Who Is Godspeed? The Flash's New Speedster Villain, Explained

Last week, new Arrowverse rumors surfaced as The Flash continues to film the last handful of episodes for its fifth season. A fan blogger visiting The CW series' Vancouver set claims to have caught a glimpse of the shooting script for the 18th episode of Season 5, with the ominous title "Godspeed." This rumor was further corroborated over the subsequent weekend by alleged set photos that showed an actor dressed as a character resembling the villain filming sequences evidently set in Central City's relative future where the adult incarnation of Nora West-Allen, the time-traveling speedster daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, originally hails from.

While the network has yet to officially confirm the episode title or live-action debut of the DC Rebirth villain, signs are pointing to the arrival of a new antagonistic speedster. And if the DCTV series stays relatively faithful to the original comic book source material, Godspeed could be one of the more personal villains to challenge Team Flash.

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Created by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico in 2016's The Flash Rebirth before making his full debut in The Flash #3 by the same creative team, the high-speed villain was introduced as August Heart. A colleague and friend of Barry's in the Central City Police Department, the two bonded over their tragic pasts; namely, with the murder of Barry's mother by the Reverse-Flash and of August's brother by the mysterious organization Black Hole. After a Speed Force storm strikes the police department lab, August discovers he has similarly developed a connection to the Speed Force, and many of the same abilities as the Flash.

To help August cope with his newfound abilities, Barry reveals his superhero identity to him and they develop a super-suit for the new speedster. While continuing to investigate his brother's murder, August uses his powers to assist Barry in apprehending others who gained super-speed in the storm but are using their new abilities towards crime. Soon, a new villain referring to himself as Godspeed appears, killing the new speedsters.

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When the primary suspect in August's brother's murder is killed by Godspeed, Barry realizes that his newest enemy is August himself. August admits to his descent into villainy, explains he felt wronged by the justice system's handling of his brother's murder and believes the deaths of the other speedsters were justified in order to fuel his own powers to greater heights. With the augmented speed, Godspeed is able to create physical duplicates of himself, though the process weakens him and ultimately helps Barry in defeating his former colleague decisively and having him locked up in Iron Heights.

Later, in The Flash Annual #3, Godspeed escapes and battles both Barry and Bart Allen while wearing new gauntlets that allow him to move in and out of the Speed Force at will. August returns to what appears to be a future setting with a mysterious benefactor using Godspeed in a greater plan to seek revenge against Barry. We have yet to learn who the shadowed person is, so this story ;oakley will not factor into the CW show's storyline.

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While August Heart has yet to make an appearance on the DCTV series, it looks the show may use time-travel to introduce Godspeed before his civilian alter ego, perhaps to heighten the mystery while giving Nora her own previously unseen speedster villain in her own time period. While Season 5 could introduce Godspeed as what appears to be a threat in the future, August Heart could be innocuously introduced in Season 6, with Godspeed's arrival in the relative present a surprise to audiences as August and Barry become work buddies with mutual traumatic pasts. And given the recent comic book upgrade of Godspeed to travel through time, the character's potential appearances in the present and future would not be out of character either.

The first new Flash villain created for the DC Rebirth era, Williamson and Di Giandomenico established a speedster antagonist without falling into the usual tropes and creating a personal threat for Barry Allen; a friend and protege gone wrong, providing a glimpse of what Barry himself could have become if he didn't have a stronger moral compass than his colleague. While The Flash television series has a tendency to rely on central antagonists disguised as allies and mentors in the past, Godspeed could fill a more tragic role than, say, Eobard Thawne or Hunter Zolomon. August never intended to become a villain in the comics, and his antagonistic shift is a source of pain and regret for both himself and Barry. And with Speed Force storms already figuring in The CW series, the show could be one storm away from creating its newest enemy.

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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