The heroes of the ARROWVERSE gather in Central City for the wedding of Barry Allen and Iris West, but the wedding gets interrupted by some unexpected guests – NAZIS!
After last season’s successful crossover between The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow (with Supergirl tangentially involved), the Arrowverse show-runners raised the stakes this season with a crossover between all four shows. Instead of spreading it over four nights – as it was done last year – The CW moved Arrow to Monday, following Supergirl, to allow for a crossover that spreads over two nights.
It was nice of them to put the two shows I recap on the same night, making for much easier recapping! There’s a lot to unpack here, with both SUPERGIRL and ARROW, so let’s get to it.
The big crossover this season pits our heroes against an invading group of Nazis from another Earth, who interrupt the wedding of Barry and Iris and cause commotion in the church. The collected group of superheroes – including Green Arrow (back to being Oliver Queen), The Flash, Vibe, Killer Frost, Firestorm, White Canary, Supergirl, Alex Danvers, Heat Wave and Kid Flash – battle a Dark Archer, a new version of Arrow villain Prometheus, a masked flying woman and a horde of Nazi stormtroopers after the bad guys atomize the officiant at the wedding.
While most of the heroes either fight back against the invaders, or even have trouble with them – Vibe, notably, is knocked out of the fight at the church with a concussion – the badass duo of White Canary and Alex Danvers (who hooked up at the rehearsal dinner the night before) take out Prometheus and take him back to the makeshift prison at STAR Labs. The villain unmasks and reveals himself to be Tommy Merlyn, Oliver’s best friend growing up who died trying to save Laurel at the end of ARROW’s first season.
Earth-X Tommy has a conversation with Earth-1 Oliver, giving us all some exposition – the Nazi heroes are looking to conquer Earth-1 the way they conquered Earth-X. Merlyn then takes a cyanide capsule that was hidden in his tooth and dies, forcing Oliver to watch his best friend die a second time.
Merlyn’s death gets back to the Dark Archer – the Earth-X Oliver Queen – and his partners, the Earth-X Kara Danvers (who we’ll call Overgirl going forward, in homage to the comics) and the Earth-1 Reverse Flash (who explains his still being alive after dying TWICE in the Arrowverse as time travel being a bitch. I can get behind that), who resolve to do what’s necessary to get the job done, mainly obtaining a power source.
The second second half of the first night of the crossover slows things down a little bit in terms of story advancement, allowing for the action to speak for itself. The fight scenes, with Supergirl and Overgirl going at it, two versions of Oliver Queen shooting arrows and Flash and Reverse Flash going at it were lots of fun. When the heroes take the battle to the invaders, they manage to take out the Nazi stormtroopers like they were… well, Star Wars stormtroopers, really, but in the end, the heroes go down, with an assist from Earth-X Metallo, and we learn the real reasons why Earth-X invaded.
CRISIS ON EARTH-X is, at it’s core, a story about love. The love between Barry and Iris; the love between Oliver and Felicity; the familial love between Jefferson Jackson and Prof. Martin Stein, who move closer to separating and dissolving Firestorm; most importantly, it’s about the love between Oliver and Kara.
In the second surprise marriage announcement in as many weeks, we learn that Earth-X Oliver and Kara are married (“EWW!” our Supergirl declares at learning this. Then, “No offense”) and Overgirl is dying from too much solar radiation. They can save her, but she needs a new heart, which is where our Kara comes in. We end night one with our heroes’ big guns being sent to a concentration camp on Earth-X, the fate of their world left in the hands of the invaders.
• Earth-X was, in the comics, originally intended to be Earth-[swastika], but good sense and a printing method that wouldn’t really show the Swastika as intended made creators change it to Earth-X.
• We start off with a glimpse of Earth-X, as the Dark Archer battles Guardian – a quick glimpse of resistance fighter James Olsen in costume, replete with American flag shield. The Dark Archer dispatches Olsen, putting a few arrows in him. But it lets us know right off the bat that there are resistance fighters on Earth-X.
• The first part of the crossover includes a nice call back to last season’s INVASION!, with Supergirl taking down a Dominator. In another callback to last season, Barry asks Kara to sing at the wedding, and Kara sings the same song Barry sang to Iris before he proposed last season.
• Overgirl’s condition – too much solar radiation killing her – is a reference to Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, where the Man of Steel was dying from the same issue.
• At the rehearsal dinner, Oliver tells Felicity that he wants to make it official and proposes to his girlfriend. Felicity, loudly, says she doesn’t want to marry him. She later explains that, since the last time they tried to get married she was shot and paralyzed, she doesn’t want to tempt fate. Though another conversation with Iris seems to melt that conviction.
• Several heroes are left out of the crossover, for various reasons: Vibe is knocked out; Kid Flash is protecting Joe and Cecile; Steel, Ray, Vixen and Zari are off fighting in another time. The only sidekicks who show up are from ARROW – Mr. Terrific, Black Canary and Wild Dog show up at the end of part two, though they get beaten by the Nazis.
• BONUS CROSSOVER! The minister at the wedding – who was atomized by the Earth-X invaders – was played by William Katt, whose most notable role was as Ralph Hinkley, the main character in THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO.
The Super Cinco (x2)
Since we’re combining the recaps this week, we’re combining the Top 5 lists, too – this week only, we’ll have a Top 10 list covering both parts of night one.
- Kara Danvers / Supergirl – Still reeling from the news that her boyfriend is married, Kara comes to Earth-1 for Barry’s wedding and is thrust into battle with an alternate Earth doppelganger. Without Supergirl, the Earth-1 heroes would have likely been beaten much easier. She was at the forefront of every major fight during the first night of the crossover and despite being called weak by the Earth-X invaders, held her own throughout the episode.
- Oliver Queen / Green Arrow – Back underneath the green hood, Oliver didn’t miss a beat as de facto leader of the heroes. Even though he struggled to keep up with Supergirl and the Flash – leading to a great scene where the two heroes with superspeed wait for Green Arrow on his motorcycle, once he got to the battlefield, Oliver’s fighting skills were tough to compete with. He even soared around a crumbling construction site with grappling arrows, helping to secure the structure while Flash cleared the area and Supergirl used her powers to keep it standing.
- Mick Rory / Heat Wave – The former Rogue may have seemed out of place at Barry’s wedding, but he was right at home once the invasion happened. It’s a good thing he had his flamethrower with him at the church. It’s good forward thinking. Rory continues to be one of the highlights of the Arrowverse, as his misanthropic personality adds levity to a lot of heavy situations.
- Barry Allen / The Flash – Having his wedding ruined by Nazis did nothing to dampen Barry Allen’s outlook on his relationship with Iris, and gave him a little bit of added motivation to beat the invaders back. He also managed to give his friend Oliver some sage advice on living and loving, turning the tables on the older hero, who used to pride himself on being the “all-knowing mentor.” As Barry said to Oliver, he’s “been known to catch-up.”
- Sara Lance / White Canary – The Captain of the Waverider proved why she was in charge by working with Alex Danvers to take down Prometheus in the initial assault on the church, while also taking down the advancing stormtroopers in all the other fights. Plus, she handled the one-night stand a lot better than Alex did.
- Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost – When fighting a totalitarian invaders, it helps to have someone a little cold-blooded, and Killer Frost certainly fit the bill, even if she needed a bit of a push from Mick. Plus, as Caitlin, she helped develop a serum to split Firestorm and to help locate the invading Nazis.
- Martin Stein – As he continues to look for ways to retire from the Legends team to spend more time with his family, the professor also worked on a way to ensure that Jax managed to keep a power set even without the Firestorm matrix, even if his solution wasn’t really to his partner’s liking.
- Alex Danvers – On her first trip to another Earth, Alex threw caution to the wind and made a night of it with Sara, even if she didn’t handle the situation well. More importantly, she never shied away from a fight and helped Sara take down the invaders during every battle.
- Iris West – Despite having her wedding ruined by Nazis, Iris continued to serve as the heart of the expanded team as they figured out the best way to go after the Earth-X team.
- Felicity Smoak – Even though she is happy in her relationship with Oliver, she stands by her conviction of not wanting to mess with a good thing by trying to get married again, after the disastrous results last time. Despite all the trauma, she’s still front and center working the computers to fight the bad guys.
Joe will be back later this week with a look at Night 2 of the crossover, and then I’ll be back with this week’s POWER RANKINGS! Stay tuned, true believers!