The days of villains running circles around Barry Allen may finally be over, as The Flash looks to be done with evil speedsters. While The Flash is often presented as a lovable goof, the fact is that his abilities make him one of DC's most powerful individuals. As such, it's been difficult across mediums to come up with believable villains for Barry Allen and other heroic speedsters. Often, writers just resort to evil speedsters, something The CW's The Flash has been guilty of over the course of three seasons.
Heading into season 4, however, we've been promised the big bad won't be another speedster. The new season of The Flash will open with Barry still stuck in the Speed Force. As things progress, the hero will return, but not without some side effects. Meanwhile, Caitlin will be battling her Killer Frost side, The Thinker will emerge as a deadly new foe, and a number of other villains will be popping up in Central City. Luckily, new hero Elongated Man will also be joining the team to lend his malleable hands. Not only are there no evil speedsters on the horizon, but it looks as if lightning-fast rogues may be a thing of the past.
Speaking at the TCA 2017 summer press tour, The CW president Mark Pedowitz addressed the future of The Flash. On the subject of rogues connected to the Speed Force, Pedowitz was frank:
"I think we're done with speedster villains."
While we've known the main villain in season 4 wouldn't be a speedster for some time, this reveal seems to indicate The Flash has moved past the idea altogether. After three seasons of speedster villains, it's likely few fan will be upset by this news.
Starting with the Reverse-Flash, each season of The Flash has featured a big bad with Speed Force powers that seem to eclipse Barry's. Season 2 brought the sinister Zoom into the fold, far outstripping Barry's speed. Season 3 upped the anti, with an evil future time remnant version of Barry named Savitar, who seemed to be all but unstoppable. And in between those three, Trajectory and the Rival continued the theme of super-fast rogues. (Even Music Meister possessed super-speed.)
Along with the villain news, Pedotwitz made clear that the new season would harken back to the lightness of the early years of the show. We've heard before that season 4 will be fun again, but the continual reiteration of it highlights just how much The Flash is aiming to course-correct. Hopefully, all of the changes will pay off when the show returns this fall.
The Flash continues on The CW on Tuesday, October 10.