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Warning: MAJOR spoilers for The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow ahead. Only continue if you're up to date on the latest and greatest events in the Arrow-verse!
The Arrow-verse is about as interconnected and interwoven as live-action comic book universes get these days. Heroes and villains weave in and out of each other's stories, and you can always count on someone unexpected coming back at the absolute wrong time. That tradition remained alive and well as the Arrow-verse entered the latter half of this season, and Legends of Tomorrow decided to dig deep into the villain roster this evening. Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) apparently wasn't filling Legends' speedster quota all by himself, so we got our first good look at Hunter Zolomon's terrifying new post-Zoom form as Black Flash.
From the moment this evening's episode started, it felt different from a typical episode of Legends of Tomorrow. Rather than open on the time-travelling team of superheroes, the episode instead shifted its focus to fleshing out the Legion of Doom -- a welcome change, as the supervillain team's dynamic and motivations had remained somewhat foggy up until this point. The episode provided a much deeper rationale for each bad guy's use for the Spear of Destiny.
Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) very clearly wants to prevent his death in May 2016, and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) has at least five years of mistakes he wants to undo. As for Reverse-Flash? We now know that Black Flash has hunted him since the fallout of Flashpoint because this version of Eobard Thawne is a Time Remnant left over following the death of Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) in 2015.
THAT's why Reverse-Flash needs to the Spear of Destiny. He cannot save himself through the usual time travel methods because the death of Eddie fundamentally altered his existence. All he has been able to do since Flashpoint is run and try to stay one step ahead. However, if he manages to use the spear to rewrite reality and undo his death, then Black Flash will no longer be able to pursue him.
This development seems to line up with everything that we already know about Black Flash. When Zoom was carried off by the Time Wraiths at the end of The Flash's second season, we watched the process turn him into a demonic speedster, and we instantly knew that some version of Black Flash was on the horizon. In the comics, Black Flash is essentially The Speed Force's version of the Grim Reaper -- because speedsters are too fast for traditional death to capture -- and he's responsible for bringing dead speedsters back to The Speed Force. It's about as legitimately scary as a comic book villain can get, and Legends of Tomorrow sold it beautifully tonight.
Of course, the debut of Black Flash opens up new possibilities for other avenues within the Arrow-verse as well. With Barry Allen now regularly tempting fate against Savitar on a weekly basis, we may see this demonic speedster make his way to Central City very, very soon. (Makes sense for Eddie's return to the show, too.) All I know for sure is that I almost feel sorry for Hunter Zolomon now that I know what he became. Almost.
What did you think of Black Flash's debut on Legends of Tomorrow? Are you excited to see more of him in the near future? Give us your take in the comments section below!
Legends of Tomorrow airs every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST on The CW. Make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide for more information related to all of the most highly anticipated spring television debuts!