In the latest episode of The Flash called Memorabilia, Barry and Iris accidentally find themselves in their daughter Nora's memories. During their trip through Nora's memories, they found themselves in Flash Museum's Hall of Villains. They watch Nora as she begins to watch an informative segment about Cicada. In the video, Central City Police Captain David Singh addressed Cicada's killing spree, which continued because Flash failed to stop him before he disappeared. "The Flash did everything he could, but Cicada killed more people than Zoom or even the Red Death.”
Wait - who is Red Death and why did he kill so many people? Here is everything you need to know about the new villain Red Death.
Earth - 52
On his world, Batman used to be the hero of Gotham City who fought crime with his Robins. However, the city took its toll on the Bat and claimed the lives of all his sidekicks, forcing Bruce to seek more extreme ways to prevent the crimes he felt he wasn't fast enough to stop. Batman set his sights on his world's Flash, determining that he could use the Speed Force better than the speedster himself could. Batman took out all of the Flash's Rogues and confiscated their weapons to use against the Flash in a fight for his powers.
After Bruce bested Barry, Batman drove the two of them into the Speed Force using his Batmobile merged with the Cosmic Treadmill - absorbing the Flash and his powers. When Batman returned from the Speed Force, he donned a new costume and became "Batman: The Red Death" and began murdering members of his own rogues gallery in Gotham.
Because his world was part of something known as the Dark Multiverse, it was inherently unstable and began collapsing around him. Batman sought a way to save his world and was contacted by Bruce Wayne from Earth-22, a version of Batman that was infected by a mysterious gas upon killing The Joker. This Bruce Wayne told him he could save his world by invading the main Multiverse with the Dark Knights. The Red Death accepted, then Batman of Earth-0 accidentally activated the portal to the Dark Multiverse and the Dark Knights arrived to take over.
The Red Death immediately made his way to Earth-0's Central City, challenging this world's Flash. Though he caught the hero off guard, the Flash was saved in the nick of time by Doctor Fate, leaving the Red Death to conquer the city in the meantime. By a week after the Dark Knights' arrival, the Red Death had invoked a new Speed Force storm throughout the city that was made from his own corrupted connection, which aged anyone who touched it to death in seconds.
Rebirth of Barry Allen
On the run from the Dark Knights, The Flash of Earth-0 is trapped on a ship with others. After discovering the ship is powered by a baby universe and it must be destroyed in order to shake the Dark Knights, The Flash teleports down and disables the universe's cage, creating an explosion of positive energy, just as Red Death arrives. The wave of positive energy has a side effect on Red Death. Now clad in a golden armor, he is reborn as the Barry Allen of Earth -52. With the psyche of that version of Bruce eliminated, Barry immediately asks how he can help his Prime Earth self. He tells him he can start where they are.
After driving himself and the Flash into the Speed Force using his Batmobile and the schematics of the Cosmic Treadmill, Bruce absorbed Barry and his powers, granting him a corrupted connection to the Speed Force. This includes superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, agility, and stamina. Because of the Speed Force's energies augmenting his already genius acumen, Red Death can think as fast as he moves with equally impressive hand/eye coordination. Having been able to fabricate impressive technological wonders in mere seconds time, as well as conjure complicated nano-wear activated using his speedforce powers.
Red Death can generate bat-like Speed Force energy constructs that emit dangerous effects if they come into contact with others. Bruce's bat constructs cause the infect others, Causing those affected by it to wither away painfully, as if worn down by hundreds to thousands of years passing in an instant. With his enhanced intellect, The Red Death learned to generate more complex Speed Force constructs, such as command activated nanotech powered and fueled by the speed energy he gives off.
Batman and the Flash's trip into the Speed Force has permanently scarred Bruce's face, leaving it cracked and broken underneath his mask. After fusing in the Speed Force with the Flash, Batman now has the speedster's powers, though he's forced to share his body with the Flash's consciousness, which occasionally tries to break free. Furthermore, his use of the Speed Force causes him to momentarily disintegrate into a swarm of black bat silhouettes with red overlays, only coalescing when staying in one place.
The Bat Who Laughs
The most interesting thing about teasing Red Death is the implication of later meeting the Bruce Wayne from Earth-22, known as The Bat Who Laughs. Much like the Bruce Wayne of Earth-52, his origin was not much different from that of any other version of the Caped Crusader. However, everything went sideways when the Joker decided to go all out in his attempt to destroy Gotham. While being drugged and restrained, this Batman was forced to watch helplessly as his nemesis systematically razed his home. After bragging about leveling hospitals, killing other villains, and brutally ending Jim Gordon with acid, he forced Bruce to watch as he began taking out adults in front of their children in Crime Alley. If that wasn't enough, he Jokerized the orphaned children and set them loose on what was left of the city.
Driven beyond the breaking point, Batman overcame the drugs in his system and beat Joker to a pulp. When Joker promised to keep bringing the chaos he has witnessed over and over again, Bruce lost himself completely and snapped Joker's neck, causing a mysterious gas to leave his mouth and engulf Bruce. Over the coming days, it would become apparent that this mysterious gas mixed the mind of Bruce Wayne with The Joker’s skewed morality, causing him to murder his Bat-family and the entire Justice League.