When The Flash returns from its hiatus in January, it will be introducing more characters from the Scarlet Speedster’s rogues gallery, like Heat Wave and Pied Piper. But one of the biggest villains that will be gracing our TV screens is James Jesse, a.k.a. The Trickster, played by Mark Hamill. This is notable because Hamill played the same character twice in the original 1990 Flash TV series. Not every actor gets to the opportunity to play two versions of the same character, and it was this particular aspect that shocked Hamill about returning to the world of the Scarlet Speedster.
Hamill, who was a fan of the 2014 series even before he was called on, recently told IGN that he was surprised that they wanted him to step back into The Trickster’s shoes rather than play a different character. Said Hamill:
“When they asked me to be a part of it, the last thing I was thinking was that I would be returning to that specific role, but I think you’re going to be really pleased with what they’ve come up with. It was totally unexpected.”
The actor also described the experience of returning as putting on an old pair of pants again and “finding out there’s a 20 dollar bill in the pocket.” Hamill holds the distinction of being the only actor to play a villain more than once on the original Flash series, appearing in the episodes “The Trickster” and “Trial of the Trickster.” In the comics, the supervillain uses weaponized trick items to pull off heists and fight Flash. While it’s possible the show runners could have found another character for Hamill to play in the new series, it’s fitting that he’s returning to the role of the gag-obsessed prankster, especially considering that following the role, he went on to voice similar over-the-top villains, most notably The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.
Hamill is the second actor to reprise the same role from the original 1990 series, the first being Amanda Pays, who appeared as Dr. Tine McGee in “The Man In The Yellow Suit.” John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen in the first series, is also involved with the 2014 show, except he’s playing Barry Allen’s father Henry. There will be two versions of The Trickster in Episode 17 this season. The first will be Hamill’s Trickster, who is an “anarchist terrorist con man” who is serving a life sentence. The second is a copycat eager to follow in the original’s footsteps by unleashing attacks on Central City. This his Hamill’s second time returning to play The Trickster, having previously voiced him in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Flash and Substance.”
The Flash returns from its hiatus January 20 with the episode “Revenge of the Rogues.”