The Flash Movie Just Retconned Man of Steel's Ending, And Now It's Even Better

By David Thompson Posted:
The Flash, Henry Cavill's Superman

A pivotal scene from 2013's Man of Steel ending was shown from an entirely new perspective in The Flash.

Andy Muschetti's The Flash is an exploration of grief, loss, and letting go. It's also an exploration of an untapped DC Multiverse highlighted by Michael Keaton's Batan, George Clooney's cameo and Bruce Wayne, and Nicolas Cage's Superman finally defeating that giant spider.

A Superman that makes a brief appearance, but whose presence is felt throughout the film, is Henry Cavill, with the main Barry Allen's universe being the same DCEU that began with Man of Steel.

The Flash Retcons Man of Steel

During a flashback scene in The Flash, Barry Allen explains how he was in Metropolis the day that Zod attacked Earth.

Behind the scene, he used his newly-acquired speedster powers to try and help save people from the wreckage.

In particular, he saved one boy, but he could not save the child's father. It was a reflection of how Barry wanted to be a hero but wasn't fully capable of saving everyone. 

Warner Bros.

Many fans loved this addition to the movie, retroactively adding the Flash to Man of Steel's ending, one of the most iconic sequences in DCEU history.

Friendly Neighborhood Paul felt that this addition was "a highly underrated moment in The Flash:"

"Barry Allen in Metropolis during 'Man of Steel' is a highly underrated moment in 'The Flash.' Gives the invasion just a bit more character perspective and further helps it as a world-shattering event. Fuck 'WW84''s global stakes lol"

AJ highlighted the retcon of Barry's lightning bolt logo seen in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice:

"Very based of Andy Muschietti to give Barry the lightning symbol on his prototype suit during 'Man of Steel' events. Because god the one thing that always confused me is how Lex got Flash’s symbol LMAO and there we go!"

Not everyone, however, loved the retconned science from Man of Steel featuring Ezra Miller's Barry Allen.

Calling it a "dumb attempt at No Way Home," DannyRand2025 wasn't pleased with The Flash's scene:

"This movie would've been a masterpiece if they just focused on Barry and his mother rather than messing up with 'Man of Steel' and their dumb attempt of 'No Way Home'..."

In addition, theonlykalenb felt like this sequence was simply a cheap way to connect to the DCEU's first film:

"Barry mentioning that he couldn’t save that kids dad and it never coming up again felt tacked onto the movie for no good reason other than to make Barry have any connection to 'Man of Steel.'"

The Flash Continues to Change the Past

Ironically, in a film about the ramifications of trying to fix the past, The Flash slightly changed fans' perspectives of a past DCEU event.

This isn't the first time, as Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne was also present during Zod's attack in Metropolis (as seen at the beginning of Dawn of Justice).

A pivotal moment that truly began the DCEU, introducing Kal-El and the idea of aliens, it makes sense for director Andy Muschietti to want to include this in the film.

Canonically, Barry had his super-speed powers, so why wouldn't he try and help out during the catastrophic event?

After the semi-reset that the DCEU undertakes by the end of the film, this will probably be the last retcon audiences will ever see of Man of Steel.

The Flash is playing now in theaters worldwide.

- In This Article: The Flash
Release Date
June 16, 2023
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.