Audrey Marie Anderson, the former The Walking Dead star who first appeared on Arrow in the 2013 episode "Unfinished Business," will reprise her role as Lyla Michaels in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" -- but with a twist. Lyla will trade in her black ARGUS tactical suit for a super-suit in the mega-crossover, transforming into Harbinger, her superhero identity from the comics. In the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths," Harbinger was a baby when she was taken in by The Monitor. By the time we meet her, she has lived a lifetime as essentially his daughter before being possessed and forced to betray and kill him.
The costume doesn't have the strange cuts and one-of-a-kind helmet that Harbinger did in the comics, but it looks more or less like the most comics-accurate version you could get within the world of the Arrowverse (and without making Anderson look a little ridiculous, as some things are really only ever meant to exist on the comics page). The skirt and some of the design work is very reminiscent of the comics version, although the more practical top (and her lack of a helmet) would make her harder to identify quickly as Harbinger, if we hadn't already had more than half a decade of Anderson's take on Lyla Michaels.
"Lyla Michaels as Harbinger is a key component of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths that we were determined to honor in our crossover," executive producer Marc Guggenheim said in a statement. "What makes this particularly satisfying for us is that we introduced Lyla Michaels and her Harbinger codename all the way back in Arrow Season 1."
You can check it out below.
Lyla was originally introduced as John Diggle's ex-wife, but the two reconciled and had a daughter, whom they named after the then-recently-deceased Sara Lance. Not long after that, Barry Allen accidentally broke reality in the "Flashpoint" storyline and one of the ripple effects that remained in place even after he fixed it was that Sara had been transformed into John Diggle, Jr., one of the stars of the flash-forwards which are the setting for a planned Arrow spinoff after the series is done.
It is not immediately clear whether Lyla will become the Harbinger -- as in, this is Earth-1's Lyla taking on a new role -- or whether Harbinger will be a Lyla from an alternate Earth. Either one seems plausible enough in "Crisis on Infinite Earths." It's easy to lean toward Harbinger being a Lyla doppelganger given how many there are in the story, but since Arrow's last season will center on Oliver Queen working with The Monitor in order to save the multiverse from the Crisis, nothing seems off the table.
"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.
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 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.