The Reverse Flash. Zoom. The Thinker. The Flash has had no shortage of villains for the scarlet speedster to tangle with since he raced onto TV back in 2014, with each season having at least one “big bad” that would drive the show forward. Some of them have been fantastic, such as Eobard Thawne’s lingering menace as the Reverse Flash or Clifford DeVoe stealing the show as season 4’s cold and logical Thinker.
Other times, the primary villains of The Flash have been lacklustre to say the least. Nobody wants to remember season 3’s Savitar menace and while this season’s Cicada was a great idea on paper, in reality having Chris Klein gargle with used ball bearings to deliver a growling performance wasn’t strong enough to carry most of season five on his shoulders. And that’s even with the added twists that 2019 chucked into the Speed Force mix.
With Cicada and that other fella defeated, what does season six hold in store for The Flash? If a certain throwaway line from the show is to be believed, season six might introduce the toughest opponent yet. A mastermind behind a crimson cowl, with speed that is equal to the fastest man alive: The Red Death.
Briefly mentioned in season five’s twelfth episode, the Red Death is technically Barry Allen from another dimension. Before you roll your eyes back with enough force to rip the Speed Force apart because you’re worried that we’re getting Savitar 2.0 here, hang on a second. Physically, the Red Death is Barry Allen but mentally, he’s actually Bruce Wayne. A resident of an Earth in the Dark Multiverse where planets regularly break and shatter in a maelstrom of violence, the Red Death was created when Batman used Barry Allen as a conduit to the Speed Force while their world was falling apart.
By strapping him to the hood of the Batmobile, driving full speed with a repurposed cosmic treadmill engine and ramming their way into that Speedster-creating dimension. The resulting clash created a being who shared one body but with Batman’s overwhelming willpower, Barry was basically a prisoner in his own body. With the power of the Speed Force, this new Flash became the Red Death and subsequently began a campaign of carnage against Gotham’s underworld.
The Red Death was still too slow to save his world, but he would live on as one of the survivors of the Dark Multiverse, tasked by the extra-dimensional entity Barbatos to assault our world and drag it down into the darkness. Crazy, right? Comic books! If Red Death is season 6’s bad, he’d tie in perfectly to the current theme of The Flash. A representation of despair and lost hope, from a multiverse that was born to die. The perfect opposite to Barry Allen, who represents the best of the DC Universe with his unwavering commitment to hope.
How the show interprets and uses this character is another question entirely as series prefers to take cool ideas from the comic books and give them narrative twists on TV. Would the Red Death even be a hybrid being made up of an unwilling Barry Allen and a more murderous Bruce Wayne? Will the Dark Multiverse even play a larger role, considering how the entire Arrowverse has been focused on the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths saga? HOW MANY HALLWAY PEP TALKS WILL THERE BE SO THAT BARRY CAN RUN FASTER?
All great questions, that’ll hopefully be answered soon when season 6 of the Flash begins later this year.
Last Updated: May 21, 2019