Comics/Graphic Novels

Fleshing out THE FLASH: What DCU Speedsters Should Come Aboard Next?

Jessica Plummer

Contributing Editor

Jessica Plummer has lived her whole life in New York City, but she prefers to think of it as Metropolis. Her day job is in books, her side hustle is in books, and she writes books on the side (including a short story in Sword Stone Table from Vintage). She loves running, knitting, and thinking about superheroes, and knows an unnecessary amount of things about Donald Duck. Follow her on Twitter at @jess_plummer.

As we near TV’s fall premieres, news about Season 2 of The Flash has been all about new speedsters. The CW has dropped a trailer featuring Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick, the original Flash in the comics, whose presence was teased in last season’s finale. (Sorry again, my neighbors, for the fact that I screamed out loud when that helmet came skidding out of the wormhole.) They’ve also finally announced the addition of Wally “The Objective Best Flash, Sorry Barry But It’s True” West, who will be played by Keiynan Lonsdale, though it’s not clear yet how he’ll fit into the franchise if he’s not Iris’s nephew, as he is in the comics. Most surprisingly, they’ve cast Violett Beane as Jesse Quick, who in the comics is a legacy speedster who accesses super speed using her dad Johnny’s secret formula. And of course, there’s Tony Todd as the voice of the villain Zoom, although given how fast and loose the show has played with the Reverse Flash/Professor Zoom mythology, it’s anyone’s guess what Zoom’s deal will be in TV-land.

Since the show seems to be happily going full throttle on this front, I decided to take a look at some of the other speedsters kicking around the DCU to see if Berlanti & Co. should bring them aboard:

Max Mercury

Max Mercury

Max Mercury

Max Mercury is a Golden Age character pulled from obscurity by Mark Waid in his much-lauded run on the Flash in the 90s and re-envisioned as “the Zen Master of the speed.” Having been riding the lightning off and on since the 1830s, he knows more about the mystical Speed Force that powers the Flashes than anyone, and acts as a mentor to Wally and the other young speedsters. With Dr. Wells revealed to be the villainous Reverse Flash and possibly done away with for the time being (???), TV’s Barry could use him some mentoring. Plus, with both Oliver Queen and Ted Grant turned into lithe young hotties for television, the DCW is sorely in need of a crotchety old goat to shoo whippersnappers off his lawn.
Verdict: Yes

The Tornado Twins
Barry and Iris’s children manage to inherit Barry’s speed, in defiance of all scientific laws of inheritance. The show’s already been creepily aggressive about telling Iris that ending up with Barry is her destiny, and kids from the future wouldn’t help. Plus, the Tornado Twins are criminally boring. Most importantly, though, their names are “Don” and “Dawn” and there’s no way that wouldn’t get confusing spoken out loud. (Memo to TV Barry: Let Cisco name your kids.)
Verdict: No

Wally is the best Flash, but Bart is the best speedster. P.S. Read Impulse.

Wally is the best Flash, but Bart is the best speedster. P.S. Read Impulse.

Bart Allen

Okay, I know I just said no kids from the future, but Barry and Iris’s grandson Bart – who has served as Impulse, Kid Flash, and the Flash over the years – is one of my all-time favorite characters, so never mind all that. Besides, he doesn’t have to follow Iris around demanding that she pucker up and kiss Grandpa already. Just find an adorable 12-year-old moppet of an actor, throw some speed effects on him, and let chaos ensue. Please, Flash. If you’re not going to give me my musical episode, at least give me this.
Verdict: Please, I’ve been so good

Okay, okay, yes, Jenni Ognats is another Barry/Iris grandkid – but she’s also a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which gives the show a way to work that franchise in. (Maybe as a backdoor pilot to another animated series?) They can just…not mention the familial connection. Plus, we can always use more lady speedsters!
Verdict: Absolutely

Johnny Quick

Jesse Quick’s dad. He’s a boy and not a legacy hero so he’s automatically only about 10% as interesting as Jesse to me. Get out of here, Johnny.
Verdict: Zzzzzzz

If they wanted a jerk from the future they could just use Booster Gold. AND THEY SHOULD.

If they wanted a jerk from the future they could just use Booster Gold. AND THEY SHOULD.

John Fox
A 27th century physicist who gains superspeed from a time travel jaunt and decides to take Wally West’s place in the 20th century. The comics literally never get tired of the old “speedster from the future” gambit but I feel like it’ll wear thin on TV after Wells, Bart, and Jenni (yes, they’re including Bart and Jenni, I have decreed it). Plus, John Fox is a jerk.
Verdict: No

A semi-immortal evil speedster with a cult following who can steal others’ speed. There aren’t nearly as many evil speedsters as there are good ones in the DCU, but even so, between the Reverse Flash and Zoom, I think we’re set for wickedness at warp speed. Sorry, Savitar. (Not that sorry. You aren’t very nice.)
Verdict: No

Speed Demon
Jerry McGee, a scientist whose obsession with his work drove away his wife, Tina. When he found out she was having an affair with Wally, he turned his super speed experiments on himself, driving himself crazy in the process, then attacked her. After treatment for his problems both physical and mental, they reconciled. The show has already used Tina as the head of Mercury Labs, S.T.A.R.’s chief rival, and I’m not particularly interested in a story of a couple patching things up after violent assault, but there’s no reason they can’t cast some nondescript hunk who’s been on three episodes of The Vampire Diaries, get him hooked on the comicsverse speed-enhancing drug Velocity-9, and have Cisco christen him “Speed Demon” instead. I’ll take my royalty check for that now, thanks.
Verdict: Sort of?

Blue Trinity/Red Trinity
Inspired by the Flash, Soviet scientists created two sets of speedsters. Blue Trinity were deeply loyal to the USSR until it dissolved, after which their female member, Christina, went on to sexily sidekick it to a series of villains, including Savitar and Vandal Savage. Red Trinity, meanwhile, defected to the United States and started a delivery business called Capitalist Couriers. They are…of their time, shall we say?
Verdict: Don’t be ridiculous

Captain Boomerang Jr.
Owen Mercer basically makes no sense – he’s the son of the original Captain Boomerang and Bart Allen’s mother Meloni, who lives in the 30th century, and he somehow managed to inherit superspeed from her even though she doesn’t have it, although she is descended from Eobard Thawne so maybe speed is a recessive gene. None of that is important. What is important is that he’s a young hottie with a chip on his shoulder who balances very delicately on the supervillain/antihero line, and this is the CW. I’m honestly stunned that he’s not already throwing flirtatious insults at Barry and maybe telling Caitlin that he’s no good for her, they’re from two different worlds…!
Verdict: Yes, but please change the codename

He's a super-speedy turtle. Your argument is invalid.

He’s a super-speedy turtle. Your argument is invalid.

Fastback is an anthropomorphic turtle named Timmy Terrapin from an alternate universe who was granted superspeed by a weird meteorite. Um, how is he not already on the show???

Season 2 of The Flash premieres October 6th. I’ll be tuning in to see Bart, Jenni, and Fastback team up against a bunch of nondescript hunks hopped up on Velocity 9. Who’s with me?