Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the Arrow-Flash-Supergirl-Legends of Tomorrow crossover. Read at your own risk!
During The CW’s four-way crossover, the heroes of The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow assembled to stop the Dominators from quashing the unpredictable threat of metahumans.
It turns out, the Dominators and Earth had a decades-long truce after the aliens arrived in the ’50s to determine the threat of enhanced individuals — a treaty that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) inadvertently broke by creating Flashpoint and tinkering with time.
Though the storyline hues somewhat close to what happened in DC Comics’ Invasion crossover event, which debuted in late 1988, the Arrowverse certainly took some liberties. Here’s a few of the ways the stories were different:
- In the comics, the Dominators tested a sampling of 50 humans on what amounted to a gauntlet of death to see if latent abilities would arise. Among them: Lucas “Snapper” Carr, who is currently being portrayed by Ian Gomez on Supergirl, manifested abilities as a result of the test, as did half a dozen others, which worried the Dominators — thus the catalyst for the invasion. In short, while The Flash was present during Invasion in the comics, he was not the direct reason for it.
- In the comics, the Dominators are depicted wearing green robes and different size red circles on their foreheads, depending on their caste in their social hierarchy. Read why the shows didn’t go that route here.
- In the comics, the Dominators don’t actually fight against the humans like we see in the Arrowverse version, but enlist a coalition of other alien races, including the Thanagarians and the Daxamites, to help invade Earth.
- In the comics, the Dominators’ alliance first touched down in Australia, not Central City, since it has the lowest recorded populace of metahumans and could be easily dominated.
- In the comics, the alien alliance does much more worldwide destruction as the governments of Earth fear launching a counter attack will endanger civilian lives. The invasion was therefore public, unlike with the Arrowverse, where Glasses was able to cover up the Dominators’ attempted invasion.
- In the comics, the Dominators tell the humans they will be spared if they surrender all of their superheroes, not just Barry Allen. The people of Earth reject their offer.
- In the comics, a security council is convened to combat the alien threat that includes General Wade Eiling, Captain Atom, Amanda Waller, and Maxwell Lord — it’s in the vein of the small cabal set to make decisions for the president during CW’s version of Invasion that included the man in the glasses and Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson).
- In the comics, the supers protecting Earth were comprised of a worldwide alliance between heroes and villains. Among the banner names included The Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Atom, Firestorm, and even the Suicide Squad, Lex Luthor, and Captain Boomerang, among countless others — in other words, it wasn’t just a ragtag team like in the Arrowverse.
- In the comics, the Dominators meta-gene bomb does explode on Earth, causing heroes and villains alike to suffer power overloads. Some of the unaffected heroes must venture to the Dominators’ home world, Dominion, to find the antidote and save the world’s heroes from perishing. To note, the meta-gene bomb was detonated by a lower caste Dominator trying to move up in class, not realizing the Dominators had other plans in mind.
- In the comics, the Dominators used the invasion as a distraction from their true goal of turning metahumans into their own slaves to battle the rest of the races in their coalition for total domination, which ultimately was not the case with the heroes of the Arrowverse.
Supergirl will return in 2017, while the winter finales of The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow air Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.