The Crisis On Infinite Earths story to be featured in the upcoming seasons of the Arrowverse shows will air as a five-hour event spread over two quarters. The story is the title of this year’s crossover event of the CW superhero shows, inspired by the 1985-1986 comics saga of the same name.
Crossovers have been a staple of the Arrowverse ever since The CW began adding new shows to its shared universe of series. The tradition began with Flash vs Arrow in 2014, which saw Team Arrow and Team Flash join forces to help each other, respectively, take on Captain Boomerang and Rainbow Raider (aka Chroma). The scope of the events has increased annually as new shows were added to the universe, peaking with 2017’s Crisis On Earth-X that wrangled characters from each of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow in a four-part story that disregarded precisely which show each episode was technically a part of. While last year’s Elseworlds didn’t include the latter of the four due to a timeline shift temporarily turning the team into remorseless killers, its events still had wide-reaching ramifications that will ultimately play out as part of Crisis On Infinite Earths.
The information that Crisis On Infinite Earths will be “5 hours over 2 quarters” was revealed at The CW’s Upfronts Presentation, where network president Mark Pedowitz detailed to advertisers what can be expected from the new and renewed shows. The statement was featured on a poster displayed at the gathering and posted on ComicBook, showing the heroes from each show looking suitably serious.
The original comics Crisis On Infinite Earths was a crossover that involved practically the entire DC canon, featuring heroes recruited from across time and space to battle the Anti-Monitor, a nigh-omnipotent being from a universe of antimatter, who travelled from one universe to another destroying them, with the intent of ultimately becoming the sole ruler of all reality. The intent of the series was to streamline the DC continuity, which had become large and unwieldy due to so many conflicting universes into events on a single Earth. It was also something of a turning point, featuring the deaths of Supergirl and the Flash, the former partly as a result of the poor reception of the at-the-time recently released movie starring Helen Slater.
The “five hours” part of the statement is straightforward enough, referring to the five shows over which the story will take place, specifically one episode from each of the four current Arrowverse shows, plus one more from the debuting Batwoman. “Two quarters” is less specific, but most likely means that the crossover will not end with the upcoming seasons, but will act as the season finales (or in the case of Arrow, series finale) of some shows, and subsequently being completed as a part of the others. It’s most likely to be a three and two permutation, with the latter being Legends of Tomorrow, as its season 5 is to air as a midseason replacement, and Batwoman, as it makes sense for a new status quo for the Arrowverse to be established during its newest addition. The exact airing schedule for the Arrowverse crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths should become clearer as we get closer to the event.