Arrowverse: Here’s What You Need to Know About ‘Elseworlds’

Will Davis
TV The CW
TV The CW Arrowverse DC

Fans are anxiously waiting for Elseworlds, this year’s Arrowverse crossover. The event is a little under a month away, and with so much hype surrounding it, we can’t help but wonder if this will be the best crossover event in Arrowverse history. But what exactly is Elseworlds? How will this event affect the Arrowverse? Let’s dive into what we know so far.

What Is Elseworlds?

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'Elseworlds' is one of DC's publication imprints.

Elseworlds is a publication imprint from DC Comics that focuses on stories outside of DC’s canon. Think of the Elseworlds comics as alternate realities that deviate from the established continuity of DC’s regular comics. DC characters that have their own Elseworlds stories include Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Each Elseworlds story finds familiar characters in a completely different setting than readers are used to.

One story, called Gotham by Gaslight, finds a Victorian-era Bruce Wayne taking up the mantle of Batman at the same time Jack the Ripper comes to Gotham City. Published in 1989, this story is considered to be the first Elseworlds comic. Another story, Superman: Red Son, sees Kal-El landing in Ukraine rather than Kansas during the Cold War, where the Soviet Union raises him. These are just a few of the stories that the Elseworlds imprint has conjured up. How will the Arrowverse incorporate the premise of these comics?

Entering a New Reality

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It looks like the Arrowverse is taking inspiration from the alternate reality aspect of 'Elseworlds.'

The Arrowverse’s interpretation of Elseworlds will transport fans to a reality where Oliver Queen is the Flash and Barry Allen is the Green Arrow. Judging by the promos for this event, both characters will retain their memories of their original lives. Speaking of promos, one recently dropped showing Supergirl, who also keeps her memories, being held captive in the S.T.A.R. Labs pipeline. She is interrogated by Alex, who seems to have forgotten Kara is her sister. In the promo, Alex wears a black jumpsuit with the crest of the House of El on her shoulder. This could mean she’s working with the black-suited Superman we’ve seen in various behind-the-scenes photos.

The Man Behind the Alternate Realities

But who is responsible for this alternate reality? The answer comes with the introduction of John Deegan, an original Arrowverse character who works as a doctor at Arkham Asylum. He seems to be based on John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny. In the comics, Doctor Destiny has the power to create entire realities out of people’s dreams and memories, so it makes sense that John Deegan would have that same power. We don’t know why Deegan rewrites reality, but we can only assume it’s for his own personal gain. Perhaps he has a vendetta against the heroes of the Arrowverse.

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All signs point to Doctor Destiny as the villain of 'Elseworlds.'

New Characters, and Their Potential Impact

As fans know by now, Batwoman will be introduced in Elseworlds, and the crossover will mostly take place in Gotham City. In a recent trailer for the crossover, our heroes mention Batman. Perhaps our heroes go to Gotham City to ask for Batman’s help to defeat Doctor Destiny, only to encounter Batwoman instead. Batwoman’s knowledge of Gotham City and Arkham Asylum will surely prove invaluable in their quest to stop Doctor Destiny.

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The Monitor will make his Arrowverse debut in 'Elseworlds.'

Batwoman isn’t the only character who will be introduced in the crossover, we’ll get to meet the Monitor as well. The Monitor has a rich comic book history, where he’s mostly known for gathering DC’s heroes together to fight for the fate of the Multiverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Using his power of Cosmic Awareness, he spends most of his time watching over the events of the Multiverse — which includes Elseworlds. It’s possible that the actions of Doctor Destiny will prove so drastic that they’ll, hopefully, cause the Monitor to interfere to help our heroes.

Destiny Forever Rewritten?

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How will 'Elseworlds' affect the Arrowverse?

Every trailer for Elseworlds comes with the tagline “Destiny will be rewritten,” so it’s safe to say that this crossover will bring some major changes to the Arrowverse’s status quo. Perhaps the event will permanently alter the reality of the Arrowverse, even after our heroes defeat Doctor Destiny. The reality that they return to might not be the same one that they left. The implications of this crossover are so substantial that it’s hard for us to wrap our heads around them.

We have many questions about this year’s crossover. Elseworlds looks like it will be the Arrowverse’s most ambitious one yet. How will our heroes triumph this time around? How will this event alter the Arrowverse as we know it? We’ll have to wait and see when it finally makes its way to our television screens.

Will Davis
Writer. Avid comic book reader. Lover of superhero shows and sci-fi. The Flash is my guilty pleasure.
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