In Theory: The Flash

The Flash

The Flash

Howdy folks, with things somewhat quieter for me at the start of the year, I’m revisiting an old feature where I list the top ten characters I’d love to see in a TV show adaptation, or alternatively, the characters I would use if I were writing that hero.

Today, we’re looking at The Flash.

If you want to see my previous attempt at this, then In Theory: Arrow is still up on the blog.

10. Roscoe Hynes/Turbine/Savitar

Roscoe Hynes/Turbine

Roscoe Hynes/Turbine

Roscoe Hynes, as Turbine, is a fairly new character. He first appeared in The Flash (vol. 4) #8 in 2012. However, he is an amalgamation of a couple of older characters.

Roscoe Hynes was a pilot. While flying a prototype plane, he vanished during World War II, getting absorbed by the Speed Force. After the Flash enters the Speed Force, Hynes is able to follow him out, emerging in the present day.

As Turbine, he joins the Rogues, a collection of the Flash’s enemies.

Turbine uses the Speed Force to rotate quickly, creating vortexes of wind. In this, he is very similar to the classic character known as the Top, who had the civilian identity of Roscoe Dillon. However, his origin matches that of Savitar, who first appeared in 1995.

The Savitar of the comics has a different identity than the character who appeared in the TV series, being a Cold War pilot from a third-world nation who disappeared into the Speed Force, gaining his powers.

His name was never revealed.

While Turbine is dead in current continuity, that is usually a temporary condition in comic books. It would be interesting to draw from these different sources to revitalize the character. As Turbine or Savitar, he could exist alongside the classic Top.

And as Turbine, the television series could use the classic Savitar origin to introduce this character, and even tie him into the show’s Savitar mythos.

9. Fiona Webb/Beverly Lewis

Fiona Webb/Beverly Lewis

Fiona Webb/Beverly Lewis

With the popularity of Iris West, it is a real pity that Barry Allen’s other love interests don’t usually get a chance to shine, but Barry Allen does have other love interests.

Introduced in The Flash #285, Beverly Lewis was given the name Fiona Webb as a part of the Witness Protection Program. After Iris West was murdered by Eobard Thawne (she was later brought back to life by her parents from the future), Barry met Fiona and they fell for each other.

As the Flash, Barry captured Fiona’s former boss, who she had witnessed murdering someone, and sent him to jail.  Fiona briefly dated Senator Creed Phillips, before he was revealed as the killer vigilante; the Eradicator. After he was unmasked, Creed killed himself.

Barry and Fiona started spending time together, and soon they were engaged. But Reverse-Flash turned up at the wedding, threatening to kill Fiona, like he had killed Iris. Thawne would not allow Barry to have a happy ending.

The Flash was forced to kill Thawne, before he could murder Fiona.

Fiona was left at the altar and had a mental breakdown. The Flash was reunited with Iris in the future, but was soon after killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

I think it would be great to establish Fiona Webb as a part of Barry’s history in the comics, handling the situation better than it was written at the time.

And I’d love to see Fiona get a happy ending.

The storyline with Beverly’s boss Ross Malverk, with Creed Phillips/The Eradicator or Fiona’s doomed friendship/romance with Barry would all make for good material for The Flash TV series.

If Eddie Thawne was ever introduced in the comics, or gets brought back on the show, then Fiona might be a good character for Eddie to end up with, and it would be interesting to tie Fiona back to Eobard Thawne, the man who tried to kill her.

8. Joar Mahkent/Icicle

Joar Mahkent/Icicle

Joar Mahkent/Icicle

In the television series, the identity of Icicle was used by Caitlin Snow’s father when he was revealed as a supervillain, but the character from the comics is quite different.

Joar Mahkent first appeared in All-American Comics #90 in 1947. He was opposed by Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. Dr. Joar Mahkent invented a cold gun, which he used to commit crimes. In this, he is somewhat similar to Captain Cold.

After his death, the identity of Icicle was picked up by his son; Cameron Mahkent. Legacy characters are always good characters to feature on television shows, as it allows new actors to take up the role. As an ice themed villain, Joar Mahkent would be a good addition to the television series, possibly filling the role vacated by Captain Cold, after that character joined Legends of Tomorrow and was killed off.

A character based on Icicle appeared in the Justice League animated series, and was named Dr. Blizzard, which presents an alternate name for the character (should that be deemed necessary for the television series).

It’s fun to present similar characters like Captain Cold, Killer Frost and Icicle, and then contrast and compare them.

7. Richard Swift/The Shade

Richard Swift/The Shade

Richard Swift/The Shade

Richard “Dick” Swift started out in Flash Comics #33 (1942) as a villain who could manipulate shadows, even forming solid constructs and “demons”.

Later revealed as an immortal, born in London in 1838, the Shade had an ongoing feud with the Ludlow family.

In the present day, after fighting both the Jay Garrick and Barry Allen iterations of the Flash, the Shade eventually reformed. He’s always remained somewhat morally ambiguous, but for the most part, he is a hero.

Because of his powers, the Shade is a visually interesting character, which would be great to feature on The Flash show, and his history could be explored in both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

His character would be a great window into the history of both Central City and Keystone City, making him a really interesting character to feature in future comic book stories.

6. Blue Bolt

Blue Bolt

Blue Bolt

Blue Bolt is a character I’d love to see feature in The Flash television series or in the comic books. He originates from the sixties animated series The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure in an episode titled “To Catch a Blue Bolt”.

He was an alien speedster who had previously been defeated by the Flash and exiled back into space. Blue Bolt decided to get revenge by destroying famous landmarks.

And not much else was established about the character.

However, he has a very cool design. If I were writing the character, I’d ditch the idea that he’s from outer space, and have him come from an alternate Earth instead. But, perhaps an Earth with a radically different history.

The Flash television series has played around a lot with alternate Earths, so this would be a natural way to introduce the character in any medium.

5. Daphne Dean

Daphne Dean

Daphne Dean

The childhood sweetheart of Barry Allen, the beautiful Daphne Dean was introduced in Flash #126 where it was revealed that she had grown up to become an actress.

After she got over Barry, the actress fell for the Flash, and tried to convince him to date her. Her interactions with the Flash were a mixture of genuine attraction and self-promotion, although she once made amends by standing-in for Iris when her life was in danger, showing she was a good person.

Daphne Dean is interesting as a character because she doesn’t know the Flash’s secret identity, an element of the superhero genre that The Flash television series hasn’t played around with for a while.

Yes, if she were introduced on the show, she couldn’t be romantically involved with Barry, as he’s married, but her character could provide conflict if she decided to make a play for the Flash. How would both Barry and Iris react to someone showing public interest in the Flash? What would happen when the tabloids ran with it? It could provide some fun tension on the show.

In the comics, she could return and play a similar role. The best comic books have always contained a healthy dose of soap opera, and that’s exactly what Daphne Dean would bring.

4. Daniel West/The Reverse-Flash

Daniel West/The Reverse-Flash

Daniel West/The Reverse-Flash

In the New 52 reboot, in 2012, the Reverse-Flash was revealed as Iris West’s younger brother; Daniel West. Although he was a criminal, going to jail after he was apprehended by the Flash, Daniel still cared about his sister.

When he got out on parole, he sought to reconcile with Iris, but was involved in an accident with a speed force battery during a gorilla invasion of Central City led by Gorilla Grodd.

The accident gave Daniel the ability to run back in time, and he began killing others with the Speed Force, draining them of energy so he could run back further in time.

Daniel’s goal was to travel back in time to murder his father; William West, an alcoholic he blamed for his life going wrong.

Originally Daniel was presented an the uncle of Wally West, but after it was established that Iris had two nephews named Wally, he was retroactively made one of their fathers.

The Flash convinced Daniel to reform, and he died a hero, as a member of the Suicide Squad. But he’s an interesting character, who it would be great to see again in the comic books.

The Flash television series has as a theme, the importance of family, so any chance to expand and explore the West family should always be taken. Plus, his mission to murder his father, paints Daniel as a dark mirror to Barry (who is the show, and in some versions of the comic, had his own mother murdered by the time travelling Eobard Thawne, and attempted to undo it with time travel). Daniel West is a tragic character, with a lot of pathos.

Now, in the television series, Wally West is presented an Iris’ brother, not her nephew, and Joe West is a very different character from William West. However, it would be interesting to see Daniel introduced somehow, maybe even reversing his relationship with Wally, and having him as Wally’s resentful son from the future.

3. Barry Allen/Pollux

Barry Allen/Pollux

Barry Allen/Pollux

Pollux appeared in the 1991 series The Flash. In the episode “Twin Streaks” Pollux was created by scientists, and after being mistreated, killed them and sought out the Flash. He saved the real Barry Allen’s life, taking a bullet that was meant for him.

His name comes from Castor and Pollux, the Gemini Twins of Greek Mythology.

A duplicate Flash is an interesting idea. In the modern series, this has been explored slightly with time remnants, although none of them remained around for an extended period of time.

The character Savitar from the show was a time remnant from the future, who claimed he went bad because his friends refused to accept him. This however, was never explored on-screen, only mentioned as part of an aborted future timeline.

By combing the Savitar of the show with Pollux, you would have some interesting ground to explore either in the comics or the current television series. Who is the real Barry Allen? Who gets to live his life? Who gets to be with Iris? And would the Barry Allen of the show be hostile, fearing his double might go on to become Savitar reborn?

2. Thomas Hallaway/The Spider

Tom Hallaway/Alias the Spider

Tom Hallaway/Alias the Spider

Alias the Spider was a feature which first appeared in Crack Comics #1 (1940). Thomas Hallaway was an archer, who used the identity of the Spider to fight crime.

Along with his bow and arrow, he used other gadgets like a unique car called The Black Widow.

If he appeared on the Flash television series, he would evoke other superheroes like Batman and the Green Arrow. It would be interesting to see another gadget based superhero team up with the Flash like the Green Arrow did.

However, after DC Comics bought Alias the Spider from Quality Comics, they decided to reinvent him.

Thomas Ludlow Hallaway was merely a criminal pretending to be a superhero. As a member of the superhero team the Seven Soldiers of Victory, the Spider betrayed his allies, murdering the Vigilante’s friend Billy Gunn.

As a Ludlow, the Spider is also an enemy of Richard Swift/The Shade. In the comics, he planned on murdering Jay Garrick and his wife, framing the Shade.

If the Spider was to feature on The Flash television series, it would be intriguing to present him as an Oliver Queen style hero, trying to track down the supervillain – The Shade. The situation could them be revealed later that the reverse is true. That really the Shade is the hero, and Thomas Hallaway, Alias the Spider, is the villain. The Flash and his team would be revealed to have been aiding the bad guy, while the good guy had to fight against them.

1. Malcolm Thawne/Cobalt Blue

Malcolm Thawne/Cobalt Blue

Malcolm Thawne/Cobalt Blue

Malcolm Thawne was the twin brother of Barry Allen. When the doctor who operated on Barry’s mother accidentally killed the child that belonged to Charlene Thawne, he presented Malcolm as her son, to cover his mistake.

The Allen’s never knew about Barry’s brother, and he grew up a Thawne.

Malcolm’s parents were con artists, but his grandmother gifted him with a talisman that let him control ‘blue flame’. Malcolm could project blue flame from his body and steal powers from others, usually using his ability to steal the speed of the Flash.

The character was first introduced in Speed Force #1 (1997) and established an the ancestor of Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash. He is very much the comic book counterpart of Eddie Thawne who appeared in The Flash television series.

What is actually surprising and interesting, is that Malcolm isn’t a natural super-speedster, although he can use his power to steal that ability. With so many speedsters used as enemies of the Flash, this is a really refreshing choice.

His identity as Barry’s twin is a bit too convoluted and should probably be dropped if he ever returns in the comic books.

Rick Cosnett portrayed Eddie Thawne wonderfully on The Flash television series, and it would be a real treat to see this characterization used in the comics. Hopefully Cosnett returns to The Flash television series, and elements of the Cobalt Blue storyline could be adapted for his character.

His use as a sympathetic character, and his relationship with Eobard Thawne, is exactly what both the comic books and the show needs.

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