|Comic Book–Based||Other Notables|
A California-based cryogenics lab developed a portable freezing unit capable of lowering temperatures to -200°F at 100 feet. The device, powered by a backpack-sized nuclear module, was stolen. Hit man Leonard Wynters came into possession of the device and began using it as a weapon. As a result, he picked up the nickname, “Captain Cold.”
Wynters enjoyed his job immensely, both the killing and the travel. He also had a fierce, if twisted, sense of honor: he always completes a contract, and no one cancels on him. In addition to the cold gun, he developed smaller weapons, such as miniature cold grenades, which he can use without the main unit.
Captain Cold arrived in Central City when crime lord Jimmy Swain hired him to kill his rivals, freeing Swain to take over the underworld. He succeeded, and Swain took out another hit—on the Flash. Wynters lured the Flash to him with a series of bomb threats. The Flash survived their first encounter, and Swain canceled the contract. Wynters, his sense of honor offended, killed Swain, robbed him, then continued to pursue the Flash.
He and the Flash clashed repeatedly, the hero narrowly escaping death each time. Finally, Captain Cold went on a rampage through the streets of Central City, attempting to draw the hero out again. Armed with a heat generator and a mirror, the Flash reflected Cold’s beam back at him, freezing him.
- Episode 17: “Captain Cold” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
* Captain Cold’s real name is not mentioned in the episode itself, but appears in the episode guide in The Flash TV Special (1990).
Wynters is an albino, for no apparent reason except that pale skin goes with the ice motif. It did figure into the story, though. When he was captured, Officer Murphy agreed to let him keep his sunglasses—a mistake, since they had a miniature freezing device that allowed him to escape.
Professional thief Sam Scudder stole highly advanced 3-D image projection technology. The coin-sized projectors could handle full motion, and Scudder put together a large collection of holograms for intimidation and distraction. He also built a projector into a wrist-mounted device that allowed him to hide his actual location and appear to be somewhere else.
Scudder was double-crossed by his partner and lover, Stasia Masters, when they stole an experimental battery from STAR Labs’ west coast branch. She knocked him out, ran off with the battery, and left him to get caught. Masters fled to Central City to meet her contact, but Scudder’s allies were already following her. In desperation, she turned to an old high school friend, Barry Allen, for help.
Once Scudder arrived in Central City, he figured he might as well pick up a rare crystal from the local STAR branch—one which Dr. Tina McGee had obtained at considerable risk to her career. So while was trying to get the battery from Stasia, she was trying to get the crystal from him. Stasia even talked Barry into impersonating “Professor Zoom” inventor of the Flash, as part of her scheme. Of course, with Tina’s job on the line, the Flash had extra motivation to recover the stolen goods.
In the end, the Mirror Master was defeated in a decidedly low-tech manner: an incredibly bright light drowned out his illusions, and the Flash captured him. As for his ex-partner...she made it as far as a taxi, then her “old friend” Barry turned her in.
- Episode 19: “Done with Mirrors” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
While Scudder does mention he picked up the nickname, “Mirror Master,” everyone uses his real name throughout the episode.
Con artist and homicidal maniac James Jesse was wanted in five states under five different names. At one point he turned the tables on repo agent Megan Lockhart, pursuing her until she finally called in the Flash for help. After defeat at the Flash’s hands, Jesse escaped custody. Now obsessed with possessing Lockhart and defeating the Flash, he broke into an old theatrical warehouse, put on a garish costume, and called himself the Trickster. He sparred repeatedly with the Flash, eventually capturing Lockhart and dressing her as his sidekick, Prank. The cat-and-mouse game culminated in a showdown at the Policeman’s costume ball in which the Trickster was captured.
By the time the Trickster was brought to trial, he had at least one obsessive fan: Zoey Clark, a thrill-seeker who had decided the Trickster was the ultimate thrill. She impersonated the court recorder, released laughing gas into the courtroom, and ran off with the defendant.
The Trickster had eyes only for revenge, and the pair issued a challenge to the Flash. They captured him by releasing a bubble-gum/epoxy mixture from their getaway car, and Jesse proceeded to brainwash his captive. The Trickster and the Flash went on a rampage of vandalism, leaving a disappointed Prank behind. Finally they set out to put Central City on trial, with the judge and lawyers from the Trickster’s own trial as the city’s representatives. Lockhart and Dr. Tina McGee teamed up to stop them and broke the Flash’s conditioning.
The Trickster and Prank were both captured, and the Trickster was placed in a padded cell.
In both appearances, the Trickster had a female sidekick (of sorts) called Prank. The first time, in his dementia he declared Megan Lockhart to be Prank, tied her up, and dressed her in the costume. Later, inspired by this case, thrillseeker and toy store heiress Zoey Clark declared herself Prank and broke the Trickster out of custody. She helped him in his schemes, even when it became clear that he alternated between using her and grudgingly tolerating her. In a way, she anticipated the character of Harley Quinn, who would have a similar relationship with the Joker. Zoey was played by Corinne Bohrer.
- Episode 13: “The Trickster” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
- Episode 22: “Trial of the Trickster” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
The Trickster is notable as the only Flash villain from the comics who kept his costume in the transition. The character’s personality owes more to the Joker, though. Appropriate, since actor Mark Hamill went on to portray the Joker’s voice in Batman: The Animated Series and its spin-offs.
Other Notable Villains
Philanthropist determined to make up for his father’s career as a mob boss. Inspired by the 1950s hero, the Nightshade, Bohannan decided to put on his own costume...only he killed criminals instead of simply putting them to sleep. (See the Nightshade bio for more details.)
- Episode 16: “The Deadly Nightshade” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
Real Name: Russell (last name unknown)
Base of Operations: Central City
Played by: Anthony Starke
The Ghost, a criminal genius of the 1950s, was fascinated by the potential of television. He found a way to pick up images from television sets, enabling him to eavesdrop on and blackmail officials and businessmen. His personal flair was to issue his demands by TV, using his own pirate transmitter. In 1955, he and his sidekick Ghostess* planted bombs throughout downtown Central City, rigged to detonate on his signal if the city did not pay him $1 million. The Nightshade entered his lair and jammed the signal...and the malfunctioning equipment burst into flames. Trapped, the Ghost ran to a cryogenic chamber, intending to sleep until 1999, the end of the millennium.
He awakened a decade early, in 1990. At first disappointed by the future, he soon realized that video technology had finally caught up to his dream. He recruited a new gang, stole equipment from a telethon, then tracked down Belle and his old tech, Skip. With his skill and Skip’s up-to-date knowledge, he began threatening the city again...and prepared to take out its new champion, the Flash.
Armed with more high-tech equipment, the Ghost hacked into the city’s computer networks, causing massive disruptions in traffic, telephones, and computers. He wired his brain directly to the network and demanded $1 billion, or else he would shut everything down. The Nightshade came out of retirement, and with the city blacked out, he and the Flash assaulted the Ghost’s headquarters. The Ghost trapped the Flash in a virtual reality until the Nightshade jammed his equipment. The Flash disconnected the Ghost from the machine, leaving the villain unconscious.
- Episode #9: “Ghost in the Machine” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
* Belle Crocker, the Ghostess, was saved from the fire by the Nightshade. She later gave up crime to become a lounge singer. While she initially welcomed Russell back into her life, she could not handle the fact that he was still a young man, and she was near 60. Belle was played by Sherrie Rose (1955) and Lois Nettleton (1990).
The Ghost’s plan to link himself directly to the city’s network is reminiscent of the Kilg%re, a cybernetic lifeform that actually lived within circuitry and briefly took over every electrical system in North America. It also prefigured the second incarnation of the Thinker, whose consciousness took over Keystone City’s networks. The virtual reality aspects are similar to the re-imagining that would later be done with the Riddler in Batman: The Animated Series.
Occupation: Biker Gang Leader
Former Occupation: Police Officer, Arms Dealer
Base of Operations: Central City, Devil’s Gate Dam
Played by: Michael Nader
Former motorcycle cop and partner of Jay Allen. Pike ran a weapons dealing operation on the side, selling guns, drugs and explosives. Allen found him out, then set up a sting operation. Pike was injured in the sting, but escaped. He spent the next three years building a biker gang and planning revenge on the city that spurned him and the ex-partner who turned him in.
Pike’s Dark Riders launched a major crime wave, then set up a reverse sting in which Pike ambushed and killed Jay Allen. The Flash (actually Jay’s brother Barry) tracked down and captured Pike in his first case. Pike was tried and convicted of murder.
Months later, a judge overturned his conviction on a technicality. Pike and his allies prepared to kill the Flash using a missile. By a freak accident, the explosion launched the Flash forward in time 10 years, revealing how things would have turned out if he had succeeded. Pike spent the next few years taking over organized crime and corrupting the police department, unleashing a crime wave so devastating that he could easily buy an election. As mayor, he turned Central City into his own fascist playground. The Flash’s own allies found a way to send him back to 1990, and the hero foiled Pike’s plans and convinced him to reveal new evidence to re-open the murder case.
- Episode 1 (Pilot) · (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
- Episode 15: “Fast Forward” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
Occupation: Lab Experiment
Base of Operations: Central City, Intellagen Corp. building
Played by: John Wesley Shipp
Intellagen Corp. scientist Jason Brassell was cloning humans with super-speed for use in manufacturing, as couriers, etc. Unfortunately, the clones would burn up under the stress of super-speed. Brassell decided what they needed was someone whose body could already withstand it: they would clone the Flash!
They managed to collect a blood sample from the Flash, then cloned him and accelerated the clone to adulthood. They named him Pollux, after one of the Gemini twins, and gave him a blue outfit modeled on the Flash’s costume, with Intellagen’s logo on his chest.
Although Pollux learned rapidly, he still had the emotional maturity of a child. He escaped briefly from the lab, turned a playground merry-go-round into a whirlwind, and encountered both the Flash and Tina McGee. This alerted the Flash to the existence of his double...and caused Pollux to develop a crush on Tina.
While Brassell began imagining military applications, Pollux was contemplating identity. He asked his maker who he was, and the scientist insisted that he was nobody, he wasn’t even human. They argued, and Pollux threw Brassell’s business partner across the room, killing him.
Pollux tracked Tina down, and she introduced him to Barry. Obsessed as he had become with identity, Pollux decided to take on Barry’s. He eventually returned to Intellagen, where Brassell tried to shoot him. He caught the bullet and threw it right back. The Flash caught up with him, and they fought until Brassell (not quite dead) fired at the Flash. Pollux jumped in front, taking the bullet, and died.
- Episode 18: “Twin Streaks” (Review @ Crimson Lightning)
While Pollux (often called the “Blue Flash”) is not pulled directly from any one comic character, he does serve as a Reverse-Flash analog. His origin is also similar to those of Speed Demon or Blue Trinity: biological experiments to create a speedster. Even the notion of using speedsters as couriers was explored with Kapitalist Kouriers.
He also prefigures two other characters who would later appear in the Flash mythos: Impulse had grown to adolescence in only three years due to his accelerated metabolism, and had a childlike view of the world until he matured. And Cobalt Blue would be revealed as Barry Allen’s double, who would become obsessed with taking over aspects of Barry’s life.
- Captain Cold: Episode 17: “Captain Cold”
- Mirror Master: Episode 19: “Done with Mirrors”
- Trickster: Episode #13: “The Trickster” and Episode 22: “Trial of the Trickster”
- Deadly Nightshade: Episode #15: “Deadly Nightshade”
- Ghost: Episode #9: “Ghost in the Machine”
- Nicholas Pike: Episode #1 (Pilot)
- Pollux: Episode 18: “Twin Streaks”