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The First Crisis on Infinite Earths Peek Has Us Asking: What’s Up With The Monitor?

We're also just excited in general

The Crisis is coming very soon and at long last the CW has released a teaser for the mega-crossover even Crisis On Infinite Earths. The five night event will see heroes from pretty much every DC universe uniting to prevent all of reality from being destroyed and even the barest peeks of Black Lighting and Doomsday Superman mixing it up with Oliver, Sara, Barry, Kara and Kate have us incredibly exited. Check it out:

There’s not much here that adds to what we know…except for the look on the Monitor. So far this season The Flash and Arrow have been doing the heavy lifting in terms of setting up the coming apocalypse and on both shows, that impending doom has been personified by The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), who has told both Oliver Queen and Barry Allen that they must die to save their universe and all others. No pressure.

But our heroes don’t know if they can trust the monitor, aka Mar Novu. This is the guy who has been testing worlds and then destroying them with the book of destiny that we saw in Elseworlds, but now he seems to be working to keep the world, or worlds, going?  So what’s up with this guy?

Barry dealt with the knowledge that the crisis that has loomed over his future for six years is coming early by hoping over a few realities and looking at every possible outcome until he saw one where everyone lived because he died. He’s now resigned to his death but there may be hope in the form of the newest Harrison Wells, who seems to be after the Monitor…or at least someone that looks like him.

nash wells with a projection of the monitor on The flash

On Oliver’s side of things, he started out the season obeying the Monitor’s commands but that didn’t go very well (bye, Earth 2!) and now he’s more than a little suspicious of the guy. Oliver isn’t even aware that the Monitor is working with Lyla (!) or that he asked Laurel to betray Oliver (!!!!), but what he did find out was that the League of Assassins met a “god” back in the day who promised the end of all things when good and evil got out of balance and that god had Mar Novu’s face. That’s certainly confusing but maybe it’s more than it seems. My theory: These guys aren’t the Monitor.

It all comes down to the sideburns…and also stuff that we know from the thirty years of Crisis on Infinite Earths being out. Let’s break it down. This guy? That’s probably the Anti-Monitor.

In the comics there are two Monitors that function like mirror images of one another: one wants to destroy all universe and create his own, and the other is trying to stop that guy. The catch here is that they look the same since we know both will be played by LaMonica Garrett as revealed in this concept art tweeted by Arrow creator and Crisis Mastermind, Marc Guggenheim.

I don’t know about you but I think that looks more like the guy Wells is tacking than the Monitor working with Oliver. And the ancient picture of Mar Novu that Ollie and Thea found: No muttonchops! Much like the Monitor we see briefly in the promo. Maybe this is the Anti-Monitor? Or maybe it’s their cousin, the younger, ambivalent millennial Monitor who really doesn’t want to get caught up in labels.  Either way, that distinctive facial hair is gone and that subtle difference between faces and styles might be a clue for where this Crisis is going. Or Marc Guggenheim is messing with us.

I think we’ll find out a lot more about the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor very soon, as Lyla’s role as Harbringer is revealed and we possibly meet Pariah – the brilliant scientist who works with and maybe released the Montior and Anti-Monitor long ago and who will also be played by Tom Cavanagh. We have just four weeks before the Crisis begin and there’s only one thing we know for sure…we’re really happy that Dean Cain wasn’t invited.

(image: Dean Buscher/The CW; Prompt via Carla Day)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.