With the end of The Flash‘s eighth season just a few weeks away, the long-running The CW series continuing is ramping up its storytelling in some surprising ways. Just as the series is introducing new speedsters in live action, the world of the show is also being explored in the Earth-Prime comic, which is chronicling various stories set within The CW’s various DC shows. While The Flash‘s particular issue largely revolved around Bart Allen / Impulse (Jordan Fisher) and Nora Allen / XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy), it also managed to offer the show’s latest tease for a surprising Golden Age villain. Spoilers for Earth-Prime: The Flash from Jess Carson, Emily Palizzi, David LaFuente, Pablo M Collar, Miquel Muerto, John Kalisz, Andworld Design, and Tom Napolitano below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue sees Bart and Nora attempting to lead a low-key life while Barry and Iris are on vacation, which includes Bart going to school at Central City University. As Bart goes to school and develops a feud with Will Parker / Evil Eye, part of that includes time that both of them are spending in a class — which is taught by a professor named Dr. Evie Clariss.
This is the first reference in a long, long time that The Flash has made to Edward Clariss / Rival, a Golden Age supervillain who is traditionally the archenemy of Jay Garrick / The Flash. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in 1949’s Flash Comics #104, Clariss was a chemistry professor who tried to recreate the formula that gave Jay his speed, and operated as a darker version of The Flash — albeit temporarily, because his powers didn’t last for long. Clariss then vanished after achieving light speed, and later returned to be recruited as a member of the Injustice Society. Clariss would go on to possess Max Mercury, and try to get The Flash’s attention by becoming a serial killer.
The Flash technically already briefly included Edward Clariss in live-action, with Todd Lasance portraying the character in the Season 3 premiere of the show. While not necessarily like his comic counterpart, he briefly appeared and went toe-to-toe with Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), who was operating as The Flash in Barry Allen’s absence. Of course, after “Crisis on Infinite Earths” wiped out a lot of the existing continuity of the Arrowverse, there’s always the potential to bring Clariss back. And at very least, this new Easter egg proves that the Clariss family name is still going strong in the 2040s.
The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.