The trailer for the final season of Arrow focused on the end of Oliver Queen’s journey with hints about the big CW crossover event. The Flash season 6 trailer focuses mostly on the coming crisis, which the show teased in its pilot episode. The headline “Flash Missing, Vanishes in Crisis” may have started out as an Easter egg for comics fans who know that Barry Allen died in the original “Crisis on Infinite Earths” series. Yet, as the Arrowverse built into a massive shared continuity, it now becomes an impressive moment of foreshadowing. Instead of 2024, ten years after the events of the pilot, the crisis arrived early. Which begs an interesting question about the upcoming sixth season. Will we ever get to meet to the “first” Flash?
Remember, in the pilot episode, a young Barry Allen wakes up to see a red blur and a yellow blur fighting in his childhood home. Then, the red blur takes Barry away from the house and disappears. The Reverse-Flash doesn’t disappear, however. Instead he takes over the life of Harrison Wells and turns Barry into the Flash six years before he was supposed to. The original Flash appeared in 2020, serving as Central City’s hero for four years before vanishing. This is a version of Barry Allen we never met. This Barry grew up with his father and mother alive. Now, the very inconsistent rules of Time Travel on The Flash make the timeline difficult to understand. But, this version of the character could be key to the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline on the CW.
A Quick Breakdown of The Flash Season 6 Trailer
Before we get into speculative territory, let’s look at what The Flash showed us about season six in this first trailer. It opens with Barry lying on the hospital bed in Star Labs, talking about seeing “billions of possible futures.” Now, how Barry gets his Doctor Strange on like that, we don’t know specifically. The speed force and the way it affects time is effectively magic. It doesn’t follow any strict, real-word kind of science. So, the storytellers can go very mythological with it, like they do in the Flash comics.
We see flashes (pun intended) of future episodes, including some scenes in which Central City ends up destroyed. We also see Cisco meeting a “new” Harrison Wells. This one seems to be an actual adventurer, wearing Batman-worthy gadgets on his uniform. We see villains, team Flash, and a shot of Danny Trejo returning as Breacher. As well as a few new villains. Ralph Dibney holds a press conference at Central City Police Department. And Killer Frost seems to stab someone. (Which will be interesting, since this Killer Frost never killed anyone before.) We also get our first glimpse of Sendil Ramamurthy as Bloodwork. He’s both praising Barry and, seemingly, aware he’s the Flash.
Yet, the two most interesting parts of The Flash season 6 trailer, is that we see John Wesley Shipp reprising his role not as Jay Garrick, but Henry Allen. We also see a quick and brief image of Michelle Harrison reprising her role as Barry’s mother, Nora. It’s possible that Barry will, through speed force magic, travel to the original timeline of the 2024 Flash. And if we get to meet that’s Flash’s parents, there’s a very good chance we might get to meet that version of Flash.
The Flash of 2024 and His Role in the Coming Crisis
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So, what is the big deal about the Flash of 2024? Well, as mentioned above, he’s the original Flash in this corner of the multiverse. In this timeline, the accident happened when Harrison Wells and his wife’s particle accelerator went online in 2020. An older Barry Allen assumed the mantle, likely formed Team Flash, and also married Iris. Yet, in this timeline he grew up with both parents at home. From how Eobard Thawne talks about him, he was the most perfect version of The Flash. (Even though Barry’s now been the Flash longer than the Flash of 2024 has.) He disappeared in a “crisis” in 2024, never to be seen again. We, the fans, are left to assume that the “crisis” had something to do with the Reverse-Flash and his plan to kill Barry as a child. After the Flash of 2024 saved Barry he disappeared. Is this because, since the accident happened earlier, he stopped existing? Or does he still have a role to play.
In the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic series, Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save his friends. It’s possible that they plan to have this still happen. The Flash of 2024 could show up and help Barry do what needs to be done. Since the time-travel rules are very flexible they can easily get away with this. They kill their Flash and have their Barry, too. Unlike the Flashpoint timeline, when Barry stopped his mother’s murder, Barry might get to see how things “should” have been. It could provide a nice emotional transition point for the character to go along with the cosmic effects of the Crisis crossover. After that’s over, The Flash will be all about making Barry the superhero he’s meant to be.
What About Bloodwork’s Role in The Flash Season 6?
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The Flash is excellent at managing two big bads in a season. In fact, the season-long Cicada plot last year arguably dragged the show down. So, it’s likely that Ramamurthy’s Bloodwork will start out as an ally, perhaps related to Cisco’s metahuman cure. The focus of the first half of the season will likely be split evenly between Bloodwork’s ally-plot and the coming Crisis. Once the Crisis On Infinite Earths storyline ends, Bloodwork will likely break bad. His evil machinations almost certainly will go into motion after the crossover story ends. Barry and the rest of team Flash are no strangers to betrayal, but that’s because it’s such a good source of drama. These are the optimistic, hopeful heroes of the Arrowverse. Thus, their good nature allows villains to take advantage of them. It may feel like a trope at this point, but it’s central to their ethos as a team.
With Arrow ending before the winter break, Flash will be the senior hero on the CW block. Batwoman will likely fill the dark and brooding hole left by Oliver Queen. Also, the CW will produce an Arrow spin-off series focused on Katherine MacNamara’s Mia Smoak-Queen. Still, Flash and Supergirl (complete with new outfit) are the headliners in this crew. We may see the Flash of 2024 show up in the Crisis. Yet, more importantly, we will see Barry Allen finally become the kind of big-name hero that ends up with a museum built in his honor.
What did you think of The Flash season 6 trailer and do you even want to see the Flash of 2024 show up? Sound off in the comments or let us know on social media.
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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.