The Flash wears a new suit this season which doesn’t just have a lot of gadgets and tricks, but, also an Easter Egg related to an iconic Justice League comic book storyline: Tower of Babel. The Flash fans their entire summer fretting over the possibility of Barry Allen’s return from the Speed Force and fortunately their wait ended as long as the Season Four premiere. The Flash came back and in a much better shape with a brand new costume which reportedly had a lot of improvements and was made during the short absence of the super fast hero.
Frankly, it was expected that a new season with a revamped costume was on the cards for the CW superhero. However, we need to applaud The Flash writers as they displayed that ‘new’ might not always mean ‘better.’ The second episode of the season is titled “Mixed Signals,” and it shows Cisco Ramon compelled to see how the upgrades and technological advancements that he brought into The Flash suit are used against him.
In case you realize that despite the good intentions, it has all gone haywire and one of the features of this costume had a mysterious name which alludes to Batman and the Justice League comics.
During the events of “Mixed Signals,” Barry and Iris are shown to undergo couple counseling and they are hazy about the positivity of their outlook towards things. However, it is his workplace at S.T.A.R. Labs where things are upbeat for Barry. That’s all courtesy Cisco who worked hard during the six-month absence of the superhero to remodel the Flash costume and created a much-advanced version.
The new suit has a gamut of features such as Temperature Control, Fire Suppression, and also has Pulse Cannons powerful enough to take out a speedster with a single blast. In case you are one of those with an eye for detail, there is the Babel Protocol. During the promotions, a close-up image of Cisco’s tablet was revealed, and several fans noted the word. Fans then went on to work out a meaning for this name and its usage. In case you are not familiar with the Judeo-Christian Bible, the meaning of “Babel” is connected to the tale of the Tower of Babel: which was a building built by humans at a time when they were all united as one.
After that God created divisions based on language to test them for their determination to reach heaven. They were then sprinkled all over the world and incapable of communicating with others. The real word “babble” is connected to this tale because the city or tower don’t have a name in the original story. However, Cisco has used this option here, most likely to indicate a translation protocol which allows Barry to understand alien languages on the fly.
However, once the Babel Protocol got activated in the mentioned episode, fans found out that it had nothing to do with the Bible, but, it was all about Batman.
Even if you are just a casual viewer who has no clue about the comic books, still you are likely to be impressed by the mention of “Babel Protocol” in an episode that is based on the communication gap between Barry and Iris. However, the name is not in reference to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel, but, it has a direct link to the Mark Waid story written in the year 2000 titled Justice League of America: Tower of Babel. Dc fans might not have read the story back then, but, they can figure it out from its animated version in the Justice League: DOOM film. The story might have shown Batman to be an unintentional anti-hero in the eyes of his Justice League colleagues, but, it is the crux of the story that makes The Flash reference meaningful.
The Tower of Babel wasn’t based on the language issue, rather, it had the premise of a man going too far and trying to ‘play God, ’ and that’s only someone like Batman can attempt. The villain here was Ra’s al Ghul. However, it was the Batman who had done most of the heavy lifting for the villain at the point from where the story took off. The Batman had planned a streak of attacks and various weapons towards a common goal of killing the Justice League.
The comics showed a vibrating bullet cause the light-speed-seizures that Barry endures. The show has a simple ‘self-destruct’ mechanism. However, Cisco created this kind of an option, having in mind the same logic that Batman had. The logic was ‘‘What if Barry turned evil?’ There is no doubt that Barry’s intentions are as noble as Bruce Wayne’s. However, we all know what those are renowned for.
Both the stories end with the hero prevailing over the villain. However, we need to find out if the decision of Cisco made as much impact as it did in the comic books and also whether Barry or any other Team Flash member felt betrayal the way the Justice League guys did. It is a good thing that somebody created a story different from the premise of a CW hero turn into a villain.