The Flash Reveals Major Details About the Arrowverse's Multiverse in "A Flash of the Lightning"

There are two things that we know for certain about the Arrowverse. One is that it exists within a multiverse made up of seemingly infinite versions of Earth and the other is that a crisis is coming for those infinite Earths. Up until now the details of that crisis have been few and mostly centered around the information given in a future newspaper first introduced during the series premiere of The Flash: that the titular speedster hero vanishes in the red skies of this crisis event, presumably never to be seen again. Over the course of the past five seasons we've learned little else about the crisis though the multiverse has opened up and each year sees new Earths discovered. Tonight, however, all of that changed. Tonight's episode of The Flash revealed major details about the multiverse -- and offered Barry Allen the first real clues as to what is truly coming for the Arrowverse.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of The Flash, "A Flash of the Lightning", below.

At the end of last week's episode Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) got some devastating and distressing news from The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett). The Crisis first hinted at in the series premiere is coming faster than previously believed and the only way for Earth-1 and billions of people to survive it is if The Flash dies. It's grim news that Barry and Iris are unwilling to accept which leads Barry to try something interesting in order to get more information about what the future really holds. He decides to run into the future to December 11, 2019. That specific date is one day past his disappearance in the crisis and he thinks that by seeing things for himself he might be able to figure out a way to stop them. However, when he enters the Speed Force to head to that future date, he encounters a wall of interference which wounds his leg and spits him back out into the present.

That wall of interference turns out to be a wall of anti-matter and Barry heads to Earth-3 to speak with Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) who is something of an expert in anti-matter. That's where our information about the multiverse collides with the coming crisis, intellectually at least. You see, Jay has been detecting anti-matter signatures across the multiverse for the past year. The origin of these signatures is unknown, but Jay pulls out a map on which he's been tracking various things about the various Earths of the multiverse, including those anti-matter signatures. His algorithms that he's worked out to track the signatures suggest that all Earths in the multiverse are at risk.

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(Photo: The CW)

For fans of the comics, that suggestion rings true as reality. In the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book event it is, in fact, anti-matter released by the Anti-Monitor that threatens the multiverse. On The Flash, Jay is definitely onto something. What's really interesting, however, is Jay's map of the multiverse and the various details it reveals and obscures. As you can see in the screen shoot above, Jay's been making some notations about the various Earths of the multiverse -- we are particularly fond of the idea that Earth-18 has great tequila -- but he's also been making notations about anti-matter signatures. There are little red "x" marks all over the map where the signatures have been detected and in one fairly ominous marking, a large red arrow pointing to where the next anti-matter appearance is expected: Earth-2.

What we know from comics -- as well as the injury Barry sustains when he collides with that anti-matter wall in tonight’s The Flash -- is that when anti-matter shows up, whatever they touch ends up destroyed. Looking at that map of "x" marks, it appears that, generally-speaking those signatures have come close to other Earths (in some cases very close), but not hit them directly. There's also the matter of that big "x" with a notation underneath it. It's the only Earth marked that way, but it's reasonably close to several anti-matter signatures. That Earth? Could be Earth-90, the one we saw destroyed during last season's "Elseworlds".

Whatever the situation with that big "x" the fact that the next expected anti-matter appearance being Earth-2 is a frightening one. Earth-2 is the home of Harrison "Harry" Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) two beloved allies of Team Flash. Of course, Jay's map isn't all doom and gloom and a guide to good food in the multiverse, though. There are some other notations of interest as well, including one of Thaddeus Brown, a resident of Earth-51 in the Arrowverse -- and better known as Mister Miracle to DC fans.

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The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.