With the revelation that Barry Allen and Savitar are bound together in ways that few could have expected, fans of The Flash have been wondering whether Wally West might have to step up to take on his mentor's mantle next season...but we have another idea.
Could the Savitar revelation actually introduce TV audiences to John Fox, the Flash of the future?
Obviously anybody watching The Flash this season met a future Barry who lived in a world with no Flash in "Once and Future Flash," but in the comics, there is another fairly popular "future Flash" -- and he played a key role in "Dead Heat," the only major story ever to feature Savitar in the comics.
(No, dying in a cameo during The Flash: Rebirth doesn't count.)
"Dead Heat" ended when Wally (who was The Flash during the '90s) amassed an army of speedsters to take on Savitar, including Johnny Quick (father of Jesse Quick), who sacrificed himself to defeat the "speed god."
Wally then took Savitar into the Speed Force and imprisoned him there, getting lost along the way; instead of Wally returning to the spot where he had been battling Savitar, John Fox arrived, suprising and confusing everyone in attendance.
Fox hails from the 27th Century, where he was a scientist sent to the past to recruit the help of a Flash to defeat a powerful supervillain. Instead, he inadvertently gained speed himself and defeated the villain on his own.
After meeting up with a time-tossed Wally, Fox headed to the 20th Century to keep the Flash's seat warm for him, briefly filling in for the hero while he was away. Fox wore a blue costume and while his lightning as yellow like Wally's, a white stripe in his otherwise black hair would sometimes give off a white or blue lightning effect.
While "Dead Heat" and its follow-up issues certainly defined the character of Fox for most readers, he had previously had his true "first appearance" in The Flash Special #1 in 1990 -- a comic published to tie in to the then-new TV series starring John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen.
While it isn't clear whether the characters and concepts introduced in that special were ever intended to be used on TV, it would be a kind of fascinating symmetry if Savitar were responsible for bringing Fox to the small screen -- and certainly Barry disappearing with Savitar into the unknown, replaced by a stranger claiming to be a friend, would be a pretty compelling cliffhanger going into season four.
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