It Lives Up to the Hype – Review of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Part Two

After last night’s HUGE premiere of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, what can we expect from Part Two? Looks like more action, more cameos, more BIG reveals, in a show that continues to blow our ever-lovin’ minds! Last night, [REDACTED]  died, along with an entire world that we know well. Tonight, we see the resistance coming into place – but not before we get to geek out multiple times. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

NOTE: This review is posting prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS showing in the Pacifif Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE! Really, STOP HERE and wait to come back after you see the show. With this series, you will definitely be glad you did!

SO much happened in this episode. It was a wild roller coaster ride from start to finish. Let’s try to put it all together this way…

  • We see Smallville Clark and Lois, and Kingdom Come Superman as well
  • We find quite possibly the Dark Knight Returns Batman, along with Luke Fox
  • Jonah Hex? Seems like we meet him as well.
  • Death of Superman? Yep – we see that iconic scene, but he isn’t the only Supes to die.
  • Lex Luthor? Yes, and he has something to do with all those dead Supermen
  • John Constantine? YES! And he plays an important role in this episode
  • Mick Rory? Yes – and just as much fun a character as ever
  • Oliver Queen? Just wait…we’ll get to that

The Monitor has learned of the Seven Paragons from a recovered Book of Destiny, which he pulled out of the time stream. These “beings of the purest will” are the key to defeating the Anti-Monitor. There are two already identified, and two more with scant descriptions:

  • Supergirl is the Paragon of Hope
  • Sara Lance is the Paragon of Destiny
  • The Paragon of Truth – A Kryptonian with “greater loss than most mortal men can endure”
  • And, The Paragon of Courage –  “the Bat of the future”

Ray Palmer is working on a “Paragon” Detector to find the remaining three, while two teams go after that Kryptoniand and that Bat. Iris West-Allen goes with the CW Superman and Lois (have to use that description to keep things straight) to look for the Kryptonian. Kara and Kate go after the Bat of the Future. 

But, there is a fly in the ointment. Lex Luthor of Earth 38 is alive and well – and he grabs the book of destiny to go through the multiverse, killing every Superman on every world he can find. Will he kill all of them before they can find the one paragon Kryptonian? We’ll come back to that. But first, let’s follow each team through to their conclusion:

Kara and Kate find the Bruce Wayne of Earth-99. He is a physically and emotionally broken man, cared for by the Luke Fox of his world. He wears an exoskeleton to be able to move, a result of his final battle…with the Superman of his world. This Bruce, played by Kevin Conroy (so glad to see him in this role) long ago abandoned his code against killing. His last kill was the Superman of his world, something Kara and Kate don’t discover until very late in their visit. This Bruce tries to kill Kara as well with Kryptonite, but Kate fights him off. He falls back and his exoskeleton fries him, killing this version of Bruce Wayne. Kate and Kara return thinking their search was in vain. Not so…because as Ray Palmer’s paragon detector shows, it is Kate Kane who is the “Bat of the Future” and therefore the Paragon of Courage!

Iris West-Allen and the Earth 38 Clark and Lois go through several worlds looking for the right Kryptonian. They visit Earth 75, where they are too late to stop the Death of Superman (with the iconic picture from the comics). Then comes Earth 167…

Earth 167 is the Smallville Earth. Tom Welling’s Clark is in plaid flannel (no costume as in all but the last scene from SMALLVILLE). Iris and Earth 38 Clark and Lois try to warn him about Lex. But Clark is confused as the Lex of his world is the President. The Lex of Earth 38 appears and whisks Iris and Earth 38 Clark and Lois to another world. He is ready to kill Clark with Kryptonite…but it doesn’t affect Smallville Clark! In this world, Clark gave up his powers willingly, so Kryptonite no longer affects him. Lex is SO frustrated that anyone would give up “the power of a God” and leaves in a huff. “You took all the fun out of it. Enjoy your slice of mediocrity while you can. You’re all doomed anyway.” The Smallville Lois (also seen on SUPERGIRL as Kara’s mother) appears and this Clark and Lois go hand in hand back to their home, safe at least for now.

Iris and Earth 38 Clark and Lois appear next on Earth 85, where we finally see Brandon Routh as the Kingdom Come Superman. In this world, a “reject from Gotham City” (assuredly the Joker) felt he wasn’t getting enough attention, and he gassed the Planet offices. This killed every friend of Earth 85 Clark…and his wife Lois as well. THIS is the Paragon of Truth, the man who has “lost more than most mortals could endure.” But, we aren’t ready to go just yet…

Lex of Earth 38 appears and decides to control Earth 85 Supes…ordering him to kill the Earth 38 Superman! An epic battle ensues, stopped only when Lois crashes a bottle over Lex’s head while he was distracted. Lois and Iris take over the Book of Destiny, and eventually find a way to free this Kingdom Come Superman from Lex’s control. As they return to the Monitor, we learn that he likely used Lex to sort of narrow down the field so that they could find the right Superman. This Monitor can be exceptionally cold…

Now, while all of this is going on:

  • Barry, Mia and Sara Lance meet with John Constantine in an effort to fine an Earth that still has a Lazarus Pit. They find one, on Earth 18, a world that has a potential Jonah Hex. In this case, that famous slash in the cheek is delivered by our own Sara Lance (nice touch there). The pit works to revive Oliver Queen’s body…but without his soul. That likely will be a search in the Third Part of the show.
  • Harbinger has been hearing voices that almost incapacitate her. They eventually lead to her being pulled away to another location, to meet…The Anti-Monitor! We finally see him at the very end of this episode!

NOTES:

  • The Waverider is needed for this fight, and Harbinger finds it on Earth 74 with Mick Rory. She convinces him to come back for beer (and other things, but “you had me at beer”). 
  • Mick is the only one who can calm down baby Jon Kent. It’s hilarious when the baby keeps interrupting one of the Monitor’s main speeches. And, just as hilarious when Mick entertains the baby by reading a steamy romance novel called “Caged Passion.” Just as in the LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, Mick is both a formidable fighter and fantastic comedy relief.
  • The Monitor mentions another book, one that Felicity Smoak has read called “The Tome of the Guardians”.  Green Lantern Corps anyone? This will only add fuel to the rumored GL television show.
  •  Supergirl is obsessed with the idea that the Book of Destiny could bring back Earth 38. The Monitor warns that such an attempt would lead to madness…but Kara hasn’t given up that thought yet.
  • Kate has seen the potential for going dark (pun not intended) and is worried that she could turn out like the Bruce Wayne of Earth 99. Kara assures her that it isn’t going to happen. But, even so, Kate DOES have that piece of Kryptonite that Bruce had on Earth 99. Will we see that again?
  • It was SO good to see Brandon Routh donning the tights once again. It was as if he had never stopped playing the role. We got a tremendous Superman, complete with the classic musical score from the movies that stretched from the Christopher Reeve movies to his own movie portrayal of the Man of Steel.
  • First view of the Anti-Monitor – things are definitely heating up in a crossover that started out on high.

SUMMARY: This was another home run for CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. The showrunners have spared nothing in putting this together. These first two Parts of the series have more than lived up to the hype – and considering the titanic hype, that really is saying something. This is a 10/10 for me – but of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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