The Flash Season 5 premiere just pulled a page directly out of the New 52 book. In “Nora,” Team Flash discovered that Gridlock — their metahuman freak of the week — planned to crash a plane into downtown Central City. To stop him, Barry teamed up with fellow speedsters Wally and Nora to phase the plane through the skyscrapers and a bridge, leading to a crash landing in the river.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because it also happened in Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul’s The Flash #3. The issue opens as a plane plunges towards the river. As the Flash, Barry makes a run for it, jumping towards the plane from the roof of a car and phasing himself inside. Once in the plane, he grabs hold of the seats and uses his powers to phase the plane — and everyone on board — through a bridge before it can crash. Afterwards, he promptly passes out in the aisle.
In the show, of course, the plane rescue goes a little differently. For one, Barry is not alone. Cisco “Vibe” Ramon managed to breach Barry, Wally “Kid Flash” West and Nora, aka XS, into the plane as it hurtled towards downtown. Once inside, each speedster grabbed hold of the plane so that they could phase it together.
However, there was one small problem: Nora didn’t know how to phase. Barry and Wally began to phase, but it just wasn’t enough; they needed Nora or they would all die. Thinking back to his own training with Eobard Thawn’s Harrison Wells, Barry walked her through it. His coaching was successful and she was able to pull it off, allowing them to phase the plane through some skyscrapers and then a bridge, like in the panels above. The plane crash landed in the river without harming anyone on board.
Like the New 52, “Nora” dealt heavily with themes of new beginnings and “firsts.” As he explained to Iris in the episode, Barry felt cheated by Nora’s arrival, saying that — by meeting Nora as an adult — he missed a lot of her “firsts”: first word, first steps, etc. However, he quickly learned he was not around to see those anyway, considering he is supposed to vanish in the year 2024 and never come back. So, like in the scene above, he seizes the opportunity to forge ahead with a different kind of “firsts” with Nora, including her first phase.
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.
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