This year’s Arrowverse crossover event, “Elseworlds,” has come and gone in a flash. A lot happened during the three-episode storyline -- events took place both big and small, both significant and menial in scope. Of course, the biggest news out of this year’s annual team-up is that it served as the foundation for next year’s big event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Typically when credits roll on these crossover events, the key takeaways are that the heroes have grown closer, and have garnered a greater appreciation for one another. However, a few crossover episodes in previous years are better known for unveiling surprising revelations. Arguably, the most notable example of this is Oliver unknowingly running into the mother of his child during a Flash episode, after believing for years that she’d suffered a miscarriage. Moments like this aid in world-building; they give the crossovers value beyond mind-boggling easter eggs and beloved character interactions.
“Elseworlds” provided a similar sense of world-building, except on a much larger scale. Questions about the Arrowverse that for years have gone unanswered were finally addressed. Examples of this specifically include long-coveted details about Batman’s and Supergirl’s statuses on Earth-1. Other revelations aid in setting up the future of the Arrowverse, particularly as “Crisis on Infinite Earths” looms. Each answer, tease, or new question raised elevated “Elseworlds,” and hopefully sets the stage for how crossovers will bear great significance in the future. Here are 20 things this year’s crossover reveals about the Arrowverse’s past, present, and many possible futures.
20 EARTH-1 BRUCE WAYNE DISAPPEARED THREE YEARS AGO
After arriving in Gotham in “Elseworlds: Part 2,” Oliver explains to Barry and Kara that Bruce Wayne vanished from Gotham three years ago. Bruce apparently left without a trace and no one ever discerned why or learned of where he went. Kate Kane later expounds, revealing that Bruce fought hard to remain in Gotham, but ultimately walked away. Even she doesn’t seem fully aware of the reasoning behind his decision.
At present, there may not be a definite answer. In fact, the Arrowverse creatives may not have outlined a specific reason for Batman’s absence just yet. This assumption, which could be incorrect, holds considerable weight since the Dark Knight’s appearance remains off limits to the Arrowverse.
19 PA KENT MIGHT NOT BE ALIVE
There seemingly exists no prior mention of Jonathan and Martha Kent in the Arrowverse. Superman appears so infrequently that he never has a chance to discuss anything Smallville-related. Yet, when Kara appears in “Elseworlds,” she’s on the Kent family farm in Smallville, working alongside Lois and Clark. However, Clark doesn’t speak of an elder Kent until the crossover’s finale.
When Kara applauds his work on the farm, Clark tells her he wanted to clean up the place for “Ma.” Pa Kent goes without mention. Does this mean the Kent family patriarch is deceased on Earth-38? Possibly. The scene, short as it may be, implies that Ma needs help around the farm, because she has no one else. Hopefully, the Kents will eventually receive deeper exploration.
18 MONITOR'S ASSEMBLING HEROES
Late in the second episode of “Elseworlds,” The Monitor reveals why he has allowed John Deegan to wreak havoc across Earth-1. Similar to his intentions in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Monitor needs to assemble a team of heroes, and is looking for the ideal Earth on which to perform such a task.
As Monitor explains to Supergirl, Flash, and Green Arrow, the Earth he wants to recruit has to be able to withstand a coming threat, one whose powers far exceed even his. Thus, Monitor is testing Earth-1. This test, wherein reality is altered and its heroes must overcome poor odds, has been tried on several other Earths. So far, no other Earth has passed his trials.
17 EARTH-90 BARRY IS AN ANALOG TO PRE-CRISIS BARRY
Earth-90 has already undergone its own crisis, as most of its heroes are deceased and its world nearly destroyed. This serves as but the first clue to the role that John Wesley Shipp’s Barry Allen plays in the Arrowverse. Based on his first few “Elseworlds” appearances, he’s seems an analog to Barry from Crisis on Infinite Earths.
He arrives on Earth-1 as a ghostly image in a cloud of electricity, trying to inform the heroes about the Book of Destiny. The imagery mimics Barry’s attempts at communicating with his colleagues in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he appears to Batman as a ghostly figure. It also helps that this Barry dons the' 90s television series suit, which is heavily inspired by Barry Allen’s pre-Crisis attire.
16 WAYNE ENTERPRISES IS DEFUNCT
Not long after Bruce Wayne left Gotham, Wayne Enterprises went defunct. Though a catalyst, it was not solely Bruce’s departure that led his family’s business to ruin. As Oliver tells it, the company’s Board of Directors tried fast-tracking a few “get-rich-quick deals.” Evidenced by the building’s state of disrepair, the Board did not do Wayne Enterprises any favors, as their schemes went nowhere fast.
Wayne Enterprises’ being defunct could also help explain why Gotham remains in complete disarray. The company leading economic development, innovation, and more is no longer driving business; therefore, the city’s economy tumbles, potential growth is undercut, and crime rises in Batman’s absence. It’ll be interesting to see how these details are explored in Batwoman’s potential solo series.
15 LOIS LANE HAS TRAVELLED TO ARGO CITY
Early in Supergirl’s fourth season, it’s revealed that the Girl of Steel has been left to fend for Earth in Superman’s absence. Where he ventured off to? Argo City, which Supergirl discovered late in the show’s third run. During part one of the “Elseworlds” crossover, Lois Lane mentions that she, too, tagged along, becoming the first human to step foot on what’s left of Kryptonian civilization.
Unfortunately, the adventures of Lois and Clark on Argo were not depicted on-screen. Still, that she has ventured to another world warrants mention. This detail, minor though it may seem, serves as a reminder of how long Superman has been active. Additionally, it’s indicative of how integrated Lois Lane is in Superman’s world.
14 THERE'S A GREEN LANTERN CORPS (ON EARTH-90)
Earth-90 Barry Allen makes mention of his Earth’s John Diggle wearing a specific ring. It may be little more than a nod to the long-running fan theory that Diggle is a version of John Stewart, and, thus, a Green Lantern. However, there’s something more significant of note with regards to this tease. If Green Lantern exists in the Arrowverse, so does the Green Lantern Corps. More importantly, story-wise at least, the Guardians exist.
Arriving at such a conclusion may not seem worthy of celebration. Yet, this one scene between Diggle and Earth-90 Barry helps further set in motion the Arrowverse’s future crisis. Without the Guardians, there’s no anti-matter universe, no Anti-Monitor, either. Without the Anti-Monitor there’s no Crisis.
13 GOTHAM IS A "DEAD CITY"
After Batman’s departure from Gotham, the city fell. In the little shown during “Elseworlds,” it seems to have devolved into a ghost town. Streets stand empty, wealthy citizens are protected in armored trucks, and, apparently, a well-organized gang is running scams on outsiders.
Oliver tells Barry and Kara that Gotham’s pitiful state is why no one talks about it. Of course, this also conveniently explains why Gotham has received little mention in the Arrowverse, save for a nod on Supergirl and indirect references on Arrow. Perhaps there’s hope for the once great city, though. Kate Kane at least wants to restructure the Wayne Enterprises building in some fashion. Plus, her work as Batwoman will likely aid in pulling Gotham out of the muck.
12 MONITOR HAS DESTROYED SEVERAL EARTHS
On two separate occasions, The Monitor references his having previously tested several other Earths in the Multiverse. Based on the destruction seen on Earth-90, it stands to reason that the other Earths, too, are in a state of disrepair. With the Arrowverse’s adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths on the horizon, these many worlds are unlikely to ever recover.
Whether more Earths will fall to Monitor’s machinations is a different question entirely. Near the end of the “Elseworlds” finale, Oliver seemingly makes a deal with the powerful being, a deal which ensures the survival of Supergirl and The Flash. Perhaps, then, Monitor’s multiverse trials are over, and Earth-1 is the universe he will rely on to combat the impending threat.
11 THERE'S NOT A VERSION OF SUPERGIRL ON EARTH-1
During “Crisis on Earth-X,” Harry revealed that 53 Earths exist; thus, there are 53 versions of Kara. It’s unclear if this number has been retconned. However, it still seems that for every Earth, a version of Kara should exist. According to John Deegan, the Book of Destiny didn’t inform him of Kara’s Earth-1 presence, which leads him to conclude that her true home resides elsewhere.
Kara considers Deegan’s news to mean her pod failed to land on Earth in the Earth-1 reality. Consequently, the mystery concerning Kara’s Earth-1 whereabouts remains unresolved. Is she still lost in the Phantom Zone? Did Krypton even explode? It’s impossible to know, and may remain as such should the Arrowverse’s "Crisis on Infinite Earths" not provide sufficient answers.
10 OLIVER'S ABSENCE IN FLASH FORWARDS POSSIBLY EXPLAINED
So far, Oliver has not appeared in Arrow Season 7’s flash forwards. When he receives mention, there aren’t hints of his whereabouts. Taking a budding fan theory into consideration, his absence could be due to his imminent demise.
During “Elseworlds,” Barry and Kara are willing to sacrifice themselves to save Earth-1. Oliver visits Monitor, informing him that Barry and Kara are their best chance at defeating whatever threat looms. Monitor agrees, but notes that the cosmos crave balance. Following Monitor’s revelation, Oliver presumably makes a deal to save his friends. Might that deal result in his end? Might his demise occur in “Crisis on Infinite Earths?” Oliver’s toast with Barry about “appreciating what you have for however long you may have it” suggests as much.
9 BRUCE WAYNE HASN'T DISAPPEARED ON EARTH-38
Supergirl’s sophomore season offers the first semi-direct reference to Batman in the Arrowverse. During “Elseworlds,” Kara makes it clear she knows something about Bruce Wayne and Gotham. While Oliver explains the mysterious disappearance of Earth-1’s Bruce, Kara remains silent. Moreover, there are instances where her words suggest that Earth-38’s Bruce is still around in some capacity.
When Barry asks if Bruce Wayne bailed them out of jail, Kara notes, “that doesn’t sound like him.” While conversing with Kate in Wayne Enterprises, Kara says her own cousin is “frenemies” with Bruce. Kara consistently speaking of him in present tense intimates that, as far as she knows, the billionaire on her Earth has not yet hung up his cowl.
8 THE FLASH'S 2024 CRISIS TEASE MAY CHANGE
The Flash’s pilot season serves as the Arrowverse’s first tease of a Crisis-related event. According to a newspaper in Wells’ Time-Vault, Flash disappears in 2024. In Season 5, an article from 2049 confirms “Flash is Still Missing” 25 years later. However, as Barry tells Iris and their daughter, Nora, this version of future events can change. Additionally, cryptic notes in Nora’s journal tease that “time is malleable.”
Based on Oliver’s actions in the “Elseworlds” crossover, it seems future events are indeed likely to shift. He presumably strikes a deal with The Monitor to save Flash and Supergirl, both of whom perish during 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. With the Arrowverse’s version of the iconic event launching in 2019, anything is possible.
7 THERE ARE NO KRYPTONIANS ON EARTH-1
While confronting an imprisoned Supergirl as a black-suited Superman, John Deegan tells Kara that the Book of Destiny did not reveal her or Superman on Earth-1. Kara assumes her pod never landed on Earth at all. Presumably, the same is true for Clark.
Naturally, this raises a myriad of questions. One of particular interest concerns Oliver’s use of Kryptonite during both the “Crisis on Earth-X” and “Elseworlds” crossovers. If there are no Kryptonians on Earth-1, how could he have possibly retrieved the substance? Are viewers to infer that Krypton did explode in this universe, chunks of it fell to Earth, and Oliver just knew who to use it on and why? Unfortunately, this seems like it could be an oversight.
6 OLIVER'S PREVIOUSLY BEEN TO GOTHAM
In “Elseworlds: Part 2,” Oliver reveals that he’s ventured to Gotham before. His primary connection to the city is Vesper Fairchild, a journalist who was writing an exposé on corrupt corporations, including Queen Consolidated. It’s an interesting nod to an oft forgotten character in Vesper, whose most prominently known for being Bruce’s murdered ex-girlfriend in Batman: Bruce Wayne Murderer.
Yet, this revelation warrants mention because of Oliver’s adamance that Batman is a myth. Oliver went to Gotham, heard stories about an urban legend he refused to believe, then later became a similar figure in his own hometown. From the audience’s point of view, it’s intriguing to reflect on Oliver’s journey through the lens of knowing Batman walked a similar path before him.
5 LOIS LANE IS PREGNANT
Near the end of the “Elseworlds” finale, Lois and Clark decide to share exciting news with Kara. The main crux of the news? Lois Lane is pregnant. Thus, the Daily Planet’s award-winning intrepid reporter will give birth to who many are assuming is the Arrowverse’s first super son.
Is it possible Lois and Clark will make Kara aunt to a niece? Maybe -- the franchise does like to subvert expectations. But the soon-to-be proud parents could also be preparing to welcome a son into the world, Jon Kent. In the comics, Jon is Superman’s firstborn and eventually adopts the mantle of Superboy. In comics of late, Jon has been palling around with Damian Wayne, Batman’s son, in Adventures of the Super Sons.
4 CISCO'S VIBE ABILITIES ARE RARE
At the end of “Elseworlds: Part 1,” Cisco vibes Monitor’s meeting with John Deegan. During the vibe, Monitor peers over to communicate with Cisco, telling him that he didn’t think anyone on Earth-1 could perform such a task. Does this mean Cisco’s abilities are rare? Possibly. But, also, possibly not.
Two other Earths in the Arrowverse have featured characters with Vibe’s abilities -- Reverb on Earth-2, and Gypsy and her father on Earth-19. However, those characters have only been shown breaching or projecting energy. Perhaps Monitor is impressed by Cisco’s ability to perceive moments through space and time. Perhaps this very power will give the heroes an advantage against the menace Monitor is preparing to fight.
3 SUPERMAN IS LEAVING EARTH IN SUPERGIRL'S HANDS
When Supergirl Season 4 began, Supergirl served as Earth-38’s primary hero, traveling the world to offer assistance while remaining committed to the D.E.O. and National City. She adopted this role in Superman’s absence, as he ventured to Argo City. Apparently, she’ll serve in his stead when the series returns.
In “Elseworlds,” Lois and Clark reveal their expecting their first child. In addition, the couple considers Argo the best place for Lois to be during the pregnancy. Once she gives birth, they mean to stay on Argo for some time, again leaving Earth’s defense to Supergirl -- it’s a boon for both heroes. Superman can hang up his cape, start a family, while Supergirl adopts a role that for years belonged to her more famous cousin.
2 PSYCHO PIRATE MAY BE WORKING WITH ANTI-MONITOR
Psycho Pirate only appears a handful of times during “Elseworlds.” However, his few scenes perfectly set up his role in the Arrowverse’s Fall 2019 crossover. As he does in 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, Psycho Pirate seems to be in league with whatever threat looms ahead. That threat in the comics is the Anti-Monitor.
Moments before “Elseworlds” ends, Psycho Pirate mutters, “Worlds will live. Worlds will die,” the tagline for Crisis. During that storyline, Psycho Pirate, an empath, is tasked with emotionally torturing Barry Allen, among other things. Anti-Monitor later gives the empath control over several of the multiverse’s remaining worlds, resulting in Psycho Pirate’s further devolving into insanity, and ultimately destroying the worlds he was meant to control.
1 SUPERGIRL AND THE FLASH ARE FATED TO PERISH
When looking into the Book of Destiny, Superman sees The Flash and Supergirl perish while trying to restore normalcy to Earth-1. It’s a sacrifice both are willing to make, rushing ahead to do what’s necessary despite the Man of Steel’s warning. Their fates in the Book of Destiny harkens back to their sacrifices in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Pre-Crisis Supergirl dies in the midst of battling the Anti-Monitor. Her efforts sufficiently weaken him, giving her fellow heroes a much needed advantage. The Flash vanishes into the Speed Force while dismantling the villain’s weaponry. Neither return to DC continuity until several years after Crisis. Will a similar fate befall them in next year’s crossover? It’s probable, but Oliver’s deal with the Monitor may rewrite history.