Last night, The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event concluded. In back-to-back episodes, the crossover delivered the final fate of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), followed by the world's reaction to losing Green Arrow, seemingly once and for all. But there were a fair number of people who had to wonder: just how many times has Oliver died already? The joke, obviously, comes from the fact that he had already sacrificed himself once in the Crisis -- at the start of the story -- but there's more than that. Based on the current trend -- he "died" in one form or another dunring crossover events every two years going back to the "Heroes Join Forces" storyline that introduced the Legends -- we have to wonder: how will he die again in 2022?
More seriously, though, we were already thinking of taking a look at what Oliver's survival track record looked like, when Batwoman actor Camrus Johnson joked about it on Twitter. We promised him we would come through with an accounting, and so here we are. All the times (we can remember) that Oliver Queen died or was presumed dead by the world or the audience.
Let's roll the tape, shall we?
The Crisis brought together heroes from various eras of DC's TV and film adaptations, including Brandon Routh's Superman (originally seen in Superman Returns), Burt Ward's Dick Grayson (originally seen in the 1966 Batman series), Tom Welling's Clark Kent (originally seen in Smallville), Tom Ellis's Lucifer Morningstar (currently appearing in Lucifer), and Ezra Miller's version of The Flash, who first appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and has his own solo movie coming up from the director of IT.
Fans can get caught up by watching all five parts of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover on The CW's website or app now, or buying them through video on demand platforms. The post-"Crisis" Arrowverse begins this weekend with new episodes of Batwoman and Supergirl before Arrow and Black Lightning return next week.
Oliver Queen was presumed dead at the start of the series, after his father's boat, the Queen's Gambit, shipwrecked. While he would make it to shore on Lian Yu, and eventually return to the land of the living, Oliver's Earth-2 doppelganger really did die during the crash. So we're going to count it, especially becasue it's equally as "real" as some of the other deaths on the list.
During the crossover that introduced Rip Hunter, Vandal Savage, and set up the arrival of the Legends of Tomorrow, one catastrophic failure -- Hawkgirl's powers failing at a key moment -- led to the destruction of Central City and the on-screen deaths of the Hawks, as well as Oliver, Felicity, and several other characters. Barry Allen managed to outrun the blast that destroyed his city and run back in time, arriving back at the same spot in time to avert catastrophe.
The first time we were meant to believe that Oliver's death was for real and might actually stick was in the season three midseason finale, titled "The Climb." In the episode, he scaled a mountain to have a duel with Ra's al Ghul, who soundly defeated Oliver, stabbed him, and kicked him down the side of the mountain. With that as the cliffhanger, fans had to wait about a month to find out that Oliver had been found and nursed back to health by a stranger.
Just not, y'know, OUR Oliver Queen.
In the "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover event, Oliver and the other heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-38 team up to battle their Nazi doppelgangers from Earth-X, a world where the Axis won the second World War. Oliver was the head of the Reich, and had come to kill Supergirl so they could give Overgirl (nazi Supergirl, natch) a heart transplant.
Eventually, Oliver had to kill his doppelganger, which he did without much regret. Can't say as we blame him. We hate Nazis, too.
Just...all of season seven. Once the show started having flash-forwards, we had to grapple with the fact that in 2040, Oliver (and, for a time, Felicity) was apparently dead. When we learned that Mia was his daughter, who grew up without knowing him, it made that real. Granted, we didn't get an onscreen death, but the idea of Oliver's death reverberated through the fandom and it had significant impacts on most of the season, up until people started to piece together what was next...!
In the first hour of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event, Oliver Queen sacrificed himself in a pretty straightforward way: as Earth-38 was being overrun by The Anti-Monitor's shadow demons and had to be evacuated to save the lives of the people there, he fought until he ran out of arrows, and then charged into a gang of the demons, hoping to punch and kick them until he had nothing left in the tank. He died surrounded by his daughter and several of the other heroes, including Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El, whose lives he had hoped to spare by offering to die in the Crisis.
Oliver Queen was revived -- kind of -- and given the role of the host of The Spectre, a powerful, supernatural being who was tasked with stopping The Anti-Monitor's plan to prevent existence at the dawn of time. During a battle in the antimatter universe, Oliver Queen squared off againt the Anti-Monitor, dispersed the villain's energies for a time, and lit the spark that would become the new multiverse, born from the collective will of the Paragons who "fanned the flames" of Oliver's actions.
And this time? Well, as far as we know, he's going to stay dead.
As far as we know...!