Flash Zooms Onto Screens

Flash Zooms Onto Screens


Season 1, Episode 1

“City Of Heroes”

Grade: A+

The fastest man alive is off and running, a crimson-and-lightning blur of wholesome superhero fun to balance out the dark the rest of the lineup has given us.

On Arrow’s second season, a young gung-ho forensic investigator named Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) made his way to Starling City to hang out with everyone’s favorite Emerald Archer for a minute, and also give him some much-needed advice on a domino mask. This was the ground work or what may become the most exciting superhero show we’ve seen on television yet, The Flash.

For all the crap I talk about DC in comparison to Marvel, one thing they do seem to have figured out is the landscape of television. With Arrow entering it’s third season, Gotham churning out ratings despite it’s many misgivings, Constantine coming to NBC, and now The Flash, DC definitely has a handle on television, especially compared to the competition, who at this point only have Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Flash is even familiar to the uninitiated (read: non-comic fans) as a founding member of the Justice League and one of the major heroes of the DC universe. The television show does an excellent job of balancing the original origin story of The Flash with some of the newer comic book plots, and while it suffers from Pilot-itis just a little, it speeds past those problems with cool visuals, excellent acting, and an all-around nifty story.

When a particle accelerator explodes in Central City, Barry Allen is working on his lab, when a golden bolt of lightning explodes through the ceiling, going through a shelf of chemicals and hitting Barry square in the chest. After a 9 month coma (and unless you are a fan of Arrow, this coma passes in a second. If you are a fan of Arrow, then you know how excruciatingly long that coma was. Take it from someone who’s been in a real coma, it was long) Barry awakens to find himself 100% healthy and ready to run. It takes a minute for him to figure out his powers, and there’s definitely a learning curve.

The first hint that something is different comes when a waitress drops her tray, and the whole world slows down as Barry watches the coffee cup fall in slow motion and smash on the ground. This invokes just a little Spider-Man, which is kind of the standard for “Hero Learns Their Powers” sequences, but Flash quickly turns the concept on it’s head and showcases the super-speed in a hilarious sequence that ends in Barry crashing headfirst into a laundry van.

The costume is another shining point in the episode, as anyone who remembers the show from the 90’s will know that previous attempts at a live-action Flash outfit resulted in a bright red, foam-and-fake-ab monstrosity. The sleek, dark-red-leather look of the costume in the CW show marks the first time The Flash’s costume has been made in live-action and not looked outright goofy.

I mentioned earlier that City of Heroes suffers from Pilot-itis a bit, but it’s a very understandable case. There’s a rushed feeling, but only because they are introducing so much. Barry, his cohorts, his family, the b-plot villain, and the overarching arc for the season as a whole. The Flash handles all of this well, which is to be expected since rushing is kind of his specialty.

The only complaint I have is the villain. Weather Wizard could have been handled much better, namely by actually calling him Weather Wizard, but as I said, there was so much they had to do, it’s understandable that the villain would have fallen by the wayside. As it stands, we did get a very cool sequence involving a tornado and The Flash canceling out said tornado with sheer force of speed. Television effects aside, that was cool as hell.

It looks like The Flash is going to be racing against the ample competition for the title of Best Comic Book Show Of The Year, and may actually be a heavy-weight contender for the title. I definitely recommend checking this one out, and unlike Gotham, Arrow, or Constantine, you can feel safe bringing the kids this time, The Flash has all the markings of a family friendly superhero.

Stuff And Things

  • – GORILLA GRODD!!!!!!! Oh, I so hope that empty cage means that Grodd will be a future villain.
  • – Interesting Tidbit Time: John Wesley Shipp, who played Henry Allen (Barry’s father) also played Barry Allen in the silly-costumed show in the early 90’s
  • – So I’m going to take a minute to talk about that last little sequence, if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you may want to hold off for just a second. Okay, everyone who wants to be here still here? Good. “Flash Missing: Vanishes In Crisis” is on a newspaper headline from ten years into the future. Comic book fans heads probably exploded, and for good reason. Crisis On Infinite Earths is a seminal crossover story in DC comics, during which The Flash sacrifices his life for the greater good and in doing so, vanishes. Sadly, I doubt that we’ll see an adaptation of Crisis, at least not outright. For all their awesome TV, I highly doubt Warner Bros would be okay creating a television version of Superman or Batman to take part, which would be kind of necessary for a Justice League story.
  • – I’m also confused as to where this leaves us on the Justice League movie in the cinematic world, as both The Flash and Green Arrow are an integral part of the Justice League as a whole
  • – Other headlines from that newspaper; “Red Skies Vanish” and “Wayne Tech/Queen Inc Merger Complete” (with Wayne tech, we at least know that Gotham and Bruce exist in the Arrow/Flash universe
  • – Arrow’s motivational speech to Barry was expected, cliche, and awesome.
Categories: Entertainment
Tags: review, The Flash