In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Barry Allen is one of the most changed heroes from the theatrical version due to his use of time travel.
By using time travel, The Flash proved himself to be the most changed hero in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. In the 2017 theatrical cut of the film, Barry Allen was characterized as being fairly new and naive to the superhero life. However, the Snyder Cut revealed the original intentions for the character, and it’s one that sees Barry much more confident, using his abilities to a fuller and more varied extent, which could have only come from experimentation and experience gained prior to joining Batman’s Justice League. The biggest example of this is his use of time travel in the film released on HBO Max.
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In 2017’s theatrical cut of Justice League, which was rewritten and reshot by replacement director Joss Whedon, Barry Allen came across as ignorant due to inexperience, grappling with a reluctance and insecurity about his own capabilities to be a hero during their first mission to save a group of victims from the villain Steppenwolf. Subsequently, Batman was set-up to serve as Flash’s mentor, instructing him to just “save one person,” before going back to save the next until all of the hostages were taken to safety. Furthermore, Barry’s knowledge of his own power and speed appeared to be limited, as many scenes revealing his full capabilities had been taken out completely.
In contrast, director Zack Snyder’s original vision for The Flash is much different in this regard. While his rapid and hyper-aware personality still remains, the Flash is much more confident, and it’s evident that he’s had his own experiences as a hero prior to joining the other heroes. Not only is Flash seen saving Iris West from a car crash before he’s recruited by Batman, but his conversation with the Dark Knight about the hostages never even takes place. Instead, he gets all of the hostages to safety without a second thought, while also impressively removing every piece of falling rubble and debris with his speed that was threatening to harm them. Additionally, while Barry was still just as instrumental in generating a charge to bring Superman back to life, the Snyder Cut sees him elaborating that doing so would result in him nearing speeds where time itself would be affected, and that it was a rule he tries to avoid.
In spite of breaking his rule once by bringing Superman back, Barry ends up epically turning back the clock again in the final battle with Steppenwolf, giving the Justice League another chance to break the unity of mother boxes and kill the general of Darkseid for good (as they had failed the first time). While there’s plenty of examples in this original version of Justice League where Barry proves he was already a confident and capable hero before joining the team, The Flash’s uses of time travel are definitely the big testaments to his experience and abilities. Furthermore, Barry is also more proactive in the Snyder Cut, and it feels as though he’s a stronger contributor to the team as opposed to the 2017 version, where Barry was more or less learning the ropes and along for the ride.
These feats by the Flash originally intended by Snyder (combined with the absence of the aforementioned conversation with Batman from Whedon) prove that Barry was always meant to stand on an equal footing of capability with his fellow League members. As such, Barry Allen is definitely one the most changed heroes between the 2017 version of the film and the original vision seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It’s absolutely a change for the better, and it’s one that does The Flash’s character far greater justice.
More: Zack Snyder’s Justice League: All Endings, Cliffhangers & Setup Explained
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