When The Flash debuted on The CW in 2014, it did so in a fashion much like its titular star: by hitting the ground running. The debut season of the comic book superhero show was a marvel of great characters, exciting action, heartfelt drama and an unexpectedly high level of visual effects. Most importantly though, it was fun.
The second season tried to keep up that fun, but it was awfully uneven. Some would argue that season 3 was an improvement, but it was also something else. With its central premise of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) having seen the future death of his love Iris at the hands of the evil speed god Savitar and thus trying everything to prevent it, season 3 ended up being a lot darker than the show had previously been.
That’s something you definitely shouldn’t expect for the upcoming fourth season though, as showrunner Todd Helbing explained to ComicBook.com after San-Diego Comic-Con two weekends ago.
Last year, once we showed Iris die in the future, to keep up that doom and gloom, it becomes a burden. And not just on us writing-wise, on the show and it just sort of had this pall over the season that I think we didn’t expect to be so heavy.
I’m not trying to say anything bad about season 3. I love season 3, and I love Savitar, and I love the story we told, but I think that’s about as dark as I ever want to go with the show. So yeah, I think that was a conscious effort of ours to really go back to everybody enjoyed being on this team and with each other, and make The Flash have fun again. I’m really excited about the scripts so far; they’re really, really funny.
Looking further ahead – much, much further ahead – it would seem that The Flash is really not keeping its ambitions small. Back in the show’s very first episode, a teaser showed a newspaper front page from the future detailing a story about the Scarlet Speedster vanishing in a crisis that had to with “red skies”.
Any comic book fan worth their salt immediately knew that this referred to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the epic 1985 crossover in which the entire DC Comics multiverse was nearly destroyed by Anti-Monitor. During that Crisis, all the universes affected had red skies and Barry Allen famously died while preventing the Anti-Monitor from decimating five different universes, prompting his then young sidekick Wally West to step up and become the new Flash.
From what we know of season 4, snippets of this is already happening as Barry sacrificed himself into the Speed Force at the end of season 3, and there have been reports that it will be Keiynan Lonsdale’s Wally West that will be wearing the red Flash uniform – at least initially – when the show returns.
But while talking to ComicBook.com as well, star Grant Gustin revealed that while they may not be doing a proper adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths right now, but that is the actual endgame.
We don’t really talk about it on a yearly basis but it was mentioned early on and that’s a goal. Obviously we’d have to go I think ten years to reach that, so there’s a possibility for sure. It’ll be fun to get there.
The Flash returns for season 4 on October 10.
Last Updated: July 31, 2017