We know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe encompasses both movies and television series produces directly by Marvel Studios (including, e.g. Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter).

We also know that DC/Warner Brothers TV series Arrow and The Flash will be set in a shared universe, but that WB has already declared that the newly-created "Justice League" movie universe (starting with Man of Steel) is a separate universe.

Has anyone made any comment regarding the setting of Gotham? Is it set in the same universe as Arrow (possibly in the past, since it pre-dates Bruce Wayne's adulthood)? Or is it an independent universe from either of the other two?


4 Answers 4


tl;dr: No, Gotham is separate, as are iZombie and Lucifer. The rest of the DC shows are all effectively in the same universe (or multiverse, to be precise). Also, note that none of these shows are considered part of any movie universe (e.g. none of them are part of the DCEU)

In the 2014-2015 and 2015--2016 TV seasons, there's a ton of DC shows on the air:

  • Arrow
  • The Flash
  • Constantine
  • Gotham
  • iZombie
  • Supergirl
  • Legends of Tomorrow
  • Lucifer

The only explicitly shared universe in that group is the "Arrowverse" which includes the three shows aired on CW and produced by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim: Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.

At Comic Con 2014 it was stated that there's no shared universe among the others, as of yet:

While we know that Arrow and The Flash will crossover a lot, it was deemed a little difficult to cross over the non-CW shows, since Gotham's time period is a little uncertain. Gotham executive producer Bruno Heller said, "Never say never" but pointed out "If those two [Gotham and Constantine] worlds coincided, then it would work. But I'm not really sure of the chronology. Maybe Constantine is only five when Gotham takes place."

So far, iZombie, Lucifer and Gotham have remained separate, and their setting and tone are diverse enough that they'll probably remain that way. However, after Constantine was cancelled by NBC, Berlanti's team got Matt Ryan to reprise his lead role on S4E05 of Arrow, meaning that Constantine retroactively joined the Arrowverse. In addition, in S01E18 of Supergirl (also produced by Berlanti's company), Grant Gustin appeared as Barry Allen, also bringing Supergirl into the Arrowverse continuity.

  • 10
    This is how DC comics dies. Not with Batman and Robin, but the slow broil of bad TV shows.
    – Suman Roy
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 5:47
  • +1, especially for the update. From the end of the season 1 of Flash, the Arrowverse is in-universe now a multiverse. In particular, Supergirl leaves in a different universe than Flash, Arrow and Constantine (who share the same universe).
    – Taladris
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 4:27
  • Since Supergirl was brought into the Arrowverse as an alternate Earth, there's no reason the other shows (and the DCEU) couldn't also at some point, be presented as alternate Earths within the same multiverse, and the quote by Geoff Johns given below by @Gothamite24 seems to indicate that's exactly what it is.
    – Dan Jones
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 22:24

This is best explained by the following quote from Geoff Jones in October of 2014 when asked how the DC Extended Universe would compare to the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

"We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV universe and our film universe, but they all coexist. For us, creatively, it's about allowing everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world. Everyone has a vision and you really want the visions to shine through...It's just a different approach."

Quote from buzzfeed article

  • 1
    Do you have a link to the source of that quote?
    – Moogle
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 15:39
  • My bad. Forgot to place this link on my answer. Here:buzzfeed.com/jarettwieselman/…. Hope this helps. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 13:36

We know that Flash and Supergirl are not in the same universe. It is unlikely that the Superman in Supergirl's universe is the same as the one in the recent films - at the very loeast we know there's a different Jimmy Olsen, and also there's the general sense of trust and admiration he has. He may be the one from the Brandon Routh film (that's be a fun crossover!) or even that of Smallville. Until they choose to give him a full-blown appearance (which I doubt they will) we'll likely never get an answer.

  • 1
    Flash and Supergirl are in the same canon "universe", since Grant Gustin has appeared on Supergirl. In the shows, of course, there is a multiverse concept that eliminates most of the continuity problems.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:01
  • It's made very clear in the episode that he's "on the wrong earth", and even explains the multiverse theory. They exist on different Earths - they are now connected via said crossover, but there will never be a story in a Central City newspaper aout Superman or Supergirl saving anyone, not will Catco ever report the exploits of Arrow. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:08
  • 1
    all of those things are true and largely irrelevant to my question.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:37
  • They are highly relevant to the question. Warner Brothers is establishing that all of their properties exist within one "multiverse", though not the same universes, and this is a cited example of that. While Queen Consolidated uses the same logo in both Gotham and Arrow, Geoff Johns commented that it was "mere coincidence", but didn't rule out the possibility that we could see characters crossing over via the multiverse theory. This is further reinforced by the same characters have different expressions in each universe (Dollmaker, for example). Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:53

Flash, Titans and Arrow are connected; Smallville is a maybe - it is connected to the Arrow maybe; Constantine, Gotham and iZombie are not connected.
Man of Steel, upcoming Batman movies, The upcoming Green lantern (which has no connection to the 2011 one), Batman vs Superman, the upcoming Auqaman and Justice League are all part of the same universe.

The upcoming Cyborg and Nightwing movies are being

considered but likely well not be connected to the cinematic universe

according to DC.

Shazam is connected to the DC cinematic universe - sort of. It's connected, but takes place in a different universe.
And the upcoming sandman movie (DCs sandman not marvels) is not part of the DC cinematic universe; for who knows what reason.

  • How could Smallville and Arrow be connected? They have two totally different Oliver Queens and Barry Allens.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 17:52

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