Last night's episode of The Flash, entitled 'The Reverse Flash Returns,' was yet another gem in Season 2 of the speedster series; yet it was disappointingly light on DC references. I've noted a few, in addition to the occasional non-DC reference that sped by in the episode. Naturally, spoilers lie ahead. So let's get to it!
1. Better. Stronger. Faster.
I'm not sure if this counts, as "better, stronger, faster" has become almost colloquial these days. Ahh well — it's a good start to the list.
We heard Wells say, "Barry needs to get better, stronger, faster," which to me seems like a reference to The Six Million Dollar Man, a television series from the 1970s in which a pilot was crippled and had to be rebuilt with nuclear powered limbs.
2. Cisco and Juliet?
It's pretty commonplace to find Cisco Ramon behind most references in The Flash, and this is no exception. This time, in reference to an unconscious meta-human — Turtle, Cisco said, "He better not be pulling a Juliet!"
This is of course a reference to the classic Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet, in which... well, Juliet pretends she's dead. I assume I don't have to call spoilers on that one... the play is over 400 years old.
3. The Vibe goggles
Followers of DC comics will know that The Vibe is rarely seen without some kind of goggles. Now that Wells has given Cisco his very own fully-functional Vibe goggles, it's safe to assume that Cisco will be "vibing" much more regularly in the future.
Vibe is a superhero from DC lore with the ability to manipulate sonic vibrations. Originally a vigilante, Vibe rose to prominence in 1984, after which he became a member of the Justice League. Portrayed on The Flash by fan favorite Carlos Valdes, Cisco Ramon has to go full-on superhero soon, right?
I'm not sure if this counts as a reference... perhaps an internal one. The highlight of Season 2 episode 11 was of course Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher), who returned apparently by chance, giving Barry Allen the opportunity to one-up his nemesis.
The Flash vs. Reverse-Flash story arc was brilliantly constructed and offered a real comic book feel to 'The Reverse-Flash Returns.' Did you catch Wells saying, "This is his origin story"? How actuate this statement was, as it served to clear up a few unanswered questions from Season 1. We now know how Eobard Thawne knew to take the place of Harrison Wells and to keep an eye on Cisco — he'd already witnessed them discussing their victory.
5. Hunter Zolomon
Frankly this is the only reference that matters... was anyone else expecting Jay Garrick to reveal the name of his Earth-1 doppelgänger as "Hunter Zolomon"? The question is, was this just a wink to comic book fans, or does this name hold any significance to future events?
I'll take a step back. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Hunter Zolomon was the third Reverse-Flash in the comic book source material. The previous Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne, was pretty much an evil Flash and long-running nemesis of Barry Allen, who sometimes went by the name Professor Zoom.
Zolomon was a little different; he had the ability to alter time relative to himself, rather than move at super speed like The Flash. Moreover, he was a friend of Wally West (The Flash), yet modeled himself after Reverse-Flash in order to make his friend a better hero by putting Wally through a series of tragedies. Hunter Zolomon figured by losing a few loved ones Wally would become more empathetic and a better superhero... yeah, we could all use a friend like Zolomon.