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Flash's Meta-Tech Can Make Anyone A Hero (Or Villain)

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The concept of Meta-Tech, introduced in the latest episode of The Flash season 5, could enable anyone to become a hero or a villain through the use of mutated inanimate objects. While there is seemingly little practical difference between an ordinary metahuman and a Meta-Tech user, the basic idea is still a revolutionary one that could spell big things for the future of the Arrowverse.

"News Flash" introduced the character of Spencer Young - a former co-worker of Iris West-Allen, who had given up newspaper writing in favor of publishing her own click-bait based news app, Spyn Zone. The events of "News Flash" revealed that Spencer had somehow acquired the power to manipulate people into making the "fake news" she wrote on her smartphone into reality, nearly causing Nora West-Allen to beat her father to death after she saw the message "XS Kills The Flash" on a stadium's big screen. It was not until later that Barry examined Spencer's smartphone and found that its inner workings had been changed from standard circuitry into something resembling a human brain!

Related: The FLASH Finally Explains Why Nora Hates Iris

Barry dubbed his discovery "Meta Tech" and theorized that objects, not just humans and animals, could develop metahuman powers after being exposed to high quantities of charged dark matter. He and the rest of Team Flash traced the empowerment of Spencer Young's smartphone back to the night of The Enlightenment, when The Flash and XS stopped STAR Labs' satellite from crashing to Earth and triggering a new Dark Age. This prompted a new line of speculation regarding Cicada - the metahuman serial killer who recently emerged in Central City - and presented a theory that he was created during The Enlightenment as well and that his powers were tied to the strange, lightning-shaped dagger he seemed to control as if it were a part of him.

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Of course, the concept of using an object to acquire superpowers is nothing new. The Arrowverse itself already has heroes like Ray "The Atom" Palmer, who is able to shrink through the use of a special suit and the various magical totem bearers, like Vixen and Zari Tomaz, on Legends of Tomorrow. The original DC Comics Universe has countless heroes and villains who utilized magical and technological artifacts which contained power unto themselves, such as the Power Rings of the Green Lantern Corps or the Cosmic Staff utilized by Stargirl.

What separates Meta-Tech from these concepts and makes it so revolutionary is the idea that the inanimate can mutate in the same way as organic life. While science-fiction is full of learning-machines and robots that emulate organic life in how they develop as they "upgrade" themselves, this is the first time the concept has been viewed through the lens of superpowers and applied to an inanimate object with no intelligence of its own. It will be interesting to see where The Flash goes with the concept of Meta-Tech and how it will affect the future of the Arrowverse.

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