Earlier today, The Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti revealed that The Vampire Diaries actor Todd Lasance was not playing The Flash Season 3 big bad Savitar, as had been widely predicted by fans.
Instead, he revealed that Savitar had not yet been cast, had not appeared in the teaser for Season Three screened at Comic Con, that Lasance's character was someone else entirely.
And nobody knew who. All of this, in fact, came out just hours after a number of reputable outlets started reporting that Lasance was definitely Savitar, based on a misunderstanding of a quote executive producers gave during the Television Critics Association's recent summer press tour.
Well, TVLine has the (real) answer for you, and it's a character nobody expected...
...this season, anyway.
Apparently, Lasance will play The Rival, a Golden Age villain with ties to Jay Garrick in the comics -- and somebody who was often brought up as a potential Season Two villain on The Flash.
While The Flash's Season One baddie Eobard Thawne is generally discussed as the first Reverse-Flash in the comics, that's because Earth-1's continuity has always taken priority since the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
There was, in fact, a Golden Age Reverse-Flash in the pages of Jay Garrick's Flash comics as well. A blue-masked, self-obsessed doppelganger of Garrick, Edward Clariss is generally called The Rival, and for a while, some fans (myself included) were convinced that he might be Zoom last year.
Clariss was a professor at the university attended by the Earth-2 Flash, Jay Garrick. He believed he had recreated the formula that gave Garrick his speed, but the scientific community didn't believe him, driving him to madness and crime.
In the comics, the formula Clariss wanted credit for was a drug called Velocity 9, later retconned to have been invented by Vandal Savage -- and see on The Flash last season, created by Zoom along with Caitlin Snow and Earth-2 Harrison Wells.
Clariss took to the streets in a darker version of Garrick's costume, and instead of trailing yellow lightning behind him when he ran, his blue, although here it looks like it might be orange or red. Clariss's formula proved to be temporary, and he was defeated when it was expended. He reappeared a few months later, and in battling the Flash, reached light speed and vanished.0comments
Clariss, it seems, had inadvertently trapped himself in the Speed Force, where he remained for decades before being retrieved by Johnny Sorrow, who invited him to join the new Injustice Society -- in a storyline written by The Flash executive producer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, the driving force behind Hunter Zolomon, the speedster known as Zoom in both the comics and on TV. He would appear in another, Garrick-centric storyline in The Flash during the Johns era.
After returning from the Speed Force, The Rival was reinvented to have his face blurred by speed motion rather than simply wearing a mask -- something that many of Johns' speed-powered villains would echo. After his escape from the Speed Force, Clariss was able to possess other bodies, being that he was now a being of pure energy, something that might prove useful in a character who's designated as "recurring," so he probably won't just vanish into the ether when the Flashpoint universe gets undone.