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‘The Flash’ Movie Has a Dark DC Villain

The Flash is speeding to a theater near you, and despite multiple misconduct allegations against the lead actor, critics are hailing the movie as peak superhero cinema (much to the chagrin of the rest of the internet). But what does this mean for DC? Will it finally have a moment in the sun after spending over a decade in Marvel’s shadow? Or will The Flash continue the studio’s habit of running headlong into harebrained plots and objectively bad editing jobs? Well, as you know, a story is only as good as its villain. And I don’t mean Ezra Miller.

So let’s take a look at the villain that The Flash has cooking: Dark Flash

Who is the Dark Flash?

The Dark Flash is not a who, but a what.

The being is ancient. After all, it is an incarnation of Death itself. The Dark Flash (a.k.a. the Black Flash) is a primordial entity that appears to speedsters when it’s time to join the great racetrack in the sky. We aren’t clear exactly why Death uses this form to hunt down speedsters, but it might be because becoming the Dark Flash is the only way that Death can hope to catch up to a speedster. It’s possible that the Dark Flash could be a corrupted spawn of the Speed Force itself, we just don’t know. All we know is that the Dark Flash has one mission: to stop speedsters in their tracks permanently.

The good news is, an encounter with the Dark Flash does not always prove fatal. In fact, speedsters have been able to outrun the being in what can only be described as an affront to Mother Nature herself. After all, everything must die, and even if you’re the Flash himself, you can’t run forever.

When did the Dark Flash first appear?

The Dark Flash first appeared to speedster Bart Allen while he was being tortured by Lex Luthor for stealing data from LuthorCorp in season 6 of Smallville. Luthor had trapped Bart in a circular glass cage with an electrified floor, and forced him to run at super speed around the walls of the cage in order to avoid being shocked to death. It was then that Bart first saw the shadowy figure of the Dark Flash appear beyond the glass, waiting for him to succumb. This is standard Dark Flash operating procedure; the being only appears to speedsters who are on the verge of death, no doubt to nudge them over the edge.

Meanwhile in the Arrowverse, the Dark Flash appeared in the decayed form of a human being named Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a. the speedster Zoom. In the finale of season 2, Hunter Zolomon was dragged into the Speed Force by time wraiths as punishment for creating time paradoxes in the universe. As a result, his body began to decompose, and he began to mindlessly pursue other speedsters who had created time paradoxes in the universe, serving the ends of the time wraiths.

In comics, the Dark Flash has appeared to nearly every speedster in the moments before their death, or when they faced a near death experience. And believe me, they have a lot of them.

What are the Dark Flash’s powers?

Unsurprisingly, the Dark Flash is really fast; he’s able to match the pace of every speedster in the universe. After all, this thing’s full time job is catching speedsters. However, he possesses a whole slew of other abilities that make him even more dangerous:

  • Superhuman reflexes: Dark Flash’s speed gives him INSANE reflexes, enabling him to react instantly to danger.
  • Superhuman durability: Dark Flash can tolerate high levels of physical harm without suffering injury.
  • Superhuman agility: Dark Flash’s balance and coordination exceed the best human (and superhuman) athletes.
  • Superhuman stamina: Dark Flash’s superhuman stamina allows it to run basically forever without getting tired.
  • Dimensional travel: Dark Flash can teleport into the Speed Force whenever it pleases.
  • Electrokinesis: Dark Flash can generate and manipulate electricity.
  • Claws: The Dark Flash has big meaty claws that it can use to rend and rip!
  • Energy absorption: Dark Flash’s physiology allows it to absorb Speed Force energy to become stronger!
  • Enhanced senses: Dark Flash can sense the presence of nearby speedsters. It is also able to see and hear normally while moving at the speed of sound (or light).
  • Molecular acceleration: Dark Flash can vibrate his molecules at a high frequency, accelerating his movements and allowing him to phase through solid objects. Like a spooky ghost!
  • Time travel: Dark Flash can move fast enough to break open holes in the fabric of time and space, allowing it to travel through time (and pull you back into those holes kicking and screaming).
  • Time manipulation: Dark Flash can freeze time in the world around him, and only people with superspeed are able to perceive it!
  • Immortality: It IS death so it LITERALLY CAN’T DIE. Or it’s dead already?

So how do you beat the Dark Flash if it can’t die?

There is one way …

It has been done ONCE before by the speedster Wally West, but at a heavy cost. West was able to race the Dark Flash to the end of time itself. Once Flash got there, the Dark Flash began to dissipate. Why? Because at the end of time, death has no meaning. Wait, but then how did Wally survive? Don’t overthink it, kid! It’s a comic book!

So how is Ezra Miller’s Flash gonna defeat the Dark Flash? Racing it to the end of time sounds like a pretty good (if not totally wacky) idea. The other option is that, given Ezra Miller’s criminal record and status as a walking PR disaster, they might just kill the Flash off at the end of the movie. That way, DC could revive the Flash as a character in the form of a different speedster, and they would never have to work with Miller again! Or they’ll just bury all the bad press and find some cheesy Hollywood way to kill off the Dark Flash. But try as they might, they won’t be able to outrun Miller’s bad press. It will pursue the film to the end of time, like the Dark Flash itself.

(featured image: DC Comics)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.