General Eiling Is a New Kind of 'Flash' Villain

by Angelica Jade Bastién

Barry Allen is gaining a villain that he'll have to outsmart rather than just outrun in Tuesday's new episode of The Flash , "Plastique." This new antagonist isn't another metahuman, but rather the menacing, intelligent General Wade Eiling. In The Flash he is the head of a black ops army team tracking down Plastique in hopes of using her unique abilities. What will make him difficult to reason with is his fanatical belief that every wicked thing he is doing is for the greater good of America. General Eiling will be played by Clancy Brown on The Flash , a phenomenal actor who you may remember from Sleepy Hollow. Fun fact: Clancy Brown is also a prolific voice actor. He has voiced none other than Lex Luthor in Batman: The Animated Series, two Justice League shows, Superman, and several of the animated film adaptations. He'll definitely bring the right mix of gravitas and menace to the flesh and blood role of General Eiling. Introducing such an interesting, widely unknown antagonist to be played by such a great actor is why The Flash is one of the most successful new shows of this season.

General Eiling isn't a well known antagonist. But his inclusion on The Flash shows the willingness of its creative minds to dig deep into comic book history, where he had a hand in the creation of the superhero Captain Atom. He also functioned as a somewhat minor threat to the Justice League. Like Amanda Waller, who appears on Arrow, General Eiling isn't afraid to get his hands dirty for what he thinks is the greater good. Depending on your age, you might recognize the character from his time on the Justice League animated series. After the government project Cadmus falls apart, he remains on a quest to dismantle the Justice League. He injects himself with a super serum gaining a hulking physique, extreme strength, heightened senses, and other fantastical abilities that make him nearly indestructible. This is a nod to what happens to General Eiling in the comics when he takes over the body of a mindless, invincible villain. There is no way that is going to happen on The Flash, at least this early in General Eiling's appearance. But the show will definitely be playing up important character traits like General Eiling's fanaticism, intelligence, and sense of morality.

What does his character mean for Barry's future? The Hollywood Reporter noted in their announcement of Clancy Brown playing General Eiling that he "may have ties to a central Flash character." I would be willing to bet that he has ties to Harrison Wells, since Wells has the sort of skill set that could easily get him involved in off-the-books government projects.

I wouldn't be surprised if Amanda Waller makes an appearance in the near future since the character already appears on Arrow. Waller is a big deal in the comics as a secret government official and powerful antagonist for the Justice League whose intelligence is a force to be reckoned with. She's even thrown off Batman, which is really saying something.

General Eiling represents how real-world consequences will dovetail into Barry's otherwise fun universe. General Eiling isn't the kind of antagonist you can shrug off in a fistfight or outrun. With the character set as a recurring role, it is clear that he will cause Barry to rethink his role as a superhero and just how much his abilities can help the world around him. While I don't like to see Barry suffer, I can't deny that the inclusion of General Eiling is going to bring great drama to The Flash.

Images: Jack Rowland/The CW; barryallendaily/Tumblr (2)