Gregory Wolfe

Gregory WolfeThis week’s episode of The Flash introduced another character, who’ll probably will be a recurring one, although a secondary one. In Tricksters, when Joe West and Barry Allen arrive in Iron Heights Prison to interrogate the first Trickster on his copycat, they’re welcomed by Warden Wolfe, portrayed by Anthony Harrison. Wolfe brings the two visitors to a new wing of the prison, built specifically for the Trickster after he brought a shrink to suicide just by talking to him. In the comics, Wolfe has the same role as warden in Iron Heights, but his attitude is a little bit harsher, and he even develops superpowers at a certain point. Let’s see together.

All his life, Gregory Wolfe had hidden to the world the fact that he was a metahuman: his ability, by the way, didn’t seem to be particularly spectacular or destructive, since he was able to tighten or relax any muscle belonging to other people in his sight. Keeping hidden his true nature to the world, Wolfe worked in St. Louis, his hometown, as a prosecutor, and his unforgiving methods towards criminals (both high-profiles and low ones) became legendary, and brought to him a remarkable popularity among the population and his colleagues as well. In particular, Wolfe gregorywolfecomics1became a close friend to the Governor, who held high regard for him and for his methods, especially considering the number of successes Wolfe was collecting. Finally, when the notorious Iron Heights Prison (a penitentiary specifically designed to contain metahumans, built outside of Keystone City) was left without a warden, the Governor offered the position to his old friend Wolfe, who gladly accepted the task. In Iron Heights, Wolfe would have had the chance to put in practice his philosophy regarding criminality: there was no childhood abuse or mental illness to speak about regarding killers, rapers or robbers, they had become what they were for their own choice, and they had to pay it all, plus the interests. As the new warden, Wolfe cancelled any rehabilitation program, making it clear that the prison was not “a revolving door”, and that no psychiatrist would have been allowed to come in: nobody came out of Iron Heights, no more at least.

Wolfe, however, was not satisfied with just taking away all hopes from his inmates: he constantly humiliated them, and he tortured them both physically and mentally, giving them a taste of the Hell they had earned in the afterlife. He even used Fallout, a nuclear-powered supervillain, as a source of energy for the prison, draining his life-force to turn him into a living battery. He reorganised the prison so that the most powerful villains were all locked up underground, a wing in which the guards were given a “shoot-to-kill” directive, and were allowed any kind of brutalities towards the prisoners. Of course, Wolfe even used his powers to torture some of the inmates, especially the Rogues, causing painful spasms in their muscles. Nobody from the outside knew how things gregorywolfecomics2were managed inside the prison, not until one of the “normal” inmates, the serial killer Murmur, created a virus within Iron Heights and started a viral outbreak to cover his escape. The Flash intervened to save the guards and the other prisoners, who were killing each other under the influence of Murmur’s virus, and he found out what was really happening in the prison, including the dishuman treatment of Fallout. When Flash tried to expose what Wolfe was doing to the inmates, the warden tried to cover up as much as he could, claiming that the hero was suffering from allucinations caused by Murmur’s frenzy virus. Both the police and The Flash, however, now knew the truth of how the prison was handled, but much to the hero’s astonishment, everybody decided to close an eye on the warden’s extreme measures and on his guards’ brutality: villains as dangerous as the Rogues had to be kept locked in order to protect the population, and Wolfe represented just the lesser of two evils. (Un)officially free to do whatever he deemed to be necessary inside his prison, Wolfe’s dominion over Iron Heights became even tighter than before: criminals would have soon learnt to fear the prison and his warden, and maybe they would have chosen differently. Maybe.

Gregory Wolfe is a brutal and severe man with a firm moral code: according to him, no criminal deserves a second chance, and prison is meant to punish villains, not to “redeem” or rehabilitate them. His administration in Iron Heights is the objectification of this philosophy of his, and all criminals are tortured and humiliated by the guards following the warden’s orders. Wolfe is also, secretly, a metahuman, and he possesses the power of manipulating any person’s muscle, tightening or relaxing them; he mostly uses this ability to cause painful spasms in the inmates to torture them, but he even uses it to heal people (he allowed Hunter Zolomon to run by lessening the pain to his knee). Unforgiving and merciless, Gregory Wolfe makes law look just as bad as criminality…just what people like the Rogues need.

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2 Comments

  1. […] in prison, Lashawn tried to explain her reasons to the authorities, but the warden Gregory Wolfe, obsessed with a literal application of the law, refused to listen to her. When even The Flash […]

  2. […] isolation, playing solitaire with his magic cards, and trying to avoid the unwanted attention of Warden Wolfe…until the day of a massive breakout that, for a gambler like him, was just the right occasion […]


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