And for his next trick, Abra Kadabra will… save Iris West from certain death? Well, probably not, but “The Flash” may have shown its hand by bringing the time-travelling magician onto the show. In the aptly titled episode “Abra Kadabra,” the 64th century’s Citizen Abra himself will arrive in Barry’s present day with some seriously advanced technology and a grudge. He will also claim to know Savitar’s true identity, something Barry desperately needs to know in order to save his fiancée Iris. Regardless of whether Abra Kadabra gives up this information, his debut may mean that Iris will be saved in the season finale, especially if the show borrows a page from the little comic storyline called “The Trial of Flash.”
Let’s review. In December 1984, Cary Bates and Carmine Infantino kicked off this story arc in “The Flash” #340, and it lived up to its name by putting the Flash — Central City’s favorite speedster — on trial for the murder of Reverse Flash, aka Professor Zoom. The murder at hand occurred during Barry’s wedding with his second wife-to-be, Fiona Webb. In order to make Barry’s life even more miserable, Reverse Flash attempted to kill Fiona just as he did Iris, but Barry intercepted him just in time; however, in his desperation to stop history from repeating itself, Barry accidentally used lethal force and snapped Reverse Flash’s neck on his way to his bride. Even in comics, murder is murder, and the Scarlet Speedster was brought to court over his nemesis’ death.
However, the murder at hand isn’t really the important piece of this puzzle. Rather, we must look at the trial and the rather unconventional way it ended. For one, let’s clear up Abra Kadabra’s role in it. At the time of the trial, Reverse Flash was actually dead; Abra Kadabra used his technology-cum-magic to make it look as though the Flash killed Reverse Flash in an effort to ruin the Flash’s reputation. However, the illusion was so realistic that Barry himself also believed that he had killed Reverse Flash, further complicating the trial. Fortunately for Barry, there was one juror on the trial who refused to convict Flash despite the overwhelming evidence against him — a juror who happened to be a disguised Iris West from the future.
It’s important to note that, at this time in the comics, Iris West had been dead for years, so her return here came as a major shock to readers. After all, Reverse Flash had killed her by vibrating his hand through her, which raised an obvious question: how did she survive?
The answer to that question is a bit complicated, so bear with me. As CBR’s own Tom Bondurant pointed out in January, this is around the time that Iris’ origin story got a little convoluted in an effort to bring her back into The Flash’s mythology. As it turns out, Iris was actually the daughter of 30th century scientists Eric and Fran Russell. In an effort to save her from a nuclear holocaust in their own time, they sent Iris back to the 20th century, where she was adopted by the Wests. At the time of her death, the Russells took the consciousness from her body and installed it in a new 30th century body, thus saving her. By the end of “The Trial of Flash,” she saved Barry from Abra Kadabra’s evil plot through her knowledge of the future and brought him to the 30th century with her, where they lived together happily for a few months. (There is, of course, a lot more to it than that, but you’ll have to read “Trial of Flash” for yourself to get the full story!)
At this point, you’re probably what this has to do with The CW’s “The Flash.” While it’s extremely unlikely that the show will adapt this storyline beat-for-beat, it could take a few cues from it. For instance, Barry is dabbling in the future more than he ever has before. He traveled five months into the future in the mid-season finale, thus witnessing Iris’ death, and he will go even further in the upcoming episode “The Once and Future Flash.” Between his time travelling adventures and Abra Kadabra’s arrival, he could discover some kind of technology that would allow Team Flash to save Iris. That is to say, he could find something in the future, or Abra Kadabra may accidentally leave something behind that provides the key to saving Iris. That is to say, Abra Kadabra will likely become a new nemesis for The Flash, but his debut could herald the technology that could save Iris from certain death.
Of course, Barry may not travel to the future with the intent of finding something to save Iris. In Mark Waid and Greg LaRocque’s “Hat Trick” storyline, Barry was accidentally pulled into the future by a 64th century bounty hunter named Peregrine after she traveled back in time to capture Abra Kadabra. There, he discovered that Abra Kadabra — there, known as Citizen Abra — actually led a resistance of individuality against a government that controlled its populace through groupthink. If that sounds at all familiar, that’s because “The Flash’s” “Abra Kadabra” episode will feature the return of Gypsy, an Earth-19 bounty hunter who interferes with Barry’s plan to find out Savitar’s identity from Abra Kadabra. Her quest to capture and return Abra Kadabra could very well send him to the future in much the same way Peregrine’s did. Hopefully, an impromptu trip will prove to be useful for him.
So will Abra Kadabra himself save Iris? Probably not. However, the implications of his arrival may just indicate that Iris will live in the end. By dabbling in the future this way, “The Flash” could provide the team a way to save her, even if it involves some trickery that leads Savitar to believe he got the deed done. Additionally, this could lead into a more faithful adaptation of “The Trial of Flash,” which was teased back in Season 1 when Barry took a trip though the Speed Force and saw himself in a jail cell. We’ll just have to wait and see how Abra Kadabra works his magic in tonight’s episode of “The Flash.”
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.