Random Musings: Why the 1990 and current Flash series are part of the same multiverse

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the-flash-of-1990

The Flash of 1990.

It occurs to me that the existence of multiple Earths introduced in The Flash allows the 1990 Flash series to be part of the same multiverse as the 2014-present Flash series.

How so?

In the 1990 series, John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen (AKA The Flash). In the current series, Grant Gustin plays Barry and Shipp portrayed Barry’s father, Henry. However, we don’t know whether he’s Henry junior. In the 1990 series, Barry also had a father named Henry (played by (M. Emmet Walsh). I don’t recall any mention of Barry’s grandparents in the present Flash series, so the Earth One Barry’s grandfather could be the doppelganger of the Earth 90’s— let’s call it (for 1990)— Barry’s father.

So, in 1955 (assuming Henry Allen is the same age as John Wesley Shipp) the Allen families of both Earth One and Earth 90 welcomed a baby boy. On Earth One, they name him Henry; On Earth 90, they name him Barry. For whatever reason, Henry went into medicine while Barry followed his father into police work.

barry-hit-by-lightning

Barry hit by lightning.

But wait, you say, there are various differences in the two shows. The 1990 series had STAR labs, but it wasn’t the source of a particle accelerator explosion that gave Barry his powers; he got them when he was doused by electrified chemicals, as in the comics. Also, the Central City of the 1990s series had a very stylized, 1950s look, considerably different from the Central City of the present series. What about those difference?

First, how a city is laid out isn’t necessarily going to affect one particular family that lives there (and who knows how many generations of the Allen family have lived in the city?) and second, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that different people on different Earths (and in different generations) could come up with the name STAR Labs. Maybe on Earth 90, it was built by someone with the last name of Star.

tina-mcgee-and-barry-allen

Tina McGee and Barry Allen.

Another connection is Dr. Tina McGee. Amanda Pays has played a woman by that name in both series. The Earth One McGee could easily be the doppelganger of the Earth 90 one. On Earth 90, Tina McGee was employed at STAR Labs, established (let’s say) by Mr. or Ms. Star. On Earth One, Star was never born, never lived in Central City or went into a different line of work, so it wasn’t until decades later that a different incarnation of STAR Labs came along, established by Harrison Wells and Tess Morgan. By which time, the Tina McGee of Earth One would have found employment elsewhere, eventually ending up at Mercury Labs.

tina-mcgee-and-the-flash

Tina McGee and the Flash.

Shipp himself provides still another connection. In the current series, he also plays Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth Three. And one of his adversaries, seen in the mid-season finale this year, is the Trickster (Mark Hamill), who could very well be the doppelganger of the Trickster fought by the Flash of Earth 90.

barry-allen-and-jay-garrick

Barry Allen and Jay Garrick.

jay-garrick-and-the-trickster

Jay Garrick and the Trickster.

Hamill also plays the Trickster on Earth One in the current series, with clips from the original show showing him in his prime, suggesting the Earth One and Earth 90 Tricksters had similar careers, except the former didn’t have a Flash to fight in 1990.

henry-allen-and-the-flash

Henry Allen and the Flash.

Henry Allen of Earth One told Barry that Henry’s mother’s maiden name was Garrick, while the Barry Allen of Earth 90 had an older brother named Jay (Tim Thomerson). Maybe Mrs. Allen’s father’s name was Jay. On Earth 90, the Allens named their elder son Jay; on Earth Three, Ms. Garrick was a single mother who named her son after her father; and on Earth One, Henry Allen either has the middle name of Jay or has a brother or cousin named Jay.

It’s implied that Jay Garrick has been the Flash for years. If he’s still active, maybe the Barry Allen of Earth 90 is still racing around on his Earth.

The Barry Allen of Earth One should never meet the Barry Allen of Earth 90 on screen (having John Wesley Shipp play both Henry Allen and Jay Garrick are sufficient nods to the old show), but there’s significant, if circumstantial, evidence the 1990s Barry Allen is still running around out there.

There’s also historical precedence. The multiverse was originally established to explain why DC superheroes hadn’t aged over the decades. It’s because the “Golden Age” incarnations of The Flash, et al. lived in a separate universe from their “Silver Age” counterparts and were also a generation older.

Copyright 2016 Patrick Keating.

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