The CW teases major guest stars, even more crossover madness and a co-writer for the event no one would have ever guessed.
The CW took to the stage during the Television Critics Association press tour with even more enticing details about the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event that will touch every Arrowverse series, and apparently more beyond that.
One of the most surprising superhero developments of the past few years was when The CW announced a "Black Lightning" series based on the DC Comics character and then promptly announced that it would not be part of the Arrowverse. Considering the network already had four other shows tied together in joint continuity, leaving "Lightning" out made no sense.
Well, it's not completely out anymore, though this could just be a temporary development because of the upcoming "Crisis" crossover. After all, comic fans know that the original 1985 "Crisis on Infinite Earths" maxi-series incorporated every parallel and alternate reality owned or published by DC Comics. At the end of that event, though, all of those realities had merged into one.
Could the Arrowverse be heading down the same path, bringing "Supergirl" and "Batwoman" into the same universe as the network's other shows? If so, "Black Lightning" could find itself sharing a globe with Constantine and The Flash.
And that's not the only tantalizing teaser dropped by CW president Mark Pedowitz to the assembled reporters. From more surprising guest stars, an unexpected co-writer for the event and the possibility of yet another new show, it's enough to leave Arrowverse fans counting down the days to-- Oh, and they announced the exact dates for the event as well.
While it was teased that "Black Lightning" would be a part of the "Crisis" event, that does not mean that the show will be devoting an episode to the cause. The event is set to remain a five-part crossover event through the main Arrowverse series, starting during mid-season finale season and picking up again in the new year to wrap it all up with a two-hour block of action.
Check out the full schedule below
Sunday, December 8th - "Supergirl" @ 8 p.m. ET
Monday, December 9th - "Batwoman" @ 8 p.m. ET
Tuesday, December 10th - "The Flash" @ 8 p.m. ET
Tuesday, January 14 - "Arrow" @ 8 p.m. ET
Tuesday, January 14 - "Legends of Tomorrow" @ 9 p.m. ET
After already getting fans intrigued by the castings of Brandon Routh as (presumably) the "Kingdom Come" version of Superman and Burt Ward (1960s Robin) in an undisclosed role, The CW proved that it really is looking to pay homage to DC Comics throughout television and film history with the casting of Kevin Conroy.
Batman enthusiasts will recognize the name right away, as it was Kevin Conroy who became for many the definitive voice of the Caped Crusader thanks to his work on "Batman: The Animated Series" starting in 1992 and continuing through countless series and episodes ever since. While his role was not announced, it's hard not to imagine him playing some version of Bruce Wayne.
Pedowitz promised more surprised to come and it may be that they're still working on more people to get as he told the assembled reporters that they were still hoping to land someone from the network's own popular "Smallville" series. With Routh and Tyler Hoechner already on board as Superman, how many more Supermen could the show sustain?
And while they're at it, there's always the original "Adventures of Superman," "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" and "Superboy," not to mention non-Superman shows like "Shazam!," "Wonder Woman," "Swamp Thing," "Gotham" and even the currently running "Titans," "Doom Patrol," "Krypton" and "Pennyworth." We'd even accept short cameos.
This news came right from the superhero's mouth, as "Black Lightning" star Cress Williams confirmed via a tweet that his show would somehow and in some way connect to the "Crisis" crossover event.
While the character has made mention of Supergirl and other denizens of the larger DC Universe within the confines of his own show, it was also quite clear that "Lightning" existed on an Earth wholly separate from the two parallel worlds that make up the traditional Arrowverse as fans have come to know it. But this is "Infinite Earths," so it's a crossover that not only sounds fun, but feels necessary.
After all, how can this be a threat to every DC Universe and be ignored by one existing on the same network? What remains to be seen is just how involved "Black Lightning" will or won't be.
No one has offered any specific details and it is worth noting that at this time "Black Lightning" does not have a chapter installment in the crossover itself. It's possible that a stronger connection is coming (and being kept as a surprise), or even set up as an afterword, of sorts.
At this point, it sounds as if characters from Williams' show will appear at some point in the "Crisis" even itself. That could easily tie in with appearances from Ward and Conroy as above (plus any other guest stars they could land), though it would be a lot more fun if the "Lightning" characters had a chance to get in on the action.
If Williams himself isn't available, we understand he has a couple of daughters that could bring the Lightning and the Thunder to any cosmic crisis.
While nothing is set in stone, The CW clearly enjoys playing in the DC sandbox and has had enough success there to donate nearly half of its schedule to various DC Universe properties. And after assuring reporters that there were no plans to end any other Arrowverse series after "Arrow" closes its chapter after 8 seasons on the network, they teased they may be looking to expand.
Already, "Batwoman" is joining the network as a new series, and reporters were quick to ask Pedowitz if the network was considering staying in the "Arrow" business with a spinoff set in the "Star City 2040" future reality established in the show's seventh season finale. There fans met Oliver and Felicity's daughter Mia, who was just beginning to step into her superhero legacy.
Of course, they needn't keep Mia in the far-flung future for her to get her own series. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" could tear things up enough that she could wind up in the present day alongside the other Arrowverse heroes. It's always nice to have a new hero to explore this crazy world with fresh eyes -- think the wide-eyed enthusiasm of early season of "The Flash."
While Pedowitz had to admit that no conversations had been had about a possible "Star City 2040" spinoff, though he agreed it was a distinct possibility, he did tease that the network is looking at another DC property right now. No details were given, or even if it would be part of the Arrowverse should it happen, but it's certainly enough to get fans excited ... and speculating.
Long-time comic book fans concerned that maybe The CW Arrowverse writing rooms wouldn't take this project seriously enough, considering the significance and enormity of the original "Crisis" on DC Comics needn't fear, because they've brought in just the man to make sure they absolutely get it. The architect of the 1985 event himself, Marv Wolfman, is joining the writing team.
"Crisis" showrunner Marc Guggenheim told reporters that he co-wrote the epic story with Wolfman who co-created the Monitor and the entire "Crisis" with legendary comics artist George Perez.
It's a great way to get the original "Crisis" creator involved, as well as tap into a mind that's been involved with the DC Universe for literal decades. And Wolfman is no stranger to television, either, having written for "Batman: The Animated Series" and the "Transformers" franchise.
His presence should be enough to keep continuity sticklers a little at ease even as the crossover is sure to deviate even more than it already has from the comics source -- in the original series it was not Arrow who sacrifice himself to save the multiverse.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" is just four months away! "Worlds will live, worlds will die and nothing will ever be the same." Indeed!