Following the Season 3 premiere of The Flash, ComicBook.com premiered its all new interactive after show series, Flashback, with special guest Teddy Sears. You can watch the whole interview above.
While tonight's episode of The Flash may not have featured a comics-accurate version of "Flashpoint," what it did do was tip its hat not only in that direction, but toward a handful of comics (and TV) stories from throughout The Flash's 75-year history.
As ever, we're here to take a look back at them, take some notes, share some insight...and invite our readers to chime in as well, since for the most part anything we miss, you'll spot!
Before we start: Here's a short recap of the episode for those who came in late:
WHAT WOULD YOU SACRIFICE TO HAVE EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED? — Barry (Grant Gustin) is living his dream life – his parents are alive, he's asked Iris West (Candice Patton) on a date and he can finally be a normal guy as Central City has another speedster, Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale), running around saving the city. When Barry starts forgetting parts of his old life, the Reverse Flash (guest star Matt Letscher) taunts his nemesis and tells him that there will be serious repercussions for Barry and the ones he loves if he continues to live in this alternate universe. In addition to losing his memories, his powers will also start to fade. When disaster strikes, Barry must decide if he wants to continue to live in this world as Barry Allen or return to his universe as The Flash.
Apparently even seismic changes to the timeline couldn't shake News 52 out of its place as the dominant 24-hour news power in the Arrowverse.
News 52 is, of course, a wink and a nod to "The New 52," DC's 2011 line-wide reboot. It's been a fixture of all three of The CW's returning DC superhero shows since the first season of Arrow.
While typically called "Channel 52" in-story, "News 52" is the name of a letter column-style one- or two-page feature that used to run in the back of DC Comics weekly. Bethany Snow, who was the newscaster in early episodes of Arrow that featured the network, was the in-story host of News 52.prevnext
While Eobard Thawne is generally discussed as the first Reverse-Flash, 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, we even thought he might have been the true identity of Zoom.
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 -- who, coincidentally enough, will serve as the primary antagonist on DC's Legends of Tomorrow in its first season. It isn't, as far as I can tell, tied to the mathematical formula spoken by Johnny and Jesse Quick in order to gain them access to the Speed Force, although with Jesse joining The Flash this year, it may not be entirely unrelated on TV.
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, possibly becuase of the darker pants and blue face mask he wore. 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.
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 Zolomon. 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. This could explain why Tony Todd will be only the voice of Zoom, rather than having one actor do both.
After his escape from the Speed Force, Clariss was able to possess other bodies, being that he was now a being of pure energy.prevnext
Wally West suits up as Kid Flash -- finally! -- in tonight's episode, and even though it took place on an alternate Earth, it's still pretty damn exciting.
For those of us who grew up in the '80s and '90s, Wally West was our Flash. Taking over from Barry following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally was the primary Flash for 20 years before The Flash: Rebirth and Final Crisis brought Barry back to life.
Before that, though, Wally was Kid Flash -- the nephew of Barry's longtime love interest Iris, he was obsessed with The Flash. When Barry was showing him around the crime lab one day, the exact same accident that had given Barry his powers happened again, with lightning literally striking twice to turn Wally into Kid Flash.
Recently, the pre-Flashpoint Wally reappeared for the first time in years in the pages of DC Universe: Rebirth. Meanwhile, a new, African-American version of Wally who looks and dresses more like the one in the TV series didn't go anywhere, and is currently appearing as Barry's sidekick in The Flash and as a team member in Teen Titans.prevnext
While The Flash in 1990-91 didn't have as vital a supporting cast as the current incarnation, there were a few beloved characters who appeared on it. Some of them had already appeared -- reprising their roles, at least in name only, for the new series -- but there was always one who was much-missed: Alex Desert, who played Julio Mendez.
Mendez, who plays the hard-nosed captain here, was Barry's best friend in and out of costume, helping him out in the crime lab and ultimately as The Flash as well. People like to talk about "OTA" -- Original Team Arrow -- as being Diggle, Oliver, and Felicity. If ther's an "OTF," it's Barry, Julio, and Linda Pays's Tina McGee.prevnext
BIG BELLY BURGER
Big Belly Burger, which first appeared in the Superman titles in the '80s, is THE fast food joint of the CWverse.
A pastiche of Bob's Big Boy, the original mascot (who has been seen a couple of times on fliers in The Flash) looked a lot like then-editor Andrew Helfer.
We've seen lots of Big Belly Burgers, first on Arrow and later (and often) on The Flash. It's kind of the official meal for most of the metas Team Flash keeps in containment.prevnext
The glass cage Barry kept the Reverse Flash in, in order to dampen his powers, was seemingly inspired by the ones Zoom used last year.
How he got it to the alternate timeline in time to chuck Thawne in there is anybody's guess, but it's not entirely dissimilar to the power-dampening cells used in the pipeline below S.T.A.R. Labs, either.prevnext
"REVERSE 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE'"
In It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey get a flash of what the world would be like without him if he were to kill himself.
So, yeah, seeing an idyllic world where Barry still lives but isn't necessary -- and loving it -- is kind of a reverse of that.prevnext
IRIS THE LIGHTNING ROD
This one is going to cover some pretty broad strokes, here.
In The Flash comics, whether it's Wally and Linda Park or Barry and Iris, the woman in the character's life is often his "lightning rod." She can help him find his way home, provide necessary guidance, and ultimately she's relatively a point of stability in an ever-changing world.
WE see that in this episode, as well as Iris's evolving relaitonship with Barry as Flashpoint has altered the world around them. The feeling that he somehow completes her and that she feels like something that was "wrong" is "right" around him is similar to the way Linda feels about comics-Wally right now (the two were married before Flashpoint altered the timeline, but now she doesn't recognize him).prevnext
SAWMILL ON WILLIAMSON
The old sawmill on Williamson is likely a reference to Joshua Williamson, currently writing The Flash for DC Comics.prevnext
"WEATHER WIZARD" CALLBACKS
There were plenty of callbacks to the series' pilot in this episode.
Which makes sense, because Barry was losing his sense of self and had to remind himself (thanks to Iris) "I am The Flash" before he could kick the necessary ass.
But the tornadoes are a callback to the pilot, as is Cisco calling The Rival "some kind of Weather Wizard," the name of the villain from the pilot, and as is Joe shooting the villain dead when Barry turns his back after his win.
It does seem like during Iris's encouraging speech, they missed a golden opportunity for "Run, Barry, run," though.prevnext
THE FUTURE MRS. ALLEN
As we've seen in the newspaper from the future (also featured in the pilot), Iris is destined to marry Barry, assuming nothing catastrophic happens to history.
...But what could cause that?!prevnext
That name on the glass means something important is coming.
Doctor Alchemy is a longtime Flash villain, who uses a Philospher's Stone (the classic alchemical kind, not the Harry Potter stone) to transform elements into other elements. There have been multiple villains who have used the name Doctor Alchemy in DC continuity, including a chemist named Albert Desmond who suffers from a multiple personality disorder and a corrupt Keystone Police lab assistant named Alexander Petrov.prevnext
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW0comments
While it's not immediately clear that Thawne's "we'll see" about Barry's future is a direct nod to DC's Legends of Tomorrow, The CW's resident time-travel show, it certainly could be taken that way...
...since we know that Matthew Letscher's take on Thawne will be one of this season's big bads on that show.prev