When word broke earlier this year that the annual Arrowverse crossover would feature the Nazi-controlled world Earth-X, The CW proved it was willing to pull from a number of sources. Before Crisis on Earth-X was announced, we learned that the new CW Seed animated series set in the Arrowverse would be Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Inspired by the ’90s take on The Ray and Grant Morrison’s work on the Multiverse in DC’s Rebirth, the series will see The Ray and his fellow Freedom Fighters face a world where the Nazis won World War II. Even more intriguing, but evil doppelgängers of The Flash, Green Arrow, and Supergirl (dubbed Overgirl) would also battle the heroes.
Crisis on Earth-X not only used the setting from the as-yet-unreleased series, but even pulled over some of the superheroes and villains. Played by Russel Tovey, who will voice the character in the animated series, The Ray can control light to both fly and shoot energy blasts. He’ll likely be returning to the live-action Arrowverse soon, but his show should further illuminate his backstory. The villains of the crossover, meanwhile, may have been defeated, but they’re sure to return one way or another.
We first learned that Melissa Benoist would voice Overgirl in Freedom Fighters: The Ray earlier this year, but it was quite a surprise when the character was announced to take part in Crisis on Earth-X. The general of the modern day Reich, Overgirl is every bit as powerful as Supergirl. Rather than landing in National City and being raised by the Danvers, the Kara Zor-El of Earth-X landed in Nazi Germany and was groomed to be an indestructible weapon.
The main thrust of Crisis on Earth-X revolves around trying to save Kara from solar radiation overload. We never learn how exactly this happened, but it’s a nice nod to Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman. The comic, which marks one of the greatest Superman stories to date, sees the Man of Steel heading towards death after absorbing too much solar energy. Rather than invade another world and try to steal his doppelgänger’s heart, however, he embarks on a series of quests similar to the Herculean tasks.
Luckily, the writers don’t attempt to sympathize with Overgirl or show her as anything other than a monster. In fact, her only shred of humanity comes from her marriage to the current Fuhrer, Oliver Queen.
Like Overgirl, Dark Arrow is a character set to appear on The Ray. Both of their costumes are a bit different, so it’s unclear whether that show will be set before Crisis on Earth-X or will be separate from the Arrowverse completely. Regardless, the Nazi version of Oliver Queen gives Stephen Amell one more character in his quiver. We’ve seen him play a number of versions of himself, both in terms of public and private personas and alternate takes on the character. The idea that Mayor Queen rose to the leader of the Nazi Empire on Earth-X, however, shows just how frightening Oliver could be without his friends and family to humanize him.
Rather than an evil version of Barry Allen, whose Earth-X counterpart we don’t meet or hear mention of, Dark Flash is simply Eobard Thawne. Trying to understand the specific of how Thawne is alive after having been killed on both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow is a tough task, so it’s best to just leave it up to comic book logic and time travel shenanigans. It’s also not clear why Thawne is working with the Nazis other than he’s just plain evil. And just to make things sting a little more, he wears the face of Harrison Wells the entire time to really stick it to Team Flash.
Dark Flash being Thawne looks to mark another departure from Freedom Fighters: The Ray, where the evil speedster is not only Barry Allen, but wears a completely different costume that’s more in line with the other dark doppelgängers. It’s possible that the animated series will end with the first Dark Flash killed and Eobard taking his place, but we’ll have to wait until its debut next month to know for sure. Regardless, Barry let’s Thawne go for some unknown reason, meaning he’s free to return once again.
Along with the three core doppelgängers, the combined heroes of Crisis on Earth-X face a few more threats. Alongside the Nazi hordes, Quentin Lance is one of the Fuhrer’s chief lieutenants. It’s a nice little twist that allows Paul Blackthorne to play something other than put-upon father for the first time in awhile. Similarly, Prometheus-X turns out to be an evil Tommy Merlyn, providing the perfect way to bring the fan-favorite character back for a surprising cameo.
Alongside the humans, the heroes also have to face two robots. One isn’t evil so to speak, but won’t back down from its orders. Red Tornado previously appeared on Supergirl in a similar position, only to be destroyed like he is here. He will, however, be fighting alongside the Freedom Fighters on The Ray, so he’s not yet gone from the Arrowverse. On the pure evil side, meanwhile, is yet another version of Metallo. The Kryptonite-powered rogue is fully cybernetic on Earth-X, and can only be defeated with the combined might of some of the Arrowverse’s heaviest hitters.
With every foe from Crisis on Earth-X killed besides Thawne, it’s unlikely the threats will reappear in the Arrowverse. Still, the Nazi doppelgängers will be back for Freedom Fighters: The Ray, alongside the evil Barry Allen. Red Tornado and Metallo, meanwhile, seem destined to be rebuilt over and over, so expect new takes on them someday. As for Reverse-Flash, it seems safe to assume that The Flash‘s current ‘no more evil speedsters’ prerogative won’t last forever. What’s less known, however, is what threat the Arrowverse will face for next year’s crossover.
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