Moving into The Flash season 6 next fall, we’ve got a feeling that the name “Red Death” is going to be thrown almost like it’s a secret word kids are trying to use to get into a club. It’s one of the more-intriguing ideas the show’s had in a while and beyond that, this is fuel for all of those people out there who feel like this show’s on the next-level when they bring in a speedster Big Bad as opposed to some of the other adversaries we’ve seen as of late.
In the comics, Red Death is a dark, villainous version of Bruce Wayne from a corrupted Earth, one in which Batman and The Flash are effectively fused together. This version of Bruce didn’t necessarily start evil, but became more and more bent on destruction amidst grief, rage, and his own augmented interpretation of justice.
Obviously, we don’t see The Flash dipping their toes into all of that. For starters, that’s some super-dark subject matter; also, we’re not sure if they even want Barry squaring off against an alternate earth Barry fused into Batman. That’s a little complicated, for starters, and we already did the evil-Barry thing with Savitar. Isn’t there another way to make this work?
In a word, absolutely. The Flash as a show has shown an ability to twist things around and create a totally different ecosystem for itself — it celebrates the soul of the comics while also keeping its viewers on the edge of their seats, guessing and shouting some theories. That’s why the following starts to enter our consciousness: The idea that in the Arrowverse, an alternate-universe Oliver Queen becomes Red Death instead.
Think about it — the Arrowverse at present has almost no use for Bruce Wayne. His name will surely be uttered on Batwoman, but even in that timeline Batman is just a myth. Why spend so much time investing in a version of a character most viewers won’t care about? Oliver is so much more compelling — he’s Barry’s superhero mentor in a way and beyond that, the Arrow version certainly has a lot in common with Bruce Wayne. It’s not that far of a stretch.
Then, there’s the logistics and actually constructing a plan where this could work. The final season of Arrow is only running for ten episodes, meaning that if Stephen Amell is available and interested, you could actually use him for several episodes the second half of The Flash season 6. He’s spent so many years as a hero, so why not help to close out his run (at least as a regular part of the Arrowverse) as a villain? We’ve seen him that way in the Crisis on Earth-X event, but that was such a small arc that it was hard to really dive into anything. Red Death’s purpose, at least for us, is to showcase more how quickly a hero can become someone else … something else. Isn’t that the motto of Arrow already?
While we recognize that this idea is probably a stretch, we just think that if you want to get hearts racing and have a meaningful villain that makes sense as an Arrowverse viewer, Oliver as Red Death is the right way to do it. Otherwise, it’s hard to get that same punch out of Red Death in general unless you think that an evil Batman is enough of a reason to make people hyped.
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Then remember to head over to the link here for some discussion about when the show is back! Also, let us know your thoughts on this new theory in the comments. (Photo: The CW.)