SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Flash #50 by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands, on sale now.
“Crisis” is a word that should strike fear not just in the heart of any hero of the DC Universe, but also any fan of DC Comics. The word has come to symbolise the biggest of stories, the most deadliest of stakes and the most dangerous of enemies. Usually, but not always, with some sort of multiversal twist which serves as a soft-reset for the current continuity, a Crisis is the sort of all-hands-on deck mega event that only DC Comics can do with its superhero universe and it’s a word that isn’t thrown around lightly.
However, this week’s The Flash #50 drops that very word in a cliffhanger which knows exactly what it’s doing, suggesting a very different kind of Crisis than one we’ve ever known before… a single person with a massive grudge against The Flash and his family.
A Man Named “Crisis”
As a result of the events of “Flash War” and the battle in Hypertime between Barry Allen, Wally West and Hunter Zolomon, time travel is in disarray and the twenty-fifth century as we know it has began to break down. That’s the trouble with Hypertime, your reality can always be supplanted by a more convenient one at a moment’s notice.
Luckily, the Renegades — future Reverse Flash hunters with powers modeled after the Rogues of the twenty-first century — survived the timeline reboot, but not for long. With the temporal upheaval comes collateral damage, which causes the future’s incarnation of Iron Heights to bust open and free its only inmate, who promptly erases the Renagades from the timeline and swears vengeance on The Flashes for “what they did to [him]”
The final shot of The Flash #50 lingers on the destroyed cell door, which features the label “Inmate: Crisis” suggesting that’s the name or at least designation of this character, plus a strange design that looks like worlds overlapping with each other, backed by a roman numeral for the number two. The phrase “Worlds will live. Worlds will die.” is heavily associated with the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, as is the image of worlds overlapping, merging and splitting apart, suggesting that this character may come to be the catalyst for a new Crisis scale event.