Tuesday, March 7, 2017

THE FLASH Casts David Dastmalchian as Abra Kadabra

What, did you think H.R. Wells waving his drumstick around like a wand and bowing like he's on stage were just weird personality quirks?

DC Comics revealed late yesterday that The CW series The Flash has cast David Dastmalchian as DC Comics supervillain Abra Kadabra, the last of Barry Allen's major Silver Age villains to appear on the series.

According to DC, Abra Kadabra is described as "a criminal from a distant future whose advanced technological powers seem like magic, the time-traveling Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian) holds a secret the Flash will stop at nothing to uncover."

Dastmalchian, 32, has appeared in a number of comic book adaptations, including the movies The Dark Knight as Thomas Schiff and Ant-Man as Kurt, and the Fox TV series Gotham as Dwight Pollard.  He'll be appearing in the film Blade Runner 2049, and his previous television roles include episodes of MacGyver (2016), 12 Monkeys, CSI: Cyber, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Almost Human, Intruders, Ray Donovan, The League, and ER.

Created in 1962 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, Abra Kadabra first appeared in The Flash (vol.1) #128 as Citizen Abra, a man from the 64th century, a time when science has made stage magic obsolete.  Desiring a career as a performing magician, Kadabra stole a time machine and went back in time to find an audience to entertain, and soon clashed with the second Flash (Barry Allen).  He found that his magic was being overlooked, so decided to involve himself in important events.  When the Flash tried to stop a crime he was committing, he used a hypnotic device to make the Flash clap, enabling Kadabra to escape. He was able to send the Flash into space after challenging him to a fight at a theatre, but the Flash was able to change the course of the planetoid he was on so he could be sent back to Earth.  In a later battle, when the Flash passed a poster advertising Kadabra, he was turned into a puppet and used in the performance.  However, the Flash was able to restore himself slightly using the organic matter in his brain, which was not transformed, and then reversed Kadabra's ray so that he was restored completely before defeating Kadabra once again.

During the Underworld Unleashed storyline, Kadabra stopped using his technological implements and tricked five Rogues into selling their souls to Neron so he could gain genuine magical powers.  Abra Kadabra later kidnapped Linda Park, the girlfriend of the third Flash (Wally West), during their wedding and erased her from history, but was ultimately defeated with the help of Walter West, Wally's counterpart from an alternate dimension.

In the current DC Universe continuity, Kadabra confronted the Titans, first appearing as a bumbling and terrible party magician known as Mister Hocus Pocus.  When Lilith formed a psionic link with Wally West to try and uncover who or what removed 10 years of history from everyone's memories, she accidentally awakened Kadabra from within Mister Hocus Pocus.  Abra Kadabra revealed he was the one who made Wally disappear from the new timeline and vowed to destroy him.  Kadabra created younger puppet duplicates of the Titans to fight them, but when the puppet Lilith found Linda Park and told Kadabra of her importance to Wally, Kadabra realized that history was broken, knowing that Wally and Linda would not meet years from now.  

Abra Kadabra revealed to Wally that he removed him from time and everyone's recollection because Wally always managed to thwart his plans.  Kidnapping Linda, he then attempted to force Wally into a position where Wally would run himself into the Speed Force, believing that Wally would be unable to return without Linda as his "lightning rod."  However, Wally was able to return by using the Titans as his own lightning rod after talking with a representation of his memories of Linda in the Speed Force, which assured him that he could still win Linda back.  Abra Kadabra was soon defeated and sent into the timestream.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live action, although he has appeared in various animated projects, including Justice League Unlimited as a background character, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice (both voiced by Jeff Bennett).

The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 8 p.m. EST.

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