The Deal: this is the seventh in a series of pitches for the rebooted DC Movies. I’m using AI art to mock-up these pitches, because it’s fun, trust me.
We start in a poorly-lit bar. “Look, we’ve all had our asses handed to us by the scarlet speedster,” the speaker turns, and we see it’s Captain Boomerang. He’s speaking to four other Rogues.
“What I don’t get is why, if it’s your plan, it isn’t your team,” Heat-Wave says.
“I have an in, that’s all. Doesn’t change I’m not the leadership type.”
“Maybe calling yourself a ‘Captain’ is giving off confusing signals,” Heat-Wave says.
“Besides, we’ve got a fully capable leader-type right here,” Boomerang claps Captain Cold on the back, “and a bloody Captain to boot.”
“I still think I should lead,” Weather Wizard pouts sullenly.
“Mate,” Boomerang soothes, “Heat-Wave’s dating Golden Glider, and she’s Cold’s blooming sister. Right now, it’s a family team; I’m fun uncle Boomerang. A man smart as you claim ought to see the smart play is figuring out how you fit into this dynamic- not how they can fit around you, yeah?” Weather Wizard tries on a smile. “There’s a smile; careful, widen that any further, I might think you want me to make you me auntie.”
We cut to later, in the same bar. Boomerang is the only one of them left, and he’s drinking with Rick Flag. “That was defter handling than I’d have given you credit for,” Flag says, “enough to make me think this batshit plan of yours has more than a snowball’s chance in hell.”
“It’ll take a sight more than flattery and stale beer to get into my knickers, Captain.”
Flag slides a dossier across the table. “And you can keep the contents of your stale knickers to yourself.”
“It was the beer I said was stale-” he stops himself, “you’re flirting with me. Careful your lips don’t write checks your mouth won’t cash.” Flag glares, because that is not the idiom. He gets up to leave, and Boomerang grabs his wrist, insisting the Rogues don’t kill.
“That’s fine. This is a proof of concept. No one’s asking you to put a bullet in the Flash. You just got to put him down.”
“Right. And the unspoken bit isn’t that you’ll have a sniper ready the moment he’s moving slow enough to snipe? Because the Rogues may not kill- but that doesn’t mean they won’t kill me if I make them murderers.”
“My superiors wouldn’t go to this much trouble just to kill him- there are easier ways to do that.”
“I get a little excited and a little afraid when you say things like that.”
Flag starts to leave, but over his shoulder says, “That’s proof you’re not as stupid as you look, sound, act and dress.” Boomerang lets fly with a boomerang, slicing Flag’s shoulder holster strap right beside his neck so it falls off him; at the same time, Flag draws, spins and fires.
“Missed me,” Boomerang says, triumphantly, as Flag gathers the shredded remains of his holster.
“Did I?” Flag asks, as Boomerang becomes aware of a glug-glug noise. Boomerang moves his jacket, and sees the hole Flag blasted in his flask.
“Aw. My mom got me that flask last Christmas. Sewed the little boomerangs on herself.”
We’re going to montage the origin, mostly because I like the idea of Flash giving us a one-minute origin story only slightly sped-up, almost like a ‘last time on’ flash-back. “Okay, I know you’re really excited to get into the story, so we’ll do this really quick. I’m Barry Allen, crime scene tech and physicist- because physcisting doesn’t really pay the bills- and I kind of accidentally managed to breach the space-time barrier and end up infused with the Speed Force, which turned me into the fastest man alive, as in, can move at basically the speed of light. That gave me the time to do all of the things I’d always dreamed of, like learning how to sew my own costume and stop most crime in the city before anybody gets hurt. Also car accidents and a lot of other things. And no matter what Superman says, I always beat him in our races- except that one time he planned the route over every mountain range- I had to run several thousand more miles than he had to fly, how is that fair?”
Flash comes to a stop in the center of the frame, and peels off his mask. Iris enters, and kisses him. We have some lingering narration. “Oh, and this is Iris West. She’s amazing.” And we also meet Wally, a couple of years younger than them. “And that’s Wally. He’s… annoying, in the way all little brothers are.” I… like the idea of having Wally be a huge dork, as in when he knows Barry is coming over, he puts on his plastic-masked Batman costume, similar to what Hank wore in Venture Brothers.
“That was so cool,” Wally says, making a fwoosh sound as he runs back inside. Barry asks if he’s late, and she tells him he’s always right on time.
“No, really.” She admits he’s a few minutes late- but at this point they always assume he will be. He follows her inside, and continues his narrating. “The Wests kind of became my home away from home. After mom died… dad and I fell apart. We couldn’t save each other, but this family saved me.”
“What have we said?” Mrs. West chastises Barry.
He looks down, runs out of the room, and back in in civilian clothes. “No costumes at the dinner table,” he says dutifully. Wally clears his throat with a loud “Ahem.” “Except for Batman,” Barry adds, “because no one knows his secret identity.”
“You really don’t?” Mrs. West asks. “I thought you all knew each other.” It’s… clear she’s got a thing for tall, dark and mysterious men.
“Smells great,” Barry says.
“He’d have to, right?” she asks Iris, before realizing he meant the food, and pivoting sheepishly. “I made extra. I know how many calories you burn.” She butters a roll, before asking. “And how’s that father of yours?”
Barry takes a deep breath, before saying, “Drunk,” then running offscreen and back. “Yep. Still drunk. Passed out in his underwear. Wait.” He disappears again, and returns. “My underwear. I’ll just burn them.”
“I wish there was something we could do,” she says.
“Nadine…” Mr. West says.
“There really isn’t anything else to be done. They’ll never smell right again.”
“Ira…” she says in a similar tone, but it’s plain from her face she’s teasing him.
“It was a tragedy,” he says. “I don’t think I’d do any better, if anything happened to you,” he puts his hand over hers and the Wests share a tender moment, before he turns his attention back to Barry. “But I’ll stop in. See if I can’t get him to come out. Make a family day trip out of it.”
“You’re welcome to try,” Barry says. “Nothing I’ve done has worked. But half the time he tears up the moment he sees me, because I remind him of mom.”
“Batman demands peas,” Wally says darkly, slamming his fist on the table. Barry picks up a single pea from the central bowl, and flicks it at Wally, who blocks it with his spoon and exclaims, “Bat pea repellent.”
“If only his sheets had that,” Iris mutters.
Barry starts flicking faster, and Wally covers himself with a plastic cape, “Pea-proof cape,” as peas bounce off of it. Subtly, Barry is zipping to Wally after each, and catching them before they hit the ground.
“Boys,” Mrs. West says, “what have I said about starting food fights at the table?”
“Oh, no,” Mr. West says, hunkering lower.
“Give me a heads up so I can arm myself,” she says, grabbing the bowl of mashed potatoes. Chaos ensues. I kind of like the idea of doing similar to the Quicksilver FX scene from Days of Future Past, only it’s Barry saving as much of the food during the fight as he can while still allowing there to be a cathartic food fight.
We cut to the aftermath. “Barry, dear, did you manage to save enough for dinner, or should we order pizza?” A moment later and the food is miraculously replaced.
“Clearly, we’re wearing most of the mashed potatoes, and a handful of peas landed in Wally’s lap. I wasn’t touching those.”
Wally leaps onto the chair, and declares they should, “Eat my green pea-ness,” as he pelvic thrusts, sending a shower of green peas over the table- which Barry catches in a different bowl, which he sets on the ground for the dog.
“Yeah, no one should eat those,” Mr. West says.
Later that night, Barry arrives home. He’s try to be quiet as he goes inside. His dad is asleep on the couch, wearing underwear just a little too small for him and no pants, snoring drunkenly. Barry sighs, and goes to his room, and we linger there a moment. Barry brings out an Afghan, and covers his father with it. He stirs. “Nora?” he asks in the dim light.
“No, dad… mom’s… not coming home.”
“Oh. Right,” we hear his sadness in his voice as he rolls over. “Could use a drink.”
“No, dad,” Barry tucks the blanket around him. “Just go back to sleep.” Barry goes into his room and gets into bed, when his phone rings. They ask for him by last name, and if he’s awake. “Couldn’t sleep,” he says. They tell him they need him at a new crime scene.
We watch a sped-up version of the crime scene investigation, but it’s inverted; everyone in the background moves around fast, while Barry is very deliberate in his movements, and he narrates. “I think what I like most about crime scene investigation is I have to slow down. It’s meditative. Because moving at the speeds I normally do would disturb the evidence; the Speed Force curbs a lot of the impact of moving at superspeed- or people would hate me for all of the sonic booms as I crossed the sound barrier- but you can’t displace that much air that quickly without causing changes to airflow, displacing small piles of… whatever this is.” Barry is taking a sample of some grains of what look like sand.
Barry takes his samples back to the lab, and runs some experiments, before typing up a report on a mechanical typewriter (because a computer wouldn’t be able to handle him typing at that speed- and even then he pauses every page or so to use a bellows to cool the metal). He faxes that over to the detective, and heads home.
Barry’s dad isn’t on the couch anymore, but left a note on the Afghan, “Gone for beer.” “Great,” Barry sighs, “another bender. Guess I’ll see you in a week, pop.”
Barry is getting ready to try and take a nap when the doorbell rings. He winces and zips to it. “Hey, Jay. What’s up?” It’s his physicist mentor, Jay Garrick.
“I had a thought…” Jay says.
“At your age? Isn’t that dangerous?”
“Yuck it up, junior. You’ll have gray hair before you know it.”
“Your dangerous thought?”
“I think we’re close to a break-through.”
“Yeah. I remember our last break-through- it broke me through the rear wall of our lab. I still see stars when I cough.”
“Little cartoon five-pointers? Celebrities? Or just flashes of light.”
“You’re none of the kinds of doctor who could help, regardless.”
“No, but talking to any one of those might do you wonders. Seriously. My treat.”
“I’m fine, Jay. Sprained my shoulder, and it stopped hurting before my head hit the pillow that night. So this break-through…”
“I think I know where you went awry- similar to when I had my uh… blow up.”
“That’s a very low-key way of saying you personally burnt down an entire wing of the university labs.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m ‘Uncle’ Jay, and not Professor Garrick. Though honestly, with all of the progress we’ve made since, I’m amazed I survived. My, uh, issue, was a couple of orders of magnitude bigger. And I think… maybe I finally cracked it.”
“Can it wait? I haven’t actually slept, yet.”
“And I’m not sure he’s about to,” Iris teases, pushing past Jay.
Jay puts up his hands. “I know when I’m beat; I can’t compete with that offer.”
“You sure? Maybe I prefer to be the little spoon,” Barry teases.
“You do?” she asks, her voice quivering.
“I prefer to spoon you,” he says, and pecks her on the cheek.
“I’m too old, and it’s too early for this kind of affection,” Jay says to himself, closing the door behind him.
Barry stumbles, and Iris supports him. “You okay?”
“I wasn’t exaggerating. Didn’t sleep a wink.”
“Can’t you just power through?”
“What do you think I already do? Even taking micronaps during the day, a regular day for me is like you being up for a month.”
“That sounds awful,” she says, leaning into him. “Maybe I can massage some of that tension away.”
“That’s how exhausted I am. I know you’re flirting. Look, if my body responds, you’re welcome to make use of me.” She turns to close his bedroom door as he stumbles inside, “But I might…” and as she turns she finds him already completely passed out. She starts to wriggle his pants off, and he stirs. “Hmm?”
“You told me never to let you sleep in the costume. Nobody wants a hero to show up smelling like, and I quote, ‘sleep toots.’ I hate you for making me say, ‘sleep toots.’”
She curls up under his arm to nap. “You love my sleep toots.”
“The toots I don’t mind, I just don’t like the name.”
“Okay,” he says dreamily, and passes back out.
Barry wakes to his phone ringing. “Take the pants,” he says, “you be Flash today.”
“If I only took the pants I’d be a different kind of Flash,” Iris says. “And crime doesn’t call your phone.”
“Oh, right. While I answer this, see about getting me a crime phone. Red, that lights up. Ask Batman where he got his.” He picks up his phone. They ask for him by name, and he spends a moment staring at his wrist before saying, “I’m not wearing a watch.”
“I know. I haven’t slept, either. No rest for the wicked means no rest for those trying to catch them.”
“Yep. I told the Captain you’re as good as two techs, might as well pay you like it.”
“Damnit. I wanted to sleep. Had a whole speech. Threw in some creative swear words, to sell it.”
“I know. And I went and purchased your pride. If you’re not okay to drive I can send a car.”
“I’ll figure it out.”
Iris drops him off. “You need to take the box,” she says, pointing to a box for a dozen donuts.
“Or you’ll eat them all?”
“I know you already ate the rest. It’s why I’m driving with a bear claw in my hand.”
“Sorry,” Barry says sheepishly.
“It’s okay. I only wanted the one.” She pulls him close with her non-bear-claw hand, “but you are going to have to help me sweat it off later.” She kisses him, and lets him go.
“It’s a date.”
“It’s a date if you take me to dinner and a movie first,” she teases him. She’s mostly in good humor about it, but there’s still some part of her that would like him all to herself, at least every once in a while.
This time around, we do a quick montage, of Barry studying the scene. He pockets some of the evidence. He processes some of it in the public lab, then takes the rest to the crappy lab he and Jay rent together. Jay’s surprised to see him. “I figured I wouldn’t see you today, that you’d be sleeping, then, uh, not sleeping, then sleeping some more.”
“Just needed to borrow some of the equipment.”
“Yeah. City only has so many centrifuges.”
He’s clearly looking at something on a slide. “That’s not a centrifuge…” Jay grumbles.
Barry’s moving a little too fast, a little too excited. “You’re right,” he tells Jay. “Wanted to double-check that I had labeled the slides correctly before the spin.” He throws a handful of vials into the centrifuge. “Hmm…” He turns to leave.
“Uh, shouldn’t you be taking the ‘evidence?’ You know, chain of custody, and all that?”
“Uh, right.” Barry shakes his head. “I should have mainlined a cappuccino before I came here; I’d forget my feet if they weren’t attached.” He haphazardly gathers his supplies, and as he turns to go, Jay stops him with a hand on his shoulder.
“Look, just, know if you find yourself in any kind of trouble, you can call me. I can help. I know- a has-been physicist with a bad back… but sometimes just having someone to bounce things off.”
“Sure, Jay. I appreciate it. And when I have a moment, we’ll push on your breakthrough, okay?”
Barry goes out to his car, and throws the evidence in the trunk, then parks a few blocks away, takes out his costume and speeds off. While running, he calls Iris. She’s between classes at the community college. “Were we doing lunch?” he asks.
“I know we talked about it yesterday, but you’ve been ping-ponging since last night so I assumed not. Why?”
“That case you dropped me off, was related to the one from last night, and between the deposits I found at each I think I know where they are now.”
“Cold’s cold gun, it doesn’t just freeze, but leaves a distinct chemical signature in its wake. There were also scorches that tested positive for the accelerant that Heat-Wave uses. So at least two of the Rogues were working together- I think they were trying to cover their tracks.”
“And yet you found them.”
“Well, maybe. And I don’t know yet whether or not they want to be found. It could be a trap.”
It is a trap, which he figures out fairly quickly, finding a bomb welded to a metal post… it’s only then he realizes that the warehouse is used in part for overflow for several local pet adoption agencies, and there are dozens of animals in cages. “Oh, come on,” he says. He starts springing animals from cages and running them outside, as the timer ticks down its last few seconds, and says, “If none of you puke on me, I promise I’ll help you find good homes,” the words happening in the moments he pauses enough to open new cages.
Flash and the last turtle are inches away from the flames as they grow from the bomb. Flash is winded, and realizes he’s definitely been puked on. “Okay, new deal: if none of you tell anyone how much you puked on me, I won’t kick any of you into the ocean.”
“Does that deal go for us? Because I imagine that’s a promise I can’t keep,” Boomerang say.
“Oh,” Flash says, “the boomerang guy. I wondered why the shrapnel was all in the shape of little boomerangs. I appreciate your commitment to the gimmick.” Golden Glider slices him as she skates by. I’m going with the classic version, who was an ice skater, who had skates that basically used the same tech as her brother’s cold gun to create ice everywhere she skated. To make her a little more formidable, the streamers of her costume use similar, but basically have razor edges that are also at freezing temperatures- it’s one of those that cuts Barry.
Barry turns towards her, at once confused and uncertain how to pivot, before saying, “I’m not comfortable hitting a woman.”
That angers her, and she balls her fist, about to throw a punch, “That’s not mutual,” except her laces are tied together, and she trips onto her knee. “Ow. I scraped my knee, you wang.”
“I do feel bad about that.” He sets her on a park bench, and in a flash cleans and bandages the wound. “Less so about this,” he keeps ‘bandaging,’ until she’s a duct-tape mummy tied to the bench.
“Have you out in a tick, love,” Boomerang says, as the first of his boomerangs slices the piece of tape holding her upright.
She slowly tips, wiggling to try to right herself as she grunts, “No, no, no,” before thudding face first down onto the bench, “damnit.” The rest of Boomerang’s boomerangs fall harmlessly to the ground beside her, having been plucked out of the air by Flash.
He appears next to Boomerang, holding one up. “Fascinating construction. Lightweight alloy shaped to remain aerodynamically neutral, but with enough mass to be capable of a fair distance of flight. Sharp, too.”
One hits him in the back of the head and Boomerang is ready for a follow-up punch, catching Flash as he lurches forward. “Okay,” Flash says, picking himself up off the ground, “I did not see that one coming- which I guess is the strength of a boomerang.”
Boomerang looses a flurry of boomerangs, but Flash is nowhere near as they fly- and yet keeps closing the distance, eventually revealing that he’s got a big tree branch he’s been using to collect the boomerangs as they stick in it. “Weren’t you in the military? Hold on.” He’s gone a second, then back. “Nope, not that kind of Captain. Still. A bunch of those boomerangs were aimed at kids, moms, a blue jay, even your own partner.”
“They were all aimed at you.”
“You need to think about the possibility you can miss; you need to think about what’s behind your target.”
“First smart thing you’ve done… I was going to say today, but you chose that gimmick, that name, and that outfit. This is quite the rare win for you, so I won’t make you watch my victory Flash dance.” (I understand, with that sentence, the immensity of the Chekov gun I have loaded- Flash must do a Flash dance over the credits). With Flash’s back turned, Boomerang goes for his last holdout boomerang, which looked like a belt-buckle. He reels back to throw it, only for it to be replaced by a banana, which boomerangs, hitting him in the face. Flash sighs, “Your streak continues.”
Flash drags Boomerang a little too quickly to the bench beside Glider, and zip-ties him to it. The speed has him dizzy, and he reels, before starting to heave. “Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the turbulence, but there are complimentary air or other sickness bags attached to your front compartment.” Flash tapes a brown paper bag to Boomerang. “Now we know you stopped having a choice of flying Air Flash the second you decided to be a criminal, but we’re glad you won’t have another chance for a while.”
While I haven’t mentioned it until now, every time Barry checks his phone, he has several emoji-choked texts from Wally. Wally is very excited that his sister is dating a superhero. Except this time, his phone is oddly quiet, quiet enough Barry calls Iris. “Everything okay over there? Wally hasn’t blown up my phone since lunchtime.”
“Huh?” Iris says. “He’s not home yet. And neither’s mom. I don’t think he had a game today. Dad?”
“No. They had their last game a few weeks ago. And track won’t start for another week.”
“Then where’s mom?” she asks as Barry walks through the door in his civilian clothes.
“No idea. She should have been home hours ago. And Wally should have been home on the bus. I’ll call her. You try your brother. Usually she’ll text if she’s giving him a ride or running an errand, but… I’m sure it’s nothing.”
“Want me to pick you up something to eat?” Barry asks.
“Hmm….” Mr. West says, “with your mom not home, there’s nothing stopping us from getting extra spicy Mongolian…”
“Except that she will eventually come home, and you’re terrified of the woman,” Iris replies.
“I’m not ‘terrified.’ I’m appropriately respectful. Half extra-spicy, half mild.”
Barry calls in the order; subtly, he is speaking Mongolian. “You remember where she said she’d stick the next pepper she found in her ‘mild’ Mongolian, right?”
“Actually, she was never very clear. It’s the not knowing that keeps me up at night.”
“Order’s in,” Barry says. “They said it’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.”
“So you’ll leave in fourteen?”
“Mongolia’s 6500 miles away, at a comfortable jogging speed, it’s about six seconds.”
“I’ll heat the oven,” Iris says.
Boomerang is alone in a dark holding cell. Flag saunters in. “Where’s Glider?” Boomerang asks.
“Yeah, they don’t book the men and the women together, for obvious reasons. Your plan seems to be all hitch.”
“A little snag- a contingency we planned for. Guy’s everywhere. The odds any one, two or four of us would get pinched were pretty high. Cold’ll come through.”
“Yeah, for his sister. You want to bet your liberty he’s coming for you?”
“I put a lot more than that on the line, here,” Boomerang says.
“Despite your obvious shortcomings- which are numerous- you’ve shown initiative. That goes a long way with me. I’m willing to bring you onto the Varsity squad. Or, you can keep playing JV ball here.”
“There isn’t a Varsity squad yet; right now this is the only game in town. I put this team together because I think they have what it takes.”
“Well, you ever get tired of life in that supervillain Guantanamo, you give me a ring- assuming you can find a way to do that from in there.” Just then, the wall behind Boomerang freezes, and Glider kicks it in. They’re not quite fast enough to vacate before the cops swarm in. Flag clothes-lines the first officer, keeping him from putting a bullet in Boomerang, then disarms the second, ejects the magazine and the chambered round before dropping the gun while showing the rest of the cops his government ID. “I wasn’t here,” he says, and walks out.
“Who was that?” Glider asks as she helps Boomerang out through the rubble.
“Spook. Trying to recruit me. Told him to sit on me boomerang and spin.”
“You kiss your mother with that mouth?” Flash asks, socking him in the jaw as he speeds by. “What would Ma Boomerang say?”
Boomerang is pissed, and gets up, rage in his eyes. “She’d call you a” we don’t hear the words, as Flash zips off.
“Huh,” Glider says. “I guess his weakness is Australian profanity.”
“No,” Cold says, pointing to the background as another explosion rocks the city. “He was responding to our distraction.”
“And you couldn’t have timed that so I didn’t get walloped in the jaw?”
“And spare you a wallaby wallopin’?” Heat-Wave jeers.
“I’m prepared, not psychic,” Cold says.
Bullets from the cops whiz by Boomerang’s head. “You didn’t prepare me a boomerang resupply, did you?”
“Glider,” Cold says.
Glider opens a case filled with his signature Boomerangs, and his eyes light up. “I could kiss you,” Boomerang says.
“Not it,” Cold and Glider say at the same time. We show the cops again, this time falling in droves as boomerangs jab into them. “You didn’t kill anybody, did you?”
Boomerang kisses one of his boomerangs. “Didn’t need to.”
“Rogues, let’s go.” I’m assuming that they drive some kind of armored vehicle, like a Humvee, using similar tech on the wheels as Glider’s skates.
We cut back to Flash. He narrates, as he gathers bombs from all over the warehouse district. “The Rogues don’t kill- they’re very proud of that- at least, not directly. The first bomb was only meant to get my attention- someone had cleared the area just before- but the rest, I suspect if someone did get killed, the Rogues would say I killed them. Negligence. Which… feels flimsy, but it beats dealing with Batman’s rogues.”
Back with the Rogues. Boomerang looks out of the back of their getaway vehicle, and sees the ice marks the tires leave- they’re leaving a trail. “I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth…”
“And yet I sense a big Australian ‘but’ coming,” Cold says from behind the wheel.
“Were leaving a frozen trail even a Flash could follow.” As if to prove his point, Flash shows up, on their tail. Cold hits a button on the steering wheel, and a cold gun built into the 0 on his custom “0-KELVIN” license plate blasts the road, turning it into a sheet of ice. Flash is moving too fast to stop, and skids on the ice, smashing into a “Stop” sign. To add insult to injury, Cold blasts him out the window, freezing him in a block of ice. Flash vibrates out of it, and puts a chunk of the ice to his head.
“That was humbling,” he says, and runs after the truck, but they’re gone.
We’re back with the Rogues. “Ah,” Boomerang says “We were the secondary distraction.”
“Weather Wizard’s a prima donna. He was definitely going to vamp while he grabbed the girl. Whole plan falls apart if Flash figures it out before all the pieces are in place. And now there’s just one more.” He pulls to a stop, and we recognize the exterior of Jay’s lab.
Watching on security cameras, Waller is pensive. “I don’t like it,” she says. “The intel gives them his friends and family. Anyone with half a brain could figure out his identity from that…” She smiles. “You don’t think they have the brains, do you? Just like you think the Rogues are a waste of time.”
She’s talking to Rick Flag. “You don’t try to turn lapdogs into attack dogs. A villain that won’t kill doesn’t serve as much of a deterrent.” He hesitates. “But what if they do manage to kill Allen?”
“Then they earn a shot at the big leagues. This job is never about being right or wrong, it’s about learning to use your failures and your successes to your future advantage.”
“And the civilian casualties?”
“There are always civilian casualties in war, Captain. But we’re not risking anyone we can’t afford to lose.”
Back with Flash, he gets a panicked call from Iris’ father, Ira. “Bastard took her.” He’s bleeding from the lip.
“Who?” Barry asks into the phone, but he beats the audio to the West home. Ira managed to capture video on his phone, he and Iris trying to fight back against Weather Wizard. Weather Wizard used lightning to carve a taunt into Iris’ wall, along with the address.
“I’m coming with you,” Ira says.
“You can’t keep up,” Flash says. “I’d just be bringing them another hostage. That might even be what they’re counting on- a hostage I’d feel extra responsible for putting in harm’s way. I’ll put you someplace safe- and I’ll bring your family back.”
“Barry, they don’t get to walk away from this.”
“I’m not killing anyone.”
“I said walk,” he says grimly.
“I’ll get them home safely,” he pats Ira on the shoulder. “Now close your eyes, exhale, and try not to think of food.”
“That’s going to be hard,” Ira says, “when it smells so…” he realizes he’s in Mongolia, at the restaurant they order take out from.
One of the servers puts down a plate in front of him. “The red man said you wanted extra spicy.”
We’re back with the Rogues. “We sure have an awful lot of Wests,” Glider says. “Your G-man say why?”
“I told him to piss off,” Boomerang lies.
“Yeah. You have a secret informant and a government stalker? You’re just not that interesting.”
Boomerang sighs. “Intel is need-to-know. All I know, is this group would hit him where he lives, soften him up, yeah? They fit a profile.”
“And we aren’t going to kill them?” she asks, louder, to her brother.
“We won’t,” Cold says. “Excellent timing, as always,” he says, as Flash enters. “But this place is a death trap. Designed to slow you down, force you to make mistakes. If you do, innocent bystanders pay the price.” He reveals the others, tied, chained, whatever, to various high-tech torture devices. “Or… you kneel at my feet, take off the mask, and I cold-cock you with my gun. I’ve done the math. Even at your speed, you can’t save everyone- you’d need to be moving nearly three times the speed of light. I’ll give you a moment, if you want to double-check my figures.” As Cold monologues, we see Flash zip to the missing family members, including his father and Jay, and then pausing to indeed double-check Cold’s math. But when it comes to Jay, he winks- and not at human speed, but at Barry’s speed. Barry double-takes, and Jay vibrates free of his restraints, and they run outside to have a few nanosecond pow-wow.
Barry is stand-offish; whatever Jay has to say, he’s feeling betrayed and overwhelmed. “Here’s the thing, kiddo,” Jay starts.
“We don’t have time.”
“We do. You and I think, talk and move thousands of times faster than everyone else. We could have a day’s long argument and still have time to fix this.”
“What did you do?”
“You’re a brilliant physicist, better than I ever was, even in my prime. I literally stumbled into the Speed Force- I mean it, tripped on my damn laces and went head-over-tea-kettle. Working with you, I thought… I thought about all of the ways we could harness this speed- all of the ways we could use it to make people’s lives better. Crops that grow faster. Surgeries that are over in a blink and heal in seconds. Medicines moving so fast disease don’t have a chance to take root. And I thought… I thought I could protect you, make sure you didn’t make the same mistakes I did. And… you didn’t. You found your own damn way in. I took one night off to take Joan to a show, and… you made the breakthrough I never could. I was a fool. And I should have told you everything from the start. And I should have told you the day we started, and every day since. You deserved the truth.”
“You’re right. I did. It wouldn’t have changed anything. I still would have worked with you. But when it happened, I wouldn’t have had to feel alone.”
“Damn. I’m sorry I let you down.”
“Good. Because you’re about to get a chance to make it up to me. Time really is a problem here.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean even at our speed, we can’t save the other four- not without slowing down- not without making ourselves vulnerable.”
“If somebody’s got to take the hit-”
“That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying, is that we have to do the experiment again- one last time. We give one of them speed- three of us can fix this where two can’t.”
“Your dad, Iris’ mom, they’re too old. I got electrocuted, once, nearly stopped my heart. My accident was just like that- felt like I was in cardiac arrest. I was young, when I had my accident.. The codgers may not survive it.”
“So Wally and Iris are our only shots. I know she’d risk herself for her brother; and he’d die for her. I can’t… I can’t stand the thought of anything happening to either one of them. There’s no way I could choose.”
“Okay. So don’t play God.” Jay takes out a coin from his pocket. “Heads it’s Wally, tails, Iris.” He won’t wait for it to come back down, but catches it at the top of its arc and flips it into his palm. It comes up heads.
They rescue Wally first, then pull him into the Speed Force. While Jay sets up the experiment in the background, Barry explains what’s about to happen- that if he wants, they could try and pull in Iris, instead. But Wally wants to be a superhero- he loves the Flash, so the idea of being able to help, even just this once, he leaps at the chance, even knowing there’s a risk.
“Is it going to hurt?” Wally asks, and Barry winces. But his real question is, “Will it leave a scar? My dad says chicks dig scars.”
“Don’t call them ‘chicks.’ They hate that more than they like scars.”
“But if it’s that important, we’ll make sure you get a scar,” Jay says.
“Don’t help,” Barry says.
“We ready?” Barry nods, and so does Wally. Wally is engulfed in light and electricity. During the experiment, Barry runs out, and returns with an inverted version of his uniform, yellow instead of read, with a red lightning bolt insignia, for Wally. The light and electricity fade, and Wally is left smoking for a moment, before his eyes come open, and he zips immediately into the suit.
“Fits better than my batsuit,” he says.
“You get them and you get out,” Barry says. “The Rogues might be a few bananas short of a bunch, but they’re still dangerous, and I’ve dealt with them before.”
Barry charges at Cold, and a series of charges detonate as his approach, blowing him off his feet.
“You really don’t understand, do you?” Cold asks, standing above him. “I figured you’d save them. That was always part of my plan. The Rogues don’t kill people. But you don’t count.” He lowers his cold gun, and is about to fire. Jay knocks the gun up, so it discharges into the ceiling, while Wally smacks Cold in the stomach.
“Kid,” Jay says, “remember what I said about pulling your punches.”
“I was. I tried.”
Cold coughs up blood.
“There’s more than one?” Cold exclaims. “No wonder we couldn’t beat them!”
“The only thing you could beat is, uh,” Wally starts, hitting Cold again.
“A one-legged man-” Jay hits Cold.
“No,” Wally says, shaking his head after hitting Cold.
“A duckling,” Jay hits Cold.
Wally shakes his head approvingly, then adds, “in an ugly contest,” as he lands one last punch. Then he winces. “Especially until the swelling goes down.”
“At least he can put some cold on it,” Barry says, throwing an arm around each of them. “Thanks. For having my back.”
“Any time, kiddo,” Jay says. “Now, like a family.” The three Flashes square to the Rogues, whose plans fall apart at superspeed.
Barry wraps Glider’s streamers around a pipe, then guides her into a collision with Heatwave. Wally catches several boomerangs before sending them back on a collision course with Boomerang from the other direction. Jay spends a moment geeking out over the Weather Wizard’s tech, before turning it against him.
We cut to Boomerang, behind bars. “So,” Flag says, gloating. “Fifteen to life, or take what’s behind door ‘X’?”
Boomerang spits blood. “Suppose it’s time I stepped up to the bigs, then.”
Credits, and then, the Flash Dance.
More credits, then a mid-credits scene.
“Your task force not going well, Amanda?” General Wade Eiling gloats from behind his desk in a government office. “You’d still be happier working in that carnival freakshow in Gotham?”
“I argued for a handpicked team, but failing that, I could build something out of Gotham. Wetworks requires moral flexibility. You can train any man to kill, but you can’t make any man a killer.”
“I’m not talking about soldiers. Flag was a lousy soldier. But he does the job- whatever the job.” She snaps her fingers, and Flag brings in Harley’s hyenas, who growl and posture, making Eiling lurch back in his chair. He hands Waller the leash. “They only eat fish dosed in that Joker toxin.” She pets one of them. “I can leash a rabid beast, Wade, to get it to do what I need.”
“I take your point, Amanda; my report will reflect your objections, and I’ll back your next phase- provided you get those things away from me. And Amanda, next time, no theatrics. Or I put a bullet in each of your pets, and maybe you, too.”
“Wade, if I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were flirting.”
They share a smile.
More credits, and then one final scene. Barry, Jay and Barry’s dad are at the Wests, having a meal. Mrs. West pulls Barry to the side. “You… haven’t seen Ira, have you?” she asks, trying to hide her concern from the rest of them. He holds up his finger, that he’ll need one minute.
Ira is still in the Mongolian restaurant. He’s groaning, absolutely stuffed. “At first it was so good. And then… I kept eating, because I was worried… I think I’m more Mongolian food than man, now. Everyone okay?”
“Yep. And I have experience with this,” Barry says. “I’ll get you a cab, to a hotel. I can bring the missus to you. Cause if I move you… well, you’ll empty the contents of most of your GI tract all over both of us, and you’ll never really get the smell out of your clothes, or your nostrils.”
“Your experience? Your dad?”
“I’d rather not talk about it. But I’m not making that mistake again. Just, take it easy. No sudden movements.”
He heaves. “Don’t mention movements.” He heaves again, and we cut to black.
We hear Flash say, “Oh, God, I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.”