49 years ago - Sam Scudder is born.
33 years ago - 16-year-old Sam begins breaking into homes.
25 years ago - 24-year-old Sam steals a small antique mirror that becomes his lucky charm.
20 years ago - 29-year-old Sam is caught and sent to prison. He is allowed to keep his mirror.
19 years ago - 30-year-old Sam watches as a person escapes from his mirror, dying & crumbling to dust instantly, revealing it to be a portal to a magical mirror universe which Sam begins exploring.
17 years ago - 32-year-old Sam uses his mastery of mirrors to escape prison & become the Mirror Master., challenging the Flash.
13 years ago - 36-year-old Sam flees from Reverse Flash, hiding in Dublin, but is killed shortly after storing his equipment.
My personal take on most Flash Villains actually comes from their post 1990's depiction. Mark Waid and, later, Geoff Johns did a ton of work to rewrite these characters and make them all feel modern and functional. There are actually very few cases where they actually killed off the original and replaced them. Mirror Master was already dead by the time they got their hands on him, however, and that means that I really don't have a strong sene of who the original Mirror Master is. He remains a part of that earlier era for me, when these characters were defined by their gimmicks. The fact that he continues to be such a popular part of that era just goes to show how this admittedly really weird concept actually really worked for people.
Sam Scudder's Comic History
Mirror Master was one of the earliest creations of John Broome and Carmine Infantino was back in the early years of the Flash in 1959. While there were a lot of gimmick villains in that era, Mirror Master actually holds a dear place in my heart because there is SO little explanation for what he does. Originally, he was a criminal who, while in prison, invented a mirror that holds an image longer. That's literally it.
The character has endured for decades and in many cases was actually the first Flash Villain people would reach for, possibly because his powers were just so completely out of left field. Eventually the main application for his mirrors seems to have settled on teleportation and illusion casting, which is a pretty stellar set of powers when your main enemy is the Flash.
Scudder died in the pages of 1985's Crisis along with Barry Allen, but the character Mirror Master would go on to be one of the earliest Flash Villans to get a modern makeover when the role was passed on to an Irish assassin.
Our Sam Scudder Story
Like most Flash villains, the first thing we feel like we need to do is come up with at least SOME explanation for how this guys powers even work. Obviously, it's a comic, and there's an inherent level of fantasy in all of it, but the Flash gimmick villians have a tendency to strain all credibility. in Sam's case, since he seems to be accessing a sort of extradimentional space, we decided it made more sense if it was something he discovered rather than invented. By accidentally coming into possession of an artifact that accesses this mysterious mirror dimension, which he has time to study and manipulate, Sam starts to make a certain sort of comic-book reality sense. The most credibility-straining part of the story now is that he was able to keep a stolen watch-lucky charm in prison, but I feel like we can just let that one go.
Sam is, of course, one of the most sucessful transitions of a villianous identity to a new, younger person, so we wanted to make sure we set that up properly. Sam needed to have a reason to have stashed his equipment where it might later be found by noteably Scottish Evan McCulloch. It fit very neatly to have it be the result of the Reverse Flash's assault on the Rogues. This way Scott's death becomes part of the ongoing story of the Rogue's relationship with their nemesis and sometimes ally.
We decided to include in our timeline a reference to a story when McCulloch finds a large mirror portal in Scudder's secret labratory. This feels like it could be some sort of set up to bring Scudder back, but honestly I'd rather see this wind up being some crazy mirror-dimention adventure for the Rogues.