Despero, the alien tyrant introduced in The Flash Season 8’s Armageddon event, may be related to the Cold Fusion Killer that threatens Central City.
Warning! SPOILERS for the flash season 8.
A new fan theory suggests that the serial killer plaguing Central City in the flash Season 8 could be tied to Despero’s defeat in the Armageddon event. If so, that might fix how badly the alien villain was served by the series opening arc finale. It would also explain some aspects of the serial killer’s superpowers that don’t fit with other theories, such as the killer being an Arrowverse version of the villainous Cobalt Blue.
Played by Tony Curran, Despero was introduced in the flash season 8 premiere as an alien hero from the future who had adopted Earth as his home after being wrongfully exiled from the planet Kalanor. Claiming he had to kill Barry Allen to save the timeline, Despero was a hulking figure, able to fight off many foes at once with his tremendous strength, psychic powers, and mastery of the mystical Flame of Py’tar. This last power proved to be his undoing, however, as Barry was able to channel Py’tar’s flame energy into the atmosphere using a Particle Eradication Dispenser that had been built into his new gold boots, leaving Despero seemingly helpless and cursing. the Flash before its body ignites and dissipates.
This disappointing ending to Despero’s story was one of the many reasons why some felt the final chapter of Armageddon ruined the script. However, new developments revealed in the the flash the episode “Phantoms” regarding the Cold-Fusion Killer’s specific powers and a sentient fire that did not obey the normal laws of physics could indicate a connection to Despero. The sentient fire could foreshadow the return of the time-traveling alien in a far more dangerous form.
The sensitive fire of the flash explained
After the Armageddon event ends, the flash season 8 focused on the investigation of a metahuman murderer who burned his victims to death. The original prime suspect was Jaco “The Hotness” Birch, a recently paroled metahuman thief with firestarter powers. However, Birch was eliminated after Team Flash tech guru Chester P. Runk determined that the fires that killed the first two victims were the result of cold fusion rather than Birch’s ability to absorb. and redirect ambient heat.
The discovery of a third victim in the flash season 8, episode 9, “Phantoms” indicated that a super-powered serial killer was at work in Central City. Chester nearly became the killer’s fourth victim after capturing a sample of their black fire in a micro-catalyzed containment unit, apparently drawing the killer’s attention in the process. Along with being able to remotely conjure black flames that could focus on specific targets, the Cold-Fusion Killer was also determined to have telepathic abilities, as they threatened Chester with images of his father, who had died in a fire.
Another important clue to the Cold-Fusion Killer was gleaned by Team Flash Empath Cecile Horton as she confronted a manifestation of the Black Fire with Chester and Allegra. Cécile claimed to feel “…the pain of thousands of people, maybe more…“beaming with an illusion of Chester’s father and that the Cold-Fusion Killer (whatever it was) fed on the grief of others. This explained why he targeted Chester, having sensed his fear of fire and the emotional connection of this fear with his father.
The Flash’s Sensitive Fire Could Strike When Despero Returns
Cold-Fusion Killer data revealed in the flash the episode “Phantoms” indicates a level of power far beyond that of a typical metahuman. Ignoring Cecile’s impression that the Killer is a psychic parasite that fed on pain, the Cold-Fusion Killer manifested two distinct sets of powers, with displays of pyrokinesis and telepathy. This kind of versatility is also atypical of the average Central City metahuman. It is, however, entirely consistent with Despero’s powers and power level when taking into account the Flame of Py’tar.
First appeared in Justice League of America #249, the Flame of Py’tar was described as a remnant of the nuclear energy responsible for the creation of the planet Kalanor. Those willing to brave the flames and test themselves would find their bodies strengthened by the power of Py’tar. It was through this ritual that Despero was able to regain his lost powers and return to fight the Justice League stronger than ever.
The idea that the Flame of Py’tar is connected to the Cold-Fusion Killer makes a lot of sense and would redeem how the flashThe Armageddon event wasted Despero. While the Arrowverse’s version of the Flame of Py’tar manifested as ordinary orange flames when Despero summoned it, it also seemed selective about what it would and wouldn’t burn. Assuming Py’tar’s Arrowverse flame is a nuclear power source like in the comics, that would explain the Cold-Fusion nature of the flames. Beyond that, Despero was a powerful telepath who was easily able to kill all of Team Flash in an alternate timeline. Reading Chester’s mind to determine his worst fears and exposing him to them would have been easy enough, as Despero manipulated Barry Allen with similar delusions for the flashthe Armageddon event.
The Flash Cold-Fusion Killer Twist is better for Despero than Armageddon
Beyond the idea that Despero has returned more powerful than ever as a vengeful ghost or a disembodied presence, there is another chilling possibility. Namely, the Cold-Fusion Killer is the Flame of Py’tar itself, operating independently of Despero’s control. The comics implied that the Flame of Py’tar had intelligence behind it, as something had to determine who was worthy to wield it. It’s entirely possible that by severing Despero’s connection to the Flame of Py’tar, Barry Allen freed a bound entity and left it free to run unchecked. It wouldn’t be the first time Barry Allen has done something like this, having accidentally spawned three new Cosmic Forces in the flash season 7.
Whether the Cold-Fusion Killer is Despero in a new form or the Flame of Py’tar manifests as a lethal force of chaos, it’s a much better use of both concepts than they were given during the Armageddon event. It would also ironically echo Despero’s last words, in which he told Barry Allen he had no idea what he had done in stripping Despero and swore by the moons Kalanor that the flash and his whole planet would pay for his madness. It seems likely that the Cold-Fusion Killer was the result of Barry Allen’s choices, one way or another.
More: The Flash Finally Acknowledged The Arrowverse’s Dumbest Vigilante Plot Hole
New episodes of the flash out Wednesdays on The CW.
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