The Flash is, without a doubt, one of the best superhero TV shows currently on the air. Its combination of action, humor and emotion is spot-on, and Grant Gustin is absolutely perfect as the newly-speedy Barry Allen. It’s the ideal series to introduce casual fans to the character, and even though it makes a few changes to comic book canon, the spirit of the books comes across perfectly.
However, for those long-time fans of Barry Allen & Co, The Flash is filled with references, nods, and cameos from comic book bad guys to keep you happy. Almost every episode introduces us to a new comic book character, with some bringing in multiple recognizable names. Some of these are almost perfect page-to-screen adaptations, while others are given an Arrow-verse twist, but all of them have been a lot of fun to see on screen over the past two seasons. We’ve pulled the fifteen that were the absolute best – the most enjoyable, interesting, or just plain cool! (Excluding major or recurring characters, that is.)
Here are 15 Characters From The Flash Comics Who Have Had A Cameo In The TV Show.
Henry Hewitt has appeared twice in The Flash – once as Earth-1’s Tokamak, and once as Earth-2’s pleasant and not-at-all-evil scientist. In the comics, Tokamak was a rich and powerful businessman, but he was also an invalid confined to a wheelchair. Inspired by Firestorm, he decided to re-create the nuclear accident that created the hero on himself, becoming a second nuclear being called Tokamak with the ability to create energy rings.
In the series, Henry Hewitt was one of two men that Team Flash found as a potential match for Professor Stein (Victor Garber) after the death of Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell). A fellow scientist, he seemed a much better choice than the less-than-thrilled mechanic, Jax (Franz Drameh), but the two simply weren’t able to merge. Disappointed, Hewitt subsequently discovered that the attempt did leave him with power – to absorb and generate energy, especially when his temper gets out of control. While Tokamak isn’t necessarily one of the most memorable comic book cameos of the series, he did bring our current Firestorm together, and that’s worth a lot to fans of Legends of Tomorrow.
Not all of the best cameos are superhumans. Representing the worst kind of military man, General Wade Eiling appeared in four episodes in season 1. Intimately connected with the events that led to the creation of Gorilla Grodd, Eiling is a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to make the military stronger and keep the world safe (as he sees it). He has experimented on meta-humans to try and turn them into human weapons, and shot and killed Plastique when he couldn’t control her.
While he is perfect as a corrupt authority figure that we love to hate, the most exciting part of his existence in the Flash universe is the possibility that he will become a true villain like his comic counterpart. In the comics, Eiling becomes much more than a morally bankrupt general when he takes over the body of Shaggy Man. In this new body, he is a formidable foe, super strong, functionally invulnerable and immortal, and near-undefeatable.
One of the earliest metahumans Barry goes up against, Plastique was a perfect character to set up General Eiling, Harrison Wells' (Tom Cavanagh) evil side, and further explore the ways that the particle accelerator explosion didn’t just create cut-and-dried super villains. In the comics, Plastique is a French-Canadian separatist terrorist, who initially had no powers (but was more than willing to bomb buildings). Later, she developed the power to project explosive blasts.
In the show, Bette Sans Souci is a bomb disposal expert who is in surgery to remove bomb fragments from her body when the accelerator explodes. The dark matter fuses the bomb with her body, giving her the ability to turn anything she touches into an explosive. Of course, this is more problematic than helpful, and Plastique becomes an example of a metahuman whose powers are a curse – not least because General Eiling started experimenting on her when she got them. Betrayed by Wells into attacking the General, Bette doesn’t survive the episode, giving us a heart-wrenching break from some of the more happily villainous characters.
In a metahuman Bonnie and Clyde story, Peek-A-Boo brought a little criminal romance to the show in season 1. In the comics, however, Lashawn Baez turns to crime for a different kind of love. Her father needs a kidney transplant, and she has tried everything to get him one. When nothing else works, she uses her teleportation powers to try and steal one for him, but is prevented by the Flash.
In the show, Shawna uses her powers for significantly less noble reasons – to bust her criminal boyfriend out of prison. The two then end up committing a series of crimes, first to pay off a debt, then because the crime boss they were paying it to decides that Shawna’s powers are just too useful for her to leave. Shawna ends up abandoned by her boyfriend and caught by Team Flash, but only after some very fun chase scenes (teleportation vs superspeed!).
The Earth-2 doppelganger of one of Barry Allen’s Earth-1 ex-girlfriends, Dr. Light is a real departure from the Earth-1 Linda Park and the comic canon, but that’s part of what makes the multiverse storyline so much fun. In the comics, Dr. Light’s real name is Dr Kimyo Hoshi, an astronomer who can control starlight energy courtesy of the Monitor and Crisis on Infinite Earths.
In the show, Dr. Light is a small-time thief when the particle accelerator gave her the starlight-controlling powers that gave her her name. Recruited by Zoom, all she really wanted was to get away from him, which led her to attempt to murder her Earth-1 counterpart to convince him that she had died. More desperate than evil, she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but she is willing to if it means saving her own skin. Not only was this a really fantastic power to see on-screen, it developed Linda Park’s character further.
Brie Larvin and her army of robotic bees is one of those rare villain cameos to make an appearance in both The Flash and Arrow. She looks very different to her comic book counterpart, however, as the original Bug-Eyed Bandit was male: Bertram Larvan. A frustrated inventor who couldn’t get funding for his robotic insect ideas, he decided to use his metal creepy crawlies to steal it instead.
In the show, Brie is equally frustrated with her boss being unwilling to see the full potential of the robotic bees she has created. Fired from Mercury Labs, she seeks revenge on her ex-co-workers and boss before The Flash takes her down. Later, she escapes, and heads to Star City to attack Felicity and try to steal the technology that allowed her to walk again after a spinal cord injury. This time, it was the Green Arrow and Curtis Holt (Mr. Terrific) who dealt with her.
This super-hearing genius is primarily a threat because of his engineering abilities and intelligence, and his ability to hear at super-human frequencies is something that would be far less threatening in a less-intelligent human. He has appeared in two episodes of season 1, and recently made a re-appearance in season 2. In the comics, Hartley Rathaway was born deaf, and it was an enhanced cochlear implant that gave him his abilities to not only hear beyond the range of any other human, but to hypnotize others with sonic technology.
In the show, Hartley is a genius who was a protégé of Harrison Wells, although no-one else at the labs could stand him, due to his arrogance. He predicted the particle accelerator explosion, but Wells blackmailed him into silence. When the explosion occurred, it gave Hartley such enhanced hearing that he was in constant pain, and had to develop implants to bear it. At the same time, he developed sonic-wave gloves, and set off to seek vengeance on Wells. In season 2, Barry travelled back in time to the point where the Pied Piper was causing the team issues – however, in altering his reality, he returned to find Hartley helping the team, seemingly reformed. It was a fantastic look at how Barry’s travels through time can alter the present.
The brother of Clyde Mardon (Chad Rook), the first ever metahuman enemy that we met on The Flash, Mark (or Marco) Mardon is a regular member of the Rogues Gallery with his weather-controlling powers. In the comics, he left his brother to deal with the family drug cartel in order to hang out with the Rogues in Central City. Using a Weather Wand (fused with his own DNA), he can control weather and whip up storms, but his abilities are closely linked to his emotions.
In the show, Mark Mardon’s relationship with his brother is just as much a part of his story as it is in the comics. His powers, however, come from being caught in a plane during a storm when the particle accelerator exploded. After learning of the death of his brother, Mark heads to Central City for revenge, seeking out Joe West and The Flash. It was Weather Wizard’s nearly-successful plot to wipe out Central City with a tidal wave that led to Barry discovering his ability to travel back in time – and since then, he has reappeared several times on the show.
The Flash took some liberties with Cisco Ramon’s family to create this version of DC’s Hardline, but the resulting character (and episode) was absolutely stunning. Rupture is an alias of the comics’ Hardline, aka Armando Ramon. This character is also known as Reverb, and has similar powers to his brother. In addition, he can sense energy, wears bulletproof armor, and carries a scythe that allows him to drain energy (specifically from Vibe).
In the series, Reverb and Rupture are two separate characters. Reverb is Cisco Ramon’s doppelganger on Earth-2, and Rupture is his brother. Cisco’s Earth-1 brother, Dante Ramon, appears to be power-free (other than the power to be a colossal jerk). After the death of Reverb, Rupture comes to Earth-1 for vengeance, but instead succeeds in healing the rift between the Earth-1 Ramon brothers in an incredibly touching episode.
Tina McGee is a fantastic example of something that the Arrow-verse does brilliantly: taking an incredibly minor character or name from the comics, and fleshing it out into someone new. In the comics, Tina McGee is a S.T.A.R. labs scientist, who worked alongside the Flash, studying his metabolism and nutritional needs. The two actually had an affair (although this was Wally West’s Flash, rather than Barry Allen), albeit a short-lived one, as Tina was married at the time.
In the show, Tina is definitely not one of Barry’s potential love interests (although that would make an interesting story arc…). Instead, she is the head of Mercury Labs, a rival to Wells’ S.T.A.R. Labs. She has appeared in four episodes, usually helping Team Flash (albeit unwillingly), and often with some of Mercury’s tech in the spotlight.
Eliza Harmon starred in season 2, episode 16 ("Trajectory"), as the split-personality speedster Trajectory. In the comics, Eliza was a speedster-obsessed woman who gained super-speed through Lex Luthor’s Everyman Project. Volatile and unable to slow down, she took drugs to gain a respite from her new powers, and her clashes with Luthor ended in her untimely death.
In the show, Eliza Harmon is a mild-mannered scientist, ex-colleague of Caitlin Snow. She helped Caitlin out with the formula for Velocity 9, but her scientific curiosity led to her reverse-engineering the serum and becoming addicted to it. Her mind, unable to cope with the drug, eventually broke into two distinct personalities: Eliza herself and the thieving, villainous Trajectory. She eventually takes herself down by overdosing on the drug, and her body disintegrates as the speed-force crackles blue around her. Not only is it always exciting to see another speedster up against The Flash, "Trajectory" was vital to explain why Barry didn’t just start taking Velocity 9 to re-gain his speed in the current story arc.
There are technically two Tricksters in the Flash universe (doppelgangers aside), but it was James Jesse, rather than Axel Walker, who really captured fans’ hearts in episodes in both season 1 and 2. In the comics, The Trickster is an acrobat with a bag full of tricks and gadgets that allowed him to pursue a life of crime.
The Trickster is one of the few characters who is almost an exact copy of his comic book counterpart. A deranged genius, James is an inventor who has killed multiple people and who has a penchant for bombs. He appears alongside his son, Axel, in a convoluted plot to confuse Joe West and Barry Allen, and allow him to escape Iron Heights and attempt to kill The Flash. He may be unhinged, but there is no denying the Trickster’s intelligence – and his love of whimsy! In "Running To Stand Still," he brought together other metahumans to spring a holiday-themed trap on Barry, although his plan failed and he ended up back in prison.
Sister to one of the series regulars, Captain Cold, Lisa Snart has appeared in four episodes of The Flash, as well as having a couple of other mentions in both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. The two are related in the comics as well as the show, although there are a few other differences. In the comics, Golden Gilder is a blonde with astral projection abilities.
In the show, Lisa doesn’t appear to have any meta-human abilities. Like her brother Leonard (Wentworth Miller) and his partner Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), she uses an enhanced weapon to cause chaos. Her gun can cover any object with a layer of gold, or turn any human into solid gold (giving her the name Golden Glider). Her relationships are what make her truly special – her appearance developed Captain Cold beyond a simple meta-villain into a relatable criminal with a heart, and her flirtation with Cisco is always a pleasure to watch.
The series teased the appearance of this enormous, super-intelligent and telepathic gorilla for several episodes before we finally got to see the beast in all his glory. He’s appeared in a total four episodes, as well as in a vision, a flashback, and several mentions. In the comics, Grodd is one of a civilization of hyper-intelligent gorillas living in the jungles of Africa. He is bent on world-domination, but is consistently foiled by the Flash.
In the show, Grodd’s intelligence is the result of experimentation by STAR labs, and his psychic powers were a result of the particle accelerator explosion. One of the sadder villains of the show, Grodd is deeply confused and lonely, and lashes out on humanity and his creators for what they have made him into. After kidnapping several key members of Team Flash at various times, Barry is finally able to vanquish him for good – by sending him through a breach into an Earth-2 Gorilla City, where he will be with other enhanced lab apes like himself.
Half-man, half-shark Shay Lamden has appeared twice in The Flash ("The Fury of Firestorm" and "King Shark") as well as being mentioned in several other episodes. In the comics, King Shark was originally the son of a Hawaiian shark god, and was a humanoid shark, rather than being part-human. Initially a Superboy villain, he has since made his way onto the Suicide Squad.
In the show, Shay was a marine biologist, experimenting with shark genes when the particle accelerator exploded. On Earth-1, the explosion killed him – although slowly, as he mutated into a mass of tumors. On Earth-2, however, Lamden mutated into a terrifying metahuman with the torso and head of a shark. As one of Zoom’s meta-henchmen, King Shark was after Barry, but ended up being taken in by ARGUS. Later, he escaped, but Barry was more than a match for him, able to lure him out to sea and electrify the water around him in one of the most gorgeous fight scenes of the series yet.
Can you think of any other characters who should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!