The first episode of The Flash leaked onto torrent sites earlier today, allowing folks an early preview before the show's October 7th premiere. This preview included quite the shocker in the show's final scene — SPOILER WARNING STARTS HERE.
NO, SERIOUSLY. SPOILER WARNING.
Okay, you with me? Good.
The episode ends with S.T.A.R. Labs creator, the wheelchair-bound Harrison Wells (played by Tom Cavanaugh), heading into a secret room. Once inside, he approaches a podium with a projector on it, stands up from his wheelchair, and turns the projector on, which reveals a newspaper from 2024 bearing the headline: "FLASH MISSING, DISAPPEARS IN CRISIS." (There's a small headline about "Wayne/Queen Merger Complete", too.)
So everyone's freaking out that this refers to DC's most seminal comic event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which featured The Flash disappearing (well, dying, but you know how that goes in comics). I have zero doubt that the show here is specifically alluding to Crisis on Infinite Earths.
But there is literally no chance on Crisis on Infinite Earths coming to The CW. None.
Mostly because Warner Bros. is not going to allow a TV version of Superman. Batman or the Justice League to compete with their movie franchise. At all. The show can allude to these characters, they show can reference certain major DC events if they want to, but the chances of Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne or their costumed alter-egos actually showing up and taking away from the WB's big-budget movies are nil.
Second of all, the showrunners do not truly believe The Flash will have a 10-year-run that they will have to pay off with Crisis on Infinite Earths. This headline is from the future, but it's not a future that the show ever plans on reaching either in the real world or the show itself (if the series does manage to stay on for a decade, Smallville-style, they have plenty of ways to get around this without actually trying to bring Crisis to the small screen).
All that said, the fact that Wells is either from the future or has knowledge of the future is a plenty interesting twist on its own, especially given that it seems the show won't be too afraid to deal with The Flash's potential time-travel powers. That opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities and potential comic storylines to glean from (just not one that would require a $300 million budget and all of DC's most profitable characters [again, on the freakin' CW]). Also, since Wells is the guy who creates the particle accelerator that freaks out and gives The Flash his powers, there's all sorts of potential conflict there.
So it's still a fascinating twist. But it doesn't mean the Arrow/Flash guys are going to get to create a DC multiverse on TV which they then can clean up with a two-hour Crisis on Infinite Earth special, okay?