This week we get the origin of the Flash’s name, and in the process, we get a look at the Golden Age Flash. Didn’t catch it in this week’s episode of The Flash? Good thing Major Spoilers has a Flashback to refresh your memory.
I’m finally glad to see the twin cities of the DC Universe come together in this episode. Keystone City first appeared in the 1940s Flash series, the home of the original Flash, Jay Garrick. In this episode, the iron works backs up the claim that Keystone City is “the blue collar capital of the United States”.
Originally, Keystone City was located in Pennsylvania (The Keystone State), but in the 1990s, when Mark Waid was writing the series, Keystone City was moved to Kansas, with Central City right across the river in Missouri. Though many might think of Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri as the real world equivalents, maps of the DC Earth from the 90s show the twin cities farther north in and around the Atchison/St. Joseph area of the State.
THINK ALLEN! THINK!
Heroes like Barry Allen get where they are by not only being good at what they do, but by being smarter than the average bear. Barry Allen and Iris West went to school at Carmichael Elementary. In comics, Cliff DeVoe (aka The Thinker), was the brains for many of the small-time villains Jay Garrick would fight during the 1940s. His biggest weapon? The Thinking Cap, a metal hat that could project mental force. In school we are told to put on our thinking cap, but that doesn’t answer the Carmichael part of the equation does it?
Oh wait… we haven’t mentioned Fury of Firestorm yet, have we? The creators of The Flash seem to be in love with Ronnie Raymond and Firestorm, and in Fury of Firestorm #1, Clifford Carmichael improved upon the original Thinking Cap and became the New Thinker. The New Thinker appeared in 1978, and was created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom, while Cliffod DeVoe was created by Gardner Fox and E.E. Hibbard in 1943.
THE MAN OF STEEL
Nope. Though it was a neat phrase used by Dr. H. Wells, we aren’t getting a Superman reference this week. Instead, Dr. Wells was referring to…
Though Tony Woodward doesn’t take the name Girder in this episode (that name is given to Francisco’s metal dummy that Barry fights) his origin story is fairly close to the 2001 origin story.
In Flash: Iron Heights (2001), by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Tony Woodward causes a riot at the steel plant where he works and is thrown into a vat of molten steel. In the television version, the explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs coincided with Tony’s decent into the vat, while the comic book origin has scrap metal from S.T.A.R. Labs being melted down at the time of the riot.
Though we didn’t see the original Flash appear in the episode, those fast enough to catch it, may have noticed a sign advertising Keystone City’s Historic Garrick Wharf district.
Jay Garrick was created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert in 1940. Now that Keystone City has been established, and the questionable timeline of when metahumans first appeared has been raised, I wonder if we’ll get to see the Flash of Two Worlds play out at some point? Here’s hoping, because it would certainly help explain why John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays are in this series.
According to Hyborea.org, Stacy Conwell, Iris’s coworker at Jitters, is the daughter of Detective Charlie Conwell, and stayed with Barry and Iris Allen after her father was killed. She later went on to open a chain of pizza delivery restaurants. She first appeared in The Flash #232 (1975).
THE BURNING MAN
Obviously Iris isn’t talking about a whacked out event in the dessert, but without much to go on, this reference could refer to one of two people – Heat Wave, a villain alluded to in the Going Rouge episode, or… wait for it… Firestorm. You know, because his head is always on fire and he doesn’t get burned.
A LITTLE HELP HERE…
Usually, when you hear someone’s full name in one of the episodes of The Flash, it usually means it’s time to run to the Internet and find out how that person ties into the DCU. This week, I’m stumped. We know that Tess Morgan is a newly created character, but both Caitlin and Cisco mention their childhood bullies – Lexi Larouche or Laroux or Larue… and Jake Puckett. I got nothin’… What about you?