Warning: Spoilers for The Flash season 9, episode 13
The Flash series finale set up three characters to eventually replace Barry Allen as the Scarlet Speedster. The Flash season 9, episode 13, titled “A New World, Part Four,” saw Barry pick three people to wield the powers of the Flash. In Barry’s words, their job will be to help create a “better” world.
Based on what was known of the future Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen would have after the series, there wasn’t much room for surprises in the series finale. Because of the involvement of his future children, it’s been understood for a while that Barry Allen will be the Flash until at least 2049 in the Arrowverse timeline. For that reason, it was expected from the very beginning that no matter what challenge Cobalt Blue would throw at him, Barry would defeat the villain and carry on as the Team Flash leader. However, the show wound up finding a way to circumvent expectations. In an unexpected twist, three new characters – all with DC Comics connections – obtained Barry’s Speed Force powers.
Who Is Jess Chambers In The DC Comics?
The last-ever episode of The Flash marked the Arrowverse debut of Jess Chambers, played by Hana Destiny Huggins. Though the character’s name shares a link to Jesse Chambers a.k.a. Jesse Quick from DC Comics, there’s an important distinction between them. Operating under the codename, “Kid Quick,” Jess Chambers was introduced in 2020 as the sidekick of Jesse Quick and one of DC’s non-binary superheroes.
Based on Earth-11 (an alternate reality in DC’s multiverse), Kid Quick served as a member of a superhero team called Teen Justice. The character played a key role in the DC Comics crossover event, “DC Future State,” by enjoying a team-up with the Justice League. Sporting the white hair of Chambers’ comic counterpart, the new Arrowverse version of the DC Comics teenage speedster was shown getting out of a car and gazing up at the sky, presumably right before the lightning strike teased by The Flash finale.
Who Is Max Mercury In The DC Comics & Arrowverse?
Played by Trevor Carroll, Max Mercury was sitting on his motorcycle when he noticed the thunder caused by Barry Allen. Max has a reputation as one of the oldest speedsters. Debuting in 1940, Max Mercury went by the Quicksilver moniker decades before the introduction of the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. In the 1990s, he was revived by DC Comics and reintroduced as a supporting character in The Flash comics. In these stories, Max is a time-displaced speedster who’s been active as a superhero since the 19th century. Upon joining the Flash Family, Max became a mentor to Bart Allen’s Impulse.
Unlike the situation with Jess Chambers, Max is a character The Flash already set up. In The Flash season 8, episode 15, titled “Into the Speed Force,” Barry caught glimpses of his past, present, and future while trapped in the Speed Force. In doing so, Barry saw the faces of people close to him in various different phases of his life. When he mentioned seeing someone named “Max,” it was taken as a direct reference to Max Mercury. Barry had never encountered Max Mercury, but the nature of the scene implied that he would be introduced later. Surprisingly, The Flash saved his debut for the show’s final scene.
Who Is Avery Ho In The DC Comics & Arrowverse?
Of the three speedsters, only one was already in the Arrowverse. For The Flash season 8 midseason premiere, the show shifted its focus from Barry to his adult children. During an adventure that took them to 2013, the pair met Avery, an extremely intelligent scientist whose research involved time travel. Avery never returned to The Flash after that – nor did she cross paths with Barry Allen – but it seems he learned about her one way or another and in turn, picked her to wield his Speed Force powers.
Though The Flash gave no indication that she would embark down this path, her comic history served as a hint. Created in 2016, Avery Ho is China’s version of the Flash. In a story arc titled “Lightning Strikes Twice,” an event known as a Speed Force storm hit Central City, causing multiple people to develop speedster abilities. One of these people was Avery, whose life was understandably changed forever by the incident. Most of the people to get these abilities were killed by Godspeed, but Avery survived to become an accomplished superhero. As the Flash of China, Avery even joined a multiversal Justice League team and participated in various DC Comics storylines.
What’s Next For Barry Allen & The New Speedsters In The Arrowverse
The Flash is purposely ambiguous about the futures of its new speedsters. Based on Barry’s narration in the finale, the point of giving them powers was to help create a “better” world where people like him won’t have their families and childhoods ruined. It would appear that the idea behind that is that if there are more speedster superheroes operating in the world, they’ll have a strong defense against the next villains that threaten Earth-Prime.
Whether they’ll embrace their new powers isn’t revealed by the episode, but it’s likely that he wouldn’t have selected any of them without being sure they’d use them for good. And rather than just go their ways, they could be taken under Barry’s wing, which might be the future The Flash was teasing in season 8 with Max Mercury. If the Arrowverse ever continues in any shape or form, even if it’s only in a Superman & Lois crossover, it’s possible that their journeys will be addressed.
As for Barry’s own future, these speedsters weren’t meant to replace him – or at least, not right away. Even though the show is over, Barry still has a long superhero career ahead of him. As noted above, Barry won’t stop saving the multiverse until 2049 at the earliest. Instead, it looks like Barry intends to coexist with these heroes so that the Earth has a handful of speedsters it can depend on for protection. That said, the time may eventually come when Barry will have to hang up his suit for good. Obviously, that’s a long way off, but when it does happen, there’ll be other heroes who can fill his shoes. And by then, they could have their own teams and potential successors, ensuring that Barry’s legacy goes on indefinitely.