Jay Garrick Is 'The Flash' In DC Comics, So Here's A Guide To How He & Barry Can Both Exist On TV
You know that old saying, "two Flashes are better than one"? OK, that's not really a saying, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Why only have one Flash when we could have two? The CW seems to agree with me on that, since The Flash Season 2 added Jay Garrick. Fans of the TV series only may have been confused when this other Flash showed up, but understanding Jay Garrick's DC Comics background may help clear things up.
The first thing you need to know is that there are two Earths in the comics, and thanks to the singularity from the Season 1 finale, it seems now on the TV show as well. They are called Earth-One (Barry Allen's world) and Earth-Two (Jay's). Aren't you glad that The Flash has slowly been prepping us for the idea of parallel universes and different timelines?
On DC Comics' Earth-Two, Jay Garrick is the Flash, but not because of a particle accelerator explosion. One day, Jay just happened to inhale the wrong vapors in the air, and the next thing he knew, he could run at ridiculously fast speeds. He used his super fast speed to stop crimes, as one does. He also never hid his identity from anyone, and his Flash outfit consists of a red shirt with a golden lightning bold on it, along with his awesome hat. The wings on its side represent the Greek God Hermes, who was not only the messenger of the Gods, but also fast, just like the Flash.
Of course, this all brings up a pretty huge question: What happened to Jay? Why is he not the Flash we think of immediately today? Just like many other comics, movies, and TV shows, The Flash was once rebooted. Jay's first issue as the Flash was published in 1940, while Barry didn't come along until 1956. Before anyone could forget about Jay, DC introduced Earth-Two in 1961, allowing both he and Barry to be the Flash simultaneously — just in different worlds.
Since Jay exists in another universe, he can "drop in" on Barry from time to time, and give him advice on how to be the Flash. In the comics, Barry treats Jay like a wise, old sage, and there was is any animosity between them. They've even fought alongside one another with the Justice Society of America. Their relationship is sort of like Luke Skywalker and Yoda in Star Wars, The Flash version of a Master and Padawan.
There's one other important fact about Jay's arc, though it's unlikely this part crossover onto The Flash. In the comics, Jay lives in Keystone City, which is right across the river from Central City. Jay's hometown wasn't always next to Barry's, but during the series Crisis on Infinite Earths, Earth-One and Earth-Two merged together to form one super-world, making the two cities neighbors.
Considering that Keystone City already exists on The Flash, where it is home to Iron Heights Prison, I don't think the TV Series is going to have the two Earths become one. I'm actually more excited to see what Jay has to say about his home in Earth-Two and what has been going on there since the singularity. And who knows, maybe on The Flash Jay could end up sticking around Earth-One for good. After the whole Harrison Wells debacle, Barry needs a new speedster mentor for Season 2.
Images: Cate Cameron/The CW; Giphy