Fans of The Flash, prepare yourselves: because another DC speedster is about to die. At least, that's what writer Tom King is teasing as part of his larger, heartfelt, and universe-changing event, Heroes in Crisis.
The event had previously been announced by DC as a new kind of "Crisis" than the planet-shattering, continuity condensing, cosmic catastrophes of previous events bearing the same name. But as timely and relevant as this Heroes in Crisis may be, King confirms that it just wouldn't be a Crisis without a Flash falling.
That cruel tease came during a DC press event focused on the Heroes series, featuring Tom King and artists Clay Mann and Mitch Gerads hosting a real-world version of Sanctuary, the superhero therapy center at the heart of the story. King warned that he wasn't supposed to give so telling a tease, but went ahead and did it anyway (there's clearly more to this book than even a dead Flash). He referred back to the Infinite Crisis era of DC's recent history, when Wally West was absorbed into the Speed Force like Barry Allen had been, but with his wife refusing to let him leave without her or their twins.
Moments later, it was Bart Allen's turn to enter the Speed Force like his grandpa, Barry (Bart would return and, again, be absorbed during Flashpoint). Quoting words from DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio at the time that he could never forget, King teased, "...you can't have a Crisis without a dead Flash."
His comments leave little doubt about there being "a dead Flash" by the end of the story, meaning fans can issue their own predictions as to which he's referring to. At present, those words put Barry Allen, Wally West, and the newly returned Impulse, Bart Allen into the crosshairs. And no matter which one feels the narrative axe come swinging for their head, fans are going to be upset. But then, loss, regret, and 'failing to save everyone' seem like themes guaranteed to be explored in Heroes in Crisis. Both before the violent murder that kicks off the story, and in the wake of it. But whether The Flash-- or a Flash will live to see that fallout remains to be seen.
So far, King's run leading to Batman's wedding, as well as his short Superman story in Action Comics #1000 have excelled when grappling with those same ideas, and his work in humanizing the coldest hero in DC's roster have all been leading to Heroes in Crisis. Still, DC fans have been heartbroken and outraged by the death of a Flash before.
Here's hoping the story demanding "a dead Flash" makes it a worthy sacrifice. So who do you think is most likely to go?
Heroes in Crisis #1 will begin on September 26th, 2018.