Due to Trixie’s health problems and other personal matters, I didn’t get much in the way of movies watched this past week. So I’ll take the opportunity to review the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, it’s aftermath and the end of the Arrowverse’s founding series, Arrow.
After the first half-season of the various superhero shows, we plunged into Crisis with a bang. In the opening of the first part of the crossover we see the Earth of the 1960s Batman series and the 1989 Tim Burton movie annihilated (eventually we’d also see the deaths of the Doom Patrol universe, Birds of Prey (the 1990s series) and a cameo by the Flash from the JLA movie). Supergirl witnesses Argo City, the last surviving outpost of Krypton, wiped out along with her brother.
Fortunately the Monitor gathers several of the Arrowverse heroes together to fight back, along with several others, such as Brandon Routh’s Superman Returns Man of Steel (played here as a weary, aging Kingdom Come type). Their efforts, which include visiting Kevin Conroy (the animated Batman voice) as a bitter, ruthless, Dark Knight Returns Batman and Tom Welling as a retired Superman (gave up the powers when he and Lois had kids — so we still don’t see him in costume), collapse in the third installment: Earth dies. All the Earths die. Can the heroes, including Black Lightning (“My god — Superman’s real?”), turn things around?
Well, of course. Fortunately Green Arrow, who dies early on, rises from the dead as the host for the Spectre, the one being with the power to take on the Anti-Monitor (whose moniker led to Cisco shaking his head and grumbling “Can we workshop that name?”). Thanks to Oliver and the heroes, a new, combined Earth rises from the ashes of the multiverse (the ending makes it unclear whether there are still some other surviving Earths) and after a final battle with Anti-Monitor’s forces, life resumes as before. Well, except everyone’s now living on one Earth and they’re the only ones who remember it was ever different. Fortunately J’Onn fills the truth in for the supporting casts of the different shows (except Black Lightning, probably so they can keep that show still at a distance from the main group). Which means team-ups are now easier, as witness the Crisis ends with Batwoman, Supergirl, J’Onn, Black Lightning and others sitting at a conference table in the newly named Hall of Justice. The Superfriends live.
I really loved it. I’m a comic book geek from childhood, and while I enjoy the Marvel movies, their efforts to keep things tied to reality don’t appeal to me as much as the Arrowverse’s willingness to go full comic-book. The Endgame battle with Thanos is epic and I had a hell of a good time, but for me the CW Crisis — jampacked with costumed heroes and Easter eggs and very little concern with realism — is way more fun.
Along with the plotlines from the first half-season, the heroes are now dealing with fallout from the worlds combining. On New Earth, Lex Luthor’s a respected businessman and head of the DEO. Batwoman’s sister Alice now has a doppelganger from a world where Kate saved her and she was never abandoned. And in the last two episodes of Arrow we learn Oliver, in recreating Earth, made an extra effort to save his city: post-Crisis Star City is a crime-free, peaceful place to live, with Moira, Quentin and Tommy Merlyn all resurrected (confronted by another bit of weirdness, Quentin comments that “I just discovered there’s a reality in which I died, so that’s the curve I’m grading on now.”). Diggle actually feels free to move away to Metropolis with his family, but along the way he finds this green lantern and ring that fell out of the sky … why yes, I do think they’re seeding a future role for him.
The other episode sets up for the possible new series Green Arrow and the Canaries, set in 2040 Star City. As a fall-out from Oliver’s transformation of the city, Mia’s able to grow up happy, fun-loving and hanging out with her older brother William, but now things are starting to turn bad … fortunately Dinah Drake and Laurel Lance have both jumped into the future (this doesn’t quite fit with what we saw in the other episode, but I’ll trust them to explain eventually) and are there to help. Mia’s going to need it …
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