The Monitor sends Harbinger to gather the greatest heroes of two worlds- Supergirl, The Flash Green Arrow, Batwoman, White Canary, The Atom and Superman - in preparation for the impending Crisis. With their worlds in imminent danger, the superheroes suit up for battle while J’onn and Alex recruit Lena Luthor to help them find a way to save the people of Earth-38.
The original 12-issue Crisis on Infinite Earths mini-series.
Tyler Hoechlin gets a good moment here opposite Melissa Benoist, as we get to see Superman in a state that is quite rare: vulnerable an wishing he could be selfish just once. There's been a lot of hand-wringing about how to make Superman relatable and relevant on-line lately, but Tyler seems to have that question answered here.
Caity Lotz's speech to the older Ollie about how their trip together wound up changing the world is a brilliant one and as much as I love Legends giving Lotz a chance to stretch her comedic chops, I do miss her getting as many dramatic speeches like this as she used to have.
As far as swan-songs go, Stephen Amell couldn't have asked for a better one as Oliver Queen and we couldn't have gotten a better send-off for the Emerald Archer.
If Stephen Amell hadn't perfectly captured the spirit of Oliver Queen before, he nailed it as an arrowless Green Arrow charges into battle with nothing but his bare hands and grit to buy a few more people time to get to safety and the orchestration and direction of that scene are perfect.
This episode reveals three more Earths from previous DC Comics productions to be part of the Arrowverse; Earth-89, Earth-9 and Earth-66.
Earth-89 is the reality of the Tim Burton Batman movies. It is seen in a brief scene where the skies turn red over Gotham City and the Bat-Signal is seen, as a man in a fedora and trench-coat mutters "I hope you're watching, big guy." The man is reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl), who was the first to report upon The Joker's crimes in the 1989 Batman movie.
Earth-9 is the reality of DC Universe's live-action Titans series. A brief scene shows the skies over Titans Tower in San Francisco turning red and shows close-ups of Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Jason Todd (Curran Walters) looking upset before the screen fades to white, suggesting their world was destroyed.
Earth-66 is the reality of the 1966 live-action Batman series which starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. Burt Ward has a brief cameo, walking a dog while wearing a red sweater with green and yellow trim that suggests the classic Robin costume. As the skies turn red, he says "Holy Crimson Skies Of Death!" in the style of his version of Robin, who was always issuing exclamations beginning with "Holy...."
The doomsday prophet whom Supergirl saves from a dragon in the first scene on Earth-38 is played by geek icon Wil Wheaton.
The sign Wil Wheaton's prophet is carrying is similar to the one carried by a similar prophet in Superman II.
This episode gives us our first glimpse of Lois and Clark's son, Jonathan. In the Rebirth reality of DC Comics, Lois Lane and Clark Kent also had a son named Jonathan.
Clark says that he saw himself and Lois having two children and living on Earth. This could be a reference to the mini-series Superman: Secret Identity (where Lois and Clark had two daughters named Carol and Jane) or Superman & Batman: Generations (where Lois and Clark had a son named Joel and a daughter named Kara.)
The team that beats the Legends at a trivia night event is called The Strange Visitors. This is a nod to the introduction to the classic Adventures of Superman show, where Superman was called a "Strange Visitor From Another World."
The shadow demons who serve the Anti-Monitor are taken directly from the Crisis on Infinite Earths comics.
This episode marks the first appearance of Nash Wells as Pariah. In the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, Pariah was a scientist whose experiments opened the way for the Anti-Monitor to begin destroying the positive-matter multiverse. This caused him to become bonded to the Anti-Monitor in some fashion; teleporting to worlds just before the Anti-Monitor arrived to destroy them. The Monitor used Pariah as a means of charting the destruction of the universe as he made his own plans for countering the Anti-Monitor.
The Arrowverse version of Pariah was responsible for freeing the Anti-Monitor from his prison. Rather than being grateful, the Anti-Monitor elected to punish his savior by taking all memory of who he once was beyond his former name and sending him around the multiverse to witness great tragedies.
Brainiac-5 calculates that the anti-matter wave will reach the edge of the universe in 5.3 hours and boomerang back, this time destroying everything in its path completely, hitting Argo City before it returns to Earth.
Quantum Towers are constructs created by the Monitor, which were buried on key Earths at the dawn of time as a last-line of defense. The towers generate a quantum flux field, which can, theoretically, reverse the exogenic state of the anti-matter wave, thereby dissipating the anti-matter energy.
Brainiac-5 calculates that the odds of the rocket carrying Jonathan winding up landing in Oliver Queen's bunker in Star City on Earth-16 in the year 2046 are three billion, eight hundred and twenty seven million to one.
Batwoman's batarangs are made of carbon fiber.
The Atom upgrades Batwoman's batarangs by charging them with compressed light energy, making them incredibly effective against the shadow demons.
The transmatter portal works by synthesizing polyelectronic anions.If the energy levels aren't properly set when interfacing with the breach device, the ships will disintegrate when they fly through the portal rather than being teleported.
Alex suggests using an inverse variable to help calculate the differential, per Galleon's theory. This creates an inverse beta-decay to figure constituent quark.
The Monitor: (voice-over) 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. Civilizations rose and fell. And rose again across reality's grasping expanse. Life. A precious gift persevering in the face of every obstacle, until, finally, the Age of Heroes was born. Chaos. The constant enemy of life kept at bay by champions from across the multiverse, joining forces to fight on behalf of all creation. They found each other just in time, because now, the entire Multiverse is about to come under attack. There is a malevolent force at work, one driven by a singular goal; the destruction of all there is. I have planned - there are those who say I have schemed - but the time for preparation has passed. The Crisis is now upon us all.
Dick Grayson of Earth-66: Holy crimson skies of death!
Alex: The USGS didn't register an early warning, so it took everyone completely by surprise.
Brainiac-5: She does mean everyone because this earthquake is quite, literally, worldwide.
Alex: But the seismic activity wasn't coming from within the planet, it's coming from without.
Supergirl: That's -
Supergirl: I was gonna say "impossible," but okay.
Brainiac-5 (impatient) Yes, yes, a fair descriptor. As would be unfeasible, unthinkable, absurd, outlandish. But however you choose to describe this event, one thing is absolutely certain. We have-
J'onn: - A major crisis on our hands.
(Harbinger just appeared in the DEO with Superman, Lois Lane, Green Arrow, Mia Smoak and Batwoman)
Kara: Oh, my God, you're okay. (moves to hug Lois)
Lois: Thanks to her. (looks to Harbinger) She appeared at the last second and brought us here.
Clark: We sent Jonathan off in an escape pod.
Kara: And my mother?
Clark: (hesitantly) I'm so sorry, Kara.
(There is a pregnant pause as Kara considers the enormity of this. Batwoman walks around Superman to look at Kara.)
Batwoman: Kara? Where are we? And what just happened?
Kara: Um -
Harbinger: You're on Earth-38. There was-
(Batwoman suddenly spins around and decks Harbinger. This stops her from talking but doesn't seem to phase her otherwise.)
Batwoman: That rabbit was about to talk!
Brainiac-5 (quietly to J'onn) This one speaks to rabbits.
Kara: (reasssuringly) It's okay. 'Cause we're all on the same side.
Batwoman: Are we? 'Cause I don't know them.
Kara: But you know me. And if you were brought here with all these other heroes, it's probably because we need you. I trust everyone in this room with my life. Including you.
(Batwoman regards Kara and slowly pulls off her mask to reveal herself as Kate Kane.)
Kate: Well, I guess you should all just call me Kate.
Oliver: (quietly to Mia) Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Sara: You know, Oliver... I've seen playboy Oliver, vigilante Oliver, but I never thought I would see parent Oliver.
Oliver: It's weird, right?
Sara: So weird. (laughs) But it looks good on you.
Clark: I'm sorry about your mom. I couldn't save her.
Kara: You had no powers on Argo. There was nothing you could do.
Clark: I feel like a fool. I thought I could give up the cape and just... have everything I ever wanted. And now, Argo is gone, this Earth is in danger, Lois and Jonathan are out in the universe, where I can't protect them. And part of me can't help thinking that (scoffs) That I deserve this for thinking that I could have so much. That anyone could.
Kara: I get it. I've been thinking that a lot, too, lately. How I can never do enough. (sighs) How my mistakes outweigh all the good I've ever done. But it's not true. It can't be. And we're going to save them. Lois, Jonathan, this whole planet. We've done it a dozen times and we're going to do it again.
Clark: How are you so hopeful right now? You've lost just as much as I have today. Argo, your mom.
Kara: Before our parents sent us to Earth nobody here knew about Krypton. Now, there are stories, celebrations, museum exhibits. Just like you shared our home with your family, we shared our home with this whole world. Krypton's not just a place, it's a spirit. It's hope. It's sacrifice. It's what our parents did for us. What you did for Jonathan. We have made our parents proud by fighting for what's right. So, we have to keep fighting. And as long as that spirit is alive, Krypton will never die.
Alex: Look, I am sorry that I lied to you. And not just me, and not just Kara it was all of us. J'onn and Brainy and Nia.
Lena: You know, you actually had me believe that you hated Supergirl.
Alex: I wasn't pretending about that. And that is a long story. Listen, I... I know that you feel burned by us. And that there is nothing that I can say in this moment that is going to change that. But if you could please just put your feelings aside... J'onn and I really, really, need your help.
Lena: (sigh) I don't want your apology, Alex. 'Cause you will never again have my friendship or my trust. I have learned my lesson from all of you. But if the world is at stake, then of course, I'll help. It is hubris of you to think that I wouldn't, but then... you've made it perfectly clear how little you've thought of me these last few years. So what do you need me to do?
Earth-16 Oliver: I never thought I'd see you again.
Sara: One of the benefits of parallel Earths.
Earth-16 Oliver: Parallel Earths? It would appear that your reality is a little... stranger than mine.
Sara: You really have no idea?
Earth-16 Oliver: All my life I just wanted to to apologize for bringing you on that boat. But you aren't even you.
Sara: Ollie. If your me was anything like I was, then getting on the Gambit with you was her choice. And in my world, that trip... it set off a whole series of events that neither you or I could've ever dreamed of. You became a hero, a husband, a father. And I'm flying through time happier than I've ever been. And none of that would've ever happened if I didn't get on that boat with you. It was destiny.
(Brainiac-5 walks in.)
Brainiac-5: I'm sorry to break up what I'm sure must be the strangest reunion in the history of the world, but, um, if we don't leave now, I'm afraid our extrapolator might not have enough power for us to return home.
Earth-16 Oliver: Wait, what's an extrapolator?
Sara: It's another long story.
Sara: You're a good man on every Earth.
(Sara kisses Oliver on the cheek and walks through the breach.)
The Monitor: Oliver! It is time!
Oliver: Has the planet been evacuated yet?
The Monitor: Not entirely.
Oliver: Then it's not time!
(A man appears next to the Monitor. He looks like Nash Wells, but is clad in odd green armor.)
Pariah: (shaking his head) Once upon a time. Not anymore. Now, I'm simply a man serving his penance.
Clark: Penance for what?
Pariah: I freed the Anti-Monitor from his confinement only to become a... Pariah, sentenced to bear witness to his actions.
The opening montage as The Monitor talks about the Age of Heroes features clips from Arrow's Season 4 finale (A423), the Invasion, Crisis on Earth X and Elseworlds events, Kara's battle with Lex Luthor in 422 and White Canary fighting Tagumo (L405).
The Ray, last seen during Crisis on Earth-X, is briefly seen confronting an anti-matter wave on his Earth.
Spike, the dragon whom Kara wrangles, is the same shape-shifting alien pet she helped to subdue in 406.
J'onn tells everyone about his encounter with The Monitor in 508.
Clark and Lois have had their child; a boy named Jonathan, in honor of Clark's adoptive father.
Jonathan is said to have Clark's eyes.
Warned of the destruction of Argo City, Lois and Clark put Jonathan in a rocket prepared by Alura.
The scene of Oliver and Mia talking comes from the end of A807.
The scene of Barry running around Central City before meeting Harbinger follows a scene at the end of F608.
Batwoman is taken by Harbinger as she is in the middle of questioning a member of the Wonderland Gang who is dressed as a rabbit. He says something about Alice hiding out in a sugar factory.
Ray makes reference to the events of L401 and how he met Janis Joplin at Woodstock. Ray accidentally changed history so that her last recorded song was "Little Robot Man" and not "Mercedes Benz," costing the Legends victory at a pub trivia night event in Star City 2019.
Harbinger appeared at the last moment and rescued Lois and Clark from Argo City.
Kate demasks and reveals her secret identity to Oliver, Mia, Clark, Lois, J'onn, Alex and Brainiac-5. Oliver says this explains a lot, referring to how Kate treated him in both his identities during the events of Elseworlds.
Oliver mentions the destruction of Earth-2 from A801.
Harbinger says The Monitor wants them to make their stand on Earth-38 because it is the tipping point for the Crisis.
The Flash and The Legends are running reconnaissance.
A Flackurian is a flying alien creature known for being quite fast.
A quantum tower grows in the middle of National City, close to the DEO building.
Brainiac-5 tracks the rocket that carried Jonathan Kent to a temporal wormhole that took him to Star City in the year 2046 on Earth-16.
It is revealed that the Legends traveled through five dimensions in L106, arriving in a probable future of an alternate Earth. (Earth-16, to be exact.)
Lois, Sara and Brainiac-5 decide to go to Earth-16 and rescue Jonathan while the rest of the heroes stay to protect the Quantum Tower from the Anti-Monitor.
Alex leaves to contact the President and coordinate an evacuation of the planet in the Quantum Tower fails.
J'onn leaves to start asking every alien on Earth that has a ship if they can borrow them for the evacuation.
Brainiac-5 gives J'onn the keys to the Legion ship.
Alex decides to approach Lena Luthor about building a transmat portal big enough to send multiple ships to Earth-1.
Oliver gives Mia a Green Arrow costume.
Barry tells Oliver that the Monitor told him he was fated to die during the Crisis.
When Oliver demands answers from the Monitor on why Barry thinks he is going to die, the Monitor explained that Oliver's sacrifice saved Barry and Kara during Elseworlds. It does nothing to protect them now.
Lena agrees to help with the evacuation efforts, but says that she and Alex will never be friends again.
Brainiac-5 tracks Jonathan Kent to the Bunker of Oliver Queen on Earth-16 in the year 2046.
Sara fights with the older Oliver Queen, who has no memory of meeting her before or the events of L106. He says that he hasn't seen Sara Lance since she died on the Queen's Gambit. He also doesn't know about the existence of parallel earths.
Oliver tells Mia to find Felicity after all this is over and tell her that Oliver said he loved her.
Ray upgrades Kate's batarangs.
Dreamer and Kelly Olsen are seen assisting with the evacuation.
Kara and Clark use their heat vision to try charge the quantum tower, but all it does is delay the anti-matter wave for a little longer.
James left Kelly Olsen his Guardian shield.
The Monitor tries to teleport the heroes away as Earth-38 is about to fall to the anti-matter wave. Oliver Queen shoots him with a taser arrow before he can be teleported away, leaving Oliver to face the shadow demons with no arrows.
The universe of Earth-38 is destroyed.
The Monitor says that Oliver's sacrifice was directly responsible for saving 1 billion people.
Of the 7.53 billion people living on Earth-38, only 3 billion were able to escape on the armada of spaceships J'onn put together.
Nash Wells appears, now calling himself Pariah, and reveals that he freed the Anti-Monitor by accident in F608.
Oliver dies, after telling Barry and Kara that he sacrificed himself to save them.
The Monitor says that this is not how he foresaw Oliver dying.
Earth-89 - Gotham City
Earth-9 - San Francisco
Earth-X - Star City
Earth-66 - Gotham City
Earth 38 - National City
Earth 1- Lian Yu
Earth 1 - Central City
Earth 1 - Gotham City
Earth 1 - Star City
Earth 16 - Star City - 2046
The Bottom Line
A spirited start to an epic story that delivers even more than it promised.