I got no time for a dozen / Six of you gotta go – Tuli Kupferberg, “My Bed Is Getting Crowded”
I enjoy the annual “Arrowverse” crossovers on the CW, where most of the DC characters who star in those sundry shows all get together to hop timelines and dimensions to fight, as Chickenman used to chirp, “crime and/or evil.” This year’s crossover certainly will be the biggest ever, and, if we’re just a bit lucky, the best.
Of course, by best I mean more fun. Coincidentally, Green Arrow, for whom the Arrowverse has been named, made his debut in DC’s More Fun Comics, but I digress. I’m not expecting Gone With The Wind here; I based upon the previous crossovers I’m expecting to have a good time.
This one is cleverly titled Crisis On Infinite Earths, borrowing the name, concept and logo design of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s game-changing miniseries. It was a brilliant and gutsy story that established the standard in all-inclusive event comics… even though the publisher completely pulled the rug out from under it by immediately rebooting Superman and Wonder Woman while the ink on the final issue of Crisis was still wet.
But I’m not here to continue my 34-year old rant about rebooting like monkeys on speed. I’m not going to get over it, but the comics’ DCU is not the Arrowverse.
This Arrowverse event will run six episodes and bridge two calendar years: the first four appear this December and the last two will be run in January. It will all be over in time for the Iowa caucus, which starts the next game-changing heroic fantasy mini-series, “The Presidential Election.”
Who’s in it, you might ask if you haven’t been paying attention to the wires and tubes. The simple answer is “Everybody but you.” Yeah, I should have renewed my AFTRA membership. All the current stars of Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, Legends, and – for the first time ever – Black Lightning will be on hand. Many, most or maybe all the secondary costumed heroes that appear in all those shows will be there as well. So will several other important characters that have popped up in the Arrowverse from time to time, including my favorite, Jonah Hex.
If you’ve been counting, and I haven’t, that means there will be approximately seven thousand, four hundred ninety-five superheroes in one 250-minute storyline. That’s sad; they came so close to beating the Avengers: Endgame record.
Just about the only DC-TV live-action characters that won’t be there are the ones on the DC Universe streaming service and on Epix. Apparently, they are all too busy having their mouths washed out with soap.
For me, here’s the really cool part. A lot of people who have played sundry DC characters in previous movie and television appearances will be reprising their roles in TV Crisis. We will be seeing Erica Durance return as Lois Lane (amusingly, she’s played Kara’s mommy on Supergirl as well), Kevin Conroy will be Batman – he’s been the voice of Batman in The Animated Series and countless other toons for three decades, and three Supermans: Tyler Hoechlin from Supergirl (along with Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois), Smallville’s Tom Welling (who should have been Superman in the movies), and Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh. Yeah, the guy who plays The Atom on Legends. He’ll play The Atom in TV Crisis as well. Original TV Flash John Wesley Shipp returns as a Flash, as opposed to the various characters he’s been playing on The Flash.
The new seasons of all the Arrowverse shows except Legends starts in about two weeks, and there will be many allusions and set-ups for the Crisis storyline that will precede the December 8th start of the crossover. TV Crisis is likely to wind up being one of two things: either enormous fun, or a complete mess.
Here’s the best part: Crisis on Infinite Earths could be both great fun and a complete mess. Can we believe three Supermans will fly?