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- Since Arrow runs two storylines simultaneously (one in the present, the other flashbacks to Oliver's time on the island and elsewhere), it naturally has two Big Bads per season (until Season Six, which drops this format):
- Season One: The present has Malcolm Merlyn/The Dark Archer, while the past has Edward Fyers (until it turns out that he's working for a mystery woman, revealed in Season Three to be Amanda Waller).
- Season Two: The present has Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, The Man Behind the Man to initial-seeming Big Bad Sebastian "Brother" Blood, and the past has Dr. Anthony Ivo. Then we see Slade's FaceHeel Turn occur in the flashbacks, where he usurps Ivo's resources, making him the overall Big Bad of the whole season.
- Season Three: Duties are split between Malcolm Merlyn and Ra's Al-Ghul, with the heroes ultimately allying with Malcolm against Ra's. The flashbacks set in Hong Kong also split duties, this time between Amanda Waller and China White though both end up eclipsed by General Shrieve.
- Season Four: The present has Damien Darhk who is a founding member of H.I.V.E., and eventually forms a Villain Team-Up with Malcolm Merlyn, while the island flashbacks have Baron Reiter.
- Season Five: The present has Prometheus aka Simon Morrison, alias Adrian Chase, who is later revealed to be in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Talia Al-Ghul, though he himself remains The Heavy, with Tobias Church as a Disc-One Final Boss for the first five episodes, while the past has Konstantin Kovar, a corrupt member of the Russian government.
- Season Six: With the flashbacks concluded, the sole Big Bad is Cayden James, leading a Legion of Doom comprised of several prior villains as well as Ricardo Diaz, aka the Dragon, who had previously seemed to be a one-off villain. Then it turns out that James, while still the most prominent threat for the first half of the season, is just an Unwitting Pawn of Diaz, who plays the part of minion while manipulating James into thinking that Oliver killed his son and sending him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, the collateral damage of which enables Diaz to install corrupt officials on his payroll in key city government positions.
- Season Seven: Diaz again, aided by his new partners, the Longbow Hunters. However, Diaz gets thrown into prison seven episodes into the season, putting his status as the Big Bad in question, while John and Lyla investigate a mysterious terrorist backer known only as Dante, for whom the Hunters evidently work. Seven episodes after that, Diaz is burned to death right after Dante makes his first onscreen appearance, which seems to solidify the latter as the true Big Bad. But then, three episodes later, it's revealed that Emiko Adachi, who was recruited by Dante into the Ninth Circle, outranks him and is their leader, seeking to destroy Oliver's life and home in petty revenge for their father Robert abandoning her and her mother. In the Flash Forward scenes twenty years into a Bad Future, Rene of all people is initially presented as this, as the cold Mayor of the now independent Glades who had a falling out with his friends and outlawed vigilantes — then it turns out that he is under the thumb of a powerful business partner named Kevin Dale, who plans on destroying all the rest of Star City and eliminating vigilantes worldwide.
- Season One: The Reverse-Flash, who turns out to be Eobard Thawne, having stolen the name and DNA of Harrison Wells, with Grodd lurking in the shadows as The Dragon.
- Season Two: Zoom, real name Hunter Zolomon, who was pretending to be Jay Garrick and is in charge of an army of evil metahumans from Earth-2.
- Season Three: Savitar, who is really a future version of Barry Allen pretending to be the mythical God of Speed, with Julian Albert Desmond unwittingly serving him as Dr. Alchemy for the first nine episodes.
- Season Four: Clifford DeVoe, aka The Thinker, the first non-speedster Big Bad in the show, with his wife Marlize, aka The Mechanic, working as The Dragon. Amunet Black also causes a little trouble here and there for the heroes throughout the season, though she utterly pales in comparison to DeVoe and later even helps the team against him.
- Season Five: Orlin Dwyer aka Cicada, a No-Nonsense Nemesis who has it out for metahumans, despite himself being one. In the back end of the season, Team Flash talk him into a HeelFace Turn, only for a Future Badass version of Dwyer's niece Grace Gibbons, who has become Cicada II, to arrive in the present, kill him, and take on the position of main antagonist. And further complicating things, Eobard Thawne is manipulating Nora from the future for unclear reasons, potentially setting up a Big-Bad Ensemble. The final episodes of the season reveal that Thawne's goal was to alter the timeline enough to engineer his escape from prison — Team Flash and both Cicadas were his Unwitting Pawns, and he was the true mastermind all along.
Legends of Tomorrow
- Season One sees the Legends brought together to prevent Vandal Savage from conquering the world in the future, though they also face a secondary threat from the Time Master Council, which seek to stop them from changing history. The Time Masters turn out to have been working with Savage the whole time, but are wiped out near the end of the season, leaving him as the Final Boss.
- Season Two has the Legion of Doom composed of Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash, Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer, and Damien Darhk, all working together to gather the Spear of Destiny, which allows the user to rewrite reality to suit their needs; however, Thawne is the dominant threat, as he later makes it clear that he has no equal and no respect for his fellow villains whatsoever.
- Season Three has the mysterious Mallus, whose name is dropped several times with little indication as to who he really is or what he wants, aside from resurrecting deceased Arrowverse villains to serve him by creating anachronisms. In the back half of the season, he's discovered to be a demon who was trapped within time itself long ago (by Amaya's ancestors, in fact), and the anachronisms are weakening the prison enough for him to escape. Oh, and his real name is Malice; everyone just keeps getting it wrong.
- Season Four has another demon, Neron, who's after John Constantine's soul (and by extension the Legends). As part of his plan, he's positioned himself in the Department of Defense to use the magical creatures the Legends are hunting as a means to strike terror into the hearts of human. And for extra points, he uses the body of John's lover Desmond as a vessel. Also, he doesn't seem to be acting all alone he wants to awaken his mysterious partner Tabitha, who turns out to be the Fairy Godmother.
- Season One initially has Kara's aunt, General Astra, as the leader of the escaped Kryptonian criminals that cause most of the trouble throughout the season. However, after her death, her husband Non assumes control of their forces and the progression of their Evil Plan, then teams up with Indigo.
- Season Two has Lillian Luthor, the leader of Cadmus, and later Queen Rhea of Daxam.
- Season Three has Samantha Arias/Reign, leader of the three Worldkillers — though everyone, even herself, is initially unaware of it — with the mysterious Kryptonian sect who created them serving as the Greater-Scope Villains until their leader Selena takes over the chief villain position in the final episodes, leaving Reign as The Heavy. Morgan Edge serves as a Big Bad Wannabe keeping Kara and her friends busy until halfway through the season.
- Season Four has Benjamin Lockwood aka Agent Liberty, who heads an anti-alien movement, the Children of Liberty. Mercy Graves is his Dragon, though she acts more like an equal partner at times and in any case is killed four episodes into the season. There is also Manchester Black, who is hellbent on revenge on Lockwood after the latter kills his girlfriend Fiona, later forming his own team, the Elite, clashing with both the Children of Liberty and Supergirl and her friends (J'onn in particular) due to his ruthless methods. Manchester is the first of the ensemble to bite it, leaving it open for the newly returned Lex Luthor. Further complicating things, there is a clone of Supergirl residing in Kaznia, who is being trained by the local authorities to help invading the United States, and who ruins Kara's reputation by attacking the White House. The episode "The House of L" finally ties all this together and reveals the true Big Bad to be Luthor, who set up Lockwood as a patsy (and is therefore indirectly responsible for Manchester's Start of Darkness) and has been helping Kaznia train the clone, all as part of his larger plan.
- The first Season has Mari's own sister Kuasa, who feels the Spirit Totem rightfully belongs to her.
- The second Season has Benatu Eshu, the Zambesi warlord who is behind the destruction of Mari's village and the murder of her father. He wants to collect all the magical totems for himself, gaining control of the Fire Totem and burning down a large portion of Detroit, all just to draw out Mari. He also kills Kuasa, who allied with her sister to stop the madman.
Freedom Fighters: The Ray
- In the first Season, Dark Arrow and Overgirl serve as a Big Bad Duumvirate, being the biggest threat to the Freedom Fighters of Earth X.
- Dark Arrow and Overgirl continue to be the biggest and most consistent threat the heroes face throughout the second Season, but during the last few moments of the final episode it's revealed that (at this point) they answer to the unseen "Chancellor", who seems to have been Oliver's predecessor as the leader of the New Reichsmen.
- Crisis on Earth-X: Oliver Queen's Evil Doppelgänger, aka Dark Arrow, is the Führer of the Nazi regime and seems to have the most authority among the New Reichsmen. With his wife Overgirl as his Dragon, Dark Arrow leads the regime to Earth-1 to steal Supergirl's heart in order to save the ailing Overgirl's life, as well as to conquer that Earth.
- Elseworlds: The Monitor is responsible for kickstarting the plot by bringing the Book of Destiny to Earth-1, but as arrogant and cruel as he may be, he's trying to prepare the heroes for the coming of a far worse threat. All actively villainous actions during this crossover are carried out by the Monitor's chosen recipient of the book, Dr. John Deegan, who screws around with reality to try and make himself the hero and de facto ruler of the world.