JLUCast Flash and Substance

Special Guest Steve Givens joins Chris and Cindy for the opening of The Flash Museum! But on the Scarlet Speedster’s big day, his rogues Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang and the Trickster have other plans! Can Batman and Orion help Flash save Central City?

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League Unlimited “Flash and Substance”, music by Michael  McCuistion and theme by Kristopher Carter. Music from The Flash (1990) by Shirley Walker

12 responses to “JLUCast Flash and Substance

  1. Fun episode. I could tell you guys really enjoyed talking about this one. I can’t add too much more to what you already said but you did make one slight mistake.
    You thought it might have been interesting if the bar had been called Gambi’s and that Gambi had actually shown up on the Black Lightning tv series. But that actually wasn’t him. He had a brother Peter in Metropolis. Peter was also a tailor with underworld connections. Later he became an associate of Black Lightning.
    There also seems to be a third unnamed brother in prison. When his wife died, he sent his son Anthony to be raised by his Uncle Paul. There he grew up under the watchful eye of the rogues. It was perhaps inevitable that when it appeared that Flash Wally killed his Uncle Boomer, Anthony voluntered to become the Replicant to gain revenge.
    The Gambi the tailor from Flash Comics was named Paul. He also had a brother

    1. Thanks for the correction Hal. I will admit I get all the Gambi business confused in my head, despite reading many comics with those characters, including the Replicant. It’s all a jumble nowadays!

  2. Two of the rogues sitting at the Bar side by side are Mister Element and Doctor Alchemy….
    The twist to that is that they are the SAME guy!
    Albert Desmond started out as Mister Element but when he found the Philospher’s Stone he renamed himself Doctor Alchemy!
    However, After he started using the Philosopher’s Stone, Desmond’s criminal personality took physical form as a separate “Twin” named Alvin Desmond and there were also two other men who took on Desmond’s costumes
    Curtis Engstrom aka the Alchemist and
    Alexander Petrov as Mister Element

    1. Good call Michael. I did remember the two(ish) Desmonds, and that other folks assumed the mantle of each. But for time’s sake, I thought we’d better avoid going into those particular “Flash Facts”.

      1. Another thing, Wally has always been played as a perpetual Hugh School Sophmore. And that’s fine as far as the series goes.
        By contrast however the rogues, particularly the Trickster come off as perpetual 3rd Graders. They all come up with ridiculously elaborate Death Traps and or gimmick devices! It really sounds like kids trying to out-think each other when playing make believe.
        Of course that also plays into how they view Flash (The Good Kid) as “The Goody-Two-Shoes Buttinsky” whereas they are all the regular kids or even the “Problem Students” (and that also plays into how the rogues treat Trickster as opposed to how Wally treats him. Trickster’s basically a good kid with a wildly active imagination who doesn’t fit in with the others because he actually lays his ideas out on the table rather than just keeping them to himself the way the other kids do)

  3. Oh, this episode. I love it so much. It’s a wonderful blend of Silver Age villainy, Messner-Loebs characterizations, and JLU personalities. The bar scene with Flash and Trickster is deceptively poignant and mature for a “kid’s cartoon”. Taking the time to do this real character study on Flash and his Rogues was a great use of the extra season for JLU.

    Wait, I think my favorite episodes are “Task Force X” and this one. The main thing they have in common is … Captain Boomerang? Well, ok! I’ll own that.

    And hey, extra thanks to Steve for recommending The Flash #800. I hadn’t read it yet, but just did and it was just as great as he said. Thumbs up!

    1. Well, I think you just found yourself a new podcast to start, Tim! Boomerangcast? Dig This Bommerang Cast? Leave it to Boomer?

      I think you hit the nail on the head that the “bonus” season really gave the creators a chance to explore not only locales and characters in the DCU, but to dig a little deeper into some of the main cast too.

      And yes, that Flash #800 story is a ton of fun, and I really appreciate Steve turning us on to it too.

  4. Now that the show is out, I would like to take a moment to further explain why I chose Batman for all my superlatives for this episode, despite it being so Wally-centric and my being a long-time Flash fan. I think I adequately explained myself on the show, but there is far more to it than what I said to Chris and Cindy. You see, in my friends groups, I am typically the Batman and definitely never the Flash.

    That isn’t meant as a humble brag on my part by any means. I am reasonably intelligent and well educated, but I am not Batman in regard to any deductive reasoning or extensive skill set. No, I mean I am the surly, borderline anti-social loner, who tires of people quickly and often feels impatient by people simply being people. Matters are not helped by the fact that I do have a quick tongue and can verbally eviscerate someone with surgical precision and that I often find displays of sentimentality phony and trite. But, paradoxically, I do actually care deeply about the people in my life. all my family and friends. It has been the ongoing irony and struggle of my life that my outward reactions seldom reflect my emotional reality.

    What has helped me learn how to be a good friend is the fact that I am drawn to friends who exhibit qualities like Wally West. Specifically, my best friend of nearly 25 years, Scott, has the same cheery and positive disposition as Wally. He often says things very similar to Wally’s line from the episode: “Dude, the bad guys went down and nobody got hurt. You know what I call that? A really good day.” I do not overstate when I say his friendship and stalwart support over the years have taught me to be a better human being, which is I think one of the crucial reasons for having friends in the first place.

    So, I identify very strongly with Batman in this episode. I get why he decides it is worthwhile to go to the opening of the Flash Museum. I get why he is so unrelenting in protecting Wally from the Rogues. And, I get why he might be more than a little impressed with how Wally handles his adversaries, especially his humane and touching treatment of the Trickster. I see every choice Batman makes in this episode as expressing his deep love and appreciation for a fellow human being who has been a positive presence in his life. In many ways, Batman is just as deeply affected by the Flash as the people of Central City, and his actions are motivated by it. And, as a result, he gets to be the unsung hero of the story as his actions are what ultimately bring the Rogues down and save the Flash’s life.

    A real growth in Batman is revealed in this story, and it is a level of growth I myself have aspired to thanks to friends like Scott. This is why Batman is the “Rotating Chairperson” of this episode for me.

    1. I don’t think you had to explain yourself futher Steve, but I appreciate the insight into why you chose Batman for most of your superlatives. Scott sounds like a great guy, and it’s wonderful that you have a friend like that.

  5. You guys were wondering what Barry Allen was doing these days, well, he sort of has the same role Jay Garrick did in Mark Waid’s run on the Flash. It’s nominally Wally’s book, but it’s got lots of speedsters, including Barry. He’s been prominently featured in the last few issues (as has Iris).

    1. Thanks for the info. I figured they hadn’t shuffled him completely off board. I still think he should have stayed dead, but with the continuity mess that is DC nowadays, I’m not sure any of that matters anymore.

  6. I am so so far behind on leaving feedback for shows I’ve loved and this series is one of them I do apologise Cindy and Chris. I’ve been enjoying the JLU Cast for years and have yet to encounter a bad episode. It’s an amazing track record you’ve managed.

    I found it amusing that this episode is 2hrs long which is almost 6 times the length of the singular episode you covered! Yet it never dragged and I barely noticed the time as it seemed to pass in a (sorry but it is the best word even if it is a pun) flash.

    I do love this episode as it was very much a slice of Wally’s life in the show and of course I was surprise when there seemed to be elements of other speedsters in the museum. The interaction between Flash and Trickster was the highlight to me, the respect the Rogues and Flash have for each other – shines through – sure the day job is to try and stop the other – but there is honour in the comics with the rogues and that comes across here. I maintain that the Flash has the 3rd best rogues gallery in all of comics – only Batman and Spider-Man have a better collection. The depth hidden in this episode that you unpicked helped remind me how amazing JL/U was and that while I’ve loved the likes of Brave and the Bold and JL Action – this show was lightning in a bottle and only Young Justice has come close (well seasons 1 to 3 I’ve not seen season 4 yet).

    Thank you for an excellent time in central city and making my visit to the Flash Museum such a great and fun experience!

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