With tonight's season finale of The Flash bringing Cicada II back to Central City to face off with Team Flash and Nora West-Allen, all while Barry and Eobard Thawne come head to head again, fans are already thinking about what next year's big bad might look like. Throughout the season, there have been a couple of big name-drops, and it is always hard to tell whether those will just be Easter eggs, or if they are a full-on tease of things to come. According to showrunner Todd Helbing, that is by design.
"There's small Easter eggs, there's big Easter eggs. When we were in season three, Savitar was talking about DeVoe being one of his biggest foes," Helbing told ComicBook.com. "We like to leave it up to the fans to try to figure out which its going to be. Who's maybe a big bad the next season, who's just a name drop. Godspeed sort of fell into the best of both worlds. We can have an episode with him, introduce him and then bring him back at some point in the future because he's a major comics villain so we would never want to do a guy like that in just one episode."
Of course, one of the biggest name-drops of the season came in the form of The Red Death, one of the Dark Knight from the Dark Multiverse in the Dark Nights: Metal event from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo. Each of the Dark Knights is a Bruce Wayne from an alternate universe who snapped and took on the powers -- but not the moral code -- of one of his fellow Justice Leaguers. The Red Death is a version of Bruce who essentially shares a body with Barry Allen, their minds fighting for supremacy. Of course, the fundamental problem there is that Bruce Wayne is probably not going to be available (especially to debut as a villain) in the CW's DC Universe anytime soon. Still, in "Memorabilia," when the younger Nora, in her memories, saw Cicada's death toll compared to the likes of other killers from The Flash's history, like Zoom (the season 2 big bad) and Red Death.
"Red Death is pretty big. I think you can tell the bigger characters when we talk about them that we don't do that just as a one off little Easter egg. We give them a little bit more like, 'Oh, man. These people might be coming in the future,'" Helbing said, acknowledging that "it's a tricky thing with DC. We always need to talk to them in planning. There's so many facets to it. There are always ways that we can try to make things work. That one's particularly tricky but I would say never say never."
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. Tonight marks the season five finale, and after that begins the long march to next season's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.
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