The Flash: Who is Dark Flash in the movie?

Dark Flash carrying The Flash in the DC comics.Warner Bros.

Dark Flash makes his debut in The Flash this week, so here’s how the character fits into DC’s Extended Universe, plus a brief history of this man of mystery in the comics.

The Flash raced into cinemas worldwide this week, with Barry Allen getting a standalone movie following his Justice League team-ups.

The story sees Barry travelling back in time to try and save his mother’s life, but causing timeline chaos that means General Zod becomes the villain of the piece.

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Thanks to a toy reveal, we previously discovered Dark Flash is playing some part in the movie. And now we know exactly how the character plays into the storyline. So BEWARE OF SPOILERS BELOW. But first some comic book history…

The original Dark Flash explained

Created by Mark Waid and Paul Pelletier, Dark Flash first appeared in The Flash #150 in 1999.

He’s really Walter West, but a different version of The Flash/Wally West from an alternate timeline. Walter wasn’t able to save wife Linda Park’s life, which sent him down the grim path that leads to Dark Flash.

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The Flash Mcfarlane toy.Mcfarlane.
The McFarlane toy which suggests Dark Flash is really Black Flash.

But, while Dark Flash is Walter West in the comics, he isn’t in the movie version. As Walter West isn’t in the movie. And one look at that aforementioned McFarlane figure (see above) suggests that he’s Dark Flash in name only, with the character really Black Flash.

Who is Black Flash?

Black Flash was created by Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, and Ron Wagner, and first cameoed in The Flash #138 in June 1998 before properly appearing in The Flash #141 in September 1998.

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Dark Flash has been compared to Death in the comic books, his demonic form returning speedsters to the Speed Force, which we explain here. Indeed, multiple versions of The Flash have seen Dark Flash before they die, including the Barry Allen incarnation.

This Grim Reaper looks more like a zombie than a man, and his powers include super-speed (obviously), immortality (meaning Death can’t die) and the ability to both travel through and manipulate time.

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Dark Flash has appeared multiple times on the small screen, in both Smallville and the Arrowverse. Dark Flash also popped up in Season 11 of Smallville, where the character was also known as Speed Demon and Black Racer.

While the Hunter Zolomon/Zoom iteration of Dark Flash appeared in Legends of Tomorrow Season 2, and The Flash Season 3, where he pursued speedsters who tried to change timelines.

Were going into details now, so SPOILERS FOR THE FLASH AHEAD

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Dark Flash in The Flash

Dark Flash in the movie is young Barry Allen, driven mad by his time-travelling efforts to save both his mother, and the world.

Early in the movie, Barry Allen travels back in time to save his mother. But gets knocked off course by a mysterious figure, who turns out to be… Dark Flash.

While in this new timeline, he teams up with a younger version of himself to stop General Zod. But at the end of the movie, both Barrys realise that they can’t save their mother, and the planet.

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Young Barry nevertheless keeps trying, and keeps failing. During the countless battles with Zod, he appears to lose his mind, while getting stabbed over-and-over again by the General’s spiked armour. Meaning young Barry is Dark Flash!

“We’re so close – I’ve almost got it figured out” he tells our Barry, adding “Time is inconsequential.” But he’ll never succeed, meaning both Barrys have to make a heartbreaking decision at the end of the movie – their mother, or everyone else.

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This article was update on June 15, 2023 with spoilers for The Flash.

For more on the The Flash, check out the below articles:

The Flash review | | Best Easter Eggs | Where’s Wonder Woman? | Everything we know about The Flash 2 | Who is General Zod? | Full Cast: Characters and Actors | Is Nic Cage in The Flash? | Flashpoint explained | Who are Albert Desmond and Patty Spivot? | Barry Allen x 2 | How many Batmans are in The Flash? | Speed Force guide | Who is Dark Flash? | Story of Superman Lives Secret villain revealed? | Supergirl explained | Who does in The Flash? | Ending explained | Is Aquaman in The Flash? | The Flash budget | Soundtrack and songs | Is Superman in The Flash? | Post-credits scene explained |

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