Barry Allen was the fastest man alive, then one day, he wasn’t.
Major Spoilers brings you another installment of Flashback, a look back at the television series, The Flash, though the lens of the comic book source material.
Zoom arrives back on Earth-1 intent on taking over Central City. Barry and Wells come up with a plan to stop Zoom once and for all but it’s extremely dangerous. Unsure if he should take the risk, Barry reaches out to both fathers for advice. Henry is adamantly opposed to Barry risking his life again but Joe thinks he can handle it which puts the two men at odds with each other. Meanwhile, Cisco is shocked when he vibes the Earth-2 villain Rupture, who happens to be his brother Dante’s doppelgänger. Rupture came to this Earth seeking justice for Reverb’s death. Iris decides she’s finally ready to open up to Barry about her feelings for him.
Cicco’s concern for his brother leads to the revelation that Earth-2 Dante Ramon has become the villain Rupture. If you think it is that cut and dried when it comes to the comic book version, it’s not that simple.
On Earth-1, Cisco is known as Vibe, and since the creators don’t want to confuse viewers with a second Vibe running around, Earth-2 Cisco was called Reverb. It makes sense, the two words are somewhat related to one another, but when it comes to relations, Cisco’s brother had the name first.
Armando Ramone, a leader of a Detroit street gang, has the ability to manipulate sound waves and becomes the hero Reverb to honor his fallen brother, Paco Ramone (aka Cisco). Later, he became the hero Hardline, and a member of the Conglomerate. Armando first appeared in Justice League of America #233 in December, 1984, and was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton.
So why Rupture? Well…it all has to do with the Flashpoint event.
After being transported to another universe during Darkseid’s invasion of Earth (see the first Justice League arc in the New 52), he took the name Rupture, and was given a weapon that allows him to shoot lightning, very similar to what we saw in this week’s episode.
Harry Wells suggests in order for Barry to get his powers back they should subject him to the same events that caused him to get his powers in the first place – namely shoot him full of chemicals, douse him with dark matter particles, and electrocute him with lightning. Seems like a crazy idea, but that is exactly what Barry Allen begged Thomas Wayne to do in Flashpoint.
In Flashpoint, Barry gets his greatest wish ever; to get his mother back. But in the process everything gets flipped upside down. Instead of Thomas and Martha Wayne dying outside the theater, young Bruce was murdered, causing his father to become Batman and his mother to go crazy and become the Joker. The Amazons and Atlanteans are battling across Europe for dominance, and Superman has been locked in an underground bunker since he was a baby. If that wasn’t horrible, Barry discovers he doesn’t have his speed powers, and when he confronts Thomas Wayne, he convinces him to go through with the crazy experiment.
It doesn’t work the first time, causing Barry to be horribly burned. Knowing that he must undo Eobard Thawne’s time manipulations, he forces Thomas to electrocute him again. It all works out in the end, because once Barry get his powers back, he’s able to speed heal himself, undo the Reverse-Flash’s time manipulation, and brings the Flashpoint universe to an end. Of course that leads to the post-Flashpoint universe that we know now as The New 52.
Before you jump to the comment section with a “Weeeeeeeel,” keep in mind this is a super overview of the storyline as it relates to The Flash. You should really check out Flashpoint #1-5, or better yet, check out the Flashpoint animated movie to save yourself some time.
BUT, BARRY DIDN’T GET A NASTY BURN, HE DIED!
The closing moments of this week’s episode had Barry disappearing a burst of light – we even saw his body blow apart! Fear not Dear Reader, there is an explanation for all of this, and Barry’s return.
Barry has merged with the Speed Force.
The Speed Force is an extra-dimensional energy that powers the Flash’s superhuman abilities. Nearly every speedster in the DCU has been able to tap into the Speed Force to gain their speed. Jay Garrick was able to get his powers from the god Mercury. If it helps, you can think of the Speed Force as The Force, an energy that is all around us, that few can tap into. Max Mercury, the Zen Master of Speed, was the first to study and understand its powers, and Bart Allen (aka Impulse) could control the Speed Force and commune with the spirits inside.
Yes. Spirits inside. When speedsters die, they become one with the Speed Force, and it becomes a kind of afterlife for the.
“In The Flash: Rebirth #4, Max Mercury revealed to Barry Allen that the Speed Force was created by Allen, himself, when he became the Silver Age Flash; adding that, “When [Allen runs, he generates] the kinetic wall between the present and the time barrier. It’s an electrical energy that exists in every dimension, every universe, and every era. It touches every part of reality. It contains the knowledge of every place and time. “
But that doesn’t mean that Barry Allen is dead.
Wally West (the best Flash in comics), was once lost in time and space, but his connection to his wife, Linda Park allowed him to come back from the other side because their love was so strong. While it isn’t Linda and Wally, I have a feeling Iris’s “No matter what, I still love you, “ moments that popped up more than once in this episode will be the lighthouse that returns Barry from the Speed Force.
BUT THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION!
Yes, the particle accelerator once again broke its containment unit and flooded STAR Labs with energy. Pay close attention to everyone who was caught in the blast:
Wally West (aka Kid Flash)
Since being saved by The Flash, Wally has acquired a bad case of hero worship. In comics, Wally West is the nephew of Iris West, and thinks the Flash is the bee’s knees. While visiting Barry Allen’s crime lab at the Central City police department, the same accident that gave Barry his powers, struck Wally, giving him the powers of the Flash (in kid form). This incident is chronicled in The Flash #110 from 1959.
Barry eventually reveals he is the Flash, and the two team to fight crime together. When Barry made the ultimate sacrifice in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally took on the title of The Flash as a tribute to honor his uncle.
Though it is on a much smaller scale, Wally West was indeed struck by the particle accelerator and will no doubt gain speed powers.
Jessie Wells (aka Jessie Quick aka Jesse Chambers)
More than once this season, Harry Wells has called his daughter Jessie Quick, a not so subtle nod to one of the few female speedsters in the DC Universe.
Jesse Chambers is the daughter of Golden Age heroes Jonny Quick and Liberty Belle. She first appeared in Justice Society of America #1 in August 1992, and was created by Len Strazewski and Mike Parobeck.
During her original run (no pun intended), Jesse acquired the powers of both parents, which means she has the ability to run super fast (by chanting the secret mathematical formula 3X2(9YZ)4A), and has her mother’s super-strength. After her initial appearance in JSA #1, she became a friend of the Flash, and some of her best stories occurred during the Mark Waid Flash era of the ’90s.
While the Jay Garrick you’ve known and loved has been revealed to be the psychotic creation of Hunter Zolomon, the Garrick name gets dropped more than once in this episode – almost like the writers WANT you to pay attention to it.
During his reunion with his father, Barry mentions that Jay Garrick is Zoom, to which Henry Allen responds “Garrick was my mother’s maiden name.” It makes sense then that Henry Allen could become a speedster. He was struck by the particle accelerator explosion AND actor John Wesley Ship did play The Flash in the 90’s television series. With the Jay Garrick helmet lying around STAR Labs, I could really see him becoming the Jay Garrick Barry needs.
THAT DIRECTOR, THAT EFFECTS SUPERVISOR
Here’s something you don’t see happen every day – this week’s episode is directed by Armen V. Kevorkian. It was his first time directing (according to IMDB), but not the first time he’s worked on The Flash. Kevorkian is the series’ visual effects supervisor, and with a effects heavy episode, he did a great job capturing the action for the special effects. Kevorkian is also the effects supervisor for Supergirl, the pilot episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Tomorrow People, Homeland, Ghost Whisperer, and a lot lot more. What does this mean? It means I need to become friends with Greg Berlanti and Alex Kurtzman who have produced and created many of the show Kevorkian has worked on.
Hello Mr. Berlanti and Mr. Kurtzman, I’m Stephen. I’d love to work on The Flash.
Seriously though, I think Armen’s directing of this episode was really good, and I’m glad he was given the chance to direct an episode that was important to the overall story this season.
THE LITTLE THINGS
Did Barry and Cisco create a Life Model Decoy when they created a hologram of The Flash?
If you want your own Hologram Flash, and you have a holographic pyramid for your mobile device, check this out.
World of Warcraft
Blizzard’s most famous game, World of Warcraft got two shoutouts this week. The first was when Cisco was controlling Holo-Flash and attempted to stop a couple of baddies. Cisco begins to shout LEEROY JERKINS! just as he kicks the hologram into high gear.
Leeroy Jenkins is an Internet meme named for a player character created by Ben Schulz in Blizzard Entertainment’s MMORPG World of Warcraft. The character became popular due to a video of the game that circulated on the Internet. The phenomenon has since spread beyond the boundaries of the gaming community into other online and mainstream media.
The other was when Dante started questioning Cisco over the sudden appearance (and revelation) of Rupture. Cisco calls Rupture Dante’s World of Warcraft doppelgänger.
Plastic Man hanging out in police HQ?
Did anyone notice the striped pattern on the ceiling of the Central City police department? It’s been absent for a while, which should cause a number of us to wonder if Plastic Man is back.
Weather Wizard and Harry Potter Convention
This season has been ripe with Harry Potter references, and the movie/book franchise also got two nods this week. The first when Harry told Cisco to get his wand, but not the wand he made for the Harry Potter convention, and the second when Cisco used Weather Wizards wand to call down lightning from the sky, though I think ”expecto patronum” is supposed to bring forth a white shield of positive energy.
Great Scott, It’s Working!
Cisco made even more references this week, first referencing the lack of the television series Fringe on Earth-2, but also giving a shoutout to Back to the Future, and Doc Brown’s favorite expression.
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)
- Iris West (of Earth-2)
- 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 (Firestorm)
- Linda Park
- Malcolm Merlin/Al Sa-Her/Ra’s al Ghul
- Vandal Savage
- Kendra Saunders (Hawkgirl)
- Cater Hall (Hawkman)
- Thea Queen (Speedy)
- Patty Spivot
- Barry Allen (of Earth-2)
- Killer Frost (of Earth-2)
- Jesse Quick (of Earth-2)
- Supergirl/Kara Zor-El (of Earth-CBS)
- James Olsen (of Earth-CBS)
- Alex Danvers (of Earth-CBS)*
- Martian Manhunter (of Earth-CBS)*
- Winn Schott (of Earth-CBS)
- Cat Grant (of Earth-CBS)
- Lucy Lane (of Earth-CBS)
- Everyone at the DEO (of Earth-CBS)
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!
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!