The original Flash actor hints that his new Earth-3 character could have ties to the JSA
The recent season finales of both DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash had a couple of surprises, and now it looks like two of them could actually be related.
In the final moments of the Legends of Tomorrow finale, “Legendary,” a wrecked version of the Waverider crash-landed, and the team was introduced to Rex Tyler, AKA Hourman, who claimed to be a member of the Justice Society of America.
In the world of DC Comics, the JSA was the Golden Age predecessor to the modern Justice League. Later established as taking place on Earth-2, the original JSA included members like Doctor Fate, the Atom, the Spectre, the Sandman, Hawkman, the original Green Lantern, and…the original Flash, Jay Garrick.
When The Flash ended its second season earlier this week with “The Race of His Life,” we finally learned the identity of the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask. He was the real Jay Garrick, a speedster from Earth-3 who was the doppelganger of Barry’s father, Henry Allen (and likewise played by John Wesley Shipp, who also played The Flash in the 1990s series of the same name).
After the finale, Variety talked to Shipp about the big reveal, and he offered some surprising news about his future with the franchise:
“The palette is wide open. The thing they love to do at the end of the season is they introduce so many different elements that could go in so many different directions. For me, personally, as an actor, Henry Allen was rather closed-ended, he was there for a purpose, he served his purpose, it was time for him to die. The fact that I’m now getting to morph into an entirely different character that is so important to the Justice Society of America, which also bleeds into ‘Legends of Tomorrow,’ he’s such an important character to this whole world – it just opens up enormous possibilities for me as an actor going forward, and the challenge for me, having played Henry, is that I now get to create an entirely different character going forward. And how that affects Barry – because Barry’s going to want to lean on this guy who looks just like his father but is not his father – that can create a whole bunch of psychological conflict too. I’m as excited as you are to see how all of this will play out.”
Shipp also revealed the research he did after finding out he would be playing the real Jay Garrick:
“I actually went back and did more research and tried to find out who this guy was and where he fit in the lore more than I did when I played Barry the first time … Finding out that he was the original Flash, that he was the founder of the Justice Society of America, that he’s really the Flash daddy of us all, and the importance of him to the whole DC Universe… that was very intriguing and very important to me. Also finding out that in the comics he’s the one who teaches Wally the speed force — there’s just so many possibilities and directions for this character to go.”
So could we really see Jay Garrick on Legends of Tomorrow next season, or is Shipp just fantasizing? There’s no way to know for sure, as we technically don’t even know where Rex Tyler’s JSA hails from (the future? the past? another Earth?), but the possibility is incredibly tantalizing.