Griffin Grey (The Griffin)

griffingreyfilmHiatus over, and we’re back! Waiting to catch up with everything lost during this days, let’s start again with The Flash, which introduced a new villain this week. In Back to Normal, a depowered Flash must save Harrison Wells from a vengeful metahuman who mistook him for his Earth-1 counterpart: Griffin Grey, portrayed by Haig Sutherland. Griffin gained super strength from the particle accelerator’s explosion, but he also started aging at an incredible fast speed, with his powers consuming him: being only eighteen years old, he looks like a middle-aged man at the beginning of the episode, and as an old one at the end of it. The countereffects of his powers are exactly the same of his comicbook counterpart, but his powers on paper are not limited to strength: let’s see together.

Griffin Grey lived in Keystone City, Kansas, and nothing is known about his early life and family. He worked at Keystone Motors, the local automobile manifacturing firm, during a period of chrisis for its workers, as many got fired, replaced by robotic assembly lines. Griffin was one of the lucky ones and kept his job, and so was one of the newcomers, Bart Allen, who became a friend of his. Griffin and Bart started hanging out together, and when it turned out Bart was looking for a roommate, Griff stepped in and started living with him. In the meanwhile, the situation at Keystone Motors degenerated, and the fired workers started protesting every day, also developing a grudge with the ones who mantained their job and most of all didn’t support them. Griffin was one of the most unsympathetic ones: while he felt sorry for his former colleagues’ situation, he did believe that the old ones should move to leave space to the young, so he saw the layoffs as inevitable. The protests became so exacerbated, however, that one of the picketers put a bomb inside Keystone Motors, and the explosion involved also Griff and Bart: the second one, who secretly was The Flash, managed to save himself tapping into the Speed Force, and used his powers to save his friend as well. Griff, however, had been severly wounded, and also had been poisoned by some chemicals: at the hospital they managed to save his life, but he had quite some broken griffingreycomics1bones, and he was supposed to stay there for some weeks. Surprisingly enough, Griff recovered in just one day: the explosion, along with the chemicals, had given him unexpected superhuman powers. Once out of the hospital, back at the explosion site with Bart, Griff found out he was also able to emit blasts of green energy: thrilled by his new abilities, he decided he would have used his powers to serve Keystone City…and to enjoy all the popularity that came from being a superhero. Back home, Griff designed and tailored a costume, and started monitoring the police radio: naming himself The Griffin (not much to protect his secret identity…), he was ready to reveal himself to the world.

The Griffin’s debut as a hero wasn’t exactly memorable: during a hostage chrisis, the new vigilante’s intervention nearly got the abducted child killed, and Griff himself almost met his Maker; tragedy was averted only by the intervention of Jay Garrick, who saved both the boy and the hero wannabe, and arrested the kidnappers. The old Flash angrily scolded the amateur, telling him not to play with other people’s lives without proper training, but his words went unlistened: as soon as Griffin learnt that Luke Thatcher was the bomber behind the attack at Keystone Motors, and that he planned to kill the company’s CEO William Slout during his yacht party, he arranged things so that this time the scene would have been for him only. Griff called the police, pretending to be Thatcher and luring Jay Garrick far from the new crime scene, so that he could be the only one to intervene. This time, The Griffin managed to save all the rich people attending the party, but his inexperience costed the bomber his life. This “detail”, however, went unnoticed, as Slout rewarded Griffin with a $100,000 check, that the hero obviously accepted; he became an instant celebrity, he bought a fancy new car and an expensive penthouse suit in one of the highest skyscrapers in town. Griffin Grey finally had everything he had always dreamed of…but he soon realised that his powers came at a price: his hair had started turning grey, and his skin got wrinkled. He was aging at an extremely fast rate, with his powers consuming him. griffingreycomics2Worried of his new condition, The Griffin became even more brutal in his crime fighting, and became famous for systematically killing criminals, and for destroying anything standing between him and his target (something that put him at odds with Bart, who as The Flash adopted a totally different method). Obsessed by his aging, Griffin eventually kidnapped Jay Garrick, and used some stolen equipment from S.T.A.R. Labs to try and understand why the speedster didn’t get old. The new Flash (Bart) intervened and saved his predecessor, but Griffin escaped. Now seen as a menace by Keystone City, The Griffin decided to stage one last deed, a saving so spectacular that nobody would have ever forgotten him…but to do that, he needed to endanger some people, obviously.

Griffin Grey is an ambitious and greedy man, easily tempted by visions of fame, wealth and popularity. Quite unsympathetic, he lacks most of the traits required for being a true hero, and he doesn’t care much about all the collateral damage he causes with his reckless “heroic deeds”. As The Griffin, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, enhanced senses (especially vision), and the ability to emit powerful energy blasts, which he mostly uses to disintegrate anything in his path; unfortunately, he also gained an accelerated aging that is rapidly leading him to death, and his condition is getting worse day after day. Celebrity and wealth have their price, and Griffin learnt it the hardest way…


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