the flash

When The Flash returns to fans this fall for Season 4, it's almost impossible to know exactly how things will play out, considering Barry made the huge and hard-to-gameplan decision to sacrifice himself to the Speed Force. But now our speculation senses are going haywire, as the official title has been revealed for the Season 4 premiere, and it is quite an interesting one.

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Did everybody get chills just now, or is there mostly just head-scratching? Perhaps a bit of both. As it usually goes with all details regarding The Flash, one can look at the title "The Flash Reborn" and create an entire sub-universe of predictions and narrative paths for Season 4 to go down. And for our best guess, we're obviously going straight to the source material.

Over its three-season run, The Flash has obviously introduced a multitude (and multiverse) of comic book elements and characters, with last year's "Flashpoint" premiere arguably being the most notable of the bunch. (With part of that notoriety coming from the necessarily limitations involved in the adaptation.) Many suspected that Barry's Speed Force exile would lead to a similarly bare-bones take on the Final Crisis timeline, considering fans are still waiting to see that oh-so-important future newspaper headline come to light in some way. But the newly revealed title, which comes from the production office's Twitter page, actually seems to hint at another big DC comic arc.

It isn't a huge stretch to think that "The Flash Reborn" is a nod to either the 2009 miniseries The Flash: Rebirth or the ongoing DC Comics "Rebirth" relaunch of its super-universe. The former would definitely make more sense here, since one would assume Arrow and the other shows would also be heavily affected by the latter. And I kind of think the other corners of The CW's Arrow-verse are dealing with enough of their own problems to not need any other interconnected existence-shifts being introduced by one Barry Allen. (And the big four-way crossover is likely too far off to count here.)

Admittedly, porting The Flash: Rebirth's plot onto the live-action Flash series isn't the most sensible route for Season 4, since the TV show has already incorporated (and dispatched) most of the big villains involved in the original story. As well, the big bad for Season 4 will be Clifford "The Thinker" Devoe, whose non-speedster ways won't be very effective in the Speed Force-related shenanigans that Rebirth is centered on. In the comic story, Reverse-Flash creates a negative version of the Speed Force that affects those connected to it, so perhaps the premiere will present a flipped-up take on the Speed Force that explains how Barry is able to escape after being voluntarily trapped inside for at least six months.

Of course, "The Flash Reborn" could easily mean something else entirely. Maybe we'll see Wally step up and take over The Flash mantle, which counts as "reborn," right? Or maybe we'll get to see Jay Garrick return to save the day yet again somehow. However it goes, what we REALLY want to see happen from the Flash: Rebirth story is Iris tapping into her own bit of speed and taking on the comic persona Impulse (or Kid Flash if Wally does indeed get temporarily promoted).

For now, though, we wait. We're still months away from Season 4 hitting The CW, but we're thankfully only a couple of weeks away from this year's San Diego Comic-Con, where we'll definitely get more details about what to expect this fall. In the meantime, though, head to our summer TV schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen in the coming months.

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