Whew. That was quite an opening chapter for Crisis on Infinite Earths.
In broad strokes, a bunch of Earths got wiped out in the opening, then Argo, then the core team was brought together. Lois, Sara, and Brainy head to Earth-16 (from Star City 2046) to recover the baby Jonathan Kent, while the rest of the cast battles the shadow demons to buy time for Earth-38 to be partially evacuated to Earth-1. And finally, Oliver dies eeking one final billion people’s lives. The Monitor then reveals that this was not how Oliver was meant to die.
It seems that a large chunk of the cameos we’ve been getting hyped up about are the very short flashes of dying Earths that we expected. In particular the Titans cameo, while with the actual characters from the DC Universe show, only shows Hawk and Jason Todd’s Robin for the briefest of seconds.
Being the Supergirl portion of the crossover, there’s a heavy focus on Earth-38, and that’s where the bulk of the action takes place this episode. Lena and Alex reconcile enough to work together to evacuate the population on ships from the multitude of alien refugees on the planet, which is a great way to nod at the fact that Earth-38 has a ton of aliens while Earth-1 does not. I suspect this will be a plot thread Post-Crisis as Earth-1 adapts to the changes wrought. I was a big fan of the return of the Legion ship as part of the escape plan, too.
Normally I’d have major issue with Kara outlasting Clark when powering the tower, but to be fair, he’s been off-planet and under a red sun for the better part of a year, so if anything it’s strange that she only outlasted him by the few seconds she managed.
That wide shot of them all fighting though, that gave me some serious Avengers-level tingles.
Kate Kane’s Batwoman is very quick to implicitly trust the assorted heroes with her identity, which I’d say is out of character, but her show so far has been a conga line of people that she reveals her secret to, so it’s not exactly a glaring change of pace.
The Monitor backtracking on his promise to Oliver, and Oliver’s reaction to Barry when he realises he’s been duped was absolutely brilliant. Although, fair’s fair, The Monitor never actually promised to save Kara and Barry from this Crisis, but during Elseworlds. …He just didn’t correct Oliver’s assumption.
Character moments were brief in this one, with a fairly solid focus on exposition, but in particular the moments between Oliver and Mia, Oliver and Barry, Lena and Alex, Kate and Ray, and Sara with Future Oliver were the ones that shone. Considering how quick Kara is normally to cry and moan and make no progress when put in a no-win situation where she loses people, she was uncharacteristically calm at losing the remainder of her people on Argo, and as a result I found her conversation with Clark about hope to fall a little flat.
Realistically the biggest question from this episode is how they’ll manage Supergirl’s ongoing story moving forward; the bad guys of the season are native to Earth-38, so are they just gone? Nah, more likely the end of the Crisis will result in Earth-38 being restored and merged with Earth-1 like Earth-1 and Earth-2 in the comics, but I have to admit I’m sort of looking forward to them bucking expectations and very specifically not doing that. I mean, can you imagine if they turned the back end of the Supergirl season into a refugee storyline? There’s no LuthorCorp, no DEO, no National City, etc. It’d be wicked to see. But I think I’m expecting too much.
So far, so good.
Dead Earths so far: Earth-2, Earth-89 (Robert Wahl), Earth-9 (Titans), Earth-X (Nazis), Earth-66 (Burt Ward), and Earth-38.