At the end of 'Elseworlds' The CW confirmed that the 1985 DC storyline 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' will be heading to a small screen near you in 2019. The network has never revealed a storyline like this so far ahead before, but then again, eagle-eyed fans already know that the Arrowverse has been planting seeds for this ever since the very first episode of The Flash.
In the pilot episode, Eobard Thawne – in the guise of Harrison Wells – revealed a future newspaper from 2024 that included some rather ominous information. According to the headline, The Flash will vanish during a “crisis” following the appearance of red skies.
Another future newspaper introduced in the season-five premiere elaborated on these circumstances, mentioning a man called Psycho Pirate who seemed to play a key role during the night in question.
What is the Crisis On Infinite Earths?
This all draws parallels with the original 'Crisis' story in DC Comics where Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save the entire universe from the Anti-Monitor. During this comic-book crossover, Supergirl also died – in a scene that was deliberately echoed visually by the season-two premiere of her own show after it moved to The CW.
The introduction of The Monitor in this year’s crossover was the biggest hint yet that a ‘Crisis’ would soon be heading to Infinite Earths. In the comics, it was revealed that The Monitor looked over the Multiverse and tried to protect it from his evil counterpart, The Anti-Monitor, who threatened to destroy life on every Earth.
Unfortunately, The Monitor wasn’t strong enough to do this alone, so he enlisted a number of the world’s finest heroes to help, but not before testing them first.
As it turned out, this is exactly how the 'Elseworlds' crossover played out too. All of the Freaky Friday/Quantum Leap shenanigans were engineered by The Monitor in order to see if our heroes will be strong enough to endure the coming ‘Crisis’.
Bizarrely then, this year’s antagonist could turn out to be the only hope left for our heroes by the time that next year’s annual event comes around. Well, for most of our heroes, anyway.
Is Oliver Queen going to die?
During the final showdown in 'Elseworlds', Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) made some kind of deal with The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) to save Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and The Flash (Grant Gustin) while they raced around the world to slow down time.
Whatever Ollie said to The Monitor worked and the two heroes came out of the crossover unscathed, but the Emerald Archer might not be so lucky this time next year.
After the dust had settled, The Flash and Green Arrow went for a drink to discuss what had happened and while they talked, Oliver mentioned how important it is to savour whatever time we might have left with our loved ones. If that doesn’t sound like the sentiments of a dying man, we don’t know what does.
As mentioned, The Flash and Supergirl are the ones who die in the comic-book version of ‘Crisis’, but it’s likely that Oliver might have offered to sacrifice his own life here instead to save theirs. This wouldn’t be the first time that the Arrowverse shows have strayed from the source material in order to surprise viewers and this decision also makes sense from a logistical viewpoint too.
Arrow has been going on for seven seasons now, far longer than the majority of superhero series out there, and it would be better for the flagship show to bow out now on a relative high.
After all, "Leaving a legacy is the last box left to tick” according to Stephen Amell, and this is something which already appears to be playing out in season seven now that Oliver’s sister has taken up the mantle of Green Arrow.
The Arrowverse itself is becoming increasingly crowded now that Batwoman is set to make her own solo debut next year too, so now would be the perfect time to either bring Arrow to a close or at least wrap up the story of its protagonist before someone else takes over completely.
No more Infinite Earths
Whether Oliver Queen survives ‘Crisis’ or not, the next crossover could herald another, even larger change than the death of the character who started it all – and again, this can be traced back to the comics.
In the original 'Crisis On Infinite Earths', The Monitor decided to consolidate the strength of his chosen champions by combining all of the infinite parallel Earths into one. DC made this move to simplify what had become an extremely convoluted timeline, erasing decades of back story to ease newcomers in – and The CW could very well follow a similar route.
Right now, Supergirl lives on a different Earth to the other flagship Arrowverse heroes, but regularly visits still in these annual crossovers. However, the existence of Black Lightning complicates things further. The latest addition to The CW’s superhero lineup lives on yet another Earth, one that has so far made no contact with these other shows.
Next year’s 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' could help simplify things by combining all of these worlds into one, just like in the comics. It doesn’t have to stop there, though.
'Elseworlds' also proved that older, pre-existing shows like the '90s Flash series could be incorporated into the Arrowverse too. That’s the beauty of a Multiverse. There’s literally infinite possibilities that exist on an infinite number of worlds.
Following this logic, it wouldn’t be hard to include other shows like Smallville or even Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman from the '70s as well – and if Warner Bros. can figure out the rights, then even modern day hits like Gotham and Krypton could be at least hinted at too.
Whatever happens during 'Crisis On Infinite Earths' next year, one thing’s for sure: "Worlds will live, worlds will die, and nothing will ever be the same," just like the Psycho Pirate told us in the very last moments of 'Elseworlds'.
Arrow, Supergirl and The Flash will all return to The CW in January following a midseason break. 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' will take place on The CW in Autumn 2019. The series air on Sky One in the UK.
('You Might Also Like',)