What Could CW’s Black Flash Mean?

Graham Host
TV Arrowverse
TV Arrowverse

A very interesting development recently took place on Legends of Tomorrow. Those who’ve been watching The Flash the past few years will know that Eobard Thawne was never born following the events of the first season finale, but then was temporarily saved by Barry in the season three premiere, Flashpoint. But now Thawne has a new foe hot on his heels — the Black Flash.

The Black Flash?

Barry and his speedster friends are connected to the mythical Speed Force, an extra-dimensional source of power which has ways of punishing those that abuse the power it gives them. Punishment — in the CW Arrowverse at least — is carried out by Time Wraiths who attack speedsters meddling about in history. And Zoom – the Earth Two Reverse-Flash — was taken by them in the Season Two finale and turned into the Black Flash.

In the DC Comics, this character operates as the ‘Death of speedsters’ and harvests their souls once they die. It’s possible to escape the spectre by outrunning it, but few are capable of doing so. And Thawne is currently being chased by this zombie creature.

Why Is He After Thawne?

Thawne is currently searching for the Spear of Destiny in an attempt to undo his removal from history. To put it simply, he hasn’t yet reached the point in his personal timeline where ancestor Eddie Thawne kills himself to un-born his descendant. But Eobard knows it’s coming and he’s trying to change history to his own ends. For this crime, the Black Flash is after him.

Eddie Thawne killed himself to prevent Eobard from being born.

We don’t yet know much about what powers Zoom/Black Flash possesses. From Thawne’s running throughout history to avoid him, it at least has superspeed, time travel and the ability to sense connections to the Speed Force. This last one has the distinct disadvantage of being the main method it has of perceiving it’s surroundings. When Thawne stopped running, it seemed unable to see him but still managed to catch an arrow Merlyn shot at it. Maybe it can only see moving objects?

The Future…

Seeing the Black Flash has — for many speedsters — been a brief warning of their impending death. As well as briefly donning the dark suit himself — in Flash Vol 3 and the more recent DC Rebirth — Barry Allen and Wally West have weaponised the Black Racer — the Death of New Gods — against Darkseid in Final Crisis. With Savitar threatening Iris West, Barry has recently decided Wally — who will be fast enough to save her when the time comes — will take the lead.

Savitar the flash TV
Savitar, the first and fastest speedster.

But there is a third option to the Flash and Kid Flash — Black Flash. What if they somehow lure the Grim Speedster to take on their greatest foe yet? Whilst this would make for thrilling viewing, a similar idea was used last season to stop Zoom. Berlanti has produced several fantastic series finales so far and he is unlikely to reuse the same scenario. But Black Flash might be reused in some other way. With Barry getting faster and Wally about to overtake him, this fan certainly hopes so.

Graham Host is a member of the Fan Contributor program. In his spare time, he enjoys the works of Terry Pratchett, DC Comics and a wide assortment of video games. Under no circumstances should he be fed after midnight.
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