Make way, Barry Allen -- Kid Flash is here! It's true: Keiynan Lonsdale's Wally West will wear his iconic red-and-gold speedster uniform in "Flashpoint," "The Flash" Season 3 premiere. Though not a lot of information was revealed about the character outside of a few photos and a name, there's a lot to unpack in the news, particularly considering that he'll debut in an episode named after a DC Comics event that totally changed the face of the DC Universe. So what, exactly, could Kid Flash's arrival mean for the Season 3 premiere? Well, for one, it may mean someone other than Barry will be the Scarlet Speedster when the show returns.
Let's back up and look at some context. In the Season 2 finale, Barry went back in time and prevented his mother's murder, triggering a famous linchpin event from the comics. While we've yet to see how this massive change in the show's timeline will affect the series as it moves into its third season, the title "Flashpoint" gives fans a major, major hint.
The major DC Comics event from 2011 saw Barry Allen trying to navigate a totally altered world -- wherein his mother Nora was alive -- but that wasn't the only change he encountered. Indeed, he found a world where Aquaman and Wonder Woman waged a war with no regard for human life, Superman had been imprisoned his whole life and Bruce Wayne had died instead of Thomas that fateful night in the alley behind the theater.
Obviously, "The Flash" doesn't boast the same roster as the comics, and it certainly doesn't have the budget of a blockbuster film like "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." When we go into Season 3, then, we're looking at a smaller-scale version of "Flashpoint," though that doesn't mean it'll be any less significant. But how can the show adapt a major storyline like "Flashpoint" without any of the grand trappings, like a fractured Justice League and a world-spanning war? By making someone else the new timeline's Flash, of course.
Bear with me, here. Arguably, Thomas Wayne becoming Batman is one of the most memorable aspects of the "Flashpoint" comic, so much so that the idea of him writing a letter to his alternate-timeline son was a part of the recent "DC Universe: Rebirth" event. In the comic, Thomas became Batman for the same reason Bruce did: because of the murder of his family in front of his very eyes. He's a little harsher than Bruce's Batman ever was, to be sure, but he wears the cape and cowl and wields fear as a weapon just the same; he's another side of the same coin, filling the void left in the wake of his son's death. And so, like its comic book counterpart, the show's "Flashpoint" could reverse Barry and Henry's roles.
Of course, if the show goes this route, a reversal between Barry and Henry Allen wouldn't be a direct analogue to Bruce and Thomas Wayne. After all, Barry is alive and kicking -- even if he doesn't have the same sense of purpose he had in the previous timeline due to his father's false arrest. Pre-"Flashpoint" Barry was driven by the need to truly solve his mother's murder; he took up forensic science in his parents' names, and he followed in Joe West's footsteps to become a member of the CCPD. But who is Barry Allen without this motivation? He could, of course, be inspired by his doctor father, or he could take on a whole different attitude altogether. Going into "Flashpoint," this version of Barry is an enigma (even to himself) -- but there's a really good chance he won't be the Flash of this brave new world.
And this is where it all comes back to Kid Flash and, specifically, his moniker. Sure, Wally West is young enough that he can't legally drink, but he's also old enough to attend college -- a far cry from the comics version of Wally West, who was much younger when he got his powers. The "Kid" attached to his name feels a little out of place, particularly where Barry Allen's Flash is just a few years older than him. Considering that, it likely means Barry was never the Flash in this timeline, but that doesn't mean there was never a Flash at all.
Conversely, by affixing "Kid" to Wally West's superhero identity, it implies that there is another Flash, as he feels the need to differentiate himself. Between Kid Flash and the mysterious new speedster in black (both of whom are rocking costumes very similar in design to Barry's Flash), it's obvious the Speed Force is strong with this new timeline... so who is "Flashpoint's" Scarlet Speedster?