The ARROWVERSE has been building to this season’s crossover – CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS for years now, and with the end of the 5-part mega-event airing this week, fans were treated to a lot of great moments.
From the cameos to the monumental changes to the continuity of the CW DC Comics series, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was a huge undertaking that managed to live up to the 12-issue comic book maxiseries where it took the name. It’s tough to narrow down the best parts of the crossover, but here are some of my favorite moments, dating back to part 1, which aired back in early December.
“Is This Cosplay?”
There were A LOT of cameos over the course of the 5-episode crossover, with 50 years of DC Comics live action adaptations being folded into the ARROWVERSE‘s continuity. But the biggest surprise appearance came during the fourth hour of the crossover. As the paragons planned their next move at the Vanishing Point, The Flash came face-to-face with another version of himself, played by Ezra Miller, the Flash of the cinematic JUSTICE LEAGUE movie.
Set up after the crossover wrapped with a phone call between ARROWVERSE executive producer Marc Guggenheim and Warner Bros. chief Peter Roth, the meeting of the Flashes of two worlds was completely unexpected, considering the usual level of separation between movie and television divisions. The dual versions of Barry Allen complimented each others’ costume as the Earth-1 Barry tried to figure out what the appearance of another version of himself meant.
Wait a second, how DID another Barry Allen show up when every other world in the multiverse had been wiped out by the antimatter wave? It’s probably best not to think about it. The Speed Force has its own set of rules.
A New World
This was something I figured would happen when they announced the crossover after the 2018 ELSEWORLDS event, but I wasn’t sure they would pull the trigger. In the fifth and final part of the crossover, after Oliver Queen managed to defeat the Anti-Monitor and recreate the universe in his new role as the Spectre, the paragons discover that this world isn’t the one they remember – it’s one that combined Earth-1, Earth-38 and the Earth Black Lightning lived on (did that ever get its own designation?). Now, instead of needing a breach device to get Supergirl involved in a big event, Flash and Batwoman can just go to the National City of their Earth!
It’s a great homage to the original comic book Crisis, as is the man who told Barry and Kara that the heroes have been teaming up “since forever.” In a great cameo, Crisis on Infinite Earths writer Marv Wolfman approach the two heroes and asks them for an autograph.
Combining the three worlds is the biggest change to come from Spectre Arrow’s recreation of the universe, but it’s not the only one: Green Arrow’s closest ally John Diggle now has a son and a daughter; Lex Luthor is now one of the good guys and Supergirl’s biggest supporter; and Superman and Lois Lane went from having a son to having TWO sons! Oh, and a new Superman and Lois Lane series has been picked up for the CW, so my ARROWVERSE watching days won’t be ending any time soon!
We all knew Oliver Queen’s story was coming to an end shortly after the crossover, and that the Monitor told him he would die during the universe-altering event. But I doubt anyone expected him to sacrifice himself in the crossover’s first hour! As the Anti-Monitor’s forces attacked the heroes on one of the Monitor’s quantum towers (a damn nice replica from the same items in the comic story, by the way), the Monitor tried a hasty retreat, but Oliver forced his hand to allow him to stay and fight. The shadow demons overpowered him, but not before he helped another billion inhabitants of Earth-38 escape to Earth-1.
Not that it mattered… Earth-1 still got wiped out by the antimatter wave…
They teased Oliver’s return in part 2 with the use of a Lazarus Pit protected by Jonah Hex, but a trip to Purgatory had Oliver decide to become someone else… something else… After inheriting the role of the Spectre from its last host, Jim Corrigan, Oliver used his new levels of omnipotence to lead the heroes to defeat the Anti-Monitor at the dawn of time. He had to sacrifice himself again to do it, though. It’s a shame the Anti-Monitor wasn’t completely defeated at the end of the fourth episode, so at least one of Oliver’s deaths could have been more meaningful. But there’s still two more episodes of ARROW to go.
Worlds Died, Worlds Lived
It wasn’t just the worlds of the heroes we followed on TV over the last eight years that were threatened by the Anti-Monitor. And it wasn’t just the newly-dubbed Earth-Prime that received a reprieve from Spectre Oliver Queen.
The five-part event gave us glimpses of Earth-89 (from the first Michael Keaton BATMAN movie), Earth-203 (from the short-lived 2003 Birds of Prey series), Earth-167 (TV’s Smallville), Earth-99 (future Batman), Earth-96 (Superman Returns/Kingdom Come mash-up), Earth-75 (the Death of Superman), Earth-66 (the 1966 Batman TV series), Earth-666 (TV’s Lucifer) and so many more. All of them were wiped out in the end by the Anti-Monitor.
But unlike the comic book maxiseries, which took the multiverse and pared it down to just one world for about 20 years, the live action version had a different ending. Earth-Prime may combine the three Earths where the main CW heroes live, but Oliver also restored many other worlds, which we got to see in a nice montage at the end of the final episode. We got glimpses of the DC Universe series Titans, Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol (all on separate Earths). There was Earth-2, now populated with the team from the upcoming Stargirl show. The montage even showed what looked like OA, the homeworld of the Green Lantern Corps from the 2011 Ryan Reynolds film.
Although, with the word that the new HBO MAX streaming app would have a Green Lantern show, it’s possible it was a glimpse at something to come and not something that’s already been.
Meanwhile, At the Hall of Justice
With the Anti-Monitor defeated, the new heroes of Earth-Prime gathered to honor the loss of Oliver Queen at the old STAR Labs facility introduced in the INVASION! crossover. Barry proposes they use it as a meeting place for whenever the world is about to end (Black Lightning asking how often that could happen, followed by an awkward silence was a low-key great moment) and even shows off the new roundtable for the proto-Justice League.
The formation of the League is a great moment, but it’s a bit overshadowed by the sounds of a monkey somewhere in the building. When we pan to a broken cage, the name on the metal prison is Gleek – the name of the Wonder Twins’ pet monkey on the old SUPER FRIENDS cartoon!
Will the WONDER TWINS be the next ones to get their own show? We can only hope!
What were your favorite parts of the crossover? Let us know in the comments!