Going all the way back to the pilot for The Flash, the series teased Barry Allen's apparent death in "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Asked whether he knew how and when he intended to pay off the various teases, Helbing smiled and told ComicBook.com, "Yeah. But that's all I can say."
He elaborated a tiny bit, saying, “Greg [Berlanti] really has a sort of master plan of things, and I’m really excited about how it’s going to pay off.”
For his part, series star Grant Gustin suggested -- as he has for years now -- that the plan is still to play out the crossover in 2024, so that the timeline of the episodes lines up with the events of the story. The future newspaper seen in the pilot was dated for April of 2024.
"It is really fulfilling" to see some of the Crisis stuff play out, Gustin told us. "I hope we can stick around long enough to see what's going on with that newspaper article. We'd have to make it four more seasons, five more seasons. It's cool, though. It feels like it's earned. Me and Stephen had that conversation a lot during the crossover, actually. There's a lot of even just comedic moments that we have that are funny because they're earned -- because of the history of the characters and the journey they've been on. It is one of the best parts of doing these as a series versus a film -- people have been with us. I've met kids who have gone through all of high school watching this show. To have that kind of stamp on people's lives is pretty special."
That ten-year timeline mirrors what Gustin told us at San Diego Comic Con in 2017, when he said, “We don’t really talk about on a yearly basis but it was mentioned early on and that's a goal. Obviously we’d have to go I think ten years to reach that. So there’s a possibility for sure. It’ll be fun to get there.”
The pilot featured a newspaper dated 10 years in the future, with the headline “FLASH MISSING - VANISHES IN CRISIS.” A sub headline further hints at the event with “RED SKIES VANISH,” alluding to the classic storyline’s visual motif.
In the original Crisis comics, Barry Allen dies while sabotaging the Anti-Monitor’s antimatter cannon, accelerating in time to the point that he quickly ages and crumbles to dust while experiencing his past. After his heroic sacrifice, Wally West took on the character’s mantle for more than 20 years.2comments
The Anti-Monitor's less-evil opposite number, the Monitor, is slated to appear in "Elseworlds," the upcoming crossover story that will bring Gustin's Barry Allen together with Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and Melissa Benoist's Kara Zor-El/Supergirl.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of Black Lightning on The CW.