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.
[Note: Since this was brought up last week, this column will contain spoilers of various comics ranging from the Golden Age to modern day. My rule of thumb is that the older a comic is, the more I'll talk about its specific plot. This week's column contains a small spoiler to Forever Evil and recent issues of Justice League, but nothing that wasn't promoted heavily by DC Comics during its media promotion of those books.]
Going Rogue - The title of tonight's episode is a reference to the Rogues, a loose gang of superpowered criminals that regularly oppose the Flash. The Rogues are known for following a strict code of conduct, enforced by their leader Captain Cold, and for being as much a tight knit social group that supports one another as it is a criminal crew.
The Rogues were first formed by Gorilla Grodd to distract the Flash from one of his plots to take over Central City. While Grodd's plan failed, the Rogues remained together and are typically led by Captain Cold. While there have been several iterations of the Rogues, the group most commonly includes Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Mirror Master, the Trickster, and Weather Wizard. The Top, Golden Glider, Captain Boomerang and the Pied Piper all have been past members of the Rogues as well.
Khandaq Diamond - The Khandaq Diamond is named after the fictional country of Khandaq, home of the Shazam villain Black Adam. Khandaq was first mentioned in the season two Arrow episode "Suicide Squad". The Arrow Season 2.5 digital comic book recently introduced a Khandaqi terrorist named Teth Adam who may (or may not) be the Arrowverse's version of Black Adam.
Blackhawk Squad Security - The Khandaqi diamond was being transported into Central City in a Blackhawk armored vehicle. Created by comics legend Will Eisner, The Blackhawks were a World War II squadron of international fighter pilots that fought Nazis in a long running comic series that ran until 1968.
The Blackhawks were previously featured in the season one Arrow episode "Trust But Verify".
4th and Kolins - The armored truck was attacked on 4th and Kolins. Scott Kolins is a comic book illustrator who worked on several runs of The Flash comic series that focused heavily on the Rogues.
Leonard Snart - This week's villain, Leonard Snart, is best known as Captain Cold, one of the Flash's greatest villains. Introduced in Showcase #8 and created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, Captain Cold was the second villain to face Barry Allen. In the comics, Leonard Snart was a common criminal who accidentally created a gun that could freeze anything it hits. Having already been incarcerated by the Flash once, Cold tried to use his gun to defeat the Flash, but is eventually defeated.
Snart became a constant thorn in the Flash's side, and eventually organized other Flash villains into the Rogues. Among the Rogues' members was his sister, Golden Glider, who was eventually killed by the villain Chillbaine using one of Snart's cold guns. After Barry Allen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Snart briefly joined the Suicide Squad, became a bounty hunter, before eventually rejoining the Rogues as its leader.
In the New 52, Snart briefly had the ability to generate freeze rays from his bare hands, having gained his gun's abilities through an unknown process. Snart lost these powers in Forever Evil, but he rebuilt his cold gun to help Batman and Lex Luthor defeat the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, an evil version of the Justice League from an alternate world. Afterwards, both Snart and Lex Luthor joined the Justice League and are currently still on the roster.
Snart's costume includes a distinctive pair of glasses with narrow slits to protect his eyes from the light of his gun (later updated to shaded goggles) and a fur lined hooded parka, both of which were incorporated into the show's version of Snart.
Snart's first live action appearance was in the 1990 Flash TV show, where he was played by Michael Champion. In that series, Captain Cold was an albino hitman with a freeze gun. Captain Cold also made appearances on several animated DC shows, including The Super-Friends, Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice.
Wentworth Miller portrays Snart this episode. Miller is best known for starring in the Fox TV series Prison Break. He also voiced Deathstroke in the Young Justice cartoon series.
Bob Levesque - One of the mug shots appearing next to Leonard Snart's is labelled Bob Levesque. Levesque is a member of the Flash's art department.
Lorenzo Furlan - Another one of the mug shots next to Snart's belongs to Lorenzo Furlan, the transportation captain for The Flash's crew.
Felicity Smoak - Felicity Smoak is one of the main characters of The Flash's sister series, Arrow. First introduced in Firestorm #23, the comic book version of Smoak had several unpleasant run-ins with the superhero Firestorm, and even went as far as to sue the superhero after he transformed her clothes into soap suds. Smoak also dated and eventually married Ed Raymond, the father of Firestorm's (half) alter-ego, Ronnie Raymond. Smoak was created by Gerry Conway.
"You lost your cool" - Snart lectured one of his co-conspirators about shooting a cop and losing his cool. Not only is this a rather obvious reference to Snart's future as Captain Cold, it's also a reference to Cold's strict code of honor, which includes not killing unless absolutely necessary.
"If he runs too fast, does he turn into dust in a red costume?" - Felicity posits this question to the STAR Lab team when asking how much they know about Barry's powers. In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry's body disintegrated while trying to save the world, leaving only behind some dust in a red costume.
Dexter Myles - The museum manager who alerts Detective West to Snart is named Dexter Myles. In the comics, Myles is the curator of the Flash Museum. Myles is played by Bruce Harwood, who's best known for playing John Fitzgerald Byers, one of the Lone Gunmen, in X-Files.
Oswald Loomis - The host of the Jitters' trivia night is named Oswald Loomis. In the comics, Loomis is better known as the Prankster, a minor villain of Superman. The Prankster is a joke themed villain and uses a variety of practical jokes to help facilitate his various crime sprees. In the New 52, Loomis becomes a recurring foe of Nightwing. Loomis was created by Jerry Siegel and John Sikela.
Loomis is played by Jesse Reid, who had a minor role in the Watchmen movie as the teenager reading the Tales of the Black Freighter comic book.
Storage Unit 52-3 - Snart's cold gun was stolen from storage unit 52-3. There's your 52 reference of the week.
"I thought that was airplanes" - While speaking to Felicity on her way back to Starling City, Barry tells her that train travel is still one of the safest ways to travel, to which Felicity replies "I thought that was airplanes." That's a reference to the 1978 Superman movie when Superman tells Lois that flying is still statistically one of the safest ways to travel after saving her from a crashing helicopter. This scene is later referenced in Superman Returns, when Superman saves Lois and the president when Air Force One crashes.
Heat Wave - In the last scene of the episode, Snart is seen talking with another criminal with a seeming obsession with flames. That's Heat Wave, another well known Flash Rogue, that we'll cover more in a few weeks.
And that's it for this week. See you all in two weeks, and thanks for reading.