Elseworlds [Arrowverse Crossover] – Review

[Ed. Note: Being that TV and City is on a bit of a hiatus, this article has not been edited.]

By Adam Zenasni

Here we are, the annual Arrowverse crossover event. They say you can’t judge something until it is complete (I don’t know who says that – I’m just going to say I say that) and never is it clearer than for this year’s crossover: Elseworlds. Stretched over three nights, taking up Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl, Elseworlds goes through a lot in what manages to seem like such a small time. In which the team encounters a ‘Freaky Friday’ situation, fight a robot, introduce Batwoman, introduce Lois Lane, visit Gotham, visit Arkham Asylum, undergo an even bigger ‘Freaky Friday,’ and deal with the most powerful villain I have ever seen in all my comic-book shpw watching. And Elseworlds manage to pull it all off!

Of course, there are some elements which could be better, and I wish the CW had given them a bigger budget. And, if I was to give each episode a rating, I would say I was disappointed by the finale, just because the show doesn’t really have a climax. Plus, the poster for the event looks so much cooler than any scene we got in the entire show. But all-in-all the crossover is everything you love about the Arrowverse. Countless. I mean – countless Easter eggs, final confirmation about characters I had only hoped would have existed a few years ago, good character development, great acting, a good story and it is just fun.

The stand out of the crossover is Mr. Oliver Queen himself, as the show put him and Barry Allen center stage and lets everyone else thrive of them, Grant Gustin does well too, and their chemistry and their clear delight in the roles really rubs off on the show and their characters. The crossover also gives some much-needed freshness to supporting characters, Diggle gets to bounce off other characters for once and Carlos Valdes gets to sink his teeth into a role we know he can pull off – and oh my; does he. Whereas the standout new character must be Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman, he was incredible – even from the very little we saw of him. Get that man his own TV show already.!! For all the strides taken for Clark Kent, Lois Lane drags a lot down, Elizabeth Tulloch doesn’t really bring anything to the role and she doesn’t really do anything but explain why Clark doesn’t save the day every time. And oh yeah – for all the hype around Batwoman, she doesn’t really have a role to play. Sorry if that seemed tagged on, but so did her appearance, Ruby Rose looks great but really doesn’t do anything to be judged on.

Each episode is set in a different character’s TV Show, and although I loved the show, this really didn’t work. There was no clear way to distinguish between each set, and Supergirl feels very side-lined even in her own show. But each episode does have its own arc, the first they fight a robot named A.M.A.Z.O. And, the scene itself was executed well, everything from the choreography to the CGI. The second episode entails a fight within Arkham Asylum, which will always lead to problems because when you have hundreds of characters to choose from, and you don’t pick the ones I want to see, there is always going to be some disappointment. And the third is the climax of the overall arc. Or so you would think…

I have a few problems with the crossover that I was able to forgive just because of how much fun I was having, but the first is that the entire event is there to set up the next. No speculation is required as to what next year’s crossover will be because they tell you and tease it at the end. I would say I am somewhat in the loop about comic-book characters, and their choice as the next crossover’s tease was someone, I had no idea about. Hell, when he appeared in the second episode; I referred to him as the mask-guy. The actual villain of the entire show (played by LaMonica Garrett) was also quite side-lined, whilst LaMonica is great in the role and very convincing he doesn’t do much; which I can only assume the show will pull off next year as the climax resulted in a very powerful Oliver Queen stance.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed the crossover event. It was fun, good at introducing new characters, and really gave some existing characters a new lease of life. What I will say is, you will enjoy this crossover so much more if you are a fan of all three CW shows. And, the crossover is guilty because it thinks too big whilst also not going big enough, at times, you know you’re not going to get a complete story out of this all – after all, there are only three episodes, and this is clear by the end of the second episode. But, at the same time, you don’t get that classic all heroes against the bad guy shot or a natural end meaning you’re still waiting for something else to happen.

I give Elseworlds a B+.