shares CW’s pilot episode of The Flash (scheduled to premiere this fall in the US) has been leaked. Now, before you go on to read this article, here’s something you should know: SPOILERS AHEAD! No, seriously, there are a shitload of spoilers for both Arrow and the Flash (the latter’s a spin-off of the former). So if you haven’t watched either, I’d suggest you just turn away and go catch up on Arrow. Okay? Made up your mind? Here goes– Bruce Wayne is the Flash. That’s a lie. But if you physically flinched, then maybe you shouldn’t be reading this. And seriously, I bear no responsibility after this point. #justsaying *SPOILERS AHEAD* Those of you who have been following CW’s Arrow would know that Barry Allen dropped by midway of season two to follow a particularly odd case in Starling City, leading to a team-up with resident hero Arrow and finding out his identity as well. His involvement in the series was brought to a close with the revelation that he had been struck by lightning back home in Central City, leaving him in a coma. While Barry didn’t appear thereafter, his coma offered the opportunity for Arrow to feature STAR Labs and introduce Dr Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. The pilot episode of Flash begins with a flashback (that’s a pun and I’m not sorry) showing Barry’s mom’s murder, quickly establishing Geoff Johns’ run on the comics as the primary influence. It quickly returns to just after his return from Starling City shortly before his being struck by lightning. Simultaneously, a thief known as Clyde Mardon is hit by residual energy from a STAR Labs experiment (which also created the lightning bolt that hit Barry). 9 months later, Barry awakens with new powers only to discover that he isn’t the only one affected by STAR Labs’ particle accelerator mishap. The thief, Mardon, who had been presumed dead has gained the ability to manipulate weather by turning into an Afro-American lady from the X-Men. Assisted by the aforementioned STAR Labs squints and their boss Dr Harrison Wells, Barry begins understanding his powers and finds a way to utilize them to stop the empowered thief. Much like Arrow, the strength of this episode lies in the writers’ ability to choose aspects from various incarnations of the characters to keep the myth interesting and somewhat a mystery even for seasoned readers. Coupled with a whole bunch of Easter eggs, Flash certainly keeps the audience on their toes in more ways than one. References Gambi Cleaners: Seen on the van that Barry lands in when first testing his speed, Gambi Cleaners is named after Paul Gambi, a tailor in the DC Universe known for stitching up costumes for some of the Flash’s villains. Clyde Mardon: The freak-of-the-week (Ah, Smallville terminology… how nostalgic) seems to be the Weather Wizard, though with a slight difference. In the comics, Clyde Mardon was a scientist who discovered a way to control the weather before dying from a heart attack. His brother Mark (who is also mentioned in this episode) uses the research to create a weather-controlling wand and becomes the Weather Wizard. My guess is, we’ll eventually see Mark appear to avenge his brother with similar abilities. Iris West: Barry Allen’s eventual wife, Iris West is also the aunt of Wallace “Wally” West. Wally is also Barry’s first sidekick as the Kid Flash and, later, replaces Barry as the Flash. Also, Iris is actually from the future. But that’s another story. Ferris Air: Owned by Carol Ferris, Ferris Air is the place of employment for test pilot Hal Jordan, better known as the first Green Lantern of Sector 2814. An appearance by Hal Jordan may be likely given that it is somewhat customary for the Green Lanterns and the Flashes of similar generations to be close friends–Alan Scott and Jay Garrick in the Golden Age; Hal Jordan and Barry Allen in the Silver Age; Kyle Rayner and Wally West in the Modern Age. Also, Hal and Oliver Queen (Arrow) are close friends in the comic, meaning a crossover is more than just possible. Incidentally, Carol Ferris is Star Sapphire, the violet counterparts to the Green Lanterns. (They can also be psychotic murderers… sometimes.) Grodd: The name Grodd is seen on a plate attached to a cell in STAR Labs. For those who don’t already know, Gorilla Grodd is a talking gorilla. Sorry, there was really just no other way to explain that. Hailing from a city of intelligent gorillas (seriously, I’m not making this up) that got their abilities from a radioactive meteorite, Grodd is not only beyond brilliant, he’s also telepathic. In the series, however, I’m guessing they’ll be going the Planet of the Apes route with Grodd being a lab subject who got hist abilities from the accident. And just FYI, Grodd’s my favourite Flash villain ’cause he’s a talking, telepathic, super-intelligent gorilla! There is nothing not to love. Edward Thawne: A detective transferred from Keystone City, Edward “Eddie” Thawne shares his last name with Eobard Thawne, a psychopath from the 25th century better known as Professor Zoom. Possessing powers similar to the Flash, Thawne is easily one of Barry’s deadliest enemies. Interestingly, the name “Zoom” is also shared with another character named Hunter Zolomon who, like Eddie Thawne, is from Keystone City. Traditionally a Wally West enemy, Zolomon was injured by Grodd, losing use of his legs and was temporarily confined to a wheelchair, leading me to suspect that there is a lot more to– Harrison Wells: Let me get this outta my system: OH MY GOD, THAT NEWSPAPER! Well, more on that later. Anyways, unlike the rest of the characters I’m highlighting, Harrison Wells isn’t a character from the comics. But the fact that this is a man who clearly knows a lot more than he’s revealing while possibly being a time traveller makes it probable that he could be Zoom. Or maybe he’s Eobard Thawne from the future! OH MY GOD! Think about it, his name could be in reference to H. G. Wells, author of The Time Machine because that would be a great pseudonym for a time traveler! So I’m a geek, sue me. (I have no money, so the joke’s on you.) Caitlin Snow: The Flash seems to be on a villainous roll in this episode. Typically a Firestorm character, the Killer Frost identity has been shared by multiple women in the DC Universe. The most recent incarnation of Caitlin Snow however, isn’t a villainess per se. Despite possessing abilities that allows her to hurt the people around her, Caitlin’s found herself going up against bad guys alongside Wonder Woman character Steve Trevor. Fancisco Ramon: Going by Cisco Ramon in the series, the character was more commonly called “Vibe” in the comics. Currently a regular in the Justice League of America in The New 52, one of Vibe’s superpowers was being a superb breakdancer, I shit you not. Well, he had other abilities, too, but they’ve been streamlined to just being able to cause sonic and molecular vibrations. Also worth noting is that his abilities allow him to disrupt the speed force, making him one of the few meta-humans that pose a real threat to the Flash. Article teasers: Flash Missing; Vanishes in Crisis – As any DC reader knows, “Crisis” is a loaded word. With multiple universe changing crises, the most memorable is 1986’s Crisis on Infinite Earths in which Barry heroically sacrifices himself to foil the Anti-Monitor’s plans to destroy reality. The phrase “Red Skies Vanish” indicates that, like in the comics, Barry is successful. Wayne Tech/Queen Inc. Merger Complete – A double reference to both Bruce Wayne’s (Batman) and Oliver Queen’s (Green Arrow) companies, this could hint at a possible appearance of the Bat in future episodes. What might complicate matters however, is Fox’s own Gotham series focusing on the titular city pre-Batman. Given the rivalry of the networks, a crossover seems unlikely. Quotable References Iris West: “Hey, I’m ready to see this atom smasher–smashing.” Atom Smasher (a.k.a. Albert Rothstein) is a character usually featured in the Justice Society of America comics. He is also the godson of Al Pratt, the Golden Age Atom. Eddie Thawne: “Freeze, police! Or you wanna find out the hard way you’re not faster than a bullet.” “Faster than a speeding bullet” is, of course, a reference to Superman. Barry Allen: “He’s a transfer from Keystone (City)–started a few weeks ago. Eddie Thawne.” Keystone City is the home town of both Jay Garrick and Wally West, the Golden Age and Modern Age Flashes respectively. Oliver Queen: “Take your own advice—wear a mask.” During Barry’s guest appearance on Arrow, he advised the hooded vigilante to wear a mask and even gets him one.