The Flash Season 9's marketing is still trying to hide the fact that the show will introduce a dangerous evil speedster, but a new behind-the-scenes image offered the best look yet at the new Arrowverse character.
Early set photos from The Flash's final season spoiled the first look at the arrival of Red Death, a villainous version of Batwoman who is imbued by the Speed Force.
Eventually, the photos revealed that Batwoman actress Javicia Leslie is behind the mask, confirming her final Arrowverse return.
The CW Deleted Red Death's Spoilery Best Look
In a now-deleted post from The Flash's official Instagram account, Cecile Horton actress Danielle Nicolet posted a new behind-the-scenes photo of herself alongside Javicia Leslie dressed as Red Death, giving fans a fresh look at the Arrowverse villain.
The photo shows a comic-accurate take on Red Death, highlighted by the suit's logo, which is a combination of Flash and Batwoman's emblem:
The Flash Season 9 premiere offered the first tease of Red Death at the end of the episode, with the villain having a personal vendetta against Barry Allen.
But why is Red Death after Central City's titular speedster? The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace, via TV Line, said that everything will be explained in the coming weeks:
“You’ll find out in a couple of episodes. There’s a reason why this speedster has shown up here. I’m trying to say this without spoilers, but it’s pretty heavy duty.”
In the Metal Knights storyline from DC Comics, Red Death is a doppelganger of Bruce Wayne who successfully used the Speed Force to gain speedster powers.
However, Wallace made it clear that The Flash's Red Death will have her "own new origin:"
“We’re not doing the Metal Knights storyline from the comic book, or any DC Comics Metal- or Dark Metal-related storyline, so we’re not using Bruce Wayne or anybody like that. We’re using kind of a completely different character, and our Red Death will have their own new origin.”
Another behind-the-scenes photo of Leslie's evil Batwoman was also part of Nicolet's Instagram takeover of The Flash's social media account:
The Arrowverse showrunner then mentioned that Red Death's motivation to bring Barry down would become obvious in the upcoming episodes, teasing that fans will "love" the connection:
"There has to be a reason for this character to be not just obsessed with Barry Allen but hate his guts enough to try to take him down and ruin his world. That will become obvious, but it takes a few episodes to peel back the onion of why she hates Barry so much. And I think the audience is going to love it.”
Wallace also revealed that The Flash would explain why Leslie was specifically tapped to play the villain.
Lastly, the producer ended by confirming that the Red Death storyline involves Iris West-Allen:
“And what’s great is that one of the key scenes that involves this whole Red Death storyline, it involves Iris. It goes back to this not being a season about Barry or Iris; it’s a season about both of them."
Watch Red Death's appearance at the end of The Flash Season 9's premiere below:
Will The Flash Defeat Javicia Leslie's Red Death?
The CW's removal of Danielle Nicolet's post on The Flash's Instagram is understandable, considering that casual fans are unaware of Javicia Leslie's surprising speedster role. Still, many diehard Arrowverse fans are mindful of Red Death's arrival.
Leslie's comic-accurate costume stands out, and seeing it in live-action would be a dream come true for DC Comics enthusiasts.
It is unknown why Red Death will arrive in Central City to spell trouble for Team Flash, but it's clear that it has something to do with Barry Allen. Leaked set photos and videos revealed that Leslie's Red Death is calling out the Scarlet Speedster, with her even teaming up with a surprising Season 1 villain.
The only way to defeat such a powerful villain like the Red Death is for Barry to call for reinforcements, and set photos already revealed that the Scarlet Speedster recruited a mix of surprising allies and a formidable Arrowverse hero.
Hopefully, the clash between Team Flash and Red Death will be one of the highlights of the final season.
A new episode of The Flash Season 9 premieres on The CW on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.