Every Arrowverse hero ranked from worst to best

How do the main heroes of each Arrowverse show stack up to each other?
Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One" -- Image Number: SPG509c_0093r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman, Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent/Superman, Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom, Grant Gustin as The Flash and Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One" -- Image Number: SPG509c_0093r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman, Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent/Superman, Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom, Grant Gustin as The Flash and Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

The Arrowverse was full of heroes. That shouldn't come as a surprise considering we're talking about a shared universe of superheroes and villains here, but it truly was a treasure trove of characters designed to make DC fans incredibly happy. And it did, entertaining viewers through all of its highs and lows with an abundance of lovable heroes at the forefront of each DC show to air on The CW.

Yes, there were a lot of superheroes, but the vast majority of those shows were led by one primary hero. In most cases, those shows were named after said hero (The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Batwoman) but in ensemble shows like DC's Legends of Tomorrow, there was always one or two (or maybe even five) primary Legends to lead the crew.

Taking all of that into account, which hero did we all fall in love with the most? And were there any who didn't live up to expectations, perhaps even proving to be more disappointing than memorable? Let's find out, as we rank all of the main heroes from each Arrowverse show from worst to best, figuring out who was the Arrowverse's greatest superhero as we go.

Note: While the Arrowverse featured many iconic DC superheroes over its decade-long run, this list will only be looking at the main heroes who headlined their own show. In the case of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, it will be looking at the three characters at the forefront of it. This list also won't feature heroes from Arrowverse-adjacent shows just as DC's Stargirl or Superman and Lois.

Legends of Tomorrow, Rip Hunter, Arrowverse
Legends of Tomorrow -- "WVRDR_ERROR_100 notFound" -- Image Number: LGN703a_0386r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Amy Pemberton as Gideon and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter -- Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

9. Rip Hunter

Rip Hunter was introduced as the first lead of DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Portrayed incredibly well by Arthur Darvill, he had a strong motivation for putting together his merry band of misfits: Stopping immortal tyrant Vandal Savage from running amok across time and ultimately exacting revenge on the man who killed his wife and child. That made for a compelling character arc throughout the first season while also ensuring that fans understood why he was doing what he was doing.

The issue with Rip is that he didn't always stand out in a sea of characters that did. Audiences tended to connect with other characters like Sara Lance, Leonard Snart, or even Mick Rory (who turned out to be a surprise to everyone on Legends). The pivot to making Sara the captain was the right idea, but it was always nice to see Rip when he popped up from time-to-time. The other issue was that the show couldn't really figure out what to do with him when he did, as he went from brainwashed villain in season 2 to antagonistic do-gooder in season 3.

Nevertheless, Rip is an underrated aspect of Legends who doesn't always get the credit he deserves. His noble sacrifice in season 3 was a poignant but fitting end to his arc, and a reminder of the good man that he was.

Batwoman, Arrowverse
Batwoman -- ÒO, Mouse!Ó -- Image Number: BWN120a_0258r -- Pictured: Ruby Rose as Batwoman -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. /

8. Batwoman (Kate Kane)

After years of teasing the arrival of the Bat-Family, the Arrowverse finally introduced one of its members. Kate Kane made her debut in the Elseworlds crossover, eventually revealing herself to be Batwoman; Gotham's new savior who rose up to protect the people of the city when Batman vanished. If you read the DC Comics, you probably already knew that, and it was awesome to see the Scarlet Knight on-screen before she headlined her own show.

Batwoman committed to telling Kate Kane's story in its first season and it was really getting somewhere. However, it does falter on occasion and Kate doesn't always come across the best because of it. Don't get us wrong; it's a great adaptation of the character and Ruby Rose was convincing in her performance, but the writers were playing the long game with her character, peeling back the layers to let us know a little bit more about her each time. Unfortunately, that didn't work when Rose left the show after one season, with the writers having to subsequently write Kate out.

Kate Kane was a mysterious character whose allure was more than enough to keep us intrigued in what Batwoman had to offer, but the show was only scratching the surface of what she was capable of. And it never fully got to make the most of this rich comic book icon (which is a shame because if they had, she would probably be much higher on this list).

Legends of Tomorrow, Arrowverse, Ava Sharpe
Legends of Tomorrow -- "Stress Western" -- Image Number: LGN608b_0206r.jpg -- Pictured: Jes Macallan as Ava Sharpe -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

7. Ava Sharpe

Three seasons in, we thought DC's Legends of Tomorrow couldn't get any cooler, but it figured out a way to add a new protagonist. While the line-up of Legends has shifted around over the years, Ava Sharpe was one of the few characters to feel like a main character right from her introduction (and she quickly became a main character from season 4 onwards). One of the multiple reasons for that was her connection to Sara Lance, and the relationship that blossomed from it.

Ava was the Director of the Time Bureau, an organization put together to protect the flow of time. Its members disagreed with how the Legends did things and ultimately wanted to stop them. But the fiery chemistry between Ava and Sara became too much, with the former eventually joining the Legends instead.

Ava became a focal part of the show after that and, with a strong performance from Jes Macallan, she quickly found her way into viewers' hearts. She did deserve more solo stories, because whenever Legends focused on her, it showcased the depth of character just waiting to be explored. She had a unique personality and an intriguing backstory, which made it feel like she was there from the very beginning. And her relationship with Sara was easily one of the best in the whole Arrowverse.

Batwoman, Arrowverse
Batwoman -- "Meet Your Maker" -- Image Number: BWN309b_0052r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman -- Photo: Dean BuscherThe CW -- (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

6. Batwoman (Ryan Wilder)

When Ruby Rose left Batwoman, the show was at a crossroads: Would it recast Kate Kane or introduce a new character altogether? The second option was much more of a risk, but to the show's credit, it went for it and pulled it off.

Casting Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder, the show hit the reset button by having Ryan take up the mantle of Batwoman after Kate Kane's disappearance. It struggled a little out of the gate as it couldn't decide if it wanted to let Kate go or not, but one thing it didn't struggle with was the new Scarlet Knight herself. Ryan was a very different person and the show spotlighted that, as it highlighted why her differences made her such a great hero.

Ryan Wilder may have only been on our screens for two seasons, but she etched herself a place among the Arrowverse's greatest heroes. Her first season of Batwoman didn't make the most of the fun, vibrant, and compelling character that she was, but her second did. Season 3 was all about Ryan, and that's one of the main reasons why it's easily the best season of the show. Javicia Leslie was magical in her performance as Ryan, giving us justice, heart, humor, and so much warmth. What a legacy.

Black Lightning, Arrowverse,
The Flash -- "Armageddon, Part 3" -- Image Number: FLA803c_0281r.jpg -- Pictured: Cress Williams as Jefferson/Black Lighting -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved /

5. Black Lightning

When you think about Black Lightning, one of the first words that come to mind is integrity. Jefferson Pierce is a paragon of integrity, committed to everyone he loves in everything he does. He's a man of honor, prioritizing the needs of others above his own, and always - always - fighting to protect those who can't protect themselves. This is obviously very clear in his work as Black Lightning, but it's also clear in his work life as a high school principal, and home life as a family man.

Looking back on Black Lightning's run, you can't help but feel like four seasons just wasn't enough. While the standard of season 4 did leave something to be desired (because of how rushed it felt), watching Jefferson's journey was something that you never grew tired of. He was a hero through and through, and while that certainly didn't make him perfect, it did make him a good man deserving of more stories.

Black Lightning has always been one of DC's most underrated heroes, but he's also one that still commands respect. That sums up his time in the Arrowverse too, because even though he deserved better than his show's premature conclusion, there was no disputing how respected he was by his heroic peers.

Legends of Tomorrow, Sara Lance, Arrowverse
DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "The One Where We're Trapped on TV" -- Image Number: LGN514b_0596.jpg -- Pictured: Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary -- Photo: Jack Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

4. Sara Lance

The only woman on television who has died more times than Buffy The Vampire Slayer (probably), Sara Lance has had quite the journey through the Arrowverse over the years. Originally a recurring part of Arrow as The Canary, she was killed again and resurrected to become a Legend of Tomorrow. The assassin-turned-hero took surprisingly well to life on the Waverider and quickly ascended to the role of captain, leading the Legends through their most unbelievable of adventures.

Sara is a survivor. She's been through it all and still gets up and walks away from it (or, if it's danger: Towards it). Yes, that's partially down to the fact that she's now an immortal alien-human hybrid (Legends really is a long story), but it's also down to the grit that she's made of. She's experienced the most gruelling of trials in her lifetime, both physically and mentally, and it has forged her into one of the strongest warriors ever seen on television. The beauty about her time as Captain Lance is that allows her to see the sillier side of life, laugh once in a while, and fall in love and find happiness. After all she has been put through, that's a fulfilling end to her story.

Caity Lotz was a powerhouse during her time playing Sara Lance. Her performance on Arrow made her an instant fan-favorite, so it was only fitting that she return on Legends of Tomorrow as the White Canary. And we're so glad that she did.

Arrowverse, Arrow, Oliver Queen, Green Arrow
Arrow -- "Purgatory" -- Image Number: AR807B_0283b.jpg -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

3. Green Arrow

Oliver Queen is undoubtedly the most complex character in the Arrowverse's 11-year history. It's fitting because he's its namesake, but it's also undeniable. The Green Arrow is a deeply flawed individual, scarred by his past actions, years of hardship on an island designed to make him fail, and unimaginable pain caused by the loss of too many loved ones. But he channelled all of that pain, all of that sorrow and grief, into becoming something else, someone else. In doing so, he crafted a legacy of heroes willing to step up and protect those in need.

Oliver was almost always the coolest guy in the room. Perpetually moody, always focused, and sometimes even a little funny, the Emerald Archer was often compared to Batman for good reason. He was an expertly-skilled martial artist who could take down the most formidable of foes, and there was never a more epic sight in Arrowverse programming than seeing him do battle with his enemies. And if the Green Arrow took you under his wing, you knew that you were destined to become a great hero.

There were times that Oliver could be the most annoying person in the room, too. He rarely learned from his mistakes and was destined to repeat them over and over, but that did ultimately spotlight how stubborn an individual he was; and that was a consistent representation of him, because he was very untrusting and pig-headed. Again, a very complex character.

Oliver Queen gave the Arrowverse its name, and then he gave it life (and he gave it life again when he rebirthed the multiverse).

Supergirl, Arrowverse
Supergirl -- "The Martian Chronicles" -- Image SPG211b_0140 -- Pictured: Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved /

2. Supergirl

The Girl of Steel first flew onto the screen in CBS's larger-than-life Supergirl series (before the show moved on over to The CW with the rest of its Arrowverse companions) and in just one episode, we knew just how epic a hero she was going to be. Kara Zor-El has lived in the shadow of her more famous cousin for decades, but on the show, she was going to step out of that shadow. Once she did, she soared.

Supergirl is every bit as inspiring and hopeful as Superman. While the character is a bit edgier in the comics, the series opted to have her follow in the footsteps of her cousin, with her Kara Danvers personality mirroring his Clark Kent persona. It worked extremely well, with Kara quickly becoming one of the most lovable characters in TV history. Melissa Benoist was a joy to watch in the role, balancing Kara's quirks with Supergirl's triumphs extremely well, bringing both personalities together to form the true essence of Kara Zor-El.

Supergirl is quite literally the Paragon of Hope. There is no overstating that; she's a beacon of hope inspiring those around her and fighting endlessly to make the world a better place. Whether that's through battling earth-shattering aliens or fighting for the rights of National City residents, she has your back no matter what. She's incorruptible, invincible and incomparable, and that all ensures she is an all-around amazing superhero.

Easily one of the most beloved TV characters of the past decade, there will never be another like Supergirl.

The Flash, Arrowverse
The Flash -- “Wednesday Ever After” -- Image Number: FLA901fg_0005r -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

1. The Flash

Normally, the hero who starts a universe is the one that remains at the forefront of it, but for the Arrowverse, it was its sophomore savior that became its most popular. Barry Allen's guest appearance on Arrow was a sign of things to come as audiences quickly responded to him with nothing but positivity, so when he got the spotlight in The Flash, there was just no turning back.

The Scarlet Speedster has so much heart that you just can't help but root for him; and believe me, we've all been rooting for him against even the most insurmountable of odds. That heart ultimately guides him through, as Barry has taken on all comers, including evil speedsters, overthinkers and multiverse-destroying monsters. His speed has given him an advantage, sure, but it's his heart, resilience and strength that has allowed him to continually get up and carry on fighting the good fight (no matter how hard he was hit).

Barry Allen is literally the Arrowverse's Paragon of Love and that really figures. From the love he has for his parents (which ultimately drove him to become a hero) to the love he shares with his "lightning rod" Iris West (which pushes him to keep running), Barry has always been driven by love, and that's everything that a superhero should be. There is no stronger driving force than that; just as there is no better hero in the Arrowverse than The Flash.

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