In the very meta words of Ralph Dibny, “It’s not even Tuesday yet!” As we dive into the first episode of the Elseworlds crossover, I’m immediately reminded of the DC and Marvel annuals that’ve been issued over the years. These were the stories that would thrust our favorite heroes into bizarre worlds, timelines, and relationships. Expectations for this crossover were already very high because this was no Justice League movie. This was the DC crossover we’ve been waiting for.
Right out of the gate Stephen Amell is a scene stealer. When he wakes up in Barry’s home and eats breakfast with Iris, he very quickly analyzes the situation. The thing I love about Oliver is that he doesn’t waste time asking Iris questions over and over again. (As you might see in any other Freaky Friday situation) He doesn’t have time for that. IMMEDIATELY he plays along with an, “I love YOU, Iris West Allen” and gets right to fighting crime as The Flash. Throughout the episode Oliver quickly adapts to the Flash suit and abilities.Hilarity ensues when he is clearly not impressed by Team Flash’s touchy feely-ness. Amell’s comedic timing throughout is absolutely perfect.
Once Oliver tracks down our Green Arrow version of Barry Allen, the chemistry between these two picks up right where it left off. These guys have always had amazing chemistry, and the role reversals here work flawlessly. Barry learns how to embrace a bit of a darker side, whereas Oliver finds some much needed joy in his new role. The scene with the two of them imprisoned at Star Labs is a favorite. Oliver’s seeming need to pull rank and execute versus Barry’s good-natured problem solving just works. Not only does Oliver have to learn how to phase, but he tells Barry to “Man Up” and dislocate his thumb to escape handcuffs. This was a great scene that brought me back to some memories of old DC comic issues.
Now, I popped big a few times during this episode, but I absolutely lost it when our heroes travel to the Kent Farm as Remy Zero’s SMALLVILLE theme, “Save Me’ played. Let me just say Smallville is an all time favorite show, and these Arrow-verse shows have more than paid homage to the classic series. (Let’s just get that Tom Welling cameo please) We find Kara, who is no longer with the DEO, residing at the Kent Farm.
The episode could’ve ended right there and I would’ve been more than happy. Tyler Hoechlin is an amazing Superman, so seeing him meet the likes of Green Arrow and the Flash for the first time is amazing. When Oliver meets Clark, Barry asks, “Are you puffing out your chest?” “Yes….” Oliver replies. All of these characters have great chemistry. Seeing the four of them fight side by side was honestly better than the Justice League movie, and can only get better once Batwoman is involved. It’s all about chemistry, and this stellar ensemble has loads of it.
By the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw out a few bonus points for consistency here. Iris makes reference to always burning the pancakes. Diggle always pukes when he is transported by The Flash. (Hilarious) This seems to be THE running crossover joke, and let me tell you, It NEVER gets old! Additionally, the Kent Farm was actually shot at the original location from the Smallville TV series. Also, I noticed some of the music was more Smallville/Superman esque during the Kent Farm scenes. And finally, we get our first look at the Arrow-verse Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) who really embodies the character.
It goes without saying, but I absolutely loved this crossover episode. It only loses points for the following:
- Really bad Barry/Oliver face photoshopping of pictures, newspapers, etc.
- Iris’s drama with Barry at the end.
Last we saw Nora she had gone back to the future. (Great Scott!) So perhaps she is still there. I mean it’s time travel, so it’s all relevant.
I digress. Cisco seems to be the only one who has any grasp of what’s going on using his vibes. By the way, props to Cisco on his “T-3000” reference. Our main villain seems to be “The Monitor” and has given Psychiatrist Dr. John Deegan a magical book used to rewrite the Universe. (a la ABC’s Once Upon a Time. ) This could be very interesting as Dr. Deegan seems to be the key.
In any case, this episode absolutely delivered with team ups, one-liners, and nostalgia. The bar has been set high as tomorrow night we are headed to GOTHAM city! Let’s go!
Elseworlds Part 1 Rating: 9.5 out of 10
-Rob Crowther IV