The Flash: Who Are Edwin Gauss And Janet Petty?

the flash season 4 barry
(Image credit: Image courtesy of The CW)

The Flash has spent Season 4 introducing the group of bus metas created when Barry escaped the Speed Force, and some have been friendlier than others. Ralph Dibny joined Team Flash to become Elongated Man and has therefore managed to escape having his powers assimilated by The Thinker, but that hasn't been the case for most of the other bus metas. The latest episode revealed the names of the last two bus metas who were unaccounted for: Edwin Gauss and Janet Petty. While episode didn't give away anything other than their names, the powers of their DC Comics counterparts combined with their descriptions from the show could tell us a lot about what to expect from them.

Spoilers ahead for the sixteenth episode of The Flash Season 4.

Let's start with Edwin Gauss. The character on The Flash will be a thirty-something man who was more of a hippie than a guy who belonged on the superhero (or supervillain) scene. His life was turned upside down after the incident on the bus that turned him into a meta and gave him a unique power that makes him extremely difficult to locate. Based on the character's history on the pages of DC Comics, we can bet that Gauss is of special interest to The Thinker.

In the comics, Edwin Gauss was a renowned genius who was the youngest student ever to graduate from MIT. In his goal to surpass Einstein, he built a suit that allowed him to travel between dimensions and into the fourth and second dimensions. Gauss became known as Folded Man thanks to his ability in two dimensions to fold himself totally flat. He can see anything from all directions, and he is able to open portals between dimensions whenever he so chooses.

Edwin Gauss on The Flash will obviously have some key differences from his comic counterpart, as he'll gain his abilities as a metahuman rather than require a suit in order to travel between dimensions. His powers could make him a major target for The Thinker, who Team Flash realized was hiding his lair in a pocket dimension, allowing him to pop out at Barry and Co. seemingly out of nowhere. The Thinker still seems to need technology in order to move between dimensions, which is a weakness that could be exploited by Team Flash if he's not able to absorb Gauss' powers. Gauss could become a big target for The Thinker, or perhaps even an ally. He's not described as a regular or recurring character, so I wouldn't be shocked if he's killed sooner rather than later.

The same can't be said for Janet Petty, assuming she's the counterpart to the DC Comics character Null. The Flash will introduce a villain known as Null, who is described as a troublesome and sassy jewel thief who has managed to avoid capture for years. Like the rest of the bus metas, however, her life changes significantly after she develops powers. Her powers will enable her to manipulate gravity, which could be either very helpful or quite a hindrance to Team Flash, depending on her loyalties. Null will be a recurring guest star, which we can take to mean that she won't be killed off and absorbed by The Thinker right off the bat (unless he ends up residing in her body).

Technically, we can't say for sure at this point if Janet Petty is indeed Null, but the odds are quite good that the two are one and the same. The next episode will be called "Null And Annoyed," and the trailer reveals a jewel thief who definitely seems to be defying gravity. Surely The Flash will introduce at least one of the two remaining bus metas after revealing their names, and Janet Petty as Null is the most likely candidate.

Unlike Edwin Gauss, Null does not have a detailed history from the pages of the comics. The character is actually a blonde man in the comics, whereas the Flash version will be an African-American woman in her mid-20s. Null doesn't have much of a presence in the comics, but he does have the power to manipulate gravity with minute gestures of his fingers. He's able to control whether or not people are weightless. If the show's version of Null has the same powers, she could cause a lot of trouble that goes way beyond stealing jewelry.

We can only wait and see what's in store next for Team Flash with these two new bus metas on the scenes. Now that Barry has his superspeed back, Team Flash is likely back to business as usual, although we may need to worry about Harry now that he's built his own thinking cap. You can catch new episodes of The Flash on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. For more viewing options, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide, our 2018 Netflix premiere guide, and our 2018 Amazon Prime premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).