What threat is big enough to team up the superheroes from all four of The CW's DC Comics-based TV shows? As announced by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment Thursday, it's an alien invasion. Or even more specifically, the DC Comics alien race The Dominators, who, appropriately, headlined an epic comic book crossover event in the 1980's titled — you guessed it — Invasion!
The four-show crossover will kick off on Supergirl — it will be "touched on," rather than having the show fully involved in the storyline, according to executive producer Greg Berlanti — before continuing into The Flash, then Arrow, and finishing up on DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
"This year, for our mega 'Arrowverse' crossover, we're taking inspiration from a DC crossover from the late 1980s known as Invasion!, which featured an alien race called the Dominators, who'd previously vexed the Legion of Superheroes," Arrow and Legends EP Marc Guggenheim said in statement. "We're using cutting edge prosthetics and computer effects to achieve a feature film-quality look which is faithful to Invasion! artist Todd McFarlane's interpretation of the characters."
CW's superhero producers tease four-show crossover, coming-out storyline
Though other details on the crossover are basically nonexistent at this point (we don't even know precisely when it'll air, though previous years' crossovers between The Flash and Arrow have hit during the eighth episode of each season), there are a few things to unpack from this news.
All four shows have forged their own way from the comics mythology, while staying true to the core of the characters. So looking at the Invasion! crossover — well, honestly, most of it is in the title: The Dominators are a calculating, evil alien race who assemble a bunch of other evil alien races and try to conquer Earth. The other heroes stop them. The end.
The most interesting part of the crossover, though, was that The Dominators are very interested in genetic manipulation. They set off something called a "Gene Bomb," meant to mess with all the superheroes' powers and kill them; but actually led to the creation of a bunch of other metahumans. Like in the comics crossover, this is a pretty easy way for the Arrowverse to introduce a few new heroes into the mix, or give some of the unpowered humans on the shows a surprising upgrade, post-crossover.
But what will make comic fans salivate with anticipation is Guggenheim's casual mention of the Legion of Superheroes. The teen team lives in the 30th century battling evil beings like The Dominators, and some leftover bad guys from "our" time. On multiple occasions, both Superman and Supergirl (in the comics) have traveled to the future and teamed up with the Legion — something that was teased last season on The Flash — he glimpsed a Legion ring, which allows the team to fly, while running through a time tunnel (don't ask) — and Supergirl, when Kara (Melissa Benoist) walked by a ring in Superman's home base, the Fortress of Solitude.
With Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) now appearing on Supergirl, and the Legion tying nicely into the beginnings of the Dominators, there's a very thin line you can draw between how Supergirl might "touch" on the crossover, without fully getting involved. And more importantly for fans, this means we might get to see the Legion appear on screen (they previously appeared on the unconnected-to-the-Arrowverse Smallville).
Whatever happens, though, and however this all connects together, we don't know if The CW's heroes are ready for Domination.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of the CW's parent companies.)