Why I Want J.W.S/Jay Garrick To Be The Man in the Mask

Unlike a lot of the other stuff I’ve written for the website this write up is going to be significantly less fact based – although there will be facts – and will relatively heavy in terms of overall opinion as this is more hope then theory.   That said, below I’ll be giving the reasons why I think John Wesley Shipp/Jay Garrick could be the man in the mask (and I’ll acknowledge evidence against the theory also) as well as why I think making John Wesley Shipp into the Man in the Mask/Jay Garrick is a good door for The Flash’s creative team to open.

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The [Potential] Evidence


I’ll be honest, there isn’t much evidence to support the theory that John Wesley Shipp will be playing whomever is being hidden under the iron mask on Earth-2, there’s actually “proof” (if it can be called that) that it may in fact be Teddy Sears (“Jay Garrick”/Hunter Zolomon/etc.) under the mask. That aside, here’s the potential and circumstantial evidence that we do have:

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Henry Allen and “Jay Garrick”/Hunter Zolomon Never Crossed Paths Until We Wnew Who Zoom Was – While it’s true that Henry Allen acted as absentee father of the year for most of The Flash’s second season, it’s interesting that in his one reappearance earlier in the season (in Gorilla Warfare) Hunter Zolomon/”Jay Garrick” is conveniently not in the episode. A reddit user – whose reddit user name escapes me – postulated  that this is due to the fact that Hunter would have been “triggered” (so to speak) by seeing the man that he knew as Jay Garrick, hence the writers choice to not have Jay in 2×07.

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“But wait, we know about Earth-2 Henry Allen, We Know Ee’s Happily Married To Nora” – Ah, yes, and yet…there are also a few other things we know as well. Youtuber ManyFacesofDave proposed the idea that the man in the mask was a speedster (Max Mercury) from yet another Earth, and while I disagree with the notion that it’s Max Mercury, I do agree that the man in the iron mask could potentially be from yet another Earth. Welcome to Earth-2 (2×13) made it relatively clear that “Earth-2” had dealt with other “breachers” prior to Barry and Cisco arriving from Earth-1.

  • Is Earth-2 really Earth-2? – Another thing I feel the need to make mention of (as a sub-point of the point above) is the emphasis that The Flash has put on how arbitrary the Earth numbers seem to be in this universe, this is a point I brought up when making a timeline of Hunter Zolomon’s life, and one I’ll again bring up here. Over the course of The Flash’s second season there has been a lot of emphasis put behind just how arbitrary the Earth numbers are on the show. While Team Flash refers to Zoom’s Earth as “Earth-2”, Harry frequently points out that to him Earth-1 is Earth-2 and vice versa.Given the fact that the comic books never really address this issue, and people seem to just accept that they are “from Earth-2”, the TV show has  the potential to pull a very interesting twist on the fans, and that is to make Earth-2 (the one we’ve seen) the equivalent to DC comics Earth-3, and have the true Jay Garrick hail from the “true’ Earth-2.In the comics, Earth -3 is known to house, “evil versions of the Earth-One heroes”, a notion that has thus far been proven true by [some of] the inhabitants of the TV shows Earth-2:
    • Firestorm = Deathstorm
    • Dr. Caitlin Snow = Killer Frost
    • The Flash = Zoom [especially since it was just revealed that there was never truly a Flash on Earth-2]
    • Working Man Albert Rothstein = Atom Smasher
    • Scientist Shay Lamden, Innocent Scientist = King Shark
    • Black Canary = Black Siren
    • Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, Crook = Mayor Snart

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The Way Hunter Speaks Of Jay – Continuing off of what I theorized above – the potential that J.W.S is playing a Jay Garrick from yet another Earth – I’d like to point out the way Hunter refers to Jay Garrick. I realize – as most do – that Hunter is a psychopath, and that he could have truly seen Jay Garrick as a “role” that he played, but just given the way Hunter says lines like the one above (I realize how circumstantial and arbitrary this “evidence” is) make me believe that Hunter may be playing the part of someone he’d previously encountered.

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The Maiden Name – Obviously the most used evidence for the “JWS is the man in the mask” theory is that in The Flash’s 20the episode of it’s second season, Henry Allen reveals his mother’s maiden name was also “Garrick”. Obviously this is evidence is doesn’t really support much unless you’re to assume (again) that the man in the mask is J.W.S. playing a version of Jay Garrick from yet another Earth and somehow his lineage is messed up to the point where his last name is Garrick (maybe his father died during the war and his mother, now single, uses her own maiden name?) and where he gets speed-based powers.

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The Coincidence(s) – Now, this could just be The Flash’s writers making fun and meaningful nods to the comics, but I feel as if there are too many nods and allusions to Jay Garrick’s comic book origins for Zoom to have just come up with his origin story (and alias) all by himself. By that I mean, what are the chances that Hunter Zolomon – a psychotic serial killer – choses the name Jay Garrick and makes up the origin of inhaling hard-water and gaining his speed. Point being, unless this is Legends of Tomorrow, I don’t just want to chalk this perfect Jay Garrick origin up to convenience; I’d rather assume that Hunter and Jay (again from yet another Earth) interacted and Jay revealed not only his name, “Jay Garrick” to Hunter, but also his own origin of “inhaling hard water vapors and waking up with speed-based powers”.


The Potential


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A “True” Jay Garrick  – When it was initially revealed that Teddy Sears would be playing Jay Garrick in The Flash‘s second season a lot of fans took issue with that fact that he wasn’t as old as Jay is typically depicted in the comics. While I for one am all for an older Jay Garrick, his age really doesn’t mean much to me, but his experience and attitude does. Jay’s the fatherly figure to all the speedsters in need, sometimes he puts his foot down, but at other times he’s a great mentor and just a stand up guy all around. Speaking to Jay’s age, as I told someone on reddit:

Depends which context. In comics where Barry is in his 40’s, Jay is in his 60’s…but looks younger due to Speed Force energy (younger than his 60’s, not younger than Barry). The only “definitive” thing you can say is most of the time he is the oldest speedster, but Jay’s visual age varies per-artist.

In other comics (such as The Flash – Fastest Man Alive, where Bart was The Flash), Jay looks significantly younger.

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Honoring The Past – While I think bringing back the likes of Amanda Pays (Dr. Tina McGee), John Wesley Shipp (Henry Allen), Mark Hamill (The OG Trickster), etc. certainly pays honor to the past of The Flash, I also think the writers of the show could take it one tiny step further and make John Wesley Shipp as version of The Flash on some Earth. Given the fact that the 90’s Flash tv show was already teased to be part of the Multiverse when Barry initially made the jump from Earth-1 to Earth-2, I’m hoping it’s a given that we’ll be seeing J.W.S. in a Flash-esque suit pretty soon. 

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A Trustworthy Mentor – Given Barry’s ever so tragic background with mentors who turn out to be older speedsters who just want to make Barry faster and steal his speed, I believe that making J.W.S (Henry Allen, a familiar and loved person in Barry’s life) into a version of Jay Garrick allows the mentor-mentee relationship to move on in seasons to come. That said, I do not want Barry to have someone “mentoring” him behind the scenes come Season 3, myself and others are more than ready to see Barry explore his powers and his speed on his own; that said, a few cross-dimensional appearances from a John Wesley Shipp/Jay Garrick would likely be more than welcome and would easily allow a bypass of Barry’s “trust issues”. If the man looks exactly like the father Barry just lost, given Barry’s characterization, I’m more than willing to bet Barry would almost immediately trust him.

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Goodbye, But Not Forever As I said above, I’d be more than open to the idea of Jay Garrick making a few cross-dimensional appearances to say hello to Barry come next season; thus allowing Barry to finally grow on his own (mentor-less) and giving the character a much needed confidence boost.


So yeah! That’s essentially why I hope John Wesley Shipp is the man in the mask, playing another (real) version of Jay Garrick! If I missed any [potential] evidence leave that, and your thoughts in the comments on Facebook or below!

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  • stilesgreen

    I’m really happy you were right about this :) well done!

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