The Flash Season 2 should be dubbed the Season of Speedsters at this point. Over the last several months, fans have learned that Jay Garrick, Wally West (though it’s unclear whether he’ll have his super speed when we meet him) and main antagonist Zoom will all be appearing in the Scarlet Speedster’s sophomore season. Then it was announced on Tuesday that The Leftovers star Violett Beane will play Jesse Chambers, a.k.a. Jesse Quick, in multiple episodes of the CW series. Since she’s not one of the most well-known characters in the Flash mythos, we thought we’d go over her history to prep both hardcore fans and general viewers for her introduction.
Jesse is the daughter of Golden Age superheroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle in the comics. Like her father, she was able to gain supers speed by saying a specific mathematical formula (“3X2(9YZ)4A”), though it was later revealed that she and her father had been tapping into the Speed Force using this “Speed Mantra.” However, rather than become a crimefighter like her father wanted her to, Jesse pursued higher education. At Gotham University, she worked on her thesis “The Impact of Superheroes on Society” and met many of her parent’s Justice Society of America teammates. It was while she was delivering papers to the team that she got caught up in one of their battles, and in the aftermath, she decided to embrace her heritage and become Jesse Quick.
In the early days of her superhero career, she met Wally West, who by then had succeeded Barry Allen as The Flash, and while they didn’t get off to the best start, they ended up becoming close allies. Not long after that first meeting, Jesse lost her speed due to the supervillain Savitar severing her connection to the Speed Force. Although she eventually regained her speed, her following battle with Savitar resulted in Johnny Quick sacrificing his life in order to protect his daughter. After her father’s death, Jesse balanced her time as a superhero (which included briefly joining the Titans) and managing her father’s company Quickstart Enterprises.
Eventually Jesse became a full time member of the JSA and followed in her mother’s footsteps as Liberty Belle, though she still used her same super speed abilities. Jesse was one of the many speedsters that helped Barry Allen take down Professor Zoom in The Flash: Rebirth, and she soon after fought her father’s reanimated corpse in the Blackest Night event. Jesse was last seen briefly serving in the Justice League of America, but she soon after starts losing her powers due to being pregnant. After the team disbanded, she went back to her husband Rick Tyler, a.k.a. Hourman. So far she hasn’t been seen in the New 52, and there haven’t been any plans to introduce her there.
The Flash is doubling both as Jesse’s live-action debut and her first appearance outside the printed page. This version of the character was described by TV Line as a “brilliant but quirky college student who gets caught up in the battle between The Flash and Season 2 Big Bad Zoom.” What wasn’t mentioned is whether her powers will emerge the old fashioned way (i.e. she was affected by the particle accelerator explosion) or if she will somehow gain her speed from Zoom during his fight with Barry. It’s also unclear if she will have to say the same mathematical formula to access her speed or if she’ll just a normal speedster to keep things simple for the viewers not familiar with the comics.
We’ll see Violett Beane’s Jesse Quick in action sometime during The Flash Season 2, which premieres on Tuesday, October 6 on The CW.