After 8 years, the Arrowverse finally adapted the bestselling comic Crisis on Infinite Earths for its biggest crossover yet. Worlds lived, worlds died, and nothing will ever be the same. We saw the destruction of a multiverse, the birth of a new multiverse, including the newly named Earth Prime, which consolidates all Arrowverse shows in the same Earth. Now that the crossover is done with still a half season left for the shows (and a full season for Legends of Tomorrow) to reckon with the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, it’s the perfect time to speculate on how the crossover to end all crossovers will affect the shows going forward, and just how they can stop this event.
*Full spoilers for the entire Arrowverse ahead*
In Part 4 of Crisis on Infinite Earths, we see the Paragons fight the Anti-Monitor at the Dawn of Time, where the anti-matter universe was born, and rebooted the multiverse with the help of Oliver Queen/The Spectre. As seen in the final episode, part of Legends of Tomorrow, all of the CW shows – Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman and even Black Lightning – now reside on the same Earth Prime.
First of all, this will make future crossovers easier, as there is no need to use extrapolators so heroes can visit each other. But more than that, the consolidated Earth brings huge changes to the once-isolated worlds of Supergirl and Black Lightning.
The Merged Universes Plot
This Sunday will bring the first episodes of a post-crisis Arrowverse, starting with Batwoman and Supergirl, which brings troubles for the latter. As fans of Supergirl know, much of Season 5 thus far has centered on the implosion of Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) after Lena discovered Kara’s dual identity. But now it seems like that rivalry was erased, or at least it will be taken a backstep to the main post-Crisis issue: Lex Luthor is now a good guy and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Turning Luthor into a good guy, but doing so by resetting the Earth and erasing his villainous past, will certainly be a main part of the show’s story going forward. Though Kara is now working for Luthor (due to LexCorp owning the D.E.O.) and everyone seems to praise him, she probably won’t stop trying to convince the world that Luthor is a sociopath.
Then there’s the “Age of Heroes” speech given by Oliver via voice over. Supergirl has always told an immigration story, and the discrimination against aliens taking refuge on Earth. But now that superheroes are accepted by the public, as seen by a cameo by Marv Wolfman where he asks Supergirl and Flash for an autograph, it’s possible Supergirl will explore a more accepting Earth, or maybe they’ll address how certain immigrants are seen in a more positive light than others.
Speaking of accepting heroes, there’s Black Lightning. The show has so far been pretty isolated from the rest of the Arrowverse, as it takes a more life-like approach to its story. The show is now dealing with Black Lightning’s town of Freeland being cordoned off and under martial law and metahumans have been terrorized for years. Bringing that world, and that town, to an Earth Prime where The Flash can walk around free and respected will certainly make for an interesting season. Meanwhile, Black Lightning himself (Cress Williams), now aware of the multiverse and all its dangers, will surely affect him more deeply than we saw in his short appearance in the crossover. Whether he’ll be part of future crossovers remains to be seen, but when it comes to his solo series, there’s no doubt he’ll be a changed man.
The Dead Heroes Plot
Though, out of the teaser for the Arrowverse shows released just after Crisis on Infinite Earths aired, only Batwoman seemed like it ignored the crossover; the implications of Crisis are huge for Kate Kane (Ruby Rose). For one, there’s the newfound friendship between Batwoman and Supergirl. Without a Batman in the Arrowverse, Kate and Kara are the closest we’ll get to the super duo of Batman and Superman, at least for now. The crossover had the two bond together over the loss of their universes, and find emotional support in one another. After all, they understand, perhaps better than anyone, the huge expectations people have for them due to their more famous cousins, and both are dealing with childhood trauma. Having the two together in the same universe means more possibilities for the two to get together, even if not for high-stakes situations but simply to hang out, as seen towards the end of Crisis when Kate was sitting on Kara’s couch watching TV.
Then there’s Kate’s big development in the crossover. During Crisis, Kate came face to face with an older, way more murderous Bruce Wayne (played by Kevin Conroy!). According to Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries, this interaction, as well as Kate and Kara’s friendship will play a major role moving forward. Throughout the season, Batwoman has contended with the legacy of Bruce Wayne, who disappeared in her universe 3 years prior to the series. So now that she has seen him and decided she does not want to follow his example, it will be interesting to see who Batwoman will become.
The Weird Earth Prime Plot
While Black Lightning and Batwoman are more personal, intimate stories, the birth of Earth Prime brings as many problems as The Blip did post-Endgame. Just like half the universe disappearing and suddenly reappearing 5 years into the future, merging 5 universes together on one same Earth gets complicated very quickly. Though the final episode of Crisis on Infinite Earths doesn’t make it clear, the question remains of what exactly Earth’s population is now, or whether multiple versions of people got folded together. According to the teaser for next week’s The Flash, the show will deal with serious changes to Earth’s physics following the merging, which can bring about new metahumans, or worse problems.
Likewise, the fact that Legends of Tomorrow will start its season in the aftermath of Crisis means it will probably deal with the crazy ramifications of simply merging universes together. For one, we know Supergirl has incorporated elements and even characters from the Legion of Superheroes throughout its run, but how does Crisis affect the future world where the Legion resides? It’s likely that if these questions are to be answered, the show to do so is the one that cares the least about continuity or logic.
Future Crossovers Can Be as Big or as Small as They Want
A unified Earth means future crossovers can happen more easily and without the need of huge stakes to justify the heroes getting together. The big takeaway from Crisis is that there is now a Justice League (or as close to it as we’re going to get), so threats that are too big for one team can involve mini crossovers every once in a while.
Meanwhile, the next crossover may not involve another universe-shattering event. Speaking to IndieWire, producer Marc Guggenheim said they’re already planning the next crossover, but they “have no intention of trying something this ambitious next year. I think that would be a mistake.” Of course, that doesn’t mean the story of the next crossover can’t be big. After the original “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” DC followed up with a crossover titled “Legends” where Darkseid tried to ruin humanity’s faith in superheroes. If the Arrowverse has no plans to do another crisis anytime soon, the time is right to do a more intimate crossover that challenges our heroes, if not the world. If that’s the direction they’re taking, then a “Civil War” style crossover may be in place, with something akin 2004’s “Identity Crisis” shaking up the entire world of the Justice League after the wife of one of the heroes is murdered, and Batman’s countermeasures for the Justice League come to light.
No matter where the Arrowverse goes next, there’s no denying that the future looks bright for the CW shows, and the addition of new superhero blood in the form of Superman’s sons in Superman & Lois means there are still a lot of stories to be told.