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All the ways Crisis on Infinite Earths changed the Arrowverse forever

The two-part finale set up a new paradigm

Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen, Tyler Hoechlin as Superman and LaMonica Garret as The Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 3. Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

After taking the holidays off, the final two parts to Crisis on Infinite Earths have arrived. How did the heroes of the Arrowverse save the day after the Anti-Monitor wiped out all life? Did Oliver really become the cosmic embodiment of justice known as the Spectre? What is the state of the multiverse in the wake of all this?

[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for the fourth and fifth episodes of Crisis on Infinite Earths.]

Crisis on Infinite Endgames

The fourth chapter of “Crisis,” an episode of Arrow, sees the six Paragons and Lex Luthor spending months coping with having lost everyone in the multiverse and trying to find a way to undo everything. Then, Oliver Queen, who stayed behind in Purgatory to become the Spectre and train, arrives at the Vanishing Point with a plan: Half of the Paragons will distract the Anti-Monitor and his shadow demons, while the other half will travel to the planet Maltus and prevent a younger Monitor from meeting his evil counterpart in the first place. Spectre-Ollie gives Barry a power boost to access the Speed Force, and the plan is in motion.

Unfortunately, things fall apart almost immediately. Barry and the other Paragons get trapped in the Speed Force after an attack from the Anti-Monitor, and Barry has to travel through time to specific Oliver memories to recover them, lest they be consumed by antimatter.

If this sounds similar to a certain Marvel movie that came out last year, you wouldn’t be wrong. Barry and the other Paragons are stapled into old Arrow episodes in scenes like Sara Lance’s death. During all this, Barry also comes across a surprising face: the Barry Allen of the DCEU, played by Ezra Miller, albeit one who hasn’t even called himself the Flash yet.

And they stroke each other’s costumes. Really.

Meanwhile, Supergirl, Ryan Choi, and Lex Luthor arrive on Maltus and — despite Lex’s best efforts — convince the Monitor to not travel to the Dawn of Time. But the multiverse rule still applies; even if the Monitor they spoke to didn’t cross paths with the Anti-Monitor, at least one of them across all universes will. At the Dawn of Time in the Anti-Matter universe, Spectre-Oliver reveals his big plan: the Paragons will hold the line while he fights the Anti-Monitor and rebirths the whole multiverse. With a cry of “You have failed this universe!” Spectre-Ollie restarts the multiverse and dies, again. The day is saved.

Except … there’s still one hour of show left.

An end, and a beginning

The final chapter of “Crisis,” an episode of Legends of Tomorrow, deals with the fallout of the crossover and the journey the Paragons went through. Turns out rebuilding the universe didn’t go off without a hitch: All the heroes are on a single Earth now, from the Legends and Batwoman to Black Lightning and his family.

According to a civilian played by original Crisis comic scribe Marv Wolfman, those heroes have been working together for years in this newly formed reality. And to make matters worse, Lex managed to write history so that he’s in charge of Supergirl and the DEO. Beyond the Paragons, no one else in the universe remembers their previous lives, until the Martian Manhunter restores the memories of the various Arrowverse heroes.

To make matters worse, the Anti-Monitor is still around and trying to kill off the Paragons. As is the case with every other crossover, the heroes split up into teams to save the day. While the other heroes fight the Anti-Monitor and his shadow demons, Ryan, Ray Palmer, and Nash Wells build a bomb to keep the Anti-Monitor trapped in the Microverse.

The Anti-Monitor is defeated, and the newly rebuilt multiverse is shown with a montage of universes we’ve seen and will see. We see Earth-2, the home of the upcoming Stargirl series, the Earth-12 universe of the 2011 Green Lantern film. The universes of Titans (Earth-9), Swamp Thing, (Earth-19), and Doom Patrol (Earth-21) are seen. And yes, the Superman of Earth-96 (the one played by Brandon Routh) gets his own happy ending.

As for the heroes of the Arrowverse, aka Earth-Prime? They build a memorial to Oliver inside the STAR Labs facility that Barry owns. He’s decided to use the building as a gathering place the next time the world’s about to end. And just like that, the Super Friends are born in the Hall of Justice.

David Harewood as Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz, Grant Gustin as The Flash, Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl, Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor, Osric Chau as Ryan Choi and Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

What happens now?

Crisis has left all its heroes in some interesting spots, and starting next week, all the CW shows start back up again. Legends of Tomorrow begins its new season, to replace Arrow when it concludes with its last two episodes. Supergirl and The Flash (returning in February) will certainly have to deal with the new status quo. For Batwoman, nothing will likely change except that its hero will team up with Supergirl from time to time.

For Arrow-specific corner of this universe, next week’s episode will be its second to last. It’ll be a jumping off point for Green Arrow & the Canaries, the spinoff focused on Oliver’s adult daughter Mia, who will regain her memories and take up the hood and bow. The spinoff hasn’t been picked up yet, but given the track record of this universe, it likely will. At the end of January, Arrow’s final episode will air, and it will feature Stephen Amell as Oliver — not the Spectre — according to showrunner Beth Schwartz.

Whether the Arrow spinoff happens are not, Arrowverse shows across the board have already been renewed for new seasons to begin in the fall. Superman & Lois, a show focused on the Earth-Prime versions of the characters, has been picked up to series. Crisis features a tease for the upcoming show, as we learn that Lois and Clark have not one but two unnamed sons they’re raising.

It’s a whole new world for the Arrowverse, and for the first time, the future is truly uncertain.

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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