In its five years of existence, Arrow has slowly indulged in the Batman-ification of the Emerald Archer, bringing in a wealth of characters and villains more closely connected to the Dark Knight as it’s taken Oliver Queen down paths more aligned with Bruce Wayne. But finally, it gets to make an explicit reference.
The clip comes from tonight’s episode of the show, and shows Mayor Queen dealing with the press after the fallout from last week’s premiere— which saw a photo of Oliver, with his hood down and in his Green Arrow costume, leaked to the media. Ollie nonchalantly brushes off the accusations by boldly deeming the image photoshopped... and offering an alternate billionaire playboy that could’ve been ’shopped into the image instead: Bruce Wayne.
The Arrow-verse shows have danced around Batman as a joke for years at this point—Supergirl more freely than others, given it has the liberty of taking place on a separate Earth than the rest of the series. A Blüdhaven here, a WayneTech there, we’ve had enough clues to infer that Batman does indeed exist somewhere out there on the Earth of Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. But this really is the first time someone’s actually gotten to say “Bruce Wayne” aloud. That’s a big moment after years of teasing!
Sure, it’s about a million light years away from Batman actually showing up on one of these shows some day, but it’s something.