San Diego Comic-Con has been the source of several exciting casting announcements for this year’s Crisis on Infinite Earths Elseworlds crossover on the CW this year. Cress Williams will appear as Black Lighting. Burt Ward, who played Robin on the original 1966 live action Batman television series, will also make an appearance. Brandon Routh will be coming back as Superman (the Kingdom Come version).
But now a really big black boot has dropped. Kevin Conroy has been announced for the role of Batman (presumably the Batman Beyond version).
He’s the perfect choice. Having voiced the role since Batman: The Animated Series and its spinoffs for more than 25 years, Kevin Conroy has been the voice of Batman for two generations of fans, and is the single most recognizable voice for the character, arguably even over Adam West.
Crisis on Infinite Earths will be the biggest crossover event that The CW’s DC Universe TV series have attempted yet, with five series (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman) all participating over two quarters, presumably in December and January. The story will feature the death of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who struck a mysterious deal with The Monitor during last season’s Elseworlds crossover in order to save the lives of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist), who were destined to die in the event.
While we have seen Batman only in glimpses on modern television, his presence has been alluded to several times over the years, and eventually named outright during Elseworlds and in the pilot for Batwoman. The character made a brief appearance at the series finale of Gotham. Exactly which version of Batman Conroy will play is still up in the air, since Black Lightning, Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman are all established as existing in different versions of Earth.
In the comics, Crisis on Infinite Earths was about heroes and villains alike combining forces to fight a timeless being called The Anti-Monitor, who represented an existential threat to all creation. He was eventually stopped by unifying all the fractured universes into one reality. Will Crisis of Infinite Earths bring all the heroes into the same universe, folding all the Earths into a single Earth Prime? We don’t know, but it sounds like a possibility.
Either way, having Kevin Conroy on as Batman reaffirms our faith in the CW’s version of the DC Universe. There are no air dates yet published, but it’s likely going to be happening in winter of 2019.
Watch this space.