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‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ was the apex of The CW’s Arrowverse. Discover why the crossover was so successful.

Arrowverse’s ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’: Supermans loved, lost, and coming

Crisis on Infinite Earths was a landmark television event. The episodes tackling the beloved comic book arc served as a culmination for fans of the Arrowverse, much like Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers: Endgame did for MCU fans. 

Crisis on Infinite Earths included years of buildup, was rooted in a rich comics tradition, and featured not one, not two, but three Supermans that shared the screen together. The Arrowverse crossover event was a continuation of the Elseworlds from 2018.

What inspired Crisis on Infinite Earths?

The event was an adaptation of the eponymous Marv Wolfman and George Pérez comic book event from the 1980s that saw the destruction of multiple universes as well as the death of Barry Allen & Supergirl. 

For the TV iteration, the multiverse was being disintegrated and entire realities were being put at risk. It required all of the heroes from The CW’s popular Arrowverse to stop the destruction that resulted from a cornucopia of different villains including Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer).

2018’s Elseworlds crossover introduced LaMonica Garrett as the Monitor, who played the key villain in the comics and who has popped up in the season finales for various Arrowverse shows. The groundwork was then laid for the Crisis on Infinite Earths arc, and all heroes were lined up to fight the Monitor.

Enter Superman(s)

So many Supermen appeared on the screen. So, so many. Crisis on Infinite Earths included both Tyler Hoechlin’s version from Supergirl and Brandon Routh’s version from 2006’s Superman Returns

Routh was a staple on Legends of Tomorrow, which would seem confusing in any other setting, but in multiple universes, it all seems fitting. Routh’s Superman drew inspiration from Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come graphic novel, both in character & costume design. Tom Welling also made an exciting return, reprising his famous, 10-year turn as the star of Smallville.

Arrowverse executive producer Greg Berlanti teased the scene between Welling, Routh, and Hoechlin during a promo on Extra TV. “People have seen some of the castings we’ve had in the trades, but in one scene we’ve three Supermen onscreen at one time and that’s pretty cool,” Berlanti opined with sublime objectivity.

What about our favorite fearless lady detective, Lois Lane?

We also got multiple Lois Lanes during Crisis on Infinite Earths, as Elizabeth Tulloch & Erica Durance reprised their respective versions of the intrepid reporter during the event. Durance portrayed Lois for six seasons on Smallville and appeared in numerous episodes, while Tulloch made her Arrowverse debut in 2018 and is coming back with Clark and their new child. Hoechlin & Tulloch are starring in the spinoff Superman and Lois, which is currently in development at The CW.

How did fans respond to Crisis on Infinite Earths?

Despite the anticipation and feverish demand from fans, Crisis on Infinite Earths delivered. Collider singled out the event’s impressive melding of past & present, citing the Gotham recreation from 1989’s Batman and the surprise cameo by Justice League actor Ezra Miller as the Flash. “It’s one of the craziest and best things the Arrowverse has ever pulled off, and a sour reminder that we still haven’t seen more of [Ezra] Miller’s fantastic version of the fastest man alive,” the outlet stated.

IGN was similarly pleased with the outcome. They praised the cohesion of the crossover event despite the multiple subplots. “It’s a testament to the crossover’s execution (and the guiding hand of Arrowverse veteran Marc Guggenheim) that Crisis manages to tell a coherent, stirring tale of death and rebirth”, the outlet wrote. “Even as it juggles a frankly ridiculous number of moving pieces.”

Crisis on Infinite Earths currently has an 87% positive rating on Google.

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