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The Flash showrunner explains why DC baddie Despero is the 'perfect fit' for Season 8's epic premiere event

By James Comtois
The Flash season 7 finale

Another season, another new metahuman baddie to confront. Barry Allen and Team Flash have to face off against a new DC Comics villain in an epic “five-part special event” that showrunner Eric Wallace promises will kick off Season 8 of The Flash with some of that old school crossover flair. Just, ya know, don't call it a crossover.

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Wallace to talk about The Flash’s latest nemesis, Despero, played by Doctor Who alum Tony Curran. In the comics, Despero is a psychic alien (and regular Justice League villain) who left his home world of Kalanor to pursue a mission that could threaten the Earth.

And while based on the first look at EW, Curran looks nothing like the giant purple triclops portrayed in the pages of the DC Comic, Wallace hedged fans should: "Be careful what you see. Your eyes can sometimes deceive you."

As for Despero's origin story in the Arrowverse, Wallace teased fans will get to see things from "his point of view," which should add some additional perspective to the event's Big Bad.

"That was kind of important to get across, but then to not be afraid of the bigger side because, as fans of the comics know, Despero has a lot of powers," Wallace told EW. "This isn't a guy who just stands there and talks for five episodes. You'll see him using some of his familiar powers from the comic books. That's where Tony's experience in other sci-fi genre shows really came into the play, because he immediately understood. [He said,] 'I love the Shakespearean bigness of it, but I also understand he needs to be relatable to the audience on a very grounded level.'"

The big event to kick off Season 8 is called "Armageddon," billed as a five-part crossover(ish) arc that has The Flash & Co. teaming up with Batwoman (Javicia Leslie), the Atom (Brandon Routh), Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Sentinel/Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), Mia Queen (Kat McNamara), and Ryan Choi (Osric Chau) to battle Despero.

"I wanted to put a truly classic DC villain in this five part event that I knew fans would get excited about," Wallace told EW. "Also, and I can't say too much without revealing too much of the story, there's a certain element to the story itself that involves the powerset of Despero, [which] makes him the perfect fit for the story."

And apparently “Armageddon” also features the return of old enemies Reverse Flash and Damien Darhk (played by Tom Cavanagh and Neal McDonough, respectively), though Wallace declined to disclose any details beyond that, apart from teasing that “the Flash is about to have the worst day he's ever had in eight years." Poor Barry.

Season 8 of The Flash premieres Tuesday, Nov. 16 on The CW.