With "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in full swing, fans got to see the live-action debut of Kevin Conroy in the role of Bruce Wayne, the former Dark Knight of Gotham. Former, in this case, because as a man of somewhat advanced years who has spent a lifetime jumping across rooftops, Conroy's Bruce has hung up the cape and cowl in favor of an exoskeleton that helps him move around an abandoned Wayne Manor. During the second episode of the five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" storyline, Conroy became the first actor to take on the role of The Dark Knight in the Arrowverse, and fans who have been following his career since Batman: The Animated Series have been excited to see what direction it might take here.
Hailing from Earth-99 (likely named for the year Batman Beyond premiered), Conroy's Batman lives in a decidedly darker corner of DC's multiverse than many fans might have expected. So what is he up to? Well...!
Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Batwoman, titled "Crisis on Infinite Earths Part Two."
Following the death of Oliver Queen in what The Monitor says is not the way he was supposed to go out during the Crisis, he tasks his heroes with finding a group of "paragons" -- heroes who can help reignite the multiverse if the Anti-Monitor is successful in destroying it. Of the seven, we already know who a few of them are -- and there's likely to be more surprises as the story develops.
You might expect Bruce Wayne to be a paragon, but instead, he simply leads the team to one...in a roundabout way. Kate, haunted by the spectre of Bruce Wayne in her role as Batwoman, finally gets closure with some version of him -- but he's a maniac whose dark Earth twisted his soul and turned him into essentially a straight-up villain. After a confrontation with Supergirl and Batwoman, Conroy's Bruce exits stage left -- but when they return to The Monitor, it turns out Kate has been changed by the experience. Changed, specifically, into the paragon of courage.
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.
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 last night's episode of Supergirl, runs through tonight's episode of Batwoman and tomorrow'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. And while Black Lightning's midseason finale -- which airs tonight 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.