Reverse-Flash made an appearance in the latest trailer for the final two parts of Crisis on Infinite Earths, but what part will he have to play?
Later on this evening, fans will see the conclusion of the latter half of the Arrowverse’s crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths. After the five-night crossover was left on hiatus for Christmas break, The CW managed to grace us with a few trailers during the start of the New Year – and the latest one featured the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) for only less than five seconds. But what part does he have to play in this latest crisis? Could he be a rook or just a pawn for the Anti-Monitor?
The last season of The Flash was a tumultuous year for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) as his swift alter ego, a husband to his wife, Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton), and doting father to his future child. And not only did the Scarlet Speedster have to deal with his future daughter, Nora West-Allen/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy), but he had to contend with the double threat of Cicada, as Eobard Thawne put it, “The one that got away,” a menace Barry and the rest of Team Flash were barely ever prepared for with the future of Central City hanging in the balance.
The last editorial this writer published about this topic was how Reverse Flash could actually be the MVP of The Flash’s fifth season and was on the right track. It was revealed that Thawne (Cavanagh) manipulated a series of events to ensure he would be able to break out of Iron Heights, and we learned that he is not (if we can safely say) is partialy immune to the effects of time paradoxes due to his expertise in the knowledge of Speed Force language. He was undoubtedly responsible for pushing the Crisis five years earlier than its intended date in the year 2024.
As for the role Thawne has in crisis, his motivation is arguably to ensure the self-fulfilling prophecy is made. Yes, it is debated that the Man in the Yellow Suit had done just that, as an alternate Barry Allen – The Flash of Earth-90 (John Wesley Shipp) – bravely sacrificed himself in the third-part of the crossover. Thawne’s grudge, though, is with Gustin’s Earth-1 Barry. While Reverse-Flash had little to do, if not at all with the major catastrophic events in Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s ’80s limited comic book series of the same name, he does in the Arrowverse. This was foreshadowed in season one of The Flash through archives from Gideon in the Time Vault.
Throughout subsequent seasons, a newspaper that will be written by Iris on April 25, 2024 foretold The Flash’s disappearance and that Reverse-Flash leads an army of Shadow Demons. And from the trailer, you can see him surrounded in eerie shadow. Not only that, but a great street battle involving many heroes will ensue, so it’s very clear Reverse-Flash is merely fulfilling what is (or will be) written in history, or prophecy (time-wimey stuff can be really confusing at times). Or is he?
What if it’s something else Thawne could be after? It could be one of either two things. He is either attempting to finally put an end to Barry once and for all without any hiccups by going back to the night Barry witnessed his mother’s death at his hand. Or he could distract Barry for another devious scheme. The answer could be contained in the comic book storyline “The Return of Barry Allen” by Mark Waid, Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson in The Flash Vol. 2 No.74 to No.79, in which Thawne became Allen himself.
Crisis on Infinite Earths part four will air tonight at 8.00 p.m. ET on Arrow and the fifth and final part will conclude on Legends of Tomorrow at 9.00 p.m. ET on The CW.