One thing promised from the very first mention of Crisis on Infinite Earths was that it would be the biggest crossover the Arrowverse had ever attempted. They weren’t just bringing in heroes from their six CW shows. They were bringing established characters from DC properties going back decades.
If any actor has worn a cape for DC in the past 50 years, they probably got a call. Here are the ones who have answered so far. This list will include a brief explanation of their cameo but will avoid any plot details from Crisis on Infinite Earths Parts 1-3.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 1
Alexander Knox – Robert Wuhl
Reporter Alexander Knox from Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) returns as the first cameo. Earth-89 shows Knox reading a paper with the headline “Batman Captures Joker” and looking up at the bat-signal.
Hawk and Robin(Jason Todd) – Alan Ritchson and Curran Walters
Earth-9 is the home of the Titans. We get a brief look at Hank Hall and Jason Todd in costume as they stare up at the Crisis wave.
The Ray – Russell Tovey
Returning to Earth-X, we see Ray still working as a Freedom Fighter as the wave hits.
Robin (Dick Grayson) – Burt Ward
Burt Ward returns to reprise his role as Dick Grayson from the 1966 Batman series. In Earth-66 we see him walking Ace the Bat-Hound in a sweatshirt with his Robin costume’s classic color scheme. He even drops his trademark line with a, “Holy Crimson Skies of Death!”
Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2
Leonard Snart – Wentworth Miller
The Legends of Earth-1 were promised they wouldn’t have to do another crossover, so Harbinger had to look elsewhere for a Waverider. The Earth-74 Waverider doesn’t have the voice of Gideon, it has the voice of Leonard. Wentworth Miller returns to keep the fun relationship between Mick and Snart alive.
Lex Luthor – Jon Cryer
Although not technically a cameo, I had to mention Jon Cryer’s return as the Lex Luthor of Earth-38. He plays a big role here and it’s really cool to see him playing off some of the other cameo guests…
Clark Kent and Lois Lane – Tom Welling and Erica Durance
Smallville fans were probably most excited about these cameos and the crossover takes the time to do them justice. On Earth-167, Clark is just a regular man who has given up his powers for Lois and their two daughters. It’s nice that Crisis is able to give Smallville a final conclusion that feels really satisfying. This won’t be the last time they use a cameo to do this…
Superman – Brandon Routh
While Brandon Routh is already in Crisis as Ray Palmer, his return as the Earth-96 Man of Steel definitely counts as a cameo. Since Superman Returns was technically the continuation of Christopher Reeve’s Superman films, it puts all of those in the Arrowverse continuity. He even makes reference to his evil doppelganger fight from Superman III and his son Jacob from Superman Returns. Without giving away too much, times have changed for this Superman and he is presented as an older Clark wearing the Kingdom Come suit.
Bruce Wayne – Kevin Conroy
This is another cameo everyone was really excited to see. After decades of portraying Batman in The Animated Series, Justice League, video games and other animated projects, Kevin Conroy finally plays a live-action version of Bruce Wayne. The Bruce of Earth-99 is older and twisted by years of violence and hard decisions. He has some great scenes with Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane and it’s amazing to finally see him on screen.
Jonah Hex – Johnathon Schaech
The search for a Lazarus Pit brings some of the heroes to Earth-18 where they run into Jonah Hex. Johnathon Schaech reprises his role from a couple of episodes of Legends of Tomorrow. This Hex starts his cameo without his signature scar but may or may not end it that way.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 3
Huntress and Oracle – Ashley Scott and Dina Meyer
Birds of Prey was a pretty fun show that only got one season in 2002. That’s why it was a cool surprise to see Ashley Scott reprise her role as Helena Kyle, Earth-203’s Huntress. Dina Meyer also voices Oracle but isn’t shown.
Lucifer – Tom Ellis
It’s easy to forget that Fox and now Netflix’s Lucifer is based on a DC Comics’ Vertigo comic series. That makes Lucifer Morningstar fair game for the crossover. Tom Ellis shows up on Earth-666 to further the plot along in a really enjoyable way.
Black Lightning – Cress Williams
According to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, including Black Lightning in Crisis was one of the biggest logistical challenges. While most of the Arrowverse films in Vancouver, Black Lightning films in Atlanta. That meant Cress Williams had to fly between the two sets on weekends while both shows were filming. Even more difficult, his suit was a special piece of equipment that required a separate handler to travel with it. The extra effort definitely pays off as Jefferson Pierce comes in at a pivotal time and plays a major role in Part 3. As the only DC CW show that hadn’t crossed over yet, this was a major moment for Black Lightning fans. It was also great seeing him interact with Barry for hopefully the first of many times.
Barry Allen – John Wesley Shipp
John Wesley Shipp has been such a huge part of The Flash since the 90s show and has even become a major part of the Arrowverse as the Earth-90 Flash. His Barry Allen definitely needed to make an appearance here and it is during another major moment. Using a clip from 1990s The Flash series made for an even more emotional moment and his scene did a great job wrapping up his storyline across both shows.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 4
The Flash – Ezra Miller
This was one of the biggest cameos of the entire event in terms of the character and its implications for the greater Arrowverse. The DCEU Justice League is officially part of the Arrowverse! More importantly, we got to have Flash meet Flash in just the perfect interaction. Ezra Miller’s confusion over the whole situation, their appreciation of each other’s suits and the shock of learning they were both Barry Allen – all spot-on.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 5
Fans of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic got a cool surprise with a cameo from the writer of the mini-series, Marv Wolfman. He gets a cool scene with Flash and Supergirl and asks them to sign something to “Marv.” It felt like all three of them are geeking out in what is a really great, critical scene.
Stargirl and Justice Society of America – Brec Bassinger
We get to glimpse a ton of new worlds at the end of the crossover and they take the opportunity to share some of the great ongoing and upcoming DC series. Earth-2 is now the home to Stargirl and the Justice Society of America. We see the team of Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Doctor Mid-Nite, Hourman, and Wildcat.
Swamp Thing – Derek Mears
Swamp Thing is definitely one of those unfortunate stories of a series that got cut off too early due to some behind the scenes issues. At least we know that he lives on in Earth-19 of the Arrowverse.
We got a glimpse of Robin and Hawk at the very beginning of Crisis and now we get to see the rest of the team alive and well in Earth-9 at the end. We see Hawk, Dove, Robin, Starfire, and Raven.
Surprisingly, the Doom Patrol exists on a different universe from the Titans, on Earth-21. We see the whole team Robotman, Crazy Jane, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man and Cyborg dancing at their home.
While not pictured, the final shot is a funny throwback to the alien monkey Gleek from the Super Friends cartoon. We see his cage and hear some distant monkey noises. This is a great nod to the fact that episodes of the Super Friends that included Gleek would end with some kind of gag with the monkey getting into trouble. Here’s hoping he ends up on the Waverider at some point in the future.
This list did not include some noteworthy stars that made appearances but weren’t returning to former DC roles, including Wil Wheaton, Griffin Newman, Stephen Lobo as The Spectre, and Osric Chau as Ryan Choi.
What has been your favorite returning hero so far? Be sure to come back here when Crisis on Infinite Earths Parts 4 and 5 premiere on January 14th to see a breakdown of the rest of the cameos.