If you haven’t been watching CW’s ‘The Flash’, hot damn are you missing out. Simply put, it’s one of the most consistently entertaining comic book shows on right now, and a lot of that is thanks to the writers clearly being fans of the character.
But there’s another wrinkle in the series, and it starts with today’s surprise announcement that Mark Hamill would be turning up this season, portraying a character he’s no stranger to: The Trickster.
Hamill’s previously portrayed the character in two different series: the original 1990 ‘Flash’ series in the episodes aptly titled The Trickster and The Trial of The Trickster and briefly voicing the character in the 2005 ‘Justice League Unlimited’ episode Flash and Substance.
This marks the third time a character from the ’90s Flash series has been brought into the series. John Wesley Shipp, who played The Flash in the original series, appeared in the pilot as Barry’s father, and co-star Amanda Pays appears in this week’s mid-season finale, once again as Flash compatriot Dr. Tina McGee.
It’s interesting to see the show not only use these characters, but use them in a fashion so similar to how they once existed, which begs the question…is The Flash exactly what it says on the tin?
The obvious answer is no, this is just a weird combination of stunt casting and playing to the nostalgic fanbase, but The Flash is no stranger to alternate universes. He damn near invented the idea with The Flash of Two Worlds, and made headlines with the Flashpoint event which reset the entire timeline of the DC Universe.
So with the show constantly re-using actors in such similar roles, is it possible that the show is set in a divergent timeline from the 90s series, and the original Flash series is somewhere, waiting to be found and tapped into? It’s unlikely; that’s a lot to ask viewers to swallow, and a lot to try to explain in an hourlong weekly series, but if any character could do it…
You can watch Dr. McGee turn up in this week’s mid-season finale, The Man in the Yellow Suit, which sees Barry finally come face to face with The Reverse Flash (a concept that is definitely already being done better here than the 90s Flash series did with Pollux). Hamill will be this winter, in the presently untitled 17th episode of the first season.