The iconic Silver Age Superman (first portrayed by Christopher Reeve and then later Brandon Routh) of the films had perhaps the most tragic life of the ones shown. Following the “Kingdom Come” story line, Lois and the rest of her coworkers were killed when the Joker attacked the Daily Planet. The strange thing about this franchise is that when Superman Returns came along, it was intended to ignore and replace Superman III as the follow-up to Superman II; however, this episode confirms that both are canon. Not only does Superman mention his son Jason (from Routh's Superman Returns), but also turning evil and fighting himself (from Reeve's Superman III).
There is only one Batman in the episode—but when it comes to Kevin Conroy portraying the Caped Crusader, no more are needed. While he is the actor who has voiced Batman for nearly 30 years in Batman: The Animated Series and its numerous spin-offs, this is not the same Batman as that universe. As interesting as it is to see the Batman who broke and became a murderer, it felt a bit disappointing to see Conroy as a villain. I really hope we see him again as another iteration of the character, one we can root for because he is a hero.
I noticed this last night, but it became even more apparent with the second episode. There is some amazing storytelling going on with the music in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Not only are we getting the return of iconic characters, but the music cues from their themes are being incorporated into this. John William's Superman music and Danny Elfman's Batman music is being woven together with all the other music so well that one would almost think these characters' themes always belonged together.
Not to say that I was let down by the ending of this episode, but after the surprising conclusion of last night's episode, I expected a little more. We got our first look at the Anti-Monitor, which was fun. His entrance was great, but he did not do anything. You would think that his arrival would bring something shocking like the destruction of a major universe.
As with my previous review, this may help keep track of the various universes and franchises that are being depicted in the TV event. The new additions from this episode are in bold:
- Earth-1: Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Vixen
- Earth-2 (Destroyed)
- Earth-9: Titans show on DC Universe
- Earth-16: The alternate future from Legends of Tomorrow (2046) with The Dark Knight Returns-inspired Oliver
- Earth-18: Jonah Hex is in possession of a Lazarus Pit
- Earth-38 (Destroyed): Supergirl
- Earth-66: Batman TV show (1966), Batman: The Movie
- Earth-74: The Legends of Tomorrow have retired except for one who died (presumably Captain Cold as he is now the voice of their ship's computer)
- Earth-75: The Superboy show from the 80s
- Earth-89: Batman movies: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin
- Earth-90: The Flash (1990)
- Earth-96: Superman movies: Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Supergirl (1984), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Superman Returns
- Earth-99: Kevin Conroy's evil Batman
- Earth-167: Smallville
- Earth-X: Crisis on Earth-X, Freedom Fighters: The Ray