The Flash: What is Injustice?

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The Flash’s “Armageddon” event continued this week with Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) determined to show Despero (Tony Curran) that he isn’t going to turn on the world and, therefore, can’t be the cause of the coming Armageddon the mysterious alien warns of. Unfortunately, events transpire over the course of “Armageddon, Part 2” which appears to show that Despero’s assertion may be right. Previously released previews for the episode reveal that Barry goes mad after enduring one tragedy too many, thus prompting his villain turn. But this week’s episode also sees Barry reach out to his friend and fellow hero, Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams), for help, and in doing so another concept comes up that leaves just one question: what is injustice?

Warning: possible spoilers for this week’s episode of The Flash, “Armageddon, Part 2”.

After discovering that Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) has been dead for six months and that he has somehow forgotten that fact and that he has attacked innocent people and also has no memory of the incident, Barry escapes Despero and goes to the Hall of Justice. It’s there that he meets up with Black Lightning. Black Lightning is clearly concerned and asks Barry what’s wrong to which Barry responds with just one word: Injustice. Black Lightning’s response says it all. The hero’s face drops as if though he’s just been told the gravest news of all.

But what is Injustice? For that, let’s turn to comics. In comics, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a comic book series written by Tom Taylor and Brian Buccellato and is the prequel to the video game of the same name. The series, which takes place in an alternate reality, sees Superman become a villain after the Joker murders a pregnant Lois Lane. The Justice League splits apart with some heroes siding with Superman as he establishes the totalitarian One Earth Regime while others side with Batman, who forms an insurgency to fight back.

Now, it doesn’t seem like The Flash is setting up for the Arrowverse Justice League to split apart and things to descend into the grim reality that the Injustice comics depict, but the idea that grief and tragedy could push a superhero to villainy definitely is a shared theme. It’s possible that, on The Flash, Injustice could be a code for the heroes to indicate that one of them can no longer be trusted, a protocol for what to do if one among their ranks became so compromised that it could have catastrophic repercussions. It would certainly explain the look on Black Lightning’s face and why Barry would reach out to him. While his time connected to the rest of the Arrowverse has been brief, Black Lightning showed his wisdom and level-headed leadership during “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” making the hero of Freeland exactly the sort of person Barry would turn to for this level of problem.

If this ends up being what Barry means when he says “Injustice”, it will make for an interesting adaptation of that overall concept – something that will make the rest of the “Armageddon” event all the more interesting to watch play out.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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