The CW made a rather bold COVID-lockdown-era move back in May to officially announce the return of its entire slate of shows for January 2021. While the current state of the health crisis doesn’t quite reflect the wave of optimism that motivated the move, the network’s plans do appear to be holding up; a notion solidified by a trailer that curiously touts a new noun for its DC Comics shows.
“The CWverse” is the name the network prefers we all use for its vast lineup of DC series. The designation obviously applies to the network’s January-scheduled relaunch of shows, in this case Black Lightning, The Flash, (a recently-recast) Batwoman and freshman spinoff Superman & Lois (with recently aired shows Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Stargirl temporarily benched). Yet, the encompassing name, CWverse, evokes wider brand synergy with the network’s other, non-DC shows, the most prominent of which at the moment are Riverdale, Nancy Drew and Charmed. Bearing in mind the touted tag line, “From one hero, an entire universe was born,” check out The CWverse trailer and its full 2021 aspirations just below.
The CWverse name also serves as an official delineation from the “DC Extended Universe” of the rapidly-evolving Warner Bros. films, standing in contrast to the TV canon’s existing designations, which were conjured by the fans and never officially christened. Originally, more inside-baseball-minded viewers brandished the designation, “The Berlantiverse,” of course named after Greg Berlanti, the key creative force and overarching executive producer boss of the small screen continuity. However, a more commonly accepted nomenclature subsequently manifested with “The Arrowverse,” which refers to the notion that the series in question—upon its October 2012 premiere—served as the catalyst from which the network’s entire family of DC shows were subsequently spun over the course of nearly a decade.
However, in an inevitable example of fandom-fueled backlash, the rebranding move is being met with a measure of resistance, notably evidenced by the comments section of the trailer alone, which generally leans pro-Arrowverse. Yet, the star of the recently-ended Arroweverse-eponymous series, Stephen Amell, actually took time to chime in on this most crucial of debates, revealing a pro-Berlantiverse position. – Swerve!
On another note, The CWverse trailer’s tail-end provided some preview footage of the aforementioned Superman & Lois, which, spun-off from Supergirl, will see Tyler Hoechlin reprise his role—on a permanent basis—as Clark Kent, a.k.a. the Man of Steel himself, joined by a returning Elizabeth Tulloch as wife Lois Lane, a potentially-awkward love triangle former in Emmanuel Chriqui as Lana Lang and the Kents’ sons, post-Crisis-retconned twin teens Jonathan and Jordan, played by Jordan Elsass and Alexander Garfin, respectively.
Regardless, it seems that the COVID-delayed January return of The CW’s DC lineup will showcase a proverbial new coat of paint in the form of this CWverse branding—inevitable heated debates over said branding notwithstanding. For now, the window of January 2021 is as specific of a release date there is for this grandiose return.