl (Season 5), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 5), Batwoman (the rest of Season 1), Black Lightning (Season 3)
  • Year 9: The Flash (Season 7), Supergirl (Season 5), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 6), Batwoman (Season 2), Black Lightning (Season 4), Superman & Lois (Season 1)

There are also some web and animated series, such as Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which we didn’t include here for simplicity’s sake. But you can find those in the full list above.

So let’s break this down year by year:

Year One

Our first year saw the debut of Arrow, the CW show inspired by past successes like Smallville (where the emerald archer was played by Justin Hartley).

The show focused on a lesser-known DC character, Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, and served as an origin story for the character, played by Stephen Amell.

The show had Oliver return home after being long presumed dead. Instead, he had been living on an island, and the show contains many flashbacks to his time there, and how it has shaped him returning home.

Once home, he becomes a crime-fighting vigilate, brutally attacking rich and corrupt business and crime lords and, much like Robin Hood, sharing that wealth with the needy.

Important Episodes:

  • Arrow 1.1: Oliver returns home from the island of Lian Yu and becomes “The Hood.”
  • Arrow 1.8: Helena Berrtinelli (the Huntress) makes an appearance in this episode.
  • Arrow 1.23: The season finale where Malcolm Merlyn’s Undertaking program decimates a neighborhood in the city, but Oliver is able to help.

Year Two

In Year Two, Arrow is still the only show on television, but the possibility of more would be revealed in this season.

This season brought back Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) to the Arrowverse. We’d seen him before in flashbacks, but in this season he becomes the main villain of the show.

As a side note: This season is my favorite, probably in the entire Arrowverse, and it’s because of Slade Wilson and the actor who played him, Manu Bennett. He’s just phenomenal.

The season is also notable for introducing Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, in a two-episode backdoor pilot to The Flash, though that show would not begin until the following year.

Important Episodes:

  • Arrow 2.1: Sarah Lance returns, and Oliver discovers that she’s been training under the LEague of Assassins, of Batman fame.
  • Arrow 2.8, and 2.9: Barry Allen assists Arrow and his team. These episodes act as a backdoor pilot to The Flash television show.
  • Arrow 2.11: Slade Wilson becomes the main villain in Starling City and murders Oliver’s mother.

Year Three

flash vs. arrow crossover photo

In this year, we get the start of Arrow season 3 and Flash season 1, the first official tie-in show to Arrow.

The seasons see Barry having his accident that leads to giving him super speed, and then waking up to find others affected by the same event, using their powers for evil. Barry tries to stop them together with his team. In Arrow, on the other hand, Oliver must deal with the arrival of famed Batman villain, Ra’s al Ghul. 

Important Episodes:

  • Flash 1.1: Barry experiences an accident and wakes up to realize he has superspeed
  • Arrow 3.1: Sarah is murdered and her sister Laurel becomes the new Black Canary.
  • Flash 1.8/Arrow 1.8: The first Arrowverse crossover between Flash and Arrow.
  • Arrow 3.9: Arrow duels Ra’s al Ghul and almost dies.
  • Arrow 3.15: The first appearance of Ray Palmer (played by Superman actor Brandon Routh)
  • Flash 1.13: Firestorm, another superhero affected by the same radiation that caused Barry’s transformation, is created.
  • Flash 1.23: Barry learns that he’s been manipulated for a long time by Reverse-Flash, who had time-travelled from the future. A wormhole is created in this episode, threatening all of Central City.
  • Arrow 3.23: Oliver defeats Ra’s al Ghul and Malcolm Merlyn becomes al Ghul’s successor.

Note: I also like to place NBC’s Constantine season 1 in here, as it is good backstory for season 4 of Arrow, however, it’s unclear whether this version of Constantine is actually canon in the Arrowverse, or if it’s just another version of that character, played by the same actor. If canon, it’s unclear where it should go on the timeline, other than before Arrow season 4.

Another note: somewhere in here is also the best placement for the first season of Vixen.

Year Four

heroes unite arrowverse crossover photo

Year four brought us the first season of Supergirl, which was originally aired on CBS and was not considered the same world as the Arrowverse.

However, the powers that be were able to arrange a crossover with the Flash, and once Supergirl moved to the CW in subsequent seasons, those crossovers would only increase.

In Arrow, Oliver has to deal with supernatural threats, led by villain Damien Darhk (my favorite Arrow villain besides Deathstroke). 

In the Flash, the main villain for the season is Zoom, another speedster with a mysterious origin.

Legends of Tomorrow also occurred half-way through year four, which also resulted in the second major Arrowverse crossover (though it did not involve Supergirl). 

Important Episodes:

  • Arrow 4.1: Damien Darhk launches an attack on Star City
  • Supergirl 1.1: Kara Danvers becomes Supergirl and teams up with the DEO against alien threats.
  • Arrow 4.3: Malcolm Merlyn agrees to use the Lazarus Pit to bring back Sara Lance who died in the previous season.
  • Arrow 4.5: The first appearance of Constantine in the Arrowverse
  • Flash 2.5: Flash learns of the existence of the multiverse
  • Arrow 4.8: Oliver discovers he has a son that he did not know about
  • Flash 2.8/Arrow 4.8: Crossover that also serves as a backdoor pilot to Legends of Tomorrow, and deals with villain Vandal Savage.
  • Supergirl 1.18: The Flash arrives in National City and teams up with Supergirl.
  • Arrow 4.23: Oliver Queen becomes Mayor of Star City
  • Flash 2.23: The Flash goes back in time to try and prevent his mother’s death.
  • Legends of Tomorrow 1.1: Rip Hunter recruits the “Legends” to help fight Vandal Savage throughout time.
  • Legends of Tomorrow 1.14: The Legends discover that the Time Masters were working with Vandal Savage.
  • Legends of Tomorrow 1.16: The team beat Vandal Savage in three different time periods, and keep a meteor from destroying Earth in the process.

Year Five

invasion arrowverse crossover photo

This year started with a “Flashpoint” event, where Barry Allen went back in time and changed the future as a result. This ended up creating a number of changes across the Arrowverse, not just on The Flash.

This was also the season that brought us “Invasion!”, the most ambitious crossover yet, involving all four of the Arrowverse TV shows.

This was essentially when the Arrowverse became a major contender in the superhero genre. It began to do in TV what Marvel had done in film, and was getting a lot more mainstream media attention. Frankly, it was doing a better job than DC film was doing.

In Arrow, the main villain becomes Prometheus, who throws Oliver’s stint as mayor into chaos. In Legends of Tomorrow, the team tries to deal with a number of “time aberrations”. Flash has to deal with Savitar, a speedster villain who hunts him for messing with the time stream. Finally, on Supergirl, the team have to deal with the Daxamites, an alien race that matches Supergirl in power.

Important Episodes:

  • Flash 3.1: Barry tries to change the past and creates the Flashpoint reality.
  • Supergirl 2.1: Tyler Hoechlin is introduced as Superman.
  • Flash 3.2: Caitlin Snow begins a transformation into Killer Frost.
  • Supergirl 2.6: Jimmy Olsen takes up the “Guardian identity.
  • Flash 3.7: Wally West gains speed powers and becomes Kid Flash.
  • Supergirl 2.8/Flash 3.8/Arrow5.8/Legends of Tomorrow 2.7: The Invasion! Crossover event, where all the heroes team up to fight an extraterrestrial threat.
  • Flash 3.17: A musical episode featuring Supergirl and the Flash.
  • Flash 3.23: Flash defeats Savitar by sacrificing himself to save the city
  • Arrow 5.23: An explosion on Lian Ya has fatal consequences for Team Arrow.
  • Supergirl 2.22: Daxamite prince Mon-El, who had been helping Supergirl, sacrifices himself to save her. 

Year Six

crisis on earth x arrowverse crossover artwork

Year six brought us an even bigger slew of seasons than the first, including a massive crossover of all shows, in Crisis on Earth-X. It also began planting the seeds for the Crisis on Infinite Earth’s crossover, which would take place later.

The crossover would also mark two big events for some of the characters, namely the weddings of Barry and Iris, as well as Oliver and Felicity.

This year also marked the beginning of Black Lightning, which though it stayed as a separate universe for the first three seasons of its run, would eventually cross over with the Arrowverse.

Important Episodes:

  • Arrow 6.1: Team Arrow has to recover from the devastating aftermath of the destruction of Lian Yu.
  • Flash 4.1: The Thinker begins a campaign to get rid of the Flash for good.
  • Legends of Tomorrow 3.1: Rip Hunter replaces the Time Masters to police the timeline with his own organization.
  • Supergirl 3.8/Arrow 6.8/Flash 3.8/Legends of Tomorrow 3.8: The Crisis on Earth-X timeline, where the heroes team up to fight Nazi’s in an alternate dimension where Germany won World War II.
  • Legends of Tomorrow 3.18: The demon Mallus is defeated by the Legends.
  • Arrow 6.23: Ricardo Diaz successfully takes control of Star City. Arrow becomes imprisoned by the FBI.
  • Supergirl 3.23: Supergirl has to fight the entity known as Reign. She eventually attempts to terraform Earth before Supergirl defeats her.

Year Seven

elseworlds arrowverse crossover artwork

It was in year seven that the creators of the Arrowverse really began to prep for the Crisis on Infinite Earth’s event, though that would not happen for another year.

However, this series of seasons saw the Elseworlds crossover, which involved a cameo from Batwoman.

Batwoman wouldn’t get her first full season until the following year, so some of her origin episodes, chronologically, would actually take place before her official first Arrowverse appearance. 

Important Episodes:

  • Arrow 7.8: Oliver is released from prison.
  • Batwoman 1.1-4: Kate Kane returns to Gotham City and becomes Batwoman in Batman’s absence.
  • Flash 5.9/Arrow 7.9/Supergirl 4.9: The Elseworlds crossover event, where the heroes experience different lives and universes.
  • Flash 5.22: Nora, being manipulated by Eobard Thawne, changes the timeline, allows Thawne to escape, and moves the Crisis event to 2019.
  • Supergirl 4.22: Lex Luthor is defeated by Supergirl. He reveals her identity to his sister, Lena.

Year Eight

crisis on infinite earths arrowverse crossover photo

At long last, it was time for the run of seasons that would bring us the biggest Arrowverse crossover so far (and probably for a very long time): Crisis on Infinite Earths.

This crossover would be so huge, it would rewrite huge portions of the Arrowverse, bring several universes together, while leaving some apart, and killing off the character that started this whole universe: Oliver Queen.

Important Episodes:

  • Supergirl 5.9/Batwoman 1.9/Flash 6.9/Arrow 8.8/Legends of Tomorrow 5.0: Crisis on Infinite Earth’s crossover. The universe is completely rewritten so that Supergirl’s, Black Lightning’s, and the main Arrowverse’s Earths became one. Arrow gives his life to save the multiverse. Includes a massive number of crossovers from various DC franchises.
  • Flash 6.19: Flash defeats the threat of the Mirrowverse, but Iris disappears.
  • Batwoman 1.20: Kate’s insane sister, Alice, created a Bruce Wayne doppelganger and planned to release him on Gotham, before he was stopped by Kate.

Year Nine

Year Nine has seen little crossover, other than a few instances of Diggle visiting various other shows in the Arrowverse. 

However, this year did see the debut of Superman & Lois, the new show that saw Superman and Lois trying to raise two teenage twins, while dealing with all the other things that such a super family (yes, I’m not sorry) would deal with.

There’s still a lot to be had from the Arrowverse, so we will be sure to update this as we know more.

All the Arrowverse Crossovers

So far, there have been several big crossovers, and a lot of little ones. Here are the more official “big” crossover events in the Arrowverse so far:

  1. Flash vs. Arrow: Occurred in year 3, and featured Flash and Arrow going up against each other, then teaming up.
  2. Heroes Join Forces: The second crossover happened in year 4, and served as a backdoor pilot to the Legends of Tomorrow 
  3. Invasion!: The first really big crossover that involved all of the DC Arrowverse shows of that time, including the first to include Supergirl. The heroes had to battle an alien race known as the Dominators.
  4. Crisis on Earth X: Another big crossover with all of the different shows coming together to fight Nazi’s from Earth-X, including Nazi versions of themselves.
  5. Elseworlds: This crossover provided the heroes with a look at various alternate timelines, including one where the roles of Barry and Oliver were reversed. This also served to set up the following year’s enormous crossover…
  6. Crisis on Infinite Earths: The biggest crossover that has ever happened in the Arrowverse (and possibly in all of television). The multiverse is dying, and the heroes band together to save it. The end result is that much of time is rewritten, several universes are merged together, including those belonging to Supergirl, Black Lightning, and the rest of the Arrowverse. Included cameos from a ton of other properties, including Titans, the Batman ’66 universe, Smallville, and the DCEU.

Where to Start Watching?

Well, this depends on a couple of big things.

If you’re a completionist, you should start at the beginning. In my opinion, the first two seasons of Arrow and the Flash are some of the best that they’ve ever made. 

The Arrowverse has gotten a little cheesy over the years (again, just my opinion), so if that bugs you, it’s absolutely fine if you just want to skim through some of my most important episodes above, as well as the crossovers. 

The crossovers tend to mostly stand on their own, meaning you don’t have to know much of what is going on around them. There’s only a bit of context that is lost when starting each crossover.

And that should do it! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this timeline as much as I’ve enjoyed making it. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and let us know how we’re doing. We love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Jason