Crisis on Infinite Earths: A Forgotten Death From the Comics Is Huge in The TV Version

The first two episodes of The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" mega-event have given a lot of screentime to the end of Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) journey. The hero -- SPOILERS! -- died at the end of the first hour of "Crisis," swamped by the Anti-Monitor's shadow demons as he helped evacuate Earth-38. And while fans may have felt that the death was not quite epic enough for somebody who had been the star of his own show for eight seasons, Oliver's death saved a billion people on Earth-38, and went on to drive story through much of the second episode, as Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), and Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) fought to bring Oliver back with a little help from John Constantine (Matt Ryan).

It is also, believe it or not, how he died in the comics. In Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, the Golden Age (Earth-2) Green Arrow didn't make it out of the final battle with the Anti-Monitor and his shadow demons.

In the comics, per the DC Wiki, "Despite being now physically middle-aged (and technically in his sixties) Queen rose up to fight against the Anti-Monitor at the battle at the "Dawn of Time" and survived the reformat and elimination that several other duplicate heroes did not. Seeing that the Anti-Monitor was releasing his murderous Shadow Demons to randomly attack and kill people on the resulting single Earth, Queen once again rose up as Green Arrow. But despite Queen's best efforts, Queen's age and his time away from active duty proved to be his downfall as he was no longer swift enough to avoid the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons' attacks and was killed in that first battle on New Earth."

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(Photo: DC Entertainment)

While everyone remembers the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, Green Arrow's passing merited only a couple of panels -- the actual death, and later a shot of Wildcat reading a newspaper about it. There's something really cool about the idea of righting that "wrong" a little bit.

The "Crisis" event brings together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC's multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes.

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The event is the most ambitious thing DC has ever attempted in live action, bringing together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from Titans, the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, Tim Burton's Batman, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicked off this week with Sunday night's episode of Supergirl, ran through last night's episode of Batwoman and tonight's episode of The Flash. That serves as the midseason cliffhanger, as the shows go on hiatus for the holidays and return on January 14 to finish out the event with the midseason premiere of Arrow and a "special episode" of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which launches as a midseason series this year and so will not have an episode on the air before the Crisis. And while Black Lightning's midseason finale -- which aired last night after Batwoman -- is not technically part of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," there are red skies, and the episode's title is "Earth Crisis." So things are not too far removed.

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