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Crisis on Infinite Earths: Review and Reference Guide – Part 3

Woah, we’re halfway there! The threat of the anti-matter wave speeds through The Flash as we get stuck into Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 3.

Earth-203 – Birds of Prey Earth: The action begins immediately as we are thrust into a new Earth, in the city of New Gotham on a world based around the shortlived series, Birds of Prey. Lots of, actually quite good, superhero television shows were kicking about in the early 2000s but none of them really got a fair shake and were cancelled fairly quickly. This show ended in 2003, hence Earth-203. Helena Kyle, as reprised by Ashley Scott, is running from the anti-matter wave. Really, how fast does she think she is? She gets on comms to Oracle, whom we assume is reprised by Dina Meyer, but it’s all futile and both she and her Earth are eradicated.

Earth-74 Waverider above Earth-1: With four of the seven Paragons located, the team pressure Ray to repair his paragon detector as Team Flash arrive by breach. Ralph is in top form in this segment, repeating the ‘holy’ trope from part 1, exclaiming “Holy All Star Squadron.” The All Star Squadron is in itself a reference, with the All Star Squadron being a derivative of the Justice Society of America. They were first published in All Star Comics #3, so there’s that too. “Ignore him, it’s his first crossover” quips Frost; more tasty fourth wall pushing – this time from a Team Flash member rather than a Legend. J’onn J’onzz, Routh Clark and Lois Lane join Alex and Brainy on Earth-1 to continue the evacuation of people from across the multiverse; Earth Prime is about to get a little crowded.

Bipety beep! The paragon detector is done and it identifies J’onn as the Paragon of Honour, Barry as Paragon of Love and well known Arrowverse hero, Dr. Ryan Choi, as Paragon of Humanity. This guy’s inclusion isn’t quite as random as it appears on the surface, though, as, in the comic books, Ryan Choi is the third Atom. I for one hope this doesn’t foreshadow demise for good Dr. Palmer within this Crisis! Ray, Ralph and Iris head to Earth-1 to collect the good doctor. It takes a bit of persuading by Iris but he eventually agrees to join them.

Meanwhile, Diggle arrives and he’s pissed. He chews Sara out for letting the others put Oliver into a Lazarus Pit. He’s down for an all expenses paid trip to purgatory to retrieve Ollie’s soul until he’s told Lyla is missing and likely with The Anti-Monitor. Life comes at you fast.

Kara fetches the Book of Destiny and Kate strongarms Lex Luthor for info on how to use it. She must focus on one singular thing, just as he did with his hatred for Superman. Kate tries to talk Kara out of this stupid idea but, of course, woe-is-Kara isn’t receptive. The two square up and Kara backs down.

Earth-1: Cisco thinks he’s found the source of the anti-matter wave on Earth-1 and he’s on his way to check it out when The Monitor re-Vibes him without permission. He, Flash and Frost head to Nash Wells’ dig site and happy chappy Pariah appears to make everyone feel better. Cisco vibes Pariah to learn the door code because he’s forgotten it; doy! Like a weird episode of Stargate, they tap in the glyph code and enter a nexus between the anti-matter universe and their own. Inside, they find Earth-90’s The Flash on a treadmill. Fair play, if I had a Flash I’d probably use him to generate my electricity too. Flash-90 is within a force field that positive matter cannot penetrate. Vibe gets through, knocking Flash-90 off but he’s got to get back on or the anti-matter cannon will explode, destroying all Earths simultaneously. Bummer.

From out of nowhere appears Black Lightning, brought by Pariah. Jefferson is the only person able to get close enough to the cannon to disable it. The Flashes slow down time to talk strategy and suddenly Barry realises what he has to do and why he vanishes in Crisis. He has to run backwards on the treadmill to reverse something sciencey and destroy it… I dunno.

He says his goodbyes to Caitlin and Cisco when Flash-90 blindsides him and temporarily steals his super-speed. The Monitor said The Flash died in Crisis, but not which one. They play a clip from The Flash 90s series as Earth-90’s Barry Allen disappears, taking the anti-matter cannon along with him. Earth-1 is saved.

Earth-666 – Lucifer’s Earth: Johns Constantine and Diggle, along with Mia, travel to Earth-666 to get help from Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) in the retrieval of Oliver’s soul. This is, of course, the Lucifer from the recent Lucifer TV series… the one that was cancelled by FOX and then uncancelled by Netflix. The Devil is English, by the way… why are they always English? Magical card in hand and off to purgatory they go; it’s Lian Yu, naturally. They find Oliver and John talks him into coming with them. Bit easy, really.

But wait, there’s more! The group are confronted by a man called Jim Corrigan. He says he’s “someone else… something else… a spectre.” He calls Oliver to a higher purpose which will save all the universes. Ollie obviously agrees and the trio are whisked back to the Waverider. While new to the Arrowverse, Jim Corrigan is a “fun” character from the comic books. After his introduction in More Fun Comics, Jim, a hardboiled detective, was brutally murdered on his way to his engagement party, entombed in concrete inside a barrel and thrown into a river. From there he becomes Spectre and goes a bit nuts trying to get vengeance. Fair enough, really.

I touched on it in the previous review but, in this episode, Routh Clark explains the new crest with the black background. He’s is questioned about it by Lois Lane and gets the answer “Even in the darkest times hope cuts through.” That’s consistent with the description in Kingdom Come, deepening those ties.

Earth-74 Waverider over Earth… the only Earth: Everyone is reunited on the Waverider. Harbinger reappears but the fact that she doesn’t have access to some of her memories tips the team off that she is being controlled by The Anti-Monitor. She gets all glowy eyed and Anti-Monitor voicey, declaring that it’s time to end the age of heroes. Not likely, mate. Half of these shows have been renewed for several years.

The Monitor and Anti-Monitor fight via energy beam and The Anti-Monitor (whom Novu calls Mobius) subdues The Monitor (Mar Novu) and an energy is sapped from him. The Anti-Matter wave returns and destroys Earth-1. Pariah suddenly realises what he must do and acts, whisking the Paragons… somewhere. The wave then destroys the Waverider, apparently the last surviving thing of the multiverse.

The Vanishing Point: As the episode closes, the Paragons are shown in the Vanishing Point – a place outside of time and space. We were introduced to the Vanishing Point at the end of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow – originally the location of the Time Bureau HQ; Nice little in-Arrowverse throwback. Very suddenly, a red light bursts from Routh Clark’s chest and he burns away. In his place, Lex Luthor appears. Lex literally rewrote destiny… scrawling his name in pen over the symbol of the seventh paragon. Another Superman killed by Lex.

Everybody’s dead, Dave

While lacking in new “Earths,” this episode didn’t lack in overall references and entertainment value. Time was mostly devoted to the plot this time around and continued to set up plot devices that will come good in the last two parts – Oliver Queen becoming Spectre, ALL of the Earths being wiped out, etc. The total destruction of all of the Earths does present a disappointing spoiler in that the Earths will inevitably be resurrected before Crisis is over. Perhaps, Kara Zor-El will finally stop moaning! This slight annoyance aside, I did like the gathering of the Paragons in the Vanishing Point with their confusion and questioning of The Pariah creating their very own Red Dwarf-esqe “Everybody’s dead, Dave” moment. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Routh Clark but Jon Cryer’s portrayal of Lex Luthor is just masterful and I’m not too upset to see more of him in his place. Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait a month for the final two parts of this crossover and I’m looking forward to seeing how this all pays off in the end.

What did you think of Crisis on Infinite Earths, part 3? Leave me a comment on social media!