WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Flash #753, by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Brandon Peterson, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands, on sale now from DC.
In just a few short issues, Paradox has proven himself more than a match for Barry Allen/The Flash. When the two fought outside of the Flash Museum, the Scarlet Speedster was unable to take Paradox down, even with the aid of August Heart/Godspeed. Thanks in part to his knowledge of the Flash and time, Paradox beat Barry with essentially no effort. However, the villain didn’t kill his enemy at that moment, instead opting to send Barry to the place outside of the multiverse where he himself was trapped. In The Flash #753, though, Paradox does kill Barry, although don’t expect this death to take.
Taking advantage of Godspeed and the Cosmic Treadmill housed inside the Flash Museum, Paradox goes back in time to the events of the “Rogues Reign” arc, in which Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and his allies took over Central City after Lex Luthor and Perpetua empowered them during the events of “DC’s Year of the Villain.” Appearing during Barry’s final confrontation with Captain Cold, Paradox butchers the villain with ease. The shocked Barry is then killed.
After both Cold and Barry are dead, Paradox gains some more power having changed time. He then explains he intends to go back in time and continue killing Barry at different points in history so as to eventually — as he says in The Flash #751 — become a “god within the multiverse.”
The Flash has always had a complicated relationship with time travel. While the Scarlet Speedster is certainly capable of changing events in the past, there have often been catastrophic consequences for these actions, as evidenced by Flashpoint and the resultant New 52 continuity. In this case, Paradox is changing time so as to gain power, and this will almost certainly have an effect on the future, as evidenced by the constant temporal shifts Barry experiences. For now, though, The Flash is essentially a dead man running. While his time in the place outside of the multiverse and in the past certainly give him some buffer before he’s erased, Barry is likely in grave danger of disappearing from existence entirely.
However, this may just be where Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash comes into play. In The Flash #753, Barry successfully recruits Thawne — the only person to have beaten Paradox — to his side. Thawne himself is something of a temporal anomaly, as despite having died on several occasions, the villain has paradoxically remained around, a fact he notes at the start of the issue. Thawne certainly has his ways of surviving death, so he might be able to help Barry stick around until such a time as they can figure out a way to undo Paradox’s changes to the timeline. In fact, right now, Thawne is Barry’s only real hope.
The Flash #754 goes on sale May 27.
The Flash #753 sees Paradox kill a major DC hero, but he'll almost certainly get better.