Bronze: Hazel and Agnes, The Umbrella Academy
Time travelling assassins Hazel and Cha-cha were sent to 2019 with one goal: stop their former colleague Number Five, by any means necessary. When the job goes pear-shaped, and they lose their time machine (thanks to Klaus, see below) and they begin to glean they may be here to ensure the world ends on schedule, Hazel’s thoughts begin to drift away from loyalty to his employers and towards the pleasures he’s been denying himself in pursuit of his job. He likes donuts. And more to the point, he also likes the nice old lady who serves him his donuts. And maybe, if finishing their job and getting out of 2019 intact is no longer on the table, maybe it’s time to find what happiness he can while he can.
This causes a deadly rift between him and Cha-cha, but you can hardly blame him.
(Honorable mention: having found Hazel and Cha-cha’s machine, Klaus accidentally goes back in time, fights in Vietnam for a year, finds love with another soldier, comes home racked with grief.)
Silver: Larry and the Negative Spirit, Doom Patrol
During a test flight into the upper atmosphere, pilot Larry Trainor found himself bonded to an extra-dimensional energy being called the Negative Spirit, and in the process ended up horribly scarred and inconveniently radioactive. He’s spent the decades since resenting the spirit for ruining his life, while the spirit feels that being bonded to Larry isn’t exactly a picnic either. Also, with access to his memories, it thinks that Larry screwed his life up just fine before they ever met.
Over the course of the season, they have to learn how to communicate, to co-exist, to heal. And it’s a rich journey.
Before things get grim next year in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and as a break from some dark plots, the Arrowverse delivered the most purely fun crossover they’ve ever done. Allow me to repeat my previous list of everything they gave us: plenty of humour, meta-jokes about their tropes, the introduction of Ruby Rose as Batwoman (and confirmation that Batman exists in the Arrowverse, though he’s been missing for a spell), the first appearance of Arrowverse Lois Lane (Superman gets to play this year!), a comics-accurate Amazo five years after they changed him from a power-stealing android into a boat, Oliver refusing to believe Batman’s real, Remy Zero’s “Somebody Save Me” kicking in as Barry and Oliver head to Smallville (with its very familiar skyline and Kent farmhouse), a good villain turn from Lost/Justified’s Jeremy Davies, John Wesley Shipp back in his Flash suit from the 1990 Flash series, and introducing key Crisis players the Monitor and Psycho Pirate.
Good god this was a fun crossover.
Next time… best characters!