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.
When Paradox was introduced in The Flash #50, the villain proved himself a deadly villain by taking down the Renegades. While he remained relatively silent following that event, Paradox against showed his strength by taking down the combined forces of August Heart/Godspeed and Barry Allen/Flash outside of the hero’s museum in Central City. However, The Flash #753 sees Paradox becoming even more powerful.
After defeating Godspeed and Flash, Paradox entered the Flash Museum with his sights set on Barry’s powerful Cosmic Treadmill, which has historically allowed the Scarlet Speedster to travel back in time. Paradox forces Godspeed to run on the treadmill, and in the process he notes, “My powers have finally merged with the Speed Force.” While what Paradox means by this and the implications aren’t immediately clear, the idea of the villain — who possesses incredible temporal powers — gaining access to the Speed Force could spell disaster.
However, that’s not the only upgrade Paradox gets in The Flash #753. Using the Cosmic Treadmill, Godspeed and Paradox go back to the climax of the “Rogues Reign” arc. In “Rogues Reign,” Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and the Rogues took over Central City after Lex Luthor and Perpetua empowered them during “DC’s Year of the Villain.” Changing his name to King Cold, Snart ruled over the city with an iron fist and was only brought down when his allies betrayed him. During their fight, Snart’s upgraded abilities helped him take advantage of the fact Barry didn’t have control of his powers due to the confrontation with Hunter Zolomon and Black Flash during the “Death of the Speed Force” arc. Barry triumphed over his old foe, but he nearly killed Snart in the process.
Paradox and Godspeed arrive before Barry defeats Snart. King Cold tries to attack Paradox, but is cut in half by the villain’s powers. Shocked by the events transpiring before his eyes, Barry lets out a cry before he too is butchered. Paradox, reiterating a statement from The Flash‘s previous issue, explains he plans on changing time so as to gain more power from the “Crisis energy” released by killing Barry throughout history. This will enable Paradox to essentially become a god.
While originally Paradox had said Barry changing time hurt him, the villain is embracing the pain this time around so as to become more powerful. However, to what end isn’t entirely clear. Still, Paradox — who was already able to best two of the strongest speedsters in history — is getting more powerful, and that spells trouble for everyone. His actions will also almost certainly have an effect on the timeline, putting Flash in an incredible amount of danger of being erased. Plus, time is already in a fragile state, so Paradox further messing with things could put everyone and everything at risk.
There may be a solution, though. Barry has teamed up with Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash, who is no stranger to creating paradoxes. Despite having died at several points, Reverse-Flash inexplicably — in many ways paradoxically — remains, so there’s no one better equipped to take on a villain who draws his power from inconsistencies in time. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Reverse-Flash has already beaten Paradox, and there’s a good chance that past success is linked to Thawne’s continued existence.
The Flash #754 goes on sale May 27.
In Flash #753, Paradox gains some major power-ups, and they may just make him unstoppable if Barry Allen can't act fast.