Crisis on Infinite Earth begins in Supergirl. While there has been loads of photos and reports about the show, if you are planning on watching it, please do so NOW as this article will contain some spoilers. This being said, let’s dig in.
SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT
In the beginning, there was nothing, then there was an infinitude of worlds. This is how the DC CW 5-part epic crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths begins. With an acknowledgment of this infinity of Earth and of threat so enormous that multiple planes of existence will have to put it’s effort together to stop the end of all things. This is a pretty exciting way to launch this story, giving some context as to what the series will be about and establishing the odds. It tells you in no uncertain terms that all of DC’s television shows and movies are linked as existing on different planes of existence and that it’s all under threat. To hammer that point home, the parallel earth in which the current Titans show takes place is immediately destroyed within seconds. Then we witness the destruction of the parallel earth from Batman ’66, in which we find Burt Ward in his best role yet as an elderly Robin walking a dog and yelling at the clouds “Holy Crimson Sky of Doom” in what happened to be the funniest line of the episode.
This is how we launch into this Crisis. With a gathering of heroes by The Harbinger (Audrey Marie Anderson) and The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett). The Crisis that The Monitor warned about in the previous season has finally arrived and the heroes will make their stand on Earth-38, the world of Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). I’ve always been impressed by how the CW shows managed to crossover while leaving Supergirl relatively scot-free of the fracas about the parallel universe in which Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow takes place. This episode manages the incredible feat of having 5 different casts in one show and still retain the individuality of Supegirl. While it is the start of a crossover, it is firmly set in the continuity and world of Supergirl. We get a glimpse at all of the supporting cast of the show and how their storylines are affected by this new threat. Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) is struggling to make preparations to evacuate the planet, J’onn J’onnz (David Harewood) uses all of his connections to get spaceships to help with the evacuation process, Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) helps coordinate the evacuation and even Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath, struggling to sell the whole “I’ve turned evil” thing) works on a trans-dimensional portal that could transport all of these people to safety.
We also see what’s been happening in Argo City, the last enclave of Kryptonian population, since Clark Kent and Lois Lane moved there during Lois’ pregnancy, we get to meet their son Jonathan too. However, Argo City is on the path of the Anti-Monitor’s destruction. Which forces Superman to get involved in the story. I don’t know if it could be said enough that Lois Lane and Clark Kent as portrayed by (Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch) have a fantastic chemistry and their relationship is really engaging. As Argo City is destroyed, we also get to see neat parallel between Kal-El’s story and that of his son as he gets blasted into an escape pod towards Earth. This plot thread is quickly resolved as Superman and Lois are rescued at the last minute by The Monitor and Jonathan is recuperated shortly after By White Canary, Lois and Brainy (Jesse Rath). It goes by a bit too quickly to have the emotional impact those moments required, but there’s a lot of story and set-up to get through in a very short episode.
Meanwhile, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his daughter Mia (Kat McNamara), Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), The Atom (Brandon Routh), White Canary (Caity Lotz) and Batwoman (Ruby Rose) are gathered and transported to Supergirl’s earth to defend a tower designed to counter the anti-matter wave of destruction that’s coming towards them. They’ll have to defend it against endless waves of faceless floating ghost demons (it’s better visually than it sounds on paper, trust me). But they are ultimately overrun and have to leave the planet as well, beaten, with only a fraction of the planet evacuated and having lost a key player in this fight. That’s right, it wouldn’t be a massive DC Crisis if some heroes didn’t bite the dust. Oliver Queen himself dies at the end of this episode, which is a surefire way to raise the stakes.
There are more cameos than I can explain here, I had a blast finding all of the little details contained within and I feel like readers will too. After all, that is part of the appeal of these kinds of crossovers, the call backs and references are part and parcel of the experience. I did not expect the burly bearded man walking around with a cardboard sign yelling that the end of days was coming.
It’s a solid start to an ambitious story. There’s a real energy, looming sense of threat and forward movement in this first episode. That’s a perfect way to start such an epic story. Let’s hope the other episode can keep that momentum going. You can read on to see if that’s the case in my colleague Josh Hilgenberg recap of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Part TWO