The CW's latest Arrowverse crossover came to a close tonight, and it set the stage for what's to come in a pretty major way.
Major spoilers for tonight's episode of Supergirl, "Elseworlds Part 3", below!
The episode saw Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), and Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) in an entirely new predicament, as Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) decided to manipulate reality in his favor once again, turning himself into an evil version of Superman (Tyler Hoechlin). After a lengthy battle, the heroes ultimately won -- but at what seemed to be a major cost.
For one thing, Oliver appeared to make a deal with The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), which would ensure Barry and Kara's safety in one way or another. And once the fight was over, Kate Kane/Batwoman (Ruby Rose) contacted Oliver, warning him about a "new friend" that Deegan had made in Arkham Asylum. As it turned out, that friend was none other than Psycho Pirate (Bob Frazer), who began to deliver his classic "worlds lived, worlds died" speech.
If that wasn't a clear enough indication, a title card made things abundantly clear -- The CW is doing "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in fall of 2019.
Even though that clears up some long-running fan theories about Arrowverse fans, an announcement of that magnitude creates a whole slew of new questions in its own right. So, let's break down what we're already wondering about.
What other shows will be involved?
Understandably, this is surely the first question on a lot of fans' minds, considering the sprawling sort of multiverse that DC television has acquired over the years.
Will "Crisis" primarily consist of the Arrowverse shows and the various Earths that reside within them? Or will the show branch out a little bit, looping in current or previous DC shows in one way or another? Some will surely theorize that Black Lightning (The CW's only DCTV show that isn't connected to the Arrowverse) could factor into things, and that even Syfy's Krypton and DC Universe's Titans could even play a role.
Honestly, it's way too early to tell, although it will be interesting to find out. After all, "Elseworlds" managed to sneakily make the 1990s The Flash show technically part of the Arrowverse's multiverse, so the fan theories will surely begin flowing.
How will this be set up?
The fact that the crossover is being announced this far ahead, with close to a full year for Arrowverse fans to get emotionally prepared, puts the shows on a slightly different ground from the previous crossovers.
And while "Elseworlds" began to lay some of the groundwork to bring "Crisis" to life, particularly by establishing The Monitor, Psycho-Pirate, and the like, there's arguably still a lot more to cover.
With that in mind -- how will each individual show prepare for that? Will we see more "Crisis" Easter eggs and teases dropped in the next year of shows, or will the event take a lot of the Arrowverse's heroes by surprise?
Will there be a time jump?
Tied along with that, we have to wonder -- will the Arrowverse adhere to its own continuity when bringing "Crisis" to life?
The Flash has hinted at the event the most, with the show using a newspaper from the Crisis event as a sort of touchstone throughout the seasons. In the beginning of Season 5, that newspaper was updated, but it still showed that the event theoretically happens in 2024.
So, will that actually be the case, and would the Arrowverse as a whole be willing to jump that far in time to get there? Or will the event be retconned to appear in 2019?
Who will return from "Elseworlds"?
As we mentioned, "Elseworlds" began to lay quite a lot of the groundwork for what will eventually be the Arrowverse's version of "Crisis".
It's safe to assume that The Monitor will return, given his significant role within the "Crisis" comic book event. The same can be said for Psycho Pirate, who was mentioned in the new "Crisis"-related newspaper shown earlier this season on The Flash. The same can be said for Batwoman, both because of the newspaper and because she's essentially the one who warns Oliver Queen about what's to come.
But beyond that, it will be interesting to see what of "Elseworlds" exactly carries over into next year's event. There's a chance that John Deegan could be among the proceedings in some way, now that he's become Psycho Pirate's prison buddy (and has gone full-blown Doctor Destiny).
What new characters can we expect?
And even with the Arrowverse being as packed with characters, it's safe to assume that some fresh faces would join "Crisis" as well.
There's obviously Anti-Monitor, who serves as the big-bad for the event in the comics. But there's a huge potential of other characters we could see as well, ranging from Pariah, to Harbinger, and even Alex Luthor.
Does Oliver's deal tie into things?
Part of what kickstarted the final act of "Elseworlds" was Oliver confronting The Monitor, asking if there was any way that he could reverse the fates of Barry and Kara.
Ultimately, The Monitor agreed, but we didn't entirely learn what Oliver offered on his end.
What exactly could Oliver give up, once "Crisis" roles around? Is there a chance he will sacrifice himself in Barry or Kara's place, or is something else at play?
What will it mean going forward?
Considering how much of an impact "Crisis" had in the comics, and the fact that the Arrowverse is planting these scenes this early on, we can't help but wonder just how much of an impact the television event will have.
Will any of the shows set on other Earths (Supergirl, possibly Black Lightning, etc) be merged onto Earth-1? Will other parts of the larger DC canon - things that haven't even been touched by the Arrowverse yet - become a reality? And what exactly will that television universe look like in the time after?
There's also the question of whether or not "Crisis" unintentionally creates the possible future that the Arrowverse has shown us several times, both in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Star City 2049", and in the current flash-forwards on Arrow.
How true to the comics will it be?
In their own ways, both "Elseworlds" and last year's "Crisis on Earth-X" proved just how grand the Arrowverse has been able to get with the stories it tells in its crossovers.
With that in mind, how will they approach the massive storyline that is the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" series? Will parts of the narrative be streamlined, or will fans get a chance to experience a pretty close version of it?
Either way, it's safe to assume that fans are in for a pretty epic ride when Fall of 2019 rolls around.16comments
The Flash will return with new episodes on January 15th at 8/7c on The CW. Supergirl will return with new episodes on January 20th at 8/7c on The CW. Arrow will return with new episodes on January 21st at 8/7c on The CW. Legends of Tomorrow will return with new episodes sometime in April of 2019.