DC just released a deluxe edition hardcover of Crisis on Infinite Earths: Paragons Rising, a volume that collects the lead and primary backup stories from the Crisis on Infinite Earths 100-Page Giant comics released during The CW's epic multi-hour crossover event during the 2019-2020 television season. The deluxe hardcover offers fans several fun additional features, including script pages and pencil art, but one of the most interesting may be the concept art from the television event, giving fans a peek at some of the creative ideas -- including variations on the look of Oliver Queen as the Spectre that take on a more comics-accurate look than what ultimately made it to screen.
In The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) dies attempting to hold off an army of shadow demons so that Earth-38 can be evacuated. Unwilling to accept Oliver's death, Constantine (Matt Ryan), Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz), Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Oliver's daughter Mia (Katherine McNamara) decide to use a Lazarus Pit to resurrect him, but while they do bring back his body, they are unable to restore his soul using Constantine's magic, prompting a trip to Purgatory. However, in Purgatory Oliver is approached by Jim Corrigan (Stephen Lobo) and convinced to take up the mantle of The Spectre.
In the crossover, Oliver's The Spectre look is one that riffs off of his Green Arrow look with a dark green suit and an added dark green hooded cloak and while it does have some similarities to a version of The Spectre seen in comics -- we're specifically talking about that time in comics where Hal Jordan took over the role -- the concept art offers a few takes that play a bit more with versions that look a bit closer to the Jim Corrigan's comic book look that is largely a speedo, gloves, boots, and the cloak. As you can see in the photos below, one concept was to have Oliver in a white/silver toned suit with dark accents and the cloak while another darkens the cloak further and opts for a dark bottom element of the suit paired with the white/silver top -- a look that looks quite a bit more like Corrigan's The Spectre costume in comics.
While The CW ultimately went with what could be described as "Green Arrow but make it spooky" for their "Crisis" Spectre, for fans Oliver's new role was less about the costume and more about the story, one that subverted expectations with the hero dying earlier than expected and then becoming something more.
"The dilemma that we presented to our own selves was that we spoiled our own story," Marc Guggenheim, showrunner on "Crisis" said last year. "If Oliver dying isn't the surprise, what is the surprise? The timing of him dying."
He added, "We kind of figured the audience was expecting Oliver to die in the climax, in the fifth hour. If we went in the exact opposite direction and killed him off at the end of hour one, we accomplished two things: Hopefully, we do surprise the audience, that's absolutely the intention, but we also really establish the stakes."
Crisis on Infinite Earths: Paragons Rising is available in comic shops now and will be available in traditional bookstores and on Amazon next week. You can watch the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" TV event on a special disc included in the Blu-rays for Arrow (already in stores) and the upcoming releases of The Flash, Batwoman, Supergirl, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
What do you think about this concept art for Oliver's The Spectre? Let us know in the comments below.