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"I know we can beat this together."
"In the beginning, there was only one...a single black infinitude. Then the infinitude found release, and finally, the darkness broke, filling it with life. With The Multiverse. Every existence multiplied by possibility and spread out before space and time in infinite measure. Civilizations rose and fell, and rose again to cross realities grasping expanse. Life, a precious gift persevering in the face of every obstacle, until finally, the age of heroes was born. Chaos, the constant enemy of life, kept at bay by champions from across the Multiverse. Joining forces to fight on behalf of all creation, they found each other just in time. Because now, the entire Multiverse is about to come under attack. There is a malevolent force at work, one driven by a singular goal: the destruction of all there is. I have planned. There are those who say I have schemed. But the time for preparation has passed. The Crisis is now upon us all."
The Monitor
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Crisis on Infinite Earths is the sixth annual crossover of the Arrowverse, based on the limited comic book series of the same name. Based on the sheer scale, Crisis was the biggest crossover the Arrowverse has done to this point.

Ten millennia ago, on the planet Maltus, a scientist named Mar Novu, known to us as the Monitor, attempted to Time Travel to the beginning of the universe. Unfortunately, that experiment set off a chain reaction of events that began to threaten the very universe Novu wanted to see. To atone for his hubris, he began a campaign of deception, devastation, and death, in an attempt to summon heroes who would have the courage to fight a threat so big, it would envelop not only his world but untold millions beside it...

Ever since the modern version of The Flash premiered, there have been established truths, events that are immutable, unchangeable. For nearly five years, one of them was the April 25, 2024 disappearance of Barry Allen, the Fastest Man Alive, in what was termed a "red-sky crisis". However, thanks to various degrees of time travel manipulations, his destiny is approaching sooner than he thinks, and this is one he can't run away from...

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For seven years, Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, has given nearly all of himself to save his beloved Star City from the evils that plagued it. However, due to a Deal with the Devil made at the end of the previous crossover, Oliver now finds himself on a journey towards his own destiny...one he knows will cost him his life.

After years of signs and warnings, the Crisis has finally come for the multiverse. As entire universes are obliterated by an antimatter wave, it's up to the many heroes (and in some cases, villains) of the extended Arrowverse to salvage what they can of these infinite Earths before it's too late.

As with previous Arrowverse crossovers, Crisis unfolds through episodes of its various series: Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow cover the main story, while an episode of Black Lightningnote  directly ties-in with the events of Crisis, officially bringing it into the broader Arrowverse. Unlike prior crossovers, however, there was a month-long break between the third and fourth installments. There was also a two-issue Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant comic book sidequel covering events that happen off-screen during the action.

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In adapting Crisis for television, it was decided to also make the event one giant love letter to the DC Universe, and acknowledge some of the shows that led us here. So in addition to the Arrowverse itself, Crisis also incorporates the following series into the Arrowverse proper:

The comic book tie-in also featured more universes, including:

In addition, Stargirl made an Early-Bird Cameo, establishing her universe as a revamped Earth-2. And in a surprise, Ezra Miller also made a cameo as another alternate Barry Allen, wearing the costume he wears in the DC Extended Universe, though his cameo takes place in the speed force whilst all of the multiverse has been destroyed and he fades away, leaving an ambiguity. However, the upcoming Flash movie has been announced to follow up on the cameo, and feature Barry traveling to Earth-89.

Following Crisis, Arrow wrapped up its eight-season run with the Backdoor Pilot of its planned spinoff Green Arrow and the Canaries, followed by a series epilogue, while Legends of Tomorrow premiered its fifth season. It was also announced that a new show, Superman & Lois, following the versions of those characters from Supergirl, was picked up to series for the following season. After some delays, it premiered on February 23rd, 2021.

Watch the teasers here.

Episodes

  1. "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour One"
  2. "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour Two"
  3. "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour Three"
  4. "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour Four"
  5. "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour Five"

Crisis on Infinite Tropes:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Eobard Thawne's involvement in the Crisis has been established since the Pilot of The Flash, with his last appearance even teasing Barry that he'll come back in the event. In the end, he didn't show up at all. This may have had something to do with the events playing out differently.
    • Dinah Laurel Lance of Earth-2 was teased heavily to be involved in the event, with her home universe being the first casualty of the Anti-Monitor. She was even given a Secret Test of Character not unlike J'onn J'onzz from Earth-38. She ultimately sits out the event.
  • Adaptational Badass: Zigzagged with The Anti-Monitor. On the one hand, this Anti-Monitor needs the antimatter cannon to destroy the multiverse whereas his comics counterpart could do it on his own and only used it to wipe out the last five Earths. On the other hand, comics Anti-Monitor failed to destroy the five remaining Earths, while here he succeeds in wiping out the entire multiverse.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Sargon the Sorcerer, a hero in the comics, appears in Hour Five as a criminal, creating the illusion of a giant Beebo as a distraction so he can rob a bank.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • In the comics, Pariah was completely immune to the antimatter wave. In Hour Three, the wave destroys him along with everything else.
    • The Shadow Demons in the comic book were much tougher to dispatch than their counterparts in this series.
    • Oliver as The Spectre while still impressive is nowhere near the scope of power Comics Spectre had, with Oliver mostly presented as a low-tier Reality Warper as opposed to the near-omnipotent Wrath of God of most versions of the Spectre. In addition, Comics Spectre managed to stalemate the Anti-Monitor, while here it seems to cost Oliver his lifenote  and the Anti-Monitor was ultimately not defeated (though he was severely weakened).
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • In the original story, the antimatter wave transcended time itself, threatening Earth-1 simultaneously in several eras. Here, it only affects the present.
    • Upon the comics Monitor's death, the five surviving Earths were pulled into a "netherverse" created from the Monitor's own being, sparing them from the antimatter wave. Here, the Monitor is killed when there is only one Earth remaining, and that Earth is destroyed not long after.
    • A subplot where the supervillains of the multiverse joined forces to conquer the remaining Earths was removed from this version.
    • In the comic, the dawn of time was depicted as a galaxy held within a gigantic celestial hand. Here, it is depicted as looking like a green-tinged wormhole.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Considering the sheer scope of the original story (which included practically every active hero and villain at the time), this was bound to be a given. But the most notable absences are that of Lady Quark and Kimiyo Hoshi (Dr. Light II), who both debuted during the comics version of this saga. However, Kimiyo would go on to debut in the first Post-Crisis Flash episode.
    • While Psycho-Pirate did hint at this event at the end of Elseworlds (2018), he didn't show up in this crossover despite playing a significant part in the comic.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The antimatter wave appears as a wall that destroys everything upon contact.
  • Adult Fear: Several examples are in play during Crisis.
    • Oliver and Barry are heading into the event knowing that they will die.
    • Earth-38 Lois and Clark send their infant son Jonathan off Argo in an escape pod while their universe is getting destroyed.
    • The main point of this entire crossover is to protect the very existence that you live in from being erased.
  • Advertised Extra: A lot of prominently advertised characters only had a very limited amount of screentime, like Smallville-Clark, Routh-Superman, Batman and Black Lightning.
  • Alliance of Alternates: In the tie-in comic, Earth-38 Lex is rescued by Earth-96 Lex and sent to a council of alternate Lex Luthors to discuss how to kill the Supermen.
  • Alternate Continuity: See Alternate Universe below. Many of the other universes have been popular movies and series in their own right. note 
  • Alternate Self:
    • The crossover features three Supermen (though one is dead, but there is also a living Clark Kent that has given up his powers and presumably his secret identity) and three Lois Lanes. Also worth noting is that one of the three Supermen, the Paragon of Truth in fact, looks a lot like Ray Palmer from Earth-1 (being the Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh Superman) and another looks like Marcus Pierce from Earth-666, while one of the three Lois Lanes looks a lot like (the second) Alura Zor-El from Earth-38.
    • The special also introduces Earth-18 Jonah Hex, Earth-74 Mick Rory, and Earth-99 versions of Bruce Wayne and Luke Fox.
    • It's also established that 2046 Oliver Queen is the Earth-16 counterpart to the main Oliver Queen.
  • Alternate Universe: Oh, there are so, so many. This crossover deals with The Multiverse after all.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Alexander Knox's cameo in Hour One sees him reading a copy of the Gotham City Gazette with the headline "Batman Captures Joker". Given the death of Jack Napier in Batman's climax, this suggests that either one: a Legacy Character took his place (in keeping with the revelation that three people call themselves "the Joker" in Darkseid War and DC Rebirth) or two: in keeping with his being an incarnation of the Trope Namer for Joker Immunity, it's possible Napier cheated death either by being resurrected or somehow faking his death.
    • The post-Crisis Earth-2; it's not clear if it's the same Earth-2 we're familiar with. "Starling City" revealed the pre-Crisis Earth-2 Starling City to be the same as Earth-1, so it's possible the steampunk asthetic associated with the pre-Crisis Earth-2 Central City is confined there, rasing the possibility that Stargirl is indeed set on the same Earth-2.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • In true spirit of the Crisis Crossover, no one is safe and any universe is at risk of getting destroyed at any given time.
    • Oliver Queen, who was presented as the central character of the Crisis given the build-up in Arrow all season long, dies at the end of Hour One. In fact, Word of God states his death was specifically to show this trope was in play. The next two episodes are in part dedicated to bringing him back. He is chosen to take up the mantle of The Spectre in Part 3, and sacrifices himself permanently in Part 4.
    • Taken Up to Eleven at the end of Hour Three, where it goes from anyone to everyone dies, whereby anyone who hasn't already died and isn't a Paragon does die at the hands of an antimatter wave, and even a Paragon dies shortly after.
  • Apocalypse How: A Class Z. Universe after universe gets annihilated by waves of antimatter during the Crisis, until eventually the entire multiverse gets destroyed. Obviously it's brought back, in a more consolidated form.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Obviously, for any work within the superhero genre, but the antimatter waves deserve special note. Antimatter does actually exist, and when it comes into contact with regular matter, the two substances experience mutual annihilation, releasing photonic energy (read: light) in the process. The antimatter waves seen in Crisis, therefore, are not nearly large enough to actually destroy entire universes, since the wave would run out of antimatter long before it could do so. While this could be hand-waved as enough antimatter being constantly generated to replenish the wave so it would last long enough to make its way through each universe, this still would not explain the waves constantly appearing as a white Advancing Wall of Doom, even in space; antimatter coming into contact with matter would appear white, but while antimatter moves its way through space and doesn't touch any matter, it would look completely normal. In addition, in the show when the antimatter comes into matter the two don’t cancel each other out in a violent explosion, with it being more akin to acid or heat disintegrating everything in its path.
  • Ascended Extra: Lyla Michaels has been a prominent Recurring Character since the very beginning, but is a very important figure in this special, as she, as in the comic, becomes Harbinger.
  • As Himself: Marv Wolfman appears in Hour Five asking for the Flash and Supergirl's autographs. He asked that it be addressed "To Marv".
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The Speed Force scenes in Hour Four were filmed in 2:35:1 aspect ratio.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The assorted heroes face off against two giant sized threats in Hour Five: a giant Beebo doll on the rampage (much to the confusion of the Legends; turns out it was a magician using Beebo as a distraction while he robbed a bank), and then the Anti-Monitor, who grows to a massive size as he attempts to stop the heroes for foiling his plans.
  • Avengers, Assemble!: Used prominently in the trailer, showing Harbinger fetching each hero or group of heroes from around The Multiverse to combat the threat of the Anti-Monitor.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • Alura and the Argo City citizens return to be vaporized by antimatter.
    • When Wally West returns in the tie-in comic, he jumps to shield Barry from the antimatter thrown by Outkast, and dies in the process.
    • Earth-90 Flash shows up for about ten minutes before he steals Earth-1 Barry's speed to fulfill the Monitor's prophecy of "Flash must die."
    • Every single character listed in Death by Cameo below.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Lex Luthor is brought back by The Monitor after dying at the end of Supergirl's previous season, he ends up the crossover not only alive, but in a hugely improved position on Earth-Prime.
    • The people from Earth-1, Earth-38 and Black Lightning's Earth revive in a Merged Reality called Earth-Prime.
    • Clark Kent and Lois Lane return to life, as does their son Jonathan.
    • Jefferson Pierce returns after he was obliterated by the antimatter.
    • The Titans from Earth-9 and Earth-96 Clark Kent return to life after the Crisis. Superman in particular has a new crest with the yellow restored.
    • Diggle and Lyla's daughter Sara returned after Barry accidentally erased her from existence. They now have both JJ and Sara.
    • Oliver would later be revealed to have undone the deaths of his best friend Tommy Merlyn, mother Moira Queen, Quentin Lance, and half-sister Emiko Queen.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • Lex Luthor is considerably more well-off by the end of Hour Three than he was at the end of Supergirl Season 4, having gone on a multiverse-wide killing spree of Supermen during the previous episode and rewriting reality with himself as the Paragon of Truth just before he can die at the hands of the antimatter wave.
    • By the end of Hour Three, the Anti-Monitor has succeeded in using Harbinger to incapacitate the heroes, apparently kill Mar Novu, and erase the entire multiverse. The only survivors are the seven Paragons.
    • With the consolidation of Earths at the end of Hour Five, Lex is now the head of the DEO, LuthorCorp, and a Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Batman Gambit: The Monitor had recruited Lex because he needed his intellect to fight against Mobius. He uses him to make Iris, Lois and Clark find the Superman that does apply as the Paragon of Truth.
  • Beam-O-War:
    • Black Lightning and the Flash hitting each other with their lightning strikes upon meeting.
    • Novu and Mobius do this just before the latter quickly overpowers and kills the former.
    • Oliver as the Spectre does this with the Anti-Monitor in Hour Four.
  • Big Bad: The Anti-Monitor is the one bringing the antimatter waves and destroying matter universes.
  • Big Good:
    • Mar Novu, the Monitor, plays this role for the first 3 episodes, assembling the heroes and sending them on their objectives, until he is killed by the Anti-Monitor through a mind-controlled Harbinger.
    • Oliver as the Spectre takes over the role for the last two episodes, guiding the Paragons in fighting against the Anti-Monitor and eventually uses his power to restore the Multiverse.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Multiverse is reborn with Earth-1, Earth-38 and Black Lightning's Earth fused into one Earth, Earth-Prime. However, Oliver Queen is Killed Off for Real sacrificing body and soul to stop the Anti-Monitor from his mad plans. On the plus side, the union between these heroes has led to the birth of the Justice League.
  • Bookends:
    • The crossover starts with Mar Novu narrating how the Multiverse came to life. Close to the ending, Oliver does a similar narration, only that there are different versions of the Earths known prior aside from Earth-9 and Earth-96.
    • Oliver's "You have failed this city" Catchphrase was used to start his superhero career. He uses the phrase "You have failed this universe" to end it and save all of reality.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Using the Book of Destiny, Lex Luthor mind-controls Earth-96 Superman into fighting his Earth-38 counterpart.
  • Breather Episode: The first half or so of Hour 5 — most of the episode is taken up by the characters adjusting to the aftermath of the situation, and then by a completely random attack by a giant Beebo (bringing some much needed levity). Then the Shadow Demons show up again, and it's right back to drama.
  • Broad Strokes: To the Christopher Reeve/Brandon Routh Superman film franchise; Routh reprises his role as Superman from Superman Returns, and in one scene claims he once went evil and fought himself. This happened in Superman III; a film that Superman Returns supposedly retconned.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Clark Kent of Earth-167 willingly gave up his powers to live a normal life with his Lois and their daughters. Still doesn't stop him from curb-stomping Earth-38 Lex.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returning characters include:
    • Clark and Lois from Earth-38 return for the first time since Elseworlds.
    • The Ray from Earth-X returns in live-action for the first time since Crisis on Earth-X.
    • Alexander Knox shows up since last appearing in Batman.
    • Dick Grayson from Batman shows up in live-action for the first time in decades during Hour One.
    • The Smallville versions of Superman and Lois Lane return for the first time since the show's conclusion in 2011.
    • Huntress and Oracle from Birds of Prey (2002) make their first appearance since the series' cancellation in 2003.
    • Earth-90 Barry Allen returns to this crossover after being teleported away in the last crossover.
  • Call-Back:
    • The teaser for The Flash shows Barry telling Iris that he is going home with her, similarly to the song he played while proposing to her.
    • When the Paragons are trapped in the Speed Force, they revisit important memories from throughout the Arrowverse. Ray confronting Oliver over being the Arrow, Laurel and Diggle mourning Sara's death, Oliver defeating Deegan in Elseworlds, and Oliver and Kara talking in Invasion.
    • Mick Rory finally meets Team Arrow, where they reminisce on how they used to know another Rory. This is not only a reference to Rory Regan/Ragman, but an inverse of Invasion where Cisco meets that Rory Regan and remarks how he knew a Rory who was kind of a jerk.
    • Giant Beebo makes a return after his previous appearance in Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 finale where he was created with the totems. In fact Sara immediately suspects it's Behrad, Zari's brother.
    • In Season 1 of The Flash, Gideon told Barry that he would form a group (not referred to by name, but obviously the Justice League). Which is exactly what happens during the ending.
  • Came Back Wrong: After Oliver dies holding off the Shadow Demons for a bit longer on Earth-38, Barry, Mia, and Sara submerge him in Earth-18's Lazarus Pit, which predictably resurrects him as a soulless monster. However, Constantine finds out that he is unable to restore Oliver's soul due to the Anti-Monitor's interference. In Hour Three, the heroes travel to Purgatory to retrieve Oliver's soul. However, they return empty-handed, as Oliver is destined to return as the Spectre.
  • The Cameo: Loads of them.
    • In the first hour alone, we have:
      • Robert Wuhl as Alexander Knox, a Gotham Globe reporter on Earth-89.
      • Alan Ritchson and Curran Walters reprise their roles as Hawk and Robin from Titans through manipulated Stock Footage. It is confirmed their Earth is Earth-9.
      • Burt Ward appears briefly as the sky of Earth-66 turns red. The colors of his sweater and his catchphrase imply that his character is indeed Dick Grayson.
      • Russell Tovey returns as Ray Terrill/The Ray, seen flying on Earth-X before it gets consumed by the antimatter wave. He had his own tasks in the Crisis, but they are shown in the tie-in comic.
      • Spike the dragon has a small appearance, as does Wil Wheaton as a doomsday preacher whom Supergirl saves from Spike.
      • Griffin Newman, best known for another superhero show, plays a bar trivia host in Star City.
    • Hour Two features Wentworth Miller as the voice of the Earth-74 Waverider's AI Leonard, and Johnathon Schaech as the Jonah Hex of Earth-18 when some of the heroes go there to use its Lazarus Pit to revive Oliver. Tom Welling and Erica Durance also appear as the Clark and Lois of Earth-167, reprising their Smallville characters.
    • In addition to the return of John Wesley Shipp as Earth-90 Barry Allen, Hour Three has Ashley Scott and Dina Meyer reprise their roles as Helena Kyle/Huntress and Barbara Gordon/Oracle (the latter as voice only) from Birds Of Prey, as well as Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar from Lucifer and Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning from Black Lightning.
    • Hour Four features probably the biggest cameo in the series: Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, which means the DC Extended Universe is officially a part of the multiverse.
    • Hour Five sees a new multiverse established and shows Earth-2 (Stargirl), Earth-12 (an unknown iteration of Green Lantern and the Lantern Corps), Earth-19 (Swamp Thing), and Earth-21 (Doom Patrol (2019)).
  • Canon Welding: This crossover includes continuities previously separate from the Arrowverse, including Black Lightning, Birds Of Prey, Smallville, Titans, Superman Returns (and, by extension, the Christopher Reeve films), Lucifer, and both the 1989 & 1966 versions of Batman. The story Kingdom Come is also represented here, as the Superman of Earth-96 (the Reeve/Routh one) wears the costume of that story's Superman, revealing that the events of Kingdom Come happened on that Earth. The tie-in sidequel also incorporates Wonder Woman and the Superman Theatrical Cartoons.
  • Can't Stay Normal: The Monitor tells Cisco that he needs to get his powers back to survive the Crisis. Cisco tries to make a hard pass, but Novu doesn't give him any choice in the matter.
  • The Chosen Many:
    • The Paragons. Seven heroes of the purest of wills who are key to saving the Multiverse and defeating Anti-Monitor. The Second and Third Hours of Crisis are dedicated to finding all the Paragons.
    • Oliver, while not a Paragon, gets an even bigger role as The Spectre and takes over as the Big Good.
  • C-List Fodder:
    • The minor Arrowverse characters that die include every Alternate Self from Earth-X, including Citizen Cold, as well as Alura, Earth-99 Bruce, and Earth-90 Barry Allen.
    • Averted by some A-listers, such as Green Arrow (who gets better, however) and the Monitor.
    • In a meta sense, every character on each world that dies at the Anti-Monitor's hands that isn't introduced as the setting of a CW show is this as well; victims of this include the casts of Batman, Titans, Batman, Smallville, Superman Returns, Birds Of Prey, and Lucifer. They are later revived when the Multiverse is recreated.
  • Composite Character:
    • This series merges Christopher Reeve/Brandon Routh Superman into one, due to him taking the suit and the backstory of losing Lois Lane from the Superman of Kingdom Come and also being an older Superman like Kal-L from Earth-2 in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.
    • Earth-99 Bruce Wayne is an amalgamation of the Batman Beyond's setting of an elderly retired Batman, wears an exoskeleton like the Kingdom Come Batman, and harbors a hatred and lack of trust towards Superman much like the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice version only with this Batman succeeding in killing the Kryptonian.
    • Oliver ends up inheriting the mantle of The Spectre from Jim Corrigan. Specifically, his costume appears to be based off the Hal Jordan Spectre which shows off far less skin than Jim Corrigan's Walking Shirtless Scene.
    • The Monitor combines his original character with that of Krona from Oa, who ended up creating the Multiverse by performing the forbidden act of using science to peer into the dawn of time.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The events of "Star City 2046" are retconned into being set on Earth-16, but Earth-16 Oliver doesn't remember meeting Sara (and in fact states that she died on the Gambit on that Earth), seems much younger, and the Waverider's capability of hopping through the Multiverse had never been so much as implied until then (which, in turn, begs the question of how the Legends returned to Earth-1).
    • Also applies to Robert Wuhl's cameo; the Bat-Signal seen in the background is the Batwoman Bat-Signal.
  • Cosmic Keystone: Zigzagged. Like the comic, Earth-1 is shown to be the most important out of the multiverse, as four of the five current Arrowverse shows are set in it. It's the one Earth that's most successfully passed the Monitor's abusive tests and the one he considers most worthy. The Anti-Monitor first emerged from here and built his antimatter cannon here, designing it to consume the rest of the multiverse first and save Earth-1 for last. The Monitor has also designated Earth-1 as the site for the Last Stand against his counterpart, and four of the seven Paragons chosen for the task are Earth-1 natives. However, this Earth is not spared from being destroyed by the antimatter wave, and when the multiverse is recreated, it is not the only surviving Earth, as at least six other Earths are also recreated (although it does receive designation as "Earth-Prime", which evokes this trope).
  • Cosmic Retcon: Much like the original comic was intended to, the creatives behind the various Arrowverse series were told to use the crossover as a "magic ticket" by showrunner Marc Guggenheim to make any continuity changes they saw fit. At the end of the crossover, there are several changes to the franchise's continuity.
    • Earths-1, 38 and the one Black Lightning came from are merged into Earth-Prime.
    • Lex Luthor is a Villain with Good Publicity, and he and Lena control the D.E.O.
    • Sara Diggle, who was erased by Flashpoint, is brought back to reality, while JJ remains, so John and Lyla have two children instead of one.
    • Clark and Lois also have two sons, instead of just Jonathan.
    • Earth-96 Superman still exists, but he doesn't have black in his crest. This implies the death of his loved ones was undone.
    • Earth-2 used to be Earth that Zoom and Black Siren came from, but that was destroyed before the crossover. Now, Earth-2 is the setting of Stargirl (2020).
  • Creator Cameo: Marv Wolfman, one of the creators of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths and a writer on this adaptation, appears As Himself to ask Barry and Kara for an autograph.
  • Crisis Crossover: An adaptation of the Trope Codifier. This is the sixth annual crossover of the Arrowverse and the largest by far, including the major heroes of the main five series and heroes from other DC Comics franchises.
  • Crossover: Jefferson Pierce appears to help with Crisis despite normally not crossing over with the major Arrowverse shows.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Earth-167 Clark decks Earth-38 Lex with a single punch.
    • Kate kills Earth-99 Bruce in roughly two seconds, since he's only an old man kept standing by his exoskeleton.
    • The Anti-Monitor, while possessing Harbinger, effortlessly incapacitates the heroes and kills the Monitor in the climax of Hour Three.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the previous crossovers had big threats, the Crisis brings the possibility that all of reality gets destroyed. We see entire worlds burn, even some we know and love, which was actually much less of a thing in the original comic!
  • Darkest Hour: By the end of Hour Three, the Anti-Monitor succeeds in annihilating the entire multiverse. The seven Paragons are only able to escape by traveling to the Vanishing Point, a place beyond time and space.
  • Death by Cameo:
  • Defiant to the End:
    • In the face of certain death, Mar Novu tells Mobius that the latter's creation was a mistake.
    • After Pariah sends the seven Paragons to the Vanishing Point, the remainder of the heroes face the Anti-Monitor calmly and tell him that he's going to lose the conflict before being consumed by the antimatter wave.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Pariah, formerly Nash Wells, has his in the rearview mirror by Hour One, solemnly proclaiming that everything is doomed after he watches Oliver expire.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Oliver shoots the Monitor with a specialized arrow in Hour One, tasing him and allowing himself the time he needs to save roughly a billion citizens of Earth-38 by holding off the Anti-Monitor's army of Shadow Demons.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the comics, both Earth-2 and Earth-X were among the five Earths spared from the antimatter wave, and later merged with the others to form a single Earth. In the Arrowverse, Earth-2 was destroyed just prior to the event, and Earth-X is destroyed at the start. Though, this is in part due to the Arrowverse Earth-2 being a stand-in for the comics Earth-3, which does indeed perish first.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Oliver Queen does indeed die in the comics version of Crisis on Infinite Earths, but it most certainly did not involve him becoming The Spectre and sacrificing himself to recreate The Multiverse.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Despite the Monitor's insistence that Earth-38 is doomed, Oliver refuses to go down without a fight and buys more of its population time by fighting the Shadow Demons with his bare hands.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Stargirl debuts here before her show's premiere.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger:
    • Earth-96 Clark Kent gets recruited in Hour Two and he assists in defending the remaining Earths against the Anti-Monitor's forces.
    • Black Lightning is pulled into the action in Hour Three by Pariah in order to help stop the antimatter cannon.
    • Ryan Choi is found late in Hour Three as the final Paragon, just in time of the entire Multiverse to cease to exist.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Oliver Queen, the premiere Badass Normal hero of the Arrowverse becomes The Spectre, the most powerful hero of all time in possession of Reality Warper powers.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Barry creates a new team at the end of the crossover and marks the occasion with a round table for them to meet, with the back of the chair emblazoned with each hero's respective insignia. The last chair, set between Sara's and Barry's own, is marked with a green arrowhead.
  • The End Is Nigh: Wil Wheaton plays a doomsday preacher who carries such a sign, warning people that the end is near and that Supergirl cannot save them, when a dragon comes out of the sky and attacks him, only for Supergirl to suddenly zoom down and protect him from the dragon's flame breath.
  • End of an Age:
    • This will be the final time Arrow will be part of the annual Crisis Crossover as its Grand Finale aired two weeks after this crossover's conclusion.
    • In-universe, the crossover also has a lasting repercussion in the state of The Multiverse. Although many Earths remain, both Supergirl and Black Lightning are now set in the same universe as the other Arrowverse shows.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Subverted with Lex Luthor, who the Monitor brings onto the Earth-74 Waverider to allow him to go on his Superman-killing spree and lead them to Earth-96 Supes. Later on he also rewrites himself as the Paragon of Truth, taking Earth-96 Superman's place, and attempts to convince the Monitor, before he became the Monitor, to team-up with him and create the multiverse again but this time to suit his whim. Circumstances do eventually force him to face off against the Anti-Monitor with the six remaining original Paragons, claiming that "If there's anyone who's going to take over the universe, its going to be me!"
    • Lena Luthor, on the other hand, works together with Alex Danvers to help open a big enough portal to get as many people off Earth-38 as possible before the antimatter wave obliterates it, even complimenting Alex on her intellect when she offers a helpful suggestion, thanking her for her protection when the building they are working in starts to collapse, and is actually offended when Alex initially seemed unsure if Lena would be willing to help save lives if it meant working with Alex.
  • Energy Absorption:
    • Earth-90 Flash temporarily steals Earth-1 Flash's speed to pull off his Heroic Sacrifice. Meanwhile, Black Lightning is stealing the power from the anti-matter cannon to stop it from sending out the anti-matter wave for a time.
    • The Anti-Monitor absorbs the Monitor's energy after killing him.
  • Event Title: Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Subverted when Lex is aghast to learn that the Earth-167 Clark gave up his powers. He just couldn't understand why anyone would give up all that power to be a normal human... but then he steps on a child's toy and immediately realises that Clark gave it up to have children with Lois Lane. He's still appalled by the decision, but he understands it.
  • Evil Is Petty: Oooh boy. What does Lex Luthor do as his first priority, knowing that there is a multiversal threat out there killing billions of people? Why, steal the Book of Destiny of course and scour the Multiverse to kill off all possible versions of Superman, just because he can. He then one-ups that by rewriting reality so he becomes the the Paragon of Truth, killing Earth-96 Superman in the process. When trying to dissuade Mar Novu from seeing the Dawn of Time, he was planning to erase all iterations of Superman from the multiverse.
  • Evil vs. Oblivion: Lex. While he took a merry detour, he does eventually join the rest of the Paragons in fighting the Shadow Demons to restore the Multiverse.
    Lex: If there's anyone who's going to take over the universe, its going to be me!
  • Exact Words: Prior to Crisis, the Monitor said that Barry Allen had to die. He never quite said which Barry Allen.
  • Exposition Beam: J'onn J'onzz restores everyone's pre-Crisis memories by touching their foreheads.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Anti-Monitor is ultimately defeated by being constantly shrunken down, and unable to escape.
  • Fauxshadow: The future newspaper from The Flash teased that Eobard Thawne would play a major role in the Crisis and that Barry would vanish in that incident. However, Thawne is completely absent in the story.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: Heatwave and Killer Frost join forces once again in Hour Five on the newly restored Earth-Prime, following their previous team-up in Crisis on Earth-X
  • Foil:
    • Pariah and Harbinger. Both are heroes with cosmic powers who were created directly in relation to the Crisis and consider their human identities to be no more, but otherwise are near opposite characters. Harbinger was created by the Monitor as the ultimate weapon in surviving the Crisis, while Pariah was created by the Anti-Monitor and inadvertently caused Crisis. Harbinger ended up being possessed by the Anti-Monitor and allowed him to carry out the final stage of destroying The Multiverse, while Pariah atoned and was crucial in saving the multiverse by teleporting the Paragons away from the antimatter. Both ended up returning to their civilian lives post-Crisis, but while Lyla was able to return to a life of peace with a now completed family, Nash became shunned as an outcast who stayed with Team Flash due to having nowhere else to go.
    • The Earth-99 Bruce Wayne/Batman is one to the Earth-96 Clark Kent/Superman. Both are Alternate Universe versions of some of the most iconic DC heroes, both are potential Paragons, both are Old Superheroes who are much older than their main counterparts, both are loosely based off the Kingdom Come version, and both experienced immense tragedy in the loss of loved ones. However, the contrast comes where grief ended up breaking Bruce and turning him into a monster as bad as his villains, while Clark stayed true to his ideals and ended up an even bigger hero. Bruce is a Retired Monster by virtue of experiencing a Career-Ending Injury and being forced to use an exoskeleton to move about, while Clark is still very much active as a superhero and even stronger than most Supermen due to more years spent under the yellow sun. While Bruce was ultimately not the Paragon of Courage, Clark was indeed the Paragon of Truth but ended up having his position stolen by Earth-38 Lex Luthor. In essence, both physically and mentally, Clark is the best Superman possible, while Bruce is Batman at his absolute worst.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The Crisis was supposed to happen in the second quarter (April 25) of 2024. Constant Time Travel abuse moved it four-and-a-half years earlier (December 2019).
    • Of the Supermen shown, only the Earth-38 and Earth-75 versions look alike. Earth-96 Superman even looks like Ray Palmer from Earth-1, while the powerless Clark Kent of Earth-167 looks like Marcus Pierce (Cain) from Earth-666.
    • For some reason, Earth-167 Lois Lane looks more like Earth-38 Alura Zor-El than Earth-38 Lois and her Earth-75 counterpart.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Oliver dying was pretty much a given going into the crossover, since his show only has two episodes left after the Crisis and the entirety of Arrow Season 8 has been building up to Oliver's death, as well as the fact that the Monitor outright told him what happens to him during the Season 7 finale. The only surprise was how it happened so early during the Crisis. He eventually gains a second coming as the Spectre and gives his life again, while grappling the Anti-Monitor to recreate the multiverse at the end of Hour Four.
    • Barry saw Cisco in full Vibe gear during his vision of the Crisis, so it was only a matter of time before the latter's powers were restored.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the establishing shot of Lux, there is also a billboard for Watchmen, complete with the Squid logo.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Harbinger summoning the heroes in order to avert a crisis that might destroy reality.
  • Got Volunteered: After Ryan and Lex construct a device to try and get the Paragons out of the Vanishing Point, Supergirl thanks Lex for "volunteering" to test it.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • In Earth-89, Batman trapped the Joker shortly before his Earth is obliterated by the antimatter.
    • Clark and Lois left the Earth to live happily with their son, but after the destruction of Argo City they are sent to the D.E.O. by Harbinger.
    • In The Flash, Sherloque Wells finally got another opportunity with a doppelganger of Renee Adler. His Earth is destroyed during the Crisis.
    • Played straight and later averted with the representation of the Smallville universe. When Lex visits that universe, it's shown that Clark has given up his powers, settled down with Lois, and started a family. Of course, the Smallville universe is erased with all the other universes. However, Word of God stated that the Smallville universe was reborn into the new multiversenote , so Clark gets to keep his happy ending.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: Lyla/Harbinger, who gathers the heroes of the Multiverse in Hour One.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Earth-1 Barry is deemed the Paragon of Love, which helps keep him alive after the destruction of Earth-1 in Hour Three.
    • Ryan Choi, a young man with absolutely no special powers or abilities (at least, not yet), is the Paragon of Humanity. Because he's just an ordinary (if very intelligent) human, he's the one who can convince Mar Novu not to start the experiment that gives rise to the Anti-Monitor. Unfortunately, sheer practicality means he can't convince every single one of infinite Mar Novu's.
  • The Hero Dies: Many heroes die, though except for the first one, the others are undone come the end of the crossover.
    • Oliver Queen, the man who started the Arrowverse, has explicitly been told by the Monitor that he will die during this event. It happens in the first hour, something that even the Monitor is surprised at. He comes back as the Spectre in the fourth hour, where he sacrifices himself to restart the universe and dies for real.
    • With Adam West's death two years prior to this special, Burt Ward's Dick Grayson becomes the closest thing to a protagonist of the 60s Batman show. He gets obliterated by antimatter.
    • Hour Three opens with two of the three Birds of Prey (2002) leads getting obliterated by antimatter.
    • The eponymous protagonist of The Flash performs the fated Heroic Sacrifice in place of the Earth-1 version.
    • Black Lightning was one of the final heroes standing before the Anti-Monitor possessed Harbinger and destroyed Earth-1.
    • The titular protagonist of the Christopher Reeve/Brandon Routh Superman movies is erased at the end of Hour Three thanks to Earth-38 Lex Luthor rewriting reality. He reappears back when the new multiverse is reborn.
  • Hero of Another Story: The event features several DC properties that have their own established lore outside of the Arrowverse.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Oliver does this twice. The first happens in Hour One, when he refuses to let the Monitor teleport him to safety and instead makes a Last Stand to buy as much as time as possible to evacuate the people of Earth-38. The second happens in Hour Four, where, as the Spectre, he uses his powers to help recreate the universe at the cost of his life.
    • Earth-1 Barry is prepared to do this to destroy the antimatter cannon, but he's stopped by Earth-90 Barry Allen who takes his place.
  • Hidden Depths: The Monitor reveals that, at one point, he had a family, and it's implied that his work resulted in their deaths, which clearly weighs on him heavily when he discusses it. It is confirmed he was Happily Married and not as cold as he is in the present, but his discovery of the Dawn of Time kills his wife and later endangers the full multiverse.
  • History Repeats:
    • Jon Kent is sent away from the doomed Argo in a similar way that his father Clark was.
    • Again, Lian Yu transforms Oliver Queen into something else.
  • Identical Stranger: A few instances where characters who are NOT an Alternate Self still manage to be doppelgangers across The Multiverse.
    • Earth-1 Ray Palmer and Earth-96 Clark Kent are the most prominent examples, with the two even in a scene together. Earth-96's Clark Kent originally looks like Earth-167 Virgil Swann too.
    • Earth-38 Lex Luthor and Earth-96 Lenny Luthor.
    • Earth-90 Barry Allen with Earth-1 Henry Allen and Earth-3 Jay Garrick.
    • Earth-38 Alura Zor-El with Earth-167 and an unnamed Alternate Universe Lois Lane.
    • Earths 1 and 99 Beth Kane with Earth-203 Dinah Laurel Lance.
    • Earth-1 Nora West-Allen and Earth-167 Bette Sans Souci.
    • Earths 1 and 2 Henry Hewitt with Earth-9 Billy Wintergreen.
    • Earth-1 Lisa Snart and Earth-167 Lucy Lane.
    • Earth-1 Lewis Snart and Earth-167 Sam Lane.
    • Earth-38 Rhea and Earth-167 Ella Lane.
    • Earth-38 Jeremiah Danvers and Earth-167 Curtis Knox.
    • Earth-9 Hank Hall and Earth-167 Arthur Curry.
    • Earth-9 Silas Stone and Earth-167 John Jones.
    • Earth-38 Eliza Danvers with Earth-96 Kara Zor-El and Earth-167 Lara El.
    • Earth-38 Indigo and Earth-167 Kara Zor-El.
    • Earth-167 and an unnamed Alternate Universe Clark Kent with Earth-666 Marcus Pierce.
    • Earth-1 Stanley Dover and Earth-167 Rudy Jones.
    • Earth-38 Jindah Kol Rozz and Earth-96 Ursa.
    • Earth-96 Lois Lane and Earth-167 Bridgette Crosby.
    • Earths-167 and an unnamed Alternate Universe Lionel Luthor with Earth-89 Jason Woodrue.
    • Earth-1 Sebastian Blood and Earth-666 Dan Espinoza.
    • Earth-38 Olivia Marsdin and Earth-167 Moira Sullivan.
    • Earth-96 Lana Lang and Earth-167 Martha Kent.
    • Earth-DCEU Lois Lane and Earth-167 Jodi Melville.
    • Earth-DCEU Nereus and Earth-1 Konstantin Kovar.
    • Earth-BL The Looker with Earth-38 Olivia and Earth-666 Debra Macall.
    • Earth-90 Skip and Earth-203 Alfred Pennyworth.
    • Earth-1 Grace Gibbons and Earth-167 Alicia Baker.
    • Earth-1 Jon Valor and Earth-167 Tyler McKnight.
    • Earth-167 Justin Gaines and Earth-DCEU Freddy Freeman.
    • Earth-19 Nimue Inwudu and Earth-Prime Diane Moore.
    • Earth-Prime Joseph Carver and Earth-666 Frederick Hoffman
    • Earth-38 Andrea Rojas and Earth-666 Jessica Johnson
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Clark Kent and Lois Lane are an Official Couple in Earths 38, 75, 96 and 167.
    • Clark Kent and Lex Luthor are arch-enemies in Earths 38, 75, 96 and 167.
    • Mick Rory is a drunkard novelist in Earths 1 and 74.
    • A character played by Brandon Routh is a superhero clad in red and blue in Earths 1 and 96.
    • A character played by Jon Cryer is a member of the Luthor family in Earths 38 and 96.
    • A character played by John Wesley Shipp is a member of the Allen Family in Earths 1 and 90, and is a superhero called The Flash in Earths 3 and 90.
    • Characters played by Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller are closely working together in Earths 1, 74 and X.
    • A character played by Helen Slater is related to the House of El in Earths 38, 96 and 167.
    • A character played by Erica Durance is related to the House of El in Earths 38 and 167.
    • A character played by Rachel Skarsten is connected to the Bat-Family in Earths 1, 99 and 203.
    • A character played by Laura Vandervoort is connected to the House of El in Earths 38 and 167.
    • A character played by Alan Ritchson is a superhero in Earths 9 and 167.
    • A character played by Dean Cain is an enhanced human in Earths 38 and 167.
    • A character played by Annette O'Toole is closely connected to Clark Kent in Earths 96 and 167.
    • A character played by Sarah Douglas is an evil Kryptonian in Earths 38 and 96.
    • A character played by Phil Morris is working with Cyborg in Earths 21 and 167.
    • A character played by Jessica Parker Kennedy is a metahuman in Earths 1 and 167.
    • A character played by Sarah Carter is a metahuman in Earths 1 and 167.
    • Characters played by Michael Ironside and Peyton List are father and daughter in Earths 1 and 38.
    • A character played by Amy Adams encounters Clark Kent before he became Superman in Earth-167 and an undesignated one.
    • Despite The Multiverse's heavy modification, Earth-9 is still the Earth of the Titans, while Earth-96 is still the Earth of Brandon Routh's Superman.
    • The three main versions of Clark Kent are all parents.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • The trailer shows that Batwoman is oblivious of The Multiverse despite knowing a hero from an alternate Earth. Harbinger tries to explain it to her after summoning her.
    • In Hour Three, Team Flash learns that Earth-2 was destroyed some time earlier, and Harry and Jesse are dead as a result.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Just before Oliver apparently becomes the Spectre in Hour Three, Mia begins to tell him that she loves him, only to get cut off when Jim Corrigan sends her, Diggle, and Constantine back to the Earth-74 Waverider.
  • Intra-Franchise Crossover: There are interactions between different franchises.
    • Clark and Lois go to Earth-167 and meet with the Clark Kent from there, who is the one of Smallville. He also has a Lois Lane.
    • Clark and Lois later meet Earth-96 Clark Kent, who is the Superman from the film series starring Brandon Routh and Christopher Reeve.
    • Earth-1 Barry interacts with his Earth-90 counterpart before the latter decides to sacrifice his life instead of the other Barry.
    • During his travel to the Speed Force, Barry meets his DCEU counterpart. Both are fascinated by their costumes and for being doppelgangers before DCEU Barry vanishes.
  • Irony: The Supergirl part of the crossover features three Earths based on Batman and one based on Superman, while the Batwoman part features three Earths based on Superman and one based on Batman.
  • Karma Houdini: Due to the Multiverse altering the history of the show's primary Earths, Lex Luthor is no longer a notorious criminal, but now a popular philanthropist. His immoral actions - whether on Earth-38, Prime, or even during this very crossover - are only known to the Paragons (and anyone who regains their memories of the previous Multiverse), which Lex exploits at a Nobel Prize ceremony to spite Supergirl.
  • Kill 'Em All:
    • Averted with the destruction of Earth-38. The Monitor manages to raise a quantum tower to temporarily stave off the antimatter, giving time for the heroes to evacuate the inhabitants to Earth-1. At the end, they manage to save three billion people, which is less than half of Earth-38's total population, but it's way better than Earth-2, which has a grand total of three known survivors after its destruction.
    • Played straight with Earth-9, Earth-66, Earth-89, and Earth-X which get destroyed in the beginning and presumably leave no survivors. Earth-203 falls as well in Hour Three.
    • At the end of Hour Three, the seven Paragons, and Oliver as the Spectre, are the only survivors of the multiverse.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Monitor, once he realizes that Earth-38 is definitively doomed, shows up to start pulling the heroes out of the battle with the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons. He manages to pull everyone but Oliver, who basically says "screw you," tases him, and then takes on the remaining Shadow Demons with his bare freakin' hands, buying enough time for roughly a billion citizens of Earth-38 to make it to Earth-1.
  • Last Stand: In Hour One, when the Monitor teleports all the heroes off Earth-38, deeming it a lost cause and needing to save resources for the next fight, Oliver fires a Trick Arrow that incapacitates the Monitor, then singlehandedly fends off the Anti-Monitor's army with his bare hands in order to buy more time to protect the Quantum Tower and allow more survivors to evacuate.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Many characters refer to the Crisis team up as "a crossover", especially in Hour Five, the Legends segment.
    • When Diggle sees the Giant Beebo, he says "I am never letting my kids watch that show again". Is he talking about a Beebo show or Legends itself?
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Given the sheer scope of this story, this trope is most certainly in play, with dozens upon dozens of characters from many DC adaptations turning up.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Lex Luthor is an awful excuse for a human and rotten to the core, but even he pales in comparison to the Anti-Monitor.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: To the comic book of the same name, set in the Arrowverse.
  • Living MacGuffin:
    • According to the Monitor, seven heroes called Paragons from across the multiverse must be assembled against the Anti-Monitor. They are Kara Zor-El of Earth-38 (Hope), Sara Lance of Earth-1 (Destiny), Kate Kane of Earth-1 (Courage), Kal-El of Earth-96 (Truth), Barry Allen of Earth-1 (Love), J'onn J'onzz of Earth-38 (Honor), and Ryan Choi of Earth-1 (Humanity). In Hour Three, Earth-96's Superman is killed when the Paragons reach the Vanishing Point thanks to Earth-38 Lex writing on the Book of Destiny, making him the new Paragon of Truth.
      • Marc Guggenheim, the showrunner for Crisis, namedropped the idea of a MacGuffin when discussing the creation of the Paragons, and says the idea originates from the JLA/JSA events in the comics that predated Crisis on Infinite Earths, "Crisis on Earth-1" and "Crisis on Earth-2", which revolved around the Ultra-Humanite's theory that there were certain superheroes so important to the existence of reality that if they were killed all heroes across the Multiverse would disappear.
    • While not a Paragon, Oliver becomes The Spectre, taking the mantle from Jim Corrigan, and becomes a key player in the efforts to recreate the multiverse in Hour Four.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
  • Merged Reality: The main Earth in the multiverse is now Earth-Prime, which combines Earth-1, Black Lightning's universe and Earth-38. There is still a multiverse, though more consolidated.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted. Oliver's sacrifice during the destruction of Earth-38 ends up saving a billion more people and it is rightfully treated as a heroic act.
  • Mooks: Anti-Monitor commands an army of Shadow Demons. While each individual one are pretty much fodder that can be dispelled with a single attack, they are capable of overwhelming their opponents by sheer numbers.
  • The Multiverse: Preserving its existence is the main plot of this crossover. Among the Alternate Universes featured are the following;
  • Mythology Gag:
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Earth-90 Barry demonstrates the ability to temporarily steal another speedster's speed (in this case, Earth-1 Barry's) to pull off his Prophecy Twist.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Monitor teleporting Earth-90 Flash away during Elseworlds allowed for the Anti-Monitor to kidnap him and use him as the power source for his antimatter cannon.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Anti-Monitor manipulated Nash Wells into freeing him. As a by-product, Nash became Pariah, and used the abilities he gained to save the Paragons from the antimatter wave, allowing them to engineer the Anti-Monitor's defeat.
  • No Body Left Behind:
  • No-Sell: After being taken to Earth-38 mid-interrogation, Batwoman punches Harbinger in the face, to no effect.
  • Not His Sled:
    • One of the things the original Crisis comic is most famous for is the death of Barry Allen, which the active The Flash series hinted at since the pilot episode. It turns out Barry indeed dies...but it's not Earth-1's Barry who sacrifices himself; it's Earth-90's Barry instead. Earth-1 Barry then goes on to survive the eradication of his universe as one of the seven Paragons.
    • Similarly with Supergirl, Kara also famously died in the original Crisis comic. She's also one of the seven Paragons who survive the destruction of Earth-1 and she survives the Crisis.
    • Also, in Hour Three Earth-1 getting erased, and it being the last universe in the antimatter wave's path, leaving the Paragons as the last living beings in ALL REALITY except for, somewhere out there, the Anti-Monitor who erased it all. We're left in new territory with no comics to give us an idea of how it might go.
    • Unlike the comic, whose purpose is to merge the various different continuities into a single universe, many different Earths spring up after the heroes recreate the multiverse using the Book of Destiny. Nevertheless, there are major changes, chief among them that Supergirl and Black Lightning are now set in the same Earth as the other Arrowverse shows.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't get to see it but Earth-96 Superman and Martian Manhunter continue defending the Quantum Towers on the remaining Earths while the other heroes are gathering Paragons or resurrecting Oliver. They aren't successful, but it was still a tremendous effort on par with Oliver defending Earth-38 to his last breath.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ralph and Barry realize that the Anti-Monitor has been controlling Pariah's abilities and Harbinger just before the latter turns around and shows that she's been possessed.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Anti-Monitor appears to be this at first, though it's later revealed that there is an antimatter universe that he plans to reign over after he's finished destroying the multiverse.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: The first chance Lex gets, he steals the Book of Destiny and goes on a multiverse-wide killing spree of Supermen, despite the multiversal apocalypse that is nigh. Just in case there's a world to return to once this is all over, he wants there to be no universe that has a Superman to get in his way.
  • The Paragon: The Monitor states in Hour Two that the seven Paragons—Kara, Kate, Earth-96 Kal-El (later Earth-38 Lex Luthor via rewriting reality), Sara, J'onn J'onzz, Barry, and Ryan Choi—are the only hope of existence to stop the Anti-Monitor.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Two in Hour 5 — Weather Witch, who's used as a way for Flash and Supergirl to establish they are in fact on the same Earth, and Sargon the Sorceror, a magician whose attempt to distract from the bank robbery he's pulling, by conjuring up a giant Beebo toy to rampage, injects some much needed levity (before things get serious again).
  • Prophecy Twist:
    • The Monitor told Oliver that he would die in the Crisis, but it happens in a way differently than he foresaw.
    • One of the big prophecies mentioned by the Monitor was that the Flash must die. But, it turns out not to be Earth-1 Barry, but Earth-90 Barry. (This does leave us to wonder about the newspaper headline, however; if Earth-1 Flash never vanished in a Crisis, where did it come from? Earth-1 Barry may not be out of the woods...)
    • Earth-96 Superman was foretold by the Book of Destiny to become one of the seven Paragons to stop the Anti-Monitor. But then came Earth-38 Lex Luthor and a permanent marker.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Lex learns the Clark of Earth-167 is depowered and thinks that gives him an advantage. It quickly turns out that even without superpowers, Clark Kent is still physically stronger than him.
    • At the end of Hour Five we revisit the STAR Labs hangar that was used as the heroes' headquarters during the Dominator invasion. Jefferson asks why they're in a "condemned building", as three years of Team Flash not using it (or apparently bothering to check up on it) have led to it being rather rundown, with water all over the floor and Gleek apparently having escaped.
  • Red Skies Crossover: Some of the actors reprising their roles, such as Tom Welling, Erica Durance, and Burt Ward, only appear for what are essentially cameos or single scenes. That said, all are clearly included at all to celebrate the works their characters originated from and anything more might've been hard to fit in given the length of the episodes.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: In scenes of the "Infinity Ends" trailer, the sky becomes reddish in scenes where the antimatter destroys what seems to be Earth-1. And of course, the skies of every world in the multiverse turning red is what heralds the start of the Crisis.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Lex survives the destruction of the Multiverse by writing it in the Book of Destiny in permanent marker.
  • Retcon:
    • The events of "Star City 2046" during Legends Season 1 are ret-conned as being set on a separate Earth entirely, Earth-16.
    • Incorporating Smallville but keeping the multiverse centered on the CW’s current shows means the former's Earth-2 designation to the world where Clark was raised a Luthor was incorrect and the result of Earth-167’s lack of multiversal exploration and study.
    • The more controversial aspects of Earth-96 Superman's life were retconned out, such as forcing his Lois to bare his child before leaving her to raise Jason alone by herself.
  • The Reveal: Earth-2 was destroyed months earlier than the rest of the multiverse because it was used as a test run of the antimatter cannon.
  • Running Gag: Cisco is not happy with whoever came up with the "Anti-Monitor" as Mobius's alias.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Word of God states that Oliver's death in Hour One was meant to show that the writers were not kidding when they said Anyone Can Die.
  • Sacrificial Planet: Earth-2 was destroyed during Arrow Season 8, which acted as Crisis prelude, but the first Earth shown to be destroyed in Crisis itself is Earth-38.
  • Same Character, but Different: Every character who came Back from the Dead after The Multiverse is restored are changed along with it.
  • Schrödinger's Canon:
    • The Crossover depicts, at least in passing, several other previous adaptations of DC properties in television and film. Whether these are "actually" the universes those adaptations took place in or "close enough" universes is open to interpretation.
    • A notable example comes in Earth-167, the setting of Smallville. Smallville's Season 11 comics adapted its own version of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and while it wouldn't be impossible to reconcile the two events (and might actually explain why Clark seems to take the news so well), a simpler explanation may be that the comic continuation is an Alternate Continuity from that depicted in this crossover event.
    • As of the climax, Earth-1, Earth-38, and Black Lightning's Earth have been merged together as Earth-Prime, meaning they now all share the same universe.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: In the promotional poster, Barry is at the center punching at the front.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Upon discovering that Earth-167 Clark Kent was Superman, Lex is convinced that this only holds true for Earth-167, believing that the Clark he knows can't possibly be Superman.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Ryan Choi says he calls the sub-atomic dimension the Microverse, Ray comments that there might be some trademark issues. This references Marvel's version of the Microverse, which was named in a comic they no longer have the rights to, leading to some confusing legal issues that forced the Microverse to be renamed to the Quantum Realm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe lest some angry Hasbro lawyers come knocking on Marvel's doorsteps.
    • Lex warns Kara that they're on an alien planet, and there's no telling "what kind of Chest Busters or Predators" may inhabit it.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: In keeping with Arrowverse tradition, the other Earths' number designations are nods to the work they're based on:
    • Earth-16 is ret-conned as the Star City of 2046 the Legends traveled to, referring to the episode's airdate in 2016.
    • Earth-18, where the heroes go to revive Oliver via Lazarus Pit, resembles The Wild West and has its own Jonah Hex. In the comics, Earth-18 is the home universe of DC's Western characters except for, ironically, Jonah Hex himself.
    • Earth-66, where the Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward takes place, refers to the show premiering in 1966.
    • Earth-75, where a news broadcast shows the iconic death scene from The Death of Superman, refers to the story's publication in Superman #75.
    • Earth-89, where the Tim Burton Batman films take place, refer to the first film's release in 1989.
    • Earth-96, where that Earth's history draws elements from the Kingdom Come storyline, refers to the comic's publication in 1996.
    • Earth-99, featuring a Bad Future with an elderly Bruce Wayne played by Kevin Conroy, is a Mythology Gag to Batman Beyond, which debuted in 1999.
    • Earth-167, where Smallville takes place, is in reference to the series's co-creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who were both born in 1967.
    • Earth-203 is the Birds of Prey (2002) universe, referencing the series' cancellation in 2003.
    • Earth-666 is the universe in which Lucifer is set.
  • Silver Fox: Two of the Clark Kents shown are still attractive with their age and graying hair, namely the ones from Earths-96 and 167. Kara in particular was gushing about Earth-96 Clark's physique until she learns is a multiverse counterpart of her cousin, while Iris can't help finding Earth-167 Clark handsome.
  • Sixth Ranger: Batwoman. While she did meet the other heroes last year, she was otherwise uninvolved in their previous crisis shenanigans until this year. Harbinger calls upon her aid to save the multiverse, even though she wasn't aware there was such a thing as a multiverse.
  • Sole Survivor: For a time, Earth-1 is the last existing universe out of the entire multiverse. It doesn't last very long, and then the seven Paragons are the sole survivors of the entire multiverse.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Played with regarding Barry Allen. He was originally fated to die in the Crisis, but a Prophecy Twist was pulled so it was the Barry Allen of Earth-90 who dies in place of the Barry Allen of Earth-1.
    • Supergirl died in the original comics and was Ret-Gone. This doesn't happen here, since she survived all the Earth erasures and is one of the heroes from Earth-Prime.
    • The Anti-Monitor survives, even if he is trapped in a system that shrinks him constantly. His original counterpart died in the comics, even if he returned as a rebooted character later.
    • In the original mini-series, the Multiverse was Ret-Gone. But here, it was revived by Oliver, while an Earth-1 merged with a few others.
  • Stealth Pun: Brandon Routh's Role Reprise as Superman is highly advertised for the event. Suffice to say, Brandon's Superman Returns.
  • Survivor's Guilt:
    • Barry is not happy that Oliver sacrificed himself in his stead, and pointedly tells the Monitor that the wrong hero died. He is also not pleased with Earth-90 Barry taking over his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Jefferson isn't very pleased to learn that he's the Sole Survivor of his family and his universe.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: After becoming the Spectre, Oliver enhances Barry's connection to the Speed Force by unlocking his "full potential". To date, this is the third time Barry's connection to the Speed Force has been enhanced in some way.
  • Time Travel:
    • Subverted; some of the alternate Earths that are visited are in different time periods, but the heroes don't technically travel through time itself to get there.
    • Played straight when the heroes travel to the dawn of time to escape the Anti-Monitor.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Earth-38 Lex Luthor becomes one of the seven Paragons after rewriting reality and replacing Earth-96 Superman in the role.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Major deaths are confirmed for this special. Oliver Queen and The Flash, in particular, are the ones explicitly confirmed.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Losing his family did a number on the mental state of Earth-99 Bruce Wayne, especially the death of Kate Kane, as did breaking his Thou Shall Not Kill rule. Though played by Kevin Conroy, he's less Batman: The Animated Series Bruce and more "What If? Bruce in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice never relented and went through with killing Superman?" The answer to that question is, he only becomes increasingly murderous and nihilistic, until the end of his career due to injury is celebrated as an end of a Reign of Terror.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Several. In particular: Earth-38's destruction, Oliver's Last Stand, Black Lightning angry with Survivor's Guilt, Earth-90 Barry's tattered Chest Insignia laying on debris, and Earth-38 Lex being among the eventual seven Paragons.
  • V-Formation Team Shot:
    • The first trailer shows the Paragons making a V formation, with Barry and Kara in the middle.
    • The promotional poster shows the main heroes of the Crisis in a V formation, although this time the apex is at the front, with Barry giving a punch.
  • Wham Episode: Much like the source material, this serves as one to the entire Arrowverse as a whole.
    • Hour One alone deals with the destruction of Supergirl's home universe, which is soon followed by the death of Oliver Queen, arguably the literal face of the Arrowverse. Things just go downhill from there.
    • Hour Three sees Barry prepare to make his own Heroic Sacrifice to save Earth-1, the Sole Survivor of the multiverse, but Earth-90 Barry steals his speed and performs the deed himself. Even then, the Anti-Monitor shows up possessing Harbinger, followed shortly by him killing the Monitor and summoning the antimatter wave again to destroy Earth-1 anyway. The only survivors of the entire multiverse are the seven Paragons thanks to Pariah's timely intervention. And then Earth-96 Superman is eaten from the inside out by antimatter and dies, replaced with Earth-38 Lex Luthor thanks to a well-timed reality rewrite on his behalf.
    • Hour Five. The Earths of Black Lightning and Supergirl are both merged with Earth-1, now renamed "Earth-Prime". Earth-2 seems to have undergone major restructuring and now houses the universe of Stargirl, while Earth-19 is now the home of Swamp Thing, Earth-9 is the home of Titans and Earth-21 is the home of Doom Patrol.
    • Post-Crisis Arrowverse episodes revealed that in addition to the Multiverse itself being rebooted and consolidated, travel between universes is no longer possible via breaches. It's implied that the worlds of the new Multiverse have an entirely different set of vibrational frequencies, rendering the breaching technology (keyed to the former frequencies) utterly useless.
  • Wham Line: The last scene with Superman has him hearing Lois telling him of difficulties with their kids, plural.
  • Wham Shot:
    • All of the Earths being destroyed at the beginning of Hour One.
    • A dying Oliver appearing in front of the rest of the heroes.
    • Kara seeing Superman's glasses kept as a trophy in Earth-99 Wayne Manor during Hour Two.
    • The antimatter wave being recreated and destroying Earth-1 in the climax of Hour Three.
    • Earth-96 Superman being consumed by antimatter before being replaced by Earth-38 Lex Luthor.
    • Barry meeting his film counterpart while in the Speed Force.
    • Kara realizing that Lex Luthor is now the owner of the DEO.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • For most of the crossover, no mention is made of the rest of Team Arrow, who were all still on Lian Yu when Harbinger appeared to collect Oliver and Mia for the Crisis. Diggle shows up in Hour Three, while Rene and Dinah show up in the final episode, leaving Roy and Laurel as the only ones missing out on the crossover. It's briefly mentioned that after the multiverse is restored, the timeline is fixed, so Mia and the future members of Team Arrow were never brought back in time to begin with.
    • Iris plays an important role in episodes 2 and 3, and Cisco and Ralph also participate in the events of the episode 3. However, the final episode only features Barry, Caitlin, and Nash among the members of Team Flash. The others don't get mentioned. It's rather jarring in the cases of Cisco, who would have been geeky about the changes in the new multiverse, as well as Iris, since she was the main reason why Barry felt so much anguish about having to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in episode 3 and her loss caused him to delve into Sanity Slippage in episode 4.
    • Lena and Brainy feature prominently in the very first episode, but don’t appear again. The former is at least mentioned in the fifth episode as working together with Lex.
    • As for the Legends, only Sara and Ray appear in all episodes. Sara handwaves this by saying that she "promised them they wouldn't be involved in any more crossovers". Some of them do pop up late to the crossover: a version of Mick's Earth-74 appears in the second episode, Constantine appears in the second and third episodes, and Nate, Ava and Earth-1 Mick appear in the fifth.note  All the others remain absent.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Barry's team is not called "Justice League" due to The CW not being allowed to use that name.
  • You Can't Go Home Again:
    • At the end of the Crisis' first hour, Kara and the rest of the Earth-38 survivors find their home universe destroyed by the antimatter, leaving them as refugees on Earth-1.
    • Hour Three ends with the entire multiverse being destroyed besides the Paragons.
    • Both the Earths of Black Lightning and Supergirl are merged with Earth-1 at the end of the crossover. This Earth is now called "Earth-Prime".
    • Post-Crisis episodes show a few doppelgangers from now-destroyed Earths that were sent to Earth-Prime by wormholes.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Crisis On Infinite Earths

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Superman of Adaptations

This clip celebrates the many iterations of Superman's origin story and adventures to the sound of Smallville's theme song, "Somebody Save Me."

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