Flashback: The New Rogues (S03-E04)
Secrets are being kept, heroes continue to grow, and new rogues appear as Mirror Master and The Top make their Arrowverse debut.
THE NEW ROGUES
Barry continues to train Jesse and, when a new meta human, Mirror Master, appears on the scene he lets her tag along. Mirror Master has teamed up with his old partner, Top, and is looking for Leonard Snart to even a score. Jesse is quick to join the chase but defies on of Barry’s orders, resulting in disastrous consequences.
Am I the only one who is happy Mirror Master finally got his live action debut this week? Though there have been four characters who have taken the name Mirror Master, only two of them were the real deal.
Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in The Flash #105 (March, 1959), Sam Scudder learned how to get inside his own reflection. Yeah…
Because gimmicks are always a thing with villains, Mirror Master would use mirrors to hypnotize his foes, make himself (or others) invisible, create holograms, communicate, and travel to other dimensions.
Scudder and his mirror antics lasted well into the 1980s until an event called Crisis on Infinite Earths lead to Scudder’s death when the criminal died protecting the multiverse.
Interestingly, the first appearance of Mirror Master seemed to mirror (ha-ha) the final fight between Barry and Scudder in this week’s episode.
Also, while Mirror Master is seen holding a gun in this cover image, Sam Scudder didn’t have a mirror gun, that was the gimmick of the second Mirror Master.
Before you get too upset that the newer version of Mirror Master wasn’t used in this week’s episode, Evan McCulloh did get a name drop as the Mirror Master of Earth-2. Evan McCulloch was created by Grant Morrison and Chaz Truog in Animal Man #8 in 1989. If you are a fan of the Justice League animated series, you’ve seen Mirror Master use his mirror gun to transport Wally to the mirror universe, but not THAT Mirror Universe.
Roscoe Neyle Dillon was a small-time crook who taught himself how to spin fast enough to deflect bullets. An unusual side-effect of spinning really fast also gave him increased intelligence. Yup, that’s right increased intelligence… remember that the next time you take part in one of those spin-in-circles-with-your-child contests – it’s actually making you smarter! or something…
In the early days, Top used trick tops to commit his crimes, but eventually his increased mental abilities gave him the ability to use psionic powers as well. When he died (and came back from hell), Dillon developed the ability to induce vertigo in his targets.
This week, the creators opted to Rule 63 Top into Rosalind Dillon, and gave her vertigo powers (though we did get to see her spin like a top when Jesse went on the offensive). Top may have had the worst costume of all of Flash’s villains, but we did get to see Rosalind don the green and yellow when she dressed up to rob the 1st National Bank. Also, those paying close attention noticed her eyes flashed yellow and green while she was using her powers.
Actress Ashley Rickards, who played Top, is not related to Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak on Arrow.
Top first appeared in The Flash #122 in August 1961. The character was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Why do all the bad guys hang out in abandoned factories, and why hasn’t Central City done some urban renewal to bring new business to town? This week, The Top and Mirror Master hang out at Broome Industries. This is a great nod to comic book creator John Broome, the creator of Barry Allen, Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and slew of DC Comics characters.
Located about three miles north of Keystone City, Iron Heights Penitentiary is known for its vicious and brutal treatment of its prisoners. Under the ruthless authority of the current Warden, Gregory Wolfe, a former prosecutor of St. Louis, Iron Heights has become a living “hell-hole” to those in the prison. Possessing a personal hatred for the supervillains, Wolfe instituted a lockdown system in the building, and guards were ordered to shoot any prisoner on sight if they were trying to escape or caught outside the prison. Also, the prisoners were beaten on a daily basis. Wolfe has the superhuman ability to tense up others’ muscles, which he uses on the prisoners, guards, and even the Flash, making them suffer cramps or discomfort that force them to halt until his power dissipates.
Here are the known inmates of Iron Heights:
- Black Lightning
- Brie Larvan (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Captain Cold (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Clay Parker
- Doctor Alchemy (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Dr. Michael Christian Amar
- Double Down
- Girder (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Gorilla Grodd (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Trickster (James Jesse) (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Peek-a-Boo (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Pied Piper (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Tar Pit (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Top (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
- Weather Wizard (has appeared in the Arrowverse)
There used to be an infinite number of Earths in the Multiverse, but when Crisis on Infinite Earths happened in 1986, DC Comics reduced the number of Earths to one. This caused a lot of problems that lead to retcons upon retcons for decades. Slowly new Earths appeared, and during DC’s 52 event, the number of Earths was reduced/increased to 52. Then more silly Multiverse events happened, and right now we know there are at least three (Main DCU, Earth-Society, and Earth-3). Grant Morrison attempted to bring back even more during Multiversity, but it looks like DC hasn’t fully embraced that line of thinking.
While Steampunk Harrison Wells may look pretty cool to you, in comics Earth-17 was the home of Captain Adam Strange and the Atomic Knights of Justice. On Earth-17, the nuclear button was pushed in 1963.
Fifty years after the fallout, Captain Adam Strange and his Atomic Knights of Justice lead an effort to preserve what’s left of Novamerika, while continuing to defend it. On a nuclear-infused planet where monsters, mutations and mad science have become commonplace, these adventurers know the fragile state of mankind sits on a razors edge between rebirth and heartbreak. As if channeling the famed Conquistador stories of old, this brave group of 21st Century adventurers is on a mission to seek out the elusive Cosmic Grail, the only weapon that can defend Earth-17 from a threat worse than any nuclear war—Darkseid the Destroyer.
The heroes of this universe were actually part of an experiment created by the government. The inhabitants of this Earth were Overman (Superman’s counterpart), who went mad and destructive after contracting an STD; a black and muscular Wonder Woman; an unnamed Flash; and a punk-style Green Lantern.
Home of H.R. Wells, the happier, more fun loving version of Earth-2’s Harry Wells. Though there wasn’t an Earth-19 in the Pre-Crisis continuity, Earth-19 in Post-52 universe is the world where Gotham by Gaslight is a reality.
Innovation is king. New art styles are being explored. Profound and exciting advances in science are being made, and the air crackles with discovery. New electrical technologies have been introduced to this world in the throes of an industrial revolution, and change is the only constant. It’s a place where intellect and culture combine in fervent discussions against a backdrop of elegant post-Victorian era aesthetics. King Edward rules this 21st century empire where the past feels like the future. This is Earth-19.
Earth-19 may appear to lag a century behind other worlds in the Multiverse, but that doesn’t mean its citizens are completely behind the times. Quite the opposite. They are focused on progress and that can only be helped by the arrival of the super-humans. Bat-Man, Accelerated Man, The Wonder Woman, The Shrinking Man and others all stand ready to defend the Modernist world and its values. If any Earth is prepared to handle unusual and trying challenges, it’s Earth-19.
Seeing Steampunk Harry claim he was from Earth-17 is a bit of a letdown, and maybe even a small mistake that only those of us who travel down the Flash Rabbit Hole (Earth-C is the home of Terry Terrapin, aka Fastback) will have noticed.
H.R. Wells says hello to who he believes to the the inhabitants of Terra-Prime – the closest naming of Earth-Prime, the Earth where we live, and all superheroes exist only in fiction. I have mentioned a couple of times in the Flashback Podcast that a really interesting episode of The Flash would feature our hero traveling to Earth-Prime, meeting Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti, discovering his adventures are being broadcast weekly, and where finally, we would get the cosmic treadmill to become a part of the Arrowverse.
Oh, and in case you think the creators missed a perfect opportunity to make a Star Trek “Mirror, Mirror” reference, Terra-Prime was the title of the 21st episode of the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Barry uses the Droste Effect to trap/reduce Mirror Master’s powers in this episode so he could get a pair or meta-human handcuffs on the villain. While the name may not be familiar, it is something you have seen before.
The Droste effect—known as mise en abyme in art—is the effect of a picture appearing within itself, in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear. The appearance is recursive: the smaller version contains an even smaller version of the picture, and so on. Only in theory could this go on forever; practically, it continues only as long as the resolution of the picture allows, which is relatively short, since each iteration geometrically reduces the picture’s size. It is a visual example of a strange loop, a self-referential system of instancing which is the cornerstone of fractal geometry.
IT’S CALLED A SECRET IDENTITY FOR A REASON!
Dr. Harrison Wells(deceased?)
- Eobard Thawne
- 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 (deceased)
- Iris West (in another timeline)
- Iris West-Allen (in the future)
- Iris West (via spark touch)
- Iris West (of Earth-2)
- Iris West (in yet another timeline)
- 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)
- Dr. Tina McGee
- Wally West
- Nora Allen (
no longer deceaseddeceased once more)
- Zoom (aka Hunter Zolomon)
- H.R. Wells (of Earth-19)
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
Matthew Peterson and I sit down each week to discuss this episode in detail on the Flashback podcast. If you are a Major Spoilers Patreon Member, look for the Flashback Podcast very soon!