We should have expected to see some kind of homage on last night’s The Flash, especially with an episode title like “Flash of Two Worlds.” But how it was done caught everyone off guard and it was a wonderful, rewarding moment to anyone that gives a damn about these characters.

After the climactic fight with Sand Demon, Barry Allen, and Jay Garrick, both as The Flash, rush to Patty Spivot (also from the comics, who will smooch with Barry very soon). The composition and framing is a clear reference to The Flash #123, the 1961 issue that featured the first team up between Allen and Garrick and introduced the Multiverse to DC.

I thought it would just be a cute Instagram picture and leave it at that. I never thought it would actually be in the show.

Get ready for worlds to collide when Jay Garrick arrives on #TheFlash! ⚡️x2

A photo posted by The Flash (@cwtheflash) on

Garrick has brought Earth-2 into The Flash in a huge way that goes beyond featuring just more characters. Words like “Multiverse,” “Earth-1,” and “Earth-2” will be common language in the series from here on (thanks to Professor Stein), cementing the show’s dedication to its source material.

In the grand scheme it’s minor, but consider how the DC movies avoid this stuff all the time. Imagine for just a second: What if Christopher Reeves, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill weren’t actually “recasted” Supermen or “reboots” convenient for casual moviegoers, but alternate Supermen who inhabited parallel universes living in different Earths? Imagine a big movie that featured all of them. It’s impossible to do in practice for obvious reasons, but imagine how big and awesome that story would be.

We may never see that story, but The Flash is one of the first shows to not forget its outlandish comic book roots and actually try the multiverse stuff in live-action. Beyond really good storytelling and writing, The Flash succeeds because it just loves being a show about The Flash so much. It shows its passion on its sleeve, and passion is the driving ethos for all geeks everywhere.