Things go boom on this week’s installment of The Flash, and once again, Flash Back is here to fill you in on what you missed.
A lot of name dropping in this week’s episode…
General Wade Eiling
The big bad in this episode is General Wade Eiling (played by Clancy Brown). Eiling has been one of those characters that always appears to be on the side of good – he’s in the military for goodness sake – but who always shows his nefarious side before it is all over. First appearing in Captain Atom #1 (March 1987) Eiling would go on to become the monster The General in the pages of JLA.
“Captain Atom?” you say?
Eiling was the person behind the Captain Atom project.
Most of us probably know General Eiling best from the Justice League animated series, where he constantly played the military foil for Superman and the rest of the Justice League and worked behind the scenes as a member of Project Cadmus. In the television series he is voiced by J.K. Simmons, and uses a “super solider serum (called the Captain Nazi serum)” to turn himself into the General from the comic book pages. He’s eventually taken down by Green Arrow, Speedy, Shining Knight, Crimson Avenger, Vigilante, Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. Man… that was a good episode about the non-powered heroes taking on a colossal foe…
Clancy Brown only has one project he is currently working on (Hail, Caesar with the Coen brothers), so I expect we’ll see him back as General Eiling again.
Bonus Fact: Clancy Brown played Lex Luthor in the Superman: Animated Series and in the Justice League series.
The Human Bomb was dropped (no pun intended) several times in this week’s episode, and though Plastique has powers similar, they are not the same. The Human Bomb is a superhero created in August 1941 by Paul Gustavson, and first appeared in Police Comics #1. The Human Bomb (secretly Roy Lincoln) was a scientist working on chemical explosive called “27-QRX”, when a Nazi attack on his father’s lab forced, Roy to swallow the formula and thus giving him the ability to explode any object he came in contact with. Most of the time we see The Human Bomb wearing a bomb suit, and when he want to blow stuff up real good, he takes off his Fibro-wax gloves and goes to town on the bad guys.
In the New 52 continuity, the Human Bomb is Michael Taylor, an ex-Marine who uncovers a plot to destroy the United States. He doesn’t sound as cool as Roy Lincoln though. If you have read Kingdom Come, The Human Bomb has one of the best gags in the entire series.
Though many may think that Plastique is just a twist/take on The Human Bomb, Plastique is really a … wait for it… Firestorm villain. This has to be the 12th time a Firestorm reference has been made in the television series.
Bette Sans Souci first appeared in Fury of Firestorm #7 (December, 1982) and was created by Gery Conway and Pat Broderick. In the comics, Plastique is a terrorist who attempts a suicide bombing, but Firestorm disarmed (and unclothed) her. She would appear in several issues of Fury of Firestorm before her appearances in Captain Atom in 1986, and as a member of the Suicide Squad. Interestingly, she became the love interest and fiancee of Captain Atom before Armageddon: 2001 and the New 52 changed it all up. Currently, Plastique is a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains. Like this week’s episode, Plastique can project explosive force by touching an object with her fingers.
As a bonus, the costume designer for this episode did a great job of keeping the purple color running through Kelly Frye’s wardrobe.
In the closing moments the episode, we got our first really good look at Gorilla Grodd. We know that the last time Eiling and Wells worked together it was to create a super soldier who could read people’s minds. In the comics, Grodd is a telepathic gorilla with the power to control the minds of others. We’ll have more on Grodd when he makes his grand appearance on the television show, but for now, just remember that Grodd was first introduced in The Flash #106 (May, 1959) and was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.
Did you catch the name Cameron Scott in this week’s episode? He’s listed as one of Bette Sans Souci’s contacts. If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed Captain Atom’s name popping up a few times in this article.
In the comics, Captain Atom’s real name is Cameron Scott.
We’ve already seen The Flash creators drop a number of Firestorm characters throughout the series (including this week), and we know Firestorm is on the way. With Eiling and Plastique established and with Scott’s named showing up, are we going to get a CW version of Captain Atom soon?
With The Atom set to make his appearance on Arrow (and The Flash), we continue to see the groundwork being laid for a television version of the Justice League… or at least Justice League Central City.
Dr. Harold Hadley
In the episode it was explained that Dr. Harold Hadley operated on a number of soldiers for General Eiling including Bette Sans Soucci. He was one of the doctors responsible for turning Cameron Scott into Captain Atom in Captain Atom #1. He died in Captain Atom #11. He was created by Cary Bates, Pat Broderick, and Bob Smith.
Channel 52 showed up one more time this week as Eiling tried to calm the public over the explosion in the river.
This week, Barry Allen introduced two new “powers” – running up walls and running on water. Barry first ran up a wall in the pages of Flash #121 where he runs so fast he can defy gravity!
As far as water is concerned, Flash runs using the surface tension of the water, and because of his speed, he doesn’t sink. It’s not has hard as it sounds, all you have to do is run 20-30 m/sec… which doesn’t sound too hard, except you would need to generate 12kW of mechanical power to do it. Most runners generate about half a kilowatt. A fascinating report on this can be found here.
That’s it for this week’s Flash Back! Use the comment section below to let us know what we missed.