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The Flash has kicked off its eighth season with the Arrowverse crossover event "Armageddon," which has Barry Allen possibly losing his mind after learning he'll (allegedly) cause the end of the world a decade into the future — and the third episode of the saga just introduced a major piece of DC Comics (and video game) lore.
**SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of "Armageddon," the latest episode of The CW's Flash!**
The third episode of the event dropped this week, and found Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) turning to his old pal Black Lightning (Cress Williams) for help as he tries to find a way to stop himself from apparently ending the world. So what is the fail safe he turns to, and the reason he calls in Jefferson Pierce specifically?
A clear reference to the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game and comic series that's set in a DC Comics timeline where Superman has turned evil, it seems the Arrowverse version of the Justice League has also set up its own plans in case any of its major heroes go rogue. The concept seems to be a blend of the Injustice storyline and the 2000 Tower of Babel comic arc, both of which focused on heroes potentially turning evil and how DC's heroes might respond.
In the Tower of Babel comic arc, which has already been loosely adapted in the Arrowverse over the years with Team Flash introducing some fail safes via Cisco in case Barry goes rogue, Batman creates a database of how to take out the entire Justice League — and those plans are stolen and used against them. The Injustice video game and comic storyline is a bit more direct, with Superman turning evil and the remaining DC heroes assembling to try and stop him.
The CW's version seems like a loose mix of both concepts, as we learn the main Arrowverse heroes The Flash, Supergirl, Superman, Black Lighting, Batwoman, etc. have worked out their own "Injustice Protocol" where a different hero is tasked with stopping the other if they turn evil. For Barry, it's the lightning-powered Jefferson Pierce who has agreed to depower The Flash if it is ever required, as his electrical powers apparently have enough juice to fry Barry's connection to the Speed Force permanently if need be.
The episode itself finds Flash and Black Lighting working to remove Flash's abilities, though Black Lightning comes to realize Barry might be acting rashly and tries to stop him. That comes to a head when Iris gleans some intel that there could be a time-altering plot underway to frame Barry and make him seem like he's unstable, though that revelation is interrupted when Despero shows up and tries to kill him. Thankfully, Black Lightning holds him off for a while and Flash escapes off into the future — and there seem to be plenty of mysteries left to unravel over the next two episodes.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW.