DC Studios’ The Flash ending (and its many mysteries) explained
A guide to help you understand everything about The Flash including the ending, credits scenes, cameos, and more.
For anyone checking out The Flash on Max, there’s every possibility that the end of the movie left some questions unanswered. Like, for example, “Wait. Is that who I think it is? What?” (We’ll get there soon enough, don’t worry.) Well, we’re here to help to explain the credits scenes, all the surprise appearances, and more.
But first, some history: The DCEU’s The Flash (played by Ezra Miller) was first introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He would make other appearances in the cinematic universe including a brief cameo in Suicide Squad and a more prominent role in Justice League. After all these years since we first met him, this version of Barry Allen has finally gotten a chance to step into the limelight as the lead of his own film.
In The Flash, the Scarlet Speedster goes back in time to prevent his mother’s death, but (after being pushed out of the Chrono-Bowl by a mysterious figure) he ends up stuck in the past of his altered timeline. Cue lots of disaster, cameos, and easter eggs. We thought the movie had plenty of fun and excitement, but it also had a fair number of questions. Get ready for some answers.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Flash!
How does The Flash end?
In the final act, two Flashes, present and younger, team up with the universe’s Batman (Michael Keaton) and Supergirl (Sasha Calle) to stop General Zod from destroying Earth. They make a valiant stand but are unsuccessful in fighting off the assault. The younger Barry heads back in time with the elder soon following to find a way to make sure that their side becomes victorious.
While the older Barry seems more hesitant to do so, the younger Barry runs back in time again and again to make changes to that final battle, only to fail each time. The older Barry tries to stop the younger Barry, and begins to realize that the time tampering is damaging the very fabric of existence and causing multiverses to collide. The older Barry finally realizes what he must do to save the multiverse, he must go back in time once more to undo his initial effort to save his mom.
Before he can fix his mistake, Barry is attacked by the very same figure that pushed him out of the Chrono-Bowl earlier in the film (leading for him to be stranded in the younger Barry’s timeline). We soon learn that this figure is none other than the younger Barry himself, who became obsessed and spent a lifetime unsuccessfully going back in time to try to save Supergirl and Batman. In one last scuffle, the younger Flash is killed by future Flash, leading to the death of the future Flash as well.
Current Barry then goes to the past to reverse his prior time manipulation, and have a proper farewell with his mom, though she is unaware of his true identity. While there, he comes up with one last attempt to change his present and clear his dad’s name by making sure his dad’s face would be visible to the security camera, giving him an alibi for Barry’s mom’s murder.
Barry returns to his present to find that his plan has worked. His father is found innocent of the murder of his mother. He leaves the courtroom, gets a date with Iris West, but then when Batman’s fancy black car pulls up, an unfamiliar body steps out. It’s Bruce Wayne, yes, but not the Bruce Wayne played by Ben Affleck, but Bruce Wayne played by George Clooney. (We’ll discuss this more later)
How many credits scene does The Flash have?
The Flash has two credits scenes. The first runs in the background as the credits begin to roll, and is a fun callback to an earlier scene in the film. The second is a post-credits scene where Barry reunites with one of his fellow members of the Justice League.
What happens in The Flash first credits scene?
In the opening of The Flash, our hero performs a daring rescue of babies literally falling from the sky at a Gotham hospital. Also among those saved are a nurse and a cute therapy dog. As the first part of the credits play, the background revisits the scene from a perspective closer to the dog. Bed pans, oxygen tanks, and newborns all float past the adorable pooch as it free falls with its tongue hanging out.
What happens in The Flash post credits scene?
At the end of the film, Barry chats with Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. The two teammates leave a bar with Arthur Curry very intoxicated and fixated on obtaining his next drink, and Barry babbling about the different versions of Batman he’s encountered during his universal travels. Aquaman is too drunk to understand much of what Barry is saying, and gives his companion an Atlantean ring to purchase more booze before passing out face first in a puddle.
Who dies in The Flash?
There’s quite a large body count in The Flash with regards to big names. Keaton’s Batman and Supergirl are destined to die in the battle with Zod no matter what the Barrys do, so they die quite a few times (though mostly in the background of the Chrono-Bowl). In addition, two different Flashes (though also, kind of the same Flash) meet their ends. As mentioned before, the main antagonist, a future Flash, inadvertently kills his younger self thus ending his own existence. Then in the end, Nora Allen is left to her original fate with present Barry learning to let go and accept the loss of his mother, though this happens off screen.
Does The Flash reference the Snyder-verse?
Though the newly formed DC Studios received new heads in James Gunn and Peter Safran in October of 2022, The Flash is a product of the previous regime and shares plenty of ties to the Snyder-verse. Many characters from the old DCEU appear including:
- Batman, Ben Affleck
- Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, Jeremy Irons
- Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot
- Superman, computer generated likeness of Henry Cavill (from the back)
- Aquaman, both live-action and computer-generated likeness of Jason Momoa
- Cyborg, in passing via newspaper clip
- Aquaman’s father Thomas Curry, Temuera Morrison
- General Zod, Michael Shannon
- Zod’s second in command Faora-Ul, Antje Traue
Story-wise, the plot of Man of Steel is used once again. Zod brings terraforming equipment, including the World Engine, to convert the Earth into a new Krypton in his vision. At the same time he demands the world authorities to bring him a Kryptonian traitor.
Are there any other surprise cameos in The Flash?
Since The Flash revolves around alternate timelines and universes, there are opportunities to bring in various versions of the beloved DC Comic characters. In one scene where the different multiverses collide, we see many cinematic superheroes from the past.
- Superman, George Reeves (Superman and the Mole Men, Adventures of Superman)
- Jay Garrick, Teddy Sears (The Flash (2014)
- Superman, Christopher Reeves (Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)
- Supergirl, Helen Slater (Supergirl (1984)
- Batman, Adam West (Batman (1966)
- Superman, Nicolas Cage (the unproduced Superman Lives)
Alas, for those hoping that Grant Gustin would repay the favor of Ezra Miller appearing during the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ crossover event, the small screen Flash does not have a cameo in the film.
Of course, the film’s ending saved the biggest reveal for last. In a fitting multiversal punchline, Barry realizes he didn’t return to his own universe (or, at least, his own universe wasn’t quite the same) when he meets up with a surprisingly different Bruce Wayne following his father’s acquittal. Stepping out of a fancy luxury car is George Clooney, reprising the role of Bruce Wayne from his film Batman & Robin (1997).
How close is The Flash to the Flashpoint limited comic series?
During its many years of development, The Flash movie would be associated with the comic Flashpoint storyline from Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert. At one point, it was even included in the title. Though the plot of The Flash isn’t a complete adaptation, there are many parallels to the source material.
In both stories, Barry goes back in time to stop his mother’s murder and ends up in a different universe where he loses his powers and things are completely different. A Kryptonian is imprisoned in an underground bunker and is rescued but temporarily turns their back on humanity. The Flash seeks out an older and grizzled Batman who he befriends and later helps recreate the conditions that gave Barry his powers. There is also an emotional and tearful goodbye between Barry and his mom before he sets things right. Though the film differs a lot from the comic, it’s easy to see how Flashpoint inspired and influenced the film.
Does The Flash set up a sequel?
Though there are still unanswered questions at the end of the film including who murdered Nora Allen, the movie stands on its own and doesn’t really seem to set up a sequel. Furthermore, there is no Flash 2 featured in the initial upcoming slate from DC Studios. It appears Warner Bros. Discovery is taking a wait-and-see approach depending on the response after the movie’s release. But with an all new DCEU direction, it’s questionable at best if this iteration of The Flash continues.
In the chance that it does, director Andy Muschietti is excited to stay on board. He even stated that he’d like to keep Ezra Miller in the lead role. “If [a sequel] happens, yes,” Muschietti said on an episode of The Discourse podcast about the actor’s return. “I don’t think there’s anyone that can play that character as well as they did. The other depictions of the character are great, but this particular vision of the character, they just excelled in doing it. And, as you said, the two Barrys — it feels like a character that was made for them.”
Though never formally announced, a sequel has reportedly already been penned by Aquaman scribe, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick that included Keaton’s Batman and Sasha Calle’s Supergirl. However, once again, this script may not be aligned with Gunn and Safran’s visions of the DCEU.
The Flash is currently available to stream on Max, as well as digitally rent and purchase.
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