Grant Gustin plays Barry on the CW at the minute, but Ezra Miller is set to depict this iteration of the Scarlett Speedster in a big screen release slated for 2017. Judging by the precedent [of killing television characters before their cinematic counterparts debut] established on Arrow, we may well see Barry bite the bullet before the end of the third season – perhaps even as early as the midseason finale.
In the comics that the show has spawned from, the Flash is a legacy character; a mantle inherited by many different people. Barry Allen is one of the most well-known, yes, but far from the only – and this year, we’ve been introduced to television versions of two other individuals who have been the Flash: Jay Garrick and Wally West. Notably, Barry Allen was, for quite some time, known as a character who died; in 1985, Barry was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths plotline, and the role of the Flash was taken on by Wally West. Barry remained dead for twenty five years – a record time for a comic book character.
It’s possible, then, that this is a storyline they’d choose to adapt for the third season of The Flash; with the movie outing being released in 2017, the midseason finale of series 3 and last episode of 2016 may well be the last time we see Grant Gustin as Barry Allen.
A theory about The Flash, and what we might see from it in future. Increasingly I think I’m finding that one of the aspects of superheroes that interests me most – or, one of the aspects we don’t see that interests me most – is that whole idea of legacy heroes, of one person taking up the mantle of another.
It seemed to me like a really interesting way of doing things on The Flash, at least for a while; kill off Barry in the midseason finale, let Wally take over as the Flash for the next 13 episodes, then in the season finale tease a possible return for Barry, then working towards that can be the arc for the first nine episodes of the next season. They never did it, of course, but it’d be interesting to see.