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Okay, I honestly have little criticisms for the first four hours. They were really damn great, and as a big fan of DC, I was a sucker for all the cameos and nods. I will single them all out.
- The opening montage of 66 Batman, 89 Batman, and Titans (plus Earth-X) does a great job of establishing the threat while showing that other adaptations will indeed be acknowledged.
- I never really watched Smallville, but Tom Welling Superman seemed like he got a happy ending and it makes me a tad interested in the show.
- Brandon Routh Superman...oh my God, Brandon Routh Superman. Brandon Routh is the GOAT of this entire crossover. He plays his version of the Man of Steel from Superman Returns (and by extension the Reeve movies, while also bringing in elements from Kingdom Come) and to say he has redeemed himself would be like saying that water is wet. I want more of Brandon Routh as Superman, PRONTO.
- Oh, Tom Ellis, you lying son of a - nah, JK. Lucifer's cameo was hilarious, and his interactions with Constantine were great.
- The Birds of Prey world...could have admittedly been removed with no impact, but I think it was nice of the showrunners to acknowledge a forgotten show.
- 90s Flash concludes his story with a bang, as it is him who performs the sacrifice from the comics.
- Black Lightning doesn't get to do much, but it was still nice seeing him and he helps enable the aforementioned sacrifice. Really weird that they didn't mention his Earth designation, though.
- And OH MY GOD, they actually got Ezra Miller's Flash to appear in Part Four! My jaw dropped. I did not like how the Justice League movie treated his Flash, and I think this scene wrote him better than that entire movie did. He gets to meet Grant Gustin's Flash. Go see it for yourself.
I think all the main heroes are written really great as well. I can't really expand upon that - I just think everyone was solid. The most I can say is that some characters that stood out to me besides Routh Superman were Barry, Supergirl, White Canary, and Lex Luthor; I just thought they were handled really well. I was amazed that they actually destroyed the entire multiverse at the end of the crossover. Like, WOW. And that was one hell of a note to end on for the first three hours.
My only real complaints for the first four hours are 1) We never see Martian Manhunter in his Martian form, no doubt for budget reasons, and 2) Kevin Conroy's Batman. Now, Kevin Conroy does fantastic with the material, but the material is...eh. Now, my issue with this is different than most other people's. Whereas most other people seem mad that this is what Kevin Conroy's live action debut of Batman is, my issue is that this is what Batman's debut in the Arrowverse is. Like, I know everyone knows who Batman is, but I think we still should have seen a regular version of the Dark Knight at least once before seeing this evil counterpart.
I think Part Four did a great job of being of the same quality of as the first half of the crossover, helping to explain the origins of both the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor while showing how the Paragons (the seven destined to save the Multiverse) plus Spectre!Oliver (oh yeah, he dies and becomes Spectre. Totally forgot to mention that, sorry) set everything right. *Sigh* I'm afraid I can't say the same for Part Five. I like Part Five, but I think this is where cracks really start showing themselves, as a consequence of this crossover's ambition. I shall list all of my gripes.
- Ezra Barry's cameo isn't explained. As awesome as it was that they brought in something from the friggin' DCEU, the viewer will agree with Grant Barry when he says 'How is this happening, the multiverse is gone!'. I think it should've fallen on the shoulders of the finale to explain this, but NOPE. No explanation given. The scene is still great, but they really need to explain it later down the line; even then, the fact they didn't do so here is baffling to me.
- No Routh Superman to help in the final battle. That did really let me down, as his version really blew me away, but for reasons I'll get to later, I can begrudgingly accept this.
- But then there are the other characters absent for no good reason. We see that the Earths of 1 and 38 have merged, but we still don't see several characters from the first three parts. Iris, Cisco, Elongated Man, John Constantine, and Brainiac 5 are nowhere to be seen. Cisco's absence is especially glaring because we later see characters at S.T.A.R. Labs working on a device, yet he's absent with no explanation. Elongated Man, Constantine, and Brainiac 5 all could've helped out in the final battle (It's not clear if Cisco kept his powers after the Monitor restored them), but they are not there.
- I understand that J'onn costs money in his Martian form, but in the true final battle, they actually have him in the suit but with his human face until the end, where he contorts it back into the green face we all know. That honestly just felt lazy.
- For what is technically an episode of 'Legends of Tomorrow', the Legends aren't really a presence aside from White Canary. Ray Palmer helps build the device that defeats the Anti-Monitor for good, and Mick Rory has a big role to play fighting a foe that I'll get to next, but Steel just shows up for one scene, as does Ava Sharpe, and as said before, Constantine is absent. Since I don't watch Lo T, I had to look it up, and it seems that characters named Nora, Behrad, Mona, and Charlie are also absent.
- Beebo. Now, I love me some Beebo. I love watching his big scene on You Tube. It is memetically my favorite moment in the Arrowverse. But when he appears he, it is pure filler. FILLER. IN THIS MASSIVE CROSSOVER. I wondered if the Anti-Monitor was behind his appearance somehow, but it's Sargon the Sorcerer instead. They truly did Beebo dirty by making his appearance filler.
- And another thing...Wild Dog and John Diggle in the final battle? Really? I have nothing against their characters, but as stated before, there were others that could have helped. The in-universe heroes really picked Wild Dog and John Diggle over Constantine, Steel, Elongated Man, and Brainiac 5? Come on.
- Black Lighting, Mick Rory, and Killer Frost have to defend S.T.A.R. Labs during the final battle, so at least their absences from the confrontation with the Anti-Monitor are explained. However, I'll end my list of gripes with a minor nitpick: When Black Lighting finally appears, he just shows up out of nowhere to save the other two. He says that J'onn let him know what was going on, but it really does feel like 'Oh by the way, Black Lightning's Earth merged with 1 and 38'.
Despite all of this, there is still some good about the final part: We see everyone accepting that Oliver Queen is gone for good; there's a sweet scene of Batwoman hanging out at Kara's apartment, and while others may overlook this, I think it's just a nice way of building up the friendship between Batwoman and Supergirl; the President of the United States gives a really good speech honoring the heroes and the late Oliver Queen; Supergirl and the others having to accept that they live on the same Earth is honestly fun to watch; Marv Wolfman, who worked on the original COIE, has a great cameo; Lex Luthor, who helped create the new universe, is a Villain With Good Publicity, BIG TIME, which is so Lex Luthor; the JUSTICE LEAGUE is formed at the end (consisting of Barry, Supergirl, J'onn, Black Lighting, Superman, Batwoman, and White Canary, with a seat for Oliver to honor him), with music from SUPER FRIENDS and a shoutout to Gleek the Space Monkey of all characters; and lastly, the Multiverse is restored. We see the Titans and Reeve/Routh Earths restored (I presume the others were restored as well, because it would be dumb if they weren't), and we see the Earths of Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and Stargirl. The Doom Patrol dancing around on their Earth is honestly hilarious (I keep meaning to watch the show). We even see a Green Lantern Earth, though right now it's unclear if it's the 2011 film or the upcoming HBO Max show; I presume it's the latter and they just re-used footage from the movie, but we'll see.
Stargirl and Swamp Thing do raise questions, however. I personally thought Stargirl would become the new Earth-38, as there HAS to be an Earth-38, but instead, it's the new Earth-2, and Swamp Thing is Earth-19. This is huge. The original Earth-2, as the home of Zoom, Jesse Quick, Black Siren, and Harry Wells, was important to The Flash and Arrow in particular, and the fates of all of them (remember, Zoom became Black Flash) is unclear and makes me anxious for all of them. Earth-19 was the home of HR Wells and Gypsy, and I'd say Swamp Thing could be reconciled with this pre-established Earth, except Earth-19 had very much of an alternate history. These two designations raise a bunch of questions. It also seems as if characters aren't supposed to know that the multiverse is still around, which is the reason I begrudgingly accept Routh Superman being absent from the second half until the end.
So, what are my final ratings. I give a 9.5/10 to the first four hours and a 7/10 to the final part. This crossover is a real treat for DC fans. Give it a watch if you can - just know that the finale falters a bit compared to the parts that preceded it.
If there is one thing that Crisis knows how to do, itís get your hopes up.
The crossover got off to a pretty strong start, having the fall run of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl to set it up. The first three episodes work more than well enough to establish the Anti-Monitor as a multiversal threat and establish the stakes by killing off Oliver (and then setting him up to come back in a big way as the Spectre) and eventually destroying Earth-1, the last remnant of the multiverse, in the climax of the crossover. Unfortunately, this is where the quality starts to drop. The last two episodes are full of pointless plots and fridge logic that makes you question why virtually anything is happening, since there is absolutely no payoff - Oliver becomes the Spectre, only to die again in the exact same way he did the first time. Barry meets his Ezra Miller counterpart, which has no bearing on the story and simply wastes viewersí time. Not-quite-Atom talks to the Mar Novu for all of two seconds, and somehow talks him out of becoming the Monitor, though some other Mar Novu becomes the Monitor anyway and the Anti-Monitor still exists. We see several more battles against the Shadow Demons, which really just kind of look flashy and never actually make you worry about the heroes. Then the Anti-Monitor gets blown up with some sort of shrink-bomb, which was developed as a plan roughly ten minutes beforehand. The first half of the final hour is devoted almost entirely to either fighting Beebo (yeah, they took time out of Crisis for fucking BEEBO) or establishing that the heroes are all on a new Earth-Prime which serves as Earth-1 and Earth-38 combined, when they couldíve been building up the not-quite-done conflict with the Anti-Monitor or be doing more than reminding us that Oliver is dead (again!) despite never concretely proving the fact.
And this doesnít even cover everything that they didnít do. By the end, we have no idea how the Anti-Monitor came to be (after his creation at the hands of the Monitor was alluded to in the climax) or what happened to Mia, Constantine, most of Team Flash, William, and Connor. Most of the Legends sit the Crossover out for reasons unclear. The list goes on.
In short, the Crisis is good at building up to the grandiose conflict. The stakes are palpable by the start of the third hour, and even more so by the end of that same hour. But everything that comes after is pretty much just letdown after letdown, two hours of which leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth and one burning thought - ďThatís it? Really?Ē
The silver lining is that the remainder of the 2019-20 seasons have time to explore the fallout of Crisis. There is an opportunity for Barry and Nash to have immense survivorís guilt for the rest of the Flash a Season 6 over the events of Crisis - the former now that he knows the full extent of Oliverís sacrifice, the latter knowing he unleashed the Anti-Monitor. Lex being in a seat of power will be interesting for the rest of this season of Supergirl. Itís unclear how exactly Arrow is planning on closing, and Legends and Batwoman probably wonít be too affected, given that the former hates crossovers for some reason and the nature of Crisis will be out-of-place for the latter, especially as it tries to come into its own on the network.
But given the magnitude and quantity of letdowns weíve previously seen from the Arrowverse, no more apparent than in Crisis itself or any Season 4 (literally any Season 4 from the four shows in Crisis that have made it that far), itís not hard to imagine that the writers can and may very well screw this up too.
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