This week the CW Network has been running their historic “Heroes vs Aliens” mega-event to much fanfare. The ambitious four-series crossover began in the final moments of Monday’s Supergirl episode, “Medusa,” and will continue through tonight’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow.
The week-long event is centered around an invasion of extra-terrestrials known as the Dominators. The mind-controlling aliens first appeared on Tuesday’s episode of The Flash, which spurred Barry Allen to assemble a team of super-powered friends, including Supergirl and the primary casts of the other three CW/DC shows, to battle the unknown intergalactic forces.
It seems that the Invasion! storyline has been effective and there is nothing more suited to comic book material than superheroes battling aliens. However, don’t get too comfortable with the Dominators, or any other alien invasions happening again in the near future for Arrow, The Flash, or Legends of Tomorrow. Recently at a screening for the crossover event, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained the CW Universe’s methodology and specifically how “each of the shows has their own identity.”
“It feels like every show has sort of doubled down on what it’s about. With Arrow, we’ve really returned more to the sort of gritty crime drama that it originally was. There’s so many echos in this season to the earlier seasons. The Flash has the metahumans and Legends of Tomorrow has time travel and Supergirl doubled down on the alien aspect. I think that’s what makes the shows feel different so that you’re not watching four hours of the same stuff every week. You’re really getting a different flavor and a different world. Whereas, now that possibility’s opened, that because they have all faced aliens, there’s certainly no plans to have an ongoing or bring up an alien storyline on Arrow. That really feels like the purview of Supergirl.”
In Tuesday’s episode of The Flash, Olivier Queen put it best when talking to Jax, “One sci-fi problem at a time.” For the average viewer, they are only willing to take one, maybe two, large leaps of logic an episode. This issue seemed to first arise with Arrow, which seemed to lose its direction when it began to focus on magic and romance, over the street-level vigilante action that initially made the show a hit. There is something to be said about keeping things simple.
In Supergirl there have been multiple storylines – that are full of subtext – about the integration of aliens into Earth-38’s modern society. Including secret underground alien fight clubs, Martian Manhunter’s personal struggle with being the last survivor of his species, even the president of the United States is secretly an alien. In fact, the show largely takes place within the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, or D.E.O, so it’s only natural that Supergirl would be the home to future alien invasions stories.
Unfortunately for fans, these mega-crossover events will probably only happen once a season. However, each show having its particular niche in the superhero world will effectively create a diverse lineup each week, that could extend the storytelling for each individual show. While also keeping the stakes high if aliens do return in future crossovers. It will be interesting to see where the CW Universe goes from here.
The Invasion! crossover event will conclude tonight with Legends of Tomorrow on The CW at 8pm.