Barry Allen left an important message for Rip Hunter — from the year 2056, the year Bart Allen was working as the speedster Impulse. Is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow setting the runway for the Flash of the future?
In this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow in which most of the Waverider crew were in Edo Japan, the Firestorm duo Professor Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax (Franz Drameh) stumble upon a room that absent captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) kept secret from the team.
Although Jax has seen Lost and knows what happens when you open doors, they do it anyway and find an abandoned armory full of weapons in dusty glass. But Stein and Jax find an audio message from Barry Allen from the year 2056. It’s surprise guest star Grant Gustin doing voice-over, but he sounds older. Barry didn’t run forward in time; he’s aged 40 years.
Barry’s message to Rip Hunter (and only Rip) was not revealed because plot demands mystery. But the Firestorm guys know what Barry said, and it’s apparently not good. They’re keeping it from the team, meaning you can expect tension in upcoming episodes.
But does 2056 mean anything specific? In Young Justice, it’s the year Bart Allen — the grandson of Barry Allen — comes from to help the junior-league Justice League. It may just be an Easter egg, but it would make sense if DC’s sci-fi show with time travel introduced a speedster from the future.
Impulse’s portrayals in comics and television differ, but in general Bart is a wisecracking daredevil speedster with no concern for danger. In the comics, that’s because he grew up in a simulated reality due to his accelerated growth, but in Young Justice, it was mainly because he didn’t care. (He also came from an apocalyptic future.)
Bart Allen was also on Smallville, played by Kyle Gallner, a self-centered teenager with super speed. He once made a joke to Chloe Sullivan that he came from a hundred years in the future. He wasn’t, but maybe we’ll see him again on TV. John Wesley Shipp (who plays Barry’s father on The Flash and was also Barry Allen in the 1990 series) said as much in 2015 that the producers are “talking about all that stuff.”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays on the CW.