A spoilerific look into the next season of the CW hit.
Last Tuesday, DC revealed that Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) will don an adapted version of the Kid Flash costume in the premiere episode of The Flash Season 3 entitled “Flashpoint”. The surprise posting, along with official confirmation of the title alluded to in the Season Two finale and “leaked” on Twitter last month, were only the first newsworthy developments from the show’s first week of filming.
As early as Tuesday afternoon, various sources began to tweet set photos depicting Londsdale with a mysterious new speedster apparently played by Australian actor Todd Lasance. Americans may remember Lasance from roles in The Vampire Diaries and Spartacus: War of the Damned, but he has a much more extensive acting history in his home country. Considering that the CW has not announced his casting, Lasance’s role in the show remains unclear. The Flash has proven itself willing to play the long game with audiences, introducing the public to actors as one character to preserve a twist later on in a season. Tony Todd voiced Zoom while stuntman Ryan Handley wore the suit and spoke his lines while they filmed the character’s masked scenes, but we all know his true identity.
In order to discuss the new speedster’s possible identities, I must first explain the significance of the season premiere’s title. Flashpoint refers to the inciting incident of The New 52, DC’s 2011 relaunch of its comic universe. Although DC Rebirth has reset the timeline once again, the events of Flashpoint have crucial significance for the events of The Flash Season Three. In the series, Barry Allen goes back in time to save his mother and changes the entire course of the DC timeline. The deliberate titling of the season premiere is either a red herring, a strong hint to the plot of Season Three, or (most likely) a combination of the two.
Given such, the events of the comics series are a key indicator of the ramifications of Barry’s decision to stop his mother’s death in the Season Two finale. From here on out, I will predict the changes to the show’s timeline using the events of the comics and production information as evidence. I could be (and in some cases will almost certainly be) totally wrong, but at a minimum this evidence-based analysis will allow you to more accurately theorize yourself. At best, it could lay out the course of the whole season.
TheFlash star Grant Gustin thinks hes found a Pikachu while Pokémon hunting today, turned out to be Kid Flash.pic.twitter.com/GPh29d5geN
In Flashpoint, Barry Allen awakens with no superpowers. His mom is alive and the world is anything but the same. Over the course of the story, he twice attempts to recreate the accident that gave him his powers, only succeeding after burning himself during the first try. After “The Runaway Dinosaur” (whose director Kevin Smith is returning to direct episode 7 of the new season) this past season, I doubt that there will be another “Barry gets his powers back” plot in the beginning of Season Three. On the other hand, one of the production stills from the Season Three premiere depicts a plain-clothed Barry (Grant Gustin) with a costumed Wally. This hints at a reality in which Wally is Kid Flash and where Barry lacks a connection to the Speed Force. For more evidence of this, look no further than the life of Earth-2 Barry Allen, who was raised in a universe where his mother is alive and did not have the superspeed of his Earth-1 counterpart. Unless the show decides to retread the power restoration narrative, the beginning of the season may involve Barry mentoring Wally so that he can use his powers to undo the timeline shift he caused in last season’s finale.
You may be asking yourself this: “But Max, in the new timeline of the season premiere, how did Wally receive HIS speed powers?” The answer to this question lies in the identity of the black-costumed speedster. Assorted outlets have compiled lists of the specific possibilities (CBR’s is particularly extensive). But I believe he is, like most of the big bads thus far, an amalgam of two characters from the comics: the Black Racer and Daniel West.
The Black Racer is one of the New Gods; an all-powerful avatar of death who in his most recent appearance merged with Barry Allen to create a new god of death, one that bears an uncanny resemblance to Lasance’s speedster. If the new character is a direct adaptation of the Black Racer, then his mission may be to punish Barry for altering the timeline and “robbing him” of the death of Nora Allen. His invulnerability, super strength, and ability to kill with a single touch would pose new challenges for our heroes as well.
On the other hand, Daniel West is the Reverse Flash of the New 52 and the sister of Iris West. His ultimate goal was to go back in time and kill his alcoholic father with the deluded hope of repairing the rift between him and his sibling. His plan fails when Iris and his eight year old self arrive home right as he is about to kill their father, which leads to another altercation with the Flash of his universe. Though the familial relations are quite different in the CW universe, the actions of a meddling speedster could motivate Wally West to take up the mantle of Kid Flash in the alternate timeline. For a show that has focused so much on character parallels (remember when Zoom said, “We’re the same Barry, you and I.”), trading the death of the drug-addicted Francine (Vanessa Williams) or the father figure Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) for the death of Nora Allen could further drive Barry to restore a version of the original timeline.
That being said, the series may borrow the Black Racer’s look and ignore both his and Daniel West’s backstories when creating the new villain for the season. We’ll have to look to production updates to determine how large of a role the new speedster plays in the season. If he is in more than a couple episodes, then he is probably not deity like the Black Racer and is instead a long term character with a human identity. Either way, a more powerful speedster is par for the course with a new season of The Flash.
But that’s not all! There are a variety of characters that may change or enter the story because of Barry’s interference with the timeline. The first three theories I have are directly lifted from the Flashpoint story line, albeit with changes that reflect the differences between the comics and CW universes.
In the Flashpoint timeline, Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) becomes Citizen Cold, the “Hero of Central City”. Though his character met an untimely end on Legends of Tomorrow, a new timeline presents a golden opportunity to reintegrate him into the fabric of the CW universe. What other evidence is there for this? Miller signed a groundbreaking contract to appear as a recurring character in all of the Greg Berlanti DC shows. So even if he doesn’t become a hero, look forward to his return to the series next season.
Another key difference in the Flashpoint timeline relates to Batman’s identity. In the incident that led to the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne in the normal DC timeline, Bruce dies instead. The death of his son pushes Thomas Wayne over the edge, and he begins fighting crime as a more vengeful version of the Dark Knight, one who resorts to using lethal force to protect his city. You may have surmised the problem with adapting this aspect of the comic. The CW universe lacks a Batman.
Fortunately, there is another millionaire playboy in the CW universe. He happens to fight crime in the dark of the night. His father died tragically in an attempt to save his life. AND he uses a voice modulator.
You guessed it! I’m talking about the Atom!
Just kidding. I’m (of course) referring to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). With such striking parallels to Bruce Wayne and a well-established relationship with the Flash, replacing Batman with the Green Arrow is a golden way to adapt the Flashpoint series. But the similarities between the two characters are not the only evidence of this possibility. The Flash premieres on October 4th and the Arrow season begins the following night, but Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow do not premiere until the following week (October 10th and 13th respectively). Does this mean the producers plan to have two-part crossover to begin the era of Monday ‐ Thursday DC series on the CW? Not necessarily, but the title of the Arrow premiere (“Legacy”) may hint at the characters dealing with the fallout of someone else’s actions. Though Stephen Amell has downplayed the chance that Arrow will deal with the fallout from Flashpoint, he has also hinted that a character unseen since the 3rd season will return at some point for the new season. Robert Queen (Jamey Sheridan) could be that character. Then again, John Barrowman also signed a multi-show contract in the off-season, so he could fill the role of the paternal character turned vigilante in the premiere as well. An important caveat here is that any longstanding changes to Arrow’s timeline are unlikely, so even if there is a crossover for the premiere, the timeline difference will probably not last more than an episode.
Another possible lift from the Flashpoint comics involves Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). In the series, Cyborg is America’s greatest superhero and one head of resistance forces in a dystopian society. Since the character has not yet been introduced in the CW universe, Cisco’s superpowered alter ego, Vibe, is a likely candidate to fill his role in show’s adaptation of the storyline. As we already saw in the Earth-2 episodes last season, an alternate reality could show a Cisco with greater control over his powers. Plus, his teleportation and projectile vibration abilities line up well with Cyborg’s boom tube and laser gun capabilities. This would also allow Barry, upon returning to the “normal” version of the timeline, to impart Cisco with advice from his more powerful counterpart, aiding the progression of Cisco’s powers there as well.
The last consequence of Flashpoint will likely involve Supergirl. With promises a four-way crossover in December, Berlanti and company will have to do something to bring the characters together. Last season’s dimension hopping storyline was conducive to a Flash-Supergirl episode, but the long term viability of inter-dimensional travel in the CW universe is doubtful. Given that the less fantastical Green Arrow will meet Supergirl sometime this season, the restoration of the “original timeline” after Flashpoint would be an apt time to merge the Supergirl Earth with that of the other three series. Considering the recent casting of Tyler Hoechlin as Superman, we may end up with a Man and Woman of Steel in the CW universe by season.
Besides my Flashpoint theories, we know a few more things about the next season of the show. Tom Cavanaugh and Violett Beane will be back for the season, though their specific roles in the show remain unclear. They could be new Earth-1 versions of their characters or the same Earth-2 ones we have grown to love. John Wesley Shipp promises to return in an “exciting and interesting” new role as well. Hopefully we’ll see him as some version of Jay Garrick, perhaps even as one of the members of the Justice Society of America in the next season of Legends of Tomorrow. The last major casting news relates to a new character. Tom Felton, best known as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, will play CSI Julian Dorn this season. His character “suspects there is more to Barry Allen than just his good guy reputation.” We know little about his character, but the casting of such a well-renown actor makes me suspicious of the description we’ve been given thus far. We’ll have to wait until this season to see what he may be hiding.
So there you have it! We have a lot to be excited for this season on The Flash and in the greater CW universe. With a few more months until the shows air, there is ample time for more speculation as to the direction of the series. Feel free to respond below with your own ideas (and your thoughts on mine)!
Related Topics: Comics