Another Arrowverse crossover is imminent. Neither Dominators nor old school enemies from an alternate dimension sit at the crux of the story this time around. However, this new event, titled “Elseworlds,” still remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. Sure, Barry Allen and Oliver Queen will swap lives for Freaky Friday-inspired shenanigans and yes Batwoman will make her Arrowverse debut, but what is the central story, and what sets things in motion? Why have images surfaced of Superman donning a black suit? How will the Monitor, of Crisis on Infinite Earths fame, factor into it all? These questions and the countless others currently circling the internet are to likely remain unanswered until the crossover event kicks off.
With the advent of Kate Kane as Batwoman, a host of other Batman-related characters and locations are entering the mix, as well. For instance, both Nora Fries and Arkham Asylum will appear in “Elseworlds” in some capacity. Additionally, another version of The Flash, featuring John Wesley-Shipp wearing a look-alike of his ‘90s Flash costume, will get some of the spotlight. When taking all of this into consideration, one question warrants asking -- what more could fans possibly want? As far as reasonable requests are concerned, the list must be fairly short (something akin to a Batman debut is nigh on impossible, at this point), but we still have managed to craft a list of our own. Here are 10 things we hope make it into the upcoming “Elseworlds” crossover, and 10 things we hope don’t make the cut at all.
20 WANT: MR. FREEZE
For decades, Mr. Freeze was all but a joke, a classic Silver Age villain at his core. This changed in Batman: The Animated Series, where he became someone with whom both Batman and audiences could empathize. While Rocksteady’s Arkham games and Gotham have already recreated the BTAS version of Freeze beautifully, who doesn’t want to see how the Arrwoverse portrays him?
Because Nora Fries, his wife, will appear during “Elseworlds,” a Mr. Freeze cameo doesn’t seem far-fetched. After all, a recent episode of The Flash confirmed his existence by naming-dropping him. Furthermore, Freeze himself wouldn’t have to feature in the episodes outright. A tease of what the future holds for him would be just fine, even if it was an image or video recording.
19 DON'T WANT: REVERSE-FLASH
Despite his continued presence seeming convoluted, Reverse-Flash remains one of the Arrowverse’s better villains. He appeared in the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover in a somewhat useless role, primarily wanting to aggravate Barry. Of course, he succeeded. But we hope another surprise visit from the future Speedster isn’t on the cards, especially since the Barry/Oliver switch seems like something he’d revel in watching unfold.
It’s time for other long-running villains to shine. Besides, the highlight of Reverse-Flash’s appearance in the 2017 crossover was his telling Supergirl of future run-ins with Superman. What other Arrowverse villains have similar stories worthy of mention? Hopefully, we’ll get to hear them with Reverse-Flash sitting this one out.
18 WANT: EARTH-1 HEROES ON EARTH-38
For some unknown reason, Barry and Cisco are the only Earth-1 characters that have appeared on Earth-38. Barring the “World’s Finest” Supergirl episode featuring The Flash, all major crossovers result in Supergirl traveling to Earth-1. Isn’t it time for the other heroes to make the jump to Earth-38?
Fan speculation suggests Batwoman will be an Earth-38 character. However, this has yet to receive corroboration from anyone in the know. Thus, another crossover may pass that involves Supergirl making the jump. We hope that isn’t the case, specifically because curiosity continues to build for how Earth-1 heroes would react to a world where aliens are the norm.
17 DON'T WANT: THE LOSS OF A MAJOR CHARACTER
Martin Stein’s demise during “Crisis on Earth-X” was a sad affair. Characters pass, often unexpectedly. Yet, this particular end stung, most notably because the character was prepared to leave the Legends and return to life as a family man. The true tragedy lies in how his demise came to pass, though. Professor Stein had his hero moment, sure, but it took place in a crossover event.
The timing meant his funeral felt rushed. Moreover, the characters who knew him best didn’t receive the screen time they deserved during the grieving process. Here’s to hoping this won’t happen again. It’s nice that the stakes were raised; Stein’s end set a precedent, ensuring anything is possible in the crossovers. Still, some things are better left to the individual shows.
16 WANT: THE TEAM IS OFFICIALLY NAMED
Since the first major crossover of all four shows in 2016, “Invasion!,” we’ve been awaiting an official name for the team of heroes. Surely, a naming is indeed imminent. And, with something like a Hall of Justice tease during “Invasion!,” we’re surprised it hasn’t occurred yet. What’s Cisco waiting for? Or, more aptly, why does it seem the Arrowverse creatives are stalling?
It stands to reason the film universe continues to thwart progress on this front. The Arrowverse’s ability to use a title such as the Justice League remains unlikely. Is Justice Society off the table, too? That team’s continued absence from the Arrowverse seems to suggest as much. Regardless, we hope “Elseworlds” features the heroes getting a team name of some kind.
15 DON'T WANT: EVERY MEMBER OF THE LEGENDS
For nearly three seasons in a row, Legends of Tomorrow has arguably been the better of the Arrowverse shows. The characters are fantastic, the stories are great, and the team dynamic never ceases to impress. So why wouldn’t we want them all to appear in this year’s crossover? Unfortunately, most of them are often relegated to inhabiting tertiary roles in the crossovers' final episode. If anything, these instance disservice them.
“Elseworlds” won’t feature the Legends in a traditional fashion. However, we do know that in some shape or form, the team or certain members will at least cameo. The hope is that this cameo won’t make it seem as though the Legends were merely shoehorned in. They deserve better; hopefully, better is what they get.
14 WANT: BATWOMAN AS MORE THAN A CAMEO
At present, very little is known about Batwoman’s role in “Elseworlds.” Interestingly, promotional material has not featured the vigilante too heavily. What this means for her presence overall remains to be seen. At least a portion of the crossover will take place in Gotham, with Arkham confirmed as one location, but it’s impossible to know how much screen time such locations will receive.
Fingers are crossed for Batwoman’s serving as more than a cool cameo. Since her solo show is in the pipeline, “Elseworlds” could offer the perfect introduction into her origins. Should this not be the case, we at least hope to see plenty of Batwoman in action.
13 DON'T WANT: ANOTHER INVASION
“Invasion!” and “Crisis on Earth-X” were special and fantastic in their own right. Yet, if there’s one theme from those two crossovers that we hope doesn’t recur in “Elseworlds,” it’s invaders crash landing on Earth-1. The 2016 event featured a literal alien invasion, as the Dominators struck down in Central City. Meanwhile, the 2017 crossover saw Nazis from Earth-X invade Earth-1, all in an effort to steal Supergirl’s heart.
Surely, another invasion won’t act as the inciting incident that causes our heroes to re-team. However, the Monitor’s mysterious presence seemingly leaves the door open in that regard. Plus, if invasion storylines worked twice before, who’s to say it can’t work again? We’d still like to see something fresh for “Elseworlds,” though.
12 WANT: SUPERMAN/FLASH RACE
For Supergirl’s “World Finest” episode, fans were treated to official art that paid homage to the cover from Superman #199 (1967), the issue which saw Superman and The Flash race. In Justice League’s live-action incarnation, the mid-credits scene also pays homage to the 1967 event. Here’s to hoping “Elseworlds” will similarly harken back to the iconic comic, since both the Man of Steel and the Scarlet Speedster will grace television screens.
Such a scene seems as if it's something both characters would embrace, even if for a quick laugh or joke. Additionally, it’d serve as an awesome way of further integrating Superman into the Arrowverse, since he’s felt like somewhat of an outcast for so long.
11 DON'T WANT: EVENTS TO NOT MATTER LATER
Few things that occur during Arrowverse crossovers are brought to the fore on each individual show. Some events simply can’t be ignored, such as Stein’s demise and the marriages of Barry and Iris and Oliver and Felicity. However, several other occurrences have been outright forgotten by characters. No one feels an alien invasion worthy of mention once the invasion is thwarted? Is no one traumatized by the sheer horror of spending a night as a captive in a camp?
Whatever strange events our heroes find themselves in this time around, let’s cross our fingers that they’ll at least acknowledge them after the fact. The lack of focus on such matters post-crossover once meant very little. Yet, as time goes on, it’s starting to seem absurd.
10 WANT: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS TEASE
Since The Flash’s pilot season, the Arrowverse has consistently teased Crisis on Infinite Earths. A newspaper confirms that Flash disappears in some sort of “Crisis” in 2024. According to Nora, Barry’s daughter from the future, he never returns. Interestingly, it appears “Elseworlds” may tease what to expect of Barry’s apparently doomed future.
This is based solely on the Monitor’s debut in the Arrowverse, a character who acts as a cornerstone in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Is this live-action Monitor, like his comic counterpart, visiting to warn and thwart a horrific possible future involving the Anti-Monitor? Or is this just a cameo appearance to set up such events down the line? Either way, it’d be nice if plenty of details large and small hint at something Crisis-related.
9 DON'T WANT: EVIL VERSIONS OF MAIN HEROES
Truth be told, often the evil versions of heroes are as intriguing as their heroic counterparts. Thus far, the Arrowverse has been no exception. From mind-controlled Team Arrow, Legends, and Supergirl to Overgirl and Dark Arrow, The CW has masterfully subverted its status quo. Not to mention the debuts of Reverb, Killer Frost, and Black Siren in The Flash’s second season.
Why are they better left on the bench this time? Honestly, villainous doppelgängers have overstayed their welcome in this universe. Both major crossovers featured such characters in some capacity. Is it wrong to want the trend to subside, at least for main characters like Supergirl and Green Arrow?
8 WANT: DETAILS ON BATMAN'S WHEREABOUTS
Subtle, indirect Batman teases are the name of the game on The CW’s superhero shows -- Supergirl and Arrow have particularly had fun with them. With the advent of Batwoman, the hints and nods are sure to become much less oblique. As evidenced by a teaser trailer, Batman’s name will finally be said aloud during “Elseworlds", but where has he been all of this time?
According to producer Marc Guggenheim, answers are inevitable. Apparently, the Arrowverse’s Dark Knight has been MIA for several years. Consequently, Gotham’s in disarray, with criminals essentially having free reign. Are these details being explored in “Elseworlds,” or does the wait for information on Batman persist until Batwoman’s solo series premieres? Please, let it be the former.
7 DON'T: BARRY'S TO BLAME FOR THE WEIRD TIMELINE
Not every major thing that’s gone wrong in the Arrowverse is Barry’s fault. Although, it could be argued the more notable issues are certainly his responsibility. Will he ever live down the events of Flashpoint? It seems unlikely, especially since the ongoing “Barry messed up the timeline” joke has transcended the Arrowverse in some respects.
Here’s to hoping that whatever shenanigans cause the insanity of “Elseworlds” aren’t linked back to poor decision-making on the Scarlet Speedster’s part. The character’s gone a decent period of time without wreaking too much havoc on the timeline. We’d hate to see him subject to unfavorable criticism once more.
6 WANT: MARTIAN MANHUNTER
Martian Manhunter has met other Arrowverse heroes on two separate occasions, and one technically doesn’t count. The first is during “Fight Club 2.0,” a promo video where Supergirl is officially inducted into the Arrowverse -- Martian Manhunter appears as a punchline for Diggle. The Martian’s second crossover appearance occurs in The Flash/Supergirl “Duet” musical. Both are awesome, incredible even, but neither gives him the limelight he deserves.
Of course, this can primarily be attributed to budget, as crossovers are costly. Furthermore, Martian Manhunter rarely goes green in Supergirl because of the expense. As an unfortunate consequence, J’onn J’onzz may never get the spotlight afforded to other key characters in crossovers. That won’t stop us from daring to dream, though.
5 DON'T WANT: DOMINATORS
At the start of “Crisis on Earth-X,” Supergirl battles a Dominator in the streets of National City. Once the mind-controlling alien is incapacitated, she grumbles, “These guys are so last year.” And right she is, as Dominators were the antagonistic force behind 2016’s “Invasion!” event. It’s a great cameo, clever dialogue, and an awesome scene.
Fun as they often are, it does not mean the yellow beings from outer-space should return for a third run. Perhaps they’re better left in the past for the “Elseworlds” crossover. Or, if Dominators do indeed make yet another comeback, we hope the cameo takes up a fraction of the time.
4 WANT: HARBINGER
If Monitor’s set to make his live-action debut, his helper, Harbinger can’t be too far behind. Yet, technically, she already exists in the Arrowverse. In the comics, Harbinger’s real name is Lyla Michaels. Of course, Lyla Michaels serves as a recurring character on Arrow, as John Diggle’s wife and the Director of A.R.G.U.S. Additionally, her codename in the field is Harbinger.
Recent seasons of Arrow feature Lyla exhibiting behavior the noble Diggle finds just short of ignoble. To be succinct, she’s becoming more like her predecessor, Amanda Waller. Has Lyla’s six-year character arc been setting her up to team with Monitor? Is she already in contact with the cosmic being? Perhaps “Elseworlds” will provide answers to these questions and others.
3 DON'T WANT: AN INSIGNIFICANT ROLE FOR THE MONITOR
The Arrowverse’s debuting Monitor is a big deal. His introduction to DC lore in the '80s forever altered the DC Universe. It stands to reason, then, his imminent arrival on The CW will bring forth similar change to the network’s expansive superhero universe.
Obviously, right out of the gate, Monitor shouldn’t have to take on a role mirroring his status during Crisis on Infinite Earths. At the very least, however, it would be nice if his “Elseworlds” appearance felt substantial after the crossover’s conclusion. Maybe Monitor and whatever tidings he brings stays on the minds of our heroes for episodes to come. It’d be far better than his becoming a forgotten notch in their belt, similar to the Dominators and Earth-X before him.
2 WANT: EARTH-1 SUPERGIRL
As Harry Wells explained during “Crisis on Earth-X,” there are 53 Earths; thus, there are 53 versions of each Arrowverse character. Strangely, we’ve yet to see Earth-38 versions of Earth-1 heroes. The same can be said of Earth-38 heroes on Earth-1.
Supergirl’s Earth-1 status is arguably most compelling, because we know nothing of Kryptonians on Arrow’s and The Flash’s Earth. Yet, Green Arrow somehow learned about Kryptonite and obtained enough of a sample to craft arrowheads. Might Supergirl be a secret military project, à la Superman in Flashpoint? Or is she Power Girl, an alternate version of Supergirl with a similar background? It seems unlikely, but, perhaps, “Elseworlds,” will explore her Earth-1 whereabouts in some fashion.
1 DON'T WANT: SECONDARY CHARACTERS BENCHED
In “Invasion!” and “Crisis on Earth-X,” secondary characters were quickly benched. Either that, or they only featured at the tail end of these events. Some were cleverly put aside, like Cisco’s injury during the 2017 crossover. However, others are absent without reason. Why wasn’t Ray Palmer invited to the West-Allen wedding?
Similar to most matters, it comes down to cost. Having every fan-favorite character participate is impossible. As such, wouldn’t it be better if only a select few featured with something worthwhile to contribute? Cisco is often invaluable. Yet, do we need to see all of Team Arrow, especially if they only appear for a few short, insignificant moments? Naturally, actor contracts also make things of this nature difficult to navigate.