FLASH Facts: Of Bison And Earths

When a bad guy just isn’t enough

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There isn’t much to say about The Flash's villain this week, so we’re also going to take a quick look at the other Earths that got mentioned in last night's episode....

The Bad Guy…

When Thunder Arrow had himself a son, he chose the not very fun name of Black-Cloud-In-Morning. Black-Cloud-In-Morning, not liking his name one bit (and can you blame him?) changed it when he came of age. As John Ravenhair, he took a job at Bradley High and soon fell in love with the school nurse, Vanessa Tremont.

John’s great-grandfather Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky was no fan of his great-grandson’s decision to ignore his Native American heritage and came up with a plan to get John to come back to the Black Bison Cult (if you couldn’t already tell, this story about Native Americans was created by a white dude in the early 1980s). For his plan to work, all Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky needed was for John to agree to wear a special talisman in the shape of a black bison. John agreed, though the talisman really didn’t go with his style.

Now that John had the talisman, Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky started the second part of his plan - connecting his soul to the talisman. Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky went to New York’s Central Park to do what everyone did in Central Park in 1982 - perform a sacred ritual. As he finished the ritual, Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky was mugged by, and I did not make up these names, Zero and Beanbag. The mugging took a bad turn and Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky ended up dead.

The now dead Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky took control of his great-grandson through the talisman and turned him into the evil Black Bison. Lucky for the people of the DC universe, Bradley High happened to be the high school that Firestorm went to and with the help of Vanessa Tremont, Firestorm was able to break John Ravenhair free from Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky’s hold.

Decades later, Black Bison would be killed off along with a whole bunch of other lame characters in the miniseries Day of Vengeance.

In addition to Black Bison, we also got a hint of what three other Earths are like. In the comics, those three Earths are pretty different…

The Earths…

Earth-12, where the Sprockets version of Harrison Wells is from, has two very distinct versions of itself in the comics (I’m not counting the Dark Multiverse versions recently introduced in Metal because they are called Earth Negatives).

In the days before Crisis on Infinite Earths, Earth-Twelve was the home of the Inferior Five. The Inferior Five were legacy heroes, the sons and daughters of the  Freedom Brigade - Earth-Twelve's version of the Justice League - and they were a big old joke of a team. The team consisted of:

Merryman, who was super smart but also super weak.

Awkwardman who was clumsy on land but graceful in water.

Tailwind, who was a fat dude that floated.

White Feather, a skilled archer who was so scared of people that he froze whenever someone looked at him.

Dumb Bunny who had super strength but was super dumb.

The second version of Earth-12, the post-Crisis one, is the world of Batman Beyond, where an old Bruce Wayne trains Terry McGinnis to take up the mantle of the bat.

There’s only one version of Earth-22 in the comics, and while the one on the show has a post-apocalyptic Wells, the one in the comics isn’t much happier. The comic version of Earth-22 appeared in the now classic miniseries Kingdom Come. In that story, we see a version of the DC universe where most of the great heroes have retired and a new generation has taken over. These new heroes spend more time fighting amongst themselves, causing massive amounts of damage across the globe. The accidental destruction of Kansas brings Superman out of retirement, leading to a war between factions of heroes. It is really a fantastic story written by Mark Waid with art by Alex Ross.

The final Earth mentioned, the one with the Hugh Hefner version of Wells, Earth-47, also has two versions in the comics…

The pre-Crisis Earth-47 was the home of Krypton Girl. On this Earth, Lois Lane was the last Kryptonian and Clark Kent was the annoying human reporter always getting into trouble. Tired of Clark’s shenanigans, Lois sent him to the Phantom Zone. This Earth showed up just once in issue 47 of Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane (which is how it got the designation of Earth-47).

The post-Crisis Earth-47 fits pretty well with the version of Wells we saw from there. This Earth is kind of a hippie Earth, home of the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld, and characters like Sunshine Superman, Speed Freak, Magic Lantern, Brother Power the Geek and Prez Rickard, the first eighteen-year-old President of the United States.

I’d love for the Arrowverse to give us more info on the various Earths (we’ll certainly be covering another one at the end of this month). The Multiverse is such a great part of DC Comics history and something that the DC shows and movies can use to help separate them from the Marvel movies and shows in a very striking way.

What I’m getting at is that I would love it if Ezra Miller showed up on The Flash as a version of Barry from another Earth.

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