Tuesday, September 25, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "Because comics!"

Flash Facts: S01E11 "The Sound and the Fury"

Written by Christian on Wednesday, January 28 2015 and posted in Features

Flash Facts: S01E11

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

Welcome to Flash Facts, a 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: This article contains mild spoilers from the first season of Arrow and the Flash arcs "Rogue War" and "Revenge of the Rogues"]

The Sound and the Fury: This week's episode shares its title with a 1929 William Faulkner novel.  Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury follows four generations of the Compson family as they lose their status as Southern aristocrats.  

The Royal Flush Gang - The Flash chases a new iteration of the Royal Flush Gang at the beginning of the episode.  The Royal Flush Gang is a group of comic supervillains that first appeared alongside the Justice League villain Amos Fortune in Justice League of America #43.  The Royal Flush Gang typically utilizes weaponized cards and other "card-themed" items to fight the Justice League and other DC superheroes. 

The Royal Flush Gang first appeared in the Arrowverse in the first season Arrow episode "Legacies".  In that episode, the Royal Family was a family who turned to robbing banks after the family patriarch lost his job at a Queen Industries factory.  For more information on the Royal Flush Gang (and to check out my terrible 2012 writing), check out the Arrow Annotations for that episode here.

Pied Piper - This week's villain is the Pied Piper, a prolific Rogue turned ally of the Flash. The Pied Piper first appeared in Flash #106 and was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. In the comics, Hartley Rathaway was born deaf, but was cured at an early age thanks to medical research funded by his wealthy parents.  Hartley became fascinated by music and sound, and developed a way to use sound to hypnotize people and animals.  He turned to crime out of boredom, and fought the Flash as the Pied Piper.  

After Barry died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Hartley reformed and became a heroic vigilante that occasionally assisted Barry's successor, Wally West.  He also came out as one of DC's first gay characters.  After the Mirror Master, another Flash Rogue, killed his parents, Hartley teamed up with the reformed Trickster and Heat Wave to take down the Rogues once and for all.  However, their plan backfired when the three discovered that they had been manipulated by the Top, who brainwashed them into becoming heroes.  While both the Trickster and Heat Wave both rejoined the Rogues, Pied Piper decided to stay a hero and assist the Flash.   He later assisted the Rogues in killing Inertia, the villain who had manipulated the Rogues into killing the fourth Flash, Bart Allen.

In the New 52, Hartley was shown to be a reformed Rogue and boyfriend of Barry Allen's boss, Captain Singh.  Hartley became the Pied Piper again after Barry Allen was lost in time, and later helped the Flash and Captain Cold fight the rest of the Rogues during their attack on Central City.

The Pied Piper typically uses specially modified flutes to manipulate sound in the comics.  He's also occasionally used other sound based devices, such as a tuning fork, to paralyze or destroy objects.  

This isn't the first time the Pied Piper has appeared on live action television.  A version of the Pied Piper appeared in the 1970s Wonder Woman television show as a performer who used his flutes to hyponitize women into robbing the box offices of theatres at which he performed.  That Pied Piper was played by veteran actor Martin Mull, 

Central City Picture News - Iris receives a job offer and begins working for the Central City Picture News.  In the comics, Iris was originally a photographer for the Central City Picture News.  The newspaper's name is later changed to the Central City Citizen.

Mason Bridge - Iris is assigned to shadow senior reporter Mason Bridge during her first days at Central City Picture News.  While there's no Mason Bridge in the comics, there is a Flash supporting character named Mason Trollbridge, who was a neighbor and roommate of Wally West during late 80s and early 90s. 

Barry Larkin - Iris's boss, Barry Larkin, is played by Tom Butler.  Butler's has had roles in tons of different movies and television shows, including the Blade and Painkiller Jane shows.  

The Norris Commission - Dr. Wells' mentions the Norris Commission, which had apparently investigated the STAR Labs explosion.  This is possibly a reference to Paul Norris, a prolific Golden Age DC creator.  Norris is best known for co-creating Aquaman. 

"I've failed this city" - Harrison evokes the catchphrase of the Arrow when apologizing for his negligence when destroying STAR Labs. 

The Speed Force - Harrison's AI computer, Gideon, notes that the tachyon device was absorbing a portion of the Speed Force, which presumably was giving Harrison his super speed powers.  In the comics, the Speed Force is the energy that gives Barry and other speedsters their super speed.  According to one source, the Speed Force was created by Barry when he gained his powers, and that the Speed Force served as a kinetic barrier separating the present from the past and the future.  

While much of the Speed Force is unexplained, it exists both as an energy source and as a physical destination that can be traveled to.  Several speedsters (including Barry Allen) have merged with the Speed Force and lost their physical form, and in the New 52, Barry traveled to the New 52 and rescued a WWII fighter pilot who had become trapped into it.  

In the New 52, Barry learned that by using his powers, he was releasing pent up Speed Force energy, and that if he stopped running, he would cause major disruptions in the time space continuum.

Gideon - In case you missed it, Harrison's super-computer is voiced by Morena Baccarin.  Baccarin starred in Firefly as Inara, and has had a number of comic book and "geek" related roles.  She was the voice of Black Canary in the Justice League Unlimited animated series, voiced Cheetah in the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon, voiced Talia al Ghul in the Son of Batman animated movie and currently plays Dr. Leslie Thompkins in Fox's Gotham television show. 

Well, that's all I found this week.  I'm fighting a nasty bug, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if I missed something.  See you all next week! 


Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

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.


More articles from Christian
The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!