While an eighth season is coming next year, The Flash season 7’s Impulse and XS already have the potential for their own perfect Arrowverse spinoff series. Following Arrow’s conclusion in 2020, The Flash is about to become the next longest-running Arrowverse series next season. While the seventh season is still going, The CW has already renewed The Flash for another season, likely to air in 2022. Due to the global pandemic, most of The CW’s Arrowverse dramas got delayed to premiere in 2021, which might happen again for the upcoming seasons. Even though there is no indication The Flash season 8 will be the show’s final installment, it’s still worth keeping in mind the ending could be coming within the next few years.
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With Carlos Valdes and Tom Cavanagh leaving after The Flash season 7, it does hint at the show being closer to its end, whether it be after the eighth or a potential ninth season. If The Flash season 9 happens, the DC drama would officially surpass Arrow as the longest-running Arrowverse series. However this goes, the speedster mythology has been a significant element of the franchise since The Flash premiered in 2014. The ongoing season is making that point very clear with Jordan Fisher set to bring Bart Allen, a.k.a. Impulse, to life in the 150th episode, which will be episode 17. But the show is also bringing Jessica Parker Kennedy’s Nora West-Allen, a.k.a. XS, back for multiple episodes, including the 150th milestone.
Something that the Arrowverse has to tend to enjoy over the years is making spinoffs of their original shows before they conclude. Arrow season 8 planted a spinoff for Green Arrow and the Canaries, which would have followed Oliver’s daughter Mia Queen as the new Emerald Archer alongside Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake’s Black Canaries. Black Lightning season 4 also had a backdoor pilot for a Painkiller spinoff centering Khalil Payne, which may or may not go forward on The CW. Whenever The Flash does end, an Arrowverse show about Impulse and XS would keep the Flash Family’s presence alive.
How The Flash Season 7 Sets Up Impulse & XS
While XS will return to the Arrowverse after the events of The Flash season 5, Nora will likely be very different in her season 7 episodes, due to timeline rewrites and Crisis on Infinite Earths. According to The CW, Nora will appear in multiple episodes, including episode 17, which serves as the show’s 150th installment. However, XS won’t be Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen’s only future child, with Fisher’s Bart being depicted as their future son rather than grandchild like in the comics. Similar to Kennedy, Fisher will be a recurring guest star after his first Impulse appearance.
Bart will be established as the fastest teenager on the planet in the future while also having a “penchant for wildly impulsive behavior.” Details are heavily under wrap for both XS and Impulse’s roles in The Flash season 7. In Bart’s case, the network has teased that Fisher’s character will help Team Flash deal with their greatest threat yet, which likely will be where Nora gets involved too. With Cisco and Wells leaving the Arrowverse after this season, it wouldn’t be shocking if Impulse and XS somehow filled their roles in The Flash season 8.
The CW Gets A Second Chance At A Future Arrowverse Spinoff
The Arrowverse almost had a spinoff that would not occur in the present, but in the future instead with Green Arrow and the Canaries. Had the show gone forward, it would have followed the triple heroines’ adventures in Star City 2040 as the future version of the Arrowverse. But The CW ultimately scrapped the spinoff, which The Flash season 7 briefly acknowledged through Cisco. However, with Impulse and XS, the franchise would have another opportunity to do a superhero series in a future setting. Depending on what happens with Impulse and XS after their upcoming arc in The Flash season 7, it is fair to assume they would travel back to their own timeline.
An Impulse/XS spinoff would give the Arrowverse a chance to give viewers a glimpse of what this universe looks like decades from now. Their show could also be the way for Green Arrow and the Canaries to return to the Arrowverse occasionally. Alternatively, the spinoff could be how they get their conclusion after leaving several plots unresolved in the backdoor pilot. In the pre-Crisis Arrowverse, Nora came from 2049, still within the same decade as Mia, Laurel, and Dinah. Since Crisis has reset the Arrowverse’s continuity, it might be that Nora and Bart both come from the 2040s, if not further into the future. A Flash spinoff with them would be the chance for The CW to do a future-based show and avoid whatever reasons lead to Green Arrow and the Canaries getting canned.
The Sibling Dynamic Is One Of Arrowverse’s Stronger Components
With Impulse and XS being established as Iris and Barry’s future children, the Arrowverse gets another heroic sibling dynamic. One of Arrowverse’s strongest layers is the various sibling relationships across the other shows. Over the years, fans have seen dynamics like Arrow’s Queens and Lances, The Flash’s Iris and Wally West, Black Lightning’s Jennifer and Anissa Pierce, as well as Supergirl’s Kara and Alex Danvers. Those bonds have added a considerable family component ever since the Arrowverse began in 2012. It is hard to imagine some of these shows without those specific family ties as they help drive their respective series. Since Arrow is over, with Supergirl and Black Lightning coming to an end this year, many of those relationships will be missing in the Arrowverse next season.
Superman & Lois’ Jordan and Jonathan Kent will be one of the remaining active ones next year, along with Legends of Tomorrow’s Zari and Behrad Tazari. That is where The Flash can come in and expand the connection Impulse and XS will have, especially in their own spinoff show. While most of the DC TV shows are always driven by having teams behind the respective leading hero, the family bonds add a different layer to the shows. But it serves as a way to keep The Flash’s legacy alive through Bart and Nora being a combination of the best parts of Iris and Barry, respectively.
How Arrowverse Could Still Have XS & Impulse In The Present
An alternative method for an Impulse/XS Flash spinoff is to take place in the present, but with a twist. Whenever The Flash reaches its end, it will obviously be in a big spectacle way that also includes a happy ending, especially for Barry and Iris. The approach the Arrowverse could take with an Impulse/XS show is to have Nora and Bart stay behind in the present while Iris and Barry take off into the future. Even though it’d be under different circumstances compared to the comics, The Flash could conclude with their parents moving to the 30th century to live their married lives there. That would allow a potential spinoff to have a creative reason why Iris and Barry wouldn’t be around regularly, besides maybe a few special guest spots.
Not only does it give The Flash a unique ending, but it sets up the stakes for the spinoff where Nora and Bart would have a big responsibility protecting their parents’ time period. If Impulse/XS would go that route, it would also present an opportunity to have these speedsters operate somewhere else rather than be in Central City. There is always Keystone City, which is traditionally the home of Wally West and Jay Garrick that Nora and Bart could relocate to for their show. By having The Flash’s Nora and Bart around in the Arrowverse’s present timeline, it makes it easier to leave the door open for crossovers with the other DC shows.
While there may be no crossover events planned for 2021, due to the global pandemic, at some point, these shows will be able to engage with each other more regularly again. It would be genuinely fun to see how Superman & Lois would deal with Iris and Barry’s future kids engaging with the Super-Sons. It definitely feels like Bart and Nora are meant to do more in this franchise beyond their The Flash season 7 arcs. Whether it is to join Team Flash next season or headline their own show, Impulse and XS’s arrivals should be seen as a big deal. The Flash has and always will be about legacy, making Impulse and XS the perfect characters to carry on the Scarlet Speedster’s crusade in their own Arrowverse series.
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