‘The Flash’ allowed us to see the DC multiverse in action, especially because Barry Allen messed the timeline up when he saved his mother from death. His actions led to more problems in the altered timeline he found himself in. Of course, the younger version of Barry Allen in that timeline also altered the universe multiple times to save everyone who died in the battle against General Zod and the Kryptonians.
Alternate Barry’s actions caused several different universes to collide with one another, as it was clear that something catastrophic was about to happen to the multiverse, which housed different versions of different superheroes. The most notable superhero in those universes was Superman, who had many different variations in ‘The Flash.’ Of course, the black-and-white Superman, George Reeves, was someone that not a lot of fans were familiar with. So, with that said, let’s talk more about George Reeves’ cameo and what happened to him.
George Reeves’ ‘The Flash’ cameo explained
As mentioned, the entire storyline of ‘The Flash’ talks about the consequences of altering the past, as Barry’s actions led to numerous effects that made the world he lived in a lot different from the world he used to know.
That’s because several changes were introduced to the universe when he introduced a small change that allowed his mother to survive. And the fact that Zod was still a threat to the planet was the issue he needed to solve first because he wanted to save the timeline where his mother was alive.
Barry worked with his younger version, Batman, and Supergirl to stop Zod. In doing so, Batman and Supergirl lost their lives. The two versions of Barry went back in time to try to alter the results of the battle, only for them to discover that Batman and Supergirl always died no matter what they did.
Younger Barry, however, repeatedly went back in time to try to save everyone, only for him to fail countless times. His actions gave birth to the Dark Flash, an older version of the alternate Barry.
The thing is that the actions of the younger Barry also affected the entire multiverse. While the three Speed Force conduits were in the Speed Force, they saw different universes about to collide. Some of those universes had their own versions of Superman, as we saw different Superman and Batman actors appearing in cameo scenes. While a lot of people were more focused on the cameos of the Superman variants of Nicholas Cage and the late Christopher Reeve, there was a black-and-white Superman that appeared as well.
This Superman that we are talking about is George Reeves, the second person to play the role of a live-action Superman. Even though Christopher Reeve elevated the Superman role to greater heights in his movies during the 70s and 80s, George Reeve was a pioneer in the world of live-action superhero characters because he was quite prominent back in the 50s when he appeared in six seasons of ‘Adventures of Superman.’
Reeves’ cameo came during the latter part of the multiversal event that happened during the climax of the movie. However, unlike the other cameo appearances, his cameo was simply a scene from an episode of ‘Adventures of Superman,’ considering that it has been decades since Reeves’ unfortunate death.
What happened to George Reeves?
As mentioned, George Reeves was the second actor in history to portray Superman in a live-action role. At that time, the world of superhero movies and shows wasn’t the same as the one we have today because not many people were into that kind of stuff in the past. As such, while the most notable superheroes are only given to actors that truly have talent and star power in today’s world, the role of Superman during Reeves’ time was just a stepping stone for him.
In other words, he took the role so that he could use it to get bigger roles in the world of Hollywood. He didn’t know that portraying Superman allowed him to become a star in his own right. But this role came with problems that have become quite common in the world of live-action superhero films.
George Reeves became synonymous with the Superman role, as no one else in Hollywood could see him outside of that costume. It was as if he was Superman only, and Reeves grew tired of that role. He didn’t have an outlet for his frustrations because he couldn’t land other projects outside his role as Superman. As such, he felt that he had failed as an actor because of his inability to grow out of his Superman costume.
On June 16, 1959, George Reeves was found dead. He had a gunshot wound on his head, and it was ruled that he committed suicide because he couldn’t escape his Superman role and had become frustrated with his failure to land other roles. But some people contested this as there were rumors that we had problems related to organized crimes. Whatever the case may be, Reeves was a tragic figure highlighting the things going on behind the scenes in the acting world.
Why is George Reeves’ cameo controversial?
Of course, even though the George Reeves cameo in ‘The Flash’ was meant to be a tribute to one of the trail-blazing actors in the world of live-action superhero films, people still felt that the cameo was a bit controversial. It’s not on the same level as the controversy of the Christopher Reeve cameo. But ‘The Flash’ was branded a bit insensitive due to its cameos.
The thing about the role of Superman in George Reeves’ life was that it represented his inability to separate his career from his personal life. He was often seen as Superman wherever he went, which bothered him because he couldn’t be himself and could not land other roles because he was synonymous with Superman.
Reeves isn’t often mentioned when it comes to the Superman actors conversation because people who knew what he went through all those decades ago knew how sensitive this topic is. That is why not many people tend to talk about him when it comes to Superman. Tributes are quite minimal regarding Reeves’ character as Clark Kent, as not even the actor himself was too fond of his role in the days leading up to his death.
There’s also the fact that ‘The Flash’ saw theaters around the same time as Reeves’ death anniversary. Meanwhile, people also know that he has no living relatives that have the right to say whether or not they wanted Reeves to appear in a cameo scene in ‘The Flash.’ In that regard, it seemed as if the people behind ‘The Flash’ just went on with the cameo appearance without even thinking about whether or not it was right or wrong. As to our own opinion on that matter, let’s just leave it open-ended.
What do you think about George Reeves’ cameo in ‘The Flash’? Let us know in the comments below!