Superheroes are on their way back to The CW en masse thanks to the premieres of the four Arrow-verse series, and the superhero action of the fall is building to a massive crossover event. The 2018 crossover will turn the Arrow-verse into a much battier place thanks to the introduction of Batwoman, Gotham City, and more. Now, Arrow star Stephen Amell has us concocting a theory about other batty character who could turn up. Is the Joker on the way? Take a look:

Bear with me. Production on the three-show Arrow-verse crossover (which is leaving out Legends of Tomorrow this year) officially kicked off, and Stephen Amell has been dropping teases. He's obviously not going to give away any huge plot twists, but his hints are surely leading up to onething, and what other DC character are we supposed to think of when it comes to hysterical laughter than the Joker? It's not like Jerome or Jeremiah of Gotham exist in the Arrow-verse, although Cameron Monaghan would be a killer casting choice.

On the one hand, Stephen Amell plays the most experienced superhero on the longest-running Arrow-verse series, so it's difficult to imagine the crossover transforming him from the Green Arrow -- or whatever name he'll be going by when he is inevitably sprung from prison in Season 7 -- into the Clown Prince of Crime for the crossover. On the other hand, there are hints about the crossover that make it possible that Oliver will be going full Joker for the event.

Buckle up, because this is going to be a bit of a wild ride. Let's start with how exactly the crossover could manage to use Stephen Amell to play the Joker without completely derailing Arrow. The title of the crossover is "Elseworlds," and although details about what exactly that means for the Arrow-verse and whether it will follow Elseworld stories from DC Comics are not yet available, the title does point toward the crossover exploring other Earth, reality, or continuity.

If this is the case, it stands to reason that Oliver's life could have gone in a very different direction in this other reality. If Earth-1 could forge him into a vigilante, Earth-2 could kill him off and turn Robert Queen into the Green Arrow, and Earth-X could turn him into a Nazi archer in love with evil Supergirl, why couldn't a heretofore unexplored reality feature a Oliver who became the Joker? It's technically not out of the realm of possibility, and the Arrow-verse has done crazier things.

There's also the point that The Flash seems set to explore a "Crisis on Infinite Earths" storyline, and Barry is allowing Nora to stick around and change the future, so there could be all kinds of time travel shenanigans going on and altering/creating timelines on various Earths. It wouldn't be difficult to establish a place or time when Oliver went in a very different direction. Besides, Harley Quinn was kinda sorta established on Arrow. Why not her puddin' somewhere and sometime as well?

That's how Oliver could be the Joker without blowing up Arrow Season 7. In fact, that could give Stephen Amell onething fresh to do after spending what seems to be a significant chunk of the first half of Season 7 in prison as Oliver. But what about why the Arrow-verse would transform its original superhero into one of DC Comics' most iconic villains?

Well, the Arrow-verse isn't holding back on introducing characters that are traditionally part of Batman stories, although the Dark Knight himself is unlikely to appear any time soon. Batwoman is the batty hero who will be introduced in the crossover, and a first look at Ruby Rose in the role reveals the Arrow-verse's best suit so far, so the franchise clearly isn't holding back on building a backstory and world for Kate Kane to live in and protect. What better way to generate extra buzz than to introduce the Joker?

Another new character will be in the mix who is straight out of the pages of a Batman story, and her inclusion may mean the introduction of Mr. Freeze into Arrow-verse canon. Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane exists in the Arrow-verse version of Gotham City, and the primary villain of the crossover will be a twisted doctor who works at Arkham and could potentially convince some big bad guys to join him. Couldn't the Joker be one of those bad guys, played by Stephen Amell or not?

The Joker could be an inmate at Arkham without playing a huge role in the crossover. Arrow included Harley Quinn in Season 2 without actually naming her and only showing her from the back, although her crazy hair, claim that she's a "trained therapist," and the little fact that she was voiced by Tara Strong, who voiced Harley in a number of different video games and animated series, made it pretty clear to detail-oriented fans that the ARGUS inmate was Harley. Then there was a whole deleted scene! Why not a Joker cameo?

Stephen Amell has also indicated that he's going to look quite different for at least part of the crossover, with a tweet stating that he "finally got fitted for my crossover outfit" and he "never could've imagined. While his comment led many to theorize that he'll be playing a different hero in the crossover, it's worth noting that Amell didn't say anything about a hero outfit in the crossover. Surely "never could've imagined" would apply to a Joker outfit!

Another way Stephen Amell's comment that he was laughing too hysterically for the crossover director's taste could indicate the Joker impacts the action via the incorporation of Joker Gas. Perhaps Oliver could be exposed but not affected so much that he'd laugh entirely hysterically and die. Who knows? Maybe he's too dense for normal doses of anything to affect him at all anymore. He's clearly kept in shape while behind bars.

Basically, we can't rule out the Joker in the "Elseworlds" crossover, and Stephen Amell's tweet arguably provides a tease that the Clown Prince of Crime has a part to play in the event. Then again, maybe Stephen Amell simply laughed a little too enthusiastically to play a guy who has been locked up in prison and fighting for his life for a decent chunk of the seventh season.

Oliver wasn't exactly laughing his head off even before being sent to the clink; cracking up in the crossover might be the most terrifying thing he's ever done. The man is more of a brooder than a laugher, even if he's lightened up somewhat after marrying Felicity and taking in William. At this point, we can only wait and see.

The Flash is the only Arrow-verse show to premiere its latest season so far, but Supergirl and Arrow are only days away, with Legends of Tomorrow still more than a week off. The "Elseworlds" crossover behinds on Sunday, December 9 with an episode of The Flash on a special night.

Watch A (Sometimes) Shirtless Stephen Amell Do Crazy Exercise Stuff

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