Conversation about tonight's episode of The Flash will be dominated by two big things: The Pied Piper making his first appearance...and Harrison Wells introducing the concept of the Speed Force to the series.
Those are some pretty big DC Comics references right there.
What else did we see? What did we miss? Read on...
Royal Flush Gang
Yes, folks, that's the Royal Flush Gang, cannon fodder DC Comics villains and onetime Arrow antagonists, who appeared briefly in the first few minutes of the episode.
They're supervillains in the comics, with a Royal Flush schtick. They're arguably most notable for being the villains paid to take a fall in order to make Booster Gold look good so that the rest of the Justice League International would welcome him with open arms (ah, Max Lord, we miss you in the New 52).
In Arrow, they're more simple bankrobbers. The Royal Flush Gang depicted in Arrow are similar to the Joker's clown henchmen in The Dark Knight. They wear customized masks, make their first appearance by robbing a bank, and they manage to give the police the slip by putting masks on hostages.
As noted above, this is a fan-favorite character from the comics. A member of the Rogues and one of the most well-known openly gay characters in DC Comics, Piper first appeared in 1959 (although he wasn't established as gay until later).
In the comics, Pied Piper is a deaf musical prodigy who uses sonic technology as a weapon, causing vibrational damage and allowing him to hypnotize people. Later in life, he reformed and assisted the Flash as a vigilante.
Central City Picture News
As you can imagine by the old-timey name, this has been Iris' employer for much of her character's history.
Yeah, no, nobody calls him that.
That's a pretty clear nod to the history of everyone at the Daily Planet calling Perry White chief (and his very vocal objections).
Stay Calm and Han Shot First
Another in a long line of geeky Cisco t-shirts. Worth mentioning not becuase it's a DC Comics-related Easter egg but because it's fun, and if I don't mention it, someone in the comments will.
Harrison Wells failed this city
You know, I bet Oliver Queen wishes he thought to say that when he and Wells were bickering during "Flash vs. Arrow."
The camera angles and lines when Cisco woke up from unconsciousness mirrored when Barry woke up from his coma in the pilot.0comments
We've dealt with this a little bit before, but the basics are that in the comics, the Speed Force is an intangible field that serves as the "well" from which DC's speedsters, most notably The Flash, can draw their powers. Those powers can manifest themselves in a number of ways, and someone well enough versed in the use of the speed force can even use it to travel through time.