The CW has enjoyed its many crossovers in the ever-growing Arrowverse, starting in 2014 with Arrow and The Flash when the two shows came together. Just as the Greg Berlanti DCTV universe continues to grow, so have the yearly crossovers season after season. Every year the events between the ongoing shows have grown more ambitious and successful. From critical acclaim to massive rating boosts, the crossovers bring together the shows as well as the viewers while the Arrowverse takes on one major threat after another.
This year will mark as the Arrowverse’s biggest crossover that will adapt the famous Crisis on Infinite Earths story that became a DC Comics game changer. Spanning over five hours between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and newcomer Batwoman, The CW is going full-in with its DC TV Universe. From all the big casting news to Black Lightning also being included, fans are eagerly waiting for the fall TV season to kick-off.
As there have been so many crossovers since 2014 and with Crisis on Infinite Earths happening, it’s time to reflect on the past superhero events that have helped the Arrowverse get where it is today.
7 Flash vs Arrow (2014)
The Flash season one, episode eight “Flash vs Arrow” and Arrow season three, episode eight “The Brave and the Bold” was where it all began for the annual crossovers. Set across two nights, viewers got to see Team Flash and Team Arrow join forces to take on two separate baddies in the respective hero’s city. However, unlike the crossovers that would follow, the two-part episodes weren’t exactly connected to one story.
Despite all the fun and action that fans got, this crossover felt like watching a regular episode of The Flash with a few Arrow characters while the following night the Green Arrow drama would feature a couple of characters from Central City. Aside from that, the two-parter planted the important seed for future crossovers.
6 Heroes Join Forces (2015)
At the beginning of The Flash’s second season and Arrow’s fourth season, The CW used the first eight episodes of the respective shows to set up the next spin-off series: Legends of Tomorrow. Throughout the two shows, we saw recurring characters like Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) be reestablished for the time-traveling drama. While doing that, we also got introduced to Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renée), Carter Hall (Falk Hentschel), Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), as well Jax Jackson (Franz Drameh) as the new half of Martin Stein’s (Victor Garber) Firestorm.
In the Heroes Join Forces crossover, it was essentially a backdoor pilot for Legends of Tomorrow where Team Flash and Arrow came together to protect Kendra from Savage while also establishing the Hawk-mythology through Carter. This is where TPTB heard the fans from the first crossover and made sure to craft a story that made the two-hour event increasingly connected.
5 Invasion! (2016)
With Supergirl being saved by The CW for its second season, the Girl of Steel came at a perfect time as the 2016 crossover pit the Arrowverse against aliens! Adapting the Invasion! DC storyline, our heroes took on the villainous Dominators that came to Earth. While the Dominators could have been better developed, the Invasion! crossover still had a lot of good moments for our heroes. The crossover happened to land on Arrow’s 100th episode that year, but that became a huge benefit for the Emerald Archer’s milestone episode.
Throughout the action, the 100th episode took Oliver and several Arrow characters into a shared hallucination where their lives turned out differently. Celebrating its past, present, and future, the crossover made sure to honor the Arrowverse’s founding series while also delivering superhero action and more.
4 Duet (2017)
One of the gifts with the Arrowverse’s many actors is that they come with musical talent. From theater work to Glee and more, fans and critics had asked for a musical crossover year after year. Finally, the executive producers staged a musical between The Flash and Supergirl where the Music Meister (Darren Criss) came in and trapped the two heroes in a musical reality. But it also features other Supergirl and Flash characters joining the two heroes as musical characters.
It was genuinely fun seeing these actors getting to put their musical skills to use while also saving the day. While they did covers, we also got two new originals that have become iconic for the Arrowverse with the amazing “Super Friend” duet and the unforgettable love song “Runnin’ Home to You” from Barry to Iris.
3 Worlds Finest (2016)
Before moving to The CW, Supergirl aired on CBS in its first season but that didn’t stop the Scarlet Speedster from visiting her. This all happened as The Flash’s second was just exploring the Multiverse concept which allowed the crossover to happen. The 18th episode of Kara’s first year titled “Worlds Finest” is where the two heroes first came together after Barry accidentally traveled from Earth-1 to Earth-38.
Throughout the hour, fans saw the beautiful beginning of Kara and Barry’s super-friendship. From kicking Livewire (Brit Morgan) and Silver Banshee’s (Italia Ricci) butts to bonding over their complicated lives, this crossover stands out because of the powerful chemistry between Benoist and Gustin.
2 Crisis on Earth-X (2017)
The 2017 crossover Crisis on Earth-X became a game-changer for the Arrowverse while also being the darkest and somewhat controversial event. Starting as the get-together for Iris (Candice Patton) and Barry’s wedding, our heroes are pit against invaders from Earth-X, featuring Nazi versions of some Earth-1 players, including Oliver and Kara as Dark Arrow and Overgirl respectively. On Earth-X, the Nazis won World War II and turned that universe into one of the most dangerous Earths in the Multiverse.
The crossover took an even darker turn when some of our heroes got taken to Earth-X. While introducing new heroes like The Ray (Russell Tovey) and Citizen Cold (Wentworth Miller), two of the Freedom Fighters, the crossover marked as the brutal end for one of our established heroes who also happened to be Jewish. As Martin Stein managed to open the portal back to Earth-1, he had to pay the ultimate price when Nazi soldiers shot him multiple times.
Once back on Earth-1, Stein passes away after breaking the connection between him and Jax as Firestorm that was draining Jax’s life energy. Refusing to agree to Dark Arrow’s demands to hand over Supergirl so Overgirl could take her heart in order to survive, Earth-1 battles the Earth-X army which becomes one of the best showdowns in the Arrowverse. The crossover ends with a last-minute wedding for Barry and Iris whose moment get shared when Oliver and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) decides to get married in that same moment. Despite the emotional effect this story had, the decision to go with Nazi versions of several Arrowverse heroes rather than something like the Crime Syndicate from the comics is still questionable.
1 Elseworlds (2018)
The latest crossover scaled things back a bit while also preparing Arrowverse fans for this year's event. After some reality changes, Oliver and Barry got to switch lives and literally step into each other’s shoes which became a major highlight. Elseworlds is also where a major Crisis player gets introduced in the form of LaMonica Garrett’s the Monitor who will be an even bigger character this season. Elseworlds also brought in Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) into the crossover action while also introducing the iconic Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) from Kara’s world.
But the crossover was also a set up for the next DC hero as Ruby Rose came in as Kate Kane a.k.a. Batwoman who is getting her own show this fall. Despite restoring reality back to status quo, Elseworlds had one last surprise with announcing that the 2019 crossover will be Crisis on Infinite Earths, following Oliver making a deal with the Monitor in order to save Barry and Kara while also guarantying his death in the coming Crisis.