DC Comics released DC Universe: Rebirth #1 on Wednesday, an epic story involving appearances from such varied DC characters as Kid Flash and Blue Beetle to classics like Batman and Superman. One very important scene in the new comic seems to mirror the season finale of the CW’s The Flash, an ending which has left fans asking all sorts of questions and developing all sorts of theories. Could the ramifications seen in DC Universe: Rebirth mirror what will happen on The Flash in the Arrowverse this fall?
Note: The following contains minor spoilers for DC Universe: Rebirth and major spoilers for the Season 2 finale of The Flash on the CW.
To be clear, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns says that Rebirth in not a reboot but simply a relaunch. He doesn’t go into great detail with Seth Meyers about the distinction, but it’s clear that the new titles being released over the Summer and early Fall will not indicate that what fans have been reading no longer matters.
“They’re not rebooting, which is a dirty word, it’s a swear word in the comic book world, because it means that everything you’ve ever read and bought doesn’t exist anymore. But the relaunch is just approaching it with a new light and bringing every character that hasn’t been around, back.”
In chapter one of Wednesday’s four-chapter offering, one version of DC’s Wally West describes the time that Barry Allen/Flash traveled back in time to prevent the Reverse Flash from killing his mother. In doing so, he set in place a significant butterfly effect that altered history: a Flashpoint. This was a very short retelling of a story published by DC Comics in 2011. However, we now know that something more was at play than just the Flash creating a Flashpoint — and the consequences are dire, all throughout the DC Universe.
Without giving away more than is necessary, the rest of Rebirth tells the story of how that Flashpoint changed the entire DC Universe. It includes every DC character you would expect — and a few that will almost certainly catch you off guard. But four chapters later, a total of 21 titles are ready to relaunch, including series for super teams like the Justice League and the Suicide Squad and lesser known characters like the Hellblazer and Deathstroke.
Other popular DC Comics getting a relaunch in the upcoming weeks include Green Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, all of which have shows on the CW this Fall.
On Tuesday, the CW aired the season finale of The Flash, “The Race of His Life.” With less than two minutes before the final credits rolled, Barry and Iris had a very typical CW-season-finale kiss, after which Barry professed his love for her.
Then, to many DCTV viewers’ surprise, Barry ran back in time to the day his mother was murdered, just like he did at the end of Season 1. This time, however, he prevented Reverse Flash from killing his mother. In doing so, the Barry from Season 1, who walked in on the whole ordeal, slowly faded out of existence, smiling with the knowledge that his mother had been saved. As if he just at that moment realized what he may have done, a less than 100 percent confident Flash tells Nora Allen that everything is going to be okay.
Who read DC Universe: Rebirth #1? pic.twitter.com/vaC812tyMw— Nerd with Balls (@NerdwithBalls) May 26, 2016
In a scene that looks so similar to the epic Flashpoint from DC Comics, and with the CW hosting DC Comics-inspired shows that include Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and even iZombie, which is based off of a comic published by DC under their Vertigo imprint, could Barry’s decision to save his mom have a ripple effect that impacts worlds Barry rarely — or perhaps never, as of yet — interacts with? While the possibility seems highly unlikely, there are a few things to consider.
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Any show that demonstrates a direct connection to The Flash and Central City could use the ripple from Barry’s Flashpoint to make a sudden change in the show, bring a character back from the dead, or fix something in their story that just didn’t pan out as well as they had hoped. Being granted a “mulligan” could provide a writing team with a great deal of freedom to think way outside the box.
A small ripple in time that impacts Rip Hunter and his crew of Legends as they prepare to deal with the Justice Society of America could explain why Wentworth Miller was signed on for more CW work after his character was killed off just before the season finale of Legends of Tomorrow.
And while it may be a stretch to think it could impact a show like Supergirl, we have seen Barry Allen in National City once already. And since multiple characters have traversed from one Earth in the Multiverse to another, there’s no reason that a Flashpoint on Barry’s Earth-1 couldn’t impact Kara Danvers in National City.
Both DC Universe: Rebirth and the Arrowverse on the CW seem to hint at the idea that every DC Universe is ultimately part of the Multiverse. If that’s the case, then there’s no reason to think that the universe in which Liv eats brains and channels the dead person’s personality couldn’t ultimately be impacted by the survival of Nora Allen — if everyone at the CW, Vertigo, and DC Comics really wanted things to work out that way.
It’s obvious that the CW is building a roster of shows to appeal heavily to the comic book and sci-fi crowds. The connections and crossovers between Arrow, The Flash, and Legends show that the CW likes the inter-promotion and that the fans like it as well.
Fans will have to wait until all of these DC/CW programs start over again this fall to find out if the Flashpoint will impact any shows other than The Flash.
[Image via The Flash/CW]