DC/CW “Heroes Vs. Aliens” Crossover Review
DC and The CW did it first, taking that leap towards the biggest hero team-up on the TV screen. They’ve done these crossovers before, though they never felt as genuine as they should coming from something adapted from comics. The Arrow side of things until now never offered too much super about superheroes springing into action, let alone as a team. Though this here, “Heroes Vs. Aliens”, is what we have been waiting for. A crossover between four different DC shows rich with worlds of possibility and the extraordinary.
Now before I get into this, I feel this is something that needs to be said. There’s the movies, the books, and there are the tv shows. Some say Avengers already did the alien thing, and some say DC has done bigger in the books. But this is neither the movies or the books. This is ambitious for tv and a milestone for what they are capable of tackling this “Heroes Vs. Aliens” crossover.
Off the bat, “Heroes Vs. Aliens” did disappoint early only because this was more of a three-night event, plus maybe a couple of minutes. Those couple of minutes being the very last few minutes of Supergirl which sends for her call to action. Pretty much just a normal episode of Supergirl. Not a bad episode of Supergirl, yet also not what you would have hoped for if you were tuning into all four of these shows excited for pure crossover greatness. Just being the first episode to start it all, it should have felt like they were really trying to grab your attention somehow to justify the hype right away.
Next came the Flash which is where you jumped in hoping for things to pick up now that Supergirl’s help has been requested. This episode rushed us straight into the action in fact. Maybe the Supergirl episode could have eased us into this better, but it was nice how they didn’t waste too much time on the process of bringing everyone together. The fun when they all met up came with each being able to take in just how much their world’s have expanded. Heroes from other Earth’s, heroes policing through time, and the very existence of aliens both friendly and hostile. Not at any point did you feel as though you needed to be up to date on each show too. While we didn’t get very much in the way of “Heroes Vs. Aliens”, the hero versus hero action was satisfying. Much better than you could have expected if you were imagining something like that CW Fight Club teaser. With that said, we still did come to an understanding of The Dominators and what they want from Earth. They made their presence known and are definitely a worthy threat for what isn’t understood about their capabilities. They aren’t simply an alien army trying to massacre a city which most should be able to appreciate as fresh.
Flash’s focus here was good for the fact that while the crossover was the main focus, so was speeding things along with the truth behind what Barry altered when he messed with time. Again we cut the fat in too many encounters where they notice something is wrong. Now everyone knows and everyone can begin to figure out how they now feel about Barry. The response from the Legends in particular was strong considering what Barry did spat in the face of their mission. Personally I hope that the way these other heroes reacted to Barry satisfies those who have the mistaken-ed perspective that heroes like him are perfect or don’t suffer consequences for their actions.
Transitioning into the Arrow side of things for part three of “Heroes Vs. Aliens” was fluent, though if you are someone like me who hasn’t watched Arrow in quite some time there was a lot that you find out you missed. New characters a part of the team and a different dynamic from what you’re used to. That was something to get used to regardless. With that said, we got progress in what it is The Dominators do to the people they abduct. I will say that the actual exploration of what goes through their minds during this time felt like it ran just a tad longer than it should have. The writing wasn’t bad, though again considering we only truly have three episodes of the crossover story you want them to prioritize what needs to be done to stop this alien invasion. Being an Arrow episode they obviously wanted to focus on those characters mainly even if not all too necessary. Near the end of it the appeal picked up once there was action on the actual ship albeit a few minutes. With that said, what we got out of Felicity and company was satisfying for what they had to do to find the alien ship. Rene Ramirez or Wild Dog was the only unlikable aspect of their mission, but the rest made things entertaining.
Last but not least is Legends of Tomorrow to wrap up the last part of the “Heroes Vs. Aliens” crossover. With Legends of Tomorrow, you expected some use of time travel no matter what they planned to do next in retaliation.To that extent they did not disappoint. Things came full circle with their involvement as every detail in what we knew about The Dominators mattered down the road. The added twist of aliens to traveling through time made things exciting. It wasn’t the first interaction, but it was the interaction our heroes needed with them from the start in order to see the bigger picture at hand. I would say the explanation we got from The Dominators made sense. Metahumans for the most part have been compartmentalized to Central City, but it doesn’t change the fact that the whole world is changing to the point where anyone could end up with powers, magic, visit from another planet/universe. And above all the world changed in a way it may or may not be able to recover from due to the actions of one meta in particular.
If there is one thing that had to be improved upon, it was character appeal. Again not every character was favorable because of just who they are and how they interacted with those you like. Unfortunately even Oliver had his moment where it was hard to cheer for him. We came too far to get more of the gloomy crap from him again. However things did turn around when it counted the most. When it was time to cast aside petty things, this crossover managed to capture a lot of our heroes at their best. Up till the very end where what we needed to see the most from this was the importance of the heroes behind the mask. A concept I like to bring up often as it seems like something we forget too much these days. The capes, tights, powers and weapons have their appeal yet they are nothing without the person who makes you care that they have any of that.
The DC/CW “Heroes Vs. Aliens” crossover by the end of these four episodes wasn’t perfect, but it was superheroics at their best on TV. At least by the standards of the Arrowverse(still not a fan of the name). This was the right measure of how far many of our favorite characters have come standing side by side with their peers. Next time, if there is a next time, they need to just make sure a story like this can have the ability to stand on its own without being tangled in ongoing stories. If it says “Heroes Vs. Aliens”, there should be more “Heroes Vs. Aliens”. Aside from that I would say that as far as ambition goes, this was worth watching start to finish. Especially if you want them to think this is something they should risk doing again.