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The Flash may be the latest telling of the Scarlet Speedster’s adventures, but it’s also remembering its roots by paying homage to the original, short-lived 1990 Flash TV series. This started when the show cast original Flash John Wesley Shipp and continued when Amanda Pays was cast to play this universe’s Tina McGee, one of the main characters from the original series. Now, another Flash veteran has crossed over to the new series, but this won’t be a friendly face. Fresh off his stint in a galaxy far, far away, it has been announced that Mark Hamill is returning to play the over-the-top, gag-obsessed super villain The Trickster.
Hamill will reprise the role of James Jesse in Episode 17 of the current season. This version of Jesse is described as an incarcerated “anarchist terrorist con man” who helps Barry and Joe stop a copycat Trickster’s attacks on Central City. The Trickster, first introduced in the comics in 1960, is primarily known for his weaponized trick items like exploding teddy bears and yo-yos, which he uses in his robberies and to fight the Flash. According to Hitfix, Hamill will also share screen time with Shipp, which makes sense given that Henry Allen is also serving time at Iron Heights for the murder of his wife Nora. Oh the irony! Two enemies from another life stuck together in the same prison. This should make for an interesting “reunion.”
Because the 1990 series only lasted one season, Trickster was the only member of Flash’s rogues gallery to appear more than once, appearing in the episodes “The Trickster” and Trial of the Trickster.” Hamill went on to play a much more demented prankster when he was hired to voice The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, a role he played for nearly 20 years. This isn’t his first time reprising The Trickster, having voiced the DC Animated Universe version of the character in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Flash and Substance.” This will be one of Hamill’s first roles after finishing shooting Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Like fellow Rogues Captain Boomerang and Mirror Master, there have been multiple Tricksters in the comics. While Jesse was briefly working as an FBI consultant, his equipment was stolen by small-time crook Axel Walker, and has been the main Trickster since 2008. It looks like the show is adapting this element from the comics by having Walker or an original character taking up Jesse’s mantle, and the imprisoned terrorist will serve a Hannibal Lecter-type role by helping the authorities capture this wannabe Trickster. Still, Barry might want to keep an eye on Jesse. Just because he’s older doesn’t mean he’s any less dangerous than his younger counterpart.
You can catch new episodes of The Flash on the CW when the show returns in 2015.