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Following a short epilogue at the end of the Supergirl midseason finale, this year's epic DC TV crossover kicked off yesterday on The Flash, and will continue through tonight's Arrow and Thursday's Legends of Tomorrow. This event sees the CW DC heroes battling The Dominators, an alien race that is laying siege to Earth-1. While this is certainly justifiable cause to bring these protagonists together for the biggest DC TV crossover yet, in the months preceding this, many fans speculated that this crossover would also be used to merge Supergirl's Earth with the main Earth, i.e. the universe where the other CW DC shows take place. It's since been revealed that won't happen, and that feels like a wasted opportunity.
For those who don't watch Supergirl, the Girl of Steel's adventures takes place on what has now been identified as Earth-38. That means along with her, characters like Superman, Martian Manhunter and James Olsen (a.k.a. Guardian) reside on her world. Thanks to speedster talents and Cisco Ramon's vibrational powers, traveling from one Earth to another makes it relatively easy for Supergirl to have adventures with the heroes of Earth-1. It happened last year in the Supergirl episode "Worlds Finest," and it happened at the end of "Medusa" when Barry Allen and Cisco hopped over to Earth-38 to fetch Kara for their biggest battle yet. Nevertheless, this crossover would have been a great time to break down the barriers further and directly bring Kara Zor-El's world into the main CW DC continuity. Even better, they already had the perfect catalyst for such a merging: Flashpoint, the alternate timeline Barry created.
So far the consequences of Barry's time traveling in The Flash Season 2 finale and the Season 3 premiere has strictly been limited to changes affecting him and those closest to him. However, in the original Flashpoint comic book storyline (seen above), Barry trying to change things back to normal also resulted in a few alternates Earth merging with the main DC continuity, thus creating the New 52 universe. Obviously it would have been great if such a change on TV had occurred directly after The Flash Season 3 premiere, but admittedly, that might have confused Supergirl viewers who aren't keeping up with the other DC shows. The crossover, then, would have been the next best alternative. The Dominators could still have invaded Earth-1, but near the end of the epic event, something could have happened, be it intentionally or unintentionally, that would have rewritten reality, and no one would have retained any knowledge about how things previously were. Well, maybe Barry, but I suspect he would have kept that nugget of information to himself.
By merging the Supergirl world with the main DC world, it would have allowed for Kara Zor-El and her supporting characters to maintain a closer connection with the characters from the other shows. Now instead of having to create a portal between universes overtime a crossover was desired, her National City would now only be a short trip away, even shorter when you factor in quick flight and super speed. Kara could still have her own adventures, but it would be much simpler to pair her with the likes of Green Arrow, Firestorm, White Canary and the rest of this continually-expanding superhero community. Keep in mind that there are also plenty of other alternate Earths that have been established in this multiverse, so taking away Supergirl's world away from the collection wouldn't make a huge dent. Harry Wells and Jesse Quick can remain on Earth-2, Jay Garrick can keep Earth-3 safe, etc.
Admittedly, there are some downsides to going down this path. Closer connectivity is a double-edged sword, and sometimes Supergirl benefits from having distance with Earth-1. Keeping the Earths separate means that for the most part, the Girl of Steel's show wouldn't be affected by any major status quo changes on Earth-1, which would surely make the writers' jobs a lot easier. Separation also makes her show more easily accessible to new viewers, as they don't have to worry about the years of continuity established on the main Earth in Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Hardcore comic book fans love the deep ties between different corners of these kinds of universes, but accessibility does matter for people who didn't grow up reading or watching these kinds of stories.
It's also important to remember that despite the Invasion crossover being a lost opportunity for making this twist happen, there's still other ways to make it happen in the future. Crisis on Infinite Earths, the 1980s storyline that simplified DC continuity by creating a single shared universe, can also be adapted later down the line, so it's not like merging Earth-38 with the main DC TV world is permanently off the table. Supergirl is only in its second season, and if it can keep up the quality and viewership numbers, it will keep airing for a number of years. Maybe in a season or two, the DC bigwigs will finally decide it's time to bring Supergirl into Earth-1 permanently during another crossover. Few things can surpass an alien invasion in terms of scale and explosiveness, but a good ol' fashioned Earth merging would definitely make it onto that short list.
What do you think? Should Supergirl's world still be merged with Earth-1 at some point or is it better off staying separate? Let us know your opinion on the matter in the comments below.
Supergirl returns with new episodes on Monday, January 23, but you can still follow the Girl of Steel as the DC TV crossover on The CW continues tonight on Arrow at 8 p.m. EST/PST and Legends of Tomorrow...tomorrow at the same time. Make sure to also click here to find out when your other favorite shows will return midseason.