Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Flash season 9, episode 12, “A New World, Part Three.”A tease of the obscure DC Comics villain Chronarch finally saw some payoff in the penultimate episode of The Flash season 9. This resolved one of the few outstanding plot threads regarding The Flash’s future. It also seemed to suggest that there was a grand battle with multiple superheroes that might have been the final epic Arrowverse crossover before unexpected series cancelations got in the way.
The plot of The Flash season 9, episode 12, “A New World, Part 3,” found Barry Allen lost in time, depowered by the Negative Speed Force and forcibly transported to the future of 2049. It was here that his daughter Nora “XS” West-Allen, the newly appointed leader of Team Flash, had just won her final victory over the Chronarch. Reference was also made to 2049 having been a wild year, due to “the Chronarch Wars and helping the Savothian freedom fighters.” This mention of an alien race alongside the Chronarch name-drop implied that the fight in question was a battle on a grand scale.
The Flash Season 7 Teased The Chronarch, But It Was Never Paid Off
The Chronarch is a decidedly obscure DC Comics villain, who made only a single appearance in The Flash Vol. 2 #68 in 1992. The tyrannical ruler of 64th Century Earth, the time-manipulating villain was overthrown by The Flash and his enemy, Abra Kadabra. The Arrowverse version of Abra Kadabra confirmed the Chronarch’s existence in the Arrowverse in The Flash season 7, episode 4, “Central City Strong,” warning that The Flash would face them someday. The Chronarch was also mentioned in a deleted scene from The Flash season 8 finale, where Jay Garrick explained Barry’s absence from the Godspeed conflict by saying that he was busy fighting the Chronarch.
Why The Chronarch Was Defeated Off-Camera In The Flash Season 9
As for why such a fight would be an offscreen occurrence, it could be that the writers of The Flash had planned to build upon the original reference to the Chronarch at some point, but didn’t have the chance to tell that story. The time-traveling Abra Kadabra had been used to foreshadow future battles before, such as when he made mention of The Thinker in The Flash season 3, just before Clifford DeVoe became the chief villain of The Flash season 4. Unfortunately, it seems that time ran out for the Arrowverse before this storyline could be realized. This led to the throwaway line about the Chronarch’s defeat while fighting XS off-camera in The Flash season 9, episode 12.
Could Chronarch Have Headlined The Last Arrowverse Crossover?
There is evidence to suggest that a big crossover event was in the works for all of DC Comics’ long-running superhero series beyond the mentions of the Chronarch in The Flash. Both actor Brec Bassinger and showrunner Geoff Johns confirmed that Stargirl season 4 would have had some crossover episodes with other DC Comics shows had it not been canceled. The Stargirl series finale teased this, with Jay Garrick arriving to summon the Justice Society for some sort of epic battle. Given that the same version of Jay Garrick travels between Earth-Prime and Earth-2 (according to actor John Wesley Shipp) this suggests a crossover between worlds occurring offscreen.
More connections with the wider DC Multiverse were established more directly in Titans season 4. The episode “Dude, Where’s My Gar?” showcased Beast Boy and his journey into the multiverse, as he explored the full range of powers offered to him through his connection to The Red. Beast Boy was offered a glimpse of multiple realities, including what appeared to be the real world, and briefly crossed-over into the world of Earth-2 where he met Brec Bassinger’s Stargirl. It is possible that Titans season 5 might have seen Beast Boy further explore the multiverse, had the series not been unexpectedly canceled by HBO Max after four seasons.
Given the connections between Jay Garrick, Stargirl and Beast Boy and Barry Allen’s learning of the new multiverse’s existence in The Flash season 9, there’s a chance that the Chronarch was intended to be the chief villain of a massive crossover spanning multiple series and streaming services. This would have been a brilliant way to close out all the shows. But with the Arrowverse ending, an off-camera defeat for the Chornarch was perhaps the only form of closure The Flash could have provided at this point.
The Flash series finale airs Wednesday, May 24, on The CW.