This week, The Flash & Arrow decided to blow us away completely. Both shows decided to drop a few bombshells and they need to be addressed. Those of you who have not seen either episode this week please turn away now.
Firstly, neither episode was truly integral to the overall arc each show is following. Zoom & Darhk appeared in name only and there was little to no progress in working to stop them. There were however plenty of juicy throwbacks to comics, origin stories and Arrow, in a way, acknowledging itself that it takes a lot from Batman. There was some nice character development for Barry, the Reverse-Flash, Felicity, Cisco, the Diggle family and more but we’re here to talk about two very key points… and Felicity’s new nickname!
Starting with The Flash, the big reveal here involves the Earth-2 Flash, Jay Garrick. It was discovered recently that Garrick is dying. He has developed an illness that his body cannot fight without his powers, he has become a normal human being again. Caitlin comes up with a proposal of finding his Earth-1 doppelgänger in order to take his healthy cells to develop a cure. Alas, it is an option that Garrick already exhausted but we find out that Earth-1 Jay Garrick goes by a different name. His name is… Hunter Zoloman.
When you’re ready, you can pick your jaw back up off the floor. This is major as hardcore Flash fans will tell you straight away that Hunter Zoloman also goes by the name of Professor Zoom in the comics and was an iteration of the Reverse Flash until he was made a separate character by Geoff Johns. Professor Zoom is also the assumed inspiration for this season’s big bad, Zoom.
At this point, we can only speculate. All we know is from what Garrick mentions to Caitlin, that his Earth-1 counterpart was adopted by the Zolomans rather than brought up by the Garricks. But could he still be Zoom? To be honest, we know about as much about Zoom so far as we do about Hunter Zoloman. All we really know is he is feared by everyone from Earth-2, has a fetish for offing Speedsters and has an awesome jet black suit. It could very much be possible for Zoom to have originated in Earth-1, at least until we know more about the character. Perhaps Hunter Zoloman still went on, like Jay, to be a scientist but a different upbringing caused him to have a more villainous outlook in life. His studies perhaps even lead him to finding a rift between the two Earths even before the wormhole opened at S.T.A.R Labs at the end of season one. His discovery could have conveniently landed him in Earth-2 Central City where he became Earth-2 Flash’s nemesis. Depending on when he discovered the rift, Zoom may also already know of Barry Allen and has been waiting for the chance to get back to Earth-1 to take him on.
Alternatively, and this is us clutching a few straws (we LOVE a good theory), Jay Garrick could be hiding a very big secret from Team Flash. What if, and this is a very very big if, there are twin Garricks? Jay, who went on to become The Flash in the same circumstances as Barry and a twin brother who was in the same lab, at the same time as Jay working with him. The brothers inherited the same powers from the combination of the lab accident & particle accelerator explosion however the brother had a dose of Evil Twin Syndrome and went on to take on the mantle of Zoom/Hunter Zoloman. Most likely scenario is however, fan service. Fans wanted the name of Hunter Zoloman dropped somewhere with Zoom being involved and perhaps this was the easiest way to do it. Hunter Zoloman may well just be the unpowered doppelgänger of the Earth-2 Flash.
Moving on to Arrow, we see the over arcing reach of the DC Expanded Universe taking effect once more in an unexpected, but not all that surprising death of a character with considerable status within the DC Universe. Amanda Waller.
The head of A.R.G.U.S & ringleader of Taskforce X aka the Suicide Squad met her own demise this week on Arrow as mercenary group Shadow Spire infiltrated A.R.G.U.S HQ looking for codes to a weapon named the Rubicon. In fairness, Waller had not played a major role in Arrow this season and it could be said that she was a relatively expendable character anyway. Ironic considering her own team of expendables. The real reason for her departure is obvious: The Suicide Squad movie.
The very same happened with the very cool Deadshot & the Arrow version of the Suicide Squad, and a proper Harley Quinn cameo was prevented due to Margot Robbie playing the character in the DC Expanded Universe movie. Booster Gold is another character the Arrow/Flash show runners wished to use but DC/WB have bigger plans for the character and therefore it was prevented. It is a reality that the movie universe, despite for now being a separate entity, will have an effect on the tv universe by dictating the direction they will take & characters they could use.
On the other side of the coin, there may be unsuspected aspects of the DC Universe that Arrow/Flash may use. We all know that Arrow has been drawing plenty of inspiration from Batman. The League of Assassin’s, Lazarus Pit, Deathstroke, Anarky, Oliver’s general demeanour, a changeable side kick, the Arrow cave and now Felicity becoming wheelchair bound due to the actions of one of the Green Arrow’s biggest enemies. Felicity, it was always speculated, would go on to become Arrow’s version of Barbara Gordon. Barbara Gordon became paralysed after an attack by The Joker and became Batman’s eye in the sky we’ll say (and did eventually go back to being Batgirl). Very similar to Felicity’s role throughout Arrow you could say, the only difference is that Babs Gordon was Batgirl where as Felicity never donned a costume. Barbara Gordon went on be nicknamed Oracle.
Now, Arrow finally gave Felicity a code name. It drew the line in calling Felicity Oracle but not without a little name drop for the character they have drawn inspiration from: “Oracle was already taken” Oliver joked when he called Felicity Overwatch. This could have been a very clever break the fourth wall kind of exercise just to provide some fan service, but what if Barbara Gordon/Oracle/Batgirl already exists within the Arrow/Flash Universe? While Batman is presumably off-limits to the CW show runners, what if the extended Bat-family are not? We’ve already visited Bludhaven previously, we know Wayne Industries exists thanks to the Flash future newspaper, so we could easily see characters from the world of Batman that DC maybe don’t intend on using in their movie universe. Batgirl could be one of those, along with Nightwing who was rumoured to be making an appearance before the now cancelled Teen Titans series went into production.
If it is possible, utilising characters like Batgirl or Nightwing in Arrow/Flash would provide a whole new life for popular characters who may not ever get their just desserts on the big screen. It would also be great for DC/WB to give some characters to the TV universe rather than continue taking. It would also provide further basis for the Arrow/Flash-verse to say “just because we cannot use Batman, does not mean he doesn’t exist.”. It would be great to think that even though we would never see it, that Oliver Queen would regularly attend Bruce Wayne’s parties, or that Bruce would send Nightwing or Batgirl over to Star City to assist on a case. HOLY CROSSOVER BATMAN!
We won’t hold our breaths for this, but boy would it be fantastic!