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Oliver Queen Is The Flash S9’s Villain: Bizarre Arrowverse Theory Explained

A wild theory postulates that Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen will emerge as a season 9 villain for Barry Allen in The Flash. It’s been suggested that if Amell were to return for the Arrowverse’s swan song, it would be to pay off a villain tease from a season 5 episode. While a return in any form originally seemed unfeasible, certain comments indicate that Stephen Amell would be open to making additional Arrowverse appearances.

Currently, there’s no official word on who will be the main antagonist of The Flash’s final season. Setup exists for DC Comics villain Cobalt Blue to join the Arrowverse as the next avatar of the Negative Speed Force, but that hardly means he’ll be the only noteworthy opponent of Team Flash in season 9. The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace has confirmed that the character teased in the season 8 finale is one of “at least two big bads”. Any more than two is hard to imagine, especially since it’s been announced that The Flash will only get a 13-episode story to end the series. This creates a degree of mystery in terms of where the show is headed with the last chapter in Barry’s Arrowverse journey.

One of The Flash season 9’s villains is obviously Cobalt Blue, whereas the identity of the other is open to speculation. A tie-in comic led to the impression that Bloodwork is coming back, thus making Sendhil Ramamurthy’s season 6 character a candidate for the role. There’s also Reverse-Flash, whose repeated deaths show that his latest demise in season 8 doesn’t rule one last fight with Barry. However, neither of these characters could be the second “big bad” mentioned by Wallace. If they do appear, they could potentially end up with one or two-episode arcs. Instead, The Flash could be gearing up for an all-new threat for Barry and his team. Here’s why the show could bring back Amell to play a villainous version of his Arrowverse hero.

The Flash Season 5’s Red Death Tease Explained
Red Death
The Flash surprised viewers in season 5’s “Memorabilia” when it name-dropped a DC Comic character who goes by the moniker, Red Death. The reference came in a recording made in the future by Captain Singh. When talking about Cicada’s reign of terror, he revealed that the villain’s kill count is even higher than that of both Zoom and “even the Red Death”. Part of what makes this reference so special is the fact that Red Death is a version of Batman. In an alternate universe in DC Comics, Batman decided that having the Speed Force would make him a better hero. Under the assumption that he was the person best equipped to use it, he fought the Flash in the interest of stealing the Speed Force from him. As a result of an accident, Barry and Bruce fused into one and gave birth to the Red Death, who entered the main timeline and instantly became an enemy of the Justice League.

The mention of Red Death was a huge Easter egg for The Flash, particularly since it provides confirmation that the villain will exist in the future. Of course, he’s someone that may never be seen onscreen, as he could be a character that’s encountered long after the Arrowverse ends. That being said, the reference means that there is indeed a place for Red Death in this world. As for who this character actually is, it would seem that in one of the worlds in the Arrowverse’s multiverse, a version of Bruce Wayne attacked Barry Allen and transformed into the Red Death.

Why The Arrowverse’s Red Death Could Be Green Arrow
Oliver Queen in Arrow
If the Red Death were to ever appear in the flesh, there’s a strong chance that he’ll differ greatly from his comic counterpart. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” proves that DC has been willing to allow the Arrowverse to use alternate reality versions of Bruce Wayne in at least some capacity, but going as far as making him The Flash season 9’s villain doesn’t feel plausible. Plus, he wouldn’t really be a great fit for the story, given that Batman has no real connection to the story. Fighting an evil Batman with speedster powers wouldn’t have any meaning for Grant Gustin’s character, which is why using him wouldn’t be a good way to end The Flash.

But while that aspect of the situation would complicate any plan to use Red Death, the concept itself could still work – albeit with a different hero. In many ways, Oliver Queen served as the Arrowverse’s answer to Batman. In his show, he fought Ra’s al Ghul, a few other villains from the Caped Crusader’s rogues’ gallery, and took a Batman-like role in numerous Arrowverse adventures. Not only that, but Green Arrow’s personal relationship with the Flash makes him a viable choice to be the Arrowverse’s Red Death. There’s no denying the emotional significance that a battle between Barry and an evil Oliver Queen would carry if it were to unfold in The Flash season 9.

How Oliver Queen Can Become Red Death In The Flash Season 9
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow Season 5
Multiple theories explain how The Flash could go about turning Oliver into the Red Death in the Arrowverse. Perhaps the simplest way of doing it is to follow the comic books. At first, it appeared that “Crisis on Infinite Earths” took duplicate universes off the table, but by revealing that it exists in a separate world, Superman & Lois has shown that this plot device is still an option. With that being the case, there could easily be an Earth where Oliver deduces that he needs the Speed Force to save Central City and inadvertently kickstarts his Red Death journey. He could accomplish this by fusing with his world’s Barry or perhaps even the Reverse-Flash. Either way, setting the story up through a parallel universe may be the only way for it to make sense. After all, Earth-Prime’s Oliver is dead, and even if it could revive him, transforming that particular version of his character into Red Death would risk ruining his ending.

Regardless of the fact that this wouldn’t be the Oliver Barry knows, fighting his evil doppelganger would be challenging for Team Flash in more ways than one. Adding to the emotion of it all would be Oliver’s fighting skills. Combining that element of his character with the Speed Force would undoubtedly make him the deadliest speedster Barry has ever fought.

As unlikely as this scenario seems for The Flash’s last story, an encounter between Barry and an evil Oliver Queen would be a truly special and unique way of bringing the show to a close. The Flash season 9 marks an ending to the series and the Arrowverse as a whole, which makes it all the more fitting for The CW to find a way to bring back Amell. A cameo in the series finale feels like a more logical route for the series to take, but the Red Death theories have yet to go away.

About Talha Khan

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