This season on The Flash, we are getting a lot of great development of characters that are not Barry Allen. It has been a ton of fun seeing characters like Caitlin Snow (and her alter-ego Killer Frost), come into their own. In tonight’s episode, “Dead or Alive,” there was a heavy focus on Cisco finally coming to an equilibrium with his Vibe powers and stepping up to protect HR from being taken back to Earth-19 by a bounty hunter named…Gypsy!
Yes, she does wear a costume inspired by the traditional gypsy dress that you are imagining in your mind right now.
I know some Justice League fans were as excited as I was to see Gypsy face down against Vibe and to also note the romantic connection the two characters have. Fun fact: Cynthia Reynolds and Cisco Ramon (they even have the same initials—how cute!), have been romantically involved in the past, so there is a good possibility that we could see their relationship turn that way on The Flash as well.
Where the comic book character that inspired Jessica Camacho’s awesome performance diverges is that, in the comics, she is a young runaway as opposed to one of the most badass “collectors” from her corner of the Multiverse.
Arrow fans may be interested to know that Gypsy has done a stint as a member of the Birds of Prey—something we are always being teased with—leaving the door open for crossover potential in future. Adding further fuel to the crossover flame, Legends of Tomorrow viewers may want to know that while she was a member of the Birds of Prey, Gypsy teamed up with Vixen in order to rescue Star Girl. Supergirl fans, we haven’t forgotten you! When Cynthia was a member of the Justice League Task Force she developed a close relationship with J’onn J’onzz a.k.a. the Martian Manhunter!
The next “Invasion”-esque four episode event is pretty much writing itself with the introduction of Gypsy!
Fun fact: While a member of the Birds of Prey, Gypsy got a costume change that included a black leather jacket not dissimilar to what we all saw on The Flash in “Dead or Alive.”
You may be tempted to reduce Gypsy’s power set to being “girl-Vibe”, however, in the comic book continuity, her primary ability is illusion casting, which renders her something of a chameleon. She’s really good at secret identity and disguises! In addition to that, Gypsy also has precognitive abilities and invisibility (probably derivative of the illusion casting), and these powers are what lead to her joining the Justice League.
Aquaman, you may know him, disbands the Justice League proper and moves the team’s headquarters to Detroit, and in the process, the group gets rebranded “Justice League Detroit.” They wind up building their new base of operations very close to where Gypsy is living and she tests their security measures and boundaries until she starts tagging along as a reserve member, before later being invited to accept full membership. If you haven’t read the Justice League Detroit adventures, they’re worth hunting down. They kick off in 1984’s JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ANNUAL #2 (which is also the issue where Gypsy and Vibe debuted) and continue in the Justice League of America ongoing series. They are a great marriage of the powerful concept of what the Justice League is, distilled down to street-level escapades—on a scale not unlike what we are seeing on The CW week-to-week.
Like so many comic book characters, Gypsy has also had a brush with death. Her close relationship with J’onn J’onzz really comes into play after she passes away, with the Martian Manhunter actually going so far as to resurrect Cynthia by begging Hronmeer to bring her back to life. Hronmeer being a Martian god with power over life and death.
In the New 52 continuity, Gypsy becomes a refugee in an alternate dimension from Vibe’s evil brother Rupture—or, as we like to think of him on The Flash, Dante—who is a pretty formidable super-villain. This storyline deepens her written continuity ties to Cisco Ramon, although given the ramifications of “Flashpoint,” it seems unlikely that we will see Gypsy and Rupture go toe-to-toe in their CW incarnations. That’s alright, though, Gypsy and Vibe went toe-to-toe in “Dead or Alive” in one of my favorite fights that the show has done to date! As much as I enjoy the flirty interplay between these two characters, I could get behind them throwing down one or two more times.
The Flash excels at taking smaller DC Comics characters and breathing new life into them, highlighting what has made them compelling and exciting for decades, even if they didn’t serve on the front lines alongside Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman.
Gypsy definitely falls into this category of character. Despite her humble origins, she brought an exciting energy to the show and adds an interesting complication to Cisco’s storyline on this third season of The Flash, and I absolutely hope that she is here to stay for a few more episodes before the summer break.
Ashley V. Robinson covers The Flash as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.