The crossover coming up on The CW's Arrowverse is awesome ... but we can't help wishing for more

By Andrew A. Smith

Tribune Content Agency

Aug. 22, 2019 -- We’ve enjoyed a flood of news about the The CW’s upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” epic lately. Now that the waters seem to have crested, it’s time to assess – and ponder the maybes and the might-have-beens.

“Crisis,” for those who don’t watch the DC Comics-related shows on The CW, is an adaptation of one of the most famous DC stories in history, involving multiple parallel Earths and multiple iterations of the same characters from those Earths. It’s scheduled to air this year on Supergirl Dec. 8, Batwoman Dec. 9 and The Flash Dec. 10, then wrap up Jan. 14, 2020, on back-to-back Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow episodes.

In the original story, which ran 12 issues in 1985-86, DC editorial was trying to simplify its complicated history by combining all of its parallel Earths into one – and eliminating anyone who was redundant, silly or just too hard to explain. When the heat vision cleared, among the many casualties were the Green Arrow of Earth-2 and the Supergirl and Flash of Earth-1. Which doesn’t bode well for the Arrowverse, whose three oldest shows star Green Arrow, Supergirl and Flash.

But the good news is the TV crossover is likely to mirror its comics counterpart by combining the many Earths into one. Which means that Supergirl (Earth-38) and Black Lightning (Earth-Unaffiliated) will join Batwoman, Flash and Legends on Earth-1-and-only, making future crossovers and team-ups more likely.

Note that Arrow is absent. That’s because the show is scheduled to end after “Crisis.” And we’re led to believe that Green Arrow himself (played by Stephen Amell) is fated to die, in order to save the lives of Flash (Grant Gustin) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist).

Most of the Arrow plotlines were tied up May 13 in the Season 7 finale, and Oliver Queen himself was whisked away, presumably to his death. What will fill the 10 episodes of Season 8 is something of a mystery.

Katie Yu/The CW

Will a new costume – and bangs, apparently – help Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) survive the “Crisis”?

“What they’ve done with this final season is really cool,” Amell said in a recent Facebook Live. “It’s like nothing you guys have ever seen. Every episode that comes out, it’s like ‘Wait a minute, what? It’s happening what and where and how? Ok, that’s cool. Let’s do it!’”

Greg Berlanti, the mastermind producer behind the Arrowverse, takes it all pretty seriously.

“I never feel anything other than a sense of responsibility,” he told EW.com. “Whenever we do an iconic storyline or we do something that reminds us really vividly of one of those books that meant a lot to us, we have a sense of pressure and obligation of ‘Oh wow, we really don’t want to mess this up’ even more so than we usually do.”

And from some of the news that began bubbling up in the last month, he’s living up to his word. Here are some of the announced surprises:

  • Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1966-68 Batman TV show, will appear in an undisclosed role.
  • Kevin Conroy, who has voiced Batman in a million animation and video game projects, beginning with Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95), will play an older Bruce Wayne.
  • Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch will reprise their roles as Superman and Lois Lane from Supergirl.
  • Jon Cryer, who played Lex Luthor in Supergirl until his death, is expected to somehow return.
  • Brandon Routh, who played the Man of Steel in Superman Returns (2006), and currently plays Ray “The Atom” Palmer on Legends, will appear as the Superman of a famous, alt-future DC story, Kingdom Come
  • Black Lightning (Cress Williams) will appear, likely leading to his show becoming part of the Arrowverse.

Those are probably all of the major surprises, and we should be appropriately grateful. But it’s hard not to speculate on what hasn’t been announced and isn’t likely, but we’d love to see anyway.

For example, in one episode of Supergirl, the Maid of Steel visits Clark Kent and Lois Lane at what is clearly the Kent farm from Smallville. (They even played a snippet of the theme music.) So, hey, what about an appearance by Tom Welling, who played Clark Kent on the show, and recently appeared on Lucifer?

Alternatively, how about Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane on Smallville, and just recently portrayted Supergirl’s mother, Alura Zor-El? She could reprise both roles and confuse everyone, including, probably, herself.

Speaking of confusion, Helen Slater has an ongoing role as the Maid of Steel’s adopted mother, Eliza Danvers, on Supergirl. But she also played the Last Daughter of Krypton herself in the eponymous 1984 movie, and Superman’s Kryptonian mom on Smallville. Imagine Supergirl’s reaction if she saw Eliza meet both Lara Zor-El and the 1980s  Supergirl (who is probably Superwoman by now).

Dean Cain, who played the Last Son of Krypton on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-97), is in a similar situation, as he plays adopted father Jeremiah Danvers on “Supergirl.” His dual role gives an entirely new dimension to the term “Superman family.” 

We’re unlikely to get any of the big-name actors from the current crop of DC movies – too expensive, I imagine – but “Smallville” introduced a Justice League of sorts that included Aquaman (Alan Ritchson), Green Arrow (Justin Hartley), Martian Manhunter (Phil Morris) and a Flash-like character named Impulse (Kyle Gallner). Most were forgettable, but “Smallville” fans would probably give up their best boxing-glove arrow for Hartley’s Green Arrow to meet (and fight) Amell’s version. Or for Morris to meet David Harewood’s J’onn Jonzz, Manhunter from Mars, to compare notes on driving while black and flying while green.

Smallville also had versions of Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort), Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), Lena Luther (Cassidy Freeman), Black Canary (Alaina Huffman), Cat Grant (Keri Lynn Pratt) and Maggie Sawyer (Jill Teed). Every one of those characters has a modern counterpart in the Arrowverse, and they desperately need to meet.

Jack Rowand/The CW

Things are looking grim for Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) in the “Crisis” – but maybe they’ll kill the Smallville version of the Emerald Archer instead.

If an evil-off between Rosenbaum and Cryer isn’t sufficient, there are two more Lex Luthors available (Scott Wells, Sherman Howard) from the 1988-92 Superboy. John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher could tag along to give us Supermen Nos. 4 and 5. And while Superboy’s Lana Lang (Stacy Haiduk) doesn’t appear on Supergirl (yet), she could hang with Kristin Kreuk’s Lana from Smallville.

Smallville also gave us five members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, including Brainiac 5 (James Marsters) and Saturn Girl (Alexz Johnson). They really need to meet Supergirl’s Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath) and Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson), plus fellow Legionnaire Mon-El (Chris Wood), who left the show too soon.

On The Flash, actor Tom Cavanagh has played more than a dozen different versions of Harrison Wells from different Earths, as well as continuing to play the supervillain Reverse Flash. In “Crisis” he’ll play a character called Pariah that’s taken straight from the comics – and needless, to say, many of these characters need to be on screen together.

I doubt either Jackson Bostwick or John Davey, from the 1974-76 Shazam!, are interested in returning as an elderly Captain Marvel, and ditto for Joanna Cameron as Isis. (Especially since the former can’t be called Captain Marvel any more, and the latter is an immortal goddess who shouldn’t age at all.) But what’s Michael Gray (Billy Batson) up to?

Lynda Carter, star of the 1975-79 Wonder Woman and occasional guest star on Supergirl, is supposedly off the table to reprise her role as the Amazing Amazon. Well, how about being Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira instead?

There’s no word on whether John Wesley Shipp will return as The Flash of Earth-90 (who is the Barry Allen of the 1990-91 The Flash TV show), or as Henry Allen of Earth-1or Jay Garrick of Earth-3, his other Flashy roles. If we can’t have him, how about the Earth-90 Trickster, played by Mark Hamill?

 

Jack Rowand/The CW

When last he escaped, Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh, left) told Flash (Grant Gustin) that he’d “see you in the next Crisis.” That time is upon us.

Speaking of Hamill, if we’re going to have an elderly, Batman Beyond-like Bruce Wayne, can’t we have Hamill as that Batman’s Joker? He’s done the voice, so let him do it live.

The 1990-93 Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) and the 2019 Swampy (Andy Bean) need to compare gardening notes (and Abby Arcanes).

The Human Targets of 1992 (Rick Springfield) and 2010 (Mark Valley) could disguise themselves as … each other.

The 2017 “Crisis on Earth-X” Arrowverse crossover featured a new Captain/Citizen Cold, still played by Wentworth Miller, and The Ray, portrayed by Russell Tovey. Let’s hope they’re merged into Earth-1 as well, because you can’t have too much Wentworth Miller.

In a perfect world, we’d get the entire casts of Titans and Doom Patrol from DCUniverse.com, and Rose McIver’s Liv Moore from iZombie. It isn’t a perfect world, so I’d settle for Tom Ellis’ Prince of Darkness from Lucifer.

Isn’t it sad that, with all these characters, there’s not a single Batman? At the very least, Berlanti should give Jack Bannon, Sean Pertwee, Reed Birney, Jeremy Irons and Michael Caine a call … and form the League of Alfreds!

Find Captain Comics by email (capncomics@aol.com), on his website (captaincomics.ning.com), on Facebook (Captain Comics Round Table) or on Twitter (@CaptainComics).

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Cap, are you going to write an article about the Batwoman TV show vs her comics?

One item on your wish list may be coming true, Cap. Tom Ellis, "dressed like Lucifer Morningstar," was recently seen on The Flash set, says Men's Health magazine: "Tom Ellis Could Be Joining The CW's 'Arrowverse' as Lucifer"

I read that, too, CK. Also, there are rumors of a Titans cameo.

Coming from another newwork to play the same character is exactly what happened with Matt Ryan and Constantine.

ClarkKent_DC said:

One item on your wish list may be coming true, Cap. Tom Ellis, "dressed like Lucifer Morningstar," was recently seen on The Flash set, says Men's Health magazine: "Tom Ellis Could Be Joining The CW's 'Arrowverse' as Lucifer"

I guess that was too much to hope for: " 'Lucifer' Star Tom Ellis Shuts Down Rumors He's in 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Crossover (Exclusive)"

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