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“Elseworlds” Is a Fantastic Installment to the Yearly Crossovers and Sets Up a Crisis

Holy crap we are actually getting Crisis on Infinite Earths. I am so excited we are getting it next year but let’s talk about this year’s crossover “Elseworlds” because it was all really rad and pretty on par with what we have come to expect from the annual crossovers. Which means it was completely bonkers and just an all around blast to watch and ingest. I mean let’s rattle of some really cool things that happened: the Smallville theme song, Barry shooting Oliver with crossbows, Amazo, the Justice League team up. That was all just in the first episode and it managed to get even more insane from that point on. It is easy for this entire premise to get bogged down in the sheer wackiness of being an Elseworlds story, but somehow and some way it just managed to work because of the premise and not in spite of it. So, let’s dive in because this was a fun one.

Let’s talk about what managed to work really well, the chemistry between Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin, and Melissa Benoist was great as always and without the Legends being involved it was a much tighter plot. I mean part one get an idea of what the hell is going on, part two drastically up the stakes and introduce fun new bits, part three wrap up and set up next year. All three actors played their roles with unique twists which I guess is part of the whole rewriting reality thing. Oliver being funny and lighthearted, Barry threatening to break a guys neck and go full broody, and Kara just being along for the ride and centering both of them. Kara definitely played a very important role in stabilizing the entire show and reminding Barry and Oliver who they are and why they do what they do. I know we got basically two whole episodes of Barry and Oliver swap, but I would have liked just a teeny bit more instead of them becoming The Trigger Twins for most of part three.

Speaking of cool bits there were just so many, but I want to focus on four characters Superman, Batwoman, The Monitor, and Doctor Destiny. First off how great is Tyler Hoechlin as Clark. I mean he has everything with the charm, the modesty, and the clear understanding of who Clark Kent is as a person and not just a hero. It is so easy to write Clark as a one note character, but here and know with Clark getting married and having a kid he feels so fleshed out and that is all Hoechlin. Then you have most of part three where he has to play Doctor Destiny being Black Suit Superman. There just aren’t enough words to show how badly I want him and Lois to have their own show, especially with Lex showing up later this season on Supergirl. Just amazing work all around.

Of course Ruby Rose also deserves some great praise for her work as Kate Kane/ Batwoman. Though she didn’t get nearly as much time as Hoechlin’s Superman she managed to be a great facsimile of the best components of Kate and Bruce from the comics. What really interested me about her was that she felt more like Dick after Battle for The Cowl than Kate, but I am guess that will all come with time. She managed to look great in the suit and certainly gave off a Bat Family aura. I do however wish that she had gotten her own big moment in the Arkham set piece. While her entrance was top notch I would have preferred her putting everyone back in their cell rather than Oliver simply speeding them back. I didn’t feel like she was a total Bat yet, but we are definitely on the right track.

As for The Monitor and Doctor Destiny they unfortunately left a little to be desired in terms of being the big bads of this entire affair. Granted, as it turns The Monitor was a set up for next year and LaMonica Garrett did some excellent work portraying him as an uninterested god who is simply looking for worthy beings to stop what we are to assume is The Anti-Monitor. I do however wish that he would have been more involved in challenging the heroes instead of silly leaving everything up to Doctor Destiny. The prequel with earth-90 was very misleading in that way, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing what he does during Crisis. Doctor Destiny on the other hand was very under developed up until he became Black Suit Superman. I know how great Jeremy Davies is as an actor: Dickie Bennett on Justified, Baldur in God of War, he can knock it out of the park with very little and he does his best with Destiny. Here however, he came off as a very whiny and overcompensating weakling. I know on some level that was the writers choice of direction with the character, but damn if I didn’t want one actual crazy Jeremy Davies ranting speech. Still solid if not great work overall from both of them.

Where the villains left something to be desired the action was top notch throughout all three parts. The Amazo fight, The Arkham prison break, Superman vs Black Suit Superman. All of them had some unique choreography or added something to their characters whether it being Superman saving the helicopter or Barry and Oliver fighting their innermost demons due to Scarecrow gas. They were just plain fun to watch and I can wait to see how big we go next year.

Really I know how much work these crossovers mush be for the cast and crews of these shows, but they are just so much fun each time and I can’t wait to see what they do with Crisis and who dies. Because in Crisis unfortunately someone has to die and it is going to be a doozy.

Final Grade A-

+Excellent work from all the leads

+Great work from both Rose and Hoechlin as Kate and Clark

+Action was fantastic

+Gotham was unique

+So many cool easter eggs

+Crisis is coming

-Little to be desired from The Monitor and Doctor Destiny as villains

Extra Thoughts/Easter Eggs

-Part 1: The hallway talk joke was great and Barry remarking “Felicity invented quarterbacking” cut way deep.

-The Smallville theme drop when going to earth-38 may have given me the most joy out of all the little bits that were dropped. I miss Smallville.

-Barry getting back at Oliver for shooting him in the back over four years ago and Oliver saying “You have failed this city” are close runners up for moments of the episode.

-Part 2: As great as it was to see the 1990’s Barry Allen: Holy Crap Diggle is/was a Green Lantern on earth-90

-Arkham inmates include: Nora and Victor Fries (Mr. Freeze), The Penguin (Oswald Cobblepot), The Riddler (Edward Nygma), Clayface (Basil Karlo), Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley), Scarecrow (Johnathan Crane), Doctor Destiny, and Psycho Pirate. Even without The Joker, Batwoman will have a lot of enemies to deal with if her show moves forward.

-So Bruce allegedly just peaced out three years ago and Kate is just trying to keep the city together until he comes back. Also Bruce does exist on earth-38 so there is at least one Batman out there.

-Part 3: Oliver made a deal with The Monitor to save Barry and Kara. Smart money is on him dying in Crisis next year.

-I want to believe that the Gary who showed up tonight is completely aware of how bad reality is messed up and silly wanted to hang with Ollie and Barry.

-Brainiac 5 and Martian Manhunter both show up with Lois. Lois managed to be more helpful than both of them and Brainiac 5 fought an Amazo. Good on Lois for always being a badass no matter the earth.

About the author

Scott Swartz