Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for the 150th episode of The Flash, “Heart of the Matter, Part 1.”
The 150th episode of The Flash, “Heart of the Matter, Part 1,” was full of Easter eggs and references to the classic comics. Season 7 of The Flash has been an odd one, with the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the original ending of The Flash season 6. This resulted in the first few episodes of season 7 being devoted to tying up all of unresolved plot threads, before beginning a new storyline centering around the creation of three new Forces that complemented the Speed Force that empowered Barry Allen and all other speedsters.
The latest cycle of The Flash episodes have centered around the return of Godspeed; an evil speedster from the future who was originally introduced in The Flash season 5 as the first supervillain that Nora West-Allen fought as the hero XS. Godspeed returned in the premiere episode of The Flash season 6, with it being revealed that Team Flash had spent all of the previous summer fighting a number of Godspeed clones. This storyline was dropped for most of the season, only reemerging recently as two factions of Godspeed variants went to war in modern-day Central City.
Luckily for Team Flash, help arrived in the form of Barry and Iris’ children from the future; Bart West-Allen and a new version of Nora West-Allen distinct from the one who was erased from existence in The Flash season 5. Beyond Barry now having two children who inherited his powers and went on to uphold his legacy of heroism, the future was also revealed to have changed in that Godspeed was now Bart’s archenemy in the same way that Eobard Thawne was Barry Allen’s eternal adversary. This was the first of many surprises in a special episode worthy of the name.
Hologram Business Logos
The opening shot of “Heart of the Matter, Part 1” showed the skyline of Central City in the year 2049. Apparently, it becomes the fashion for big corporations to project holograms of their logos on top of their company headquarters. There are a couple of nods to various DC Comics businesses and sports franchises visible, including Ferris Air (the company that employed Green Lantern Hal Jordan), the Central City Sharks football franchise, and Palmer Technologies, which was established by Ray Palmer before he joined the Legends of Tomorrow. The headquarters of Iris West’s newspaper, now Central City Citizen Media, can also be seen, with the latest news scrolling down the side of its skyscraper.
After Nora West-Allen and Bart-West Allen pacified Godspeed, they got into an argument about Bart being reckless in how he uses his powers. As they fought, a sign in the background related that they were standing in front of the Powers Technology building. This is a nod to Powers Technology; a company in the future reality of Batman Beyond, which acquired Wayne Enterprises in a hostile takeover after years of unfriendly competition. The company’s founder, Derek Powers, was the chief antagonist of Batman Beyond season 1, both in his role as a corrupt executive with a grudge against Bruce Wayne and as the radioactive supervillain Blight.
While Nora and Bart argued, Godspeed made his escape to the Flash Museum, the address of which was revealed as 5724 Fontana Drive. The two young speedsters arrived just in time to find Godspeed among the displays in the Hall of Gadgets, using a device labeled the Cosmic Treadmill to open a portal to the past. In the original The Flash comics, the Cosmic Treadmill was a device that Barry Allen used to travel in time. While the Arrowverse version of Cisco Ramon created a special treadmill capable of keeping up with the Fastest Man Alive in The Flash season 1, this marked the first time that the treadmill was used as a time travel device and the first time it was used Post-Crisis and was seen doing anything besides gathering dust in the Starchives.
“Heart of the Matter, Part 1” made a number of references to Bart Allen Jr. not always thinking before he acts and being very impulsive; a habit that drives his more studious sister crazy. This is a nod to the comic book character of Impulse, who heavily inspired the Arrowverse version of Bart Allen. With yellow glasses and a red on white bodysuit, Bart’s costume is an incredibly accurate adaptation of Impulse’s costume from the comics. It should be noted, however, that despite sharing the name Bart Allen, the comic book Impulse was Barry Allen’s grandson, rather than his son. It should also be noted that, despite the nods, the Arrowverse Bart is never said to use the codename Impulse.
“Heart of the Matter, Part 1” revealed that Jay Garrick and Dr. Joan Williams, who previously lived on Earth-3 in the Pre-Crisis Arrowverse, are alive and well and living in Keystone City on Earth-Prime. More, Jay has found his superspeed restored in the 40 days since Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen created an artificial Speed Force. In the original The Flash comics, the timeline after Crisis on Infinite Earths was changed so that Jay Garrick was Earth’s first Flash, Barry Allen his successor, and that their two hometowns, Central City and Keystone City, became twin cities occupying a similar space as Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. It appears that something similar may have happened with the Post-Crisis timeline of the Arrowverse, though without Jay Garrick being a part of the new Earth’s history.
The Zaruriel Cathedral on Morrison Avenue
After the Rebel Godspeeds contacted Team Flash to inform them that they were holding Jay Garrick as a hostage, Chester was able to track their signal to the Zauriel Cathedral on Morrison Avenue in Central City. This was a nod to Zaruiel, a relatively obscure DC Comics hero, who was created by writers Grant Morrison and Mark Millar with artists Howard Porter and John Dell after Morrison was denied the use of Hawkman while writing the monthly JLA comic. A guardian angel who renounced his immortality after falling in love with the mortal woman he was assigned to protect, Zauriel found himself being hunted by his own kind after accidentally learning of a plot led by the archangel Asmodel to overthrow God and succeed where Lucifer failed. With the assistance of the Justice League, Zauriel was able to thwart Asmodel’s plans and was rewarded with a new position as a heavenly ambassador who would serve as a visible beacon of hope and reassurance. Zauriel also joined the Justice League for a time, acting as the team’s magic expert.
The Return of Mecha-Vibe
When all seemed lost as Barry, Jay and Nora found themselves and a comatose Bart surrounded by over a dozen Godspeed clones, the speedsters were saved by the unexpected arrival of Mecha-Vibe. With a sarcastic comment about how he couldn’t leave Central City for two minutes, Cisco Ramon activated a make-shift entropy trap, which froze the Godspeeds long enough for the heroes to make their escape. The sudden appearance of Mecha-Vibe was easily the biggest surprise of the first half of The Flash season 7 finale, given that actor Carlos Valdes left the series only five episodes earlier in “Good-bye Vibrations.”
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