When the producers of The CW's The Flash cast John Wesley Shipp, TV's original Flash, in a mystery role two years ago, most fans figured that it had to be one of two things: he was Henry Allen (Barry's father), or Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Flash from the comics).
Turned out, after a fashion, he was both. Jay Garrick is the Earth-3 doppelganger of Henry Allen, and he's his own world's Flash. That piece of information came out when Shipp was revealed to be the "man in the iron mask," a prisoner of season two villain Zoom who had been obscured by a helmet all season long.
Recently, Shipp joined ComicBook.com for an interview in support of next week's season premiere of The Flash, and revealed that Jay's relationship with Barry is very different from the one he had as Barry's dear ol' dad.
But the thing everybody wants to know: does Shipp think his version of Jay had the same adventures as his version of Barry did back in the '90s?
"I figured Jay is my version of Barry, 25 years later, essentailly. So I went back and I watched a couple of episodes of the 1990/91 version to kind of remind myself what I did," Shipp told ComicBook.com. "[Jay] is much more reminiscent of my Barry Allen from 25 years ago than my Henry Allen. I went back and I was amazed how much attitude my Barry Allen had in some situations. I went back and I picked up that thread and I brought it forward 25 years, and tried to weave it in. I think that's fun for the audience, too -- that they will see elements of my Barry Allen in my Jay Garrick."
While Shipp will miss the warm heart-to-heart conversations his character had with Barry as much as almost anybody, he acknowledged that from a dramatic point of view it made more sense to have a clean break from Earth-1's Henry Allen when he started to play Jay Garrick on the show.
"Grant Gustin's Barry Allen is the speedster of the show, so everything is discussed in terms of how it affects Grant's Barry," Shipp explained. "When the iron mask comes off, and he sees essentially his dad, that's kind of like a one-two punch because it's his dad but it's not. If the iron mask comes off and it was Henry by another name, what would be the interest in that? In conjunction with Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, we wanted to make Jay very different from Henry."
And while fans celebrated Shipp's "return from the dead" when the mask came off and it was revealed that not only is there another version of Shipp's character out there, but that this version will be a speedster and carry on the legacy of The Flash elsewhere in the show, Shipp says his co-stars are just as excited by the notion.
"When Grant and I were running lines and I was being Jay, he just put his head down and started laughing," Shipp told us. "I said 'What's up?' and he said 'It is so cool watching you play this.'"
Supergirl airs on Mondays at 8 p.m.; The Flash on Tuesdays at the same time, Arrow on Wednesdays, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Thursdays. The Flash will debut its new episodes on The CW starting October 4; Arrow, October 5; Supergirl, October 10; and DC's Legends of Tomorrow October 13.
Following the Season 3 premiere of The Flash, ComicBook.com will premiere its all new interactive after show series, Flashback, with special guest Teddy Sears. For more information on where to watch Flashback, click here!