I’ve been reading comics for over a quarter century, give or take. I still remember the Batman audio cassette-plus-comic that helped kickstart my love of superheroes. I remember watching the old Max Fleisher Superman cartoons with my brother. I remember getting older and being repeatedly disappointed by comic adaptations as I grew up. I could never have imagined the world of Marvel and DC movies and shows we’re in today. For the last few years, the CW has been ramping up its collection of comic book shows, giving us bigger and bigger crossovers. Now we’re just over a week away from the start of a crossover that makes Justice League and even the two Avengers movies look like an intimate brunch by comparison.
This new crossover, ‘Crisis on Earth-X,’ takes the Arrowverse to another dimension in the multiverse, where the Nazis won World War II. In this world, our beloved heroes are evil, with darker uniforms to match. The huge mass of heroes, which features the primary casts of all four shows – Supergirl, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow – makes the hop to Earth-X to help one of that dimension’s heroes fight the menace. That hero, The Ray, is getting his own animated series on CW’s free streaming service, CW Seed, with this crossover acting as his introduction.
Those superhero flicks I mentioned before are undoubtedly bigger in scale and budget. A few effects shots in one of those movies would probably pay for this entire four-hour, two-night crossover. But in terms of complexity, I think this comparatively small affair can give those movies a run for their money. As you can see in the gallery above, we’ll have shots that have almost 20 superhero characters, each requiring their own costume and, often, even special effects, in one shot. It’s a bit hard to wrap my head around the concept of getting all those actors into one place and getting something coherent out of it. Last year’s “Invasion!” crossover did a good job of making it work, and I’m exciting to see how the expanded cast and scale works this year.
‘Crisis oh Earth X’ begins on Monday, November 27, with Supergirl at 8 p.m. EST, followed by Arrow at 9 p.m. (a one-week shift for the show), and completes on Tuesday, November 28 with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow at 8 and 9 p.m. respectively. In the meantime, I’m going to keep trying to explain this to 8-year-old me, because he’s going to be pretty excited about it.