Gorilla Grodd returns this week in an all new The Flash. Will Barry and friends be able to help Harry, or will Earth-2 be doomed?
When Jesse Quick informs the team that her father has been abducted, Barry, Caitlin, Cisco and Julian voyage to Earth-2 on a rescue mission to save Harry from Gorilla City. As they track through the forest, Barry and the team are immediately captured and brought to Grodd. Grodd tells them he needs their help to stop Solovar, the leader of Gorilla City, as Solovar wants to invade Earth-1.
Hidden deep in the jungles of Africa, Gorilla City is home to a race of super-intelligent gorillas. In comics, the gorillas received their telepathic powers from a meteorite that fell near the city. In Flash #106 (May, 1959), Gorilla Grodd comes to Central City looking for a way to control Gorilla City so he could take over the world.
Interestingly, Gorilla City has technology far beyond those of normal man. Part of this could be due to the accelerated thinking given to the gorillas by the meteorite, but there are two retcons that should be mentioned. The first is that Gorilla City was the result of a crashed spacecraft. The other is that Green Lantern brought Gorilla City to Earth from the planet Calor. (DC Super-Stars #14 (June, 1977), making Solovar, Gorilla Grodd and the rest aliens… Fortunately, the spaceship and Green Lantern origins appear to have disappeared during Crisis on Infinite Earths (for good).
But Flash #106 was not the first time a Gorilla City appeared in comics.
In Congo Bill #6 (1955), Gorilla City appears as a refuge of intelligent gorillas who were stranded on Earth from the planet Mars. By the end of the issue, the gorillas were able to make it back to Mars. So, if you hear people referring to Congo Bill’s Gorilla City, it is not the same Gorilla City from Flash #106, which itself is not the same Gorilla City we see in this week’s episode.
One final note about Gorilla City, it has the ability (via technology or mental prowess from the gorillas) to be hidden from the rest of the world. There have been times the city has revealed itself to the world, but that resulted in the death of Solovar, and the entire JLApe event, which is something best left for another time…
If you watched this episode thinking Solovar was the big bad, hopefully by the end you figured out Solovar was being controlled by Grodd the entire time. Solovar is actually the good guy in the DC Comics universe, also appearing in Flash #106. In the story, Grodd is stalking Central City because Solovar is the only gorilla that can control others. Solovar came to Central City, pretending to be a regular dumb gorilla to protect Gorilla City from the rest of the world. Grodd ends up stealing Solovar’s Force of Mind powers, and briefly takes control of Gorilla City before Solovar and The Flash team to stop him.
Through comics history, Solovar and Flash (and the entire JLA) often work together to keep Grodd at bay. Solovar, Gorilla Grodd, and this version of Gorilla City were all created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.
Bludhaven is given a name drop this week. Though the city first appeared in Season 1 of Arrow, getting a name drop here continues the build on the world of the Arrowverse.
In comics, Bludhaven is a sister city to Gotham City (just up the river), and was home to Nightwing during 1996 series, written by Chuck Dixon, with art by Scott McDaniel. The former whaling town failed to transform itself into a thriving manufacturing and shipping center in the early 1900’s and fell under control of mobsters and corrupt officials. By the time Nightwing made Bludhaven his home, Blockbuster had begun making the city his home, too. This lead to many confrontations between the two, including Blockbuster’s death at the hands of the Tarantula.
During Infinite Crisis, the Secret Society of Super-Villains dropped the being known as Chemo on the city, turning it into a radioactive wasteland.
When Jessie and Wally stop the bank robbery at the O’Sullivan Bank, eagle-eyed viewers will remember that is the same location used for the Fox Bank on Earth-3 during The Present episode.
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)(deceased) 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-38)
- James Olsen (of Earth-38)
- Alex Danvers (of Earth-38)*
- Martian Manhunter (of Earth-38)*
- Winn Schott (of Earth-38)
- Cat Grant (of Earth-38)
- Lucy Lane (of Earth-38)
- Everyone at the DEO (of Earth-38)
- Dr. Tina McGee
- Wally West
- Nora Allen (
no longer deceaseddeceased once more)
- Zoom (aka Hunter Zolomon)
- H.R. Wells (of Earth-19)
- Mick Rory (Heat Wave)
- Rip Hunter
- Sara Lance (White Canary)
- Commander Steel
- Julian Albert Desmond
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 remember – 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!