Crisis on Infinite Earths Parts 4-5
The Seven Paragons, now including Lex Luthor, stage a final gambit to defeat the Anti-Monitor and re-ignite the Multiverse from The Vanishing Point. Oliver reveals his new fate as a host for the Spectre before sacrificing himself one final time to thwart the Anti-Monitor. With the Multiverse reborn, however, there come major changes as the previous CW-related Earths have now been collapsed into a single Earth Prime.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, this year’s CW Network crossover, was the epitome of a mixed bag, which was mostly unsurprising for many viewers. To translate a story with that many twists and turns, told in a dozen chapters, into a 5-hour event was bound to present some unique challenges, and the major sacrifices here were in plot and budget. In several instances, plotting became a secondary objective to fan service– Easter Eggs and high-profile cameos abound throughout these final two episodes– causing the internal logic of the narrative to collapse in upon itself. The sequence with the Ezra Miller film Flash was an interesting moment marred by it’s own lack of sense. It was, in fact, so nonsensical that the characters themselves declared it impossible but the reward was deemed to outweigh such minor details as logic.
That could be said for the majority of the plot across the five chapters, in fact, making this scene a good microcosm for the crossover. The ends justify the means and the end result (the one that truly matters in the context of the Arrowverse, anyway) was that all of the great stable of characters under The CW’s control now co-exist on a single Earth, eliminating the need for multiversal travel to have them interact. Promises of the budding friendship between Supergirl and Batwoman, a standing Justice League, and interactions with a greater Multiverse that includes all Warner Brothers controlled properties washes away the muddy narrative by the end. For the most part, anyway.
For some fans, the end result feels double-edged. There was an opportunity to do something truly bold here that united all of these properties on a single Earth as the original CoIE did by eliminating the Multiverse entirely. DCU’s Titans could have migrated over among many others. Alas, instead The CW team opted to place their Earth as a the Prime Earth, relegating the others to the background, a move at least consistent with their standard operations. As the Paragons were united, it was glaring that all of them, in the end, were CW characters, eschewing the numerous cameos from other universes in favor of a centralized Arrowverse. C’est la vie.
Of note, the usage of The Spectre entity seemed lackluster but does provide an interesting way to bring Amell back into the fold should he ever desire to return. There felt like a distinct lack of development for this cosmic entity that could very well leave non-comics fans confused or disinterested when, in fact, the character has a fascinating place in the greater DC canon. Similarly, the introduction of backstory for The Monitor, assisted by the great Marv Wolfman, felt incredibly superfluous, particulary if a viewer were to key on the fact that Mar Novu’s origin is strikingly similar to the origin of Krona, the rogue Guardian. In collapsing the two, the notion of a CW Green Lantern feels like a dying light.
In the end, Crisis on Infinite Earths was a fun crossover filled with enjoyable moments of fan service and delivered a satisfying new status quo (if not the boldest or unpredictable) that will serve the network well as we head into a brand new decade.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, the 2019-20 Arrowverse crossover, was a fun filled event marked by numerous fan service moments and a brand new status quo but was not without its failings.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Parts 4-5: Care Bear Stare!
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Acting - 8/108/10
Music - 9/109/10
Production - 7/107/10
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