When it was revealed that The Flash's Season 4 premiere would be titled "Reborn," it set off a slew of theories as to what area of Barry Allen's comic book past would get brought to the screen, though we know we won't get a direct port of the recent "Rebirth" arc. The premiere just got an exciting new trailer, and after watching it, we're still not quite sure what to expect. But there's something...different...about Barry. And it's not just the beard. Check it out!
For being such a short trailer, there's quite a bit to unpack there. First and foremost, it appears Barry Allen has returned from the Speed Force! And he has a bunch of facial hair! And it's totally strange! It's assumed that the promo opens with the first moments where Barry is back on Earth-1 solid ground, which shows us the barefooted (and possibldy naked?) speedster bringing a fruit truck to a halt in a most sudden way.
Which transitions into Team Flash visiting Barry in the hospital, with the ominous warning that they need to prepare themselves for what they're about to see. But that's almost definitely not referencing the 'stache, as there's a lost look in Barry's eyes during those first glimpses of his face. Plus, we don't actually see the formerly imprisoned hero respond to either Iris or Cisco, with only more ominousness coming with that presumed flashback shot of Barry from previous months. (Really, it looked more like Savitar than Barry there, standing in front of a Speed Force version of The Simpson's blackboard.) The whole "You're home," and "The Flash is back," immediately drew suspicions that neither one of those things is actually true.
But we know it's not just some slowpoke imposter, at least, as Barry appears to be faster than ever, which possibly make sense after being trapped inside the Speed Force. (It's unclear if that new burst of power has anything to do with the new suit Cisco mentioned or not.) But we never get to hear Barry talk or assert his own return. So what's the deal here? Is it a different iteration of Barry Allen that came from either another dimension or another part of the Speed Force? Or will Barry have some memory problems?
To that more interesting end, is this a bizarre reference to another DC Comics speedster that also had a full batch of facial hair, also had amnesia issues, and also answered to "the fastest man alive?" I'm referring to the somewhat short-lived speedster that went by the same-sounding moniker "Buried Alien," and later "Fastforward," who appeared in Quasar comics in the '90s following Barry Allen's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. (You get that Buried Alien sounds like Barry Allen, right?)
It'd definitely be an interesting route to go in the early days of Season 4, and it actually makes a lot of sense when we consider what's been said about Barry's return from the Speed Force. He's supposed to be a more light-hearted character again, leading to the show as a whole returning to its less downtrodden glory days, since he'll be leaving a lot of his baggage behind with the Speed Force. And the easiest way to excise all the baggage that Barry has, from watching his parents die to all the Flashpoint universe's changes, would be to have him just forget it all existed. That would also explain why he would need to stop a truck and be hospitalized upon his return, rather than just zipping by S.T.A.R. Labs to have those guys check his health status.
Oh, and there's also that new villain in the trailer, in the form of what looks to be Baron Katana, an old school baddie that first appeared back in 1968. He showed up for a second in thefirst look trailer back at Comic-Con, but there's too much speculation to dig into with Barry himself to spend much pondering-time focused on the samurai foe. Still, here's hoping he doesn't kidnap the team's new head honcho Iris for a whole season.
Find out what Barry's return is really all about when The Flash returns to fans for Season 4 on Tuesday, October 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Season 3 premiere of Legends of Tomorrow. To see when other comic book shows and more are returning, head to our fall premiere schedule.