A promotional image from The Flash movie from the DCEU teases Batman and the crashing speedster. Could the symbol also imply that Red Death is the secret villain?
A new promotional image confirms FlashIs Red Death’s Secret Villain Actually? Arguably the most exciting (studio-sanctioned) DCEU movie since Steel man, Andy Muschietti’s Flash stars Ezra Miller, once again playing the socially awkward Barry Allen. Unfortunately for Barry, his social circle is about to grow. Not only Flash marks Ben Affleck’s return to the DCEU and Sasha Calle’s Supergirl debut, but, more than 30 years after pulling the hood for the first time, Michael Keaton is back as the Caped Crusader of the Tim Burton era . Clearly taking the DC franchise in a multiverse direction, it’s unclear who else might come up – Arrowverse stars, Nolan characters, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze…
Although Warner Bros. hasn’t given us a trailer yet, Flash hope the promotional images will delight fans for the time being. The most recent features the Bat logo from Keaton’s iconic spray-painted costume with the Flash’s red background and yellow lightning bolt. This is not the first time that we see FlashMarketing mixes the symbols of the two heroes together, and it quickly becomes clear that Keaton’s role is far bigger than just a nostalgic cameo. But is there more to the visual of the collision of Batman and The Flash than just a smart promotion?
A popular theory suggests Flash might tease Red Death. Introduced in 2017 Dark days by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Red Death is an alternate, evil version of Batman who got corrupted after losing his sidekicks. Seeking to power up, Earth -52 Bruce Wayne defeated Barry Allen and harnessed the Speed Force to become Red Death – a Dark Knight and Scarlet Speedster mashup. Fans are starting to suspect that DC’s teasing of the Flash-inspired Batman costumes (not to mention the Bat logo with dripping blood) all point to Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne attacking the Multiverse as Red Death in the crossover film of 2022.
The theory actually makes a lot of sense. To begin with, it’s strange how Flash revealed so many cast members, but offered absolutely no idea who the villain might be. FlashThe lack of antagonistic-flavored news could mean the villain is a dark parallel to one of the heroes. There are a lot of rotten Flash ramifications that Ezra Miller could duplicate for … but what if FlashIs Michael Keaton’s villain actually Michael Keaton’s Batman, transformed into Red Death? Last seen in Batman ReturnsBruce de Keaton never had a Robin onscreen, so any sidekick deaths would have taken place in the vigilante’s final years. It’s possible that Batman embarked on a downward spiral after his victory over Penguin and murdered the Flash of his universe to gain more power. That would certainly explain the promotional image of a bloody Batman logo.
The presence of the Red Death in Flash would also explain why the film includes multiple Batman in the first place. The association isn’t as natural as, say, Batman and Superman, but the arrival of Red Death would give Ezra Miller and Ben Affleck a pretty compelling reason to join forces. Only by combining their knowledge and experience could a Batman-Flash hybrid villain be thwarted. Finally, bringing Red Death to the DCEU could reveal how and why the doors to the multiverse open Flash. Red Death’s comic book transformation threatened the entire universe, and to save his world, Speedy Bruce invaded the DC Multiverse. Perhaps this is the reason why franchises are grouped together in Flash – Keaton invading the DCEU to prevent his own Burton worm from collapsing.
DC’s Red Death would need substantial adjustments to flourish in a live-action setting. With Michael Keaton somewhat of a returning legend, fans are likely to have a hard time accepting his Batman as an outright villain – especially the one who murdered another member of the Justice League. Yes FlashRed Death adopted into the mold of a misguided antihero, however, a darker Keaton could be the perfect opponent for Ezra Miller and Ben Affleck.
More: Tim Burton’s Batman Beyond Might End Michael Keaton’s DC Story
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