COMIC-CON: ARROW and THE FLASH get new costumes, heroes, villains and animated spinoff

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Superhero movies wasn’t the only thing that made a splash at Comic-Con this weekend past, as the brightly costumed corner of TV land was also represented by the CW’s Arrow and The Greatest Comic Book Show On TV aka The Flash. The panels for both sister-shows were kicked off and led by Arrow’s Oliver Queen himself Steven Amell, as he debuted his new costume which we will get to see in the upcoming season 4.

After which the panel proper began, and while there was mostly no major revelations, it was still incredibly fun watching this cast – who clearly have a great relationship together – just shoot the breeze with each other and their fans. Now, I said “mostly” no major revelations as it was confirmed that David Ramsey’s John Diggle will be finally getting his own mask. And sorry to disappoint some fans, but it won’t be green and come with a matching glowing ring. Instead, Diggle will be sporting a helmet of some kind and a black leather outfit, which is slightly reminiscent of the costume worn by a character known as the Guardian, just all in black.

Here’s the full panel, in which they discuss the timelines of the fourth season, the tone and direction, character arcs and more.

Also reported over the weekend (via IGN) is that Neal McDonough (Captain America, Minority Report, Band of Brothers) has been cast as season 4’s major villain, Damien Darhk, who was name-dropped several times throughout the previous season as a rival of Ra’s Al Ghul. Another villain who will get added to the mix is Anarky, an “anti-villain” character who brings a heavy political slant, as his name implies. And to balance out the addition of some bad guys, came the news that a new good guy would be showing up in the form of Mr. Terrific, the engineering genius superhero. There have been two different versions of the character in the comics, and while it’s almost certain that Arrow will be making use of the modern Michael Holt version, this wasn’t confirmed. It was confirmed however, that he will be working with Felicity Smoak, and we may even see his remote AI-controlled T-Spheres.

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The Flash had its own casting announcements during the panel, as it was revealed that joining the breakout hit show’s upcoming sophomore season would be Teddy Sears (Masters of Sex) as fellow speedster Jay Garrick, while Shantel VanSanten (The Final Destination, One Tree Hill) will also be the cast as Patty Spivot.

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For the non-comic book fans, Patty Spivot is a character that was recently introduced in the books as a smart and capable police forensic officer who works with Barry. In the show, she will be a detective partnering up with Joe West, and will be introduced as a love interest for Barry/ As for Jay Garrick, historically he was the original WWII Flash, created long before there ever was a Barry Allen. Eventually, when the modern incarnation was introduced, Garrick (along with all the Golden Age characters) was retconned to being from the alternate universe known as Earth-Two. Hardcore fans were already expecting to see Garrick after his very distinct winged helmet popped out of a portal in the show’s epic first season finale, which fully introduced the concepts of a multiverse.

And although there was no casting announcement made for it, it was also revealed that Wally West will also be showing up at one point. In the comics, Wally West was a fellow speedster who was originally the Flash’s sidekick before inheriting the mantle himself when Barry Allen was killed during the infamous Crisis (you know the thing with the “red skies” that keeps being mentioned in Harrison Wells’ future newspaper. Recently in the comics, Wally West has been retconned to be the troubled son of Iris West’s estranged brother, but unless Joe West has been keeping some huge secrets, I don’t expect them to take that angle on the show.

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There will be yet another new addition to the Flash cast though as a clip was shown which gave a recap of the show’s incredible first season as well as teasing what was to come, which included the first glimpse of the new main villain Professor Zoom.

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg described Zoom as being “faster than Reverse-Flash, faster than the Flash, and it’s going to be very hard to catch him. [He] is going to be terrifying and scary and fast, and it’s going to be all kinds of cool.” And despite that endorsement of his speed and what it looks like in that videa, Zoom aka Hunter Zolomon, actually isn’t a speedster.

Zolomon was a police profiler who worked closely with Wally West and in so doing came into contact often with the Flash. When an attack by Gorilla Grodd left him paralyzed, Zoom asked the Flash to use his speed powers and “cosmic treadmill” to go back in time and prevent this from ever happening. When the Flash refuses due to him not wanting to risk screwing up the timestream, Zolomon stole the cosmic treadmill and tried to do it himself, which resulted in it exploding and him being “derailed” from time. This allows him to alter the speed at which he could move through time, giving the appearance of super speed. And thus concludes your comic book history lesson for the day.

Well, one more lesson: Who is Vixen? In the comics she’s a Justice League member by the name of Mari McCabe who is able to mimic the abilities/characteristics of any animal she can think of through a mysterious amulet known as the Tantu Totem which has been passed down in her family. She is also the titular star of a new animated spinoff show set in the Arrow/The Flash universe and even features the voices of original series actors like Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin (Barry Allen) and Carlos Valdez (Cisco Ramone), while Megalyn Echikunwoke (The Following, The 4400) will voice Vixen herself. And here’s the trailer for the show:

Vixen is set to run for 6 episodes and according to Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who also acts as showrunner here, it will be used to introduce magical elements into this universe.

“This is essentially a coming-of-age story. I love that we get to expand the universe. We started off with Arrow, which is very grounded, then The Flash introduced the concept of superpowers to this universe, and now Vixen will introduced the concept of magic. We’re continuing to building and expand the tapestry that we have to play with.”

Vixen will debut sometime in the third quarter of the year, The Flash‘s second season commences on October 6, while The Arrow’s season 4 is set to debut on October 7.

Last Updated: July 14, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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