The power is out, and that spells trouble for Barry Allen. How does he get his powers back and what do The Elongated Man and Fire have to do with any of it?
NOTE: This article is a rebuild from one lost in a server crash on Nov. 27, 2014.
The Freak of the Week is a recent addition to the DC universe, originally appearing as Blackout (aka Farooq) in the DC Comics series Flashpoint. In the series, Barry Allen travels to an alternate dimension where everything is flipped upside down. Cyborg has been recruiting some of Earth’s remaining metahumas including Blackout who has the power to control and generate electricity.
During a meeting with Batman, the Outsider revealed that had been hunting Blackout, because he wanted to use Blackout’s electric powers to light India. This hunt resulted in the loss of Blackout’s girlfriend and his departure from his school. The Outsider was also recruited into Cyborg’s team. Blackout voiced his reluctance working in a team with his worst enemy.
This all took place in Flashpoint Vol. 2 #1 (July, 2011). Blackout was created by James Robinson and Javi Fernandez.
LET’S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY
Outside of Jitters, Barry is held at gunpoint by a soon to be undressed mugger. Behind Barry are a number of posters advertising several dance clubs and movies, including:
Blue Devil: Hell To Pay– This is actually the sequel to the first Blue Devil movie, but we’ve already seen this poster as well as The Rita Farr Story, which focuses on Rita Farr, Elasti-Girl from the Doom Patrol.
Nighthawk and Cinnamon
The other easily recognizable poster was for a Western (that may also have a fair amount of romance in it) featuring Nighthawk and Cinnamon. The gunslinging duo most recently appeared in All-Star Western #7.
Nighthawk was created by Robert Kanigher and Charles Paris, and appeared in Western Comics #5 (September 1948). His real name is Hannibal Hawkes, and wandered the west as a traveling repairman. It’s interesting that he has a giant bird on his chest, but don’t think it is a reference to Nightwing. In a weird bit of retconning, Nighthawk was later revealed to be the reincarnation of Prince Khufu, who would later reincarnate into Carter Hall, the Golden Age Hawkman. It’s a real head scratcher and may have your head spinning too much if you start going down that rabbit hole, so it is better that we stick with the New 52 origin story that has him becoming a vigilante after the captain of his whaling boat (who had become like a father to him) died.
Cinnamon (aka Katherine “Kate” Manser) was created by Roger McKenzi, Dick Ayers, and Danny Bulanadi, and first appeared in Weird Western Tales #48 (September 1978). The daughter of a sheriff, Kate was sent to an orphanage after her father was killed by the Robinson gang during a bank robbery. At the orphanage she trained to be a gunfighter, and in the process, started using her father’s badge as a throwing star (it was the ’70s the height of the kung-fu era).
The other posters look to be advertising music venues in Central City, but sadly, none of them looked like they were advertising The Dark Side Club.
THE CLOCK KING
William Tockman, aka The Clock King, first appeared in Star Spangled Comics #70 (July, 1947) as a foe of Robin. This incarnation of The Clock King has no powers. The original Clock King was crated by Bill Finger. The version we saw in this week’s episode is usually an enemy of Green Arrow, and debuted in World’s Finest Comics #111 (August, 1960) and was created by France Herron and Lee Elias.
Like the comic version, Tockman is obsessed with time after his sister dies while he is locked up in prison.
In the episode “Time of Death”, the Clock King masterminds the theft of a hacking device that could be used to break into bank vaults and computer systems. It is revealed his motives are to raise money for medical treatment for his dying sister. He hacks into Felicity Smoak’s computer system and disables it, causing her to physically get involved in the efforts to capture him.
And yes, that is Robert Knepper reprising his role from Arrow. Another great crossover moment between the two series.
My favorite incarnation of The Clock King came from Batman: The Animated Series.
In the closing minutes of the episode, Dr. Wells does a lot of name dropping
Ralph Dibny – In the comics, Ralph Dibney drinks Gingold and becomes the The Elongated Man. Along with his wife Sue, the two become a fun loving couple who solve crimes, until it all goes to hell in Identity Crisis thanks to Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales. The Elongated Man first appeared in The Flash #112 on May 12, 1960, and has been a member of the Justice League . Ralph was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.
Al Rothstein (aka Atom Smasher) was created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway in All-Star Squadron #25 (September, 1983). He is the godson of Al Pratt, the Golden Age Atom, and has the ability to control his molecular structure. Originally, Al fought under the name of Nuklon before switching to Atom Smasher. Was the name change a good one? Probably.
Grant Emerson (aka Damage) first appeared during the Zero Hour event (the less said the better). Grant also has a connection to Al Pratt – he’s his son. Grant is able to produce explosive blasts with his hands.
During the Zero Hour crisis, Grant’s powers became the spark that restarted the universe after it was destroyed by Parallax; thanks to Damage’s powers, the new universe evolved along natural lines, guided by nature rather than the will of Parallax.
Damage was created tom Tom Joyner, Ph.D. and Bill Marimon in April, 1994.
Will Everett – There are four characters that have used the name Amazing-Man over the years, but the first was African-American Olympian Will Everett. After the 1936 Olympic Games, Everett could only find work as a janitor at a lab owned by Dr. Terry Curtis (aka Cyclotron). Amazing-Man has the ability to mimic whatever properties he touches. Amazing-Man first appeared in All-Star Squadron #23 in July, 1983, and was created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway.
Bea Da Costa – We all know the Brazilian hero as Fire from the Super Friends series in the 1970s, but did you know she was the president of the Brazilian branch of Wayne Enterprises? Of course this was all pre-Crisis. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Beatriz Bonilla da Costa started life as an amateur model before becoming an agent for the Brazillian National Information Service. During one of her missions she was trapped in an explosion, which resulted in her ability to blow fire. Originally, she took the name Green Flame, but after she became part of the Justice League International, she change her name to Fire.
Ronnie Raymond – Geez… can we mention Firestorm one more time?
There are just enough names being dropped that have been affected by Dr. Wells’s particle accelerator accident that it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a version of the Justice League form on the small screen, too.
- Level 52 – Where Girder was locked up
- 3,452 – the number of records Guideon checked when looking for references of The Flash in the future
- Log 52.435116 (etc.) – Dr. Wells’s entry logs on Barry Allen all start with 52
Hanging up around Barry’s room are posters of time-lapses showing streaks of light captured by the long exposures.
What did I miss this week? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts on the episode or to point out something cool from the show.
I really enjoy these. I never got into comics much as a kid, living in a semi-remote area with very little pocket money. I love all of the references planted, it makes me feel like the writers care about the property and it’s history. While still trying to remain true to it’s own style and feeling.
So happy the site is back up. :)