‘The Flash’ Season 5: What’s With the 2049 Newspaper?

Will Davis
TV DC Arrowverse

The future 2024 newspaper on The Flash has had us scratching our heads in confusion ever since we were introduced to it back in Season 1. Not to mention, the writers don’t ever let us forget about it. But what does it mean? What exactly is the “crisis,” and what happens to Barry in the year 2024? We may have found some answers in “Nora” the premiere episode of Season 5.

The Curious Case of the Missing Flash

Nora Allan The Flash Season 5

When Nora, Barry and Iris’s daughter from the future, first encounters Team Flash, she attaches herself to Barry’s hip. She wants to spend all of her time with her father, going so far as to flood her system with “negative tachyons” to prevent herself from going fast enough to return to her timeline.

We discover why Nora is so anxious when she shows Barry a newspaper article from 2049. In the future, Barry never returns after his 2024 disappearance, and as a result, Nora had to grow up without her father.

The Flash is still missing in the year 2049.

The newspaper, ominously titled “25 Years Later — Flash Still Missing,” contains some answers regarding Barry’s disappearance. Read closely, and you’ll see that it alludes to Crisis on Infinite Earths, which is the 1985 DC comic book crossover that saw the death of Barry Allen, who sacrifices himself to save the entire Multiverse.

The newspaper states the Flash and his allies fought against the Reverse Flash, and that, at some point, the Flash and Reverse Flash “disappeared in an explosion of light.” In the years following the Crisis, eyewitnesses came forward to talk about what they remembered from the incident, and that’s where the newspaper gets juicy.

Crisis on Infinite Earths?

The newspaper is drawing a lot of inspiration from 'Crisis on Infinite Earths.'

The newspaper goes on to read: “Some eyewitnesses remember dozens of other heroes present, including Green Arrow, Batwoman, and Elongated Man. Others remember heroes thought lost in time, the Atom, or from other worlds like Supergirl. Some even say they saw Reverse Flash leading an army of shadow demons. Research has focused on Roger Hayden, aka ‘Psycho-Pirate,’ who claims to remember the night’s true events. He said upon his arrest, ‘World’s lived, world’s died, nothing will ever be the same.’ And nothing ever was.” Much of what’s written in this article has direct ties to Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Crisis on Infinite Earths panel with Psycho-Pirate and the Flash
Master of emotions, Psycho-Pirate tortured the Flash during the Crisis.

The “shadow demons” mentioned in the newspaper appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths and are the Anti-Monitor’s henchmen of sorts. As many comic book nerds know, the Anti-Monitor is the big bad of the Crisis. Psycho-Pirate, also mentioned in the newspaper, is another major player.

Originally recruited to aid the superheroes during the Crisis, Psycho-Pirate gets abducted by the Anti-Monitor, who tells him to use his powers to torture the captured Flash towards the tail end of the story. When the Crisis ends, Psycho-Pirate remains the only one who remembers the event and its result, the Multiverse merging into one Earth. Psycho-Pirate’s fate in the comic mirrors what he said in the newspaper.

What This Means for the Arrowverse

It's time to get ready for a screen adaptation of 'Crisis on Infinite Earths.'

All signs point to the Arrowverse incorporating the Crisis on Infinite Earths story into its universe. This adaptation could see another crossover event that brings all the superheroes of the Arrowverse together to fight for the fate of the Multiverse. But we still have no idea how this will go down. Will we see the Reverse Flash team up with the Anti-Monitor and use the shadow demons to bring our heroes to their knees? If the Arrowverse stays faithful to the source material, then some of our favorite heroes may bite the dust.

We have more questions than answers right now, but one thing is certain: the Arrowverse has something big in the works. As far as we can tell, this event will be the one that tops all others, perhaps even bringing the Arrowverse to an end. However, this event still feels years away for fans. But we still can’t help but feel anxious about how this whole thing might go down.

Will Davis
Writer. Avid comic book reader. Lover of superhero shows and sci-fi. The Flash is my guilty pleasure.
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