Interdivisional travel has been implied to be a thing of the past in the Arrowverse, with its characters now believing that there is no more multiverse and that their friends and counterparts from the other worlds are now lost. However, John Wesley Shipp, who periodically appears on The Flash as the hero’s Golden Age incarnation and Earth-3 resident Jay Garrick, has teased his return to the show.
With the unpopular New 52 reboot of DC comics that began in 2011, the Justice Society of America was retconned out of the main timeline, only to be restored to it a few years later with the events of Rebirth and the rewritten history being gradually revealed. This week, Shipp tweeted the cover of The Flash #750, in which it’s established that Jay was the Flash of the supergroup in this new timeline and the original holder of the mantle, along with a cryptic message which can be seen below:
— John Wesley Shipp (@JohnWesleyShipp) March 9, 2020
Of course, the tweet could just be taken at face value to be an acknowledgement of the ever-changing history of a classic hero whose presence in the cultural zeitgeist Shipp has had a small part in, but to reference a character being returned to a continuity he was previously removed from seems a little too close to the Arrowverse’s current state to be a coincidence.
Despite the montage of other Earths seen after the multiverse was restored at the end of “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” the various Arrowverse shows have referenced the only one to still exist to be what was identified as Earth Prime, folding together Earth-1, on which Arrow, The Flash and Batwoman were set, Supergirl’s Earth-38 and the undesignated Earth where Black Lightning took place. There has been little investigation into the state of the multiverse since “Crisis” ended, and exactly how it’s possible for the events of the shows to have played out the same now that their history all occurred on the same planet has not been explored, and due to the complexity of the issue probably never will.
Still, with the hallucinations that Nash Wells has been glimpsing of his doppelgangers and the suggestion that Reverse-Flash will be making a triumphantly evil return, The Flash may soon address the issue of what happened to all these duplicate characters, Jay Garrick included.