Atom-Smasher—his alter ego is Albert Rothstein—is a hero in the comics. He has been a member of Infinity, Inc. and Justice League International and now I believe he’s a card-carrying member of the Justice Society of America: more on them later. Albert—is it okay if I call Atom-Smasher Albert—is the grandson of the reluctant supervillain Cyclotron, from whom Albert gained his metahuman powers, and he’s the godson of Al Pratt, DC’s golden age Atom. Pratt raised Albert, but Albert does have his grandfather’s tendency to teeter back and forth from hero to villain and then back again. Well, Albert’s upbringing and his destructive power lend themselves to Albert playing for both sides. At his core, Albert is a hero but it’s his internal struggle that makes him an interesting character.
Atom-Smasher name-dropped Zoom before he died—if he died—in this episode. Reverse-Flash and Professor Zoom started as interchangeable names for the same character but as the DC Universe expanded, the two characters became more distinct. Geoff Johns, one of TV’s The Flash’s producers, went to great pains to distance the two characters in the comics and since The Flash will retain Tom Cavanagh (Dr. Harrison Wells/Reverse-Flash) as a series regular, we should expect these two to be different characters.
I won’t go into too much detail with each possibility as to who Zoom will be—there’s a lot of origins for both Professor Zoom and Reverse-Flash over the past five or six decades—but the presence of Jay Garrick, the guy who said, “your world is in danger,” at the end of this episode, sheds some light as to who Zoom might be. We’ll cover Garrick in more detail in a bit but let’s say he’s from an alternate timeline, Earth-Two if you will.
With so much time travel in the Flash’s adventures, timelines splinter off and create different realities. Professor Zoom may be the Reverse-Flash from an alternate timeline. The bottom line is don’t worry, Reverse Flash will return and we may get even more speedsters along the way. The Flash trailer at Comic-Con showcased some blue lightning. Could those blue lightning bolts come from Cobalt Blue? Or do those blue streaks belong to Professor Zoom?
Jay Garrick was the first and golden age Flash but with Barry Allen assuming the mantel of the scarlet speedster in DC’s silver age, Garrick became The Flash of Earth-Two. Earth-Two is another Earth from an alternate timeline. To be fair, DC justified the rebooting of many characters in the silver age by turning a lot of its golden age heroes into Earth-Two citizens, allowing DC’s silver age characters to live on Earth-One. Jay Garrick and Barry Allen team up frequently in the comics as the Justice Society of America (Earth-Two’s superhero group and original DC super team) join forces with the Justice League of America during their annual crossovers.
No, Ronnie isn’t dead, we’ll see him again in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and comic book writers have used the separation of Firestorm as a plot tool for many decades. I’m sure we’ll see Dr. Stein and Ronnie Raymond come together before too long.
Did anyone else catch the two mirrors conspicuously facing each other during the Channel 52 newscast following The Flash celebration? If you blinked, you probably missed a man in a white costume. Could that be another of The Flash’s main villains, Mirror Master? Perhaps.
A New Flash Symbol
Barry is about to don a uniform closer to his classic silver age one. It’s the dawn of a new era for The Flash. You might as well dress the part.
The Flash Signal
Cisco created a flood light that could summon The Flash from anywhere in Central City and said that he saw it in a comic book once. Is that a hint at the Bat Signal? I think so.
DC’s TV universe has tipped its hat to the comics’ New 52 and that homage continued with this week’s episode of The Flash.
Even though it’s just over a year old, the new Flash has a long history of recasting former 1990s The Flash cast members, and the second season premiere is no exception. Mayor Tony Bellows, the man who gave The Flash the key to the city, was a Central City cop in the 90s The Flash, but he’s climbed the ranks in the last two decades and he’s played by the same actor.
As soon as I heard that Caitlin Snow started working for Mercury Labs, I knew we’d get another appearance by a 1990s Flash cast member. Amanda Pays portrays the head of Mercury Labs and she was also The Flash’s love interest a couple decades ago.
Weathersby & Stone
When I first saw the camera zoom into Henry Allen’s mail and read Weathersby & Stone Attorneys at Law, I wondered if that was a nod to something in the comics but found nothing. It took me a while to realize that Taylor Weathersby and Eli Stone where the couple at the center of the TV series Eli Stone and that the actor who plays Martin Stein, Victor Garber, also played Weathersby’s father. Nice touch, The Flash.
If you missed our review of The Flash “The Man Who Saved Central City,” here’s a link.