Crisis on Infinite Earths could potentially lead to the formation of the Arrowverse's Justice League. A Crisis is coming to the Arrowverse, and it's set to the biggest event in the history of DCTV. In the words of Psycho-Pirate, "Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same again."
He's not exaggerating, either. The Flash season 6, episode 2 revealed that the Crisis has been sweeping through the Multiverse for a year now, with entire realities consumed in a devastating wave of antimatter. Horrifically, the Arrow season 8 premiere ended with the destruction of Earth-2, meaning fan-favorite characters like Jesse Quick and her father Harry were presumably killed. Most viewers are assuming that, as with the comics, the Crisis will ultimately simplify the Arrowverse by combining Arrow's reality with Supergirl's. Both Oliver Queen and Barry Allen are facing their imminent deaths, and while Flash will probably survive, Arrow is coming to an end - which likely means the Green Arrow really will pay the ultimate price to end the Crisis.
Crisis on Infinite Earths will clearly redefine the Arrowverse. Given that's the case, it's exciting to note that it could also introduce the Arrowverse's version of the Justice League.
The Justice League Have Been Set Up Post-Crisis
The Flash has been building up to the Crisis since the season 1 premiere, which foretold Barry Allen's death in 2024. The Flash season 5 introduced Barry's daughter from that future timeline, Nora, who'd grown up without her father and had traveled back in order to get a chance to know him. Nora stuck around for a while, and as a result she gave viewers a sense of what the future could have in store for the Arrowverse. One episode saw Nora make a throwaway reference to the Justice League, confirming that they should be a part of a post-Crisis timeline; in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it comment, Nora listed some of the various heroes who had pursued the metahuman serial killer Cicada. She named Supergirl, the Legion of Super Heroes, and "the League."
Of course, it's important to note that The Flash season 5 finale changed the timeline. The Crisis is now due to hit Earth-1 in 2019, five years early, and as a result Nora will never be born. It's possible that, in this adjusted timeline, the Justice League will never be formed either. And yet, the potential is clearly there - and it could even be an immediate consequence of the Crisis.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Could Form The Justice League
Arrowverse heroes have been teaming up for years now, and the most spectacular of these are crossover events like Invasion! and Crisis on Earth X. But this has always been on an ad hoc basis, rather than coordinated, and as a result it's tended to be reactionary. With the threats escalating in scale, it's past time for the various heroes to decide they need to be a little more proactive. They could even draw inspiration from the heroes of another reality, say the Smallville universe. Crisis on Infinite Earths features the return of Smallville's Tom Welling and Erica Durance, who are presumably reprising their roles of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. In that reality, heroes have been banding together for years. Although they never formally called themselves the "Justice League," anything could have happened in the years since. Thus it could well be that an encounter with the Justice League of another Earth inspires Earth-1 to create their own equivalent.
All this naturally raises the question of just who should be part of the Arrowverse's Justice League. It would likely incorporate a couple of series leads, namely Batwoman and the Flash; depending on the state of the Multiverse post-Crisis, it could also include the likes of Supergirl and Black Lightning. Meanwhile, many Arrowverse shows feature secondary characters who've been associated with various incarnations of the Justice League; the list includes the likes of Killer Frost, the Atom, the Elongated Man, the Martian Manhunter, and of course Tyler Hoechlin's Superman himself. There could even still be a Green Arrow, if Oliver Queen's daughter sticks around in the present day, and the stars of the Canaries spinoff could be supporting characters too. This version of the Justice League would feel slightly different to any comic book equivalent, with a healthier male-female ratio than most superhero teams, and some big names missing for the roster such as Aquaman or Wonder Woman. As such, it would be fascinating to see it developed, and to assess how it operated differently to any comic book version of the Justice League.
What Would This Mean For The Arrowverse And The DCEU?
Assuming this theory is correct, and Crisis on Infinite Earths does indeed launch the Justice League, then it would radically reshape the Arrowverse. It would introduce a new, deeper level of interconnectedness, with the potential for themes to build up between the different shows, and cameos and crossovers becoming easy and organic rather than forced. Viewed from this light, the current Arrowverse seasons can be seen as something of an experiment, a test to see whether or not that approach would work. And the signs are positive; Supergirl and Batwoman are performing well placed back-to-back, while the concurrent Crisis buildup in The Flash and Arrow is proving to be effective. A more tightly-bound universe could be a real success.
Of course, it's also interesting to speculate what this would mean for the DCEU. Warner Bros. has historically been reluctant to sign off on characters and concepts being developed simultaneously on both the big and small screen; that's why the Suicide Squad arc was dropped from Arrow, for example. However, 2017's Justice League was hardly a critical success, and the studio appears to have completely abandoned plans for that kind of superhero team-up movie. It may well be that the Justice League has been dropped from the DCEU altogether, and in future will be relegated to the Arrowverse instead.