Oliver Queen returns in DCs Earth-Prime series and sets up The Flash season 9


So begins the final issue of DC’s Earth-Prime, the six-issue comic book limited series that brought together the heroes of the publisher’s CW TV universe in a story set in Arrowverse canon. Characters like Batwoman, the Flash, and more starred in each of one of the series’ six issues, challenged by the machinations of a shadowy Big Bad. Now that Big Bad is coming into the spotlight to conclude his plan, and it spells chaos for the heroes of Earth-Prime. 

Earth-Prime’s superheroes came from their TV home to comic books for this multiversal, in-continuity adventure, so it would make sense that the story reverberates in the Arrowverse going forward. But how much it does and whether it will at all is apparently a mixed bag.

Since the series finale just went on sale June 21, we’ll start with one of these before we explain:

Spoilers ahead for Earth-Prime #6: Hero’s Twilight

Earth-Prime #6: Hero's Twilight

(Image credit: DC)

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Earth-Prime #6: Hero’s Twilight is drawn by Will Robson, written by Jeff Hersh and Thomas Pound, colored by Alex Sinclair, and lettered by Tom Napolitano. If you’ve been keeping up with Newsarama’s coverage of Earth-Prime, you know the comic’s Big Bad is Magog, originally introduced in the pages of the landmark comic book series Kingdom Come

Unlike his comics counterpart, the CW-verse iteration of Magog seeks to end humanity’s dependence on superheroes. To do so, he’s assembled a team of villains including the mind-warping Evil Eye, the shape-shifting Clayface, the Flash villain Bloodwork (put in a pin in that), and an alternate-reality version of Kal-El. Together, they become a threat that will require every one of Earth-Prime’s heroes to defeat.

Unfortunately, most of them have disappeared.

After every confrontation between hero and villain, a strange green mist makes the headliners of the CW-verse (and stars of Earth-Prime) disappear from their reality. By the time Magog himself descends upon Central City in the year 2049, the only heroes left to stop him are recent additions to the Flash family: Nora West-Allen, AKA XS, and Bart West-Alen, AKA Impulse.

Doing what little they can to stave off Magog’s assault of Earth-Prime, XS and Impulse finally manage to track down an older Clark Kent from Superman & Lois. Retired from his Superman identity, Clark still manages to give the best advice in the multiverse, spurring the two speedsters to lead one last-ditch attack on the head of the invasion: Magog himself.

XS and Impulse learn that the source of Magog’s power is in his golden spear. The heroes manage to splinter it, negating Magog’s abilities. Just then, before Magog’s army of supervillains can regroup, a strange green cloud brings back the superheroes of Earth-Prime. With the might of the CW’s heroes behind them, XS and Impulse defeat Magog for good, and the world is saved.

Or is it?

As the returned heroes round up the villains, they discover a problem. No one can find the black-clad, evil Kal-El from another reality. This evil Kryptonian, who sought to “save” his world by brutally murdering everyone he considered bad or weak, has completely vanished. The heroes decide not to deal with it just yet, with Jay Garrick calling it “a mystery for another day.”

Earth-Prime #6: Hero's Twilight

Earth-Prime #6: Hero’s Twilight finale page (Image credit: DC)

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But that’s not even the main kicker. On the final page of Earth-Prime #6, a mysterious, green-cloaked figure who appeared throughout the story reveals himself as the late Oliver Queen in his Arrowverse role as the Spectre. Oliver/the Spectre reveals he was behind the appearance and reappearance of the heroes during the battle with Magog, and its purpose was to teach XS and Impulse to rely on each other and to prepare them for something coming in their future.

“They must be ready for what’s coming,” Ollie-Spectre ominously warns.

Earlier in the Earth-Prime saga, Newsarama speculated that Kingdom Come was coming to the CW, with Magog as its primary antagonist. And though that’s still a possibility, the events of Earth-Prime #6 make it seem like this evil Kal-El will be a more immediate threat in the heroes’ future. 

But with the Arrowverse shrinking through a series of recent cancellations, does all the foreshadowing mean anything? The final pages of Earth-Prime #6 are clearly intended to tease a future event. The story in fact end with the copy “The End … For Now.”

But not so fast, says DC. The publisher tells Newsarama nothing in the main Earth-Prime story is connected to any kind of future Arrowverse crossover.

Oddly, however, the Earth-Prime finale also hints at something that will immediately affect the Arrowverse – specifically the upcoming season 9 of The Flash.

A backup story by Hersh and Pound with art by Pablo M. Collar, colors by John Kalisz, and letters by Napolitano (which continues from a back-up in Earth-Prime #5L The Flash by writers Jess Carson and Emily Palizzi, Collar, Kalisz, and Andworld Design) takes place back in 2022, at the A.R.G.U.S. Headquarters, where Cisco Ramon trains the new Phantom Girl to take up a role as a superhero.

When a breakout begins in the security ward, it’s up to the duo to stop a cadre of villains from getting out of A.R.G.U.S. HQ. And though they do manage to stop them (for the most part), there is one escapee that gets by them. That’s Bloodwork, Dr. Ramsey Rosso (played by actor Sendhil Ramamurthy in the Arrowverse), one of the most monstrous villains to ever be on The Flash, who was seen in the year 2049. And the backup story ends with an explicit confirmation of his return to TV.

“To be continued in Season 9 of The Flash,” the story promises.

So The Flash fans should expect to Bloodwork/Ramamurthy in the new season of the series, perhaps even as its big bad. But as to Oliver Queen’s prophecy and preparations, not so much. 

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