The 2017 Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow was set to be its biggest crossover event ever. I definitely think it was the best crossover we have had of the DC CW shows but was it as amazing as it was made out to be.
When it comes to all of these superheroes teaming up together, it’s vital that there is a big enough threat to warrant the team up. At first, I didn’t quite believe the threat of the gang’s doppelgängers as well as not really understanding their motivation for wanting to take over Earth 1. However the further I got into the crossover, the better it got. The change of dynamic with Earth X Oliver and Earth X Kara, the ‘fuhrer’ and the ‘general’, actually worked quite well and was believable that they were married. Especially seeing an evil Oliver Queen, it really led to intense moments and I really enjoyed seeing the coin flipped with Oliver being a bad guy. This was great in itself but to push it from great to awesome, we got the return of The Flash Season 1’s main villain, the Reverse Flash. Personally I think Season 1 of The Flash is still the best, so to see the return of a great villain was really awesome. We got to see the ‘original’ Harrison Wells be evil and menacing, and even sometimes terrifying. It also opened the possibility of him coming back with the proof that he isn’t dead and he really can time travel, leading to future implications for Barry especially.
The big 3 was always going to be Arrow, Flash and Supergirl, so it was important that they found the time to go into battle as just those 3 and it works really well. We really get to see each character in their prime and we even get some great character moments. Supergirl and the Flash waiting for Oliver to arrive and when he does, Oliver reminding them that he doesn’t have super speed was one great comedic moment. My personal favourite however, was Oliver firing a Kryptonite arrow at Earth X Supergirl. It was a great fanboy moment and really cemented Oliver’s place as the Batman of the Arrowverse.
It wasn’t just the main characters who got their time in the light. The side characters of each show were utilised extremely well with the likes of Felicity and Iris trying to save Supergirl. Everyone felt like they were an important part of the crossover. However the no show of Diggle was a bit strange, although could be explained by his ongoing injury and drama in Arrow. The biggest negative though, and a character who got very short changed was Cisco. Straight away Cisco gets knocked out in the opening battle and is then locked away in the cells. The reason for this, I’m presuming, is because he would be able to vibe earth to earth rendering episode 3 pretty pointless. It made sense for the story to continue the way it did, but it was unfortunate not seeing Cisco battle side by side with the other heroes through out the 4 episode arc..
An issue I have with the crossover is the minor storylines through out the 4 episodes. I just didn’t care about them. The crossover is meant to be all about the big picture and seeing these heroes battle a huge threat together. Full disclosure, I am not a fan of ‘Olicity’, so to see Oliver propose at Barry and Iris’ dinner, and Felicity getting all dramatic and loud about saying no, seemed really forced and trying to be dramatic for no reason. To then get married by the end of the Crossover was frankly ridiculous. If you’ve been watching Arrow you know that they got back together and were going nicely, so for this to happen all of a sudden, seemed really rushed. Another storyline I didn’t really care about was the Firestorm separation with Stein and Jax. For Legends fans, it obviously does mean more but they spent a lot of time foreshadowing what was going to happen when it was pretty obvious.. Especially considering it had been announced Stein would be leaving the show. Credit where credit is due though, the scene involving Stein and Jax giving him the separation chemical, to essentially kill Stein, was very intense and emotional. A good send off for a mediocre character.
Apart from the main cast, we got some really awesome throwbacks and new character appearances. The return of Tommy Merlin as Earth X’s Prometheus was fantastic to see and a great call back for long time Arrow fans. For comic book fans, the appearances of The Ray and the Red Tornado were also nice little nods. The success of this crossover really hinges on the massive team up of these characters and it works really well. Seeing them fight side by side is exciting to watch, even if there is some pretty bad VFX at times, yes, you Metallo. The crossover sets up the CW’s new animation show, which is based on The Ray and his team taking on Earth X’s villains, really well and has definitely peaked my interest in learning more about these characters, their backstories and Earth X.
The final battle was a great spectacle with all the heroes fighting each other. With Earth X’s Kara going supernova and essentially exploding, Earth X’s Oliver let his emotions run high and was defeated by our Oliver. Stephen Amell’s performance as Earth X’s Oliver was believable and great to see him play a different side to Oliver. It also really shows what Oliver could have been capable of if he hadn’t had his friends by his side to help him. It’s an interesting thought of what could have been.
The real reason this team up of heroes is so satisfying to watch is because we know them so well, and they each have their own show to build their characters. This is something that is vital to the success of the DC TV show universe and why the other big DC team up of the year, felt less satisfying. This year I’ve only been watching Flash and Arrow, but Supergirl and the Legends being in the crossover, didn’t feel out of place and I never felt I had missed something by not watching their shows. The greatest strength of the crossover is that you could almost watch it as a stand-alone without ever watching any of the shows.
DIAGNOSIS – MINOR SURGERY
This year’s crossover was definitely it’s best, especially considering Supergirl’s episode was actually part of it and not a little nod at the end like previous years. A justified threat and a really strong main storyline kept the Crossover fun and moving at a good pace, where we got to see most of the characters we love from each show. I just didn’t really care about the minor storylines and anytime ‘Olicity’ is mentioned I can’t help but roll my eyes