Last night was the kick-off of the Arrowverse’s grand five-part adaptation of famed DC comic storyline, Crisis on Infinite Earths. While the hype surrounding the event has been about the sheer amount of cameos that we’re going to see from the series, that was not really the focus of this initial set-up episode (I only caught Wil Wheaton and Burt Ward in this one). And yet that doesn’t mean that by the end of the night, there weren’t some massive implications for the entire state of the Arrowverse all the same.
There are three main things that I think are going to be key going forward for the universe DC has built here, not just for this Crisis event, but for the longer term. I’ll try to go in chronological order over the course of the episode here. Spoilers follow.
DC Universe And Titans Join The Fight
This was something that happened in the opening montage of the episode. When going through the various earths and players, we saw all the usual suspects, Green Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, Legends and Batwoman, the five shows this crossover is spanning. And yet we also saw a glimpse of something else. DC Universe, the DC-only streaming service, has created its own little sub universe with shows like Doom Patrol, Titans and Swamp Thing. And yet Titans showed up here in the opening credits, with the implication that on its parallel earth, Earth-9, the Crisis was happening there as well.
We did not see any actual Titans characters in the episode besides Robin and Hawk being shown in the intro, yet it stands to reason that they will appear at some point in the next four episodes. This is the first time that DC is acknowledging a potential connection between two disparate universes of shows, given that the Titanverse is outside of the reach of the Greg Berlanti-controlled Arrowverse. Until now.
While no, I don’t think that this means the MA-rated Titans and Doom Patrol are going to be fully adopted into the Arrowverse, with as many crossovers as we see between the character swapping of Legends, Arrow, The Flash and so on, it does open a lot of doors. After Crisis, they could send cast members in for future crossovers. And we know that DC Universe is supposed to be getting explicitly Arrowverse shows, like Stargirl, who is also rumored to appear in Crisis later. Something like Stargirl could serves as a bridge between the likes of Titans and the Arrowverse.
The thing about DC’s multiverse is that anything is possible. The DCEU could be its own earth in the multiverse. Joker could be its own earth in the multiverse. Just because Berlanti couldn’t land Gal Gadot or Joaquin Phoenix for this crossover doesn’t mean that they’re not floating out there somewhere. But the Titans connection feels real and like it has important implications for the future of DC’s entire network of TV offerings.
Supergirl’s Entire Universe Destroyed
The main thrust of this episode was that the energy wave of the Crisis was on pace to target Supergirl’s Earth-38, and by the end? Well…her entire world was annihilated like Earth-2 before it, which we saw on Arrow a few weeks ago. The episode was spent gathering alien ships to transport people off the planet and through a gate to another parallel Earth. They saved about half the population somehow, but now the question remains of where Supergirl goes from here.
It’s possible there’s just some big “undo” button here, and Earth-38 can be restored. The Monitor seemed to tease Laurel Lance that Earth-2 could be brought back somehow, so perhaps the same thing could happen with Earth-38.
And yet I think it would be far more interesting if Supergirl was left stranded in Earth-1. To date, Arrow, The Flash, Batwoman and Legends are all rooted in Earth-1, with Supergirl being the odd series out. Now, this would theoretically merge them together and voila, finally Earth-1 has its Superman and Supergirl, which it seems to have lacked all this time. While sometimes other Earths have copies of heroes, Earth-1 has never had these two, just like Earth-38 didn’t have its own Flash or Green Arrow. But obviously there are some…complications when you suddenly truck 3 billion people into an Earth that wasn’t expecting them. Oh, and did I mention Earth-1 now has a pair of Luthors too?
Green Arrow Dead?
Crisis at least wants us to think that it has killed off Oliver Queen early. Even The Monitor was surprised, saying that Oliver’s death at the hands of spooky ghosts was not how he envisioned it happening, but he reports that Oliver staying behind to hold off enemies saved an additional billion lives somehow.
Oliver did have a number of “goodbye” moments throughout the episode, first with his daughter, then with Sara in the future. He died surrounded by all his friends, which should be a fitting end.
It’s hard to buy that this is the last we’ll ever see of Oliver Queen. There are four more episodes to go and many timelines and Earths where he still exists. The final episode of Arrow is the fourth episode of Crisis, and is not airing until mid-January after a break. And Arrow has done this weird thing all season where for some reason Oliver’s wife Felicity has not been in the season at all, though reportedly she will return for the finale. And in some capacity, I’m sure Oliver will be there as well, even if he has to travel from the past or a parallel dimension or be resurrected only to die again. But we’ll see.
Good start to what should be a huge run of episodes. Stay tuned.