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A world destroyed, surprise cameos, and a hero falls in Night 1 of Crisis on Infinite Earths

By Trent Moore & Tricia Ennis
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The first hour of Crisis on Infinite Earths was a fast and furious event, loaded with huge cameos, huge deaths, and multiverse-shaking events. And this thing is literally just getting started.

Spoilers ahead for “Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 1,” the latest episode of Supergirl, which aired Sunday, December 8 on The CW.

Obviously the big news in this one came in the final moments: Oliver Queen is dead. We knew Oliver was not supposed to survive Crisis, though knocking him off the board in the first hour was a massive shock. Oliver gave his life fighting to buy more time for the evacuation of Supergirl’s Earth, and though those extra few minutes cost him his life, we’re told he saved millions of lives. So, the Green Arrow went out in a blaze of heroic glory, literally stopping the Monitor from teleporting him away and ceding Supergirl’s Earth as lost. 

Oliver’s last moments find him transported back to the bunker alongside the rest of the heroes, telling Barry and Kara that it’s their job now to save the multiverse, reminding them they're the best of what he never could be. He also gives his daughter Mia one final goodbye, urging her to find Felicity once this is all over. It’s a brutal ending to a near-decade journey, but there’s really no other way it could’ve ended. Oliver’s a hero. Give him a chance to sacrifice his life to save millions, and he’ll take that deal. Every time.

His death also brought about an interesting bit of information — it didn’t happen as The Monitor had predicted, which means events are changing and still in flux. Obviously we don’t know if that means the heroes can win, but it means these heroes can still write their own fates. Just like Oliver.

Before his death, though, Oliver also offers up a brand new Green Arrow suit for Mia. This means Mia will almost certainly take up her father's mantle, and answers the question of who will likely wear the suit in the upcoming future-set backdoor pilot for the Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff series. It looks to be Mia's world, we're just living in it.

Aside from Oliver’s death, the other big news was the destruction of Earth-38, the universe where Supergirl has been set for its entire run. Yeah, that entire world is gone, though a big chunk of the planet’s population was evacuated to Earth-1 before the annihilation began. We’ve already seen the antimatter wave take out Earth-2, and now Supergirl’s world is gone. Though millions of lives were saved (including, it’s safe to assume, the key cast from the series), the planet is gone. Which would mean Earth-1 is welcoming in millions and millions of refugees, including lots of aliens in alien ships, right? And that the DEO as we’ve known it, and L Corp, and CatCo, will no longer exist as we know them, right?

If that all holds true, and the events of Crisis hold serve, this stands to reshape the universe in ways we can’t even fathom on the shows that remain on Earth-1. It’s a fascinating idea, and if it actually plays out, would completely reshape the fabric of Supergirl moving forward. Which could be really exciting, or really weird, depending on how it’s executed. Plenty of questions still there.

Then we have the cameos. The glorious, glorious cameos. The opening few moments of the episode show off a grown-up Robin from the Batman ’66 universe, as Burt Ward drops a “Holy crimson skies of death!” as the Crisis begins to unfold in his reality. Then we get a major surprise as a few members of the DC Universe series Titans pop up, seeing a red sky unfold over their world (which is officially established taking place in its own universe, disconnected from the Arrowverse). Does this mean we might see a few Titans members popping up over the next four episodes? Now that’d make for a cool surprise. Just, you know, they’d have to hold back on the F-bombs. We also get a peek at an alternate Gotham City where we learn (thanks to a newspaper A-page) the Batman has finally caught the Joker. We’re thinking that’s probably the world of the Kevin Conroy Old Man Bruce Wayne we’ll meet in the coming nights.

As for the Supergirl-specific stuff

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As far as Supergirl specific events in this first hour of the crossover, there were certainly a few to note. First, following the events of last year’s Elseworlds event, it looks like the Arrowverse really will be leaning into the partnership between Kara Danvers and Kate Kane. Up to this point, Kara was the only one of the larger team that knew who was under the Batwoman cowl, and when Kate is unceremoniously pulled through to Earth-38 by the Monitor, Kara is the only one she trusts and trusts implicitly. Trusts enough, even, to remove her mask and reveal her identity to a bunch of strangers and also Oliver Queen. Showrunner, Marc Guggenheim has said that they plan to turn that relationship into one similar to the one Barry and Oliver have shared thus far and while we didn’t get much time between the two of them in the first hour, making it a point to show the trust they share already was a good start.

Speaking of trust, with the fate of the entire planet on the line you had you know the only person the team would be able to turn to was Lena. After everything that went down between Lena and the rest of Team Supergirl last week, the last thing Alex wanted to do was ask her former friend to be the lynchpin in the plan to save humanity but Lena is the smartest person on the planet and possibly in the multiverse and you know Alex does what’s best for the largest number of people (and frequently what’s difficult and awkward for herself). It was admittedly a little odd that Alex was the first to break the stalemate between them given that her relationship with Lena has been entirely through Kara, but when you need to solve a science problem, Alex is admittedly going to be your best backup and bonding over shared math nerdery is always adorable. I do feel for Lena. She’s trying so hard to be good but doing it in the worst way possible and she cannot see through her own mess enough to realize how wrong her actions are. Meanwhile, because her actions are wrong even though her motives are technically good, the disconnect between the two just drives her further and further away from her friends. Alex doesn’t trust her and knows she doesn’t trust them so it’s only natural that Alex would think, even for a moment, that Lena might withhold her assistance out of spite. But Lena, for her part, is appalled that anyone would think she’d do such a thing.

Now that Earth-38 has been destroyed, and Lena was a massive part of saving the three billion lives they could, the big question is, of course, where do they go from here? What do any of them have on Earth 1? And despite Lena’s past transgressions, will she be lauded as a hero among the refugees of Earth-38? I have so many questions.

The reveal that James gave Kelly the Guardian shield was a perfect little moment between her and Alex. Those two have struggled recently with Kelly’s past trauma and the dangers of Alex’s job and how that has affected Kelly’s own safety. Seeing her not only protect herself but someone else while saving lives was a great way to signal that they are moving past those issues.

Kara and Clark’s little heart to heart about Argo felt a lot like they were pre-mourning Earth-38 as well. It was a nice way to skirt around that fallout in the rest of the crossover, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also an ongoing theme for Supergirl this season.

Up next: The Crisis continues as the remaining heroes mourn Oliver’s death. We’d also expect a boatload of new cameos, and probably a few more worlds to be erased from existence.