The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Midterm Report

Crisis Poster!

Shows will live! Shows will die! And The CW’s Arrowverse will never be the same!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: the landmark 1985-1986 maxiseries Crisis on Infinite Earths left such a massive impression on me as a young teen who’d been collecting comics since age 6, it changed the DC Universe forever as promised and factored into the naming of this very website 7½ years ago. It wasn’t easy for older fans to watch fifty years of comics canon and continuity get shredded and/or remixed, but youngsters with less of an emotional investment had front-row seats for The End of, and the subsequent rebirth of, the DC Universe as we knew it. Between Crisis, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, 1986 was a grandly historic time for DC on multiple fronts. And I was there for it.

Fast-forward 34 years later: I’m a different, older, creakier guy, but I’m still at the comic shop every Wednesday, and still partaking in superhero fare, albeit decreasingly in moderation. DC is still here, still banking on superheroes and trying much harder than I am to stay young-looking. They’ve spent the past eight years unleashing hundreds of their characters onto The CW across six TV series and counting. Here in 2019 going on 2020, it’s their turn for a Crisis.

(Let me throw a courtesy spoiler warning up front: this entry isn’t a full recap, but remarks are up ahead about plot points, surprises, and possibilities in the fourth and fifth chapters that’ll conclude the major crossover event on January 14th. If you’re planning to catch up on your own between now and then, the exits are clearly marked on your browser.)

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FandomFest 2017 Photos, Part 1 of 2: The Hopeless Optimists’ Version

Matthew Lillard!

Ladies and gentlemen, Matthew Lillard! You might remember him from such films as Scream and Scooby-Doo! He’s a party!

“…and that’s why I say Louisville CANNOT STAND for this grave injustice one moment longer!” I bellowed into the Q&A stage microphone.

The crowd of righteous, wronged fans cheered me and waved their Funco Pops in the air while a pair of Louisville detectives escorted the owners of FandomFest away in handcuffs, ankle cuffs, and scarlet letter Rs (for “ripoff”) spray-painted on their thousand-dollar suit jackets. At last, all the sins of these unrepentant hucksters stood exposed and would be held accountable. Justice would soon be ours thanks to the newly instituted Department of Geekland Security.

I passed the mic to the nearest Colonel Sanders cosplayer, who had been hastily appointed the convention’s interim chairman in accordance with Kentucky convention regulations. Next to him stood a six-foot tall KFC bucket because of course it did. He shook my hand and faced the crowd.

“I am SO SORRY that fandom has had to endure this charade, but soon we will put this right!” He pointed emphatically at random points in the crowd. “I vow that you shall get a refund! And YOU get a refund! And YOU get a REFUND! ALL Y’ALL WILL GET REFUNDS!”

The applause and roars and whistles reached ear-shattering decibel levels, a standing ovation rivaling any ever endured at the Oscars. And just when we thought we fans couldn’t explode any harder, a pair of hands burst through the giant paper chicken bucket and waved at everyone.

Out of the mega-bucket climbed an enthusiastic Weird Al Yankovic. He’d come after all, cleverly disguised as food. We should’ve known.

Weird Al took the mic from the Colonel, summoned his band out from behind the nearest support columns, and proceeded to play a free three-hour greatest hits dance-party concert, followed by unlimited photo ops and autograph signings that lasted well into the night.

We were content.

* * * * *

…okay, so FandomFest didn’t turn out exactly as I’d imagined.

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The Adventures of Alex & Maggie and Their Flighty Sidekick Supergirl


“Hey, everybody, come look! Alex and Maggie did a cute thing again! Awwww, I love their show!”

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I thought so highly of that new CBS series Supergirl that we met four of its stars at two different events last year — Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli at Metropolis’ Superman Celebration; and before that, Chyler Leigh and the Melissa Benoist at Chicago’s C2E2. Fun folks from a fun show.

At launch, Supergirl was a bright, optimistic series about one of the most frequently mishandled members of the Superman family, of which Anne has been a lifelong fan. As an adult she’s been to the Superman Celebration five times with me; as a girl she read all the Superman-related books she could find at our local library and watched Superman: The Movie on videodisc so many times that she memorized it. Literally. All of it. Could recite the entire movie line-for-line from beginning to end. She never could say the same for Supergirl’s movie, which was…well, I haven’t watched it in thirty years, so I can’t fairly say how it ranks compared to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, but it’s down there. She hasn’t kept up with any of DC Comics’ other TV shows since Smallville, but she was intrigued at the idea and generally happy with season one. Same went for me, despite the intermittent bits of cheesiness I was fine with shrugged off.

Then the series moved to The CW.

(Housekeeping note up front: this entry dives into developments from the March 6th episode. Consider this your courtesy spoiler warning.)

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Superman Celebration 2016 Photos #1: The Guys from “Supergirl”

Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli!

This weekend my wife Anne and I attended the 38th annual Superman Celebration in the city of Metropolis, near the southern tip of Illinois. We’ve previously attended in 2001, 2006, 2008, and 2015. We don’t make the 300-mile drive every year, but we always try to leave room on our calendar if we can, just in case.

We cleared all other appointments once this year’s four big headliners were announced. Two of those gents are costars of DC’s fun TV version of Supergirl, a favorite of ours this past season. We previously met Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh at C2E2 last March. We couldn’t believe we already had the chance to meet two more from its cast — Mehcad Brooks, who plays a more mature version of James “don’t call me Jimmy” Olsen; and, as billionaire genius Maxwell Lord, Peter Facinelli, a.k.a. papa vampire Dr. Carisle Cullen in the Twilight series.

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Top 10 Changes When “Supergirl” Moves to The CW


One of our souvenirs from C2E2 last March. Follow the link for our even better Supergirl photo!

My wife and I were pleased to learn this evening one of our favorite shows now on the air, DC’s Supergirl, has been renewed for season 2 after a few rounds of negotiated compromises. Up front we’ve been told the show will be relocating from Los Angeles to Vancouver for cheaper filming, if they can find a few square feet not in use by the 300 other shows and movies already shooting there. Biggest change of all (for now): Supergirl will be moving from CBS to The CW, which is bad news for fans in numerous cities without their own CW affiliate. Here’s hoping your internet access is higher-quality than your local broadcasting industry is.

What else does this mean for the show? What other corners will be cut? What wrongheaded executive demands will ruin everything and turn us all against it? I shudder to contemplate what the future holds for our beloved stars and the only CBS show I’ve followed within the last four years.

Right this way for the countdown!

C2E2 2016 Photos: We Are Here For Supergirl!

Jazz Hands Supergirl!

Finally, two guests who showed US how jazz hands are done.

Defying all expectations, Supergirl has become must-see TV in our house. I’ve yet to write about it here, but Twitter followers are (hopefully) used to me live-tweeting it on Mondays for fun and more fun. (I think most of the I’ll-follow-you-if-you-follow-me-and-also-please-buy-all-my-ebooks crowd already Muted me seconds after I followed them back anyway, so I may not be bothering as many people as I think.) The show has its occasional silly moments and head-scratching choices (many of them Maxwell Lord’s fault), but Kara, Alex, James, Hank/J’onn, MVP Cat Grant, and, yes, even Winn are a welcome sight to us.

Last year Anne and I discussed the notion of no longer considering any conventions an automatic buy-in until and unless the guest list gave us a solid reason to commit. C2E2’s early guest announcements for 2016 were okay, one of them pretty great. (We’ll get to him in a later entry.) Then they added special guests Melissa Benoist, the greatest Supergirl of all time, and former Grey’s Anatomy costar Chyler Leigh, who plays her adopted sister Alex. They sealed the deal for us.

Behold above the newest addition to our ongoing jazz-hands photo-op collection. Even after posing for pics with the hundreds of fans in front of us, their unstoppable enthusiasm bowled us over and won the con and the photo.

Right this way for a few pics from their Q&A!

What’s Right About This Supergirl Photo?

Supergirl Smiles!

At the end of this week, Warner Brothers treated the public to our first glimpse of Whiplash‘s Melissa Benoist in her next role as the star of CBS’ proposed Supergirl series. The CW had been handling the honors on DC Comics’ TV universe with Arrow and The Flash, but Superman’s best cousin will be movin’ on up to the larger, more powerful network that hopefully won’t skimp on the effects budget or require her to endure contrived crossovers with CSI: Cyber.

Right this way for the other photo, and the part I liked best….

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