At the beginning of every episode of “The Flash,” Barry Allen makes the bold statement that he is the fastest man alive. At the end of the show’s first season, he successfully defended that title against Reverse Flash, but now it seems he will have more competition in the coming season.

 

During the season one finale in May, fans were treated to the image of a silver Mercury helmet clanking into the S.T.A.R Labs particle accelerator as Eobard Thawne made his escape. To the casual observer, it seemed like nothing, but to astute comic book readers, it is confirmation of the existence of Jay Garrick: the original Flash.

 

A silver helmet lies on the floor

The silver helmet of the original Flash (moviepilot.com)

The show’s producers have since confirmed that Garrick will appear in season two of “The Flash,” followed shortly by Wally West. Garrick will be portrayed by actor Teddy Sears, while West will be portrayed by Keiynan Lonsdale.

 

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg had this to say about the new speedsters:

“[Wally is] really going to come in sort of the same way Colton Haynes came into ‘Arrow’ in year one. He came in as just Roy Harper and becoming Arsenal was something to look forward to… There are multiple Flashes and watching them all try to work together and not get along, we liken it to anniversary ‘Doctor Who’ episodes.”

 

The casting choice of Wally — and indeed the entire West family — is noteworthy for the change in race from the source material. Most fans know him as a red-haired, caucasian man, as he was portrayed in the classic “Justice League” cartoon. Changing his race highlights one of the greatest strengths of “The Flash,” diversity. All too often comic book properties rely on white-washed, heterosexual males to comprise their ensembles. “The Flash” has characters of multiple races (black, white, and hispanic), as well as an LGBT character (Captain Singh).

 

Just as his name indicates, “The Flash” has moved fast in its short series life. Not content to rest on its laurels, the show has already made aggressive leaps to expand its mythos and give audiences characters they love from the source material — more than that, it effortlessly endeavors to expand its diversity in the process. “Arrow,” and the upcoming “Legends of Tomorrow,” could take a lesson from this type of tenacity.

 

Are you excited to see Wally and Jay appear on “The Flash” this year? Who is your favorite speedster? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!