For a show about the fastest man alive, The Flash sure is taking its sweet time to reveal the secret identity of the mystery speedster villain who has been haunting Barry Allen and his friends for most of the third season. Savitar, a glowing armor-clad speedster, is poised to murder Iris West in what seems like an increasingly unavoidable future — and nobody knows who he is for sure.
Well, with The Flash coming back from its spring hiatus and getting ready to finish off the season with a final month of new episodes, it’s a good time to go back and recap everything that we know about Savitar.
Looking to the original DC comics for clues or spoilers regarding Savitar’s identity isn’t going to be much help. The character was created by Mark Waid and Oscar Jimenez during their acclaimed run on The Flash in the 1990s. In those comics, Savitar’s real identity was an unnamed Eastern European test pilot. While flying an experimental supersonic jet, he was struck by lightning and gained access to the Speed Force when the plane crashed. He named himself “Savitar” after the Hindu god of motion.
This character is a far cry from the Savitar of the show. Rather than encase himself in futuristic armor, the comics Savitar is shirtless. It seems pretty damn-near impossible that the show will take the same route as the comics by making Savitar a rando, as they’ve built up the mystery of his identity too much for it to be someone we’ve never met before.
Since he’s almost certainly a familiar face (or an alternate universe or timeline version of a familiar face), here are the three leading theories among fans:
If you want to place a bet on Savitar’s true identity, this is your safest money right here. Time travel and doppelgängers are major parts of The Flash, so it would hardly be unusual for the show to make an alternate, evil version of its main character the big bad. The theme of this season has been, among other things, “duality,” what with Julian Albert/Alchemy and Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost having to deal with their own evil selves. Based on this and hints from the showrunners and stars, Barry being his own worst enemy seems likely. Plus, there’s comics precedent too.
The 2014 story arcs “Out of Time” and “The End of the Road” center around a Barry Allen from 20 years in the future who blames himself for the death of Wally West. To undo the pain, this “Future Flash” — also known as Blue Flash because of his distinctive look — begins to kill all his enemies in order to gain the momentum he needs to return to the moment of Wally’s death.
Savitar, who has explicitly said, “I am the future, Flash,” looks kinda like the “Future Flash” of the comics. Still, if it’s not Barry, then maybe it’s …
Another big theory posits that Wally West, aka Kid Flash, is underneath the armor. According to Savitar’s prophecy, one member of Team Flash will suffer “a fate worse than death.” Fans think that this refers to Wally, as he was trapped in the Speed Force. Could this imprisonment have caused him to break bad, adopting the Savitar moniker and taking revenge on the past?
Well, maybe, but Wally was freed from his Speed Force prison earlier this season, making this theory less likely than it was at on point. Still, don’t count Wally out.
For the sake of completion, there’s a chance that Jay could be Savitar, since he sacrificed himself to the Speed Force prison to save Wally. It was a noble deed, but it doesn’t really seem like Jay’s going to turn evil. The motivation just isn’t there, and it wouldn’t really be true to his character as we understand it.
H.R., the Earth-19 doppelgänger of Harrison Wells, is a bit of a dark horse in the “Who Is Savitar?” debate, but this theory has supporters. Both H.R. and Savitar are very, very full of themselves, and both of them call Wally “Wallace.” Details like this are minor but telling.
Savitar also tells H.R. his future, which could, perhaps, mean more than it would seem at first. “You know the sad thing is you live,” Savitar says. “You survive my wrath. The coward. Irony.” This could foreshadow H.R.’s eventual turn in the future (since we know that Savitar hails from a time that’s yet to pass). Perhaps the God of Speed has some self-hatred in him?
Or, like, maybe it’s somebody else entirely. This is The Flash we’re talking about. It seems like every other week Barry and Co. are traveling into the future or the past, creating alternate timelines, visiting alternate universes, or sparking Flashpoints. Not to mention that the in-continuity Legends of Tomorrow mucks up the timestream every chance it can.
Because of all these alternate Earths and realities, Savitar really could be an alternate version of anybody. Would these reveals be effective? Eh, probably not, but it just goes to show how complicated and massive the Arrowverse is when you really think about it.
Thankfully, The Flash comes back on Tuesday, April 25, at 8 p.m. Eastern on The CW. The Season 3 finale will air on Monday, May 22 at the same time. We will know for sure who Savitar is by then. If we don’t, then I, along with many other viewers, will throw my TV out the window.