The Flash Season 8 Trailer Here And Teasing A Grant Gustin Team-Up

By Dylan Balde | 3 weeks ago

grant gustin

Being the fastest man alive no longer matters when earthquakes are threatening to tear the world apart. Despero (Tony Curran) pushes Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) to the brink when he arrives on Earth-1 looking for the Flash. Unable to handle an alien invasion of this magnitude, Allen summons the rest of the Arrowverse to HQ. Characters both past and present come to Central City to offer aid as the apocalypse invariably ticks down on our favorite heroes.

Season eight of The Flash, starring Grant Gustin as the eponymous Scarlet Speedster, promises a Justice League-level extinction event with the supervillain Despero at the helm. The crossover entitled The Flash: Armageddon takes place over the next season’s first five episodes. It features the return of Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh), Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams), and Alex Danvers/Sentinel (Chyler Leigh), and the assistance of present-day vigilantes Ryan Wilder/Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) and Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara). Ryan Choi (Osric Chau) is also suiting up for the very first time as Palmer’s successor. Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanaugh) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) are also revisiting S.T.A.R. Labs to complicate an already dire situation. Check out the exciting first trailer for Armageddon:

In the comic books, Despero is a hulking purple alien (red, in some iterations) with a powerful third eye and an equally imposing Mohawk. A feared autocrat, he hails from the planet Kalanor, where he rules with an iron fist. Created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky in 1960, the character first appeared in the pages of Justice League of America #1 where he served as an inter-dimensional conqueror with powers beyond imagination. He resembled Atrocitus and the demon Etrigan more than Tony Curran’s Despero in the Grant Gustin show.

Despero arrived on Earth originally as a bystander; two rebels from his home planet had fled Kalanor seeking asylum from the Justice League of America. They were putting together a weapon capable of destroying him and needed humanity’s protection while they completed their project. A furious Despero, armed with extensive telepathic abilities, saw through their plans and managed to beat them to Earth. He defeated Barry Allen in a game of blitz chess and dispatched the rest of the JLA to faraway planets. Suffice it to say, Despero isn’t the kind of supervillain Grant Gustin’s Barry can handle alone.

In the CW, Despero steps foot on Earth-1 in similar fashion: he is searching for the Flash and swears to end him and all he holds dear. Though his motivations aren’t clear in the trailer, it’s obvious he carries a personal vendetta against Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who substitutes for the Kalanor rebels in the show. Realizing he is way in over his head with Despero, Allen assembles what’s left of the Arrowverse’s version of the Justice League in the hopes of besting the alien threat.

The Kalanor tyrant gives Team Flash seven days to (presumably) procure an acceptable response to his demands; whatever they are, Despero is willing to break the world in half to get his way. As Ryan Choi contemplates on the incoming end of days, metahuman Allegra Garcia (Kayla Compton) registers almost a hundred earthquakes concurrently hitting different parts of the globe. As Allen and his friends scramble to put a stop to Despero’s rampage, and Grant Gustin grimly looks to the far distance, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh) mumbles in voiceover: “You never know what face fate will wear when it shows up to change your life.”

“When Despero shows up on Earth, you can kind of understand why he’s here [and] see it from his point of view,” The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace tells Entertainment Weekly of Grant Gustin’s new foil on October 12. “That was kind of important to get across, but then to not be afraid of the bigger side because, as fans of the comics know, Despero has a lot of powers. This isn’t a guy who just stands there and talks for five episodes. You’ll see him using some of his familiar powers from the comic books. That’s where Tony’s experience in other sci-fi genre shows really came into the play, because he immediately understood. He said, ‘I love the Shakespearean bigness of it, but I also understand he needs to be relatable to the audience on a very grounded level.’”

If the Despero we know and fear could whisk members of the Justice League away in a snap of a finger, he could certainly flatten Grant Gustin’s Flash like a pancake. Where world breakers and alien tyrants are concerned, Despero is on the same level as Steppenwolf and Starro the Conqueror. He may not have Darkseid’s mental acuity and overwhelming omnipotence, but he’s certainly formidable.

The Arrowverse’s Despero seems to be holding the whole world hostage until certain requests are met. This may point to The Flash: Armageddon being comics-accurate; Despero may have come to Earth-1 looking for the very same rebels who once plotted to unseat him in Fox and Sekowsky’s Justice League of America. He’s keeping the fate of mankind on the palm of his hand until Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen turns them in, in exchange for worldwide clemency.

grant gustin flash

At the same time, Despero himself has a bone to pick with the Flash, which in cinematic iterations of comic book superheroes, can mean one of two things: either Barry Allen caused another ripple in time he has yet to be made aware of, or they have met before. The latter sounds especially enticing, since their first battle may not even have involved Grant Gustin’s Flash. Despero’s first run-in with a Scarlet Speedster in the comics was with Barry Allen as well, but what if it was Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) with the Justice Society of America?

Though Tony Curran’s (Doctor Who) Despero looks nothing like the big mean alien from the comics, Wallace cautions fans against making any hasty conclusions. “Be careful what you see,” he says with lighthearted fun. “Your eyes can sometimes deceive you.” Speaking of a particular scene halfway through Armageddon, where Grant Gustin’s Flash can be seen conversing with Curran’s Despero in the open streets of Central City, Wallace adds: “I think the audience is going to learn something new about Despero that they never knew, because we do have our own take on the [DC] mythology for the character.”

To be fair, Curran’s Despero may have simply taken on a human form to blend with the unsuspecting populace. But like Grant Gustin’s new Flash costume in season eight, the rest of him is attractively comics-accurate. Though the cape is distinctly absent, he dons a Mohawk and wears the ceremonial garb of his people. His catchphrases are also laced with chess jargon; in the trailer, he can be seen preemptively announcing his victories with a “checkmate.” In the comics, Despero loved chess and often engaged his enemies in blitz matches, though he would routinely cheat.

Season eight of The Flash, starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, hits the CW on November 16.