As if answering a challenge from Netflix, Marvel Studios, and everyone involved with the programming that will culminate in the 2017 release of Marvel’s The Defenders, The CW and DC Comics brought together Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for a huge “Heroes vs. Aliens” four-part crossover that included extra-terrestrials, time travel and an epic inter-dimensional battle for the safety of all metahumans on Earth.
After Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin successfully teamed-up for a short crossover between Supergirl and The Flash last season — and Supergirl was moved from CBS to The CW after its freshman season and introduced Superman to the mix — fans were incredibly anxious for a huge crossover that might look something like the Justice League. After all, over the years in the pages of DC Comics, different iterations of the Justice League have included the likes of Superman, Supergirl, Green Arrow, The Flash (both Barry Allen and Wally West), Martian Manhunter, Atom, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Black Canary, Firestorm, Guardian, Mon-El and Maxwell Lord — all of whom have been introduced to one or more of the DCTV programs on The CW.
For fans who loved the four-part series, an extra bit of good news was given near the conclusion of the story on Thursday’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. After their epic showdown with a species of space creatures known only as the Dominators, the tech-savvy Cisco (Flash’s friend from STAR Labs in Central City) gave Supergirl a device that will allow for crossover episodes as needed by The CW.
Heroes vs. Aliens — Crossover Recap
Existing on a completely different version of Earth than The Flash, Arrow, and the Legends of Tomorrow, the crossover began on Supergirl at the end of “Medusa,” the eighth episode of Season 2. After seeing a few inexplicable sites that looked suspiciously like a portal to another dimension, The Flash and Cisco Ramon showed up in Kara Danvers’ apartment in the final minutes of the show. Since The Flash helped Supergirl last season, it was time for the Kryptonian expatriate to return the favor.
The next night, on the eighth episode of The Flash, Season 3 (“Invasion!”), Supergirl was introduced to Green Arrow and the Legends for the first time on The CW. After an alien ship crashes in downtown Central City, the folks at STAR Labs realize that a threat is upon them. As the de facto leader, Barry rounds up Oliver Queen and the time-traveling Legends. Along with Cisco, he then travels to Earth-38 to recruit Supergirl. As the battle ensues, Supergirl and the Legends are brainwashed by the aliens to attack The Flash and Green Arrow. While they break free of the mind-control before any fellow heroes are seriously injured, the non-metahuman heroes (Green Arrow, Atom, Black Canary, John Diggle and Thea) are abducted by the aliens as part two of the crossover concludes.
On Wednesday night, part three of the crossover aired as Season 5, episode eight of Arrow (also titled “Invasion!”). With Oliver and the others still on the alien spacecraft, Cisco and Felicity meet up with Arrow’s new recruits to set up a plan to save the day. While in a shared hallucinogenic dream-state on the alien ship, the good guys must band together to dream-fight Deathstroke, Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk (which they do successfully). As the episode concludes, the entire Arrow crew breaks free from the aliens and we find out that the Dominators are building a very scary weapon that will soon be unleashed on Earth.
The crossover series finale came on Thursday night, as the seventh episode of Season 2 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which was also called “Invasion!” As the Legends discover (by traveling back to the 1950s to interrogate a Dominator after their first visit to planet Earth), the aliens want to rid Earth of its metahumans, as they pose a threat to humanity and alien life on other planets. Things with the Dominators remained peaceful until Barry’s time-traveling created the Flashpoint, which the aliens saw as a threat. Refusing to sacrifice the life of The Flash to guarantee the safety of the rest of the metahumans, the heroes versus aliens war ensues on Earth-1, eventually causing the Dominators to retreat. Earth — and all of its metahumans — were saved from the alien invasion.
After Barry, Oliver and Kara celebrate their victory with a group hug, Cisco interrupts to give Kara a token of appreciation:
“It’s an intra-dimensional extrapolator… it creates small breeches so you can use it to cross over to our universe any time you need to.”
And to make sure that The CW has a way of cross-promoting these shows shy of doing an all-out crossover, Cisco tells Kara about another trick the handheld gadget can perform.
“I also included communication functionality. So, if you ever need any help, you can always contact the team.”
While the Heroes vs. Aliens story arc is now complete, Supergirl’s new gadget almost guarantees that we’ll see Superman’s cousin (and possibly Superman himself!) making more visits to Earth-1, and probably reaching out for advice at least once or twice each season.
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Heroes vs. Aliens — Crossover Ratings
As reported by TV Line, all four episodes of The CW’s DC Comics crossover gave the shows a big boost in the ratings. The least significant increase came for Supergirl, whose 3.5 million viewers was a 33 percent increase. The Flash had more viewers than any other “Invasion!” episode, with 4.2 million representing a 40 percent uptick. Arrow had the biggest increase in terms of percentage, with 3.5 million viewers being a jump of 84 percent. Finally, Legends of Tomorrow had 3.33 million viewers, an increase of 80 percent.
The big ratings and positive reviews for “Heroes vs. Aliens” is good news for fans who are hoping to see more. Now that the crews from Star City and the Waverider know about Flashpoint and the big changes Barry caused in their own lives, it makes sense that the casts of the three shows will see more of each other in the near future.
Where to Watch
All four DCTV shows air weekly on The CW at 8/7c. New episodes of Supergirl air on Mondays. The Flash airs on Tuesday nights, Arrow on Wednesdays and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on Thursdays. Recent episodes of all of these shows can be streamed on The CW’s website, while prior seasons can be streamed via Netflix.
All four parts of the “Heroes vs. Aliens” crossover can be streamed on The CW’s website.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]