Legends of Tomorrow's latest episode, "Abominations", was stuffed full of exciting moments and poignant character development, not to mention a commentary on preventing real abominations throughout history. Jax's decision to make alterations was interesting not only from a moral standpoint, but was also representative of the way the Legends differ from the Time Masters in their mission to protect the timeline — they are preserving free will.
And yet, it's this decision that may come back to haunt them in later episodes, if the Flash's warning is to be believed.
Still hiding their discovery from their team-mates, Jax and Stein discuss what the message from future Barry might mean. In this episode, we finally heard the rest of his warning, and it's certainly perplexing.
"I can't risk putting any more lives in danger, and neither can you. Which is why you'll keep what I'm about to tell you a secret, even from the rest of your team. A war is coming, Captain Hunter..."
There are so many little mysteries to unravel here, from the date Barry sent the message to the nature of the war itself. There's also the fact that this older version of Barry thinks Rip is alive, which hints towards the time-traveling captain being found sometime later this season. But with two wars looming on the horizon, which one is Barry referring to?
Invasion 1: The Thanagarians
Although their methods were definitely morally dubious, it was revealed in the Season 1 finale that the reason the Time Masters teamed up with Vandal Savage — ensuring the Legends would keep failing in their mission to kill him — was because Savage was the only person who could unite Earth against an invading alien force.
These aliens are the Thanagarians, winged creatures related to Hawk Girl and Hawkman, and as far as we know they're going to succeed in invading Earth now that Savage has been destroyed.
Trying to work out a way to prevent this invasion even without Savage seemed like the perfect place for the Legends of Tomorrow story to go in Season 2, and yet this little plot point has been swept under the rug. So is this the war that Barry is referring to?
It's entirely possible — even though the Thanagarians are due to attack in 2175, and Barry's message was sent in 2056, it might be that the Legends' alterations to the timeline have accelerated this invasion by around a century. Alternatively, the Flash is also a time traveler, so it's possible he ran forward in time to discover the invasion, then back in time to warn the Legends.
And yet, there's one glaring reason why this war is almost definitely not the Thanagarians: Exec Marc Guggenheim told Cinemabland that he has no intention to use the Thanagarians this season.
"The Season 2 big bad is actually not going to be the [alien race of] Thanagarians. It's going to be something else entirely."
So it looks like the war Barry is so nervous about is that other alien invasion due to kick off soon.
Invasion 2: The Dominators
Now that there are four superhero shows residing on The CW, the network is determined to make the most of DC's sandbox, and in a few weeks there will be an epic four-show crossover arc — an entire week of episodes about one plot, flowing from one show to the next.
We already know that this will all kick off in Supergirl, which makes sense not only because her episode starts the week, but because of the comic plot this crossover is adapting. The story arc in question is entitled Invasion!, and it's about an attack by the Dominators, a group of alien races set on stealing metahuman abilities to enhance their own warriors.
So is this the war future Barry is referring to, in his warning to Rip Hunter? That would make a lot of sense, as this would provide some nice foreshadowing for the crossover event, set to begin just a few weeks from now. If Jax and Stein work out what Barry's message means, and tell the rest of the team, this would be a way for the Legends to get involved in the crossover, taking some time out from their ongoing mission to protect the timeline so they can prevent the invasion of Earth.
But if that's the case, why would Barry warn Rip to keep this war secret from the Legends? And why would the warning come from 2056, and not 2016?
There's one more option, of course: This "war" is not either of the prospective alien invasions, but the endgame of the Reverse Flash's big plan. Perhaps that's why he's forming the Legion of Doom, and making little changes through history. That could explain why Barry wants Rip to keep this a secret, as he considers the Reverse Flash his personal responsibility — after all, Barry is the one who let the Reverse Flash reset the timeline again after Flashpoint.
Only time will tell which option is correct, alien invasion or time-meddling antics from the Reverse Flash and his fellow villains.
What do you think Barry's warning refers to?