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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Flash of Two Worlds Poster

Early in the year I reported that Jay Garrick, the original Golden Age Flash, would be coming to CW’s Flash show in its second season. At the time, this raised a lot of questions. It had been announced that Jay Garrick would be on the show but now word about his abilities or how he’d be portrayed.  The only thing we’d heard was that he would be playing an older mentor figure to Barry, filling the boots of Dr. Harrison Wells from season 1. Well, we have our first major confirmation that CW is planning way more than that with this amazing Flash of Two Worlds reveal poster.

As you can see from the poster, Jay Garrick will have super speed in his appearance on the Flash and even be sporting a costume drawn directly from his Golden Age depiction. This is pretty good news as it confirms that CW will be working with the classical costume design for most of the JSA as they slowly introduced them over the course of season 2, instead the New 52 costume redesigns. More importantly, this poster confirms that CW is planning to introduce Earth 2 this coming season. 

I already covered Earth 2 in my JSA speculation piece but here’s the refresher. When DC Comics got back into the superhero genre in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, they did it by re-imagining a ton of their old superhero properties from World War 2.  Folks like Green Lantern, Flash, and the Atom all started out as home front heroes of the Second World War fighting fifth columnists, saboteurs, and gangsters.  So when the new versions of heroes were big hits it got some fans interested in seeing the classic versions of the characters return.  So Gardner Fox came up with the idea that all the classic hero characters still existed, only they existed in a parallel reality.  This way DC could have both the Justice Society and the Justice League run concurrently with each other, as well as team-up for special event stories.  The technique worked like gangbusters and insure that DC continued to develop the world and characters from their golden age instead of just letting them languish into obscurity like most of Marvel’s golden age heroes.  Additionally, the multiple Earth idea spun out into an entire Multiverse of realities, the idea being that because DC had purchased plenty of properties from other publishers those properties should exist in parallel realities.  So you got things like Earth-4, home of Charlton comics characters like Blue Beetle, the Question, and Captain Atom, Earth-5, the world of Shazam, and Earth-10, where the Nazis won World War 2 and are opposed by Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. 
CW’s Flash had been hinting at their own version of the multiverse near the end of season 1.  In the finale of season 1 the Reverse Flash told supporting character Cisco Ramone that he had the power to see through the universal membrane and see parallel worlds.  The idea here was that if someone changes the past, the present that they came from becomes its own parallel reality.  This means that the universe where Cisco was killed by the Reverse Flash or the world where Barry’s mom never died exist as part of the multiverse.  My guess is that the climax to Eddy Thawne’s arc in season 1 will in some way play into the idea that there’s another Earth out there where the Flash is Jay Garrick.  This same gimmick will probably extend to Legends of Tomorrow, CW’s crossover event mini-series, as that also involves Time Travel.  

This promotional image really shows how in tune CW is with its audience and the exuberance and energy they have for the source material.  They easily could’ve teased out Jay Garrick’s introduction to the show, having him slowly reveal his powers over a full season but they didn’t.  Instead they doubled down on the crazy, comic book nature of the series and dove head first into the source material with a kind of vibrant gusto we rarely see from DC adaptations.  That’s why The Flash really is the best DC adaptation of the decade; it’s the only one that actually wants to exist and enjoys being an adaptation.  It revels in its source material rather than being ashamed of its origins. 

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