• In The Flash, Barry Allen barely learns to embrace the past and avoid using time travel to fix every problem.
  • In The Flash: Escape The Midnight Circus, Barry Allen once again uses the Speed Force to travel back in time, which ends up creating even bigger problems.
  • The Flash needs to evolve beyond his time travel mistakes and explore new aspects of his character to avoid being one-dimensional.

DC's The Flash: Escape The Midnight Circus features Barry Allen repeating the same mistake he made in The Flash just one month after the movie's release. Andy Muschietti's The Flash marks the first time the titular speedster stars in a live-action movie. Yet, it adapts what might be the Flash's most ambitious story. With Ezra Miller's Barry Allen traveling back in time to save his mother and altering the entire DC universe in the process, the DCEU's version of DC's iconic Flashpoint storyline delivers a lesson about accepting the past and moving on from painful memories.

While The Flash's main theme is made clear throughout the movie's main plotline, the rest of the film is bloated with pointless cameos and unsightly action sequences — two of the factors that contributed to The Flash's critical and box office disaster. Also, Ezra Miller's Barry Allen immediately forgets the lesson his trip through time taught him, as he alters the past in order to exonerate his father. In doing so, he erases Ben Affleck's Batman from existence and replaces him with George Clooney's Bruce Wayne. Given that James Gunn's DC Universe is set to reboot the franchise soon, this blunder will likely be the last thing Ezra Miller's Barry Allen will contribute to the DCEU.

Related: Zack Snyder's Original The Flash Plans Revealed, A Trilogy That Rebooted The DCEU With Flashpoint

The Flash: Escape The Midnight Circus' Plot Repeats Barry Allen's Speed Force Mistake

Ezra Miller's Barry Allen and The Flash Escape the Midnight Circus

The six-part podcast The Flash: Escape The Midnight Circus, where Max Greenfield stars as Barry Allen, is a companion piece to Andy Muschietti's The Flash. It follows Barry Allen as he uses the Speed Force to go back in time and fix his relationship with Iris West, but he accidentally ends up in a metahuman fighting tournament trying to survive without his powers. Although audio drama may not be strictly connected to the events of The Flash in DCEU canon, Barry Allen's attempt to change the timeline just because he couldn't maintain a relationship with Iris West seems like an incredibly irresponsible move after learning the dangers of time travel.

Why The DCU Needs To Show The Flash Movie Changed Its Hero

Ezra Miller's The Flash in the DCU
Ezra Miller's The Flash in the DCU

It's time for the Flash's next appearance outside the comic books to move past his immaturity around time travel and his irresponsibility. There are many DC stories starring the Flash that future movies and shows can adapt — ones where Barry Allen evolves both as a superhero and as a person. Whether Ezra Miller's Barry Allen gets replaced in James Gunn and Peter Safran's DC Universe or not, it must explore new aspects of the character that don't limit him to his inability to accept the past and his penchant for using time travel to fix every problem. Otherwise, the Flash will become a one-dimensional character defined by the same mistakes he makes in every medium.

After learning how powerful the Speed Force really is, the Flash's DCU appearances can focus on other interesting parts of DC's lore, including the Flash's emblematic rogues gallery and the Flash family. Although The CW's The Flash series already explored them, there are countless ways the new DC Universe can use these characters, especially if they interact with the wider DCU. Meanwhile, Barry Allen (or Wally West, if the DCU prefers to stand apart from the DCEU's The Flash) could learn how to use his Speed Force responsibly and avoid resorting to the easiest option every time.

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