With the Flash away, the villains come out to play. In the Jan. 23 episode, "The Elongated Night Rise," it’s the Trickster who returns to Central City. This isn't the only form of this troublemaker fans have seen on the series. As Barry sits in prison, convicted for Clifford DeVoe's murder, the history of Trickster from The Flash comics may help viewers guess what's coming up for this version of the character.
Played by Devon Graye, this particular Trickster debuted all the way back in the first season of the series, in Episode 17. This Trickster, named Axel Walker, wasn’t the first though, as that title goes to James Jesse (played by Mark Hamill). In that episode, Walker visited Jesse in prison and became close to him — so close, he was willing to risk everything and try to help him escape. Over the course of the episode, Walker utilized bombs and poison to get his way. Jesse finally revealed that Walker was actually his son and allowed him to take the title of the Trickster. Unluckily for them, the Flash ended up sending them both back to Iron Heights. Since that’s the last fans saw of the character several seasons ago, it is unclear how Trickster escaped custody.
Both versions of the character, Graye’s and Hamill’s, are from the comics. Hamill’s character, Jesse, was the first iteration of the character, originating back in 1960. The Trickster Graye is portraying is the more modern one, arriving in the comics in 2012.
Though they're father and son in The Flash TV series (executive producer: Sarah Schechter), that’s not Axel's original origin story. In the comics, Walker steals the retired Jesse’s gear with the help of Blacksmith (currently played by Katee Sackhoff in the TV series). After being off on his own committing relatively minor crimes, he becomes the new iteration of the villain, welcomed into the league of villains against the Flash: the Rogues. However, like a lot of villains, he does not play well with others.
After being fired from the Rogues over a failed mission, he bounced around working for anyone he could, whether it was the mob, or major villains like Batman’s Riddler and Superman’s Lex Luthor. Walker doesn’t have many powers to speak of himself. He does have a genius-level intellect, but most of his “abilities” come from his use of various gadgets. Those include anti-gravity boots giving him the power of flight, exploding yo-yos, and oddly enough… itching powder.
No matter the Trickster’s powers, though, a different hero will have to stop him with the Flash currently imprisoned. Hence the episode’s title, “The Elongated Knight Rises.” No matter what the Elongated Man will do to stop Trickster, fans can at least look forward to a change in wardrobe. While certainly not the worst CW superhero costume (that award most definitely would have to go to Brainiac 5 on Supergirl), the Elongated Man’s all-grey onesie had looked… well, awful. It looked like a cross between pajamas and a suit made out of grey yoga pants. Although a little generic, this new suit points to a shift in attitude for the character. Although to this point he's been a bit of a jokester, with the Flash incarcerated, there will surely be a new pressure on him to pick up the slack.
While the Elongated Man is certainly no Flash, maybe he is enough of a hero to win out against the likes of the Trickster. But, then again, maybe he’s not. One of the most interesting things about each of these characters is that at the moment, they’re untested. Trickster has only been seen in one episode before this and was foiled by the Flash. Meanwhile, Ralph has only gotten a few chances at being a hero and has always had support. Team Flash has operated without Barry before, but the Trickster's return will surely bring new challenges.