‘Arrow’ (Season 6): The Joys of Crisis

Now in the fourth year of annual crossovers, Arrow has come a long way from the simple idea of pitting the Flash and Green Arrow against each other or featuring their first true team-up against a shared villain. Since then, we’ve seen the varied heroes of the Arrowverse go up against immortal warriors and alien invaders. This year, as the crossover hits critical mass by truly bringing all four shows together, the Emerald Archer and his allies came together to face off against the truly insidious threat of a universe of Nazis.

When Barry Allen first zoomed his way onto Kara Danvers’ Earth back in early 2016, it happened right on the heels of the release of Batman V Superman. At the time, I noted how much more joyful, fun, and all-around entertaining the CW crossover was to its big-screen counterpart, and the same applies when comparing Crisis on Earth X to the recently released Justice League. On the whole, this team-up felt far more cohesive and well-executed than that film, despite having so much more to do.

Crisis on Earth X truly is a marvel, both in how it is constructed and how well it all manages to function. Though these four episodes each count as episodes of the individual series, it functions as a true miniseries, from the unique intro and end credit sequences to how it tells a single story. Last year’s crossover made every effort to make each episode still feel like it belonged to its respective series, but Crisis just assumes you’re watching for a single cohesive crossover event.

As a result, it can tell the narrative in a far more natural way. Instead of opening with a bunch of establishing scenes of the Supergirl cast in the first episode, it plays like the beginning of a movie, quickly introducing each of the four casts in the middle of major action scenes. From Supergirl taking down a Dominator to the Flash taking on King Shark, the crossover started with a showcase of the sort of adventures these characters normally get up to that was a lot of fun.

And that sense of fun permeated the whole event. On the action front, we got a number of fantastic battle scenes. The highlight was of course the big wedding brawl that first showed the Arrowverse heroes fighting alongside each other, but the battle between the Ray, the Flash and Red Tornado was spectacular, too, as was the final battle. From small moments like Vibe teleporting Green Arrow mid-shot to the shows pushing their collective CG budgets for the bigger fights, Crisis was a spectacle to behold.

Even more successful, though, were the character moments. The joy of a crossover is seeing characters that don’t normally spend time together interact, and Crisis gave us a fortune of great dynamics. There were plenty of flirtatious moments, from Sara and Alex’s hook-up to Mick’s infatuation with Killer Frost, to humorous beats like Captain Singh being seated next to a former criminal that used to terrorize Central City. It was four hours of highlights that served to remind just how great it is to see these characters together on-screen.

Overall, Crisis was a joy, one that left me excited not just to go back to each of these individual shows, but also to see what happens to bring all of these heroes together again next fall. Hopefully, there’ll be even more heroic hijinks to look forward to for years to come.