John Henry Irons in Central City????

A multiversal mistake??  By. TC


CW’s “The Flash” has gone out of its way establishing the DC multiverse, throughout its slate of “Arrowverse” shows.  Whether it be Barry and Kara meeting, evil Nazi versions of established characters, or just recently the “Elseworlds” crossover event, the machinations within the writing room have been propelling us towards the inevitable CW version of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. Regardless of whether it succeeds on a level CW experienced with “Elseworlds”, or flounders like their attempt at “Flashpoint”, the wheels are in motion for this fall’s big event, where the very nature of our current shows may be forever changed. Due to Supergirl originally airing on CBS, she wasn’t slated to be involved with the CW “Arrowverse”, but thanks to Barry and company (and some creative writing), Kara is now apart (yet named) Justice League, residing with her cousin on Earth 3.

With the exception of a device that Cisco Ramon constructed for her, Kara has no way of transporting herself to Earth 1 (which is somehow the designation for the Arrowverse characters and doesn’t already have a Superman or Supergirl?) beyond annual visits from Cisco, when shes needed for the yearly crossover, so imagine my surprise when this weeks episode of The Flash “Goldfaced”, introduced a very familiar weapon, that shouldn’t exist on Arrowverse’s Earth 1… or should it? The Flash introduced the BG-80 “Toastmaster” into the Arrowverse, as Ralph and Barry entered an illegal weapons distribution shop, with the hope of obtaining a device to aid in finishing the Metahuman cure that’s hopefully the key to stopping Ciccada.  In case you are unfamiliar with why the mention of “Toastmaster” was important, I’ve taken the liberty of providing you a refresher on one of the coolest heroes to come out of the ’90s.

John Henry Irons, started out as a brilliant weapons engineer… His designs were revolutionary and contributed greatly to the military industrial complex.  Consumed by his creations, Irons turned a blind eye to the dangers of his weapons, However, when he learned that his design of BG-80s, (handheld canons are also known as Toastmasters) were being used against innocent civilians, Irons quit his job. He fled to Metropolis, getting a job as a common construction worker in order to hide from his guilt. Lost in a moment of self-loathing and selfless heroism, Johns had a chance encounter with Superman that forever changed his life. Following the Death of Superman, Irons took up the mantle of “Steel” (one of four replacement Supermen) in order to carry out the legacy of Metropolis’ fallen hero.  What followed was 1993’s “Reign of the Supermen” arc, where Irons dedicated his life to eliminating the BG-80 “Toastmasters” from the streets and defending Metropolis in Superman’s stead.



BG-80 Toastmaster The Flash “Goldfaced” 2019


BG-80 aka “Toastmaster” Superman: Man of Steel #22 June 1993

superman saves john

Superman: Man of Steel #22 June 1993


We have already seen a Hunter Zoloman counterpart on Earth 1, and just recently we discovered that Supergirl’s “sister” Alex had an Earth 1 counterpart as well. Due to our visit to Gotham City, we know that there is also a Bruce Wayne on both Earth 1 and Earth 3, yet no Superman or Supergirl are present on Earth 1. Most comic book readers will recognize that Arrowverse’s Earth 1 is as accurate as all 10 seasons of Smallville, which leads me to wonder whether a new hero might be heading our way!


With the introduction of the Toastmasters on The Flash, we could easily introduce a television version of Steel onto the CW, without the need for Superman at all. After the return of Superman, John Henry Irons ditched his Kryptonian S shield and adopted one of his own. He continued on as his own hero and remained a support character for the Superman family, but that doesn’t require  CW following the same course. The sky is the limit at this point, seven years into this growing universe, with even the possibility of a non-Superman Clark Kent walking about, operating in secret. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what path the CW writing team takes, but I for one would love to see my old sledgehammer wielding friend back on the big screen, without the stink of Shaq attached.  Think it was just a clever easter egg, or do you feel that we’re onto something? Sound off in the comments section!

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