Arrow's Marc Guggenheim on what The CW's DC universe borrows from the MCU

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Oct 27, 2017, 10:34 AM EDT

Fans of the Marvel-verse and DC-verse know that, with characters who blip between shows and plot lines that impact each other, each television series is a machine with interlocking parts. And when it comes to individual episodes, what you see isn’t always all you get.

That’s a deliberate choice. Legends of Tomorrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim spoke to DC Legends TV about a mention in Legends where Ray Palmer says he encountered the villain Kuasa before. But this particular piece of backstory took place in the web series Vixen.

“The approach we take with the Arrowverse shows is, I think, very similar to the approach that Marvel does with their movies and TV shows. The example that I always like to use is that you could have enjoyed Spider-Man: Homecoming without having seen Captain America: Civil War," he explained. "You probably gain a slightly more in-depth or nuanced understanding of what’s going on in Spider-Man, but they’re very good about giving you all of the information you really need in the story that you happen to be watching, and we try to take the same approach."

The off-the-cuff mention of Kuasa, without naming names, is a subtle way of highlighting a broader DC-verse without making viewers feel as if they’re missing critical pieces of information.

Guggenheim says, “[These shows] all designed to stand on their own, even though they do interconnect … we never want any of the shows or animated spinoffs to be required viewing. We don’t want people to feel like they’ve got to do their homework before watching any of these shows, or any individual episode.”

Do you think Guggenheim’s plan is working? Maybe it’s just us, but knowing there’s a bigger universe out there makes us want to study each and every one of DC TV’s interlocking parts.