“The Flash” Honors a “Classic”

by JC Alvarez
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It would appear that Flash Fans everywhere are on a fast track to overload! The upcoming second season of The CW series The Flash is gearing up to be one of the most anticipated launches of the fall introducing Earth-2 and some additional “legends” into the series’ mythology. The Arrow crossover episodes alone have the potential to feel like mini-televised feature films starring some of the DC Universe’s most powerful personalities and immortal villains.

In a premiere spin-off season that launched the Scarlet Speedster once again into the spotlight it’s significantly important to reflect on the first effort that is still proving it’s got legs. The Flash premiered on CBS on September 20, 1990 — the “original” series (or “classic” depending on who you ask) which starred John Wesley Shipp is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary, and it’s possibly more popular today with fans than it was during its calamitous run on CBS.

At this year’s DragonCon in Atlanta, the “original” Flash John Wesley Shipp was greeted by a roomful of fans eager to get up-close-and-personal with “Flash-Daddy”. After inexplicably sending fans to an entirely other hotel all morning long, the star (who also plays “Henry Allen” on The CW reboot) was overwhelmed by the reception he received by fans of all generations, who fortunately found their way to the correct venue guaranteeing one of the convention’s most well-attended events.

The CW Seed (cwseed.com) has ahead of the 25th anniversary loaded up the entertainment multi-media site with all of the original, full-length series episodes; worthy of binge watching in tandem with the all-new animated DC Entertainment adventures featuring Vixen which is set in the current CW/DCTV Universe and features the voice talents of the live-action show stars Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin reprising they’re starring roles from Arrow and The Flash.

The CW Seed web re-broadcast of the 1990 The Flash has certainly ignited fandom old and new. While audiences prepare for the upcoming new season of the current hit show, which premieres on Tuesday, Oct 6 many have tuned in to nostalgically relive the “original” excitement or treated themselves to downloading the entire iTunes collection to their digital library. The biggest treat of all came when The CW show revisited one of the original’s most popular villains.

The “Tricksters” episode brought back Mark Hamill — fresh off of wrapping Star Wars: The Force Awakens — to reprise the role he made infamous during the 1990s run of The Flash. In the episode Hamill plays a terrorist named James Jesse who 20 years ago threatened Central City as the maniacal “Trickster”. When a copy cat takes up the mantle, Barry Allen and Det. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) recruit Jesse to stop the new Trickster’s reign of terror.

The new season of "The Flash" will be electrifying! All bets are off!

The new season of “The Flash” will be electrifying! All bets are off!

This episode of The Flash also brought Shipp and Hamill back together again when the Tricksters take Henry hostage, is still the closest homage (at present) paid to the 1990 series. In the episode, original set pieces from the classic show were included on set, and Hamill’s James Jesse included a similar backstory harkening back to his interpretation of the masked criminal from the “classic” The Flash. Fans have speculated and are now more hopeful than ever that the 1990s show and the reboot may overlap!

With the multiverse being explored this season is John Wesley Shipp’s “Flash” destined to cross paths with Grant Gustin’s current CW TV version? During his Q&A session with fans at DragonCon, Shipp would not confirm or deny the possibility of a “Flash of Two-Networks” team-up, especially if fans really want to see it happen. Anything is possible in primetime! Stay tuned!

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