Earlier today, The CW's Arrowverse shows began production on "Crisis on Infinite Earths," the biggest crossover to date and the one that will dovetail into the end of Arrow, the series that started it all...with a little help from, among other things, Smallville, the series without which Arrow would likely never have had that chance. And that, dear readers, is what got us thinking: after months of rumors and speculation, hopes and fears...what worlds are actually going to be part of the whole "Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same" thing?
While we might not know the exact Earth designations for most of the worlds that will play a role in the Crisis, or the nature of the roles some of the guest actors are playing, it would be difficult to overstate how excited a lot of DC fans are to see some of their favorite actors from past TV series appearing alongside the current stars of the interconnected DC Universe of CW shows.
Join us, then, as we take a stroll through DC's multiverse and put a pin in each of the worlds confirmed to have a role to play in the Crisis.
Please note: certain characters, like Pariah and whoever it is Burt Ward is playing, are likely to come from alternate Earths but there are no confirmations on that score at this point. We won't include their worlds in the list proper, but will acknowledge here that they are likely going to turn out to be from somewhere else that is not established on the list. On that note, though, let's take a look at who's up to bat:
This one is obvious: Earth-1 is the main timeline in the Arrowverse, a place where Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), the Legends of Tomorrow, and numerous other heroes have their bases of operations. It is likely to be the central hub of the heroes' battle against the Anti-Monitor, and if (as in the comics) the worlds of the DC multiverse are eventually condensed into one continuity, it is almost certainly the world that the post-Crisis Arrowverse will most resemble.prevnext
The world of Supergirl was originally separated from Earth-1 primarily because the series aired on a different network (CBS) and filmed in a different city (Los Angeles), making regular crossovers almost impossible. Now that the series exists in Vancouver and on The CW, the characters get to hang out once a year -- and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is no exception. Of course, we know that Oliver is trying to save her from a dismal fate, as much as he is Barry Allen...!prevnext
Since Black Lightning debuted to critical acclaim two years ago, fans have been wondering whether the character would ever meet the heroes who share his network, but neither his in-universe world nor the city where the series films. It isn't yet clear what role Black Lightning (Cress Williams) will have in "Crisis on Infinite Earths," but the star of Black Lightning was one of the first big names confirmed to join the crossover.
We have to wonder whether he will comment on how his daughters previously read comics with Supergirl in them...!prevnext
Little is known about the world of the "Kingdom Come Superman" as he exists in the Arrowverse. Brandon Routh will reprise his role as the Man of Steel (a film he originated in Superman Returns) but his world will apparently be quite different from the recognizable one seen in the Donner and Singer movies. He will wear a costume similar to that of the one Superman wears in the comic book miniseries Kingdom Come, about an aging Superman who is forced out of retirement to deal with a tragedy caused by a superhero brawl.prevnext
As we noted earlier, Smallville will be represented, as Tom Welling will return as Clark Kent and Erica Durance will appear in multiple episodes as Lois Lane. It isn't clear what their role will be, although Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim has said that Brandon Routh's Superman will have a nice moment with (one of the) Lois Lane(s) in the crossover, so expect the Lois & Clark romance to be a looming presence across several episodes.prevnext
As he did in last year's "Elseworlds" crossover -- the story which introduced The Monitor and teed up "Crisis on Infinite Earths" -- 1990s The Flash star John Wesley Shipp will return to play the role of The Flash of Earth-90 in this year's crossover. Will he end up being the Flash to sacrifice himself to save the multiverse? Or is there a way to save a man without a world?prevnext
It may not actually be Neo Gotham in the strictest sense, but a story where Batman: The Animated Series star Kevin Conroy is an older Bruce Wayne feels like a nod in the direction of Batman Beyond. There is an outside chance that he will turn out to be the Kingdom Come Batman alongside Routh's Superman, but that does not seem like the way they will go with it.
Conroy, who has been playing Batman longer than anybody and whose appearance in live-action is something that has been on fans' wishlists for a long time, will reportedly be playing an older Bruce Wayne. It will be interesting to see what, if any, contact he will have with Kate Kane (Ruby Rose), whose cousin Bruce vanished three years ago and has not reappeared, leading her to take up the mantle of Batwoman.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" has loomed over the Arrowverse for years. The series premiere of The Flash featured an allusion to the hero disappearing amid red skies in the year 2024. During the original comics event, red skies were a sign of doom to come to a world during the Crisis. At the end of last season, a couple of things happened: The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), who had appeared in "Elseworlds," reappeared and revealed that Oliver Queen was destined to die in the Crisis...and the future newspaper at STAR Labs rolled back the expected date of the Crisis from 2024 to 2019.8comments
In the comics, Crisis on Infinite Earths centered on a battle between the combined superheroes (and even some villains) of the DC multiverse and an immortal, cosmic threat known as the Anti-Monitor. Like The Monitor, the Anti-Monitor will be played by LaMonica Garrett in the Arrowverse. As the Anti-Monitor destroys realities, he replaces their positive matter energy with antimatter, growing his own power and sphere of influence. He was eventually stopped by the sacrifices of several heroes, including The Flash and Supergirl, as well as the merging of multiple universes to save reality by becoming a single, unified timeline. Fans have long wondered whether the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" might bring Supergirl and even Black Lightning to Earth-1, where the rest of the series take place. The crossover will also feature guest appearances by Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, John Wesley Shipp as the Flash of Earth-90, Johnathon Schaech as Jonah Hex, Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, and Brandon Routh as Superman.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" will air on The CW this winter, taking place on five episodes of TV over two quarters -- one each of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman. Are you excited for the Crisis? Chime in below or tweet your thoughts to @russburlingame.prev