Monday, November 28, 2016

Real Name: Jay Garrick
First Appearance: Flash Comics #1 (January, 1940)
Fight Club Ranking: #128

Featured Fights:
- vs SANDMAN: JSA #64 (Oct 2004)
- vs MORGAUTH: JSA Strange Adventures #1 (Oct 2004)
- vs SOLOMON GRUNDY: JSA #65 (Nov 2004)
- vs SINESTRO CORPS: Green Lantern #25 (Jan 2008)

Over the past few weeks a flood of readers have been coming to Secret Wars on Infinite Earths to read more about Savitar. He was Speed Force cannon fodder when Barry Allen made his dramatic 2009 return in Flash: Rebirth #1, but has emerged as a major villain on The CW's Flash series, albeit in customarily compromised form. He may be some readers' Hero of the Week, but I'm finding much more appeal in another character appearing on the show - The Flash!

Now, when I say The Flash -- I don't mean the pencil neck geek running around in the maroon pleather. I mean the other guy. The one with the heroic jaw line and the tin hat. The one the show says hails from Earth-3, but is really a version of the guy who started it all. I'm talking about Jay Garrick - the one and only, bona fide, genuine, original, Golden Age Flash!

There isn't a lot that gets me excited about the cosplay melodrama of CW superhero TV, but every now and then they glance a character or idea that almost makes it seem worthwhile. Jay Garrick is one of those and I'm pleased to see he's become a recurring character -- especially in a time that's been rough on Golden Age DC heroes. It's just a shame he wasn't part of the plan from the very start!

Back when news first broke that The Flash was coming back to television, John Wesley Shipp's involvement was an exciting prospect! He was a pretty good Barry Allen in a very commendable live-action version in 1990. It would've been a real blast if Shipp could've simply reprised his role opposite a show starring Wally West! It would finally be a chance to do multi-generational superhero stories without needing to make it all up! Ready-to-watch classic TV as ultimate backstory!

What went down is a disappointing mess, but I suppose it worked out in the end. Shipp started on the show as Barry Allen's hapless father (framed for his wife's murder). Somewhere along the way he became Jay Garrick. Why two unrelated characters (from different universes) look exactly the same is anybody's guess. Of all this show's many flaws, that's probably among the least. If it means a new generation meets the 75 year old hero and keeps him alive a little longer - I'll take it!

Although, this nonsense about the hat not being his? Blasphemy!

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