When Tony Woodward a.k.a. Girder (Greg Finley) showed up in Central City, we had yet to start our “Villain of the Week” series for The Flash. But now that Girder makes his return to terrorize Team Flash in tonight’s episode, “The Runaway Dinosaur,” we get another chance to tell you what this iron-headed villain is all about.
Girder’s first appearance was in the sixth episode of Season 1, titled “A Flash Is Born.” In that hour, Woodward turned out to be Barry Allen’s childhood bully, who now possessed the ability to turn into highly durable metal thanks to his newly gained metahuman abilities. Allen, who was dubbed “The Flash” in this episode by Iris, was able to subdue the villain by hitting him with a super-punch that clocked in at over 800mph. Girder was then freed from the S.T.A.R. Labs prison in the following episode “Power Outage” as a distraction for the metahuman Blackout, but was apparently shocked to death. We’re not sure how he makes it back into the rotation for tonight’s Kevin Smith-directed episode (or how Allen will defeat him this time without his powers), but in the meantime, you can get caught up on everything Girder below.
First of all, by way of a refresher, let’s take a look at the previous encounters between Allen and Woodward on The Flash:
A relatively new creation of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Girder made his first appearance in August of 2001 in “The Flash: Iron Heights.” As steelworker Tony Woodward, he already had a penchant for troublemaking, having caused a riot at a steel plant after assaulting a female employee. His coworkers didn’t take too kindly to that and threw him into a vat of molten steel as punishment. Normally, Woodward would be straight-up dead, but because this is the world of comic books and because the molten steel contained scraps from S.T.A.R. Labs experiments, his body somehow became imbued with living metal, granting him incredible endurance and super-strength…which of course he used to his advantage in committing robberies.
This is one imposing dude. Standing in at over seven-and-a-half feet tall and clocking in at 1,500lbs, Girder is a walking hulk of rusted metal. He’s previously joined up with Amunet Black, a.k.a. Blacksmith, and her new group of Rogues in an effort to take over both Keystone City and Central City. Girder also had an ill-advised romantic attachment to Frances Kane, a.k.a. Magenta, whose powerful magnetic abilities kept him from rusting and enhanced his speed. However, his unwanted advances were met by Magenta ripping him in half; don’t worry, he was welded back together and returned to Iron Heights prison in one misshapen piece.
Girder is essentially a henchman for hire by more powerful supervillains and has probably spent more time in prison than out of it. We’ll see how Smith brings him back into the fold on tonight’s episode, so be sure to tune in!
Update: Apparently we’ll have ourselves a Girder zombie of some sort. How exactly that happens, I have no idea, but you can get an extended sneak peek in this new episode trailer: