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The Flash's Disappearance Will Play a Major Role in the Next Arrowverse Crossover

Will we finally learn why Barry vanishes in the future?

Lindsay MacDonald

We've just barely left the Arrowverse Elseworlds crossover behind, but we've already got our minds turned toward 2019's crossover, known as Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Beyond the title, which was revealed at the end of the Elseworlds crossover, we know next to nothing about Crisis on Infinite Earths. Speculation abounds about what storylines will be included (and how closely it will follow the comics), but TV Guide can reveal one key element from The Flash that next year's crossover will focus on: The future news headline that's been hanging over The Flash for nearly five seasons now: "Flash Missing, Vanishes in Crisis."

"We've certainly been teasing [the headline] a long time, but it's a major factor in next year's crossover," The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing recently told TV Guide. "There will be little tidbits here and there that people will be able to start to put together."

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The Flash

The Flash

The headline first appeared in The Flash's pilot, and thanks to Nora's (Jessica Parker Kennedy) journey to the past in Season 5, we know that same fate still awaits Barry (Grant Gustin) in 2024. Fans have long speculated that the "crisis" Barry vanishes in is in fact Crisis on Infinite Earths, and now that Helbing has confirmed it to play a major part in the crossover, it seems more likely than ever.

The only piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit is the date 2024. Unless next year's crossover includes a major time jump for the Arrowverse, we'll still be five years out from the date stamped on the headline. Considering this is The Flash, where timelines are made to be broken, there's no reason the series can't find a workaround, but it is enough to make you wonder what the frack is actually going to go down in Crisis on Infinite Earths?

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The Flash returns Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 8/7c on The CW.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)

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Stephen Amell, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin, The Flash

Stephen Amell, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin, The Flash

Katie Yu, Katie Yu/The CW