Crisis On Infinite Earths Episodes 1-3 Discussion

The first three parts of CW’s five-part Crisis On Infinite Earths event (officially comprising Supergirl, Batwoman, and The Flash) have passed, and Comics Horizon stalwarts Paul, Thomas, Danielle, and CJ are here to chew on what just happened. SPOILER ALERTS for all three episodes are in full effect!

How “prepared” were you for COIE? Have you read the original comic? Were you following rumors leading up to the broadcast?

Paul – I was only slightly aware of the original Crisis comic. I knew some of the high points, but I’ve never read the original book. I was hoping to have read it by now, but life happens. I am absolutely enjoying the crossover episodes so far.

I had been following some of the casting announcements and rumours. I thought some of them had to be false. (Lucifer; who actually thought that we would get Tom Ellis to appear?!) Plus, there have been so many surprises along the way. The Birds of Prey cameos were unexpected and a lot of fun.

Thomas – I’ve read the COIE comic before, but most of it left my memory as I turned the page. The cameo rumors got me progressively more hyped, as I’ve enjoyed the Arrowverse’s previous crossovers plenty and this is clearly CW batting for the fences in terms of casting fanservice.

Danielle – I didn’t read the comic, but know about it a bit. I loved all the cameo announcements and so far they have lived up to their hype! I especially loved the Smallville snippet! I think when they announced that, I knew I was going to like what they were doing, even with the shade thrown by that Lex Luthor.

CJ – I’d read bits and pieces of the original Crisis, but hadn’t tackled it all in one go. As more info started to trickle in about the casting, I got extremely hyped, especially when Tom Welling and Kevin Conroy were announced to be part of the event.

Three episodes in, are you coming back to finish the event in January?

Thomas – The January finale episodes, especially with the knowledge that additional cameos are being filmed now that this event’s getting so much positive buzz, feel like they’re a universe away.

Danielle – JANUARY!!?? Dang I did not know I had to wait that long. I am absolutely coming back. I have really enjoyed / gotten wrapped up in the crossover so far. I hope that it doesn’t lose steam due to the long break.

CJ – On the one hand it’s only a month. But on the other hand, given where Part III left off, I HAVE TO WAIT A MONTH. Rest assured, I will tune in for the finale.

Tune in again in January, same Bat time, same Bat channel!

What’s your favorite arc of the event? (Team Arrow, Kara/Kate, Team Flash, Lex…)

Thomas – Lex Luthor’s Multiversal Glass Jaw Tour is a definite highlight. Jon Cryer is quickly leaping to the top of my Lex portrayals list – he sells the smarminess so well.

Danielle – I have really enjoyed the search for the Paragons in general. I think teaming Iris up with some heroes so she can shine as a character has been an interesting choice, one I feel really paid off when finding Ryan Choi. The scene between them is one of my favorites and relatable on so many levels. Two non-powered people trying to save the multiverse gives us normal humans some hope. 

That being said, Brandon Routh back as Superman has been fantastic!! I literally screamed at my TV “Noooo” when episode 3 ended.

CJ – Kate and Kara’s budding friendship is an unexpected surprise. To see a character who works in darkness comforting a character who’s meant to be a beacon of hope is a reminder that for all the whiz bang, it’s the character dynamics that power these kinds of stories. Worlds Finest Forever!

Kara’s weak spot: the arm touch.

Any weak spots for you?

Paul – The introduction of Black Lightning felt a bit odd and like a last minute addition. I’m glad he’s there, I just wish he had a better introduction.

Thomas – The usual CW syndrome of people having to choke back tears as they breathily share their truths with one another may not be my favorite kind of dialog, but it got the team-ups established quickly (like with Barry and Jefferson). The fight with Anti-Monitor’s Dementors in the first episode is a little too goofy; everyone’s waving at the air for CGI baddies to get added in post. Not an easy sell!

Danielle – I am with Paul, Black Lightning is a badass and he felt like an afterthought. I also felt like Jefferson and Barry were the only ones allowed to be upset about losing people. I mean Ryan goes with the team after saying he needs to be with his wife at the end, then his earth disappears and they didn’t even give him the opportunity of a reaction shot.

CJ – I’m torn on the appearance of Smallville Clark. On the one hand, I felt like that was a decision his character would make, and it was a nice nod to the classic Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? arc. On the other hand, it would have been amazing if he joined the fight.

Lightning recognizes lightning.

Who do you want to appear before this is all over?

Thomas – Are we sure there’s not some way to dub over some cartoon footage (Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, what have you) and turn the animated skies red to add another dimension to the multiversal extinction? Also, I’ll be very surprised if the epilogue to this event doesn’t include at least a glimpse of Stargirl.

CJ – Diggle needs a Green Lantern ring! You can’t tease that and not pay it off!

Evacuate the city, engage all defenses, and get this man a ring!

What was your strongest reaction so far, and for what scene (cheers, tears, boos, snooze)?

Paul – The high points of the story so far have been the Kate/Kara relationship and Lex Luthor’s addition to the mix. I can’t say enough about how happy it makes me to hear and see Kevin Conroy as the killer Batman of Earth 99. His voice is so iconic.

Thomas – While I only ever saw like three episodes of the old Flash TV series, Flash-90’s swan song choked me up. Also, Katherine McNamara’s Mia Smoak character is slowly making me more comfortable with the impending Arrow spinoff – not because of any one moment, but she seems to fit the Arrowverse well in general.

Danielle – Absolutely the end of episode 3 when Routh’s Superman disappears, especially since I find this CW Superman a bit boring. I’m really enjoying all the cameos – even Will Wheaton’s was a lot of fun! I never saw the old Flash show, but I loved that touch with the old footage. Paying respect to those that came before in the DC universe has been a highlight.

CJ – Even though I knew it was coming, the death of Oliver Queen in episode 1 hit me hard. I’ve been with Arrow since the beginning, through all the ups and downs, and to see him surrounded by family and friends in his last moments ripped my heart to shreds. Flash-90’s death was also a heartbreaker – kudos to John Wesley Shipp for selling it.

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Thomas is a teen services librarian who reads way too many comics. He can be found gobbling pancakes at the nearest diner with Jessica Cruz, Forsythe Jones III, Jane Foster, and Hellboy. He reviews media for the public here and graphic novels for librarians at No Flying, No Tights.

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