This past Tuesday, the most epic crossover event to ever shake, break, and remake the “Arrow-verse” franchise of DC superhero television finally arrived at its epic conclusion on The CW. “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” based on the iconic DC crossover event crafted by Marv Wolfman that redefined the DC Comics universe setting back in the 1980s, has proven itself capable of coming close to replicating the epic scale of the original work even on a (multiple) TV-series budget. That was made plain when the crossover storyline concluded Tuesday evening with the last two episodes on “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow.”
Thanks to TV Line we have a concise yet understandable reading on the final narrative stretch of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” that pretty much took nearly all of movie and TV DC for an existential spin courtesy of the “Arrow-verse” on The CW. Picking up the threads again from the earlier parts last year (courtesy of “Supergirl,” “Batwoman,” and “The Flash,” (plus a mention in “Black Lightning”) the crisis resumes with the Seven Paragons (actually six with one villainous usurper) stuck in the Vanishing Point of existence after the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) erased the multi-verse. Fortunately they get a clue on how to continue and undo their defeat from a friend thought to have died.
Said friend is Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen/Arrow, who died in the “Supergirl” crossover but was revealed to have become a new trans-dimensional super-being called the Spectre. He supercharges the power of Barry Allen/Flash (Grant Gustin) so he can re-access the Speed Force and from there, take his fellow Paragons to the place where the Crisis can be averted: the Dawn of Time 10,000 years ago, to prevent Mar Novu from becoming the Monitor, leading to him accessing the Anti-Matter universe and creating his opposite, Anti-Monitor.
During his Speed Force travel, Flash sees himself figuring into the events of previous seasons from the “Arrow-verse” shows. He also gets to meet his DCEU/movie-verse counterpart in Ezra Miller for a moment of humor. But ultimately the Paragons reach the Dawn of Time and from there, must hold the line against the Anti-Matter shadow demons while Spectre takes on the Anti-Monitor. In a climactic battle, Spectre and the Paragons succeed in sealing away the Anti-Monitor and renewing the multi-verse, although it costs Spectre/Oliver what existence he has left, leaving him unfortunately deader than dead but saving Flash from that fate (as was in the comic-book “Crisis on Infinite Earths”).
With existence restored, the Paragons return to the present to find some significant changes: the main “Arrow-verse” setting where “Arrow,” “Flash” and “Batwoman” take place has merged with the Earths of “Supergirl” and “Black Lightning.” Marv Wolfman even cameos in this part a la Stan Lee. But apparently the Anti-Monitor cannot take a hint, and so the expanded roster of Arrow-verse heroes team up with the “Legends of Tomorrow” to take him down, hopefully permanently. Aside from some Easter Eggs regarding upcoming CW shows, time is also given to showcase other DC-TV universes that also made it through the Crisis.
This fantastic crossover concludes with Flash leading the Paragons in a memorial to Oliver inside a decommissioned Star Labs building. He then proposes the heroes form a team, with the building as their HQ. They could be the “Arrow-verse” version of the Justice League, or alternatively, as teased by the closing musical cue, they could be the Arrow-verse “Super Friends.”
On that note, there can be no doubt that The CW has pulled off their best cross-series event ever with “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” far surpassing any they have done so far. It also becomes understandable why the network is not going to follow up with another crossover storyline in this year at least, which should give breathing room for the various show creative teams to conclude their programs (as with “Arrow”), or continue the ones with renewed seasons, or make time for the upcoming series such as “Superman and Lois” and more. And it is certainly a well-earned break, for both The CW and the viewing audience, until the franchise is ready for another.
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