In the teaser trailers for The CW's upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, fans have already started reading a lot into a line by Black Lightning (Cress Willams) that suggests his Earth may have been destroyed by the time he is brought in to help out against the Anti-Monitor. He also has a violent reaction to Pariah (Tom Cavanagh), who (at least in the comics) is only an observer and not actually responsible for the destruction of any Earths at all. That gave us a thought: the comics introduced the character of Lady Quark in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and from what little we know, it looks like her story might be more or less replicated in the TV version...with Black Lightning standing in for her.
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.
Along the way, Lady Quark -- one of the monarchs of Earth-6, a world where there are relatively few heroes -- faces the deaths of her husband and daughter at the hands of an antimatter wave that wipes out her world. Before the end, both she and her husband Lord Volt see and confront Pariah, whom they assume must be behind it somehow since he arrived at the time of the attack. After initially distrusting Pariah and the Monitor, Lady Quark joins the multiverse's surviving heroes, who journey to the dawn of time to battle the Anti-Monitor. After the Crisis ended, Lady Quark resettled on Earth (with Pariah and Harbinger).
The teaser for next week's episode of Black Lightning shows a world cloaked in red skies, and reveals that Gambi knows there is a multiverse. Meanwhile, the "Crisis" teaser, in which Black Lightning yells at Pariah and The Flash that they want his help in spite of telling him that his "world is over," has had people wondering even before seeing those antimatter-infused skies whether Black Lightning would end up on Earth-1.
It seems likely that what will happen is that his Earth will be destroyed, perhaps with his family (temporarily) perishing in the event -- although that weird void that the Pierce girls were in in the teaser might be a place where they are protected from the antimatter wave. Either way, playing a key role in defeating the Anti-Monitor is definitely in Jefferson's future, and it seems likely that if his world doesn't somehow find its way back, he and his family will resettle on Earth-1 (or whatever the merged-earth equivalent might be) following the events of Crisis -- but not before he has had some words with Pariah, Harbinger, and the agents of the Monitor.
The fact that Freeland exists on an Earth where an electric-powered man and his family are the most prominent among a very small group of metahumans worldwide may even be where the idea of using Lady Quark's story for Black Lightning got its start, if indeed we are right.1comments
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 Ashley Scott as The Huntress.
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off on Sunday, December 8 on Supergirl, runs through a Monday episode of Batwoman and that Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. That will be 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. Black Lightning's midseason finale will have a "Crisis" tie-in as well, as evidenced by the aforementioned trailer.