CW has figured out the right formula to tell an engaging story while intertwining several of its shows together. Elseworlds only includes Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, leaving Legends of Tomorrow out this time around. While watching any of the shows is not a requirement, it’ll enhance your viewing to see how it lead to this moment. On its own, it’s an enjoyable adventure between Oliver, Barry, and Kara as they unravel why Oliver and Barry have switched lives.
Like last year, you’ll need to watch all three nights to understand the storyline. Watching just one night won’t do much for you, as this played out more like a mini-movie than an isolated crossover per episode. Each show had its supporting characters featured in some way, but the trio kept constant throughout.
Barry and Oliver have woken up in each other’s lives in a sort of Quantum Leap situation. Neither takes to the change well, though Barry finds the humor while Oliver panics. Having Barry team up with Oliver seems to bring out all his best Barry qualities. It feels more like comic Barry’s personality stands out more when he’s balancing the dark vigilante. Kara, who is just as much of an optimist as Barry, keeps the two focused and is diligent in getting to the bottom of what is going down on their Earth. It’s no surprise Barry turns to her in their time of needs as suspicious events begin to happen. This leads the three to visit Gotham, a location a lot of fans have been dying to visit.
While Superman has been welcomed in a supporting role, we didn’t get to meet Batman on this visit. Instead, we are introduced to Kate Kane, who has taken over for Bruce Wayne in his absence from Gotham. In her role as Batwoman, she does her best to keep Gotham together while Batman is MIA. While her personality is similar to Bruce’s, she willing to help the trio track down Dr. John Deegan, who they believe is responsible for this alternate reality.
While working out what has happened to Oliver and Barry, there are brief interludes to address relationship uncertainties that have been brewing in their personal lives. Not just between Oliver and Barry’s significant others, Felicity and Iris, but in Kara’s life as well. She faces the expectation of being compared to Superman and struggling to find her place on Earth with her sister Alex. I’m sure it’ll be addressed in more detail as each show returns, but exemplifying their human sides reminds us why they are such great heroes.
Elseworlds concludes when Deegan rewrites Earth-1’s reality by reading from the Book of Destiny gifted to him by The Monitor. This time Barry and Oliver are powerless villains known as the Trigger Twins, Kara is locked up, and Deegan is some weird version of Superman. The villain isn’t clear; The Monitor seems to be the cause of this mess but explains little other than this is a test for all of them of what’s to come. But Deegan is the one wreaking havoc across their Earth by a book given to him by the Monitor. Right now, it’s clear they have to focus on Deegan. Though Oliver, Barry, and Kara are separated, it’s only briefly as they devise a plan to get Superman to their Earth and put an end to Deegan’s warped reality.
It’s a fantastic final battle, with Oliver, Barry, and Kara taking the spotlight and saving Earth-1. This is doing a team-up right; it makes me wish more DC characters were introduced to make a proper Justice League team up. Any DC fan would be happy with Elseworlds from the easter eggs alone, but with an engaging storyline and characters who feel like their comic counterparts, it honestly does DC justice.
As a final gift, we’re teased with next year’s crossover event; Crisis on Infinite Earths. If Elseworlds is any indication of what’s to come, we have a fun ride ahead of us.