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Crisis on Infinite Earths part one delivered a massive multiversal cliffhanger

Crisis on NO earths

the flash crossover CW

Last night, The CW aired the third and final hour of Crisis on Infinite Earths for the year. Like any good halfway point, it ended in such a way that you’ll want the holidays to be over so parts four and five can arrive much sooner.

In the meantime, here’s the biggest thing to ever happen to the Arrowverse.

[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for the third episode of Crisis on Infinite Earths.]

Brandon Routh as Superman in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Katie Yu/The CW

Part three of Crisis, an episode of The Flash, sees the heroes continue their search for the Paragons, people with designated traits that are capable of defeating the Anti-Monitor. As it turns out, six of the Paragons are already on the time-travelling ship Waverider: Batwoman (Courage), Sara Lance (Destiny), Supergirl (Hope), Brandon Routh’s Superman of Earth-96 (Truth), Martian Manhunter (Honor), and the Flash (Love). The seventh (Humanity) is Ivy Town professor Ryan Choi, known to DC Comics readers as the eventual second Atom.

While Iris, Ray Palmer and the Elongated Man go about recruiting Ryan, the other members of Team Flash set about finding the Anti-Monitor’s lair and deactivating his antimatter weapon before it can hit Earth-1, the only remaining world in the multiverse. Flash, Killer Frost, a newly re-powered Vibe, and the Pariah find the weapon and discover the power source of the antimatter cannon.

It’s John Wesley Shipp’s Barry Allen of Earth-90, previously thought dead after the Monitor poofed him away in Elseworlds last year, now running forever on a supervillain’s treadmill. The heroes manage to put a stop to the anti-matter wave, even though Earth-90 Barry has to sacrifice his life, and with the Paragons assembled, it seems like the day is mostly saved.

That is, until the Anti-Monitor himself shows up aboard the Waverider, killing his brother and triggering the antimatter wave again to consume Earth-1, and shortly thereafter, the Waverider itself. At the last moment, Pariah poofs the Paragons away before the Anti-Monitor consumes the rest of the heroes on the Waverider. The whole multiverse is gone.

The seven Paragons find themselves in the Vanishing Point, a place outside of space and time. Just as everyone adjusts to their massive loss, Superman-96 is consumed by antimatter in Supergirl’s arms and replaced by none other than Lex Luthor. When he held the Book of Destiny in the previous episode, Lex literally wrote his name over Superman’s to declare himself a Paragon.

A page from the Book of Destiny, with “LEX LUTHOR” in all caps handwritten over a symbol, in Crisis on Infinite Earths part 3. The CW

All hope isn’t lost, though. In the previous episode, the heroes found a way to bring Oliver Queen back from the dead, but without his soul. His daughter Mia, plus Johns Diggle and Constantine, go about retrieving his soul from Purgatory with some help from the Devil. That is, Earth-666’s Lucifer, the titular character of the Fox and Netflix show.

But before the trio can leave with Oliver’s soul, a man named Jim Corrigan shows up and tells Oliver he has a higher calling. In other words: Oliver Queen is going to become the Spectre — a DC Comics hero who is traditionally a fusion of a nearly omnipotent divine force of vengeance and a mortal host — and fight the Anti-Monitor. It will fall to him and the seven Paragons to put an end to the Anti-Monitor and restore all life as we know it in the Arrowverse.

Crisis on Infinite Earths concludes on Jan. 14 with a two-parter of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.

Justin is a Kansas City, Missouri, freelance writer and is on Twitter often, @GigawattConduit. He also is an avid lover of M&M McFlurries from McDonald’s, and accepts that he has an addiction to them.

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