Comic Books & Graphic NovelsTelevision & Film

CW Adds Wally West & Vandal Savage

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The CW Network has announced casting news for Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.

Headshot_CasperCrumpEarlier this week, we had news that Falk Hentscher had joined Legends of Tomorrow as Hawkman. The latest news is that Danish actor Casper Crump, a relative unknown in the United States, has been added as the primary villain, Vandal Savage. He’ll get time in episodes of both Arrow and The Flash in the run up to the midseason debut of Legends.

Crump is perhaps best known for his role in the original Danish version of The Killing, and will appear in the upcoming Tarzan movie from Warner Bros.

Vandal Savage is one of DC Comics’ immortal characters. Having been exposed to the radiation of a meteor during the Stone Age, the caveman originally known as Vandar Adg, leader of the Cro-Magnon Blood Tribe, has lived thousands of years. His history in the comics includes his being the inspiration for the Biblical story of Cain. Created by Alfred Bester and Martin Nodell, he first appeared in Green Lantern #10 in 1943. Since then, he’s appeared in numerous stories across the media — in the animated Justice League voiced by Phil Morris (who played the Martian Manhunter in Smallville), and by Miguel Ferrer (Robocop, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) in the recent Young Justice.

The character was originally supposed to appear in Smallville, played by Lois & Clark alum Dean Cain, but last-minute studio restrictions prevented the use of the Vandal Savage name.

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Coming on board The Flash is Insurgent alum Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West.

Headshot_KeiynanLonsdaleLonsdale is a relative newcomer, with roles in projects like Razzle Dazzle (his first professional role, 2007) and the TV series Dance Academy. His role as Uriah in Insurgent (and the forthcoming Allegiant two-part conclusion) are his first genre credits. Born in Sydney, Australia, Lonsdale is also a singer and dancer.

[Musical episode anytime soon?]

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said, “Just like when we met Grant for the first time, we instantly knew Keiynan embodied all the heart and courage of a hero. We are so excited to be bringing this much-beloved character onto the show.”

There are two Wally West characters. The original, Iris West’s nephew by way of her brother Rudolph (who hasn’t appeared on the show), started his career as Kid Flash after getting his powers pretty much the same way Barry did. Red-headed, with fair skin and freckles, Wally eventually assumed the mantle of The Flash after Barry’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. An entire generation knows Wally West as The Flash. His was the version featured on the animated Justice League, voiced by Michael Rosenbaum — who also voiced the Barry Allen version in Justice League: Doom, which featured Vandal Savage as the lead villain.

The current New 52 version of Wally West made his debut in Flash Annual #3 in April 2014, three years after the New 52 began. He is still the nephew of Iris, still the son of Rudolph, but the rest of his backstory has changed. Iris’ ex-con brother Daniel (also not on the show) is the New 52 version of Reverse-Flash. In this continuity, Barry is the only Flash, and Wally is bi-racial, his mother African American.

Given his age and the confirmation that The Flash is going to show parallel universes in the upcoming season, it’s likely this Wally will not be from the same Earth. Producers have also not revealed if Wally will have powers when we first see him, or if that event will occur in the course of the show.

The Flash is back on the air Tuesday, October 6.

 

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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