With the fate of the future of Central City in the balance, THE FLASH recruits a new ally BLACK LIGHTNING in his effort to stop the predictions of a madman from the future from coming true, but at what cost to them both?
When all else fails our heroes turn to one another! To face the irreparable consequences, actions beyond his control that have been set in motion and will spell disaster for the future and everyone that he loves, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Central City’s Scarlet Speedster has been given 7-days to prove that he’s not a dangerous threat. An alien from the future, who calls himself Despero (Tony Curran) is determined to end The Flash in the here and now before he loses his mind and total control!
At the conclusion of Part 2 of the 5-Part “Armageddon” story arc that premiers Season 8 of The Flash Barry had just near lost everything in a matter of 24 hours: he lost his job as a CSI, STAR Labs had been declared a disaster area and evacuated and after suffering a series of blackouts that put his teammates in jeopardy, Barry learns a terrible truth — Joe West, the man that had raised him, protected him and the father of his wife, Iris (Candice Patton) was dead! And Barry couldn’t remember losing him…
Fearing he had lost his mind, and could himself become the threat that Despero had predicated, Barry turned to another hero and tells Black Lightning (guest star Cress Williams) that the come had come, the moment they dreaded… it was time to activate the “Injustice” protocols!
Besides the significance of this being Freeland’s premier powerhouse Black Lightning’s first post-Crisis continuity appearance in the scheme of The CW DC primetime universe (especially after the hero’s own series climatically concluded last year with Season Four), it’s also the first mention of these “Injustice” protocols. While bringing Jefferson up to speed on his predicament, Barry illustrates how Despero has determined that The Flash will become a threat in the future, and the “Injustice” protocols are the exact failsafe necessary to prevent that from happening.
The Injustice of it All!
For the casual viewer, this may be something brand new, but for DC comic book readers and gamers (or animated movie fans) “Injustice” is a wink-and-a-nod to the popular video game series that evolved into the best-selling graphic novel series. The game allowed players to pick a side in a superhero “civil war” between Superman and Batman. After suffering a terrible tragedy, the Man of Steel loses all scope of his mission and exacts revenge on the criminal underworld, while ruthlessly forcing martial law. Batman has no choice but to lead a rebellion that draws a line in the sand.
In the episode of The Flash Barry reminds Jefferson that the protocols were put in place in the event that any of them, referring to the core group of heroes that gathered at the conclusion of the 5-part event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in the new Hall of Justice, ever went rogue and turned against their heroic mission. Black Lightning was deemed able to disrupt The Flash’s connection to the Speed Force, making him the catalyst agent to stopping Barry from becoming that which he fears most: an out-of-control monster!
No doubt this is an interesting development in the scope of the expansive primetime narrative. At the beginning of Season 8 of The Flash, it’s suggested that several months have passed since the Season 7 finale, and our heroes have all had an entire season to settle into Earth-Prime. Clearly, during the time that has passed, the league of heroes that gathered at the hall has come up with a charter for their mission, that included these “Injustice” protocols. It’s not definite if they call themselves the Justice League, but we know they do not assume the title of the “Super Friends”.
That name goes to the team of heroes appearing in Supergirl starring Melissa Benoist; headquartered out of the Watchtower in National City, “Super Friends” is the codename given to the Maid of Steel and her allies that include Martian Manhunter, Sentinel, Brainiac 5, Dreamer, The Guardian, and Lena Luthor. Though we saw the team in full form in that series final season, it doesn’t go unnoticed that the diverse superhero community is much more tightly knit on Earth-Prime and may have had some “off-screen” escapades that are yet to be chronicled. Stay tuned as more develops in 2022!
THE FLASH | starring Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet, and Jesse L. Martin returns with new episodes in March on The CW, moving to a new night, Wednesdays at 8pm.