Before Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character of The Monitor was a shadowy figure who appeared in a handful of comics written by Marv Wolfman...and the version of him that was first introduced would be wildly different from the Monitor that Wolfman would write in Crisis and most fans would come to remember.
It is a riff on that early version of The Monitor who will appear on the "Elseworlds" crossover, which begins Sunday with a special episode of The Flash. LaMonica Garrett, whose first appearance in the Arrowverse was in an "Elseworlds" teaser scene that ran at the end of episodes of Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash this week, will get to really explore what motivates the character -- best known to most fans as a good guy -- in the week to come.
"I think the writers and producers did a great job of setting The Monitor's backstory without having to go back billions of years to him fighting the Anti-Monitor on the moons of Oa," Garrett told ComicBook.com "Before Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Monitor was a weapons dealer to shady people, so it wasn't like he was always this altruistic superhero with -- not good intentions, but you know, just doing everything on the up-and-up. He has his purpose, and the way he goes about it might not be how you would want him to, but the ends justify the means with him. So how they introduce him with Dr. Deegan and giving him this book, I think it's true to what he was before Crisis on Infinite Earths. We'll see how the rest plays out, but he does what's necessary, and he has the ability to see an infinite number of different universes, and different earths, and different galaxies, so his ways aren't our ways. What we might think is wrong, that's, for him, that's just the necessary means to an end, and that's how he goes about it."
That was one of the biggest challenges of the role, he told us -- trying to wrap his head around a cosmic being whose mindset considered universes to be game pieces and whose scope was so much larger than a human mind can really comprehend.
"You have to unlearn everything -- your morals, your ethics, what you define as right and wrong. You have to throw that all out the window," Garrett said. "I think that's the part where people were having a hard time grasping The Monitor as being this person, this antagonistic character. 'Cause we all know him from Crisis, and he paid the greatest sacrifice, to me, to become one of the biggest heroes in the DC mythology. But, he went about it his way. So, preparing for someone like that -- everything you know, right is left, up is down, that's all gone. He's not good or evil. That was a challenge in itself."
The "Elseworlds" crossover will begin on Sunday, December 9th with The Flash at 8/7c, followed by Arrow on December 10th at 8/7c, and Supergirl on December 11th at 8/7c.