Holy magic wielders, Batman! On this week’s episode of The Flash—aptly titled “Abra Kadabra”—the eponymous character made his small screen debut in a big bad fashion. He appeared sporting some of the best hair that has been seen on a #DCTV show to date in order to flaunt his knowledge of future events with Barry and Iris…including the true identity of Savitar himself (a subject I know every reader here has their own theory on!).
On The Flash, Kadabra is played by David Dastmalchian who secretly exists across many different onscreen DC Comics universes. The first place you probably saw him was in The Dark Knight as the most memorable of the Joker Thugs. Dastmalchian wore the badge that said DAWES and was even interrogated by Christian Bale’s Batman in order to learn more information about the Joker’s plan. While the character doesn’t have a known name, fans of the movie remember him. He also recently appeared on Gotham as Dwight Pollard with a rather macabre occupation and connection to someone that I won’t write anything more about in case you’re behind on the show.
What is so amazing about casting an actor who has appeared in so many different DC Universes on The Flash is that it plays into one of the show’s most unique qualities. The CW’s #DCTV universe embraces the Multiverse. There are a variety of different Earths that are acknowledged to exist—heck, Supergirl even takes place in its own little pocket! —and The Flash is the show that deals with this in the most direct way. Who is to say that all of these characters played by David Dastmalchian aren’t tied together in a very metatextual way?
If you’ll dive a little further into the rabbit hole with me on this one, what if these Dastmalchian connections are not metatextual? We know that Abra Kadabra is a self-proclaimed wizard from the future who uses hyper-advanced technology to create the illusion of magic. Within that framework, these other incarnations could be different disguises that he has worn or other exoskeletal enhancements that he has worked with in the past. Although, if I’m being honest, I still think the white Kadabra hair is the best look he has worn on screen to date. If all of these different personalities are potentially in play on The Flash then there may be enough material to be mined here to fuel an entire episode-long arc, if not a crossover event with Supergirl, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
Based on the events of the this episode and the fact that Abra Kadabra makes it out the back end almost completely unharmed, there seems to be a good chance that he’ll be coming back. Even if Kadabra isn’t the one jumping through Vibe-portals onto The Flash’s Earth, everyone on Team Flash knows that Gypsy has him and that he has an abundance of Savitar-based knowledge. We may yet see Barry Vibe-ing over to Earth-19 to do some interrogating in the hopes of single-handedly saving Iris’ life. I know he mentioned that he was going into the future in next week’s episode, but there’s still time for a heart-to-heart with Abra Kadabra before season three is over.
Now, if you developed a particular fondness for Abra Kadabra in his self-titled episode, you are definitely in luck, my friend. The very first arc of the Rebirth series TITANS (that I wrote a review for right here on DCComics.com), deals entirely with Kadabra doing battle with the adult Titans team in order to draw out the newly returned Wally West. He kidnaps Linda Park (hey, we know her from the show too!), to draw the heroes out and a really cool battle ensues.
Abra Kadabra (the alter-ego of Citizen Abra, a much more subtle name), has been a longstanding Flash villain, originally created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino and debuting in THE FLASH #128 (May 1962). Since his first appearance his character has remained pretty much intact and hasn’t changed that much over intervening decades. Originally, he was a villain of Barry Allen’s and traveled back in time to destroy the Flash in his younger, less refined incarnation. From his earliest days, the Flash has been fighting the future and Kadabra was always a big part of that storyline.
Kadabra has also been a member of the Rogues, teaming up with such popular characters that have appeared on The Flash including Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Mirror Master, Gorilla Grodd, Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, the Trickster, Captain Boomerang, the Top, Golden Glider and Rainbow Raider.
FUN FACT: Literally every single one of these Silver Age Flash Rogues has appeared on The Flash over its first three seasons.
The only thought I want to leave you with is that if Abra Kadabra isn’t going be uniting his various other-selves to appear on The Flash, he might finally be the person to organize the Rogues as comic book fans traditionally think of them now that the gang’s usual leader, Captain Cold, is—in what’s a fun bit of irony—traveling through time on Legends of Tomorrow.
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.