WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Flash #752, by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands, on sale now.
In The Flash #751, Barry Allen finally faces the new villain known as Paradox. Unfortunately, the battle turns into a literal smackdown when the villain proves his superiority. While Barry tries his best, Paradox defeats him with great ease, beating him to a pulp. And when he wakes up, Barry is no longer in Central City—in fact, it doesn’t look like he is anywhere on Earth, because his mother greets him in the middle of a green field. After the issue’s release, many fans wondered if Barry had just been killed by his new villain?
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Thankfully, the answer is no. In The Flash #752, we find Barry right where we left him, in some sort of afterlife with his mother. But everything is not as it seems. It turns out Barry is trapped someplace else entirely—and he has to build himself a new suit if he has any hope of surviving.
When Barry is first reunited with his mother, he is cautious, but he also sees the potential beauty in the chance that is given to him. Wherever she is, it all seems so idealistic—the Flash is celebrated in his own city, everyone he has ever saved is happy and safe, as is everyone he loves. But it all seems too perfect. In fact, Barry soon realizes that he is trapped in a reality that was simply constructed by Paradox as some kind of torturous trap. After giving the vibration-less world a vibration of its own, Barry is successful in destroying the illusion, and he figures out where he truly is.
As it turns out, the Scarlet Speedster has been trapped in the dimension that lives outside of time and space we first saw in last February’s The Flash #88 by Williamson and Porter. This parallel dimension was first seen after the man who would become Paradox was pulled into it during the Flash’s battle against the Turtle in his first year as a superhero. It’s the particular energies of this place that transform the man into the monstrous Paradox, and these same energies are now threatening Barry Allen.
Thankfully, there is equipment left over from previous visitors lying around. In The Flash #88, Paradox uses these pieces to build himself a miniature cosmic tuning fork. Now, in The Flash #752, Barry uses that same leftover equipment to build a new protective layer to his suit—one which allows him to survive his prison dimension’s energies unaffected. Essentially, Barry ends up building himself a new armor to wear over his regular suit.
The result is something that looks a lot like the costume Ezra Miller’s Scarlet Speedster wears in the DC Extended Universe film Justice League. The darker color scheme instantly recalls Miller’s big-screen costume, as does the homemade nature of the suit and the patches of armor that make it up. What’s more, Barry even puts the suit together with some strings, something that also echoes back to the DCEU outfit.
Thanks to this suit, Barry is able to survive long enough to put a new cosmic treadmill together and get out of this Speed Force “hell.” For the time being, he’s still got his new armor, but it’s likely he’ll discard it once he arrives at his destination. Still, it’s really cool to see the comic books offer such a nod to the DCEU.
Bleach: How the Anime Revival Could Rewrite the Manga’s Worst Decision