Warning: This Crisis on Infinite Earths article contains MAJOR spoilers for Part One.
The first episode of Crisis on Infinite Earths ended with a showstopper: Oliver Queen’s death. While we’ve known it was coming since last year’s Elseworlds crossover, the end of the first of five crossover episodes was a far earlier point than expected to lose the hero who started the entire Arrowverse. That begs the question: is Oliver Queen really dead?
Um, kind of? After “Part Two” of the Crisis, Oliver Queen’s body has been brought back through the use of a North Dakota-located Lazarus Pit. This is Step 1 of a two-step resurrection process. Step 2 is to retrieve Oliver’s soul. Without it, Oliver is the shell of a human—a monster.
“Part Three” sees Mia, Diggle, and Constantine traveling to Purgatory (with some help from Lucifer!) to retrieve Oliver’s soul. Though he is initially willing to leave his Purgatory, designed to look like Lian Yu, Oliver balks when a stranger named Jim Corrigan comes to tell Oliver that, if he leaves, he will not be able to save the Multiverse. (Oliver isn’t meant to be a Paragon, but whatever.) This leaves the fate of one Oliver Queen up in the air.
In the comics, Jim Corrigan is a dead man acting as a host for the Spectre, a god-like character with the ability to do pretty much anything he wants. Could he be the solution to the destruction of the Multiverse? And, if so, might Oliver Queen become the deceased human who acts as the host for the entity?
Will Oliver’s death stick past Crisis? From a purely logistical standpoint, there are still three episodes of Arrow left: the Arrowepisode of Crisis, the backdoor pilot for Green Arrow and the Canaries, and the series finale. It’s hard to imagine Oliver dying without Felicity, who isn’t returning until the Arrow finale.
Another fly in the ointment from the beginning: the Monitor said this was not the end he foresaw for Oliver. Oliver has been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save Kara and Barry and keep his family safe. But if the Monitor is no longer keeping his promise about Barry’s safety and his powers of foresight aren’t to be trusted, then what are we even doing here? What are the rules of this Crisis, exactly? Why should anyone believe it’s inevitable and there’s no point in fighting back, as the Monitor insisted, in a living allegory that was, frankly, not all that compelling?
Another indication that this was all a giant red herring is the way the episode teased other Green Arrows. When Oliver presented Mia with her suit, he said, “There should always be at least one Green Arrow.” Pretty specific language, yes? He could have simply told her how proud he was for her to carry on the family tradition, but instead the writers left the door open for multiple Green Arrows running around.
Then, when Brainy, Lois and Sara went to Earth-16 2046 to retrieve baby Jonathan, they ran into that Earth’s Green Arrow. He was still a hero, but an older, solitary one, looking for redemption. The conversation he had with Sara about wanting to apologize to her about bringing her on The Queen’s Gambit was reminiscent of the closure Earth-2 Laurel was able to have with Earth-1 Quentin, thanks to the Monitor’s extradimensional weirdness.
With our Oliver brought back (mostly), will Earth-16 Oliver somehow come to Earth-1 to sacrifice himself in a play for redemption, so that what the Monitor saw will still come to pass? Might Sara’s line, “you’re a good man on every Earth,” be prophetic, with Oliver Queens from across the multiverse coming together to form an army of Legends to meet the army of Shadow Demons or something else the Anti-Monitor sends our heroes way?
Whatever happens, Oliver Queen certainly deserves a hero’s death, and while his first Crisis death was a hero’s death, I don’t think it was his. I’m not convinced we’ve seen his final bow and, with “Part Two” and “Part Three” complicating his death, the Arrowverse seems far from done with Earth-1’s Oliver Queen.
Crisis On Infinite Earths continues tomorrow at 8pm ET on The CW. Stay up-to-date on all Crisis news and coverage here.