After a year of waiting, the CW’s Crisis On Infinite Earths has finally arrived and things have started off with a bang. In the opening minutes of the first episode, of five, we caught glimpses to Tim Burton’s Batman, DC Universe’s Titans (big surprise here), and a hysterical run-in with Robin from the Adam West Batman days. It was clear that Crisis is here not only to serve us a massive story but also to tickle the nostalgia button. An event this big dealing with the multiverse should unite a number of different DC properties and in that regard, it works really well. DC Comics is well known for its multiverses and this event really allows the audience to immerse themselves in this crazy big, generation-spanning sandbox. There is literally something for everyone here and that makes it exciting. Who knows what kind of doors this could open to other DC properties. That’s always the point of event comics, to introduce the audience to more of the larger universe then they’re used to spending time in.
With that being said though, there is still a universe that needs direct attention. Crisis On Infinite Earths can be a lot of things but it has to be more than nostalgia. Seeing characters from Smallville on the screen again is awesome and a reminder that that show could be the greatest live-action Superman ever, but what about the characters this event centers on? What about the Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Green Arrow? At the end of the day, it’s the Arrowverse that needs to be serviced the most from this event. Crisis isn’t here to repair the damaged DCEU. I believe that’s Wonder Woman’s job… or Shazam!. Maybe the Rock? Doesn’t matter. If anything Crisis, much like the comic that inspired it, should be about making the universe a tad bit more compact. Like Alan Tudyk said in Knocked Up, “tighter”. But the main focus should be on the characters we’ve been following since we got our first look at Lian Yu seven years ago.
In that regard, I think Crisis has already failed this crossover.
Listen, there was no doubt that Oliver Queen was dying during this event. The writing was very much on the wall as he made a deal with the Monitor to sacrifice himself to save Barry and Supergirl. With his show ending, Oliver’s daughter looking to take the mantle, these remaining Green Arrow episodes should be about securing his legacy. Not only to his show but the universe the CW built around him. Having him get taken off by a bunch of space dementors, off-screen with the Monitor telling us of his bravery instead of the show actually showing us, devoid of an emotional impact was a bit… well, it was lame. Oliver Queen deserved better.
Sure, let’s make the argument that there are still three episodes of this massive event to look forward to along with three episodes of Arrow remaining and this is a comic book story. No one ever stays dead in comic books, except you Uncle Ben. Never come back! I have zero doubt that Oliver Queen will return to us so he gets the proper sendoff he deserves which makes this death miss the mark even further. If Oliver Queen is to die, and I believe he will before all is said and done, then it should be on his show. It should be emotional. Diggle should be there. Felicity should be there. William, his daughter, the whole gang should be there. His moving on should be a celebration, not something thrown into an event for shock value. If the plan is for Oliver to return and die later then what’s the point here? You’re negating all the emotional impact of the moment because you wanted people talking. They were going to talk anyway without you pulling the shock value card.
If this happens to be Oliver’s actual death then, wow, consider me underwhelmed. Who thought this was the right call? Granted, Oliver fights (by himself) to help save another billion lives which is a great moment for him. He’s a hero and he’s willing to sacrifice it all to save the people of this world. Too bad we didn’t get to see it. We see him run head on to danger before appearing on table bleeding and dying. We get the Arrowverse’s attempt to recreate “I love you three thousand” with “keep me in your hearts” and then dead. Gone. Just like that. Like what the hell?! Show me Oliver fighting. Give me a dramatic score. Put something in slow motion. Show me, Oliver, laying it all on the line. Show me the sacrifice. Remind us why we’ve cared about this character for eight seasons. Don’t give him the chump treatment. Don’t treat your audience this way this isn’t a Zack Snyder film.
As fun as Crisis On Infinite Earths has been these first two episodes, I can’t help but feel that they dropped the ball here with their most important character. None of this happens without Oliver Queen and for him to be taken out off-screen by space dementors is not the ending he deserved. No matter how Crisis ends up, I worry that the CW has bungled its handling of the Green Arrow. I could be completely wrong and these remaining episodes of the crossover and Arrow can fully redeem these events, but right now I’m feeling ripped off by an event that should be nothing but payoffs. And that certainly feels lame.