Since the 2014 expansion of The CW’s Arrowverse to include The Flash, annual crossovers have become standard fare for fans of the growing universe of DC Comics-related shows. 2018 will prove no different, as the newly christened ‘Elseworlds’ crossover event promises to be the network’s most ambitious effort to date.
The event with begin Sunday, December 9th with The Flash, continues December 10th with Arrow, and will conclude on December 11th with Supergirl. As the hype has built for the event, fans have been promised a number of exciting details, including the fact that we will indeed be seeing some version of Gotham City, Batwoman (played by Ruby Rose), Nora Fries (Mr. Freeze’s wife), and Lois Lane (played by Bitsie Tulloch).
“What’s in a name?” Given the recent events in the Arrowverse, particularly on Supergirl’s Earth 38, the notion of an ‘Elseworlds’ concept seems carefully planned. Elseworlds is the name of a long-running DC imprint that deals with non-canonical DC stories– at least, non-canonical on Earth 1. As we have seen since the realignment of the DC Comics Multiverse during Final Crisis, many Elseworlds stories over the years have been given spaces within the construct of the DC Multiverse. For instance, the first Elseworlds story, 1989’s Gotham by Gaslight, which features a Victorian-era Batman hunting down Jack the Ripper, has been established in recent years to reside on Earth 19.
At the end of the Supergirl Season 3 finale, Kara returns to Earth only to find herself in Siberia. As the screen fades to black, a version of the iconic El family shield flashes across the screen in a move that caused confusion for some and elation for others. In theory, said shield is a callback to the 2003 Elseworlds classic Superman: Red Son, in which we visit a world where Superman’s escape pod landed in Soviet Russia rather than rural Kansas, drastically shifting the balance of world power in the midst of the Cold War. This Earth (Earth 30) seems to be the initial potential setting for Supergirl Season 4, which raises big questions about the nature of the Arrowverse multiverse.
In further news, yesterday, the network announced the casting of The Monitor, played by LaMonica Garrett, as a major figure in the crossover. The Monitor, created for the landmark Crisis on Infinite Earths event in DC Comics back in 1985, is a figure inherently linked to the concept of the DC Multiverse in his attempts to preserve the integrity of the many universes. We have already seen hints of an impending Crisis thanks to the newspaper front page in Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne’s secret room in STAR Labs on The Flash, and the arrival of The Monitor in the Arrowverse can’t help but mark a difficult time coming for Barry Allen.
On a final note, perhaps the more firm establishment of the inner workings of the Arrowverse Multiverse will help the CW pave the way for integrating their newest DC property, Black Lightning, into the rest of the Arrowverse in the future, although no plans are currently set to have that Earth interact with the others just yet.
The CW Arrowverse Crossover Gets a Name, Direction, and New Casting Announcement!
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