Arrowverse After Crisis

(Welcome to The Clock Tower, where we’ll break down the goings on of the The CW network’s Arrowverse. We’ll touch on things like themes, cultural impact, lead-ins to major events, ships, and more every week! Warning: this Clock Tower is filled with spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.)

The episodes that come after the annual crossover have to accomplish a lot. Potential new viewers, whether they be fans that dropped off of the respective series or the folks who’ve never tuned in before, have to be given a reason to stay. Crisis on Infinite Earths’ magnitude meant that the Arrowverse was going to have to go even harder than they would after crossovers past. Thankfully, the hardworking writers of this little ‘verse were up to the task.

Each show came back with something to prove. It’s strange to say, but the only episode that didn’t fully work with me was Legends of Tomorrow’s premiere. Its antics usually play like gangbusters with me, but I really didn’t find myself on board with what they were trying to do until the very end. With that in mind, there’s still plenty of good to dive into in our new post-Crisis landscape. 

Where Do We Go from Here?

Changes are rampant throughout the Arrowverse. Though mostly the folks who know about the Crisis are just trying to find a way to go on. The biggest ripple was on Supergirl, where Kara Danvers and company find themselves forced to work with Lex Luthor in order to take on Leviathan. The DEO is now public, it’s run by Luthor Corp, and Lex wants Lena to work with him in order to accomplish her goals. There was also a bit of a Crisis on Infinite Brainiac 5s kind of situation that went down, but the biggest upset there was his breakup with Nia Nal. 

While the Girl of Steel seems to have faced the biggest ramifications, that doesn’t mean she’s alone. Kate Kane’s sister came back from abroad this week. Not of the Alice variety, but the honest to gods Beth Kane. So, y’know, some minor complications in Gotham. New-to-the-Verse Black Lightning experienced some minimal changes, with the late Lady Eve coming back from the dead and The Resistance finding itself more fortified than it had been before. 

Arrow’s ending might be right around the corner, but they weren’t excluded from the after-effects either. We already saw baby Sara’s return after Flashpoint wiped her out years ago. What we didn’t see is that Dinah Drake was somehow thrown into the future after Oliver Queen’s funeral, or that Mia (Smoak) Queen would find herself with a perfect, socialite life. As for the Legends of Tomorrow, well, things are just as zany with them as it’s always been. But those who experienced Crisis (or were brought up to speed by Martian powers) are still currently the only ones to remember it no matter what the city. 

Out and Proud

Batwoman had a lot on her hands this week. What with Alice kidnapping super hacker teenagers, Crisis resurrecting some version of her sister, and the fact that she now occupies a whole different Earth than she did not days ago. All that on her shoulders, and her biggest struggle comes from the idea of “courage”. Specifically, what courage means for her as she continues to protect her city.

The less people know about Batwoman, the safer she can keep herself and those she loves. But how can she call herself the Paragon of Courage if she’s letting the city believe she’s just another straight chick in a cape? The short answer is that she can’t. After an episode of soul searching, Bats gives a ring to old pal Kara Danvers who ensures her super friends’ coming out is the cover CatCo Magazine. 

Batwoman’s coming out intertwines with the story of young Parker (the aforementioned teen hacker). Parker did what she could to take control back after being rage-outed by an ex-girlfriend and found herself in a spot of trouble with both the good guys and the bad. Her arc is used to show just how devastating outing someone can be before they’re ready, but she’s also there to act as the first civilian to know Batwoman’s identity. I’m guessing (and hoping) this won’t be the last we see of her! 

Smoakin’ Canaries

Green Arrow and the Canaries had its backdoor pilot on this week’s episode of Arrow. Here’s hoping we actually see said backdoor pilot work out in their favor, because I want more of what we saw. Three strong personalities came together in very complementary ways, while honoring the legacy of Arrow but still creating something that felt like it was entirely its own. Each woman has found themselves with a new purpose, and they did it while kicking the asses of anyone that stood in their way. 

The Clock Tower

I typically try not to editorialize too hard in this column, but Green Arrow and the Canaries gave me the opportunity, so I’m taking it. Barbara Gordon has been my girl since I was bitty. She means the absolute world to me. It’s a strong contributor as to why Felicity Smoak was my favorite character on Arrow, and why it stings so bad to see so many iterations of Birds of Prey coming to life, all without a Babs in sight (at least by name). That love for her is also why this column is called what it is. Well, that and what The Clock Tower represents of course.

The Clock Tower was Oracle and the Birds of Preys’ base of operation, yes. It was a point of origin for endless gigabytes of information that would help the aforementioned and even The Justice League themselves take on threat after threat. But it was also a safe haven. It housed the Bat Family in their time of need, and the Birds of Prey for the majority of their comic run(s). It’s where Barbara Gordon took her power back.

This is a really long way to tell you that when we went up into Dinah’s apartment and I realized where she was, I got a little misty. We’d already seen the location in the future, but as a broken-down shamble of what it was meant to be. This week it was bright, and home-y, and absolutely Oliver and Felicity’s old apartment set repurposed but that’s not the point here! 

I Ship It

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to have one of these due to being in Crisis mode and then going on a break. So, listen. Yes, it’s very sad that Nia and Brainy broke up. They’re very cute and probably endgame. But, this new partnership with the Luthors could mean that we get to enjoy the hyper-logical Brainy and Lena making some mistakes and I’m on board with it. You won’t find any apologies here! 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Sorry, Flash fans! Your boy isn’t back until February. Except for the part where you’ll see him on next week’s finale of Arrow. I’ll save you from all the sappiness that’s going to come from that until next week. In the meantime, just a reminder that one Felicity Megan Smoak will be returning to Star City proper to say goodbye. Mia and William are there too, so you can go ahead and assume that’s why they were zapped in the future. Supergirl, Batwoman, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning will all have new episodes as well. But it feels kind of weird to talk about that with what will undoubtedly be a tear-filled goodbye in less than a week. Ready the mint chip!  

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