On tonight's episode of The Flash, titled "I Know Who You Are," the series introduced audiences to Tracy Brand, the scientist who is expected to eventually design the cell that will capture Savitar in the Speed Force for the rest of time.
...But who is she?
Unlike most of the major characters on The Flash, she doesn't have a 1:1 corollary in the comic books, making her the rare totally original character in the Arrowverse, joining the likes of John Diggle and Alex Danvers.
On the other hand, Tracy certainly fits neatly into at least one archetype: both in the comics and on the small screen, it seems like The Flash always has at least one pretty scientist-lady around.
And now that we don't have Caitlin Snow -- potentially for the foreseeable future -- enter Psych and House veteran Anne Dudek, who will play Brand at least for the rest of the year and possibly into season 4.
If there's one thing that we know about the Arrowverse, it's that the writers know a good opportunity to tie into obscure comics lore, they'll take it...so while there's no "Tracy Brand" in the comics, here are some folks we feel like she might end up tied into.
One way to tie Tracy to the larger DC Universe would be to connect her with Boston Brand -- a character who has had a TV series in development a couple of times in the last five or so years, although it never quite comes together.
Brand is Deadman, a former circus acrobat who now serves as essentially a ferryman for the souls of the DC Universe...and as you might expect, sometimes gets involved with helping souls who met their end prematurely or unjustly find peace and comfort.
Deadman is a character for whom a lot of comic book creators and fans have a soft spot, even though his best stories are mostly over thirty years old.
He had, however, appeared in some relatively good content in the recent past, including Justice League Dark -- both the comic and the animated movie. He's one of the characters sometimes rumored to play a role in Dark Universe, which is what Guillermo del Toro titled the Justice League Dark movie he wrote.
Cynthia Brand might be an interesting relationship for Tracy to have, since the character -- named Scorcher -- has pyrokinetic powers...something that would be useful if you're being hunted by somebody with ice-based abilities.
The downside? It's likely that Scorcher -- a mostly-forgotten character from the '90s series Scare Tactics -- isn't actually owned by DC at this point. Like many forgotten books created around that time at DC and Marvel, it's likely the rights to the Scare Tactics characters reverted to creators Len Kaminski and Anthony Williams, who would have to give a go-ahead for DC to use them.
That's certainly not a guarantee; it's rare to know the details of such contracts. Projects like The Golem and Major Bummer, though, reveal that in general publishers were open to deals that would leave creators with control of the property after it left the market at that time.
R.J. Brande is one of the wealthiest businessmen of the 31st Century, and the money guy behind the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Despite the different spelling, it was R.J. Brande whose name popped into ur head when we heard the name "Brand," since over on Supergirl it seems pretty clear that they're making their way toward an appearance by the Legion sooner than later.
(When we mentioned the Legion to one of the Supergirl producers this week during an interview, he said "ummm....ahhhh, uhh," and that's all.)
Ties to Brande would give Tracy a subtle but important tie to DC's future, potentially give a sense that Brande's fortune was many generations in the making, and establish a tie between what's going on in Supergirl next season and on The Flash, even though they exist on different Earths.
Created for an episode of the Justice League animated series in 2004, Tracy Simmons hasn't got much history at all, and only exists in the DC Animated Universe.
That said, she was part of the fan-favorite, Booster Gold-centric episode "The Greatest Story Never Told," she was a somewhat quirky female scientist who is underestimated by those around her...and when the casting was first announced for the character, she was erroneously named "Tracy Gold" in at least one report.
That's nothing to go on, of course, but as we know, it's always worth mentinoing connections like that, so that readers don't think they slipped past us!