Prolific character actor Jeremy Davies has been cast in this year's Arrowverse crossover "Elseworlds," but there is almost assuredly more to Davies' character than meets the eye. News last month confirmed that the heroes of The CW's various DCTV series would arrive at Gotham City, marking the debut of Batman's usual stomping ground in the Arrowverse. Included with the news was that Davies had been cast as Doctor John Deegan, a doctor at Arkham Asylum.
Deegan is reportedly crazier than several of the asylum's patients, and his machinations are responsible for bringing the heroes, including Green Arrow, the Flash and Supergirl, to Gotham in the first place. What makes Davies' casting as in the role more interesting is that Deegan doesn't have a clear analog in the DC Universe, making his character wholly original to the Arrowverse. Given that Davies is an Emmy Award-winning actor, this suggests that Deegan is much more than a mad scientist within the walls of Arkham Asylum -- he may be a character with links to the multiverse-shattering Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez in the pages of 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, Pariah was a scientist from an alternate universe who inadvertently alerts the genocidal Anti-Monitor about the existence of the Matter Universe. The universe-destroying villain is then unleashed on the various worlds of the DC Multiverse, consuming each to grow in power and resulting in countless deaths, with Pariah cursed to watch the destruction of each alternate universe until the assembled characters of the DC Multiverse stop the Anti-Monitor, albeit at tremendous cost.
As the inciting character of the landmark multiversal crossover, Deegan's character description pegs him as the one who draws the Arrowverse heroes to Gotham for a multi-dimensional crossover adventure that bears some key similarities to Pariah's. Recent images confirming the appearance of the Anti-Monitor's longtime nemesis the Monitor validate longstanding rumors that Elseworlds will be heavily influenced by the 1985 comic book storyline. Given the villain's omnipotence, it makes no sense for Deegan to be the Anti-Monitor in disguise, but perhaps he is the one who ushers the otherworldly being into the Arrowverse in the first place, leading the heroes to team up and stop him.
While Pariah's more outlandish, alternate universe origin (and sci-fi costume complete with long, green cape) may not make the final translation into live-action in the crossover, Deegan's background as a scientist with an unhinged mental nature are reminiscent of Pariah as well. The comic book character slowly loses his mind watching countless billions being erased from existence by the Anti-Monitor, and any scientist believing so fervently in the existence of alternate Earths is more than likely going to be regarded as insane by his colleagues. But what would make a criminal psychologist, of all people, aware of the multiverse and the heroes within? The catalyst for this revelation may take inspiration from the comics, and one more recent than the Crisis on Infinite Earths.