This year’s Arrowverse crossover, “Elseworlds,” needed to accomplish several things. It had to introduce Batwoman for her own show coming next year, it had to meaningfully (and playfully) integrate the worlds of The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl, it had to pack in as many references to DC’s past as it could (ok, it didn’t have to do this, and maybe shouldn’t have done so much of it), and evidently, it had to set up 2019’s crossover, titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
This is the first time that an Arrowverse crossover as looked this far into the future, but it’s clear by its third hour that “Elseworlds” was really acting as a prequel to another story. Oliver’s conversation with the Monitor revealed him as someone who is testing out universes to find those good enough to join his army that protects the multiverse. He is, essentially, an immortal being whose job it is to oversee the multiverse and keep it safe from his nemesis, the Anti-Monitor. But it also revealed that a trade was made — Oliver convinced the Monitor to let Barry and Kara live to help with the upcoming “crisis,” but what Oliver gives in return to “maintain the balance,” well … the camera cuts away before we can hear.
There are a couple of options regarding how this can play out. In the original “Crisis on Infinite Earths” comic, both The Flash and Supergirl are killed by Anti-Monitor. Both of these events have been teased on their respective shows, with The Flash’s “disappearance” being something that his daughter Nora has come back in time to try and prevent, while the image of Superman holding a limp Supergirl (though not a dead Supergirl, in this case), happened the first time Superman was on the show. Oliver’s fate has not been a part of this … but will it be next year?
Though we need only look at series like Smallville and Supernatural to know that The CW is willing to keep its fantasy series running for as long as the leads will do it, it seems like some of the Arrowverse series could (and should) come to natural conclusions soon, starting with the one that kicked it all off. Could “Crisis on Infinite Earths” say goodbye to Oliver Queen, who might sacrifice himself to save his friends? Or would it not be the end of Arrow (which recently saw the advent of Emiko Queen as the “New” Green Arrow), but just the end of Stephen Amell as the show’s lead?
From a more macro perspective, the “Crisis” in the comics was created to essentially fold in a number of disparate properties into one. That’s something that DC TV has trying to sneakily do for awhile, first with Supergirl, which originally took place in an “alternate universe” (when it was on CBS), and was eventually easily reached via a portal to Oliver and Barry’s worlds. Animated series The Ray crossed over during last year’s crossover (in a live-action version), and now Constantine is a part of Legends of Tomorrow. But there are still other properties, like Titans (on the DC streaming service) and Black Lightning, which are not part of the Arrowverse (the latter again by design, though whether that will last we shall see). Could they be folded in during “Crisis”?
By then we’ll also have Batwoman and her own series, assuming it’s picked up, which will add yet another layer to the crossover (which has had a “Crisis on Earth-X,” and many other crises besides). The Legends weren’t invited to the crossover this year, which was great because they had a blast on their own. But as this deals with the potential end of the multiverse, we’ll see if they are called in to assist.
The logistics of all of this are a little dizzying, but if the hope is that “Crisis on Infinite Earths” could help streamline it a bit. Or not. Either way, it’s a long road before we get there. Let us know your thoughts and speculations in the comments!