Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2 was a stronger installment than the kick-off episode. In part it was because Part 2 opted to honor the spirit of the comic source material instead of adapting it step by step on a TV budget. And secondly the episode focused more on Crisis than events currently playing out in Batwoman.
If there was a weak point in Part 1 it was too much time was spent on Supergirl’s supporting cast and not enough on Crisis. Granted, her Earth was destroyed, but it felt like a sidebar to how everyone on Team Supergirl was feeling. Clearly the crossover logistics must be a nightmare, but it’s so odd to not have any mention of J’onn, Brainiac, Alex or Lena since they were so integral in the first installment. And the absence of Pariah was also very weird.
This episode got off to a weird start with Sara trying to pour one out for Oliver with Kara and Kate. One of the tricky aspects of Crisis and Batwoman is the writers’ efforts to make her seem like a key player when she’s been around for less time than Nora Allen. Her lack of interaction with the other heroes besides an episode in Elseworlds also hurts.
Forcing Batwoman to A-list hero status within Crisis is definitely going to be rough at times especially given Ruby Rose’s clear chemistry with Melissa Benoist. I wonder if The CW would consider canceling Batwoman and Superwoman and doing a World’s Finest show instead. They play off each other well enough, but their lack of interaction is the only thing holding this bond back. With a Superman spin-off in the works it could be a way to not have the exact same Superman/Supergirl dynamic on two shows.
In another weird logistics issue, Lyla hasn’t told Diggle about Oliver’s death yet. This would become moot by the end of the episode, but it’s not the kind of thing Lyla would do even if she hid working for an alien secret for years.
Sara breaks the fourth wall again by saying she promised her crew they wouldn’t have to do another crossover. Don’t worry the best members of the team do show up eventually. Lyla grabs one residing on Earth-74 as Rory is holding down the fort with his Waverider’s Gideon actually having Snart’s voice. That was a cool Easter Egg and a way to work in Captain Cold. One gripe. I wish this Rory wore more of his Heat Wave costume instead of looking just like the Earth-1 version.
The Monitor gathers the small group of Superman, Supergirl, Lois, Batwoman, The Flash, Ray, Sara, Mia and Rory to tell them seven paragons are in the Multiverse that could turn the tide against the Anti-Monitor. Baby Jon keeps interrupting The Monitor’s big spiel complete with halting the music until Rory held him. This felt like a Legends moment and it worked even with the payoff gag of Rory reading his novel to keep Jon calm.
Naturally, Kara and Sara are two of the paragons since they have their own shows or lead them. Monitor tells them of a Batman that exists in the future and a Kryptonian who’s lost more than any other. Before she heads out, Kara learns Monitor resurrected Lex Luthor. In a win for character logic, Kara questions how he could bring back Lex and not Oliver. The Anti-Monitor is draining The Monitor’s power preventing him from tapping into that ability. That’s all we need and I’m glad that question and answer was given.
- Marvel Legends Black Widow wave up for pre-order
- DC Multiverse Red Robin figure review
- The Mandalorian: Chapter 5 – The Gunslinger review S1 E5
- The Irishman review
Mia wants to bring back Oliver with the Book of Destiny, but Barry has another plan and tells Iris he’s going to an Earth with a Lazarus Pit. Both of these ideas actually made a lot of sense. Of course Lex goes rogue and grabs the Book of Destiny to go through the Multiverse killing Supermen. That checks out as solid character logic too. Iris brings up The Monitor already botched one call so maybe his prediction that Barry will die in Crisis is wrong too. Let’s give it up for the writing team for actually having the characters thinking and acting logically throughout the episode in a way that’s consistent with their regular portrayal.
Meet the Bat
Kate takes Kara with her to Earth-99 where an edgier Luke Fox greets them. Well, opens the door and gives them heckuva an attitude is more accurate. This was a fun twist for the normally super geeky Luke. Kate is shocked to find a much older Bruce (Kevin Conroy!) walking in an exo-skeleton.
If Crisis didn’t do anything else right it was giving us this moment of Conroy on screen providing Batman dialogue. On his Earth he stopped playing nice and started killing his villains. The trophy case looks to have a mix of Nolan-verse and Burton/Schumacher Batman paraphernalia. Kara stops at the broken glasses and Luke tells her that Bruce killed Superman, who was the one who put him in the exo-skeleton.
Bruce tries to kill Kara with Kryptonite pods in his power suit, but Kate stops him accidentally electrocuting him. I know seeing Conroy’s Batman in action was a big ask, but I still wanted to see him around for longer than one episode.
Death of the Supermen
Clark and Lois travel to Earth-75, but Lex beats them and kills Superman giving us a cute homage to Death of Superman. They don’t have much more luck on Earth-167 as they travel to a Smallville farm and begin talking to Clark (Tom Welling!) before Lex teleports them away. In a great bit, Lex blows off the notion that Clark on his Earth is actually Superman. He goes to kill Clark, but learns he gave up his powers to be a father. Lex won’t kill him since he took all the fun out of it and disappears just as Lois arrives. This was a nice scene and fun Smallville moment although it’s really easy to see how this could have included the Smallville Luthor as well.
On Earth-96, Clark, Lois and Iris meet a new Clark that Iris notices looks exactly like Ray Palmer. I’m glad that wasn’t ignored almost as glad I am that Brandon Routh got to suit up as Superman again. This Superman sticks very closely to the Kingdom Come origin as The Joker killed Clark’s friends at the Daily Planet including Lois, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and even Ron Troupe! He’s down to join the team when Lex arrives and decides to mix up his earlier fun and have a Superman kill a Superman.
This is clearly where the budget went for this episode and it delivered a very fun clash of the titans fight reminiscent of the Kingdom Come clash of Superman and Captain Marvel/Shazam. And the KC Superman actually had red heat vision. I wonder if this emotion controlling moment was the homage to Psycho Pirate, who is still oddly absent. Lois smartly just clocks Lex and with Iris’ help they get KC Superman to fight off Luthor’s influence.
KC Superman gets introduced to Jon and says he looks just like his son Jason. Interesting.
Getting back on target
Mia spoils the plan and tells Sara their intentions to bring Oliver back. Seeing as how the Legends regularly screw with reality and time Sara’s not in position to really say anything and joins the effort. To make sure the plan actually works they call in the last person to successfully resurrect someone using a Lazarus Pit — John Constantine.
They find the Lazarus Pit on Earth-18 and Sara and Mia end up fighting Jonah Hex over it. That wasn’t how I envisioned Hex’s cameo playing out as anyone who watches the Arrowverse knows a dude can’t beat a woman in a fight. Instead, it would have been fun to have Hex teaming up with them to fight off some shadow demons or something.
Barry praying during the seance is so Barry. Constantine can’t quite get Oliver’s spirit back into his body so for now he’s alive, but a rage monster. Well, baby steps John.
A new paragon
Lex is back in custody after fulfilling his purpose. I’m with Kara. That was pretty reckless of The Monitor to just let him kill Supermen.
Ray built a paragon detector, which seems a waste of time as all he had to do was ask who is the lead on a show. Shockingly Kate is the paragon of courage.
Kara and Kate have a drink. Kara encourages her as one of the bravest people she knows. Again, these really excellent Kate and Kara moments and Kara’s hype job would be so much more effective if Batwoman was around for more than a half season and a crossover. Kara has a new plan and wants to use the Book of Destiny to bring her Earth back. Kate considers that and pulls out one of the Kryptonite pods she nabbed from Future Bruce’s armor. I like it.
And now…The Anti-Monitor
Throughout the episode, Lyla was dealing with visions. In her latest she walks through STAR Labs and meets The Anti-Monitor. For the record, this design isn’t nearly as good as the comic version. A prune-faced villain trying to wipe out the universe is so 2018. I liked this episode more than Part 1, but the overall threat of Crisis didn’t seem as pressing as it did in the first installment.
Rating: 9.3 out of 10
The heroes trying to achieve their selfish desires adds a new touch to Crisis and the arrival of The Anti-Monitor now should definitely help them all refocus.
Photo Credit: The CW