When The Flash was first announced I remember myself and some of my comic book collecting cohorts sort of chuckling at the notion. Almost all of us had some appreciation for the Scarlet Speedster but we all recognized openly that his rogue gallery wasn’t exactly the stuff of television gold. Of course we’ve been eating crow ever since, but this week’s announcement that Battlestar Galactica alum Aaron Douglas has been cast to play The Turtle means that my little cabal of disbelievers can cross the one villain we all agreed would never happen, because to cast a character as lame as The Turtle would be far too lame for anyone to even think about trying …
The Turtle for those uninitiated was created in 1945 first appearing in All-Flash Comics #21 and a rouge of the Golden Age Flash, Barry Allan. This was an era of comic book writing where any thing went and camp was most definitely the order of the day. How do you stop a guy that can run really fast? Freeze him in ice, call the villain Captain Cold. Make it so the villain can replicate his image across an infinite number mirrors and mirrored surfaces so that the Flash can’t find him regardless of how fast he runs, call the villain Mirror Master. Make it so the villain can slow down time making the Flash slower, call him The Turtle. Not only were the powers campy but he was drawn about as you would expect: short and stout with a nose shaped something like a turtle’s beak.
Even Geoff Johns the master of making old DC Comics properties new again did little to help modernize The Turtle’s image in his now famous run on The Flash. Of course, Johns is also one of the Executive Producers on The Flash and his influence on the creative process is obvious. It will be interesting to see the television series take on this classic and campy character when the show returns from its mid-season hiatus next Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
Be sure to check back here during The Flash on Tuesday, Januaryy 19, 2016 for the next installment of “Who Is … ?” featuring The Turtle.