Spoilers below for The Flash's latest episode, "Enter Flashtime."
Because The Flash swapped out its traditional speedster villain in Season 4, there hasn't been the same impetus to keep as many speedster heroes around. But a nuclear bomb changed all that in "Enter Flashtime," which welcomed back Violett Beane's Earth-2 Jessie Quick and John Wesley Shipp's Earth-3 Jay Garrick. Shipp spoke with CinemaBlend's own Laura Hurley ahead of the episode, and during their chat, he talked at length about two ways in which The CW's Flash is a big improvement over his own Flash series from the 1990s: the superspeed scenes and the super-suit costumes. His words on the effects:
I always feel bad when I see super-speed scenes in older movies and TV shows, since it almost necessarily means things played out much as John Wesley Shipp described. In order to show a 20-second scene of Shipp's Flash cleaning a room, he had to spend a legitimately lengthy span of time cleaning the room, with the footage sped up after the fact to make it look impossibly quick. Whereas now, Shipp isn't even needed to film the entire stunt, since part of it is created using solely digital forms. Of course, that basically just transports Shipp's former efforts over to the computer effects team, but they likely don't need to strain their muscles all that much.
And it's not just the CGI that has been improved in the nearly three decades that have passed between John Wesley Shipp's Flash series and Grant Gustin's version. The visual essence of the superhero himself, the snazzy super-suit, has also seen major advancements that don't make things quite as grueling for those inside. Part of it has to do with audiences no longer being obsessed with giant muscles.
I've often wondered why The Flash would need to have bulked up pecs and biceps, since his speed is generally what gives him advantages in battles, and not specifically natural strength or brawn. Granted, doing all the things that Barry Allen (or Jay Garrick) does would probably promote muscle growth in big ways, but not in the same way that lifting weights for four hours a day will. But forget about the looks; one of my least favorite things in the world is putting on wet clothes, so I cannot imagine how miserable I would have been squeezing into and out of a sweat-and-Lysol-matted Flash suit on a daily basis.
John Wesley Shipp also talked about how the face cowl situation is easier these days. Especially for him, since Jay Garrick only dons his bolt helmet.
For all that ice water on his torso, though, John Wesley Shipp is obviously proud to have taken on the Scarlet Speedster role for his first TV series, and he's always happy to return to The CW'sFlash to bring some Earth-3 guidance to Barry's chaotic existence.
We'll hopefully get to see John Wesley Shipp returning to The Flash in the near future to help uproot the Thinker's plans, but for now, we're pumped to see Iris get in on the speedster action in next week's episode, airing on The CW on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. Until then, head over to our midseason premiere trailer to see all the new and returning shows that are on the way.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.