The Flash: Who is Harrison Wells?

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Flash.

It's been less than a week since the pilot episode of The Flash hit the airwaves, but there's already about a half-dozen, half-baked theories about the identity of Harrison Wells, the S.T.A.R. Labs founder who appeared at the end of the pilot, revealing himself to be very much not who he claimed to be.

...but who is he?

Well, there are a lot of ideas from the comics, and we'll explore a few here. Let us know what YOU think in the comments below.

Hunter Zolomon

One of the versions of the Reverse Flash (there are a few) was Hunter Zolomon, who fancied himself a perfect foil for The Flash because he wanted to make him a better hero.

Everything he did, then, he rationalized that it was only to challenge The Flash and force the speedster to evolve past it.

Like most versions of the Reverse Flash, though, he's a time-traveler, which could give us a reasoning behind that image at the end.

Here's the thing: the whole "helping him be better" thing could easily fit the kind of paternal, stern relationship that Wells seems to be cultivating with Barry. Also, just from the semi-official key art above, I can kinda see actor Tom Cavanagh's nose and jawline in the Reverse Flash.

Rip Hunter/Booster Gold

Here's another time-traveler (or pair of them) that could pop up in the show, according to producers. When Booster Gold's name was mentioned at a recent Q&A screening, half the people in the room eyeballed Tom Cavanagh, who plays Wells.

Geoff Johns, who co-wrote the first two episodes of The Flash and is an executive producer on the series, wrote a year's worth of Booster Gold and Rip Hunter team-up stories in 52 and followed them up with another year on a relaunched Booster Gold series. Cavanagh kind of looks like how I would picture Johns's Rip Hunter onscreen...and obviously the Time Master would have access to the future's newspaper.

Barry Allen

Back when Mark Waid was writing The Flash and Wally West was the series lead, there was a story arc where Wally was "dead" and replaced by a darker, grimmer Flash who never took his mask off. Eventually, it was revealed that the new Flash was...Wally West.

Wally from the future, and somebody who had come back through time to help his younger self at a key moment. The first time I saw the pilot for The Flash, it seemed to me that might be who Wells was. The physical resemblance between Cavanagh and Gustin is enough to help sell the idea.

Of course, we've also seen a very different take on that recently; tying into the "five years later" events of The New 52: Futures End, there's a blue-clad version of Barry who is older, and on a mission...and very, very unstable. That version? Not such a good guy. He actually kind of reminds me of...

Cobalt Blue

Barry's twin brother, accidentally abandoned to another family in the hospital. An ancestor of future Reverse Flash Eobard Thawne, this character makes sense for all the same reasons that the "evil" older Barry does...and in fact that Blue Barry might be the New 52 version of Cobalt Blue.