"Crisis on Infinite Earths" is poised to transform the entire Arrowverse. The fates of numerous characters will be on the line, including the apparent loss of the two founding heroes of the universe. But with so much of the Arrowverse in the last two seasons focusing on the potential future of the franchise, the question remains whether the "Crisis" will only make things worse.
Will "Crisis on Infinite Earths" change the future of the Arrowverse? And could it even lead to the collapse of the multiverse into a single world?
The future of the Arrowverse has been thoroughly explored already. The most recent seasons of both Arrow and The Flash spent time exploring the next generation of heroes, either through time-travel or flash-forwards. On The Flash it was shown that during the "Red Skies Crisis" that seems to be part of the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths," Barry Allen disappears while saving the world.
As a result, Nora West-Allen, the future daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, lives her life without her father. She also grows up to be a speedster herself who goes by the name XS by the 2040s. She uses her powers to go back in time thirty years to try and save Barry from the "Crisis." Unfortunately, the changes to the timeline eventually led to Reverse-Flash escaping custody, Nora fading from existence and the "Crisis" moving from 2024 to 2019.
Meanwhile on Arrow, Star City has gotten far rougher in the future. After Oliver Queen apparently died during "Crisis on Infinite Earths," the city became a more dangerous place, thanks largely to the Deathstroke Gang. By the year 2040, it's being protected by the Knightwatch Gang (which includes John Diggle's adopted son Connor Hawke) and the Canary Network (led by Dinah Drake.)
Both Mia Smoak (the daughter of Oliver and Felicity Smoak) and her half-brother William Clayton (who was already estranged from his father when he perished) come to Star City looking for answers about their family. After the city's older protectors took the blame for the destruction of the barrier constructed around the Glades, the future of Star City was left in the hands of the new generation of heroes: Mia, Connor, and William.
There is some hope for the future, though. The Time Bureau from Legends of Tomorrow suggests there's still a future to protect, given the changes to the timeline that have prevented figures like Vandal Savage from taking over. The Legends even seemed to improve the future of 2042 at the end of the show's fourth season.
In addition, on Supergirl's home of Earth-38, hope is still very much alive in the 31st century. After being stranded in the future, Mon-El moved past his separation from Supergirl by helping form the Legion. While there are still threats, they can be defeated by heroes willing to fight for what's right.
Worlds Lived, Worlds Died
"Crisis" is such a major event, however, that it could theoretically change any and all of the futures that have been established within the Arrowverse. In earlier seasons, it was shown that interacting with the past can lead directly to the erasure or alteration of events and people across the timeline. So while the heroes may ensure the survival of the future as the Arrowverse has shown it, their actions in "Crisis" could also lead to the creation of an entirely new future.
The comics version of Crisis on Infinite Earths led to the end of the DC multiverse. In the story, the various alternate realities of the DC universe collapsed into one another, creating a single universe for all the DC characters to exist in. The TV version of the story could see a similar result, which would bring Supergirl and even Black Lighting to the same Earth as the Arrowverse's other series.
However, that would introduce its own complications, as it did in the DC comics. In fact, ironing out the continuity snarls to create a single cohesive world led to another DC comics crossover event years later, Zero Hour.
The Arrowverse has been approaching "Crisis on Infinite Earths" ever since the first episode of The Flash teased the coming disappearance of Barry Allen. Since then, "Crisis" has become the single biggest threat to the multiverse the heroes have ever encountered.
It's been confirmed that a back-door pilot for a potential spin-off centering around Mia will happen during the upcoming eighth and final season of Arrow. This suggests that at least some form of the future established on that show will survive "Crisis." Yet, there's no way to tell how much of the future is safe from the effects of the coming battle.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" begins Sunday, December 8 at 8 pm ET/PT on Supergirl, then continues in Batwoman on Monday, December 8 at 8 pm ET/PT and in The Flash on Tuesday, December 10 at 8 pm ET/PT. After the winter hiatus, the crossover will conclude on Tuesday, January 14 in Arrow at 8 pm ET/PT and in DC's Legends of Tomorrow at 9 pm ET/PT.