TV’s The Flash – Waiting for the Future Flash To Arrive

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Please check out this blog post from our friend Blaine Pardoe on where The Flash is headed in its final three episodes of the season!

Notes From The Bunker

Flash

Run Barry…run! 

First off – The Flash is one of the best superhero series to be put on TV since the first season of Heroes (we won’t talk about the following seasons for obvious reasons).  The Flash has done something rare, it is captured the intricate “feel” of the comic book and brought it to a mainstream audience without cheapening itself along the way.  It has given us homages to the 1980’s TV series while bringing the Rogues Gallery of villains to the screen.  The series of a stunning hit – a fantastic mix of special effects, solid writing, and the hint of bigger things to come.

More importantly, it has given us a larger story arc of the Reverse Flash who has, from the first episode on, been manipulating Barry Allen and his cohorts.  The Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne) is an uber-villain from the DC universe, the kind of criminal worthy…

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Discussion – The Man in the Yellow Suit, Part 4

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What follows contains spoilers from season 1 of THE FLASH.

If The Flash did all the running, why is it that *I* feel like I’m out of breath??  Episode 17, “Tricksters,” was another amazing episode while Episode 18, “All Star Team Up,” was more of a filler.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how great it was to see Mark Hamill reprise his Trickster role.  “I am your father”?   The writers probably wet themselves when they realized that opportunity was available.

Now, let’s talk Reverse Flash!  First, to the Prediction Tracker:

  • Wells is Eobard Thawne – Status: Confirmed Correct
  • Barry and Thawne fight “through time” which ends with Thawne stranded in the past – Status: Confirmed Correct 
  • Thawne needs Barry’s power to get back to his time – Status: Confirmed Correct 
  • Wells is not really his name – as a time traveler, he chose H. Wells as a reference to H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine  –  Status: Confirmed Incorrect (It was a reference to HG Wells but by the writers themselves, not Thawne) 
  • Thawne’s “dead” wife (named Tess Morgan) is really Dr. Tina McGee of Mercury Labs – Status: 99% Incorrect  (Not 100% sure, but we’ve seen enough to say this is extremely unlikely) 
  • Dr. Wells / Thawne caused the anomaly on purpose – Status: Inconclusive 
  • Barry will somehow become the very anomaly that causes the STAR Labs particle accelerator to melt down. – Status: Inconclusive 
  • From the night Nora Allen was killed forward, everything Thawne did he did for one reason:  To create the Flash – Status: Inconclusive 
  • Barry will study the pictures from the mirror and “change” how he fights Thawne – Status: Inconclusive 

Now, lets head get to the good stuff.

Is Wells really Thawne? Not quite. 

Thawne isn’t REALLY Wells.  Using future tech, he ambushed Wells, absorbed Wells thoughts, memories, and mannerisms which killed the actual body of Wells.  While his body does look, sound and act like Wells he does remain Thawne inside. Because so much of Wells is apparently still in there, it’s safe to assume they will try to find a way to get him out.  If only we had a device which could safely split apart two beings sharing the same physical body….

Yellow Suit 4.1

Oh that’s right. WE DO HAVE THAT DEVICE! The tachyon device Wells/Thawne turned into a quantum splicer to save Firestorm does exactly that!  At some point in the near future I expect to see Barry get this device onto Wells/Thawne’s chest, split the two of them apart and save Dr. Wells.

This is a superhero show and over and above everything else, superheroes save people. Wells was Barry’s hero. Wells is Ray Palmer’s hero.  From a story perspective it’s difficult to see STAR Labs continue with him gone and if he remains Thawne that’s what will happen.  Barry knowing that Wells is evil and murdered his mother – but still working with Wells – can’t go on forever.  Week by week this tension has built.  It’s only a matter of time before it comes to a head and Barry confronts Wells/Thawne with the truth.  When that happens either Wells has to be saved or the whole “team working at STAR Labs” dynamic is destroyed.

When Barry discovers that his hero was actually the victim of a heinous crime – a crime committed by the man who killed his mother –Barry will go to any length to save him.  This is a terrific story to tell.  It also keeps Tom Cavanaugh on the show as a regular (Dr. Wells) rather than a here-and-there villain (Thawne / Reverse Flash) which is another tremendous plus.

Lastly, we KNOW this split takes place because it already has. Wait…what?

Yellow Suit 4.2

I’m going to need to re-watch Back to the Future II.

This piece is a touch confusing. I’m not Doc Brown and I don’t have a chalkboard but I’ll do my best

I’ll start this with a question:  If Barry fought Reverse Flash right now – this week in the present time line – and Barry unmasked him what would Reverse Flash’s face look like? It’d look like Harrison Wells.

We’ve seen that when Thawne takes off his mask he looks like Thawne and not Wells. That means when he and Barry started fighting he already looked like ThawneBut as we determined above if the fight took place now he’d look like Wells.  That means at some point before that fight starts they must be split apart else when Thawne removed his cowl he’d still have looked like Wells.

For the record, I love time travel stuff and this makes my head hurt.  But mark it down – at some point soon Harrison Wells and Eobard Thawne will no longer share the same body. Wells will go back to being the guy who was Barry’s and Ray Palmer’s hero, Tina McGee’s friend etc…and Thawne..well…who knows what will happen to him but we can hope it’s nothing good.

Errata 

In “All Star Team Up” Cisco was able to see a future that didn’t happen.  There are several possible explanations for this in Flash lore including (but not limited to):

  • Cisco being able to access visions from alternate dimensions a’la Gardner Fox from Flash of Two Worlds. Recall that Earth-2 heroes were comic book heroes on Earth-1.  Fox claimed that the authors of the comics on Earth-1 came up with their stories by “viewing” the real-life events of Earth-2.  This is very similar to what’s happening to Cisco

Status:  EXTREMELY Unlikely But Very Cool If They Do 

Both time lines still “exist” but are separated by extremely close vibrational frequencies to which Cisco is sensitive allowing him to see the other time line(what with him eventually becoming Vibe)

Status: Possible

The time lines are converging and Cisco is just the first to pick up on it because the event of his death at the hands of Reverse Flash is so traumatic.

Status: Possible 

When Thawne talks to Gideon on the night where he loses his powers Gideon says (and I quote here): “Your latest time jump against The Flash caused a massive drain on your powers…”

I don’t know what a time-jump is exactly but I’ll hazard a guess it means Thawne goes back into the past to change something in hopes of defeating the Flash.

That said there are two words which stick out to me: latest and against.  Latest implies he’s done this at least once before.  Against implies the Flash has also time jumped in an effort to stop him.

What does this mean?  I think it means coming seasons will contain a LOT of Flash vs. Reverse Flash time travel.  It also means I should probably stock up on Advil because as I said above while I love time travel it does make my head hurt.

What is it with the liquid in this town?

It’s always flying up and out of things.

Or is it?  Is it always?

Moments before Barry is struck by the lightning bolt the liquid chemicals in his beakers begin to float up out of them.

Moments before Flash and Reverse Flash begin fighting in Barry’s childhood home the water floats up out of child-Barry’s fish tank and Nora’s wine glass

We are never given a reason why this happens and are left to infer that this odd behavior was caused by the presence of the Flash and the Reverse Flash fighting at such high speeds.  However, the Flash has been running all over Central City and we’ve not seen liquid have that reaction in other cases.  I suspect this means something else is at play.

I think the floating liquid is the result of a “time ripple” – a before (or after) effect of something  in the time stream having been changed.  Like Deja-vu in the Matrix indicating the Machines changed something, once explained, the “liquid floating up means something’s changed” be a solid tip off to the audience.

Open Questions: 

  1. Why does Thawne hate Barry? What is his motivation for time travelling from the 25th century to meet the Flash in the first place?
  2. Thawne says Wells changes history in 2020 and he needs “it to happen a little sooner”.  I don’t know exactly what he means by this.  I assume this means Wells somehow creates the Flash in 2020 (perhaps the particle accelerator accident occurs then too, perhaps not) but Thawne can’t / doesn’t want to wait that long for the Speed Force to be created.  So the questions are:
  3. If Thawne doesn’t become Wells would Barry still become the Flash?
  4. Would the powered Rogues have become the villains they became?

Remember, the premise the show has set is that powers are somehow related to what was happening / what they were doing when they were hit by the particle accelerator explosion.  They would likely not have been in the same place / doing the same thing in 2020. Would the Mist still be getting executed in 2020?  Would Girder have fallen into that vat of molten steel? Would the Mardon’s be caught in a tremendous storm?  Just a thought with which to end this post!

The next episode is titled “Who is Harrison Wells”.  Honestly, I can’t wait !

–  Vrin

Discussion! ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit’, Part 3

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What follows contains spoilers from season 1 of THE FLASH.

Jaw-dropping.

Brain-melting.

Unbelievable.

Holy (deity or curse word of your choice)

These were some of the online reactions to The Flash, Episode 15: “Out of Time”. Before we get started, let me leave a little spoiler space.

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Ok, here we go!

Let’s start with the prediction accuracy tracker:

  • Wells is not really his name – as a time traveler, he chose H. Wells as a reference to H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine  –  Status: Inconclusive 
  • Wells is really Eobard Thawne  – Status: Check
  • Barry and Thawne fight “through time” which ends with Thawne stranded in the past – Status:  Inconclusive but likely
  • Thawne needs Barry’s power to get back to his time – Status: Check
  • Wells caused the anomaly on purpose – Status: Inconclusive
  • Thawne’s “dead” wife (named Tess Morgan) is really Dr. Tina McGee of Mercury Labs– Status: Inconclusive
  • Barry will somehow become the very anomaly that causes the STAR Labs particle accelerator to melt down.  – Status: Inconclusive

Now, let’s talk about Episode 15, “Out of Time.”  The last 10 minutes of this had more “payoff” than any show I can remember.  Season finales – heck SERIES finales – have had less startling revelations (I’m looking at you, Sopranos!)   Starting at the 50 minute mark we got:

  • The final reveal that Wells is really Eobard Thawne, The Reverse Flash from the 25th century;
  • The “death” of Cisco (more on that later);
  • Iris finally admitting that she loved Barry;
  • Iris finding out Barry is the Flash; and
  • Barry travelling back in time.

Think about that for a minute. That all took place within 10 minutes of real time!  The image below accurately reflects what was going on at my house as I watched

Yellow Suit 3.1

Hat tip to Batman Memes for the pic!

So where does this leave us? Let’s start with the obvious. A lot of main characters are in bad shape – Singh, Joe, and Cisco are seriously injured or dead and a tidal wave is about to hit Central City

So, what happens next?

…..and then Barry travels back in time with most of the knowledge of what’s coming.  However, Barry does not know that Wells is Reverse Flash.  He cut Caitlyn off before she could tell him.  This is important.

The obvious story here is that Barry will change events such that Singh and Joe do not meet those fates and Mardon is captured before the tidal wave can be set off.

Cisco is another matter. His discovery about Wells/Thawne has been building for weeks – much earlier than where Barry is in time.  This time travel will not fully derail him.  Something may throw him off the scent for a while but like Thawne says, Cisco is clever.  He may get delayed (which saves his life in the short-term) but ultimately he will not be denied.  His current death will likely be undone by Barry but he’s still Thawne’s trail.  Eventually, he’ll figure it out again. I hope Barry is around when he does.

Now, why is it important that Barry doesn’t know about Wells true identity?  Let’s say the conversation between Caitlyn and Barry had gone like this:

Caitlyn:  “Barry, I need to tell you something important”

Barry:  “Not now, Mardon is causing a tidal wave that will flood the whole city!”

Caitlyn: “Barry, I just got back to STAR Labs. Cisco is dead and before he died, he convinced me that Wells is the bad guy. He’s in league with the Reverse Flash.  Now, go create a wind wall to sap the wave’s power”

Barry creates the wind wall and goes back in time.

Imagine what he would do with the information Catilyn gave him.  If he had found out about Wells before he travelled back in time.

Barry would have investigated and gone after him.  Especially if Cisco convinced Barry that Wells was really the Reverse Flash.  But Barry doesn’t know – and now Cisco / Catilyn are days away from discovering it.  I suspect the writers will enjoy throwing Thawne / Reverse Flash references at us whenever we see Wells for the next few episodes.  Barry, Cisco, Caitlyn and Joe will be blissfully unaware while we scream and shout at our TV sets.  Beautiful.

We have several weeks until the season finale.  I could see them throwing Cisco off the trail for the next few weeks only to have him re-discover the truth in time for the final couple of episodes.  Perhaps Thawne attacking Cisco is the fuse that ignites the “fight through time” battle that Barry and Thawne will have?  I could buy that.

Where does this leave Barry and Iris?

Barry went back in time but unlike the situation with Wells true identity, he knows that Iris loves him.  That will probably be true a few days back as well but Iris has apparently felt this way for a while.  Will she admit it to herself?  Will she allow herself to admit it to Barry?  That is definitely up in the air.  As the show is on the CW I’m going to go with “Soon” and “Eventually”.

Due to Barry’s time travel, Iris will also never have learned that Barry is the Flash.  Eventually, we get to see that reveal again.  If it’s like the comic books it’ll be slightly more….cozy.

So where are we headed?

Time for some more predictions!

Barry will study the pictures from the mirror and “change” how he fights Thawne 

We know now that Barry and Thawne will fight. They will travel back to the night Nora was killed and Thawne was stranded in the past. The question is, will it happen the same way again?

We’ve seen Barry look at the pictures from the night Nora Allen died.  During that conversation with Joe he says the pictures tell him what not to do. Barry works under the assumption that if he does something different, he’ll save his mother.  While that’s possible, it’s likely that saving his mother could lead to his father dying instead or to Thawne keeping his powers  or to…any number of things.  This screams “Law of unintended consequences” to me. In short, Barry will save Nora.  Hilarity will ensue.

Reverse Flash – Murderer  

We’ve already seen this: Yellow Suit 3.2

How long before we see this?
Yellow Suit 3.3

Who is that underneath that Batgirl mask? That’s Iris Allen.  The way she dies at the hands of the Reverse Flash looks familiar, doesn’t it?  I do not think this is imminent but down the road?  Definitely. Why else show Thawne kill Cisco that way?

We will find out that everything Wells/Thawne has done – built STAR Labs, built the particle accelerator and created the anomaly which caused the explosion – is for one reason and one reason only:  To create the Flash.

We now know that Thawne is from centuries ahead in time (the 25th century if the lore is a guide). While living in the 25th century, before he ever time travelled, it’s possible that he’d know someone named Harrison Wells created STAR Labs back in 2001.  At some point, Thawne’s 25th century technology allows him to mimic The Flash’s powers. Fast forward to now.

Barry and Thawne fight and Barry figures out how to remove Thawne’s powers.  Barry travels back to the future leaving Thawne marooned in 2001.  Thawne assumes the identity of Harrison Wells.  With no immediate way to create time travel he does the only thing he can do:  Begin the steps needed to bring the Flash into existence so he can mimic Flash’s powers and time travel again.

Think about it. This is Eobard Thawne, one of the great villains in DC comic history.  He’s not the altruistic type.  There is no logical reason for a marooned-in-the-past supervillain like Thawne to create STAR Labs EXCEPT to allow him to get what he wants. In this case that is a return trip to the 25th century.  In Thawne’s own words, the Flash’s power is the only thing that can help him do it. Bank on it.  Everything Thawne has done while using the name Harrison Wells was to create The Flash.

Like the man said, it’s a means to an end.

–  Vrin

A side note:  I’ve watched the Thawne reveal a dozen times now. I still get chills when I see it.  They did an absolutely MASTERFUL job setting it up.  Masterful.

Discussion! ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit,’ Part 2

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What follows contains spoilers for season 1 of THE FLASH.

Before we get to the spoiler-y stuff let me say:

In my previous post I predicted that Wells would be shown as the Reverse Flash.  That’s one in a row!

The Weather Wizard is the star of an upcoming episode.  When they killed Clyde Mardon in the pilot episode I said Clyde was not the Weather Wizard.  The true Weather Wizard was either Mark or Marco depending on your Flash and that we’d eventually he’d try to avenge his brother.  Welcome aboard, Liam McIntyre, THE WEATHER WIZARD!

I have no idea what they plan to do with Grodd, but I hope it centers on his controlling General Eiling, all the toys he brings with him, and a war of domination on Central City.

Eventually someone in authority will find out STAR Labs has a super powered jail cell beneath it holding a number of people who’ve never stood trial.  Hilarity will ensue.  It’ll be even better if a Grodd-controlled Eiling orders the release of the super criminals and wages war on the Flash.  Season 2 beckons!

Ok, enough spoiler space.  Time to talk about what’s really important…

Yellow Suit 2.1

Oh. Yeah.

In The Matrix: Revolutions (go with me here), Agent Smith – a computer program – leaves the Matrix and inhabits the real world body of “Bane”, one of the other people freed from the Matrix.  While Bane’s body remained the same his consciousness was different – the original man was replaced by the consciousness of Agent Smith. To look at him you’d never know the difference but once Neo looks at him – looks through the meat and bone – he sees that it’s Agent Smith on the inside.  When defining “who” someone is, the shell is irrelevant. It’s the consciousness that matters

We know that shell of Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash.  Despite this reveal – and it was a great reveal – we still don’t know who Harrison Wells truly is on the inside.  Here are some of the internet’s best guesses as to who is Harrison Wells on the inside?  Is Harrison Wells:

  • Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash) time travelled back to the past?
  • Hunter Zolomon (Zoom) time travelled back to the past?
  • A future version of Barry Allen travelled back to the past?
  • Barry Allen from an alternate Earth?
  • Metron of the New Gods?
  • Abra Kadabra come back from the 64th century?

See what I mean?  Even though we know Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHO HE IS.

I’ll list what we do know about Wells and see if that helps. We know that Wells:

  • has the powers of the Flash while in the Reverse Flash suit;
  • super-speed powers are spotty while not in the Reverse Flash suit;
  • uses the tachyon device to collect the Speed Force;
  • will kill (Simon Stagg);
  • will remove Barry’s enemies who know Flash’s secret identity – Girder (freed by Wells, killed by Blackout), General Wade Eiling (hand-delivered to Grodd);
  • has access to advanced technology including a sentient computer (Gideon) and a newspaper from 2024;
  • is a widower. His wife was named Tess Morgan and she died in a car crash several years ago; and
  • knew Barry was destined to be the Flash (watched the video of Barry being struck by lightning).

Summed up what we know for sure that Wells

  • will do anything to protect the Flash;
  • drove Barry into becoming a hero;
  • convinced Joe that Barry being a hero is for the best;
  • is driving Barry to get faster and faster; and
  • is concerned with a future “Crisis”.

Sum it up and what does it mean?  A driven scientist who will do anything knows an accident creates a hero.  I do not think it’s a stretch to say that Harrison Wells caused the accident that created the Flash on purpose. Now, we know for 100% sure Wells is the Reverse Flash but we are not 100% sure that Wells killed Nora Allen.  I will go on the assumption that Wells is the Reverse Flash who killed Nora.  We won’t know for sure until that scene is shown at Flash speed in its entirety. If it turns out that he didn’t, I’ll do another post about it.

So why? Why would Wells go back in time and kill Nora Allen?  Because to create the Flash two things need to happen:  Barry’s mother needs to die (giving him the lifetime of motivation) and the and the lightning bolt needed to strike him and bathe him in the chemicals (giving him the powers).  Wells almost certainly caused the STAR labs events. It makes sense that he caused the other as well.

But why? Why is Wells so insistent on creating the Flash?  I think the answer lies in two things:  The “Crisis” in the future newspaper and the fate of his wife, Tess Morgan. For the record, I come up with my own theories but the idea of Wells’ wife being a driving force was not my idea – a tip of the hat to Blaine Pardoe for that lead.  I expanded on what we talked about, Blaine.

What motivates Harrison Wells?

From the future newspaper we know that on April 25th 2024 the Crisis ends and the Flash goes missing. From Wells reaction to the future newspaper having no references to the Flash when Blackout steals Flash’s powers we know that the Crisis – and a successful outcome – is important to Wells. But as I laid out above, Wells is a “bad guy”.  What would make Wells care so much about the Crisis? His wife could.  I think Wells stake in the Crisis is tied to Tess Morgan.

The simplest theory is that during the Crisis, Flash was one second too slow in saving Wells wife and that’s why Wells went back in time  – to push the Flash to be better so he’d save Tess. That’s possible but I have another theory.

I don’t think Wells wife died in the early 2000s as he claimed.  I don’t think she died in the Crisis either.  In fact, I don’t think she died at all.

I think Harrison Wells wife is really Dr. Tina McGee, the scientist at Mercury Labs who built the tachyon device stolen by Reverse Flash / Wells.  When you see them in their police station scene they clearly know each other but more than that – they talk like they have a long history.  In fact, when Barry threatens to expose some things going on at Mercury labs, McGee responds by saying Barry is very much like Harrison.  The disdain in her voice is EXACTLY how a ticked off wife would talk to her husband.  Bank on it. She’s Tess Morgan.

Something happened during the Crisis – perhaps Harrison somehow causes the Crisis – but somehow Tess Morgan is thrown into the past.  She assumed the name Tina McGee (conveniently using her same initials).  “Harrison” (whoever he truly is in the year 2024) taps into the Speed Force.  He travels into the past to rescue Tess but they exist now before the Speed Force has been created.

Yellow Suit 2.2

Nice to meet you, Mrs. Wells.

She blames Harrison for this predicament.  Neither of them can get home because travelling forward requires more power than they have available. The only person capable of creating the power levels they need is Barry.  Harrison creates STAR Labs and engineers the events that lead to the “anomaly”. Harrison realizes that the lightning bolt is only half of the “Flash Creation Equation”. He uses what little speed force he has collected to travel back in time again and kills Nora Allen, setting Barry on his fateful path.

In my last post I posited that Barry and Reverse Flash would fight “through time” and that part of that fight would take place on the night Nora is killed.  Barry now knows he will time travel and fight the Reverse Flash when Nora is killed.

I could see Barry figuring out it’s Wells that murdered Nora and attacking him setting off the very events that lead to her death.

I can also see a Flash / Reverse Flash fight – a fight engineered by Wells – in the particle accelerator causing the very anomaly that creates the “accident”

Geez but this time travel stuff is fun, isn’t it?

Now that I’ve laid out what I think is going on let’s go back to the beginning:  Who is Harrison Wells?

It may be easier to describe who does not fit this story:

Metron is a New God.  Wife problems are beneath him. It was a nice theory for a moment, but no.

Abra Kadabra seeks adulation and applause.  Wells hasn’t sought anything like that since STAR Labs blew up.  He’s out

An Alternate Earth Barry and a Future Barry would likely still have some semblance of Barry’s big heart and heroic streak.  Wells has shown himself to be conniving and manipulating.  Not big hearted and heroic. They are both out.

That leaves Hunter Zolomon and Eobard Thawne.

As I said in my last Flash post, I think they have merged the two attitudes into the body we call Harrison Wells.  The question is which personality is the dominant one. WHO IS HARRISON WELLS?

The answer is Thawne.

Zolomon was a cop with a troubled past who gains powers by accident. Thawne is a future scientist who gains his powers on purpose by replicating the events that create the original Flash.  A scientist who gains powers on purpose?

While my new thoughts on the role of his wife and the Crisis change Wells’ motivation, I think the core of my original thought remains true.  Harrison Wells is really Eobard Thawne.  He recreates the Flash’s powers but something goes wrong (The Crisis???) and he winds up in the past having to create his greatest enemy in order to save his wife and return to the future. The story elements of insert Hunter Zolomon’s “Make Flash a better hero” characteristics are worked into his personality as Wells needs to create and build the Flash but underneath…under the meat and bone…lurks Eobard Thawne.  The Reverse Flash.

What do you think fans? I’m willing to listen to any argument for or against.  Lets hear it!

–  Vrin

Discussion! ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit’

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What follows contains spoilers for the first half of Season 1 of THE FLASH.

The mid-season finale of the Flash introduced his arch-nemesis, the Man In the Yellow Suit, aka the Reverse Flash.  Many questions sprung up about who he was under the mask, which version of the Reverse Flash was he?  What use is the tachyon device to Harrison Wells?  I welcome you to read my stab at answering these questions and some other predictions below!

Let’s start with this:  Harrison Wells is not a real name.  Well, it’s a real name but it’s not HIS real name.  He chose it purposely.  H. Wells who happens to be a time traveler?  Like HG Wells who wrote The Time Machine?  At some point he will reveal this delicious play on names and half the audience will say “WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT???”  But not you – you heard it here first!

With regard to “Who is the Reverse Flash”? Let’s look at what we know from the mid-season finale:

  • The Reverse Flash wants a Tachyon device for reasons unknown
  • The Reverse Flash and Barry “Have been at this [fight] for a long time” (Reverse Flash quote)
  • Wells is abducted and beaten up by the Reverse Flash
  • Wells has the Reverse Flash suit, the stolen tachyon device and displays the voice trick Barry uses

So it seems clear to me:  Wells cannot be the Reverse Flash (because Wells was beaten up by him).  He also has to be the Reverse Flash (because he has the suit, the device stolen by Reverse Flash and can do the voice trick).  Oy!

To sort out this conundrum I’ll work on the assumption that Wells IS the Reverse Flash.  It’s possible that he’s not and if he’s shown not to be, I’ll do another post about it.

The first question I have is “In Flash lore, there are two Reverse Flashes.  Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon.  One hated everything about the Flash (Thawne).  The other wanted Flash to be a hero worthy of fighting him (Zolomon).  Which Reverse Flash is Wells? Thawne or Zolomon?”

Let’s start with some observations: What attitude do we see from Wells with regard to Barry?

Yellow Suit 1We see Wells protect Barry by killing Stagg, we see him encouraging, coaxing, demanding Barry be faster (several times),  and we see him manipulate Barry into being a hero (negative reinforcement followed by “believing in him”, getting Detective West to support Barry as the Flash etc…).  All of these actions can be summed up as “Making Barry into a better hero”.  That, plus the red eyes while in the Reverse Flash suit, describes Hunter Zolomon.

In the comics, Eobard Thawne gains his powers by using 25th century science to recreate the Flash’s powers but only when he wears the Reverse Flash suit.  Eventually Thawne gains the powers on his own by tapping into the Speed Force created Barry creates when he runs.  The faster he runs, the more Speed Force is generated. Sound familiar?  I believe the tachyon device is Wells’ way of capturing that speed force.  This is something akin to what Eobard Thawne would do and is another reason why Wells wants more speed from Barry.  More speed = more speed force = more power for Wells.  As we know Wells is a time traveler and he’s from the future, I think he wants to use this power to get back to his own time.   Wait…what? Here’s why:

In the lore, Barry and Thawne have fought “through time”.  By that I mean if the fight took 5 minutes – 2 minutes took place in 1988, 50 seconds took place in 1975, one minute in prehistoric era etc…the fight was an 5 minutes long to them but it was spread through different time periods.  If I’m right, in the show story, part of that fight took place was when Nora was killed.  At the end of the “through the time stream” fight Barry will strand Thawne “in the time stream.”

Yellow Suit 2

CONCLUSION:
I suspect they have merged Zolomon’s attitude (Make Barry a worthy hero) and Thawne’s story (stranded in the past by Barry) to create one Reverse Flash in the body we know as Harrison Wells. I think the show will eventually have that “through the time stream” fight and at the end of their fight, Barry will strand Thawne/Zolomon/Wells in the recent past where he recognizes that he can only get home by creating “The Flash”. He will assume the identity of “Harrison Wells” and use his knowledge of the future / technology to build STAR labs and the particle accelerator.

I also think this is why Wells keeps checking on “the future” – to see if his presence in the past has altered anything (and also why he became so upset in the episode where the future newspaper showed The Flash never existed – if Flash never exists, Reverse Flash cannot exist and Thawne/Zolomon/Wells can’t go home).

Lastly, I suspect that at the end of that fight, Barry will somehow become the very anomaly that causes the STAR Labs particle accelerator to melt down.  In essence, he will create the very accident that gives him powers in the first place.  Chew on that one a while, internet!

While I’m not quite sure how that will work yet, I am sure that “the anomaly” wasn’t an accident.

New episodes return on January 20th.  What do you think will happen?

– Vrin

Review! The Flash, Vol. 3: ‘Gorilla Warfare’ [No Spoilers]

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Messrs. Manapul and Buccellato bring this first set of New 52 story arcs to a satisfying and thorough close in The Flash, Vol. 3: Gorilla Warfare, which picks up immediately following the arrival of Gorilla Grodd and his invasion force to Central City in search of the Scarlet Speedster and his connection to the Speed Force itself.

Flash V.3A

There’s a lot going on in THE FLASH, VOL. 3: GORILLA WARFARE, and all of it is awesome as the New 52 book continues into its second year.

STORY AND SCRIPT
In my review of Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution, I talked about all of the plot threads that the creative team had snowballed into the current gorilla-filled predicament. In Vol. 3, Manapul and Buccellato wrap all of them up evenly and satisfyingly. All plots are touched by Barry’s showdown with Grodd: the new Rogues and their new superpowered status; Iris West and others’ internment inside the Speed Force; Barry’s outstanding status as “dead”; and, of course, the connection to the citizens of Gorilla City.

The first five issues of this collection tell the five-part “Gorilla Warfare” story arc that treats all of these threads with some attention–the battles are well-paced, the dialogue that needs to happen does, and when it becomes necessary for the storytellers to change the scene, the transitions are clear. When all of the plots come together, they do so in a huge finale that in no way disappoints, and the conclusion here takes The Flash as an ongoing comic book to its highest point that it has in the New 52.

A brief, two-issue arc concludes the volume, telling a interesting story about the Trickster and his alleged murder of a security guard, and while it’s not anything close to the scale of the previous eighteen issues, it doesn’t have to be, as we get a peek of where we’re going next (and it looks excellent).

PENCILS AND ARTWORK
Manapul’s watercolor-style artwork is still some of the best in the New 52. It stands out in its stylish uniqueness, and it fits the book perfectly, but what really stands out most from this collection was the paneling through the middle of the volume.

Flash V.3B

As the experience of the Flash at that particular moment (sampled above) is somewhat abstract, and as Barry is narrating at that point, it might have been hard to get a sense of that scene’s role in advancing the story were it not for the shape of the panels in which the sequence takes place. It’s a striking moment in the story, and while it offers the reader the same quality artwork that he or she expects from the rockstar creative team, it’s a striking approach to that part of the story and a great moment for the entire series.

BACKLOG PRIORITY
9/10The Flash has been one of the most consistently excellent books in the New 52, and after making a lot of promises in the first year of the book, Manapul and Buccellato deliver on all of them, wrapping up a year’s worth of plot points in a great five-issue arc that takes the series to its highest point yet.

Vandal

Discussion! ‘The Flash’ Teaser Poster: Don’t Blink, You Might Miss It

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The CW just released a new poster for The Flash and it’s a great image.  But is that all it is?

"Pilot"The Flash is so fast that he leaves an after-image.  In the poster, his after image is the shape of his insignia, a lightning bolt.  But is that all of what’s happening in this poster?

No.  Not even close. As comic artists are wont to do, they’ve made this poster FULL of Easter Eggs.  And a few of them are seriously great!

First, some shameless CW cross-promotion:

  • In the top right corner you can see the Queen Consolidated building from the CW’s Arrow.
  • On the right toward the bottom is Big Belly Burger, another Arrow reference

But that’s not all…

  • In the bottom right corner, chalk writing says “Grodd Lives”.
  • The AmerTek building is seen on the middle of the left side.  AmerTek is the employer of John Henry Irons (DC Comics’ Steel)
  • The Kord Industries building can be found toward the middle of the picture.  It’s founder, Ted Kord, is better known in DC Comics as the Blue Beetle.
  • Across the street from Kord is S.T.A.R. Labs, DC Comics’ super science lab.
  • And to the left of Queen Consolidated is a skyscraper with blurry logo.  I’m not 100% of what this logo is.   What major DC corporations are left? Wayne Enterprises? Lexcorp?  Stagg?  Something lesser known?  I feel like I’ve seen the logo before but I can’t place it. Here’s a blown up (but mildly blurry) image:

The Flash Preview 3What do you think it is?

That’s all I could find.  Let’s talk about some implications:

  • Gorilla Grodd, the telepathic gorilla in perpetual search of minions to rule, will eventually be part of the show.  In Flash lore, he’s a serious heavyweight with his character ranging from would-be ruler of Gorilla City to conqueror, King and would-be owner of the Speed Force.  He’s taken Barry to the brink of defeat more than once.
  • The Queen/Arrow references are shameless cross-promotion. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Comic books have held crossovers for decades. In fact, Barry’s appearance on Arrow was a Season 2 highlight!  According to sources, the first Flash/Arrow cross-over will take place in each show’s episode 8.
  • John Henry Irons superhero Steel may make an appearance.  His first appearance was as a hero helping to bridge the gap after The Death of Superman.  He has remained a popular character ever since.
  • Ted Kord, aka Blue Beetle, may make an appearance as well.

BACKLOG PRIORITY
The Flash is a 10/10 must see.  I haven’t seen anything to make me think it’ll be anything other than a knockout hit.

Here’s what I know for sure: I’m looking forward to The Flash more and more every day.  Why isn’t it October 7th yet????

Vrin