How Does Harrison Wells' Future Newspaper Work on 'The Flash' & Can We Really Trust It?
Let me guess, The Flash and Arrow fans. By now you all, like myself, are much too excited about the highly anticipated crossover between the two hit CW shows, almost to the point of being ready to start a riot if the episodes don't air soon? Well thankfully, the time has come for part one to begin. The Flash 's portion of the crossover, "Flash vs. Arrow" airs Tuesday night. And while the world is waiting to see what the showdown between Barry and Ollie will look like (is this really a fair fight if one person has powers?), I'm still mesmerized by the consistently most intriguing character on the series: Harrison Wells. Unfortunately, we're no closer to finding out Harrison's real identity unless he really is a completely new character to The Flash and DC's canon (I doubt it). But what we can try and hypothesize from are his secret actions and his secret gadgets, most notably Wells' newspaper that shows the future. How exactly does it work?
As far as we can tell at the moment, the newspaper reveals that The Flash is missing and has "vanished in crisis." The newspaper also reveals that "red skies" have vanished somewhere (most likely Central City, as it is the Central City Gazette) and that the Wayne Tech and Queen Inc. merger is complete, but we'll get to that last amazing tidbit another time.
So first things first, before we determine how the paper can tell the future, we need to make sure we know if what the paper reveals really is the future. I personally believe it must be, as Wells seems extremely confident in its findings, which is especially obvious when he freaks out that Barry's future has vanished after Farooq Gibran (aka Blackout) causes Barry to lose his powers.
Here's one theory about how the paper does its magic. Harrison could have brought technology from the future back to the past, as he is likely a time traveler in some way. Maybe in the future, the technology exists to determine what moments in the past have been directly or indirectly affected by Barry Allen and/or The Flash. So while it knows the real future with Barry in it, when that timeline vanishes, it can "predict" the future by taking Barry completely out of the equation and recreates a new paper with that future.
And maybe it takes into consideration Harrison's journal entries about how The Flash is evolving, so that it can provide a more realistic outcome to the future. However, that wouldn't take into account Harrison's computer trying to find Barry's name in the system, unless Harrison's computer (which he calls Gideon) is not affiliated with the newspaper's technology.
It's also entirely possible that the newspaper is alien technology that can legitimately see into the future. Normally I would go against any alien theories, but this is a show based on DC comics, which also include Superman, an alien from Krypton, as one of its main superheroes. If he and his alien technology exist, why can't more alien technology be present in other heroes' worlds? Maybe Harrison is more than just a time traveler. Maybe he's like Barry's own personal alien bodyguard (or his own personal Martian Manhunter) and that's why he hopes to protect The Flash with his own life, and the lives of others if necessary.