“Even in the darkest times, hope cuts through. Hope is the light that lifts us out of darkness.” This is the explanation that Brandon Routh's Superman gives for his Kingdom Come-based logo in the latest episode of the crossover event. It perfectly encapsulates what Superman represents. As the continuation of Christopher Reeve's Superman, this hearkens back to Jor-El's powerful line, “They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.” Superman Returns may not be the most popular of films (nor my favorite); however, I appreciate that it allowed Routh to bring the Silver Age Superman back to life in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
But '70s Superman is not the only revitalized hero to get his moment to shine. John Wesley Shipp had the opportunity to give his '90s Flash the sendoff he deserved. As teased in the very first episode of the current Flash show, we knew that the Flash was destined to die in Crisis. We just did not know which Flash. Shipp's Flash flipped the script and saved his Earth-1 counterpart's life by sacrificing his own. Bringing these legacy characters back brings a whole new weight to Crisis on Infinite Earths that is extremely necessary in a live-action adaptation.
His death became an interesting catalyst for a friendship between Black Lightning and Flash who bond over their losses. Cress Williams has been doing a great job on Black Lightning, but he knocks it out of the park in Crisis. When the dust settles after the crossover, I hope this relationship continues.
So far in this season of The Flash, Tom Cavanagh's Harrison Wells iteration was Nash Wells—an adventurer who unwittingly freed the Anti-Monitor. As punishment for this, he has become Pariah and must watch as the Anti-Monitor destroys each universe. The problem is that the Nash persona is completely superfluous. Nash and Pariah are so opposite that they feel like completely different characters and since the entire transformation happened off screen, they should have just omitted Nash and started with him as pariah.
When it comes to the Anti-Monitor, he finally did something more than just emerge from the shadows. It is hard not to compare his actions to Thanos in Infinity War now that his plan is finally in action. Of course, this being the final episode before the hiatus means that it has to end on a cliffhanger. Now that the only survivors from the positive matter multiverse are the seven members of the Justice League - I mean the “Seven Paragons” - the two-part conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths will start in a similar place to Avengers: Endgame. At least this time, we only need to wait a month for the resolution.
As with my previous review, this may help keep track of the universes and franchises. The new additions from this episode are in bold:
- Earth-1: Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Vixen
- 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: 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-203: Birds of Prey (2002)
- Earth-666: Lucifer
- Earth-X: Crisis on Earth-X, Freedom Fighters: The Ray
- Earth-?: We do not know what the designation of Black Lightning's Earth is, but it was destroyed in this week's episode of Black Lightning
- Every positive matter universe across all of existence has been destroyed. The anti-matter universe and the Vanishing Point (the former base of the Time Masters from Legends of Tomorrow) are all that exist.