Step aside, Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Arrowverse is shooting for the moon in 2019 with an honest to goodness adaptation of DC’s seminal comic book crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths. Yes, THAT Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the implications of its adaptation leave a million questions to be answered.
Carrying the same weight as Civil War and Infinity War for Marvel, DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths was a limited series published between 1985 and 1986 that altered the DC Universe for years. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, the purpose of “Infinite Earths” was to streamline the multiverse into one canon, an initiative to make DC accessible to a wider audience.
Paradoxically, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” is a big, unwieldy story itself, so much so that even the movies haven’t touched it. Now the Arrowverse, as if to thumb its nose at the overall misfortune of the DCEU (though Aquaman is pretty good) are taking on the story.
Beyond the excitement, it’s worth noting that the collateral damage of Crisis on Infinite Earths included the deaths of two important characters: Barry Allen (aka The Flash) and Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl). In the aftermath, Wally West took over as the new Flash, while several “Supergirls” (including an artificial being dubbed “Matrix”) briefly held the mantle until DC finally allowed Kara Zor-El to properly return.
Here are five questions that Arrowverse fans should be asking themselves now that the countdown to “Crisis on Infinite Earths” has begun.
5. Are The Flash and Supergirl over?
Crisis on Infinite Earths saw the deaths of Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El, two moments that still linger even though the characters are currently alive and well in the comics. We don’t know if The CW plans to cancel The Flash or Supergirl anytime soon, but “Crisis on Infinite Earths” poses some kind of threat to the status quo of both shows.
Neither show appears to be on its death bed, but that doesn’t mean a big shakeup won’t happen. Is Grant Gustin leaving The Flash? Could Wally West become the new Flash? (That’s actually unlikely at the current moment since Keiyan Lonsdale, who played Wally West, left the franchise in 2018 to pursue opportunities elsewhere.) Melissa Benoist also seems locked into Supergirl for however long the show has left.
If neither show is canceled and neither of its stars written off, fans should at least expect some major game-changer to the status quo.
4. Will Supergirl merge with the other shows?
The other big thing about Crisis on Infinite Earths was that it merged most of the DC Universe into a single-ish entity. (Let’s not get too in the weeds with pocket dimensions and other new timelines or whatever.)
Since its debut in 2015, Supergirl has existed in the separate “Earth-38” universe, whereas Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow have occupied “Earth-1.” 2019 is an opportunity to fold the “Arrowverse” into one universe. That could mean no more Earth-X Nazis and no more Council of Wells. Hopefully.
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3. Will Black Lightning merge too?
Another big question! The CW’s only non-Arrowverse DC series Black Lightning, which hasn’t even flirted with being on another Earth, could also be affected by the crossover. Will Black Lightning at last team up with Flash and Green Arrow?
2. Do the DC movies exist on other Earths?
To truly sell the multiverse in a way no superhero franchise has ever done before, it would be quite something if any of the DC films are confirmed to exist in parallel to the Arrowverse. Be it Richard Donner’s Superman, any of the Batman movies, or even (however unlikely) the DCEU, any kind of confirmation would undeniably be a welcome one for die-hard fans.
1. Will there be a TV Justice League?
Should the Arrowverse fold into one, this means superheroes from across the multiverse could finally coexist. While major players like Wonder Woman, Batman, and Aquaman have yet to be introduced, a totally new kind of “Justice League” could be formed with the franchise’s existing characters.
It’s not like DC hasn’t tried a live-action Justice League on TV before. Smallville famously crammed a bunch of superheroes to form the Justice League for a few episodes, and there was the hideous Justice League of America television movie from 1997 that never aired in the U.S.
With the future of the cinematic Justice League in question, nothing appears to stop the Arrowverse from getting a bunch of heroes together to have some fun. Heck, they already have. It’s called Legends of Tomorrow and it airs on Tuesday nights.
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” will premiere in 2019.