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Subj: CW's CRISIS 4-5 (the conclusion) Edited
Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 02:39:04 pm EST (Viewed 248 times)
Previous post about Parts 1-3
We’ve waited a month and now that the holidays are over, it’s time to wrap up this epic saga.
Last time, Shipp’s 90s Flash took one for the team, killing himself to destroy the Anti-Monitor’s anti-matter cannon. Still, all the Earths were destroyed by anti-matter waves and a handful of heroes left at Vanishing Point wondering what to do next. Plus, the Monitor was murdered by Harbinger, under the control of the Anti-Monitor.
My first reaction is that Lyla, the Harbinger, doesn’t even appear in these two episodes which seems odd. In the comic version she got redemption after killing the Monitor; becoming his replacement and shepherding the heroes across the finish line. In this shortened version I would at least expect her to get her comeuppance and be killed off or something. Instead she simply doesn’t appear again. Also, did Routh’s Superman get killed off in the last part? I totally don’t remember that. I was hoping that if we got an homage to the classic cover of COIE #7 it would be reversed and show Supergirl holding a dead Superman (it is her show, after all) but instead I think she was holding his costume? It was quick and in the background but seemed like the homage in question, but it called to my attention that I didn’t remember Superman dying.
EDIT: Wow, I missed both of these points, I blame my kids. Harbinger was wiped out and Superman turned into Lex at the end of part 3. I knew Lex showed up but I blinked and missed the scene where Superman turned into him. So I guess Routh's Superman died off-camera when one of the Earths was wiped out and Lex took his place. What was Supergirl cradling in her arms then?
Flash gets ejected out of the Speed Force but then immediately says there is no Speed Force anymore. But then Oliver, now the Spectre, shows up and says they have to use the Speed Force to travel back in time to undo the destruction of the multiverse. Sounds like another “time heist.” He says traveling through the Speed Force will be dangerous, but he turns out to be mostly wrong.
He splits the survivors up into two teams if I’m following correctly; one to stop the Monitor from setting this all into motion on ancient Maltus, and another to battle the Anti-Monitor at the Dawn of Time where he plans to rewrite history. The first team travels to Maltus and we see the young Monitor opening a time window to the Dawn of Time which caused anti-matter to leak into the matter universe which I guess set this all into motion. It’s a crude reworking of Krona’s time window that brought evil into to the universe in the Green Lantern mythology, and it also seems unnecessary since they already blamed Pariah/Nash Wells for awakening the Monitor in the first half of this crossover. This scene seems to exist to show us that the Monitor once had a wife and give us a smooching scene. But he already told us that he had a family that was killed and he’s already dead, I’m not sure why revisiting their origins pays off going forward. Anyway the heroes don’t stop him from doing the bad thing they so they all head back to the Dawn of Time to meet up with the other group.
The other group gets split up in the Speed Force which is I guess what Oliver meant by dangerous. Flash has to find them all and get them back together. If this were a difficult obstacle to overcome it might make the meat of a good story, but he just shows up and collects them, easy as that. They use this gimmick to relive some past scenes from the Arrowverse, and it might have been used for some emotional resonance. They flash back to Oliver telling Kara he didn’t want her help during the Invasion and putting an emotional wall up between them. This might have paid off when Oliver later says he sacrificed his own life to save Barry and Kara who were both destined to die in the Crisis. Since Flash-90 already sacrificed himself to save Barry, this moment should have just been between Oliver and Kara; he died to save her, showing how far their friendship has come. But this all feels very disconnected, the viewer has to do a lot of the mental footwork to create any emotional connection because these episodes are just wall to wall plot and it’s all pretty bland.
The fight with the Anti-Monitor at the Dawn of Time, equally pretty bland. First they are in some rock quarry instead of floating around in a white void, because actors need to stand on something, but it reminds me of a 70s Doctor Who episode where almost every alien planet was that same rock quarry. Also, the heroes are fighting the Shadow Demons which have been totally defanged for this show. In the comics they could erase you from existence with a touch, you could only run from them. Here they can be dispelled with a punch, they pose no threat. Even though somehow they clawed Oliver to death earlier in the crossover. Next, Oliver arm-wrestles the Anti-Monitor, because he didn’t really need the other heroes’ help at all, and he resets time.
Next was a fun lift from the comics, with Kara waking up just as Clark did, realizing that the world she’s in has been changed. She finds Barry, the first person she found from another Earth, and realizes in this new reality they’ve been living on the same Earth all along. Nice cameo from Marv Wolfman, writer of the original COIE. He might be the Stan Lee of crossover events. Did they snag him for a Teen Titans cameo while he was at it?
Here’s the problem compared to the comics. In the comics the merge really just negated the original Earth-1/Earth-2 split, brining everything back onto one Earth, and incorporated the characters DC had purchased from Charlton, Fawcett, and Quality at the same time. And it was permanent, which in practical terms, lasted about 20 years. The multiple Earths didn’t come back until Infinite Crisis/New 52. Now for the Arrowverse, all of the characters from the main Arrowverse shows were already on one Earth except Supergirl, so all that was really accomplished was bringing her into the Arrowverse. The multiverse still exists (even as Oliver recites the lines from the comic about the universe being reborn as a single infinitude) and so all of the other DC streaming shows still exist on other Earths instead of being incorporated which would have been better. They can’t even let all of DC’s streaming shows share one Earth, they show the Titans, Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing all being assigned to separate Earths. Thanks a ton! How come the "Krypton" series didn't get a shout-out? Worse, CW is launching a new Stargirl series and they went ahead and set it on another Earth, so they will be back to hopping between Earths like they did with Supergirl if they ever want to meet her.
Anyway after the merge, everything is hunky-dory until they find out the Anti-Monitor survived and is planning revenge. In the comics, his plan to destroy the matter-verse had failed and now he got his final revenge on Earth’s heroes by opening a big portal and sucking the planet Earth into the anti-matter universe to be destroyed. The stakes were high. It ended with the heroes pushing Earth back through the portal while Superman did final battle with the AM who had absorbed all of the life energy of his entire universe and collapsed upon himself as a black hole while everyone had to escape the shockwave. In his death throes he screamed things like “I am inevitable” even as he realized he wasn’t, and here the AM shows up in some empty dirt lot saying those same lines with the same bland monotone that LaMonica Garrett has used in every appearance. No offense to the man but he’s only been given flat exposition to deliver and he has delivered it very flatly. The heroes gather around to shoot energy beams at the Anti-Monitor while he grows to massive size and flails his arms around, doing nothing, for several minutes while heroes circle him shooting him to no effect. I don’t sense that the Earth is being threatened here nor do any of the heroes seem to be. Their final tactic is to use Atom tech to shrink the Anti-Monitor down to subatomic size where he will be no threat.
You can probably tell I’m not a huge fan of the Arrowverse style but the first 3 episodes were kind of fun, they kind of built to a head with Shipp’s Flash sacrifice. These two episodes were a letdown in my opinion. Part 4 was padded with Barry having to rescue heroes from flashbacks while on his way to the big fight, and Part 5 had very little consequence and the final fight was underwhelming. Now that I’ve seen everything play out, I’m left to wonder what Oliver was able to accomplish as Spectre that Corrigan couldn’t. The production reason is obvious, to give Oliver something to do, but I wanted an in-story reason. I would guess Oliver’s emotional connection to the heroes helped them through the events somehow, but not only was that not stated, in fact he defeats the Anti-Monitor without any of their help, and at the end, they defeat the AM without his help. So … I dunno.
The final scene has a nice memorial to a fallen Oliver, and Barry shows the heroes their new HQ in an old building (the Hall of Justice) with the Justice League conference table at the center. Okay, that’s a nice moment but will it ever be seen again? Can we take the best of these characters and put them together into a Justice League show? No, that would interfere with their solo shows. Will it even be a running gag across all the shows? One could hope.
I did like the scene with Barry encountering other-Barry, Ezra Miller, whom I didn’t love in the Justice League movie but for some reason I found this cameo pretty fun.
Another scene I liked was the one with Sara Lance talking about how with Oliver dead, her last connection to a non-superhero life was gone, and now she only knows people who knew her as a superhero. That’s one of those great moments of maturity when you realize one chapter of your life is over and can never be revisited, and it’s not really a sad moment but bittersweet; and I wish they had just let that moment linger without comment. Instead Barry has to interject with “I’ve lost people too” not realizing that she’s not talking about loss of family, but loss of self. His comment was missing the point and she follows up with “when did you become so wise?” which also felt wrong, but what can you do. It was a nice thought.
I was wondering who was President of the United States and what happened to Lynda Carter. Checking the Arrowverse Wiki it seems like they’ve had multiple Presidents in just a few years. So I was right not to recognize her, it was her first appearance.
Lex Luthor gave himself superpowers with the Book of Destiny, does he still have them?
I gave the first half of this crossover an A for effort, this is a definite B.
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