Saturday 18 January 2020

Crisis On Infinite Earths, Stargirl, And Earth-2? Spoilers Ahead!

The DCTV event Crisis on Infinite Earths concluded on the CW this past Tuesday, and while it wasn't the most mind-blowing event in terms of storytelling, it was certainly entertaining. It was definitely exciting to see so many actors from past DC films and television shows cameo in this, including Ashley Scott from the 2002 Birds of Prey television show who got to portray her version of the Huntress one more time, even if it was for a mere 48 seconds.

Even original Crisis writer, Marv Wolfman, got a Stan Lee-style cameo in the TV Crisis finale as a Flash and Supergirl fan, possibly in acknowledgement that he killed both of these characters off in the original comic. For DCEU fans, we were also treated to an appearance by Ezra Miller's Flash from the Justice League film meeting his CW counterpart played by Grant Gustin, which was a very fun scene. On the whole, between all the cameos and references to past DC television and film, it really does present a strong case for DC being a multiverse. Every story and every character you've ever invested in exists somewhere as an Earth in an infinite sea of Earths.

By far, the best surprise that came out of the TV Crisis event was the rebooting of Earth-2 (which did already exist in the Arrowverse) into the more classic version of this Earth from the comics, and this world will be the home of the upcoming Stargirl television show that will debut on both the DC Universe streaming service and the CW a day after.

As a story, the TV version of Crisis followed all of the same beats of the original comic: Pariah in his pursuit of knowledge accidentally released the Anti-Monitor, the Anti-Monitor still went on to destroy the multiverse, and the surviving heroes travelled to the Dawn of Time to reboot the multiverse. The Arrowverse Earths (Arrow, Flash, Legends, Supergirl, and Black Lightning) all got merged into a single Earth, complete with rebooted versions of their respective casts while the heroes themselves were the only ones who remembered the events that led to the formation of their new Earth.

Despite merging the Arrowverse Earths into a single Earth with a streamlined history, the TV Crisis also did not repeat the mistakes of the original Crisis comic. Whereas the original Crisis sought to merge an infinite DC multiverse with conflicting histories, core mythologies, and characters into a single Earth with a single history (an endeavour that ended up creating more continuity problems than it actually resolved), the TV Crisis only merged the main CW shows into a single Earth. The other shows and films not a part of that lineup continue to exist on their own separate Earths like the DCU Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing.

In other words, the TV Crisis did what the original Crisis comic should've done: only clean up continuity where needed but leave the rest alone. Instead of getting rid of the multiverse, it actually just rebooted the multiverse in a more streamlined fashion in order to create new entry points for new audience members. It also didn't get rid of any characters and stories people were actually invested in, it just brought all of those stories and characters together as a part of a new shared multiverse.

The one death that did occur in the TV Crisis event was that of Oliver Queen who functioned as both the Green Arrow and the Spectre, and in the latter role, he was responsible for rebooting the multiverse at the cost of his own existence. Whether or not Oliver retconned himself out of existence or still existed on the new Arrowverse Earth with the knowledge he did die in a crisis was not clear. Not a lot of people apart from the event's main heroes seemed to remember Oliver, including his own team. The only way the supporting cast members did remember him was when the Martian Manhunter restored their memories of him.

The fact the rest of the world did remember Oliver Queen as sacrificing himself to protect the Earth from the threat of the Anti-Monitor, it's hard to know if this was meant to confirm that Oliver still existed on the new Earth and died, or if this was the Martian Manhunter pulling a Doctor Fate in that he restored the entire Earth's memory of Ollie.

The story itself then ended with the acknowledgement that the multiverse still exists and that one of the CW's upcoming shows, Stargirl (which will also stream on the DC Universe app), will be the only one set on the parallel world of Earth-2. This can then result in the first pre-Crisis style Justice League and Justice Society crossover now that the new Arrowverse Earth (called Earth-Prime) has formed a Justice League.

The existence of the multiverse means nothing is off the table, which means we could get a possible crossover between the Arrowverse heroes and the DCU Titans, which would give the DCU streaming service more exposure, and possibly new subscriptions. We can probably even get a Birds of Prey crossover with the Arrowverse heroes featuring the characters from the 2002 television series and even the ones from the upcoming film. Both Ashley Scott and Rachel Skarsten from the 2002 Birds of Prey series have expressed interest in appearing in future Arrowverse stories as their respective characters.

Of all the possibilities, the one I'm most excited for are the characters that could appear in the upcoming Stargirl show. Since the Crisis event confirmed the new Earth-2 will contain the Stargirl show, the possible characters that can appear in this is infinite, especially since it's going to function as the de facto Justice Society Earth like in the comics.

Since Stargirl creator Geoff Johns is the executive producer and showrunner, I know I can expect a more classic take on Earth-2 and the Justice Society characters since Johns is a continuity purist, which is something I like about him. He'll probably get to tell the stories he didn't get to tell in the comics either because he couldn't use certain characters, or DC's own plans conflicted with his. I imagine the TV format will afford him the creative freedom he wants to tell the stories he wants with the characters he wants, which I think is a good thing.

The Justice Society heroes appearing in Stargirl is already a given since we got a glimpse of the original Golden Age team from the 1940s in the trailer. Two legacy heroes—Yolanda Montez as Wildcat and Beth Chapel as Dr. Mid-Nite—also appeared the teaser at the end of the Crisis event debuting the new Earth-2. If Yolanda Wildcat and Beth Dr. Mid-Nite are in this, we can probably safely assume that Infinity Inc, the original Helena Wayne Huntress, and Power Girl are also on the horizon, which the thought of that alone makes me stupidly happy!

I was already excited for the Stargirl show when it was first announced, but now that we know more about what to expect, I can't wait to see the first episode already! I think this will be the one show that will finally get me to subscribe to the DC Universe streaming service just to keep people from spoiling the show for me since it'll only appear on the CW the day after it streams on DCU. See the trailer below!

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  1. Do you think this new video Multiverse is somehow a part of the comics Multiverse that got rebooted a couple of weeks ago?

  2. I think the DC comics multiverse is seperate and it is it's own thing so no, I don't think so.

    The live-action DC multiverse, from the CW DC TV shows (Batwoman, Supergirl, Black Lighting, Legends of Tomorrow, etc.); to other live action DC TV shows (DC universe shows like TITANS, Doom Patrol, etc.); as well as live-action films from the DCEU and other older non-DCEU cinematic films, is developing organically and pretty much will exist as it's own thing, as well.

    Just my take.