The CW has released an official promotional photo from The Flash's upcoming "Armageddon" crossover event, and it gives audiences their first look at Tony Curran in the role of Despero. In a move that might surprise some comics fans, Despero here is depicted as a pretty human-looking guy, eschewing his usual pink, fin-headed look. So while the Earth is facing an alien invasion in the "Armageddon" storyline, it appears as though these aliens will look less like the ones from "Invasion!" and more like the ones that regularly terrorized the first season of Supergirl.
The image first turned up on the Entertainment Weekly website, but you can check it out below. It features The Flash (Grant Gustin) coming face to face -- literally -- with Despero.
"That's actually the scene where we really learn about Despero's alien origins, which is what makes that scene so fascinating to me," The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace told EW. "[Curran] has a big speech in that scene. No spoilers, [but] it's a very intense moment in his relationship with the Flash. You'll see throughout the episodes how Despero tests Flash in various ways. This is one of those moments. That's what makes it so pivotal. I think the audience is going to learn something new about Despero that they never knew, because we do have our own take on the [DC] mythology for the character."
It does seem likely that the "traditional" Despero will show up at some point in the crossover, with Wallace suggesting that "your eyes can sometimes deceive you" when asked about the more human appearance of the villain. The could track with the powerful psychic abilities that Despero exhibits in the comics.
In DC's comics, Despero rules the planet Kalanor, and first appeared as a Justice League villain pursuing some refugees from that world on Earth. He is super-strong and has powerful psychic powers. Over the years, Despero has become more and more powerful, and has served as a member of the Injustice League, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and the Time Stealers. That last one might be significant to "Armageddon," since it appears time-travel will play a role, with the inclusion of Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara).
Played by Tony Curran (Doctor Who's Vincent Van Gogh), Despero is described as "a powerful and intelligent alien possessing incredible powers." After leaving his home world of Kalanor, he traveled to Earth "on a deadly mission, one whose outcome will decide the fate of humankind and put him on a collision course with Team Flash."
"I wanted to put a truly classic DC villain in this five part event that I knew fans would get excited about," Wallace said. "Also, and I can't say too much without revealing too much of the story, there's a certain element to the story itself that involves the powerset of Despero, [which] makes him the perfect fit for the story."
You can check out the official synopsis for "Armageddon," a five-part story on The Flash which launches on November 16, below.
A powerful alien threat arrives on Earth under mysterious circumstances and Barry (Grant Gustin), Iris (Candice Patton) and the rest of Team Flash are pushed to their limits in a desperate battle to save the world. But with time running out, and the fate of humanity at stake, Flash and his companions will also need to enlist the help of some old friends if the forces of good are to prevail.