The Flash reveals 'Armageddon' event's big bad: DC Comics' Despero
EW has confirmed that the psychic DC Comics villain Despero is the alien threat that forces Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and the rest of Team Flash to call on Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Batwoman (Javicia Leslie), and more for help in the five-part event set to kick off The Flash season 8.
Played by Tony Curran (Your Honor, Doctor Who's Vincent Van Gogh), Despero is described as "a powerful and intelligent alien possessing incredible powers." After leaving his home world of Kalanor, he traveled to Earth "on a deadly mission, one whose outcome will decide the fate of humankind and put hm on a collision course with Team Flash."
In terms of his comic book history, Despero was a recurring enemy of the Justice League for several decades. Created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky in 1960, the hulking, three-eyed extraterrestrial battled the many incarnations of DC's premier superhero team — Justice League of America, Justice League International, Justice League Europe — in his quest to conquer Earth in the '60s-'90s. His most notable modern-day appearance was in JLA's post-Identity Crisis story line "Crisis of Conscience," which explored the fallout of everyone learning that members of the League had been unjustly wiping their enemies' minds for years. In that 2005 four-issue arc, Despero reunited the Secret Society of Villains and restored their memories of Justice League's secret identities. (That's how powerful his psychic powers are.)
If you want more information about Despero but don't feel like sifting through years of back issues, the mid-2000s Justice League animated series has you covered. The super-strong and telepathic rogue appeared in the Green Lantern-centric season 2 episode "Hearts and Minds," which is an easily digestible introduction to the character that's available to stream on HBO Max right now. (If you haven't watched Justice League or the sequel series Justice League Unlimited, you should, because they're the screen best adaptations of the DC universe.)
Arriving this fall, Armageddon will also feature Legends of Tomorrow's Brandon Routh as the Atom, Arrow's Kat McNamara as Mia Queen, Supergirl's Chyler Leigh as Sentinel, and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" star Osric Chau as Ryan Choi. Furthermore, The Flash's Tom Cavanagh and Legends' Neal McDonough are returning as the villainous Reverse Flash and Damien Darhk.
Curran's other credits include SEAL Team, Ray Donovan, Daredevil, and Sons of Anarchy.
The Flash season 8 will premiere Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.
After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. the Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.