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The Flash pilot officially premiered, but news about the series has been coming in faster than its titular protagonist. From the first images of Captain Cold to the premiere breaking records, Flash is at the forefront of comic book TV news. Earlier today, it was revealed that Victor Garber will play Doctor Martin Stein, one half of the heroic Firestorm entity. Now another big casting has been announced, but this one is much more sinister.
TV Line reports that Smash alum Andy Mientus will play Hartley Rathaway, a.k.a. the Pied Piper, in episodes 11 and 12. Described as a “genius,” Rathaway will be Harrison Wells’ former mentee who lost his hearing during the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion. Seeking revenge against Wells, he builds his own sonic weaponry and will use these destructive devices to kill The Flash, Wells’ “new protege.”
Pied Piper has been a prominent Flash villain since he debuted in 1959. Although he frequently clashed with Barry Allen in the comics, Piper was friends with Allen’s successor Wally West. Piper is also notable for being one of the first openly gay comic book characters, something which the show will definitely pursue. In the New 52, Piper is in dating Central City Crime Lab director David Singh, who appeared in the pilot as the Central City Police Captain played by David Sabongui, so we may see the TV versions also in a relationship at some point.
In the comics, Piper was born deaf, but was cured by research funded by his rich father. He became obsessed with sound and sonic technology, and eventually invented a flute that could hypnotize anyone within range of its sound. Later he took a cue from the legendary figure he named himself afterwards and adjusted the flute so that he could control rats with it. Unlike most of Flash’s villains, Rathaway eventually reformed, and is described in the New 52 as a “reformed vigilante.” He most recently helped Flash during the Gorilla Warfare storyline, and attempted to maintain peace in Central City during Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion. He may take a similar path in the TV series; fight Flash on and off for several seasons, and then decide to go straight (ironic word choice). It would certainly distinguish him from the rest of the Rogues, most of whom will spend the series persistently trying to defeat Flash so that they can keep their big scores.
It’s also worth noting that episode 12 of The Flash will also feature Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein, who, thanks to the particle accelerator, have been fused together. If they decide to head to S.T.A.R. Labs and demand help from Wells, they may run into Rathaway along the way.