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In its first season, The Flash introduced its audience to a variety of heroes, villains and supporting characters, most of whom hailed from DC Comics’ expansive library. Although many fan favorites will be returning for Season 2, the series is doubling down on the amount of characters fans will see when it comes back later this year. Following in Arrow’s footsteps, The Flash is adding a variety of new players for its sophomore season, all of whom will be crucial to the story.

While telling TV Line that Eddie Thawne’s death will prevent Barry Allen and Iris West from getting together right away, series star Grant Gustin mentioned that the show will be expanding its cast significantly for Season 2, going beyond just the reveals we’ve heard about so far. Said Gustin:
There are a lot of new characters coming in, not just the ones that have been leaked online. And they all will challenge relationships, in good and bad ways.

Because Eddie sacrificed himself in the Season 1 finale, Rick Cosnett will not be returning to the main cast, though that doesn’t mean we’ll never see him again (or at least a version of him.) Other than that, the rest of the major Season 1 characters will be returning, including Tom Cavanagh. It’s unclear which of these new characters will be main cast members and which will be recurring, but according to Gustin, it sounds like most of them will play critical roles in the relationships between Barry, Iris and everyone else, be it in positive ways or negative.

We’ve already heard teases concerning several of the new characters who will appear in Season 2. For starters, Barry will be getting a new love interest named Wendy who’s been described as a “spunky, fun, and funny” science whiz. Joe West will also be getting a new partner, though it’s possible that could actually be Wendy, whose real identity I suspect is Flash family member Patty Spivot, one of Barry’s most recent romantic partners in the comics.

Other new characters include a handsome mystery hero currently called “John Clark,” who is described as being “slightly cynical with an edge.” Leaked audition videos later revealed that this hero might be someone with an unusual power that is difficult to control. There will also be a new “really cool” villain that will debut early in the new season. Whether it’s Mirror Master, Doctor Alchemy or an adversary that hasn’t been teased yet, this bad guy is expected to succeed Eobard Thawne as the show’s “big bad.”

The Flash Season 2 will premiere October 6 in its normal timeslot on The CW.