We’re officially halfway from the beginning of the fall season to The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths Arrowverse crossover, and with five weeks to go, you would expect that things would be starting to heat up for our heroes. Instead this week’s episodes of The Flash and Arrow took a short breather from the overtly Crisis-heavy elements, though there was still some forward movement on the latter series (Supergirl and Batwoman still have yet to get in on the Crisis-y goodness this season). Buckle in for an all-Arrow installment of the Crisis Crash Course!
Last week, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) learned from an ancient text that Mar Novu, The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), is trying to cause the crisis, not prevent it. The question loomed of how he could possibly stop it, and this week Oliver took a step in the direction of answering that question.
Having been teleported back to Star City by an unknown force, Oliver took the opportunity to contact Curtis Holt, the former Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum), for assistance analyzing a piece of fabric from the clothing he was wearing when Earth-2 was destroyed. His reasoning, he told Curtis, was that whatever energy destroyed an entire universe might be capable of also destroying The Monitor. In the end, Curtis’s analysis revealed that they could potentially synthesize the energy using plutonium.
That’s right, gang: Green Arrow’s going to try to make anti-matter.
Speaking of the destruction of Earth-2…
At the close of this week’s episode of Arrow, Laurel Lance, aka Black Siren (Katie Cassidy Rodgers), was approached by The Monitor. Novu told Laurel he recognizes how much she misses her world, and that he can restore Earth-2 for her. All she has to do is betray Oliver Queen.
Does The Monitor know Oliver’s working on synthesizing anti-matter, and he needs Laurel to prevent that from happening? Or is he testing Laurel to see whether she’s truly on the side of the angels now?
Team Arrow 2040
The main story from this week’s Arrow is probably the biggest Crisis-related element of the week, even if we don’t quite know how or why yet. Last week’s episode ended, as previously mentioned, with Oliver finding himself back to Star City, specifically in the Bunker with Diggle (David Ramsey), Rene (Rick Gonzalez), and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy). But Oliver wasn’t the only one who appeared there: fresh from 2040, the grown versions of Oliver’s kids, William (Ben Lewis) and Mia (Katherine McNamara), as well as the adult Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones), adopted son of John Diggle, all showed up in the bunker along with him. This week’s episode saw the two teams struggling to figure out what had happened, and learning how to work together and trust each other.
On the first question of how this came to happen, Oliver pretty early on surmises that it’s The Monitor’s doing. That’s the most logical conclusion to come to, as involuntary time travel’s not really something we’ve seen take place in the Arrowverse before (sure, The Flash [Grant Gustin] has time-travelled by mistake before, but at least he knew how it happened and generally how to fix it).
But why would The Monitor bring these heroes back from the future? I’ve been wondering since the season started what role the 2040 Team Arrow is going to play in the crisis. Apparently the answer is ‘a large enough role that it necessitated The Monitor plucking them out of time and bringing them to 2019.’
When looking at The Monitor’s motivations for bringing the heroes of 2040 back to the present, there’s something else to consider, and it’s this: last week, Diggle teamed with Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) for a mission to rescue Sandra and Connor Hawke, the family of Ben Turner, aka Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White). Yes, that’s the same Connor Hawke whose future self just time-travelled back from 2040. Why is this signficant? Because two weeks ago, we learned that Lyla has been working for The Monitor for quite some time. Based on that, I think it’s reasonable to look at anything Lyla does going forward as being somehow in service of The Monitor. Does Mar Novu need Connor Hawke for a specific purpose?
The Connor Hawke of the Arrowverse is very different from his comic book counterpart. Introduced in 1994, Connor was the son of Oliver Queen and Sandra Hawke, who had had a relationship many years prior. As an adult, Connor met Ollie shortly before he died in a bomb blast. Connor adopted the mantle of Green Arrow following Oliver’s death, joining the JLA and occasionally teaming with Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. Following Ollie’s return in 2001, Connor remained a supporting character across multiple Green Arrow series, before 2011’s New 52 reboot wiped him from DC continuity completely.
If Oliver Queen is destined to die in the crisis, could The Monitor know that Connor Hawke is the one who will eventually take his place? Is that why he had Lyla protect the younger version of him, and why he brought the adult version back from 2040 to 2019? And if he needs Connor for a specific purpose, why bring William and Mia back as well?
Lots of questions, and still very few answers to any of them. There’s another aspect to the 2040 time travel that’s worth addressing…but we’ll come back to that.
Before we close out this week’s Crash Course, a couple of teases for the coming Crisis were posted to Twitter this week. Yesterday, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim shared what looks to be the final logo for the event:
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) November 7, 2019
The logo features the distinctive lettering of the original Crisis comic logo, though the text is in a slightly different position. On the original series by Marv Wolfman & George Perez, the “On Infinite Earths” text was on top of the larger “Crisis” piece, which also usually included the outlines of merging worlds within the letters.
When Crisis was finally given a collected edition release, first as a hardcover in 1998 and then as a softcover in 2001, the logo was adjusted, with “On Infinite Earths” now appearing below the more prominent “Crisis”. This is the version of the logo DC has used ever since, and it’s basically the same as the logo Guggenheim shared for the crossover.
The other teaser was posted by Stephen Amell late last night. A dutch angle video shows what appears to be the opening title sequence for Crisis:
Casual viewing. pic.twitter.com/6BLnLSpsFq
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) November 8, 2019
It’s hard to make out, but lightning for The Flash, an arrow for Arrow, a red streak for Supergirl, and what looks like the Waverider from Legends of Tomorrow are all visible, with the face of The Monitor behind it all. If there’s anything for Batwoman I didn’t see it; it’ll probably be easier to make things out once that’s officially released.
That’s it for this week’s Crisis Crash Course! Next week, we’ll find out what Nash Wells has up his sleeve on The Flash, and get closer to unraveling the mystery of The Monitor on Arrow. And any time Supergirl and Batwoman want to join in, the more the merrier.