With today's set photo revealing that an all-new super speed villain headed to The CW's "The Flash" in its currently-filming third season, the race is on for fans to figure out what comic book threat will be adapted to the TV world.
In its first two seasons on the air, "The Flash's" producers proved adept at upending expectations. With previous villains the Reverse Flash and Zoom keeping their identities secret via false faces, time travel, alternate dimension hopping and more subterfuge, a twist villain is likely on tap for Season 3. And with over nearly 75 years of comic adventures under his lightning bolt belt, DC's Scarlet Speedster has no shortage of fleet-footed friends and foes ripe for inclusion.
With that in mind, CBR combed the speed force archives to gather eight suspects that fit the mold of the incoming threat. Could it be another time traveler? A sentient force of nature? An ally making a heel turn? Read on to learn about the most likely candidates.
7 John Fox
This Flash from a future time may originate in the 27th century, but he spent most of the '90s coming back to team up with Wally West in order to set the timestream straight. Fox even replaced the modern Flash for a short time, leading to some complicated romantic relationships with Linda Park. It's been a while since comic readers have seen him (since he relocated to the 853rd century as part of the "DC One Million" event), but don't be fooled by this good guy. His blank slate status makes him a perfect piece of Flash lore for the producers of the TV show to play with in ways both good and evil.
A mad cultist who worships the speed force that gives all Flashes their powers, Savitar nearly took out the entire Flash family back in Mark Waid's original run with the hero. With an army of sword-wielding footmen and a zealot's penchant for crazy eyes and crazier hair, this character might be a bit too mustache-twirly to play the core villain role in the show. But don't count him out as an early Season 3 smokescreen to hide the identity of the real big bad.
5 The Black Flash/The Black Racer
The Flash's mythology has gotten so deep over the years, it even has its own version of the god of death. The Black Flash is an extra-dimensional force that appears whenever a speedster is about to go to the big test track in the sky, though his appearances over the years have been anything but benevolent.
While the show may have a hard time building an entire story around a haunting figure that just chills over your shoulder as you bite it, recent events in DC's "Justice League" comic saw Barry Allen morph into a similar god when he merged with the Black Racer of the New Gods. With the idea that no one can outrun death being a potent one, don't be surprised if the show brings in some variation on this otherworldly spook this fall.
4 Johnny Quick
While Season 2 of "The Flash" focused in on the existence of parallel world Earth 2, there's a whole multiverse out there that's yet unexplored. And traditionally in DC Comics, the next step after discovering the idyllic Earth 2 is stepping into the nightmarish Earth 3. On this world, all the heroic archetypes fans know and love are recast as sadistic villains, and speeding through that world's anti-Justice League known as the Crime Syndicate is Johnny Quick. Of course, any talk of a third parallel earth may tip viewers off to the fact that a villain is in the wings, but we wouldn't be surprised if Earth 3 plays some kind of role next year -- particularly when it comes to the mega-crossover between "Flash," "Arrow," "Legends of Tomorrow" and "Supergirl."
3 Future Flash
Perhaps the most obvious choice for a villain considering the "Flashpoint" style ending to Season 2 is a very recent addition to the comic book mythos. In recent issues of the New 52 take on "The Flash," a renegade future version of our hero made his way back to the past to alter everything Barry Allen has done, consequences be damned. With Season 3 of the show angling toward similar territory, it'd be no surprise if our hero had to deal with a literal doppelgänger in the form of Future Flash.
2 Danny West
The "Flash" TV show had its cake and ate it too with arch foe the Professor Zoom - AKA the Reverse Flash. In the original comics, those two name stood for one arch villain: the Eobard Thawne that plagued Season 1. But by only calling him Reverse Flash, the show's producers allowed themselves the opportunity to bring in an independent Zoom in Season 2. With a few other characters running around the funnybooks with some variation on that name, why break a thing that's proven to have worked in the past? The first bet for a new holder of the Zoom legacy is Danny West --Â a brother of love interest Iris West introduced into the New 52 era. With Wally West finally taking on the Kid Flash mantle in Season 3, there's some symmetry there, and Danny's costume looks more like the version being used for the show than anyone else's.
1 Hunter Zolomon
Of course, if the show wants to continue its tradition of playing with the pieces loved by Flash guru and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, it's hard not to go with Hunter Zolomon. This take on Zoom is a rogue member of the police force who uses his skills as a criminal profiler to turn himself into the ultimate villain. We're going to be spending the next season of the show scrutinizing any of Barry's co-workers who come close to matching that description in case Season 3 becomes a war over who proves the most righteous time-traveling defender of the peace.
And, if the producers are looking to make Barry face down a nightmare version of himself, there are a few options. They could always go back to the '90s Flash TV series they've referenced in the past to revive Pollux -- the Flash clone!
"The Flash" Season 3 debuts on Tuesday, October 4 on The CW.