Barry Allen, Superhero... and Liar?
Oh really? Why?
In meetings, that would get put on the table, and I always said I didn’t want to do that as much. It’s funny, because I would always be like, “Barry doesn’t need to learn a lesson about being a liar! He knows better!” [Laughs] I was heated on that call.
[Laughs] I can see you being like, “How dare you!”
Yeah! But as I was writing, I had to be like...no, no, they’re right. They were seeing something that I wasn’t seeing. I think Thawne is that person, he just wanted to present all those ideas to Barry, to bring Barry down to his level because if he did, they could finally connect again. So, in that moment, I feel like when Thawne finally just admits to it, when he tells Barry that he’s doing this because it’s the only time Barry will ever spend with him, it’s one of the most honest things Thawne has ever said.
So it’s about friendship and relationships. It’s about idolizing someone. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do with Thawne. And it’s funny, we actually had an entirely different story planned out for him first, I was really excited about it, it was going to be this very very devious Eobard, but [editorial] made a point to say that the Thawne they wanted was “real” Thawne. We considered doing two different Thawnes, but decided that when we move forward there was only going to be one, it’s the same one that we’ve always known.
I had this whole story planned out that wasn’t intimate at all, it was going to be this big, epic thing, but [after some discussion] with my editors about things like friendship, the story became smaller and smaller. Now it really is just Barry, Thawne, and Iris. It’s about Thawne wanting to show Iris the Barry that he sees, and wanting Barry to deal with the lies he’s been telling.
Originally, we even had a moment at the end where Iris was going to just really rip into Barry for everything, but we decided to change it and make it quieter. [...] I don’t know if anyone will notice when they read #27, but Iris actually has some gray in her hair, now. This is an experience that really affected her. She went through something, too.
Can you speak to that a bit more?
For Iris, I think it’s this moment of realization that she might not have control over her life. Thawne took her to this place and showed her everything about her life, and it’s a life that exists because [Thawne and Barry] have really dictated her fate. So in that moment at the end, when she tells Barry to just take her home, and then tells Barry to just leave, all of that is a decision on her part to take back control. It’s not Barry’s choice, and she doesn’t care about what Thawne did. The two of them made these decisions without her, so she’s got to gain that control back.
So, of course, we have the huge downer of an ending, which I think is going to really lead into some major stuff in the future. The storylines after this are really going to deal with Barry pulling through that “darkest before the dawn” moment. We’ve been building to this moment where Barry is going to be completely alone, which is what Thawne’s always wanted, that’s always been his plan, so this ending...that’s Thawne winning.
...But did he? [Laughs] We’re tryin’ to tell an in-depth Thawne story, but we have so much crazy stuff coming up. I try to plant clues. Hopefully people will be able to pick things out about where we’re headed next.