Ok, I know I'm a couple of days after the last episode aired, but that hopefully won't make this less informative. I waited until I had both watched the entire thing and read the original Invasion! event to begin this. I'm unfortunately going to have a few gripes to air.
First, this was advertised as a four night event. Give me a moment.
Right. If you count the breaches showing up in Supergirl, and the less than one minute appearance by Barry and Cisco, sure, they're right. I don't. A crossover needs to start CROSSING OVER at least before halfway through the first part.
Second, this bears so little resemblance to the original event it's laughable. Of course there are things that logistically wouldn't work in the TV series, like the alliance of aliens, and the sheer number of heroes involved. But there was no real motivation from what I saw on behalf of the Dominators. And while that is how they look, roughly, they don't fight themselves, they're an intellectual race that rules through planning and implementation. The Daxamites even had a role in the crossover, as "neutral observers" who got powers when they reached Earth, and were betrayed by the Dominators.
Third, there was so little use of the apprentice heroes from each show. Mon-El, being a Daxamite, would have been useful, not to mention J'onn. Kid Flash could have learned some hard lessons. Ragman, Wild Dog, Mr. Terrific, and even the revealed traitor Artemis would have made some impact. What were the others doing while the non-powered heroes were captured, aside from Vibe and team Arrow? Why didn't anyone else STEP UP? Crossovers are the perfect time to lay a seed or two. They don't have to become a show, but you could lay groundwork for one next year where the crossover begins a new series, if that's what you want.
Fourth, what happened in all the other cities? Sure, Flash and Supergirl planted the pain devices, but what did they do before they got there? Who was kidnapped, or killed? Who will blame the heroes, and who will become one?
Fifth, the shared dream felt more like either the Alan Moore story "For the Man Who Has Everything", or one of the numerous times the JLA gets trapped in a hallucinatory trap. I was quite unhappy that Oliver didn't go nuts on them after that, and that we didn't see what Thea did after getting back to Earth.
What did they do well? The characters actually felt like all the writers knew them, so that may be partly why the new guys didn't cross over. On the other hand, writing teams could have mixed a bit for this, and been managed like a comic book crossover. The fights were overall decently choreographed, and the camera kept the focus moving to raise the implied threat level.
The meta-bomb is actually very close to the comic, as the Dominators had a rogue scientist who detonated such after their loss, but even that got changed, and we had no internal politics or struggles within the Dominators.
Professor Stein and Jackson have faced a moral struggle once going into this, and faced on in the aftermath. The fact that they can't avoid creating some changes to the timeline, and need to tread carefully, is a nice touch. Also, the desire to avoid undoing what good has come from their changes was enjoyable.
Thankfully mostly absent were the Social Justice wailings that have become more common this year in the Berlantiverse. The DEO is going to be a new and potentially frightening aspect on Earth 1, and perhaps we end up with a show around that, but I don't think so.
The Hall of Justice might see future play, though honestly I'd have thought this a good time to bring that missing Ferris Air test pilot back, as Green Lantern against some aliens would make for good TV, even as a latecomer. And the new villain we saw in Arrow might be fun later on.
Anyway, without the SocJus aspects going full force, I did find the story more fun. So, the Berlantiverse gets viewed for a while longer. Until they decide to start playing again.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.