The Arrowverse’s big three-part crossover ended last night and it was a lot of fun, but the last minute of the crossover was truly unprecedented. It contained the announcement of a sequel to the crossover in 2019, and its title: Crisis on Infinite Earths.
If you missed our previous coverage of the crossover and you’ve skipped out on DC Comics big story arcs, you might not be aware of Crisis on Infinite Earths. But you should be, because as comic arcs go it may very well be the most important one ever written.
Published over 1985 and 1986, Crisis on Infinite Earths saw nearly every character from DC Comics meeting, regardless of the universe their books were set in. They joined forces to battle the Anti-Monitor, an evil, all-powerful character from the antimatter universe.
After many comic issues of big fights (and character deaths), Anti-Monitor was defeated and the DC multiverse found many of its worlds merged into one. This allowed DC to reboot its 50-plus years of comic history and create a neater universe, where stories like Superman gets powers and shoots rainbows from his hands were no longer considered canon.
DC, and later Marvel, would really embrace this kind of brand-altering story whenever their universes grew too unwieldy and needed a reset.
For CW’s multiverse, this could mean the merging of multiple worlds—particularly that of Earth-1, where the Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow take place, and Earth-38, where Supergirl is set. It could even mean Black Lightning coming into the fray (though the showrunners have repeatedly said they have no interest in being a part of the Arrowverse, and are content to sit crossovers out).
One big thing to spend the next year worrying about: Who will actually survive the Crisis? In the ‘80s book, both Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El die stopping the Anti-Monitor, and this season of The Flash has focused quite a bit on the fallout from Barry’s eventual disappearance in the Crisis.
It’s unlikely the CW will kill off the title characters of two of its most popular shows, but their friends, like Jay Garrick and Superman, could end up taking their place.
For more rumination on what this all could mean, stay tuned to our roundtable later today, with a very special guest.
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