Ever since 2014, The CW has aired an annual crossover event for its DC Comics shows. The first two crossovers just had Arrow and The Flash, but with the introduction of Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow on the network, the crossovers expanded to four shows. And they’re only getting bigger and bigger each year.
With The CW just finishing its biggest event yet, “Crisis on Earth-X,” we figured we’d go back and rank all four of the Arrowverse crossovers up to this point.
#4: Heroes Join Forces (2015)
“Heroes Join Forces” was a two-episode crossover between The Flash and Arrow. The story establishes the backstories for Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Vandal Savage, leading into Legends of Tomorrow. While the first Arrowverse crossover was basically two stories in two episodes, this one tells a single story across both, so you can’t really watch one without the other.
While the first half of “Heroes Join Forces” felt stuffed with characters and plots, it becomes much smoother in the second half. The Green Arrow and Flash vs. Hawkman scene was cool, while the final battle with Savage was fun. Despite its crammed storyline, “Heroes Join Forces” mostly works due to the character interactions and dazzling action scenes.
#3: Flash vs. Arrow (2014)
The very first crossover event happened between The Flash‘s first season and Arrow‘s third. The first installment saw Oliver Queen and the team visit Central City and work with Flash, but a villain manipulatively turns the two against each other. Thankfully, they resolve their conflict. The second half sees Barry Allen and his team visit Starling City, as they help Oliver and co. take down Captain Boomerang.
“Flash vs. Arrow” was the first big indicator of just how connected these shows are. It was the first time we’ve seen many characters from both shows interact with one another, while contrasting the two heroes’ very different approaches was fascinating. For a first crossover, this one hit all the right notes.
#2: Invasion! (2016)
With The CW now airing Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, the network began developing a crossover event for all four shows. The result was “Invasion!,” an adaptation of the iconic DC storyline of the same name. The story sees an invasion of the Dominators, an alien race that seeks to wipe out the metahumans of Earth. Barry Allen unites his fellow superheroes to defeat the Dominators, and in the end, they do.
From the CGI to the hectic production schedules, it’s incredible how great “Invasion!” is. The three-episode arc thrived on its character interactions and stunning action sequences. (Supergirl meeting the other heroes was particularly a highlight.) Additionally, Arrow‘s 100th episode airs as part of this crossover, and it not only works within the story’s context, but it’s a beautiful love letter to the series.
#1: Crisis on Earth-X (2017)
Now, we have the latest Arrowverse event. “Crisis on Earth-X” is by far the shows’ biggest story yet, expanding its scope to four episodes. The story sees everyone in town for Barry and Iris’s wedding, but the party is crashed by Nazi forces from Earth-X. The heroes must fight against evil doppelgangers and other enemies in order to save the planet.
“Crisis on Earth-X” takes what works in past crossovers and cranks it up to 11. The scale is bigger than ever, but there is still great character development, particularly from the Firestorm subplot. The second half has some super emotional scenes; if you don’t cry, then something’s definitely wrong. We’ve come to expect the big action sequences from these shows, but “Crisis” stands out above the rest due to its more personal approach to the characters.
What is your favorite Arrowverse crossover event?