The Arrowverse returns January 15 and finally the wait will be over! In preparation, we’ve ranked the best moments from Crisis on Earth-X.
The CW have released the teaser trailer for the return of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow following the mid-season break.
We are all excited to see these characters back on screen, not least because of all those plot twists in the mid-season finales! Plus, that little something called ‘Crisis on Earth-X’, a four-part crossover event that we still haven’t got over.
While we wait for the shows to resume, let us look at some of the great moments from the breath-taking crossover. The scenes are mentioned in order of appearance. Spoilers will be everywhere, so proceed with caution!
1 – A Guardian by any other name
James Olsen doesn’t have much screen time in this crossover but the little he does certainly makes its mark.
On an Earth unlike anything we have seen in the Arrowverse, a silent guardian has a mission – to protect a trans-dimensional device from falling into enemy hands. The Guardian of Earth-X is similar to Supergirl’s ally, except his shield sports the American flag, a sign of freedom and resistance on that Earth.
Soon after he appears on screen, Guardian is attacked by Dark Arrow. Their fight is short but mesmerising – Guardian’s blows tell the tale of a man willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Unfortunately, he is efficiently knocked down and his mission fails. As the Dark Arrow mocks him and his cause, Guardian uses his dying breath to speak of hope, for those who will survive and save the planet.
As opening scenes go, this one effectively establishes the tone of the crossover – a balance of light and dark. We will suffer losses in this crossover, but not without moments of hope.
2 – Church fight
There are fight scenes and there is this church fight scene. After three seasons of will-they-won’t-they, Barry Allen and Iris West are finally about to tie the knot. The wedding is beautiful, Kara’s singing is beautiful, Barry and Iris look beautiful… what could possibly go wrong? Nazis, that’s what.
Fortunately, when Nazis attack the West-Allen wedding, they have plenty of heroes sitting in the aisles, ready to fight alongside them. Cue the most amazing mini team-ups in DC television crossover history.
Every moment that Alex Danvers and Sara Lance shared made me want to fist-pump the air. These two characters, despite lacking superpowers, are the absolute best in any combat situation. As adorable as their hook-up was, their simultaneous reaction to seeing the Nazis – to tear slits in their fancy dresses for ease of movement in the ensuing fight – had me grinning from ear to ear. Not only do they fight a whole bunch of Nazis, they also take on one of the lead villains, Prometheus, and win!
But, honestly, everybody brings their A-game to this fight. We have Kid Flash, in the world’s most stunning purple suit, throwing flying bullets back at the bad guys; Supergirl unleashes new powers like the thunderclap (we need more of that!) against the similarly-powered Overgirl; Heatwave having a blast (quite literally); Killer Frost’s ice-weapons; and, my personal favourite, Vibe sending Oliver through a breach to shoot arrows at the baddies.
Of all the amazing moments from this epic crossover, the church fight has got to be the best.
3 – Villains revealed
Ever since we learned of the existence of other Earths in The Flash season two, we have been running into doppelgangers left, right and centre. And, that’s great! Who doesn’t love an evil doppelganger? Or, in Barry’s case, a super-dorky one.
We get some very interesting doppelgangers in this crossover but the first big reveal is that the Nazi leaders, Dark Arrow and Overgirl, are, in fact, evil doppelgangers of Oliver and Kara. Okay, we kind of saw that coming, but it was still really cool to see them unmask themselves. It was less cool to find out that evil Kara and Oliver were a married couple. Seeing them together gave me serious ick-vibes. Having said that, it seems Oliver’s devotion to his partner is a universal Oliver thing. Evil Oliver could barely do his job because he was trying to save his wife. Aww, I guess?
Alongside evil Kara and Oliver is none other than Reverse Flash. But this is not an Earth-X Reverse-Flash, it is The Flash’s nemesis, complete with Harrison Well’s meatsuit. Way to torment Barry on his big day.
We barely have time to recover from these revelations when it is revealed that Earth-X’s Prometheus is none other than… Tommy Merlyn! Ah, Tommy, how we have missed you since season one of Arrow. For him to return as Prometheus, that too from Earth-X, was a surprise, for sure, but Colin Donnell’s performance really sells the moment.
Oliver tries to get Prometheus to help them but Earth-X Tommy wants nothing to do with him. Tommy does play on Oliver’s affection for him and for a moment we all think we will get Tommy back until… he reveals his true colours and we realise he is nowhere near the Tommy Merlyn we loved and lost.
4 – Earth-X
Every Earth we have managed to visit in the Arrowverse has had its own aesthetic. Earth-1 most resembles our Earth were we to suddenly have vigilantes and metahumans, as does Supergirl’s Earth-38, though it is a planet used to having aliens and thus, has technology to match. Earth-2 has a completely different aesthetic – a cyber steampunk dream.
Earth-X is something else entirely. Covered in darkness, like it has never seen the sun before and probably never will, the architecture is made to match. High-rises litter the landscape, each emblazoned with the red Nazi flag, askew swastika bang in the centre.
— Wash your hands! I Have Spoken. (@CryhavocDOW) November 29, 2017
Once the heroes are whisked off to Earth-X, they find themselves deposited in a concentration camp. Though it is far less chilling than the real ones on our Earth (the Arrowverse shows are family fare, hence the scenes are far more sanitised), seeing the prisoners with their striped prison uniforms, the Star of David and pink badges pinned to their shoulders, would make anyone sick to their stomachs.
It is here that we meet the Fuhrer’s right-hand man – none other than Quentin Lance. Paul Blackthorne’s smarmy performance can’t help but make you squeamish, especially considering how much Earth-1’s Quentin Lance has been through to come out on the other side a better man. Evil Lance’s attempt to coax Earth-1’s Oliver to kill Earth-X’s Felicity Smoak was a particularly unsettling moment.
Interestingly, even Earth-X’s heroes are affected by their circumstances. Winn Schott’s doppelgänger is on the fence between good and evil. Unlike the happy-go-lucky, ever-optimistic Winn on Earth-38, Earth-X’s General Schott is a leader of the Resistance, jaded by fighting the good fight on a rotten planet. He is as much a hindrance to the heroes as he is an ally. One of the more interesting interpretations of the doppelgängers in this crossover and well-acted by Jeremy Jordan.
Earth-X’s advanced technology sets it apart, even from Earth-2. The Red Tornado and Metallo on Earth-X are far more advanced than what we have seen on Earth-38, and that Earth has alien tracking technology.
The crux of the crossover is that Earth-X have the ability to breach to other Earths, a technology Earth-1 did not gain without help from Earth-2’s Harrison Wells. In addition, Earth-X have their own Waverider, which won’t even be created for another century, at the very least, on Earth-1. That is some crazy advanced tech!
I particularly love that Earth-X’s Waverider, called Wellenreiter, has its own evil Gideon, voiced by none other than Susanna Thompson, who played Moira Queen, mother of Oliver and Thea, on Arrow. Thompson imbues Earth-X’s Gideon with such spine-chilling menace, we heaved a sigh of relief when the Wellenreiter was ultimately destroyed.
Clearly, the Nazis taking over the world’s intellectual resources advanced their tech a thousand-fold. As if they weren’t terrifying enough.
5 – Kara vs Kara
The female characters in the Arrowverse often steal the show from the men, and this crossover gives them numerous moments to shine, not least when Supergirl faces off against her evil doppelgänger, Overgirl. With their similar powers, it would seem the more ruthless of the two would win. But something isn’t quite right with Overgirl.
We soon learn that Overgirl is dying. Dark Arrow and Overgirl’s plan is to take Supergirl’s heart and transplant it into Overgirl. Helping them achieve this is the always evil Reverse Flash.
Melissa Benoist is amazing in Supergirl, but how often does one have to go up against an evil version of themselves? Benoist’s quiet positivity as Supergirl has been a mainstay of her performance, but as the assured Overgirl, she excels.
The exchanges between Overgirl and the captured Supergirl, as her powers are sucked away by a red sun-simulator, show the differences between the characters. It isn’t just about their fighting abilities – their moral codes are worlds apart (obviously).
However, it is their unwavering belief in their own ways that make any and all interactions between the two characters so engaging. Overgirl genuinely thinks that her powers make her superior to humans, that she is in fact, a god to the tiny humans. If we’ve learnt anything about Kara, it is that she thinks she is as human as anyone else. Considering she is still recovering from the heartache of losing Mon-El, Kara has more than proven that she is as humanly fallible as the rest of humanity.
The exchange between Kara and Overgirl, particularly as Kara becomes even more physically human, also leads to this villain vs hero dialogue:
Overgirl: “Why do you care if I take your heart? You’re not using it.”
Kara Danvers: “At least I have one.”
And Kara’s sassiness doesn’t end there. Once she’s up and about, she turns to Overgirl and delivers this callback to the Christopher Reeve Superman films – “General, would you care to step outside?”. Perfect!
6 – Leo and Ray
— Christina| ?⚡️ (@cgarza1027) November 29, 2017
When the Earth-1 heroes seem doomed to be executed by firing squad, they are rescued by a smart-talking, wise-cracking doppelgänger of… Captain Cold.
Honestly, Wentworth Miller is a joy to watch. His sneering, angry, completely unprofessional Leonard Snart made season one of Legends of Tomorrow immense fun.
Whenever he shows up, you know you’re going to have a wonderful time. I, for one, was thrilled to see Citizen Cold save the day.
Citizen Cold is much more heroic than his deceased Earth-1 counterpart. Despite the blue parka, Citizen Cold is a very different man. For one, he would rather be called Leo, not Leonard, and he is a bonafide saviour on Earth-X, having fought with the Resistance for years. He is also surrounded by heroes – his friend Rory died saving police officers from a burning police station, and his boyfriend, The Ray, is one of the prisoners Leo saves along with the Earth-1 heroes.
Which brings me to Ray Terrill/ The Ray. Considering the staggering number of heroes in this crossover, to introduce a new one in their midst seemed to be a bad idea. But The Ray is a splendid addition. He is from Earth-1, but chose to remain on Earth-X once he met Leo. When the Earth-1 heroes look for a way home, he immediately decides he must help them, out of the goodness of his own heart. He even goes against General Schott’s plan to close the breach between the Earths because he can’t let the heroes be stranded on Earth-X. And, of course, how can we not love the man who has stolen Leo Snart’s heart?
Russell Tovey may have only had two episodes to show off his superhero abilities, but he made the most of it. Tovey riffs off the rest of the cast incredibly well and his chemistry with Wentworth Miller gives a sense of a deeper and longer relationship between the characters than the audience is privy to.
Though it is unlikely we will see The Ray return in live-action very soon, the crossover has given us a new hero to love and a more heroic, though still loveable version of Leonard Snart to entertain us.
7 – Firestorm no more
MARTIN STEIN WAS GOING TO RETIRE. HE WAS GOING TO LIVE OUT THE REST OF HIS DAYS HAPPY AND RELAXED. WHY, CW? WHYYYYYY #CrisisOnEarthX
— I am Legion⚡ (@darthstarktech) November 29, 2017
This is a sad one to put on a ‘best of’ list but it is a moment much too important to leave out.
Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson and Professor Martin ‘Grey’ Stein may not have had the most comfortable relationship as the two halves of Firestorm, but they have slowly and steadily formed a bond that extended further than the nuclear reaction that brought them together.
Most of this season of Legends of Tomorrow has focussed on Jax’s attempts at breaking up Firestorm to allow Professor Stein more time with his daughter and grandson on Earth-1. One would assume that Jax and his fellow legends would find a way to keep the two of them stable so Stein could lead his life. But the Nazis had other plans.
On Earth-X, the heroes’ only way back home is through a breach heavily guarded by Nazi foot soldiers. The team is under fire and everyone is trying to take cover. Stein has one shot at getting to the master control; if only people would stop shooting. When an opportunity opens up, Stein makes a run for the controls, only to be gunned down.
Among the legends, Stein has probably been the prickliest, managing to chafe against most of the team at some point. But he has steadily grown into a kind, magnanimous and paternal figure. His relationship with Jax, so fraught with miscommunication, has unfolded beautifully. During the crossover, Jax and Stein took time to explain to each other how they really felt about the breakup of Firestorm, and the audience learnt, as did they, that their father-son bond was what was making the impending separation so difficult.
Stein’s death evoked so many tears that I was honestly surprised, but it was a truly crushing moment to see him go. His death fuelled the heroes’ determination to win against the Nazis and spurred Leo Snart to spend more time with the Legends in order to help them heal. But I think this may be one loss the team will feel for a while.
8 – The wedding(s)
One funeral but two weddings. The crossover began with Barry and Iris’ impending nuptials, but considering everything the heroes then went through, would it be possible for the couple to have the wedding they so desired?
Well, it would! Thanks, no less, to old friend and fellow superhero, John Diggle. Turns out Digg can officiate weddings. With a beautiful lake as a backdrop, and only Oliver and Felicity in attendance, Barry and Iris were ready to say their vows… until Felicity interrupted them.
Let’s just say that Felicity and Oliver are the world’s (or multiverse’s?) worst wedding guests. They had a huge, and loud, fight during Barry and Iris’ rehearsal dinner, and now they’re interrupting their second attempt at a wedding? Way to step on a moment, you guys.
Fortunately, it was for a good reason. Felicity and Oliver have almost been married before except for the whole Felicity being shot and practically dying thing that got in the way. Things haven’t quite worked out for them but they are finally in a good place. What could they possibly be waiting for?
Well, that’s what Felicity realises, and, in a lovely little bit of subversion, she proposes to Oliver and he says yes. Digg, the biggest Olicity shipper that ever lived, couldn’t be happier, and he gets to marry two sets of his best friends.
Alex and Sara. One of the great things about the Arrowverse is its LGBTQ+ characters. Sara Lance was the first bisexual character and paved the way for more to appear, including Alex Danvers’ amazing arc last season on Supergirl. I don’t think we were surprised that these two characters ended up together, even if it was for one night, but the fact that the crossover included this subversion of a heteronormative trope was a joy to see.
Iris and Felicity. The ladies really stole the show in this crossover. When the heroes were either locked up in Star Labs’ pipeline, or stranded on Earth-X, Iris and Felicity took it upon themselves to save Supergirl. These two behind-the-scenes characters don’t usually see much action, but here they use their brains to sabotage the Nazis as much as possible. And, frankly, they get pretty close to saving the day… if only that Eobard Thawne hadn’t got in the way.
Everyone loves the Waverider. It is a timeship, of course everybody loves it! But, that doesn’t make the geeky reactions from the team members who hadn’t been on the Waverider before any less adorkable. Curtis ‘Mr. Terrific’ Holt exclaiming “Oh, man, I have just died and went to geek heaven” is pretty much all of us.
Heroes assemble. I love a good group-shot and this crossover gives us a few. The image of the heroes lined up under the bridge in battle stance, ready to fight everything Earth-X has to throw at them is destined to be iconic.
There you have it, some of the best moments from Crisis on Earth-X, one of the most epic crossovers to grace the Arrowverse. This crossover has already had lasting repercussions on the four shows and has got us fans all excited for what is coming next.
You can read more about why Crisis on Earth-X was the superhero crossover event of 2017.
For more about the CW shows, check out Digital Fox’s ranking of the Arrowverse crossovers.
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