“In the beginning, there was only one; a single black infinitude. Then the infinitude found release and finally the darkness broke, filling it with life. With the multiverse. Every existence multiplied by possibility. And spread out before space and time in infinite measure.”
After months of waiting, Crisis has arrived. It starts with peeks into the Arrowverse; highlights of our various protagonists are meshed with some amusing bits of fanservice and nostalgia that are upended when the severity of the Crisis is revealed. Earth-38 is the center of the antimatter wave this time and Kara (Melissa Benoist), Brainiac (Jesse Rath, No Tomorrow, Defiance)—I will not call him “Brainy”—and the rest of the DEO extrapolate the data and get the bad news: they have less than 36 hours before the antimatter wave destroys Earth. If trying to evacuate 7 billion people in a day and a half is bad, the worse news is that Argo City has no such buffer and has but minutes to prepare for the wave’s strike.
For those not familiar with Argo City, it’s where Clark (Tyler Hoechlin, Teen Wolf, Then Came You), Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch, Grimm, Concussion), and Kara’s mom, Alura (Erica Durance, Saving Hope, Smallville) reside with baby Johnathan. In another moment of nostalgia, Lois and Clark put their son into an escape pod much like the one Jor-El used to ensure Clark escaped Krypton’s destruction. From everything we see, sure looked like Lois and Clark were done for but considering their importance in the Crisis, there had to be a way for them to escape.
No longer Lyla Diggle, Harbinger rounds up the major players needed to combat the upcoming Crisis, bringing them all to Earth-38 as it is the battleground for this phase of the fight, including saving Lois and Clark from the last-minute destruction of Argo City.
As hasty as the start is, the first act of Crisis does a decent job getting all the players lined up for the final stand, but it’s not as easy as drawing the battle lines and going to war. First off, Lois, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), and Brainiac must head to 2046 Earth-16 to rescue baby Johnathan. There, Sara meets an older, broken Oliver Queen who still carries the regrets of past. In a touching scene, Sara speaks to Oliver on how her decision to board the Gambit with him was her decision and set off a domino-like effect of events she never could have dreamed of. Though it seems a bit out of the way, her words mirror what Oliver said to Mia at the end of “Purgatory”, where he finally accepts the blessing Lian Yu gave him; including time with a daughter his future self would never know.
Though there are some strong character moments in Crisis, the plot is the driving force behind the crossover. Being part one of five, Crisis does well enough in this regard. The most surprising element of the story is the destruction of Kara’s Earth along with nearly 4 billion people. How that will change Supergirl and the Arrowverse overall will be fascinating to see.
Speaking of Arrow, I must admit that I was disappointed with Oliver’s death. Maybe it’s because we’ve been preparing for it all year, or maybe it’s the hasty nature of the episode where so many subplots were at play that Oliver was just one out of a dozen main characters, but after defying the Monitor, an action that saves another billion lives, Oliver is mortally wounded by the Anti-Monitor’s army of dementors…errr, shadow demons. He succumbs to his wounds back on Earth-1 with Mia by his side and his final words to Barry and Kara are a rally to take up the fight.
“It was not supposed to be like this.”
Perhaps the scariest prospect for the heroes is the Monitor’s words that Oliver’s death was not the ending the Monitor had seen for the Emerald Archer. This revelation throws everything they had planned for into flux and Nash Wells—now the tormented Pariah—delivers the bleakest of proclamations. “Everything we know, everything there is, and everything there ever was, is doomed”. A sobering prospect as we look over the lifeless body of Oliver Queen.
Though I expected a stronger start, Crisis, Part one is an effective setup for the upcoming crossover. It runs through the team’s assembly, offers a few strong character moments—Kara and Clark’s conversation about fighting for their parents and those they love was especially poignant—and even changes the formula for what we thought we knew. Supergirl fans are not wholly isolated from that show’s current arc as some of the melodrama over there—between Lena, Kara, Alex, and others—is not ignored but takes a rightful backseat to the impending dome of their world. In its haste to get the ball rolling, there were some shortcuts taken, a musical score that failed to capture the narrative’s grand scope and character moments that weren’t allowed to breathe but, as only the first part of five, some of these bumps can be smoothed out as we progress through the crossover.
A Crisis in Action
• For someone who was as hard on Mia as I have been over the last year in a half, I must say that her donning her own Green Arrow suit was special. Katherine McNamara has embraced this character and Mia has grown so much this season because of it. I originally had no desire to see her as the new Arrow; now, I’m cautiously optimistic.
• In less than two minutes time, Crisis delivered as much grin-splitting fanservice as I’ve seen on a network show. Earth-89 was the home of Tim Burton’s Batman films (with Robert Wuhl reprising his role of Alexander Knox), Earth-9 showcased Robin and Hawk of Titans fame, Earth-X gave us a glimpse of The Ray, and Earth-66 gave us the pleasure of Burt Ward and the original Batman series vibe. The half-eaten cherry on top was Wil Wheaton’s bit role as the harbinger of doom (not to be mistaken with Harbinger). Even though the stakes were high, this was a fun little romp into today and yesteryear.
• Now that Nash has been forced into the mantle of Pariah, what does that mean for him? From his words, he’s an observer, forced to bear witness but with no ability to act. Will this hold true throughout Crisis or will he be able to break the chains and pitch in with the heroes? What it means for his character on The Flash will hopefully be answered by crossover’s end.