The shared DCTV universe can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the shared universe allows for massive plot holes. For example, dramatic cliffhangers lose some impact when the easy solution is to call in the super friends for help. On the other hand, the potential exists for huge-scale stories with team-ups spanning multiple series. This is something no other franchise on television (save perhaps the multiple Law and Order or CSI series) could ever do.
Personally, I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the annual crossover events. They certainly afford some opportunities that fans of all four shows would never get any other way. Seeing all the heroes fight side-by-side is always a thrill. And yet, I think there are frustrating opportunities that have passed them by. (I will never get over the missed opportunity for Diggle and Stein to talk about their children last season. Diggle had just learned that Sara became John in Flashpoint, and Stein had just learned his time travel shenanigans had led to a daughter he hadn’t had before. And they never got to talk about their rather uniquely shared internal conflict with each other? I am still livid.)
Putting that aside, each of the DCTV shows has characters that I absolutely adore, and the annual crossovers open the door to explore new character dynamics. Here are some of the team-ups (and eventual friendships) I would love to see explored in future crossovers.
Iris West / Kara Danvers (with CatCo Crew)
Supergirl does a better job of integrating CatCo and Kara’s job. However, it has also not utilized Kara as a reporter to the degree I would like. I would love to see a villain Kara must take down via a combination of the power of the press and her superpowers.
On that note, I would love to see a team-up with these two ladies as reporters, investigating a shared threat. Today’s world is a stark reminder that there isn’t always one person at the root of all evil, an individual who can be thwarted via arrest or a good punch. Some villainy is pervasive. Systematic. Stopping one person won’t solve the problem; the entire system must be exposed for what it is and dismantled piece by piece.
A journalism-driven crossover would showcase both these women, allowing them to shine in a different light than they most often do on their shows. Kara and Iris are smart, driven, and noble characters. Furthermore, they both strive to give people hope. In whatever outfit best suits that purpose for the threat they face.
Cisco Ramon / Ray Palmer
Save for a short period following Flashpoint, Cisco has been a ray of sunshine on The Flash. It’s almost impossible not to love his character. He’s smart, and he’s willing to do anything for his friends. He also isn’t inclined to think of himself as a hero although he certainly is one. And, ultimately, he has a good heart that even the most oppressive darkness has never really been able to touch.
Ray Palmer is similar in many ways on Legends of Tomorrow. He, too, has been touched by tragedy, yet he retains his nobility and innate goodness. There’s a reason he’s been called “Boyscout” by his own teammates – and that isn’t entirely because the actor once portrayed Superman. He is, in his own way, as much of a geek as Cisco. (Could you imagine a nerdy movie marathon between these two? Or the two competing against each other in a pop culture trivia contest – with long-suffering teammates as judge?) And, like Cisco, he has struggled to see himself as a hero outside of the suit he wears.
The only risk to this team-up is that the writers would have to resist the urge to create such an intense pull of adorkability that it would create its own singularity. If they managed to pull it off, however, these two would be such a joy to watch together. Sign me up!
John Diggle / Hank Henshaw / Harry Wells / Rip Hunter
Which is why I would love to see the four of them team-up for an episode in the line of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s “The Zeppo” or Supernatural’s “Weekend at Bobby’s.” While the superheroes are off battling a world-ending threat, these four would join up to tackle a threat of their own, armed only with their collective sheer awesomeness and impressive Dad Powers.
We all love our superheroes, but an episode centered around these long-suffering father figures would be hilarious. It would also provide depth, insight, and emotional resonance into the reality that those others turn to most often for advice don’t always have the right answers to give. And yet the gladly carry the weight of their responsibility to try.
Alex Danvers / Sara Lance / Caitlin Snow / Cat Grant
Particularly with the addition of Cat Grant, it might be more difficult to contrive a circumstance that would warrant this team-up. It would also not necessarily lead to the most comfortable of dynamics, as most of these women are too used to making plans and giving orders to be readily willing to cede that power to virtual strangers. However, seeing these four women work together, juxtaposed perhaps with the team-up between the Dads above, would be a treat.
It would all be worth it for the scene at the end, where they find common ground and bond over the trials and tribulations – and unique rewards – of taking care of those who take care of the world. Nobody ever said being a mom (or pseudo-mom) was easy. It isn’t any easier when superpowers are involved!
Oliver Queen / Kara Danvers, Leonard Snart / Iris West, Mick Rory / Cisco Ramon
In last year’s crossover event, Oliver Queen wasn’t particularly keen on working with Kara. Obviously, this was a bit contrived – a way for the writers to temporarily sideline one of their most powerful characters in order to build drama. While he eventually came around, he and Kara have never worked together as individuals, and their personalities are certainly different enough to cause tension and conflict. On the other hand, Kara does have a personality that’s similar enough to Felicity’s to smooth some of the edges while of course being different enough to be her own person. This semi-familiar and yet very different dynamic could lend itself to great fun, particularly if it culminated in Oliver facing the two of them together and realizing just how outmatched he would be.
As for Leonard Snart, I will confess I was never as much a fan of him on The Flash as I became during his run on Legends of Tomorrow. He definitely has that Thief with a Heart of Gold thing going for him. A reluctant hero, perhaps, but a hero nonetheless. Cynical and untrusting, with enough sarcasm for three people. Iris, on the other hand, is the opposite of that. She embraces and believes in the good in people. She has hope, and she wants to bring that hope to others. And yet, she can give as good as she gets in the snark department. Their brief interaction last season was a highlight of the episode. I think it would be fun to see the two of them work together (and against each other) for a common goal. If nothing else, the witty repartee would be memorable!
Mick Rory is another character I grew to love more on Legends of Tomorrow than I had before. Then again, he’s perhaps the character who has grown the most over the course of the show. Underneath a very gruff exterior, he has developed some genuine caring and concern for his teammates. Deep, deep down. He hides it well – or at least he tries. Cisco, on the other hand, wears his heart on his sleeve. He is also, ultimately, someone who believes in second chances. The two would undoubtedly clash at first, given their initial meeting. However, this would also lead to some fantastic banter, and I would love to see these two begin to view each other in a new light. Begrudgingly. And never admitting to as much where anyone else might hear.
Every crossover affords a new opportunity for characters who never get a chance to interact to do so. While there are other team-ups I would like to see, these are some of the dynamics I would most love to see.