What do you do with a broken Flash? Answer, let the effects houses focus on making a giant gorilla and less on the zoom-zoom. This week’s Flashback examines the little bits of information you may have missed in The Flash: Gorilla Warfare.
Barry races to rescue Caitlyn when Grodd kidnaps her; Cisco plans a date with the new barista at Jitters; Patty thinks Barry is hiding something.
Grodd appeared multiple times in The Flash going all the way back to the pilot episode. He fought Barry and Joe last season in Grodd Lives (S01-E21), and if there is one thing we’ve learned about giant gorilla’s it’s you can’t keep a giant ape down. Also, giant apes have a thing for cute girls, and Caitlyn’s kidnapping and subsequent hiding in a bell tower all smack of the classic King Kong.
Grodd first appeared in Flash #106 in April-May, 1959.
As a super intelligent telepathic gorilla, Grodd has had the ability to control the minds of others, which has caused quite a few problems for the Flash over the years. Grodd and his tribe weren’t always hyper-intelligent, though. A radioactive meteor crashed in Africa a long time ago, evolving Grodd, Solovar and others into a society of gorillas that built advanced technology as they hid themselves away from the rest of the world. Grodd eventually sees his life’s goal to take over Gorilla City, and then move on to the rest of the world. Luckily, Barry Allen and the rest of the Justice League put a stop to Grodd’s plans, and the world is safe.
David Sobolov reprises his role as the voice of Grodd this week, and does an excellent job at bringing the scare factor to the series.
Gorilla Warfare is an interesting episode, as it really doesn’t feature very much Flash action, as our hero is recovering from his spinal cord injury suffered during his battle with Zoom. We do get to see Hawkgirl, and Reverse Flash briefly, and Cisco does get to use his Vibe powers, but the bulk of the story features no fast running antics. I actually found this rather pleasant as it gave everyone else a chance to grow and do their thing.
At the end of the episode, Grodd is ejected to a game reserve in Earth-2’s Africa, and we quickly discover that an ape city has sprung up (complete with ominous looking gorilla carvings on the side of the mountain). Grodd doesn’t look too pleased, but this final shot gives us our first look at Gorilla City – a location that I didn’t think we would see at all in this series, which proves even I can be wrong… sometimes.
Gorilla City also appeared in Flash #106 from April, 1959, and was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, and though the city appeared in that issue, the name and location first appeared in Congo Bill #6 in July 1955. The issue was written by George Kashdan and Nick Dardy. In the issue, Congo Bill learns that the apes come from a “two mooned world” that Bill assumes to be Mars. He later becomes their protector.
Why pay any attention to Congo Bill? Well… In his adventures, Bill acquired a magic ring that would allow his mind to be transferred into the body of the legendary Golden Gorilla. This gave Bill the power to fight crime and protect Africa… that is until his body was destroyed while he was in the Golden Gorilla, trapping him forever. Bill changed his name to Congorilla, where he fought alongside the Justice League, Supergirl, and most recently in Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc.
While we shouldn’t assume that we’ve seen the last of Grodd, and though Solovar may be introduced, it wouldn’t surprise me if a Golden Gorilla appeared seeking Flash’s help to protect the rest of the apes from the sinister simian.
The title of this week’s episode is not another pun for fun sake, it is also the title of the arc from Flash Vol. 3 in the New 52, that features Grodd attempting to take over Central City.
But when Gorilla Grodd and his army descend on Central City, The Flash will have to contend with a threat he’s not used to: murderous, ruthless and without principle. With mammoth strength and mind-control powers, Grodd will not stop until he conquers the city with its heroes blood on his hands. Knowing full well he cannot defeat this new foe alone, The Flash will have to turn to his former enemies, the Rogues, if he wants to keep himself and Central City alive.
Granite Peak National Park
Dr. Henry Allen has been spending the last couple of weeks fishing and camping in Granite Peak National Park. This is an actual location near Central City, and if you happen to live in the Englewood area, you have one of the best views of the area.
Speaking of Maps
During the weekly 52 series, DC Comics hid a lot of information in a giant two-page spread of Rip Hunter’s lab. This gimmick/stunt left readers speculating about the meaning of the clues. I think DC is doing it again as we get a really good look at the 52 portals to Earth-2.
What does it mean!? Can’t wait to see your speculations in the comment section below.
All the Small Things
Gorilla Grodd uses his mind control powers to get scientists at various pharmaceutical labs to steal drugs that he can use to make more smart apes . Interestingly Cortexin is a real drug that improves learning effects on the cerebral cortex. Though I’m not a doctor, it looks like the drug is very controversial, and it should be, as you don’t want to accidentally create a telepathic ape with a plan to take over the world.
Cortexin has also appeared in DC Comics, most notably in Kamandi #16 from April, 1974. In the series, Dr. Michael Grant used Cortexin to test its mutagenic powers on lab animals. When the Great Disaster happened, all was though lost, until Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, exited his protective bunker (Command-D, get it?) and proceeded to roam the apocalyptic wasteland only to discover that those lab experiments had evolved into the walking talking rulers of the Earth.
Kamandi was created by the late, great Jack Kirby who came up with the initial idea in Alarming Tales #1 in September 1957, which means the concept where animals evolved to rule over humans came out years before the Planet of the Apes novel (1963) by Pierre Boulle. In a weird ironic twist, because DC Comics could not get the rights to adapt Planet of the Apes into comic books, they asked Jack to create something similar. Kirby took his 1957 tale and a few other ideas and mixed them together to bring forth Kamandi. Kirby worked on Kamandi for 37 issues from 1972 until January 1976.
And now you know… the rest of the story.
Dr. Shore and Vaughan Pharmaceuticals
As far as I can tell, there is no Vaughan Pharmaceuticals in the DC Comics, however, Brian K. Vaughan is a noted comic book author, who has penned many a series for DC Comics and Vertigo. One that might tie into this episode is Y, The Last Man, which features the last man on Earth, and his pet monkey, Apersand, roaming the country to find answers to what happened.
Yes, that is the same wheelchair Dr. Harrison Wells used while pretending to be injured in season one. There is a weird ominous feeling that came from watching Barry in the same situation as his former mentor.
The ’80s Called to Say, “Thank You”
There were two really great references to the ’80s in this week’s episode. The first was Cisco and Kendra’s trip to the movies to see the 1987 classic, The Princess Bride. A story full of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, monsters, giants, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles. When you think about it, Gorilla Warfare also featured all of those things -except for the fencing, unless you count Joe swinging around Barry’s cane… Princess Bride also featured Carol Kane as the wife of Miracle Max. Kane currently plays The Penguin’s mother on Gotham.
The other nod to ’80s movies came at the end of the show, where Cisco pulled a classic “Say Anything” move by holding up a basket of goodies outside of CC Jitters. If you needed another nudge to solidify this nod, the song playing during that bit was Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, the main theme from the movie.
The ’70s Called to Say, “Thanks for Bringing THAT Up”
I don’t care how fond your memories of the ’70s were, we all need to agree that most of the cartoon shows from that time were severely lacking in the intelligence department. Need proof?
Grape Ape and his friend Beegle Beagle usually move in a small yellow van driven by Beegle Beagle with Grape Ape sitting on the roof which can support his weight. A recurring bit of business would be for him to ‘rev up’ the tiny vehicle like a child with a friction toy, then hop aboard as the van would start on its way. Also, Grape Ape’s steps would often bounce Beegle into the air, where his legs would keep walking without breaking stride.
Thanks for digging that horrid memory up once again, Cisco.
Bary’s Getting a Flash Ring
While the team ponders what to do with the Reverse Flash costume, Barry asks everyone to figure out how the ring works.
The Flash’s Costume Ring first appeared in Showcase #4 from October 1956.
IT’S CALLED A SECRET IDENTITY FOR A REASON!
Dr. Harrison Wells(deceased)
- Eobard Thawne (as Dr. Harrison Wells)
- Dr. Harry Wells (Earth-2)
- Dr. Caitlin Snow
- Dr. Cisco Ramon
- Detective Joe West
- Dr. Martin Stein
- Mrs. Clarissa Stein
- Hartley Rathaway (Pied Piper)
- Felicity Smoak
- General Wade Eiling
- Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)
- John Diggle
Bette Sans Souci(deceased)
- Dr. Henry Allen (out of prison)
Iris West(in another timeline)
- Iris West-Allen (in the future)
- Iris West (via spark touch)
- Leonard Snart (Captain Cold)
Detective Eddie Thawne(deceased)
- Ray Palmer (The Atom)
- Brie Larvan
- Laurel Lance (Black Canary)
Hannibal Bates (Everyman)(deceased)
- Gorilla Grodd
- Lyla Diggle (Harbinger)
- Jay Garrick (The Flash of Earth-2)
- Dr. Henry Hewitt
- Jefferson Jackson
- Linda Park
And that should be everything! What did I miss? What did you catch? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts on this episode, and until next week – RUN, BARRY! RUN!
Next week is a break week, but the Legends of the DC Universe are beginning to form!
FLASHBACK: THE PODCAST
Want to hear Matthew Peterson and I sit down to discuss this episode in detail? If you are a Major Spoilers VIP, look for the Flashback Podcast hitting the VIP site very soon![signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog”][/signoff]