SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "A Flash of the Lightning," the latest episode of The Flash Season 6.
The Flash just gave Barry Allen a glimpse of the Crisis to come. Unfortunately for him, that means he saw -- and felt -- the death of billions, including his own. What's more, his vision was pulled almost panel by panel out of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic.
In "A Flash of Lightning," the latest episode, Barry went to visit Jay Garrick on Earth-3 for some help. He wanted to travel into the future, a day following the Crisis, to see what happened to him. However, when he reached a speed that would allow him to time travel, he slammed into a wall of antimatter. It was physically impossible for him to pass December 10, the day of his prophesied death.
Though Jay couldn't get Barry physically past the antimatter barrier, he had a device that would allow Barry to see the future. Barry quickly agreed to give it a try and donned the helmet, despite the risk.
At first, he saw STAR Labs set against a red sky. Soon, the building was consumed by an empty, white nothingness that spread rapidly across the city. It enveloped Central City's panicked citizens, including Killer Frost, Elongated Man and Vibe. He watched his wife Iris dissolve into nothingness and screamed. Then, a future version of himself ran by, sprinting straight into a black void.
As the Flash dashed deeper into the void, he heard the Monitor's warning from the season premiere: "In order for billions to survive this coming Crisis, the Flash must die." As the Monitor spoke, Barry's face began to fleck away. He howled as more and more of him dissolved, blowing behind him like dust in the wind. Soon, he faded into nothingness, his scream echoing.
When Barry was brought back to the present, he arrived at a devastating conclusion. "I saw billions of possible futures. Billions of deaths. All their pain, their suffering," he whispered. "And then they were gone. I felt all of it. Now I know the Monitor was right. I have to die."
"I saw you, Caitlin -- I saw everyone die," he later told Iris. "The only timeline where you all survived was if I died... I saw a billion futures... I have to accept this. We both do."
In Marv Wolfman and George Pérez's Crisis on Infinite Earths, Flash died in much the same way. To stop the Anti-Monitor's antimatter cannon, he used his speed to create a speed vortex, which pulled the power towards himself and away from Earth. As a result, he was consumed by antimatter, but not before he got a glimpse of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, and inadvertently warned him of the Crisis to come. This page from the comic appears below.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet and Hartley Sawyer.