Fans of both The Flash comics and The Flash TV show on the CW are probably both familiar with Savitar by now. What fans might not know is that the character is considerably different in both iterations; someone who picks up a comic book with Savitar included might be confused, and someone well-versed in his comic lore might jump into an episode of season three of the show and leave puzzled. So, to help bridge the gap between the comic book and the show, here’s a handy guide on the differences:
Firstly, in the comics, Savitar first appeared in The Flash (vol .2) #108, published in December of 1995. He was created by writer Mark Waid and artist Oscar Jimenez.
In The Flash TV show on the CW, Savitar is voice acted by Tobin Bell and portrayed by Andre Tricoteux when he’s wearing his armor. Outside of his armor, Savitar is portrayed by Grant Gustin.
9 COMIC VERSION (ORIGIN)
The comic book version of Savitar was an unnamed pilot flying for a third-world country during the Cold War. While flying a supersonic fighter jet, the pilot’s craft was struck by lightning and crashed inside of enemy territory. The pilot quickly learned that he possessed superhuman speed, and became obsessed about knowing everything that he could about his new powers and the secrets they contain. The pilot renamed himself after the Hindu god of motion and began working to discover new powers unknown by any other Speedster.
8 TV VERSION (ORIGIN)
In the CW show, Savitar’s origin is vastly different. Serving as the main antagonist for season three of the show, Savitar is actually a time remnant/temporal anomaly version of Barry Allen himself, who was created in order to help stop Savitar in the future. The future’s Savitar was defeated, but the time remnant version of Barry Allen was shunned by his friends and considered to be the fake version of Barry Allen. Time-remnant Barry Allen became bitter, and went back in time to become Savitar himself.
7 COMIC VERSION (PLOT)
The comic version of Savitar discovered a whole host of powers unknown by other Speedsters. His quest of discovery gained him a cult of followers, and eventually, Savitar sought out the only Speedster of that time for more knowledge of the Speed Force: Johnny Quick. The two speedsters fought, but Johnny Quick managed to send them both into the Speed Force, catapulting them both through time. Johnny Quick emerged from the timeline quicker than Savitar and did all that he could to prepare the Speedsters that he found for the eventual re-emergence of Savitar.
Savitar reappeared from the timeline much later and found his cult still very active. Savitar recruited Lady Flash and used her to divert Speed Force energy to an army of ninjas, planning to kill most other Speedsters. Savitar’s plans were thwarted, and Savitar attempted to cause worldwide destruction until Wally West trapped Savitar in the Speed Force.
6 TV VERSION (PLOT)
The TV version of Savitar also accumulated a cult of followers, worshiped as the first ever Speedster. Savitar possessed Team Flash’s eventual friend Julian Albert into acquiring and using the Philosopher’s Stone (no, not THAT one) with which people who have powers from the Flashpoint timeline can acquire their powers in this timeline.
Later, Wally West was tricked into freeing Savitar from his Speed Force prison. He gained a new follower in Killer Frost and planned to murder Iris West which caused intense stress for Team Flash.
5 COMIC VERSION (DEATH)
The comic version of Savitar met his demise in The Flash: Rebirth, published in 2009. In Rebirth, Savitar escaped from the Speed Force only to be chased by Barry Allen. Barry eventually caught Savitar, but with only a touch, accidentally disintegrated him. It’s revealed that Professor Zoom tampered with Barry’s connection with the Speed Force. Eventually, Barry and Wally stop Thawn and sever his connection to the negative Speed Force.
4 TV VERSION (DEATH)
The TV version of Savitar also met an untimely demise. Savitar appears to succeed in killing Iris, but it’s revealed that he ultimately killed H.R. Wells (from Earth-19) who was impersonating Iris with a device.
Savitar also tried to trick Vibe into fragmenting himself throughout the Speed Force in an attempt to manipulate his past self into becoming a darker version of himself, as well. Savitar is eventually stopped by Team Flash when Iris is forced to shoot and kill him.
3 COMIC VERSION (POWERS)
The comic version of Savitar was on a quest to learn everything that he could about the Speed Force and the power it contains. Throughout his quest for power, Savitar gathered many abilities that other Speedsters had no idea were possible, such as lending or taking speed from objects, an incredibly enhanced healing factor, and the ability to create a force field generated from inertia.
2 TV VERSION (POWERS)
The TV version of Savitar had a wider array of powers available to him. He was able to move so quickly that he was invisible to the human eye. He had reflexes well past that of the average Speedster, allowing him to out-maneuver even other Speedsters with ease. He had incredible strength and stamina, as well as increased perceptions, including the ability to perceive other Speedsters. He had both Electrokinesis and Geokinesis, giving him the ability to both generate huge amounts of lightning and cause tremors. He could possess others after establishing a connection to them, using them to do his bidding as he did with Julian.
While the comic version and the TV version are vastly different from one another, they do share some things in common besides the cool name. They are both obviously Speedsters that went on a journey to learn more about the Speed Force, which gave both an enhanced array of powers that others Speedsters were unable to replicate. They both had a cult of followers who worshipped them as the first/most powerful Speedster, and both met their demise either while in conflict with Barry Allen, or Barry Allen and Iris West.