Batwoman: Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part Two

“Yeah, I kind of promised our crew they'd never have to do another crossover.”

This was very clearly a middle entry in the crossover, where the heroes do a lot of busy work to set up the next part.

Wow, this was packed. Not only did it further the story and give us some really amazing character interactions, it introduced two new versions of Superman to this universe, and a grizzled, homicidal Bruce Wayne as well. Where to start?

Let's start with the big one: Brandon Routh's return as Superman. This could have been contrived, but instead it was touching. Sure there was the bit with Lex mind-controlling him, but the fact that despite losing everything he maintained his integrity and soul and kept on as a hero was a love letter to the character. While inspired by the Kingdom Come version of Superman, it is heavily implied that this is also the same version from the original Superman movies and Superman Returns. You know, Routh has been playing Ray Palmer for so long you could easily forget he was a pretty damn good Superman, and him in that suit is kind of awe inspiring. I also loved the direct nod to the fact that the same actor was playing both parts.


Speaking of Lex Luthor, as much as I like John Cryer, I don’t think he was needed in this episode. His exploits felt almost needlessly vindictive given that the entire multi-verse is in danger. What purpose does it serve for Lex to kill off dozens of Supermans just out of spite? Why are his actions encouraged by the Monitor? Hopefully it makes sense as the plot unravels, but right now it was the one aspect of the episode that didn’t quite work for me.

What did work was Kara and Kate bonding by searching for the most curmudgeonly Batman ever. They have some great chemistry, and it was perfect that the entire point was to show that Kate is the Bat of the future. I don’t know if this version of Luke added anything, but seeing that picture of Kate and Beth together was really sad. Let us hope that someday that picture turns into a reality for Kate.

I don't have a ton to say about our small scene with the Smallville versions of Clark and Lois, except this was a wonderful nod to the fans of that show and can serve as a coda for that series. I'm not totally sold on the idea that Clark gave up his powers, but giving him a family and having him settle down with Lois on the farm with two daughters was just lovely.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team did the most obvious thing in the world and attempted to resurrect Oliver. I get it, it is almost a given that this would be something Barry and Mia would need to do. Also, it feels somewhat overdue because half of the important people in Oliver’s life (Roy, Thea, Sara) have all been in the Lazarus Pit. There is even a logical explanation given that the multi-verse exists so of course there would be another pit on another world that was still active. It does make me wonder, though – are we going to have to watch Oliver die twice?

Bits:

Kevin Conroy is playing a later in life version of Bruce Wayne, mostly likely a cross between Batman 2099 and The Dark Knight Returns. Personally I would've loved to see him play a live action version of his Batman from the Animated Series, but it was still great seeing him in action.

Bruce’s souvenir case was such a nice Easter egg, and I loved the small blood stain on Joker’s card.

It isn’t explicitly stated, but the Gotham villain who gassed the Daily Planet and killed Routh’s version of Lois and Perry White was the Joker. This is a direct plot lift from the Kingdom Come comic series, along with the nearly perfect costume.

I am so happy they got Wentworth Miller to do some voice work for the computer on the Wave Rider. It isn’t quite the same as having him back, but it'll do.

If you know anything about the original comic series (Crisis on Infinite Earths), it is not really a surprise that the Anti-Monitor showed up and immediately started ordering Lyla around.

Quotes:

Bruce: “It's like a wise man once said, 'Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster.' I've lost track of how many people I've killed.”

Kate: “You know, the Bruce I knew wore a different kind of suit.”
Bruce: “Lifetime of injuries. But you've aged well. For a dead girl.”
Kate: “I died?”
Bruce: “Five years ago.”
Kate: “Huh. Never been a ghost before.”

Kara: “Earth-1 villain?”
Kate: “Only friend, actually.”
Kara: “Oh, well, at least he's cute.”
Kate: “Nope, no, let's not make that weird. That's weird.”

Ray: “I'm sorry. Go back. Bruce Wayne is the Dark Knight?”
Kate: “If we could all keep that to ourselves, that would be great.”

Harbinger: “Come with me, Mick Rory, and I promise you'll have plenty of beer to drink and stories to tell. The multiverse needs saving and its heroes need a ship.”
Rory: “Hm. You had me at beer.”

Kate: “Not to rush a tender moment but I think the multiverse is ending... soonish?”

Being a middle chapter it is a little harder to rate. I don’t think this was quite as good as the first installment, but still was very good.

4 out of 4 Alternate versions of Superman, and here's a link to part three,

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

5 comments:

Nick said...

I actually liked this a lot better than the first one, which I felt was very contrived. There was a lot more character moment here that I enjoyed.

And considering how disenchanted I was with Smallville at the end, I was surprised how much I enjoyed that snippet, though them *just* missing Erica Durance as Lois was such a tease move. :)

Victoria Grossack said...

They seem to be bringing Oliver back to life. His death was the thing I liked most about the first episode! Never have been an Arrow fan (which is a big reason I don't do crossover reviews). The creators convinced me too well that he was a jerk before he started vigiliantism, and I never got over it.

Billie Doux said...

Victoria, Oliver *was* a jerk at the start of Arrow, but he grew up a lot during the course of the series.

JD, lovely review. I really enjoyed the three Supermans. I've always been partial to Superman. Might have to review the upcoming Superman and Lois series they're talking about.

Victoria Grossack said...

I know that Oliver improves, but some times you don't get over first impressions. Was happy to see that my girl Kara is the paragon of hope. And Brandon Routh is easy on the eyes in every outfit.

Profe said...

I agree about Lex Luthor. He seemed comically villainous. If you cause the multiverse to be destroyed by doing everything to stop the heroes from saving it, what do you get out of it? The vindictive joy of knowing you ruined everything out of pettiness as you float outside of space and time. He seemed to only be there so that he's canonically back in Supergirl's canon.

I liked the Bruce Wayne. It made me think of Injustice Gods Among Us where Superman has become an utter villain who is convinced he's doing the write thing and Batman is the only quasi-check on his unfettered power. I also liked the Smallville scene, having been a big fan of the show. I actually liked Clark giving up his power and settling down. Very Jonathan Kent of him. And I loved when the kryptonite didn't work on him (After ten seasons of Tom Welling having to writhe and grimace every episode in response to a glittery green rock). i'm just glad they didn't find a way to jam Lana in there the way the series proper did for ten seasons...