Summer 2023 will finally bring DC fans the first Barry Allen solo movie with Ezra Miller's The Flash, which will tackle some unique storylines from across the DC Multiverse. This includes bringing in two different versions of Batman, played by the DCEU's Ben Affleck and late '80s star Michael Keaton.
Affleck's inclusion in the movie came as a major surprise, particularly with the actor indicating that his time playing Batman largely ended after the fiasco behind 2017's theatrical cut of Justice League. And while it's unclear what his exact role will be in The Flash, DC has helped give fans some clues about story beats to expect in the new movie.
This comes specifically through the use of prequel comics, one of which just revealed a new villain that Barry Allen will have to face at some point in his story.
Now, a new comic story touches on Affleck's Batman, confirming how he pushed Barry Allen's evolution as a superhero.
Ben Affleck's Batman in The Flash Prequel Comic
Bleeding Cool shared a page from the recently released The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 comic, which is a prequel to next year's The Flash movie from the DC Extended Universe.
On this page, Barry Allen holds the classic Flash ring that he wears in the comics, with the story confirming that Bruce Wayne and Alfred developed it in the DCEU. As Barry asks what it is, Batman tells him it's "a little gift from me and Alfred" to open a new era of superheroes.
How Does Bruce Wayne Fund Barry Allen?
Fans have seen comic book movie cinematic universes utilize this story beat in the past, with the MCU having Tom Holland's Spider-Man move further along in his own story thanks to some financial and technological help from Tony Stark/Iron Man. And while this relationship between Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen was only teased in both versions of Justice League, this comic confirms that the DC billionaire is using his resources to help the Scarlet Speedster develop.
In the comics and other media, the Flash ring helps Barry hold his suit easily when he's in civilian form and allows for a quick change should he need to take on his super alter-ego. Considering how proficient Bruce Wayne is with technology in the DCEU, it's no surprise to see that he gave Barry this upgrade, although it remains to be seen how much more than that Bruce did to develop the Flash's suit and tech.
Even more of a mystery is how much Affleck's hero will actually be involved with the rest of the movie, especially with Michael Keaton's 1989 Batman set to take a starring role in the DCEU as well.
The Flash will debut in theaters on June 23, 2023.