Crisis of Infinite Earths: The Endgame of the Arrowverse

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m a big fan of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and the massive fan payoff that was Avengers: Endgame.  DC’s movie universe has not fared so well.  You know things are bad when the two biggest characters in their franchise, Superman and Batman, both get “fired” in the same month.  But on TV, it’s a different story…

The Arrowverse, the interconnected TV DC superhero shows that run on the CW network, have established a rather amazing, Marvel-like history and inter-connectivity with multiple superheroes, associated cast, and…well everything that Marvel accomplished on the big screen, although on a TV budget.  Starting with Arrow; that premiered in 2012 with one well trained vigilante, it’s spawned several more superhero shows, including this year’s freshman show Batwoman, multiple Earth’s, multiple aliens, and at least two god-like entities.

Now it looks like the CW is getting ready to Endgame their massive creation by adapting the comic book crossover classic Crisis on Infinite Earths. This is the biggest comic book event in history now on the small screen. The Crisis story is too big to summarize, but let me give it a try:  A mysterious godlike entity based on antimatter wants to destroy all the universes in the multiverse to amass more power, while another mysterious godlike entity tries to stop him by recruiting an army of superheroes from many different universes.  Great battles ensue that eventually leaves only a few universes intact, including the main “Earth” which has been combined with other earths.  There is a great cost in superheroes as both the Flash and Supergirl die in the crisis.

Whew…barely touched the surface, but you can see how daunting that is for the CW to pull this off with their “Arrowverse;” it’s collection of DC based TV shows that will be the focus of this 5 episode crossover event. The amount of planning across shows that have gone into this is nothing short of amazing.  All of the shows have been feeding bits and pieces of the story since their fall premieres, with Arrow, involved almost solely with Crisis related matters this season.  But of course, Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, is destined to die in the crisis, which is another way of saying he didn’t renew his contract and the show is coming to an end.  However, a big crossover requires big stakes, and I’ll be sitting down munching popcorn when Crisis kicks off Sunday, December 8th on Supergirl.

Supergirl — “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One” — Image Number: CRS_S5__8x12_300dpi.jpg — Pictured: LaMonica Garrett as The Monitor, Ruby Rose as Batwoman, Audrey Marie Anderson as Harbinger, Brandon Routh as Superman, Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz, Stephen Amell as Green Arrow, Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl, Grant Gustin as The Flash, Cress Williams as Black Lightning, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary, Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heatwave, Carlos Valdes as Vibe, Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen, John Wesley Shipp as Flash 90, Matt Ryan as Constantine, Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane and Tyler Hoechlin as Superman — Photo: The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Truth, Justice, and the 99%

Or, Superman Occupies Wall Street

I was minding my own tweeting business, when I got a tweet stating that Superman had joined the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  I was a little surprised by this since at this point, I figured OWS as a movement was about as dead as a doornail.  It had been months since an Occupier has pooped on a police car, and there had been little Occupy terrorism in several months.  What benefit could DC have in involving their flagship character, the most popular comic superhero in the world, with a fringe group of crackpots?

But following the link on the tweet it led me to DC Comics character description of the Man of Steel:

A universal icon, Superman means different things to the many diverse people he inspires: He’s an alien; an immigrant from a faraway land just looking to help; a country boy fighting the never-ending battle for truth and justice. And recent comics have truly spotlighted his role as the people’s hero: Following a neophyte Man of Steel still learning his powers’ limits, Superman fights the evil corporate tycoons and corrupt one-percenters that have overwhelmed the establishment.

What the hell?  “one-percenters?”  “evil corporate tycoons?”

One couldn’t also notice that the “American Way” had been excised from the truth and justice Superman unendingly battles for.  Not so much a surprise as Superman renounced his American citizenship in Action Comics 900.  Of course DC had been wrecking both their characters and their universe since their Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC’s 1985 series that eliminated all of its comic alternate universes.  It made a great storyline, but a massive comicsverse such as the ones DC and Marvel have can’t exist without multiple alternate universes.  They clear up continuity problems. And they allow a rebooting updating of the characters such as Marvel did with its Ultimate line.

Without alternate universes, DC has been trying to reboot its prime universe over and over, updating it to the point that none of the history a true comic geek knows about his favorite characters stays history.  Characters origins and previous adventures get altered and changed on a whim.  DC eventually corrected that, resurrecting the multiple universes, but their most recent reboot gave DC the chance to totally redo all of their characters.  An opportunity they apparently took advantage of by making decades old superhero, Green Lantern, gay.  DC did wimp out on this since they took another universe Green Lantern, Earth 2’s Alan Scott, as the gay lantern.  Still, is there really a comic market for that?

I get that artists and other fartsy types are likely to be left leaning.  A little politics mixed in with comics has been going back years.  During the seventies Green Arrow and Green Lantern would simultaneously fight aliens and racism in their own joint comic book.  The series had several sophisticated story lines involving what were then topical issues of the day;  poverty, class, Vietnam, and drugs.  Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy had a heroin addiction.

But DC, why did you have to go and ruin Superman?

They’ve actually taken the most popular comic book character in the world and made him a lefty political extremist.  And DC wonders why sales of their comics continue to drop.

Since DC is determined to crush both their sales and the characters they had spent decades cultivating, they might as well let the characters go out with a bang before bankruptcy.  Why not reboot the DCU again (20th time’s the charm right?) and make Superman black. Superman, whose alter ego is a mild mannered reporter for Media Matters, can fight super villains like the Koch Brothers. As an illegal immigrant himself, Superman can kick down the border fence in Arizona, and fly back to Boston to smoke pot in the Commons with the other Occupiers by noon.

How can DC go wrong?

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