This past week's episode of The Flash, "Memorabilia," provided a glimpse into the DCTV series' possible future, as Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen visited the Flash Museum through a telepathic link with their daughter Nora's subconscious. Among the countless Easter eggs and potential hints about the CW series' upcoming storylines was a recording of Central City Police Captain David Singh name-dropping a previously unseen villain: Red Death.
First created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo in 2017's Dark Nights: Metal #1, the evil speedster was one of the Dark Multiverse Batmen who joined forces with the Batman Who Laughs in his invasion of the main DC Universe. The character's background was elaborated on in the tie-in issue Batman: The Red Death #1 by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico.
The one-shot special told the origins of the Bruce Wayne of Earth-52, who was driven to more extreme crime-fighting methods after losing several allies in his ongoing war on crime. After the Barry Allen of this alternate world refused to give him the Speed Force, this version of Batman incapacitated the Flash with his rogues' arsenal of weapons and outfitted the Batmobile with the Cosmic Treadmill to plunge both men into the Speed Force, fusing them together and creating the evil Red Death.
Based on the Singh's comments on the CW series, the Red Death certainly exists in some capacity in the DCTV Multiverse. The name-drop could be the Arrowverse's way of circumventing DC's restriction on physically including Bruce Wayne in the shared televised universe. While previous comments from Oliver Queen on Arrow and this season's Arrowverse crossover event, "Elseworlds," confirmed that Bruce Wayne exists in the Arrowverse, the producers of the various CW series were not permitted to actually include the character in their programming, perhaps in a move to avoid confusion and direct comparison with DC Universe's Titans, where a different version of the character appears in the periphery.
With the concept of a multiverse having been firmly established by the second season of The Flash and expanded on in "Elseworlds," the idea of an alternate version of Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne would not be a surprising inclusion for DCTV series moving forward. With his mashup design and dual personas, the character would not be instantly recognizable as a traditional Batman and may circumvent restrictions while providing audiences with the first on-screen Arrowverse incarnation of Bruce Wayne, albeit from the Dark Multiverse.
Additionally, it would present Barry and Team Flash with a new evil speedster as their main nemesis for the first time since Season 3. After utilizing speedsters as primary antagonists for its first three seasons, the popular DCTV series has actively changed things up for its fourth and fifth seasons, with the Thinker and Cicada serving as their respective season's central villains.
The Red Death would be a multifaceted threat from the Dark Multiverse, one that possesses both access to the Speed Force and Bruce Wayne's brilliant, tactical mind. Eobard Thawne may have been a professor in his own time, but Bruce Wayne is one of the most accomplished strategists in the DC Universe. Crossed over the moral line into outright villainy and with super-speed, the Red Death would be the greatest threat Team Flash has ever known.
Finally, while Season 2's Zoom introduced the concept of the multiverse and Season 3's Savitar introduced the concept of divergent futures, the Red Death would introduce the concept of the Dark Multiverse to the entire Arrowverse, potentially building up new threats for all of The Flash's counterpart series, including Arrow, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. There is more than one evil Batman lurking in the inverted multiverse, each heralding an apocalyptic invasion that could bring the various DCTV series together for another crossover-level event.
The Flash has a history of teasing upcoming storylines in passing lines of dialogue, be it Reverse-Flash finding Jay Garrick's hat in the Season 1 finale or time-traveling villain Abra Kadabra briefly mentioning the Thinker in Season 3. While Singh's reference to the Red Death may be little more than another Easter egg for DC Comics fans, the series casually hinting at its own future is certainly not unprecedented. And in actually bringing the Red Death into future seasons, the CW may have just found an innovative way to also solve its Batman problem.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet, Hartley Sawyer and Jessica Parker Kennedy.