In The Rear View Mirror | CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
Mon, 1 Mar 2021
by JC Alvarez
It’s confirmed! This season, The CW’s DC TV primetime line-up will not be crossing over and keeping socially distant making this the perfect opportunity to dive back into the 5-part epic “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.
Like we need another reason to dislike the state of quarantine! Though most of our favorite DC TV universe series has returned to primetime, or announced their upcoming new seasons, because of very strict COVD-19 protocols in effect to keep casts and crew healthy and safe, The CW has had to make drastic cuts to their schedules. The latest casualty, the DC TV crossover event, the annual spectacle that afforded devoted fans the opportunity to see their favorite heroes team-up in a multi-episode blockbuster in primetime!
As productions continue to adhere to the onset limitations set from shooting during the global pandemic, It appears that in the 2021 season it would have been a difficult feat indeed, to allow for a storyline that would (in the least) encompass the casts and crews of five primetime series. The CW had remained optimistic that might be able to pull the annual crossover event might have been in the offing, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The crossover events are oftentimes strategically timed to coincide with the series as they prepare to go into winter hiatus.
Rumors immediately circulated that one-time Arrow castmate David Ramsey would be reprising his role as John Diggle in a series of episodes across the titular shows that, he would also be directing. Supposedly the plan is still in effect, at least for Ramsey to direct episodes across the premiere series including The Flash, Supergirl, Superman & Lois with Diggle making a very important and special (re)appearance in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Whether this will constitute a “crossover” remains to be seen.
With Diggle having played a significant role in last season’s event and wrapped the eighth and final season of Arrow with a particularly ominous moment that may (or might not have) suggested that he’d come into a particularly powerful alien weapon that glows bright emerald, that climax is just one of the many reasons to revisit last year’s CW, DC TV primetime series and a good time dive into the 2019 crossover spectacle: “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. Based on the epic 12-issue maxi-series, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was a blockbuster feat in primetime.
With 5 hours of television to fill and a pretty robust cast that included every major player in the primetime line-up and their supporting casts (not to mention over 40 years of superheroes in television), the writers and producers had their work cut out for them when it came to realizing one of the most impactful stories in DC Comics history. Having teased “Crisis” at the conclusion of the previous season’s “Elseworlds” crossover which dove deep into the multiverse and established a wider playing field with the introduction of Gotham City, expectations loomed.
In the first hour of the event which aired as part of Supergirl the menace of the anti-matter cloud that had begun to plague the multiverse (first experienced in an Arrow episode as it decimated Earth-2) is experienced as the team of heroes united by the Monitor’s herald, Harbinger (Audrey Marie Anderson) and battle to save Earth-38. The tuning fork from the comics, a device that the Monitor has created and planted on crucial Earths in order to protect them from the coming wave, provides the first line of defense as an army of shadows descends on our heroes.
The 5-part event had all the earmarks of a big-screen Hollywood blockbuster including a network push that guaranteed it had a theatrical feel.
In the end, Supergirl’s earth is destroyed, but many of its residences including her cousin Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch). The survivors all convene on Earth-1 where they confront the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) and learn that among them exist “paragons” - heroes that will rise above the others and will be able to stop his enemy, the Anti-Monitor at all costs. The idea of the paragons among them is suggested from a DC Comics “Silver Age” story set in the multiverse and is repurposed for the primetime narrative.
As the group gathers aboard an alternate-earth Waverider the starship HQ and home of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow it isn’t long before they discover the accumulation of anti-matter energy reading from underneath Central City. It leads “Team Flash” to uncovering the perpetrator of the Anti-Monitor’s weapon of mass destruction: an anti-matter cannon fueled by non-other than the Flash of Earth-90, played by John Wesley Shipp. The actor has been a recurring part of the series and returns to reprise his role as The Flash nearly thirty after his series debuted on CBS.
The idea of the “paragons” (pictured here on the left) of power was not necessarily a component introduced in the original maxi-series, but it had played a poignant part in another “crisis” event previously published by DC Comics that also included a crossover between the heroes of Earth-2 and Earth-1.
Stay tuned to The HQ for the second part of this story.