Spoilers ahead for the second part of the Arrow-verse’s “Elseworlds” crossover.
The long-awaited “Elseworlds” crossover is in full swing, and viewers are getting to see more of the Arrow-verse than ever before. In pursuit of the man who rewrote reality, Oliver, Barry, and Kara headed to Gotham City. Oliver spent the first chunk of the episode declaring that Batman is a myth and he was the first vigilante, and even the Bat-Signal didn’t really convince him at first. According to Oliver’s logic, there was no way they would meet Batman in Gotham because Batman didn’t exist.
Well, Oliver was half right! They didn’t meet Batman, but they did meet Batwoman, and Batwoman is already awesome enough that I’d be perfectly happy with just her as the hero of Gotham. Still, Batman very much exists; he’s just been missing from Gotham for three years, and Batwoman has stepped up to fill his void. Given that Arkham Asylum was packed full of villains until Oliver, Barry, and Kara stumbled into town, I’d say the Bat-cousins did a solid job of fighting crime.
Yes, Batwoman and Batman are cousins. Kate Kane revealed that Bruce Wayne is her cousin, and she has taken up residence in Wayne Enterprises, which was abandoned and derelict after Bruce Wayne disappeared and his board of directors tanked the company. Kate just wants to set up a real estate enterprise and haunt the rooftops at night, although our heroes didn’t connect the two at first.
As it turns out, Kate doesn’t know what happened to either Batman or Bruce any more than anybody else. Both have been missing, and Kara actually noted that it was quite the coincidence that both men went missing at the same time for the same span of time so far. When asked if perhaps the darkness and horrors of fighting the scum of Gotham City had driven Bruce away, Kate simply said that he wouldn’t have left without a fight, and we already have an arc for the Batwoman TV show, assuming that happens!
After getting a look at Batwoman in action, Gotham City, and Arkham Asylym, I’m going to be devastated if Batwoman doesn’t happen. Let us live on an Earth where Batwoman has her own show!
Speaking of Arkham Asylum, that is where the Arrow-verse delivered a ton of iconic Batman villains, although viewers didn’t get to see them all in the flesh or even hear them as we heard Harley Quinn all those years ago on Arrow. Many of them were simply revealed via name cards on the doors to cells in Arkham. Even if we didn’t see them in the flesh, however, there’s a lot to be excited about. The Arrow-verse didn’t go for C-list villains that nobody except for diehard DC Comics fans have heard of.
Here are the villains we now know exist in the Arrow-verse and what they’re known for in the comics!
Nora Fries actually did appear in the flesh in the second leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover, and she wasn’t the kind of Nora Fries that fans of Batman: The Animated Series or Batman and Robin probably expected. No, this Nora Fries was not a pristine and beautiful woman floating in frozen animation while her mad doctor husband tries to cure her.
The crossover wasn’t clear on whether or not Nora is a doctor, but she definitely has the “mad” part covered! Once she escaped her cell thanks to Deegan freeing the inmates to buy himself time to escape, she went after a cold gun that had been stored in Arkham, and she had an icy showdown with Killer Frost. Could she return to the action, perhaps with her husband at her side?
According to the name card on one of the cells, somebody who can only be Oswald Cobblepot is locked up in Arkham. Cobblepot is one of Batman’s most iconic villains thanks to his presence in the comics, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Returns, Gotham, and more. Better known as Penguin, Oswald was an outcast due to his physical appearance for much of his life, putting a definite chip on his shoulder as he built himself into a criminal businessman with a lot of strings to pull in organized crime.
In some Batman stories, Batman and his allies have actually made deals with Penguin, with Penguin as one of Batman’s less violently bonkers baddies. If he turns up in the flesh in the Arrow-verse, it would be fun to compare this Cobblepot to Gotham‘s Cobblepot. I wouldn’t object to Robin Lord Taylor reprising the role once Gotham is done! If John Wesley Shipp can play his 90s Flash character for the Arrow-verse, why couldn’t Robin Lord Taylor play Penguin in the Arrow-verse?
“Isley, P.” can only be the villainess better known as Poison Ivy. Interestingly, the cell containing Isley didn’t seem all that different from the cells containing characters who traditionally don’t have any powers. The comics character is a supervillain and eco-terrorist who gains the ability to control plants. She gained that power back when she worked as a botanist in her original identity as Dr. Pamela Isley.
Protecting plants and all things nature becomes the priority for Poison Ivy, and that naturally puts her at odds with the humans who get in her way. It’s probably safe to say that the Pamela Isley who exists in the Arrow-verse has already been transformed into Poison Ivy, which means a baddie with truly unique powers in the Arrow-verse.
If you caught “Karlo, B.” during the quick pan down the dark hallway of Arkham, it may not have rung a bell unless you’re fairly well-versed in Batman lore. This is a character far better known by his villainous name than his original given name. Yes, Basil Karlo is the name of the classic DC Comics character Clayface. Karlo was an actor who had a breakdown when he learned that a movie he’d starred in was being remade with a different actor.
So, Karlo donned the mask of a movie villain known as Clayface and began bumping off actors, as one does. Karlo actually didn’t have the shape-shifting powers that many associate with villains adopting the “Clayface” identity, although he does gain them later in his supervillain career. The Arrow-verse could feature a Clayface with or without powers, assuming he someday appears.
What’s Arkham Asylum without a Riddler making everything more confusing? This is another character I’d be 100% on board with seeing played by a Gotham actor. Cory Michael Smith over on the Fox drama has made the role of the Riddler his own in live-action, and he could definitely fit into the Arrow-verse’s version of Gotham City. Bring over Gotham‘s Penguin and Riddler, I say!
The Riddler of “Elseworlds” is clearly up to his regular tricks despite being locked up in Arkham, so we can probably count on him getting into trouble again if/when he makes his way out. As a non-superpowered villain, he could be ideal for the Batwoman series. Arrow is always more believable when Oliver is facing non-powered and non-magical villains; the same could be true for any Bat-characters.
Of almost all the villains delivered in “Elseworlds” so far, “Crane, J.” is the one who seems most in line with his comics counterpart, even though he didn’t appear himself. Crane — better known in DC Comics and other adaptations as Scarecrow — clearly manufactured his fear gas that confuses and terrifies those who inhale it. Barry and Oliver weren’t familiar with Scarecrow or his tricks, and they wound up fighting each other, each believing the other was an arch-enemy.
Fortunately, Batwoman showed up to explain what had happened, and we didn’t have to worry about the Scarlet Speedster and Green Arrow pummeling each other into submission. Scarecrow can be a very scary villain, whether he’s on TV, in comics, or even in video games. He’d been a killer bad guy for a Batwoman series.
Psycho-Pirate wasn’t actually named in this episode, but a baddie wearing a gold mask very much like the one Psycho-Pirate wears on the pages of DC Comics rampaged through Arkham after being set free. Fortunately, Batwoman and Co. captured him before he could wreak too much havoc, and he chewed enough scenery in his time on scene to last for a while.
In the comics, Psycho-Pirate is a supervillainous identity adopted by a number of different bad guys, and they favored emotion-based crimes. This Psycho-Pirate didn’t exactly go a subtle route, but it’s not like any version of Arkham Asylum is known for effectively rehabilitating the criminally insane.
Bonus: Guggenheim, M.
Marc Guggenheim may not be Arrow‘s showrunner anymore, but the Arrow leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover included a nod to Guggenheim that indicates his Arrow-verse namesake is a madman. “Guggenheim, M.” is being held in the same corridor as the likes of Penguin and Riddler. That’s a dubious honor!
Tune in to The CW on Tuesday, December 11 at 8 p.m. ET to catch the third and final leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover. The cliffhanger of the second episode seemingly revealed that the Arrow-verse is exploring a “Crisis On Infinite Earths” story with The Monitor, so it should definitely be worth tuning in to find out what happens next. For what you can watch while the Arrow-verse shows are on hiatus, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.