The Flash is back, and after Barry altered the timeline again (when will he learn?) there are bound to be some changes ahead. One of the big questions we want to see answered this season is when Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) is going to become a speedster. We already got to see Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) suited up as Kid Flash in “Flashpoint”, and Jesse’s future speedster status was heavily hinted at in Season Two – but she has yet to actually reveal any powers.
As well as her brush with the Speed Force when Barry healed her (which we assume has given her some kind of super ability), Jesse was officially named as Jesse Quick last season, which confirmed what comic fans had already guessed: she’s the Arrowverse version of Jesse Chambers, a member of the Flash Family of super-fast heroes. Now, ahead of her re-appearance in The Flash Season Three, we’re bringing you a rundown of some lesser-known facts about this DC speedster in the comics.
Update: It looks like the wait is over!
15. Her Full Name Is Jesse Belle Chambers
In The CW series, we spent much of Season Two knowing only Jesse’s first name, and that she’s the daughter of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). It wasn’t until later in the season that Harrison called her “my little Jesse Quick” in “Back To Normal”. It’s presumed that this is his affectionate nickname for his daughter, and that her legal name in the series would be Jesse Wells, but that isn’t her full name in the comics.
Originally, Jesse’s name is Jesse Belle Chambers, with both ‘Belle’ and ‘Chambers’ coming from her parents’ names. Born to Johnny Chambers (aka Johnny Quick) and Libby Lawrence (aka Liberty Belle), Jesse Chambers took up the name Jesse Quick when she used her father’s formula for super speed and became a speedster in her own right. Later, she took up her mother’s mantle instead, becoming the new Liberty Belle. Although she has gone back and forth between the two, she is most commonly known as Jesse Quick.
14. Both Her Parents Are Heroes…
It’s not uncommon for superheroes in the comic book universe to be born to a super-parent, but Jesse is one of the few heroes born to two! Her father, Johnny Quick, was a speedster and a founding member of the All-Star Squadron. He found an ancient Egyptian formula that gave him super-speed when spoken out loud (until he said the counter-formula, that is), and used it to become a superhero.
He met Liberty Belle on the All-Star Squadron, and the two fell in love, married, and had Jesse (before getting divorced later on). Liberty Belle, a hero in her own right, gets her powers from a miniature liberty bell that she wears on her belt. The bell gives her temporary super strength, and allows her to channel vibrations through her hands to create shock waves. After the divorce, she and her daughter Jesse have a somewhat strained relationship, although Jesse becomes closer to her after she becomes a superhero herself.
13. …And She Struggles To Balance Their Legacies
Jesse Quick took up her father’s name and carries on the Quick legacy, but she struggled for a long time with the powers that she gained from her mother’s side as well. Libby and Johnny divorced when Libby was concerned about Johnny teaching Jesse his super speed formula – but her desire to keep Jesse away from the crime fighting life backfired. Jesse grew up with her father and became connected to the Justice Society of America through his membership. With his name and speedster power, she became a superhero in her own right, but gave it up after he father died.
It was then that she was revealed to have inherited her mother’s super strength as well as her father’s speed, and she started fighting crime as the new Liberty Belle. However, she continued to struggle, feeling guilty about abandoning her father’s name in favor of her mother’s. Eventually, Jesse was able to reconcile the two, combining the costumes and taking back the name Jesse Quick – balancing her feelings toward her parents right before revealing that she was about to become a parent herself.
12. She Uses Her Father’s Formula To Gain Her Super Speed
There are many different ways to become a speedster in the DC universe. Barry Allen and Wally West were ‘chosen’ by the Speed Force, and gained their powers in a lab accident. Max Mercury gained his speed by way of a magic tribal spell spoken over him by a shaman, Jay Garrick was another ‘accidental’ super-hero, and many of the younger speedsters (Bart Allen, Iris and Jai West) have inherited powers through their family trees.
Jesse Quick, meanwhile, also gets her speed from her father – just not through their actual genetics. Instead, Jesse learned how to use the same ancient Egyptian formula for speed that her father discovered many years ago. This formula gives her a connection to the speed force, albeit a temporary one, and can be reversed with a second formula. Despite the apparent simplicity of just reciting a formula, this power can still be lost and needs to be carefully controlled. It’s more than simply saying the words.
11. She Has More Powers Than Just Super Speed
With two superheroes as parents, it’s not surprising that Jesse inherited more than just her father’s speed. It was eventually discovered that she also inherited powers from her mother’s side, and at one point she used these to become the new Liberty Belle (and carry on her mother’s super-hero name).
While her primary power will always be her speed, Jesse is also super strong, and has the increased durability and agility that often comes with super speed and strength. Although she didn’t gain her mother’s ability to create shock waves, she also has a couple more tricks up her sleeve. Jesse can (like many other speedsters) phase through solid objects by vibrating her molecules at high speeds to match the object she wants to pass through. Her swiftness also allows her a version of flight. Running at top speeds and launching herself into the air allows Jesse to fly for short periods, although this isn’t the kind of true flight that some other superheroes have.
10. Her Father Died To Save Her
We’ve seen a lot of the relationship between Jesse and Harrison Wells in The Flash, and their relationship is closely linked to the one in the comics. Always closer to her father than her mother, Jesse was heartbroken when her father died – especially since he gave up his life for hers.
In a battle between the speedsters of the JSA and Savitar (a speedy supervillain who we’ll see at some point this season), Savitar’s high priestess Christina nearly killed Jesse. While she struggled to use the formula that would give her super-speed and allow her to fight back, Johnny sped into action. He took out Christina to save Jesse, but in doing so, he ran into the Speed Force itself and became part of it. (What happens when speedsters die.) Max Mercury followed him and attempted to pull him out, but failed. In a heartbreaking moment, Johnny gives Jesse his final message through Max: “tell her I love her, Max. And tell her that I will always be a part of her. Now more than ever”.
9. She’s Been In The Justice Society, The Justice League, And The Teen Titans
Like many other comic book characters, Jesse has been a member of several different superhero teams over the years. Initially, she was an honorary member of the Justice Society of America, courtesy of her father’s membership. However, she soon became a full-fledged member of the organization, was their business manager at one point, and she even met her future husband, Rick Tyler, through the team. With the JSA coming to Legends of Tomorrow, this could be a potential crossover for the character on the small screen.
Jesse also took Wally’s place in both the Teen Titans and the Justice League at different points in time. Jesse’s stint with the Titans was her first major time with a super team, and although it was Wally’s idea to invite her, it was Nightwing who actually asked, and the two became close friends. She then left the Titans after they disbanded. She later moved from the JSA to the JLA after the two teams joined forces in Dark Things, where she became friends with Supergirl.
8. She’s Been A Close Friend To Nightwing and Supergirl
Over the years, Jesse has formed close friendships with several of her teammates, including Nightwing and Supergirl. Nightwing (Dick Grayson) first became friends with Jesse when he invited her to join the Teen Titans (and take Wally’s place on the team). Jesse became close with Nightwing as they worked together, and eventually, he revealed his true identity to his friend. Nightwing even posed as her boyfriend when she went to meet her mother’s fiancée, although the two heroes never actually dated.
She also became particular friends with Donna Troy, Damage and Argent while with the Titans. Much later, when Jesse joined the Justice League of America (again, at the behest of her friend Dick Grayson), she befriended another new member of the team – Supergirl. She and the Girl of Steel quickly became close, bonding over their similarities and their new roles with the JLA. Jesse’s friendship with Donna Troy also carried over to this time, as Donna joined the team as well.
7. She Studied In Gotham
In the days before Jesse mastered her father’s formula and became a full-time superhero, she went to college just like any other young woman. Despite growing up in Queens, she moved away to study at Gotham University, choosing to learn about past superheroes rather than become one in the present. When the Justice Society of America re-emerged, Jesse turned her focus to these heroes, writing about them and studying them.
Eventually, she began to help the JSA as well as simply learn about them, and it was this that took her from student to superhero in her own right. Her initial thesis title while at Gotham University was “The Impact of Superheroes on Society”, but was changed to “Mystery Men and Their Effects on Culture” as she progressed in her studies. On The Flash, Jesse is still in college (although we haven’t yet learned her thesis topic), and it is revealed that she finished High School at the age of fifteen.
6. She Gave Her Speed To Wally West
Zoom (Teddy Sears) may have finally been defeated in the Arrowverse, but his take down at the hands of Barry Allen was very different to his defeat at the hands of Wally West in the comic universe. (In the comics, it was Wally [as The Flash] who battled Zoom, not Barry.) And while Zoom wanted to force The Flash to even faster speeds in both comics and live-action, Wally actually borrowed power from other speedsters in order to take Zoom down.
Jesse was one of the other super-speedy heroes who gave her ability to Wally in order to allow him to defeat Zoom, and for a time after this, she was actually left powerless. It was during her de-powered period that Jesse became the business manager of the JSA — and when she met the love of her life, Rick Tyler. Jesse wasn’t powerless for long, however. She used the abilities she inherited from her mother to become Liberty Belle before eventually getting her super speed back.
5. She Helped Iris West Connect To The Speed Force
No, not the Iris West that you might know from The CW series – that’s Iris West-Allen, as all Flash fans know that she married Barry and hyphenated her last name. The Iris West we are referring to here is actually the young daughter of Wally West and Linda Park. Iris and her twin brother Jai are both speedsters (although they are too young to be working as full-fledged superheroes just yet), but Jai’s primary power is super strength through accelerated muscle growth, and Iris’ is her phasing ability.
During Flash: Rebirth, young Iris discovered that she and Jai had only one connection to the Speed Force between them, and that it was damaging them both. She took the full force of the connection into herself accidentally, hoping to save him, and it was Jesse who burst in to save her and reveal her as the next generation of speedster. With Jesse’s regained speed and Iris’s new, direct connection to hers, the two rush off to help the other speedsters.
4. Wally Named Her As The Next Flash
We know that The Flash is a legacy character – a superhero who has been several different people throughout the years. Jay Garrick was the original, Golden Age Flash, followed by the best-known Scarlet Speedster, Barry Allen. When Barry ‘died’, his protégé Wally West took up the mantle of Flash, and Bart Allen also briefly became the Flash himself. Now, with both Barry and two Wallys running around the DC Universe, things are a little more complicated!
At one point, however, it was Jesse Quick who was in line to become the next Flash, when Wally thought he wasn’t going to make it through a particularly tough mission. Although he told Jesse to become The Flash if he should die, he didn’t actually intend for it to happen. Jesse later discovered that Wally had actually told her this in order to try and make Bart Allen (who he was training at the time) jealous! Wally wanted Bart to take his role as a speedster more seriously, and although Jesse forgave him for the deception, it wasn’t easy for her to get over.
3. She IS The Flash (In An Alternate Universe)
Wally’s manipulations aside, Jesse Quick is the Flash – just not in the main DC Universe. In JLA: Created Equal, all the men of the world are killed (with the exception of Superman), and it is up to the superwomen of the DC Universe to save the day. Jesse, one of the few women in the Flash Family, becomes the new Flash, using her speed to help deliver supplies to earthquake zones as well as to fight evil.
Jesse is also the Flash in another alternate universe: The DC Ame-Comi reality. Based on the anime-style DC collectibles, the ame-comi stories are told in a very different (for DC) artistic style. Jesse is also The Flash in this reality. Although she is the Flash in these two alternate universes, and an important member of the Flash Family in the primary DC universe, Jesse has yet to officially pick up the Flash mantle in the main DC continuity.
2. She Has Also Been A White Lantern (In An Alternate Universe)
While we are on the subject of alternate universes, and especially the Ame-Comi universe, it’s worth mentioning that Jesse has been a very different superhero within this world. In Ame-Comi Girls, Jesse (as the Flash) is one of several superheroes brought together to battle Sinestra. Along with Supergirl, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Robin, Steel, Hawkgirl and Alana Strage, she is turned into a White Lantern to battle to save the Earth.
The White Lanterns are a rarely seen color within the Lantern Corps (made famous by the Green Lanterns), and their powers are not fully understood. However, they are associated with the ‘emotion’ described as the ‘will to live’, and are incredibly powerful, with White Lantern Rings having a degree of sentience greater than that of the other power rings. Although Jesse is both the Flash and a (temporary) White Lantern in the Ame-comi universe, this is a completely separate reality to the primary DC universe, and neither role crosses over.
1. She’s Married To Hourman (And We Might See This In The Show)
Like most superheroes, Jesse has a long-term relationship with another superhero in the comics: Hourman. The two met through their work with the Justice Society of America, where Hourman used his Miraclo-based superpowers to fight crime at her side. The two quickly fell in love, and it was Hourman who helped Jesse reconcile with her mother and take up her mantle when Jesse lost her super speed. After they married, Jesse fell pregnant and decided to hang up her costume until the baby was born (probably the right call).
This is especially interesting for fans of the comics and the CW series, as Hourman (Patrick J Adams) has just entered the Arrow-verse through Legends of Tomorrow. The time-travelling super ensemble show will be introducing the JSA this season, with Hourman front and center – although he’s not actually the same Hourman that Jesse marries. The Legends Hourman is Rex Tyler, the first hero to hold that name and the father of Rick Tyler, the man Jesse Quick marries. However, given the Arrowverse’s tendency to stray from canon, could we see Jesse get together with Rex this year?
Do you now of any other fun facts regarding Jesse Quick? What role do you think she’ll play in Season 3 of The Flash? Let us know in the comments.