As the year winds to a close, fans are getting used to seeing a lot of "year's best" lists.
This time around, we decided to hold off on something that we might otherwise have published a couple of weeks ago, to keep the excitement alive a little bit for Arrowverse fans who haven't had anything to watch since the end of the "Elsewolds" crossover earlier this month.
You know how it goes -- it's the end of the month, the end of the year, everyone is doing best-of lists...and here is your opportunity to look back on the big capper of The CW's DC Universe this year.
So, without further ado, our favorite moments from "Elseworlds!"
The Teaser Scene
By the time we were done with "Elseworlds," we had seen the teaser scene that constituted the beginning of The Flash episode four times already -- once at the end of each midseason finale episode for the series involved and then once in context at the start of The Flash.
And it was great every time.
Not just because it was a look at a previously-undiscovered Earth in the multiverse, complete with a collection of (mostly dead) superheroes and stories that somebody might be able to look back on down the line -- but because the reveal of the Earth-90 Flash and the use of iconography and music that felt distinctly familiar to fans of the the 1990 TV series were exciting, fun...and perfectly emblematic for the kind of indulgent, joyful stuff fans were in store for over the next three days.prevnext
The Smallville Theme
Arrow star Stephen Amell knew this was going to send fans into a tizzy, teasing ahead of time that there was a great moment in the crossover for Smallville fans.
Since it's a music sting, it could easily have been cut or changed and nobody would have felt it missing -- and, heck, there was plenty for Smallville fans to love just because they shot the farm scenes at the Kent Farm from the long-running series -- but its inclusion was an undeniable high point for longtime fans, and social media exploded with enthusiasm when it came onscreen.prevnext
The Amazo Fight
One of the big action set pieces of the crossover is a battle between the various heroes and Amazo, a robot that can replicate all of their powers and fighting styles at a glance.
Comic book fans likely know Amazo from the source material, and were excited to see him brought to life. Amazo himself was done fairly well -- certainly it was better-received than Red Tornado was on Supergirl -- but arguably more impressive is the way the battle itself was executed, making good use of all of the heroes' powers and giving us a brute-force physical villain who is more than just a huge thing that needs to be punched or an army of faceless drones.prevnext
The story did not heavily feature Batwoman (Ruby Rose), who appeared only in the second of the three hours, but it gave enough of a sense for who she is and what her show might be like that it served as a pretty effective backdoor pilot, and social media was excited to see more from the character.
The costume looked better onscreen than it was in teaser photos (something that is generally true about The CW's costumes), especially Batwoman's trademark red wig -- and Rose sold both Kate Kane and Batwoman ably, with James Bamford's stunt department delivering some great fight sequences from her.prevnext
Earth-90 Flash Arrives
After vanishing in the establishing scene at the beginning of the first hour, John Wesley Shipp's The Flash of Earth-90 reappeared dramatically in the second hour -- complete with what appeared to be a callback to the first appearance of the movies' Flash in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
(Of course, that scene itself was a callback to Crisis on Infinite Earths, which this event is building to, so who knows whether they were thinking of Ezra Miller or George Perez when they wrote it?)
Fans have been waiting since the pilot episode of The Flash to see John Wesley Shipp don his classic Barry Allen costume again, and his performance, coupled with his role in the story and the way the wardrobe department perfectly captured the original costume from his 1990 series, made for some really fun TV.prevnext
"John, you're not wearing your ring"
Something else fans have been waiting for years to hear? John Diggle's Earth-90 doppelganger is likely John Stewart -- or at least a Green Lantern.
When Diggle entered the room where Earth-90's Barry was at STAR Labs, the elder Flash called Diggle by his first name and said, "you're not wearing your ring."
And then Twitter went bananas.prevnext
Oliver and The Monitor
The heartfelt scene between Oliver Queen and The Monitor may be some of Stephen Amell's best acting ever in the Arrowverse, and some of the sharpest writing in the crossover.
It not only delivered on a storytelling level, and left us with some lingering questions about next year's Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptation, but it capitalized on what The CW's DC Universe has over almost everybody else: we have existed with these characters for so many hours over so many years that there is an emotional connection to them that is difficult to replicate in movies.prevnext
Martian Manhunter, Lois, and Brainy
New faces enter the fray, and fans finally get two things they've been waiting for: Martian Manhunter in an event crossover (no, the musical doesn't count), and the Legion of Super-Heroes represented on Earth-1.
Every year, fans want to see Martian Manhunter come into the crossover, and while his role here was fairly small, it is pretty comparable to the role Martian Manhunter plays in most DC Universe crossovers: he's a heavy hitter called in during a pitched battle, without much of an arc of his own.
That the character entered the fray in his traditional Martian look rather than appearing with the face of Hank Henshaw is a nice touch, too.prevnext
Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch had great chemistry together, making every scene that Superman and Lois Lane shared together a goldmine.
Undeniably a highlight was the revelation that Lois Lane is pregnant -- a plot development which also gives a plausible excuse for why Superman will be off-world for a while on Supergirl, which is something that always hangs over the show when things get hard for the title heroine.
But Superman's proposal to Lois Lane was as adorkable as could be, and capitalized on how great the actors were together and how sharply the writers on Supergirl seem to write Superman.prevnext
Worlds Will Live...
Some fans had already started to speculate that next year's crossover might be a version of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," since this year involved The Monitor and we have had the Crisis teased for years on The Flash. So the way to make that announcement exciting rather than predictable?
Well, in-story, we get Psycho-Pirate -- a character key to the Crisis in the comics -- talking to "Elseworlds" villain John Deegan. "Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same," he tells his Arkham Asylum neighbor, a reference to the original Crisis marketing tagline.
Then, hard cut to the end and a "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Coming 2019" screen that sent fans over the edge a little bit.prev