With the September days quickly giving way to October, it's time for new about The CW's "Arrowverse" shows returning to start flying in every direction. With Arrow shuffling off the network's programming coil after an abbreviated 10-episode eighth season (making The Flash the "elder states-show" of the "Arrowverse" as it speeds into its sixth season), Ruby Rose-starrer Batwoman joining the family alongside Supergirl, and a looming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover that could change things dramatically (more on that below), the 2019-2020 season isn't exactly going to be lacking in change – and the news hasn't slowed down (as if Smallville in the headline wasn't the giveaway).
As we await an official teaser/trailer and an episode overview of the season opener, The CW released the official season key art/poster – which is leaning really heavy on "The Feels" and making sure it drives home the point that for Oliver? This is… "The Last Bow":
What follows are the official images for season-opener "Starling City" – with the biggest highlights being the appearance of Oliver's (Stephen Amell) mother Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) and Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) as well as the family mansion – along with John Barrowman's… Malcolm Merlyn???
Why is this so important? Because some of those people above have shuffled off our Arrowverse coil early in the series and the home was destroyed – which adds further evidence that the series would be playing fast-and-loose with time and alternate universes.
Fans also have a chane to see the new costumes in store for Oliver's emerald archer, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), and John Diggle (David Ramsey). Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) and Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez) also make a guest appearance, but in more everyday street-safe clothing.
Arrow co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim and Amell shared some thoughts on what fans can expect during an interview with and TV Line:
● Guggenheim sees the first seven episodes as being an homage to the first seven seasons, with "stunts that we've never seen before" – with Amell teasing "a sense of humor for Oliver."
● Amell references "a familiar encounter" early on that has Oliver realizing that his "'Crisis' Management" is going to have to be more of a team effort.
● As for the show's future storylines? Guggenheim is excited to take that narrative in a direction they haven't before: "We get to do something with Team Arrow 2.0 that we didn't get a chance to do with 1.0, which is tell the story of their growing pains That's a lot of fun."
The Road to "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
Viewers can't say they weren't warned in advance. At the end of 2018's CW Arrowverse "Elseworlds" crossover that brought together The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl (and nearly DC's Legends of Tomorrow, but they let it go to machine – way too busy for all that), we saw that the end was only the beginning… of the end. As Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Amell) shared what felt like a final toast and Kate Kane's Batwoman (Rose) returned to protecting the streets of Gotham – with a sense that something felt a little off – we got a small taste of what's still to come in 2019…
"Crisis on Infinite Earths!" Worlds will live! Worlds will die!
And the CW's "Arrowverse" will never be the same…
The season's eighth episode will be the "Crisis" crossover episode – comprising the fourth hour of the crossover:
Supergirl – Sunday, December 8th (8/7c)
Batwoman – Monday, December 9th (8/7c)
The Flash – Tuesday, December 10th (8/7c)
Arrow – Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (8/7c)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow – Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (9/8c)
Black Lightning will also be represented during the crossover event… and yes, legendary Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy will star as a future version of Bruce Wayne. If that wasn't enough, Tyler Hoechlin will be returning as "The Man of Steel"… alongside the crossover's other Superman (expecting this number to grow): Brandon Routh (DC's Legends of Tomorrow), returning to the cape for the first time since his cinematic turn, portraying the Kingdom Come version of the iconic superhero. Johnathon Schaech's Jonah Hex (DC's Legends of Tomorrow) is also set to saddle up for the crossover, and John Wesley Shipp will be reprising his role as The Flash of Earth-90.
For most of their respective seasons, things have been "All Quiet on the 'Crisis' Front" when it came to Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl – but that changed in a big way during their respective season finales… even for DC's Legends of Tomorrow!
In Arrow season finale "You Have Saved This City," the Monitor returns to cash in on the favor that Oliver owes him: help him save the multiverse – taking a moment to tell him the "fine print": Oliver's going to die during "Crisis" and there's nothing the Monitor can do to stop it.
Then there's that matter of Future Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and the trip she's taking with the Monitor to see Oliver… somewhere… and it's apparently a place she can't come back from. Hmmm…
Over at The Flash season finale "Legacy," some recent maneuverings with Time moved up the date on Barry's "red skies/2024" newspaper warning just a wee bit… to say, 2019?
The fourth season finale of Supergirl "The Quest for Peace" had The Monitor speaking to a hooded figure, telling him that now is the time for him to lead "his people" and to take revenge on his captor… and brother: J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood). Meanwhile, just because Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) may have shuffled off this mortal coil (???) doesn't mean his role in the upcoming "Crisis" is over quite yet…
DC's Legends of Tomorrow season finale "Hey, World!" found the plan to take down Neron (Brandon Routh) resulting in a major status quo change for Zari (Tala Ashe) – a change that the suddenly-appearing Monitor does not appear to approve of in any way, shape, or form. At least he got some popcorn out of it – and yes, that is The Book of Destiny he's using to balance it.
The CW's Batwoman and Supergirl premiere Sunday, October 6; while The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 8, with Arrow joining them on October 15. Black Lightning premieres the following week, on Monday, October 21.