When The Flash returns this fall, fans will get to see a whole new side of Barry Allen. Having defeated The Thinker in the Season Four finale, the Scarlet Speedster wasn't able to enjoy the victory for very long before hit with a huge surprise. His future daughter, Nora Allen, revealed herself and admitted that she might be in trouble.
However, dealing with the shock of fatherhood may not be the only new side of Barry (played by Grant Gustin) that fans get to see in Season Five. After emerging from the Speed Force in the Season Four premiere, Barry was revealed to have a few new powers in his arsenal and now that The Thinker/Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) is out of the way and there's an all-new speedster to work with in the form of Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy), there may well be more Speed Force powers Barry can explore -- both his own and Nora's.
It's something that Gustin himself may have alluded to when he told fans at ACE Comic Con last month a little bit of what they could expect when season five rolls around this fall.
“I don’t want to spoil too much of it, obviously," Gustin teased. "I don’t know too much either. What I could presume is that we’re going to see… I mean, [Nora is] trapped in our time. I think, we’re probably going to see Barry trying to help her figure out a way to get back to her time. And see Barry and Iris interacting with an adult version of their child. I mean, it’s going to be really cool. We’re gonna see a new speedster, so. Get ready.”
But what could some of those new Speed Force powers be? In comics, the various speedsters to wear the mantle of The Flash have a wide range of powers, many we haven't seen yet on the show or haven't seen to their full potential. So, while we wait for The Flash to return to Tuesday nights, we've come up with a list of seven Speed Force powers we'd like to see in The Flash's fifth season.
With most speedsters deriving their powers from a connection to the Speed Force, it would make sense that if the connection is strong enough, speedsters could detect one another. With Barry having spent so much time directly in the Speed Force having Barry able to sense the presence of other speedsters is a handy ability he's likely to have.
To a certain extent we've seen this already on The Flash. When Barry went to destroy the falling STAR Labs satellite used as part of The Thinker's sinister Enlightenment, a then-unknown-to-him Nora joined him. Barry even admitted to Iris (Candice Patton) that he wasn't the only speedster out there. However, the show didn't directly address how Barry knew the other speedster was there just that it was odd. In season five, it would be nice to see that explored a bit more, especially as it could come in handy with Reverse Flash still out there, somewhere.
In season four we saw Barry be able to share his speed by bringing others into Flashtime. The opposite of that would be the ability to take speed away from both people and things. It's a power that seems like it would be something that Barry might discover as he explored his Flashtime powers a bit. With The Thinker out of the picture and Nora around, Team Flash might have an opportunity to spend a little time at STAR Labs trying to sort out not just the extent of his post-Speed Force powers but what powers Nora brings to the table. It could make for some quality father-daughter bonding for the pair to explore the ability to take speed away, especially in a heroic context such as slowing down the rate with which something falls.
Another power we've somewhat already seen on the show, Infinite Mass Punch is something that the show has kind of tapdanced around. It was teased in season three's "Attack on Gorilla City" with Barry knocking out Solivar with a vibrating punch and then Barry attempted to use it again to destroy the Enlightenment satelite. However, we've never really seen Barry fully use it. Nora showed up and helped punch the satelite which means that the true impact of Barry's efforts were avoided.
However, it might be a good thing that we didn't see the full capabilities of Infinite Mass Punch last season. Introduced in Grant Morrisons JLA, Infinit Mass Punch has a mass equal to that of a white dwarf star and comes with serious damage -- not just to the impacted person or thing, but to The Flash as well.
Sure, Barry is smart and we've even seen him speed read and do other fast thinking, but we've largely just seen his regular high intelligence on fast mode. Speed Mind takes that to a completely different level. In comics, Barry turns his Speed Force energy through is brain instead of his body thus supercharging his ability to think. It gave him the ability to evaluate situations and come up with every possible scenario and outcome given the variables he considered.
While this power would have been infinitely useful in the fight against The Thinker, we could see Barry and Team Flash being concerned enough about other quick-thinking villains in the future and come up with the idea of Speed Mind as a way to be prepared should another Thinker show up.
Green Lanterns may be the heroes most well-known for their ability to conjure up constructs but they aren't the only characters in the DC Universe with that ability. The Flash can do it, too. In fact, one of Wally West's later Flash costumes was a construct of the Speed Force and he has even been depicted as using contstructs to repair an armored version of his suit.
With Nora herself being a speedster, it might be an intersting take to show her as having some slightly different powers than what her father has. Giving her the ability to harness the Speed Force into something tangible might be an interesting way to show the evolution of powers from one generation to the next. It would also be kind of humorous to watch Nora teach Barry something considering how we've seen Nora geek out well before we knew who she was.
As we've seen on The Flash, Barry can run so fast that time seems to stop for everyone except him. But running is the critical part of that trick and when it comes to the powers of the Speed Force, it's not the only way to make time stand still.
In comics, Wally has the ability to dilate time, stopping it entirely without needing to race around faster than time. The ability kicks in when Wally's heart rate rises too high from super-speed efforts, but once time's slowed to a stop, Wally can go about his actions at a normal pace. The world will simply wait. Having Nora experience this interesting adaptation of time control via the Speed Force would be an interesting one to explore. Or, maybe the series could even give it to a villain to throw The Flash off.
As mentioned with Speedster Detection, the fact that most if not all speedsters derive their abilities from the Speed Force allows them all to share a unique connection. That connection includes the ability to sense when other speedsters are in trouble and while knowledge of the past is likely what brought Nora to the present on The Flash, it might be interesting if what really drew her to come to Barry's aid with the Infinite Mass Punch was her ability to sense that a speedster was in trouble. It might also explain how she was able to travel back in time -- provided they don't just have her run there. Part of Speed Force empathy includes the ability to draw people to the location of the speedster in trouble. As it's a power that all speedsters theoretically have, it would also make a handy way to bring speed villains to Barry's doorstep.
What Speed Force powers would you like to see next season on The Flash? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The fifth season of The Flash will premiere on Tuesday, October 9th at 8/7c on The CW.