The second episode of this crossover was much, much better than the first… eventually. It starts with an endless all-talk opening about the new goal to track down seven “paragons” who will save the day in the end, but things get a lot better. I particularly enjoyed how the stakes kept getting higher with each cut to what the heroes on their missions were doing. The structure was very similar to the time-heist second hour of Avengers: Endgame.
Anyway, this time we got to catch up with Tom Welling, from Smallville, as he stares down Jon Cryer’s Lex Luthor. Brandon Routh gets to play Superman again, but this time his Superman has gone down the same path as the Superman in the popular comic series Kingdom Come. There was a fine fight between the Routh and Hoechlin Supermen, and a subplot involving John Constantine (played by Matt Ryan) leading some of the other heroes to a life-restoring Lazarus Pit.
But the meat of the story came with Kate and Supergirl tracking down the Bruce Wayne of one of the Infinite Earths, finding him visually similar to the Batman from Kingdom Come who wore a steel rod exoskeleton to make up for all the bones in his body being broken in combat. But this isn’t Kingdom‘s honorable Bruce, it’s one of those gone-crazy Batmen from comics that invariably have to kill Superman with kryptonite. This Bruce is played by Kevin Conroy, who’s been the voice of Batman in hundreds of cartoons, and his appearance left me hoping that when Batwoman finally introduces us to the sane Bruce of Kate Kane’s world, they invite Conroy to play the part.
It’s mostly splendid and unpredictable and done with a lot of love for the characters, but whoever is in charge of the music is set on stealing the show. This time, we get the themes from the nineties Batman cartoon and John Williams’ legendary music from the Christopher Reeve Superman movies dropped in at key intervals. How could you not smile?