The Flash Comic-Con Panel Signals New Direction for Season Six
With so much action at Comic-Con International this year, some of the great panels about our superhero favorites fell below the radar. The Flash Comic-Con panel is one of those, especially with all attention on outgoing CW giants Supernatural and Arrow. So, our round-up may be late, but that doesn’t mean that the details about the Scarlet Speedster’s upcoming sixth season are any less important. With Stephen Amell bowing out of the “verse” that bears his show’s name, Grant Gustin’s The Flash is now the honorary leader of this television Justice League. So, as arguably the flagship series of the Arrowverse, this next season is very important for the series. Especially because fans felt a little let down by the way season five played out.
Now, you won’t find anyone here at Comic Years jumping on the “this thing sucks bandwagon.” We live in a golden age of comic book stories in live-action, and that’s to be celebrated. Still this frustration comes from the season-long arc of Big Bad Cicada, played by Frederick Christopher Klein gloriously subsisting on a scenery-only diet. Incredibly overpowered, Team Flash still beat him on a number of occasions, only to stand around and allow him to escape. Still, the focus last season stayed mainly on the characters including Barry and Iris’s daughter from the future Nora, played by Jessica Parker Kennedy. Hilariously, Kennedy is about four years older than the actors who played her “parents.” Still, with youthful energy, she speedforced her way into fans’ hearts and got an incredibly emotional send-off at the end of the season. So, what’s next for the Flash gang in season six? More trouble.
Actor Carlos Valdes Is NOT Leaving The Flash!
Before we get into the story details for season six, the Flash family earned themselves a bit of good news. Shortly before the Flash season finale, unnamed sources reported that Carlos Valdes would exit the series. As Cisco, he first earned his place on Team Flash as the master of invention, but after Barry went and broke time, he developed metahuman powers. Eventually, Valdes suited up as his comic book alter-ego Vibe, able to portal through space, time, and other dimensions. He also could sense events by touching objects, a power that worked as mysteriously as the Force in Star Wars. His arc throughout season five saw him trying to develop a “cure” for metahuman powers. When he ultimately took this cure, fans worried the rumors might be true.
Thankfully, speaking to the press at Comic-Con, Valdes confirmed he’s not leaving the show anytime soon. Reported in many outlets, the source for this rumor came from a site we won’t name that’s notorious for simply making up stories. In the past year alone, directors Rian Johnson and Guillermo Del Toro both refuted false stories “reported” by this site. While it’s possible that someone close to the show or the actor “leaked” this rumor to get fans worried about Cisco’s fate, the track record of this site is such that it could be a total fabrication. For Valdes, he believes the sources came from the article writer’s imagination. Nonetheless, a regular-old-human Cisco will revert to his season one role as Team Flash tech support.
The Flash Looks to ‘Heroes’ for Its Most Evil Villain
The big, exciting news revealed at the Flash Comic-Con panel is that Sendil Ramamurthy joins this cast in season six. Ramamurthy is an accomplished actor, appearing in guest roles on shows like MacGyver, Elementary, and The Office. He’s best known to nerds, however, as Mohinder Suresh from the before-its-time Tim Kring series Heroes. In that show, he played a human man made aware of metahumans and studied their physiology. Using his discoveries, he gave himself powers and became something a villain. Still, whatever one’s feelings about the final season of the show and its ill-advised reboot series in 2015, there is no denying that Ramamaurthy’s performance made whatever version of Mohinder we’d get one of the best characters on the screen. And, if the Flash producers stick to the comic book storyline, the role he plays in this series might be very similar.
He’ll play Ramsey Rosso, a friend of Caitlin Snow’s that shows up with a bone to pick. Showrunner Eric Wallace said that as a villain, Rosso will break rules that the worst villains Barry faced so far haven’t broken. Fans of the comics recognize Rosso as Bloodwork, a strange villain whose powerset involves, well, blood. A hemophiliac, Rosso worked in a morgue running unauthorized blood tests on corpses to find a cure. This included metahuman corpses, and given the Of Course Property of comics science, this gave him powers. He could congeal the blood in other people as well as take on the form of a gooey blood monster. The Flash Comic-Con trailer shown at the panel, however, suggests that while gooey blood may not be his medium.
Supporting Stars Shine at the Flash Comic-Con Panel
After the loss of his daughter, Barry Allen throws himself into his work and distances himself from his friends. The mending of emotional fences is a big part of every Flash season, but this year it gives storytellers a chance to allow the characters to grow outside of his shadow. Cisco is enjoying life without powers, still helping the team but also getting closer with his girlfriend. Ralph Dibney, the Elongating Man is a character no one ever expected to see on television played by Hartley Sawyer. He is back working as a private eye but in a much happier place than before. He works across the hall from Candice Patton’s Iris West, who will finally come into her own as the reporter fans know from comics.
Jesse L. Martin, who plays Joe West, disappeared from the show after a real-life injury. He didn’t show up at the Flash Comic-Con panel, but he is in the trailer. Though since he and his new wife have a baby in the show, we may not see him as much as we did. Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow will spend much more time as Killer Frost, though this version of the character is a hero and hasn’t killed anyone. Set photos leaked on social media suggest she’ll get a new costume, and the actor said Frost spends more time in the labs with the gang. Finally, Wallace revealed that Keiynan Lonsdale will return as Wally West, the Kid Flash, this season. Season six will feature discrete story arcs Wallace described as “graphic novels,” the first leading up to the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover.
Featured image via the CW
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.