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Flash Facts - S01E03 "Things You Can't Outrun"

Written by Christian on Wednesday, October 22 2014 and posted in Features

Flash Facts - S01E03

A look back at the Easter eggs and comic references from last night's episode.

Welcome to Flash Facts, a new weekly column dedicated to discussing the various comic book references, Easter Eggs and other cool facts about The Flash, CW's new superhero show. While I'll attempt to be as thorough as possible, I'll definitely miss a reference here and there. If I miss something, feel free to comment or shoot me a Tweet at @OH_IGW, and I'll gladly add it in and credit you. If you enjoy this column, be sure to check out Arrow Annotations, which discusses similar references over on Arrow.

Blue Devil II - Barry and Iris leave a theater that has two movie titles on its marquee.  The first is Blue Devil II.  In the comics, the Blue Devil is a mystically powered DC superhero.  After being cast as the lead role in a movie titled Blue Devil, stuntman Daniel Cassidy creates a full body devil suit with various special effects built into it. When some of his castmates accidentally release a demon on set, Cassidy uses the suit to fight it off, but is hit with a blast of mystical energy in the process.  The suit fuses to his body and turns him into a literal Blue Devil. Cassidy becomes a member of the Justice League.  He is later killed by the Mist's daughter, Nash, before being resurrected,and eventually joins the mystical team Shadowpact. Blue Devil first appeared in Fury of Firestorm #24.  He was created by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn.

A Blue Devil movie was referenced in Season 2 of Arrow, when an ad for the movie appeared on a bus that Ollie saves from getting hit by a plain in "Time of Death".  Here's the full ad:

The Rita Farr Story - The other movie title displayed on the theater marquee is The Rita Farr Story.  In the comics, Rita Farr was an Olympic swimmer turned movie star that gained size changing abilities after being exposed to volcanic gases in Africa.  Unable to initially control her powers, Rita joins the Doom Patrol along with several other "freakish" members.  She eventually marries fellow Doom Patrol member Mento and adopts Gar Logan, who becomes the Teen Titan Beast Boy.  Rita dies saving a small village from the Brotherhood of Evil and is later resurrected by the Doom Patrol's leader, Dr. Miles Caulder. 

Waid Boulevard - Barry chases a criminal down Waid Boulevard.  Mark Waid was the writer of a prolific Flash run in the 1990s.

Araz Darbinyan - The mob boss killed by the Mist at the start of the episode is played by Michael Benyaer.  That's the same Michael Benyaer who voiced Bob in Reboot, the greatest Canadian cartoon of all time. 

The Mist - This week's villain is a Golden Age supervillain who made a revival in the 1990s Starman series.  In the comics, the Mist was a scientist who created a device that could transform his body into a gaseous state.  He periodically battled the Golden Age Starman, Ted Knight, until the superhero retired and passed on his mantle to his eldest son, David. The Mist also operated under the codename Nimbus for a while.

Later on, the Mist and his two children, Kyle and Nash, plot revenge on Starman, by killing his son and ruining his legacy.  In the resulting struggle, both David and Kyle are killed and Jack, Ted's younger son, becomes the new Starman.  The loss of his son drives the Mist insane, which leads the Mist's daughter Nash to become the new Mist.  Nash later rapes Jack and conceives a son by him, which she names Kyle.

At the conclusion of the Starman series, the Mist and his daughter plot one last revenge on Ted Knight and his son.  While trying to detonate a nuclear bomb in Opal City, the Mist kills his daughter (who was trying to protect her son) but is thwarted when Ted Knight flies the bomb into the stratosphere, sacrificing himself to detonate the bomb harmlessly. 

The Mist was created by Gardner Fox, who also created the original Flash.

The Mist was played this episode by Anthony Carrigan, who will be playing Victor Zsasz in several episodes of Gotham later this season. 

Officer Paulson - The officer who Joe congratulates for capturing the criminal that the Flash caught is named Paulson.  In the comics, Paulson is the original chief of Central City's Police Department.

"It's not like I want a museum built in my name" - When seeking some credit for his recent capture of a criminal, Barry mentions that he doesn't want a museum built for him. In the comics, Central City eventually builds a Flash Museum dedicated to the Flash, which becomes a central setting in many Flash storylines.

"Jury only took 52 minutes" - The jury needed only 52 minutes to convict Barry's father.  There's your weekly 52 reference.

Area 52 - According to several signs on the walls, the area of the particle accelerator that Barry, Caitlin and Cisco spend time in is called Reactor Area 52. There's another 52 reference.

Ronnie Raymond - Ronnie Raymond gets his formal introduction to the Flash TV show (although he was mentioned in the first two episodes, too).  In the comics, Ronnie forms one half of the superhero Firestorm, along with Dr. Martin Stein (and later Jason Rusch).  After being caught in a nuclear meltdown, Ronnie and Stein discover that they can fuse together to become Firestorm, who has the power to rearrange and transmutate inorganic molecules.  Ronnie primarily acts as "the driver" of Firestorm and controls the superhero's physical movements and actions.  Dr. Stein has no direct control over Firestorm, but can communicate with Ronnie and lend his scientific knowledge to Firestorm's physical transformations. 

While Ronnie is an engineer in the TV show, he's only a high schooler in his first appearance, with little scientific acumen or experience.  Much of the internal conflict between Ronnie and Stein came from Ronnie's lack of scientific knowledge, and his general youth and inexperience.

Ronnie Raymond was created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom.  His first appearance was in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1, where he fought Multiplex, the villain from last week's episode.

Ronnie is played by Robbie Amell, cousin of Arrow's lead star Stephen Amell.  Robbie previously had the starring role in CW's Tomorrow People reboot, which was also produced by Flash producer Greg Berlanti.

"Waited for this day for centuries" - During one of the flashbacks, Harrison mentions that he's been waiting for the particle accelerator to open for what seems like centuries, which is funny because he's probably a time traveler.

Orloff Case - Captain Singh asks Barry for a fiber sample related to the Orloff case.  In the comics, Pytor Orloff was a scientist who assisted the Flash from time to time. 

"Like Fire and Ice" - Caitlin mentions that she and Ronnie were like Fire and Ice, which is funny because she and Ronnie are ice and fire elementals in the comics.

Big Belly Burger - The Big Belly Burger gets another shoutout in today's episode. We talked about it a little in the column for the pilot episode.

Vibrating faces - Barry vibrates his face to hide his identity from his father.  In the comics, Barry's able to keep his identity a secret because his body constantly vibrates, thus preventing anyone to actually get a good look at it.

And here's one I missed:

The particle accelerator's door:  As you can see in the picture below, the entrance to the particle accelerator is a subtle nod to Firestorm's icon.  Note the three circles on the left side of the door.

And that's it for this week.  I'll give full disclosure that this week's column was rushed a little bit this week as I'm on jury duty, so I was able to give the episode my usual Wednesday morning re-watch. There may be a reference or two (probably related to the Mist killing all those folks at the start of the episode) that I'm missing. 

Thanks for reading!


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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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