Warning: contains spoilers for Infinite Frontier #5!
In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Infinite Frontier, it’s just been confirmed that Earth-0 wasn’t the only world Barry Allen’s Flashpoint event affected, as Flash‘s misadventure in the timestream apparently damaged the entire DC Multiverse. In recent issues, Infinite Frontier has seen the Flash kidnapped by Darkseid and his agent Psycho-Pirate, as it’s been revealed that they need him to complete Darkseid’s master plan for the multiverse. Apparently, Barry Allen’s past travelling between realities is a big factor in his usefulness, while Flashpoint actually helped Psycho-Pirate recruit others to Darkseid’s cause.
In 2011’s Flashpoint, Barry Allen went back in time to save his mother from dying, resulting in an altered and darker timeline. Bruce Wayne died while his parents lived – resulting in his father becoming a brutal Batman and his mother turning into a crazed Joker – Superman was kept in a lab his entire life, and the world was plunged into a war between Aquaman’s Atlantis and Wonder Woman’s Amazons. Once Barry managed to restore his powers and reset the timeline, it still didn’t return to normal, instead creating the universal reboot known as The New 52 – a change since set right by DC’s new Infinite Frontier era. Sadly, it turns out Barry’s reality wasn’t the only one transformed by Flashpoint.
Rather than just altering his own reality, this new issue reveals that Flashpoint created cracks in the multiverse, damaging worlds such as Earth-8, home of Iron Man pastiche Machinehead. This falls in line with Psycho-Pirate’s explanation that Barry Allen’s travels through the multiverse weakened the barriers between worlds, especially considering the fact that he was the first to travel between Earths in DC Comics. Now, Darkseid and Psycho-Pirate are manipulating Barry to run faster than he ever has before, wanting him to crack the multiverse so Darkseid can gain the power of what lies beyond. Furthermore, they’ve made deals with heroes and villains alike to form Injustice Incarnate, promising to keep their worlds protected from Earth-0’s influence in exchange for their help. As a result, Machinehead has betrayed his heroic allies, revealing that Flashpoint damaged his reality and he wants revenge.
By the issue’s end, Darkseid has gained control of the multiverse, forming chains and barriers to block and separate all the Earths while forcing them to bow before his power. Furthermore, Darkseid claims that any battle will only make him more powerful now that Flash has broken the entire multiverse and he has Roy Harper’s Omega Lantern at his side. While multiversal travel for the Flash began as something fun and innocent, the true cost of his constant travels has finally come to light, especially the damage he caused on a multiversal level with Flashpoint.
While things look pretty grim with Barry Allen as the catalyst for Darkseid’s takeover, it’s just as possible that the Flash could also serve as the DC multiverse’s only hope. Despite the fact that heroes were willing to side with Darkseid in order to prevent the damage Barry caused from ever happening again, the Flash’s powers may be the only thing strong enough to free the multiverse from Darkseid’s control. Here’s hoping Flash can finally redeem the damage he caused with Flashpoint by saving the multiverse in Infinite Frontier‘s upcoming final issue.