"Elseworlds": Who Is The Monitor?

Huge news for DC fans: one of the most significant characters in the history of DC's multiverse is coming to the Arrowverse in December.

LaMonica Garrett has been cast in the role of The Monitor, introduced as one of the warring forces behind Crisis on Infinite Earths.

According to the official character description, "LaMonica plays Mar Novu, an extraterrestrial being of infinite power known as the Monitor. The Monitor was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez as part of DC Comics’ 50th Anniversary. Mr. Pérez will be illustrating a sketch of the Monitor that plays a prominent role in the crossover’s story."

The Monitor was one of two ageless beings (the other being the Anti-Monitor) who personified and wielded the energies of the matter and anti-matter universes. Crisis on Infinite Earths dealt with the idea that since the matter universe had been split into an infinite multiverse, each of the individual universes was weaker, leaving them more vulnerable to attack by the Anti-Monitor than they otherwise would have been. At the end of the story, most of the universes were destroyed and the universe that remained was DC's only one, with all of its history merged into one, for about twenty years until the next set of Crises.

While The Monitor's earliest appearances were morally gray and sometimes confusing, a tone actor LaMonica Garrett is using to shape the villainous take on a character long understood as generally good, Garrett is a fan himself, and he reacted much the same way as the fans when he heard that The Monitor was coming.

"Before I got the role, I didn't know who I was reading for. It was dummy sides, it was a dummy character name," Garrett told ComicBook.com. "They didn't let any of the actors know who it was that you were going in for. And once I got the role, they said 'The Monitor,' and I'm like, 'Well, which Monitor? There's a lot of Monitors. Is it Nix Uotan, is it Mandrakk?' And they said, 'No, it's The Monitor from Crisis.' I'm like, 'Oh.'"

Those other versions he mentions came into play in later stories, including Countdown to Final Crisis, in which a world of Monitors each watched over one of the universes in DC's multiverse, and were being murdered along with key characters from their Earths.

Crisis on Infinite Earths was referenced in the pilot episode of The Flash, and elements of that story have been teased again this year. The ten-year window originally suggested means that the series is about halfway there now, and during a recent celebration for The Flash's hundredth episode, we asked showrunner Todd Helbing and star Grant Gustin about the prospects for the storyline.

“Greg [Berlanti] really has a sort of master plan of things, and I’m really excited about how it’s going to pay off,” Helbing teased.

For the sake of "Elseworlds," adapting those early, mysterious appearances meant that they could give The Monitor a more villainous backstory that has nothing to do with the Anti-Monitor, saving that revelation for down the line.

Still, Garrett intimated that The Monitor's own mission in "Elseworlds" may have ties to Crisis. We mentioned how his take on The Monitor seems to be a cool, dispassionate character in spite of the cosmic scope and scale of his undertakings...and Garrett told us that The Monitor has been destroying Earths throughout the multiverse for a very long time.

3comments

"I think when you do something day in and day out, like say you have a job, and you've been at the same cubicle for the past five, 10 years...you show up, and there's nothing new that really sparks your attention. You know what the day is gonna bring you. You know at 10 o'clock they're gonna come ask where these reports are. You check in and you check out," Garrett said. "With The Monitor, he's been going to different Earths. He's been doing this, you know, they showed the teaser with Earth-90, that's not his first place he's visited. He's been doing this for countless years. So to him, it's just another day, just another universe, just another Earth, you know? But along the way of the crossover, things happen that haven't happened in past events where he's been on different Earths and things didn't go right for the people of that Earth. And I think through the course of the crossover, you'll see a change in his energy, and his interaction with the superheroes. But for the beginning part of it, he's just like, you know, it's just another day at the office. I'm pretty sure everything I think that's gonna happen is gonna happen, until it doesn't. And that's where the shift changes."

The "Elseworlds" Arrowverse crossover will take place across three nights, kicking off on Sunday, Dec. 9th on The Flash at 8 p.m. ET. It continues on Arrow Monday, Dec. 10th at 8 p.m. and then finishes up on Supergirl Tuesday, Dec. 11th at 8 p.m. ET.