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Series / Invasion! (2016)

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Felicity: Aw, that is so cute. You guys are just gonna get together and go fight some aliens - have you lost your mind?! They're aliens, and there's only four of you.
Barry: Not if we get Stein and, you know, all the others.
Oliver: They're calling themselves the Legends.

Invasion!, also called Heroes vs. Aliens, is the third annual crisis crossover television serial of The CW's Arrowverse. Unlike the previous previous crossovers which were two parters this crossover is told across four shows: Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. It is based off the classic Invasion! from the 1980s.

An alien ship crash-lands near Central City getting Team Flash's attention. Learning from Lyla that these aliens, the Dominators, have come back after visiting Earth before in the 1950s, and not content to sit by and let ARGUS take care of it, Barry takes it upon himself to recruit Team Arrow, The Legends, and his new friend Supergirl from Earth-38 to drive off the alien invaders.

''Invasion!" was told throughout four nights on November 28, November 29, November 30, and December 1, 2016.


Invasion! contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The '50s: The Legends episode has Nate, Amaya, Mick, Cisco, and Felicity travelling to 1951.
  • Accidental Aesop: Happens In-Universe in this episode. Dr. Stein recounts the story of Androcles' Lion, but he seems to think that the moral of the story is, "big enemies can be hurt by little things."
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Once again, members of Team Flash try to keep a secret from one of the others (in this case not telling Wally how powerful he really is). Cisco lampshades it and correctly points out it will not turn out well, again.
    • Then Barry and Oliver wanting to keep the message from future Barry secret, but in their defense they were planning on telling the team after they dealt with the aliens, since Oliver thought it would be an unnecessary distraction (and he's proven right).
    • Iris and Joe think they can stop Wally from becoming a hero, forgetting how Harry tried to do the same thing with Jesse when she got her powers and how ultimately he gave into Jesse's desire.
  • Age Cut: A cut from 1951 to the present day is used to show past Mr. Smith is the belligerent government official menacing the Flash and company, still wearing the same horn-rimmed glasses.
  • Alien Invasion: The main plot of this Crossover. Why do you think this event is called Invasion?
  • Amazon Chaser: Downplayed. When someone comments on how powerful Kara is, Sara responds that it's "kinda hot." Mick also implies that he's been giving her (Kara) a Male Gaze by calling her "skirt".
  • And Starring: The Special Guest Stars line-up mostly ends with Melissa Benoist getting this credit, but the final part ends with Benoist and Grant Gustin sharing the citation.
  • And Then What?: Barry tells Oliver that they should hang out more often, not just when the world is in danger. Oliver then asks him what they would do if the world didn't need saving. The answer is drink.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Oliver actually has two to "Laurel":
    • First when he's apologizing for missing their rehearsal dinner and is slowly realizing something's wrong:
      Oliver: I'm—I'm sorry if this is confusing or I'm scaring you, but the only thing in the world that makes sense to me right now—is that I love you, and I'm going to take that job at Queen Consolidated, and I swear to God I'm going to work every single day to be the man you fell in love with.
    • And again when he and the others leave, he whispers, "I love you," before he walks away from her.
  • Annoying Arrows: Oliver shoots two arrows into a Dominator, which at best is inconvenienced by them.
  • Arch-Enemy: At the climactic confrontation, 3 out of the 5 heroes fight their respective nemesis. Thea fights Malcolm, Oliver fights Slade, and Sara fights Damien Darhk. Only Diggle and Ray are left fighting the Mooks, though Fridge Brilliance adds some sense to this; Diggle's most personal fight previously was with his brother, so Andy's likely the H.I.V.E. Ghost that he's fighting, and Ray's up against a Mirakuru goon, probably representing the one that killed his fiancée Anna.
  • Arc Villain: The Dominators, the aliens behind the titular invasion.
  • Arc Words: The word "God" shows up again. And Oliver, like so many other characters this season, tells Barry that he's not one. In this case, he's arguing that Barry shouldn't hold himself responsible for every difference in the timeline, given all the ways everyone else shapes the future every day.
  • Ascended Meme: The Arrowverse finally acknowledges the strong resemblance between Felicity and Kara (in her civilian attire) that fans noticed since Supergirl (2015) first began airing.
    Felicity: It's like looking into a mirror.
  • The Atoner:
    • Caitlin tries (in vain) to patch things up between Barry and Cisco, feeling responsible for their fallout in the previous episode.
    • Barry is willing to sacrifice himself to the Dominators in part to atone for creating "Flashpoint".
  • Avengers Assemble: To a ridiculous degree. This episode includes all of the regulars of The Flash, Team Arrow minus the new recruits and Quentin, Supergirl, and the Legends minus Amaya and Nate for some reason. All are teaming up to fight the Dominators.
  • Badass Bookworm: Barry when he intentionally goads a brainwashed Supergirl into destroying the mind control device.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After learning about Flashpoint and the aftermath, Professor Stein pays a brief visit to his present home to see if his own life is affected in any way. It is, just not as negatively as he anticipated.
  • Battle in the Rain: It is raining very lightly during the climactic fight in the first episode.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Played for laughs. Oliver tells Kara not to hold back during training, as they need to go up against someone much more powerful than them as preparation for fighting the Dominators. Cut to Kara tossing around the team like ragdolls (Barry excluded), not even the slightest bit affected by their powers or weapons.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Played with at first, but ultimately averted. It starts off with Curtis respectfully telling Rorynote  that he finds the notion of a Divine Plan put in place by an All-Powerful Being hard to believe, but later on it's Rory's knowledge of The Old Testament that allows them to find Oliver & Co. due to the fact that the Dominators' coding language matches up with the Ancient Hebrew Numerical Alphabet.
    Rory: [to Curtis] You wanted proof of a Divine Being, didn't you?
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Iris trying to stop Wally from jumping into heroics in an effort to protect him, much to his frustration; it doesn't help that she acts very overbearing about it.
    • Inverted with Sara. She makes it clear she is very upset with Oliver for missing the rehearsal dinner, and only sending a text message as an explanation.
    Sara: You're lucky I'm not a trained assassin or anything.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Wally tries to do this but he ends up getting KOed by a brainwashed Supergirl.
    • Diggle, as the Hood, saves Oliver and Robert from a mugger.
    • Flash and Supergirl save Wild Dog from "Cyberwoman".
    • At the end, the Waverider (piloted by Nate) shows up in the nick of time to rescue the jumpship carrying Oliver and the others.
    • Cisco and Felicity rescue the kidnapped Legends. "Y'all called for Tech Support?"
  • Blatant Lies: The Dominators claim that turning Barry over to them will make them go away, but it's clear they are fully intending to launch the metabomb anyway since their issue is with the existence of metahumans overall, not just Barry.
  • Book Ends: With the Supergirl episode, which also features a powerful bioweapon that targets a certain group (aliens, in the earlier case).
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Oliver actually runs out of arrows when fighting his brainwashed friends.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The whole team gets mind-controlled by the Dominators, pitting them against Oliver and Barry.
  • Brick Joke: Heat Wave calling Supergirl "Skirt".
  • Broken Pedestal: The revelation that Barry created Flashpoint is not something the other heroes take well. Supergirl's fine with it, but then it's not something that has any effect on her. Oliver also doesn't get angry at Barry because he could understand the desire to want to bring your parents back from the dead and admits he would have made the same decision if he was in Barry's shoes. Stein, Jackson and Felicity aren't angered either because they've known about it for awhile.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Supergirl asks Mick how he got the name Heat Wave, he casually explains that he burned his house down with his parents still inside and that he likes to burn things. Keep in mind that they've only known each for less than a day.
  • Bullet Catch: Barry does this with almost contemptuous ease. Then he turns the bullet around and allows its momentum to carry it into the shooter's shoulder.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The CIA trying to capture the Fastest Man Alive, a guy in superpowered armor, and two of the biggest Badass Normals in the world. This couldn't end well.
  • The Bus Came Back: This event has been a homecoming of sorts.
    • This event is Heat Wave's first proper appearance on his home show since Season 1's "Rogue Time" (not counting the Imagine Spot in the second season premiere). Dr. Stein and Jax also make their first appearances since the spin-off began.
    • This is the first time Sara and Ray have appeared on Arrow since leaving in Season 4 to be on their own show.
    • Robert and Moira Queen, Laurel, and Slade all return. Malcolm Merlyn also appears, having not been seen since Season 4, and Damien Darhk shows up to fight Sara, but all their appearances are subversions because they are all hallucinations.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mick is on the receiving end of getting humiliated during the first episode, first getting his smug impression beaten out of him by Supergirl, then calling for her help when a minute ago he boasted he would never do that, then knocked out by Barry in a single hit and in the end a joke about his low intelligence is made.
  • Double-Meaning Title: While it mostly refers to the on-going Alien Invasion, the Arrow side of the episode has the aliens invading Oliver, Sara, Diggle, Thea, and Ray's mind/memories.
  • Event Title: Referring to the Alien Invasion.
  • Fake Shemp: Slade in the Arrow episode is notably portrayed by a Stunt Double as oppose to Manu Bennett, most likely due to said actor's negative reaction to the series post Season 2.
  • Funny Background Event: One of the waiters in the big party scene is played by an actor who clearly decided to make the most of his on-screen time. He is practically dancing with his silver tray full of champagne.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Dominators quickly abandon their conquest of Earth when they realize the heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-38 have them dead to rights.
  • Mythology Gag: The S.T.A.R. Labs hangar that serves as the heroes' base looks exactly like the Hall of Justice from the classic Justice League comics.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Since the Arrowverse doesn't have the rights to the full DC roster, certain changes had to be made.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Barry spends much of the crossover as something as pariah for creating Flashpoint. When he learns that his time meddling is why the Dominators are invading Earth, he offers to give himself up if that's what it takes — this one selfless act is what gets him back in his friends' good graces.
  • Serial Escalation: Unlike the previous crossovers which were just between "The Flash" and "Arrow" this one raises the stakes by having Team Arrow and Team Flash outgunned during an alien invasion, so Barry decides to even the odds by recruiting Supergirl and the Legends to help them.
  • Trailers Always Lie: While advertised as four-part crossover, the "Supergirl" installment is superfluous and can be skipped since the only connection is the scene of Barry and Cisco coming to get her, which they repeated in "The Flash" installment anyway.
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: In-Universe, Mick points out that Nate looks like a star-spangled idiot in his new outfit. It's especially odd seeing as Ray could have used the extra material to upgrade his or the other Legends' gear (or possibly the Waverider), and Nate is already invincible.