Review: The Flash Ep. 2, "Fastest Man Alive"

Review: The Flash Ep. 2, "Fastest Man Alive"

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

Season 1, Episode 2

“Fastest Man Alive”

Rating: A+

Well this last week just rushed by, didn’t it? Okay, I’ll try my best to keep the speed puns to a minimum, they are just so much fun!

Barry Allan is a natural at being a superhero. In the first minute of the second episode, Barry puts his powers to use by saving three people in a raging apartment fire. We don’t see that enough in superheroes. Spider-Man is famous for handling small time crime, and I’m seeing more and more of Peter Parker’s influence in the handling of Barry’s character, and that is not a bad thing. We’re seeing Barry’s growing pains (running pains maybe) and Flash is all the better for letting us see this, but the show runners seem to have learned their lesson in season one of Arrow in regards to the pacing.

In Arrow’s first season, Oliver Queen was a lot more Punisher than he was heroic vigilante, killing those people that he decided had failed his city. Barry has always been a more optimistic figure than Oliver, from the first moment we saw him with his boyish good looks and bookish grin. Barry has been perfect for the superhero life since his nerdy enthusiasm showed through when he found out about Oliver’s nighttime activities.

The Flash has wasted no time in putting Barry in the crimson and gold and sending him running through the streets, saving people in, well, a flash. His love for his new hobby shows through constantly in the big grin he wears while he’s running. While attending a gathering with his long-time friend Iris, a group of armed men enter, open fire, and proceed to rob everyone in the room. Barry tries to take off after them, but his power glitches and he faints. There’s that nod to Spider-Man again. It’s Barry discovering the rules of his power, and scientifically speaking, he doesn’t eat enough to maintain his constant speed-of-sound running state. As it is explained to Barry, he’s going to have to eat the equivalent to 850 tacos in order to be able to continue running. It’s an interesting angle for the TV show to take, and is a constant thing for the speedy characters in the comics, be they The Flash or Quicksilver, those boys can eat.

Joe, Iris’ father and Barry’s adopted father, is dealing with his knowledge of Barry’s newfound abilities in a very typical cop/father kind of way, by telling Barry that he’s not invincible and just because he can do this doesn’t mean he should. It’s a classic argument most hero types go through, and the reason Spider-Man so closely guards his secret identity as well. Barry’s obviously not going to heed Joe’s warnings, illustrated doubly so by his reminding Joe that his real father is wrongly accused and sitting in prison.

The villain of the week this week, which certainly seems like it’s going to be the pattern of this show, is Danton Black, known in the comics as Multiplex. Black has the power to divide himself into multiple copies.  The group that robbed everyone earlier was not a group, but multiple copies of a single man. His goal is to reap revenge on the man who stole his work and, by doing so, let his wife die of a heart disorder. Flash makes an important and humbling discovery when he tries to fight Black and is overwhelmed by the force of numbers; he may be able to run fast, but he’s no fighter,and that’s going to have to change.

With words of encouragement from Joe and Harrison Wells, Flash takes off to begin the final act of our second episode, saving William Sadler from Multiplex’s plan. We are then treated to a visual effects smorgasbord as the Flash rushes around the building, taking out clone after clone after clone until Black finally sends dozens at him, forcing him to retreat. “Find the Prime!” his cohorts shout at him, which he says is impossible. “Nothing is impossible Barry, you taught me that.” reminds Joe as Barry picks himself back up and makes his way through the hundreds of clones at lightning speed, making his way toward the original and finally taking him out, which in turn takes out the hundreds of others. Barry has his first experience in a classic superhero trope here as well; as Black rushes him and falls from a window, Barry grabs hold of his hands and tells him to hang on, but Black doesn’t allow himself to be saved and falls to his death. This is always an important lesson for fledgling superheroes to learn, that they can’t always save everyone.

The Flash has yet to falter or stumble as it rushes through it’s inaugural run. While there is a little darkness, the arc of Barry;s father and his Mother’s murderer is chock full of typical superhero shlock, it mostly keeps things light and fun. Barry loves doing this, and we can feel his joy and elation in being the fastest man alive. I was right to look forward to this show, and it has all the makings of one of the best things DC has done.

Stuff And Things

  • – “How far do you think he’ll get before he realizes he forgot his clothes?”
  • – The Flash And The Grey Area Of Superheroing by Barry Allan, coming this fall to be stolen from a bookstore near you.
  • – The treadmill scene was a very cool thing to see, and his subsequent loss of conciousness
  • – Super-speed does not make you automatically mute, Barry, Iris just heard a chipmunk tell her all your secrets in a nanosecond.
  • – “Meet Captain Clone…. Don’t worry, I’ll come up with something cooler.”Honestly, that is infinitely cooler than Multiplex, which is one of the oddest villain names I’ve ever heard. Then again, there are already a few Captain something-or-the-others in Flash’s rogues gallery
  • – “It is not okay! Black is here! He’s here and he’s… just… standing there. this isn’t him, is it?”
  • – “I tried to save him” Says Barry, “It sounds like he didn’t want to be saved.” Harrison Wells says
  • – “I finally realized something: We were all struck by that lightning” It’s a little terribly cheesy Barry, but I see what you’re going for.

        DC needs to take a page from their television runners and allow humor into their world. Humor may not have a place in Batman, but it definitely belongs in Superman, and Man Of Steel was so grim, and Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice has all the makings of a DC brand Dark Hero Movie.

Categories: Entertainment
Tags: review, The Flash