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The Flash: The Real Identity Of The Trailer's Mysterious Speedster, Explained

Warning: This article contains spoilers for "The Flash."

With "The Flash" finally in theaters, fans finally have the answer to one of the trailers' biggest mysteries — too bad it's a bit of a letdown.

In early teasers for the new DC film, a speedster in a crude superhero costume was featured prominently. The character's obscured identity possibly helped fuel pre-existing speculation among those electric with excitement about the much-hyped film, which was hailed ahead of its release as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time by the likes of James Gunn and Tom Cruise. Though there was no consensus as to the mystery character's identity — be they friend, foe, or someone in between — audiences were thrilled at the potential introduction of another speedster.

Unfortunately, as was revealed in "The Flash," this moment was nothing more than a brief flashback to Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) from the early days of his superhero career. In the film, it's revealed that the Scarlet Speedster was in Metropolis on the day of General Zod's (Michael Shannon) invasion — along with Superman (Henry Cavill) and Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). While the former was battling his fellow Kryptonian and the latter was attempting to rescue his employees, Barry was on the ground trying to save as many people as possible. He only managed to save one child, a fact that haunts him to this day.

Though the scene makes sense within the context of the film, it doesn't meet the admittedly lofty expectations set by an imaginative fanbase. That said, perhaps they'd be more forgiving if the film hadn't included a number of other teases that pretty much went nowhere.

The Flash teased the introduction of an iconic villain -- but it never paid off

Part of what could have made this moment disappointing for some was that they had hoped the scene would reveal the presence of a character "The Flash" desperately needed: Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash.

In the original "Flashpoint" story (the comic book upon which "The Flash" is partially based on), Thawne plays a central role and serves as a far more compelling final antagonist than the manufactured so-called "Dark Flash." Thawne also happens to be one of the most popular DC Comics villains, thanks to his consistently memorable interpretations in the CW "The Flash" TV series, "Legends of Tomorrow," and the animated film "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox."

Despite having Dark Flash spoiled as the film's secret big bad through action figure sales, fans had hoped that some version of Thawne would be the last trick up the film's sleeve — and the flashback sequence wasn't the only piece of "evidence" to point in that direction. When "Other Barry" is shown in the trailers, he is primarily dressed in yellow outfits with red accents, quite similar to the color scheme of the Reverse Flash. This, combined with the "Flashpoint" plot elements and the mystery trailer speedster, felt like the promise of a surprise big-screen debut of a beloved comic book villain. 

Instead, it was largely a red (and yellow) herring that went nowhere and only deflated the potential enjoyment of a film already at war with the outrageous expectations it itself set.