Back in December 2019, we left our heroes (and one villain) at Vanishing Point, a place outside space and time. All hope seems lost, as Earth after Earth had fallen to the anti-matter wave. All we know at this point is that 7 people hold the key to restoring some part of the multiverse. But, how will they do it? Is there anything left to save? And, how do they deal with the fact that [REDACTED] used a stunt with a sharpie to replace [REDACTED] at Vanishing Point? So far, this crossover has been absolutely outstanding. How does it end? Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!
SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
NOTE: This review is posting before the conclusion of CRISIS airs in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back after watching COIE. You’ll be glad you did!
Let’s set the stage here. The Paragons are down one hero when Kingdom Come Superman was replaced by the Earth-38 Lex Luthor. Who knew that a sharpie could change the Book of Destiny? Apparently Lex did. Now, they are stuck at Vanishing Point with every world, every Earth gone. The Waverider is no more, taking with it everyone left that the Paragons cared for. Their only hope is to somehow get out of this place, but how?
Before we get to that, we get to find out how all this started. It all started at the planet Maltus, 10,000 years ago. The man who would become the Monitor wanted to see the dawn of time, but his experiment went awry, sending him to the anti-matter universe and creating the Anti-Monitor. NOTE: this origin sort of mashes up the comic book origins of Pariah and the Monitor/Anti-Monitor. It will be at the dawn of time that the crucial battle takes place, but we’ll come back to that.
Our Paragons have been at the Vanishing Point for months. All, that is, except for Barry Allen, who was lost in the Speed Force…or at least the attempt to get to the Speed Force. When we reappears, Oliver Queen appears. This time, he appears as the Spectre. He grants Barry the extra boost he needs to not only go into the Speed Force, but to take the Paragons with him.
During that trip, the Anti-Monitor attacks. It splits up the group. Barry, Oliver and most of the team are lost in the Speed Force. Meanwhile, Supergirl, Ryan Choi and Lex Luthor find themselves on Maltus. Lex attacks both Kara and Ryan with powers he granted himself with that page from the Book of Destiny, and goes to meet our future Monitor.
Lex is trying to convince the future Monitor that they should join forces on the now- (or soon-to-be) infamous experiment. The Monitor could see the dawn of time safely with Lex’s help…and in return Lex would get the power he craves to reshape reality to his will. Thankfully, this plan is stopped by a returning Supergirl and Ryan Choi. Just then, Flash shows up to take Kara, Ryan and Lex to…
The Dawn of Time!
Now, during all of this, we get a fantastic trip through the history of the Arrowverse. Our Paragons, especially Barry, find themselves plopped right in the middle of iconic scenes, and most involve some aspect of Oliver or his friends. I won’t spoil them all, but there is one scene that COMPLETELY BLEW MY MIND…which I will mention later on in the “notes” section.
At any rate, once everyone has been gathered together they find themselves at the Dawn of Time. The fight with the Anti-Monitor is on! The Paragons are fighting an almost limitless number of Shadow Demons, while Oliver Queen/Spectre directly fights the Anti-Monitor. During that fight, Oliver suddenly looks skyward and creates a beam of energy/light that goes straight up into…something that may become a universe.
That gives the Paragons the chance to focus their energies on that last page of the Book of Destiny. In doing so, they restart the universe! Oliver defeats the Anti-Monitor (for now) in a huge explosion. But, he dies once again in the process. His sacrifice brings everything back to normal…it does, right?
Not so fast…
Our Paragons wake up to find that their Earths have merged into one! And, the Paragons are the only ones who remember the Multiverse or anything that happened in this adventure. Worse still, Lex Luthor has managed to set himself up as the BOSS OF THE DEO and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize! Only our Paragons remember that Lex is the scum of the Earth(s), as even Alex and Nia were happy that Lex won.
Martian Manhunter restores the memories of Team Flash and Team Arrow, along with Harrison Nash Wells. Nash realizes what he has done in freeing the Anti-Monitor, and is trying to make amends. He gets that chance, because the battle isn’t over yet.
The Anti-Monitor is still alive!
Just like positive matter, anti-matter cannot be created or destroyed (those of you better versed in science can tell me if that fact on anti-matter is real or comic book physics). But, it can change form…or in this case can be compressed. Ryan Choi, Ray Palmer, and Nash Wells combine to create a device that can continually and infinitely shrink the Anti-Monitor, defeating him once and for all. That is, if they can put that device (the “shrink bomb”) in direct contact with the Anti-Monitor.
That’s not as easy as it sounds. The Anti-Monitor grows to gigantic size and is effectively battling not only the Paragons, but also Dreamer, Diggle, Black Lightning, Alex Danvers…you get the idea. The show gives us a head fake as if Supergirl was going to sacrifice herself, but instead she gets to throw the shrink bomb at the Anti-Monitor, which saves the day.
We get a bit of the commentary from the end of the comic series, but with a twist. In the comic version, there was only one Earth. In this version, all of our CW shows are now on Earth-Prime…but there are some other Earths. On Earth-2 we will have the JSA and Stargirl. We find Earth-12, which has the Green Lantern Corps. Earth-19 is the world of Swamp Thing. Earth-9 has the Titans. Earth-21 has the Doom Patrol. And, Earth-96 has the Brandon Routh Superman…but with a better life as reflected in his now red and yellow “S”.
The world mourns Oliver Queen, who is remembered to the world as “the First Hero”. Our remaining heroes meet in that empty warehouse – the interior of which we’ve seen before in the Earth-X crossover. But, something is different now. This place is being set up as both a memorial to Oliver and as a meeting place, in case there is another danger big enough to bring the heroes together again. Barry has set up a special table here, with a chair for each hero…and one in memory of Oliver Queen. Each chair has the symbol of each hero, and yes this is the Justice League in all but being officially named.
Oh, and the outside of this warehouse? It’s the Hall of Justice, just not with the name quite yet. It’s an abandoned S.T.A.R. Labs building owned by Barry, complete with…
A just-escaped Gleek!
- There is no way to adequately recap the entire two hours. I’ve left off a lot of detail, and it is more than worth everyone’s time to go back and watch this one again.
- Cameos, Part 1 (but not in order) – we got Marv Wolfman, the original writer of the COIE comic, as an autograph hound. BTW – the CRISIS was originally an idea that he had as a kid, wishing that there could be a story with ALL the heroes.
- Cameos, Part 2 (but not in order) – Sargon the Sorcerer is portrayed as a crook here, but one who is easily defeated once the heroes realize that Sargon is using a magical construct of Beebo (the stuffed animal used in an earlier LEGENDS OF TOMORROW episode) to distract them.
- Cameos, Part 3 (but not in order) – Weather Witch appears, first fought by Supergirl and then defeated by Flash. It is at this point that the two first realize their worlds have been merged.
- Cameos, Part 4 (and the one that blew my mind) – EZRA MILLER appeared during Barry’s time in the Speed Force. The DCEU and Arrowverse versions of the Flash meet – HOW did they keep a lid on this cameo? They compliment each other’s looks, and introduce themselves to each other as Barry Allen. But, when the Arrowverse Barry mentions that he is the Flash, it looks like the first time the DCEU version has heard that name. He seems to like it, and unfortunately that’s where the cameo ends. Still, bravo for that one!
- CHANGES TO THE WORLD: Diggle is back with Lyla, and they have TWO kids. We get the pre- and post-FLASHPOINT kids for them. Meanwhile, Lois mentions to Superman their TWO sons! THIS will be interesting for their upcoming series. There’s more of course, especially with Lex. And, supposedly Lena is now fine with Supergirl, though we don’t see her in this finale to confirm that. We will likely continue to see repercussions of the merged Earths as we go through the rest of the seasons for the CW shows that are now on Earth-Prime (Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, Black Lightning).
- JUST ONE THING…What we don’t see here is Barry running as fast as he can to see Iris when he wakes up in Earth-Prime. He could have done that off camera, of course, but I’m surprised they didn’t have that happen on camera. That’s especially true considering all the other characters that did appear on this episode.
- OK, JUST ONE MORE THING…the sound mix at times was a bit difficult, especially in the first hour. Judging by some Reddit comments, there were others experiencing this – where the voices were sometimes muddled by the sound effects. That did appear to resolve in the second hour – and it may just be for a few of us that this happened. Let me know if you had the same experience.
SUMMARY: A fantastic finale to the best crossover the Arrowverse has had to date. There were meaningful sacrifices, terrific fights, and lasting consequences that will continue to play out over time. And, we now have Earth-Prime and a much easier way to do crossovers moving forward. This is how a crossover should be put together. It was so good that I can’t imagine at this moment how they can top it. 10/10 for me – with much appreciation for a job well done by all. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments (and any details you would like to add) below!