Missing the Dark Knight: The Flash’s Multiverse and Nolan’s Batman

In the final act of “The Flash,” the popular DC superhero TV series, various parts of the DC multiverse were showcased. However, one notable absence was Christopher Nolan’s successful “Dark Knight” trilogy featuring Batman. The Flash is part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) but plays a crucial role in transitioning into the broader DC Universe and introducing the concept of the new DC multiverse.

The storyline of The Flash follows Barry Allen, who discovers his ability to travel through time using his superhuman speed. Barry decides to use this power to alter the past and save his mother. However, instead of returning to his original timeline, he finds himself in an alternate reality where metahumans don’t exist, Superman never arrives on Earth, and Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, appears different. Barry’s time-traveling also allows glimpses into the multiverse, revealing different versions of Batman and Superman, but Nolan’s Batman is notably absent.

In The Flash, these glimpses into the multiverse happen quickly and mostly feature CGI versions of the characters without dialogue. The main story revolves around two versions of Batman: Ben Affleck’s Batman from the DCEU and Michael Keaton’s Batman from Tim Burton’s films. Affleck’s Batman serves as a voice of reason for Barry, warning him about the consequences of time travel and joining forces to save the city. Keaton’s Batman acts as a mentor to both Barrys, explaining the multiverse and aiding in the rescue mission.

While The Flash includes cameos by Adam West and George Clooney as different Batmans, it doesn’t feature some significant versions. Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman in “The Batman” and Val Kilmer’s version from “Batman Forever” are absent. The absence of Christian Bale’s Batman from Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is particularly noticeable since it is considered one of the best interpretations of the character.

The reason for excluding Nolan’s Batman in The Flash’s multiverse scene likely lies in the stark contrast in tone between Nolan’s realistic and dark approach and the tone of The Flash. Including Bale’s Batman would have created expectations for a fourth Dark Knight film, which the studio is unlikely to pursue. Additionally, The Flash serves as the final appearance of Ben Affleck’s Batman, and with Keaton’s Batman meeting his demise, there is no room for their future in the storyline.

In conclusion, while The Flash explores various versions of Superman in its multiverse scene, it omits Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy’s Batman. The absence can be attributed to the tonal differences and the potential expectations it would create. The Flash focuses on transitioning the DCEU into the broader DC Universe and introducing new versions of iconic characters, making the appearance of Nolan’s Batman inconsistent with its narrative.

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