Tag Archives: Crisis on Infinite Earths

iEditorial | Will The CW’s Upcoming “Crisis” Crossover Prove the Network’s Primetime Version of an “Endgame”?

One of the DC most beloved storylines is about to go live in primetime and after Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame epic fans expectations have reached a fever pitch! Will The CW deliver?

With Marvel Studios having stepped up the genre narrative by bringing the first decade of the superhero epics to a natural conclusion in the recent blockbuster Avengers: Endgame and the upcoming second installment of the web-slingers solo run Spider-Man: Far From Home promising to open the door to the possibilities of a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, how will the The CW’s primetime universe compare will the highly anticipated “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover airs this Fall? It’s leaving many fans to speculate…some worlds will live, and some worlds might…

Well, you understand where we’re going with this.

While on his recent comic-con convention circuit promoting the “Elseworlds” event, The Flash actor John Wesley Shipp who has played a myriad of characters throughout the world of the Scarlet Speedster, was constantly bombarded with questions from fans about his own surprise appearance in the 3-part storyline. Shipp who played the original role of Barry Allen/The Flash for one season on the CBS primetime series in the 90s, jumped back into the suit (not the original but a remodeled version by series costume designer Kate Main) to warn our heroes about a “crisis”.

“It’s the question I get asked the most now,” Shipp admitted. “What part will I play in the upcoming ‘Crisis’? And the honest answer is: I don’t know!” It doesn’t escape him the fact that in the classic maxi-series that redefined the DC Comics universe in the 80s, the Flash sacrifices himself to save everyone. “Now what will that mean that we have — not one, but two Flashes?” Shipp said, “perhaps one will have to die to save the multiverse and Jay Garrick will get left holding suit.” In any event, the actor is hoping he’ll get to return to reprise one of his parts in the fall.

It was perhaps one of the best curated stunts of the franchise’s now more than 100 hours of television. The crossover events have become every fans’ most anticipated episodes of the season, and after battling Nazis doppelgängers, fending off an alien invasion, and bringing together legends, how were the show runners going to up the stakes? First they introduced the idea that the television multiverse is inhabited by every possible iteration of DC characters including Shipp’s “Flash” of Earth-90, the Kent Farm from Smallville and that it’s all in serious jeopardy of ending!

With the omnipotent Monitor (played by LaMonica Garrett) having made his presence known, inciting a conflict that included the appearance of the Man of Steel and having ended this season of Arrow by taking Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) on a quest of sorts, when The CW primetime universe returns in the fall, there are going to be some major dangling participles to deal with, and the introduction of a certain red-headed Caped Crusader that will undoubtedly be teaming up with the rest of the brave and bold, for that much sought after pairing of the world’s finest.

“Crisis” an Endgame

Though it’s all possible that the televised “Crisis on Infinite Earths” may not have the perpetual ramifications to the DC primetime universe that Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame had for the cinematic story arcs, fans are expecting nothing less than a very similarly and well-crafted adaptation of one of DC Comics most epic storylines. It took Marvel a decade to get to Endgame and although The CW is promising 5-hours across all its main shows, it still has many more hours of story to build up to, especially if it intends on having as significant an emotional resonance.

As for the aftermath, what will it mean to The CW’s primetime line-up? Though there is no mention of Black Lightning participating in the crossover event, will that show in some way play a part in the fallout? Many are expecting that after the series of hints that were dropped in the latter half of the latest seasons of the show, especially in The Flash, the multiverse will collapse and their will be only one, Prime-Earth. Will that include Supergirl’s Earth-38, and what of the other alternate worlds and timelines the series have explored?

“Anything is possible,” Shipp has said. “I would never have thought that nearly 30-years later I’d be back in a superhero suit…and I’ve since been in two!” With fans hoping that more will be revealed especially at next month’s San Diego Comic-Con, you can bet that participants will be eagerly lining up, as Ruby Rose takes the stage to introduce the cast of Batwoman and give an insight into the newest addition to the primetime line-up, and the series show runners all collect themselves and practice their stock response: “The DC TV universe will never be the same again!”

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DC’s Legends…In Print and Before Primetime.

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DC gets ready for its “Legends” coming to primetime, while we take a look at the print series that (re)established the legacy.

While the world gets ready for the DC Comics TV Universe (yes…we’re going to make that a “thing”) to unleash it’s latest effort in primetime, we’ll look back at a moment in DC’s comics history, when legends lived only in print. Where as now we live in a reality that has our heroes inhabiting almost every facet of multimedia. They come to life every fall on television, and the summer season is earmarked for all of the biggest blockbusters on the big screen. Where else can gods on earth face off against mortals in capes and cowls.

The success of The CW hit series Arrow and its spin-off The Flash, have literally opened the floodgates and unleashed the possibilities. Television executive producers Greg BerlantiAndrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim have made it their mission to not only adapt the world of superheroes into a action-packed, one-hour format that is engaging and entertaining, these producers along with their core team of show-runners and writers have dedicated themselves to honoring the source material. An idea that many entertainment executives have often tried to steer away from when adapting comics for life-action.

The fact that the television series Arrow has cultivated elements of the Green Arrow’s comic adventures to the small screen, and its sister series The Flash has also followed suit — it’s what has made these series ratings hits and brought them legion of fans. Berlanti and Kreisberg along with Allison Adler have also added to the palette the daring adventures of the Maid of Might — Supergirl premiered in the fall of 2015 on the major television network CBS. And the creative team hasn’t stopped there…while their premiere CW series may be going on hiatus for mid-season, this opens the schedule for the introduction of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

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They’re ready for primetime! The new series – the third spin-off – in the line of DC Comics series on The CW premieres in 2016 and will feature an all-star line-up of heroes and villains from across the DC Comics Universe.

 

This will be the first “team show” to continue elaborating on the DC TV Universe continuity that began with Arrow and will feature an assemble cast of heroes (and villains) some already been introduced within the scope of the other CW shows.

A side note — though there has been some speculation that eventually the CW shows may overlap with Supergirl on CBS, it’s still now confirmed, so Legends may be the closest that fans will come to having the DC Universe continuing to unravel in primetime, bringing the total of hours of television to feature superheroes in a connective story arc to about 59! That’s incredible!

But Once Upon A Time…

The only way that audiences could digest their favorite superhero’s adventures were in the monthly publications of DC Comics. Big screen adventures were few and far between, and it wasn’t until the 1989 with the success of Tim Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton in the lead role, that the adapted media would be taken serious by Hollywood, though it would be a slow crawl until hits like Marvel’s Spider-Man and X-Men came along and opened up the market.

Nope. You could only get comics at your local newsstand or specialty store, and they were usually under a dollar! During the summer of 1985 DC Comics was taking a great risk. The long-running imprint was revitalizing their brand and that meant a publishing wide initiative to revamp all DC Comics. For the first time in its then 50 year history, DC Comics and its heroes would all belong to one seamless continuity establishing a legacy.

The first big move was felt during the earth-shattering events of the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths which revised most of DC Comic’s history and gave the world a new, more contemporary Superman, a darker and meaner Batman, and brought Wonder Woman up to her rightful place as one of the imprint’s “Big 3”, establishing the trinity. After the dust had settled with Crisis, the next step was to start to place the heroes into a more appropriate and modern context.

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The cover to the first issue of Legends the comic series introduced most of the characters into the contemporary DC Comics continuity after the events of the first “Crisis” which revamped history.

The series that would help make that happen was released the following year after Crisis ended and was called Legends. As told by comic legends John Ostrander and Len Wein (both wrote and scripted the story) and drawn by John Byrne and Karl Kesel (the two creatives were behind the revamping of the Superman title and mythology) the 6 part mini-series would help to reestablish the Justice League and reintroduce characters that were in a state of flux after the events depicted in Crisis.

In the story the menacing evil of Darkseid once again threatens the planet as he attempts to prove to the world at large that their belief in heroes, their faith in these “legends” is misbegotten at best. The heroic Captain Marvel — now more appropriately known as Shazam! is tricked into thinking he’s killed an innocent man, while the younger heroes in the pantheon including Firestorm and The Flash confront the responsibility that comes with being a hero.

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The Flash fitted prominently into the story, though the “Flash” that appeared in Legends would actually be Wally West, the successor to Barry Allen who went missing after the events in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

In the end, the heroes eventually succeed at stopping Darkseid’s plan, and many are introduced to each other for the first time. Helping to reestablish the Justice League, the “Golden Age” mystic Dr. Fate becomes a core member (if only for a short time) of the new team consisting of founding members BatmanMartian Manhunter and Black Canary (taking the place in the new continuity of original founding member Wonder Woman). Joining them in the relaunch is Blue Beetle.

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Another familiar face that took part of the action was a still relatively unknown and inexperienced Firestorm who faced the larger than life menace of Brimstone!

The series also depicts the contemporary introduction of Wonder Woman properly into “Man’s World”. The amazing amazon was one of the prominent casualties of the Crisis but was reintroduced into continuity with new powers, a new origin and mission in her new series, before moving into her place in the spotlight alongside the other big guns. It’s worth diving into this bit of nostalgia, although this 6-issue run will not necessarily be the story to springboard the TV Legends.

It’s still exciting to experience some of the story from its early conception, understand why these characters have come to mean so much to generations since and especially become a part of the first “reboot” in contemporary DC Comics history.