It’s been announced that Vampire Diaries Star, Todd Lasance, is joining The Flash as The Rival. Todd will appear in a recurring capacity and make his first appearance in the Season 3 Premiere on Tuesday, October 4th. With this in mind, The Workprint wanted to take a deeper look into who the Rival is and what role he could play in the new season of The Flash.
Who is The Rival (aka Edward Clariss)
Edward Clariss made his first appearance in Flash Comics #104 back in 1949. Edward was a professor at the university attended by the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick. Jay Garrick received his powers after a science project went wrong. Jay woke up in the hospital to find out he has superhuman speed. Jay tells his future wife, Joan what happened. Joan then tells another student, Jon Burnes. Edward Clariss overhears the conversation with Joan and Jon and breaks into Jay’s laboratory to steal the formula. Edward is able to use Jay’s leftovers to create a formula that would give him, and his subjects, temporary speed. Edward calls the recreated formula, “Velocity 9”.
Clariss was rejected by the scientist community for Velocity 9. His next step was to become a criminal known as, The Rival. The Rival dressed in a darker version of the Golden Age Flash costume. After his first fight with The Flash, in 1949, The Rival gets lost in the Speed Force. He is not heard of for 50 years, but in JSA Vol 1 #16, in 2000, The Rival returned on a path of destruction to find Joan, now Jay’s wife, and murder her. The Flash Stops him once again. 2 years later, The Rival shows up, yet again, but this time he is posing as Joan’s doctor. This leads to another battle with The Flash which ends with The Rival, once more, being absorbed by the Speed Force. Edward Clariss, nor the Rival, have been seen since.
What Role Could He Play in Season 3
**SPOILER WARNING FOR THE FLASH SEASON 3**
We spend most of season 2 believing that Hunter Zolomon is Jay Garrick, or the Flash of Earth-2. It is revealed at the end of the season that the man in the Iron Mask, which Zolomon was keeping locked away, was in fact the Real Jay Garrick. Not only was he Jay Garrick, but we also learned he was from Earth-3 and that he is Henry Allen’s Doppelganger. At the close of Season 2, we know nothing about Earth-3 outside of Jay, who sports a very heroic Golden Age Flash costume. It would make sense then, to tie The Rival into Earth-3 and Jay’s story. We are not sure how long Zolomon had Jay imprisoned, so it’s possible that The Rival could have worn a similar, darker, costume and wreaked havoc on Earth-3 while Jay was gone. This could create good drama for Jay who would return to Earth-3 only for his name to be tarnished. This would also give good reason to keep Jay around for part, or the entirety, of the season.
Another thing to consider is Velocity 9. In CW’s Flash universe, Velocity was created by Henry Wells on Earth-2 in an attempt to help “Fake-Jay” defeat Zoom. After Velocity 1-5 were failures, 6-8 worked but had varied side effects. It was then Dr. Caitlin Snow that created Velocity 9 to help “Fake-Jay” get his speed back while Barry was out of commission. This throws a big wrench in The Rival’s origin story. If, someone on Earth-1 was to get a hold of Velocity 9 and become a speedster, you would assume they would dress like Barry. However, with Reverse Flash in Season 1, Zoom in Season 2, and almost certainly Reverse Flash back in Season 3, it wouldn’t make sense to have another Barry knock off. With that logic, if The Rival is someone from Earth-1, what would possess them to dress like Jay Garrick, who is not of Earth-1?
It is reasonable to assume that someone on Earth-3 could have also created Velocity 9 and it’s also reasonable to assume that The Rival could have attained powers without Velocity 9. It’s also impossible to know what changes will actually take place with the inclusion of FlashPoint. What we know now is that The Rival will be joining the show and with a recurring role, we should have some time to get to know him and his motive. For me, as long as he warrants Jay Garrick sticking around, I’m in full support.
So, what do you think of this casting? What do you think about The Rival? Do you think he will be an Earth-3 Character? Do you think they will adapt his story and the Velocity 9 origin to Earth-1? Let us know in the comments.