The CW’s Flash References Robert Pattinson’s Batman, and Fans Are Not Happy

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Robert Pattinson as Batman, Grant Gustin as Flash

The CW's The Flash unexpectedly made a reference to Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson's The Batman due to the arrival of its new villain, but it looks like some DC fans are not on board with the Easter egg. 

The final season of the Grant Gustin-led series is off to an impressive start, anchored by the debut of a famous comic book villain, the Red Death. However, The CW show's interpretation of the evil speedster has its own twist since it featured Batwoman's Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) instead of Bruce Wayne. 

While set photos already spoiled Batwoman's evil turn, the actual reveal in Season 9's third episode led to mixed reactions. 

The Flash's Batman Nod Receives Negative Reactions

The Flash Season 9's third episode, "Rogues of War," finally confirmed that Javicia Leslie is the woman behind Red Death's Mask, but it is still unclear if this version of Ryan Wilder is from Earth Prime or a different world entirely. 

After betraying Team Flash, Chillblaine asked how he can work alongside Red Death whose face he hasn't even seen yet. This resulted in the villain taking her helmet off before saying, "I am Vengeance."

Javicia Leslie as Red Death, The Flash
The CW

The full reveal can be seen below: 

The "I am Vengeance" line is actually a reference to Batman's line from the comics but has recently been popularized by the marketing and release of Robert Pattinson's The Batman:

Robert Pattinson as Batman, The Batman
Warner Bros.

On Twitter, Leslie addressed The Flash's big reveal, asking fans about their thoughts on the latest episode: 

"I’ve been in class, so I haven’t been able to tweet… but I wanted to tap in with y’all before I go to sleep. Did y’all enjoy tonight’s ep of the flash???"

However, the Batman reference's unexpected inclusion was met with negative reactions. 

@Bit_Loud is clearly not a fan of the big reveal:

"Ain’t no way bro. Only tuning in for the Green Arrow episode and the finale. Eric Wallace Ruined this show #TheFlash"

@GOHGAMER criticized Leslie's acting, noting that "she sounded like she was about to cry" during the iconic line's delivery: 

"She sounded like she was about to cry when she said "I am vengeance", lol. Terrible."

Although he liked the villain's costume, @TheRealZIG admitted that he "laughed pretty hard" at the reveal: 

"Bro….they really had her say “I am vengeance” and make that face. I like the suit but, I laughed pretty hard at that ending reveal #Theflashcw 

Red Death is so cool in the comics too smh"

Oliver Douglas has this to say about Leslie's delivery of Red Death's line: 

"That line reading of "I am vengeance" was not it. #TheFlash"

@RCapulus mocked Red Death's "I am Vengeance" line in hilarious fashion:

"I. Am. Vengeance." 

Me: "No. You're. Not."

@PettiZach pointed out that the reveal was "awful:"

"That was awful. They should've never even used that line, This show has gotten so bad."

Will The Flash's Future Episodes Redeem Red Death?

The fans' negative reaction toward Javicia Leslie's delivery of Batman's famous  "I am Vengeance" line is understandable, considering that many would agree that Robert Pattinson's performance in The Batman was better. 

Still, this brief scene should not define Leslie's overall portrayal as the Red Death as she still has more episodes to come. 

The Batwoman actress may redeem herself in the coming installments, mainly due to the confirmation that she will pull double duty as both Red Death and Gotham's protector in one key episode

Despite the criticism toward the Red Death reveal, The Flash Season 9 is still doing a solid job in its final batch of episodes, especially now that the latest installment is set to tie up loose ends across the Arrowverse for the recently-canceled Batwoman series. 

A new episode of The Flash Season 9 premieres on The CW every Wednesday.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.