What Are The Dominators On 'The Flash'? This Alien Invasion Is Straight Out Of DC Comics

Superheroes patrol four nights of the week on The CW, and it was only a matter of time before they all joined forces for one colossal collaboration. Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC's Legends Of Tomorrow will crossover in "Heroes V. Aliens," starting on Nov. 28. All four super-teams and their allies will unite to fight a common enemy, the likes of which haven't been seen on any of these shows before. The Dominators are the villains of this crossover, and their arrival marks the incorporation of another existing DC antagonist. Who are the Dominators and why does their presence require a four-pronged counterattack? The answer can be found right in DC comics.

The Dominators date all the way back to the late '60s in graphic entertainment. They appeared for the first time in Adventure Comics in 1967, though their big moment came in 1988. Coincidentally, the most famous Dominators story is a comics crossover event — a series called Invasion!, the plot of which also impacted issues of Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, and many other books. In Invasion!, the Dominators are the organizing race behind an alliance of aliens set on attacking Earth in order to assert — you guessed it — their dominance.

Why is Earth a threat to a powerful alien race? Well, the Dominators have heard about metahumans, and they're not so keen on regular Earth-dwellers becoming super-beings. They believe that it disrupts the universe at large. (And hey, when you look at the damage Barry Allen has done to just one planet's timeline, you can see why they're concerned.) The Dominators' home planet is called the Dominion, and sometimes the race is as well. The aliens are known for their firm adherence to their internal caste system. In the comics, the beings are yellow, and the social standing of a Dominator can be determined by the circumfrence of the red dot on their forehead.

Dominators are incredibly intelligent, especially in the field of genetics. The climax of the Invasion! series comes when one of the race goes against his people and detonates a Gene Bomb on Earth. The larger plan had been to somehow control the power of the metas, but this rogue action sends the majority of Earth's metahumans into comas and even creates several new ones. Justice League member Martian Manhunter works out how to reverse the effects of the bomb, and the Dominators hang it up.

In September, Deadline reported that the Dominators had been chosen by the CW's DC creatives to be the baddies of this never-before-attempted quad-crossover. The full trailer for the event not only shows the reimagined aliens (a gray, instead of a bright yellow), but also lets them articulate their motive for the invasion. "We must exterminate your kind before the scourge of your planet becomes the scourge of ours," a Dominator growls. Presumably, the metas are that scourge, and thus, the crossover is poised to loosely follow the plot of the Invasion! books. Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim even called the series' co-writer Bill Mantlo a "personal hero" on Twitter.

The Dominators have alien tech, firepower, and a high IQ, plus confidence in their theory that eradicating metahumans will save the universe. They're the kind of nemesis that none of the DC super-teams could handle alone, even on their best day. But with all of the CW's heroes on the same side, Earth might still have a chance.

Images: Michael Courtney (2) /The CW