In the run-up to next fall's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event, The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing says the show will be dropping clues and letting fans start to put the pieces together to one of the Arrowverse's longest-running mysteries.
The pilot for The Flash 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.
"We've certainly been teasing [the headline] a long time, but it's a major factor in next year's crossover," The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing told TV Guide. "There will be little tidbits here and there that people will be able to start to put together."
The crossover was announced at the end of December's "Elseworlds" event, via a short stinger scene and teaser -- but this season on The Flash, the famous headline has been a major story point, leading fans and the press to buzz about the possibility of "Crisis" even before it was announced.
“Greg [Berlanti] really has a sort of master plan of things, and I’m really excited about how it’s going to pay off,” Helbing told ComicBook.com back in November.
At the time -- and for years before now -- series star Grant Gustin suggested that it would be 2024 before the story made it to TV. That ten-year timeline mirrored 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.”
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.
With Wally mostly off the board and some clues dropped in "Elseworlds," many fans assume that Oliver Queen will sacrifice himself instead, saving Barry from his fate while ending an era that began with the Arrow pilot and launched the DC TV universe as audiences know it.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of Roswell New Mexico on The CW.