When Supergirl teams up with Green Arrow, The Flash, and the crew of the Waverider in December, they'll face a dangerous foe very familiar to fans of DC Comics.
The Dominators will be the "big bad" in the four-episode crossover event, The CW announced today.
Fans familiar with the aliens -- towering, with bright yellow skin and giant teeth -- may wonder just how many compromises producers will have to make to bring them to the screen in a way that looks good -- but according to producers, the answer is none at all.
"This year, for our mega 'Arrowverse' crossover, we’re taking inspiration from a DC crossover from the late 1980s known as Invasion!, which featured an alien race called the Dominators, who’d previously vexed the Legion of Superheroes," said Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim. "We’re using cutting edge prosthetics and computer effects to achieve a feature film-quality look which is faithful to Invasion! artist Todd McFarlane’s interpretation of the characters.”
McFarlane, whose creator-owned comic Spawn is in development as a feature film for the second time, made headlines earlier this week when Marvel announced that an ultra-rare variant cover for an upcoming issue of Venom would be repurposed McFarlane art from The Amazing Spider-Man #298, Venom's first appearance.
Invasion! is one of the best-received of DC's company
"Various aggressive alien species from the DCU banded together to invade Earth and Earth's superheroes banded together to fight them," says Bass Levesque, co-host of First Strike: The Invasion Podcast, in that show. "By the end, Earth suffered some losses. We did win, but some heroes would never be the same."
Specifically, The Dominators headed up an alliance of aliens including the Khund and Thanagarians, who saw Earth's constant involvement in potentially universe-ending crises as a sign that our world was unstable and needed to be brought to heel.
The story was written by Keith Giffen, utilizing and tying up dangling plot threads from his time on Justice League International, Omega Men, and Legion of Super-Heroes, and featured art by McFarlane and Bart Sears, both of whom would go on to become superstars in the '90s. It was published in three oversized issues and, in one of the most famous publicity stunts of the '80s, DC's editorial team published a special episode of the Daily Planet, which featured the same design as the paper inside the story, with a full-page headline that said "Earth to Invaders: Drop Dead!"
It isn't clear yet how much of the premise of Invasion! Guggenheim and the other Arrowverse writers will carry over. Except for Supergirl, it will be the first time (unless it happens sometime between now and December in Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow) that any of the DC/CW heroes have faced aliens.
Supergirl not only has experience with aliens, but it's been implied that Superman had at least one adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes, since there was a Legion ring on a pedestal in the Fortress of Solitude. Mon-El, a longtime member of the Legion in the comics, also appears in the season two premiere of Supergirl.
The hundredth episode of Arrow, currently filming, featured a title that was blacked out except for an exclamation point on the end when Guggenheim shared it on Twitter. It seems likely -- although The CW wouldn't confirm -- that the title is in fact Invasion!
Supergirl airs on Mondays at 8 p.m.; The Flash on Tuesdays at the same time, Arrow on Wednesdays, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Thursdays. The Flash will debut its new episodes on The CW starting October 4; Arrow, October 5; Supergirl, October 10; and DC's Legends of Tomorrow October 13.