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The Problem with ‘Crisis on Earth X’

Sabrina Petrafesa ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly President

For those who don’t know the CW hosted a two night, four part crossover event between Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow called ‘Crisis on Earth X.’ This was the fourth year that the CW has done a crossover event with their DC shows and by far this was the best one they’ve done. However, there were some major and minor issues with ‘Crisis on Earth X’ that need to be pointed out.

The big bad of the ‘Crisis on Earth X’ crossover was…. the Nazi versions of the heroes. Who in the writer’s room, which producers, decided it was okay to have Nazi versions of our favorite characters? The DCTV writers and producers must have wanted to create an event that was sort of relevant to what’s happening in our current political landscape in the US. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work. There are literally Nazis openly speaking out and marching in the US right now. It just seemed insensitive, ill-timed, and not completely thought out. 

Photo Courtesy: The CW

There’s no way to sympathize with a Nazi, thankfully, the writers had the foresight not to try. If the writers wanted to put our faves against evil versions of themselves, they could have made really thought out three dimensional evil versions of their characters that had motivations past being ignorant and hate-filled. Like an Oliver Queen who came back from the island broken, who never healed and didn’t want to, who wholeheartedly embraced the monster inside him. Evil Barry Allen could be a boy who witnessed his mom’s murder (maybe actually by his father), never got adopted by Joe, and jumped around foster care, lost in the system. There were better ways to achieve evil villain doppelgängers. The writers just wanted to use the shock value of having Nazis as the villains with faces that we recognize.

Assuming the Kara Zor-El of Earth X also came to Earth when she was around 11 years old, it seems improbable that she would join the Nazis in their fight for Aryan perfection. She was still her mother’s daughter and she had a strong sense of self at 11 and wanted to help people. It’s hard to think she would ever, in any universe, be a part of a regime so filled with hate and injustice.

Let’s also talk about how the three major villains were a Nazi Kara and Oliver and…. Eobard Thawne? What? Why wasn’t Barry fighting and evil version of himself? Why was he left out of this? Barry gets to walk away without looking like a bad guy at all? No, he gets a Deus ex Machina in the form of Eobard Thawne. Many characters didn’t have evil doppelgängers, but if you’re gonna make Supergirl and the Green Arrow a Nazi, why are you leaving The Flash out of it? It feels unfair and was a real disservice to both Arrow and Supergirl.

Photo Courtesy: The CW

The double wedding. Some say it was adorable. Some say it was terrible. I think it was ill timed, stupid and made Felicity look like a selfish little girl. It’s a disservice to the character to have her interrupt one of her closest friends’ wedding ceremony just so she can also get married immediately, right there! The writers could have made a double wedding perfect. But, it wasn’t. It didn’t even happen on their respective shows, both of these weddings happened on Legends of Tomorrow. The crossover began because of Barry and Iris’s wedding. To end the crossover with their wedding would be a perfect bookend. To have Felicity jump in right before they say their actual “I dos” was rude. While I ship Olicity as much as the next fan, this was not about them. The writers could have done a couple of things with this moment. One, they could have had Felicity ask before they started the little ceremony by Diggle and properly ask Barry and Iris if they could share their wedding day. Two, Felicity could have asked Oliver after Barry and Iris’s ceremony if they could get married next week. Especially since next week’s episode of Arrow is very obviously a celebration of their marriage. So why not just have a mention that Felicity wants to have a wedding the next week?

It’s also worth mentioning that most of the POC characters in these shows are completely sidelined during ‘Crisis on Earth X.’ Legend’s Jax and The Flash’s Iris are the only two characters of color actually present in all four episodes. Wally was gone completely after the wedding – even though he would have been incredibly helpful in a fight against Eobard. Joe was told to get out of town and keep Cecile safe. John Diggle somehow was absent from the entire event, Curtis and Rene only makes their appearances briefly and do very little for the whole plot. Amaya and Zari each get a few lines of dialogue on their own show and only show up way at the end. Cisco was literally in a coma for the entirety of Part 2 and in a cell for all of Part 3. Also, Earth X James died in the first 2 minutes of the whole event and we don’t see J’onn J’onzz involved in the actual crossover either.

‘Crisis on Earth X’ was overall incredible. The writers successfully managed to put together all four shows by forgoing the need to keep each episode about the characters of the show the crossover was happening on. It was a four hour event with storylines interweaving all the shows in each episode and not 4 one hour events trying to stand alone. Felicity and Iris, a Jewish woman and black woman, who have no superpowers and very little to no combat training saved Supergirl from Nazis. That was awesome! Every one of the actors brought their all to the event to make some great TV for their fans. The event was amazing, it just could have been better.

Overall Crossover Grade: B+

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One Comment

  1. I assume you don’t read comic books because the story was based on the Earth 10 stories where the Nazis won WW2
    after Kal-L landed in Germany in 1938 and was raised by Adolph Hitler, becoming Overman. And Overgirl was cloned from Overman.

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