Despite some misleading marketing, the main villain of The Flash is not who you probably thought it was going to be. The villain in the trailers and ads definitely factors into the film, don’t get us wrong. But director Andy Muschietti kept the major villain of the film somewhat of a surprise. Here’s who the main villains of The Flash are, starting with the film’s primary antagonist.
The Dark Flash
In the film, the main bad guy isn’t the Kryptonian General Zod, as early trailers might make you believe. The “Big Bad” of the film is none other than Barry Allen himself. Well, a version of him, that is. In the film, we saw a darkly clad being tossing adult Barry out into his own past as he races through time. He had a bigger plan in mind, which was to make the college-age Barry of 2013 into the being that he would become. A “Dark Flash.” We should note, this character is never called that by name in the film. However, the McFarlane Toys figure is labeled as “Dark Flash.” So we think that’s official enough.
This Dark Flash is a being who has been attempting to undo the deaths of Batman (Michael Keaton) and Supergirl (Sasha Calle) in the film’s big climactic battle with Zod’s army. He spends up to 50 years of his own timeline trying to control the flow of time in his favor, something that main “present time” Barry knows can’t happen. Ultimately, he is unmade when college-age Barry dies in battle with his own future self, erasing the Dark Flash from existence. And thus, preserving the timeline as adult Barry knew it (mostly) and saving the Multiverse. It’s all a bit confusing, but makes more sense in the final film.
The Black Flash Inspiration
The Dark Flash is loosely based on another obsidian speedster, DC Comics’ Black Flash. Although the visual of the character is similar, the Black Flash in the comics is Death itself. Or at least, the Speed Force’s version of Death. No one knows its true origins. But some Flashes believe that the actual entity of Death is simply too slow to catch up to any speedster. So the Speed Force produced its own Death entity, the Black Flash. The film’s Dark Flash is a bit of the comics’ Blue Flash, a twisted future version of Barry, and the aesthetics of the Black Flash.
Of course, Dark Flash is not the only villain in the film. General Zod (Michael Shannon) is our secondary bad guy, who is invading Earth just as he did in Man of Steel. Like Zack Snyder’s 2013 film, Zod is looking to recreate Krypton on Earth using something called the codex, something Jor-El stored inside his infant son. And in this timeline, Zod murdered baby Kal-El when his pod was diverted from Earth. Because in this universe, it is Supergirl/Kara Zor-El who has the codex in her cell structure.
In Man of Steel, Zod and his Kryptonian army arrive on a US Military base in the desert, where a battle with this newly formed Justice League, made of Keaton Batman, Supergirl, and both Flashes ensues. Despite their best efforts, the League falls under the might of Zod’s forces. If adult Barry had not restored the timeline to the version where his mother died, Zod would have terraformed Earth into New Krypton, killing billions. Hopefully, if we ever get a Flash sequel, or reboot, we get some of Flash’s iconic rogues from the comics. They are long overdue for their cinematic debut.
The Flash is in theaters now.