It’s unusual to see Arrowverse shows setting the stage for year-end crossovers this far in advance. It suggests that not only is “Crisis” a much bigger conflict than anything our heroes have faced before, it’s one that could significantly impact the directions of Arrow Season 8, The Flash Season 6, Supergirl Season 5 and Legends of Tomorrow Season 5. Here’s how these “Crisis on Infinite Earths” teases could be paving the way for a more interconnected Arrowverse this fall.
The Road to Crisis
We’re not suggesting the entire Arrowverse will exist as one massive crossover throughout the latter half of 2019. The sheer logistics involved in coordinating four writer’s rooms and dozens of actors for months on end would be insurmountable. But it does seem possible that each of the four shows might have a part to play in paving the way to “Crisis.”
Comic book fans might picture DC’s 2005 crossover Infinite Crisis, where DC published four separate but connected miniseries (Villains United, The Rann-Thanagar War, The OMAC Project and Day of Vengeance) in the summer that all set the stage for the main Infinite Crisis series in the fall. We could see the four ongoing Arrowverse shows playing a similar role, as each show is given its own mandate and uses the months of October and November to build towards the big crossover.
Arrow: Ollie’s New Mission
Arrow’s Season 7 finale left a lot up in the air, including whether Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen will actually be a part of Season 8 before the crossover itself. The finale ends with Ollie and Felicity retiring from the superhero life and raising their new daughter Mia. Several months pass during this period until finally, the Monitor approaches Ollie. Depending on exactly how much time passed, this may cover Ollie’s story right up to the events of the crossover.
However, if this Monitor scene is set at the beginning of Season 8 rather than the midway point, it could be setting up a very different status quo for Ollie. Arrow’s eighth and final season may divide its time between Star City, where the rest of Team Arrow struggles to carry on without their former leader, and a recurring subplot where Ollie helps the Monitor prepare for the coming Crisis. This subplot may take the place of the flash-forward storyline that unfolded over the course of Season 7.
There’s also the question of how Lyla Michaels may factor into the Crisis buildup. In the comics, Lyla is an orphan rescued by the Monitor and tasked with helping him prepare for the Crisis by testing the heroes of many worlds. Arrow has introduced Lyla’s codename Harbinger, but it has yet to establish that connection to the Monitor. Will that change in Season 8? Or is Ollie filling that role himself? Either way, The Harbinger/Monitor relationship in the comics could offer some clues as to what the Monitor may want from Ollie now.
The Flash & Legends of Tomorrow: Fixing the Timeline
The Flash’s Season 5 finale bucks the usual trend in that it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. Normally, the series uses its finale episodes to introduce a new dramatic twist that winds up setting the tone and direction for the next season, including a new Big Bad. Instead, Season 5 ends with Barry and Iris quietly mourning the death of their daughter Nora. Only the final scene featuring the holographic newspaper headline offers a hint of the drama to come for Team Flash.
Even so, that may be enough to get a sense of where the series is headed in Season 6. The finale made it clear that the future has been changed thanks to the defeat of Cicada. That’s why Nora faded out of existence, and probably why the date of the Crisis has moved up. We could see this timeline alteration being the catalyst for Season 6. Just as Season 3 revolved around Team Flash confronting new enemies created by the fallout of Flashpoint, Season 6 may use Cicada’s defeat as a starting point for new threats connected to the coming Crisis.
We also have to wonder how this might impact Legends of Tomorrow. If any series is going to deal with the impact of a new timeline suddenly springing into existence, it’s Legends. The show has largely veered away from the sci-fi-centric conflicts of the first two seasons in favor of more supernatural fare. But after two seasons of dealing with the demonic Mallus and the emergence of magical creatures throughout time, the time may have come for Legends to get back to its roots. The potential is there for much more inter-connectivity between Flash and Legends than ever before, with both teams working to correct the damage done to the timeline. It’s just a matter of whether the writers want to seize on that potential. With Season 4 in particular, Legends has seemed content to operate in its own, isolated corner of the Arrowverse.
Where Do Supergirl and Batwoman Fit In?
That still leaves two other Arrowverse series, as Supergirl kicks off its fifth season and Batwoman debuts earlier than expected in fall 2019. We don’t expect Batwoman to dabble much in the buildup to “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” That series has its own needs to serve as it gets underway and establishes a clear direction and purpose. And as the first full-length trailer shows, Batwoman will at least initially take place before the events of “Elseworlds.”
Supergirl presents an interesting case, though. As the series is set on a different Earth than the one featured in The Flash, Arrow, and Legends, it may not be as directly impacted by the alterations to the timeline and the return of the Monitor. Even so, we could see the series building towards Crisis in other ways. Many of DC’s monthly comics paved the way for the original Crisis crossover by featuring red skies, a phenomenon meant to signal that the barriers between universes are breaking down. Every Crisis affects all worlds, not just one, so the closer the Arrowverse gets to its day of reckoning, the more the effects may become apparent on Supergirl’s Earth.
We suspect that, ultimately, Supergirl will be more impacted by the fallout of “Crisis” rather than the lead-up. In the comics, the Crisis resulted in the surviving remnants of the DC multiverse being merged into one, unified DCU. If this TV adaptation follows the same path, we’ll see Kara and her friends become permanent residents of Barry Allen and Oliver Queen’s Earth. That’ll make inter-show crossovers a whole lot easier going forward.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.